Dear Me... a love letter to myself
I've talked about self talk in the past on my blog. That we all have these negative thoughts that filter through our brains every day - and we have to learn to change those negative thoughts to positive ones. This letter, I suppose, is no different. I was surprised at how HARD it was to write. While I've gotten (some what) better at positive self talk - I can not honestly say that I'm an expert at it.
2016 is going to be your year. It's going to be the year that you strive to be happy, and enjoy life and everything it has to offer you. You have been fighting so hard, and for so long to experience happiness every day the last few years, but you don't find that finding happiness and joy in each day is the struggle that it used to be. Look at how far you've come: in just over 10 months you have fought your depression with everything you have, all whilst helping others with body image and depression problems with your blog on the internet. Just over 10 months ago you were in hospital and swore to yourself that you would never allow yourself to not walk again, and from there you have just gone from courage, to strength. It's not been easy, but I am so proud of you for getting to where you are now. We never even dared to dream half a year ago that we would feel this much better in such a short amount of time. There have been ups and downs, granted – not everything has been perfect, or the way we planned – but there has been more happiness with BJ, and there is more happiness with yourself.
You have learned to be almost grateful for what happened in 2015 and for your depression rearing its ugly head again, as it has taught you so many things. You have learned how to depend less on other people while still being able to open up about your mental health to the whole world; and you have learned a lot about yourself in the process. You are a strong woman that knows what she wants and what makes her happy, and you are less afraid to reach for everything you deserve this year. Your depression has taught you that it is okay to be completely yourself around people, and they can take you as you are, or leave it, because their opinion of you no longer matters to your self worth. You know what is important in life and are somewhat more open to change and new opportunities, including sitting down at the piano again, and taking up a new instrument: the violin.
Look at what you have planned for this year. You are hoping to do a 5k Color Me Rad Marathon in May, and you are working your body and stamina to make that a possibility. You have written your 2016 bucket list, consisting of driving to Philadelphia on a Sunday morning to photograph the architecture – and getting on a horse at the Waymart Happy Trails Stables. And you are determined to experience as much happiness as possible, surrounded by supportive people, and seeing new things.
When I look at our progress I think that you are amazingly strong, and brave. Your depression has allowed you to achieve so much more than you were willing to see in the beginning. Sometimes hitting rock bottom is the thing we need to gain perspective on what is important in our lives. Be proud of yourself for how committed and motivated you are, as it took a lot of strength to carry on when you were suffering so badly.
I want you to always remember that it is okay to be you.. You love photography, cooking delicious food, spending time with your cats and rabbit, and prefer a night in front of the TV over going out. That's you, and you should love that about yourself. Liking yourself hasn't always been easy, but I hope that when you read back through this letter in the future you will see how incredible you really are, and how much you have achieved. Take things slow, and don’t get discouraged in the process. Sometimes we will stumble, we’ll take steps back – but we have to remember to always get back up again – because where we were 10 months ago we were wishing and praying to be where we are now. And in 10 months from now – we’ll be in an even better place.
This year you need to do what you enjoy. Say 'yes' to opportunities that excite you, 'no' to those that don't, and keep dreaming about the end results that will come from living and leading a healthy life style. Even if this means making scary changes, regardless of consequences.
This year will be fantastic. You're too determined not to let it be. Keep smiling, keep laughing, and keep loving. And always remember to be a kid at heart and only let your life be ruled by you, and to surround yourself with people that make you happy and improve your life in some way.
This journey I'm on - it's not an easy one. I can't lie and say that the past several months have been perfect, because they have been far from it. We've been lazy and complacent. We've eaten foods we know are not good for us. We've made excuses to not get off the sofa. But I won't give back that weight I've lost. I won't not walk again. I won't allow myself to destroy the progress I've made.
Sometimes progress means constant battles. Battles with food. Battles with work. Battles with ourselves. Keep going. The harder it is, the more you know it's the right thing you're doing.