Dear 17 Year Old Self: Take Care of Yourself

Dear 17 Year Old Self,

Please take care of yourself. And please give yourself a break. You work too hard, and you put the weight of the world on your shoulders. Life is starting to suck a little less for you, but you’re still not convinced that everything will be okay. Home will get better, I promise. I know you don’t want to believe me, and really why should you? The past couple of years have been horrific, and nothing gold can stay, right? Whenever something good has happened to you, it’s like you get smacked down twice as hard.

This probably isn’t comforting, but life sucks sometimes. Then it doesn’t suck as much, and if you’re lucky good things stick around for more than a fleeting moment. These moments should be savored, not diluted by the challenges, struggles, and disappointments. There are going to be plenty of those over the next 10 years, but remember that no one is out to get you. Everyone goes through rough and smooth patches alike – it’s all about your attitude.

Having a positive attitude isn’t for everyone else, it’s for you. You don’t want to experience years of self-degrading and negative thoughts. It literally changes your brain. I’ve spent the last two and a half years trying to undo years of damage. While I’ve made amazing progress I still have far to go.

Speaking of recovery, go to therapy and get on some medication. Now. I know how adamantly resistant you are to this idea. You think you don’t need you any help and that your issues aren’t as bad as other people. You don’t want anyone to have to worry about you and be a burden to your family.

You aren’t broken. I know it feels like you are. That you’re brain and your emotions are completely unpredictable. You think that keeping it all inside your head will make it less real, and that you have control over everything.

I’m going to save you years of trouble, so hopefully you can avoid some of my mistakes. You have severe anxiety and you’re depressed. The sooner you admit that to yourself and to other people you can start on the road to recovery, and you can take care of yourself.

It’s not weakness if you fight the battle with armor fully equipped. It’s brave and it’s strong. Sometimes it’s easy, other times… not so much. But you have to keep fighting.

It doesn’t go all away at once, but I promise you will be start to see the forest through the trees.

You’re worth it.

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