|What would you tell your younger self if you could?|
Over the years I've thought about what I would say if I could meet myself at age 14, just as my life was starting to run off of the rails, and had the opportunity to share my experience. If you're a young person, heading down the road of addiction, you'll be able to tell where I was in my head at that time...
I know that I'll never get that opportunity. But maybe my experience can help someone else who's standing at the precipice as I was... I truly hope it can.
I know that you're a teenager and you know everything. You don't really want to hear what I have to say, but I'm going to ask you to please find the part of your mind that's still still got a tiny window open and give me a few minutes of your time.
Even if you're not ready to accept what I'm going to say, I hope you can tuck parts of it away in your brain to help you when you're ready.
The most important thing I want to say is I promise that it gets better. If you can hold on, life will improve. I'm never going to blow smoke up your ass and tell you that adolesence is the best time of your life. The people who say that are morons. Adolesence SUCKS!
The pressure coming at you from all angles (parents, peers, friends, magazines, TV and the Committee) is nearly unbearable. It's hard. And confusing.
I know that at this point in your life, the pain is overwhelming. The pain of not ever being enough. The pain of not fitting in. The pain of picking yourself apart at every turn.
You cry yourself to sleep at night. I know. No one knows better than I do. I've been to that hell.
You think about ending the pain once and for all. I know you think about it every day. You think that no one would even miss you. But you're wrong. You're so terribly wrong.
There are people who need you. People who need you right now and people who will need you later. It would destroy your family to lose you. Whether you believe that or not, I know it to be true.
There are experiences you need to have. That you deserve to have. The joy that comes with seeing your children's first smiles. The feel of their arms around your neck as they tell you how much they love you. You deserve to have that.
Just wait. Just hang on. It gets so much better.... I promise.
I'm not saying that there aren't pitfalls along the way. There are. But you can navigate the waters. I believe in you. You need to believe in you too.
In the end, being cool doesn't matter. Being goofy is more fun. Enjoy your life. You're not gonna get a second chance.
You think that you're ugly. But you're not. You're awkward looking now (hey, I said I wouldn't blow smoke up your ass). And I know you won't believe this, but someday there will be lots of boys (try to hold out for men rather than boys) who want to date you. Your desire to be wanted will be so strong that you'll be tempted to trust them all. And some of them are worth your trust.
And some of them just want to use you. To take from you... your money, your body, your heart, your soul, your self.... Keep an eye out for these losers and don't fall for their bullshit. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Cinderella is just a story. There's no white knight on a horse coming to save you. You're gonna have to save yourself. You can do it. And you will.
Real relationships take work. All of them. From friendships to family relationships to love relationships.... all of them take time and take work. It's worth the time and effort to have strong relationships with your family. I know they piss you off sometimes but they'll always be there for you when you really need them.
Keep people who matter to you close to you. There's not enough time with the people that we love. And when they're gone, you'll miss them forever. You'll always want 5 more minutes.... Make sure you take the time now. Even when you're too busy. Even when you're too cool.
Be who you are. Don't hide from yourself. You're exceptionally smart. Don't hold yourself back. Reach for your dreams. Never never never give up. If you want it badly enough, you can do it... But your dream of being a ballerina fairy princess is probably out...
Listen, you're not ready to hear this yet, but you're an addict. I'm not going to tell you not to drink and use drugs (since you wouldn't listen to me anyway), but I will tell you this... Be careful. It's very easy to slip in too deep. It's easy to make decisions that are irreversible. Life changes on a dime.
There's something you need to understand about the voices in your head. They'll try to trick you. Listen to them with your heart and you'll be able to pick out the one that's your conscience. (Little tip: that's usually the voice telling you to do the thing that you think is silly or uncool.) Listen to your conscience. Ignore the others. They're not worthwhile.
Here's the other big thing you need to know. I know you won't believe me yet about this, but just put it away in your brain for when you're ready. Listen up for this one.
You are not alone. There are thousands of people (if not millions) out there who are just like you. Who understand who you are, how you feel, the pain in your heart that never goes away, the hole in your soul that's never filled. When you're ready, they'll be there. You can't trust them all, but (for the most part) they're good people.
I wish I could take you in my arms the way I do with my kids when they're hurting and tell you that I love you. If you think about it, you know deep down in your heart that I truly do.
You're going to be fine. I promise. Just hang in there. You'll be amazed at what can happen when you just believe in yourself.
Just Keep Coming Back
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