GUEST BLOG: A Letter To Myself

Blog Piece – A Letter to Myself by Ellie Sanders

A couple of months ago I found myself writing a letter. It isn’t unusual for me to turn to writing as a form of expression or ‘therapy’ if you like, but this letter was a little different – it was addressed to myself…

We all find ourselves in positions we could never have imagined. I was an extremely happy little girl; lacking any sense of self-consciousness or care for what others thought. I had been brought up by two incredibly loving parents in a quaint village in the Cotswolds. Living somewhere so quiet and idyllic led to a sheltered, yet liberal upbringing; playing in the streets or abandoned buildings every day after school. I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood…

I had got into the local all-girls school I so desperately wanted to go to. Everything was pretty much perfect and how I had wished. But the life we wish for ourselves doesn’t always turn out how we planned…

Shortly after beginning secondary school, I started losing all sense of love and worth for myself. I was so overwhelmed by my own mind telling me I wasn’t enough and lost a year of my life obsessing over calories, exercise and constantly comparing myself to others. Like many sufferers of eating disorders, I struggled to identify and accept that I was in fact incredibly unwell and something needed to change. After some time, and with support from my parents, I decided to move schools and have a fresh start. This was one of the best decisions I had ever made and I began to regain my confidence and find myself again almost instantly.

 

Life is much like a book and all the different chapters…

 

So I wrote myself this letter, which was addressed to that 12 year old girl, who had lost all hope in the world and felt so alone in this desperate battle against herself. Writing it almost felt as though I could finally close that chapter of my life. It’s a chapter I’m strangely proud of and has shaped who I am today. This got me thinking and I came to realise that life is much like a book. There are chapters we do not wish to ever read again; characters we do not wish to ever reunite with. Some things are so out of our control, much like how every page is already written; an end decided; and we cannot do a thing about it. However, we can choose how we read the book, how we feel about the characters and how we react to the ending.

This letter did cause me to re-read a difficult chapter in my life, but it put into perspective where I am now and how far I’ve come. We are told too often that we must not look back in life and instead should focus on our current-selves and what we hope to achieve in the future. However, without dwelling on the past, reflection on trickier times helps to remind us of our immense strength and capabilities, as well as preparing us for what challenges lie ahead. We must not regret parts of our past (which I accept is easier said than done), but learn and grow from what we have been through. This is the letter – there is no regret or shame, just what I could say to that fragile young girl and anyone else in the same position…

 

 

A letter to myself…

 

“I want to hold you tight and tell you it’s going to be okay. You wouldn’t believe me of course. You’re too consumed by your own mind telling you that you aren’t enough. Well you are. But you won’t believe that either…

I want to take your hand and show you that things get better. But I’m afraid you’ll have to discover this in your own time. Right now you’re far too busy thinking of every single thing you’d like to change about yourself. Wasting hours and days and weeks obsessing over calories and exercise and comparing yourself to everyone else. It’s exhausting, but for now this vicious cycle is your life. So you get up every single morning and live it, as best as you can. I admire you so much for that. I admire your ability to face the day, despite knowing it will be run by this manipulating illness you are so stuck with.

I want to lead you through the pain. Take you away from this cruel mindset your trapped in for just a moment of peace and freedom. To show you that there is so much more to life than this.

I want to show you love. The love you are so worthy of, even though you don’t believe it yet. Watching you treat yourself like this breaks my heart. But one day you will love yourself and it will lead to such beautiful things. You’ll quickly realise there is no better feeling than to love and to be loved. This will guide you through life and give you (at last) a sense of purpose.

Soon you will return, ready to see the good in the world. And more importantly, the good in yourself. You will look in the mirror and accept what you see, finally showing yourself the love you deserve and have been lacking for so long.

I want you to know that things will get better; this fight won’t last forever.”

 

 

About the author

Ellie Sanders is a 17-year-old student and writer from Gloucestershire. She is passionate about music, travelling, skiing and cooking and hopes to go on to travel for a year before studying English at University.

https://www.instagram.com/ellie.writing/