A Letter To The Girl I Used To Be But No Longer Am

A Letter To The Girl I Used To Be But No Longer Am

For when my past self needs some encouragement.
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Dear Girl I Used To Be,

You're not even 19 years on this earth but you have done so many things that you should be proud of, but not everything had been a walk in the park. You have changed, grown, and figured out so many things you never thought you would. Although, I am not writing this to talk about who you are now but here to talk about who you were to get you to this point.

On Christmas Day, nearly 14 years ago, you opened up your very first drum set. That night you were able to play it for the first time and soon began to cry because you felt that you were not good enough and assumed you'd never be. That was only the beginning of many lessons, rehearsals, and performances where tears flowed down your cheeks in the shape of a broken spirit. These were necessary tears in order to open the path of confidence you, one day, would find.

Growing up you were a bookworm, and that will never change, but trying to pull yourself away from books and into the real world was always a task that people deemed nearly impossible. You were afraid to talk to adults, teenagers, and even your peers because you were scared you would open your mouth and nothing would come out. Hiding in tales like "Harry Potter," "Percy Jackson," and "Witch and Wizard" seemed like your best course of avoidance but you soon will realize that it is your strongest weapon. Because of these books, and so many more, you will notice how much information and knowledge you will start to gain and how every person and their life is essentially their own story. In middle school and high school, and probably for the rest of your life, people start referring you to "the girl who knows things."

At first, this is confusing for you because it's not like they are calling you a "know-it-all" or anything else in order to tear you down but instead are saying you're the one with the answers. This aspect of your personality will become what opens many doors for so many friendships and opportunities. Once you understand this, knowledge will be your weapon and shield for whatever may come your way.

Finally, as my last goodbye to you, I just want you to know that you will be okay. All the broken hearts you've endured, all the people who you have momentarily or permanently lost in your life, and all the countless night sitting in bed just waiting for the next thing to go wrong will be the backbone of who you have yet to become. Life will never become easy and once you accept that you will feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders. You are meant to be who you are during these moments in order to change and transform to who you will develop into. Never wish for a dull day because those days will be lost opportunities to learn. Love yourself as you are but never settle for anything less than you can become.

Love, Randi

Cover Image Credit: Tobi Dami / Pexels

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.

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Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.

Rest.

This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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