Please don’t go. You may feel numb right now, or overwhelmed with emotions. You may feel like you are worthless or unloveable. You might feel like it would be easier to just give up. It's okay to not feel okay. Your feelings are valid and you are not alone.

I want you to know that you are enough. Even if you don’t see it for yourself right now, please listen and trust me. You are beautiful, inside and out. One day, hopefully soon, you will be able to see this for yourself.

I understand what it feels like to hate yourself. I’ve been there. I know how hard it is to listen to the voices in your head, telling you each and every day that you’re not good enough. I know how much of a struggle it is to make it through every day; the amount of energy it takes to hold it together, all day, just to breakdown and cry once you are in the privacy of your own room. In those moments, you have never felt more alone, broken, scared, weak and hopeless. You don’t deserve this pain.

Part of why you feel so alone is because other people can’t or don’t see what you’re going through. They see a beautiful girl – someone with integrity, someone who strives for excellence. They see someone who is determined, hard working and strong. They see a great athlete, a good student and an even better friend, sister, aunt and daughter. You are so empathetic, understanding and compassionate. Others look at you and hope to one day be half the person you are. I wish you could see just how much hope and love you give to others. You are a shining light in a sometimes dim world.

I’ve seen some of the things you’ve done, some of the things you’re ashamed of, things you didn’t want to do, but you couldn’t stop yourself. It breaks my heart to know this. I want you to know that you don’t need to destroy yourself in order to gain control. Please know that you don’t deserve what’s been done to you—you don’t deserve it now, or ever. I hope you can forgive yourself for the things you did out of desperation: the things you did when you were lost, alone and afraid.

It may feel like everything inside you wants the pain to end, but there is a reason you are still here. You have to find a way to defy the voices in your head. You have to dig deep and resist the urge to feed those voices through engaging in unhealthy behaviors. Recovery is a long, uphill, difficult battle. It’s a choice you have to make each and every day. But I promise you, it’s worth the fight.

There are people who love you and people you love. Stay for them. And if that is not enough for you then hold on to this: There will be someone, someday that needs to hear the story of your strength. Maybe it’s a 14-year-old girl who feels like nothing will get better, and that she can’t possibly bear the pain of one more day. Perhaps it’s a parent who feels as though their family will be better off without them. Maybe it’s your own child, who doesn’t yet know that it is okay to not be okay. Your story will help them, but you need to be around to tell it.

You have fought and beat this every single day; today will be no different. You know what to do, you have the tools and you can do this.

You will win this battle. You will heal. I promise recovery is possible. The pain will soon be tolerable, and eventually the pain will go away. You will learn how to laugh again, and you will remember what it feels like to be happy again. You are important and you are more than enough. Keep telling yourself that until you believe it.

The world needs you. The people you love and the people who love you need you. There are people you have yet to meet that need you. You deserve to be here and you deserve happiness. Better things are coming-please just hang in there, and please never stop fighting. This is a battle that you will win.

Love always,

A Girl Choosing to Fight