Dear Me age 5,
Hi Sweetie. It’s me.
I mean you.
You’re such a good girl: smart, funny pretty. I know you don’t feel that way right now. Those kids that are mean to you. They mean nothing.
I know they don’t let you sit near them. I know that they call you hateful names like “Fatty Patty” and “Fatso”. They are just words. You are loved. You are love. Your mommy and daddy love you. Your sister and baby brother love you; you have your grandma and aunts and uncles and cousins who love you.
That’s all you need. Remember that song you like?
All you need is love
Dear Me age 9,
You feel sad. The sadness engulfs you like wearing a warm sweater on a hot summer day. It sticks to every part of your body; you want to tear it off, but you can’t.
You hate yourself. You hate that you are bigger than the other kids; you hate that they tease you all the time. You hate that you have no friends.
You have your books: Jane Eyre, Meg Murray, Mary Lennox, and Harriet. They are your friends. They bring you into their world. You can sit next to Jane in the orphanage or when she becomes the Governess at Thornfield Hall. She won’t ask you to move. Meg will take you on her quest to find her father, you can grow flowers with Mary; they give you comfort.
You have found love in your books.
Dear Me age 14,
You have a new companion. Sadness introduced you fear.
You’re anxious. You’re afraid. The fear follows you everywhere. It sleeps next to you in your bed, in the darkness.
High School was supposed to be better, but it’s not. You feel isolated. You are afraid to join clubs or sports. You are afraid of failing. If you try, you can fail. You can be ridiculed. You don’t want to be ridiculed any more than you are already.
You still have your books you think. Frodo and Bilbo are with you at night to keep you safe.
Stop the fear. It will make your life even emptier.
Try out for the play. Try out for the team.
You are so smart, pretty, funny and special.
You are loved.
Dear Me age 19,
You still are afraid and sad, and now you have shame.
Shame of how you look.
You try to change that.
You diet. You exercise You become obsessed. You get sick.
I look at pictures of you during this time; your twenties and l see how gorgeous you really were. How gorgeous you really are. How gorgeous I am.
You are loved somewhere, by someone.
Dear Me age 25,
Stop listening to everyone! Listen to yourself. Listen to your heart. If you don’t, you will spend a lifetime doing something you hate, You will pursue a career that you are ill suited for. You will become your own self-prophesy. You will fail.
You love to cook and you do it so well. You have a gift for it. Pursue it. You will lose your passion if
Your heart screams to be creative.
You have the soul of an artist.
You have the heart of a Star!
You are loved by so many!
Dear Me age 30,
Break the walls down. You have a mote around you and impenetrable walls made of stone and steal. It’s fine to protect yourself, but not so much that you don’t let someone know you. Yes, you might get hurt, but you might find love.
You cannot find love, if you aren’t willing to love.
Love yourself. Then “he” may love you.
Dear Me, age 40
You’ve lost your passion. You’ve lost your ability to dream.
You haven’t picked up a book in years; even when you cook it is without soul.
You feel like you’re walking in darkness; anxiety is leading you. Sadness is holding your hand.
You’ve tried all the medications. They work for a while. Then you are right back to feeling helpless and alone.
It’s been a lifetime since you were happy. Were you ever happy?
Please find a counselor. Please talk to someone.
It will get better.
Someone loves you. Look around.
Dear Me age 50,
It’s ok. You were fired. You hated that job anyway.
Your job is not your identity. I know what you are, but you need to find out.
You can’t leave your bed.
You panic every day.
You don’t feel safe in your own skin.
You cry every day for your lost identity. If you are not your job, who are you?
Your therapist told you about the Wellness Coalition.
Go everyday if you need to.
Find your voice.
Take your identity back.
Dear Wellness Coalition,
Thank you. I found my heart. I found my soul. I found myself.
My therapist gave me your number. I called the week before Christmas. My orientation was Christmas Eve.
As soon as I walked in I felt welcome. I saw glass sculptures sparkling in the window, amazing art work on the walls. I was greeted by Leslie, and she explained to me all of the art I saw was created by clients. I was intrigued and, yes intimidated. I could never create what I saw there that day. I’m no artist.
I was given a calendar and Leslie explained about the workshops. I chose creative journaling.
It took me a month to finally go.
When I finally went to the workshop, I found myself enjoying it immensely. I started with collaging. The next time I went, I tried colored pencils and markers. By the fifth time I made it there I was using watercolors…
I had never painted before this.
Leslie encouraged me to attend abstract watercolor with Cyndi. I did.
I recently submitted three pieces of art for the Veterans Outreach Show: Two pieces are original photographs and the third is an acrylic piece. If you had told me a year ago I would be in an art show…well a year ago, I couldn’t even get out of bed, let alone create something.
I’m not 100%, but I’m getting there. Through the workshops, I have learned so much about myself. It’s painful to look at yourself from the outside in, but when you can look from the inside out, you know you are on your path to healing.
I’m learning to love myself. I can’t thank you enough for that.