**warning to readers….this is a graphic letter. Things I really wish someone would have told me and helped me with, some may be offended by the frankness. There may be some major mistakes in the writing, I tried to read it over, but just couldn’t.
Dear 16 year old me.
Hi Wendy….You won’t believe it, but I am now almost 50 years old.
I know you are confused. I know it’s hard to believe that I could be writing you from the future, but please just sit back and listen. I hope to help make these coming times just a little bit easier. Please know, I love you, with all my heart. You will go through times that you don’t like yourself very much, but know you will. I’m just hoping you can start a bit sooner.
Recently you have been very depressed, and confused. Some days you are very happy, a bit euphoric even, and other days you don’t think you can carry on. Everyone thinks you are going though normal teenage hormones, just growing up. You are, but you are also dealing with a bit more. You need to make someone listen. Your mother has always been your best advocate. Sit down with her, talk honestly. Tell her just how depressed you have been and that you need to see a mental health professional. I’ll be blunt, you have Bipolar disorder. Don’t worry, you can be treated. But hopefully, you can catch this much earlier than I did the first time around. In my time line you went through many hard years and many heart breaks. You still live with the fall out from those times. If you can get help now perhaps your life can go much smoother. (much easier.)
If you can’t, there is one thing I suggest…STRONGLY. Be careful with your sex life. You will feel, once you are “soiled”, it isn’t worth the fight. It is. YOU ARE! You will lose your self esteem. You will lose so much. When you get into therapy, finally, you will have a good therapist, but she will not understand. She will acknowledge your past problems with abuse and see you think a man will only care if you give yourself to him. She will say. Sex is ok, but only if you really want to do it. You will often feel that you really want to do it. Please Wait. Wait many times. Wait until the relationship is so much more. Do not jump into a sexual relationship until the relationship is more than just sex. Please take this more seriously than you can believe. It will change your life!!!
Stay close to your mother. Give her a break much more often than you do. Take her off the pedestal. She can’t read your mind, STOP being so passive aggressive. It carries on to other relationships and you don’t need that. You lose her much too early. She encourages you and stays by your side through everything, but unfortunately she doesn’t live to see you completely stable. Savor the years you have. You will be so very close, but you do put her through many worries. Try to lessen those for both of you.
You will start to have some health issues. Hearing issues, vertigo….you think you are having food poison many times…there are many breaks between these sicknesses. You are heading toward a hard fight with a hearing disorder that will cause a lot of balance issues. There really isn’t anything they could do if you found out earlier. So don’t sweat they you don’t find out until later. But if you find out earlier, it might help you in your career.
Dare to be braver. Work harder on your art if you REALLY want to. Don’t be so scared to fail. You will only have a few years to be able to work at this. So if you fail, it’s not a big deal. But if you succeed, and I really think you could, think of how you would feel about you! I believe in you. Looking back, you could have done so much more. Work on your muse! Find what inspires you the most! (oh and in college…start out as an Art Major. add in Art Education, but don’t waste time, if you do you will run out of financial aid before you know it and will not get the education you deserve.
You will have some health issues that change your life….so you change your life to go along with it. You still have a good life. You have a wonderful life, even with everything that you go through, you find a way to make your life meaningful.
You do meet the most wonderful man, and have a joyous life with him…but it won’t happen until you are in your late 30’s, you marry at 41. Do not worry. It happens. Don’t fret. And don’t think there is something wrong with you. Focus on your happiness. This man will stand beside you through all your health issues. You will have a better relationship than you ever thought imaginable. He is worth waiting for.
Focus on YOU.
Study things you want to learn.
Dive into your ART.
Study Yoga…you will love it.
Become as healthy as you can, you will need it later.
Take care of you…And trust your heart…don’t listen to those who are just looking for fun for the moment.
Hopefully, if you listen to this, and get treated early, you will have an easier life.
Don’t take things so seriously….however, when you believe in something, don’t let others pull you away from your beliefs. In that same vein….do not get too caught up in other people’s beliefs without really looking into them. Make sure they are what you believe deep in your heart, and the that the facts are sound.
And Cry Less.
Look for Beauty.
And appreciate Life.
From your future self, who hopes things turn out a bit differently.
With unconditional love, always and forever.