So I saw an article on The Mighty today that talked about people writing their teen aged, bipolar selves letters. I’ve done that a few times in my life, writing letters that are supposed to span generations like that – from me to myself you know? Sometimes they’ve been forward in time, other times they’ve been backwards. Every time though, they’ve been insightful and informative and a real eye-opening process. With all that being said – here is my letter to me:
Dear 2004 Will –
Those feelings that you have right now are not bad things. Nothing is wrong with you, despite what you may feel, or what you will be told. Your heart is good, and your head is in the right place, trying to get the most out of life at this age. When you feel those powerful emotions swinging, regardless of where they’re going, don’t stop them from happening and don’t be afraid to let the emotions out.
If in fact there is one thing I can tell you, it’s to always let emotions come to the surface and come out. Whether those emotions manifest themselves in the form or tears or laughs or whatever it may be – LET THEM OUT. Holding emotions in leads to further fear and anger. Like Yoda says in Star Wars, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the dark side.
Know now, what Elder Holland will say in General Conference in several years, “Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters … do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it!” At this point in your life you have tried to do that once, and you will be driven to the edge of doing it twice more in the coming years. Life can be a dark place at times, but it is never ever worth trying to end it. Please don’t do it, once or twice or at all.
The questions you feel about wondering who you are and why you feel the way that you do in your head and heart are all valid. There is nothing wrong with you – you just don’t know what’s going on yet. Keep asking questions and pushing for more information. It may make your parents and friends and those around you uncomfortable right now, but there will come a time when you’ll regret not asking more questions. Please take the time to take care of you. Keep that in mind across the board – from spiritual things, to professional things, to education related things, to relationship things. Please take the time to take care of you – depletion depression and anxiety are real and can be a big downward spiral. Take time to be well, so you don’t have to take time to get better.
Love yourself fully and passionately. That will lead to you loving others fully and well.
Most importantly Will, let yourself live well.
All our best,