Break your habit of cutting

Dear Me,

You think that this is the hardest time of your life. You think you’ll never face problems as big as this. But because you’ll live through this (yes, even though you’ve been planning and will attempt suicide), you’ll grow deeply in strength and maturity.

And as much as you feel like your broken parts will never be fixed, you will learn that life is a natural cycle of breaking down and rebuilding.

You have an incredibly perceptive, creative spirit that I so adore in you. Recognize that, and hold on to it as long as possible, because a time is coming where you will feel dehumanized. You will think you’re losing your sense of self at times, but don’t worry, it’s still there. You already know that you don’t have the ability to be anything but irrevocably, unapologetically you.

You think you’ve got a lot of things figured out, easily categorized with simple definitions. And it’s true, you’ve diligently taken the time to learn so much. But during the next few years, you’ll learn about incredible things you never knew existed (for example, you think music is cool now? Just wait ’till you start your music degree). Prepare for an enlightening, challenging, and exciting journey.

You will lose a lot of things that are important to you. Not only material things, but also several close relationships. The relationships you have will continually change over time, sometimes quite dramatically, and you will end up meeting people beyond your wildest dreams. Don’t be afraid, because it’ll grow you a lot, and above all, it’ll be a blast.

Some very specific things that you assumed would always be the same will end up changing. I won’t give you the details – you’ll find out on your own. But don’t freak out, you’ll live through it. You’ll keep learning that nothing ever stays the same, no matter the situation. And, there will always be a mix of good and bad times ahead.

On that note, don’t be afraid of college. Yeah, sometimes it’ll suck, but I’m still convinced you end up finding the perfect one for you. Thank your guidance counselor, because it’s all because of him that you end up discovering it. Yes, guidance counselor – you’ll be attending public high school in the fall. I know it seems out of your comfort zone now, but I assure you, you will absolutely love it.

In a couple of years you will learn why you need to break your habit of cutting, but I won’t spoil it for you. It’s an important realization. During this time period, you will also experience a very healing relationship – yes, you will actually move on from her. Don’t let how you feel about her define you. There’s a huge world of people and situations out there that will carry you towards your future in the current faster than you’ll anticipate. Also, cherish the times you have playing music with her now, because they’re some of the most amazing times in your life.

Speaking of relationships, you’re going to meet a really hot guy in your driver’s ed class this summer. I know nothing I say will change how you act, because you’ll be obstinately determined to date him, and I know you’ll think it’s only innocent fun, but you’ll be wasting your precious time with him. He’ll create hurt and regret in your life more than you expect he could. You’ll be better off without him.

As a matter of fact, a lot of the times you believe you’re having harmless fun won’t end up so harmless. What’s safe for you will end up contributing to pain in the lives of the ones you will grow to love. I know you want to believe you’re right and that you’ve reasoned it all out, but you’ll learn that feelings don’t follow logic. However, don’t obsess over blaming yourself, because broken relationships are inevitable in an imperfect world, and it’ll be okay.

You already know you’ll need to hold onto God to get through all this. Don’t despair when it’s hard to connect with him. He will reach into your life in big ways that will bolster your faith, so wait in anticipation for that. You won’t regret putting your hope in him, even though it’ll get really hard. But that’s mostly because of people’s opinions getting in the way, so ignore them and move on. Trust your gut and the friends you’ll come to respect the most.

Don’t let the pursuit of and attendance in college ruin your passion for the arts. Instead, allow it to expand yourself. Don’t doubt what you’re truly passionate about in life, or let temporary defeat or roadblocks dissuade you from working hard. It’s okay if you have creative dry spells, times where you lose hope. Let yourself breathe.

You already know life can be tiring. Sometimes you’ll feel on top of the world and other times you’ll feel like the lowest creature alive. And all of that is okay. You’re okay.

No matter what happens, believe that God will repay the years that the locusts have eaten, because he will. Look forward to a lot of beautiful experiences. Also, don’t listen to me when I say hurtful things to you. My love for you isn’t perfect, but guess what? Jesus’s is. Listen to him.

Celebrate because He loves you deeply,

20-year-old Me

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