One of the assignments I have this week has been to write a love letter to myself. So naturally, I decided to pull a Hermoine Granger and share this. Because sometimes I like to paint myself with the ‘overachiever’ brush. It makes me feel sophisticated and grand- like Gwyneth Paltrow minus Goop (and a body that should go to prison because it’s KILLER). But mostly I wanted to share this so people who find themselves right now where I was- see what it’s like when you come out the other side.
Well, this is the third attempt at writing this letter. The first one turned into a grocery list by the second sentence and the second attempt got all the way to the third paragraph before slyly morphing into a to-do list for Monday. I’m not sure what it says about me that it’s taken me three tries to write a love letter to myself when I can mentally choreograph a dance to “Dynamite” after hearing it only once on the radio. But let’s not dwell on that.
I think this is the part where I’m supposed to talk about all your major work accomplishments, relationship triumphs and celebrate your general awesomeness with exclamation points and witty banter. I should probably comment on your unique quirks and say something about your physical appearance in a positive way. Because you know that everyone is beautiful. Your mom and Dove commercials taught you that. And most days, if you truly let go, you do feel beautiful. I think this is where I’m supposed to say so many things that I’m not going to.
Instead I will say, I’m glad you made it.
I’m proud of you. For surviving a hard year and a half. For getting out of bed everyday. It took the courage of a hundred thousand Wipeout contestants to shut your alarm clock off and place your feet on the floor and face yourself on days when you wanted a world of black and quiet and sleep. I’m proud of you for talking about cancer and depression and what it feels like to have a soul so empty it hurts to breathe. For not cowering. For not quitting. I am more proud of you than you will ever know. I walk the halls at work with my head held high knowing you have survived what would have crumbled others.
I’m grateful for you. For saving us. For crying while pushing ‘publish’ and nervously calling to make your first therapy appointment. I’m thankful that you were wise enough to call out for help when you have never been more afraid. I am grateful that you knew you needed medicine and pushed your doctor until you found the one right for you. I am glad you take it everyday, knowing it’s the right choice for you.
I am happy for you. That you are making plans and setting boundaries. I am happy that you laugh more and cry less. That you answer your phone and return emails. I am happy that you dance at work and sing on your way home. I am so happy that you no longer go to sleep listening to the soundtrack of your own crying. I am happy that you brush hair that is no longer falling out and paint nails that are no longer falling off. I am happy that you are less lost and more found and that even on your darkest days, you feel like there is a bit of magic still in you.
I’m glad you made it. I’m glad you are here. I’m glad that I hear you giggle and I catch you smiling when I look in the mirror. I am glad your nights are spent laughing, not lost on back roads that lead to tears and sad songs. You took a road trip through Hell and survived with courage and strength and an unyielding spirit.
I’m glad you found your way home.