I wrote this letter at the beginning of the year as kind of a journalling exercise, and the other day I was cleaning up my office and found it buried in a notebook.
I thought way back when I wrote it “I should totally share this”. But then forgot. And when I discovered it again, I thought the same thing – I should share this.
So here it is. It’s not a writing masterpiece.
It’s my raw and real and honest feelings about what I’d say to myself if I could have a heart to heart with myself 4 – 5 years ago, when I was miserably sick, depressed and not finding answers.
This is the advice I wish I could go back and give myself.
I hope you like it.
Dear past Shae (2012 version),
I know you’re scared love. I understand how you’re feeling.
You thought things would get better, and they haven’t.
You thought things would go back to normal, and they haven’t.
You thought going gluten-free would change everything after you got your diagnosis, and it didn’t.
I understand your mad that you haven’t gotten better.
I know how alone you feel, I know you’re wondering why it’s just you that isn’t miraculously healed from a diet change or that new superfood.
I know you feel frustrated and you just really want to punch something.
I know you feel lost and confused and alone.
I know you feel like you don’t know what to do next.
I know you feel like there are so many options you could try, but also that you are running out of options and don’t have many left.
I know Ash (editor’s note: my ex-bf) has been really great during this whole thing, even though he really doesn’t understand what you’re going through.
And I understand you feel scared you might lose him if you don’t get better. What if he realises how sick and damaged you really are? He won’t love you anymore.
I know your scared he will wake up and realise he doesn’t have to stay with someone who is sick and a total drag, and that he could leave and be with someone healthy and vibrant, like a twenty-something girl is supposed to be.
I understand you feel scared about everyone else forgetting about you, or getting sick of you, and moving on too.
And I know you feel a bit rejected and hurt that the invitations have already disappeared so much.
I understand you’ve tried green smoothies – and while you feel good about drinking them, they haven’t changed your life and your health like they were supposed to.
I know you’re researching as much as possible, and your trying every new hyped up superfood that the gurus are talking about this week.
But your waking up feeling worse everyday. Sleeping 11 hours a day and still feeling tired isn’t normal.
There were so many things you could be doing right now at this point in your journey to heal and recover so much quicker, before you spend the next two years trying to figure it out yourself, while slowly going downhill and not even realising it. And you’re going to be angry at yourself for not knowing sooner.
I understand you feel really alone on this journey too. Ash doesn’t understand (how can he?), and Mum is making it all about herself and what she went through with being sick. Your family doesn’t get it. Dad is really putting the pressure on to get better and do it quickly.
You feel alone.
You just want someone to take your hand, and show you what to do. To care. To be there for you. To be a sounding board so you can unjumble the tangled mess in your mind trying to figure the puzzle out.
When your bogged down trying to get through everyday, you miss seeing the signs your body is giving you.
You miss seeing your bigger picture progress – whether your getting worse or better. And let me tell you from personal experience (I am future Shae, after all), you can watch years go by in a brain fog and wake up one day realising how much worse you are than before, and feel stupid for not seeing it sooner.
It’s so much easier to heal if you start NOW. If you start taking serious action now.
Rather than fluffing around with this superfood or that supplement for two or three years and be 10x worse. It’s 10x harder to heal.
And healing is such a bigger picture deal than just waking what you put in your morning smoothie, or drinking lemon water in the morning, or removing this food, or adding in spiralling.
Look at the bigger picture.
Take notice of what direction your health is going in.
Figure out what is high impact healing strategies, and what is fluffy fad-driven non-sense.
It’s not as simple as eating vegan or paleo or whatever.
Focus on figuring out who you really are.
What you REALLY desire in this life.
Give yourself the space to honestly feel what you need to feel.
Look at the feelings you’ve been trying to stuff down and ignore.
Heal the parts of your life that bother you the most.
Change the things that you spend the most time feeling sad or angry about.
Get rid of the things that drag your energy down like nothing else.
Get past the childhood crap that still lingers and causes you pain.
Create the life you dream of.
I want you to know that you will be okay.
I know things are scary and hopeless right now.
I know your feeling like everything is kind of fucked and how could you possibly get better and live a normal life now.
But it’s possible. I’m living proof that it’s possible.
You CAN heal. You CAN live the life of your dreams.
No matter where you are right now.
No matter where you’re starting from.
No matter how dark things seem right now.
I love you.