So for my 21st nearly 2 years ago now, I bought myself a badge and a balloon, made myself a birthday cake and wrote myself a birthday card. Rather than hoping my friends would do it for me as my family hadn’t been around for 6 years at this point, but knowing deep down they won’t like they don’t every year, I took it upon myself to celebrate my birthday. I woke up in the morning ready for my lecture and put my badge on, after coming back I proceeded to blow out my candles and read the note I gave to myself. How very sad and lonely it all was, but I wasn’t going to miss out on it because no one else was around to care, I’d missed out on too many candles and awkward singing and I said to myself enough was enough. I needed to stop moping around hoping that someone would eventually pick me up and love me like I so desperately craved. Instead I would be the arms that I needed to carry me home, wipe my tears when I cried and pat my back when I achieved something and say ‘you did well, I’m very proud of you’.
My 21st was a milestone for me, I was in the second month of antidepressants and counselling, and was finally getting my life on track, so I wasn’t going to let myself down. When I wrote this the night before, I was crying so hard I could hardly see the pen in my hand. I wanted so deeply for everything I was writing down to be true, and that tomorrow the sun would shine through my window and I would feel okay, that I wouldn’t cry on my birthday like I had every year from when I can remember. I wanted to get better, I wanted to be happy, and if it meant I had to give myself a card and some shitty lemon drizzle cake with the candles dripping on the icing, then that’s what I would do.
It’s two weeks till my 23rd now and I’m proud enough to say that I made it. I beat the depression and the anxiety and I wear them like a badge every day. I’m not afraid of them, I don’t run away from the feelings I wish I didn’t have, I evaluate, I learn, I understand, and I grow from them. Whenever I feel down, and sometimes my mentality is fragile and I need that extra hand, I read this card, I read the countless poems I’ve wrote and I feel the strength burning inside of me.
I got better because I wanted to and because I worked my goddam arse off. It’s not easy, it never will be, but it’s possible, and all you need is to believe.
‘Bryony, 21 at last wow, time seems to be moving faster and faster nowadays. I’m going to write you something that I hope you’ll follow.
Remember to raise your voice and stand up for yourself for what you believe in and who you are, no one is that significant that they can control your life. Know your self worth and that you are enough, don’t ever let anyone tell you or make you feel any differently. You don’t have to be pretty, or dress nicely or act sexy to be female, or to be attractive, or to just be. Be however you want to be, not everything has to be perfect to make you beautiful as a person, and nothing has to be done to please other people. Don’t wait for someone, you’re life should be based on your wants and dreams not their uncertainty. Never think you’re broken, no one is ever that powerful to be able to break you, you’re a strong woman who can’t be shattered by small words. Leave the past and mistakes behind you, only grow and improve from them, make them help you find yourself more, towards the person you’re meant to be at the end of your life.
I know it’s been so hard the past few years, and it’s been difficult some days to not fall apart, but things will get better, please believe me that soon you’ll be okay. If you ever feel like giving up , on anything, just remember why you started. A certain darkness is needed to see the stars and the darker it is, the brighter the stars shine. Don’t feel let down about your birthday, I know you had high expectations, but it’s just a day, make your whole year amazing instead. I love you more than I ever thought I would, I’m proud of everything you’ve done and the woman you’ve grown up to be. I wouldn’t change anything about the past, you’re great just the way you are, never forget that. I hope you’re as strong and as happy as I want you to be for the rest of your life. Please don’t think that just because you’ve fallen down, that you have to stay on the ground.
I believe in you my little wolf. Grow.’