An Open Letter to My Anxiety

To my anxiety-

You are the worst part about me, and I’m not enjoying your late night visits.

You’ve been gone for a while, only making visits at normal times, maybe just give me a few surprise attacks here and there, thanks for that. I know you’re a part of me, that little messed up part of my brain that doesn’t like the rest of me for some reason. The part of my brain that makes me think everyone hates me, the part of my brain that picks at every insecurity, the part of the brain that makes it hard to move some days, the part I hate the most.

You are the secret I’ve been keeping recently until now. No one really knows your back but me. You are becoming overbearing again. You are trying to take over my life. No matter how often the people around me validate their feelings for me, not matter how good of a job I’m doing on something, you are the part of me that destroys that.

Thank you for constantly reminding me of the B- in philosophy and belittling it even though I should be proud of because I worked so hard for it. Thank you for reminding me that even though I put forth so much effort that people who did less still did better than me. That had to be your favorite class because that is where I felt you the most, preventing me from raising my hand, preventing me from sharing my opinion, just in case it was wrong. Thank you for making me feel worthless for being unemployed and making me question my marketability. You get inside my head and make me feel as if there is something wrong with me because I can’t even get a call or an email about a job.

You have yet to start to interfere with relationships, but that won’t last long. You come out in an angry fury at the smallest things that drives rifts into the strongest of relationships. The longer you stay, the sooner this will happen. You ruin everything you touch, which leads me to believe that I will ruin everything I touch.

Thank you for making me feel as if I’m undesirable. Thank you for ruining any potential crush of mine by letting me know that no one could want someone who cries when there are too many people in a room or shuts down when one little thing isn’t where it’s supposed to be. You not only remind me of every imperfection that my body unfortunately has, but make me feel as if I am crazy too.

You belittle me until I feel hardly anything. You make me not even want to post this because you are the voice in my head that tells me that people will judge me, they won’t want to be around me. They don’t take you seriously, they think I make you up. Because you are the voices of the people who claim “you’re faking it” or the people who say “you’re being over dramatic” or “you can’t have anxiety when you have no problems” “You just need to calm down, and you’ll be fine”. You are the voices of those who don’t believe in you which is one of the most ironic things of all. The voices who don’t take me seriously, the voices who don’t even believe you are a real thing period. You are the judgment I receive anytime I try to be open with my anxiety because it is a discussion that society needs to have and try to better understand, not for me, but for the millions of people suffering.

Even after you subsided for months, letting me feel as if I’m in control for maybe even a week, you take it all away from me. You are the worst part of me, the most controlling part of me, the part that I just wish would go away.

To my anxiety- please go away.

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Dear 13 Year Old Me,

old

This is little Mary. The oldest picture I have is when I’m 14 so let’s just pretend that I’m actually 13 in this picture.

Dear 13 year old Mary,

Don’t waste your time with people who don’t care. I know it’s the time to change for your friends, but try not to. They don’t care about you so you’re obviously better than them and you deserve better than them. Don’t forget that.

Try to remember that your problems are really insignificant. Like so insignificant that seven years later you can’t even remember what kind of problems a thirteen year old has. Seriously, life is good.

Life is going to change a lot in the next year so just be prepared. I don’t want to spoil it but enjoy the moments you can.

You are thirteen, you don’t need a boyfriend. You don’t need to worry about boy period. A really good guy will come in due time and even though it doesn’t work out, he was a catch for a long time. After him though remember to stay away from boys people warn you about. Right now, don’t concern yourself with a silly boy. They’re immature, just wait it out.

Cherish every moment. Take mental pictures. I wish I could remember happy moments from when I was thirteen but I remember very little. If you want, take physical pictures too, those work.

STOP CUTTING YOUR HAIR SO SHORT!!! Curly hair does not mix with the cute little hair cuts you love. Trust me, even if you think you’ll do it every day when you go to get it cut you will not. You like sleeping far too much to wake up early enough to do your hair everyday.

Watch what you put on the internet. Angry hippo faces are not pretty. Also your notes are not funny. 20 year old Mary just remembered those are on Facebook and is currently working on deleting them. However, none of these things are detrimental to you getting a job in the future so just do what makes you happy even if it annoys you/me/us later.

Finally, know you’re beautiful. I still struggle with self image but I wish I hadn’t when I was 13. Yes, your boobs are bigger than a lot of girls your age but that doesn’t mean you need to hide your body from the world. Take your towel off in pictures. Yes, modesty is important but it’s also important to be comfortable in your own skin. Yes you can pinch at your stomach and call it fat, but you are anything but that, just try to remember that.

Love,

Me. From the future.

 

So my friend Hiba tagged me to write a letter to my 13 year old self and I’m tagging Izzy and Katie to write letters to their thirteen year old selves. Also sorry that I didn’t go and comment on any of your things to let you know, I’m lazy. Sorry!

 

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A Letter to Teen Girls

Dear Teen Girls,

Hi, my name is Mary and I’m 19. Yes, I (might) have been in your position a lot more recently than most of your teachers, parents, and families. I’m not sure which of you will stumble upon this letter, nor do I know how old you are. I am currently rounding up advice from friends to share with you so that you aren’t only hearing this from me. I’m just going to try and cover a lot of bases so that you have someone more age appropriate attempting to give you advice in your life.

Okay, so you’re a teenaged girl and I’m sure the first thing on your mind is relationships. I would like to remind you that high school isn’t the world, and you probably aren’t going to find the love of your life within the walls of that godforsaken building. You might experience things like heartache. Heartache sucks, it does, but it ends and you move on, probably to someone a lot better. And if not at first, eventually. In the moment when you’re laying on the couch crying, hopefully someone is comforting you with chocolate and bad tv. Trust me, it’s the best cure. You might also break some hearts, try not to do it via text, Facebook message, or in any form of technology. Be brave and say it to the face, people are worth that much. It might be hard but be polite. When you are in a relationship and in a good place, things can get tricky. I’m not telling you that you should or should not be kissing or having sex. You have to do what feels right for you. Physical contact is part of relationships and for a lot of people this makes them really nervous  and in some relationships people feel pressured to do something they aren’t ready for yet. If you don’t want to kiss, don’t kiss. NO MEANS NO. Just because you are in a relationship it does not mean you are obligated to do anything with them nor do you owe them anything. Please understand this just so you don’t regret anything. I would also like to tell you not settle. Just because you aren’t in a relationship, it does not mean you need to lower your standards to finally meet someone, wait, you’ll find the right person eventually.

Transitioning into periods and puberty. At this point in your life you may or may not have your period, if you don’t, DO NOT WISH FOR IT TAKE YOUR TIME TO BE FREE! I know, that periods suck, it’s probably one of the worst things about being a girl. I’m going to give you a few helpful hints: chocolate cures all, heating pads are perfection, and ibuprofen every four hours. This will make it far less painful. Okay so puberty- boobs mostly. Don’t make fun of girls with no boobs and don’t make fun of girls with big boobs. As a girl with big boobs with friends who have smaller boobs, no one has any control over any of it.

Girls are mean. Girls are very mean. Be careful with who you befriend. If a girl has stabbed other people in the back chances are she’ll stab you in the back too. It’s really easy to be friends with boys, they usually don’t like drama and they don’t gossip about your secrets as often. Don’t share anything that you wouldn’t want the whole school to know is typically the rule of thumb when it comes to secrets, when you share them, they usually get out.

It’s true, this is a time for experimenting. However, you need to be careful. If you decided to try drinking do it with those who care about you, don’t do it with anyone who will try and take advantage of you. Also do not get caught, you do not need that on your record. My advice would be to stay away from drugs in general, that stuff is bad. Weed is even a gateway drug and you could start to try other drugs to get more high, and that’s dangerous.

Here’s some advice from some of my friends:

“Proper Nutrition” (from Eric): This is actually really important guys. The sooner you learn this the healthier you’ll be and the easier life will be for you as you get older. Learn to eat and like fruits and vegetables as well as balancing them with oreos and ice cream.

“I wish that I knew that I’d regret quitting swimming and gymnastics” (from Emily): I wish I didn’t think this for a lot of things I quit, like piano, acting, signing, helping with theater, just a lot of things I should’ve stuck with and didn’t. If you like anything even a little bit, stick with it, you might regret it if you don’t.

“How to work a debit card.” (from Gabby): I think this is just a good idea to learn how to manage money. Get a job (if you’re allowed) try and make your own money rather than depending on your parents. Then learn how to work finances, how to balance fun and savings, eating out and staying in, movies out or Netflix in.

“Be nice to the weird kid in high school, they may become one of your best friends” (from Meag): You really don’t know who is going to end up to be your best friends. Just because someone seems a little weird it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a ton in common with them. Looks and acts are only half a person, that’s not what’s on the inside.

“Classmates will always remember how you treated them.” (from Meag): It’s so true, people will always remember how you treat them. The not so nice girls in high school will always be remembered as that, the guys who tried to flirt with every girl will always be thought of in that way, your actions in high school (and even before) can leave a lasting impression, don’t you want that to be a good one?

“Boys are dumb, girls rule, don’t do drugs, do well in school, eat as much cake as possible while you still can, &ignore #h8ers” (from Alex): Alex first of all is very funny, yet her advice is pretty good. Boys can be dumb in relationships especially, and then you will need your girlfriends to help you out. Drugs are bad don’t do them. Try your best in school, as much as I wish it didn’t, high school grades count. While you should be trying to develop healthy habits, indulge. Your metabolism will slow down which leads to weight gain which leads to less cake. Always ignore those who don’t care about you. They don’t mean anything.

“Basic study skills for sure.” (from Logan): Like myself, Logan commented that it was easy to get straight a’s when she was younger without studying therefore didn’t. She also said to learn the material right away because you are always learning new stuff that builds off of it. She is very right, try and study even if you think you don’t need it. It won’t hurt anything.

“You only get one body so be wary of cuts and scrapes, hair dying, piercings, etc.” (from Logan): This is true. When you make these decisions, think “ten years from now will I still like this?” if the answer is no, don’t do it. If you get cuts and scrapes, take care of them. I have scars on my hands and feet because I decided not to take care of them, those are imperfections I will always carry. However, Gabby says you shouldn’t be wary, you should take your chances with these. So take either advice, do what’s best for you.

“Always say how you feel.” (from Meag): Never be afraid to share your feelings. You’ll regret it if you don’t. Say how you feel because you usually only get one chance to say it. If you let feelings build up it’ll be bad in the end, you’ll just explode.

Okay so that’s my advice so far. I hope it helped you a little bit!

Love,

Mary and Friends

Thanks to my friends who helped throw in advice and tips to share, if you know someone this letter can help share it!

XOXO,

Mary.