woman writing a letter on the mirror in lipstick

A Letter to Myself

Hello Hali,

Things are going to change

Things will drastically change in the following years. You will go through many experiences you never imagined you would. These experiences will shape the type of person you are when you're older, so don't take it as a punishment but instead, as a lesson. I’m not here to frighten you, but I wish I had the opportunity to warn you earlier. Maybe if I did, you would have handled things better.

Adjust expectations

I know you have countless dreams of what you will come to be by the time you’re 20 years old. But don't dream too big, life doesn't always work your way. Sometimes life tosses things at you, things that make you feel like your entire world has broken down. That doesn't mean you won't accomplish your goals, your achievements will just be different from what you were expecting.

What you're feeling is valid

You will someday feel like you have hit rock bottom, believing you will never get out of this constant loop of negativity and hopelessness. You will lose yourself. During this time, don't neglect your emotions. Instead, be there for yourself and listen to your feelings. Give time to acknowledge these tricky emotions and find solutions. You aren't dramatic for the way you're feeling, keep reminding yourself that people handle things differently. That does not mean you aren’t brave and strong. However, dwelling on things for too long will make you feel worse, so instead, try to find things you enjoy and go on the journey of finding yourself again.

Take advantage of this adversity

You may think the journey of finding yourself again is difficult, but take advantage of it. Think of it as another chance in life, another chance to become a newer and better version of yourself. You're going to have lots of time to reflect on the things you have gone through. Your social life will be non-existent for a few months. You'll spend a period of time isolated, lonely and excluded from the world. Get closer to God; it will bring hope within you again, thinking that maybe things will get better and life will be worth living again. You will be accustomed to being alone, you will lose interest in creating new relationships. There will be some people that don't understand what you're going though and don't feel the need to try either. Those relationships aren't worth fighting for, don't waste your time.

Be your own best advocate

In the same way you will feel like you've hit rock bottom mentally, your body will feel identical. Listen to your body and don't overdo things. Medical professionals may dismiss your symptoms over and over again, but be persistent and fight for yourself.

"You and your body are different now

Your body has just gone through the most traumatising and agonizing few months. Things will not bounce back immediately; the damage has taken a toll on your body. You will have to learn to be patient. Take all the time you need to restore the damage this disease will cause. Give yourself days off if you feel like you can’t function without straining yourself. Never feel guilty for being unable to do the things you could have done before this disease came around. This isn't your fault. You and your body are different now, your body is fighting to stay alive so give yourself some credit. You're strong, these experiences won't break you down, but will make you stronger as long as you have hope. Take care of yourself before you try to take care of others.

This too shall pass

Don't let NMO defeat you, it will make you physically dependent on others because you'll be unable to function. It will destroy your mental health, shatter your hopes and dreams, ruin relationships, change you completely as a person, yet you will still be standing! Along with the negatives, many positives will come from this journey. You will have a closer relationship with your family, you will be grateful for the little things in life and you will take better care is your body. It will be a long transformation, but you will come out as a better person.

Lots of Love,
Future You Xo

What would you say to your past self if given the chance?

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