An Open Letter To: 15-Year-Old Me

Becca, aged 14.

Have you ever thought about what you'd say to a teenaged you? I tried writing a letter to myself (as part of the "An Open Letter To..." series), and found it a fascinating, healing experience. You might want to do the same. Here's mine:

Dear 15 -year-old Becca,

I'm you, 5 years from now. Don't question it. Let's just jump right in, 'kay?

Everything sucks right now, I know, but I promise it will get better.

I know pimples are annoying. You'll hate your skin for years. Best start mousturizing now.

The feelings you have for boys and girls are frustrating. Guys are confusing, and you're not comfortable with liking girls yet, because you don't have any queer friends or family members (that you know of). I'm glad you know there's nothing wrong with bisexuality. I'm glad you know you're a whole person with or without a relationship (and I'm sorry I forgot that when I was 19. I remember, now). Own your sexuality as early as you can. Embrace it, baby. That's the healthiest thing to do.

It's okay that you're not interested in sex, most of the time, even though some of your friends are. It's also okay if you want to look at porn or touch yourself. I know you won't (because I know you well). And that's okay, too.

Your parents' divorce is not your fault. Soon you'll understand that relationships sometimes don't last, and that's okay. What we learn from them and that we survive the fall is what counts.

You're going to be diagnosed with an eating disorder soon, Becca, around the time you turn 16. Don't be ashamed. That doesn't help anything. Lots of people have trouble with over-eating or under-eating. You just happen to have trouble with both. It isn't your fault. The sooner you recognize that and accept treatment, the better.

On a related note, you better get to work on accepting your body. It's a long, hard road. You think you're fat now (and think fat is a bad word), but you'll learn the hard way that you're not, and it isn't. Over the next 5 years you'll gain almost a hundred pounds, you'll battle EDNOS and body dysmorphia, people will belittle you for your size... and you'll begin to love your body for what it is and what it looks like. You're going to grow a few more inches. You're going to get wider hips, a rounder tummy, bigger breasts. Stretch marks and scars will litter your skin. But don't worry. You are beautiful. Remind yourself of that, every day.

You were just diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, too. I know that doesn't make things any easier. On the contrary, everything's going to be more difficult, thanks to your uncontrollable moods, unstable sense of self and intense insecurity.
But you know what? You're stronger than your illness. So what if it's going to stick around all your life? Start fighting it now, because you are going to beat it.

I believe in you.

Love, 20-year-old Becca

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