Dear 14 year old self,
You’re about to start therapy. Something you’re not too sure about just yet, but trust me, it’s going to be one of the most valuable experiences you will ever go through. OCD’s being a pain in the ass right? At this point, you don’t really know what makes your OCD ‘tick’. All you know is that you despise what it has done to you, robbing you of your independence and ability to function and wishing you could eradicate it from your life in an instant. From my perspective now, truthfully, I feel like OCD will never completely be eradicated, but over time you will discover the true meaning behind why on earth this monster ever came to be and slowly, learn how to chip away at it’s tough shell that has encased you for years.
You’re going to make some bad decisions, but that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up over them, I promise, nobody is going to think any less of you for slipping up. You are going to be pushed out of your comfort zone. There will be times where you will be yearning for the false sense of safety that OCD prescribes, due to the paralyzing fear your exposures have provoked, but trust me, you don’t need it. You will never need OCD’s manipulative presence beside you. Even though it whispers those ever pressing words that will leave you questioning what the right thing is to do, don’t believe it. You can prove that you are stronger. Stronger than OCD.
You will lose someone very close to you. Which ends up destroying you in so many ways that you feel like nothing will ever make it better, but they say that time heals and it truly does. Things will get easier, maybe not as quick as you’d like, but it does get better. You are going to start working with a psychologist who will mean the world to you and you will begin a new journey that you are still embarking on with her today. A turbulent journey that nearly comes to an end prematurely, but you get through it. Every time you think to yourself, “I can’t”, just know “you absolutely can”.
Unfortunately things do get worse before they get better. Recovery isn’t a one way trip to success. It will be filled with twists and turns, highs and lows, but try not to see a dip in recovery as the end of the road. I must stress, please listen to your parents when they say you can talk to them about anything. They’re not lying, they really, honestly, truly mean it. You will spend the next few years of your life bottling up your feelings to exploding point because you don’t want to upset them, so please try your best to be as open as possible. You will save yourself so much upset and stress.
Food will unfortunately become the enemy. You will recover, but then seriously relapse after a period of alleviation that you are still working your way out of now, but just know you still have the support. Nobody has left you because of it. Stop putting such high expectations on yourself, nobody expects you to be perfect. Discover the real you in your own time and if obstacles present themselves and you do fall, don’t worry. You will end up becoming your worst enemy if you don’t forgive yourself.
You are going to start a blog. Something you’ve always wanted to do, but always hesitated to do so because you had the preconceived notion that it was wrong to talk about your struggles. Just know that your spur of the moment decision to click ‘create‘ on WordPress that evening in September will be the best decision of your entire life. You are going to open so many doors. Things that are way beyond your imagination will happen and you are going to treasure those moments for life. One of those moments being meeting someone who will literally change your life. A friendship that saves you. A friendship in which you will discover your love for peanut butter, and share your utter hatred for printers. A friendship that cannot be weakened by the presence of an entire ocean. A friendship that you know will remain for life.
Hold on 14 year old Ellen. You’re going to be okay.