Bipolar Disorder, Christianity, Christianity and Depression, Dear me, Depression, Distorted Perceptions, letter to a former self, letter to a younger self, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Self-Harming, Self-Hatred, Self-Image, Self-Loathing
Ok so this is going to be a little different…
I have just finished writing and publishing Part nine of the “Managing The Madness Series”. Part nine is in fact entitled “When talking to yourself is not a sign of madness” and in it I explained that I had recently read a letter that the; actor, comedian, journalist and author, Stephen Fry recently wrote to his former 16 year old self in response to a letter that he, at 16, had written to his future self.
I went on to explain how this had given me the idea that actually, as daft and unorthodox as it may at first seem, writing a letter to our former self could indeed provide us with some great insights, and asked “whether it could provide us with some form of release, some form of benefit, some element of healing or forgiveness, some kind of catharsis”
If you want to know more or to fully understand the letter that I am going to publish below you can find my original concept by clicking on the “Managing The Madness” page link at the top right hand corner of this page or “ click here..
So having suggested that this could indeed be a very beneficial exercise and realizing that as potentially beneficial as it is, it is still a very scary prospect I promised that I would publish the “letter to my former self” that I had just written.
I fully realize that by publishing this, I will be opening myself up to potential hurt or even ridicule and indeed may even open up some doors to things never previously discussed with family and loved ones, but I am so keen to demonstrate that actually writing a letter of this type can be done and can have some benefit that I am willing to take this risk.
What follows is therefore that letter. My “Dear Me” letter – my letter to my former younger self. I have not edited it in any way and I publish it just as it was written..
I know that you do not really know me and that this letter is going to come as a surprise to you, and I apologise if it comes as a shock but hope that you will see that I had to write it.
To be honest, it is my sincerest hope that if you; get this letter in time, if you take time to read it, and if you truly take my words to your heart, you will never ever know me and never get a chance to become me. Not the full me at least.
You see, I am “you” or at least I am the ”you” that you have become many years in the future. It is confusing I know but I so very much wanted to write to you telling you some truths that somehow we – you and I – have never been able to understand or accept.
You see I know the thoughts and feelings that you (that we) have had for so long now. Thoughts and feelings of; being unloveable, of worthlessness, of guilt, and of being somehow damaged even irreparable.
Yes Kevin, even now some forty years into your future I still struggle with these.
For as long as I can remember I too have heard and sadly listened to and believed those voices, those thoughts, those feelings that tell me I am not worth anything, that I am ugly, dirty, useless, worthless. Voices, thoughts and feelings that convince us that we are not worth loving and that seeing as we are not worth loving that those who want to hurt us or abuse us can do so.
But you see those voices, those thoughts, those feelings are wrong, so very wrong and we have no right to listen to them let alone to believe them and I so desperately want for you to know that and to know it now before everything goes so terribly wrong.
You are so very young. Only ten years of age, and trust me I know how already things have gone astray in your young life and how desperately alone you feel.
When you slide into your bed at night and lay there unable to sleep, scared, and alone, desperately trying to face those thoughts and feelings and voices not knowing how to stop them, to change them, to heal them, I have been and am there with you also.
I know only too well, how much you try to hide the way you feel, the thoughts you have and the voices that you hear, from your family and your teachers, and those around you for fear of rejection or ridicule or worse. But I beg of you dear sweet child, I beg of you to trust them and to let them into your inner hidden shame-filled world. Because if you don’t, and trust me I am talking from experience here it will go on to damage you and hurt you and to destroy relationships that you should never have lost.
And even more than this, it will lead you to form relationships that you should never have begun and that will hurt and damage you even more deeply than I care to think of.
Kevin, dear sweet Kevin, how deeply I wish I could be there with you to hold you, hug you, guide you and help you find the healing that you so desperately need and so deeply desire. I cannot begin to place into words, knowing now what lies in your (in our) future if you do not get this letter, the sense of urgency that I feel in trying to change the course of life that you are on.
I desire so deeply for you not to go through what happens to you both in your very near future and beyond it and for you to NOT make those attempts that I know are going to come to try in an attempt to end it all, not to mention those the decisions and actions that you take as a result of the misplaced feelings and beliefs that you mistakenly hold as being true.
Kevin, if you take nothing else from my words to you please, please, accept and believe what I am going to say to you next. Take my words, hold them in your heart and never let go of them. “Life IS WORTH LIVING because YOU ARE WORTH LOVING and what is more YOU CAN BE LOVED and ARE LOVED despite the way you feel.”
Kevin, I know those words are difficult to hear and even harder to believe. But take it from me, and let’s not forget that I am actually you, just and older and hopefully wiser and more experienced you, those words are true and the thoughts and feelings and voices – those hateful, harmful, deceptive and malicious, lying thoughts, feelings and voices – that you and I are so used to knowing and believing are all wrong, so very wrong.
Kevin, I have to close this letter now. I wish so very much that I could write more, share more, show you more. And yet even as I have written the words I have just written, I have come to understand that actually a large part of who I am (who we are) today is in part as a result of what I have been through and what you may yet still go through.
There are so many things in my life that I am thankful for, and trust me Kevin, so many wonderful things that you have yet to experience. Love, marriage, parenthood, your ministry and the faith that I know you already have and yet don’t fully understand or appreciate.
Kevin, please trust me when I tell you that I know the things that you have done and I know the secrets of your heart – the questions, the confusions, the conflicts and the victories. The joys, the fears, the wounds, the guilts, the dreams, and the hopes that are all present there held safe and secure within.
Admit the things you have done sweet child, and accept the love and forgiveness that is offered in return. Trust your family no matter how hard that may seem right now. Because the years of love shared with them that you may lose as a result of not trusting them now can never be regained. Trust me I have tried.
And above all else please, please, know that nothing is greater than God’s love. Not those voices, those feelings, those thoughts, nor the guilt, the pain nor the hurt. None of them, whether individually or combined, are or could ever be greater than God’s love or God’s love for you.
With much love and deep hope,
Kevin. November 29th, 2011.
So there you have it. My letter to a younger (10 year old) me. If in the publishing of this letter I have opened doorways to things not previously discussed and in so doing have hurt any of my loved ones then I am truly sorry and I hope that you will understand my motivations.