Dear Young(er) Danielle,
Although there is so much that I’d like to say to you, first and foremost, I want to make sure that you know that you are loved, more than you can imagine. Being 16 can be conflicting and overwhelming at times, so I know how easy it is to feel alone. However, whether or not you feel as though you can depend on those you consider your friends, you will always have a loving, supportive family by your side.
Trust me when I tell you that Mom is not against you, in any way. She loves you with her whole entire being, and she always wants to make sure that you are safe and aware of your surroundings. Could you imagine what your world would be like without her? Then try to imagine how she would feel in a world without you in it. Do NOT do anything stupid. Your life is more valuable than you can imagine right now.
Your siblings are your life-long best friends — now and forever. You may not always going see eye-to-eye on everything, but I promise that they will always have your back, and want to see you succeed. As the years go on, you all go through similar things. Keep in touch, and always remain supportive. You will become closer than you’ve ever been before.
At 16, Papa’s lectures may seem never ending, but I promise that you will miss them one day. Don’t roll your eyes, I’m serious. He was your father figure for most of your life, and no matter what you did that disappointed him, he always loved you immensely. No one is around forever, so count your blessings and spend as much time with him as you possibly can. One day, you’ll have the pleasure to raise a little boy just like him.
That boy you believe you’re so madly in love with — you’re not. At times, he may have caused your heart to flutter, but he has a charming personality, and trust me when I say that you’re not the only one. You may spend too many years wasted on him, and he will hurt you tremendously, but you will come out with so much more than he ever gave you credit for. Believe it or not, you become so much stronger than you were before. He spent years tearing you apart from the inside out, but you will move on and be more than OK.
Despite what others say, take care of yourself. Please. Your mental health is so damn important. Do not let anyone cause you to doubt yourself due to your diagnoses. I promise that even with them, you’re still one of the most caring, selfless, compassionate people out there. Allow your voice to be heard. Actually, DEMAND that it’s heard. I believe in you.
Life has a way of kicking us when we’re down, but I’m here to tell you that you will get through it all. Even on the darkest days, you will make it to the Sunrise (that will mean something to you someday). You have to keep pushing, and when you feel as though you’re giving up or simply cannot take it anymore, reach out to someone. Someone that you trust, and that truly loves and cares about you.
Do not give up on yourself, or think less of yourself, due to someone else’s opinion of you. Ever!
You will have such a beautiful life one day, before you know it. It will all happen when you least expect it. You will try to fight it at first, and you will definitely overthink it all. Not everyday is going to be magical, but it will be so incredibly worth it.
I love you. You love you. Please stop hurting yourself just because others have. Show them (and yourself) how you should be treated, and do not settle for less than what you know you deserve. I promise that it will be the best thing you ever did for yourself. You will lose a lot of friends during this time, even some you never expected, but in the end, it will be so much better for you.
Love yourself as much as you want to be loved.
Appreciate your family more, and stop fighting everything they say to you. They are only trying to be there for you, and one day, you’re going to need them more than you ever could imagine. Love them, respect them, choose them. They’re the only family you’ve got, and not everyone is as lucky as you.
24 Year Old You
Day 6 coming soon.