Huge thanks to Emma for taking part this week. She writes to her 13 year old self offering some advice. Emma blogs at https://lifeliesandalltimecraziness.wordpress.com/ please take a look.
Dear 13 year old Emma,
I know things have been tough for you the last few years, but they are about to get a whole of a lot harder. You have been depressed for a good two years now, and you thought there was something up with you. You assumed you were the only person who had issues and the only person with anything wrong with you until this point. That is where you are wrong.
You are about to start a new year at school, and you will be introduced to somebody who will at first seem completely perfect. They are not, and remember this. Everyone makes mistakes and this is something you will learn in due course. This person will seem like one of the first people outside of your family to ever take a genuine interest in you, they will also be one of the first people you can fully trust and be yourself around 100%. Try to refrain from the amount of time you spend around them, otherwise you will end up becoming entirely reliant on them and expect them to always be there. A good few months after you meet this person, you will make a mistake that begins to push you apart. You become very unwell mentally and as a result push things too far. I’ll give you a piece of advice here: shove down that bit of you that won’t apologise for your mistakes and work things out with this person otherwise you will regret this, you will miss them. They may have hurt you a lot and you may have hurt them a lot, but they were always supportive of you. Your future self (me today writing this letter) will miss her once she’s out your life and I could do with more people I can trust.
Another piece of advice, see that friendship group you currently surround yourself around? You can’t trust them, well not all of them. There are certain people in that group that seem hell bent on making your life a misery instead of supporting you. See that teacher? The one who warns you to be careful when you start talking to a girl again after a massive argument? Listen to her, she knows what she’s saying. That girl only ever used you. There are a few in your friendship group who aren’t good friends to you, cut them out your life. If you don’t, you end up hanging onto them way longer than you should while they bring you down. I know you hang onto them because you don’t want to pass each other in school and things to be awkward and that you don’t want to spend your breaks on your own and get laughed at for being a loner but its way better to cut them out and have no friends if it means you will be happier. Although there are two diamonds in that friendship group, hang onto them with your life, you will become close again once you leave school. Another thing: people change! There will be some friends that change and then you don’t end up keeping in touch with them, this is okay, let them go.
Another thing – STOP being so trusting, this will get you hurt. Stop caring about the opinions of others, it will only make you miserable. Don’t act a certain way because you feel you should or to keep up a pretence in the hope people will like you more. Also, the sooner you realise that life is difficult, the better. Don’t make fun of others, don’t be two faced. Focus on what matters to you/makes YOU happy, forget the rest. Don’t tell random people about anything personal, they will only use this against you and make you look like a fool or the next thing to laugh at. Don’t take people for granted, someday you might need them or lose them quicker than you thought. If someone means a lot to you, don’t give up on them at the first sign of trouble.
Most of all, stay true to you, you do you and nobody else.
21 year old Emma.