Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Letter to my teenage self

I’ve seen quite a few bloggers writing letters like this, so I thought I’d give it a try myself. I must admit writing this made me feel quite sad, and I might have shed a tear or two. I think it’s just thinking back to how clueless I was about my future and all the hopes and dreams I had back then. But it’s also quite a nice thing to do as well; being able to see how things gradually work out and looking at how far I’ve come. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Me as a bridesmaid

Dearest Jenny,

I decided to write you a letter to reassure you about your life now and also your future. I know at the moment you are finally happy after years of feeling like you don’t fit in. You’ve found a fantastic group of friends, school is going well and you’re starting to plan for your future career as a doctor. You didn’t deserve to be bullied like you were, and you need to learn to trust people again because not everyone will be like the bullies were. There are amazing people out there who will do amazing things in your life that you never would have expected.

But I need to tell you that things are going to change a hell of a lot soon. You’re going to get ill, really ill, and your life will change forever. It will take a very long time to reach a diagnosis, and even when you have that diagnosis you will never get better from it. But don’t feel too sad about it. Yes, being ill sucks and you won’t be able to live the life you had expected, but it will also open a whole world of new opportunities.

You will be close to losing your life several times over the next few years and it will be incredibly scary. All I can say is please keep fighting because things will get better. Think of your family and fight for them if you can’t fight for yourself. They will become your rock, so please don’t ever take them for granted because you will come to rely on them a lot when you become ill.

I know at the moment you have a great group of friends, but try not to get too attached because being ill will show you who your real friends are. People you thought were special will let you down, and you will lose a lot of the people you thought of as friends. It will be hard, I’m not going to lie, but in years to come things will begin to make more sense. That won’t stop it from hurting, but it will help you understand why illness is an important part of your life.

Through your illnesses you will also make some incredible friends. Take the opportunity to join charities and message boards. Others will be sceptical, but you will make some of your best friends on the Internet and will come to realise what a real friend is. These friends will carry you through some of the most difficult times you will face. Receiving post will become your lifeline, and you will also get opportunities to meet these friends in person, so make sure you make the most of the opportunities you are given.
I know that you are incredibly shy, and if I told you you’d be in a glossy magazine and on live radio you probably wouldn’t believe me, but as you grow your confidence in yourself will also grow. People will tell you that you’re an inspiration to them, which will feel very strange, but it’s so important that you continue to say yes to opportunities, as it will help both you and others.

As you go through life over the next few years things will seem incredibly bleak and there will be a lot of times when giving up seems like the only option. Please believe me when I say that things will get better. Perhaps not physically, but mentally you can deal with what happens to you. Everything happens for a reason, and you might not be able to see the reason at the time, but one day all will become clear.

You need to look at life as a big adventure. Sometimes things will be difficult and you’ll feel like you’re struggling to climb that mountain – turning back and going down the mountain may seem like the better option. But you need to keep climbing, no matter how difficult it feels. It will all be worth it when you reach the top and get to experience the most amazing view.

Take care and be kind to yourself,

Love Your Future Self, age 25

Me age 14

What would you write to your teenage self? How are things different for you now to what they were when you were a teen?


  1. Hi Jenny,
    I thought this was beautifully written and I'm not surprised you shed a tear or two, I don't think id be strong enough to think back to the past and write a letter to my teenage self ! It must have been hard to write this and think back to your life before being ill, hugs. I did however write a letter when I was 21 to open on my 30th birthday that was quite fun to write and i look forward to openeing it in 6 yrs time as i cant remember what i wrote now :) x

    1. Thank you Laura that's very kind of you to say. I think I will have to write a letter to my future self to open - it sounds like such a fun idea! xx

  2. This is lovely and just proves how incredibly storng and brave you are and how far you have come.
    Write to your future self

    1. Thank you Zoe that's very sweet of you :) I will look into that website now! xx