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What I Wish I Knew in February

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

Dear past me,

The next month ahead will probably be the worst of your life, and believe me when I say you will have never felt so lost and alone and hopeless. I first want to validate how you’ll feel - this will be terrifying. You will have moments where you’re exhausted and want to give up so badly you’ll try and end your own life, six times. But you are meant to be here, and I know that because you lived. You survived six massive overdoses. SIX.

A doctor will tell you most people wouldn’t have survived that. Something is keeping you here on earth. A month later, I still don’t know what kept you here, but something did, and you’ll find out what it was someday, and all of it will have been worth it.

You’re going to show up in the emergency room barely breathing, with minimal life left in you, and you’re not even going to know where you are. You’re going to be restrained and given every sedative in the books. You’re going to be assessed by countless psychiatrists who won’t see through your lies because all you want to do is go home and try again, they will prescribe you meds you know won’t work, and send you home just to end up back on an ambulance a few days later.

You will be escorted to the mental hospital by police. You will be admitted, and four big security guards will throw you to the ground with such force, you’ll question if it was even legal. I know being admitted against your will is your biggest fear, but I promise it won’t be as bad as you’re probably imagining. You’ll meet nurses who are willing to help make this as comfortable as possible for you, and Ativan, as much as you resisted it initially, will be the one thing that gets you through the admission.

On the day you’re discharged, you’ll speak to a psychiatrist who was never really listening to you from the beginning, and he’ll prescribe you medication and let you go home to your mom, who will go back to Toronto two days later, and you’ll be all on your own again. You won’t feel like you can trust yourself. You’ll still feel pretty terrible until you finally find a medication that works. You made yourself a doctor’s appointment and asked for Vyvanse, which will end up SAVING YOUR LIFE.

You haven’t met her yet, but on the right medication, she has hobbies. She is excited to get up in the morning. She actually DOES her therapy homework. She is working so hard to heal, and it is finally starting to work. You will realize that you were meant to be on this planet. You will realize that if your suicide attempts had worked, you wouldn’t have gotten the chance to experience the wonderful phenomenon that is LIFE.

There are so many crazy hikes you haven’t done. There are so many wonderful people you have yet to meet. There are so many beautiful things life has to offer that you haven’t experienced yet. You will realize that everything you had to go through was WORTH IT. I mean it when I promise you that even though the next month will be excruciating, you will find your way back to a HAPPY LIFE.

You will realize you are not alone, and never were. You will tell yourself you’d do it all over again if it meant you come out of it as the HAPPIEST version of yourself. Now that it’s over, I hope you never have do it again. Rainbows aren’t possible without a little rain, or in your case, torrential downpour, and this is the perfect example of that. Nobody said it to you, so I will, but you are SO STRONG. You MADE IT. I don’t know anybody who could come out of this as happy as you are right now.

As much as I hate to say it, you will no longer be with Nathan, but you’ll come to realize that it was the best decision, because now all you have to focus on is YOU. I know he was your best friend, and losing someone who means that much to you will hurt. A lot. It will feel like a million stab wounds all at once, but every day you’ll get out of bed in the morning, and it will hurt a little less.

As crazy as this sounds, you’ll find a love for jigsaw puzzles. You will spend a crazy amount of time doing them, probably way more than the average person, but it makes you happy and that’s all that matters. You will blast new songs you’ve discovered on your speaker, and lose track of time.

I know how ashamed taking meds made you feel in the past, and I understand why, but this time they saved your life. I don’t want you to be afraid to swallow your pride and take them, because you wouldn’t be here without them, and the only thing that matters is that YOU ARE HERE. YOU ARE HAPPY.

Sometimes, you’ll struggle to sleep because of your anxiety, but I want you to tell yourself that when you wake up, everything you were worrying about will be a thing of the past. It’s a new day, and nothing else matters but RIGHT NOW. You’ll stop worrying about the future so much, because you’ll realize that the future is out of your control, no matter how much you want it to be in your hands. You’ll stop dwelling on the past, because there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it, so focusing on all the “mistakes” you think you’ve made is a big waste of time. Every single human on the planet messes up sometimes, and you are not the exception you think you should be, so focusing on it is nothing but a waste of time. The time you could spend focusing on the next step on the twisted staircase we call life.

I am SO SORRY you have to do this. It’s going to be so incredibly difficult, but you won’t have to do it alone. So many people are on your side, even if it’s not the doctors that should be. Nobody who truly cares about you wants to see you be anything but happy, which you are now, and I am SO proud of you. You are so much stronger, and you have the skills to handle anything else that life might throw at you. Even when you think you can’t, you need to tell yourself you CAN, because you can. What your brain is telling you is NOT true, in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth. They are simply thoughts and nothing more. I never want you to be afraid to ask for help or advocate for yourself again, because it is nothing to be ashamed of, and as much as you want to believe you can, you can’t navigate life’s challenges all by yourself, but nobody can help you if you suffer in silence


Future me

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