To my 13 year old self…

To my 13-year-old self,

I know the world seems very very small to you right now, but and this is a big but, if you hold on and you keep going and you keep moving forward your world will get so much bigger and so much brighter.

Yes you will have to struggle you will go through hard times and you will fight at times for your life more than once. But you will also meet amazing people who love exactly who you are.

You will travel to Ghana, to Bali, to Cambodia, to Ireland and to a tiny tiny place off the edge of Scotland.

You will manage an amazing team that helps people everyday and you will bridge the gap between logic and feeling, between mathematics and humanity.

You will graduate with a masters in mathematics from the University of York and realise that actually that wasn’t even your biggest achievement to date. You will realise that surviving, that keeping going even when everything felt so awful is the bravest and strongest thing you have ever done.

And know, that even when it feels like you can’t be any stronger than you are, you will be.  Your strength is ever expanding.  It will grow with you.  And you will always be strong enough.  Even when you don’t want to be.

You have some really awful years ahead of you. I really wish I could take them away but if I was to do that you would not be the person you are today. You would not have the empathy, the sympathy and the understanding that you do today.

You will have to battle your own mind and transform the version of yourself that everyone has made you believe you are and this is terrible, this is a horrible thing that you must do.  You should never have to do this and yet doing it will empower you.

You will become the artist and the caring, loving person that you would always been had it not been for that person who spent every day of your life telling you you are worthless. You overcame The Voice.  You overcame her.

At this point in your life words are just words and what you really need is action. Nothing I will be saying right now will be powerful enough to help you breakthrough and break free of the pain that you feel, and the pain that you will feel. I hope that knowing you survived and you thrived will help.

You will become disabled and you will struggle with that. You will need care for the rest of your life but you will also meet some great people through that. And you will find that independence is not the only route through life, that interdependence is a much more powerful route to take.

I hope you can summon the strength know that if you do this, if you carry on, it will be worth it.

I write this from a future that is entirely reachable.  I hope you make it.

Love me.

And yes, you do love yourself in the future.  You make it.