Dear 18 Year Old Connie,
You live such an amazing life, even though you think time doesn’t move quickly enough. You want to be older so you can do more things – live on your own, travel, get married, and earn more money. You hate the way you look because you’re so thin. You feel lonely because you don’t have a relationship. But these thoughts and feelings are kept inside, told to no one. So you put on a happy face, go out until all hours of the night, drink too much, do drugs and try to hide your feelings. You’re known as the party girl – the one who takes hours to get dressed and put makeup on, goes out at 11 PM and doesn’t come home until 6 AM. You live for the weekends, school vacations and the summer.
You’ve been lucky that you’re alive with some of the choices you’ve made. Thinking that nothing can harm you is a childish way to think. It’s a shame that you won’t learn that for a long time. Did you ever consider alcohol poisoning, AIDS, rape, or death could be a consequence of your actions? You’ll be grateful that you don’t have an addictive personality, or your life would be changed forever.
People can’t believe the amount of food that you eat and you still don’t gain a pound. And this is so easy to get used to. Who needs to exercise when you’re so skinny? And that’s a habit to fall into also. It’s understandable that you wanted to gain weight, but eating healthy foods instead of junk food would create better eating habits later in life. Just because you didn’t need to exercise, didn’t mean you should become lazy. You loved to run, roller skate, ride your bike because you felt energized. It gave you a high, but I guess the drinking and drugs took the place of that high. In just a few years, you’d wish you had energy for any of that activity.
The good thing is that you loved people and hated to see others hurt. Soon, you’re going to learn that you deserve love and don’t deserve to be treated badly by anyone. It may take the love of your child to recognize that, but that’s what life will put before you. Then you’ll learn to open up about how truly unhappy and afraid you are. Again, it will be for your child’s sake, but soon it will be for your own too. Your friendships and the love of your family will help you get through some difficult times, both emotionally and physically. And you’ll be surprised. The light will dawn on you though, through soul-searching work, tears, anger and fear.
That strength will help you through health problems that may have caused others to give up. Instead, you’ll grieve and move on. Reaching for the love of those around you. Leaning when it’s necessary. Being bold and courageous when it’s possible. Then, helping others for the right reasons.
This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J