I’m sitting here in my appartment (back for the first time in quite awhile – it feels good) and happened to take out my journal from the time I was at CFC to look for a quote. As I flipped through the year 2011 written in sparkly gel pen caught my eye. Apparently, while on residential we were asked to write a letter to our future selves. This was December of 2010 so my letter was to the Kate of 2011. I was amazed as I read through the letter at how I have achieved some things. Other things I still have to work on but can stand as long term life goals. Perhaps most importantly, I realized that I have made progress. I am not who I was at CFC. I have become a person with passions who recognizes her talents and generally looks forward to life.
Here is the letter that I as 2010 Kate wrote to 2011/2012 Kate:
Dear 2011 (almost 2012) Kate,
2011 started in treatment. It didn’t start as planned but as you’ve learned nothing ever does. To say the months spent in treatment weren’t worth the time, effort or energy would be a lie. You are a person who holds little shame, has forgive herself and wants to live
I know you remember the time you believed you wouldn’t make it to 2011 much less 2012 but you have. I know there are still days you wake up and the pain, memories and hurt are enough that you want to give into those old behaviors and plans. But yet you don’t. You’ve learned the feelings will pass. The desperation will fade and that yes, you deserve to live.
I know you often judge yourself and compare yourself to other 23 year old peers but you are taking your own path in life. A few years behind in school or choosing a different career path is worth the freedom you have learned to call your own.
At times you have been apathetic. At times you have been threatened with returning to treatment but you have pulled through. Celebrate that accomplishment. It is not easy to live for over a year in treatment and then return suddenly to real life. Yes, you may have slipped up now and then but you survived. Recovery is not easy nor is it perfect.
Each day you awoke you had to chooose to forgive yourself. You still do. I believe someday the coice will be automatic. Think about how much easier it is now as compared to a year ago. Look back – see the growth.
Following your passions in 2011 was perhaps your greatest accomplishment. With them you formed your idenity and found a reason to enjoy life. Embrace these moments of joy. Someday all of life may be like this – more joyful days than sorrowful ones.
Your faith is growing, changing, evolving. Continue exploring. It’s all right to ask questions. I believe God welcomes it. You may not gain all the answers but someday I believe you will find peace.
Finally, try to be content with where you are. It’s enough. You will grow, change, make mistakes and laugh in the year to come. Embrace it – all of it. You’re alive and that is what life is about.
– 2010 Kate