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Dear 18-year-old Mandy, stop trying to be somebody else, being Mandy is enough.
I was always trying to be Mandy the singer, Mandy the actress, Mandy the bodybuilder.
It was never enough to just be me. I always felt the need to be something else for everybody else.
Ignore what other people think of you; I would just beat myself up inside constantly.
It was things like they hate you, they're staring at you, they don't like what you're wearing.
I was just a mess and I was ill, I just didn't know I needed help.
My relationship with my husband brought me so much happiness, but ultimately it couldn't save me from my own thoughts and destruction.
You'll go through a lot of tragedy in a short space of time.
My marriage had ended, I was involved in a fire, my pet cat died in the fire, Joy.
And I lost all of my belongings; I had to start again.
Overnight your life will change forever.
I reached breaking point; I felt totally empty; I felt like nobody saw me.
I just wanted to disappear so I just started running; I started running towards the bridge.
I wanted to take my own life.
I was then admitted to hospital, I finally got the help I needed; I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
I started on medication and I started writing a blog which kind of documented my road to recovery.
It's become a real community, a real supportive community.
And part of the kind of overall project is this exercise to write a letter to 18-year-old you.
And I found it a really really therapeutic experience.
We've had hundreds come in from lawyers, doctors, students, young mums, all doing the same exercise and all getting different things from it.
I think that there's something different for everybody to be gained from sitting down and reflecting and writing to you at 18.
Some of the women who have written in to me get together and take to the streets to share their own messages of empowerment.
We hand out flowers to strangers to help them feel seen and empowered too.
If I can help others with my own journey then what s not to love?
My best bit of advice to 18-year-old Mandy? Don't hide parts of yourself from the world.
The world needs those parts, trust yourself enough to fly.
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Letter To My 18-Year-Old-Self: Self Therapy

13186 Folder Collection
Jessieeee published on April 28, 2019    Jessieeee translated    Evangeline reviewed
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