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Dear Younger Me by Liz

Dear younger me,

Hold on, if you feel like letting go

Hold on, it gets better than you know

Hold on. You’re 13 and you’ve had to grow up fast. Mum left, with what felt like not so much as a backwards glance, and now you’re here, looking after your mentally disabled Dad and your little brother. You’re running a household, going over every letter through the door so you can process it and break it down for Dad, making sure your brother has a clean uniform, lunch (or money for some), preparing the shopping list for after school, homework is done, and dinner is planned.

You fill any spare seconds with games, books or drawing, anything to stop yourself from having time to think; to escape. Your relationship with your Dad and brother has changed, you’re a carer now and your brother struggles too, and gets distant. When you think, the cracks are so clear to you, and you don’t know how much longer until you break. But Good Charlotte has promised you, if you hold on, it gets better. You sing those words until your heart feels like it will burst, because it’s all you have.

It gets better than you know. Your friends are also 13 and don’t know how to help, but they’re trying. And they continue to try, in fact they always stay by your side. Your family too, in their own subtle ways, support you – you can’t see it yet, but they’re holding your head above the water, helping you breathe.

In the future, your Dad thanks you regularly – he apologises too, unnecessarily, for something beyond his control, for something he never asked for. Your brother is arguably your best friend, you tell each other everything and support each other through the highs and lows. You go to university and meet more wonderful people.

It took you going through a serious but unhealthy relationship to sympathise even slightly with your Mum – to understand the grip love can have on a person, but that anger you feel now, it changes, you just need to experience a bit more of life first. And get this, you work on games played by millions of people. Millions. Any one of those could, sadly, feel like you do now, with games offering them that escape, chance to rest their whirring minds, to hold back the numbness, the hopelessness.

It gets better than you know. It does. It really does. Thank you for fighting, for believing, for taking that chance.

From your happier, stronger, future you,



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