Dear Past Self

About the Author: Marissa Spratley is a chrohn's disease warrior sharing her amazing journey of self confidence and shining her inner light with the world. Her platform is filled with positivity, affirmations, and how she finds peace even in the most uncertain times. If you need a pick me up, or an inspirational caption, make sure to check out her page here.

Dear past self,

I know you feel broken and sad right now. I know you think that your life will never be the same, and you’re right -- it won’t. Your life will be different, and in some ways it will be harder. But it will also be even greater than you ever imagined it could be. Your days will be more fulfilling, your thoughts deeper, your emotions fuller, your passions stronger. You will find that each and every time you feel weaker than ever, you are actually the opposite - you are stronger than before for making it another day. You will find that you are more loving, caring, nurturing, thoughtful, and empathetic than you ever realized was possible. With your struggles, your heart will grow two sizes.

Dear past self, I know you think no one could ever love a girl who will spend the rest of her life going to never ending doctors appointments and injecting herself with medicine every eight weeks. I know you think that potential partners won’t find you sexy because of the many ways your disease has affected your body. I know there are people out there who may confirm those fears for you -- but listen closely, because this is important. Anyone who doesn’t love your body exactly the way it is, is not your kind of person. Any partner who doesn’t appreciate your raw and wild beauty has missed the most beautiful sight they could ever see. 

I know you feel like a burden to your loved ones. I know you dread to ask for a ride to your infusions, and you feel guilty any time you have to ask for a substitution at a restaurant. I know you feel bad for making your loved ones worry about you, and scaring them every time you have another bump in the road. But let me tell you how your loved ones truly feel -- they are happy to be there to support you and care for you in any way that you let them. Just as you would do anything for your loved ones, they want to do the same for you - whether that is cooking you special foods, bringing you an ice pack, or staying all night with you in the ER - they love to be there for you.

Dear past self, the years you have spent feeling broken since you were diagnosed with your chronic illness were not a waste. These years have helped you grow into the woman you are today. You have learned how to be strong and fierce and weak and vulnerable all at the same time. You have learned how to care for yourself in ways you never would have dreamed of - how to prioritize yourself, how to monitor your health, how to fend off a flare. You have taken care of yourself on the days when you couldn’t imagine lifting a finger because of the pain, and you have celebrated on the days where you didn’t feel like you had a chronic illness at all. 

Dear past self, after all these years, after searching for someone to love and accept you, after being left by someone who you thought loved you no matter what, you have realized something. Your love for yourself can move mountains, and past self, it will. You are the person you have always needed. You have been here all along.