Exposure Technique – Letter Writing.

If you could talk to a younger version of you, what would you say? Would you give advise to stay away from specific scenarios? Would you let yourself make the same mistakes? Do you think it would make a difference?

As a way of confronting the issues behind my anxiety it was suggested that I write a series of letters to adress the problems head on without fear of being judged. In all honesty this is an untested technique by me until now, as I am only just writing my first letter (which I have copied some I’m to here)

I was told to make a short list of topics, which can be added to as I go along and confront more issues. First off however I was told to write a short letter to the younger me. The full version I have finished and printed out, sealed in a cute little envelope. I’m going to make these part of my handwritten journal. The verion of my first letter on here I’ve edited some private stuff out, which I hope you dont mind!

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      Letter to my younger self.

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How many times have you beaten yourself up over something you did wrong? Did you fail to reach your expectations, that others have made for you and ones for yourself? Did you make a decision that backfired on you? Maybe certain choices turned out to be a disaster?

I want to tell you, being older and having gone through it all, that it’s all okay! The pressures you put on yourself and that your family will make you feel will follow you for the rest of your life if you don’t let them go now.

Firstly, you’re pretty amazing. You won’t believe that for a long time but trust me, you really are. People expect you to be happy and grateful you’re alive, but why should you be? You should be living life, not struggling to survive. Take the chance now to live the way you want to because pretty soon, your life will go down hill.

Your family life will become difficult, incredibly and for many different reasons. You will end up ill, both physically and mentally. Your life will come to a halt. You will feel so alone.

But it will be all worth it. Trust me, that whole light at the end of the tunnel deal is kinda a thing!

Why did you even bother getting those As at school? Well, the GCSEs and ALEVELs won’t matter soon but I’m still glad you did them and discovered your talent for writing and your passion for reading. It will lead to so many work and study oppertunities. Believe me when I say that however scared you may feel to take the big steps, like going to university you can handle it all! Your going to be strong enough, even on your worst days.

You will, to some extent reconnect with your family. However your friends will replace the space your family left, as will your wonderful and loving boyfriend.

Be kinder to yourself now. You are bound to make mistakes. You will fail at certain points in your life. You won’t always have all the answers. Stop trying to please everyone and meet expectations and stop letting other people’s issues affect you so much! You are too giving and too empathic at such a young age, you give much of yourself to others before you even figure out who you really are.

You will see one day how amazing you are, how free you currently are. And you’ll look back on those times, as I do now with wistfulness.

I loved you then, but didn’t know it. And I envy you now! From me to me, I hope to see you again soon. Charlotte x

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