Yours Sincerely,

Dear 45 year old me,

I am writing to you today, as I urgently need your help.

I am limited in ways I am hoping you aren’t.

I am sure you have managed to achieve all things I haven’t been able to yet.

Like a quiet mind, a calm heart and skinny thighs.

25 year old me would have appreciated some hindsight right about now, I know this for a fact.

She is in a right mess.

She has a tiny waist, and no stretch marks, but her brother just died.

She will be ok in time I guess, but she just can’t see it right now.

I wish I could tell her about her son.

And to stop drinking.

I wish I could also tell her to stay away from the pilot with the wandering dick too.

I wish I could tell her she is brave and beautiful in a way I will never be again.

I wish I could show her a snapshot of herself.

I wish I could be there for her, and forgive her, for her mistakes.

Unfortunately I can bring myself to do either.

She is headstrong and stubborn and she will learn to live with her regrets her own way, I guess.

Or continue to be tortured by them.

The same way I am.

But please, 45 year old me, could I please have some kindness and guidance from you in the meantime, while she catches up?

I need to know how it turns out, ok?

So I can learn to enjoy the now.

Are we doing ok?

Does 14 year old Addison still love me?

Did I mess him up?

Is he a surly and resentful teenager because I never let him leave the house?

Did he learn to stop brandishing his pencil like a dagger?

Did he stop rhyming Duck with inappropriate words in assembly?

Is he well rounded?

Does he understand your reasons for trying to protect him against evil teenage girls who will break his heart?

What about you?

I hope you are still not a disappointment to yourself.

I hope you are happy some of the time, if not all of it.

I hope you found the courage to move on from the demons you are facing now.

I hope you can look back at the last ten years and know you made the right choices.

You are 35 years old right now, with a heart that tries to love you, and a brain that likes to keep you small.

You try to be kind to yourself, you just don’t know how.

You do go to James for therapy every saturday though, but then you beat yourself up for wasting time on you, when you could and should be enjoying every second, while you still can, playing with trains.

You can’t decide if another baby will make your life more fulfilling, or destroy it completely.

I think we both know how that one is going to turn out.

Do we?

I hope the decision you made is the right one.

Actually, can you just tell me the decision please?

Could you just tell me what the hell to do?

And also, have you tried Botox yet?

I think you probably should.

Addison is 4 years old and fast asleep, by the way.

The Irish One is downstairs watching football.

Does that ever change?

Doodle the Poodle is stretched out by your side, balls to the wind, fast asleep.

Is Doodle still alive?

My beautiful companion.

Yesterday you took your family for a ride on the Polar Express.

You managed to silence the voices in your head all the way up to Newcastle, and we all sat in the cold on a park bench, eating bacon Panini’s out of hot wrapper’s, while mostly arguing about money.

It was lovely.

Addison met Father Christmas for the first time, too.

He was so excited, you thought the smile was going to jump right off his face and melt your heart.

When asked if he is a good boy, he was overwhelmed in to silence.

He stuttered and gasped, looking to you for confirmation.

You didn’t know how to sum it up, so you said the only thing you know to be true.

You told Santa he had saved your life.

Beneath his big and bushy white beard, Father Christmas’ eyes grew wide.

You had to look away.

There is only so much mental illness you can subject on a guy dressed as santa I suppose, before things start to get uncomfortable.

And as if to prove my point, I did catch the Irish One rolling his eyes.

It’s true though, he did.

Try to remember that when he’s plodding about listening to your music of the future.

Addison wants a lego train for christmas this year, you only want him back.

The years seem to be falling to the ground so quickly, like feathers from your broken wings.

He is growing up too fast, no longer able to spend all his time with mummy, he started school this year, and although he seems to love it, you have been struggling in letting him go.

You have cried and snotted on the school receptionist on two separate occasions.

Once because you were emotionally drained from a morning spent listening to his crying pleas to stay home with you like he used to, and you were desperate to keep him, but knew you couldn’t, and once because the Irish one hadn’t told you about him having his first year school photo taken, and you thought you had missed ordering it.

She consoled you both times, saying she understood how hard it was for working mum’s.

This made you cry harder.

You are meant to handle it all.

You just want to be a mum.

Life doesn’t feel very fair right now.

And you beat yourself up for even admitting that too.

The school mum’s are also driving you crazy.

Especially the one with the orange hair who uses her newborn baby sleeping in a Maxi-cosi, like a weapon hanging off the side of her arm, clobbering you with it, each and every morning.

Don’t worry! You smile and laugh. It’s ok! I don’t need my elbow anyway!

She scares you, you see.

You think she has magical school mum powers you don’t think you have.

She probably bakes cakes, and sews costumes for the nativity, where as you intend to buy one from Asda on Saturday, and this morning Addy ate a cheese sandwich for breakfast, in the car on the way to school.

Her child wasn’t dressed as a skeleton for Harvest Festival either, because her husband didn’t forget to show her the letter, so she didn’t have to do a last minute dash to Morrison’s for a costume, but you did.

Addison didn’t care though.

Mr. Skelly Bones.

He was a happy little skeleton.

You think they judge you because you don’t get to do the pick up and always look harassed.

They probably don’t, they probably don’t even notice you, but you judge you and that’s hard enough.

You recently left the Apple store, even though you didn’t want to.

You wish you could have afforded to stay.

You were happy there.

Times are changing for you too quickly now, and although the future scares you, you are doing your very best.

35 year old you finds it very hard to be kind to herself.

She isn’t sure she knows how to be.

Dear 45 year old me,

Do we have it all together yet?

Have you stopped torturing yourself with horrific scenario’s, in which all your loved ones die?

Can you forgive me for everything I am not, but everything you think I should have been?

I am trying my best.

I swallow down the tears as I am running upstairs to grab his uniform, as I fall asleep at night, and as I try to deal with the overflowing shit pile of regrets.

I am surviving in the old way I know how.

Can you be kind to me?

And also,

Have you tried Botox?

I am sorry to labour the point, but I really think you should.

I Look forward to hearing from you 45 year old me, I need your wisdom.

I need your support, I need to know I am not letting you down.

Yours Sincerely,

35 year old me.

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6 Comments on “Yours Sincerely,

  1. 41 year old me doesn’t have any advice, or words of wisdom I’m afraid. But I do want to say hi and hope that you keep strong (and keep writing, but that’s me being selfish as I love reading it).

  2. I cried reading this post. I don’t have the same specific difficulties as you but I can relate a lot. I’m 46 now so am replying to try and say that time does bring a difference in perspective and an awareness of the highs and lows that life and illness brings. That brings strength to ride out the lows and have a different relationship with them. I’ve not yet needed Botox and plan to stay surgery free although I did have eye laser surgery finally last year. I’d say I’m definitely more mature most of the time. I became a mum at 42 and now have two children. I will say I find it tough with two but that’s also because the universe has felt it would be hilarious to keep dumping truck loads of shit at my door. I’m not on antidepressants though and that is mammoth for me. The 40s can be a freeing time. I no longer care about other people’s opinion as much although I’m still not keen on most of the school mums and, like you, I suspect that’s more about my inner voices than about them. My thighs are crammed in skinny jeans and being ignored currently! Hang in there. You have boat loads of inner wisdom and gave the answers you seek. Good luck 35 year old you. It is worth embracing the 40s. I’ve achieved huge amounts in mine that I never thought possible xxx

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