Saturday, October 21, 2023

A Letter to Myself

It's been 15 years since I was in a car accident that altered the trajectory of my life. I've written and posted about it multiple times over the years. Each time differs, as the grieving and healing processes continue. 
Note: links to previous posts about the anniversary of the car accident at the end of this post.

This year feels different. 

The past year has included a Pain Rehabilitation Center (PRC) program, Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy (EAET) course, and attending a writing support group, all of which have provided me resources and opportunities to make important changes in my life and within myself. I will share more about these in future posts. 

Today, I want to share a letter I wrote to myself. I've written multiple different letters to myself over time. These letters offer compassion, guidance, and encouragement to myself, reminding me that I can and will make it through whatever hard thing I'm facing. They serve as a gentle guide, map, or light for me to get through the difficult times. Here is one such letter. 

My dear self,
I know you’re struggling and your heart feels heavy. Pause and take a breath. 
Feel the air come in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice how that feels in the body. 
You are going to get through this, just as you have every hard thing before. 
Identify and acknowledge the emotions and core beliefs that come up. 
Be gentle with yourself. 
Write. Writing helps to gain clarity and release hurt better than anything else. 
Pray. Ask God to come alongside you and provide what you need in each moment. He is faithful. 
Reach out. Jeremy is your strongest supporter in life. Allow him, and others, to be there for you. 
Use the skills and tools you’ve learned and strengthened over the years: breathing, healthy coping and distraction, and resilience. 
You are so resilient! You persevere through challenges. You are a warrior. 
Listen to music. Look for beauty. Bake a cake. Play a game. Write, write, write. 
Do these to help you feel like you again. 
Breathe and let go of what you’re able to. 
I’m so proud of you! I'm proud of you for never giving up, for doing the hard work, for always holding onto hope as well as you were able. 
Keep going, you’ve got this.
Love, Me

Photo by Jamie Valendy
I wrote this letter during the PRC program in 2022. I wrote it on October 10. That day has a history of pain and redemption, over the years.
  • It was the day that I was in a car accident that changed my life. 
  • It was the day that I started seeing my amazing headache specialist.
  • It was the day that I wrote this letter to myself and graduated from a pain rehabilitation program. 
A lot has changed in the past 15 years. I have picked up the pieces of a shattered life, more than once, and chosen what to keep and what to let go of. I have fought battles within (and out) that few or no one knows about. I have worked hard to become the person I am, and I will continue to keep (re)building and growing. 

I've got this!

If you'd like to listen to me read this letter, you can! I was asked to share on a recent US Pain Foundation Building Your Toolbox talk about the importance of writing. Click here to listen on YouTube ( I read at 24:00.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog is intended as medical or legal advice.

What I write on this site is my own, and if it is someone else's, I take special care to attribute it to the original author. So, please don't use any of my material without proper attribution or permission. Thanks.