A Letter to Myself, When I'm Not Feeling Like Myself
Written by Liz Feezor
Let’s dive in hot and kick things off with an awful cliché: I hope this letter finds you well, though I suspect that if you’re reading this, that’s probably not what’s going on right now.
You’ve found yourself in That Place again, where your anxiety shakes you awake in the middle of the night and tells you tragic stories that haven’t happened yet; where your depression has convinced you that you’re good for precisely nothing, that everything good that’s happened to you has been a lie, and that your life has been little more than a blueprint for failure.
Now as I write this, you’re in This Place: you’re at a point in your life where you've never felt more empowered, capable, and loved; when great things are happening for and around you, and, more to the point, you believe that great things will happen, a hallmark of This Place. I’m writing you this letter from This Place, where I feel strong and free to create from a space that’s honest, imperfect, and real. That Place seems far behind, but by now you’ve realized that life has a way of taking you there sometimes.
But you’re still here: you survived some tough emotional shit, and I wish I could reach out and just give you a big hug right now. I know I’m inexcusably late in writing this, but the truth is that I just haven’t been able to feel it before. Even now, in this moment, I’m plagued with self-doubt about this. This letter, to myself. (Chill, Liz.) There are still so many unknowns in your life and things certainly aren’t perfect, but damned if they aren’t good. And I am so grateful.
So I want you to promise me this: if you’ve found yourself in That Place again, if your world is imploding and no one seems to understand how heavy everything is, that you’ll read the following and receive it as loving advice, words from me to you, your new #1 fan and not ONLY is she the president, she’s also a member. (And If you got that joke, we’re friends forever.)
- You will make mistakes, but you are not a mistake. You have failures, but that does not mean that you are a failure. Success is little more than a game of connect-the-dots with failures and unmet expectations.
- Don’t confuse ‘loving yourself’ with having an inflated ego. Having a healthy perspective on your life and well-being is not selfish, it’s necessary.
- Having a plan knocked out doesn’t always mean it’s going to go down that way. When things are a little bit nebulous and the path isn’t clear, this is where the good stuff happens. Embrace the gray areas, lean in to the struggle, and give life the space to become something even better than you’d imagined.
- You do your best work when you feel creatively appreciated. Bringing part of yourself to work, or having to pretend like you’re someone else at work, just isn’t an option for you. This is a strength. Don’t compromise your values: at work, in life, and in love.
- And on the subject of work (and life, and love): the more you make known what it is that you want, the more likely you are to get it. Ask for what you want, and even if the answer you get right now is “no”, that’s OK. You deserve to work hard for it. And you are never too old to have big dreams for yourself, so keep those eyes on the prize and don’t let up. (I see you, girl. Some day you’ll have your book and a TV writing gig, I can feel it!)
Liz, I love you. I love your nonconformist, irreverent way of seeing the world. I love how fierce you are about loving people and how highly you value your relationships with your family and friends. I love that I can always count on you to call out the ridiculous parts of life and find fun wherever you are. And I love that you have always been unapologetically you, no matter how deep into That Place you’ve been.
When the tears won’t stop and it’s hard to breathe, no matter how bad you feel or how much you’re hurting, just remember: it’s like this right now. When you just want to disappear so that the pain can finally go away, I will never stop believing in you.
P.S. You’re such a weirdo. Don’t you want to stick around and find out what’s next? ;)
Liz Feezor is a corporate dropout-turned-writer and creative strategist. A Texas native, Liz grew up in Houston and spent over 15 years in the Pacific Northwest before returning to the Lone Star State in 2012. She lives in East Austin with her husband and two cats, and her favorite food is candy, which is really all you need to know about Liz.