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An Open Letter to Myself

Dear Nico,

This is something you know you must do in order to effectively move forward in the right direction of your life.

You've recently been learning the importance of reflection through your training as a life coach, and how it helps us to grow. Well, it's now time to look way back; to the ugly parts, to the painful parts and to the parts you're not proud of, to hold yourself accountable, to take ownership, to accept it and to let it go.

I know you've tried this before, and I know you couldn't bring yourself to do it, and it took you to places you never wanted to go back to, but this time will be different, I promise you.

You've had a turbulent relationship with yourself to say the least, and you've never really made it easy for yourself either. You've fucked up. You've made some very questionable decisions. You've never been fully honest with yourself, or with others, and this is where the problems lay. You lived your life through fear.

You've abused forms of momentary and unsustainable pleasures, sex and drugs if we're being precise here, as escapisms from the truth and to mask the harsh reality that you were extremely unhappy in every aspect of your life. How many soul destroying walk of shames did you have to feel so much pain through before you realised that happiness can't be found in someone else's sheets? How many trips to the "medical tent" and blacked out hazy nights did it take for you to realise that it wasn't going to hide the fact that you felt so completely lonely surrounded by so many people? How many years of suffering in silence before you realised that pretending and acting like a person you don't even recognise is never going to bring you the acceptance you crave so dearly?

You really, really hated yourself didn't you? You carried this hatred throughout many years of which are supposed to be the fun ones of your life. Your hatred for yourself brought so much reckless behaviour and inconsideration of others. That your actions actually took you further from that acceptance, and even further from your true self. Your lack of real identity and respect for yourself clouded your judgement. You made mistakes and you let them follow you, stalk you, haunt you. as the years went on. They then started to become part of who you, and probably a lot of others, thought you were. You could no longer tell who was a real friend and who was someone that was just there to have drug fuelled nights out with, that would most of the time end with going home with someone else. You were so incredibly sad and alone, but you'd use whatever ounce of energy you had left to not let it show on the outside.

You dealt with the death of a close family member, being raped, first time living away from home, endless weekend binges that all merge together, sleepless nights filled with agonising cries and countless panic and anxiety attacks, before your first consideration of suicide. "What would be the easiest way?" you thought, "or the way which would cause least amount of trouble for anyone else?" You just needed a way to end the overwhelming feeling of being completely lost and drowning.

You were one of the very lucky few however, who only had these thoughts for a few weeks before realising that this was not the way out. You knew you needed help, but were too ashamed and stubborn to admit it to anyone, and even if you weren't, who could you actually trust? Who would listen? You were alone remember? Everyone hates you just as much as you hate yourself. You had convinced yourself.

After a few trips to the doctors where you had been prescribed antidepressants and had some semi successful counselling sessions, you started to feel somewhat a less crappy version of yourself. But this didn't alter your whole belief system. You still believed you didn't deserve happiness. You still felt as though everyone hated you. You still believed you were that person. You were now just numb. Covered up to an extent. But "this would do" you told yourself for a year of your life.

You then started to fall back into your old self-destructive patterns for some time, even more mistakes were made and you believed now more than ever that you don't deserve happiness, because you are this horrible person you've perceived yourself to be. You've made your bed.

You allowed this to continue for at least another few months before you took matters into your own hands. You'd had enough of doing stupid things in order to try and feel something, anything. You'd had enough of fighting constant battles with your own mind. You'd had enough of not being you. This was when you first found meditation, which brought you more to a sense of calm and clarity than any medication or one night stand ever had. You ditched the pills in favour of your Headspace app and journal, the contact you had with people that made you feel shit about yourself minimised substantially, and things started to take a turn for the better. You were more focused, your relationships with others started to mend and you started to put yourself, your real self that is and your needs first.

So everything was now amazing and you lived happily ever after right? Wrong. Although you had started to take care of yourself more, mentally and physically, your unhealthy and at times toxic relationship with yourself was still ongoing. You could never quite find the balance of making yourself happy whilst keeping others in consideration. Whilst your mind was finding new things to focus on, it was still in overdrive. You would obsess over everything, you needed to be in control, you needed to plan and schedule everything down to the last detail and things needed to go your way. You got defensive if anyone would try to question you. You would put immense pressure on yourself to keep things as you felt they needed to be in order to remain in a good place, or totally suffer mentally as a result. Not realising that this in itself was causing you great suffering still. Panic attacks were still quite regular and rushes of anxiety would still overcome you in times when you believed your sanctity was under threat. You still felt as though no one really understood you, when in reality, you still didn't quite understand yourself.

Who would have thought that your breakthrough would come in the form of a global pandemic? You started off completely wrapped up in fear of how this would effect you mentally, when in actual fact it was through being forced to stay at home that you were able to slow down, take a step back and actually breathe. You were able to look at yourself and your life and knuckle down on getting to the bottom of what really matters to you. You changed your perspective and started to worry less about the things that you cannot control. You realised that having a negative outlook would only make you feel bad but do nothing to change the situation. You started to trust more that things have a way of falling into place exactly as they're supposed to, when you have the belief and allow the space for it to do so. You gained more clarity on your values from finally taking ownership and accountability for your actions and accepting the past as it is, learning from your mistakes and knowing that they do not define you, and that the only thing that truly matters is this very moment. You realised that external factors cannot bring you happiness, it is a choice and that you already have everything you need within. You know now that your reality is a reflection of your thinking, and now choose to see life through the lens of love and positivity, which in return has brought you a world of abundance. You are now gravitating towards the life you once never thought possible, all from a simple change in mindset and knowledge that nothing or no one has control over anything you say, do or choose to be.

You dream big. You are now training to become a life coach and meditation teacher, so that you can help others discover their true selves and spread love. You know that you can achieve absolutely anything you desire if you are willing to continue to learn and push yourself outside your comfort zone and believe that you deserve happiness and acceptance within yourself. You are more present and allow things to flow as they are. You have dreams to travel around the world spreading your message, making connections with people, trying new things and living each day with an open and curious mind, with the new found self-belief and love for yourself making it all possible. You no longer allow fear to cloud you and instead, allow love to lead the way and find strength in your vulnerability.

You also wanted to take the opportunity to send your deepest apologies to anyone you have disappointed in any capacity over the years, and you know there will be some. You want them to know that you fully take responsibility for your actions and do not want any of the above to be mistaken as any kind of excuse. You acted out of a place of fear and that had consequences. You hope that they can forgive you and take solace in the fact that you have learnt from every mistake and it has now made you the person you are today for it. And for that, you have no regrets.

As you reflect back on the darkest parts of your life, you let in the light and are able to let it go. You grow from it and you end up on the path you were always meant for. You are no longer holding onto anything that no longer serves you. The first step is awareness.

You do not want any kind of sympathy. You did this for you and you can sit comfortably knowing that you have done something to aid in your own self-development. You look and how far you have come and the progress you have made and feel a huge sense of pride.

You're fucking class.

Yours faithfully,

Nico X

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