We would like to provide you with a trigger warning before you continue to read. In this article, Izzy makes a reference to disordered eating. 


Dear Isobel,

As I’m writing this, the July sun is shining in through the sunroom windows and warming my skin. I look down at where the light is hitting, and I see tattoos, scars, and stretch marks, all evidence of a life fully lived. Our cat is curled up beside me, as fat and fluffy as ever.

I have thought about writing to you many times but never had the courage to. Because, darling, I have always felt so sorry for you. I imagine you at the age of twelve, on the cusp of secondary school and life. I know how sad you are, how dejected and friendless you feel, and I feel sorry for you because I know that the worst is yet to come.

But (and this is quite a large but) I know how resilient and amazing you truly are. You may not know it yourself yet. Already, you will have started throwing up the contents of your dinners, in the hopes of making yourself skinnier. My love, you grow into that beautiful body of yours. You make it your own, and decorate it with art made of ink. That body will carry you up mountains, will get you trials for the county soccer team, and will guide you every day as you strive to be your very best. Be kind to her, please. She is not yet fully grown.

That body will, however, be a source of great pain. Between three spouts on crutches and then two life-changing surgeries, you will have to face adversity like very few other children do. I don’t want you to be afraid. Yes, there will be pain, but you will be stronger for it, and come out the other side with two pretty cool scars on your shins. Through it all, you will not accept the fact that your body can’t do what it’s supposed to do, and you will keep playing soccer, you will keep hiking up mountains and running across fields, and you will defy what the doctors say to you and be brave in every step you take. Because of this, I am so proud of you.

You will have discovered your love of writing by now, but you won’t have yet discovered your true love: poetry. She will come to you out of heartbreak and give you a voice to all your suffering. She will be there for you through everything and will fill countless notebooks and journals. One piece of advice I can give you is to keep writing. All those poems will one day be worth so much more than just ink on a page. It is who you are, it is who we are, so keep going.

I’m afraid I can’t tell you your teenage years will be easy. Our parents will separate, you will wish you were never here, you will fall in love and eventually break your own heart. But as I’m sitting here in the sunlight, with our little cat, feeling content and whole for the first time in a long while, I can say to you; it will be okay. I wish I could hold you and say that over and over; it will be okay, it will be okay, it will be okay. I know you do not believe most people when they say that, but you can believe me. It will be okay, my love. In fact, it will be more than okay. It will be beautiful.

Love, Izzy


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