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Dear Emma,

I’m writing this aged 18, preparing to sit the Leaving Cert, and completely unsure of what will happen next – and I want you to know that’s okay!

Since 12 or 13, you’ve struggled with your mental health. Since then you’ve worked with 2 different counsellors, spoken *honestly* to your doctor (which was a huge step), and been prescribed medication. As difficult as all of that was, it has helped so much and you have come so far. It’s a process, and nothing changes overnight, but you will learn that nothing is linear, and soon you’ll be surrounded by the most wonderful people who will support every step of your journey.

Everyone else will call those people friends, but you know they’re really a second family. They will make you smile when it feels impossible, be a shoulder to cry on when you need it and you will laugh together until you cry every single day. I know you feel lost and lonely right now, but give it time and everything will fall into place.

I know that, while you’re reading this, you are unsure of yourself and who you are. Honestly, I still am, but I’ve found a sense of comfort in that. I don’t *need* to know, because the only person who I owe that answer to, is myself and I’m okay with waiting a little longer to figure it out.

This may all seem very strange to you. My younger self who felt that she had to have an answer to everything and keep it together all the time. But soon you will realise that life isn’t a race and that you are entitled to do things in your own time. You will accept uncertainty, even embrace it, and for that, I am endlessly proud of you.

 

With love,

Emma

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