Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Year of Happy: A love letter to myself

Year of Happy January love letter

For the first month of the Year of Happy, I am supposed to write a love letter to myself. I find this quite awkward as I don't usually think of myself in a good way (probably due to my depression), but at the same time I think people should start celebrating themselves more and write more love letters to themselves (but not necessarily post it on the internet) to help their self-esteem and mental health. This will also be very similar to my letter that I did to my 16 year old self a few weeks ago. Anyway here goes nothing...!

Dear Hannah,

2015 is going to be your year. It's going to be the year that you strive to be happy and enjoy life and everything it throws at you. You have been fighting so hard for happiness every day the last few months but you don't find that you need to fight so hard now. Look at how far you've come: in just over 6 months you have fought your depression with everything you have, all whilst helping others with mental health problems with your little corner of the internet. Just over 6 months ago you were in hospital and swore to yourself that you would never get that low again, and from there you have just gone from strength to strength. It's not been easy but I am so proud of you for getting to where you are now. We never even dared to dream half a year ago that we would feel this much better in such a short amount of time, did we?

You have learned to be almost grateful for what happened in 2014 and for your depression rearing its ugly head again, as it has taught you so many things. You have learnt how to pick yourself up on a down day; how to depend less on other people whilst still being able to open up about your mental health to the whole world; and you have learnt a lot about yourself. You are a strong woman that knows what she wants and what makes her happy, and you are less afraid to reach for that this year. Your depression has taught you that it is okay to be completely yourself around people, warts and all, and that they will like you for that. You know what is important in life and are more open to change and new opportunities, including taking on a sign language course and becoming a committee member for the university's mental health and GP societies.

I mean, look at what you have planned for this year. You are hoping to do a skydive in May for charity, you have booked two holidays already to fulfil your need to explore new places, and you have lots of little plans for things with friends and family. You have written your 2015 bucket list, of which one item is 'dance in the street' - heck, you cared too much about what other people think to achieve that last year. And you are determined to experience as much happiness as possible, surrounded by amazing people and seeing new things.

When I look at our progress I think that you are amazing. And if you don't believe me, sit and look through the comments on your blog and all of those lovely emails you have received from people (especially the comments on this post and this post). They didn't have to reach out to you, but they did, and that is because you have helped or inspired them in some little way. And that is incredible. Your depression has allowed you to achieve so much more than you would have done if you had carried on in your happy little bubble early last year, and you have almost come to see it like a friend that challenges you every day to make you a better person.

And all of this whilst being a medical student. You are so lucky to have found something you utterly love and can't wait to be a part of in the future - you get the privilege of learning far more about the human body than you could possibly even think of, and get to meet some amazing patients and health care staff along the way. Medicine is one of the things that really keeps you going and you managed to get through a really difficult time in the summer and become a third year student. Be proud of yourself for how committed and motivated you are, as it took a lot of strength to carry on when you were suffering so badly.

I want you to always remember that it is okay to be you - actually it's more than okay. You love photography, food, spending time with your dogs, and prefer a night slobbing in front of the TV than going out. You're a bit old before your time sometimes with your love of house programmes and a need for a blanket over your knees all the time, but that's okay. You're not afraid to wear whatever takes your fancy each day and sometimes you just love to lie in bed all day and watch films whilst pigging out. And sometimes you just have the need to be silly, but you've found people that you can be silly with. That's you and you should love that about yourself. Liking yourself hasn't always been easy, but I hope that when you read back through this letter in the future you will see how incredible you really are, and how much you have achieved.

This year you need to do what you enjoy. Say 'yes' to opportunities that excite you, 'no' to those that don't, and keep dreaming about that trip to Australia as it will happen. I have all the faith in the world that you will tick every item off your bucket list for this year, all whilst growing as a person and learning more about yourself. Spend those days in bed watching re-runs of Gossip Girl if you want to, but also take up opportunities that scare you, like skydiving. Go out with friends, have fun, build up those laughter lines and create some stories to tell your grandchildren.

This year will be fantastic. You're too determined not to let it be. Keep smiling, keep laughing and keep loving. And always remember to be a kid at heart and only let your life be ruled by you, along with people that make you happy and improve your life in some way.

Here's to 2015.

All my love,
The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.


  1. Hello Hannah! My name is Emily Waugh - contributor at decomposingjaime.com. Thank you so much for sharing your Self Love Letter with us. I am thrilled to find your blog! I myself have suffered with depression on and off since I was in middle school. I know how hard it can be to admit it and talk about it out loud. I think you are absolutely courageous. Keep doing what you're doing, girl. Your voice is so important!

    1. Thank you so much Emily! I'm glad that you like my blog :) xx

  2. Awesome! ☺️ Love the part about you saying yes to opportunities that excite you. Thanks for sharing, Mary

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