2010 vs 2020, & The Things I Wish I Could Tell 16-Year-Old Me

Please don’t give up. One day, you really do find all the things you’re looking for.

(Image Credit: https://picrew.me/image_maker/148413)

I saw this trend of comparing where you were 10 years ago & where you are now &……HOOOOOOO BOY A LOT HAS CHANGED & I HAVE COME SUPER FAR FROM WHERE I WAS BACK THEN.

And for that, I am really, really proud of myself.

(TW: depression, mention of suicidal thoughts)

10 years ago I was 16 & struggling with severe depression as the result of my undiagnosed & untreated mental illnesses, including bipolar & BPD.

I had literally ZERO friends as a result of my social difficulties & the fact I didn’t have a job nor go to school (I was homeschooled), & my family was too poor to afford any extra activities, so I was at home all the time except for shopping trips for YEARS.

I felt utterly invisible & almost constantly hopeless about my future, & I suffered from frequent intrusive & suicidal thoughts as well as intense anxiety.

I also was struggling with a lot of guilt, anxiety, & shame about my gender & sexuality.

I was terrified & hopeless over the fact I didn’t think I would ever have real friends or actually be happy. Getting through every day was a struggle, & because of stigma against mental illness in my family, I literally had NO ONE I could tell about my feelings except venting to strangers on the internet.

When I turned 25, I realized that 16-year-old me hadn’t really expected they’d even MAKE it to 25, & that makes me sad now because since then, things have become SO SO GOOD.

It really DID get better, ESPECIALLY over the past year. I have an amazing group of friends which every day I’m just so grateful I’ve got these folks in my life, I’m making new friends all the time, I’m out as a bisexual & aromantic demiboy to most of the people I know including my family & I’m accepted for it, I’m working on getting low-dose testosterone, I have an amazing job that I love, I’m ACTUALLY a professional actor & artist who’s working on so MANY exciting projects, I don’t feel invisible usually anymore & I have SO MUCH HOPE for my future, I finally started going to therapy, & I’m finally finding the mental health meds that are making a huge difference in how I feel.

I feel so loved & supported by everyone in my life, & I’m so, SO glad to be where I am today ❤️.

Things really did get better, & if I could go back in time & tell my 16-year-old self something, more than anything I’d just really like them to know that all the things they think they’re never gonna have? A job they love? Amazing friends? Acceptance from my family? Treatment for my mental illnesses? True happiness?

They find ALL of that & then some, & it’s so so much better than they imagined it would be.

…Because you see, they don’t just grow up & make it & survive.

It takes a while, & it’s still not perfect, but they grow up, & make it, & THRIVE.