It’s often hard to honour a commitment
to someone you dislike,
So sometimes it’s easier to think of self-care and healing
as honouring the “Me” who got me here.
Doing it for my younger self who was afraid, confused, and alone,
but who held on despite it all.
The child who blew out her birthday candles every year,
wishing to finally be happy.
The girl who went on runs with her health card tucked in her shirt,
in case her body finally decided it had had enough.
I can make a promise to her,
because I wouldn’t blame a child,
neither should they blame themselves.
because she didn’t know any better back then.
But I’m learning to now.
I can make a promise to that nervous high school student
whose fear spoke louder than her words.
The girl who reached out to her high school teacher
not to ask for help,
but to apologize for letting her grades drop,
because she was more concerned about maintaining her marks
than maintaining her health.
I promise to show her why she held on for so long,
because she deserves a glimpse of happiness brighter than the flicker of a birthday candle,
I’ll keep going to show her that her strength isn’t defined by what burdens she continues to carry,
but by what she chooses to put down,
and what she is willing to share.
I can only honour the resilience that got me here by moving forward.
because what’s learned in hindsight is a lost lesson
unless I choose to apply it.
I will keep going for little Jill,
Because children should get sick on excitement,
or Halloween candy,
not sick with worry.
Because they should be colouring with crayons and making wonderful messes,
not constantly trying to clean them up.
I’ll keep going for the little girl,
who somehow learned that her happiness came second to everyone else’s.
For the girl who bit her tongue instead of her food.
I’ll build her the life of peace,
that she never thought she deserved.
I’ll build her a life where being sick isn’t a prerequisite for care,
Nor a cry for affection.
I will craft hindsight from her stolen innocence,
Lost not worrying about the monsters under the bed,
but the ones in her head.
I will show up for her,
until she no longer fears that no one else will,
because she believes in the power in showing up for herself.
I’ll keep going until I’ve built her a life she can be happy with,
That’s doesn’t only serve everyone else.
To give up now would be a betrayal to her,
and I refuse to continue abandoning myself.
I’ll keep going because I’m finally finding my voice,
And after so many years of silence,
I have an awful lot to say.
I’ll keep going because by making change I can reveal the strength
that came from surviving pain,
not from surrendering to live with it.
I promise her I will no longer choose suffering,
because that’s not what she would have wanted.
I will show her she can create her own happiness,
and has always been worthy of doing so.
I’ll show her the mind that took her far on paper,
even if she doesn’t know it yet,
will likewise take her far in life,
regardless of where she wants to go.