(Editor’s note: This is the last letter in the series Dear Me: Letters to our 18-year-old selves from the future.)
Knowing you as I do, I don’t expect an immediate response. However, I do hope you will strongly consider this advice, thus diminishing the emotional pain you will inflict upon yourself and others. Growing up in an alcoholic home created a lot of baggage. Let me lighten the load.
Your decision-making needs work. Consider doing the harder thing when confronted with a choice between immediate and future reward.
Stop beating yourself up for errors in judgment. Learn from them and move on.
Learn to control your anger and impulses, slow them down long enough for your thinking brain to catch up and make a rational decision.
Dump the unrelenting self-criticism. It’s a source of discouragement you don’t need. Give yourself a chance to succeed.
Define yourself as a survivor when life is over-powering you and doesn’t seem worth living. If you ask for help it doesn’t mean weakness or surrender.
There will be years of difficult challenges ahead but there will be years of love and family to sustain you. Your life will become more meaningful as you develop self-awareness and learn to give of yourself. It makes the journey smoother and you will realize life is wondrous.