Letter to a Friend


Look, we need to talk. I took in what happened the other day, when you looked in the mirror and said you hated yourself. Maybe you were only talking about the way you looked, I don’t know, but it sure felt a lot deeper than that when I heard it, the way I heard it. You really have to be careful with your words; they have power and energy and a vibrational resonance that you react to whether you realize that or not. It’s proven science, you know, so even when you say things like you’re joking, you know the words can still do damage.

I wouldn’t let someone else talk to you the way you talk to yourself. Why do you think I should let you get away with what I wouldn’t let someone else get away with?

So from this point forward, you are not allowed to call yourself ugly, stupid, or fat. You are not allowed in my presence to say that you’re unworthy, dumb, old or unlovable. If I won’t allow a stranger to say that to you, then you don’t get to say it to yourself either.

Because the truth is, you know it’s not true. You understand this at some deep level, I know, that we are all beautiful in our own way.

Yes, I know it’s hard right now. Yes, I know you’ve been through hell and that you’re tired, completely exhausted, worn out. I know your reserves have been tested. I get it; I do. I’m telling you right now, I’m here for you, completely, 100%, and I will not give up. I will not let you give up. But I won’t stand around while you call yourself names, put yourself down, degrade yourself and destroy what little bit of sanity you might think you have left.

You are sick. You are struggling. It’s been hard, damned hard, but you are a survivor, a fighter and you are stronger than even you realize. I know you miss your long, beautiful, flowing hair — I know the thin, wispy strands that are dry and brittle and the lumps of it that fall out in your hands when you shower or brush your hair leave you in tears. I know when you look in the mirror, you think you’ve lost the only thing left that made you worth looking at. I know the dry skin makes you feel like you’re a reptile and that no one could possibly want to touch you, ever, for any reason, because of it. I know you see the fluid under the skin and wish you could just pop yourself like a water balloon and drain it all away. I know you feel fat and ugly. I’ve seen how you look at yourself in the mirror, the disgusted sounds you make when you try to get dressed to go out. I’ve watched you ridicule and taunt yourself over things that no one probably notices but you.

Sure, maybe you don’t look like you once did, but not many people do, and you have people who love you and think you’re beautiful regardless of all those things. So really, you just need to get over it.

But the main reason I’m writing this to you today is because, I know you’ve wanted to give up recently. That last little setback, that was hard. When the doctors aren’t saying what you want to hear, when the insurance isn’t paying what it should, when the people on the phone make you feel like grinding your teeth into their necks… or when you sit and wonder if you need to go to the ER or not, and all you can do is cry, because you’re thinking about all the needle pokes, how hard it is to start an IV, how many tests they are going to do, and God forbid, what if they find something serious that leads to more tests, more procedures and more of what you’ve already endured…

I get it. You’re scared.

And I know what your faith and beliefs are about life and death, so I know you’re not afraid of being dead. It’s just the dying itself that scares the crap out of you.

I know all of this.

And I’m asking you, begging you, pleading with you, please, please don’t give up. Not now, not yet.

Because, you are beautiful, and you will be beautiful always… to someone, even if you can’t be for yourself or to yourself. Because temporary problems shouldn’t result in permanent solutions–and I know you’re not suicidal, but sometimes inaction is as dangerous as if you pulled that trigger directly–and because there’s so much you would miss… and so much that would miss you.

You can’t give up, because somewhere deep down inside of you, I don’t want you to. And since I am you, I guess that really means something.

So yeah, it’s tough, and yeah, you’ve changed, but you are in all the ways that matter… still the same, still you. Don’t let yourself be fooled by what you think others think or see. Open your eyes, see what they see for yourself.

And keep going… remembering always, it’s a life-long journey and experience, not a ride to an ultimate destination with pitstops. The journey is all that matters, because we all end up in the same place; the only differences are how we arrive and what path we took to get there.

Your path isn’t over yet… and if you lift your head up and look, the scenery might just change for you. But if you keep hanging your head and looking at your swollen feet, you won’t even see it when it does change.

And it would be a shame to miss it all…

Be kind to yourself.

Love you. No one else can unless and until you do.

Love and stuff,

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5 Responses to “Letter to a Friend”

  1. Buffy says:


    Sounds like really good advice to your friend… sounds like advice I have given that same friend at times… but sometimes, it takes a different way of saying something for it to really be heard. I think you’ve been heard… and understood…

    We change. We grow. You have survived amazing odds and you are still healing. I know that you are as impatient as I am and that you expected to ‘instantaneously’ pick up your life and resume where you had left off… it didn’t work out that way for either of us, but we really will get through all the repercussions!

    Thank you for being honest with yourself and with us, for continuing to fight and persevere, and for forgiving and loving. And if you ever need any help convincing your friend, let me know, I’ll be happy to help!

  2. Beth says:


    I’ve often said that we need to give ourselves the very same advice we’d offer to a dear friend. To love and care for and forgive ourselves as we would those we hold close. I loved reading this.


  3. Rissa says:

    I knew before even reading this that you were talking to yourself because I could have written this myself.

    Listen to you and I will listen too. I promise to go on and fight if you do.

    Love you,


  4. Derek Odom says:

    I had the same feeling about writing this to yourself. I wish I could say I knew how hard it was for you, but i don’t; my worst days involve bad allergies or a blood-sugar dip that leaves me temporarily dizzy.

    Love and stuff is right. 🙂

  5. Brad Jordan says:

    What we’re talking about is your identity — who you are and the way you and others think about yourself.

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