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  • Dear Me,

    I will not give you many spoilers or really much in the way of advice. You have already been through so much at just 18-years-old, and I would love to tell you that it is going to get easier from here on out.... but.... it's not. Against all odds, you are going to survive your 20's. They will absolutely suck. Seriously, you are going to want to repress the majority of them when at all possible. Your 30's are going to start with a bang, literally. Surprisingly, the bang will not be directly aimed at you, but will impact you in ways you cannot even begin to understand.

    Your 40's start with a whimper, but since you are only a few months into that particular decade, I cannot give you a summary at this point. I wish I could tell you things are looking bright and sunny, but they're not. That black dog you have been fighting with? Still here. Still fighting. No idea how the battle will end this time; it comes and goes. It's going to claim some people you love, which will make the fight that much harder. It's going to be awful, and I'm sorry for that, but you'll survive.

    My little bit of advice...try to be as resilient as possible. Enhance this skill; you will need it. The close friends you have now, you will have 22 years later; appreciate them now, because they know you before all the crap and they love you still. Get more tattoos--regardless of how they look, they all have a story to tell, stories are beautiful, and you will need reminders sometimes. Take all the trips you can--you will have the opportunity to take several, and almost all of them are worth the trouble. Keep cutting--someone notices and you're are going to need help sooner than later, so do not try so hard to hide it.

    Regardless of what happens, keep getting up and keep trudging forward. I still have now what you had then...hope.

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