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Dear 16 Year Old Me…

    Wego Health – Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge

    Today’s Topic: Dear 16-year-old-me. Write a letter to yourself at age 16. What would you tell yourself? What would you make your younger self aware of?

    I thought I’d done this topic already, in the Health Blogging Month Challenge in November last year. As it turns out that was a letter to the 18-year-old-me! I’ve just re-read that, and realised, I would love to have known this information at the age of 18. Is two years younger really any different? I’m not sure, but let’s have a try at what I would tell myself then….

    Letter to myself, 1982:


    Dear Iris,

    I know that you’re having problems with your joints – your knees give out when you’ve run up three flights of stairs at school, your neck hurts, and your hand hurts when you write for long periods of time. I know that when you complain about these things to your parents they laugh at you, call you things like “grandma” and say you’re getting old before your time.

    I know that you don’t like going out in the sun, that ever since primary school you’ve got a rash when you’re out in the sun. And I know about the constant stomach-aches, the nosebleeds, the headaches, the stiff neck, the not having the energy or co-ordination for school sports, all of it. I know your mother believes your a hypochondriac, and just trying to get out of school or something. 

    You are not crazy. You are not imagining these things. There is an explanation, and eventually you will find it.    Finding the explanation will come with treatment, and many of your symptoms will finally be under control. Some will not be fully controlled. You will still have some pain, and you will still get tired.  You will never quite have the life you imagine you would like – but there will be times (for years at a time) when you will be able to have something very close to it. 

    Remember, the strengths you have as a person, are still there no matter how miserable you are. Always count on God for strength, show love and compassion for those around you, and rely on your creativity to find ways to live life to the full whether you are sick or well.

    With much love

    Your 45-year-old self.