To My 11-Year Old Self:
I know it's hard. I know you feel awkward and weird. I know that moving to a new town and being in a new school is scary. I know that you think being skinnier would make it easier.
I know you Googled "teenage depression" because you wanted a name for what you were feeling. I know you came across a pro-ana website that both terrified and fascinated you, and suddenly all those vague fantasies about starving yourself felt real.
Please tell someone. It's doesn't have to be Mom, although her spidey senses are already picking up on something. Please don't lie to the doctor when she asks about your weight. You can't see it yet, but this is more serious than you know. There are some mistakes that can't be undone.
You have an incredible, healthy, beautiful body. That is a blessing.
High school will suck a little, but you'll make it. You'll excel, actually. There are ways to cope that won't hurt you. You will have people who care about you.
You're sharp and sensitive and a little shy, but you'll grow out of that. Someday you'll be more outspoken than you ever imagined. In college, you'll flirt with boys and go on lots of dates and have sex with some of them. You'll regret some of it, but not all of it. You'll write an 90-page thesis and graduate summa cum laude. Daddy will cry at the ceremony.
He'll cry again three months later when you overdose on pills.
You're not perfect. You're not expected to be. No one is, even though it may seem like some of the girls at school are. You're beautiful and sweet and smart. You ace tests without cracking a book. You play the violin like an angel. You can make people laugh. Other kids want to be friends with you. Give them the chance. Give yourself the chance.
You deserve everything good in life. You don't need to hurt yourself to make people love you. It won't make anything easier.
Please don't hide how much you're hurting.
I love you. I miss you. Hang in there.