An Open Letter to 16-Year-Old Me

An Open Letter to 16-Year-Old Me

In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day, I decided to share something that’s been sitting in my drafts for a while now. It’s a version of something I wrote a while ago titled “The Room Where I Contemplated Suicide” that was about, you guessed it, a time when I thought about ending my life. Unfortunately, it got lost in one of my many blog updates, but I decided to re-write it because talking about stuff like this is important – to me and to people of all backgrounds from all places who have also dealt with things like this.

This is where I’ll offer a trigger warning for those who are sensitive to discussions on depression, suicide, self harm, and the like.

Dear Kaiti,

I hope this letter finds you well.

I bet you’re probably with Jordan, getting coffee at the Walmart gas station before listening to Coldplay in her car on the way to Mr. Faught’s first block AP World History class. Turn the music down a little for me, okay? I need to tell you something.

an open letter to 16-year-old me

I know you’re trying to sort out a lot of things in that funny little head of yours right now. A lot of things nobody knows about. On top of all the hormonal BS, you’re having a hard time figuring out exactly how you’re supposed to act/look/exist in the world. Things are stressful at home, and I know there are times when you wish more than anything you could just hug your dad. You just had your heart broken by a boy who will inevitably change the way you think about yourself, your friendships, and your relationships in general.

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. It’s okay to feel disappointed and hurt and a little broken, because if you don’t, those feelings will just come back to haunt you years from now. You will make mistakes with school, with dance, with friends, with family. You will keep making mistakes. It’s okay. Learn from them. They will make you stronger.

an open letter to 16-year-old me

You won’t realize it until you’re in college, sitting in a class, talking about feminism and relationships and what it means to be a woman. Something will click. And suddenly, all of the insecurities and fear and shame that have been suffocating you and dictating to you for what feels like ages will begin to melt away. You’ll still have a long road ahead of you, to be sure, but you will have a moment of clarity that will make you realize it all happened for a reason. I can’t tell you what that reason is, because I’m still learning it for myself, but it’s there. Just trust me on this one.

an open letter to 16-year-old me

There will come a moment in your near future when it will all feel like it’s too much for you. That it would be better if the pain you’re feeling would just… end. You’ll sit in your dark closet with your darkest thoughts and you’ll feel like it would be so easy. And it would be. But it wouldn’t be.

There are so many good things waiting for you, dear girl. There are magnificent people you’ll encounter and awe-inspiring places you’ll visit that will make you think, this is why I stayed. They will make you believe there are even better people and places and experiences waiting for you, so you’ll choose to stay again. And again. And again.

an open letter to 16-year-old me

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you will be okay. Pursue your passions. Remember the people and things that bring you joy. Take more pictures of cats and selfies hanging upside down off the foot of your bed. Doodle in your notebooks. Don’t let the bastards grind you down, at least not too much. Invest in those who will make time for you and make them a priority in your life. Let out your tears, but also remember to smile every once in a while. Things will be okay. You will be okay. I promise.

All my love,


PS – Do me a favor and figure out the whole eyebrow situation a little earlier, would you? You’ll thank yourself later.

To learn more about World Suicide Prevention Day/Week, click here.

To donate to TWLOHA’s campaign, click here.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

National Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741 in the U.S.



    • September 12, 2017 / 4:25 pm

      Hey, Nevena! Thanks for commenting! I love reflecting on the things in my life that have changed who I am, so this opportunity was definitely an interesting to think about who I was then vs. who I am now. If only I had actually had someone to say these things to me back then…

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