Recently I received an email from another chronic illness warrior Nay who had heard about what we do here at skindeeply. Nay suffers from the autoimmune disease Lupus. She explained how she was a literature teacher back in Brazil so self expression and writing in her own language was her forté but she has found it difficult to properly express herself through English which has impacted her self-esteem. As we emailed back and forth she told me about a letter she wrote to her younger self which was published on a Brazilian blog. Nay had previously translated her article from Portuguese for an English class which I then provided simple editing to for a beautifully written and heartfelt piece which you can have a read of below.
Letter to me: If you could give any advice to you as a teenager, what would you say?
Dear 15 year old me,
I would like to start off by saying these two things: wear more sunscreen and keep on doing what you are doing, our future is beautiful!
In our future we will develop an autoimmune disease, Lupus, and in our case the sun is our
biggest enemy. We will get some marks along our body and face. We will be insecure time and time again and ask ourself questions like “how can someone love us?”. For quite some time we will wake up before a date and apply makeup to hide the little spots on our face.
But take it easy, there will come a time that you will insist on going on a first date without makeup so he can know immediately who you are and you won’t prolong hiding those insecurities for another second.
You are beautiful at age 34 and that is not even your best quality, you cook very well too and you do this to take care of your friends, it will be your special way to say that you love them the most. You will leave home at age 15.
Adry is the person who will be there for you most of time, you guys will live together in a very special house. You will laugh many times and cry other times, share relationship problems, dreams and disappointments. He will be your family so please, be patient with him and remember that you are not always right.
You will be fine.
So many others friends will come along to stay in your life and they will be in part
responsible for the person you’re beginning to build. Ah! accept Pris' invitation to go to the cinema, after the first "yes" you will never know how to say "no" and it will be so good (I have so many names for you).
You will meet Lázaro at work and you’ll live together many times in various places. One day you will be walking the streets of London like home. We did everything that we wanted to do, we had no regrets. And pay attention to this, he will leave us sooner than you can imagine.
I’m sorry but I need to say he won’t stay in our life for long, or in this world. Your last
words to him will be “we’re family, love you”.
I can only conclude that you are special, this can be proven by how many good people you have beside you.
Relationships for us will be a disaster for a while. I won’t say names but you’ll have a relationship in which you will fall in love quickly and it will end badly. You will have too much pain and you’ll need leave everything behind you: the house, the job, our family and friends. I wish I could be there to help you handle these dark times, I need you be strong because this suffering will be fundamental in assisting you to winning the world.
You will suffer but you will develop the ability to transform pain into a trampoline (which is something that I love about us) you won’t allow yourself to suffer for too long and will use the pain as a pretext to get to know the world and then you’ll meet many interesting people.
I promise everything will be fine.