Kaitlyn Roberts | Art Jobs

Kaitlyn Roberts

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Dear My Love,

 

I don’t even know where to begin.

Did you know that to become a butterfly, a caterpillar first needs to digest itself? (Jabr). It needs to take in every flaw, imperfection, and absorb in itself entirely. Otherwise, it can’t become the butterfly.

Maybe that is what it means to grow. To become the butterfly, you must drink in all that you are; love yourself so much that you are unwilling to part with any piece of you.

You used to be so sure that your artwork was helping you. “It’s similar to therapy,” you would say. And in some ways it was. You can’t keep all that hurt inside of you. You have begun to burst at your seams. And the bursts will always happen in the most inconvenient of timing. These works of art gave you an escape from that for a little while. But the truth is, they haunt you.

When you create your work, your anxiety and suicidal ideation becomes the main focus; becomes the definition of you. The negativity and sadness surrounding it repeats itself as you keep track of when these things happen to you. All your work ends up doing is reminding you of the sleeping beast that stays within you; following you wherever you go.

This isn’t what you wanted.

You wanted to heal. You wanted to learn to admire yourself. And yet, the thought of loving yourself terrifies you.

Your anxiety doesn’t help either; spreading rumours about you without any mercy. “The fretty chatter that makes us so nervous and unsettled and unable to grasp the ‘present moment’ at the end of yoga classes when the instructor talks about it as though it’s something you can buy off the shelf,” (Wilson, 2).

I have never heard truer words.

According to everyone on the internet, there’s this thing called, ‘self love’ that will solve all of your problems. Apparently it’s so easy to do. All you have to do is love yourself and ‘poof!’ all of your issues gone, just like that!

So why is it so unattainable?

People talk about ‘self love’ like you can just order it online and have it arrive at your doorstep in 24 hours. Maybe they’re hiding the fact that they haven’t been able to attain it either.

For me, loving yourself means to be at peace as you accept every part of you, fully and unconditionally, including the things that you cannot change. It always sounds easy enough until you try. My love, I have seen you wrestle with panic attacks as your anxiety takes over and fills you with horrifying ideas. A dance between your mind and your soul. Your soul just needs to learn to lead.

Your soul is a beautiful gesture as it dances its way through life.

Your mind is just stronger right now. 

But you are not alone. We will get there together. I will be by your side fighting with you. 

You feel so vulnerable when you try to love yourself. You suddenly become aware of all the flaws and you begin to think back to all the times someone said something awful about you.

 

“You’re weird. Like fine half of the time, but annoying the other half when you talk too loud.”

So I stopped talking all together.

 

“You’re boring.”

So I drank until I wasn’t.

 

“I think you could look as hot as her if you followed this diet plan.”

So I starved myself.

 

These people didn’t even realize the effect that their words would have on you: still don’t realize. But every time you talk, every time you drink, every time you eat, you remember their words and suddenly want to disappear.

Anxiety doesn’t allow you to forget those things. And that is the hardest part about loving yourself; standing up for yourself; telling yourself that those people are wrong during the times that you believe they are right.

I can’t wait for you to experience a day when you can stand up and proudly say “I am beautiful inside and out.” And mean it completely.

I can’t wait for the day when you can tell someone they’re wrong when they put you down. The day when you can go to an interview and mean it when you tell them that you are the most hardworking badass that they will ever employ. The day you forget about the sleepless nights you had thinking about all the mistakes you made that day. The day when you can love yourself so completely and honestly that when you look in the mirror, you sigh with a smile as the weight on your shoulders has been lifted.

I can’t wait for you to become the butterfly.

 

Yours truly,
 

 

Your Secret Admirer

 

Works Cited

Jabr, Ferris. “How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly?” Scientific American, 10 Aug. 2012.

Wilson, Sarah. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful. Dey Street Books, 2018.

a panic attack arising.
a panic attack arising.