A letter to myself before I became chronically ill


Dear Jo,

There’s something I really wish to ask you today.

Why can’t you stop worrying about all the insignificant things and realise how lucky you are? How much you have. And how loved you are.

Why can’t you learn to just be?

Just be you. Just be here. Just be in the present moment. Just be, without thoughts and worries. Without thinking about what you could be doing if you weren’t here. What you need to do later, tomorrow or next year. And just enjoy today, this moment.

Take a moment to breathe in the fresh air, the smell of the sea, the warmth of a hug and the love of those who never stop loving you.

When you get upset about small things, why can’t you take a minute to focus on all the good things around you?

Why can’t you slow down and realise how lucky you are and how much you have?

You probably wouldn’t believe me but what if I told you that one day things will change to the point that you’ll just be surviving from one day to the next?

That so many of the things you take for granted as you rush through your busy life will one day be taken away from you.

That you’ll miss being able to do things you grumble about and consider chores.

So on the days that you consider “bad” why can’t you stop and realise how many good things happened?

All these things which you’ll only realise you should have been grateful for when they’re gone.

And you probably also wouldn’t believe me if I told you that it would take having your life stripped back to the basics for you to realise that you actually have all you need to be happy: the love and support of Dermot, your family and friends.

So try to slow down. Try to stop worrying about everything. Try to realise how lucky you are and how many things you tend to take for granted.

Take time to enjoy the little things. Be grateful for everything you have.

And most of all try to realise that even though things can change in an instant, the love and support of those around you will never change.

And the truth is that nothing else matters. 

So if life gets tough – as some days it will – keep that in mind and know that you’ve got all you need to help you through.

Love always,
Jo x