An open letter to 2017

Dear 2017,

I am writing to you because, on this day, I am crying for the very first time of 2018. I have been feeling happy for two weeks and now, all I can feel is emptiness and tiredness. Maybe it’s because I am not feeling well that I can write this letter, or maybe it’s simply because tonight I am inspired – anyway, I needed to go back to my year and see what truly happened.

You started great. I was in Dublin with my best friend and two other friends. I came back home on the 1st of January after a very tiring flight but I was happy. For the first time, someone also told me they liked me. And a boy hit on me in the streets, in Dublin. I felt… desirable. And it had never happened to me. I never had a boyfriend, never even really had boy friends, and now people seemed to look at me.

And so, I had a crush. I don’t know when exactly but he liked Star Wars and Community and Marvel and pretty much everything like me. He asked me if I would like to re-watch the last Star Wars movie with him, Rogue One, and I fell for him. Not right in love, but something close. I remember calling my best friend and telling her about my day and very random details such as “He asked me if I wanted to go to Starbucks first and I liked him even more because of it” or “I loved the comments he made about Star Wars while watching the movie”. Starting from this day, this crush was all I thought about.

But life wasn’t only about boys and relationships. I had to go back to university, to my new studies and to my job. I had to work on my Instagram account which I just created. I had to start writing this novel I kept talking about since I was a child. But life somehow became oppressing and made me feel weird. I didn’t realise it right away but I still remember starting to feel a bit more down everyday. It started as nothing until it finally became something.

As I was starting to feel bad once again, my life changed once and for all. Never in a year so many things happened to me. I met new people, such as Lucie and Morgane who are now two of my best friends. My Instagram account grew… big, and with it came opportunities. Publishing houses were talking to me, even my favourite one. And if you don’t know, I even started working for Oftomes by handling their Twitter account. Things were looking great from the outside and I had every reasons to be happy. Except I wasn’t.

I remember trying to be, though. I remember going out, a lot. 2017, you have been the year I drank the most. I drank to feel happy, loved and welcomed. I drank almost every weekend and started to feel what is was to be drunk. And then one day, I threw up. And another one, I got a real hangover. But it didn’t stop me because I somehow needed to feel this happy, even if it wouldn’t last.

And so I did try to be happy. Next to drinking, I actually went to the movies a lot, went back to concerts. The funny thing, or not, is that going to concerts used to make me the happiest but ever since the terrorist attack that happened in Paris, it started to make me very anxious. I knew people who were there and everytime that I go to a concert now, I have to stay close to the exit and I keep thinking about it. But anyway, I did go to some concerts and I discovered new songs and I read a lot and I felt pretty someday and I saw my friends and I travelled and I went to museums and I met my favourite author and I bought my ticket for Hamilton and I went to Disneyland and all. But apparently, it wasn’t enough.

I remember perfectly the day I understood that my cyclothymia was messing with me for real once again. It was this summer, as the boy I liked, and who said he liked me as well, told me he actually had a crush on one of my best friend that I, as an idiot, introduced him to. For some reasons, my best friend was with me at this moment and I got to cry in her arms and stayed there until I fell asleep. I blocked him, told him to leave me alone and spent the night watching this special video of Tom Holland which make me always feel better. Although this time it didn’t work.

I was leaving for London the day after that and didn’t have time to feel sad. Lucie and my best friend were with me, I was going to meet my favourite author, I was going to finally visit the city that I always dreamed about. But my anxiety came in to play and made me feel terrible for most of the time. Many things happened during this trip and I was left sad, empty and tired.

Ever since this day, I knew I felt depressed once again. I knew I was back at it, no matter how hard I tried to survive ever since my last suicie attempt. And if you want to know the truth, 2017, you have been the year I started cutting myself once again. You have been the year I have been thinking about death and quiet, and it freaked me out.

Because of that, I decided to say the truth to someone. And that someone was my diabetologist. I sobbed in her office the minute she asked me, naively, “How are you today?”. We talked and we wrote a letter for me to see a psychiatrist once again who is specialised with my mental illness and food disorder. I was glad I called for help, but I was still feeling poorly.

And so I survived. I waited for 2018 to come, for me to leave this year which tried to break me, to kill me even. And it’s funny because most people don’t know about it. I became an expert in making people believe that I am actually happy because sometimes, I am. Sometimes I laugh and smile and actually feel lucky to be alive. And so I show this because I want to be known as the girl who smiles, the girl who makes people laugh and feel better about themselves when in reality, I wasn’t her and I was mean to myself and sometimes to others.

A famous quote have helped me to wait for 2018, which is: “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it you’ll never make it through the night.” Those words pushed me to do better, to be better. And one day, I realised that despite everything, I loved myself. No matter how hard I was, I loved myself.

2018 came after that, starting with the worst hangover of my life but mostly with happiness and love. We are only the 13th but I have already done so much. I came back on Youtube, started writing again, went to London to see Hamilton and to go back to the HP studios, saw my friends, saw a few movies. It is going to be a good year, but I also know that I am waiting for this psychiatrist to answer me and that I am still feeling bad.

Despite everything, 2017, you taught me something. You taught me that I was strong, loved and beautiful. You taught me that my mental illness wasn’t who I truly am, even though it is a part of me. That I am my own person and that I can make it. You taught me that yes, I am sad, but I am actually going to make it.

Tonight, I am crying and feeling terrible. But I also know, for the first time, that it is okay. That I am allowed to cry and to be sad. I should let myself heal but mostly feel. And I guess this is why I am writing this down.

The truth behind 2017 is that I have been feeling depressed and have thought about leaving for good. But the truth behind 2018 is that we are only two weeks in and I never wanted to live more. I want to be able to feel sad without worring too much. I want to be happy and laugh but also cry and be angry and jealous and mean and nice and caring and dangerous and adventurous and more. I want to live and I want to let my emotions speak, I want to hear them and let them out for real.

So indeed, hope is like the sun. And I’ll never stop holding to it once it’s dark outside, for 2018 will be the year the day’ll come back.

10 thoughts on “An open letter to 2017”

  1. Hey Clara
    you may not recognize me, but I am book_in_a_shelf on instagram. I decided to leave you a coment under your post here on the blog instead of trying it via instagram because I wanted to let you know that I – after taking the time to read this – can say that I can relate to what you’ve written. Of course I am an entirely different person and I didn’t go through what you did last year, but I too have a mental illness. I must honestly tell you that reading this letter had me on the verge of tears, Clara. You are so brave, and you are an inspiration to me and so many others. I was so happy to read about the part where you said that you cried and you felt okay with it. Holding back your emotions isn’t going to make you feel any better and those who made you believe that crying is not okay should not have that kind of power over your life.
    And I am very happy that you decided to share this piece of your thoughts because this is how I cope with my problems and it was good to see that you’ve found a way to let your thoughts go. I write 3rd person stories about myself and let other people read them. I don’t do it for them though, and I wouldn’t need to put them in a place where people can see them, and where they – like I am doing it right now – share their thoughts about yours. I do it because writing things down makes me let go and it makes me feel better – and frankly, the Internet is just a place to dump my thoughts in. I hope writing this has helped you.
    I hope that you will be brave and that you will continue to inspire others. You are a kind person, Clara, and I admire you for your strength.
    You deserve to find happiness, even if the way is rocky. And if you don’t find happiness, happiness will find you.
    Lots of love
    Käthe

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    1. Käthe,
      I can’t thank you enough for this comment. It warmed my heart and means so much to me. I am so sorry to know that 2017 has been hard on you too and that you suffer from a mental illness as well, but I know that you are strong and able to do anything! Again, thank you so much for your words – it means the world to me. You deserve all the love in the world.
      Sending you the biggest hug,
      Clara x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your reply Clara! 2018 started out rough for me, especially because school is stressful and my boyfriend broke up with me because he suffers from his own mental health. But as of the beginning of April, I’ve finally found time to pursue my hobbies and take care of myself again, and I’m going strong despite the fact that life is rough right now.
        I find it strange how I can hide my own problems behind other people’s problems, but it’s always been like that. Before my boyfriend broke up with me at the beginning of March, I was much more focused on helping him be strong and the moment he (unfortunately) decided to leave me, nothing made sense anymore, and ever since then, I find happiness rarely, but if I do, I find them in little things. Despite all that, I’m content with the fact that not everything is all smiles right now, and I think that’s mostly because I am growing, and learning to accept that I should be important to myself as well as I’m learning to love myself again.
        I turned 17 a few days before I first commented on this post, and after that, I barely set foot on my blog again, that is why I’m only seeing your reply now.
        I know that, if I had seen this a month ago, my reply would have been different, but here I am, writing exactly these words and being satisfied with them. Life is ups and downs, and I’m sure that at one point in this year, I’ll be going up again.
        Lots of love
        Käthe

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      2. Käthe,
        I can’t express properly how proud I am of you. I may not know you, but I am. You seem to be so strong, I can only admire that. I’m sure that you’ll be just fine and that life will somehow be easier on you at some point, because you truly deserve to be happy. I am so sorry for everything that happened, and I hope that you’ll keep being this strong and that your ex boyfriend will also get better. I am sending you a lots of love and the biggest hug ever! Thank you also for trusting me with all of this!
        Love always,
        Clara

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I like to believe that yu can find out more about a person by what they write about and how they write rather than talking to them. – That’s why I love to read!
        My ex messaged me this morning and we’ve been talking properly for the first time in a week, he’s getting better and as I said before – I’m still going strong.
        Sending hugs x
        Käthe

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  2. Thank you for sharing this with us 💕 I love this quote too, it’s really powerful and inspiring…
    My 2017 was not so great either but teaches me what I want to be/feel/don’t feel/have/don’t have in my life in 2018 (at least)
    Have a nice Sunday 💕🙏🏻

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  3. You are so brave – not only to write all of this down, but also to publish it. I’ve gone through a lot of this as well as you did (and probably still am tbh). Just want you to know that you’re not alone. I love your pictures, your sense for books, for aesthetics, for music, for writing. I love what you’re doing here. As far as I can tell you’re on the right track. We both know that it’s not going to be easy but you’re strong. You’re a fighter. You’re, most important, loveable. Don’t give up x

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    1. Ever since I posted it, I have wanted to delete it a million times because it’s so personnal and I’m afraid the said boy would find it BUT I won’t because I know how important it is to talk about all those things. So THANK YOU for your comment and your words – they mean the world to me. I won’t ever give up, thanks to you all. And if you ever need someone to talk to, you can come to me.
      Lots of love,
      Clara x

      Like

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