Letters To Myself

Book cover made by Movellas user Lily Anna!

*Completed standalone YA novel approx 57,000 words*

Winner of Nanowrimo 2017!

Seventeen year old Morwenna is struggling as a student in her school's sixth form. On top of that, she has to deal with a creepy house nearby with mysterious visions, her Mum expecting a baby and exploring privately her sexuality and identity. When things get rough at home, she decides to leave and start afresh but at what cost? Written in a mixture of diary entries/letters, poetry and prose, Letter To Myself tracks the life of a young girl over the course of a single year.

Only edited for spelling and grammar mistakes, plotline has not been edited. Suggested readership is 15+.

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10. 10.

Dear Myself,
First a haunted house, then a puppy abandoned in a field that I rescued and now a moment where I actually sit back and reflect on a life-changing event from my past. One which made me realise and shape me into who I am today. Everyone gets shy and nervous in life but for someone whose mood changes at the click of a finger and is easily triggered by hurtful words or actions, it is a moment that I can't easily chat about to other people but when it comes to writing about it, the memory lingers in my mind. The moment when I had my first panic attack aged just fourteen.

When you’re fourteen years old, you should be focused on your first year at school studying GCSEs rather than get worked up about how other people think or feel about you as a person. For me, that was easier said than done. Happening during a school lesson in the middle of the day and even when you did all of the homework and revised for the class tests, how does your mind play cruel tricks on you like that?

I felt ashamed, lost and alone and most of the time whenever I feel the symptoms of a panic attack, I still do. I haven't jotted down in here yet about the panic attacks I've had so far this year but they have happened to me and yes, the creepy blood from the house was one of the reasons I used for my most recent one. Thank goodness I didn't continue with Science after year 11!

Sitting at a class desk all on my own, textbook open to do some last minute read through of notes, I was feeling confident that I would do well and not let anyone or anything distract me. But all of a sudden, it came. It I use as the word to describe the panic attack. Sitting there shaking almost uncontrollably and trying not to attract the attention of the year group bullies was a challenge but what really spooked me was how disoriented I felt just watching the writing spin around on the page. My heart beating extremely fast and the fear that I was going to drop dead in a few seconds flashed across my brain.

I was very lucky that hardly anyone noticed. Back then, I hated being the centre of attention or causing a fuss. Now, I'm just staying true to myself and not letting anything get in the way of living. But as the panic attacks increased, the more I sought to find alternative ways of coping. Leia’s older sister Jasmine also got anxious over the littlest of changes to her daily routine but it wasn't until she was found to be collapsed over the side of her bed that the severity of it all really hit home.

I haven't really talked to my family about it. Obviously Mum has the baby, Dad has the computers to fix and printers to play around with and Damien in my opinion is far too young to know all about anxiety and feeling lonely. The only time I did try to speak up about it was when a teacher said it was all hormonal which really knocked my confidence. I did hate the way I look and the truth is that I still hate the way I look now but imagine if things took a really serious turn for the worst, how would you respond to that? I know if anyone close to me had a panic attack, then I would rush over to get some water and remind them that I'm there watching over and wait with them until it is finished.

I try to identify what triggers me the most when it comes to anxiety and through observation and writing down notes, here are the three things that spoke volumes to me the most:
1. Bumping into a person that I don't have good chemistry or memories with. They may try to peer pressure and influence you into making the wrong choices in life such as turning to booze in a bid to feel good about yourself.
2. Visiting a place that is surrounded by bad memories from my past. There's a shop close to my school where as a young student, I was approached by some older students who said I looked extremely ugly and said I should have plastic surgery.
3. Getting some negative feedback on my schoolwork or bad exam results. Those mock results from January honestly were horrific but surprisingly Mum and Dad weren't all that angry about them. I do know that a couple of students from my Business Studies class got Us and had their TVs taken away from them.

It breaks my heart whenever I see a kid from Year 7 crying in the corridor because the loud, rowdy classroom atmosphere gets too much for them. There's this pressure that you have to be socially confident and ready to take on everything that gets thrown at you. But not everyone is in that position and the ones that are in my view are lucky and brave people. Drama is a popular subject but personally, I tried to avoid it as much as I could because dressing up and trying to act out a scene is honestly more stressful than trying to revise for an English exam.

One of the ways I try to cope with anxiety is carrying around with me at all times, a tube of mints either polos or trebor extra strong and having one before the start of every class. It does relax me plus makes my breath smell fresh which is always a bonus. In the outside pocket of my rucksack, I make sure fresh water is always available in my bottle and gentle sips when needed. Outside of school, I feel the calmest in my room so when the feelings start to swell up inside me, I make my excuses and dive into the safety and warmth of my bed.

I do know for sure that my anxiety will always stay with me whatever happens to me and my life and any future travels I go on. But if you do want to know another thing, I hope that my writing one day will help another person in need of answers to their problems. Discover life and laughter again which isn't an overnight fix.

This was an honest, gut-wrenching thing to write in you Diary but at least you don't laugh cruelly at me unlike some other people do. See you again.

Yours,
Morwenna. 

 

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