Letter to My 22 Year Old Self

Dear Val,

You have made one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life marrying at a young age. Believe me, when I say, you DO NOT know everything there is to know about life, but your mother has a pretty good idea. Listen to her. You love this man but your definition of love and his definition differs greatly. A big part of him needs to learn how to love from you. Teach him.

You have to prepare yourself for the rises and falls that come along with marriage. If you are not strong and stand up for yourself as a wife and new mother RIGHT NOW, you will go through more mental and emotional pain than you ever thought possible. Don’t be afraid to confront what is making you unhappy. He has already begun to disrespect and loosen the marital ropes. Stop him by using your voice now. Never stay silent when you hurt.

You have a habit of taking pain in, letting it build up, then exploding like a ticking time bomb. Doing this over and over will make you physically ill. Stress will make you physically ill. If you want to change the course of your life from being ill, miserable and eventually unhappy then you must seek God and let go of your childhood fantasy of what is your idea of marriage. Your idea is not reality. He needs a strong, Godly woman to steer him away from the worldly things and the streets.

YOU can’t change him. Do not try. Only he can change himself. Whether he believes it or not, he has become an alcoholic and been consistently unfaithful. Lead yourself to the Lord. Then ask the Lord to lead him to God. Together you two can completely alter the crash course your lives are on now. Always communicate no matter what you are going through.

There’s no guarantee that you will not still become ill with fibromyalgia because of your childhood. But if you do, you will be equipped to fight. Please never give up on yourself! It will only lead to sadness, depression, loneliness, and addiction. If in fact, fibromyalgia still finds you, he is only at fault for the wrong he does and the stress he will cause, with no regard, behind his actions that exasperates your illness.

Love Always,


Below, explains what your life will be if you choose not to fight, do not become a strong Godly woman, give up, and do not stand up for yourself from the beginning.

You will have two months of what you think is marital bliss. Then you will experience hurt to your core time and time again. Your husband’s actions will make you believe you are not beautiful, you are a burden, you are lazy, you’re not enough, too plain, not hip enough, unable to fit in; you are not necessary, unloved, and unworthy of love, unworthy of anything. Unfortunately, you will believe all of this!

I want you to know that you are gorgeous, you’re more than enough, you’re perfect just the way you are, you fit in just fine, and you are worthy baby girl. Understand that what someone else thinks of you isn’t gospel. Stay in your head and keep your opinions of yourself high. You know what I mean by that.

You will endure years loneliness, and cry many, many tears out of your love for him. You will sink into depression and become addicted to pain and migraine medication. You will attempt suicide twice and have two nervous breakdowns. Your illness with be compounded with stress induced seizures.

You will experience betrayal in the worse of ways and still love him. Two years before the end, there will be an ultimate incident that shall, for the first time, make you lose respect for him. Your love is going to begin to waver. Like the first crack in a windshield, others will follow until it is broken beyond repair. He’ll be too busy growing out of love with you to even notice. Nine years will have passed.

By the time you decide to divorce, you are no longer you. Everything that made you who you were, you gave to him. Now, you find your self only describable as an empty shell of a woman. You will drive back home to Alabama, broken, used up, emotionally depleted, mentally unstable and sicker than you will ever be to date. But STILL, you hold on to the hope of the thought that you left with the best parts of him and yourself, your two children.

Heed my advice now. Get God in your life and as the foundation of everything you do. Do not put yourself through unhappiness or torture. Love is not supposed to hurt. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean he knows how to love you. You deserve better. Better may be a better him or someone new. You deserve a chance at complete happiness. Believe it or not, at this point in your life, as you are right now, you’ve never experienced it.

No matter what Val, never lose your love for you! Keep loving everything that makes you, you. That’s the only way to hold on to all those things inside yourself that were lost. You are beautiful inside and out. You are worthy Val! I let you down then, but I know if given a chance to do it all over again, we would do it differently. You saved him over and over for nine years, it was time to save you. Stop questioning that and completely let go!

Love Always,



Closure is often a necessary vice. I thought I needed to have a face to face conversation to express my feelings. Hopefully, through these words, I’ll have it now. Honestly, I forgave him years ago, so I don’t feel animosity toward him. With the anger gone from my spirit, when I see him, it’s nothing but love. I truly wish him happiness. And it feels good to exhale.

Valerie Collins
Valerie Collinshttps://mypoeticlifebook.wordpress.com/
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.


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Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler

Great story with a touch of sadness and life lessons. Thank you for sharing.

Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson

This was such a beautifully written article that carried so many powerful lessons for all of us. Life holds no promises for any of us nor did it or will ever. It was mesmerizing to read how you poured out your feelings about you at 22. Thank you also by the way for pointing out that there is nothing wrong with looking back at past stages of life while examining what we think we did right or wrong or could have done. Your writing style has so much beauty and strength to it. Please keep writing as you have a real talent for it.



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