1. Write your story. Start wherever is comfortable for you. Maybe it was a relationship, time frame, or specific event that really changed your life. You can edit, organize, and re-write later. Don’t avoid it just because it is hard to think about. Don’t try to block it from your memory. You are who you are because of what you’ve been through, and it has helped to shape you into who you have become. So sit down, relax, and start writing. You never know where it will lead when you open yourself up to your own memories.
2. Don’t be afraid of your emotions. It’s okay to bleed. Your emotions are what make you real. I know you spend so much of your time wearing a mask and feigning composure. Let go of that and just see what happens. The past might become clearer when you stop avoiding and start listening.
3. Look for others who share your experiences. Whether it be a death of a loved one, a relationship gone wrong, or just a general struggle with getting through life and growing up, I promise you aren’t the only one going through it. Talking about it to others can give you a stronger sense of community, and can lead to advice about how best to move forward that only people who have been there can give.
4. Talk about it to someone who will understand. They don’t have to know everything, and don’t feel pressured to expose your deepest secrets. Open up to someone you trust, or someone who has been through it with you. They don’t need to be able to fix things, or even know what to say. Sometimes you just need someone who will listen and not judge.
5. Accept, and move on. You can’t change your past. You also can’t run away from it. Now that you’ve faced it, understand it, and have opened up, you are better equipped for the future. It won’t always be easy, and it might take time. That’s okay. Give yourself the time you need, and then when you’re ready, forgive them, forgive yourself, and push past it so you can proceed to live the life you want.