Stephanie McCullough: A Letter to Myself



So I wrote this letter to myself a while ago and just found it. It made me happy/sad because I’m in a much different place now, but I felt compelled to share it. What I find profound about this is the prophetic timing of this letter considering the events that were about to unfold in my life.

I wrote that letter a week before I found my ex-boyfriend dead of a heroin overdose. It was also the last night I saw him alive.

I had already walked through so much and I was living under this incredible weight of crippling shame even though I wasn’t using drugs or drinking. This time of my life is in such a contrast with how I feel now and it overwhelms me.

God knew what I was about to walk through, and he made sure I got these words down on paper
He is so cool:

A Letter To Myself

Dear Stephanie,
Let me remind you that there is a light in you that shines on its own.
That inside you lies a beauty too magnificent to see or hear or touch,
an intangible energy that transcends this finite world.
Remember when you discovered that energy can neither be created nor destroyed?
It’s just always there, despite our disbelief.
It doesn’t die!
It shifts.
It gets diffused. It dims when you don’t feed it.

Remember driving E home the other day?
Remember the sun beams gleaming through the trees down Tuskawilla?
Regardless of your shame, the light was reminding you that you are good.
Remember the sunsets in Brooksville prison?
The sweetest way for God to tuck you in.
The frogs at Lowell flooding Charlie Dorm.
The stranger you met waiting for AAA tonight when you locked your keys in your car;
she turned into your friend.

Please remember.
Please accept this love.
Be sad.
Be scared.
Be alive.
Expose yourself.

In this moment of clarity, I realize I’ve done you a great injustice.
Put everything down that you’re hurting yourself with.
Please. I don’t want to hurt you anymore. I don’t want to be your prison.
Use your knowledge for good.
Feel your pain.
People love you for your true beauty.
Don’t deprive the world of it because you’re afraid of what it might look like.
Just let it happen.
I love you. Just let me love you.
I will not abandon you.

Four minutes until Christmas. God’s here. I’m here. Everything you need is right here.

About Stephanie McCullough

Stephanie McCullough is a wife, a mother, a student of Sociology at UCF, and a recovery advocate living in Orlando, Florida. She and her husband like to spend their free time outdoors with their son, Wyatt.

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