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A letter to you

I’m not really sure where to start from, except to say that I see you, I think you’re doing really great, despite that heavy feeling in the pit of your stomach, and that you are appreciated.

How do I know this? Well, you get up every morning; whether you want to or not; you do what is needed to get everyone ready to face their days; no matter how hard you find it; you think and plan and juggle an infinite number of possibilities to find the best solution for everything to be held in balance (house, home, money) and ultimately you love your family and they you. There is little else that matters when life feels hard.

You may not keep your emotions in check all the time but that's a rarity compared to the number of times you hold it together and put their needs above your own. Don’t berate yourself for doing your best. It’s enough. It's absolutely necessary to keep things ticking along and that’s OK - just don’t think you have gone unnoticed and that your needs don’t matter - they do.

Don’t feel guilty for the time you give yourself, even if it's spent staring at the wall. Even if it feels like it is more than other people get. It’s still not enough to give you back the deficit of space you have accumulated over the recent past. Embrace it.

The ability of your mind to worry about things that have not yet or may not even pass is both your superpower and your downfall. You are being told not to dwell on things but also taught to plan for the worst. What if the worst will floor you? What if the worst is unfathomable to most people but may be your reality one day? Not today, that’s all you have to go on. Then let’s just plan for today.

So to everyone else: I’m sorry if I can’t remember what you told me yesterday or that I don't know what I’m doing on Saturday. I'm sorry that it's frustrating to have me explain how I’m feeling or not sure if I can deliver for the next deadline. I’m just planning for today. It’s likely that I’m free on Saturday, that deadline will be met and that I’m feeling good today, but I can’t be sure. I’m not sure of anything any longer.

To my not-so-long-ago-self - It’s OK that you thought there was a romantic sadness in losing someone and that people eventually moved on. It’s OK that you didn’t understand that life happened with or without your control and that you might not always be able to find a way to fix it. It’s surprising that you didn’t realise that existing took up energy and that you should be pleased if you did more. Please know, it’s wonderful that you were worried about the state of the world and how to make it a better place. It really is an asset that you had the space to see the best in every opportunity and spear every challenge with resolve and confidence.

It’s OK - the world needs people like you. I see you, but I am not near you. Your thoughts still run through my head but I'm too laden to follow you now. You will have to leave me behind and that's OK. I send love to you and I will learn to love me too.

To my new friends - I wasn’t always like this and I’m not quite sure who I am supposed to be any longer so bear with me and maybe we can find ourselves together.


Naz is a mother of three children. Oldest aged 5 and twins born 2 years ago. She is a SEN parent and carer, and works as a doctor in her spare time. Cafélias is launched in memory of her middle-child, Elias, who died in 2021 after open heart surgery aged 3-months.

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