To Maddie

Hi Maddie,

I want to start by saying, it gets better. I know, that's a cliche way to start a letter, but it does. That feeling you have deep inside you that something isn't right, it goes away! It won't be easy. It's going to be the hardest thing you have ever done. You're going to have conversations that scare the socks off you you. Your heart will be beating out of your chest. There will be in person conversations where you ramble for ever, working up the courage to say it. There will be those heart pounding moments right before you hit that "send" button on a text message. The seconds it takes to get that first response will feel like an eternity. It's going to be hard. And you know what, it's worth it.

People will surprise you with their love and support. Those fears that people will reject you, hate you, hurt you... they're all in your head. Sure, there are people who will try, but you are going to realize they don't matter. Those people have no impact on your life and your day to day. That feeling of pretending that's ever-present in the back of your mind. It will begin to fade.

You're going to start taking some meds. Their effects will be slow to notice, but you will start to notice them. Those changes you cry about late at night, they are going to start happening. To you! They will be slow. It's going to take time, but they will start. There will still be good days and bad days for sure. But those good days... they are so much better. And the bad, they will begin to look like your old good days.

But. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Embracing Maddie is still going to be scary. So lean on your support system. They will mean the world to you. That "wolf pack" will become so important in this crazy journey. Those few special people will teach you many thing, and let me tell you! You have a lot of things to learn. You're gonna laugh, cry, bitch and panic about everything there is to do and learn. It will seem overwhelming, but it's going to be dare I say fun!

Embracing Maddie is going to be work. There are so many more things to do to be at the bare minimum. Shave all the things... But as you get a routine they're going to become easier. Some days are still going to be overwhelming. That's okay. The feeling always passes. You emerge on the other side with a better understanding of what it means to be Maddie.

You're smart. You're beautiful. And I can't wait to watch you grow into the wonderful wife, mother, and friend you will some day.

I love you Maddie ❤️

Madison Jo Schipper

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