Back in August, we asked all wordsmiths to dust down their laptops and send us 'The Letter I Wish I'd Written.' Hundreds of incredibly emotive entries poured forth, and after much deliberating from the ELLE panel, we chose a winner, as well as four finalists. Read finalist Sonny Marr's letter below.
Congratulations! You’ve just successfully executed your first real break up, and now your only task is to resist the screaming urge to reverse the process, undo the damage and get back together. I’m going to try and help navigate you through the shock.
So its day one and you’ve chosen to curl up on the rug.
Thats okay, but remember that you’re skin is sensitive and pressing your face against it like that might actually give you a rash.
It sounds silly but you could get up off the floor now, and even stop crying for a minute or two.
Give yourself a break. It wouldn't do any harm. I promise.
In fact, you should go to the bathroom, wash your hands, and take a minute to just look at yourself in the mirror.
Blood shot eyes and swollen flesh.
Nothing new, you seem to be crying an awful lot these days.
You look awful.
You feel awful.
What have you done? You’ve just ruined everything, possibly made the biggest mistake of your entire life. What are you going to do?
Not helpful, keep looking.
Focus on yourself, on what you see.
Puffy, Sore and…
Is that excema on your neck? Right at the nape. Thats weird. Its on the other side too, behind your ear. Since when did you start getting excema?
Something else is off. You look oddly small, like a bird.
I’ll hazard a guess and say you’re what? seven stone? Less? probably less.
Jesus, when did that happen?
That’ll be all the stress.
It couldn't go on.
You did the right thing.
Wow, you really look weak.
You feel weak.
Weak from the late night calls, power plays, ultimatums. Weak from the last six months
When he went home for Christmas, when you applied for that job, when things started getting weird.
And thats not what you want. Thats not what a relationship should be, especially at your age, everyone keeps saying that.
And you know that. Deep down you know that.
You did the right thing.
Try not to think about it.
You should fall asleep early tonight, heavily until the morning.
Its amazing really.
Except for the morning’s initial, dreadful realisation that its really, truly over, you’ll begin tomorrow by thinking you feel fine.
More than fine,
You’re the finest anyone has ever been, ever.
Its like you said, the other night, you’ve already ‘grieved the relationship’.
Its time to move on.
You’ll go to the shops, buy food, and even consider redecorating your room,
The walls look so bare now.
Good old flatmates, taking down all the photos. That was really nice of them.
Together on holiday, birthdays, graduations, parties, festivals, autumn, winter, summer, spring.
No one wants to look at the old shrine when they’re a new woman.
A newly single woman
All the single ladies, all the single ladies….Right?
You’ve made it through day two.
Now, sometime around day three you’ll begin to contemplate becoming best friends with him, immediately.
What a good idea.
I mean, you both agree that the worst part of breaking up is losing your best friend right?
Its not because you miss him, not at all.
You’ve just realised that you are mature, nay evolved enough to shun society’s petty assumption that you cant be friends with your ex.
So you call him…
This is a bad idea. Everyone will tell you that its a bad idea, but by the time you believe them it will be too late. Trust me, I know.
Because its then that you actually realise that you’re not friends,
You’re not…anything anymore.
When this finally hits you, you’ll need more than just a letter.
You’ll need late nights and dog walks and weekends at home.
You’ll need to get messy, teary, get with a few of your friends.
You need to get fired, get drunk and have that one night stand.
Give up drinking, take up running, get a brand new job.
You need to feel bad, feel better and feel more like yourself.
Just so you know, I think you’re going to be fine.
Break ups aren't supposed to be easy.
You are about to hear this a lot,
But for now, just try to focus on today.