On Permission and Self-Care

Last night, I learned that depression took another writer. If you want to know what happened please visit Phil Brucato’s post titled: Silence or Violence: Logan, Suicide, and the Culture of Masculine Silence. If you’d like to contribute to Logan’s memorial fund, you may do so here. It’s not my place to talk about it other than to say that I think our (meaning all of us) exchanges online would be so different if we remembered there’s a person, not an avatar, on the other end of the screen. And, while I understand that depression killed Logan, we often forget we have no idea how important our words are, even online. If you are in a critical situation, please consider calling your doctor or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

This is what brings me to the reason for my post today, and it goes out to all of you who are suffering right now. As I am not a medical doctor (and your health or pain is not something I am remotely qualified to diagnose), please know that these are meant only as words of encouragement, love, and support.

Maybe you are flat broke, and you feel guilty about all the things you could have done to prevent your current situation—even though you’ve already done everything you can.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.

Maybe you were abused for a long time, and you didn’t realize that’s what was happening, so now you blame yourself because you didn’t figure it out sooner—even though you couldn’t have.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.

Maybe you fell in love, and your relationship didn’t go the way you wanted it to. Now you’re heartbroken, and you wonder if you’re worthy of being loved by anyone—even though you are.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.

Maybe you don’t fit in, because you can’t relate to anybody else around you, so you feel like you’re fundamentally broken—even though you’re not.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.

Maybe you feel like a fuck up, every day, because you feel you’re responsible for every thing that happens to you, like when someone frowns or when your coffee is cold–even though you understand you cannot control the actions of other people.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.

Maybe you hurt someone deeply in a fit of anger. Now you’re secretly punishing yourself, because you feel you’re not worthy of being forgiven–even though you are.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.

Maybe you feel like your body has betrayed you, and you wish you could do something about it without help, but you can’t and you still feel guilty like you did something wrong—even though you know in your head you shouldn’t.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.

Maybe you had to make a gut-wrenching decision, to establish clear boundaries you never thought you needed, and deep down you feel if you were just a little stronger you could’ve handled an impossible situation—even though you can’t.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.

Whoever you are, however you’re hurting, please know this: I may never know you, I may never meet you, but I can only reach you through these words.

I give you permission to be kind to yourself.



Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

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Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

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