A Letter to a Friend

Dear Mel,

I just wanted to write and let you know how amazing you are.

I am more than aware how overwhelming can be that sense of dread and despair, where it seems like it really is you alone against the world. But in my own darkest hours it was you who made me realise that none of us are alone. Do you know what an amazing gift that realisation is? And what sort of an amazing person that makes you?

I know you have a lot on your mind right now, and that there are indeed a number of hurdles along the path ahead. But you’ve got this, I promise. And I’ve got you.

I’ve written probably too many times about how you have been with me through what were, for me, the roughest of times (although I don’t think I could ever stress this enough) – and if you think that I won’t be there alongside you, giving you a leg up for every single one of those hurdles; well then, my dear friend, you are one silly chum(!)

I will try, for once, to be brief. So here are a few quotes which I’d like you to please try and keep in mind.

if you were born with
the weakness to fall
you were born with
the strength to rise

– Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

The truth is, you haven’t fallen (like I suspect you may believe you have), but I think this is a nice thought to have up one’s sleeve, nonetheless. You, Mel, haven’t fallen – but you have risen – far higher than they or, dare I say, you, ever thought you would. And for that, I am proud of you, and you should be proud of you too.

I know people can make you doubt yourself and make you think that what you’re doing is wrong, but I promise you that they are the ones who are wrong. The simple fact – and I am going to be arrogant here – is that whoever they may happen to be; whatever form they may take; I assure you that I can craft words in a more persuasive – and, for what it’s worth, loving –  way than they can. They are shallow, cowardly and – as defined by their actions – inferior. You don’t need to worry about them – ever. I will talk them down and out of the park. They do not matter. You matter. And I will help you realise that.

At this point, I’d like you please take a look at Poppy dog, smile, and feel the warmth and happiness – which I know so defines you – trickle over, and soothe, your heart like a shy but beautiful tide.


I know you’ll be reading Matt Haig’s book, Reasons to Stay Alive, soon. It really is wonderful, beautiful, incredible – in fact, just about any and every positive adjective, really. Well, here are a couple of lines which I’m sure you’ve seen floating around the Internet, but hold true in every aspect of our lives, I think.

It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky, but – if that is the metaphor – you are the sky.
You were there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.

You are the sky. Everything else is but a cloud (albeit a dark one) and it will pass.

Just before he died, the comedian Bill Hicks wrote:

I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

With that in mind, I leave you with three tidbits.


We have always been good friends, but our troubles and traumas have brought us closer together than perhaps we could’ve ever predicted. And in spite of all the pain, for that I am eternally grateful.

I love you.


Remember when you guys bought me this book, and I read it aloud to you all?


The truth, I suppose, is that as much as loved ones may want to help, it is indeed down to you, the individual, to take those brave steps forward. And I know how daunting and frightening they can appear. But I promise you: you will not be taking those steps alone.

The truth is: you are amazing.

Finally, I will sign off in the only way I know how – with Less Than Jake lyrics.

So I’ll let you know
If you need, somewhere to go
I’ll be listening when you call
And I’ll be there if you fall off
If you need someone to believe in you
I’ll let you know, I will

I am always here, anytime.

Just call me.

Love Josh xxx


P.S. Please click here for a brief addendum.


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