... I'd tell my teen self.
1. It doesn't get better. Sorry, kid, but everyone lied to you. It doesn't get better, however, you do get stronger. You endure enough of the insults, you withstand enough of the comings and goings, you bear enough of the hardships, and pretty soon, those things will slide off of you like warm butter going down your throat. You won't really be immune to it, not really. Not completely. But it doesn't get you down as much. You don't cry as much as you used to, or hate as hard as you used to. You'll learn to let go of thoughts of revenge and vindication. You'll learn to laugh at other things and you'll be all the better for it. So, my little friend, endure.
2. Eat! You'll shed the baby weight in time. Don't worry that those girls who are trying to pass off as your friends are super skinny and gorge. They're peaking. And if you haven't met the 3 wonderful, quirky, girls who will soon be your best-est friends yet, hang tight. You're about to, and all 4 of you will have crazy fun eating and not worrying about your weight. You guys are gonna grow up skinny and sexy. Fact! So enjoy your food -- it is an on-going life-long affair.
3. Boys are idiots. I think this is a pretty well known fact, but in case they've fooled you into believing they aren't, let me clarify: THEY ARE. You will meet SO many guys, and a fair number of them will catch your eye, but don't be tricked into thinking they are more than what they seem, which is eye candy. No. They are JUST eye candy. You'll end up spending time and becoming friends with tons of them, and you'll even reject a good number of them, so yay you! In the end, you'll realize that you've held on for all the right reasons and you'll be proud of yourself. So from me, to me, here's a pat on the back.
4. Your alcoholism is a phase, your smoking is not. Ok, so you don't turn out to be the healthiest human being in the planet, so what? Eventually you'll put down the bottle and you'll be happy you did it. In fact, you wouldn't even miss it. You'll revel in the power given to the only sober one in a room full of drunks. It's hilarious and it gets you off. But here's some advice, since we both know you don't really love it, why not retire the bottle a little earlier? Trust me, it'll save you some pretty embarrassing nights that I really don't want to relive. Shiver. Ew.
5. You'll grow into yourself. And trust me, when I have, I'll let you know.