Ask Sam letter


To Sam

How do you start a letter?

On 1-2-1 chat they always suggest that you write a letter to the person you would like to tell about how you are feeling, wether that is mum, aunty, teacher etc. Which i would love to do, but i always struggle on how to start the letter, which usually ends up with me giving up.
Do you have any suggetsions on how to start a letter or any ideas on how to even structure it?!?!?!
Thank You xxxxx
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. Before I reply to anything you've asked, I think it's important to say how well you put yourself across in writing to me. Sometimes when you're writing about something difficult, it can make it hard to think of the right words, but I'm really glad you were able to write to me.

Starting a letter can be incredibly difficult - especially when you're writing personal things about yourself and your feelings. It's important to remember that there's no right or wrong thing to say. The good thing about letters is that you can make as many attempts as you like before deciding you're comfortable with it. You don't have to say everything and it doesn't even have to make sense at first. You can always change what you've written later if you want to.

You spoke about how when you struggle to start the letter, you usually give up even though it's something you really want to do. It sounds like you put a lot of pressure on yourself to get it right. Maybe you could start by thinking about (or even saying out loud) what you hope for by writing the letter.

Perhaps you want to write to someone so they know what's happening. You may even want that person to support you and help you to change things. Some people can want to write to someone but not know why. There's no right or wrong reason, but a good way to start the letter can be to say what made you want to write.

What else you say in your letter is completely up to you. It really depends on what's going on and what has made you write the letter. If you’re struggling to know how to structure your letter you might want to write some bullet points of the things you want to say. You could then go back and write more about each point afterwards.

It sounds like you did really well when you spoke to one of our counsellors and I'm wondering what it might be like to take some time to remember what you said to them. You don't need to remember everything, but even writing down a few of the things you said there can give you ideas of what you would like to say in the letter.

Remember that ChildLine counsellors are there all the time and you can talk about anything. You can talk to us on a 1-2-1 chat, by email or by calling for free on 0800 1111.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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