Hi guys, I’m back.
I’m going to leave the trip re-cap for some light weekend reading for you, because today I have another topic I’ve been thinking about that I want to share my thoughts on.
I would dare say everyone is familiar with self esteem issues. I don’t think there’s a single person in the world that can honestly say they wouldn’t change a thing about themselves – either their personality/looks or a combination of both. Even seemingly overconfident or conceited people often hide behind that front in order to disguise very strong complexes and self esteem issues.
The truth is, no one in their heart of hearts believe they’re perfect. The difference is that some people are able to accept that fact and move on with their lives, while some of us do our darnest to change it. We push and push and push for self betterment; chasing that dangling carrot of perfection. There’s nothing wrong with some healthy motivation for self improvement, but the problem with some of us is that this process brings about increasing dissatisfaction for the person we are right now.
I for one have had problems with self esteem issues for a long time. Ever since I hit teen years I had various complexes about myself – my personality, looks, abilities. I was extremely insecure about myself and had a hard time finding my place in my surroundings. This lack of acceptance for who I was led to depression and pushed me away from others, which caused m led to further alienation. This process continued as a vicious cycle for quite some time. Then I went through an abusive relationship that further enforced these negative emotions about myself. Actually part of the reason I stayed in that relationship for so long is because I honestly believed I didn’t deserve better, that this was the best I was going to get so I might as well learn to be happy with it. This, along with other factors in my life were the perfect conditions for an eating disorder to develop. The constant voices in my head putting me down, telling me how I was worthless and good for nothing and that I deserved to be punished in any way possible destroyed any shred of self-esteem I had. I got to a point that I didn’t care about what happened to me, because I hated myself so much that none of it made a difference to me anymore.
I think the hardest thing during this stage of my recovery is learning to accept and love myself again. Most of the common issues associated with eating disorders have been already dealt with, and this is the most formidable challenge I’m faced with right now. I realized this after my trip to visit my friend. We spent a few fun days together, which involved a lot of doing what “girls do best” (i.e shopping). Although the only things I bought were majorly marked down and quite cheap, on the way home I was hit with an incredible wave of guilt. The same guilt I used to be hit with when I ate more then I had planned or indulged in a “forbidden food. It was at that moment I realized that the two were tied together, that my ED was about more then just controlling my food. There was a whole mentality I would have to change in order to fully recover. In order to be truly free I would have to learn to love myself again.
I know this process will take time, it may take years before I learn to see myself the way others see me, the way I used to, before all this madness started. But every long journey starts with taking the first step. And I’m taking that step today.
I’m starting a new 30 day challenge, and I want to invite those of you who want to to join me (you can just do it for a week, 14 days or whatever works best for you). Each and every day I am going to do something nice for myself. I am going to learn to treat myself with the same respect and care I would a loved one or close friend. This daily “treatment” can be something as simple as taking an extra long hot shower, or getting a hair cut, or choosing to take some time off instead of working till I drop. It may mean buying something I like once in a while, or exercising if I feel like it, and not exercising if I don’t. In short I’m going to try to treat myself like a person again, not a machine that only needs fuel and minimal amounts of rest in order to run. At the end of each week I will be posting what I did each day, for joint accountability.
I’m not going into this thinking it will be easy, because I know my mind will scream at me that I’m being lazy, self-indulgent, selfish or wasteful. But these are all lies because as hard as it is to believe this right now I am a priceless creation, a person that has incredible amounts of potential and I have a lot to offer the world. I am worth it, and so are each of you. Who’s with me on this?
See you all over the weekend with a trip recap. Remember to do something relaxing to kick off the weekend 😉 And dare to love yourself!