TW: Eating disorders, self-harm.
Yo hey hellooo,
I have been binge watching Ru Pauls drag race and it is legit the best damnn thing I am having a great time (whilst avoiding all assignments and pressing issues because avoidance is ma fav). So Ru is full of quoteables and really, just has improved my daily life apparently. In one of the episodes, Ru is having a lil chat with the contestant and they are talking about the years of self hate they experienced and how over time, they have worked to try and build and mould themselves around self-love and Ru said ‘Self love is a daily practice’ and I was like mhmm, isn’t that the truth. So it got me thinking this morning about my own journey to self love and now I’m at the library, so naturally avoiding some more so though i’d have a self lurveee share.
To be honest, I feel the phrase is thrown around a lot now and I see it quite often on social media and I’m not always too sure if it is completely genuine. I hope it is and I hope that everyone has the space to learn to love themselves but man it is not an easy ride and there are still the rare days where I break down about certain aspects of myself. To say I like or love myself everyday would be a lie and I don’t think we should expect that of ourselves at all, it’s tough not to give ourselves unrealistic expectations…I know in the past I have given myself many and then when naturally I haven’t reached them, have used it as a justification to further my self-hate.
We live in a society with a billion dollar diet industry forces body ideals on us, we can become consumed with images we see online of the perfect life; body, relationships, homes, jobs etc etc and although I am able to distance myself from that and see social media for what it is, I never used to and I can understand how it can have such a detrimental effect on people and their well-being. As people I believe we can have a natural tendency to compare ourselves to others, their journey and i’ve spoken previous posts about how we can link milestones with age, its so easy to get lost in what you think society expects of you and want to try mimic that to the ‘real world.
Ultimately, if we’re not then hitting these milestones, it will alter our perceptions of ourselves. I used to have a weird thing with my age and felt I always had something to prove, I always felt because I did things a little bit later that I had to try and be better and do more and be super person. Then I altered the way I viewed this whole ‘did things a little later’ because I didn’t do anything later. When you stop comparing yourself to others, there isn’t a timeline of a later than. There is just you and your own personal journey. Of course, this is way easy said than done and it has taken me forever and a day to get rid of that nagging timeline effect I had and learn just to appreciate everything I have done to this day.
It is also very easy to fall of the self-love bandwagon and feel like you have started all over again. You have spent pretty much your entire life having harmful negative thoughts about yourself. I would say I started really hating myself from a young age, maybe 9 or 10. I was chubby, had braces and had glasses, that partnered with my volatile childhood exacerbated self-hate. If we were to say I had bad thoughts about me everyday from then up until 26 (i think when I really felt a change in me) that’s 3650 days I have told myself I was no good or unworthy…87 600 hours of negativity swarming around. Imagine the work you have to try and do to reverse that? There’s going to be times when it slips back through.
I remember the days when I would look at myself in the mirror and even tell myself out loud that I was ‘fucking disgusting’ and ‘this has to change’ tearing away at every single part of me, wishing to fix it and willing myself into ‘losing the weight’ – this was when I was a much smaller version of myself and would weigh myself maybe 4 or 5 times a day, not eat, or purge if I did. I would be fine with putting every other toxic substance into my body but a carbohydrate??? lol pls no. It also seeped into hating my character, believing I was boring, unlikeable, a nuisance, too loud, annoying – really I thought I was just tolerated for the sake of it.
So…what changed then? It’s simple of me to say hey I used to hate myself and now I don’t but practically how did this happen.
So firstly, shifting my social media. The thing about social media is it is literally yours to control once you know how to do so. I unfollowed a lot of what I deemed to be unhealthy fitness stuff, namely just pictures of skinny tanned women with abs, my most fondest was an account called ‘skinny girls make graves’ – like what was that about really. I found ‘body-positivity’ and other pages such as (just to name a few if you wanted to check them out) @bodyposipanda @scarrednotscared @thewholequarter @alissbonyt @meghanaro @happihabits @happyandhealthy96. Once you start liking and engaging with positive content, it changes up your explore and feed pages. Not that I ever really look at that bit but when I do, it is normally filled with wholesome content i like – I also mainly follow vegan food stuff so I just wana eat and dance and wear a bikini eating a pizza. I threw my scales away – yes I may have re brought a couple of times but then I get rid again. I am the same size I have been since, I know because I still wear the same clothes, I exercise and lead a mostly balanced life diet – love me vegetables but also love me some junk days…is a journey for sure. But also,whilst all this was happening, I had begun reaching out for professional mental health support and like I always advocate, you are just one person and you are fantastic and great and can do amazing things for yourself, however…every avenue of support and help you can find, does make it a bit easier for you.
So on that note, there is an organisation called BEAT – who are charity in the UK who support anyone with an eating disorder. There are many different types and various steps you can take to cater to your own individual need so if you want to have a read and access some info online, I have linked them here. I want to say at this point also, that when it comes to eating disorders, we are even conditioned to what we think that should look like e.g. anorexia = incredibly skinny when that isn’t true at all. You can experience eating disorders at any size and your size and shape does not invalidate your experiences.
Now I know daily affirmations can sound cliche and shit, really I was hater of those stupid quotes ‘every new day is a day for change and sunshine and rainbows and shove it up your arsehole karen’ – but, honestly, loving yourself is a daily practice and you have to literally rewire your whole brain. It’s a minefield but every single thought (we have like 80000 a day or summin ridiculous) leads into your whole body and way of thinking. Everyday – or everyday when I can, I remind myself of everything I am proud of and everything I love about myself.
- I love that I am patient
- I love that I am caring
- I love that I am thoughtful
- I love my smile, (like i really learnt to love how it looks on my face)
- I love my hair
- I love my natural face and my with make up – thats been a huge journey for me and one of my toughest
- I love my sense of humour and how small things make me laugh, even when I am on my own
- I love that I am brave
- I love that I am determined
- I love that I can be a good friend, but i accept that this isn’t always the way and when I have depressive episodes, I can be neglectful BUT another but, recognising it is important
- I love that I try and educate myself on the world and want to try and help make it a better place, anywhere and everywhere I can (even though it can be disheartening at times)
- I love pretty much my entire body accept my ugly toes..I will never love them. Ugly ugly kick knack toes
I was going to say I love my scars, but I haven’t quite got there yet. I still have self-harm scars on the inside of my things and whilst I accept they are part of me, sometimes I can feel sad at how bad of a place I was in, to want to do harm myself in such a violent way. So again, self-love is a daily practice and you can not expect to get there all at once. You quite literally have to force it on yourself because negativity is forced on us left right and centre and when we partner that with mental health needs, it’s a recipe for self-loathing. My list started of with like one thing, and at the moment it is still not that big of a list compared to all the things there are about me, but starting with one is starting from somewhere and you gotta really either outloud or inside (i sometimes prefer the outloud because it’s me) scream that shit.
Every journey starts somewhere and you may not be ready for yours, @bethdrawsthings did a super cute animation of the confidence monster and it basically reminded me that patience is your key factor with allaaa dis loveee thing.
(featured pic of me having a blast on my mini Aus travels)