My Confessions: Body Hate

I think I might be addicted to hating myself.

It’s a weird thing to say, and it’s a weird way to word it, but that’s genuinely the only way to simply say it. I try so hard to help people accept who they are and accept the things they see and cry about when they see themselves, but it’s because I know what that feels like.

I know what it feels like to look in the mirror and feel my heart fall in my chest because the body in front of me isn’t what I’ve been told is something beautiful. I know what it feels like to touch my body and feel such a strong sense of disgust for something that I can’t get away from. I know what it feels like to be trapped inside a body that I feel as though I’ve been taught is like a curse no one should have.

I want to help people though that, but at the same time, I want to help myself. I need to help myself.

I shouldn’t have an overpowering thought that’s calculating how little I can eat in a day that would make me skinny without people thinking I have a problem.

I shouldn’t have this delusional thought that because my stomach is growling, I have a sort of control over my body.

I shouldn’t have the constant thought in my head as to what I should be doing to make the grossness I feel all over my body disappear.

But most importantly, I want to be able to eat food. I want to be able to look at it without think as to what part of me it’ll stick to. I want to be able to eat it without feeling an urge of tears because I like the feeling of being empty.

It’s not okay. It’s not okay for me to feel like this. It’s not okay for anyone to feel like this. These thoughts are the things that destroy you, but no one can really see it happening. You are the one destroying yourself, but you are also the one that is begging for it to stop.

I hate that I feel like this. I hate that other people feel like this. I hate that it has become so normal to feel like this. And I hate that it’s so hidden when you feel like this.

I’ve been trying for years. I’ve been trying to change my mindset on this completely, but it’s not easy. It’s so hard to try to love yourself when you’ve spent so long hating every single part. I don’t know if I’m making any progress. Some days, I take 5 steps forward, but other days, it’s like a car hits me and I go flying 10 miles back.

I’m not giving up on this. I fully intend to overcome this; to overcome myself. I truly think it’s possible and I don’t want other people who feel like this to think that it isn’t.

A Letter to my Younger Self

Life is hard. It beats you up. It leaves bruises on your skin that no one can see by just a quick glance at you.

But why am I telling you that? I know you already know that. I know what you’ve been up to. I know you feel like your heart is being ripped from your chest. I know you’ve been leaning against the wall of the bathroom holding back your sobs because you don’t want anyone to know you’re as broken as you are. I know you cried tears to the ceiling of your bedroom every night and hoped for a different outcome than what you got.

Let me tell you a few things I’ve learned, though. Life has shown me a lot since I was the young age of 13 and I know it’s bound to teach me so much more than I know now at the age of 18.

You’re cracked, not broken. There’s a difference. I know you feel completely unstable and like you’re one pebble away from crumbling into a broken pile of glass, but you’re not. There’s going to be a bunch of pebbles kicked your way, quite a few stones, and even a few boulders that you can’t seem to get away from. You’ll get through each one. You make it to see another day. You have more strength than you think.

Death is going to take a few people from you. When it happens, you’re going to feel like it reached its hand into your chest and ripped a piece of your already bleeding heart. When you find out, you won’t be able to find your words. Your mouth will open but you won’t be able to get anything out for a while. You won’t really know what to do with yourself. And then you might cry yourself to sleep for a while. But the pain becomes less agonizing over time. It’s so gradual, you don’t notice, but it happens. I don’t know if the pain of losing someone will ever completely disappear.

You’re going to get your heart broken. You’re naive and I don’t think you know it yet. Please don’t fall for words as much as you’re prone to. It’s not going to happen just once, and I know it hurts. Some heartbreaks hurt more than others. But I think that’s what happens when you trust people and their kindness more than you should. You have broken pieces in your heart, but you can’t fill those with other people. You can give someone so much of yourself, but that doesn’t mean they’ll give you any part of them. You’re going to hit a point when you give up letting people in, but please don’t do that. Locking people out also locks the sadness in.

You’re going to hate yourself for a long time. I can’t tell you how to fix that, because I’m still working on that. I know you feel like an outsider. I know you hate that. I know you feel like you have to change every part of yourself to get people to like you. I know you cry about it. But not eating won’t fix anything. It makes you feel in control of your body but it makes you anxious. It makes you more aware of the things you hate about yourself. No one else really sees any of that the way you do, by the way.

Finding comfort in a blade isn’t comforting at all. Opening yourself up doesn’t let any of the bad out. It makes you paranoid. Somehow, you get addicted to something so destructive. People care about you. People don’t want to see you that broken. They love you even if you don’t think they have a good reason to. It’s hard. It’s so so hard. But you’re going to find comfort in something that isn’t a lifeless piece of metal. You’re going to get better. You have to believe that or it won’t happen.

Like I said, life is going to beat you up. But it won’t kill you if you don’t let it. You make it to year 18 when you lived every year not thinking you were going to make it to the next. Being able to look back on that will make you cry, but it will be the kind of cry that has a little smile going along with it.

Learning From Love

When I was little and I heard the word “love”, I used to imagine fairytales and princesses and princes and happily ever afters. My young five year old mind thought it worked like magic, and that you met your match and you just knew; forever was always a thing. I guess you can say I was a little naïve.

Things happened as I grew older.

I learned that people don’t just pop into your life. It’s more of a search. Actually, it seems like a word search with symbols of a language you’ve never seen.

I learned that when you find someone that you think is a match to the piece you’re missing in your heart, you’re not always the match for theirs.

I learned that heartbreak is real, and it’s not as easily describable as the books make it seem.

I learned that people leave. You can basically open your chest and hand them your heart, and you’re trusting them to handle it with care. But that’s the thing about trusting people, you’re giving them the ability to know every part of you, but you’re also giving them the chance to run away and smash it with a hammer. And yes, that’s exactly what it feels like.

I learned that people that fall in love, fall out of it, no matter how long that love has occupied every inch of your mind. I don’t quite understand this, but it’s the most terrifying thing to me.

I learned that heartbreak is so much deeper than an emotion: it can be physical. It can feel like your heart is so demolished that it doesn’t work properly anymore. It’s like air isn’t enough to keep you alive, because that person took the working parts with them.

I learned that you can be broken by more than just a significant other. It can be family or friends. And sometimes, just witnessing heartbreak can break a part of you, too.

I learned that the world keeps moving no matter how much you feel like you’re cracking. It keeps turning and you have to take a break to pick up as many pieces of yourself as you can but you always have to get up and keep going. It’s not stopping.

But the truth is, no matter how much I learn, I still believe in fairytales. I always will. Maybe I’m too naïve. Maybe I’ve been broken too many times and I’m delusional. I will always believe you have to experience the heartbreak. You have to know what it feels like to be so empty because someone ripped you apart without even touching you. You have to feel like you’ve fallen into the deepest pit of sadness for a little while. Because without that, you won’t know what happiness really feels like.

Broken by Life

Broken

When you see that word, what do you think of? What do you feel?

Broken. Like when when a baseball hits the window and it shatters instantly.
Broken. Like when you drop a glass on the floor and it leaves a crack, but over time, that crack takes over the entire cup before it’s eventually unusable.
Broken. Like when you were a kid and you got a new toy, but you abused the directions to the point that it just stops working the way it was intended to be used.

I never like to think of us, as people, as objects, but I think it’s an easy comparison.

Some people have such strong personalities. They can take criticism and speculation of others, and it’s like it just rolls right off of their skin. It’s as if it doesn’t phase them and they are able to continue their days as if the comments didn’t exist. But time deteriorates everything.

There’s some people whose skin isn’t so tough. It’s as if the outer layer to their heart and mind is made of tissue paper, at times. Any critical comment seems to be able to break through that sheer barrier and those words can bounce around in their head for any length of time.

These are two very different kind of people, and I think we all can filter ourselves somewhere between these variations. But no matter where in line you stand, not one of us is invincible. We all have breaking points.

We all have soft spots. You know, things that when you get on the topic of them, you get an excess wave of emotions, whether it be passionate, excitement, or sadness.

We’re all getting broken. We’re all being worn down just by living. And I think the fear of breaking is what holds people back from really experiencing things. I know that’s what it’s doing to me.

Not one of us can live this life without getting broken by something. But you know what? Broken pieces can be fixed. Windows can be repaired. Glasses can be cleaned up. And toys can be taken apart and put back together again. No, it’s not going to be brand new. No, it’s not going to be as perfect as it was to start with. But it’s as good as it can get.

That’s how we have to start living. Don’t be afraid of breaking, be afraid of not living enough. In the end, hopefully we’ll all be 80 and wrinkly together and you’ll be able to see that everyone has some battle wounds. That’s the result of life.

So don’t look at that hole in your shield as a sign of you losing, look at it as a sign of living.

You Rule You

Depression is a weird thing. I think it’s mainly because it’s so misunderstood. 

You either suffer from it, you are kind to it, or you’re completely blind to it.

There are the people that know the pain of it. They know what it’s like to not want to get up each day. They know what it’s like to keep moving through each day, hour, minute, second, but just feel like you’re just there. You’re not really anything of substance. Of course, there are many difference faces of depression and different things that can cause it and different sub emotions that make each case individual. And that’s what makes everyone feel like they’re stranded on a planet, millions of miles away from other souls, without anyone to rely on.

There are the people who don’t suffer, who arrogantly deteriorate the minds of the people who suffer. Just because they don’t know what it feels like to feel trapped within yourself, they just assume that the feeling doesn’t exist. To someone who suffers in this way, it’s not only degrading, but also infuriating. There is nothing worse than seeing someone make fun of something that you didn’t chose to deal with. There’s nothing more upsetting to see someone not only see the pain in your eyes, but act like it’s not even real.

There’s a truth to it. Everyone that suffers from depression can sympathize for other sufferers. If you suffer, even if it’s something other than depression, you shouldn’t be trying to destroy them more than they’re already destroying themselves. Actually, even if you don’t know if someone is suffering at all, you shouldn’t try to break them just because you don’t know where their cracks are. 

I truly believe that if a sufferer of depression, or any mental illness, is confronted with someone just like themselves, they shouldn’t encourage the behavior of tearing themselves into pieces. Everyone wants recovery, but it’s such a long journey that no one really wants to risk the little bit of the sanity they have left to try to get there. There are tons of people suffering, and now that social media has become such a prominent thing in so many lives, there is a way that people can connect anonymously with people just like themselves. It breaks my heart to not only see people openly talk about the feelings that are overwhelming their thoughts, but I’ve also been able to watch people encourage others to give up on getting better, to skip their therapist appointments, to make it seem like their lives are stuck under this dark cloud for however long they will live.

That makes my heart cry a little bit. In this time, when social media is able to change lives, we need to use that power to our advantage, Instead of assisting each other in making the disease take over more, you can work together and fight it. Because no matter what your mind is telling you, you are always stronger than your disease. The job of that disease is to convince you that it’s the other way around. The truth to life is that there isn’t anything thrown at you that you can’t fight and conquer. You can’t let anything make you believe differently and you can’t let anything make you feel like you aren’t in control of you.