Trigger Warning: Talk of Eating Disorders, Body Dysmorphic Disorder
I can’t stand looking in the mirror. Or at pictures of myself for that matter.
I’ve had a very unhealthy relationship with my body since I was 18 years old when the first signs of an eating disorder took flight; long before my battle with Depression and Anxiety began. I’ve spoken very openly through my blogging about the struggles I went through to overcome an eating disorder in my early 20’s but I’ve also admitted that for the last 30 plus years I’ve been on a very bumpy rollercoaster ride that has found me dealing with many of the psychological affects of “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” causing me to go from one extreme to the other at different times in my life by restricting my food intake to binge eating and self-induced purging. None of which are healthy behaviours and all of which can have very dangerous repercussions.
Struggling with depression for more than eight and a half years now has only further triggered my unhealthy relationship with my body, especially after so many failed attempts at medications led to a nearly 100 pound weight gain about 5 years ago, making it more and more difficult for me to find reason to love and accept myself and has instead kept me stuck in a place of self-hate and focused on my perceived flaws.
When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or in pictures I usually begin by talking shit about myself which, sadly seems to have become one of my greatest strengths, instead of trying to step outside of myself to see how others perceive me, both inside and out, but the bigger issue is, I usually don’t believe them.
This is especially true when I am at a very low point in my journey like I am experiencing at the present time and I find myself using my distorted body image as reason or a viable excuse for why certain opportunities or goals are not being met.
I am very conscious right now that I have once again entered a danger zone and that I need to let others know I am feeling this way in order to somehow help me take control of the situation. I’m 51, I’m actively dealing with symptoms of perimenopause, I have dark circles under my eyes from sleep deprivation, I battle Depression, Anxiety and Suicidal ideations daily, I have neurological damage from my treatment back in April which has limited my ability to function like I once did and I’m way more irritable than ever before; so I should probably try to cut myself a bit of slack too? Right?
And I should also probably try to appreciate all that my body can do and keep reminding myself that being imperfectly perfect is okay. I should also probably try to see myself as a whole person and the person I want others to see me as, I should also probably try and overpower my negative self-talk with more positive affirmations and gentle reminders, and I should also probably keep reminding myself everytime I look in the mirror or at a picture of myself that beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
I’m exhausted but what helps me most right now though is knowing that I am also probably not alone.
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