I got up this morning at the usual time and rushed through my weekday morning routine. I’ve been doing the same thing every day for the last 3 years: shower, hair, makeup, clothes, and shoes, fly out the door just in time to make it to the office by 8.
Up until recently, if you asked me if I’m a “morning person” I would always say NO. Mornings are awful. Mornings mean facing overwhelming self-hatred. Mornings mean another long day of adversity. Waking up means the disappointment of knowing that I’m still alive. I’d rather just stay buried under the blankets where no one will know I exist.
There are a number of factors that led to my self-hatred. The Patriarchal society I grew up in demonized a woman’s body and sexuality while simultaneously glorifying the concept of the sweet, childlike virgin bride that I knew I would never emulate. I was never encouraged to express my emotions, so all my confusing feelings stayed trapped inside me. Being bisexual (and being taught that such things were abominable) also caused me to vilify a woman’s body in general. It was easier to hate it than admit to forbidden attraction. When paired with depression and lack of education, my natural bodily development became a waking nightmare. The hatred I had for myself and my body was not just a passing teenage phase; it was a devastating condition that colored my entire world in a muddy shade of black.
For most of my life I sincerely believed that I was stupid, worthless, ugly, lazy, gluttonous, and sloppy. Self hatred is painful, debilitating, and dangerous. Lucky for me, I have people in my life who understand that. I am here today, I am healthy today, because my Hunnie, my sister, and a few close friends chose to take my struggles seriously. They insisted again and again that the opinions I had of myself were false. They were there for me day or night to talk me though my anxiety. It took countless long talks and years of hard work to get me to the place I am today.
|This is actually me wearing my fave brown dress pants|
This is ME we’re talking about here. The same girl who, at 8 years old, covered her whole body with washcloths in the bathtub because she didn’t want to have to see how “fat” she was. The same girl who refused to look in the mirror for much of her teenage life.. The same girl who stopped eating because a friend mentioned that she had a “little pooch.” And there I was this morning, smiling at my curves and meaning it. I just thought “welp, guess I’m not a size 8 after all.” Those grey pants were milestone for me.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who’s hurting. You don’t have to say much. Simply tell them the truth:
You are beautiful.
You are smart.
You are strong.
You can be anything you want to be.
And don’t stop saying it until they start to believe.