Friday, 31 March 2017

Feeling trapped by BDD

From a young age I was very aware of my appearance and how I looked compared to other girls. I never felt good enough, never believed I was as beautiful, wonderful or gorgeous as every other girl seemed to be. I thought that boys would never find me attractive so I looked at myself and began to see the faults and flaws and things that were wrong with me. I carried these thoughts and feelings with me through childhood, my teenage years, an abusive relationship, and now my early 20's. 

I thought I was just insecure but it's so much more than that. I obsessively think about how I look on a daily basis. It's exhausting. Constant comparisons and negative thoughts. About a year ago I learned about something called Body Dysmorphic Disorder and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. After spending a lot of time reading about it I'm convinced I have it. It was a relief to know there is something that can explain why I'm feeling this way, and to know that I'm not the only person struggling with this. Obviously I need a proper diagnosis but it's comforting to know that I'm not just vain and self-centered.

My boobs have been my main cause of insecurity and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I have never had big boobs and after gaining weight, losing it, gaining it back, losing it, then gaining it back I've been left with lifeless, pathetic, entirely unappealing breasts. I have always wanted the curvy, sexy body. Always. As bad as it might sound, the first thing I notice about a woman is her breasts and I instantly compare them to mine. I've always made jokes about how I feel like an overweight, prepubescent teenage boy to try and mask how insecure it really does make me feel. I don't feel like a woman. I spend hours a day researching about breast augmentations and watching videos on YouTube of girls that have had it done and seeing how happy they are only makes me feel worse. I want what they have. I want that happiness and I want to feel that beautiful. I don't go out anymore as the thought of dressing up and trying to look nice either terrifies me or makes me feel physically sick. Being touched and being intimate honestly makes me cringe inside which I hate.

Going hand in hand with my boobs would be my problems with my weight. I've never been the skinny girl and I've never been the fat girl. I've always been in this weird, in between place. After gaining 3 stone in 6 months in 2015 I don't know what I look like anymore. I know that might sound strange but I don't. When I was 10st I saw myself how I look now. Now when I look at myself I can't tell if I am that 10st person or if I'm bigger. It changes from day to day. I could look at myself in the morning in the mirror, see myself as not that big, then by the end of the day I've inflated like a balloon. Every picture I take of myself looks different to me and when people take pictures of me it makes it even more confusing to my brain. I am always running my hands along or squeezing some part of my body. Analyzing, judging, hating. I often describe myself as lumpy (again, trying to joke to mask the real problem), because that's how I feel. No one looks how I look. I'm a weird, disfigured, repulsive person. I always say to myself that I'm going to take up running again and lose weight but I can never find the motivation or energy to do so. Then I get more obsessive and more out of control because I'm then being so down on myself about not losing weight so I'll go days without eating anything apart from dinner. Only to then get so hungry after a few days I binge on anything and everything in sight.

I can confidently say I hate 99.9% if my body. My hair is a mess, I have hideous bags under my eyes, my lips are too small, I have a double chin, I excessively bite my nails to the point of bleeding due to my constant anxiety which makes me feel like a child, my boobs are disgusting, my stomach and back are fat and covered in stretch marks, my arms are too fat, my bum is too small and has weird creases at the bottom, I have what I like to call my 'fat pussy', which again makes me feel sick and unsettled, my legs are like tree trunks. 

I feel so trapped. Trapped inside my own head, in my thoughts and trapped inside my own body. A lot of the times I feel helpless and lost. I'd be lying if I said I haven't had self harm or suicidal thoughts about this because I have. A lot of the time they will creep in and take over and I just have to let them come and go. I can't fight them. But I can't keep going through this constant cycle of self loathing and utter disgust towards myself. I feel so alienated and feel as though I can't talk to anyone about it because I'll just be met with 'there's nothing wrong with you!', 'don't be silly!' or 'don't be so vain!'. I feel as though no one will get it. But then again no one really knows how bad it as I never talk to anyone about anything. I'm very good at bottling everything up as I think it'll help when in fact it does the opposite. 

I've been going to therapy for about 6 months and I'm only now learning it's okay to let go a bit and talk about things and open up. Only this past Monday I wrote some things down to give to my therapist which included my thoughts about BDD. I've now spent the last week scared and worried about having to talk about it because it means facing how bad it's really got. But I need to. I feel so stuck and like I'll always be like this. Maybe I will, just hopefully not to this extent. I want to be able to go out, get a job and just live my life inside of living in a shell of who I want to be. I'm tired. I'm tired of hating myself and feeling so repulsive and disgusting and gross. 

It will take a long time, but I want to get there. I will. 

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