Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Living with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. | #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

** TRIGGER WARNING: Talk of self harm & suicidal thoughts. **

I can't think back to a time when I didn't constantly feel like this. I guess I've never really been truly happy or content at any point in my life. I'm tired. I'm so fucking tired of constantly feeling like this. I have more bad days than good and I honestly don't know what to do.





I've touched on BDD in a previous post but I've really been struggling the last few weeks with my body image and self esteem that I need to go into more detail for my own sanity. I find it very difficult to open up to anyone about it and only one person knows I suffer immensely with how I see myself. I feel as though if I were to talk to someone about it and how I truly feel about myself, they won't get it at all. It's hard to even begin to imagine how somebody feels when you haven't experienced it yourself.

I am constantly at war with my own head. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Every single thought is literally spinning round and round and getting faster and faster. A lot of the time I can't keep up and will feel so overwhelmed and completely numb. I feel helpless. I feel as though my mind and body aren't connected at all. They're not working as a team as they should be. For example, when I'm trying to get to sleep at night, my body will be tired and relaxed, however, my mind will be surging with self hatred and negativity. 'You're not good enough, you never will be. You'll always look like this. You're pathetic, look at you. How could anyone love you, you're hideous.' I try my hardest to ignore them, sometimes I try to fight back. But a lot of the time they are so powerful and so real and hurtful I can do nothing but cry. I cry in the shower, I cry in bed, I often take myself to the bathroom at my boyfriends house, cover my face with a towel, and sob uncontrollably.

I cannot look at myself anymore without feeling disgusted, embarrassed and just completely pathetic. I don't really know what I look like anymore. Every picture of me and every reflection of myself I happen to catch all look different to me. It's terrifying. I try to have a picture in my head of what I look like but when I see my face from the side or someone takes a photo of me off guard, I feel physically sick. Surely that's not me? My nose doesn't go up at such an angle, does it? My double chin isn't that noticeable? My overbite isn't THAT obvious, is it!? I will never have a good word to say about how I look because I 100% do not believe or see that there is anything good about me.

I've been thinking about self harm a lot more in the recent weeks. In moments when I feel particularly overwhelmed and alone, I imagine the release of energy and distress it would bring me from putting a blade to my skin. Punching, picking and pinching myself isn't giving me as much relief as it used to. I need something more. Something to actually take the pain away from my head when it feels like it's about to explode. I don't think I would ever kill myself, but the thought has definitely crossed my mind far more than usual. I feel as though everyone around me would be better off if I wasn't here. I sometimes will randomly imagine how if I wasn't around, everyone would manage just fine without me here. It's a strange and scary place when I'm not actively planning to end my life, but at the same time I don't want to be alive. I've also sometimes thought about dying in other ways such as if I were to be in a car accident. It's not so much the thought of 'I want to kill myself', it's more 'I don't care if I die'. 

Everything is becoming more difficult to deal with on a day to day basis. The constant comparisons to other girls (in real life and online), checking myself in the mirror (which is something I have avoided for the most part) and having such negative, hateful thoughts about myself. I'm withdrawing myself more and more from everyone around me and I know it's hurting them but I can't help how I feel. I wish I could go out, be 'normal' and enjoy life. But I can't. How can I go out and listen to the way some people talk about other peoples bodies? Just hearing the words 'tits', 'boobs' or anything related to them makes me cringe inside. Even songs about sexy girls shaking God knows what makes me feel revolting. I went to the beach on Sunday for my brother's birthday, and as we were walking along the beach and group of about 4 teenage girls were walking in front of us. I was already feeling rough as I'd only had four hours of sleep the night before. To then hear them complaining about their 'huge thighs' and how 'fat' they think they are. Not going to lie it made me want the ground to swallow me up there and then. If that's what they think of their tiny frames what on Earth do I look like!? 

I cannot stress enough how much I wish social media and the internet in general wasn't a thing. As much as I try and stay off Instagram and unfollow anyone who might be triggering to me, I always find myself not being able to resist quickly checking it. Just being constantly bombarded by images of these gorgeous, skinny, big boobed, successful women makes me feel so inadequate and that I will never achieve anything in life and I'll never be happy until I look like that. It's so tiring. And even if I try and stay positive and try to gain inspiration from body positive influencers, I can't help but again feel like no one looks like me. No one has the muffin top, the out of proportion breasts, the weirdly shaped bum, pregnant looking tummy. I feel like I'm the only person who looks like I do and it makes me feel extremely alienated and weird. I don't fit in anywhere, I don't conform to any body type. I'm just odd. An anomaly. 

My weight issues began from when I was small. I feel as though I've always worried about my weight and how I look compared to everyone else. I had never really seen it as a big deal but the last few years it's become a huge problem. All my childhood my mum was always talking about going on diets, trying this and that to lose weight, then being extremely critical of her appearance if she didn't lose as much as she had hoped. As a child, it seemed crazy to me that my perfect mother was trying to change herself! She looked so wonderful! 

Another big thing for me that's been a reoccurring theme throughout my whole life is being compared to my siblings, especially my sister. I have always been the fat, unsuccessful sister who no one really takes any notice of or really cares about. I was always just there. Having to constantly hear how my sister was blessed with my dad's genes whereas I was cursed with the 'James gene'. Everyone, even now, comments how tiny she is, always saying how she's got my auntie's skinny frame and making jokes about how we wouldn't even fit our little toes into her clothes. Having to hear this throughout my whole life and made me almost resent my sister. Why wasn't I the one to be skinny and pretty and have everyone look at me wishing they looked like me? Or why couldn't we have looked similar? Why did I have to turn out to be the one that can't even sniff food without gaining a stone? I honestly can't imagine what people think of me when they see us together or find out that we're related. It's so humiliating and just makes me feel like pure shit.

At the moment I don't see an end to me feeling like this. I really don't. I feel scared, alone and lost. I hate going out, I hate going to see family, I hate everything that involves leaving the house. I've even lost interest in so many other things like walking, being around my family (I spend most of my time shut away, sleeping to pass the days) and even just going round my best friends house. Trying to be intimate is becoming more and more distressing. I've noticed I'm starting to cringe whenever my boyfriend touches me and I can't stop thinking about how my body looks and how I can feel everything jiggle around when we are having sex. I hate it. I want to enjoy those moments as much as I can but my mind is always preoccupied with how I look. Then I start to think 'How can he find me attractive enough to do this with? Why would he want to have sex with me? I'm so disgusting'. 

What's also been hard about suffering from BDD is that there is little to no resources online to help. I almost feel as though it's not taken as seriously as it needs to be. It doesn't help that I already feel like an idiot for going through this because it can just be seen as vanity. But I have to keep reminding myself that I've just got to take it day by day. I'm starting with a new therapist tomorrow who is aware of my body image issues so I'm hoping it can help in some way. I can't say I'm hopeful for the future because at the moment, I feel as though I will never be happy until I look completely different. But I know I have to try to change how I see myself for my sanity, my quality of life and my relationship. 


One day at a time. 

Baby steps!

xo



















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