One of the issues having low self esteem is never feeling good enough. It’s dodged me my whole life, and even though I’m now firmly esconced in middle age, I’m still fighting it. It doesn’t help that it’s continually reinforced by those closest to me.
Many mornings I wake up, exhausted before I even get out of bed. Just the mere prospect of facing another day of a promethium struggle makes me want to pull the covers back over my head and stay there. I know I can be hip and happening in most circumstances. Most. However, there are people, places and things that are triggers for me and bam! I’m just a blubbering mess.
In the past, I stuffed these feelings with food. I’ve been straight edge for most of my life (no drinking, drugs, smoking). Cutting didn’t appeal to me (ew! Blood!). Food was my drug of choice. In my teens, I didn’t eat and worked out an insane amount. In college, my RA taught me about purging…I could have my pizza and puke it up too! By the time I hit my post college life, I had normalized my eating.
Except when I was stressed or seriously depressed. Then I began to binge eat. I didn’t purge anymore, so I wasn’t able to prevent the weight gain. I began to gain a lot of weight. Eventually, I would get my ship righted again, and the binge would stop. I’d go back to healthier eating habits, hit the gym and all would be well.
Until it wasn’t anymore. Until I had constant stress and the depression was no longer a passing phase. I could no longer vocalize my feelings and went mute. I began to eat instead of speak. I didn’t want to deal with the consequences of speaking up, and instead stuffed those words down.
Soon, my weight became my shield. By gaining weight, I insulated myself. If I’m fat, some of the issues I’m dealing with-including body image-won’t matter. I can slide into the background and not be noticed. Eventually, I gained a whole new person.
Am I enough now?
It was as if, one morning I woke up and realized just how big I had become. I had gone to bed the night before, normal size, and then woke up morbidly obese. Of course, I knew I was gaining weight because I needed to buy bigger and bigger clothes. I wasn’t fitting in chairs the same. I was taking up more space, which was the opposite reaction I had been intending.
When I did realize how much I had gained, I knew I had to do something. I went about it haphazardly. My heart wasn’t into though, and of course, I had a stunning lack of success. I needed to eliminate the enduring envisage. I wish I could say that there were rainbows, unicorns and glitter that sprinkled me with love and light and guaranteed triumph.