So uh, happy birthday to me! For those of you who haven’t been following me on social media, I turned 21 this past Saturday. I mentioned it in my last #7DaysOfSelfLove post, but I never really thought I would make it this far.
I wanted to talk about a couple things I wrote about in Friday’s short story, so trigger warning. If you’re sensitive to topics like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-harm then I strongly urge you to reconsider reading this post. That said, let’s get into it.
Like most teenagers, I was exposed to this idea of needing to have a perfect body in order to be deemed “attractive”. And like far too many of my peers, I felt the need to go through extreme measures to achieve that standard of beauty. I worked my body so hard that I felt like collapsing, I didn’t rest or eat nearly enough, and when the results I wanted didn’t show I resorted to hurting every part of me I found ugly.
Suffice it to say, I was incredibly unhappy with how I looked. I would even go as far to say, I hated my body. Even when I reached my peak fitness, it still wasn’t good enough. I was seventeen and almost at my breaking point.
This is what the pressure to have the perfect body can do to a person. While I’ll admit that I had a number of other problems that also drove me to that point, this unhealthy obsession with appearing perfect was pivotal in my breakdown.
And it’s taken three years to pull myself out of that pit. Three years to relearn how to love myself again. Three years to cultivate the compassion I’d lost for myself.
I’m not entirely “okay”. I still have those days that I can’t help but focus on my “flaws” but those days are growing further apart and the days I enjoy being alive are growing in number.
So you can imagine what a big deal turning 21 was for me.
So here’s to another cycle around the earth, another year I made it through.
Until next time x