I hated myself. I hated the way I looked, the way I spoke, the way I thought, the way I felt. Everything, if there was something about yourself that could be hated, I hated it about myself. I wasn’t good enough, I was too much, too annoying, fat, idiotic. I wasn’t talented and all my previous achievements were nothing more than a stroke of luck of over-exaggerated praise from over-enthusiastically nice people being, well, over-enthusiastically nice.
My perception of myself was distorted. Like everyone I had my weaknesses and faults, but also, like everyone, I had my positives, my talents, achievements and qualities. I had achieved in my life and I deserved every right to feel proud and positive about those achievements, such as going to university and getting published in print media. I had positive qualities such as being fun, able to laugh at myself, and being quirky. I did and could make friends, and had a good heart and was very caring. These affirmations and qualities were all focused on my person, my self, my core person. I was a good person and what mattered most was beyond looks and appearance.
However, I had good qualities physically too. My height, my legs, eyes and apparently the huge cheesy grin that lightens up across my face in the presence of joy and happiness. They are apparently beautiful. I didn’t believe it, and sometimes I still struggle to believe it, but I no longer hate every aspect of my physical entity, at least not all of the time or most days.
My partner would remind me of all the good I had achieved and all the good that I was. She would sit with me at the table and together we would write affirmations to later stick on the fridge of these ounces of goodness, encouraging me to think of them myself, but helping me along the way should I struggle. This helped form the foundations of learning to love myself, and if I couldn’t love myself yet or entirely, to at least liking myself enough to not hate myself. By doing this, we took the first steps towards long-term healing together – and this has very little to do with food.