I've been doing some work in therapy recently about looking after myself a little more and making room for a little bit of 'me' time - and whilst I always assume I never have 'time' to look after myself, on my day off yesterday Nathan and I went shopping at Westfields yesterday in attempt to treat myself. Whilst that succeeded in some forms, I told myself I wanted to buy myself some new clothes - as it's something I rarely do.
Why I rarely buy clothes for myself links back to my history with an eating disorder. I rarely try clothes on in shops, often thinking I look too 'fat' for them or that I don't have the body to carry it off. Yesterday, I begun walking into clothes shops, freaking out at every turn and barely even picked up anything before walking straight back out of the shop again. The clothes almost intimidated me. The shop assistants intimidated me, the thin, delicate customers wandering amongst the clothing they could clearly look good in made me feel awful, panic rushed through my head and I just froze.
I guess what yesterday taught me was that I have far more work to do than I ever thought I did. I try and mask the fact that I still have problems and insecurities because I want to look strong, for my amazing friends who I met on this journey, my blog and channel viewers, and my family, but in reality I'm a lot weaker than I make out and am still struggling internally.
I guess the difference is now that I don't use behaviours to take these thoughts out on myself. Nathan helped me immensely through my self-injury and eating disorder, and going back to both of them, although tempting at times, would mean radical implications on not just our relationship, but my job, my degree, and everything I've 'worked hard' for. I know in that sense, rationally, I've come a long way. I have thoughts of self-injury and suicide but this time, Nathan comes first. And that's what has changed.
However, I still have the same thoughts towards myself that I have had since I was young. I still think I'm fat. I still hate myself. I don't think I deserve to be happy. I still live with regrets. I still think I'm worthless and good for nothing. I put on a front when I'm silently struggling, fighting a war with myself. And I've realised that I need to tackle that now.
You can stop self-harming, stop the overdosing, stop starving yourself, do what the doctors and therapists and psychiatrists tell you to do to stay alive. Sometimes that's the easiest part. It's that inner battle, the self-hatred, the constant voices telling you you're shit at everything and not worth anyone's time that is the most difficult part. Because for me, those voices have been there since I can remember. And I'm finally realising that I need to tackle that now, because I'm not going anywhere with my life. I'm unhappy because I'm not going anywhere and part of that is because of all this hatred towards myself. I feel like I don't deserve a life and I don't want to feel like that anymore.
I'm now starting to embark in new private counselling, something I've been quiet about as I'm quite ashamed but not quite sure why. Hopefully this will be the start of something new that I've needed to tackle for a long time.
We should never be ashamed to admit that we need help.