Hey everyone, I am back and truth be told I have been dreading publishing this post for the whole world to see as it’s such a sensitive topic for me to write about. The thought of opening up and intentionally subjecting myself to vulnerability really does scare the living daylights out of me, but it’s something I need to do, both for myself and everyone who cares about me.
So, the truth is, although it’s very hard to admit, I have been struggling…
When I started my blog and wrote my first pieces ‘A change for the better’ and ‘Look at me now’ I felt like I was doing okay and I actually thought for a second that my life was finally looking up, which is why I decided to focus on what I thought was a positive outcome of a horrible situation. Who was I kidding, I was clearly in denial because the negative problems I was facing were so much worse than I made out, and they were in fact getting in the way of my day to day life, but I was finding it very hard to admit.
I have been fighting with what seems to be a losing battle when it comes to my low self-esteem, it started when I was under an extreme amount of stress but hit an all time low not long after when the stress decided to take it out on my skin and ‘ruin’ my complexion, instantly feeling like every little bit of confidence I ever had, had been shattered into a million pieces… leaving me feeling terribly insecure. I developed a very negative self-image that quickly lead me to sink into a deep depression. I started isolating myself from everything and everyone, I stopped taking care of myself, I avoided any form of social interaction, most days I wouldn’t even leave my room, and I would frequently breakdown and refuse to leave the house.
In the beginning, when it all started, I actually remember thinking that once I removed myself from the stressful situation and sorted my skin out, I would be well on my way to feeling better about myself. If I’m being 100% honest with you all, it hasn’t really mattered how stress free my life is or how much clearer my skin is because I still don’t feel any better. I think seeing myself in a negative light for such a long period of time has now really distorted my self-image as I am at a point where I have become extremely self-critical. I find myself constantly worrying about ‘flaws’ in my appearance, which apparently to others are so minor or none existent, and it’s causing me so much emotional distress, but I just can’t seem to break out of the vicious cycle.
Not feeling good enough mentally, physically and emotionally really has negatively affected all aspects of my life. I mean, I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin on a daily basis that I barely leave the house. I have isolated myself to the point of my Mum, Dad and Brother being the only people I really see, as they’re the only people I actually feel comfortable around. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I just feel so anxious at the thought of anyone who knew me before all this seeing me now. I don’t know if it’s because I’m afraid they will all end up seeing me how I see myself or if it’s because I’m ashamed.
I have never really had any ‘official’ diagnosis because I find it so difficult to physically talk about how I am feeling and also because I have had trouble admitting to myself that I’m struggling, never mind anyone else. However, when I did go to the Doctors in 2015 (when it all first started), my Mum had to literally explain everything that was going on with me because I would sit there barely saying two words, acting like I was ‘totally fine’. Safe to say the Doctor saw right through me and referred me to CAMHS (Child Adolescent Mental Health Services). The lady who I saw was lovely, but sadly it didn’t really help at all because I just wouldn’t allow myself to open up. Then, a year passed, and I was still feeling exactly the same if not worse, so my Mum took me back to the Doctors, and they suggested that I have CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to try to change the negative thoughts I was feeling towards myself. I assumed that it was just another talking therapy and after my previous experience with CAMHS, it didn’t leave me with much hope, I just thought that it wouldn’t help and that I would only be wasting everyone’s time, so I never went ahead with it.
I do think that maybe if I accepted the CBT as suggested, I might not have been in the situation I’m in now…
Thank god I have got the three most supportive people in my life, my Mum, Dad and Brother. They really have seen the good, the bad and the ugly and still continue to stand by me every single step of way!