I have a confession to make.
I’ve had a hard time loving myself over the past two years or so.
See, I’ve battled depression and feelings of worthlessness off and on for years.
I’ve had good years. And I’ve had bad.
The last few months before my divorce I finally started to take better care of myself after years of not caring. I felt better about how I looked.
I carried myself with confidence.
I lost weight.
I smiled more.
I felt beautiful for the first time in years.
But a few months after the divorce I started to slide backwards. I couldn’t look in the mirror without hating who I saw staring back at me. And when I moved in with my boyfriend, it didn’t get better. Only worse.
My feelings of inadequacy had nothing to do with him, though, because he did everything in his power to make me feel beautiful and wanted. He tried so hard so make me better.
He held me through the tears. He didn’t give up on me. He believed in me when I had stopped believing in myself.
But the truth was, he couldn’t make me better no matter what he did. It was something I needed to do on my own. It was a battle I needed to fight, as hard as that was for him to accept.
So how did I get to the point where I loathed myself that much?
Well, I started to believe the nasty things people were saying about me. I allowed others’ negative thoughts and opinions affect how I saw myself. I listened to their beliefs as though they were gospel.
I started to believe I was lazy and no good because I work from home. If others thought I was useless and didn’t deserve to be paid for my work then maybe they were right. Maybe I was a big joke.
Deep down inside I knew that belief was BS, though, because I work harder than most. I bust my ass every day on work, on our home, on our relationship and more.
Lazy is NOT a word that describes who I am. But yet, I still started to believe it and ended treating myself harsher than I ever have before, setting unrealistic expectations that Wonder Woman herself could not meet.
I also started to believe that maybe I was trashy or low-class because of how others treated me, like I wasn’t worthy of respect or appreciation.
And once I started thinking more negatively, other thoughts began to creep in. It was a vicious cycle I found myself caught in.
I’m not worthy of love.
But the truth is, I am worthy of love. And while I’m overweight, that doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful in my own way, because I am.
And in the picture below, taken on the day of my wedding, I finally felt beautiful again. I finally saw what my now husband saw in me. I can actually look at this photo and not cringe.
And if I need a reminder of that beauty within me, all I need to do is look in my husband’s eyes when he’s looking at me, and I will see it reflected back at me.
Also, I’m a great mom. I’m not perfect but I take care of my kids. Damn good care of them. They want for nothing. They have all they need in life.
I’m a great wife. I show my husband every day how much he means to me. I don’t put my selfish needs above his. I spoil him with love and affection.
I’m thoughtful. I have a huge heart.
I’m intelligent. I’m funny. I’m a hard worker. I’m responsible. I’m persistent. I’m driven.
I know there are parts of myself, though, that I can improve on, and I’m trying. And one of those ways is to accept myself as I am. That I am good enough just the way I am, and I don’t need to change in order to fit in.
Now, that doesn’t mean I can’t push myself to lose weight because I can and I am. I know I need to drop some pounds so I don’t get to the point where I can’t be active and do the things I love. It would break my spirit even more if I got to that point.
I’m also learning to be more adventurous. Before I always let my fears and insecurities get in the way of trying new things. But thanks to my husband, who makes me feel safe and secure, I’m starting to spread my wings and fly. And it’s a great feeling.
And most importantly, I’m learning how to block out the negative thoughts of others and to love myself again. It’s slow going, but I’m getting there. And it’s about time.