Road to self-love is a mess

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Hey. Let me tell you short story or more like a confession of mine that I still can’t believe I’m actually gonna write all down after never ever speaking to anybody about this.

There will be a lot of trigger warnings in this article and probably a lot of judgement of my person and that’s totally ok. So here I go:

Based on the title of this article you might have guessed correctly that this will be about how I become more self-aware, self-confident, proud of myself for everything I came through and everything I  become. It wasn’t pretty road but it was mine and it was the one that led me to this confession moment.

Since I was a kid I was always a little overweighted, nothing serious just maybe 5 kg over the standard. I had genetically wider hips and all my fat would attack to my lover stomach, ass and hips. Growing up in a different ideal female body imagine from todays one I was very well aware of my unfavourable looks. Besides having your family and friends always pointing your flaws was not helpful either. I was teenage girl with insecurities –  nothing special right. Even thought I had it all – I was healthy,  had wholesome family, school, friends, I was never short of money or food but I still was an ungrateful little brat and hated myself for not being perfect. I hated my thighs and my stomach and it wasn’t like II just sat there hating myself without actually trying to change it. I exercised a lot, tried shit ton of diets over the years for example one where I lost 10 kg over 2 months so go and figure out how healthy that is and how easily I gained them all back.

I didn’t realize how bad my obsession with my weight got until the time when I was standing in front of toilet bowl with back of my paining brush stuck down my throat trying to vomit food I just ate thinking about how I just can’t have any more fat on my stomach. I would break down in quiet cry every time I was unsuccessful in my bulimia attempts – I could never have my family know about this, I kept it quiet, I wiped my tears away, hide my brush, put on my rude teenager mask on that’s always easier to maintain than actual vulnerable one.

I would try to starve myself but I could never go more that 3 days without food until someone noticed or my strong will would break. I felt like I lost control over my life. I felt like I couldn’t change or affect anything no matter how hard I tried to change my body it remained the same. I felt helpless and that’s when I slipped into self-harm.

I started out easily. I would put rubber band over my wrists and pull it out and let it slap my wrist as harder as possible. Sounds ridiculous but if you do this over 100 times over and over again your small capillary veins would burst resulting in reddish/blueish bruise shaped like a line under the rubber band and it hurts a lot. Great advantage is capillary amazing ability to recover so in a couple of hour I would have no proof that I hurt myself in any way. I had easy access to rubber bands and no one would question why I have so many rubber bands. Disadvantage is the slap noise – people could hear it and question you about it. Living in all girls dormitory I would solve this problem quite easily. I would put my rubber band on in night-time, go to toilet (we had common bathrooms) and I would slap myself all the way there. Sounds of slapping would get covered by noise of my footsteps, I would continue on toilet as well  cuz no one would question me for noises I make at toilet. By the morning my bruises would disappear unless I would crossed the line and overdue my actions. That happened several times so I would wear some bracelets to cover the bruises for few days until my skin would recover.

Pain was quite addictive for me and I needed something more to make me feel better about myself. What I did next was find some sharper object like pin or hair clip and I would drag its tip over my skin to leave bright pink lines. I wouldn’t scratch myself to blood as that would be harder to explain if someone noticed and I would never do them in typical self harm locations such as wrist. I would “accidentally” scratch myself on the back on my hand, shoulder or leg and made up story about loose nail at my wardrobe door that I clumsily hurt myself on. Each line I would do to my skin would have its own made up but believable story I could tell people just in case. But in reality no one really gave a damn.

Another “easy form” of self-harm I practised was playing with fire, pouring hot wax over my hands or I would hold my wrist over flame just to see how long could I hold it up. Not very practical method as you don’t have candles with you all the time, when things go to shit and you just need to do something just to feel something other than misery. Easy and accessible way to bleed was just simple scratching of every existing scar or acne I had on my body until just deep scar holes reminded – mostly my face, arms or back. There was something about scratching my skin bleeding that inspired me into my next horrible step.

By this point you must be really horrified and discussed with my actions and I totally get you. I’m honestly having out-of-body experience right now cuz I can not relate to that person I used to be anymore and it’s so absurd that I actually did that and all of the reasons why I did it is so blurry right now but back then it all made sense. I had control, secret, I felt special. My creativity was a curse in this case as I kept finding new ways to hurt myself.

There is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it but what if your mind is sick?

At that time I got my first razor blade. I couldn’t simply buy one cuz I couldn’t face the looks of cashiers. So I would buy simple pencil sharpener for few cents, take it down into pieces, pick out small blade that was sharp and easy to hide in my wallet, dispose the blade-less sharpener in toilet roll and throw it out into garbage hoping no one would look through my garbage and find out about my dirty little secret. I was so paranoid people would find out – I mean seriously who would ever go through my trash?

So I started really cutting myself but I still got to be smart about it, I couldn’t cut at very visible place that could not be explained logically. I never made a cut on my arms cuz that would be just too obvious. I cut my upper thighs ,the part that could be covered even in shorts, and my stomach – the places I hated the most.

I would always do this in bathroom = I got privacy, I could take my time, I could wipe the blood with toilet roll  and flush it down so no one would ever know. I remember making my first horizontal cut on my tight and watching small blood dots appear, felt the rush of excitement and adrenalin flow through my body cuz I was ding something wrong, forbidden. Over the weeks I kept making more and deeper cuts, watching blood drip from my thighs, enjoying the sweet pain. All I was afraid was someone noticing, so I was very careful when I was changing in front of my roommates or classmates at PE class. One time my classmate asked me what I had on my thigh, panic rushed over me but I was prepared as I went over potential scenarios in my head million times – “my dog scratched me” .This went on for around one year.

No one asked me if I was OK and I was both relieved and disappointed.

So what changed ? How did I over come it?

Well luckily even through my strong self-destructive sense I still had some self-preservation left and my fear of being exposed and shame became stronger than my need for control.  It wasn’t day-to-day change. Slowly, as summer was approaching and I would have to wear swimsuits and expose my damaged areas I tried to limit my actions to minimum and instead I went back to my good old rubber band.

I never made too deep cut to actually endanger my life, I would disinfect the cuts afterwards so they won’t get infected, I was using scar reducing oils to make them less visible. I thought it through and that’s the scariest part. I knew what I was doing, I was very well aware, I planed it, made arrangements, covered the evidences, treated results and repeated it again. I knew it was wrong and I should hide it and I still remain doing it. Made me feel powerful, I had an impact, I knew something no one else knew. I was present at every moment, not like many other who practise self harm unconsciously –  like this colleague of mine who when she’s in s stressful time in her life would get this black outs when she doesn’t know what she’s doing and she just cut herself everywhere, arms, shoulders and even her face are covered in deep cuts.

After all this time there was just one person who knew what I was doing – some random girl on the internet I was talking to at that time, we had similar music taste and that’s how we met. She was hurting herself too so I felt like she could understand what I felt so I shared my secret with her. I don’t even know her name anymore and we no longer talk but the fact that someone somewhere knew and actually understand was so relieving for me. Most important for me was that she was a stranger, she didn’t know me she just know what I wanted her to know. We never met, we communicated just through texts and that was the beauty in it and also a reason why I’m writing this all down. The lack of immediate response online is what makes it so much easier for me to say this. I never spoke those words out loud and even though I’m much better now, no longer hurting myself or even hate myself, I’m one year on antidepressants, I visit psychiatry regularly for check ups, I don’t think I’m ready to say “I cut myself” or “I am depressed” out loud cuz it’s so odd. That Natalie that felt all of those things is long gone, I don’t know her anymore, she left me with just a memories and scars to prove that all of those things were real.

It’s not like I suddenly got better, I just stopped hurting myself in physical way, I fell into more dull, in my head, melancholy period, don’t really care or wanted to make an effort to do some change. I knew when to smile, knew what to tell to mask what I was feeling and just kinda went with the flow that resulted in my final mental breakdown almost 5 years later. I talked about that in my most popular article How I became a vegetarian and how my mental health made me stop

You don’t know me and I don’t know you, this article may not affect you in any way and your opinion of me won’t make a change. It would be much different for people close to me to find out about my secret, as they could actually face me and call me out on it and that still scares me. So why am I writing this?

To put it all behind me. Write it all down, have it black on white and forget about it. Every article I write on renegade7x goes like this: I write down everything I want to say, edit misspellings (sometimes not as precisely as you might noticed) and forget what I was writing about and never read it again.

I realize this might seem like a manual for people in same bad place as I was in but it’s also a guide on how to help – all of the things you might notice in your close ones suffering from self-destructive thoughts. It’s also a proof that things gets better.

Cheesy like that.

I’m still little chubby, I have big ass, wide hips, lumpy thighs, stomach fat, so much scars, stretch marks, cellulite, acne and I never been more self-confident. I’m confident I’m gonna make it after everything I went through. My body has extra weight and so much extra strength. The fact that I’m alive and better is so overwhelming and young Natalie sitting with the razor blade in the bathroom would never dream of such feeling.

If you managed to read through this all and not run away with discuss I honestly appreciate you so much. Mental health is still a taboo and people with mental health problems are still considered crazy freaks and I don’t blame you for thinking so of me as well – I admit it my actions were crazy.

There is this quote from Neil Gaimans  American God’s book that I can’t stop thinking about:

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You might not agree with this quote, or have different interpretation than I do, but this is how I see it: I did what I did because it made sense at that time, my brain was telling me to do it and how do I refuse my brain? Even when I fell into severe depression, I couldn’t sleep, eat or basically function, I felt constant pain that was not actually there but I still felt it. My brain was telling me it’s real and I believed my beautiful dysfunctional brain. You have to listen to your body no matter what bullshit it’s telling you.

You can’t really hide from your mind.

If you know what I’m talking about and can relate to my situation I’m truly sorry you have to go through this, I hope you have someone who see there’s something wrong with you and will help you through this. If not you’ll have to do the hard work and pull yourself up on your own. I did and I adore myself for it.

I love my family, I love my friends but in the end I’m all I’ve got.

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Thank you so much for your attention

stay strong

xo Natalia

 

 

 

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Posted by

Natalia 22 Slovak. Read about my passion for fashion, travel and personal experiences.

49 thoughts on “Road to self-love is a mess

  1. Thank you for exposing yourself to the world! You are so beautiful in your freedom of expression. So many people need to follow your lead in taking off their masks. I am a teacher and will be sharing this with others. I will also remember to include you in my prayers. You have so much to offer, keep loving and sharing yourself with the world.

    Rise Up & Be You

    You are unique, created for something wonderful!
    The world is waiting for you to shine.
    You have something to share.
    Now is your time.
    Rise up and
    Be you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing. Our younger son did cuttings until he accepted Jesus at a weekend retreat. He did not want to go on the retreat, but a friend insisted. It was hard watching, not knowing how to help. Thank you again.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Just because we do not know you does not mean we do not care.
    You have been through so much, and you have come a long way.
    But if the Darkness returns please use your Daily Mantra :

    “I AM free and made of Glitter Dust
    I AM my own brand of beautiful
    I AM calm and grounded because I AM worthy
    I AM capable because I AM confident
    I CAN make my own decisions because I AM empowered
    I AM my own Magic Maker and know how to use it
    I AM love and my own love because I sparkle with life
    I AM a Winner because I am a damn Magical Unicorn
    I AM ENOUGH”

    Fairy love and carehugs to help xxoox 🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Huge respect for you and your courage. I loved every part of it. It resonates with my own experiences, and I can feel every word you said. Reading all your personal anecdotes and experiences gives me immense happiness/bliss and support.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for being honest about your struggles and opening up a world to me that includes people who struggle with things that I struggle with. The truth of this post is that I am not alone.

    Continue being brilliant. Love your posts.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I understand your pain. I never went to hurting myself, my own road took me down a path of severe anxiety that I have been working out of the past year. You are absolutely right that you have to bring yourself out of it and it’s not an easy road. I don’t believe it’s a road that will ever be finished. I think like anything in life, it is never truly won, but must be fought for until the end of your days. You have to stay vigilant. It takes work to do it and it takes work to maintain it.

    Thank you very much for sharing. It gave me a chance to think on my own journey to this point.

    All the best,
    John

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Hi Nat, I’m so happy that you managed to get over your weight obsession and other things that were tormenting your mind. It must have been so hard for you! Well done for overcoming. Thanks also for your honesty – it will help many more ladies I’m sure.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. WOW, this really brought me back on how I on how I handle my inner demons. The first time I was really brought into darkness was in middle school. The typical bullying story, I won’t bore you with the details or a long ass story. But basically it caused me to feel suicidal, getting through that I had to work my ass off to 100% love EVERYTHING about myself; still working on it today but way better than I used to be. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Hi Nat, having suffered with severe depression and anxiety I understand how hard it must have been to write this post. I am finally making the changes I needed to live my best life and am looking forward to the future. You are brave beautiful and authentic. I really look forward to reading more! Love Katie xxx

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Thanks so much for sharing your story and for helping to reduce the stigma that still surrounds mental health today! Also thank you for acknowledging that although we often hear the message of self-love being thrown around today, it’s never as simple as it sounds.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. So moved and overcome by your strength and resilience! It is no easy road to travel while also picking yourself up from the depths and the fact that you adore yourself because of the might of your will and through all the challenge is absolutely triumphant! As well as recognizing that is was you that did it while still acknowledging the love and support of family and friends but 100% taking responsibility for all the work you put in to be where you are today! You’re amazing! I resonate deeply and at one point I thought it must’ve been the mountains that saved me but really they just guided me to save myself. Thank you so much for sharing 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Your story is beautiful! Thank you for sharing. There are so many other ladies and even some gents that can relate. I can relate to self hate and hurting myself. I used to do the rubber band trick as well as I cut a few times. I starved myself many many times. When I would get emotionally distraught I end up losing my appetite and actually starve to punish myself. I abused drugs and alcohol to numb myself as well. Running from who I was. I never liked the way I looked from my face to my body. I was a wreck. I luckily have gained back confidence and strength. It’s a beautiful thing when you can look back and recognize that you weren’t in a right place with yourself. Let alone actually to share your story. Thank you again for showing your strength.
    God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Wow, this is so heartfelt and beautiful. A couple gems:

    “I’m still little chubby, I have big ass, wide hips, lumpy thighs, stomach fat, so much scars, stretch marks, cellulite, acne and I never been more self-confident”

    I love it! ❤

    And this one:

    "I felt constant pain that was not actually there but I still felt it. My brain was telling me it’s real and I believed my beautiful dysfunctional brain."

    Thank you for being so real and honest. Btw you look pretty in your photo! I know that's not the point of your post, but I'm just saying!

    A beautiful essay. Again, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for so bravely sharing your experience. I’m so happy that you were able to find your self-love and self-confidence. Your journey could very well encourage others struggling with the same issues. Just know that Jehovah God truly values and loves you. Matthew 10:29-31 is one of my favorite scriptures where Jesus says, “Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I got tears in my eyes while reading this! I have body issues as well, but never thought about selfharm though… Still, I think you’re really strong for charing all of this with some strangers on the internet!
    I’m happy you’re in a place now where you can be satisfied with yourself and I hope you can continue working on that.

    Good luck with everything you do! I’m sure it’s going to be great! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. If you ever watched movies from the 1970’s, you’ll notice that the “in” thing was super-skinny for at least a half century (1960’s through early 2000’s). Many women were bulimic or anorexic because of it. In a country where food is prevelant, super-skinny was the ideal for women. I found that in countries where there is not enough food, large well-padded hips are what men look for.

    Looking back at history, foot binding for thousands of years in China. In the Western world, we had the 17 inch waistline via a strangulation corset during the 18th and 19th centuries. It seems there is always something related to “beauty” that is painful to achieve and debilitating.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I am so glad you grew past this difficult period in your life. Society focuses on externals as if they were the true measure of our worth. The young are especially vulnerable to harsh judgment, even from strangers. You have empowered others by sharing your story. ❤

    Like

  18. Finding self love is incredible. I write about it a lot on my blog. I didn’t engage in much self harm, but so many suicide attempts I lost count. I’m not doing that anymore as I found I’m worth life even if it is extremely painful at times. I appreciate anyone who tells a true story of struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you for sharing. Sorry you had to go through this. Too often, we let what other people think define who we are. Many times, they do not really know us and sometimes, they are just jealous. A true friend listens and understands.

    Like

  20. I love this post. I love your vulnerability and honesty. I can relate because I did many of the same things when I was young for the same reasons. I hope you write more about how you have come to love yourself now. I think that would be amazing. At 47 I still struggle with that. We can each learn so much from each other so I hope you share your times of strength, joy and self-love with us too!

    Liked by 1 person

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