I had, in my mind, an epiphany*. While in the shower, oddly.
I was thinking of the past years in raising my son, and past history in dealing with his aftermath of his step brother. And I clicked in to something. My son is VERY hard on himself, His mental abilities, his physical appearance … I was trying to think of ways to bolster his self-esteem, and get through to him when this light bulb went off. HOW can I teach him to feel good about himself, if I do not feel good about MYself?
I have always known I was hard on myself, and I have been working on that. But what do I say (USE to say) when some one compliments me, or says something good about me? I usually say “NOoooo, *blank* isn’t *whatever compliment was*” OR worse “You’re wrong” or other negative responses. in the last few years I have gotten better at correcting myself AFTER the negative with the follow up of “Oh, sorry. I should say thank you! I am working on that” (so some other similar line). I do NOW say thank you first thing, but my smile is awkward, and I fight to believe what the person said. Hell I SEE the look my husband gives me when he looks at me with love, but I still, after 18 plus years, find it hard to believe I even have someone who loves me for me.
I’d LOVE to blame others — kids in school for the insults and bullying, my Mom for sometimes telling me I was over-weight**, or the media for the super thin models — But they are only half, if that, of the problem. The BIGGEST problem is myself. I allowed these things to get to me. and even when I was out of school and having guys hitting on me, I saw myself as an elephant. (Seriously, at one point I honestly believed I would not be allowed to ride one because of my weight) I look back at pictures of myself then and WISH I was that thin!! Back then I thought I was bigger than I am now.
I AM getting better, with myself. I MAKE myself look in the mirror and try to find what I DO like! And that is what I did that day after the shower. No one home, in front of the full length mirror, nerves making me shake like a leaf. Know what I saw? I saw my eyes, my hair, my breast, even my calves — No, actually, my whole face! Sure, I have always liked my eyes, but never much more. I’d pick out small flaws “My face would be ok if I didn’t have a double chin”. Well, guess what? The double chin is not part of the face! SO, YEAH! I LIKE my face! I use to ALWAYS qualify my likes with a but “I like my hands — BUT the eczema sucks” So? Dry skin aside, I like my hands. No buts!
It will be slow going, and easier as my thyroid numbers become suitable, but I WILL love myself. For who I am. I AM lazy, so I have to face that fact and realize — I eat healthy (85% ish of the time), I DO get some exercise, and I KNOW that once I feel better I will get back on my treadmill (miss that) — That No matter what happens, no more excuse, I am who I am. My family loves me as I am and I am going to start trying to see me through THEIR eyes!
<Me thinks my thyroid meds and B 12 are finally starting to kick in. Sleep helps too. >
*I actually spelled that correctly withOUT looking it up, or the spell-checkers help! 😀
** In defence of my Mom, looking back it was NEVER mean, always loving, and just because of what I ate, not on how I looked.