Trigger warning: this piece discusses themes of body image issues.
There is always a better day around the corner. One day your future self will look back to your hardest moments and thank you for fighting, for learning, for growing. You will be so proud of yourself and the journey you have been on.
Growing up in a society where people's self-esteem is so closely tied to their appearance, it didn't take much for me to let this influence my own self-worth. Aiming to prove myself to others, I desired this ‘perfect body.’ No matter how much weight came off, I still didn't feel enough. My mindset around myself, around food, around my body, around my life had completely changed and I hadn't even realised.
At my lowest, I felt alone and afraid. I felt like I would never be able to be different. I truly believed I was helpless, that no one understood. But each new day I would overcome this feeling, and slowly the fight got easier. Each time I was knocked down, I would come back stronger, more knowledgeable. I stopped looking at these knock-backs as failures and instead, normal patterns of life that we can learn from.
Today, I wish I was there, to tell that girl that felt like something controlled her, that she has all the power. She is so strong, so intelligent and so capable. She can (and she will) get through this and become the best version of herself.
I wish I could tell that girl that she was not broken, she was not lost. She was exactly where she needed to be and her brain was working exactly how it is meant to. Those fears that would speak to her like compelling actions, they were protecting me. But they are just thoughts. We have over 6000 thoughts a day. It's the thoughts we react to that will stay with us. We get to CHOOSE which thoughts we listen to. We can choose to believe more positive thoughts. At first, it will be kind of awkward and uncomfortable, but keep repeating, "I am okay, I am strong, I am beautiful," and you will find it starts to become normal, starts to make you feel good and you may even feel a bit of a flame start to rise in your heart. Your fire is not out, it just needs some fuel. Fuel it with kindness, love and passion. These things are within us all.
What if everything you wish to be, you already were? Trust yourself and know that those fears are just thoughts, thoughts that you don't have to act on.
I never ever thought I would be here today, saying these things, but I am so glad I am. I am proud of that girl that held onto the feeling that there was more to her life.
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