Hm.. thinking back on that time period makes me sad... It’s sad that I always felt so bad about myself. And it’s sad to know that there are people out there feeling the same way, or who have it even worse than I did.
This is a private post I made 7-11-03:
I have such a negative self-image... I have managed to convince myself that I’m pretty. Maybe not beautiful, and not as pretty as some other women, but still pretty. Now I’m starting to feel that I’m fat again. I’m not fat. I know I’m not. I weigh maybe 120 pounds now, maybe not quite that much. But I feel fat... I look at my thighs and think they’re fat. I look at my stomach and think I’m fat, though I always seem to do so right after I’ve eaten, so of course my stomach looks bigger. I keep finding things “wrong” with me.
Yesterday, we went to the pool. I looked at my sister in her swimsuit and looked at myself, and felt so inadequate. She has bigger breasts than me already. She’s thinner and more shapely than me. Didn’t everyone always say that she would turn out bigger than me, more like my aunt than my mother? I feel like, at this point in time, I should be looking more like a woman, but I still feel like such a girl, like I’m still growing, hoping for a better figure. I have no hips. I feel misproportioned. I want to be what I am not.
I’m in between sizes, which doesn’t help much either. My size fives are to small to fit around my ass, and my size sevens I need a belt for. I have been thinking about exercising more, which probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, since I don’t get out much. But why do I always feel like there’s something wrong with me? I think the problem is that I always compare myself to people that are better than me... And I forget that I don’t need to be perfect. But I still want to be as perfect as I possibly can be...
I think that bdd is alot similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder, which I happen to have as well. It’s hard to tell then whether or not my obsessions about my appearance are ocd-related, or if it is due to bdd. But, I think that all the imagined defects and poor self-esteem because of that link it more to bdd. I’d tend to just focus on the negative things I’d find wrong with my appearance. I’d be so focused on the minute details that I wouldn’t even pull back and look at myself as a whole and realize just how pretty I was. If I found one imperfection, then I just couldn’t be happy with how I looked, and I thought everyone else was sure to notice it.
It would take me forever to get ready - it still does, although I am loosening up somewhat. The part in my hair had to be perfectly symmetrical. I never stopped to look at other people and see that their parts weren’t perfect. I didn’t judge other people by the same standards I held myself to, yet I insisted on making myself look as perfect as possible, else I feared people would think less of me. And I still have to go through all the steps of getting myself ready, putting on makeup, etc. each day, even if I’m not going anywhere, because otherwise I feel incomplete, unfinished. I am learning, though, that I don’t have to look perfect at every single moment. My family sees me without makeup whenever I get up and before I get ready, so I don’t have to worry about reapplying it later in the day when it wears off. Yes, it’s not perfect, but they’ve seen me looking worse, so it’s no big deal.
I think that part of overcoming bdd is just changing the way you look at yourself. People would tell me I was pretty, and so I started to wonder if maybe they were right, and I’d start looking for things in myself that were pretty. I’d look at other people - normal people, not glamorized models - and I’d see that yeah, hey, I was prettier than alot of them. And I’d notice that other people didn’t spend as much time on their appearance as I did, and they still looked fine. And I began to realize just how irrational my behaviors and my thoughts about myself were. I’d try focusing on good things about myself until, at times, I could look at myself in the mirror and feel gorgeous. And I finally realized that there was no point in feeling bad because you don’t look like other beautiful people, because we are all different, and some of us just aren’t built to look that way. We each have our own kind of beauty, and we have to accept that and appreciate that.