Hating yourself sucks. It just does. It sucks to worry about every stomach jiggle and patch of cellulite and makeup-less photograph. It sucks to compare your clusterfuck of a life to your 352 Facebook friends who all happen to have picture perfect husbands and kids and jobs. It sucks to feel like you have no willpower or motivation or chance at success. It sucks when your big toes look like astronauts (and not in a good way) so you’re too self-conscious to wear certain types of sandals. (That last one is just a for-instance.)
When you hate yourself, walking through life is like walking through a metaphorical field of landmines. You try to take a step forward and everything explodes and your legs get blown off and you’re left in this dirty pile of rubble, with a couple of bloody stumps where your legs used to be, looking around, wondering what the fuck is happening with my life?
Every mirror your walk past reflects your Polish birthing hips and all of a sudden, you can’t formulate any thought other than muffin top gross fat ew muffin top lose weight fatty muffin top barf. Boom. Landmine explosion.
Every family function is an opportunity to sabotage your perfect and controlled and guaranteed-to-help-you-lose-7-pounds-in-7-days juice cleanse. Your crazy aunt starts pressuring you to pop out a couple kids and all of a sudden, you look down at the once-full bowl of Doritos and your orange-tinted fingertips and you realize that you’ve failed at yet another detox attempt. Why even bother? You have no willpower anyway; you’re worthless. Boom. Landmine explosion.
Every candy bowl at a reception desk filled with stale Werther’s caramels and goo-filled strawberry grandma candies is tempting. You eat five pieces of candy and your day is ruined because now you’re 50 calories over your daily limit and you might as well just get Taco Bell for dinner because you’re going to be fat anyway. May as well lean into it. Boom. Landmine explosion.
Every shopping trip is a dressing room breakdown waiting to happen. You try on a pair of size whatever jeans, they don’t fit (even though you’ve been a size whatever for your whole life practically!), and all of a sudden you’re sobbing in Nordstrom’s while a chipper seventeen-year-old salesperson hovers around outside feeling uncomfortable. Boom. Landmine explosion.
Every compliment is an opening to an argument. Your boyfriend: “You look great today!” You: “Me? Really? Wow. Now I know that everything you say is a lie because I look like a disgusting beached whale with mop hair and a pizza face. If you’re lying to me about my looks, what else are you lying to me about? Do you have another girlfriend on the side? Is that what this is about? LIAR!” Boom. Landmine explosion.
Every beach vacation is a chance to bash your “bikini body.” For some reason, it feels good to talk about how horrible you look. It feels impossible to shut up about your back fat and your armpit boobs and how weird your bellybutton looks. Before you know it, you’re on a self-hate diatribe against yourself, and everyone around you wants to get eaten by a shark just so they don’t have to listen to you bitch anymore. Boom. Landmine explosion.
Every party or happy hour or girls’ night is a major stressor. How will you fit the calories into your weekly calorie budget? What drinks have the fewest calories? You spend an hour at work Googling “low calorie drinks.” You show up to happy hour armed with gum (so you don’t snack on the mozzarella sticks sitting on the table) and your low-cal drink order. But then all of your friends are ordering strawberry daiquiris, and damn those look fruity and sassy, and look! they even come with cute little umbrellas, and all of a sudden your vodka + seltzer + lime drink looks a whole lot less appetizing. Before you know it, you’re four daiquiris and eight mozzarella sticks deep on a Thursday night, flirting with a guy who is probably like 32 but on second thought might be around 58 because he’s talking about his grandkids. Then you wake up on Friday morning and skip breakfast on account of the mozzarella sticks and vow to do better next time. Boom. Landmine explosion.
When you hate yourself, life is uncomfortable and scary. Events that should be fun and silly end up being stressful and anxiety-provoking. That’s because when you hate yourself, you aren’t gentle and compassionate with your mistakes. You aren’t forgiving and kind and loving with yourself. You can’t laugh at funny things, like when you drunk-eat all of the mozzarella sticks. Instead, you beat yourself up. You feel ashamed. You feel worthless. You feel stuck in your life and uncomfortable in your body and everything sucks.
So stop it, for fucks sake. Stop hating yourself. Make the decision to laugh through the moments that feel really hard. Try to maintain some perspective. Get help if you need it; find a friend, a therapist, an online community, anything to help you learn how to love yourself.
Because when you’re good to yourself, life is good to you. Things are happy and easy and funny. Food tastes better. Vacations are better. Sex is better. Your friends are funnier. Life is more vibrant.
When you love yourself, things just…flow. When you forgive yourself, you aren’t afraid to take risks and fail. When you’re compassionate with yourself, your confidence shines through.
You deserve it.
IN THE COMMENTS:
What are your “landmines?”
Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday!