The Fight to Love Yourself

“You can’t stop my happiness because I like the way I am … So if you don’t like the way I look, well I just don’t give a damn.”

I’ve spent a lot of time fighting to be happy with myself.

It’s hard, when you’re overweight, to find that happiness. To come to a point where you accept yourself and love yourself just how you are.

It took me many, many months to get to that point. And it’s a big deal, finally accepting and loving yourself. But you know that is going to be a battle. So you put on your fighting gear and jump into the ring. And, if you’re lucky, you come out victorious.

But no one tells you about the battle that follows.

Sure, strangers are going to give you strange looks, disgusted looks, when they see your overweight body. You’ve also prepared yourself for that battle.

But what about when the person who tells you not to be happy with yourself is a member of your family? Your blood?

When someone in your family thinks you’re not good enough…

What do you do then?

A war between families never ends peacefully. Hard feelings always exist. When you tell someone who takes medication for depression, who is finally happy with herself, basically that she shouldn’t be happy with herself or that she still needs to make changes…

It’s over.

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My stress is a corset.

Each task pulls the strings tighter, crushing my lungs. I panic, grappling at the ties, trying desperately to free myself. My vision wanes, the lack of air creating a haze.

I feel hands reach out. Blindly — afraid the hands will pull the strings tighter and bring about the end — I pounce, clawing at the predator. I hear him cry out.

It’s only then I realize what I’ve done. Those hands, mysterious hands, longed to loosen the corset.

And they have.

But the hurt hands back away slowly, turning away from my hands, which can only cause harm.

The corset is gone, but the weight remains. This time, it’s not just crushing my lungs, stopping my breath.

This weight pushes me deeper into the ground, where it will leave me, alone, as it does best. The weight is a tricky beast. Sometimes, I need help to lift it. But it gets into my brain, and it makes me drive away all those who are willing to help.

The weight leaves me, alone.

Superiority

I feel your gaze upon me, and I know what it means. A combination of pity and disgust, apparent in your eyes as you look down upon me.

“I’m better than you.”

You don’t speak, but I feel the impact of your words, pressing down on me like a boulder, round, hunching my shoulders further forward. My hips dig further into the ground, the sharp, angular bone grinding against my skin.

This is who you are now.

I crumble under your disapproving gaze.

Sabotage

I’m a sabotager.

I don’t know why I do it. But sometimes, when things are going really well, it’s like I wait for the other shoe to drop.

 

As if, for some reason, I think I don’t deserve to be as happy as I feel…

So I read way too far into the tiniest of things. And I make myself miserable. And I start doubting myself. And I start doubting other people can actually care about me.

Because apparently I don’t think I deserve happiness, and I don’t deserve to be loved.

So instead I apparently get overly sensitive and accusatory and just turn into a really ugly person.

I’m working on it. I’m better than I used to be. But I still have some way to go.

5 Essential Spring Cleaning Chores

Check out a story I wrote that got picked up by TIME!

TIME

Ah, spring cleaning. All the tasks you pushed aside earlier in the year now await you — a seemingly never-ending list of chores.

However, not everyone has the time or energy to scrub their house from top to bottom. For those who need to abbreviate this seasonal ritual, housecleaners say the following areas are the most essential:

Baseboards

“I think the thing people have the hardest time keeping up with is the baseboards,” says John Crum, owner of Crum Cleaning in Kansas City, Missouri.

To clean your baseboards, first vacuum or sweep the area. Then, take a cloth or sponge and a cleaning solution — a combination of soap and water, vinegar or a wood cleaner — and wipe down the baseboards.

High dusting

According to Crum, homeowners often forget to dust ceiling lights and fans because they’re out of reach. Others may choose not to clean them because the…

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