Me & My Body Dismorphia Disorder
As someone who suffers greatly with Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BBD, I thought it might be interesting to write a little something about how I deal with it as a 20-year-old girl, born into a generation that is so concerned about looking good and how many likes or followers they’re going to receive on their Social Media platforms.
I believe it all started during Secondary school when boys started to take interest in girls and vice versa, girls began to feel like they had to compete with other girls about who looked the best, or who was the most popular. Quite frankly, I was most definitely somewhere in the middle, I wasn’t a timid individual that sat in the corner of the room and didn’t speak to anyone, but also, I wasn’t the most popular girl that was friends with just about everyone. But don’t get me wrong, I still thought a lot about what other kids thought of me and it got to the point that I started to compare myself to these popular girls and picking out imperfections in myself that I wanted to change. On walks home from school, buses would pass me, and I would look away because I thought people on the bus would be judging my side profile or think I had a big nose, or I would go on strict diets because I wasn’t as skinny as the other girls at school, the list was endless.
I wish I could say things got better after finishing school, but unfortunately, they got considerably worse. I began to obsess with Social Media and I started to pick up bad habits such as picking at imperfections in my face because my skin wasn’t as flawless as the girls on Instagram, I would do aggressive work out routines, because I was so obsessed with my weight and this was all in aid of looking perfect for Social Media. Yet taking the actual photos for Social Media was a different story, every photo that a friend or a close family member would take of me, I would get so upset about how I looked and how those pictures made me feel and the feeling would stay with me for weeks even months. The bad, self-obsessed habits would get worse and the cycle just became vicious, yet I still had to prove to Instagram followers, that I had been to certain places or that my life was amazing, when it really wasn’t.
In 2018, I think I actually began to feel confident in myself, the insecurities were still there but I actually felt that I could love myself, I was happy with my weight and I felt good overall. Soon after starting University, I met a boy and my focus was now on him and making the relationship work, little did I know that he would be the reason that my insecurities and self-worth would deteriorate. From the beginning, I believed this boy was so similar to me and that he would build but he had the opposite effect. Because I was insecure initially, I had unfortunately settled for less and he brought me nothing but a lack of effort, he had commitment issues and would gaslight me. For those that aren’t familiar with the term ‘Gaslighting’, it is when someone will do you wrong and then manipulate you into thinking that you’re actually the bad person for thinking that they would do such a thing and then disregard your feelings altogether. By now, I no longer felt like myself and thought that this was as good as it was going to get ,because I just had no self-confidence at all. Unfortunately, it has taken me until a few months ago to realise my self-worth and put my foot down by getting rid of him and all Social media accounts from my life.
I was so unhappy and focused on Social Media or trying to find a man to make me feel secure, that I had forgot that this is my life, and it can be anything I make of it. But 2021 is where my new chapter and journey begins and where yours could too. I started off the year by creating a Dream board filled with images that will inspire me to push myself mentally and physically, including holiday destinations I would like to visit, taking up meditation to fulfil myself spiritually, my dream car and even my dream house. However, just like many other people, my main goal is to be successful and to be so happy, that I no longer need to focus on my imperfections or compare myself to the success of others. Everyone is on their own journey in life and imagine what a great place the world would be if us Women supported each other along the way, gathering all of knowledge, expertise and motivating each other to become the best version of ourselves possible. I know the last year has been extremely hard due to the COVID19 Pandemic and the mass destruction it has caused to millions of lives, but we have to stay positive. We should be focusing on our divine selves and imagining the best version of ourselves coming out of lockdown with visions and goals that WE WILL achieve. Let’s make the best of 2021 and begin or even continue our journeys to success and complete happiness.