Oh, I’ve been there. Rolling around the bed, groaning. Not because I’ve reached orgasm, but because I’ve reached for another biscuit after already devouring a two pack of sausage rolls, a bowl of pesto pasta and a small child.
It’s not always food. Sometimes it’s the morning after a heavy wine session. Waking up with severe ‘hangxiety’ wondering if I’ll ever be the yoga-going-but-still-edgy-as-fuck-writer I want to be. Successful women do not spend their Sundays led down in dark rooms, do they?
There’s nothing quite like a social situation to really push me on the path of personal self-loathing. Only the other day I bumped into a friend’s friend in the supermarket. Because he was male and I’m ridiculously awkward he spoke to me and I found a few rather unimpressive verbs and nouns. Walking off Kirstie and I have an internal discussion which goes a little like this. “What is wrong with you, just talk normally?”. “I’m sorry Kirstie, I’d respond to your internal questioning but I can’t find the words.” “We must get a therapist”.
Despite the above the one thing that really makes me lose my shit to myself is when I misplace or forget something. I was that child. The one that loses things and now I’m an adult I am still forever branded as forgetful, disorganised and quite frankly a bit useless. The other day I spend twenty minutes looking for the remote that was by my foot. I can’t find my mums Greatest Showman DVD even though I SWEAR I gave it back to her and Waterloo’s lost and found has a large collection of hats, scarves, gloves, notebooks and umbrellas.
Following periods of severe internal bashing from yours truly, an unrealistic plan is usually conjured up. A remedy for my overeating, drunk embarrassment or inadequate social interactions. These plans include drinking green juice forever, drinking alcohol never and leaves me hoping that a new personality (and perfect skin) might arrive at the front door, preferably in a little blue box. A new casing that Gods gifted me from a much cooler human because let’s face it, it’s not like he’s got anything better to do with his time.
Once these plans are made, I feel motivated. My inner voice is screaming at me like my old PE teacher to stop throwing my hockey stick in the air and take part. The motivation to drink kale for the rest of my life starts to dwindle at around 11.53am the next day and the cycle repeats each time I do something that turns out slightly less perfect than Jennifer Anniston’s hair. Deep down I knew my evil pep talks wouldn’t work because I never did respond well to shouting, or take part in hockey for that matter.
How many times have you placed your face two millimetres from the mirror, analysed every inch and arrived at the conclusion your pores look disgusting? Have you ever pulled at your stomach fat after an Italian and wondered why you just did that outrageous act of eating or get home, lay in bed and stare at the ceiling thinking of all the things you could have said instead of the one shit thing you did? Me too.
We punish ourselves so cruelly for our own short comings, quirks and mistakes if we can even call them that, yet are so lenient with others.
Over the past few years I have spent a lot of time trying to change the way I speak to myself. If like me though, for the past fifteen years you have told yourself you are more potato than human and only deserve to sprout little gross things, it’s easier said than done. These days I feel more like a friend to myself, all be it a slightly bitchy, flaky one, but a friend none the less. Of course some days I look in the mirror and decide I’m going to lose two stone, become socially less awkward and make my hair less shit but the majority of the time I’m quite nice to myself.
We have to get comfortable with our own bodies and personalities so we can appreciate them. So we can see them for more than something to be improved, a home for cellulite or a place the hairs live that we missed with our razors. When you really see yourself, that’s when you start to love yourself.
Stand in front of the mirror naked, a lot. I dare you to pick out the things you love and say them out loud. There is no doubt in my mind you will find multiple, even on your first try but if you can’t find anything aesthetically pleasing then thank it for keeping that liver functioning even after a few too many glasses of Prosecco. Do this often and love the parts of you that make you, you. The more you do it, the more you don’t mind hanging out with Saggy Sarah or chilling with Celia Cellulite.
When you have a shower in the morning and apply your shower oil do so in a loving manor, not like you’re sticking a car through the car wash. The more you physically treat your body in a compassionate way the more your thoughts lean towards love for this amazing creation that keeps all your spectacular gross stuff safely inside.
We are told this a lot but I’m going to tell you again anyway. Nothing is perfect because perfect means there must be an end goal and let’s face it, life doesn’t work like that. You may never have the ability to talk to total strangers and feel confident (sobs). You may never have perfect skin (I BLOODY WILL) or the ability to stop laughing at the most awkward moments, you know, goldfish memorials, that kind of thing, but you do have the ability to decide to be forgiving towards yourself. A large part of learning to like the people we are is learning how to forgive ourselves for being sometimes well below par on the standards scale we have set.
If you arrived at your interview late telling yourself you are a useless person that didn’t deserve the job anyway will surprise surprise, not comfort you or ensure you arrive at your next interview on time. Telling yourself you are a disgrace after the only thing left from a share bag of sensations is the bag will not make you drop ten pounds or feel good about yourself.
Every time I do something that didn’t go to plan, I try to remember to tell myself the following; “It’s okay, I forgive you, you’re doing alright.” Sometimes I still call myself a potato but that’s much less often now and I am one, mighty fine, potato.
Lots of love,