Friday, 23 August 2013

Love, actually

I’ve been thinking a lot about a comment made by Stephbospoon on my last but one post.  It’s not the first time I’ve been told that I need to love myself a little more: indeed it is such a common refrain from P that it makes me grit my teeth in frustration.  And I can’t remember if it was him or someone else who likened it to the guidance provided in planes which tells you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others – ie, that until you love yourself, you cannot love another.  If it wasn’t P (and admittedly it sounds a little flowery for him) then this is certainly his belief.
I disagree.
Frankly I find it MUCH easier to love my friends and P than myself.  It’s true, I know I’m not supposed to admit it but I don’t much like myself.  It’s not that I think I am without redeeming features – I know that I am a staunchly loyal friend and wife and that I have enormous (if rather old-fashioned (and I am unrepentant about this)) integrity.  I have character traits I don’t like of course - which I won’t be getting into as I don’t want to alienate you!  But really, it’s my appearance which at best makes me unloveable to myself and at worst, makes me feel actual self-hatred. 
I could list all the things I absolutely hate about myself – and in fact have struggled in the past to come up with something I like about my appearance – but that sort of self-flagellation would be a step too far on a day when I’m feeling quite down anyway.  But all of this (unpublished!) list would be bearable if I weren’t fat.  I know it’s not cool, it’s not an attitude that’s anything other than despicable but I hate being fat.  I rarely meet my own eye in the mirror anymore because I just don’t want to see.  When I do see, I feel shame and horror and repulsion.
It’s not very admirable is it?  I should be able to say that I’m a nice person (I am!) and that I do the best I can with what I have (having too much!) but I can’t feel it.  I know I’m supposed to.  It doesn’t make it any easier.


Lesley said...

I am constantly amazed by how hard hitting true honesty is when written down. Difficult to read, difficult to respond to but it must be harder still to live with for you (and P probably). I dont understand cos a) I dont feel the same about fat; I'm not happy about it but don't think it's the end of the world and b) I can't undrstand why YOU don't see more of the great things about yourself and value them at least as highly as you hate the fat.

A while back you were doing a thing about valuing yourself in the blog - saying something good about yourself in every post. Might be worth going back to that??!

Lesley xx

Stephbospoon said...

I feel a bit honoured to have been mentioned - but I didn't want my comment to cut too deep. Sorry if it did. But maybe, just maybe it would be good for you to talk to somebody independent about your self esteem. I am grossly fat, but I can look myself in the eye and value myself. I don't like being fat & sometimes I am ashamed, sometimes I feel judged. But I value myself.