When mental health and self-image get in the way

Hello everyone!

It has been a long time since I have written anything.  It has been a long time since I’ve posted daily outfits consistently as well.  Why would this be?  It is simple and complicated at the same time.  I have been dealing with a lot of self-image issues which has taken a tole on my mental health.

I have had health issues for over ten years now suffering often with illnesses relating to some chronic conditions.  This winter saw me take more sick days than I had in previous years. These health issues directly effected my mental health.  And so I ate.  I gained a lot of weight and now I am a size 18/20.  This lead me down a shame spiral about having to  buy larger clothing, how I looked, and how all of this made me feel ugly.  These feelings lead me to not want to share my outfits (they have remained damn good but, I didn’t feel good about them).  I tried to share some nail posts, some make-up posts, but even these felt forced for me at the time.

Enter multiple doctors, including a therapist.

I started a journey in February to tackle every health problem (my chronic illnesses are being treated and I’m on the road to wellness!) and my mental health problem; my addiction to food. You might be sitting there thinking, how is this possibly an addiction?  We need food to survive! Plus, you should not be ashamed of eating or how you look because we are all body positive, right?

I agree, we need food and you should never be ashamed of who you are.  But, when eating becomes destructive in your life, then it needs to be addressed, and for me it became destructive. I started working with someone who specializes in trauma and cognitive therapy. This was very important so that I could identify and work on all the issues from my past that have lead to me being addicted to food.  It was something that I developed early in life to be able to survive and stuff emotions down deep.

Since this moment I have been hesitant to share about this.  It invites people in to talk about their ‘diets’ and things they do that work for them. So for anyone who is preparing to provided these things, first let me say, I am so happy for you! I am so glade you found the best thing for you!  However, I am not looking for your diet advice, your tricks to curb sugar cravings, or your exercise routines.  As much as I understand where you are coming from, it is the least helpful thing on this journey.  There is a reason why in Over-eaters Anonymous they do not let you talk about food or diets. Instead, I am sharing to be open and honest.  I am trying to remove any shame I have about it.  Hiding is not an answer to my problems either.

Looking Towards the Future, a better Self-Image

So, here is to many more steps on this journey to get myself back to a place where I am happier with my self-image.  Here is to feeling proud of myself again regardless of size and health issues. And here is to more full body photos, like this one! I feel like I need a better background and lighting for full body shots. Though, who doesn’t love all this art?!

Resources

Mental health awareness month might have been May, it’s never too late to talk about it.  If you are looking for resources, here are a few to start:

Mental Health America

NYC Well

13 Health Resources that are Free