Trigger Warning: Today’s post involves themes of bullying, drug use, alcohol use
Hey everyone, Ruby here again, and today I wanna write about self-esteem. Growing up I didn’t have very good self-esteem. When other girls started to hit puberty, and develop, I got made fun of for having a flat chest, which led me to stuff my bra, which led to tissue falling out in P.E., and I got made fun of more. I was made fun of for being skinny, and short as a kid. I couldn’t really control being skinny as a child, I would eat fairly big portions, but I was also super active. I got made fun of for being emo, then I got made fun of for being basic. Then for a while, I stopped caring what people thought. I did my own thing, I wore what I liked, I dyed my hair fun colours ( I still do this), I got facial piercings, etc. I started liking who I was in high school, and I was no longer being made fun of because I went to a very accepting high school (for a short time I was in school).
My self-esteem got worse into adulthood, but I think most of that was because of my mother, and my ex-boyfriend. My mother would get drunk or high, and get pissed off at me and attack my appearance, and now I realize it was because she was jealous, but at the time I really believed those things about myself. My ex would take note of the things I disliked about my appearance and use that while we were fighting, calling me names, and using what I felt were negative pieces of myself against me. So I started hating my physical appearance and who I was as a person. He would also say that I was only good for sex, which further skewed my opinion of myself.
When we broke up, I started sleeping around, and selling nudes, and my body. I figured if I was only good for sex, the least I could do was profit. Basically, I had no self-esteem and was also using to cope with how much I hated myself. And there were people willing to exploit that.
When I first got into recovery, I didn’t even want to look at myself because I was seeing my face sober for the first time in years. And I hated what I saw, my skin was grey, my teeth were neglected, my hair was thin and I was breaking out everywhere. Eventually when I started eating food, being hydrated, etc I was able to see something I liked in the mirror.
Nowadays my biggest struggle is my weight. I put on a fair bit of weight from being in recovery, and I had very limited mobility, so it was hard for me to exercise. But I’m working out and trying to eat healthy most days, and noticing an improvement.
I really like myself now, not just surface level, what the mirror shows me, but who I am within myself.