feeling like shit
I struggled with writing this since i don’t usually write about personal stuff but i figured it would be interesting to share my story. I think sharing stories is important. It helped me to read other people’s stories. So if my story helps one person i’ll be happy.
- First, i’d like to describe to you the situation i was in. I think that depression kicked when i was 12/13. At that time, i started feeling very darkly about the world, and about my situation. I had social anxiety since i was 11. For various reasons, i had a hard time fitting in groups of people so i cultivated unhealthy relationships with usually one girl (always more “normal” than me), wich ended always badly. I was emotionally on edge, feeling as though i could never overcome the obstacles that came to me. Anything could make me cry. The sadness i felt was inexpressible. I couldn’t communicate, i was very secretive. Sometimes the tears were too overwhelming. I felt like i was loosing control. It’s a very weird feeling to cry without knowing why.
This situation kept on going and became worse as i turned 15. At that time, i had already started cutting, but nothing very serious, only scratches. I remember that i went to the store to buy myself razorblades. Cutting myself made the tears stop for a moment. I started really hating everyone. Since i had been bullied a bit in middle school, i was very paranoid and thought that people would hate me eventually, so i hated them first. Making myself bleed was what came close to a happy feeling, some kind of relief.
I was unable to overcome anything. I lived in a fantasy world where eventually, my life would turn around, in a long time, by some magical trick. I cried nearly everyday for two years. Then i stopped crying altogether for 5 years. Then it started again. I hated beeing a teenager. I didn’t fit in this world, but neither in the world of adults. I hated myself and everyone. To be able to sleep, i would sometimes eat 12 pills of medication.
I don’t remember when my eating disorder started. I know that, as far as i can remember, i found myself too fat. I dreamed of being someone else form a very early age. I wrote stories about a girl with red hair that was very thin and was a hero. I wanted people to notice me. My bulimia started very early, due to personal reasons that i won’t share here, but had to do with my family. I remember the feeling of nausea after eating too much. The obsession about eating sugar. The misery when i couldn’t eat what i wanted. Eating was an enormous part of my life.
As i started struggling with depression AND had pocket money, the situation got worse. In middle school, my main goal was to be alone at home so that i could buy food : ice cream, cakes and sweets mostly. I would eat all that quite fast, until i felt like vomiting. At that time i didn’t make myself vomit. I probably started when i was 15 or 16.
It scared me a little. I never really struggled, like i’m sure some of you have, with real health problems related to anorexia and bulimia. The most elevated frequency at which i threw up was probably 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes it would be 1 a week. Sometimes 1 a month. When i was 17, i started to have an obsession : i would weight myself in the morning (my weight would, obviously, very much define the mood i’d be in for the rest of the day), and weight myself before bed. If before bed my weight was more than 55 kg, i would make myself vomit. The holy graal was 50kg (which i never reached).
I wasn’t really anorexic, more bulimic. I felt that i could become anorexic. I think that my love for painting and drawing saved me because i knew that becoming weak meant being tired, unable to think well : when i was hungry, eating was an obsession. I felt like i was going to die if i didn’t eat. I was in a VERY bad mood and agressive with everyone. Since i had this obsession, i couldn’t paint or draw. I couldn’t think. So i had to fill myself out. I never was very thin like i wanted to be. I collected pictures of models found on the internet.
Hating yourself means that you can’t find people who will love you. They will see you through what you show them. I started really hating myself, really having low self esteem, when i was 15. At that time, i started a dialogue in my head between me and a voice that would tell me i was a piece of shit. This voice would be there with me for the next 7 years. As soon as i failed at something, suffered in a friendship, was humiliated, that voice filled my head with screams of hatred, often making me cry. I was a piece of shit. I was worth nothing. I was the weakest person ever. I was a piece of shit. I was worth nothing. I was the weakest person ever. I was a fat cow, full of disgusting flesh.
Sometimes that voice would make me talk. Seeing a picture of myself, i would say that i looked like shit. That i looked fat. I would often cry because i was disgusted with myself. I would be afraid of walking in the street. I would feel like people were staring at my ugliness.
Obviously, this behavior wasn’t very popular around the people close to me.
The thing with people who love you is that they think they can have an influence. And they can… to a certain extent.
What they can do : love you. Show you that they love you.
What they can’t do : get you out of your shit. Make you stop vomiting. Make you stop taking drugs. Make you stop hating yourself. Make you stop experimenting what you want to experiment.
At least in my case, there was nothing to do except wait.
I often thought about suicide, of course. But i never tried. I think it was, again, because of painting, drawing, writing. It was my love. I also had set myself some goals that i wanted to try before dying. Like having sex, taking this or this drug, and maybe one day be loved by someone.
(Yes, being a teenager sucks.)
But also, i think that having people caring about me counted a lot. Even though sometimes i hated those people, i couldn’t bear the idea that my death would affect them.
Sometimes i think that if i didn’t have any family, i would have killed myself. But i don’t know if that is true.
I would fantasise about suicide. I would imagine jumping out of the window, cutting my wrist, swallowing too much medication, etc. I would also sometimes, to get to sleep, imagine that i had a double of myself that would allow me to beat myself up. I would have loved to be able to get out of my body and kill it, beat it, make it suffer.
After high school, my social anxiety went worse. I would often get out of bed, dress, and then not go to the university. Because i couldn’t. Because the only thought of looking at someone and having to interact, even in the smallest way, made my knees go weak. Of course this made me feel guilty and even more shity.
Once, i read this quote : “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” Well, i think this is utter bullshit. For the very simple reason that when you hate yourself, you CAN’T surround yourself with people who are good for you. And even if you run into some in the way (i did, and kept them since), you will twist the relationship so that you suffer.
Yes, you WILL know people that treat you like shit and make you feel uncomfortable. Because that’s the way you treat yourself. If you are able to have romantic relationships (i wasn’t, only casual sex), those relationships will probably be problematic.
- How did i get out of it ? That was a long process. And before you read this, you must prepare yourself. It’s not easy to get out of behaviors, habits that you maintained for years and years. BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.
First and foremost, you have to want it.
It’s probably going to sound obvious to some people, but bear with me. Really wanting to get out of depression and/or an eating disorder is a very difficult thing, especially when you’ve lived most of your life with it. A series of question goes through your mind. Will i loose myself ? Will i still be able to do this/that ? Will x still love me ? Will i be able to like who i become ?
You have to understand one very important thing. Your depression and/or your eating disorder are NOT who you are. The person that you are has been buried alive under those monsters.
Of course, this constatation is scary. Why ? Because it means that for all this time, you have not been yourself. Hating yourself made you loose time. So much time. It made you hide parts of yourself. It made you torture parts of yourself. It’s more comforting to think that this is who you are. Why is it more comforting ? Because it feels like you’re in control. You are controlling the situation. Those things didn’t happen to you, you made them happen to you. And they became so much of you, of your everyday life, that it’s going to be hard to let them go. It’s going to be hard to accept the fact that you are a victim.
And listen to me : being a victim is ok. You were a victim of those diseases, AND IT IS OK. It’s a fact. It doesn’t mean that you have to act a certain way, or that you owe anything to other people. It’s your buisness. It’s your life. Accept it, and now, try to move on.
And i’m not going to lie to you, it’s going to be scary at times. Because you will discover someone new, it’s the person that you are when you’re able to respect yourself.
However, NEVER REGRET YOUR PAST. You did what you could, with what you had. I know it’s very hard to love yourself when who you are has partly been shaped by traumatic events that were horrible and happened to you or someone close to you.
It took me 3 years to get out of this (from the moment when i realised i really wanted to change to the moment where i realised i was not depressed anymore).
First, having a very apathic personality that rarely made things happen for myself (i was dead scared of acting towards what i wanted), i was in a very dull life. I hated the idea of failling. I hated the idea of trying to do something, and be disappointed. Going to a party, getting bored. Showing my work to people and be criticized. Trying to exhibit my paintings and get rejected.
For sure, it’s not easy when the idea of going to a party with people you don’t know is something that makes you very anxious because you don’t like talking to people and feel judged. It’s not easy to show what you do when you know that the smallest amount of criticism will make you feel like shit, make the voice inside of you insult you, make you cry.
BUT it’s very important to be able to fail and be disappointed.
You have to start by embracing life. This means, not focusing on only the negative. Start by chosing action. Go to parties, to concerts. When your friend proposes to bring someone to the coffee you’re supposed to have together later, accept it. Explore your city. Walk in the street. Make a detour on your way home. Try to break your habits. Accept every opportunity to make a change.
It’s going to be hard. Because it IS going to be disappointing. Because it IS going to be a long process. You are going to have anxiety attacks. You are going to cry.
There was a few events, first attempts, that were failures for me. But i will never regret them.
Talking to a guy and trying to make him like me. It was the first time i actually engaged a conversation with someone i wanted to fuck. A healthy desire for a boy my age. But he didn’t like me. My attempts were failures, and it was painful, lasted for a year.
You’re going to face a rebuttal. It’s going to happen. And the first time will be the hardest.
But i don’t regret it for a single second.
I tried so many things. Going out, talking to people. Talking to my teachers. Having a job. Writing a mail to a person i really liked that i never met (internet), it stayed without response. But i wrote it and i’m glad. Going to lesbian parties (i’m bisexual) and trying to fit in (but i never fit in, whatever, i tried !). Making the first step in talking to people i hadn’t seen for months.
You have to detach yourself from others. You have to free yourself of the guilt of not being like others.
SO WHAT if for you, just saying hello to someone you know in school is a huge accomplishment ? Other people have been doing this, never thinking about it for years. Well, you’re not like most people. And it doesn’t matter. It’s not a big deal.
Learn to accept yourself. If you learn to accept yourself, maybe for a year you will be scared of saying hello, and then this fear will diminish. Maybe it will never totally go away. But TRYING is the best you can do.
Because when you try, at first it is very hard. But then, it becomes sort of a habit. Much like looking at yourself in the mirror and mechanicaly saying that you hate your body. IT’S A HABIT. Habits can be positive or negative.
The task is difficult. Your goal will be to transform your negative habits into positive ones.
Don’t be afraid to talk. Even if what you say is not perfect, and maybe you’re going to ask yourself why you said it later.
But as long as you do your best, and as long as you do what you truly desire, you will never be wrong to yourself. You can’t regret an act that you truly desired.
To know yourself, you have to act as if you were a stranger that you wanted to know.
Take yourself to the cinema. Spend time alone. Do what you want. From time to time, give yourself pleasure. Look closely at your body. Make it happy. Buy yourself a crazy thing. Walk for a long time. Eat weird food. Read a lot of novels.
You have to know what you want for yourself. Once you know who you want to be, try acting like what you want to be, even if it doesn’t come naturally.
I pretended i was ok with myself. I pretended i liked myself, and i was confident. The image you give of yourself will reflect on people, and after some time, you will become this person.
Most of the time, acts are better that words, and even better that thoughts, to overcome hell.
How can i love my body ? How can i stop being obsessed by weight ?
This too needs serious thinking, acting, and it takes time.
One of the first things to do, or at least it worked for me, is stop talking negatively about it.
Stop saying you look gross when seeing a picture of yourself.
Stop swearing in front of the mirror.
Stop telling yourself you’re fat.
SO WHAT ? If you actually are fat, it doesn’t matter. It’s not a crime to be fat. Fat shouldn’t be an insult or seen as a disease.
Love yourself. Look at your body, an tell it that you accept it. Touch it. Don’t be disgusted. At one point, even touching my bare skin was obnoxious for me. I had to sleep fully clothed, and in preference with my hands far from the rest of my body.
Look at it. Your body is what you have. You are human. You have a body. Stop reading bullshit, stop looking at models all the time. Stop hanging out with people who shame fat people or talk about diet all the time. Embrace yourself. Embrace your adult body. You don’t have to absolutly love it, adore it, or whatever lame ass Dove ads are trying to sell you. You just have to stop being obsessed by it. You can like it. Look at it, and say “it’s ok”, and go drink some tea, watch a movie, draw, read a book, have a walk.
You can dress it as you want. You can have fun with it. Let someone that you love touch it. Let someone that you lust touch it.
So the first step is to stop saying bullshit about it. I swear that it will feel better once it doesn’t have to hear what your disease is seeing. You will, of course, still think those things, and maybe for a long time.
But listen to your body. You will hear something beautiful.
Start respecting it.
Eating will be ok. Just eat what you want. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with food, tell yourself you’re probably not going to die today, you will have opportunities to eat apple pie another time if you’re not hungry anymore. Maybe tomorrow. Take your time. If you feel like eating a lot tonight, make yourself happy. Learn to dissociate the desire for bulimia and the desire for a good meal.
You can learn to cook. Always explore boundaries, try new recipes, make others taste it. Eat slowly. Take the time to taste it. But if sometimes you feel like eating a lot and very fast, don’t feel guilty for it. Maybe it will stay with you. But i swear it will get better, as long as you can see what you want, and fulfill that desire.
NEVER feel guilty, whatever you eat. It doesn’t matter what people tell you. Because they will tell you things. Maybe it will be your mother, maybe it will be your father, maybe your siblings, maybe your friends. They will judge you. They will look at you, and you will feel like shit at first. You will hear them talk about dieting, and probably tell you they feel fat. You will always hear other talk about their body, or the body of other people, in a negative way. But you don’t have to do that too.
That’s part of life. It will be hard because it will remind you of your eating disorder.
Try to not let it affect you.
Learn to accept love. I never believed i could be loved until last year, it was something that seemed surreal for me. (This doesn’t mean that i fell in love last year, it means that i thought about being loved and accepted it). I couldn’t grab the concept that somebody could truly love the person i was. Well, that’s logical that i wouldn’t find someone. I unconsciously refused to be loved, because i hated myself. I couldn’t be sincere, i couldn’t be true to someone. I didn’t want to.
Stop telling people how you feel about yourself in a negative way, except if it’s to ask for help. Accepting yourself is hard, and you don’t need someone else’s opinion about it. You are the master of your ship.
It will be a long process.
Respecting yourself, loving yourself.
And by loving yourself, i don’t mean being blindy adoring yourself. I mean, accepting your mistakes, trying to do better, without any hate. Being proud of yourself sometimes.
Maybe it will take years.
But it’s really worth trying !
I strongly believe that when you want something, you can get it.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that i agree with people that say “well stop being depressed lol, just be happy !”
But i think that the hard thing in life, especially when we live in a society that is so motherly criminal, is to know exactly what you want.
Get rid of the guilt. Get rid of what your parents want. Get rid of what your school wants. Of what your friends expect from you. What do YOU want ?
You may take a year to answer this question. But it’s ok. You will answer it eventually.
Once you know what you want, you have to accept the process that comes along with it. Maybe it will be very long. Maybe you will loose friends, be disappointed, be lost. But one thing is sure : you have to act towards it to get it. It will not fall from heavens. Dont complain and put everything on other people’s back. Don’t blame adversity.
Because yes, you can’t control others. You can’t control them, in a way that would make you hurt less. You can’t control injustice, awful things that happen to you, and other people.
But you can control yourself, and your actions. Of course it will not necessarily come right away. It may be hard. It may necessite work.
Maybe society doesn’t want you to know that you are, in fact, a free mind. You can decide to act. You have that power. And it’s beautiful.
- Today, i can proudly say that i am free from depression and bulimia. I know who i am. I am not a very sociable being, that’s a fact. And it’s not a big deal. Sometimes i will feel like eating a pack of candies. Sometimes i will feel like crying a little. But it’s OVER. It’s crazy to relate to what people used to say. Stuff like “when i feel sad, i listen to this song/watch this movie and i feel ok”, “oh it’s cold outside, let’s have a hot drink”, “i can talk to my friend about my problems”. I wanted to die and was so lonely for such a long time ! I still have some issues in acting, not being afraid. I still have a bit of social anxiety and panic attacks. But i don’t feel like dying. I’m ok with my body. I haven’t weighted myself in months. I’m queer and ok with that. I know what it is to love someone, and be loved in return. How weird.
- Here are some links that can interest you :
my favorite quotes concerning depression / positive mindset :
if you don’t know it already :
And one of my favorite speeches is made by J.K. Rowling (i’m obviously a potterhead - slytherin by the way, YUP) :
I hope you will find a path towards something that makes you happy.
how fucking cool is that
that moment when your cat starts being friends with your friends
EVERY SEXUAL EXPRESSION, SEXUAL ACTIVITY IS OK AS LONG AS IT IS DONE WITH CONSENT FROM THE PEOPLE INVOLVED.
that’s all. No “yeah but”. Go do something else and stop scrutinizing other people’s lifestyle.