Why do we degrade ourselves?

Lately, all those ads that show up at the beginning of every new season (the current phase called the beginning of the new year is the most extreme one, but spring and the beginning of summer sadly aren’t much better) at all kinds of places so it’s basically impossible to escape them have been badly triggering me again, and because they make me feel this way, they also make me wonder.
Why is it such a huge deal for our society to pressure ourselves to slim our waist when something supposedly new shows up in our lives? Why, instead of focusing on what’s coming for us and trying to make the best out of it, do we reduce important matters to the shape of our tummies and put ourselves down so long that we start to feel like we aren’t enough anymore?
And why do we make something like the number the scale shows a more important matter than our happiness and health? Or maybe I should ask a different question: Why have we convinced ourselves that we need a certain dress size to be able to be both genuinely happy and healthy?
Whether it’s Instagram, YouTube, Google, the extra pages in the overpriced magazines, the billboards at the local subway station or the ad breaks on TV: Weight loss seems to be more important than anything else when starting into the new year. The variety of options, methods and advice are endless, but one thing is for sure: If you want this to be a good year, you need to get thinner.
And we believe it.
Trying on some shirts at H&M the other day, I overheard girls as young as maybe fourteen years talking about having to lose that holiday belly they’d gained, wishing my neighbor a happy new year, I got to hear about her being in desperate need to ‘finally’ get rid of her baby fat since her child is now already several months old, and going to the restaurant, my companion chose the ‘low carb’ options because that’s the only way to ‘get back on track’.
And yes, these things left me triggered and very self-conscious, but also puzzled.
Why do we make something as trivial as the amount of our body fat the center of your lives and the seemingly ultimate key to success in life?
It’s funny how we all tell each other how beautiful we naturally are and that we should love ourselves the way we are, but talk about weight loss strategies on the next page.
Is that really our life’s purpose? Isn’t that quite tragic when you think about it? That an image in the mirror defines how the world thinks about you, and even worse, how you think about yourself and whether you’re worthy or disgusting?
We’re constantly degrading ourselves to a level that it shocks and amazes me at the same time.
Yes, I do it too, but I wish I didn’t. This is not the way you should live your life. Desperately trying to change your shape to fit into a social construct of purely fictional perfection only gets you to one place: desperation.
I’ll never ever be good enough if I continue to let others determine whether I am.
It’s an unfortunate fact, but it is one.
This is a new year, and I won’t live it in self-hatred because I can’t acknowledge my own beauty and prefer to listen to sick voices telling me how to destroy myself for good. This society, these thoughts and these disorders are trying to take me down to make themselves feel better, and that doesn’t make them any better than another playground bully in middle school pushing around first graders to feel like a big man.
I need to end this before it ends me; I realize that now, and everyone else should too.
We. Are. Enough.
Downgrading ourselves just to belong at a sick place is not a mindset we should continue to raise our children with.

To quote one of my favorite online newspaper articles of all time I today finally printed out to finally give it its well-earned spot on my wall:
“Losing weight is not your life’s work, and counting calories is not the call of your soul. You surely are destined for something much greater, much bigger, than shedding 20 pounds or tallying calories. What would happen if, instead of worrying about what you had for breakfast, you focused instead on becoming exquisitely comfortable with who you are as a person? Instead of scrutinizing yourself in the mirror, looking for every bump and bulge, you turned your gaze inward?” – Lisa Turner

And now that I’ve finished my little thinking session, I need to get back to Netflix and my new KISS playlist on Spotify. Think about it, though. Ask yourself these questions. I sure will.

And before I leave… Read this (it’s not that long and you won’t regret it): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-turner/body-image_b_1431566.html

This year can ACTUALLY be better

When I was a child, I loved Christmas. Loved the excitement, the preparations, decorations, smells, tastes, baked goods, dishes, wishes, books, movies, and, of course, the gifts that really brought the Christmas spirit into my heart. Over the years, I unfortunately slowly began to realize that Christmas actually isn’t nearly as awesome as we always expect it to be every year.
Countless songs and movies and weeks of stress all for an event that could never reach my high expectations seemed a little odd, and it disappointed me even more that the magnificent holiday harmony never really made it into our house since everyone annually tried their best to be nice, but ended up being just as bitchy and up for fights as they did the other eleven months of the year. The older I grew, the more my love for the legendary event faded until I recently decided I actually hate it.
So much money, horrible music, stupid stories, cheesy decor and films, complicated meals and days filled with nothing but stress all for the desperate attempt to pretend to be a happy perfect family and be kind to each other? We need one day we spend hugging our families, give each other presents and donate to charity and then we don’t give a damn for the rest of the year? Why? Why make such a huge deal out of that one day that’s never as great as they portray it on TV?
Honestly, I just find the whole thing really annoying today. I’m not even Christian and even if I were, the whole Christmas thing doesn’t have much to do with Christianity anyways considering it’s all about the food and wrapped new things, and nobody really cares about Jesus who was born in summer.

This year, I tried my best to get my family the perfect things, make a nice vegan meal my eating disorder could somehow forgive me for, look and act festive, smile, laugh, pretend to love everything and everyone and not talk about politics, but Christmas Eve ended up being the usual disaster anyways despite my desperate attempts and not screwing anything up.
My father spent the afternoon at our place which put me under such enormous pressure and made me feel so awful that I actually cried and purged in the shower and covered it up with some makeup afterwards to not ruin the mood, but when he decided to stay for Christmas dinner, I could no longer take it and kindly expressed that I’d prefer him to (finally) go- which ended up making me look like a mean bitch and him leaving angry and offended.

We (my mom, sister and baby) actually had a great time together unwrapping gifts for each other afterwards (I got some amazing clothes and books and seemed to have bought the perfect items for my folks), but my awfully touchy teenage sister freaked afterwards when we wanted to do the annual Christmas photos which led to an intense fight between the two of them with me right in the middle.
And as usual, I was the one to blame in the end because that’s just how things work in our family. Me being the only one who actively tried to create some harmony then made the others watch a crappy Christmas family movie which led to another fight because my wonderful little sister couldn’t even pay attention for five minutes without taking out her phone to text her friends who obviously didn’t care a lot about their own families either.

I mean, let’s be honest: I could have perfectly lived without Christmas in the first place. If they had listened to me just once, we wouldn’t have celebrated this shit. But because they insisted to be a part of the unnecessary social convention, I at least wanted to do it the right way and not make it the reason for another argument. I at least wanted it to be nice and peaceful.
But we rarely get what we want, so the day ended the way it already did the last few years: With everyone dissatisfied and angry.

The following day was a little better because it was a harmonic one without arguments because everyone was somehow suddenly able to pull themselves together, but what kind of sucked was the fact that we had lunch with my grandma at a restaurant where they pretty much only served meat which caused two problems: 1) My grandma is an extremely religous racist & 2) I’m vegan.
But: I made it through. I felt quite horrible the whole day, but I made it and there was no yelling or crying coming from anyone, so it was definitely better than the previous day.

What I’m telling you now might sound a little rude towards my family, but the only time I really got to enjoy myself during the holidays was when my best friend stayed for the night shortly after Christmas and she and I binge watched Stranger Things the whole night on the couch with red wine. So I guess that was my kind of Christmas. Nothing ‘christmassy’ involved, but I got what Christmas is (or should actually be) about: Happiness, peace, relaxation, harmony and fun with a loved one.
Let’s be positive, right?
If you can’t have a nice Christmas, you can at least have nice holidays afterwards.

Also, my only really close male friend (I usually can’t have friendships with guys without starting a relationship with them) came over for a night and I introduced him to the fabulous world of American Horror Story which was awesome.
Besides, we don’t get to see each other often, so I had missed spending some quality time with him.

And before I had the chance to pause for a moment and recapitulate the year that had passed so much faster than I had expected it to, New Year’s Eve had already arrived and I didn’t have anyone to watch my baby, so I stayed at home.
The thought of that was really depressing at first because it is somehow socially expected from people until the age of thirty to celebrate that day and make it a big party with friends or at a club, but the way the night turned out to be surprised me in the best imaginable way.
I can now honestly say that this was the best New Year’s Eve I’ve had in years. Isn’t that crazy?
I didn’t expect that AT ALL.
While I had spent the previous New Year’s Eve half asleep because my baby had only been a month old and therefore extremely exhausting and tiring, and the others before that partying even though I hate going out with people (I did it just to not be the outsider) and coming home done with my life, planning my suicide and cutting or purging, I really didn’t give a damn about what anyone would think about my way to celebrate this year and didn’t hold any expectations either, and maybe that’s why it turned out to be such a great night.
There is absolutely nothing special, party-like or cool about watching Netflix for the whole night while getting drunk and listening to Mötley Crüe, but who cares?
I don’t! And guess what? I love these things, so I enjoyed the night!
I mean, yeah, I had to actually lock the basement and put away everything that might trigger my eating disorder or depression which sounds ridiculous and made me feel so embarassed that I didn’t tell anyone except my counselor (I mean, I know that it’s because of my mental disorders, but I still feel really weak and like I have a huge lack of self-discipline thinking about it), BUT I MADE IT.
Without a breakdown, without binging, without purging or anything else related to my diseases.

I made it.
I started 2017 happy- for the first time in almost a decade.
I can now say that these holidays didn’t go as planned AT ALL, but they ended way better than I thought they would and I can proudly say that the new year has actually been good so far- for the first time in all these years.
I do struggle every single day (right now, I’m keeping my shit together to not purge the piece of vegan chocolate cake I ate because it wasn’t sugar free and sugar is one of my ‘forbidden’ foods) and it certainly isn’t easy and makes me doubt myself and feel depressed all the time, but I’m trying.
I’m a work in progress. And that’s okay.

Even though I so far haven’t binged or purged this year, I know that I will relapse again at some point. I’ve attempted recovery enough times to know how hard it is and how often failure is a part of it. It’s not a choice you make just once.
But this time, I’m trying anyways. I’m not giving up on myself just because things are hard because I’m now willing to waste another year I could invest to recover to feed my sicknesses instead.
Every day is a fight, but it’s worth it because I want to live the life I deserve with my son and my goals and dreams.
And I know that I can’t have any of it if I decide to give in to my twisted thoughts. Let’s be honest: This year will be tough. I’ll hate myself and my body, I’ll fall, I’ll feel bad, I’ll relapse.
But I’ll get back on my feet somehow because I don’t want to throw away everything I have and can have just because of the lies these voices are telling me about how worthless and weak I am, because I’m not.
This year won’t end with me being healthy and happy.
But it will end with me being healthier and happier than ever before.
Recovery takes a lot longer than 365 days, but 365 days are a good start.
It’ll be worth it.
For my family.
For my son.
And for myself.
I’m more scared than I’ve ever been in my life, but I need to do this in order to get my life back. This time, my resolutions will become reality.

I swear I don’t belong here
But I believe
Don’t tell me this all comes from fear
I promise I’ll be different
There’s nothing left
I’m on my knees surrendering
This can’t be

I didn’t know I lost it all
Didn’t know I’d break and fall
This isn’t who I’m meant to be
There’s so much here that I found missing