Name Your Demons
This is painful to write. But it needs to be written because the body positive world has a darker side behind all the shine and pom-poms. I hope you have an easier path to self-love, but for me to find it something inside me had to break and burn. We all have demons. They're our deepest fears and insecurities and they take all different forms. Sometimes they look like hot buttons that our loved ones accidentally push, resulting in an overblown battle. The people we trust most have put the mask of our demon on and don't understand why we attack like our lives depend on it. Sometimes they look like anxieties, controlling us with a vague but pressing fear that leave us wondering what is wrong with us and leave others helpless to make us feel safe from the ghosts and shadows they cannot see. Sometimes they look like nothing at all, a quiet pain that shapes our personality and behavior.. a perfect inception that shows no footprints at all. My demon looked like a woman just a little too preoccupied with the concept of beauty. If I felt like I had it, I felt fine; if I felt like I was lacking, I was painfully insecure and shelled off. It looked like a new life of fitness which drew admiration but was fueled by self-hate and negativity. And on this went for over a decade. Then one day it came, the voices that were previously dull murmurs rose to a shriek. I heard the messages coming from my own mind and heart as the shapeless took shape: -"You will lose your looks, and then you will lose your friends, your husband, and people will ignore and reject you." -"If you don't maintain a certain level of attractiveness you will go back to how you were when you were a chubby, shitty little kid. No one liked you. You were always a second choice. People pitied you. You are unremarkable. You have nothing special about you. You will be unacceptable." -"Without socially acceptable levels of youthful beauty, they will see you for what you are: boring, selfish, average, mediocre, unimpressive." The voices sounded like mine. They sounded like truth. I stood in front of a mirror as I openly wept and tried to write a positive message on the mirror to undo what I was feeling but all I could bring myself to write was one message, a summary of all of it: "You Are A Piece Of Shit." I stood looking at it superimposed over my reflection, feeling it, bathing in it. My demon stared at me in the mirror and for the first time I was able to give it a name. And naming it, seeing it, I finally realized how to fight it. I realized this message hadn't come from me. It wasn't truth, it wasn't right and I KNEW it wasn't right. I am a daughter of God. I have been fearfully and wonderfully made. I have been created in the image of God and I am LOVED. I'm loved by Him and by the people in my life because of the qualities HE created in me. I am kind, honest, patient, loving, and resilient. I am not worthless. As I slowly fed myself tentative bites of the truth I realized that I had been starving for ages. I had tasted truth but I had never EATEN and been filled with it. I had been hungry for so long I had forgotten what being full felt like. And it's amazing what happens when you're full. You can finally stop being consumed with finding food and you can focus on other things, like helping feed other people. Because no one deserves that kind of emptiness.