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On Believing in Myself

Thursday, December 06, 2012

I've suffered from depression and anxiety since high school. I've been a big girl for as long as I can remember, and after my divorce in 2001, it got even worse. I hated how I looked, but for a brief time, had friends who taught me to love who I was regardless of my size. Then I got into a relationship with a man who told me many times quite bluntly that I was fat and he would never be attracted to me. And any uplift of my self-esteem I'd built deflated to what seems like an irreparable level. But I pushed on.

In 2005, I started a weight-loss journey that lasted about a year until medical issues (more on that later) halted it. I'd lost about 40 pounds then.

I'd worked since I was 15. Then, in 2006, I was hit with very sudden and severe medical issues that landed me in the hospital for near 2 weeks. I was subsequently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. I was off work on STD for a while. Had to move back in with my parents because I couldn't take care of myself. I progressed to LTD. And eventually was approved for SSDI. The issues I deal with because of my MS have made me unable to return to work, and I probably will never be able to hold a job again.

I was even more severely depressed after this. In shock. But by some miracle, I only gained about 5 pounds back.

As many of you know, music is an important part of my life. I am a classical musician -- vocalist and violinist. When I started having problems with my singing due to having severe GERD, I knew something had to change, and I decided to start making those changes.

But as it's been for most of the rest of my life, my self-esteem and self-worth is pretty low. I don't believe in myself. I don't believe I can succeed; that I have the ability to overcome, even though I have in retrospect overcome so many difficult and even traumatic things in my life. I try to put on the happy face, but deep in my core, I am very unhappy with who I am. I struggle with severe anxiety, and this affects many aspects of my life.

In terms of my weight-loss journey, I can't accept that I'm actually being successful. And even if I could, I can't see the physical differences. I'll always be that fat girl, and she will always stare back at me in the mirror. Throw in the issues of having so much loose skin from the lost weight, and sometimes I feel even more ugly than I felt before. Even though people tell me I look great. Even though my boyfriend tells me I look wonderful and he's still attracted to me. It doesn't register with me. And I struggle with this on a daily basis. Along with every other anxiety-filled thought that fills my head.

I've been on medications since high school. I am on a combination that works relatively well, but I still struggle. I am in therapy, and it helps, but I still struggle. But I hope that someday, it will get easier to believe in myself. Trust myself. Know that I can indeed succeed.

I don't really have a point I guess I just needed to get some of this out. This was all very difficult for me to write out. It's hard to see it in words in front of my eyes. Thanks for reading.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for being brave enough to share that. I think that self-acceptance, like weight-loss, is a journey. You can learn to find value in who you are, just as you learned to change your eating and exercise habits. I know this is true, because I have come a long way on my own personal journey with learning to like myself and treat myself kindly. I had never thought of equating that with weight loss, so thank you for shedding light on this new perspective.

    2024 days ago
    It's really brave of you to post your feelings like this. Hopefully sharing this with your Spark friends and getting their support will help you figure out some of these issues. I think you are beautiful and fantastic! Your success is inspiring especially since you have health issues that would stop others from even trying to lose weight and get fit.
    2026 days ago
    I just read your story in the comment you left on my blog and I'm glad you got it out. That's how I felt when I wrote my blog. It was a bit like therapy for me. I was amazed at the similarities between us. I too have been diagnosed w/ GERD(LPR), which I think I mentioned when I first requested you. I was also diagnosed w/ anxiety, depression and panic disorder earlier this year which has had a lot to do w/ me not going back to work yet. I'm just not emotionally ready. I also am still having health issues. I think we both deserve more than we're giving to ourselves right now. We deserve the best, and believe me, I understand the struggles with anxiety. I can't realte to everything you deal w/ physically, and I pray you find peace and wellness in every area. I appreciate so much your thoughful response to my blog as it does help to know I'm not alone although I don't like to hear that anyone is struggling in the same way I do. I would encourage you to go back and read the comment that CLH722 left on that same blog. She said some really encouraging things and I don't know if I can say it better than her. I'm here for you as well and I appreciate your support, and same goes for me. PM me anytime. :) emoticon P.S. I also go to therapy, which helps, but it's through the state so I only get to go once every 5 or so weeks. Not cool, but that's how they're doing it cuz it's free. They really need to do something more than that to help ppl but I am thankful for the sessions I DO get. :)
    2026 days ago
    I've read a lot about people who have lost weight and have a hard time accepting being not-the-fat-girl. I hope you can take satisfaction in a job well done if you have truly lost weight. Congratulations!
    2026 days ago
    You are successful in your journey and you look great! I can relate to your traumatic life and anxiety as I have been there. Keep the feel and the music, I use it to de-stress. Take good care and know that I believe in you!
    2026 days ago
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