Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

Translate

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Having low self esteem

I am not sure how obvious it is through my blog, but i suffer from low self esteem. Though it has improved alot over the years as i have become more confident and learnt to improve my self esteem, but i still struggle with it.



I often think that i am not good enough, and that i dont do enough. Despite hours of study i never feel it is good enough and i still feel like i am the dumbest person in the class even if my grades are at a very high level. I constantly feel like i annoy people which is one of the reasons i never reach out to people and am rarely the first person to text/message someone as i feel like i am bothering them. And ive always struggled to believe that people actually like me.... i never really believed that my friends in high school liked me, i thought they just spent time with me because they felt sorry for me or because they had to. I thought that after graduation they would forget about me and not want to talk to me.... but that isnt the case. Infact now when we are all studying or in different parts of Sweden/the world we still have great contact and its happened where i have said that i cant join a certain day because ive had other things planned, but then they have changed the day we meet so that i can join as well.... and i am pretty sure they wouldnt do that if they didnt enjoy spending time with me. So that has actually helped my self esteem alot, learning that my friends actually do enjoy spending time with me. But even when it comes to my boyfriend i still struggle at times to believe that he actually likes me and wants to spend time with me...  and my low self esteem has been a bit of a "problem" as i have distanced myself due to other reasons as well but also my lack of confidence, while my boyfriend is very confident and has great self esteem... so there has been some difference there.

But the positive thing is that it has improved over the years.... while i was younger and during my years of illness i had incredibly low self esteem. I thought everyone hated me, i didnt dare go to social events (for many reasons) but one of them was that i thought people invited me because they felt sorry for me, but that they would be happier if i didnt go. And i even believed that my family hated me... which at times i can still believe - which is why i found it so hard to believe that my mum was so upset when i moved away from home because i was convinced that my family would be so happy and be relieved that i no longer lived with them. But those thoughts are due to low self esteem.... not believing in myself and not being confident.

And it is awful.... because how can i explain to people that i think i am stupid even when i get top grades. How can i tell people that i think i am awful at running when i have run a half marathon and ran distances in an ok time, but still i dont think i am any good at it. How can i tell people that i think that they all hate me, and i dont even know why... i just think they do. It is hard to explain to people, especially to people who dont have low self esteem issues. But the positive thing, is that you CAN improve yourself self esteem, and just like with most things it requires practise and a daily dose of it.

You need to start believeing in yourself and your own capabilities. Start to love yourself, and this is important. Because if you cant love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love you (or to believe that anyone else loves you... because people will love you no matter whether you love yourself or not. But you might not believe it, if you struggle with loving yourself.)

Each day look in the mirror and tell yourself that :

You arent annoying people by being you.
People dont hate you, and you shouldnt hate yourself.
You are smart and you are great at things. 
The best thing you can do is to try and do your best, you dont have to be perfect, you just have to try.
People do want to spend time with you.

And also compliment yourself. Both your personality and even physical appearance. Boost your confidence and your self esteem.


It is about learning to love yourself, but also learning that you arent taking up space and people arent just spending time with you because they feel sorry for you. You need to learn to be confident in yourself, confident in what you are doing and learn that you arent the worst at things.

It is a process and it takes time. I have been trying to rebuild my self esteem since 2012, and still i struggle..... i mean i still believe that people hate me and that my family are happy that i dont live with them (even if that isnt the case). I dont believe i am so great or believe that i am smart, and i can still struggle to love myself. But each day i focus on boosting my confidence, being happy with myself. And learning that people like me for who i am, and that my personality isnt the worst even if there are certain traits i could definitely change. Learning to not think the worst about myself, but trying to see myself in the eyes of others. Because you are your own worst critique.... i see myself in a way that others dont see me. I critisize myself for the smallest of things.... for example when you have a spot on your face and you think it is huge but no one else notices it, but that is all you can see. You get caught up in a small detail and think it is the worst and everyone else can see it, when that isnt the case.

Learning to see yourself how others see you. Being confident in yourself and each day trying to feel confident, reminding yourself that you arent a burden and that you are awesome just the way you are. Learning to compliment yourself and accept compliments (this is one of the hardest things for me.... i am one of those annoying people who when you compliment me i say No/no i am not. Yup... i know people get irritated over that, but i am learning to say thank you and try to believe the compliments!). Learn to see the things you are good at and learn to compliment yourself and be proud over yourself!!

Know that you arent alone if you struggle with low self esteem, but with daily practise you can improve it and feel SO MUCH BETTER. Because i can say... learning that my friends actually do want to spend time with me  and that helped to boost my self esteem, it makes such a difference!!

Maybe write down some positive things everyday or write things to help improve your self esteem and look back on them during the bad days.


If you have any advice or want to share anything about this topic comment below :) All tips and advice is useful to others and myself :)





4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this honest post. I have always struggled with low self-esteem as well. Still felt stupid even with top marks, or like I was a fraud. Felt unlikeable even when being invited to join in. Felt ugly even after a compliment. Felt I was a drag and an embarrassment to my family and they were secretly relieved when I wasn't around. Avoided trying new things for fear I would be bad at them and expose myself for the fool I am. The list goes on and on. I felt like I was wasting my life waiting and hiding. I have started to do some real work on this issue over the past two years, and while I'm not all better, there have been definite improvements. Some things in particular that have helped: a good therapist/counselor. Bettering my communication skills and being honest about what I think and feel. Starting every day with a gratitude list - things I am grateful for and things I like about myself. Looking to people who do have good self-esteem and learning how they approach and perceive the world. Making a concentrated effort to live my life from a good place and helping others - truly believing that I am acting from good makes me feel good about life and about myself. Cutting out internet activities that subtly or outright encourage comparison mind games within myself. When I start feeling "less than" I really take a look at what I am bringing into my life - sometimes things (like certain blogs - running blogs in particular eroded the joy I felt in my own running as my times weren't like theirs) that I found to be inspiring in the beginning end up making me criticize myself, which is toxic and I don't need it. Give compliments freely to others. Cut out negative energy-suckers (real life and online) - negativity in any form makes me feel more negative in general, and this will feed into my low self-esteem as that is my go-to negative energy dumping ground.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I forgot to say, after "give compliments freely" - accept compliments freely, too! I'm glad you mentioned that in your post, because it's a small thing that makes a huge difference. Its amazing the power of a nice compliment, if you don't immediately negate it with a "ah, no, no, but thank you" type comment. Learn to simply say thank you, even if deep down you don't believe them. A compliment is a little gift, so don't throw a gift back in someone's face! I did this for years, and by doing so I never heard the compliments given - I walked away having only heard the "no, I'm not" part. The message you hear most often is the message that sounds true. So stop making "no, I'm not/I can't" the truth in your mind. Its a great exercise to begin improving self-esteem - start accepting compliments! Try it today and see the difference :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Izzy, please believe me when I say that you're a beautiful girl on the inside and out. You are a very talented writer - I can totally agree to everything you've written. And I love that you are honest and tell us your struggles. I have a question: what is the difference between self-esteem and confidence? (I'm german)
    Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. in diesem Zusammenhang sind sie sehr ähnlich aber self confidence geht in Richtung Selbstvertrauen, self-esteem eher Richtung Selbstwertgefühl. Grammatisch besteht ein größerer Unterschied -- nur "confident" gibt es als Adjektiv. Im breiteren Sprachgebrauch gibt es einen weiteren Unterschied -- "self-esteem" klingt eher psychologisch, fast aber nicht völlig wie Fachterminologie, "confidence" aber wird überall ganz normal verwendet.
      (English is my first language, but I *think* that is right. Auch als Muttersprachlerin erkenne ich nur einen sehr feinen Unterschied.)

      Delete