There are days when I refuse to leave the house because I am feeling insecure about the pimple on my cheek or the extra flab on my waist or the way my hair falls across my face. Days when I cannot stomach the thought of being seen in public, even during a quick trip to the grocery store, because there is the smallest possibility of running into someone I know.
Before leaving the bubble of my bedroom, I need a long time to get ready. That is why I never accept last minute plans. I need to know when we are leaving in advance so that I have time to shower and apply make-up and style my hair and psych myself up for socializing. I cannot just throw on a sweatshirt and leave the house the second a friend invites me out. I don’t have that kind of confidence.
I shake my head after receiving compliments because I only believe the mean things that are said about me. I remove pictures from Instagram after uploading them because I change my mind about whether I looked good in them. I check the scale constantly and look in the mirror nonstop, but never like what I see.
There are some rare occasions when I actually think I look decent and decide to take a picture, but then end up making myself miserable because I have trouble taking a good shot. I will snap twenty pictures, fifty pictures, one hundred pictures, and then delete all of them at once because I cannot find even one that I consider tolerable.
On snapchat, I will actually get good photographs because of the way filters change the shape of my jaw and the width of my cheeks — but even that doesn’t make me happy because I know it’s not real. I know I am never actually going to look that way in real life because it’s only a magic trick.
I have untagged unflattering pictures of me before. I have had breakdowns inside of dressing rooms when I failed to find an outfit that looked good on me. I have cried while staring into the mirror more times than I can count.
Lately, my insecurity has been getting in the way of living a fulfilling life. I have canceled plans because I didn’t want anyone to see me looking like such a mess. I have remained quiet in groups because I wanted to blend into the background. I have questioned every interaction, because whenever someone treats me nicely, I assume they must be playing some kind of prank on me since I am not worthy of their attention.
I know my mindset is screwed up. I want to gain confidence, but it’s difficult for me to walk into a room and hold my head high. I want to call myself beautiful, but I can’t stop myself from using ‘ugly‘ instead. I want to love myself, but I keep coming up with more and more reasons to hate myself.