I cannot leave the house without a large chunk of time dedicated to getting myself ready. I could spend an hour flicking through hangers, searching for an outfit that will make me feel good about myself. I am the cliche who will complain about having nothing to wear even though my closet is packed full of clothes.
I have to wake up early every morning because there is always a chance I will suffer from a meltdown. I will freak out about the wings of my eyeliner, the frizz in my hair, the acne on my chin. I will cry away my makeup because I can never get it to look like the girls on Instagram. My good mood will be ruined as soon as I glance in the mirror because I will always find something to complain about, something that makes me feel even more insecure.
Any selfie I post takes over ten tries to get right. Most of the time, the pictures will get deleted without getting posted because I look even worse in photographs than in my reflection. Sometimes, no amount of filters can change how awful I feel.
Of course, I worry about more than my looks. My insecurities extend to my personality. I worry about being too quiet, too loud, too forward, too shy. I second guess every word that comes out of my mouth.
Some people get the wrong idea about me because I keep most of my comments to myself. I hold myself back from making jokes, joining in conversations, and accepting invites out. I don’t want to sound stupid so I end up seeming snobby by staying silent.
Unfortunately, when you have trouble loving yourself like I do, you have trouble accepting anyone else would love you either. That is why compliments are always met with a head shake. If someone says something nice about me, I will cancel out the flattery by insulting myself. Or I will convince myself they were secretly making fun of me and the compliment isn’t authentic after all.
Whenever anyone shows interest in me, I assume they are trying to get something out of me — or are playing some sort of elaborate prank. I will never read signals right, even if they are obvious to everyone else. I will always assume the worst. I will assume you do not like me, you do not find me attractive, you do not want anything to do with me.
When it’s time to head to bed, every little mistake made throughout the day replays in my head. The misspoken words. The blushing. The nervous laughter. Even if a conversation went well, I will go over it again and again in my mind until I find a spot where I sounded stupid. I will torture myself until I fall asleep and will do the same thing the next night.
When you have trouble loving yourself the way I do, an average day feels like a nightmare. It feels like your own mind is trying to tear you apart.