I hate myself: a blog post on self esteem

This ain’t gonna be a fun post so if you’re not into that sorta thing then I’ll save you the trouble and recommend finding another blog to read and I’ll also quickly mention that this post is going to feature talk on self-image, self-confidence (or there lack of) and body dysmorphia so trigger warnings for any of those topics for anyone who is affected by them and would rather not read on, that’s cool, anyway, let’s get this over with. 

This post has stemmed from a particular episode I experienced a while ago; an episode of exceptionally low self esteem. I get these occasionally, mostly around the time I’m due on my period so in those cases, they’re probably hormone related and that’s fine because everyone with a uterus will know that hormone related PMS symptoms suck ass so in these instances of low self-esteem, I can usually manage because I know the reasoning behind them. But they’re not always because of that reason. I know we all go through periods of not liking ourselves, certain aspects of ourselves and wanting to change certain things and I understand that to an extent, that’s completely normal. But I also know that this deep, deep set feeling of loathing I have for myself probably isn’t normal. I’ve spoke to a therapist about it and I thought maybe getting my thoughts out here would help too. Or it might not. We’ll see. 

I usually get myself in these moods when I’m actively trying to make myself look better. For example, a pamper night where I’ll fake tan and do my nails or before going out when I do my hair and make up. I rev myself up for being “selfie ready” and ultimately fail every time. At first glance I’ll think my make up looks pretty good and my hair has gone pretty decent but then when I step back and look and the big ol’ picture of myself all done up, that’s when I’ll notice my make up looks a little orange and actually my fringe isn’t sitting right. That will then escalate and suddenly, my outfit sucks, it looks stupid on my body shape, it’s not flattering, my arms look awful, my body looks awful and suddenly… there’s not a single thing I like about myself. It’s that easy for it to spiral until the point where it feels like it’s out of my control completely and nothing anyone says will get me out of that pit. 

It’s taken me over 5 months to get to this point in this post because I can’t seem to get more than a paragraph out before it gets too much or I feel myself wanting to cry so I’ll swiftly click “update draft” and get the hell out of there. But body image and self esteem issues are a real problem. And they need to be spoken about. They are not petty. And yes, subjectivly it “could be worse” but don’t you just hate that phrase? Because at that moment in time where someone is feeling that low about themselves, nothing is worse. You want to hide and never bother making an effort ever again because nothing you do is ever good enough; this can apply to appearances or work-related or creativity. Even blogging.

But mine focuses heavily on the way I look and deep down I know that what we look like has no impact on how we are as a person but I’ve always been an incredibly self conscious person. Tell my 18 year-old self who ate nothing but salad, limited herself to 800 calories a day and went to the gym twice a day all because she wanted to look better than her friends in a bikini when she went on holiday that summer. Tell that person, “hey you don’t need to do that, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!” She would have told you to shut up. The only thing on her insides was fucking lettuce. And whilst I am a long way from that girl and looking back I am truly disgusted at myself for going to those extremes, it’s important to recognise the mistakes and learn from them. But whilst I would never, ever do anything like that again (I love food far too much for that), that doesn’t mean my insecurities aren’t still there, festering (I hate that word) on whatever it is I hate about myself that day.

Being online, blogging and having easy access to material which makes me feel crap definitely hasn’t helped. If anything, I think this problem has gotten worse since becoming a blogger and spending the majority of my life online. I can think of a few bloggers off the top of my head who’s Instagrams I have scrolled through, making myself feel worse and worse through each page because of how utterly beautiful they are. I don’t in any way blame these people, it’s entirely my fault. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you’re confident in yourself then you fucking scream it to the world. Take the selfies, take the underwear photos – whatever the heck you want. But this is a perfect example of one of the self-destructive behaviours I possess. One that I know I need to stop doing.

I know I could help myself more than I do. I could make more of an effort with my appearance. I could work-out more (actually, I could work out at all because I currently don’t and it’s awful and so unhealthy), I could eat better and I could definitely stop eating as many takeaways. And this isn’t about being thin. Hell to the fucking no. I’m not fat shaming, thin shaming, body shaming or doing any type of shaming here – I’m talking about me and my own problems. I’m acknowledging the fact that I have this problem, yet I’m barely doing anything about it. And until I do, should I stop moaning about it? Some of you would say a firm yes. But when you’re in such a pit of self doubt, when your self esteem has hit rock bottom and when you hate yourself as much as I currently do, doing anything about it seems futile. And it doesn’t matter how many compliments you receive or how many words of encouragement you hear; it’s all white noise.

I’m going to end this here; when I first thought about writing this all by 6 bloody months ago, I didn’t really know what I wanted to say or where I wanted this post to go. I didn’t know whether I wanted to try and help others feel better about it, those in the same position as me. But the more I wrote and the more I realised how damaged I truly am regarding this topic, the more I realised that actually I don’t have the means to be giving other people advice. All I would say is look after yourself and be healthy. As healthy as you can. If it’s really bad, talk to a therapist. And remember you are more than what you look like. I’m going to keep going; I’m going to make another therapy appointment to talk about it in more depth and I’m going to start making small changes. Hopefully. If I have the energy. And as for the mental health side of things here, never, ever stop talking.

At least my Jungle Book pants rock.

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42 thoughts on “I hate myself: a blog post on self esteem

  1. Well done for getting this out there. Talking about these things is so important, yet so very hard to do. I hope this helps. Look after yourself 🙂

    • Thanks so much, it is important. I can’t help but wonder what it’s like being a younger girl / teenager growing up in this online world of perfection. It’s bad enough in your 20’s!

  2. We don’t know each other, so there’s no guaranteed good way for me to comment without potentially causing hurt or coming across as patronising or flippant, so this comment is me just trying to say: I read what you wrote, I heard you, your words were not wasted.

    (And even this sounds bad, but there, I’ll leave it, I wanted to write something so you know.)

  3. Such a well-written post. I’ve had body dysmorphia since I was a teenager; it comes in waves and the worst one had to be when I lost three stone and two dress sizes. Although my body was physically different, my brain wouldn’t let me believe it. It’s like looking in a funhouse mirror and seeing everything about you distorted.

    It does get better. Mine occasionally pops up to remind me it’s there on the most inconvenient occasions, but it does get better. And I’m always here if you need me.

  4. Sometimes, writing a post like this isn’t about telling someone else how to feel better, how it’s all going to be okay, giving out top ten tips to have a good self image or whatever. Sometimes, being honest about where you are in yourself, and sharing that to people, is exactly what people need. Because it shows they’re not alone. Because it proves it isn’t something they can get over with a few motivational Pinterest posters. You are incredibly brave to talk about this with such honesty, especially because body image is a subject that is so often brushed under the rug. And honestly, I think you’ll find that a lot of people are with you in your feelings – you are not alone.
    I hope that things get better for you, one small step at the time. This was a fantastic read (as always). 😊
    Emma. Xx

    • Exactly, I didn’t really intend to “help people” in the sense of “this is this, that is that, this is what you have to do in order to be body confident” because it would have been like an unqualified doctor giving medical advice – im not in the position to do that. I just hope some people realise that they’re not alone in their thoughts. Thank you for being so lovely and supportive as always 💚

  5. Oh Jenny I’m sending you such a big hug right now.

    I can’t relate to your exact feelings but I’ve had my own body and food struggles which for now seem to be a little more under control. I struggled badly with binge eating, if you had asked me, and people did, whaty diet was like I would say healthy, in truth I hid snacks and binged on several kilo bars of chocolate at a time in minutes. It was more like I inhaled than ate. At my biggest just two years ago I was a size 20 and 116 kilos. I had kidney and liver problems, and a serious bowel condition where my body had stopped absorping vitamins and minerals. It’s taken a lot of hard work, a total change of diet, I pretty much don’t eat chocolate at all anymore, I don’t eat gluten so snacks like doughnuts are off the table, no crisps and that has been so good for me. I only started willingly being photographed and doing the selfie thing about a year ago, because I couldn’t bear to see myself before, and yesterday I fit in a size 14 for the first time in over 15yrs and I’m down to 84kg. I am still really conscious of my size and what I eat and it’s a big anxiety for me that I’m going to wake up fat again. I’m not sure that will ever go away, but you are right that it helps for us to talk about it, and your post has really moved me. I think you’ll find almost everyone struggles with this in one or another even people who seemingly have the perfect body’s.

    • First of all, your weight loss is incredible so well done! I don’t believe that you have to be thin in order to be pretty or any type of body shaming but I do know that each individual feels their most comfortable at a certain weight and if you’re not there, it can be a nightmare. You look gorgeous in your recent selfies (like your profile photo on here) so I’m so happy to hear that you’re comfortable to take them again! Keep taking them. Take HUNDREDS 💚 having health issues when it comes to food as well must be exhausting because it’s an extra worry on top because you literally CANNOT eat something because it’ll make you ill. But Claire, you’re doing so so well, don’t deprive yourself. Treat yourself every now and again because you bloody deserve it xxx

      • Thank you that’s so nice to hear, you kind of inspired me here I rarely talk about all this so a big thanks. And I hope you find some peace with how you are feeling I know it’s easier said than done but you deserve it. 💜

  6. Such a brave and honest post Jenny. You should feel proud of yourself for sharing. This is definitely something I can relate to and something I have lived with for as long as I can remember.
    Thank you for sharing x

  7. Such a brilliant post to read for someone else who suffers with body dysmorphia/self esteem. I’m currently having counselling for my low self esteem and I personally don’t feel like it is doing, or indeed will, make a difference because I feel I’m too far gone in my “pit” of low self esteem. I think I’ll always feel the way I feel about myself and I think I’ll always compare myself to other people. I pick at the smallest things, I walk with my head down and I feel sick every morning when I have to get ready because I feel like no matter how much I do my hair and make up, it won’t make a difference. And you’re right; no matter how many times someone says “you look fine” or “stop being silly” it doesn’t sink in because you KNOW they’re wrong.

    I hope you start to feel better and thank you, again, for posting this. x

  8. Related to this quiet a lot. I have a few fashion posts I want to do but I’m not because I just don’t want to post pictures of myself. I’m so sad to here you feel like this though you really shouldn’t but I’m so glad your slowly building up your confidence

  9. I am in the same boat. To be honest, I’ve been in this boat for the last 18 years of my life. There are times when I work really hard to boost myself back up and for a while I will feel better and not hate myself. (I don’t know if I will ever be able to say “love” myself, so “not hate” will have to do for now.) Over the last 6 months-a year a lot of things have happened in my life. Some have been positive and some have been negative. The negative ones have been particularly ugly and, as a result, have sent me back into that spiral of hating myself. I’ve relapsed on and off back into my disordered eating habits and can’t seem to make myself “normal” again. Le sigh.

    I am (obviously) not in much position to give you advice, but I hope you realize that you are not alone. There are lots of us out there who feel like you do and are struggling also. Even if none of us know each other in “real life,” at least we can all find each other on the internet to talk, if necessary. *hugs* to you

    • I’m so sorry to hear you have the same struggles! Not hate instead of love is a great way to look at it slightly more positively. Some days I truly hate myself and others I don’t hate myself but I don’t love or like myself either so that’s a brilliant way to put it!

  10. Such an important post to write and read, also thank you for being brave enough to share I’m sure many also sympathise with body image

    sophieannetaylor.com

  11. Big well done for writing and posting this. I hope by writing this and expressing how you feel even a little better. I can definitely relate to some aspects ot this post, with a lack of self esteem I judge myself far too much for how I look and what I do and how I act.
    A brilliant honest post
    Best Wishes

  12. I hope that writing this post helped you get your thoughts out there. This might not be feasible for you, I’m not sure, but I’d maybe suggest trying to take time out from social media sometimes or maybe not following people whose accounts make you feel worse about yourself. It’s so hard to do as so much of our lives are online now but I know personally it can be easy to get a warped view of things online and sometimes it’s good to take a break and live a bit and try not to get caught up in toxic comparisons. So much easier said than done, I know. And I know that’s not the cause of everything but it might help alleviate some things, idk.

    I hope therapy is really helpful for you and you continue to become more confident and comfortable in yourself 🙂

    P.s I also have those jungle book pants 😂

    • Omg really?! They’re amazing aren’t they haha. I would definitely like to take more time out away from social media, I find it so difficult though. I work from home, online, my whole life is online so it’s so hard to find time away from it.

  13. Such a bloody honest post girl! No wonder it’s taken you ages to write this! I could never get my thoughts and feelings down like this. Body image is something I struggle with every day too, I’ve never been a particularly skinny girl and that’s something that I hate. Thankyou for this post!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

  14. Sending you so much love. Anyone who tells you ‘it could be worse’ or ‘stop whining’ needs to take a step back and seriously ask themselves why those are their first responses to someone in pain.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m sorry we live in a world that constantly bombards all of us with extremely unhealthy messages and then punishes us for taking those messages to heart. I’m sorry you feel this way so much.

    But I hope therapy helps, and I’m listening ❤️❤️❤️

    xx
    Emily

  15. I’m so proud of you for writing about this topic. I have dealt with things similar to yours, where nothing looks right and it snowballs into worse. I know how hard it can be to write about the topic and I’m glad you were able to, I think more people should write and be open to the idea of that maybe someone else is dealing with the same problem and we could all help each other. Thank you for writing this 🙂

  16. Pingback: My problem with social media | Jenny in Neverland

  17. Brave post, thank you. As a therapist I feel for you and I offer this really simple and doable strategy for helping your self-hatred just a little. Even when you’re feeling worthless, even when you hate everything about yourself, see if you can do a good deed however small. Mental health professionals now recognise that this is the surest way to increase your self-esteem and take the steam out of your self-loathing. I know it’s not a sexy approach but it works. Clients want ‘challenge’, ‘drama’, ‘expensive therapies’ that will shake them up but this free advice will shake you up more than you can imagine. Do a good deed for someone you don’t know. Smile at them. Help someone carry something. Give up your seat. Try it.It works.

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