If I were able to travel back in time and tell my younger self anything in the world, it would be to never let the world plague you with the idea that you are not enough. As a child, I lived a very happy and carefree life. Things were easy back then. For as long as I can remember though, I have been the girl to put others’ well being before my own. It started off with small things like giving my sister the last sucker but over time it escalated to completely losing myself as I gave away pieces of myself in failed past relationships. Before my very eyes I watched the happy and carefree little girl become a very insecure, diffident, and a lost young woman in a very short period of time.
Most of my insecurities started out with body image issues that I had been dealing with subtly for years. I was always on the larger side for my age group but didn’t really pay much attention to it until middle school hit. I remember being teased on multiple occasions by individuals that I thought were my friends. At one point, having three girls gang up on me and tell me that someone I considered to be my best friend at the time had me saved in her phone as “kankles Kelly” and saying all of these incredibly mean things to my face as I was trapped at their house for the day. I just wanted to run away from it all, which also then affected me not wanting to go to school where I’d have to face them again like nothing had happened.
Moving onto high school, I had a bit of a growth spurt and started to gain confidence back as I felt like I was leaving my awkward stages behind me. However, this was only the tip of the iceberg. I dealt with severe cystic acne from the 8th grade through my sophomore year of high school, which led my dermatologist to start me on a drug called Accutane. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this drug, it was a very scary time in my life. At the age of 13 I had to be put on birth control because if I were to get pregnant, the baby would be at high risk for deformation and internal defects. Between monthly blood tests, very strict guidelines for each month, and dryness and burning worse than one can ever imagine, I was overall happy with the results…. At first. As time progressed post Accutane, I developed very bad acne scarring, both raised and indentations, all throughout my body and face. This has become the largest part of my insecurities. My weight issue, I can fix with hard work and determination (which I continue to work on every day). However, this issue can only be fixed by cosmetic surgery… something that is very expensive and not covered under insurance. Even if I were to be able to afford such procedures, it would only improve the appearance by 50% at best. Over the past year, I have found it very hard to simply look in the mirror at my bare skin. I find myself breaking down at the end of every day, fearing that no one will ever stick around long enough to see the heart that I have beneath all of the scars.
My body image issues have also majorly affected the relationships that I’ve had within the past few years as well. I am a believer in true love and a hopeless romantic at heart, however, with each failed relationship, I find myself broken and battered worse than the time before.
Throughout high school I had very immature relationships with guys that would last a couple weeks and most, until I met my first love. I was on such a high for about the first year and a half out of the two years that we were together. Until my depression began to sink in. I had just lost my grandfather, who had been one of my best friends, and my sister’s health was steadily declining due to a chronic illness. I so desperately needed him to be there just as I had been there for him countless times. But the more I needed him, the more he pulled away. And that destroyed every ounce of me. Ever since that first love, I have only continued to be hurt, disrespected, taken for granted and cheated on. After every failed relationship, I continue to pick myself back up and glue back together the pieces enough to still believe that there is someone out there who will not only love me unconditionally, but help me to love myself unconditionally as well. This journey has been full of ups and downs but I know that it will all be worth it in the end.
As the New Year begins, I would like to share with you all some of the goals that I have set for myself, not only for 2017 but that will stick with me throughout the rest of my life as well.
- Love myself unconditionally
- Stop being so hard on myself
- Make my mental health a priority
- Nourish my body with heathy food and stay active
- Cut toxic people out of my life
- Do NOT rely on opinions of others to shape my self-worth
- Stop making excuses for why something cant be accomplished
- BE HAPPY AND LIVE EVERY MOMENT LIKE IT’S MY LAST
Each and every one of you are such beautiful souls and I cannot thank the Love Your Pieces Project enough for sharing your incredibly inspiring stories. We are all in this together as we learn to love all of the pieces that make us who we are.
“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds; you can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds”
- Kelly G.