The other day I came across a post in one of the support groups I am apart, it had to do with dating and self-confidence/Image. These two things are common problems amongst most people but they become an even bigger issue when dealing with a disability. I have definitely dealt with my fair share of self-confidence/Image problems when it comes to dating and I still do to this day. Today I want to tell a piece of my story when it comes to these two issues. I will not be going into much about my dating life because that is something I would like to keep private but I will talk about my journey to feeling comfortable with myself. This might be broken up into two parts depending on where my brain takes me.
I am not going to sugar coat this, my self-image is utter shit and has been for quite some time. Over the last couple of years, it has improved tremendously but it was a long road to get where I am today. From my neck down, I don’t like what I see. My disease has definitely molded my body into a shape that doesn’t resemble normalcy. Normal is quite the blanket term but I am sure you understand what I mean.
Given my situation, there was not much I could do to change the appearance of my body. This left me feeling hopeless and slightly uncomfortable for all of my teenage years and a little bit of my twenties. I had to really dig deep in myself to overcome this battle.
Not too long ago, I decided to focus on the features I liked about myself and started to perfect them. My smile was my shining feature, it’s one of the few aspects of my body I had complete control over. This is embarrassing but I actually spent a good deal of time on making my smile perfect. I studied old pictures of myself and pieced together the best aspects of my smile and added missing parts. Until one day when I finally found a smile, I was proud of.
I took this smile and would practice it in public and still do to this day. When I am at the grocery store, I enjoy smiling at strangers. It is always fun to gauge their reaction and maybe get a smile in return.
Since doing this, my self-image has improved dramatically. I have learned to ignore the parts of me that I am not fond of and embrace the parts I love. It was not an easy battle for my mind to overcome but it’s a victory I am happy to have.
I wasn’t feeling too well today and I let time get away from me. It’s getting late and I think I am going to break this into a couple parts. This post was honestly quite difficult for me to write because it’s a topic I feel odd sharing. I am hoping my story could help somebody in a similar situation. Part two will be coming out on Friday, where I will talk about self-confidence. See ya’!
This month’s book:
Here’s a picture of me somewhere near Northern Michigan:
Also published on Medium.