I’ve realized, recently, that I have absolutely no patience. I don’t know whether it is because I work in an industry that runs on latte’s and extra shots of espresso, or because I am used to being devoured by the hustle and bustle of big cities.
It wasn’t until I got my Master’s degree in the United Kingdom that I realized I needed to slow my roll. Moving from a concrete jungle to an environment with organic food grown from a farm, pure air and greenery freaked me out.
Whilst in England, I was a continent away from everything that was in my comfort zone. I was eight hours time difference away from my best friends. I was five hours time difference away from my family in New York. There was no Cheesecake Factory! I wanted to hear Flatbush Ave, Diamond and Susquehanna, Bergen County American Accents. I was home sick and threatened everyone in my class I would get on a plane back to Newark. I was afraid to be in a place that was completely foreign to me. I was terrified of the fact to make new friends and to even possibly date a “British” person. I just wanted to get through school and go back home to the States. I realize now, my fears were not about missing home or friends. My fear was, that for some reason, God had finally gotten a hold of me and put me in a place where I would have to deal with the intricacies of me. I would now have to be alone and listen to my own thoughts. I would have to figure out what I wanted. I was in a country where I could not flea and drive my busted Toyota Rav 4 back to Jersey. So I slowly began to discover who I was and what I wanted. I am finally ready to share my story and what I have overcome, and I hope that this story can help someone else. These three posts are the main reasons for creating The Body Image Project. The first part of the blog will be about survival and the next two parts will be written about patience and legacy.
A couple years ago I was involved in a relationship with someone who, to be quite honest, we were not, let’s say, “Perfectly Matched.” There was absolutely no reason for us to be together, but when your self-esteem is low, you end up doing things that may not be in your best interest. We may have loved each other at some point, but I honestly think we were in love with each other’s potential. We loved the dreams of what each other could be. We tried to fix each other and with the fixing came a series of abuse. Trust was abused. There was mental/verbal abuse. I abused myself physical by falling into a full on alcoholic binge of bad choices and depression. I fell in love with alcohol and how it made me numb. I loved being numb so much that I tried to take my own life, and if it wasn’t for the miracle of God allowing my best friend to find me unconscious in my bedroom, I don’t know where I would have been. Between dancing in a daze of broken dreams and numbing myself from childhood memories that I could not erase; I found myself: with a college degree; broken up with; crazier than ever; suicidal; morbidly obese and in a psych ward. That year was EXTREMELY jammed packed- and I am sure there is a play in there somewhere.
In the relationship I was eating constantly, because my ex told me constantly, that he was attracted to “larger” women. So I ate anything and everything under the sun, to gain his approval. Silly, I know. I would have pork ribs for LUNCH!! By, the end of the relationship, I honestly could have been an immediate relative of Notorious B.I.G. I gained over 50 pounds in the course of the year. Now this blog is not about blaming anyone. This entry is about survival. We both are at fault, because two broken people will never make a whole. We did a lot of horrible things to each other, but forgiveness is the only way to heal and survive.
Sometimes our negative body image may occur, because of something painful someone has said or done. Abuse and Violence can be a huge source of negative body image. I have vivid memories of ex boyfriends calling me “Ugly” or “Stupid.” Which, honestly, I am neither one of those things; but because of the negative things people have said or done to me I sometimes have to fight harder to believe the positive things about myself.
There are many men and women that I have interviewed for The Body Image Project that have overcome huge feats. These people have survived: burns; cancer; MS; rape; molestation; war; war crimes; domestic violence; and many more. Whatever you situation may have been, your body has gotten through it. Your body has been through the wringer, but you have survived and you are here to tell your story. You are Strong! It is time to hold our heads high and have the confidence in the fact that we can survive any feats that may be placed before us. You are a survivor and a testimony. Believe it, be patient with your growth and make a legacy for yourself that you can look back on and be proud of.
I have overcome a lot in my life, and I am slowly, but surely, building up my confidence. It is time to Re- Claim OUR LIVES AND BODIES. Love is healthy, and not abusive. Love heals. Love forgives and moves forward. Love takes hard work and an extreme amount of patience. For me, God is Love, and HE saved my life. Love can mean so many things to other people. Love is survival and to survive is to be brave!
What have you survived? Please share your story below in the comment box to help someone else that may be in need. If you are a survivor and would like to be interviewed for The Body Image Project, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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