This post is featured on behalf of Jenna Brown.
Self-loathing has been exacerbated in recent years because of our wide use of the web. We get online, gain a sense of the fear of missing out, and then beat ourselves up over not doing more. Trust me when I say it’s not just you who feels this way.
We’ve gained an understanding of mental health issues. We’re able to identify items such as depression, anxiety, and other factors which lead to these downer moments. Self-loathing is absolutely part of these feelings.
Let me begin by saying this: get professional help.
There seems to be a culture of self-diagnosis floating around the web. People take online surveys and automatically assume they’ve found their issues. It’s great that they’re taking a proactive approach to understanding themselves but professional help is still best.
With that said… The reason many of us are in this mode of self-loathing stems from a mixture of hereditary mental health issues and self-inflicted problems. Depression or bipolar disorder, for example, isn’t something you can avoid (though treatable) whereas issues such as obesity or social anxiety are ones manageable through lifestyle changes.
I’m not BSing you. I’m was an overweight, anxiety-riddled, and depressed individual. Confirmed by a primary doctor and noticeable within my family. But things have changed. I’ve taken it upon myself to seek help and change my lifestyle for the things that I can control and manage.
What did I do to work on finding the new me?
1. I consulted with my doctor.
I’m not big on taking medications – they frighten me (even Ibuprofen). But I listened to the suggestions of my primary care doctor and begin taking Paxil to treat my depression. It changed everything.
I did my research, too. I looked at the top drugs list and went through to understand each one so I could bring it up with my doctor. This research allowed me to talk to them about other options to help with anxiety – resulting in a low dosage of Xanax.
Overall? I don’t like the idea of taking medications but I can see the difference like night and day. They have been an immense shift forward in handling my low points. I feel stable.
2. I addressed my weight and body image issues.
Higher weight = higher blood pressure. This was putting stress on my body and stress on my body image as well which, in turn, affected my experiences and relationships.
I was the type to wear oversized shirts to hide the rolls. I would tug and stretch my shirts so it would avoid the outlines. It wasn’t fun going to the beach with friends and pulling off my shirt.
Something clicked one day. I began counting calories, tracking carbs, and doing regular exercise. It became a routine. But not only was I losing weight but I also stopped caring about what people said. This wasn’t middle/high school anymore – people are genuinely nice.
The self-loathing about my weight went out the window. I felt free. I think everyone can eliminate that overbearing pressure if they become comfortable with their body, whether that’s through weight loss, weight gain, a healthy lifestyle or working on your relationship with yourself.
3. I began to understand my anxiety.
Anxiety is the root of it all. We all have a form of anxiety – some have it worse. The thing I did to make it less debilitating was to keep a journal/log of the triggers and how I felt. Also, I got a checkup to make sure my heart and body were fine.
Anxiety makes me feel like I’m at a low point. I feel like I don’t belong, and it got worse over time as I allowed it to control my social life. In my experience, though, I will tell you that it gets better. In time, through therapy and self-awareness, you will be able to get back out and be social. Anxiety will not always control you.
Finding the new you are about self-discovery. It’s about removing those moments of doubt. It takes time, but can be done. One day it’ll hit you. You no longer have to feel sorry. You’re in control of your life. We have a fleeting moment in the world… so why be stuck on the downers?