Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taking Pride In Yourself

When I'm depressed, one of the first things I start to slack off on is taking care of myself. I stop going to the doctor for routine appointments; I don't bother wearing makeup; My finger and toenails go ages without trimming or filing; Shaving seems harder than just covering up; Brushing my teeth doesn't even enter my mind most mornings as I'm trying to rush out the door to work.

I'm sure that a lot of people would attribute this to laziness or lack of personal hygiene, however I know that I should be caring about these things. It's just that, for whatever reason, they stop occurring to me. I'll go weeks without clipping my toenails, and the only reason I'll end up taking care of it is because I've started to scratch myself with my own nails! Up until I notice that it's become a problem, it wasn't even on my radar.

With therapy and the support of those around me, I'm coming to realize that I just don't like myself. Once I see it that way, it makes perfect sense that I'm not taking care of myself. It's like having a car that you really hate. Are you going to go to a lot of trouble to change the oil, make sure it's spotless and in perfect working condition? Or, will you just do the bare minimum until you can afford a better car?

Unfortunately for us, we can't just save up our pennies and buy another body. This is the only one we've got! That's why I've started to take tiny steps every day to start caring about myself again. While I may still have a lot of unresolved self-hatred lurking beneath the surface, if I can at least start on the outside and feel good about that, the rest will come.

Here are some examples of small steps I've started taking in the past few days to help feel better about myself.
  • Brush my teeth in the morning and the evening
  • Eat three meals a day
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep
  • Put on a pair of earrings before leaving the house
  • Apply mascara and lipstick
Already I feel a difference when I leave the house. Before, where I might have been anxious about the plaque on my teeth or how my eyes look shitty without any makeup, now I don't have those self-depricating thoughts. Instead, I feel a small amount of pride in myself and feel more confident presenting myself to the world. Plus, it's much easier to smile when you're not worried about how your teeth look.

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