I don’t think I’m one of those annoying vacuous Instagram personalities that obsess over themselves (I mean I’ll take a selfie or two but who doesn’t!?), but I do feel like self-love is important.
Whilst it’s impossible to pinpoint when I wanted to make a conscious step towards caring about myself, it was probably about a year ago. It was a pretty turbulent time by anyone’s standards, my relationship ended and he moved out of our house. Alongside this I felt a crisis of identity, surrounded by basic Becky’s, dressing and acting in a way that just didn’t feel like me.
Everyone has stressful times, and this was mine. I just can’t explain the stress!
I’M ALONE NOW, I’VE QUIT MY JOB, HOW THE FUCK DO I THINK I’M GOING TO AFFORD THIS HOUSE?
Didn’t take long for the stress to start having a pretty major effect on me. I started being sick EVERYWHERE. ALL THE TIME. It would catch me by surprise almost every time. Obviously I felt awful and sad all the time but I would be driving home and have to pull onto the hard shoulder to produce an ocean of vomit, or I would be round with my friends and the fucking rainbow yawn would get me. A bin next to my bed in case of a surprise midnight barf, a plastic bag in my pocket so I could have a little spew on the fly.
It was pouring out of me. I don’t know where the fuck it was coming from – I was hardly eating anything. That stupid little girl from The Exorcist didn’t have anything on me.
I needed to get away. I braved it and booked a flight to America to visit my family. The next day I was on my way, the plane journey was torture. I was lonely, and I refused to eat because I knew I would end up hugging the horrible aeroplane toilet for hours on end. There was a nice guy on the plane, the kind you’d hope to sit next to on a long haul flight across the world, I told him all about my recent dilemma and he spent most the flight praying I wouldn’t hurl my guts into his lap.
Finally I arrived though, my new airoplane friend (who obvious noticed I was a walking liberty) waited with me until my family arrived at the airport to collect me. When they eventually arrived I was greeted with friendly hugs and smiles and I was ready to start my recovery to normality!
My family are feeders though, and the first question out of my Aunties mouth was ‘have you ate today?’, she already knew the answer really. She drove straight to a restraunt for something to eat.
Surprise surprise, I threw up AGAIN. AND AGAIN. And to be honest it got fucking boring.
Over my time in America I began to feel better, the nausea at life and everything that had be coming my way started to ease up, and by the end of the trip I started to feel and act like a normal human again. There are so many factors that could have helped me heal when I was out there, a simple change of location did wonders for me, and the positive effect of being surrounded by family cannot be overstated. They made me realise I needed to make some changes and start putting myself first.
Having that planted in my head by people close to me was more effective than any books, articles or TV shows could be. I found myself quietly confident that I was on the right track now, and would be back to the old me in no time.
Now I had my own head straight, I could figure out what was next. I fell in with a new group of friends (not to shit talk my old mates but I needed some who didn’t know my ex), and we were constantly hanging out, boozing, putting the world to rights and keeping each other sane. Plus I now had a whole new audience to share the best memes with. You all know I find the best ones.
Not too long after all this, I started a new job. This had a huge effect, a totally clean slate, I could really be myself at last. I could be ditzy, loud, wear what I want – who the fuck thought a 9-5 could ever feel “liberating” haha!
You do not get to choose your workmates in a job like this, but somehow I found a great friend in Ash to keep me sane through the most stressful times, she is great at listening to my non-work related dilemmas, and she always makes sure she laughs at my shit jokes in the office. Then obviously there are the others people at work who are obviously just as lovely.
So, I found that self-love is a simple process, and not everyone’s reasons for making it a priority would be the same. Mine was probably my health (this would be your reason too if you were yacking all over the place at every opportunity). There’s a few things now I do just to make myself happy so if you want to go through a self-love journey maybe they can help you:
- I exercise every night (did we ever think we would see the day?)
- I dress to how I feel. If I want to wear a flared black and white circus pants to my office job, I will and I don’t care what you think I’m having the best time.
- I’ve accepted my personality and quite frankly don’t give a fuck if I’m popular or not
- I laugh everyday (even if I’m the only one laughing)
- I surround myself with positive and encouraging friends as well as prioritising my family
- I’ve un-followed all the toxic Instagram accounts that made me feel inadequate and shitty
- I put myself first – Recently I actually cancelled a night out just so I could stay home have a long bath, do my fake tan and sort out my nails. To me, that was bliss.
Other people’s self-love journeys are different, and I totally understand that you may read this and think I’m full of shit but please just find what works for you.
It doesn’t have to be isolation and sobriety to clear yourself, or a £500 last minute flight to America, just a few little positive steps each day towards accepting the wonderful person you are and fucking loving it
There is no better time to start loving yourself than now, we are in a world of constant pressure, a school system that involves a lot of stress, and never really shutting off with the endless technology we have on our phones.
Take a minute, have a breath, chill out, AND JUST LOVE THE BONES OFF OF YOURSELF.