Him: What do you like about yourself?
Me: *Awkward silence
*Him: There has to be something?
Me: *More silence and avoiding eye contact*
Him: You can’t think of just one thing?
Me: *Shaking my head no*
Him: Do you like your ears? Your hair? Your feet? Just tell me one thing.
Me: *Finally forcing myself to speak* –> I guess I like my fingernails. People always tell me I have great nails.
Him: Well, that’s a start…
This was a conversation I had with my therapist a few years ago when I didn’t like a thing about myself. When I hated looking at myself in the mirror.
Thirty years of on-again-off-again excruciating pain from endometriosis had knocked me down one more time with a fifth surgery. I felt like I had no control over my body, that it was failing me. And to top it all off, I came out of that last surgery with lichen planus, an unbearably itchy skin disease that left me with an ugly rash all over my arms, legs, and torso. I felt hideous.
It took a lot of therapy to help calm the negative self-talk swirling in my head, to not hate my body, to tolerate looking at myself in the mirror.
Eventually, I learned to accept my scars, and to be okay without desperately trying to cover up every one of them so that no one would see. I would never have come out this dark depression without therapy. It saved my life. If you’re struggling, I want you to know that it’s okay to get help. If you have any questions about my journey, feel free to contact me.
And if you want more information about where to get help, my partner, Mental Health America has lots of valuable information, including where to find support groups, referrals for mental health providers, and screenings to see if you’re at risk. It’s absolutely okay to need help.