Dear Body Image,
I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye with each other, at times our relationship is very hot and cold. When we co-exist well together I feel on top of the world, and my confidence levels soar. I feel like I can take on anything life throws at me, and even if it’s a typical Irish gloomy day and I’m drenched running to work, I still feel great.
I’m writing this letter to highlight the chaos you have caused within me. I have been a prisoner in my own mind which in the past has been burdened with unhappiness, insecurity, stress and self-doubt. I will take responsibility for letting you have this control over me, and to rob me off my characteristics in this toxic relationship we have. I thought we had this great connection and understanding with each other, but without warning you turn on me. I feel worthless, uncomfortable in my own skin, and daily tasks of my routine seem like massive obstacles. I would feel so unattractive while constantly judging myself, and of course causing me to value my self- worth on my appearance. While trying to drag myself out of this black hole, I would book myself into an exercise class hoping that would do the job only to get an exercise ball into the back of the head, maybe that’s what knocked some sense into me about our relationship and that constant feeling of judgement by you.
In the end, the images and ideas in my head have just been unrealistic and unachievable, resulting in my relationships with my friends and family being affected. I imagined a relationship, a certain image in my mind like what is depicted in magazines and social media. However alternately I got feelings of deflation and thoughts of what I did wrong. I kept thinking if only I could push myself more, life would be perfect.
I will hand it to you though, you played me so many times and reflecting back I can’t even recall to when you grasped this unhealthy hold over me, but you knew what you were doing. You drained the life out of me while filling me with negativity. I’m not going to start the blaming game, as its simply not my style as you well know. However, I will thank you for one thing and that is making me a stronger person in every way and realising I have had enough of this vicious cycle.
Anyway, I’m aware in today’s society there is pressure to have the perfect relationship and to slap a smile across my face to reassure people that everything is great, when I’m crumbling inside and my mind is like a war zone. We had some great times, Body Image. I think I can do better, so I guess this is the end of the road for us and I don’t see a future.
Here’s hoping our paths never meet again and I’m already looking forward to less headaches and self-doubt. As I have faced up to you and realised you’re not everything, and that my friends, family and my support network reflect my body image.
P.S- I don’t regret us, as you have given me the drive to conquer all obstacles
If you have been affected by any issues raised in this article, please contact Bodywhys helpline on 1890 200 444
"I’m a Galway girl, I grew up in the countryside on a farm. My childhood involved me being outside
playing with my siblings whether that was running around or playing camogie and going to matches.
My amazing mum Marie and my dad John who is GAA obsessed so being acve and sporty was
natural for us. I am the eldest of four, with one brother Brian and two younger sisters Amy and
Niamh. I’m in my last year of studying a BA in Health Promoon in Waterford Instute of Technology. I was very fortunate to have got the opportunity last year to complete my work experience with Mayo
Mental Health. My work experience involved me delivering talks to secondary schools on body
image. During my work experience I learnt so much about mental health and the experience I gained
is invaluable and will bene!t me immensely in the future."
Stayed tuned to our regular monthly updates on all matters covering mental health