Photo by Diana Nazarali on Unsplash

“You didn’t get fat overnight, so you can’t expect to lose it overnight either!”

While this diet “inspo” rings 100% true for my drug and alcohol abuse, it sure never applied to my weight issues.

I actually did get fat overnight. Well, it took a couple months, but it happened FAST. And as a 15-year-old teenage girl, that shit FUCKED ME UP.

While my addictions progressed slowly and eventually became part of who I was, I never actually saw myself as fat. Yes, I saw piles of fat in the mirror and in photos, but I most certainly didn’t see myself as big in my head.

It was a strange disconnect, deep down I knew this wasn’t me. I was supposed to be thin and hot, so what the hell was happening?

Fat and F*cked

Unfortunately, when your insides don’t match your outsides it can really screw with your life. While I knew I still had a bunch of great qualities, this unbalance completely disconnected me from myself. I didn’t care about my good qualities, as far as I was concerned they didn’t even exist until they were housed in a thin body. I had zero self love and my self hatred was something FIERCE.

Just like having curly hair didn’t feel like the “real” me as a child, being fat didn’t either. And while most people have the tools necessary to still love themselves through stuff like this, I was determined to hate myself until the girl in the mirror matched the image I had of myself in my head.

I was fat, unlovable, and completely disconnected from myself and the world.

By the time I finished high school I had lost the extra weight, but I had also lost a huge chunk of my life and personality. These two years were extremely dark and depressing. In fact, my memories during this time period are still super fuzzy – probably because I refused to even let myself make new memories while I lived in this shitty body.

Good times are reserved for good people, I would tell myself as “motivation.”

I didn’t care about my good qualities, as far as I was concerned they didn’t even exist until they were housed in a thin body.

I felt like I didn’t deserve fun, friends, or happiness until I was thin, so I didn’t allow myself to have any. When I think back to these two years, all I remember are feelings of pure desperation, self-hatred, and helplessness.

By the time I was 18 and finally starting to reconnect with the girl inside, the damage had already been done. I was a professional escape artist at life, going everywhere but within at the slightest sign of trouble. Disappointed in myself or others? Disconnect. Hate the way you look? Disconnect until you’re perfect. Hate the way you feel? Disconnect.

From One Addiction to the Next

It’s no wonder that drugs and alcohol took over my life shortly thereafter. They helped me run away from my problems in a new way, one that didn’t force me to actually look inside. I no longer needed to punish myself with self-hatred. Drugs and alcohol allowed me to bypass this abusive pattern and live my life like everyone else. And this felt a hell of a lot better than the way I handled shit before.

Drugs and alcohol became more than just a shortcut to good times, they were my lifeline. I no longer had to treat myself like shit. I actually sort of liked myself. And whenever feelings of guilt and shame about my substance abuse would bubble to the surface, I’d just drink more or find a new drug to shove those emotions back down.

I no longer needed to punish myself with self-hatred. Drugs and alcohol allowed me to bypass this abusive pattern and live my life like everyone else.

So that’s exactly what I did for the next 13 years. And now, at the ripe old age of 31, it is finally time to let go of this crutch that has dominated my entire adult life.

Breaking the Cycle

“You didn’t get fat overnight, so you can’t expect to lose it all overnight either!”

As I embark on this sober journey, I am determined to break this cycle of self-abuse once and for all. I’m not delusional, I know I fucked up my life in countless ways due to my addictive behavior. I hate how complicated I have made things for myself. I’m pissed at the mess addict me left for sober me to clean up.

But this time is different. I am determined to love the living shit out of myself as I pick up the pieces. I love a lot of people who have flaws, so why have I always struggled to love myself?

I’m still trying to figure that part out, but in the meantime I am doing something I’ve never done before: I am breaking the cycle of self-inflicted judgement and abuse. I am ready to embrace myself exactly as I am, flaws and all.

It’s time to muster up all the self-love I can find. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, and I need all the help I can get. Loving myself is the first step towards change, and so help me God I need to change.