One of the best things to come out of this blog is discovering how much I enjoy writing. Growing up I never really tried to write, but always felt I had a lot to say. If you’ve been reading for a while you know that I occasionally post personal essays exposing my fears and struggles, which prove both therapeutic for myself and according to comments, for some of you too. To me there is no greater success than hearing from someone that my gut-spilling makes them feel less alone. The essay I wrote (read here) on being an awkward child and my struggles with anorexia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder was by far one of my most popular and personally gratifying. So I was beside myself with the editors of Ladies Home Journal called and asked to buy the essay for publication. I could not believe that someone wanted to PAY me for my writing and publish it in one of the biggest women’s magazines in the country! And then it hit me, that mulleted, buck-toothed middle school photo would be published with it! It’s one thing to have my readers see it, but quite another to imagine it in every supermarket in the US. And it’s there, now, in the June issue of LHJ, probably in your very grocery store.
But funnily enough, that’s not the photo I’m struggling to accept.
It just so happens that I am currently having a really hard time with my BDD. Like, really hard. Since writing the blog post it’s gotten way worse. And it’s so hard to explain and understand, but when life gets pretty stressful I take all that negative energy and channel it into hating my appearance, which happened to coincide recently with a few photo-shoots, exacerbating the issue. Again, it’s a diagnosed mental condition and I have been working with a specialist on it. I know to some it sounds like false modesty and bullshit, but trust me, it is not. I’ve been dealing with this my whole adult life. And when I saw the “new” picture of myself in the magazine I felt panicked. It’s not a good picture of me, even my friends and Andrew have said that it doesn’t even look like me. For a few days I let my misfiring neurotransmitters sway me into forgetting about how proud I was of the article and instead focus on the picture and not share with you that it’s out. Which is the exact OPPOSITE of what the article was about and totally a step backwards in learning to not only accept myself but also not place such importance on the exterior.
Then last night I read the story again. And I cried. And I remembered for a moment what it was about and how honored I am to be published and thankful to LHJ for believing in my words and my message. And I took a little of my own advice and am letting you know it’s out. And am using these feelings as yet another tool in working towards healing myself.
So what if it’s not a great picture, I’M PUBLISHED! :)