Taking a picture of yourself when you have anxiety – An unimaginable, downhill journey of discouragement.

I realise my last couple of posts were about the the same topic. I keep feeling the need to share more, add to what I’ve already written. I think deep down i believe if i open up about certain issues, i will feel less strange. More accepted? Also maybe i can try to figure out why i do some of the things i do. I feel this is a safe space… so.

I’ll continue this post in the style of the previous post. I touched on doing my make up in the last post. Well this post is my account of the calamity that is me attempting to successfully take a picture of myself.

Taking a picture of myself? (after the makeup performance is completed of course.) Perfectionist me won’t be content until i take the perfect picture. To show my friend’s and family that I’m doing perfectly fine! I too am a functioning human being! Just like everyone else! I’m not a self loathing slob, who puts zero effort into anything, because my head won’t agree to just let me be…

Anyway perfect picture ? Well if course… that’s only 1-2 hours of posing just so. Breathing in. No one can know I’m 16 stone! I mean you can clearly see from my three chins and chubby cheeks, but cover my arms up with a cardigan… they’ll never know.

(This is usually where perfectionist me takes over, and won’t relent.)

“Place your head like so, angle it just right, disguise how nauseating your neck and chins are… Now hold you arms in that position, cover up how vomit-inducing they are! Keep your lips in a half smile, half pressed pose, hide the weird shape they naturally they are, smile! Make them look full! Keep your cheeks like that! Show your dimples! Distract from the fact that your face is an abomination! Oh my god! What are you doing? Don’t you dare spoil that lipstick… do you want to spend 15 minute’s doing it over again. You know I’ll make you!

Okay so! Eyes looking at the camera. Widen them! Big open eyes! Not too much, you need to show off that eyeliner! Why do you have to have such horrifically small eyelids! Damn it! Stop your hands from shaking! Breathe in!!! Don’t get that revolting stomach in. Ugh! Now your tops uneven. Got to show cleavage. Take attention away from that face of yours. Atleast there’s something half decent about these pictures… and even thats fake!

Start again. Okay, okay! Lips. Arms. Ugh! Glasses. Steaming up. Why do you have to have weird eyes, why can’t you just have contact lenses… never mind, the glasses hide your vile excuse for a face. Boys may actually think you’re cute atleast with those… Okay, ready! Hold the pose. Glasses unfogged. Pose, pose, pose! Take! Then repeat that torturous facade 100 more times. Then we can later analyse them, and i can call attention to every imperfection for you.

Those 100 pictures. Wittled down to three. Now edit the hell out of those. Then, and only then can you upload them! No one will know the effort you go through darling. Only you know you’re lying.

Oh except everyone who knows you in person, they clearly know you’re not even close to looking as good as you do in those pictures. Never mind, keep convincing yourself.

Just don’t think about the people who will be disappointed when they see you in the flesh, after seeing your pictures. You’re so disgusting! You’re a fraud! Why do you think this okay?! I suppose it’s all you can do when you look as vile as you do…

You realise that people will look at your uploads and think they’re over edited and that you’re fake! If they don’t think that, they’ll think you’re a tease, that you’re slutty… desperate.”

Look how shallow you are, you look like a pig in person! They all know that. Everyone knows that! What was the point of it all?! You wasted all that time… you’ve uploaded it and guess what… they all know you’re only posing that way to hide how fat you really are! Maybe if you ate less you wouldn’t have to fake it! You’d be happier!

You’d not have to wear that hideous hoodie to hide your repulsive face! You’d have men interested in you! You wouldn’t be ashamed to leave the house! People wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen with you! You’d be worthy. You could try clothes on… You could wear nice things… Not look like a vile, disgusting excuse for a human being…”

Oh… and an after thought for you…

Just think, if you’re that undesirable once you’ve invested so much time to look thay way… spent so much time editing… how revolting must you be in the first place. You’re right to give up trying. You have no hope.

Everyone sees you for the pathetic, foul, slob that you are! They don’t see how hard you try to be kind. How you try to be there for others. How, each day you fight on, and aim to be as helpful and good as you can. You think they see you! See how you feel, how happy they make you feel. They don’t!

They see your exterior! That abhorrent, repugnant, execrable exterior and they think that’s you! No one will ever see past that! So by extention you, yourself, every fiber of you is insufferable! How can someone be so dispicable yet so concieted at the same time?!

(This is when my inner perfectionist leaves. After making me spend hours taking and editing my pictures. They, of course couldn’t be uploaded until she was satisfied…. satiated. I’m left to dwell on the whole exhausting, soul destroying experience.)

Then people wonder why i just don’t even attempt to try. Would you see the point?

When my inner perfectionist takes over.

Have to be somewhere on time? Perfectionist me insists on combing my hair so my parting is just so, not a hair out of place. I mean I’ll pull parts of my hair out to make it perfectly straight. I can’t cope with it being uneven, because i then feel uneven. It gets to the point where i will just stick a hood on, give up and go to bed. After an hour of standing infront of the mirror. It’s my only option unless i want to spend another hour there. Probably resulting in me having yanked more hair from the routes… I wish i was exagerating.

Have to be ready for a lift in ten minutes? Perfectionist me will find every spot on my face and not be happy until they’re gone. This is a particularly bad one, because it results in long sessions of picking at my face and body until im red and sometimes bleeding in multiple places. I can’t leave any, it will run through my head all day, consuming my thoughts.

Night out? (This is honestly a rarety, i think you will realise why.) Perfectionist me rub away and redo my eyeliner until its even. Or to the point that my eyes get that red, they water and go puffy to the point putting make up on is no longer optional. Or the more common scenario is that i get that frustrated that i can’t just let go that i cry, spoil the whole of my makeup and just give up. Purely because after 3 hours of trying to get it to a satisfactory level and taking it off, retrying numerous times just takes it out of me. I don’t even want to do anything but lie in bed, sleep through the tears. Or just lie there numb, wondering if others do this. Questioning why i am this way.

Have a bus to catch? Perfectionist me sees my jacket with dog hairs on and cannot let me leave until they’re gone. The worst thing with this one is i can’t do this in my room because the dog hairs will then be in my room. So i have to do this downstairs… It’s similar to the hair parting situation. Made worse because people can see, and are clearly aware of how long I’m taking to do a simple task. I’d worry if i were them too. Honestly though it makes me feel terrible, because how do you explain?

How to coherently convey this need to get something just right, and there’s no specific standard or goal. Just until your brain thinks its okay. Until it feels right. Or until youve exhausted yourself so admit youre not good enough and hide in bed. How do you describe that process in a non-crazy, “no need to worry” way?

To accurately detail how you literally cannot leave the house, until you’ve appeased your brain. You can’t leave the task no matter how late you are, no matter how long you’ve taken, no matter that your hair “looks the same as when you started”… to you it’s crucial. You can’t walk away because it will niggle away at your mind until you march yourself right back, and re-start the whole ordeal again. That is if you even manage to get away in the first place.

Most times it’s almost as if once i have started i can’t stop. There’s no logic or limit. I just know i need to feel satisfied. I need to feel okay. So i continue doing it. Losing track of time. Unable to see past the task at hand. Blind to anything else.

I feel sorry for whoever tries to understand, if anyone. I know if i didn’t experience it first hand i wouldn’t likely grasp the depth and impact of it either. I’m aware explaining it to this extent makes me sound awful. I make myself sound unbalanced. I probably shouldn’t share this but i promised myself I’d try to share more of the the issues i deal with day to day… so. Yeah.

Photography – An unperfected perfection.

This morning, i woke up and wanted to go out. I wanted to be out there, maybe not be around people, but there was a definite desire to leave the house. This is still new to me at times. The want, and need to leave the house, after years of fearing the outside. Still there i was at 10am, yearning to be out there.

To be more specific, be out there with my camera. You see i have this relationship with my camera, bear with me… it’s not as weird as it sounds! It’s just it changes me, in the sense that i push myself when I’m taking pictures. I know i do push myself a lot more now in general anyway, but when i have my camera, even when I’m scared or sad. I push on.

I haven’t managed to go very far alone still, just the field near my house, trust me though… that’s an improvement! I’m working on it, as it could be key to me leaving the house independently on a more regular basis. I’m much better when I’m with others, i get far less panicky. Then adding my camera into the mix, means for a somewhat better experience. Freaking out and having to go to the toilet every half an hour or less, is not how i guess my friends wish to spend their time with me.

So yes, taking photos, having that focus, takes my mind of my usual fears. Makes me feel more capable to go out for sure. The downside of this being that I’m still not the best company. Yes, I’m not as panicky, but i also have no concentration for conversation. It’s all centered on my camera, my surroundings. I surrender myself to the photographer within me. I search, i see, i shoot. Talking is an afterthought. See my predicament?

Needs company to take photos…. is awful company when taking photos…

So… getting back to this earlier power that i mentioned, the one i have when behind my camera. To be able to push myself. I’m not quite sure if i actually do have this. I mean i do fight on… that’s true. I just don’t know if I’ve found strength to control my brain, and be in control. Instead of caving under the pressure, allowing myself to be anxious.

Or if infact, If it’s just my overwhelming need to get the best shots i can. Overide my urge to panic and run, in aid to get the perfect pictures. I personally think it’s my inner perfectionist, it won’t let go. It fights the anxiety to get what it wants.

This sounds great right? Overcoming my anxiety. However, it’s this very perfectionist inside me that allows me… no forces me into bad situations, usually leading to negative consequences. I’ve probably made that sound much more sinister than the truth. I’ll give some examples in my next post to elaborate on this…

A simple poem about my shoe.

The crumpled feel of my leggings in my shoe,

One leg’s fine, but the other’s askew.

Next to interupt, the pebble under my soul,

Another object hidering my goal.

A relaxing walk is all i request,

These unwelcome distractions put my nerves to the test.

This is the 6th time I’ve stopped to rest,

Straightening my leggings….

Ignoring the pebble to the best of my ability,

Trying to regain some of my morning traquility.

I’m in one of those slow walking moods today,

One of those people stood in your way.

Walking at the pace of a slug or a snail,

My head in my blog, sharing with you this tale.

What should my blog be about?

Just a quick update. I guess there’s a few of you who read my blog now, and a fair amount of you have asked me if I’m okay, since my last few posts have been abit negative. So thankyou to everyone who has asked. I’ve tried to reply to you all, and it does make me feel really supported. I’ve had this blog for over a week now and it’s been a real insight. It’s been a really positive experience thus far.

I’m grateful I’ve found so many like-minded, genuinely conciderate, creative, amazing people!

I had an awful few days, but i forced myself out of the house. I’ve put my support system into action. Made plans to ensure I’ll be kept busy, not have too much time alone to dwell. I’ve surrounded myself with people who make me feel safe, and I’ve took everyones kind words and encouragement to heart.

I don’t feel I’m drowning anymore. Rather than struggling, being alone, I’ve chosen to be with my family. I’m spending a few days here, eating Indian, watching Black Mirror, the Winter Olympics, and The Voice. Playing ball games with the kids, and playing with the play doh. Seeing them giggle, getting snuggles from the, and feeling great!

But besides letting you all know that I’m feeling a lot better, there’s other reasons that i wrote this post. I put a lot of effort and time, aswell as thought, into my blog. Which i can’t completely achieve while I’m with my parents, without appearing ignorant.

I just want to experience this time with my family, i don’t want to be on my phone all of the time. I want to be available to them, not proccupied and distracted. Then i can come back to my blog when i need it, and also when i have the time alone. I know that sounds like I’m not putting effort into it, but it’s because i want quality posts that i need some time away.

The final reason i wrote this is because, so far I’ve posted mainly poems, or just clips of emotional ramblings. I’m not sure whether i want my blog to consist soley of these poems/pieces of writing, and use it purely as an escape when it gets too dark. Or whether to make daily posts, irrelevant of if I’m feeling high or low?

I know i worry too much, but I’m aware that to produce the usual emotional pieces, i have to be in that frame of mind. Which is why my blog is a great place to escape to when I’m feeling all of those pressures. However since I’m not currently in a stituation where I’m sad or anxious, i don’t need to use my blog a safety net as much.

So until i know whether my blog will be a personal/daily thing, including all aspects of my life, treating it more as a diary, than as a notebook to just scrawl the negative feelings in. I’ll have to just be a spectator of your blogs, because i simply can’t produce my usual posts for now.

I’m sorry if this makes me seem egotistical, to think that any of you might even be bothered if i don’t post. I just really wanted to do this every day, i wanted to seriously give it my all. Ultimately, i don’t want people to think im a flake, and i want to be dedicated to my blog.

So, if you can give me your opinions on what you’d like to read, I’d be really grateful. I thought this blog was mine, but in just this short time I’ve realised my followers, and everyone that comments are part of it too. So I’d apprectiate your thoughts, and I’ll be back next week no doubt.

Contrast

My world has flipped,
The fact I’m aware of that is worse.
It was in full HD colour,
Now my world a grey fuzzy mess.
Interactions are taken negatively,
The same interactions that i would have taken positively last week.
My depression twists the way i perceive the world.
And even though i know that,
I can’t prevent it,
I can’t convince myself differently.
Before i believed that people loved me,
Now i feel like i was just kidding myself.
This is my real state,
Where i belong,
What my life is.
The past month or so was fake,
Was just temporary,
Not the real way i am intended to live.
The thing is usually It’s a struggle,
To be above it all,
To live,
To strive.
I’m usually scared about going back to depressed me,
I actively force myself to be happy.
But it wasn’t like that this time,
I almost felt I’d turned a corner.
I felt this new confidence,
Reassurance,
I thought i had it sorted.
But now,
It seems so distant.
Like a dream,
Like it almost didn’t happen.
It seems highly impossible to achive that amount of normality,
To be that level headed,
To live my life to such a high standard as that again.
I’m back to the old me,
The me i hate.
But deserve to be.

Unattainable – All good things shall too come to an end.

So after fighting it off for a week.
My depression is back.
I’ve been going great for over a month.
Since christmas really.

But the last week has been…

I’ve been putting off being alone.
Busying myself.
Ensuring I’ve filled my days with things.
Visiting people.
Focusing on my blog.
Not allowing the bad thoughts to have a chance.

But i couldn’t keep it up.

Eventually, inevitably I’d be alone.

And the first day I was actually alone.

I cracked.

I was okay.

For atleast a month.

More than okay, actually.

And now….

Today and yesterday are the first days that i haven’t gone into group.
The past two days are the first days i can’t face it.
I just don’t have the motivation.

Nothing seems attainable anymore.

I didn’t realise how well i was doing.

Until now.

I turned up to every group.
I was going out with friends.
Spending time with family.
Going out.
More importantly choosing to go out.
Acknowledging where and when i felt best.
Putting myself more and more into positive situations.

I felt normal.

I was actually considering what was best for me.
Going out every day.
I actually wanted to go out.
Be part of a community.
My personal community.
That I’ve tried so hard to build up recently.

Most of my bad habits i had under control.
I don’t mean to sound arrogant…
But i was thriving.

Truly.

I was living with my anxiety.
I was dealing.
I felt supported.
I felt loved.
I felt worthy.
I had strength.
And will.

Now… i feel… substandard.

Inferior. An unworthy, repulsive, pariah.

I feel as though i don’t deserve to try to become part of society again.
I feel like i belong apart.