Monday, October 1, 2012


Something that I haven't really consciously thought about in awhile is my self-esteem, inner and outer. Considering that I've never had any confidence in myself in terms of appearance, intelligence, etc., I clearly have problems with my self-esteem and how I view myself.

Having an eating disorder from 12-15 didn't help either. Anorexia is horrendous when it comes to self-image, you always see yourself +20 pounds whenever you look in a mirror.

Luckily, having gastroparesis is an excellent way to kill any inclination of an eating disorder, and is probably the only silver lining of having this condition. Once you physically lose the ability to eat, not by choice of mind but by choice of stomach, all you want to do is eat. It's absolutely insane what a mental change I have made in terms of food.

Through college I still followed habits from my anorexic past-coffee in the morning, eating only once a day, refusing just about everything. Until I started puking every day. After the idea that daily vomiting was a definite possibility for the rest of my life sank in, every iota of my anorexia disappeared. All I want to do for the majority of every single day of my life is stuff my face. With things besides gerber graduates entrees.

However, the loss of anorexic tendencies did not lead to an increase in my self-esteem. If anything, GP has worsened my self-esteem by a great deal. For one thing, it's hard to feel good about yourself when you feel nauseated, or after puking. (Hunger pangs mixed with nausea, I've deduced, are the worst possible combination of feelings you can have. I don't wish it upon anyone. ANYONE.)

In addition, GP is an unfavorable condition because people tend to think you have bulimia when you first discover you have the condition. Running to the bathroom every meal? Of course the gossip mills are going to run with that.

Being labeled with another eating disorder after conquering anorexia is one of the driving reasons as to why I kept at my diagnostic progress. I was tired of being labeled as 'that girl with the eating disorder.' No one wants to be that girl.

GP also reduces self-esteem in more ways than I can list--including lack of personal care (NOT hygiene, I shower daily. I mean going outside the house not looking like you just rolled out of bed) and consistent bloating due to my metabolism, which has decided to stop working completely just so I can keep down and use as many calories as possible.

Altogether, gastroparesis is not an illness that aids in increasing confidence about yourself. I think one of the hardest parts of having a chronic condition, besides the ability to recognize that in order to thrive, you have to beat the disease, and not let it beat you, is the complete lack of self-confidence I have for myself.

As the boyfriend once said, "You walked around like you didn't give a fuck what anybody thought about you."

I walk like that because I don't want to be noticed. I don't want to KNOW what other people are thinking about me, especially on bad days where I feel and look awful. I walk like that because of an absence of self-confidence, not an overload of it.

I will continue crossing my fingers until my GI doctor visit next Monday. I keep hoping everything will fall into place once I can eat somewhat normally and don't spend the majority of my evenings wrapped around my toilet.

I'm honestly riding on this stomach medication. I can't think of what will happen if it doesn't help--and I don't want to think about tubes through my intestines yet.

But I do know that my self-esteem has been steadily deteriorating. And that as is, right now, I don't like myself.

I'm crossing my fingers for change. Because I need to regain the ability to like myself.

I will say though, as a complete sidenote--I've become obsessed with doing my nails. After all, it's not like I have much to do during the day besides continually avoid my calculus textbook. For the record, anti-anxiety pills kill any desire to bite your nails, so I am now the quite the manicurist. I've already mastered the basic french, so now I'm on to glitter, because I do enjoy sparkly things. So, after two hours of serious, frustrating effort, voila!

Like I said before, I really need to start studying calculus. This is the epitome of too much free time. But with GP comes boredom, and thus my newly marketable nail design talent.

No comments:

Post a Comment