Body Manifesto: A Dedication to Recovery and Self-Love
I have allowed fear to ruin my life. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of not being attractive, fear of being fat, fear of gaining weight, fear of being anything larger than a size six; fear of hard work, fear of mediocrity, fear of imperfection, fear of sadness, fear of anger, fear of empathy. Fear of my own body. The fear of my own feelings. The fear of looking at my own face. I am afraid, deeply and completely petrified. I am a small child hiding under the covers and refusing to come out because the Boogeyman is everywhere; it is in the size of my thighs and the circumference of my waist and the imperfections on my face and the largeness of my smile; the Boogeyman is me. I evade my shadow, but even small children know that you cannot run from yourself.
It is time now to stop being afraid. It is time to gaze in the mirror not with fear, but with love. It is time to stop crying over issues that exist only in my head. It is time to stop telling myself that I am too ugly and too awkward and too worthless to be deserving of love or happiness. It is time to stop hiding – from others, from romantic partners, from myself. I am not terrible and I am not wrong and I am not stupid and I am not ugly and I am not hopeless. I am bright; I have love, I have dreams; I have drive, I have beauty, I have strength. Heaven knows only the strong-willed could survive even a week of the barrage of hatred that has filled my waking life for over a decade now. It is time to stop the hatred. It is time to start loving myself, in my entirety and without condition. I am not loveless, I am not hopeless. I am brave, I have conviction; my love is not mediocre.
I am afraid but I am not helpless.
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