This is going to be a very personal post.
Disclaimer that this is not meant for attention in any way. This is a past experience that I value wholeheartedly. Consider this a first world problem if you must, but mental health is an issue in today’s society that should be vocalized. This is who I am, where I come from, and is intended to inspire you to please take care of yourself.
Growing up I had extremely high expectations for myself. My grades have always been well above average, any mistakes present in my artwork would be thrown in the trash, and my handwriting had developed into calligraphy. I spent hours and hours on everything I work on so it can look “perfect”.
This was due to pressure, validation, and the desire to have others like me.
As the years progressed, I started feeling very insecure about my physical appearance and my body, I started eating a”perfect diet”. I started to really pay attention to my physical appearance to look a certain way.I was never overweight. I was blessed with a healthy, functional body but I wasn’t as skinny as the typical girls I hung out with, which made me feel lesser of a human being. I was only 12 when I started feeling this way.
I remember one time I cried for being fed rice noodles.
By this time I had an academic average way above 90%, but I would spend nearly every single minute during weekends and holidays dedicated to studying, and not socializing. I would feel guilt every time I got less than what was expected. I was secretly so stressed, but I wanted to go harder. Awards and compliments were my motives.
No one knew that I dropped from 115 pounds to 85 pounds, had clumps of hair fall down the drain, and lost my menstrual cycle for 2 years at the age of 15.
I tried to be “perfect” so people would like me… because I didn’t like myself.
Everything I did was because I felt insecure. The way I felt about myself relied on what others thought of me. I was miserable because I felt like I was never good enough for my parents, my teachers, my friends, strangers, and myself.
This just shows how you literally have no idea what’s going on in another person’s life.
The past couple of weeks I stopped trying to fulfil my own expectations, and you know what? Everyone’s opinion about me hasn’t changed.
I have days where I struggle with accepting myself for who I am. But the idea of perfectionism totally messed up my sanity.
I’m relearning to love myself. I’m taking this break for my physical and mental health, and not for a status, and I know everyone will love me the same. You know what happened when I stopped trying please others? My menstrual cycle returned, my hair stopped falling out, I gained healthy weight, and my grades weren’t even affected. I am the same person with a better mindset, that now only does things out of enjoyment.
Eat whole foods, move your body, progress towards your life goals, but let yourself watch Netflix, eat cake, and take naps too. Mental health is the key to our well-being.