Over the last month and as a result of openly spilling my thoughts over the internet I have noticed a great change in myself as a person. I "throw caution to the wind" and boldly wear tshirts and have my scars on display to the world, I openly discuss my condition with people who ask questions about it without feeling uncomfortble and self-concious.
Essentially I have become a beacon of self-confidence and self-esteem even though I currently don't technically fit the bill for "beautiful". I have moon face, bad dark circles, peeling skin on my face and scars and pigmentation loss everywhere but for the first time ever I feel comfortable in my skin.
I guess this is a direct result of the positive feedback I have received about my article (thank you!) versus the negative thinking patterns I indulged silently in for four years - the notion that people would be disgusted with me if they knew the truth, which is exactly what I said it was - A NOTION and a stupid one to be frank.
So as my new found confidence is radiating out of me I thought I would share what I have found has transformed me from an insecure gal to a BAD B*TCH*.
Wear the dress/shorts/t-shirt/wig/bold makeup or whatever you want.
I often made my fashion choices around my plaques/scars (depending on whether I was in the midst of a flare-up) and it sucked. I can remember going shopping and longingly holding a short sleeve dress or tank top and thinking "Wow that piece of clothing is BOMB but it just wouldn't look good on me or I'd have to wear a cardigan with it and keep it on and tights and that would not be a look. People would see my skin, they might say something and I'll feel self-consious and in turn ugly in it" - that is an example of my ever so negative thinking. That entire mental scenario is one that I regularly faced. Since I have recently just been picking clothes that I think are bomb and not giving a flying f*ck about people seeing my scars I have not once experienced the above situation (no surprise there) and I feel that now because my confidence has grown even if someone were to say something I would be able to shut that down real quick in an eloquant manner.
"So wear whatever you want. You'll find the 99.9% of the time people are wrapped up in their own insecurities and don't actually give a sh*t about yours. If you think something would be bomb go for it! It just might liberate you".
-The new confident me (2019)
Your younger self excercise.
This is often a known recommended tactic for breaking negative thought cycles. If you commonly find your subconcious basically bullying you telling you your disgusting or ugly or fat or not good enough imagine you were sitting down in room with an 8 year old version of yourself and you were firing out that level of abuse. You would not speak to a stranger like that, you would not speak to a child like that and you definitely would not be able to comfortably say all of that to your cute little younger self - so why on earth do you internally speak to yourself like that?
Next time you notice your thoughts becoming self-depricating stop them in their tracks and try to think of any positive thoughts you can about yourself instead or how you would comfort your younger self if they were saying any of those negative things about themself to you. Tricking your train of thought can de-rail your negative thinking and re-route the track to a place where the destination is a more confident you.
Open an HONEST dialogue.
Find a close friend, an internet buddy, family member, confidante, partner, therapist or for those of you who can't quite deal with openly speaking about your issues an anonymous online forum or good ole' fashioned journal. When we discuss our problems aloud/in print/on paper we are actually forced to look at them for what they really are and can see the scope of how they affect us. Only after you acknowledge a problem can you begin to find a strategy to cope with it in a healthy manner.
For those of you with anxiety that keeps you awake at night I highly recommend journaling. Writing a journal entry during your wind-down period before getting into bed allows you to spill out any niggling thoughts and get them out of your headspace. It will prevent that tossing and turning as a result of the cluster f*ck of thoughts that would usually be swirling around in your head being out of there.
For anyone that is severly struggling with depression as a result of their condition/situation I recommend therapy or counselling (If that is available to you). It is okay that you can't cope. It is okay to seek professional help. As someone who has recieved counselling and therapy on numerous occassions now I can say honestly that I wouldn't have even identified a lot of my unhealthy behaviours without it. Sometimes you can normalise negative thoughts and behaviours to an extent where you don't even realise your doing them anymore, it's only when you open up about it that you can finally begin to face it.
Go Easy On Yourself
We can often be our own worst critics. Constantly judging ourselves for what we haven't accomplished, comparing ourselves to others and their achievements and just generally being d*cks to ourselves. Quit it. Now. Nobody has lived your exaclt life and experienced what you have experienced. Most people are going through some form of sh*t but it's all different. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Instead focus on improving yourself by doing what you can - that way say in a few months or years you can compare yourself to your past self and see how far you have come along. Take pride in your development, so what if your not "where your supposed to be by now" the place where you want to be isn't going anywhere so take your time and give yourself a break.
If you found any of that helpful let me know and share with others to spread the positivity. If you would like to read more subscribe to the website (currently you have to sign up, until Wix steps up its game and gets rid of that nonsense) and follow me on instagram @marzi_murphy (I post regularly). Do you have any self-esteem tips and tricks you would like to share? comment them below.
Also if you are struggling with anything ranging from chronic conditions, skin conditions, auto-immune disorders, alopecia, burns, scarring or any other self-esteem altering condition and would like to share your story and join the movement get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I am currently in contact with a number of people and developing articles about their stories.
*I am most definitely not a medical professional. I am a person who enjoys being vocal on the internet. Always follow the advice of your medical professional. You can take on board my advice also but again it all boils down to your specific situation and what is best for you.
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