I’m your typical introvert—shy, quiet, and avoidant. Growing up, I had always had problems with my self-esteem, especially because I was never noticed (or remembered for that matter) by any of my peers or teachers. My two older brothers were mischievous, loud, and outgoing—the exact opposite of me. Nonetheless, I looked up to them. I was especially close with my second eldest brother because our ages were closer. I remember one day when I was in elementary, he was already in a bad mood, and I had been bothering him like younger siblings tend to do. He immediately exploded and called me a “fat pig”. When he said that, I suddenly became aware of how much bigger I was than all of my friends.
It wasn’t until high school that all my pent-up insecurities finally exploded. I was determined to lose weight, and the funny thing is that at first, I wanted to do it the healthy way. But eventually, my diet spiraled out of control. What began as trying to make healthier options in life turned into something obsessive. I initially tried to incorporate carrots and celery as my midday snack. Eventually, this “midday snack” and water became all I consumed for meals. Every time I felt my resolve crumble, I would remember when my brother called me a “fat pig” so many years ago, and I would immediately throw my food away. My obsession became counting my daily food intake to the very last calorie and weighing myself daily.
I couldn’t bear to even look in the mirror. I hated the way I looked. Every time I saw how disgusting I was, I wanted to cry and hit my own reflection. I was so consumed by my own self-pity and feelings of worthlessness. The worst part is that I know my self-esteem is out of control, but I just don’t care. I don’t care what I have to do, just as long as I can be a little closer to perfect. For once in my life, I just want to feel like I’m beautiful and worth things like happiness. Is that so wrong?