I was sitting in a health and wellness conference and the speaker was discussing how our health pyramid needs one particular thing at the bottom of it. She then had each of us repeat after her the words “I love myself”. I’m a joiner so of course I did it. She then asked us to be honest with ourselves about how it made us feel to say that to ourselves. Did it feel odd, uncomfortable, wrong, good, or normal? A strange and wonderful thing happened to me then …. I realized I had no problem saying it! It felt right. For anyone that has ever dealt with or is still dealing with a mental health disorder you know that is a really difficult thing to do!
I don’t know how bad it is for each individual but I know that for me all I could see for many many years were all the things I couldn’t do. All the times I fell short as a parent. I saw all the ways I needed my parents rather than being able to be there for them. I berated myself for not being as good of a friend as my friends were to me… and so on and so on. Looking back on it all I know I did the best I could and it certainly was not my fault but in the midst of it that was nothing that ever occurred to me. That sort of thinking couldn’t penetrate all the negative thoughts that raged on inside of me. I lived that way for over 20 years and I never thought I’d get to the point where I could say I love myself. I am so grateful! To my parents for learning about my disorder, my best friend for sticking by me for so many years and to my children for understanding that I tried my very best to be as good a mother as I could be despite my circumstances and I thank all the people who invented all the fantastic arts and crafts that calmed my mind.
Most of all I thank the people who worked hard to publicize so much about healthy eating. Healthy eating has definitely changed my life for the better! After 20 years of being uncomfortable with who I was I can finally say with conviction that I do love myself!
If you are struggling with a mental health disorder I urge you to really research food and how it can help you get better. Here’s a great place for you to start: Food Matters. I promise you won’t regret it!