I had an epiphany the other day. I was thinking to myself as I was getting ready for work, ” I really don’t enjoy seeing myself in a mirror”. While that’s nothing new, what really hit me is, why am I not sharing this on the blog? Why am I not reaching out for support and sharing this journey like I do with Mental Health?
This blog will always be first and foremost a place to share my healing journey as an abuse survivor. To validate all who have survived the trauma of abuse. This is a place where I open up and talk about Dissociation, Anxiety, PTSD, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Narcissistic Abuse, and Bullying.
I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life. Also in my younger years there were things like ache and having to wear a retainer. To this day I sometimes wonder I made it through school being such an easy target.
So where does this fit in to the whole survivor of abuse and mental health realm?
Well, my weight problems have always been a source of anxiety, stress, and caused low self-esteem. It causes me to not want to eat alone at a restaurant, or go clothes shopping, or let anyone else know my size or buy me clothes as a gift.
The complexion problems and wearing a retainer made me feel self-conscious all the time and kept me from being more social and reaching out to anyone.
As an abuse survivor…the low self-esteem, no self-confidence, feeling anxious, Dissociating, flashbacks, fear of intimacy, lack of trust, PTSD; is all directly related to those childhood trauma’s.
Which then in turn contributes to me using food as a comfort and coping mechanism, and to not focus on eating healthy. That contributed in part to my complexion problems.
When you break it down it’s easy to see how childhood trauma and problems with weight and eating can play off each other. I’m certainly not suggesting that everyone who is an abuse survivor has the same issues that I did and do now; in fact for some it’s quite the opposite. The main point is though, that emotional trauma can lead to many different types of physical health problems later in life.
In an effort to combine my physical and mental health, I’m planning on starting a new weekly series here on SMP, where I write (or podcast) about some of my physical struggles that have affected my life as a survivor, both then and now.
- Eating habits & weight control
- Body image
- Weekly updates on how my journey in weight loss is going.
All of these areas can affect our mood, motivation, relationships, and overall outlook on life. Those in turn can affect how we handle anxiety, stress and contribute to depression. It really can be mind-blowing to realize just how much physical health and emotional health are connected to each other.
As I continue to heal from abuse, on this journey of recovery, I am beginning to see signs of some real progress with my mental health. That progress is beginning to instill some self-confidence too, and that in turn is inspiring me to work towards my physical health now as well.
I’ve started Weight Watchers online, I have an accountability partner, and my goal is drop about 40 pounds. There, how’s that for some vulnerability and transparency for you! 🙂
I would love to hear your thoughts on this new feature here on SMP. Please email me, DM me on Twitter, or simply comment here anytime. This will likely be a weekend feature that gets posted on Saturday’s.
Feature image courtesy of Pixabay.
Thanks again! I can sure relate.
Matt, that you survived such an ordeal makes you an expert to help others out of the pit of despair! I’m blessed to have helped countless men & women as I teach my faith based Beauty Out of Ashes Support Group that’s been sent into prisons all over the world. I’m so fortunate to have had my voice heard on the upcoming Dr Oz Show (sometime in January) which will be posted on my web site & Facebook@BarbaraJoyHansen