Believing Is Seeing

Happy happy chilly chilly November my friends. I won’t apologize for posting in a while. Because frankly, there are more important things.  But I’m grateful that the cold is slowly sweeping into this crazy city. I love the cold. Its controllable. And it calms me and pacifies my crazy and sometimes overheated head of mine.  And boy, has it been overheated lately.

 

For those of you who get triggered by body image, body dysmorphic disorder or eating disorders, I urge you to read with caution

As I scroll through instagram it’s the same thing everyday. Skinny. Gym bunnies. Models. Lingerie. Six pack abs. Perfect hair. Perfect teeth. Perfect Makeup. Happy Smiles. I KNOW it’s all bullshit. But I look at it anyway. And it makes me feel disgusting. I am a healthy 21 year old. I don’t like having sugar in my house other than honey, fruits and my cookie tin. I eat greens, whole meals, no milk, no cheese and though I have alcohol in moderation I don’t over consume. I go to the gym at least 2-3 times a week. Doing a small vinyasa flow everyday no matter if its five minutes or thirty. I sleep well. Take vitamins and down water like an elephant.  But with Body Dysmorphia comes gripping depressions and false realities.

I look in the mirror and see what I’ve told myself I am.  Love handles. Fat flabby arms. Round childish face. I always joked about looking like an upside down triangle. I always joke about how I used to be a little tubby. I always joke. But it’s never really kidding. It’s always with a hint of truth. Doing a show that has so many pre-contracted psychological ties, it’s hard for me to step into those costumes and at least feel a little bit prepared for the emotional journey.  But as a leading lady, you have to suck it up and do your job. And faking it sometimes is even more tiring.

I want to explain this blog title. I was always very adamant on blind faith. Mainly because I grew up religious and I still think Santa Claus is real.  But I loved the idea of having so much faith in something you couldn’t really see. People use love as an example. But you see love clearly in very obvious ways. It’s constantly around you. You feel it, you hear it, you can even taste it (I’m talking about cake). But as much as I wanted to apply this to every aspect of my life, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t apply this to seeing myself as beautiful.  Not beauty standard beautiful. My own.  My mom would always say to me, ‘You’re so beautiful inside and out. And even if you don’t see it, just know that you are loved.” And during my teens I could scrape by with that. But now, as a grown ass woman, it ISN’T ENOUGH.  

That’s why I have this theory. Thanks hugely to my therapist hahahahaha. The other day, during the show I had a huge sweep of insecurity. I could feel my satin trousers I wear in the show slipping over my stomach and falling below my hips. I know I couldn’t do anything in the moment because, well, I was too busy belting my tits off. But my insides were churning with a desire to pull my pants up and cover my midsection and ‘love handles’.  And because the scene was preventing me not to, I felt almost sick to my stomach. And as I looked out to the audience of hundreds and hundreds of people I couldn’t help but get emotional. Pissed off. Angry. Frustrated. And a huge huge wave of sadness. Everything hit me. They’re looking at you. They’re all thinking you look fat and ugly. How are you the leading lady of this show? Leading ladies shouldn’t look like that…

I had my intermission where thankfully I was undisturbed and had a change to re-center and re-focus.  I looked in the mirror and heard my therapists English accent in my head, “Challenge yourself to acknowledge not what you hate about yourself, but some traits that you may appreciate. Maybe one day you won’t remember to see your dislikes. And you may realize how unimportant they are to your person.”

Hmmmm…okay. Well, I like my eyes. I like my hair. I like my neck. Meh. Hahaha and of course like anyone, complimenting your physical attributes didn’t last long for me. But you know what? I was calm. In that moment I didn’t look at myself with anger or disgust. I was just Eva.

I tried practicing this technique over the next few days. And even up until now. I even covered up my mirrors for a while and that helped me loads. Not being tempted to look at myself and pick apart my body.  I finally woke up one morning and felt amazing. I felt strong. I felt womanly. I could feel my body, full of curves and different colors and okay maybe some Autumnal leg hair but it felt GOOD. Lifting my head from the captivity of anxiety, I could see clearly. Not because I was free of my morphed beliefs. But because I finally tasted a spoonful of believing I was beautiful. And with that liberation I could see it. I could see past the Body Dysmorphic. 

I hate to shatter the glass.  It isn’t a guarantee that I’ll never suffer again. But the next time a mirror presents itself, and maybe that day I’m bloated, maybe that day my body hadn’t been to the gym in a week…I’ll be ready. I don’t want to look like Gigi Hadid. Even though we’re tempted by social media and all the shit out there. Keep strong friends. Cut the bullshit. Give yourself at least that. Believe that you are incredible the way you are. Believe that those thighs are beautiful. Your smile is beautiful. Believe that despite anything, you are made uniquely and you are sexy, stunning and strong. Maybe then you’ll see it clearly. Maybe then, you’ll see what matters.

 

E x