46 Weeks Sober

Today I am 325 days sober!

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This week I’ve been feeling a little not so myself. In all honesty, I’ve been feeling a little insecure about myself. When I look in the mirror I’m not happy with what I see. I have a feeling it’s related to the dreaded “summer body syndrome” we all feel when the warmer months roll around and the clothes come off. Needless to say, I’ve gotten in my head and tried to “fix” the “mess” of myself that I’m unhappy with. I’ve skipped far to many meals this week and have been excessively working out because I want results RIGHT AWAY. It’s self-destructive and more harmful than good. Even though I know this, it’s so hard not to let the obsession take over you. Since I am an ambitious and determined person, it’s especially hard because when I put my mind toward something I will do it. Whether it is good or bad. My four years of drinking self-sabotage in the name of fun and forgetting is proof.

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Image insecurity is nothing new in my life. All throughout my existence I have been thinner than most people. As a result, the way I look has always received mixed results from people I met. I would get things from, “Bitch, your body is slaying you look like model!” to things like, “Oh my god are you anorexic? Do you want me to get you some food?” I’m not even making this shit up when I say people actually made these comments about me. My feminine nature and expression has been a topic of conversation throughout my life as well. My decision to stay slim, get rid of my body hair, pluck my eyebrows into thin shapes, dye my hair, occasionally paint my nails and wear makeup, and other things along those lines have called me image into question. People have told me it makes me less desirable and takes away from my “natural male beauty.” The more “rugged” and “masculine” I looked were the days I seemed to be at my hottest. It’s a combination of all the comments above and those like it that keep me trapped in my head and so image conscious. It seems as if no matter how I look there is something offensive or wrong about it. I can’t go a day where somebody doesn’t have some sort of comment about the way I look. The worst part is people think I do all of this because I want a reaction. Are we that fucking superficial that we believe what everyone does ultimately is to gain attention? Whatever happened to the right to freedom of expression? My fashion and style choices are done purely in an effort to capture the image I wish to put out. I could care fucking less if you’re looking at me or not. How I look only reflects a small portion of my personality. I guess people forgot that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. Covers are great, but it’s what lies between the pages that matters.

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I’ve struggled with body issues for years and it’s something I’m working on to overcome. What has made it so hard to overcome my body dysmorphia is that I’m only taken for face value. Even when I’ve taken away all the glossy aspect of my image and look like any typical male you’d see on the street, I am still defined by what is on the surface. It’s fucked up. I have a lot of trauma and pain associated with being objectified by people and having all my dignity and humanity overlooked. Part of this self-esteem building process has been to take my body and image back and defining it in my own terms. Having handed it over in state of weakness, it came to define me. How I looked was all that mattered. My value was rooted in my appearance. My body does not define me, my mind and soul define me. So I continue to fight in fierce opposition to those who think they can destroy me through distasteful comments about the way I look. You can call me beautiful or you could call me ugly, just know that no matter what the comment it does have an effect on the person.

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Compared to where I was even last summer I am way more confident in my body (my practically nude portraits on Instagram can attest to that). I’ve been more confident and playing around with my image and trying different looks in an effort to express myself. It’s been a liberating experience. When people caption their photos saying new hair new me, there is some truth in that.  So get that hair color you’ve always wanted and watch this hidden part of your identity surface and embody you. Anyways, I’ve had to actively work to change my mindset away from reaching numeric goals to goals associated with feelings of good health. This has been very difficult for me, however, it is becoming easier because I feel healthier and better than I have when I was at desirable numerical sizes and shapes. Health is my focus now. All my fitness rituals are never to lose weight but to maintain a good sense of health and wellness. As I have come to accept this focus I’ve noticed my overall health and happiness have significance have improved. I’ve come to love my body because it is strong, agile, and flexible and not because it’s a size zero, thin, and an exact replica of a Vogue model.

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I alone give myself value associated with my beauty and image. Nobody can take that way from me. I am in control of how I look and feel. This is something that can be fragile at times, but I am confident and strong enough to pull myself out of slumps like this one. My opinion is the only one that matters and that is where I find all my power. Mirror mirror on the wall, you bring me no validation, none at all.

Empowering Myself Beautifully,

Taylor James 

 

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5 Comments

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  1. I love the Mirror, Mirror line! Such a gleeful one fingered salute at a movie quote that too destructively defines our narcissistic me culture far too closely in these Kardashian days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on 46 weeks! That’s amazing ✨

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations ❤️

    Like

  4. andrewbustamante June 11, 2017 — 2:31 am

    Great post, Taylor – powerful and honest. The world needs more dialogue like this. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to fret about how people looked at me and judged me without even bothering to get to know who I truly was. I used to be really bitter about it, full of rage at these shallow jerks. All they saw was an overweight middle-aged guy with a face that only a mother could love, and they decided I wasn’t worth the time.

    It took me a while to realise getting angry about it did absolutely nothing to resolve the issue, so I simply dropped it. Am I still sensitive about the subject? Of course; being rejected is never fun (you would think I would’ve been used to it by now), but I can’t control what other people think/say. So, I followed my stepmother’s advice and said “fuck it.”

    I hope you will able to say “fuck it” one day as well. It’s quite liberating.

    Like

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