I take one look in the mirror and I grab my hips. Where did all of this come from? Is this the freshman fifteen? More like the freshman fifty. I read a magazine. It tells me how I can lose weight, and fast. I want to do that. I need to go to the gym. I need to look like her. Why can't I look like her? Why can't I wear that? Why don't I look like I did when I was 16? She's so beautiful. She must have so many people that love her. She's so lucky. Why can't I be lucky? I pull at my thighs. These things don't fit into anything. I want a thigh gap. I'll do whatever it takes to get that. Whatever it takes.
I look in the mirror again. I need makeup on my face. I can't go out looking like this. What if people see me? What if people see what I naturally look like? I wasn't made pretty enough. I look at my friends. They're all so beautiful. They're all so confident. Why can't I be as pretty as her? Why can't I look like that?
"You aren't good enough."
I got a bad grade. I should have studied more. I should have applied myself better. Why am I so stupid? I look to the girl next to me, she got a better grade. Why can't I be as smart as her? I'm not going to make anyone proud. I'm going to fail. Everyone is going to be disappointed in me. Why can't I be smart?
Dear My Negativity,
You have gotten the best of me. I won't let this happen again. The amount of effort that I put in to everything I do will not let you win. Not again. I know what I need to do. I know how I need to improve. I will take you and mold you into an experience. This is not the end.
You have not destroyed me. This feeling is not permanent. You made me feel low, but I'm finding myself. I'm figuring these things out. I'm growing stronger. That's all you've made me do. Day by day, I'm turning into the person that I'm meant to be. I'm learning to love myself.
All of these bad days are going to be worth it. All of the bad will make the good taste so much sweeter. All of the bad thoughts are going to fade and I'm going to be able to say I made it far away from that bad place. One day it'll be worth it. One day.
I will learn how to look in the mirror and love the reflection I see, even when I didn't have time to go to the gym or eat a healthy meal. I will learn to love how I look without concealing it with my artwork. I will learn that each failure is a stepping stone. Failing is a learning experience.
I am beautiful.
I am smart.
I love myself.
You have not won.