It is Mental Health Awareness Week (in case you didn’t know!), and I hope that through sharing my own insecurities you may feel more comfortable and confident in yourself 🙂
Later, I will be sharing about emetophobia on my social media pages (linking to blog posts I have already written), something I’ve lived with since I can remember. Right now, however, I’m remaining focused on physical insecurities, since I know that affects everyone – whilst emetophobia doesn’t…
So, I wore braces for years as a teenager – not just to straighten my teeth, but to correct my jaw alignment. I lost my retainer 8 years ago on a camping trip, though foolishly didn’t return to the orthodontic centre as I believed my teeth and jaw issues had been fixed.
My jaw has gradually misaligned again, which affects many aspects of my wellbeing; from eating, to talking, to sleeping. I now have a new retainer. While it unfortunately won’t fully straighten my teeth (I can’t afford thousands in orthodontist fees!), it will prevent misalignment worsening. And as over-the-top as I am with cleaning my teeth, the discoloured marks (again, I unfortunately can’t afford to get my teeth whitened) are from the time I had braces – glue used for my braces wasn’t cleared properly by the orthodontist. My dentist does a brilliant job of cleaning these glue marks from my teeth little by little each visit, though it’s something I am very self conscious of.
Teeth misalignment and permanent glue marks are the reasons you will rarely see me flashing my teeth when I smile in photographs – I also dislike showing a lot of my gums when smiling, which I do naturally when photographs are taken of me unawares! Whilst it is a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, I imagine others of you feel insecure about this sort of thing too. I do still lack confidence in smiling fully due to the image of my teeth and gums being imperfect, which is silly because there’s nothing more wonderful than being able to smile through sheer happiness! Please don’t ever allow anything to stop you smiling if it has only to do with how the world perceives you – I’m a perfectionist, which does cause me issues like worrying about superficial things such as this, but beauty isn’t founded in perfection, it is founded in joy 🙂
Same goes for body weight. I’ve put on weight since becoming a full-time ghostwriter working entirely from home – the scales say I’ve gained 2kg (equivalent of 4lbs). Following lockdown rules to only exercise once a day initially, which has thankfully now increased to more exercise being allowed, has had an impact. I walk my dog very near my home for my daily exercise, around the local park as opposed to adventuring like we usually do – I also take care of my horses and the sheep, so I do get some exercise there too. However, I’ve been exceedingly careful about riding my horses to avoid as much as possible the risk of putting extra strain on the NHS by getting injured. I already suffer a debilitating hand issue, which does limit how often I’m able to ride and what exercise I am able to do generally – though my horses do need some exercise to keep them healthy too. It’s a delicate balancing act, so, I’m vowing to myself to lose weight and get fit as soon as I have organised a suitable, safe exercise regime and equally sensible diet. I’m not a greedy person, and I do keep to a relatively healthy diet – but there’s always room for improvement (perfectionism creeping in), which is what I am going to do as soon as life is back to some sort of state of normality again – because chocolate is keeping me going right now! One day I will feel comfortable and confident in a bathing suit, I am determined 🙂
Sharing my work-in-progress on insecurities is all well and good, but I feel that I ought to prove it is possible to overcome them. My eyesight is not great – I am rather short sighted. When I was 9 I started wearing glasses – and when I say wearing them, I mean hiding them in my school bag and squinting at the blackboard all day, leaving school with a headache because I was afraid to get bullied wearing glasses. As it happens, I was bullied for wearing glasses – as well as for being short, quiet, and unassuming – in high school. It took until April 2019 when I fell in love with the pair of glasses I have now to feel confident enough to have photographs in them. I wear contact lenses when I can, though they’re expensive so I tend to save them for special occasions. I realised that all I had to do was muster the courage to try a new style of frames, and it made the world of difference to my relationship with glasses; please don’t allow wearing glasses to get you down – I guarantee you’ll look as fabulous as you do without them 🙂
I used to suffer with acne too. Still get breakouts from time to time. But I persevered and sought clinical advice, so am now much happier in my skin than I used to be. Whilst my skin is still not perfect, life experience has taught me that it isn’t supposed to be – we are people not plastic. So embrace your skin; spots, stretch marks, cellulite, scars and all – because you’re an attractive specimen, and deserve to know so!
I know how lucky I am for these insecurities to be relatively minor, for which I am infinitely thankful. Though insecurities only make us insecure when we allow them to…
TL;DR – You are awesome 🙂
Thanks for reading!
We’ve got this <3