Body Confidence, Mental Health, and Batwoman

First of all, I’d like to say thank you to the people who have decided to follow my blog, or even just look at it. No matter how big or small that number is, it’s really touching to think that there are people who read my inane (and often insane) ramblings, and maybe even get something positive from it. Maybe. 😉

So, another thing that’s been on my mind a lot recently – as if it’s ever far away from my mind – is my body. Body confidence is hard for anyone, but I think it’s usually even worse when you have a mental health problem. That goes without saying for eating disorders, of course – not something I’ve lived with myself, but I can only imagine how hard that is. I did have an issue with overeating when I was being bullied back in secondary school. I was an averagely sized young teenager (well, apart from being ridiculously tall), started getting bullied, and ballooned due to comfort eating.

Shortly after I left school, I lost all of the weight. I’m now a healthy size 12-14, in proportion for my height, and generally quite happy with my figure. However, my ‘default mode’ is often the girl that was bullied in secondary school, not the girl who gets complimented rather than insulted by others. When I receive a compliment, my brain flips to that default mode. I think they must be joking, or they’re being sarcastic, or they’re simply just being nice. If someone wolf whistles me, I immediately go on red alert in my brain, thinking ‘are they making fun of me?’.

I get very self conscious when I walk down the street. I assume everyone’s looking at me. The feeling has lessened as I’ve got older and more confident as a person – it used to be much worse. I used to feel like someone who didn’t belong around other people, that belongs away, alone, hidden. I used to feel strange… alien-like. I was different to the general human populace, my past made me different, and my fucked up brain made me different. I don’t quite feel that way anymore, thankfully, but I still certainly see a very skewed version of myself in comparison to what other people tell me they see.

So, I’m very self aware – aware of my face, my hair, my height, my body, my looks in general. Sometimes I genuinely wonder if I have BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) as I’m so obsessive about my image, seeing flaws, seeing certain things that other people don’t see. So what am I doing on Sunday? I’m only wearing a skin-tight costume, cosplaying as Batwoman, where I will no doubt have at least several pictures taken of me. The very thought fills me with a slight terror – but also excitement. That’s the confusing thing about my self confidence – there’s rarely a middle ground. It now flips between being very, very unconfident (like, wanting to hide in a hole level of unconfident) to ‘hey, actually, I’d probably do myself’. It’s probably confusing for other people. I’m not sure if that’s just me, or Borderline Personality Disorder, or kind of normal. Who knows. Brains, eh?

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So, what am I going to do on Sunday to combat my nerves? I’ll channel my inner Batwoman. Because Batwoman doesn’t take shit from anyone, especially no silly, gorram mental health disorder. Shiny.

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