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Self Love Manifesto

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Warning: This work contains references to serious mental health issues including mentions of self harm, eating disorders, PTSD, and other triggering content. By reading this you understand the risks, and will stop reading if it becomes too much. Please use your best judgement.

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02/24/2022 - The Commitment

I have a very difficult relationship with self love. I use to think that hating myself was the most powerful thing I could do, out of self preservation. When the world hates you, you learn to hate yourself to protect from further hurt. But the hurt still happens, doesn't it?

I feel each aching wound in my body, in my mind, and in my soul. So many restless nights I would scream myself awake trying to find some semblance of relief from the night terrors, from the pain. From the memories.

It's weird to think about now, seeing as though it's in the past. But the past still leaves its marks on you no matter how much you try to run from them. I'm tired of running.

These past few years, with the pandemic; with everything that has happened in my life – I've gained some perspective, and all I want is to find healing, to finally find relief in whatever way it takes.

Thinking long and hard, I realized I don't really have any ambitions right now, and I'm okay with that. Normally, I consider myself an ambitious person (fuck, I coded this website in 3 days) and I pride myself in getting to where I want to go, no matter the cost.

However, often times that cost (even though it was invisible at the time) was to my mind, my body, and my well being. The root of that ambition was out of survival, nothing more. I did what I had to do, because often times the alternative was much worse. It wounded me in more ways than one.

So, I suppose this is one way to channel that energy into something that matters to me. Something that will help me in the long run, make me stronger, and perhaps help me sort through the memories, the pain, the tiredness that seems to be all consuming at this point.

The Daily Minimum
Commit yourself to doing these, at the very least every day. It is imperative to your continued survival.

♡ 6 Hours of sleep, at least.
♡ 2 meals.
♡ Brush teeth at least ONCE.
♡ Shower/Bathe every other day.
♡ Take medication as directed.

What do you do when that's too much? when things become too overwhelming and you're unable to even do the bare minimum? Do you have an adequate plan? What do you do in the absolute worst case scenario?

♡ Reach out to those who love you. Trust that they will enforce boundaries if it becomes too much.
♡ Get somewhere safe as soon as possible.

A lot of my own personal plan is private, but I have a list of emergency contacts, instructions for them depending on the state I'm in, and stuff prepared to keep me safe. In the words of Douglas Adams, always know where your towel is.

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04/04/2022 - So, You're Having Trouble Eating

If you’re anything like me, and have a really awful relationship with food, it’s a mountain to overcome. The wretched eating disorder brain tells you that the only way you have any self worth is if you starve yourself, if you obsess over your weight, and the beauty standards society places on people. It sucks, and it leads to some pretty fucking destructive pathways.

I’ve struggled with these thoughts for years, it didn’t help that I never had consistent access to food growing up, and combined with my Mother’s own self esteem issues, it just got worse overtime. You tend to absorb both the best and worst traits of your parents. My mother made me a good chef, but she also made my relationship with food that much more complicated.

So, what do you do when you can’t eat? You eat anyways. I know, sounds easier said than done. And holy fuck, it IS easier said than done. It took me several years to even consider eating consistently and wrangling with my brain to eat even the barest minimum was a battle I’d have to face on the daily (I still have to face it). So, where do you start on this metaphorical battlefield of food agony?

You learn your safe foods. A safe food is a food that you can eat at any time, no matter the circumstances. Safe foods are weird, in the sense that no one’s safe food will be the same. Mine meet specific criteria, so eating them is easy, accessible, and convinces my brain that “It’s not too much, so it’s okay”

My Safe Foods:

Oatmeal (super easy to prepare, lightweight, and filling. Two packets is enough to fill me for the morning, instant oatmeal's are usually very nutritionally dense, and it doesn’t feel like I’m eating a lot, even though I am)
Cheese, Meat, and Crackers (easy to prepare, lightweight, and filling. I can cut up a few different types of cheese, some meats like salami, and other odds and ends with crackers. My go to combo is Brie, Cheddar, Salami, Cherry Tomatoes, Spinach, and Rye Crackers)
Quesadillas (easy to prepare, lightweight, and filling, just add lunch meat, cheese, and veggies and there you go. Tortillas are also fortified)
Chocolate milk syrup (I get iron deficient anemia pretty often, and fucking HATE taking iron pills. So, iron rich chocolate milk syrup is my go to for making sure I get enough iron in my diet – my preferred brand is No Name because it is very iron fortified)

Are you sensing a pattern here? All the foods on that list are very easy to prepare, contain a decent amount of everything needed to survive, and don’t feel heavy to eat – it doesn’t feel like a chore to eat. You don’t need to follow my scheme for safe foods, but I hope this gives you an idea for what you’re looking for in your own.

I don’t check my weight. I only look at nutrition labels for the nutrients contained, and I don’t follow the serving sizes, or calorie content. My goal isn’t to obsess over serving sizes and calories, it’s to eat until I feel satisfied, and eat more that I would if I was following the aforementioned.

Weight and diet culture is a goddamn fucking scam. I love food, and I love eating, and I should be able to eat without my brain self destructing into a terror field of “Oh you’ve gained weight” or “You should get the fat free yogurt! It’s HeAlThIeR”

Well you know what? It isn’t healthier if it’s forcing me to starve, and not eat. Eat the full fat yogurt. Eat anything you want in moderation, don’t worry about labels and macros and diet culture and whether or not you’re meeting your strict Capitalism Influenced Meal Requirement of the Day.

If you are starving yourself, if you have an eating disorder, it doesn’t fucking matter what society says. If you want to eat it, and if it makes you actually eat, then it’s worth it.

"It doesn't matter what you eat, as long as you fucking EAT"