Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Feel So (Un)Pretty

I woke up early this morning and felt the left side of my nose and started crying. I had extensive reconstructive surgery on the inside of my nose and sinus' yesterday afternoon to fix parts of my nasal cartilage that had structurally collapsed and were causing me several health issues. The surgery naturally had caused one side of my nose to be swollen and unsymmetrical from the other.

My nose is something that I'm already super insecure about due to life long bullying from my peers (all of whom I can still tell you their names and what names they called me; fatty, ugly, big nose) starting in junior high and all the way up to college.

I cried to my parents telling them if my nose doesn't heal normally, then I have to get plastic surgery. My nose is already hideous to me when it's symmetrical, the thought of it being deformed is unbearable.

For me, the nose is just the tip of the iceberg. I've dealt with severe body image issues since I was 12 years old. My brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in 2000. At the time, there wasn't much conversation going on medically about mental illness. My parents freaked out and sought treatment for me as well, not fully understanding how mental illness works. I was put on the same medication my brother was on and I gained 50 lb. as a side effect of the medicine. I am NOT bipolar we quickly found out, and as a result of being on medication I didn't need, it caused a spike in depression and irritability.

I battled weight issues through middle school up to my sophomore year of high school. I endured bullying from not only classmates, but my own siblings at times. I developed a very negative perception of myself and had a very distorted view of what I looked like.

I began a crazy crash diet/work out routine and dropped close to 40 lb. within a month. I would be on the treadmill or elliptical for an hour and a half a day burning at least 1,500 calories. I was anorexic and bulimic. It became an obsession that it took help from friends and family to overcome, and even now I struggle with extreme insecurities and body image issues because of it.

An interview I did a while back on my struggles with being a guy who suffered from an eating disorder:

In addition to my insecurities with my weight and my nose, I struggle with the way I look.

The first time I was ever told I was attractive or good looking by someone that wasn't related to me or an old lady in the ward congregation was by my first girlfriend at 18 years old. She told me and I literally thought she was messing with me because I didn't see how anyone could find me appealing or attractive at all. I've always felt like and been the nice guy that finished last. Never the "crushee" or "boyfriend", always the "great friend" or "crusher."

My insecurities have seemingly gotten worse lately and I literally have imaginary lines drawn all over my face with notes on what I would want to do to change and improve my looks such as orbital reshaping, ears pinned back, nose job, cheek revision, chin sculpting.

I can't tell you how many times I've been told that "David you're such a great guy, I'm just not attracted to you." There are things you get used to, and that is definitely not one of them. I've had my heart broken and stepped on so many times because it's been alluded to that I wasn't an option to someone because I wasn't better looking. It's the worse feeling in the world and just makes you want to climb into a hole and die.

I write this not to seek attention or obtain sympathy, but to raise awareness. Everyone has feelings and insecurities, guys included. Not only that, but viewing someone as unattractive or ugly does not take away their feelings or the fact that they are a human being. It hurts no matter who says it and where it's coming from.

Watch your words, you never know how damaging and hurtful they really are, even if you think someone is strong enough for them.


1 comment:

  1. Oh no they didn't!!! Let me at those cruel people.

    David, I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles. I've struggled with body shame issues since I was a young kid as well. I'm 6'7" tall and I've always been skinny and people seem to think they can comment on your weight or height without anyone getting 'hurt". In any case, thank you for your courage to share this. You're a beautiful person on the inside AND out!