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Being Less Of A Bitch...To Myself

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

I can't stress this strongly enough: I am not a person who has any time for self help shit. I see posts about mindfulness and loving yourself and I cringe/roll eyes/immediately enter the sarcasm zone/scoff loudly/all of the above. I'm sure they're meant with the best of intentions and they do genuinely help people, they are just not for me.

Two things happened on Friday night.

I was in my sickbed, reading blogs and simultaneously glomming series 2 of My Mad Fat Diary.

First things first: blogs. Becks linked to this post from Christa, which I'd missed at the time. Digging back into the mists of time and memory, I actually think this poem was in my GCSE English Lit anthology. No doubt I made some vaguely cringey teenage notes about it at the time.

I read it now and it makes me simultaneously envious and a bit sad. Cos I would love to be able to proclaim

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Who wouldn't love that level of self-confidence? But I don't have it and I never have had. Can't dance either. I'm always far too self-conscious about who's looking at me. 

Second things second: My Mad Fat Diary. Should you wish to split a bottle of wine with me and fangirl extravagantly about it, I am totally up for that.

Both series of this show have hit me right in the feels but the last episode of series 2 really made me cry. Actual boo-hooing took place. If you haven't seen it and have no idea what I'm on about, the lead character's therapist gets a bit cross with her and says something along the lines of "Close your eyes. Tell me what you don't like about yourself, be honest. Imagine a 10 year old version of yourself. Tell her those things. Tell her she's fat. Tell her she's ugly. Tell her she's an embarassment, because that's what you do every day when you tell yourself that."

He also comes out with such gems as this. I like Kester.

If that piece of advice about the 10 year self had been trotted out to me in some sort of inspirational quote, I'd probably have nodded my head and carried on being mildly horrible to myself. Watching it on screen? It really resonated. Painfully so (hence the messy crying). I am very good at telling my friends not to be so self-critical but shockingly bad at taking my own advice.

You know what? I wouldn't dream of being so cruel to 10 year Alex. She was cool. Mad keen on ponies and books (some things never change), owned a snazzy line in Sweater Shop jumpers, coped well with moving halfway across the country, managed to carry off a massive fringe with a certain amount of innocent panache. She wasn't fat and she wasn't ugly.

I wouldn't even be mean to teenage Alex. Cos although she should have ditched the fringe already and suffered the misfortune of growing up in a time where it was genuinely acceptable to wear an Adidas three stripe tracksuit top with an otherwise normal party outfit, she was cool too. Still being completely pony-mad kept her out of trouble and gave her some of the best friends she'll ever have. I'd give her a hug and tell her not to hide so much.

31 year old Alex is cool too. Even when riddled with cold, wearing no makeup and sporting an inadvertent 80s side ponytail. I should stop being such a bitch to her.

Remember, folks: wanky self help = bad. Poetry and pop culture revelations = good.


  1. I loved reading this. I think you and your writings are pretty cool ;) xx Anja

  2. I fucking love you. That is all.

  3. That's boss, Alex. And it resonates a lot with me.

  4. Absolutely. I get annoyed with myself for being so self critical at times, when I wouldn't dream of doing that to another person or even the younger me. Sometimes you just kinda spiral into though without a thought for what you're doing. I bloody hate 'therapy' crap talk too....the rebel in me doesn't want to be pigeon-holed into a textbook example, which is all they seem to know.

  5. Definitely stop. It's such a hard thing to do - at 49, it makes me bawl because it's so ingrained and so damaging.

    You deserve better that the self-depreciation which is really self-loathing - you're funny, intelligent, well-read, curious, have awesome taste in shoes.

  6. Seriously love you! I am still not 100% there but I am growing to love myself more as I get older- I saw a photo a few years ago where I was about 14 or 15 on holiday and I am hiding behind all of my siblings and I remember feeling fat and horrible, even though have never been slimmer. That was the turning point for me, I didn't want to spend the rest of my life hiding and now I take the attitude that I will look back in 20 years and laugh at my hair or my outfit so I may as well have fun now right?

    Maria xxx

  7. I wish I knew how to do it, though. I've hated the same things about myself for as long as I can remember. Certainly from early teens, but I'm fairly sure from being about 10 as well. So I guess I would have said the same things to myself then as I would now. I know that's pretty rubbish. I hope I can learn to have that turning point, or at least accept that I'm the way I am and although I might not be happy with it, I'll be able to live with it. Ugh.

  8. A lot of 'inspirational quotes' (decked in pretty backgrounds) make me want to vomit. Or cringe.Or both. I get what you mean but I do like your approach!x

  9. I completely need to do this: I often feel like I'm a project that I just cant move away from.

    Lizzie Dripping

  10. I love this - it's so true. It's taken me a long time to get to this place, but where I am now is good and it was totally worth the effort

    Love your blog xx

  11. Kester is awesome and yep, that bit in the show resonated with me too. It's so true, you'd never tell a younger version of yourself all those horrible things but it's incredibly difficult to stop yourself doing it in the present. Definitely something I need to practice more of. xx

  12. I'm a bit of a sucker for the odd inspirational quote, but I loved this post, will try to keep this thought in mind next time I'm berating myself. Just started watching MMFD on 4OD and enjoying it so far - especially the music and outfits!! - so thanks for the recommendation :)


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