Living With Body Dysmorphic Disorder

[TW: BDD, emotional abuse, low self-esteem]

I am obsessed with my appearance. 

Not in an overly narcissistic, ‘damn girl you look good’ kinda way, which would be infinitely preferable, but in an ‘I just can’t accept this is what I look like’ way. How I look and how I think I look and how that makes me feel has taken over my life. It’s what I spend the majority of my time thinking about and it sets the tone for my entire mood, as more often than not I am repulsed by what I see. 

I obsessively check my reflection in every mirror, shadow and reflective surface. I have studied the way I walk, talk and exist from all angles with greater fervour than I have applied to anything in life. I am hyper aware of my existence and the space I occupy, and it is exhausting. The hatred and paranoia run so deep, I am terrified to even consider the possibility of accepting myself as I am, because I can’t think of anything worse than settling for this. Just the thought of settling for this makes me panic. 

Body Dysmorphic Disorder often focuses on one perceived flaw but when I look at myself, I am unable to see anything but flaws, it’s exhausting and time consuming and only seems to be getting worse as so much of my time is spent looking at myself and others on social media. I dislike eye contact because I don’t like having people looking at me, I don’t like being hugged as I fear the repulsion from people having to touch me, I will repeatedly go over pictures other people have taken of me to pick apart how I look from all angles, I alternate between avoiding mirrors entirely to spending hours looking at myself and overanalysing every pore. I am frequently late because sometimes how I look is so distressing, I get too anxious to leave the house. From the size of my forehead to the shape of my feet, there is literally nothing I haven’t found an issue with. I haven’t been to a hairdresser in ten years for fear of offending someone with how awful my hair is.

Plus+ Book by Bethany Rutter - Launch & Review

Plus+, the first plus-size street style fashion book edited by Bethany Rutter is out now & you can order your copy here. Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Plus+ book launch in London. Aside from getting to share Bethany's excitement, the morning was overwhelming in the best possible way. Walking into the room, to be greeted by a wall of beautiful images of stylish women, wouldn't usually make me emotional but they were all plus size, not just one token size 14 but all plus-size & as magnificent as they were different.

What I Wore // RI Plus Boyfriend Tee

Jacket: River Island // T-Shirt: River Island // Skirt: ASOS // Socks: Topshop // Hitops: Converse // Sunglasses: Celine //
Watch: Larsson & Jennings // Hoops: Nasty Gal

I tweeted yesterday that I felt I was on the precipice of change, just needing the momentum to make the leap. I have been stagnant for too long, stuck in a mental rut of despair with no freedom to make the right move. Today was a glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel but I am finally moving towards it. Spring, the embodiment of change, is coming & I am ready for it.

6 Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam may be my favourite city in Europe, it's the perfect blend of metropolis chaos & country chill with enough to do to keep everyone happy. Whatever the weather, there's truly something for everyone, so if you're considering a city break or a solo trip, here's six things to keep you busy:

An Open Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad, (if I can even call you that)

Sperm donor seems too crass, Mark too personal.

Considering we’ve never met, or I’ve never met you at least, I think about you a lot. Not what you’re doing or how you are, not much about you at all I suppose. More of the you I wish existed, and the absence it has left in my life. I don’t want to meet you, I never have. I’m not sure the crushing, disappointing reality of your existence could ever add anything to my life and I’m not ready for more to be taken away.

2017: My Year in Review

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say 2017 was a car crash; several media outlets have claimed it was the 'worst year ever', a feat that seemed nigh on impossible after 2016. Not even an onslaught of hilarious memes could save us from the general misery felt by a glance at the News. If you follow my woeful ramblings on Instagram, you'll know 2017 wasn't a good year for my mental health so you will have to excuse my less than favourable view. In an attempt to be more positive, I made a list of some good things that happened to me in 2017 & figured I would share with the group:

1. New Job

January saw me escape the depths of hell to start a new role that (on most days) I love. There was a stage where I didn't think it was possible to not be thoroughly depressed whilst working & although I'm not where I want to be, I've taken the first step.