When I was younger, I’d agonize when things wouldn’t go my way – an interviewer didn’t call me back, a guy stood me up… I constantly oscillated between being unhappy over rejection and plotting to gain others’ approval. I’d sit there for hours after the event, wondering, “Why did this happen to me? What could I have done better?”
It wasn’t until I got older and developed hypothyroidism that I learned to love myself for who I am. You might wonder what hypothyroidism has to do with it – but for me, hypothyroidism meant gaining 60 pounds in 6 months. I went from 120 pounds to 180 pounds… and people turned into jerks.
Guys started calling me ugly. My pretty sorority friends started to ignore me. Doctors refused to give me the necessary tests to diagnose my problem, telling me if I “didn’t stop eating orange chicken I’d get diabetes and die”. As for me? I started to hide from the world. I was distraught by how cruel people were. If only I could lose weight, people would be nice to me again and I’d be happy.
After wallowing in depression for 4 years, I came to a realization – THEY are the problem, not me. I’m the same person, whether I’m 120 pounds or 180. Why is it my fault if they’re nice to me when I’m 120, but mean to me when I’m 180? Why should I feel like less of a person if I weigh more? If they can’t see the value I bring because of my weight, that is their problem, not mine.
Today, I don’t rely on other people to be happy. I realize some people won’t like me, because of my weight, height, gender, race, personality… And agonizing over it only makes me miserable. The only thing I can do is love myself.