The Insecurity Project

The idea for my insecurity project stemmed from my realization that most people have something they are insecure about, and that attention being drawn to a personal insecurity for fear of being judged is nothing more than a thought that is hyped up by anxiety. These insecurities can have a large impact on self-esteem and confidence.

I asked my friends to open up to me about what they were most insecure about and happened to find the courage to do so myself. I found that through photography I could capture and highlight these anxieties by pushing comfort levels. I hoped to (1) boost their own confidence and (2) comfort others who may feel the same way.

I have had trouble throughout my teenage years and into my young adult life with self-esteem, spending nights staring at myself until I’m at the brink of tears and want to smash the mirror. Though the project has been slow to get rolling, I hope to inspire at least a couple souls to begin their journey towards self-love and care.

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Emily was self-conscious of her teeth and had trouble smiling. If she found herself smiling with her teeth, she felt that people were just looking at her teeth. She has since found confidence and smiles without any self-doubt.

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Emily
Insecure about her smile

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A Lens Into Our World dear hope

“A Journal On The Imperfections of Perfection” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 18

For today’s piece, we have a  submission from Kelly Sorge about her struggles with an eating disorder. This one really hit us hard, and we think you’ll enjoy it thoroughly. 

Fall 2011

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It didn’t start the way you normally hear about these things starting. I was never bullied about my weight. No one ever called me “fat”, and I actually always considered myself skinny growing up. It happened completely out of the blue one day when this demon awoke inside me and decided to make me think that I wasn’t good enough. Little did I know that this demon would follow me and take over the next three years of my life.

Coping: This Is Who We Are dear hope

Poetry: The Fine Print

Today, our fourth installment of Eating Disorder Awareness Week is two poems. The first, posted below, is from Kelsey-Brooke Scheumann, who submitted a poem titled ‘The Deadly Promise” to Dear Hope in the past. ‘The Fine Print’ picks up where the previous poem left off.

You lied to me.
I fell for your twisted game.

I signed your contract.
Bond to you, for years.

I traded in my friends,
my joy, and my youth
to keep our deadly promise.

Creative Pieces dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

“An Empty Home & An Empty Stomach: My Lifelong Struggle With Eating Disorders” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 17

Next up this week is Celeste’s candid self reflection on her struggles with an eating disorder, and how she’s been able to grow and flourish.

My earliest memory of clear dissatisfaction with my body was when I was six years old, pressing my body against the horizontal wood slabs of my bed frame, examining the skin of my stomach poking between the gaps.

By 10 years old, I was methodically tightening my family’s belt collection over my entire torso, desperately wishing the leather would squish my body smaller.

“You are fat, disgusting, weird, ugly, worthless, less than.”

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Eating Disorder Awareness Week: An Introduction

The next week will be a very special week for Dear Hope; this week, we will see a featured piece every day relating to a topic: eating disorders. Allow me to explain where the idea originated.

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Last fall, I came across a great organization titled Active Minds. Over a decade ago, a wonderful woman named Alison Malmon began this organization after losing her brother, Brian, to suicide. The conversation on mental health needs to become commonplace, thought Alison. Of course, this is not a quote, but rather one of the driving ideologies behind Active Minds. Its purpose, in abbreviated form, is to embed chapters into college campuses, bring together passionate students with the common goal of raising mental health awareness, decrease stigma, and create more accepting, welcoming environments among a demographic where mental illness is rampant.

I started a chapter at my school, and I have loved everything about it over the last year and a half. I have loved being shown the sides of people that would never have emerged had the conversation not been started. I have loved opening myself up emotionally to something that I have never felt fully comfortable with because such an omnipresent stigma exists.

Dear Hope loves to focus on these goals in many different ways, one of which is through personal narrative. Coping: This is Who We Are is such an incredible series because it gives us living, breathing proof that mental illness is so real that it feels tangible. It shows us the true stories behind our loved ones, our acquaintances, and strangers across the globe. There is so much that the surface does not show. And so, the many driving forces behind awareness and reducing stigma, such as Active Minds or Dear Hope, simply want to make what is under the surface come up and gasp an oxygenated breath of relief, free of any shame.

This week, February 21st-27th, is Active Minds’ National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. The events occurring on campuses across the United States will range from speakers, to narratives, to panels, to screenings, and far into the realms of creative mental health education. As I organized for our week, I thought, why not include Dear Hope?

So, we gathered narratives, poems, and other creative pieces to showcase those who have identified with struggling with some sort of eating disorder. Some are anonymous, some are identified. Some are narratives, while others are creative pieces. Regardless of the format or identity, we wanted to dedicate an entire week to showcase stories of struggle, self-doubt, and healing within this specific area of mental health. Every area of struggle deserves its highlight, and we at Dear Hope  want to spread the message that no matter what you experience, you should never feel marginalized or alone.

This is our test run; we only have room to grow. Four pieces: four stories of mountains and valleys with all of the details beautifully scribed to evoke emotions of empathy and compassion is just a start. 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States alone identify with struggling with an eating disorder, with many more unreported. Let these narratives be a seed to relate to, to expand upon, and to spread the message that you truly are beautiful and good enough just the way you are. Even though eating disorders go far beyond a conscious dislike for one’s self-image or diet, encouragement such as this is an abbreviation of “I validate your struggle, but want to encourage you that the person you are is one of a kind, and thus, amazing.”

So, if these pieces speak to you in any way, spread them. We want to hear narratives of more women who have struggled with the concepts of skinny, societal expectations, and self-image. We want to hear stories of those who have suffered from bulimia and other binging/purging experiences. We want to hear from men who have struggled with a category of mental illness that is constantly pounded with the societal hammer of masculine expectations to have muscles and be tough. We want to hear your stories of using food as a coping mechanism and overeating. The list goes on.

To wrap things up, my point is that while these four profound, insightful, and wonderful stories have infinite potential for impact and empathy, they are only a snippet of the experience behind food, body image, and mental health. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a few impactful steps that leave permanent prints in the ground, in this case at least.

Tomorrow you will see some background information on eating disorders. What are they? How do you know when restricting, overeating, or looking in the mirror becomes unhealthy? This information is vital in understanding the symptoms that serve as a baseline, in some way or another, to these stories.  The following four days, we will share these stories with you. As always, feel free to always ask questions, provide support, give feedback, or build upon anything that is discussed this week.

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Remember, you are not alone.

And you are loved.

-DK


This post is a part of our Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Find the other posts here:

An Introduction To Eating Disorder WeekWhat are Eating Disorders?He Called Me the “T” Word”  – An Empty Home & An Empty Stomach: My Lifelong Struggle With Eating Disorders – The Fine Print Doubt: Sarah’s Poem – A Journal on the Imperfections of Perfection – Nervosa


Source(s): https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-facts-eating-disorders

Note: If you want to read more about Active Minds or Alison, please follow this link: http://www.activeminds.org/index.php . I’ve naturally abbreviated all of the wonderful work that they do, so if you’re interested, I encourage you all to check it out 🙂

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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The Deadly Promise

The Deadly Promise

The real me is disguised
by this massive unwanted weight.

Staring blankly into the glass,
praying to be given the most
valuable quality, that of perfection.

I don’t need anyone.
All I need is you.

My happy little addiction,
sweeping me away into your
false, troubled world.

The more withered I get,
the stronger you and I become.

Together we are reckless,
doing anything it takes
to be empty and accepted.

I can never be too critical
you always leave room for my improvement.

You promise me joy.
So I follow you willingly
into the depths of disappointment.

It’s never enough for you.
Therefore it’s never enough for me.

I signed your contract,
because I worship your
ability to beautify others.

Make me like them, my friend.
Transform me into something magnificent.


 

This poem was submitted by Kelsey-Brooke Scheumann.

Remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

Creative Pieces dear hope Uncategorized