hi.
Not sure how this will go but I'm giving it a shot.

Anyways, I've been dealing with my insecurities probably since 5th grade. You see fifth grade was the year where I noticed people started dating in my class/year. So little me wanted to be a sheep and follow the herd. I tried to be like the girls that had boyfriends. I compared myself to them. "She's thinner than me" and "I have a big face" were some words I would belittle myself with. My best friend then was a flirt and well I wasn't. Everyone described me as shy (still am) and it kind of hurt me because I would tell myself it was a reason why boys didn't talk to me. Plus my parents and family would also comment on how I always look serious. Being shy and looking serious. Those two things became a staple on my image throughout middle school and some high school.

Middle school comes around and my anxiety starts eating me from the inside. The first year I was good; I made some good friends and talked to them about everything. They made me feel good about myself and praised me for my achievements. The next year was probably the worst of my middle school experience. You see that year I developed crushes on boys (who are now guys that turn me off) and so did my friends. That year was filled with relationship drama. I was always caught up gossiping and helping my friends with their problems and never really took the time to look at mine. Instead of focusing on myself I focused on someone that would please others. I started "fixing" myself for guys and comparing myself to every popular girl in my grade. I told myself I was too chubby to be liked by a guy. This creating a terrible mindset which I'm trying change till this day.

I feel like middle school and those ideas that flooded my head were the starting root of my anxiety and self-esteem. I think back to elementary school and see a happy girl with no care in the world. Now I worry about every little thing. My weight, face, hair, etc.

I guess I started questioning my self-worth once I saw friends in relationships.
"Why can't I be loved by someone else like her?"
"What do I have to do to have people like me and be friends with me?"
"What's wrong with me, why am I like this and, not that?"

I broke MYSELF. I made myself be my own enemy. What makes this worse is that I pretended I was okay. I was fighting and struggling to put on a smile and be the friend my friends needed. I wasn't enjoying myself when I was with myself, I had to pretend to not become a burden to them.

High school rolls around and I have put more focus on myself. I made new friends and started to put myself out there. I lost touch with some people but it's for the better. Honestly, high school has taught me a lot about friendships and relationships. One of them is that a smaller circle runs longer than a bigger one. The first two years, I would fear to lose my best friend because I would stress myself for not being enough. Thankfully she is my best friend and knows about my mental health. God bless her. There were moments days where I just couldn't deal with people and I isolated myself from everyone. I learned that isolating yourself is good for you to recharge. I would put most of my energy on my friends when I should be using it on myself.
I rather not get into detail but the sophomore year and junior year were emotionally and mentally draining. I cried ALOT in those two years and I'm thankful I could make it to where I am now.

I've grown and started to slowly make my way out of my shell. I started pushing myself to become a better version of myself for myself. I still struggle with self-love but one thing that my closest friend has told me and may God bless her, is this:

"Remind yourself that you are worthy of love not only from those around you but you are worthy of love towards yourself". k.m

This is a messy article but I had to let go of these ideas.
I'm working on myself because I am worthy of love; from others but most importantly from myself.

You're beautiful, inside and out. - r.a