The Body Positive Journey: Maintaining Self-Esteem When You Get an Unwanted Medical Diagnosis

docnoWritten by The Kocky Fat Bitch, a Fattitude Intern

You never know how sensitive self-esteem is until you have to build that bitch up from nothing. Life recently reminded me of just that fact. I am the KOCKY FAT BITCH! Yet, out of nowhere and all at once, my self-confidence, self-love, cocky bitchness, self-acceptance, self-appreciation and fuck-what-you-think mindset broke on me and the wall I had built to protect myself came crashing down.

It was not because of something someone said to me, because of a mean spirited online post or just pure ignorance of the human race. No, it was because I received some medically related news and allowed the diagnosis to blanket my perception of who I am, down to my core.

I kept looking at the sheet of paper to confirm the diagnosis, hoping I read it wrong, but knowing I didn’t. I was (and still am) in utter shock that such an ugly diagnosis could be attached to me, someone so strong and beautiful. It made me feel broken and defective. I thought, “No one would ever want such damaged goods.” Sobbing, I searched online for more information. “You’re not alone,” I read. “Half of America is dealing with this same thing.” Were those words supposed to comfort me? They didn’t. This was happening to me, I didn’t care about anyone else.

For the past ten years, I’ve put so much energy into to building myself up, yet, brick-by-brick all my efforts were falling apart. The descriptive terms I’d applied to myself in the past – terms that had gone from hurting me, to healing me – came flooding back. With the flick of a switch, I once again reduced myself to a fat, nappy-headed, black, worthless, broken and defective woman. brick by brick

All this, just two days before my two-year anniversary with the love of my life. I started to believe my amazing man must be thinking the same about me and would want to find someone better. Instead, heUs comforted me and reminded me of all the hard work I’d put in to become the woman he knew and loved and that no diagnosis could ever change that.

For a brief second I had lost sight of my victories because I started to focus on one loss. After a couple of days of slumming around I am sure I would have come to the same conclusion, but having that kind of support system is one hell of a thing.

Last night I was rocked to my core, but today I got up, felt better and, even though the fight isn’t yet over, I feel in charge, once again. Feeling that relief gave me the energy to start rebuilding, although I had to question whether I was rebuilding my self-esteem or just building another wall to shield me from the world? I realized I was doing both. I had built the wall in order to give me time to work on myself, the only strong-black-womanenemy who mattered. The wall I built battled the world so I could have time to become a champion for myself. Ultimately, although the diagnosis knocked me down for a minute, I knew in my heart that overall, I was succeeding. It was just that the added weight (no pun intended) left me feeling jumped by everything I was trying to keep out and defeat.

I know this won’t be the last time I take a hit. The trick is remembering that the feelings are only temporary and just because my perception of self may change, it doesn’t mean the thoughts in my head are true.

I want to thank you, life, for causing my wall to tumble because it forced this sleeping giant to wake up. When I first started building my wall, I wasn’t ready for battle yet. Now that I’ve been strategic and have trained I’m even more powerful, so my new wall will be even stronger.

Have there been times where your self-confidence has taken a hit? What do you do to continue your #BodyConfidence journey?

*This blog post is the opinion of a particular Fattitude intern or guest blogger – and does not necessarily reflect the position of Fattitude, Inc.

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