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To feel sickened by my appearance?

(14 Posts)
RidiculousFeelingDown Sun 12-Jul-15 22:20:07

OK, I know it's trivial, but I'm just wondering if anyone else ever feels the same. I used to feel good about how I looked and took pride in it. But nowadays I catch a glimpse of myself and feel something akin to horror. I avoid looking in the mirror because it ruins my mood. I am a healthy weight but feel time and life have taken its toll. Have a lot to be grateful for and know it's not the be all and end all. But just <sigh> wish I didn't feel so grotesque. Wearing nice clothes helps, and I try to focus on the fact that I am strong and healthy, and participate in exercise and sport, and hopefully soon will complete an organised challenge. Yet, despite this I find myself feeling really down. I see myself in the mirror and see dwindling opportunities for the future. I am single and don't anticipate that changing. I used to enjoy having lots of suitors/ admirers when I was younger but I no longer get that sort of interest. I find myself really repulsive, but I don't think it's an attitude thing- I was never beautiful and often lacked confidence in myself, but used to get lots of positive attention. I don't necessarily think that a partner is the be all and end all, but the feeling that the choice/ opportunity is no longer there really makes me feel crap. I feel like people also respond to you differently- men and women alike. If I'm entirely honest I feel like my status in life has been downgraded, despite my achievements. Is it just me? Does anyone else experience this feeling? AIBU?

startwig1982 Sun 12-Jul-15 22:30:32

I wouldn't say I feel sickened by my appearance but I know that it needs a bit of work at the moment. Very badly need a haircut and once that is done I'll feel a lot better.
I find a good haircut, using an apricot scrub first thing and painting my nails all help to improve my reaction to my reflection!

evelynj Sun 12-Jul-15 22:32:28

Aww bless you, it's not your appearance
I think, it's your self worth that's deteriorated. How old are you? Do you go out much? Would you consider online dating? It's a quick fix sort of perk to make you feel like you've something to look forward to. Don't expect much from it but enjoy the experience. It's vry trivial but another thing you've could do is get your colours done. I had a colour & style day at house of colour about 18 months ago. I only went for a birthday treat as a day out but lots of it resonated with me. If there's someone else you could go with it would be better, although I did it alone & still got a lot out of it.

Hope You better about yourself soon. I feel hideous about my appearance but with good reason, I'm massively overweight & have really let myself go. I'm looking for a counsellor to talk things through & I know this will help. Good luck x

Kiwiinkits Sun 12-Jul-15 22:33:11

You are not your body.

ReallyNotAMorningPerson Sun 12-Jul-15 22:35:26

So true kiwi.

flowers OP

Kiwiinkits Sun 12-Jul-15 22:35:32

Try and think of your body in functional terms. It's great because it allows you to climb mountains!! To play sport!! What an amazing tool to use.

ReallyNotAMorningPerson Sun 12-Jul-15 22:36:41

Have a google of Pema Chodron OP. She has some wonderful things to say.

RidiculousFeelingDown Sun 12-Jul-15 22:43:06

startwig1982 I also find that a good haircut and polished nails lift me- looking down at a good pedicure definitely lifts my spirits! Reminds me of advice I once heard about going into labour- make sure your toenails look great because you'll be looking at them a lot!

evelynj thank you. I haven't been getting out so much recently, and I'm not all that old. I have been experimenting with online dating but the thought of meeting up with someone and them being disappointed with the reality of how I look puts me off from meeting anyone IRL. To be honest I'd rather meet someone and get to know them on face value, without that anxiety. I.e. knowing that they know how I look from the beginning if that makes sense. I'm also looking into getting counselling as I would like to cope with my feelings about my appearance better. Sending (unmumsnetty?) hugs xxx

Kiwiinkits thank you, your post actually made me cry. Much appreciated x

RidiculousFeelingDown Sun 12-Jul-15 22:49:30

ReallyNotAMorningPerson thanks, I am looking now!

Kiwiinkits thanks yes, I will definitely try to do so- I think that is a good way to look at things- I am training for a challenge at the moment and it definitely helps, although even better than that it is great fun and I feel a wonderful sense of achievement. I feel very lucky to be healthy and able bodied. I am sure that in a few decades I will think of this time and think how ridiculous I was being! I really appreciate your words x

ReallyNotAMorningPerson Sun 12-Jul-15 23:11:23

She talks about compassion for your self, which is really important. She also writes for people who are in really dark places (and feeling so awful about yourself is a dark place, you don't have to apologise for it being trivial). I've also been there and I know how you can almost feel angry with yourself.

I hope she helps.

RidiculousFeelingDown Sun 12-Jul-15 23:32:42

Thank you ReallyNotAMorningPerson! That's exactly how I feel! Like really hateful towards myself- and I know it is trivial, or feel it is in the big scheme of things- but feel true horror at times and really dark feelings and thoughts

LilyMayViolet Sun 12-Jul-15 23:49:02

I have phases of feeling a bit like this but they have almost totally disappeared of late. I was very ill for 2 years and although it was awful it gave me a good sense of perspective. I remember thinking at the time "if I get better I will never, ever obsess about my imperfections again". I did get better and since then I've just been so, so grateful to be well, nothing else matters. If you have a body that works you are lucky.

I do think everyone has those negative voices in their heads sometimes, you have to learn to turn the volume down.

manicinsomniac Sun 12-Jul-15 23:55:41

Yep, absolutely. I am horrified by my appearance too.

Things to remember:
1) You probably look perfectly normal to everyone else
2) Not that many people are beautiful and not that many people are ugly. Statistically, the chances are you look normal!!

Very hard to be logical when you feel that negative though, isn't it. I have no advice really, just sympathy and understanding.

Othersideofthemirror Mon 13-Jul-15 04:03:24

Could you be suffering from body dysmorphia?

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd/#.VaMnSdm9LCQ

I went through a period of great stress after a physical trauma and eventually developed BDD but didn't realise that's what it was. I thought I was hideous. Even covered all the mirrors with scarves so I didn't catch a glimpse or would stand studying my face for ages imagining all kinds of faults and flaws. Eventually I got help for the accompanying anxiety and stress and I'm finding my confidence again. Now I look in the mirror and see the attractive woman that my DH sees and other said I was. It was my unhappiness that I could see not my physical appearance. You remind me of that a lot so worth thinking about. flowers

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