Bullying… My story

Hello everyone!

From the title, you can obviously assume that I am going to talk about bullying but not just in general but my story. My experience and what I went through. I have thought about writing this post for so long now but bullying is so close to my heart and I think there are still so many open wounds from the bullying that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it through this and be able to speak about my experience. It is something so personal and raw I didn’t think I would be able to share my story. However, I know bullying unfortunately is such a common thing that almost everyone goes through that I wanted to share my story in hope that it will help, inspire or give you advice on how to cope and deal with bullying. If I knew now, what I had known then, I for sure would have dealt with the situation so much better.

Before I start I want to apologise if this isn’t the most coherent piece of writing that I have ever written. Speaking about something so serious and personal can be hard and just leave you with a lot of mixed emotions which don’t really make sense together but that is how I feel. I especially felt it was fitting to write this post this week because it has been mental illness awareness week and mental illnesses again is something I believe so passionately about and wish there was more done to help people. I wish we lived in a society where we could openly discuss how we are feeling without any fear of judgement and we could seek help to look after our minds because it is so important! I am mentioning this because the side effects of bullying can lead to mental illness issues and I just want to be just one of many people to say you are not alone, most people will go through something similar in their life and there are plenty of services to help you. Don’t feel like you are alone.

Bullying… as most of you will know or have experienced, bullying is cruel and vicious. It isolates you and makes you feel so lonely. Even though the bullying stopped about 2 years ago now one person left school, the side effects of what the bullying did to me remain. That’s partly my fault because I never sought help to deal with what I went through but I know the reason I am how I am is because of other reasons and things that happened in my life and I know I need to sort them out and I will, I am just taking it at my own pace.  My point is the pain and feelings, thoughts and deluded perceptions of yourself which the bullies make you have just don’t vanish. They just don’t disappear. They stick with you and when people have told you for so long something about yourself, it really does become engrained in you and it’s hard to change your mindset.

Anyway…this is my story. So, the earliest I can remember the bullying starting was when I was around 6/7. I was in my last year at Infant school because for me I went to infant school, a separate junior school and then onto secondary school. Also, I want to point out that names won’t be mentioned throughout this because as much as I hate what they did to me and always will and I know respecting their privacy is the correct thing to do.

Up until this point I had always enjoyed school and was the happiest little girl ever. I enjoyed being at school and participating in class and I had the biggest dreams and ambitions. Some days I couldn’t wait to go to school. That soon got turned upside down. Over the next 10 years of my school life I didn’t share that enthusiasm and dreaded going.

You see in my last year of infant school I had just lost my best friend that I had known forever because her brother and my brother were bests friends so we were always around each other from a young age, but she moved away and my best friend was gone. It was no longer me and her anymore, it was just me. I was now alone. The same year a new girl started at our school and I got asked to make her feel welcome and show her how things were done. We never really got on and safe to say she never liked me. Anyway, the bullying started when this guy in my class started being friends with me because he now noticed I sat on my own at dinner. Anyway, things started off great and we got on so well. I now had a friend to play with at break and lunch time. The other children didn’t see it that way and automatically started making fun of me. The rumours kept spreading until one day this guy no longer wanted to be my friend anymore and just ignored me all day every day. I had lost my friend again. Since he was no longer my friend now though I assumed they would stop saying stuff and spreading rumours but I couldn’t have been more wrong. They didn’t! It just got worse. Now they went from spreading rumours to getting me into trouble in class by blaming things on me that wasn’t fault and they hadn’t done so they didn’t get in trouble. I spent the most part of my last year at infant school very miserable and very lonely, often getting told off for things I hadn’t done and missing out.  Safe to say I couldn’t wait for summer!

Summer end and I was so excited to start a new school… or so I thought. That was until I found that those people who had spent the last year of infant school misery for me were my class. I was sure that I was in for another year of hell and I wasn’t wrong. What I didn’t know then though that things weren’t going to get better for some time. Again, I spent most of my time on my own pretending that I didn’t hear the pathetic rumours that were being spread about me, even though I did and they started to bother me.  When I was, younger I use to love maths, although my love for maths has certainly faded over the years. It was the only thing I was good at, or so I thought. I didn’t think I was sporty, or musically talented or could write a fantastic story but maths just came naturally to me.  Every week we would have a timetables challenge and if you got 100% the following week you would get a harder set of questions. Our teachers use to compete with us to show us how quick we would be able to do them one day. I remember one week I practised so hard, I must have done the sheet at least 100 times at home because I wanted to be the best and that week I ended finishing first, even before the teacher and they were 100% right. At the time I was so happy, now of course I know the teacher probably wasn’t even trying, but at the time it really reassured me that I was good at something. Little did I know I just started something else for the bullies to talk about. Soon I was a ‘nerd’ or a ‘geek’ or a ‘teacher’s pet’ and at the time it was awful. Now you know I don’t mind being called a nerd or a geek, for me it’s great trait, but 7/8-year-old me didn’t feel that way, especially since they were being malicious about it. For the rest of the year, that along with whatever other rumour they felt like spreading was he rest of my first year at junior school.

So, year four came around and I started thinking things would be different. The others were now in the opposite class and we had a girl transfer and I thought this could be my chance to make friends. Luckily for me we did, or so I thought. I now had a friend in the playground and didn’t wander around alone. Things started off great but then she got a boyfriend and the is boy just wasn’t nice and especially wasn’t nice to me. Soon lunches together turned into lunches alone and breaks together turned into breaks alone. I was back where I had started – alone. Then they broke up and then she wanted to be my friend again and naïve me went along with it, until they got back together and dropped me again. This time, her boyfriend and the others turned her against me for good and she hated me for the rest of her time that school until she transferred in year 5. Now they had a group and they made it their mission to make my life hell and they did. They even convinced me (well more accurately pressured me/forced me) into giving myself a ‘chicken scratch’ to then they just used that to get me into trouble my teacher. Year 4 was still no better and I was losing hope.

Year 5 was much of the same the gang v. me. The same rumours the same ‘your fat’, ‘your ugly’, ‘no one likes you’, ‘no one wants to be your friend’ and to make it worse it the seating plan for one of the classes I got seated next to one of the bullies and for tidy time I got partnered with another one of them. I just couldn’t escape.  Nothing changed.

Year 6 and my last year at this crappy place before going somewhere new and I couldn’t wait. Nothing really changed except now they started bullying me for my chess club. I had played in chess club since year 3 and always finished top but year 6 I finished top with zero defeats. A perfectly clean record. I was thrilled. Obviously, that was something to use against me. I started puberty at age 11 in year 6 and if they hadn’t made me conscious enough by telling me I was fat and ugly, they sure did when that happened. I am pretty sure I had never felt so uncomfortable in my life so far than when changing for PE and they make remarks about my boobs starting to appear or getting hips and a bum. I definitely hated the way I looked and although I would never cry in front of them they sure did make me cry. I think the worse was when they told this boy that I would go out with him and wanted to kiss him when I really didn’t. I felt so mean and terrible having to tell him the truth and just like they wanted he no longer liked me or wanted to speak to me. It seemed like I couldn’t have any friends.

So that summed up my junior school experience. I am pretty sure I hated every moment of it. I was always alone, never allowed to join in any games with anyone or sit with anyone. A few friends came and went just as quick and I was left feeling rather miserable, lonely and hating the way I looked. The once happy, confident me was nowhere to be seen. She had gone and perhaps gone forever.

So, summer ended and then came around secondary school. I was beyond excited to be going to ‘big school’ as everyone called it and to forget about the miseries of junior school. This was going to be a fresh start. A new place, new people and a new start or at least that is what I had hoped for. In my tutor group, there were a few people from my old school which I knew but we most definitely didn’t get along. For some reason, they hated me and I didn’t know why. Now I must point out I was nervous for starting school. I was scared to be in an environment with lots of people who I didn’t know and who could have potentially judged me and hated me the same as people had done in junior school.  Things started off well to be honest. I made some friends and I had people to sit with at lunch and break. I had friends in classes too. Things may have just started to improve. People even had crushes on me and asked me out which I kindly declined because I was interested in guys or those pretend relationships you have at that age. However, because I wasn’t allowed out my friends began to become closer and closer but without me. I was left behind and although occasionally we spoke things weren’t the same. I was lost once more.

Oh, I forgot to mention my childhood best friend came to that school too and it was so nice to see a familiar face but has five years had passed she now had her own friends. It was nice to have someone smile at you in the corridor.  Other than being really lonely, there wasn’t any major bullying in year 7. I somehow managed to avoid it and I don’t know how really but I was glad I did. Of course, in the changing rooms I would hide in corner and turn away because I was embarrassed about my body. That never changed. Year 7 wasn’t too bad at all.

Year 8 was a completely different story. This was the first time I had got cyber bullied and I remember feeling so sick and upset when I did. It was awful. Basically, I sat with two girls I had made in my tutor group at tutor time and one them was in my classes so we sat together and we started spending a lot of time together and became close.  All of a sudden you began to become distant and sad. She had a lot going off at home and home life wasn’t brilliant. Anyway, one day a member of our year group saw a sonogram posted to her Facebook (it was completely innocent of her cousin or something) but started a rumour that she was pregnant. She told me and I thought she had confided in me because she trusted me and because she was scared. Naturally I told her to speak to our tutor so she could sort it out. However, that was apparently the wrong advice and this infuriated her and she got so mad at me for understanding. Anyway, to get the attention off her she made the rumour up that it was me who had posted this photo and showed everyone to embarrass her and cause all problems. Sure enough, everyone believed her. Everyone now hated me. Everywhere I went, every class I got mean comments and notes from people. Life has just taken a turn for the worst. Little did I know that they were about to get worse. Not only did she start this rumour, she then started cyber bullying to prove to everyone just how mad she was at me.  She started texting me loads of horrible messages telling me to ‘f*ck off’ and ‘to die’ and ‘that she didn’t want anything to do with me and I was horrible person who was getting everything I deserved.’ For some reason which I don’t know why, even to this day I tried to apologise and get her to be my friend but these messages kept on coming and I am became so sad. I tried hard to hold it in but one day in class someone said something and that was it. I burst into tears and fled to the toilets. I didn’t return to class until it was lesson change over because I was embarrassed. When I did, waiting there was teacher waiting and three girls. Three girls concerned about me. It was such an uplifting feeling. In the end, I ended up spilling everything and it was so nice to have four people believe me and be on my side. For once I didn’t feel alone. I had proof everything and her admitting that she had caused everything and started the rumour and I had the messages she had sent. The teacher wanted to go to the police but I didn’t. I was scared. I didn’t want my parents knowing, which they don’t and I didn’t want her to end up in trouble. I didn’t go to the police and I didn’t press charges even though people wanted me to. I didn’t. Everyone deserves another chance and everyone makes a mistake. A few weeks later she apologised and I forgave her but I never forgot what it did to me or how it made me feel. We were never the same.

Year 9 remained pretty fine. I stayed away from people after year 8. I thought I was better on my own. I didn’t want to end up in that same situation. I didn’t want to trust people. I distanced myself. It was lonely and sad but it worked. For a year, I survived. I was okay and had no drama to deal with. I was maybe somewhat happy.

Year 10 wasn’t the same. I couldn’t have two good years in a row. That was wishful thinking. Year 10. What a year!! It all started when my crush (I had liked for him years… seriously ages) had broken up with his girlfriend and started talking to me. I was scared. I didn’t want to get close because I didn’t want to get broken or hurt. As time moved on though we grew closer and he said everything I had waited years for someone to say. Turns out she was not happy about the situation and wouldn’t let him move on. She kept talking to him and twisting his mind and manipulating him and before we even got to together we argued all the time. She was there but I thought he had moved on. He hadn’t though. Trust me I didn’t know this when I got with him. Anyway, he promised everything would be okay and we got together. His ex still messaging me and trying to make me break up with him. She was always there. She didn’t move on and leave me alone. From the moment, we I started talking to him until we left in year 11 she made my life living hell. I caught up in something I never wished I had.

I don’t know what I was thinking. All I knew is that I really liked him and I wanted to be with him even though we fell out because of her almost every day. It definitely was toxic to say the least. We did have some good times and he did help me through so much too. She consistently messaged me and made my life hell. She would always send horrible messages to me and talk about me at all school. He stuck up for her and protected her. I guess when you like someone and they have manipulated her then that’s what you would do. A month in he broke up with me to be with her, but he parents didn’t agree and so he got back with me. Again, I didn’t know this until after we split up. I just know I was heartbroken when he did because I thought I loved him even though now I know I didn’t so I got back with him despite the fact that I knew people were going to talk and she was going to be mean. When we were together she would consistently post pictures of when they had been together and put ‘I love you’ or send them to me. Day by day I felt more and more lost.

The next major issues came when I was delivering my dragon’s den pitch speech. Just before I got a phone call saying he had cheated on me with her. I just remember crying in the bathroom for ages even though I needed to go on stage. I delivered my presentation and when I got back to school he tried to talk to me but I wasn’t interested. The next day my neighbour’s son has died. We were close to them. I always remember going back to them after nursery and them giving me a chocolate bar. His death made me realise life was too short to not forgive and for second chances. So, as kind as I thought I was being, in retrospect very stupid. I gave him another chance. About 6 weeks later I found out that he had cheated again with her. I was devastated. I remember leaving ICT and crying and I ended it. I hoped everything would go away but it didn’t.  She had convinced him that I was evil and I didn’t care about him and didn’t love him. She lied about me too him and turned him against me and then he said crap about me to.

Once we had broken up they got together but I begged him not to because I knew she was planning on meeting this boy. He didn’t believe me and thought I was being mean and selfish, but I was only looking out for him.  Knew what she was like. She had cheated on him so many time before which she made me swear to never to tell him, I did anyway because it right. He didn’t believe me. A couple of days later they got back together and that hurt the most. I felt so much pain. People either want you to feel everything or nothing at all – right now I was feeling everything. My heart broke. I was a mess. I cried and cried and cried for days. Cried to sleep. I didn’t eat properly. I didn’t sleep. It was a proper first crush nightmare. I was confused as to why she hated me and spread so many rumours and turned him against. I was confused as to why he hated me and didn’t believe me. A couple of days later she had already cheated and they were apart. He messaged me to say he wish we had never broken up and in tears I said it was for the best.

That should have been the end of it right? Wrong! She never stopped making my life even when we stopped speaking completely. She created Facebook statuses about me spreading rumours and lies for the whole world to see. She dedicated and askfm page to me where she ridiculed me and post the worst things imaginable. Cyber bullying part 2 had started. He tweeted about me, she messaged me asking me to die and to kill myself. She made it her mission for the next year to make my life hell. As if one wasn’t enough. She sure as hell she did.

Year 11 and the same crap continued. She didn’t stop. It kept going on and on and I was getting very sick and tired of looking on any of my social media and just seeing mean comments. I was getting tired on just constantly receiving hurtful texts. I had hit a low. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse someone who I thought was my friend got with my ex and I pretended like I was cool with it even though I wasn’t until some of my friend overheard her and one her friends speaking in the bathroom saying that he was good for a first kiss and then she would break up with him and it would be make me jealous. I told me what was said even though I hadn’t spoken to him ages and he shot me down as always. It was true though and that happened. Someone who I thought was my friend had turned against me, he still couldn’t stand me and by telling me I had just successfully help end another one of her relationships and she just kept going.

In all honesty, I had enough. From all the cyber bullying, threats, rumours I just couldn’t take it. Every day the insults would resonate in my mind. ‘Slut’, ‘slag’, ’fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘bitch’, ’kill yourself’, ‘die.’ I just wanted to never return to school. Others had started to join in to and I just didn’t get why people didn’t like me. Again, I know I could have gone to police but I didn’t want everyone to know. I didn’t want them to know how broken I had become. I didn’t want to hurt that guy either because he had got caught up in something he shouldn’t have. I was afraid of being bullied even more for telling. So, I kept it quiet.

It lasted all year. I couldn’t wait until leavers day and to never have to see her face again. I couldn’t wait to not have to go through this. At this point other started with rumours that I was spoilt and rich which made people dislike me even more. The final thing in year 11 that did it was when a group of people decided to play a prank of me and put a condom in my blazer pocket. Then when I went in my blazer pocket and pulled that out by mistake, not knowing it was there, everyone saw and that for them confirmed the rumour I was slut. I hated life and I was so sad. I cried and cried. However, leavers came and since I haven’t had to see any of these people again.

And that’s my story. Pretty damn long I know. Sorry!!! I haven’t made it through this without crying. It has brought so many bad memories to light and made me realise just how many open wounds there are. For those who are wondering, this was my secret. I haven’t told anyone this but now I have told all of you my secret. I never told school apart from the one occasion I mentioned. I never told my family or anyone. I lived through it alone. This is the first time I have shared my secret. This was my story.

I was a victim of bullying. However, I want to be the one to tell you that things do get better and it doesn’t last forever. This has been the hardest thing I have ever written about and spoke about. Its perhaps the bravest thing too. I feel like weight has been lifted. I have never shared this and now that I have and am unsure about how people are going to react but I feel like speaking about it has helped. I am no longer carrying around 10 years of hurt and pain all to myself. I just want to point out I don’t hate anyone, that’s not who I am. I will always hate what they have done. The guy is this by the way, he is actually the sweetest, most genuine guy who got manipulated and caught up in something so bad and as soon as he was strong enough to let her go completely out his life and stand up to her manipulative ways he was gone back to the way he was and the reason I had a crush on him in the first place. Seriously there isn’t any hard feeling between us now.

I just wanted to share this story because I want you to understand you aren’t alone and people have been through it. I have and I will understand and will always listen. Also, please don’t suffer alone through it and do what I didn’t and speak out about it. Please find someone you can trust and don’t suffer in silence. I wish I hadn’t and I wish I had got help because two years later this still all haunts me and I am still dealing with consequences. It still affects me to this very day so much. It knocked my confidence more than I can tell you and because I didn’t get help and suffered through it and only now told anyone for the first time it has taken ages to build myself back up. I am getting there though. I want to be a voice to tell you that things don’t last forever and things do get better. I am who I am because of those experiences and they made me in a stronger person and I am lot wiser and more knowledgeable. As bad as everything was I wouldn’t where I am or doing what I am without all of this and I do live a pretty great life and I have so much to be thankful for. So please remember you aren’t alone, please speak up and don’t suffer in silence and it doesn’t last forever. You will get through it and be stronger. You can do it and it is okay to not be okay.

I hope this has helped in some way for someone and thank you for staying all the way to end. I know it is long! This was the hardest thing for me to do and I am so scared and nervous about the reaction but if it helps one person then it is worth it. Thank you so much!! Much love,

Lizzie x

Instagram: @thiz_is_lizzie_xx

Twitter: @Life_WithLizzie

 

A very honest and deep Q&A

Hey lovelies!

Today I have a very honest and deep Q&A! I get these sorts of questions a lot and so I finally thought I would take the time to answers. It is a different type of Q&A and a lot more personal and honest and I hope you enjoy.

  • Do you find it hard to manage blogging whilst having a part-time job and going to uni? – Simply the answer would be yes. Sometimes it can be so hard to balance my time between all three especially because being a full time-student and also my part-time job is full on. When I am break from uni I am usually working 30 hours or more at work so I am always super tired. Normally though I do manage to get a good balance between all three and manage to get in some of my own time and some socialising etc but yes it can be super hard. It is going to be so hard this next month as it is exam month! Ah – I am super stressed and worried for them!
  • What makes you feel like you can trust someone? – This one is difficult for me because I used to be a such a trusting person (naive as some may say) and just see the good in everyone and then obviously you have experiences in life and you find out not everyone is like you so now it takes a lot for me to trust someone. I would say a big thing for me is that someone can be open and honest with me. I think if I can sense that someone generally trusts me and wants to be around me and be my friends and takes a genuine interest in me then I feel like I can trust them.
  • What’s one thing you would change about yourself? – I think the one thing I would change about myself would be my thighs. I just don’t like them. They are just my least favourite part of my body but they are just fine the way the are and there is always something you aren’t completely happy with me but it’s all about embracing that and learning to love yourself flaws and anything.
  • Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? – I would consider myself an introvert. I am very shy and I don’t have a lot of confidence speaking and being in front of people or putting myself out there. However, I have gotten a lot better, especially since moving away to university and I definitely talk to people a lot more and do things I would have never have done or been to shy to do.
  • If you could go back to to anytime in your life and change something when it would be? – Personally I am quite happy with how everything has turned out. Of course I have had some really bad times and they were so hard and sad but I have also had some fantastic times and I am one those who believes everything happens for a reason and if I would have changed something then I probably be who I am today or where I am today. With that being said If I could something different it would be secondary school years. I wish I had been so much confident and wasn’t afraid to be myself and just didn’t care what anyone else thought because I actually couldn’t wait for school to be over with. They just weren’t the most fantastic years of my life and I went through a lot and experienced a lot but like I said it has made who I am today and I am better because of it.  Of course as well there are times where I wish I had done stuff or said things and I didn’t or not said things or not done things or that I hadn’t been so scared and take more risks but then I always wonder that if I had done things differently would I be where I am today.
  • Do you believe in second chances? –  Yes I do actually. I am definitely one of those people who give second chances. I think it is always so much easier for someone to say don’t give second chances and walk away but no one is perfect and sometimes we do make mistakes and we mess up and we all deserve a second chance. I mean of course I will have my limits where I just think enough is enough and that’s not something I want to give a second chance but I am a very forgiving person and I don’t like holding so even if it is something that I don’t think I would give a second chance, I will still forgive you for it. Otherwise I will just be holding onto something I can;t let go off and that’s just unhealthy and not worth it. I definitely believe though that more than once isn’t a mistake and is now a choice they have made so I am one for second chances but not someone who gives lots of chances.
  • What did your past relationship teach you? – Not be so naive. I was a naive young person and always saw the good in everyone and didn’t really think people could be mean and thought everyone was as nice as me or had the same sort of feelings and heart as me and people really don’t. I think it just taught me to be stronger and not be as trusting and just to take things steady and not to be your trust in someone straight away.
  • What is one of the most important things you have learnt so far? – That some people are brutal and some people will do anything to see you fall and be miserable. Seriously some people can be so cruel and rude, which I seriously don’t get. I don’t get why bringing someone else down makes you feel good about yourself. I really don’t get it. I don’t get either how people can be so mean and why they feel the need to pick up on certain things or comments or judgements. It’s not any of their business most of the time and isn’t their life, so even if it isn’t something you personally don’t agree with then okay that’s fine but it’s someone else’s life and someone’s decision. I really just will never understand all the mean and rude comments people will say to you and put you through and will never understand why people say those things but I have just learnt now that some people are always going to be mean and rude and would love to see you fail and you just have to realise you’re worth more than that and you are better than those comments.
  • If 10 year old you could see you now how do you think she would feel? – I think this is hard because you don’t necessarily have a plan and don’t know where you will end up or what you will be doing. I know for sure that what I wanted to do at 10 years old I am not doing now. However, I think she would be proud of how far I have come and how I have persevered through all the challenging and difficult times. I know for sure there will be moments where she would have wished I would have done things differently and I know for sure you would be made at me, for still even to this day, not believing I can have my dreams but for the most part I think she would be proud.

Thank you so much for reading and I really hoped you have enjoyed. I will see you all very soon. Much love,

Lizzie X

P.S. leave requests in the comments or any answers to the questions but I always love finding out your answers!

Instagram: @thiz_is_lizzie_xx

Twitter: @Life_WithLizzie 

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Life advice to live by

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I believe there are numerous pieces of great advice out there to inspire you to live your life to the fullest, be happy and maximise your potential. All of the advice given above though, I can relate to so much and I am sure a lot of us can also. So many of us desire change and improvement but quite often we are not willing to accept or acknowledge what needs to happen. You simply just cannot change anything if you can’t acknowledge what it is you want to change.  The only way to move forward is to accept the past and the mistakes and acknowledge what you would lie to be different. How can you move forward if you just keep re-reading the same chapter? I have been in this position so many times, I would be lying if I said otherwise and I know so many of you reading will also be in the same situation! I am certain we have all had moment where we have what to do something, made a mistake or been in bad situation and just not been able to accept what happened and therefore we couldn’t change anything. I will be the first to say I am super stubborn and so when I mess up and make mistakes, because I am only human, I find it hard to acknowledge sometimes and so I can’t change what I did wrong. However, I have gotten a lot better at this and I have changed my perspective on things quite a bit now. I now know what ever happened, whatever I went through, no matter how bad it was or what mistakes I made, if I don’t acknowledge what happened I cannot change my mindset for the future to maximise my happiness. This also applies to body insecurities. The more you can acknowledge the easier the change. Acknowledging your problems is more then half the battle one. Then you can just focus on positive changes.

The next one I think is so, so, so important is obviously different for each person. Those who want to do well, work hard for it and want it. They believe so passionately about what they are working towards and for that they make a difference because they aren’t happy until the best had been achieved. Until they have given their all. If you have a desire to make a change or follow a certain career path you will work hard and remain dedicated determined until you get to where you want to be and won’t be satisfied until you have reached your dreams and goals. If you want something bad enough, you will work has hard as possible to ensure it becomes a reality!!

Trying to please everyone is impossible so just don’t bother! It’s true if you try and please everyone you will always fail because none of us are the same and we all have different opinions and ideas.Not every single person is ever going to agree with what you are doing so just don’t waste your time and effort pursuing this. At the end of the day those who love you for who you are and accept you and your success will always be there and those who don;t, they just really don’t matter. It’s such a hard experience and such a hard time going through losing ‘friends’ but you will realise in time that they were holding you back, acting negatively and you don’t need that toxicity surrounding you. You’re better than that. Just focus on doing whatever makes you the happiest and do what you want. The happier you are the more successful you will become because the more you will work for it. Someone is always going to have something to say and be able to criticise you and judge so don’t waste effort trying to eliminate it. It’s inevitable unfortunately. It’s apart of life and please just do whatever makes you the happiest.

Imagination I believe is so important in being successful. Don’t copy somebody else and do what somebody else. We are very creative people and excel at lots of different things. Find what you are good at. Take yourself wherever your imagination allows you to go and beyond. Don’t limit yourself and settle. Having a vivid imagination is one of the greatest gifts of all time, don’t be scared to use it! Be proud of being different and a little eccentric. Differences makes us beautiful. The imagination is wonderful a place and it’s so rare to have a great sense of imagination. Get creative and be different!

I just feel like the last piece speaks for itself. I am sure we have all done things we wish we hadn’t, been through situations we didn’t want to and wish from time to time we could start again. No!! Your past irrelevant. No matter what happened and what you went through. This doesn’t determine your future. As soon as you acknowledge that you can change things and start a fresh and plan a whole new future for yourself. Don’t let your past or your past mistakes define you or the present and the future because it doesn’t. If we let everything we did wrong hold us back we would never get anywhere. Don’t worry about what went wrong or how you felt because that mindset often holds us back when in reality we should just be learning from our experiences, growing and becoming a stronger and better a person because of them. We all have a story to write and only you can chose how it ends. Don’t let anyone else take that away from you!

I hope you have found this a little helpful in some way. Thinking like this always helps me in times of darkness and to be honest recently, things have not been going all that great. However, that’s life and it doesn’t define me and it’s okay for me to sad and down about but I know it’s not going to change anything or hold me back. Believe in yourself and the power you have. You’re incredible and so beautiful. Don’t let anyone else tell you anything different and be who you want to be and I hope you are all so successful in whatever you chose you want to do but beyond all I wish you happiness! I hope you life is full of happiness and great experiences and memories which make you laugh and smile. Life is wonderful when you step back and realise that in this crazy society we all just want the same things… Love, happiness, success, family, friends, memories, experiences and no regrets. When it comes down to it we all are the same with slight differences. So always be kind, respect each other and never give up on your dreams. Encourage other’s success and pursue your own!

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have enjoyed! Much love always,

Lizzie X

P.S. Success will never come easy!!!

Damaged

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to another post. We are now approaching the mid-point of January and so far things have been going okay really. I have started my fitness and eating plan, which is going well and so I feel great about that. Also, I have started back university yet as I don’t have any January exams which is really nice and I am definitely really pleased about that! However, like any year I always get ‘January blues’ and I have no idea why to be honest. I am always super excited for the New Year and always have great goals and ambitions for the new year but in January I was always feel it. I think it’s probably because it’s just after Christmas and the New Year and work and everything starts again and you have just enjoyed taking a little time off to spend with your loved ones. Anyway, I today I am going to talk to you about something quite personal and something which I have been able to reflect on, especially after a rather stressful year last year but also after a couple of years with a lot of change and challenges for me. Taking a break from work and uni so far has allowed me to really reflect on my life so far, especially the past 3 or 4 years where so much has happened, so that I can make positive changes to things this year.  Normally I don’t have this much time to properly reflect on the previous years so I can decide and what went well and what changes I would like to make to ensure I make the most out of the new year.  So today I am talking about being emotional damaged, something which I know am and which in previous years has held be back from things.

Things probably changed for me about just over four years ago, for me now, which places me in year 10 at school. Until then I had just dealt with normal teen struggles (bullying, fitting in, body confidence and finding out who you are as a person, deciding whether you wanted to stay on at sixth form or college) – those sorts of struggles. They weren’t really nothing that I hadn’t been able to get used to over my school life –  especially the bullying, popularity and body confidence. I had those problems for years prior to this so I had come quite accustomed to those struggles.

I was very much a person who wore their heart on the sleeve. I was rather naïve really. I thought everyone was nice, just like me and didn’t want to hurt anyone and had genuine intentions. Little did I Know!! Some people say I was I brave for wearing my heart on my sleeve and seeing the best in people, but others just argue I was stupid and I totally get that. I was! I was naïve and just saw the best in everyone even when they weren’t that nice to me.  However, from the hard way I realised that people really weren’t the same as me. If you go through your life thinking people have the same heart as you, you will get hurt. Unfortunately, people just are no that kind.  Believe me I learnt this the hard way. Even when people were horrible to me, I refused to believed that they were horrible and still always spoke about their best bits.

Anyway, year 10 was when I began becoming interested in my boys and relationships. I don’t know what I was thinking! No matter how bad things were, looking back I wouldn’t change what happened because it has shaped me into a much wiser and stronger person. I think from this moment on, my life collapsed and things were a disaster for me.

So, I liked this guy and did tried so hard to impress him but he was with someone else, so I just moved on and said nothing and kept my feelings closed. Months later though, they broke up and we started talking. Yes…mistake number one you can already see right there. I was a rebound. Little, naïve me at the time didn’t realise this though and was so happy with the fact we had started talking. It never even occurred for me because I thought they were so nice. Anyway, I didn’t find out a lot of this information about the relationship until I broke things off. However, the whole time we were talking, he was still speaking to his ex, which I didn’t realise otherwise we wouldn’t have dated. I didn’t know that so we started dating after a whole load of drama which I don’t want to go into depth about for personal reasons. Things were never easy because his friends didn’t like me and my friends didn’t like him for how he was treating me and to be honest you know how school relationships go, everyone get involved and it ends up making the situation ten times worse! Things went on and we continued to date but we hardly saw each other because of my strict parents and everything but that is a whole new story but what happened with my parents affected much later on really. He told me he loved and that I was beautiful and I believed him. I was so stupid right then. There were always quite a few problems because of the various parties who kept getting involved. Anyway, I remember this day vividly unfortunately. I was at a competition for Dragon’s den getting ready to present my idea, and if you know me you know I hate speaking so I was terrified anyway, but just before I had to go I got a text from my best friend saying that he had cheated. That day I literally felt like my world had ended and things were a nightmare. I cried so hard. I couldn’t understand it. He was still in love with his ex and I was just a rebound. It absolutely broke me and destroyed me. I ended because I had the power to say that I wasn’t going to be option and so removed the choice from him.

The situation is made worse by the fact that she is horrible and didn’t deserve him at all. He could do so much better than her. He was funny, cute and intelligent. He was so talented and he was great. She had messed him up so bad with her cheating on him and his persuasive lies. She knew exactly what to say and do. Even after all the lies, messing me around and cheating I didn’t hate him – not even close. I felt sorry for him. He had lost someone who supported him and though the world of him for someone who didn’t care less. It was so hurtful. I was a mess. My first crush, love and heartbreak all in one.  I loved him or so I thought. Now I know it wasn’t love. I didn’t know what to do with myself. How could someone betray you like that and use you? How could you lie to someone and hurt them that way?

It was all far too much, especially if you consider the months of arguments and falling out because of lies and rumors whilst we were talking. I can’t even begin to describe to explain some of the stuff. What he doesn’t know is how much I took for him. I was willing to look past the rumors, lies and hate to be with him. I even with stood all the bullying from his ex. The bullying was a whole new level. It went way too far but I took it all and never told him. She would spread rumors about me, spend me horrible texts messages all the time and get her friends to do the same, write statuses about me, spread rumors on the internet. You name it. She did it. She made my life a living hell and continued to until the very day when we left school at the end of year 11.

Of course, I kept all this to myself I didn’t want anyone to know what I was going through. The bullying kept getting worse, got even more intense. I began to hate myself. I use to cry myself to sleep at night. Some night I couldn’t sleep or eat because I was so sad. My life had been completely normal and within about 6 months by life had become a mess. I had been a rebound and joke of the school and the victim the worst cyber bullying and bullying I had ever experienced. From then on… I just wasn’t the same and never have been.

The worst part was I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand how cruel people could be. I didn’t understand why people felt the need to tear others apart to make them feel better about themselves. I didn’t understand why people we so vindictive and cruel. I could never do the same… I would never be able to hurt them the way they hurt me.

I never really moved on from him. Things didn’t change. He did apologise after she cheated on him and made him feel so bad about himself. He knew what he had done and how he had made me feel. For a time, we were friends. I don’t hold grudges. I forgive people. I just do. I don’t see the point of holding onto hate. I just never forget. I couldn’t change the past so I needed to let go and accept it. I liked him too and secretly I knew he was a really nice person and he is everyone. Things didn’t really improve though. We went through a phase of liking each other again only for me to find out he liked someone else. Then we started seeing each other a couple of months later but that ended when I knew he liked someone else. In fact, she was one of my best friends. I Knew as well she didn’t like him. She wanted to have her first boyfriend. I had to watch the guy I loved, be with my best friend. In fact, he even asked for my advice on how to get with her and of course I helped them both. I still wanted him to be happy even though I told him her intentions. Of course, he didn’t believe me and thought I was just saying that to keep them from being together. He soon realised though. This time it was too late. I was gone. After that we didn’t speak again for a long time. We didn’t speak again for months and months on end. I had taken enough.

No, I don’t hate this person at all. In fact, we are now best friends. I felt sorry for him too. He put his faith and trust in all the wrong people and it got broken and he didn’t know how to recover. Everyone makes mistakes. I made mistakes when we went out. I know that and admit that. I know who I am and I know I am not perfect and I am a difficult person to be with. I am very guarded. We were both victims and both damaged in our own way. I am glad he has managed to work past through what happened and how he got hurt because now people can see him for how amazing he is. He is really nice person and pain changes people. He was hurting. Anyone could see that. She treated him so bad and was really awful to him. He tried to move on but whenever he made progress she would bring him back down and make him feel like he couldn’t move on. I’m glad he has though because now I can see him for everything I thought he was and it is nice to see the person I knew he was. I never gave in because I knew that just wasn’t him. I am glad we are such good friends because he is great friend to have!

For me, things were harder. Going through that, on top of all the other stuff which I am sure I will share at some point if I am feeling brave enough killed me. It killed me to see him happy with someone else. It killed me every time we walked by each other. Every time we looked at each other. I couldn’t have been humiliated any more. I couldn’t have felt worse.

I was a mess. I was so broken. I couldn’t let anyone in. Some of friends asked me out but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t hurt him. I just couldn’t move on. Those two years in particular were the two worst of my life. Last year was bad but for another reason and last year I did have some fantastic times.  Those two years were dark times, filled with hate and tears.

The problem was I had put everyone else first. I then taught them that I could be a second option. I won’t change this though. I am just not a selfish person. I love helping people and for me that comes first. Everyone else and their needs come before mine. That’s how I am.

Pain does change people and that’s okay! My luck with guys didn’t get any better. Another guy liked me the same year and we spoke but he too lied to me. Pain has changed me and I won’t ever be the same. I just can’t be because I am too scared of getting hurt again.

I definitely wouldn’t change going through this though because it has helped me so much and made me who I am today. I know I don’t need to prove my worth to anyone. If they don’t love me for who I am and accept that then I don’t belong with them and that’s fine.

Going through what I have has taught me to stay strong. I created a lot of my heartbreak because of my high expectations but I am not going to apologise for that. I have principles and a moral compass and I would only be betraying myself if I didn’t stand by them and I am not prepared to that. If someone cannot respect boundaries and morals then they aren’t for me.

I thank this experience because it has shown my strength. I didn’t know how strong I was until I was torn apart my people to barely nothing. I felt worthless and useless. I had never felt worse about myself. They say damaged people are the most dangerous because they know they can survive and I agree. I have been at my lowest and I know I can get back up and keep moving forwards and that’s a great lesson to have learnt. No matter what someone throws at me now. I know I can make it through it and come out the other side much stronger and a better person.

I have been through more hell than what you know but that’s what give my beauty an edge. Its raw, unperfect and damaged. I am emotionally damaged and scared but that’s what makes me so pretty and fierce. It’s beautiful that I can still love and trust even though I have been hurt and damaged.

I know trust takes years to build up but can be destroyed in seconds with one mistake. I am careful about who I trust. I trust virtually no one. Everyone in my life has lied to me, turned against me and left me. They have broken promises and I don’t hate them for it. I thank them. I know now the value of trust and that you cannot just trust anyone. Trust is special and should only be given to those who deserve it.  At the end of the day. Every time you form a relationship or friendship you take a risk.

I believe at one point I felt so much and so much pain, I felt nothing at all anymore. I had felt it all. I became numb. I was so young and so damaged and still am. It still messes me up now. I have huge trust issues, paranoid and so insecure about myself. I will always wonder what I did wrong to deserve what I went through. It completely broke the faith in me. I want to be able to trust again and not be so paranoid. Not being able to sleep or having nightmare every night isn’t fun. In some ways, I want to be my old self. Where I wore my heart on sleeve, saw the beauty and good in everyone and saw the world to be the fantastic place it is. I know now though it’s not realistic. To save myself form more hurt, I cannot be like that! I wish too that I didn’t push people away out of fear of getting hurt again/ It make me hard to love because I am guarded. I feel more than most people, but I have put up certain defenses to not show this so I don’t get hurt again.

It’s sad too because he had built me up to feel fantastic and then it all fell apart and shattered right before my eyes. No reason or explanation. I am damaged and vulnerable but I am no less valuable.  For me, the scars you cannot see are the hardest to heal.

However, being this young and damaged isn’t going to set me back. I have still have had some fantastic years and moments since. Some of the best memories and experiences of my life. One thing it hasn’t done is damaged my ambition and dreams. I still set goals way beyond what I can reach. I know I can make it though perhaps one day.

I find people who have been through what I have inspiring. No matter how challenging or difficult their lives get or how damaged someone is, there is nothing more inspiring than their courage to put on a smile and to love for others and see the good in them. I know the most beautiful people are the ones who have known defeat, known suffering, struggle, loss and have found their way out of those horrible depths.

The point to all this is rambling is that even though I don’t appear it, I am damaged but aren’t we all. Those experiences as terrible as they were and taught me some of the best lessons in life and have given me some of the wisest advice.  It’s okay to be damaged and not be okay! I promise you. Time heals things and you have to din your own coping mechanisms. It’s about taking those experiences and learning from them to build yourself and support your future. You can’t change the past however terrifying it was, but you can change the future. It’s not nice living through it, especially with the consequences it has upon you but you can’t keep re-reading old chapters. You can’t progress.

So, that’s the first time I have spoken about this ever. I don’t know how I have done but I know I have been an emotional mess writing. I am thankful for writing this though because this where I can draw the line and move on. It’s over. I am not continuing to drag this into this year like I have done in previous years. I will always be damaged and that’s okay as long as I use the lessons wisely. I cannot believe how tears this has provoked but thank you for listening and reading this. I hope It helps you on some way and I appreciate your support and for allowing me to be pure and raw and open about my feelings. It’s nice to be able to speak about them and feel safe and secure so I can now at last close this chapter and start a fresh. Thank you for the lessons! They will come in good use! Of course, I am still going to have feelings about this they aren’t ever going to go away entirely but I sure try my best. Thank you so much and I love you all lots!

Lizzie X

DON’T STOP BELIEVING IN YOURSELF!

 

Beautiful

Hello everyone!

Welcome back. I hope you are having a fantastic day/ evening and have had a great week so far.  Today I am going to follow on from my post about being body confidence and speak more about what ‘beauty’ is and what is means to beautiful.

Beauty is multidimensional – being beautiful means different things to different people. What one person defines as beautiful, another person will disagree and perceive something else to be their idea of beautiful. Being beautiful on the outside is subjective and does change from person to person, but true beauty is inner beauty.

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”

For me, what makes someone beautiful is their passion, kindness and aspirations. Your beauty relates to who you are as a person, what your principles are and your moral compass. Beauty is within the kindness of the person and their passion to help others who are struggling just like you once did.

When you believe in yourself and your own beauty, you realise you don’t need to be accepted by others because you know that accepting yourself is far more than enough. We are beautiful people because we believe in ourselves and our dreams.

People are convinced by society’s idea that you must be thin to be beautiful, but that simply is not true. Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face; it’s about having a pretty mind, pretty heart and soul. You’re beautiful just as you are. You are the only you and the very best version of yourself.  Being beautiful is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are. Happiness, confidence and a smile are the most beautiful things a person can wear. Only you can empower yourself.

A sign of a beautiful person is that they always see beauty in others, even when other people don’t see it. They encourage others to see the kindness and passion that they see in them.

Things I would tell my younger self

Hello everyone!

I recently wrote a post about body confidence and first and foremost would just like to say thank you for all the support and kind words. It was incredibly heart-warming and so lovely to hear all the nice words which you all had to say. It made writing that difficult post, somewhat easier. Thank you! Anyway, whilst thinking about that part of my childhood, I began thinking about things that I wish I had known or things that I would now go back and tell my younger self. Therefore, today I am going to share with you all some advice I wish I would have known being a teenager in school and hopefully some of you will be able to relate or it might even help some of you!

  1. Popularity doesn’t matter – I feel like most us all struggle with this. For whatever reason, there is a part of us that wants to ‘fit in’ or be ‘popular’ and liked. Yet now I know that doesn’t even matter. I wasn’t popular in school and I wasn’t someone that everyone liked and got along with or wanted to be friends with. At the time, it really upset me and hurt me. I wanted to people to like me, for obvious reasons, but I wanted to be accepted and for people to be friends with me. I never really wanted to ‘popular’ but I did want to be liked and have friends. No matter how many friends you have or how popular you, after school is over it really doesn’t matter. To be honest I am glad I only had a few friends because I had people who loved me for who I was and that’s all that really matters. I just wish I had not spent so long worrying about what people thought about me or how I looked or craving someone’s approval. Definitely not worth it!
  2. Boys will be boys – It’s not worth stressing over guys. You will look back in however many years to come and wondered why you worried or tried to get someone to like you or notice you. There are plenty of people out there and school is only a small part of your life. The chances of things lasting are quite slim. I mean don’t get me wrong, I think it is wonderful and beautiful for those few couples which last and make it all the way. I just wish I hadn’t spent so many nights getting so upset over this one guy, crying and trying to make him notice me and put lots of effort in, only for him to not even realising. I suppose looking back now it’s quite funny how one person could make you feel. Luckily, I didn’t have many crushes in school. I only really liked this one boy and it did really hurt but you get stronger and you never know who is out there. Just save the tears and the heartache, there will be someone who loves you for who you and notices your potential and worth and when you find that, it will be an amazing feeling. “One day someone will love you for everything that you are and those parts of that you don’t like, will in fact be there favourite parts.”
  3. It’s important to love and respect your own body – I spoke a lot about this in my post on body confidence, so if you want to read in depth about that you can here. Otherwise, cutting to the chase, looking back, I wish I would have recognised that I was beautiful the way I was and I should have respected my body a little more. I should have been proud of my differences and loved who I was more than what I did.
  4. School doesn’t last forever – I feel like this is those of us who struggled in school, found it challenging and struggled with acceptance. During school I know I worried that this was going to be my life for the rest of my life and I was always going to bullied and not accepted or made fun of. In all honesty, it was awful thinking and feeling that sad. I didn’t think it was going to ever end, but it does. Everyone graduates and leaves and goes on to different things, and those people who made the challenging school days somewhat more painful disappear and that part of your life is over with. School does end and things do get better, you do find people who love you and respect you and accepts you for who you are. Just hold on in there. It’s funny though because I remember been so sad when it all ended and I had graduated. It was sad, because a huge part of my life had ended. I had just spent 7 years going to the same place and then everything changed. I perhaps should have just appreciated school a little more and reflected on the positive times, because believe it or not I did some great things and had achieved some great things which I never thought I was capable of!
  5. You don’t have to do what everyone else is – It’s okay to be different and have you own interests. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. I missed out on a lot in school for reasons which I will not go into here so I guess I sort of realised this. Although, I was never confident in having my own hobbies and interests or liking a different genre of music. I now know it is okay to be different and not follow what everyone else is doing. People respect you more for being true to who you are doing what you love and not just doing something because everyone else is doing it.
  6. You don’t need a relationship to feel ‘complete’ – Just because you are single, which I was for pretty much all the time when I was in school. I dated one boy when I was 14 for about 2 months and then didn’t start dating until I was in sixth form. Not been in a relationship is more than okay! It doesn’t make you lonely or unattractive or anything like that. I use to think that without someone I couldn’t be okay and I wouldn’t be okay, because at that point I guess I thought I loved them but all it did for me was turn me into a stronger person. I now don’t depend on anyone, because I know nothing lasts forever and I am okay being by myself. I no longer need someone to make me feel complete. I am my own person and I live my life the way I want, not the way someone else makes me live. In school, I should have realised that more, even with friends. I was way too nice, wore my heart on my sleeve, very naïve and thought everyone nice. That quite frankly is most not the case. Not everyone is as nice as you and you don’t need to have lots of friends or a relationship to complete. I was fine just with myself and being who I was.
  7. It’s not the end of the world – When in school, if anything went wrong, that was it, to me, the world was apparently going to end. If I got a spot, someone didn’t like me, I got dumped I thought the world would end. Just like if I got a bad grade occasionally on a paper, or me and friends fell out, when you are school you think everything is the end of the world and it isn’t. Everyone has bad days, everyone make mistakes and it’s okay to be sad. Things happen but it doesn’t mean your world is coming to an end. God I remember the nights being so upset about that guy not liking me, talking to my friends and feeling like everything was going to end but it doesn’t. Whatever it is that you are going through, which to be honest in school could be a whole mixture of things, and everything at that moment in your life seems to make you think the world will end, I promise will eventually pass and the next day will come and the day after that. You will get through it, you will make it, you will survive it. You will eventually move on and get on with your life, just the way you should be doing!

I hope you enjoyed this post and hearing some of the advice that I would have given to the younger me! Let me know if you can relate to any of these or what advice you would give your younger self! Also, I really enjoyed writing this, so let me know if you would like a part two! I hope you all have a fantastic day. Much love,

Lizzie X

Body confidence

Hey everyone!

Welcome to my first post of 2017! I know, crazy right! I hope you are doing well and have had a great start to the year so far. Today, as you can probably tell from the title, I am going to talk with a much more serious focus on the topic of body confidence. This is something, which like everyone else, I in the past and still to this day struggle with. I am sharing my story with you all today and my thoughts and feelings in hope that in some way it either inspires you or helps you in some way, because believe me or not, I wish I had someone who would have said this to me when I was younger.

Going through your teenage years is very confusing (and yes, I am aware I am a still a teenager) but I feel for me my life has somewhat settled down and I have gone through my confusing times. The time when I really struggled in my teenage years was secondary school.  The whole of secondary school I struggled in some way. You know what it’s like I am sure. I was bullied, I wasn’t popular and I like any other child I searched for acceptance and wanted to be liked and loved. I had relationship drama and just the basic daily struggles any teen goes through when they are that age, but they’re different stories on their own! The point is, in secondary school was when I felt my most vulnerable and self-conscious. I was very aware of my body and who I was but more importantly at that time, I was even more aware of who I wasn’t and what my body wasn’t.

This seems so strange to write about this, since practically no one knows the struggles I went through during school. I was a very timid child and didn’t really have that many friends and even the ones I did, because of this crazy situation (again another long story) I still very distant from and sort of like the outsider or that in some case I didn’t belong. I think the only person who even partially understands any of this, but still even to this day I have not shared the full story. I’m just not that sort of person really. I am quite a private person and I find opening up to people rather difficult which is why for a lot of people a lot of my life remains sort of a mystery. I just you know would rather not speak about my past sometimes. There’s things which happened which I would rather stay there. However, as I grow older now, I realise the significance and importance of speaking about my problems in over-coming and so that’s what I am doing.

So why I am speaking about this now? 2016 was a massive year for me in so many ways. Some good and some bad. However, it was a year of significance personal growth. Throughout 2016 I grew so much a person and I now feel a lot more comfortable and confident to speak out about my problems and know that I am not the only going through what I am or has gone through what I have. It’s very reassuring knowing that you are not the only person. I developed so much confidence last year so many reasons, became an incredibly independent person and in general just learned a lot about the person I am. Last year for me personally, was a year where I definitely saw an increase in my body confidence which makes me so happy, especially after years of struggling with the way I look.

When I was, younger I was unbelievably confident and outgoing, I really don’t even know who that person. Then again, back then I wasn’t aware of the difference between people and I also didn’t realise just how mean some children could be to you. I guess from what I can remember and when I look back through photos, that my confidence began to disappear around the age of 7 because I started to do less and sort of go into the background. Before then I had always wanted to try absolutely anything, I always loved being the main part in the school plays and performing. I never had stage fright or worried in the slightest. I was so sure of myself and had confidence I my own abilities it was nice. I was never a cocky child though. Never. I was always aware that people were better than me or pretty than me etc. besides I wasn’t about showing off. I didn’t have anything to prove to anyone back then, because I believed in myself.

When I moved into junior school that’s when things started to go wrong. Bullying got a lot worse and I didn’t have any friends at all. I remember just sitting on a bench at lunch by myself or play hop-scotch by myself. My best friend through primary had moved houses and gone to a different school and that was my only friend gone.  The situation never improved and in fact, it got even worse as he years progressed by and to be honest I have never understood why no one liked me. All I know is my confidence took a huge hit in those years. I use to dread school performances and have massive stage fright. I remember one dress rehearsal being ill because I was that scared to go on stage out of fear of what people would say, which looking back now is so bad because I enjoyed performing and I should have been having fun as a child anyway.  I was always really scared to talk or make friends or speak to new people. I did feel very alone and isolated. I lost all my confidence because I thought there was something wrong with me because no one liked me or wanted to be friends with me. I just wanted to be liked.

Anyway, school life continued as normal for the next four years and then year 6 arrived and I was 11. Of course, no one knew how I felt because I always acted happy and pretended like things was fine. I didn’t want anyone to know what was wrong or how I was feeling. Besides I thought I was the only one, even though now I know I am not. I had become good at putting a front on, which is I guess why I am so good at it now because I had been accustomed to it and doing it for the past 10 years, I don’t really know anything else. So, if you know anything about my life at all, you are privileged because I don’t let my guard down easy.

Anyway, year 6 rolled around but now things were starting to change. We began having sex education and I began going through puberty and I had never been so sad about anything ever. I hated it. Mainly because I was developing a lot sooner than anyone else and I hated that. It was something else which made me different and created a divide. All I remember thinking to myself… “Great! Another thing to go wrong. Is not having any friends and being bullied not enough? Why something else for them call me out for?”.

As we all know, children are vicious. The moment you aren’t the same and you are different, automatically for some apparent reason gives them a reason to make your life hell for it. I had been use to all the other insults now about being fat, ugly, stupid. You know all the traditional ways for other to bring you down but now this was something else and it got personal. I had been insulted and called all those things, variations and much worse for years but the bullying was taken to the next stage. I began developing boobs and I hated it and to this day, I don’t like them and wish I could change them and no one can understand why but it comes back to this. My body is just one thing I was sensitive. I remember absolutely dreading PE lessons and getting changed. I began wearing those small bras, but no one else was yet and I was embarrassed and ashamed of my body. I swear at times I use to try and avoid getting changed for PE and when I did I use to turn away in hope no one could see. But of course, every time was the same. People laugh and makes jokes and bring it to everyone’s attention and It was awful. I hated those days. Right then, at those moments in time, I just wished that the ground would swallow me up.  That’s when my body confidence really began to suffer.

Of course, when you get older, you presume the children become more mature but as you find out that is still quite clearly not the case. It didn’t get any better in secondary school. In fact, it got worse for a while. Year 7 was the start of something new: new school and new people, except the bullying was the same and worse. People who didn’t even know me, judged me and I just felt so awkward and embarrassed. Thankfully, as people developed that sort of bullying began to slow down and yes it did take form in another way but that’s a story for another day!

Even as comments about my body became less frequent and more focused on something else, that didn’t matter. The damage had already been done. I already hated myself. I hated the way I looked. I now believed I was ugly and fat.

My parents and family wasn’t really much help in this so I gave in talking to them about it, because like any family they tell you aren’t fat and that you’re beautiful no matter what but those words kind of don’t mean anything to you because you just feel like they’re obliged to tell you those things are your family. I remember getting really upset when a pair of shorts no longer fit me anymore because I had grown. I didn’t see it that way though. All I thought it was for was because I was fat. I got so upsetting insisting that I wouldn’t eat and wanted to be slim. Of course, my parents didn’t let that happen and I did eat my dinner that evening. I felt fat and ugly and wasn’t allowed to wear makeup. I just hated who I was.

MY struggle has lasted my whole life. I have always hated something at some point or another since I was 7 and I think that’s sad now. I remember in year 10 and 11, which of course are the years where you want to attract guy attention, so you try even harder. Me though… a different story completely. I was ugly. I wasn’t allowed makeup still. I got the occasionally spot and I would freak out and cry. I was still fat and hated my stomach and thighs. To me they were just disgusting. Who was ever going to love me? I was nothing compared to the other girls. I wasn’t nearly as pretty or nearly as slim. What did I have to offer? Academically I was clever but I was just called a ‘nerd’ and back then no one thought that was cool. I wanted to be popular and something I wasn’t and I tried so very hard those 2 years to be something I wasn’t. I started a crazy intense exercise programme and pushed myself to maximum. I drained my physically and emotionally. I would skip lunch occasionally or instead just eat an apple. Looking back now I realise how sad this was. Trust me, things got crazy. Not crazy enough that I ever developed an eating disorder thank god! I don’t know how I didn’t but I am so thankful I never did.

At that time, I hated myself and because of this I pushed away the first guy to take an interest in me a way. I didn’t love who I was and I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin and I just felt so low about myself and not having any real friends that I pushed away this guy. If I didn’t love me why would anyone else? I was so convinced that I was so fat and ugly that I couldn’t believe that one else would want me or want to love me or be with me. It just didn’t make sense. Plus, lots of other stuff happened within school, my idea towards relationships changed. I became a cynical person. Overall, I had lost all my confidence and was a negative person. I was negative about everything to do with myself and so self-critical.

I vividly remember this one time in year 11. God I cannot believe how upset I was and cried. I was doing GCSE, despite everyone laughing at me and telling me I couldn’t and for one of the sports we had to go swimming and get assessed. At this point I just started to wear a little bit of mascara too. Well I was in the teacher’s office and I broke down in tears and I mean floods of tears. I couldn’t go swimming with people from my school let alone boys from our school. I remember sobbing saying I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to be seen in my swimming costume with my thighs and stomach. All I know is that mascara rolled down my face and I looked a state. I was terrified. Luckily for me, the teacher understood just how upset and scared I was and arranged for me to go another time but the point is, I shouldn’t have felt that way. I shouldn’t have been made to feel that way about my body.

My body should be something I love, cherish and respect and I see that now. I see how awful it was that I hated my body and felt that way. Now of course I still have issues. I wish my stomach was flatter and my thighs were slimmer but you know it’s my body and since I have moved out I have had a lot more control over my diet and changes have gradually began to happen and I feel a lot better about who I am. I still don’t like my boobs, thighs or stomach but it’s a working progress and you know I now have a different attitude towards things.

I believe it is so important to never sacrifice your mental health for the idea of the ‘perfect’ body, if there is even such a thing. Everyone is damaged, flawed and imperfect but that’s what makes us so beautiful. Don’t believe all you read in magazines and see in photos and the media, because it is quite often photoshopped and I hated myself for not looking that way and being perfect. It was totally unachievable and wasn’t me.

In this world, we live in today and the society we are faced with you cannot win either way. You’re criticised for being too thin, you’re criticised for being too heavy. It’s impossible to please everyone, so stop trying make yourself happy. I have body issues but so does everyone. As soon as you realise that the people you think are ‘flawless’ or ‘perfect’ too have body issues then you will see the reality. Everyone has something they are insecure about and perfect doesn’t exist. There isn’t just one body type and weight that is right. Everyone is different and that means there are billions of different versions of perfection. You have just got find someone who sees your version.

Body confidence doesn’t come from having the perfect body, it comes from you embracing the body you have been given. As soon as I changed my perspective, things began to change. I was trying so hard to please people who couldn’t even care if I was alive or not. I was trying to impress people who didn’t even notice me or know I existed. Who would walk straight past me in the hallway like I was invisible. Or trying to impress people who I was just a joke too, someone to laugh and make miserable. Why was I willing to try some damn hard to impress those people, who didn’t even matter? Yet I wasn’t willing to do it for the person who mattered the most – myself.

I now know beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are. I know the prettiest thing I can wear, no matter how long I spend getting ready, is a smile. I feel most confident and happy when I am smiling. Learning to love yourself is the greatest revolution.

Life is way too short to spend another day at war with yourself. There’s far too many wars and crises going on without creating one with yourself too. You are imperfect and inevitably flawed but that’s what makes you so beautiful. Trust me when I say this, being confident and loving who you will make you happier than any diet you go one.

Every woman is beautiful, it just takes the right people and guy to see that. If they can’t love you for who you and what you have then let go. They aren’t worth having in your life. Happy girls are the prettiest. You’re amazing just the way you are and you should be at home with your body. It’s a beautiful gift and you love every single part of it, even though there will be parts you would like to change.

Change your mindset. Be positive. We tend to only notice the bad things about ourselves that we forget to appreciate the things that are amazing about us and that are so beautiful. Have the strength and courage to be different and accept the body you have. Exercise to be fit and healthy not to be slim. Make positive changes, ones which make you healthier and improve your lifestyle.

Value your own body and love who you are. You really are beautiful.

I don’t know how I have just got through writing this. I can say there was a few tears. I don’t ever want to feel that way ever again. I have felt so vulnerable writing this and sharing this part of my life with you but I know I wish I would have someone to tell me this and tell me that everything was going to be okay and that I wasn’t only one. I think it is so incredibly how many of us fall out of love with our bodies and hate ourselves. We should be building each other up and making every person feel beautiful, not tearing them down and making them feel awful about themselves. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did. I want you all to love and respect and know you are worth more than the words that people say to hurt you. You are loved and you are beautiful. You don’t makeup, or any guy to make you feel special. As long as you see your worth and recognise you’re beautiful then that’s all that matters.

Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself!

Thank you so much for reading and I love you all lots!

Lizzie X