They do surgery in the Capitol, to make people appear younger and thinner. In District 12, looking old is something of an achievement since so many people die early. You see an elderly person, you want to congratulate them on their longevity, ask the secret of their survival. A plump person is envied because they aren’t scraping by like the majority of us. But here it is different. Wrinkles aren’t desirable. A round belly isn’t a sign of success.”
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
In our first-world culture, we equate youth with health and beauty, and we see youth as something that ought to be preserved, at all costs. Likewise, we see age as something that ought to be avoided. Women especially are encouraged to avoid ageing, for not only are we seen as less beautiful as we age, but society also tells us that the very thing we are most valuable for is our beauty, not our creativity, intelligence or strength of character. No, if you identify as a woman, forget all that, for it will not matter if you are not beautiful.
Continue reading “Mother, Maiden, Crone: A New Perspective On Ageing”
Author’s note: This is a personal essay, written from my individual experience. While psychiatric medication has not proven itself to be an effective treatment for my particular case of borderline personality disorder, I want to acknowledge that it is an effective treatment for many. And even though I consider myself to have been failed by our medical system, I want to make it known that I am not against Western medicine. And I certainly do not recommend that anyone reading this stop taking their medication without first talking to their doctor.
Winter of 2011
“I don’t think you have bipolar disorder,” my at-the-time boyfriend says to me.
His claims are ridiculous. How could I not have bipolar? I have been struggling with depression for years, but despite being depressed I have an abundance of energy. Besides, bipolar II disorder is what the psychiatrist diagnosed me with, so certainly this diagnosis is correct.
Still, I entertain my boyfriend’s delusions: “Okay… why do you think I don’t have bipolar?” I do not hide the skepticism in my voice.
“Because,” he continues, a bit frantically, “I think what you actually have is borderline personality disorder.”
And he pulls up the symptoms. I read through them, expecting to disagree. I am shocked, however, that I do not disagree.
Continue reading “How Borderline Personality Disorder Manifests In Me”
What is self-love, truly?
In the last decade, the term ‘self-love’ has gained popularity and normalcy—but what does loving yourself really mean?
As someone who has been on both sides of the spectrum—struggling with an eating disorder and absolutely hating myself, to actively cultivating a healthy relationship with myself—I feel what I have to say about self-love is of value.
Self-love is not just chocolate and bubble baths—although I do love both of these things! Corporations pedal us products marketed with buzzwords such as ‘self-love’, ‘self-care’ and ‘treat yourself’. But, when we buy these things, are we really practising self-love? Are we really taking care of ourselves? Or are we just helping some white man take home a seven-figure salary?
It is totally okay to enjoy these luxuries—please do! As a hygge practitioner, I have plenty of these simple luxuries: fluffy blankets, scented candles, aromatic teas and delicious baked goods, to name a few.
But, ultimately, I know acquiring material possessions will not yield true happiness. Nor will collecting worldly treasures improve my relationship with myself. And learning to love yourself is, essentially, learning how to relate with yourself.
And learning how to relate with yourself is the most important thing, the most foundational thing. Research shows that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. Well, what about your relationship with that person you are destined to be with, always, until your dying breath? You.
Continue reading “Your Mind Is Your Home: How To Truly Love Yourself”