Friends are the family we choose

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Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

What is life without friends? I have the best group of girlfriends a person could ever wish for. I am seriously so blessed, but also a little sad… most of them live far away from me and although we speak daily, I don’t get to see them often.

The saying goes, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family… well I am very grateful for my tribe. My girls are amazing and I thank the universe for them every day. I don’t see much of my family either, but they are amazing too and my little family is the perfect sanctuary. I would most definitely choose my children over any other person in the world, they flipping rock.

So what has got me all gushy and stuff about my girlfriends, and guy friends come to that, I have a few guys that I honestly couldn’t imagine life without right now either.

Here goes, confession time again… oh blooming heck you guys are probably sick of my confessions. As you may or may not remember, I was very poorly last week. This has left me feeling a little run down, tired, emotional and vulnerable. All in all it wiped me out somewhat. The upshot of this is that I have had a bit of a struggle with my self confidence.

Ok, I’ve had a total crisis and complete melt down. I hit panic over so many things, mainly wrapped up in my image. Long story short, I have serious issues over the way I look, some call it body dysmorphia, I call it looking in the mirror and seeing a fat ugly dumpling. Body dysmorphia is a horrible condition as it means I don’t actually know what I look like. That may sound ridiculous to you, but it is true. All I see is everything I don’t like about me. Again, not going to bore you with my list of complaints.

But, one of my dearest friends took the time out of her day to stop and talk me through my feelings. She made me stand in front of the mirror and tell her things I did like. She didn’t lecture me. She didn’t tell me what she liked, she just said thank you when I told her what I did like. It worked, I left my duvet, and my house and took my daughter shopping as I had planned to do.

I didn’t feel like doing cartwheels or anything, and still felt fat when shopping, but I did it, I went out and that was immense for me. Usually if I get into that mindset, I hide… or sulk lol.

The rest of the girls in the group were amazingly supportive too. Not one of them criticised me for feeling crappy. They all understood and all said things that made me feel loved and cared about. In fact any of my friends that I said I was feeling less than to rallied around me and took time to message me.

I realised that my friends don’t care what size I am, they don’t even care if I have brushed my hair or put makeup on, all they care about is me as a person. They love me for me the same way that I love them for who they are.

This doesn’t mean I am suddenly cured and think I am gorgeous or what ever, but it does make me stop and reevaluate my perspective. I know that if one of my friends were to say the things about themselves that I say about me, I would be really sad. I would want to make them feel better and I would get them to reframe and rephrase how they speak to themselves. So maybe I should be doing that for me too.

As ever, I am a work in progress. I don’t have it all figured out. I am not perfect and I get things wrong. But I am going to try to be a little more kind to myself, after all, I am loved and I am here for a reason.

Be thankful for your friends and your family. Be appreciative of all they bring into your life. The next time you feel down, think how you would talk to your friend if they were saying the things you are saying and be a friend to yourself. Self love is not selfish, it is necessary. For we can only truly love others when we learn to love ourselves.


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