I started “Overexposed: A Self-Love Project” a year ago based on a lie I kept telling myself in order to make myself feel better about everything else in my life.
Let’s fucking do some exposing.
This series came out to express myself in a new light that I never did before in my life. For a person who was a closed book, this series gave me an opportunity to call myself out on the bullshit I was accepting and really get a lesson on what it meant to practice self-love and accepting to your body.
The series started off documenting my journey of accepting me and my fatness. I’ve been fat my entire life, and although I’ve been prepping myself for the surgery which was supposed to happen in July/August, it’s now probably going to happen at the end of the year. Just because I’m taking the surgical route to weight-loss, it doesn’t mean that I don’t accept my body in its current state. I am more confident about my look than I’ve ever been in the 26 years I’ve been on this earth. I don’t have long hair hiding my double chin anymore, I now wear dresses without the “tummy tuck panties” underneath, and quite frankly – I’m okay with the way I look. It’s taken me years to get to this place in my life, but I’m here, and that inspiration for starting this series wasn’t a lie. The whole “I’m happy with my life” mantra I was spitting out last year was.
Hi, my name is Liz and my 2019 self lied to everyone, including to herself.
The fact of the matter is, I wasn’t happy. I felt like my mental health was getting worse and no one around me understood that I mentally checked out of my relationship months before it officially ended, I was occasionally suicidal and I even resorted to cutting myself after 6 years of not doing so.
I still think back to that Monday morning when I went to work and my whole upper arm was covered in cuts and I had to keep the sleeves of my t-shirt down because I was afraid someone was going to see them.
I wasn’t in the right headspace last year and I admit that and accept that I was going through a major transition in my life. Perhaps I needed to land this job and get a new routine going in my life. Perhaps my relationship had to end for me to start being self-aware and take the time to be by myself. Maybe everything had to happen the way they did in 2019 so that the 2020 version of me can sit here and write my truths down.
I faked happiness until faking it wasn’t an option anymore.
The 2019 version of myself tried so hard to believe the things I was writing and the advice I gave out here because it was the advice I needed to tell myself. I needed to tell myself to listen to my soul and understand what she was telling me. I needed to sacrifice something in my life because I needed to take care of myself before I ended up killing myself. I had unhealthy ways of coping with my last relationship towards the end, even having thoughts of hurting myself so badly to make my ex understand what I was truly going through mentally. It’s such a fucking toxic thing to think and want to do, and I’ve realized that if I was still in the same mindset where I was when I was thinking those things, God knows where I would’ve been right now.
But nobody knew that because I didn’t want people to know the full story. I didn’t want people to know that I wasn’t happy, that I wasn’t doing the things that I advocate for everybody else. I truly wasn’t myself for the majority of 2019, and I look back now and see that the person who wrote those posts and you guys read them wasn’t me.
It was my facade, it was my persona, it was the thought that if I wasn’t happy all the time or looked like I had my shit together, that I was a loser and I wasn’t shit.
Although I thank 2019 for being able to get out of that phase alive and well and being able to make me stronger and wiser as 2020 me, I still have to be honest about her and call her out on her bullshit. I apologize if I gave off this feeling that I was so put together, that possibly you looked up to me as inspiration for your own directions in life, or not – I apologize mostly to myself for being the way I was and being okay about lying to myself for so long.
As time went on and I continued writing for Overexposed, I started to see the true meaning of this series for me. I started to be honest in ways I never thought I would ever be. I admitted my sexuality changing, I spoke about my decision of sexual abstinence, and even when I started to admit to myself that I was bullshitting my happiness.
I wanted this series to showcase more than just my online persona. I wanted this series to let you guys know that I have ugly moments, that I have my toxicity to work on, and that I’m not always the right, nice, and kind person 24/7. I wanted this series to show others (especially writers) that you fucking write because it’s your voice, so be fucking honest with the words you write down in your blogs, journals, stories, whatever.
Most importantly, I wanted this series to let the judgmental voice in my head that I’m in control, and even if it wants to tell me that I’m this and I’m that, I’m speaking it out already to the universe and I will not be ashamed of what comes out.
2019 Me would never.
So for those who’ve read some of this series’ chapter throughout the year, thank you. They are some of my proudest pieces on the blog, and they continue to help me with my self-love journey that is honestly never-ending. There’s no ending to self-love, and that’s why this series lives on.
This is a passion project that will grow with me.