• Cristina Ferri

Change

Change: to become different.

There is no negative connotation in the definition. So why do we so often think change is a bad thing? Over the past few months, I have become extremely aware at the changes I have made in my life. I am still me, but a truer version of me. My morals are in tact. My thinking is clear. I am breathing through my tension and anxiety more, as opposed to reacting so much to it. I see things differently because I have changed. So if you notice, I will say thank you because it has taken a lot of effort to make the necessary changes.

I have been doing a lot of research, searching within myself and talking about my self-esteem lately. I know that I do not need validation from others, yet I find myself often seeking it, as a form of approval. I grew up jealous of others because of how they looked. I guess because they got more attention than I did I always felt less than; not good enough, not attractive. I know that I became different because of this. It was a choice I made to offset the terrible feelings I had taught myself about myself. But what I did not realize was that I was comparing myself to and jealous of an illusion. I did not know the full story of anyone’s life. I did not know the struggles they might face behind closed doors. I created jealousy based on the notion that someone I barely knew was better than I was, based on their looks and how others treated them.

I have wanted to change my looks since I can remember. I hated my hair because it was so curly. I hated my freckles. I hated being taller than everyone my age, especially boys. I hated having smaller breasts than other girls when I got older. I hated being heavy. I hated my thighs. I hated my knees. I hated the hand-me-down clothes I was made to wear. I hated not being comfortable in my own skin. I decided that if I was going to be made fun of, I might as well give them a reason to make fun of me. I embraced being different. I was trying to create, no… force an outward appearance so that I could feel ok with all the put-downs and bullying I received. When I started getting tattoos, it was a way to prove to people that they shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. I knew deep down that beauty is on the inside and that somewhere inside me was a beautiful woman. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized I was hiding the true me under this false exterior... and my abuse of alcohol only perpetuated this false me.

My self-esteem for my physical appearance is now on the mend. But even though this is only one aspect of my change, it’s a huge layer of my healing. I have begun to lay my brick pathway to start walking on my true path. Since I quit drinking, my mental health is clearer and more stable and I have really been able to work with my therapist on important issues. I have also been embracing my spirituality by submersing myself around like-minded people who encourage me in that area. Now that my path is being laid out, I feel confident that I will be able to take action and continue to move forward and heal and grow in loving myself and feeling comfortable in my own skin.

Change is now something I look forward to. It signifies to me that I am ready to learn and grow. That I am no longer willing to accept conformity or complacence or a lack of self-confidence. I am worthy of love. Even though I feel restless, I still completely love and accept myself as I am. I do not need approval of others. I do not need to compare myself to others. I will begin to nourish my body with healthy food. I will continue to nourish my soul with thoughts of surrender and faith. And I will nourish my mind by shifting negative thoughts to positive and healthy ones.

I am sober. I am safe. I am love. I am hope. I am change.

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© 2019 by Cristina Marie Ferri

Photos © 2019 by Lee Visuals