If I learned anything from my past it would be to just simply LOVE YOURSELF. I wish I could shake that thought into my younger me.
It has taken me a really long time to love and appreciate who I am as a person, as a woman, and as a human being. I went through a very, VERY long time of self-hate, self-doubt, and self-neglect. It's hard to look back at my self-manipulating ways. I hated who I was. I lied to myself on a daily basis. Thinking things like, "You are not good enough, you are not worthy enough, you are not skinny enough." To the people around me I seemed like a strong woman who didn't give two shits about what people said or thought about me, but I did.
I wore a well guarded wall that I kept up around me. This wall also made it so people thought that when they said mean and hateful things to me that it didn't hurt me. People who I thought were my friends told me mean things like my butt looked fat in a pair of shorts. Instead of letting them know how much it hurt me I put on a brave face and hid that I was breaking inside. I didn't stand up for myself by telling them they were being rude and insensitive. Instead I went into the bathroom and cried for 5 minutes without anyone knowing and vowed never to wear those shorts again.
I was not a happy person. I was not happy with the world and I was most definitely not happy with myself. Every time someone said something mean or degrading to me it broke me down more and more and fed into my self-loathing. It confirmed "Yes you are fat, yes you are stupid, and no one likes you." Its exhausting to carry that much self-doubt around with you. I don't know when the light bulb switched on or what made it switch, but something did.
I am finally happy with myself, who I am, and the person I have become. I know that I am a good friend, a good person, and a good human being. I finally love myself. I may still have days where I need a little kick in the butt to remind me of this, but I am a much happier person now. I wouldn't change my past or anything in it. Without my past to learn from, I would not be the person I am today.
I am Sam.
I love and accept myself.