I need to talk to someone with BDD

Recognizing that this blog reaches about 5 people, I’m going to try this anyway because the isolation is becoming painful and worsening the illness.

To clarify: I am not isolated in life, not usually. I AM isolated in my experiences of body dysmorphic disorder. I have yet to meet another person affected with this disorder. Not one single person. Of course, as I’ve mentioned, my reach isn’t particularly wide. But today when everything hurts so much, I would love just to talk to someone who understands what it’s like to truly hate their own face so much that they wonder about their own life’s viability.

The body is everywhere. You can’t escape from the physical reality of yourself as a being. I can go to a lake, I can go to a movie, but I will be there, that same face I dread seeing reflected in the mirror, that same face I can barely stand to walk around with at all. It robs me of outward meaning like a vacuum or a drain: the face takes everything. There is no meaning at all if I am what I see, if such ugliness is in fact me. It does seem wildly vain but it is the truth. I am nothing but flaws walking around glued together. And it robs me of of my enjoyment of outward things, of books and sunlight and bustling market streets, because I can’t disappear, I am always there to be seen and perceived. I wish I was a tiny creature very close to the ground so no one could see me and I could perceive everything and take joy from it, too, understanding that I was merely watching and not being watched. I just want to see a beautiful girl and appreciate that she is beautiful while not being reminded of my own ugliness.

Is there anyone out there who has been diagnosed with or thinks they may have body dysmorphic disorder? I’d like to start a dialogue with others about their subjective experiences with it. I’d like to start a group for this under-recognized but terribly painful disorder. I know what it’s like, and if you need to talk, I will be here.

Reach out.

Today isn’t beautiful

I’m not sure how to effectively communicate the desperation with which I wish for a different face, the desperation with which I despise my own. Anyone who has suffered from BDD will understand, but honestly, I am not sure how many of us there are. I have never communicated with anyone else with the disorder. I feel like I would find a great deal of relief in such a conversation.

Today it is eyes (so small! no beautiful girl has small eyes, I say again and again) and lines (there are so many lines on my face, cutting it in pieces, separating it from itself, deep creases that cannot be erased). This is what I see. I am willing to grant that it MAY not be the truth. My “insight” is “fair”. That’s what the doctors would say.

The Face is a monster in waking life which I must confront over and over again. It hasn’t killed me, but it has made me believe my lifespan is – must be – shortened. The Face is not something that can be endured over decades.

IMG_0199I drew this in art therapy in 2017. The Face takes on different forms and this one is still fairly accurate, only now the creases around the eyes and mouth are deeper, longer, more prominent, more glaring.

My blog is new and I’m under no illusions that it is being widely read but if you have your own Face that you fear and that makes you question your ability to survive (my own Face makes me believe I cannot survive, that, in fact, if I am correct in my perceptions, I should not), reach out to me and share your own stories. I would love to hear from others with this disorder.