One day in 2005, I stuck a .45 automatic pistol in mouth and pulled the trigger. I cocked the action and pulled at it again. I was given a bit more suicidal comfort by each pull of the trigger. A bullet in the chamber would be next. At 44 years old I was disgusted with what I saw in the mirror that I was not unwilling to stop my life. I had been lost in the dark abyss of body dysmorphic disorder.
The conditions that took me to that shadowy area dated to my youth the heavy, shy child who only desired to be accepted. There was fat shaming and intimidation in my life.
While I was walking home with some kids I thought were my buddies, they threw them to the road and tore my pants one day. I was “pantsed.” They made fun of my fat exposed stomach and my hanging “man boobs,” telling me I needed to “get a bra.” I walked the mile house within my panties with the sounds of the laughter and entertainment at what they had done to me to be ingrained in my head–forever.
I never looked back. I eating disorder behavior since, and free of drug and have been sober. When my mind began to clear with sobriety, I started to address my youth trauma having a lot of role-playing and speaking to that bullied, timid 11-year old little boy, working on forgiveness for the damage I’d done to myself and others.
Healing began as soon as I started dealing with all the shame. Forgiveness happened. Openness to test my negative thoughts became routine. I began to truly live my life as an alternative to existing day to day.
Am I treated? I do not think there is a treatment for BDD thoughts. There is just a “treatment” for how I process them to positive thoughts. It’s an ongoing process. It might take me the rest of my entire life. That is ok. I understand now the mirror does lie. I’m merely Brian – fat, thin, hairless, and bashful. There is absolutely no shame in just about any of that. There is no shame in admitting that as guys we’ve those ideas. The single shame is if we stay silent about them. Let’s keep body image going and the dialogue about BDD.