My Strangest Addiction – Comparing Myself to Everyone Around Me

By: Zeinah Hesham

The ticks on my shopping list are staring back at me, filling me with an odd sense of satisfaction. The skin care products are neatly placed on my vanity and my face looks as clear as ever and for once I didn’t absolutely despise my body. It should be simple and unproblematic. Where exactly is the problem?

I didn’t just pick up on a love for skin care because I have a peculiar admiration for flawless skin or because I wanted to have that glow radiating off me or because I was a raging perfectionist and I needed to look good in every possible aspect and from every possible angle. It was simply because of that one girl, or perhaps the one next to her or was it the one she had been friends with since she was four? 

The answer was yes, to all of them.

I admired all of them. I loved all of them. But not that type of love that made me feel lucky to be friends with them and not the love that made me wanna kiss them either. I loved them the way an alcoholic loves a cocktail, the way an anorexic aches for the feeling of hunger, the way a drug addict looked at credit cards. It makes you think about my addictive personality, am I addicted to these girls? 

Well you’re halfway right.

I’m not in love with them, I’m not following them around and I’m not dying to be a part of their everyday lives. I am simply fascinated by them.

I admire the way X would get the perfect grades, being close with everyone in our friend group and the way no one ever doubted her IQ and how her appearance fit into the perfect standard of big boobs, slim body and straight her. 

I was fascinated by how Y had all the boys chase after her with just her smile and a few words, how she always had unread texts, how she always had some sort of new drama in her life that made her feel alive and how that always kept her the centre of the conversation – she always talked about herself and no one seemed to mind.

I was captivated by Z’s long blonde curly hair, her slim body that she was always working for and the way she resembled my height. She always had the attention, she had over 100 notifications every day, she works out, she has boys always talking to her, she’s artistic and she’s just as emotional as me.

They all seemed to have an oddly common denominator, they all had something that I didn’t have. People always doubted my intelligence because of how bad I was at maths. No one ever tried to talk to me because of my resting bitch face. I couldn’t follow a workout plans anymore because I’m in recovery.

I remember how every once in a while, I’d be so fascinated by one of them that I’d make playlists with songs that resemble them and I’d make aesthetics and even style my hair like them. But the truth is that never really made my addiction die down, because I could never become like them. Not because I’m not smart , pretty or easy to talk to but simply because I’m not X , Y or Z despite our similarities. I always trigger myself by looking at them or talking to them and it has got to stop.

I had to stop it. I had to stop surrounding myself with people that triggered me. No matter how admirant I was of them because in all honesty, sometimes we need to make decisions for ourselves. They may seem harsh and irrational but they are what will make you happier. These choices will change your life forever because once you cut that toxic friend off, you just became one step closer to who you are meant to be. And it took me  a long time to realise it – just because someone was good to me then, it doesn’t mean they are good to me now. And just because they were there for me once, it doesn’t mean that they always will be. I may be the villain in their stories, I may be that person that they used to know and just disappeared from their lives and perhaps they’re right. I did disappear and now I am becoming a new person.

It’s okay to put yourself first, it’s okay to leave people that were good to you. It’s okay to realise that you need to find someone that will love you the way you want to be loved not the way that they choose to love you and hopefully, maybe that person will be yourself.

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