Good Morning! 7am in LA and I am taking the time to write a snippet this morning. It’s been therapeutic these last few days to wake up, read for a moment, take some sips of coffee and then start to write. I am an avid “journalist” meaning I have diaries on top of diaries on top of diaries. As of lately, I haven’t journaled the way I’d like to. I check in with my diary every now and then, however, my OCD towards handwriting still exists so oftentimes when I am writing if my handwriting is messy, I’ll stop because it annoys me. Anyways! Coming to my laptop and typing feels right. So here I am with you, let’s get started.
This post is NOT to discuss personality disorder or multiple personality disorders. I meant to update my “about me” and disclaim the part where “I am not a mental health professional and my advice/thoughts should not be taken to heart, if you are struggling please contact a professional, etc”, you know what I’m talking about… that disclaimer that tells you I can’t treat you (and have no intentions to). Regardless, my personal knowledge regarding this disorder is limited. I have only experienced a handful of in-person contact with PD, thus I can’t write or form a solid opinion about it; neither do I have the background knowledge of this disorder… unlike bipolar disorder which is personally one of my favorite disorders to discuss – due to its complexity and oftentimes misunderstanding. This blog post is to discuss why ME (Isabella) has so many nicknames, lol. And I would like to tell you that I do not struggle with PD, but I do have multiple “nicknames” that I refer to as “identities” and since my name is long, over the years I’ve acquired groups of people who prefer to call me one name vs. the other few nicknames I have.
So, we can start back in elementary. I was a chunky monkey, I hit puberty VERY early (age 10, right!? I joke, not really though, that this affected me mentally and emotionally. Many 10 year old’s aren’t growing breasts or menstruating, and alas there I was; It must have been the dairy). As a child, I had a few interesting nicknames and PLEASE NOTE I can laugh at the mean ones now. First off my mom raised me by calling me “Bella” or “Bee-dee Bee” and no, she no longer calls me either lols. In elementary school I remember a few, I had bangs so the first one is “Isa-banga” (clever) and since I was a chunky monkey “Isa-belly”. My dad started calling me Izzy around middle school as did a handful of friends. Later I decided to not self-identify as Izzy and only allow a handful, like 50ish people to still call me that nickname, including my Dad. It’s one I actually don’t like, or think is cute. During middle school, I wasn’t proud or happy with my behavior. I was very much so a troubled child and caused mayhem from ages 11-14½. Izzy was my name during that time, so it is likely the reason I decided to NOT self-identify with that nickname. I wanted to be called again by my full name “ISABELLA” --- yes it’s long as fuck, but still, respect the beauty of the name and call me by my FULL NAME.
Haha a funny story just came to mind. In like, kindergarten, you know when you are learning syllables and you clap out the letters? So many of my classmates had 1-2 maybe 3 claps, and here I was with 4! Is-a-bel-la and I was all “WHAT I FEEL LEFT OUT” so I changed my name to Diana for about 4 days.
Proceeding to high school I acquired the name “Bells” from a best friend. I liked that name because Bells to me is someone who is funny, lively and happy, as I was at the time until Abby (my eating disorder’s name, and yes it is common for ED suffer’s to name their ED, many go with “Ed”), which is why I sign my name as Bells and like this nickname the most.
A few people call me Bella. I don’t approve or disapprove, although this website is called the Bella step, it’s more a play on words instead of me actually liking the nickname. It’s a compliment to be named Isa-bella, bella = beauty, but it feels weird for Bella to be said out loud because my thoughts are all “wait don’t call me pretty that’s weird”. I’ve received “Isa” in the past which is also a nickname I don’t really like, but again sometimes it is just a mouthful to say "Isabella", so okay fine those of you who like Isa, do your thing. Lastly, Bell is one that I am comfortable with. While Bells is preferable, Bell works too. Again, Isabella at the end of the day is best. It truly is such a beautiful name and unfortunately growing up NO ONE had my name and now the younger generation, I kid you not there’s like 1 million of you Isabella’s running around between ages 2-15 right now. It was the number one name back in like 2010? I got this name back in the 90’s my friends; Mother named me after Queen Isabella since she anticipated I would make my way up to royalty and be a Queen… Prince Harry, are you there? (JK he isn’t my type). In my current relationship, I love being called “babe, love” and I’m still pushing for boyfriend to call me “monkey” since I call him a hundred names: “monkey, bunny, love, babe, amore, bunny, monkey” I guess I like bunnies and monkeys a lot.
And I think that concludes the names I’ve acquired over the years! Oh, actually no, there were a few more hurtful ones in there. “Skeleton, Walking-Zombie, and Junkie” to name the first that come to mind. Regardless, I don’t let THOSE names get to me. They were in the past and the people who called me them are no longer present in my life aka bad influences/bad friends. So, if you too have had some hurtful nicknames or even funny ones, I encourage you to reflect on them. If they were hurtful, why? Understand the pain or emotions you have attached to them. Not even, just sit with the emotions, feel them and allow them in your life. Understand that sometimes a heavy heart hurts and do what you can to let go of that. On the other side if you have happy or fun nicknames, celebrate them.
Happy Tuesday to you. Enjoy the day, do your best, and remember to smile at least once today. And if you’re feeling really up to it, jot down three things you are grateful for or three events that happened today that made you happy or lifted your spirits.
All my love-