It was time to go clothes shopping again. I was looking forward to it because by the way my clothes were fitting, it was clear I had dropped a few or my body shaped changed again. I notice that I don't dread shopping for clothing as much any more. It is what it is. I am who I am. No matter what shape. And while many do not know why (at this point) there is little I can do to change the way I look, I know the truth. I am working towards it. Along with my docs. And besides, I have learned to accept that it doesn't matter to the people who really love me, what I look like. Me, on the other hand...well...
Honestly, at this point, my biggest worry or stress about shopping, is for shoes. Having arthritic feet make shopping for cute shoes impossible. They have to be supportive in all the right places, little to no heel and there is no question, they have to be roomy and comfortable. If they are not, the pain can be excruciating enough to be burned into my brain so I can NEVER make that mistake again. I somewhat made it past that hurdle. Comfort is key to a better life. Daily pain is inevitable, there is no reason to stand in line for more. Ever. If I were a millionaire, I would design cute shoes for people like me. There are a lot of us who would greatly appreciate it.
So into the dressing room, I go. With pants that are TWO WHOLE SIZES SMALLER! I optimistically pulled a 20 off the rack fully anticipating having to try on a 22. And the tops, I grabbed 1X. Those, I was pretty sure of. Smaller would be nice, but this (somewhat shrinking) rack of mine, makes this difficult. Nevertheless, I no longer require the "2" in front of the X. Progress.
"Do not stand in front of the mirror." I tell myself. My sister and her family had just left an hour or so ago to return to their home about 10ish hours away. I was still tender and puffy-eyed from that good-bye. I knew that the sight of myself in the mirror would be too much. There is much I have learned to accept. The reality of my body staring back at me in a mirror, is not one of them. I know that we are supposed to love ourselves first. I have to say that any progress I make, slips away, when I see me. I can't take it. I am super critical and hateful feelings are inevitable. I haven't learned to navigate this, yet. I know I am not alone.
So I didn't. I stood to the side and undressed, dressed and undressed again. Only standing before the mirror when I was draped in clothing. "Oh my God! They fit! Woo Hoo! Not bad..." It was all good. Until I tried on another pair of pants. Oh, they fit, but somehow they made the excess skin and flab terribly noticeable and ugly. As I struggled to get them off quickly, I looked to the ceiling. Not because I was avoiding the mirror, but because I was blinking away tears. It was too late. Damage was done.
Usually at the end of my post, I have come to some solution, some promise, some peace. This time, I got nothing. I am not looking for positive words to come to me here. I am simply stating this so that maybe I can help someone else not feel alone. Like a failure. This [blog] has always meant to be about honesty. Brutal or beautiful. This is not beautiful honesty. I know that there is another woman out there who goes through this very same dance. This is who I write for. We know what we need to do, have to do. But what some (outsiders) fail to notice are the roadblocks before us. The ones we put there ourselves and the ones we have no control over. Beneath all those excuses and best intentions are the very raw, stuffed down feelings. That only come out when we are alone; standing in front of the mirror...so very close to tears. Just one look. That's all it took.
Wouldn't know this to look at me, would you? Imagine how many others there are.