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Monday, March 15, 2021

Accepting and Taking Care of the Me, Now


This post is a hard one for me to write. I am a public figure, and share lots of things that are going on in my life. But I do try to keep up a certain image, and not share my struggles with the world. But sometimes, sharing those struggles is important, because it helps other people with their struggles as well. But it's still hard for me to admit these things. It's hard for me to be raw because I'm afraid people will judge me, and honestly, writing a post when I'm feeling raw often makes me cry when I'm writing the post, and this one is no different.

In addition to the physical issues I'm currently going through, I've been having a hard time mentally/emotionally as well. I've been doing a lot of therapy to try to help with that, adjusting my meds, but these things take time. Healing isn't always an upward climb, sometimes there are downs as well, and I've been having some downs recently. And these things affect how I act, how I think, and how I present myself to the world. Because of this, I have lots of uncertain feelings about whether the way I am now is the new me, a temporary me, or something else.

Because of that, it's hard for me to do things for myself. Feeling I'm worth it. Feeling that I should be spending the time and money and energy on myself now. Maybe I should wait until I'm healthy mentally. Maybe I should wait until I am completely anchored in where I am in life, and not going through more changes. Maybe I should wait until some time in the future when I "deserve" it.

 

When it comes to taking care of your mental health, sometimes you're told what to do is "opposite action". That even if you think you don't deserve something, shouldn't do something, you should do it anyhow as a way to help yourself heal.

I was offered a gift certificate for some beautiful gold rings or some other gold jewelry. I adore jewelry. As I was looking through the options on the website I was so confused. I saw so many things I liked. But I wasn't sure what to get. My taste in jewelry has changed so much over the past years. First I liked fine and dainty. Then big and clunky. Then edgy. And on and on. And while I saw things I thought were beautiful, I had no idea if they would actually be my taste in a few months. This isn't cheap Aliexpress costume jewelry that I can get for a few dollars or less, and because they're so cheap I can just buy new things when my taste changes. These are real quality gold items, and I wanted something that would be ageless, would suit me no matter what changes I go through in life. And it was hard to know what that would be.

Finally, I found a gold ring with a small diamond on it (within my price range), and knew that that would be something that would be my taste no matter what changes I'd go through. But then I started having doubts. Do I have the right to wear a diamond ring if I'm not married or engaged to anyone? Aren't I only allowed to wear such a ring if I'm in that type of relationship? Maybe I shouldn't get that for myself because it's just not right to wear that now?

And then I looked myself in the mirror and said screw it. I don't need a man or a relationship or an engagement to deserve to wear a ring that I like. I am allowed to accept and take care of myself now. Me, a single mom of four going through a divorce. I'm allowed to buy this for myself. The idea that only a man can buy such a ring for me is one I want to fight against. I am allowed to have and deserve nice things.

And if, in the future, I no longer am interested in a ring that style? Well, I have options. I can pass it on to a daughter. I can modify it into some other jewelry. I can melt it down and make it into something else. But I don't need to think about what my future will be like when deciding what I would enjoy more.

The same thing happens with clothes. My taste in clothes has changed so much over the past few years. Tremendously. What I wear today is different than what I wore even a year ago, and that is quite different from what I wore 3 years ago, which is quite different from what I wore 7 years ago which is quite different to what I wore 12 years ago which is quite different to what I wore 14 years ago which is completely different to what I wore 17 years ago. I don't mean slightly different. I mean drastically different, completely different styles. Radical changes. Not only that, I've changed body shape tremendously over the last 3 years- I wear about 3 or 4 sizes larger than I wore 5 years ago. 

When your body is changing, and your taste is changing, it's really hard to be ok with buying yourself clothes that suit your taste and your body now. You don't want to invest in something only to see that it no longer fits you or no longer is your taste. But wearing things that don't suit the current you, or that don't fit your body, isn't treating yourself with the respect you deserve. Yes, even when you feel like crap you still need to treat yourself with respect. Because not treating yourself with respect will probably cause you to spiral more. It's really hard to treat yourself well when you don't feel like you deserve it, but it's important to do so. (Don't worry, this is reminding myself of that just as much as I'm telling it to the people reading this. Sometimes we know something but it's hard to actually act on it.)

I've decided that it doesn't matter what I will want in the future or what my body will look like in the future, I'll buy clothes for myself that I like and enjoy today, for the body that I have now. To be honest it's easier to do this when I am not spending so much money on my clothes. So I buy snarky t-shirts from Aliexpress that make me smile. And I buy lots of dresses and shirts and almost a whole new wardrobe from Shein (but first make sure to check the measurements on each item of clothing against my measurements, as well as pictures and have not struck out) and the occasional item from Next Direct. I spend so little on these, and they bring me joy to wear them, so even if in 6 months I decide that what I have in my wardrobe no longer suits the current me, I can pass them on and buy things that do feel right.

When you're really feeling down, or you're going through hard times, its really hard to take care of yourself and do nice things for yourself, but its important to do so. Accepting that right now you're struggling and accepting that right now what speaks to you now might not be what speaks to you in the future, and that is ok is important. We are dynamic. We change. No one in life is stagnant. And you and I deserve to be taken care of ourselves, even if where we are now is only a stage in our evolution as a human being. You don't need to wait for the future to deserve things. You are allowed and should take care of yourself now. 

You, as you are right now.

4 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're doing things for yourself. So many of us were raised to to think of ourselves last. My big treat is pool membership and bathing suits I feel comfortable wearing in public.

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  2. Good on you, I can really struggle with this too. It's easier to nice things for others. I've just booked myself in for a long overdue haircut, and plan to go shoe shopping later this week (like you I have long feet, and need to get to a special shoe store way across town).

    Lovely to hear of the ways you are finding to take care of yourself. Progress is rarely a straight line, be gentle with yourself during this tough time. You're dealing with such a lot right now xoxo

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  3. Feels like I could of written this ♥️ hugs, we're going through the same things

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  4. Sounds like times are difficult right now. I'm glad you're cutting yourself some slack and trying to care for yourself. Life is hard, even with just the things we are all going through (pandemic, etc), let alone when you're going through a divorce, learning how to be a single parent and trying to understand who you are now that your life has changed so much, and dealing with physical and mental health problems. And that's just you - I know you're also looking after some neuro-divergent kiddos, which is a huge challenge in and of itself. I think you're absolutely right in looking to care for yourself today, not what you were before or might be later. Lots of love from Canada

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