By: Ariel Fixler
What does is feel like to lose something you once took for granted? What is it like to lose your looks before you even turned 30 (and could rightfully bitch about being dirty 30 and O-L-D)?
What happens when you look in the mirror and YOU DON’T RECOGNIZE THE FACE, FEATURES OR BODY STARING BACK AT YOU? Is it met with shock and awe or eventual acceptance?
Externally you pretend you are above “it all”. You extoll that your beauty and your spirit emanates from within. It’s a crock pot full of a CROCK-O-SHIT.
Internally it is a demonizing and a terrorizing struggle. I used the term I GHOSTED MYSELF in my support group. I became a physical ghost of my former self. I scared myself in the mirror.
In my dreams (and PRE DISEASED FIXLER):
– I still had my hair and I could effortlessly put in a ponytail and bop along seamlessly.
– My smile could cover any lack of confidence or waning in my spirit.
– I had my muscles and could still walk everywhere in Manhattan.
– I was still pitching on my company soft ball team.
– I made statements that were not hidden behind my words and writing…. but by wearing my favorite statement necklaces.
– I had a sun-kissed glow from the seasons.
– I still barely wore make up because “It wasn’t my thing”.
– I could look in the mirror and see my clear skin.
– I was not jaundiced or covered in discoloration and bruises in every visible exterior body part.
– I could sit up, walk, run, skip, shimmy without a wheelchair, cane or walker. I could fucking MOVE.
– I had toenails and could get pedicures with my friends and chat and gab away.
– I could wear all the clothes in my closet without cutting out a massive hole for my extending and growing ascites fluid build up. I knew a life beyond hospital gowns and sweatshirts because I wasn’t freezing 24/7.
– I could chew and swallow and laugh about getting food in my hair and face.
– I could look down at my body at not see swelling in every visible body part.
– I could pretend that watching a piece on a celebrity, beauty or fashion trend mattered and I could emulate like I was on trend and shit.
– I could still dress and bathe myself. My big outing was not just to make it to the shower or to hospital the bed without incident. Not “getting ready” before I go out and “stuff”. I missed that life. I even missed doing a walk of shame.
– I could be active and proactive about MY CHOICES.
The list goes on……
I could pretend I was not impacted by this all. That I was so “fierce and brave” and totally ROSE ABOVE IT. But that is horse shit and a heaping load of it. COME ON NOW.
Vanity is all around us even in the chronically and terminally ill community. It seems to be all over our normalized society as well rubbing off on everyone at every age and standing in life. It is a viral disease within itself. Everyone who suffers the visible and palpable effects of a chronic, terminal or life-altering illness grapples with this. They can pretend they don’t care, but it’s a struggle and a moment to moment one (that is an emotional crux). Even when people try to normalize you with saying you look good or better than I had pictured. THANKS?
So every time you are having body images over those extra pounds, having a frizzy hair day, feeling like you just can’t make the gym, you are FOMO-ing, your look of the day or daily make up routine is still showing how tired you are. Or you are nit-picking how clothing falls on your body and making tweaks you need to before you are “ready to leave the house”.
For every moment you are putting yourself down hoping for the compliment train to ride in and rescue your baddddddd day…..Remember for every moment when just aren’t “feeling it” moment or having a”feeling ugly” moment, there is someone somewhere wishing they were in your shoes. They wish they had the option to beautify and magnify. To put themselves together just to nit pick over the inane like a zit or color blocking. To choose to embrace it ALL even “the ugly moments” that are filled with beautiful opportunities.
Pictures where I think I am probably “the shit” and photos where I tried to embrace the fading features.
Here are some beautiful people performing some UGLY ASS CRYING to LIGHTEN YOUR MOOD: