I get compliments and comments on my makeup and my outfits often. I put effort in to what I wear now since I have these chronic illnesses because I don't have a choice in how I feel because my body is unpredictable. I know that now, I don't have that many great days so I will make all of them important. There was a time that I would just run out looking like anything because I knew that a "special time" would come where I could go all out. Basically, I was saving my best for when it mattered most, so I thought. I liked the compliments then because they were provoked because of the effort I put in for the response. These days they take on an entire different meaning. This could double as a transition of priorities as one gets older and more settled in their sense of self. However, this is about why I choose to dress the way I do and put on the make up that I wear, even though I am chronically ill.
Why put in the effort, you ask?
1. Defense Mechanism: The downsides of being chronically ill is that I look it all the time. Dark circles and weariness adorn my face and the my skin looks as if it lost it's luster. If you can look at the way I move, halted some days, or even if you glanced at my face, you would see pain and discomfort. This would then cause ones to send comments peppered with concern because I obviously look so unwell. Ones would mirror my countenance with a grimace to show that they can see my pain and understand. No chronic ill person wants to see that ALL the time. I feel pitied and I don't like that. So when I wear my make up and dress nicely because it disarms the stares and the concerned comments. I dress modestly so I am not wearing body-cons, skinny jeans or short items to suffer for fashion. I don flowing skirts and dresses and well fitting jeans and pants. Comfort is important because at any moment I have to get in the recovery position or curl up in a chair. I can't do that fighting with my clothes. I am often not talked to in those sad tones but upbeat and lively just as if everything is fine. Sometimes I just want to be seen as Nicole and not as my conditions.
2. Encouragement: This takes time and forethought due to my limited energy resources. However, it is worth it because I feel put together and I have the ability to hide what I don't want everyone to see. When I look at myself I can see happiness and joy because I am not so concerned about the compliments. I have strength to just do a bit more and feel a bit better. The mind controls this lump of flesh and if it feels good then I am on the right path to a good day.
3. Accomplishment: There are some days that I don't do more then just get up and go to store. Or get up and go to worship or get up and go to work and just be. I don't always participate as I would like because I can't. I can't offer my assistance because the coordination isn't always there. However, I can say at least I got up and I got dressed and I look and feel alive. It brings me my own personal joy. I even get dressed for doctors appointments because it helps my mood over all.
Believe me this Cinderella turns in to a pumpkin once the war paint is gone and mix match pajamas are on. No, the outer fixin's do not change how I feel on the inside because I am still sick. However, being chronically ill, I do not need to be reminded of my state by the looks and comments all the time. This is for me as well as it is for you so I can just assimilate and ride under the radar because this is how I choose to be. Even through this the people closest to me can see through the flowing skirts and blended foundation and know that I am unwell. They acknowledge and move in because I choose not to dwell on it and neither will they. We all have our coping mechanisms and distractions from our pain but mine happens to include Jackie Aina tutorials and 50% of sales at my nearest internet store near me.
I choose how I want to be seen.
I like this quote:
“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired... You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going.”
-George S. Patton
He was talking about war and I use it for willing myself to keep positive and focused on my day to day.
One day at a time.