Earlier this week I discussed libido and sexuality with chronic pain; part of the realization I had in writing that post and talking with my partner is that I need to work on being more self confident and happy with myself. If I can accept myself for who I am, the better off I will be.
Self confidence is a huge part of being chronically ill and in chronic pain; these conditions to make you feel limited and unhappy with yourself, and can easily lead to depression. Self-confidence can be critical in battling depression, and today I am going to talk about the self confidence that comes from looking good; when I say looking good I am not talking about fitting to a particular public standard. I am talking about an individual’s personal opinion: what you think makes you look good, what makes you smile and feel comfortable and happy while wearing.
Personally, I usually wear what takes the littlest amount of effort. As my mom puts it I’m a “no-muss, no-fuss kinda gal”. I don’t wear any make-up, and usually just brush out my hair and throw it into a pony-tail. Most of my clothing is school related t-shirts, but I don’t really like wearing them; they don’t make me feel happy or particularly comfortable. What I do like is a classic, somewhat preppy look… but I don’t own much of that. There is a disparity between my wardrobe and what I want to wear/ what would make me feel happy about myself to wear. This week I set about changing that just a bit. I got some new clothes that really made me happy and comfortable; I also got my hair cut. In the mornings still just pull my hair into a pony-tail, and throw on jeans and my Sperry’s, so it isn’t any more effort than it was before, but putting on clothes I feel prettier in, more comfortable in, has really made a big difference. I still need to find comfortable shoes to go with my outfits, but I am more interested in minimizing my pain through functional, easy to wear shoes than having my feet look cute too.
The topic of appearance and self confidence brings me back to Gossip Girl. The show brought lingerie to my attention. I had been aware of the idea of lingerie before, but not really in tune with the potential lingerie had, or how it could make me feel. In the show one of the main characters, Blair, is shown multiple times in absolutely stunning lingerie; she sleeps in silky chemises and lounges around before dressing beautiful robes and on some occasions she slinks out of her designer dresses into alluring slips, or bodysuits, or a camisole paired with the perfect panties. Everything is tasteful and sophisticated, and while skimpy in the regard that it is undergarments nothing is overly revealing. And I loved all of it. I would own every single piece she wore. I once thought underwear didn’t matter, it was just a piece of clothing I would wear (and probably ruin quickly with murderous amounts of blood). I will admit I didn’t buy my first piece of “nice” underwear until last year- some Victoria Secret boyshorts; that alone was revolutionary and I will never go back. It makes you feel better to have underwear on that you actually like, and to wear nice lingerie like Blair did in the show… I can only imagine how much that boost your self confidence. Having something extraordinary under your clothing is two fold: you don’t mind as much if someone accidentally sees it, which takes away a lot of tension in appearance throughout the day, and it makes you smile to know you are wearing it.
When your confidence is already worn down from having physical or mental limitations caused by your illness and pain, the little things like having an appearance that makes you feel beautiful can make a big difference. It also is nice to have something you can control. You may not be able to control you pain or how that pain affects your day, but you can control your appearance and it is nice having that control.