I’m wearing shorts today. Actually, I’ve been wearing my pyjamas for about 90% of the day, apart from when I put a dress on because it’s Fathers’ Day and I’m not completely lazy but they are pyjamas with shorts. And they are pretty. And they are comfortable.
I don’t like heat because it makes me hot (clearly I am Sherlock Holmes), and when I feel hot I feel fat. There’s something intolerable about the way that bits of me stick to other bits of me with sweat, and the way that the fact that I sweat at all seems to signify that I am too large. I think this is from summers of being far too cold to wear anything other than winter clothes. I feel really embarrassed writing about this because I find myself disgusting in this weather, but I’ve admitted enough things here that another one ain’t going to make a difference.
Not only is feeling fat a problem, but fairly speedy weight gain has given me biiiiig stretch-marks. On my knees. Who has stretch-marks on their knees? And my inner thighs. This makes me feel self-conscious, although I know that they are a product of hormones and not an indicator of my size. Thanks, body.
The third problem is self-inflicted. I have self-harm scars on my legs. There is nothing attractive about self-harm and it angers me when people describe them as being ‘battle scars’, as though they are an outward sign of strength. They are not and I am not ‘a warrior’. They are an example of an inability to cope; an inability to seek help when I needed it the most. If anything metaphorical, they are physical manifestations of desperation and immediate regret. I worry that people will judge me for them; I worry that they will upset my family and I worry that I might trigger someone into self-harming.
So what do I do? The answer is that I’m not sure. I do try to continue wearing shorts and dresses, and I do try not to care about the way that my body looks now on days when there’s no way of hiding under baggy hoodies and skirts and thick tights. At the moment, I am feeling painfully frustrated anyway because recovery is such a long process, and I’m officially two years in and I feel like I should be much further along than I am. I am fed up of caring so deeply about what I look like, when I don’t want this to be something I waste so much time and attention on.
But forwards is better than backwards, and the only way to move forwards is to keep trying. So here I am.
PS. Any tips gratefully received