Remember those choose-your-own-ending books for kids? How I feel about myself depends on the day, the moment, who I'm with, what I'm wearing, if I'm comfortable. If I'm wearing something that fits my fat body well without having to be adjusted every time I move, and I'm having a decent hair and make-up day, and I'm not sweating much, and I'm with someone I enjoy spending time with, and I feel comfortable being myself, then I feel good about myself. If any of those variables are a little off kilter, it's more difficult to remain calm and sensible and be nice to myself. I have dysthymia with occasional bouts of major depression, and generalized anxiety disorder. This affects my day-to-day feelings about myself. Some days, I feel light and happy and free and I enjoy life. But the dysthymia is like a raincloud during a picnic, you never truly let your guard down and enjoy life because there's always the threat of rain on the horizon. Does that make sense? No?
A concrete example, then. So today I had a stripe of bright blue dyed into my hair. It's under my natural blonde and so it just peeps out like a fun surprise. It's unlike me, and I LOVE it. Left the salon GLOWING. Then a few hours later, while I was grabbing something out of my car wearing ill-fitting jeans and snug tee shirt that clings to my belly, I ran into my super hot neighbor in her gorgeous bespoke business suit. And just like that, I felt like a fat, ugly, mom who tried to hard to be cool and has stupid blue hair.
Then I read this article. Go ahead and read it, you can come back when you're done.
How beautiful is that? That mama's words hit me over the head and were just what I needed to hear at the opening of this project. I remember my mom dieting and hating her body when I was a kid, and I knew, just KNEW, that I was fat too, and that she must have hated me too. She told me how beautiful I was my whole life, and I NEVER BELIEVED HER. Because I looked like her. My daughter looks like me. I WILL NOT destroy her self-worth. I will not. I can't imagine how much easier my life will be with a positive self-worth. Maybe that raincloud, the one always threatening rain, maybe it will drift away. Maybe my daughter will always live in the sun.