Side Notes: No More Hiding
One step that has come with making that final step into recovery has been my clothes. How does clothes fit into the picture of recovering from an eating disorder? More ways than I can count!
I have spent YEARS hiding in my clothes instead of letting them help me express who I am. I have used them to hide all the “imperfections” I thought I had, when I didn’t. Well, I have just used them to hide in general, as I thought that gaining any sort of attention would well, gather unwanted attention. But was it really unwanted is the question! It’s this odd round-robin of thinking that kind of goes like this: If I wear something that I liked, that might be colorful or say “with the style of the moment”, it might garner some sort of attention, which therefore would entail someone really taking a look at me and seeing everything that is wrong with me. Kind of maddening, right?
I have used jackets, sweaters and layering for years and years to hide everything from the waist up. I have avoided jeans like they were the plague and if I did have to wear them in the winter because it was simply too cold to get away with normal field pants (ie synthetic or cotton cargo pants of sorts) I wore ones that were pretty baggy for my body type, but enough to never hug any part of myself from the waist down. I never really “dressed up” for functions because I thought I would wear the wrong thing and be judged for it, therefore making another thing wrong with me.
Since having my “ah ha” moment and realizing that my body is not my own worst enemy, I have spent some time shopping and really focusing on clothes that I wanted to wear, even ones that I have been afraid of trying for years. My new motto when I go shopping is, “If I think even for a second it wouldn’t look good on me, I’m going to try it on.” I feel like it’s like judging a book by it’s cover, you can’t look at a piece of clothing just by looking at it and decide you don’t like it without trying it on first!
So I have bought dresses. And belts. And stripes. And gold colored jewelry. And learned that tucked in shirts aren’t something I can’t pull off. And that even running clothes don’t have to entirely black, white and loose fitting.
Not only is it more fun to shop now, but being able to wear something that I like has helped me feel so much more confident. I would have been terrified to walk out the door in the last outfit, afraid that there was too much color or it was too bright or I hadn’t paired something up right. But in reality, who the hell gives a crap what I wear!? As long as I feel great in it it doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t, right?
I have have watched my friends for years wear so many types of clothes that I was jealous of and believed that I could never pull off. Only now have I realized that just maybe, if I try and aren’t afraid of the clothes, that it might just actually work for me.
Makes shopping and wearing clothes so much more fun, right?