The Show Off Your Gingerbread Challenge - Week3/Blanche Week was the push I needed
Last week I channeled Blanche, and it was f*cking hard.
I am someone who maintains a pretty reserved appearance regarding the clothing I wear. I wouldn’t necessarily say that has always been the case, but it definitely has been the norm since I got pregnant for the first time and ever since.
As I was trying on clothing and putting myself out there this week, it was scary but it also made me realize just how much my postpartum depression/postpartum anxiety (PPD/PPA) severely screwed with my self-image. As it unfolded it told me a whole bunch of lies, including what I looked like, so I avoided certain clothing and basically used it as a way to hide myself. Here are a few of the things I either tried on or took the plunge and wore:
To be fair, breastfeeding did not help.
It’s really difficult to compartmentalize your different identities ((human, mom, caregiver, partner, friend, etc.) when one of those roles is carrying about 90% of the weight, especially in the first 6 months. So just imagine being reminded of your body’s functionality every 2 hours of every single day (at least!) and having to do something that does not make you feel sexy or attractive. Add severe fatigue, your body healing from the process of pregnancy and childbirth, and the extraordinarily cumbersome role, mentally and emotionally, of keeping a human alive. It’s not exactly a recipe for success if you want to be feelin’ yourself every day.
That’s like trying to get in touch with your sexuality while you’re beyond exhausted, and someone is following you around all day screaming, “POOP! POOP! LET’S TALK ABOUT POOP! HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU GO YESTERDAY?? WHAT ABOUT THE DAY BEFORE? WAS IT NORMAL? WANNA TALK ABOUT IT??!”
Unless that’s your fetish, more than likely you would not be turned on by it. (Also, I’d imagine this blog post is probably pretty boring for you.)
Channeling Blanche made me realize that all the unpacking I’ve done in the last 18+ months, while awesome, has not included my feelings about my self-image and that is something that I still need to tackle.
Last week helped to kick that off and while I felt very uncomfortable and exposed, it also opened to my eyes to what’s really there. I’ve been carrying around old, negative feelings and associations with my body for the past four-ish years of my life. It became very clear that while I’ve been in a far more healthy place mentally, I was continuing on autopilot when it came to my appearance. I basically felt invisible in much of what I was wearing, whereas in my past I remember LOVING to get dressed in the morning and expressing myself through my clothing, accessories and hair.
It never dawned on me until recently that I was still carrying those negative feelings around, that and maybe the way I was dressing didn’t serve me anymore (if it ever did to begin with!) I didn’t feel bad about my body before my PPD/PPA experience, but I got into such a habit of avoiding certain clothing that it was like a whirlpool that you just sucked into and once you realize what’s happening, you have to turn around and walk against the current.
That current is changing NOW, y’all.
It’s hard, but once it clicks that the current can be slowed down and eventually stopped it feels pretty f*cking awesome.
I did a re-cap video/check-in video with y’all because it was very impactful for me. I feel like I need to take a moment to really acknowledge that. Check out Stay Golden’s Youtube channel for that video and other awesome Golden Girls content!
For the final week I am channeling Rose. I realize that many people might find her to be the easiest to challenge, but I find her naïveté, innocence and complete inability to look at the world with not a shred of cynicism a somewhat scary place for me to be. I’ll delve more into this as the week progresses, but that’s my plan for this week.
Wish me luck!
Who are you channeling for the final, most challenging week of the Show Off Your Gingerbread Challenge?
In friendship and cheesecake,