Missing The Former Me
This morning I stood in front of my floor to ceiling, quite unforgiving bedroom mirror. And I struggled with what I saw. A tired and comfortable woman who wasn’t trying anymore. A woman who at that moment just didn’t care.
When you are chronically ill, you make adjustments, and you do so without even realizing it. The tight, sexy jeans remain folded on the top shelf of the closet, forgotten. And before you know it you are wearing pajama bottoms every single day. The beautifully structured, fitted tops slowly get shoved to the back, losing out to soft, roomy t-shirts and flowy cotton tanks. Shoe boxes filled with sky high heels collect dust in the corner, and slippers and flip flops become your footwear of choice.
I swore this wouldn’t happen. I would be the exception. And then very quickly, all I wanted to do was make things easier, to feel even a little bit better. To feel nothing but softness against my aching skin and body, and hoping that sensible flat shoes would stop the throbbing in my back and legs. Priorities sure can shift lightning fast.
Illness has a way of changing everything about you. But all things fashionable, sexy and beautiful still fight to have a place in my world. My closet brims with these remnants of the former, sophisticated fashionista side of me. I don’t know why I hold on to them, because sometimes I feel like I’m no longer that girl.
I guess I’m just not ready to let her go.
The evidence of my former self isn’t limited to my closet. My beautifully lined drawers are filled with all kinds of stringy, lacy and strategically padded unmentionables. Sometimes I will go to my dresser and look inside, running my fingers over the feminine beauty and softness. And then the memories come. The demure, ivory lace bra I wore on my wedding night. And the dramatic push up number I wore on a special evening of romance, dinner and dancing in a city far away. Corsets and garter belts purchased with an erotic anniversary getaway in mind. Again, I was a different person then. Vibrant and healthy, never exhausted or in unspeakable pain. The girl I am today is all about what is comfortable, practical, and predictable. In other words, simple, easy and boring.
I owe it to myself to try a little bit more. I want to feel it again, looking in the mirror and loving what I see. I want to know that anticipation again, of exciting my partner and myself. I want him to look at me the way he used to. I want to experience it all over again, how that look in his eyes used to make me feel so damn beautiful. I somehow convinced myself I was no longer deserving of it. How wrong could I possibly be? A girl, in sickness and in health, has every right to feel special and sexy.
There’s not a reason in this world for me to give up.
This morning I slipped on one of my old favorites. I became the woman I was before. Shapely and feminine. Powerful and seductive. I was filled with a confidence I haven’t felt in a really long time. I didn’t want the moment to end.
Husband can’t get home fast enough. I predict he’ll be very pleased. Fabulous curves and softness and sex appeal aside, I was once again the self assured woman his heart fell for. Not just in body, but in mind. And that is everything.
Here’s to hoping she decides to stay a while.
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