From Sweats to Suspenders

 

I think we can all simultaneously agree that it has been a difficult few months, as we’re navigating a situation which the majority of us have never experienced before. At first it seemed almost surreal, like it was a strange parallel dystopian universe – however now it’s something that I am finding myself slowly adapting to, but mainly being comfortable being uncertain, and stressed.

For a little while I felt like I was running on adrenaline, but a few weeks ago I had a depression flare, as I could no longer maintain the same pace I had been forging for myself out of sheer disbelief. It was a scary time because it was a stark reminder of how quickly I can sink to a lonely and isolated headspace, and also served as a bitter sweet reminder that I have come so far in my journey, as I no longer felt this deepened sadness to be a state of normality.

But I had to keep reminding myself that I have come so far not only because of the hard work and dedication that I have invested in my future, but by maintaining these practices until they became second nature. However when everything was turned upside down, my instincts went out of the window, and I neglected some elements of my self care, and as per usual when one mental illness flares, as does another. The pyjama paralysis was setting in, and I could feel my body image going to hell in a handbasket – and I knew that the sooner I nipped these issues in the bud, the better; because after all, one can but bloom when the seed is planted.  So off came the PJ’s and on went to lingerie – because I was tired of feeling like a frumpy sack of potatoes.

 

Now of course I cannot pass up the opportunity for a photoshoot, as I officially caught the bug after partaking in the Chronic Illness Photoshoot with Hannah Todd Photography and Kate Stanforth, as well as a bunch of other delightful spoonies of whom I had the pleasure of meeting. Although this was bound to be a slight challenge as it’s only me, myself and I as of course my friends are abiding by social distancing and isolation measures to help flatten the curve – so I had to try something new, which admittedly was intimidating, but I practiced what I preach – I felt the fear and did it anyway. Out came my dad’s ancient tripod, the attachment for a smartphone, the USB ring light I was kindly loaned by the lovely people at AYL, and money from my bank account.

It was like every other shoot, empowering and liberating; I once more feel back on track to centring myself once more. My body had began to feel like a prison again, and this feeling is one I have endured for far too much of my life – my body is my home whether it’s functional or not, my mind has the potential to be my prison, but this doesn’t mean I am without the key to open the door.

In these pressing times you must actively affirm that you have everything within you to get through this, even if this extends to receiving help from others to fulfill your needs. We have survived everything life has thrown at us, and this is a testament to our resilience, courage, determination, and persistence. So no matter how difficult this isolation may be, please remember that this is only temporary, and in the words of John Lennon …

Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

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