On one hand, I can rationalize that I've been much less active, I have had my RA symptoms for almost 3 years now-and not under control yet, might I add. I can also tell you that the medications I am taking are not helping with my weight, especially the prednisone. I can say, "hey, it's ok, you've been through a lot. You are a still beautiful. Your husband loves you and desires you. It's ok." I can rationalize it until I am blue in the face, and after all the rationalizing, pep talking and reassurances, I still catch glimpses of myself in the mirror or in a picture and think, "who is that person staring back at me?" Have you had those moments?
Sometimes I wish we lived in a world in which we all wore blinders. I often wonder what would happen if I could no longer see, God forbid. I certainly wouldn't be able to compare myself to anyone else, now would I? Would it even matter? Oh yes, I would still be able to hear what people say...darn. Do we live in a society that is so shallow that the stress of my illness is compounded by the anxiety of my vanity?
1. excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit
2. lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness:
3. something worthless, trivial, or pointless
1. a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
2. a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem
There is a fine between vanity and pride, and apparently I skate it. See, I've been on both sides of the fence. I have been the overweight person. The person who put on a few extra pounds in college and had to burn them off. Or the person who gained a little too much weight with her pregnancy, and had to start working out a little harder to get rid of it. I have had people make comments about my weight (ie: you have such a pretty face- fatso- why can't you be like my friend's girlfriends?). I have been made to feel like less of a person as a result of it.
I have also been the the fit person, in the best shape of my life (until my illness of course). I still have had people make comments about my weight (ie: wow, you look so much better- I can't believe how much weight you've lost- what have you been doing to yourself- if you lose anymore weight you will disappear). I can tell you that I still felt like less of a person as a result of it. Some of you might be thinking-oh yeah, come on...really? Yes, really! I resented the comments. I resented the focus on my body and outer looks. I resented the feeling that that is all there was to me.
I will openly reveal in my blog that I have put on weight since this journey began 3 years ago. The "bulk" of it (no pun intended) seemed to have occurred after my Prednisone, Methotrexate, Humira mixture, which has been rather recent. Imagine how I must be feeling now, after people made such an emphasis on how "great" I looked, how much better I was looking, the "wows" I got. I don't get "wows" now, unless it's behind my back, I am sure!! :) Point is, why does someone's physical features have to the thing people talk about and focus on? Whether I am 30 lbs. lighter or heavier, doesn't change the fact that I have a phenomenal mind, the largest humanitarian heart, and a kind and loving spirit. So why, as a whole, do must people struggle to see beyond the shell? If my RA progresses and my body becomes deformed, will these same people no longer find even an ounce of beauty left in me?
This is my dark side, my struggle, my fear. This is my weakness that I so desperately try to hide from my fragile 10 year old daughter. This dark side of me has moved me to seek the only Truth and Light that will set me free from the bondage of this LIE.
Heavenly Father, I come to you broken, vulnerable, imperfect, yet perfectly made by you. I give up to you my dark side, this weakness that I, and I am sure many of my fellow brothers and sisters, struggle with everyday. Help us to find the Truth and Light through you. You are the Way, the Truth and the Light!! Amen!
Praying for MORE Sunny Side Ups!!