Now I am not going to say I have ever had model good looks or a waif like figure, but I have always loved a new frock and a killer pair of heels! It is in my DNA!
I can remember past relationships teasing me about my addiction to shoes and playing dress up. I recall one partner telling me “…[you] would get dressed up for the opening of an envelope…” He was right. I would. And even now, given the chance and the strength, I still will!
You see, fashion has always been an escape for me, a chance to feel a little different, an extension of my imagination and creativity. Even when I can’t control one other thing that happens in my day… I still get to choose what I will wear. Even if it is just my favourite, comfiest pair of jeans and a trendy t shirt.
I also think it has become a good barometer for my husband to know how I am feeling inside, without having to ask me. If he sees me planning a little ensemble (even a simple one) he knows I am fighting hard and keeping on top of things emotionally. If I ask him to choose for me he knows it’s a pretty tough day and to tread lightly with me.
Sometimes it has been all the encouragement I have needed to get going when the world seems too hard and pulling me down. D will go into the wardrobe and pick out an outfit and ask me for my approval. It is usually enough to put a smile on my face when I see what he has picked out! 😃
I have also seen it transform our relationship too…
Out of necessity he has had to help dress me (underwear and all…) and has even learned how to do a rudimentary ponytail and apply sunscreen/foundation and lippy like a budding make up artist!! Not many men would contemplate this, fearing being scorned or unmanly, but because he knows how much it means to me he does his utmost to put a smile on my face and a little bit of lip gloss as well. And that means more than words can say… Although I do try to say it to him.
Not every woman gets to have her very own make up artist assist her every morning!
When we go shopping for underwear it is hubby that has had to assist me. Although he seems to enjoy looking at the lingerie hanging up and it doesn’t seem to be too much of a chore!
When I get my hair cut, it’s hubby that wheels me in and holds my hand.
My fashion addiction has become his journey too and I am pleased it has become something we can both laugh at and not something that has burdened us further.
Hubby is glad that I still do my best to take pride in this body and the life I have, despite the enormous challenges. He said he was so amazed that as frustrated and betrayed as I feel by my body at times, I will still endeavor to apply nail polish to broken nails, brush my brittle and flaccid hair, and moisturize my aching and twisting fingers. To me it’s a sign of my spirit fighting on and a testimony to my courage to battle through it all.
Making something pretty out of a difficult situation is a commitment to life and an acceptance that whatever happens we can control how we choose to look at it. We can try and ‘dress it up and put some sparkles’ on life or we can leave it drab and bland. We can still choose that much at least.
Although I have had to modify and reinvent my wardrobe since becoming ill, I still have a fashionista sitting inside me that loves a pretty frock and a happy smear of lippy, even if my body is making me want to cry rivers of tears.
Beside my bed is always a tube of lip gloss, container of tinted sunscreen and a bottle of perfume… And always will be.
It’s a sign that I am still here no matter what might happen to my body. I am still Trish. I am still trying. No matter what lays ahead… I haven’t given up yet.
My selfies are also my way of showing my friends and loved ones that I am still trying, even when I can’t find the words to explain what life is like, I am still fighting on.
So when you see a picture of me, no matter if it is just another picture of me sitting in the car waiting for my daily coffee, It is my sincere hope that what you are really seeing is that the fashionista still lives on and is trying her damndist; even if I am covering up my pain with a bit of lippy and sunscreen!