I've been thinking about about how we look and how much that affectshow we are perceived. In the last month I've lost little weight. Which is rather odd considering my diet is so limited to mainly healthy things, but whatever. However, my weight is redistributing itself, or I have lost fat and gained muscle since I am working out with PT and have been putting in such intense hours. I look noticeably smaller, and places that have been plump are not anymore. I realized my bras are too big and measured myself; since I last did this about 6 months ago I have gone down a band size and 3 cup sizes. Needless to say, project buy bras is in the plans.
Anyway, now that I'm no longer "fat" I'm so surprised at how differently people see me. One lady a couple weeks ago mentioned feeling fat and then said "not that you'd know." Oh, do I know. But people suddenly are giving me lots of compliments. Not about losing weight, patients don't notice that, but suddenly people constantly compliment my complexion (which has been the same one all along; I'm doing nothing different to my face and never will because most things make my face break out), and although I've always had people talk about my curly hair, it receives different attention now, like "that's not the only thing on her I can say is attractive", or something.
It's so strange, and the more I appear to have lost weight the more I get this.
I also have to confess something. I feel like a horrible person for this, and so ridiculous because who more that I knows what it feels like to have meds alter your appearance. I have gone from 20W to a 12 (possibly a 10) in the last 12 months, and I've also gone from a size XS scrubs to a medium/large scrubs in a year when I started meds. I gained 40 lbs in the first 3 months on lithium, so I know lots about having your weight/appearance change drastically. I weighed 120-125 until bipolar, and the lowest I've weighed since starting lithium is 157. And the only real reason is the meds.
But I realized something, something that really bothers me about myself. There's a lot that could be hard dealing with Dr. Brain's illness. Obviously the fact that she could die is heavy on my heart and mind. Knowing she could become too ill to be my doctor scares me silly, especially because I know that while I am a difficult patient she's likely to hang onto as long as she can, it's a lot harder to treat a me than a simple depression patient and so if she does get sick enough she'll have to transfer me, at least temporarily. And I cannot imagine my life without her.
But the thing that makes it hard to think about going back? It is so, so hard for me to see her changed appearance. She's wearing a wig, which is various obvious to me simply because I know what her hair looks like and that her hair couldn't do what this wig does in it's style. She also doesn't have eyebrows, I don't think. But she also has a puffy face, and her skin looks unhealthy. And that bothers me more than any part of the "how does this affect me?". I don't know why. Maybe it's because I am acutely aware of the appearance of illness that it stands out. Maybe it's because I don't like change and I'm used to her normal look. Maybe it's just because I knew as soon as I saw her that I was right about what was going on and I'd rather not have found out that way. I'm sure that 6 months from now that will be back, at least to some extent. Her hair won't be back, but hopefully the wig will go. (I'll also admit: wigs bug me. I do not know why. It's almost a trauma fear thing, so I suspect there's a reason I don't care to recall. I honestly have trouble with hair period; facial hair freaks me out too). I actually am struggling with seeing her again and being reminded again that she is sick.
But, there we have it. Just Me is apparently quite superficial at times. Lovely.