Atypical Body Dysmorphia

Is it a thing? So here’s what happens. I’m walking along, feeling good about the world and myself, swinging my hips, head raised high, and then I have to enter a building. It doesn’t matter what building, except that building has glass doors, and they’re working like a mirror. And I catch sight of myself for the first time that day. I go from a youthful 25-year-old to my real 58-year-old. From young, thin, and pretty – to older, overweight, and… different looking. I don’t recognize myself anymore. I don’t just hate mirrors and cameras, they cause panic. My biggest challenge in the last several years was being mother of the groom! I had to talk my way through the family photos, and even then, I’m clinging onto my son’s arm and turned slightly away like I’m about to dash out of the picture. I felt like I was being shot by something other than film. The way I feel about the way I look does not correspond with the way I actually look. The face I think I have, is not the face I have. And oddly, I FEEL better than I LOOK. When I was young, I thought I was fat and ugly – I look at pictures from back then and realize – I was thin and pretty! It’s done a complete flip and I don’t think I ever met myself in the middle so that my perception of myself was equal to my real self. Ever.

What’s this got to do with fibromyalgia. I have no idea. Maybe nothing, but I’m going to try to train myself to:

Look at myself. Allow myself to see myself as I am. Not as I think I am. And to appreciate myself as I am. Nobody’s ever actually run away screaming, so I think when I do catch a glimpse of myself, I’m not perceiving myself properly. The panic I feel when I unexpectedly (or expectedly) face a camera or mirror or glass door warps my perception of myself. I’m going to try to change that.

If I’m successful at feeling comfortable with my own perceptions, I bet I’ll feel better physically too. Fibro is a real physical disease, but I firmly believe state of mind can control how deeply it sets in.

My plan: It’s not set in stone, but I’m going to supplement this website with a vlog. I’m going to look myself in the face while I talk about…. whatever. Maybe I’ll throw in some middle-aged-fat-woman stretching videos so I have to face the rest of me too. I don’t know, but weekly. I have to commit to it. I’m turning 59 next month. I’m single again as of next week Wednesday, so it’s time. I can do this.

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