Depression has had a big impact on the inside, but it’s also made a few changes in how I look on the outside. Some of these are under my control, but others aren’t. They started off as changes that I thought might be temporary, but I’ve come to accept that’s not the case. In this post, I’ll tell you what depression looks like for me.
Changes in me
I feel like my face has gotten to look a lot older over the last few years. I used to wear makeup on a regular basis. Now I can’t even remember the last time I wore makeup. It sits in a drawer in the bathroom and I think maybe I should just throw most of it out. But then a little voice says maybe I’ll wear it next year… except that elusive next year never comes.
Oh, and eyebrows? Goodbye tweezers, hello Amazon woman.
Eye contact feels uncomfortable and/or tiring, so I avoid it unless it seems necessary.
When this episode of depression started about 3 years ago, my hair turned from straight to curly. It’s still curly, and mostly up in a ponytail or bun. I don’t remember the last time I blowdried my hair. Since I don’t care sufficiently to be bothered going to a hair salon, I just cut my own hair.
I shave my legs every so often because I think my massage therapist will judge me if I have full-on furry legs. I’m sure it makes no difference to her, but unless things are really grim, I try to keep it up.
My meds make me fat. I’ve accepted that. I’m not keen on how that weight has been concentrated on my abdomen, though. At least I haven’t had anyone commenting on me being pregnant lately; that was an issue for a while a few years back. My boobs are much bigger than they used to be, but that’s more annoying than anything.
The body has gotten particularly large over the last few months, as my poor physical health has meant I’ve been very sedentary. I have far more chins than I ever used to have before.
Changes in what I wear
There’s been a substantial change in what I put on my body from non-depressed life to now.
My uniform is yoga pants or Gap maternity leggings, a tank top, and a long comfy cardigan. Gap’s maternity leggings seriously rock my world, and if they ever stop making them I will probably have to convert to an all-muumuu wardrobe.
I have jeans, but I don’t wear them. Skirts I mostly just wear in the summer. I used to live in dresses, but now they only make an appearance occasionally for work. Goodbye bodycon; my current favourite dress is essentially a sack with a pattern on it.
I have some attractive underthings, but I don’t wear them. Basically if something isn’t comfortable enough to sleep in, I’m probably not going to wear it.
Lithium makes me uncoordinated. I used to wear heels anyway. Now combine the lithium with the dizziness I’ve been having and I’m a walking disaster area. No more heels for me.
So, I’ve gone from being a woman with style (or at least some) to being more of a lump. Funny, the stylish woman seems like a whole other person I don’t know anymore, and the style-less lump feels much more comfortable and familiar.
Despite the changes in style, my closet still contains items from pre-treatment-resistant days. Some have already been discarded or donated because it doesn’t fit anymore, but other items still remain. I’m not running out of space, so that’s not an issue, but I’m someone who likes to have a minimal amount of stuff. If I can get rid of things, that’s always a positive.
The issue in this case, though, is it’s not so much the stuff itself and closet thinning, and more about identity thinning. I’m hesitant to get rid of as the possibility that I might turn back into the person who wore that stuff. A person who liked to dress up and liked that wearing heels made me carry myself with a more confident posture.
Right now, I have zero desire to do either of those things, because that’s not what my depression looks like. They continue to sit there, as a tribute to what I used to be, or at least what I used to do.
It’s funny the stories our clothes can tell about our lives. And as time moves on, more closet and identity thinning will be required.
What does depression look like for you? Do you try for style, or have you embraced your inner lump?