Comfortable In My Own Skin

comfortable in my own skin

This is me, circa 1975.  This is the picture of me I probably hate the most in this world.  Love the outfit, mind you.  Handmade by a friend of the family.  But everything else from my hair to my teeth to my glasses is just ugh!!!  I don’t think I was even very happy with my look back then because that’s not my normal happy smile.

Flash forward to the present.  38 years later, braces, better glasses, a much better haircut later, I still struggle much of the time with feeling like the ugly duckling in the room.  Doesn’t matter that my parents told me I was beautiful, that my husband tells me I’m beautiful, that my kids tell me if dress up and put makeup on I’m still a “hot mom”.  There are days when I just can’t shake that feeling.

Some mornings I would wake up and I just couldn’t bear the thought of putting on clothes.  I know that’s probably hard to understand, but my anxiety was so high that I felt like I would rather flay off all my skin and expose my raw nerve endings to the air – that had to be less painful than how I was feeling.  I found that by only wearing soft clothes (cotton, cashmere, etc.) I could psych myself into getting dressed and out of the house.  To this day it is still hard for me to be at a party or other social function.  I am always so sure I will say something stupid and embarrass myself.

These days I mostly have my anxiety under control , through a little bit of medication, a little bit of therapy and a lot of behavior modification.  When I’m so uncomfortable I want to get up and run out of the room, I calmly sit and in my head describe what I am wearing, how it feels, what the room looks like, etc. until I can relax and join in the festivities.  If I start to get irrationally scared or sad, I can remind myself that “it’s just a thought” and let it pass. When neither one of those tricks work, I can take a half a pill and deal.

I have also learned that we all have our hang-ups.  Art was teased as a child for being overweight.  Other friends were “too skinny, too tall, too short.”  The important thing is not who we were, but who we are.  And who I am is not a gawky ugly duckling.  Who I am  is a sweet-faced, happy woman, who also happens to be a brilliant writer, if I do say so myself 😉

comfortable in my own skinAnd yes, I think I am finally getting comfortable in my own skin.

What is holding you back?  What part of your past do you need to shed so you can be comfortable in your own skin?

About Teressa Morris

Teressa Morris is first, a wife and mom of two grown children (who can't seem to move out) and two furbabies. She writes about her family life, as well as causes that are dear to her heart, with recipes, reviews and giveaways on the side. Check her out at Window on the World.
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