Hi, my names Emma and I really don’t give a fuck anymore about anyone’s opinions on my body or the way I dress. I spent years of my life lusting over sexy body-con dresses, sultry pencil skirts and summer crop tops. I sometimes tried them on but took one look in the mirror and ripped them straight back off again (carefully of course, I mean I’m not into destroying shop property). Even though I really liked the clothes and often loved how they made me feel I looked in the mirror and all I could see was my lumps and bumps. Those lumps and bumps that I had been told consistently though my life to hide away by the media. Being curvy was fine, as long as you knew how to dress your body aka as long as you knew how to cover up the parts of you that were offensive to western beauty ideals. But then this dress came along…
I was out shopping for new clothes to take with my to Download festival and I came across this dress in NewLook. There was pretty much nothing else I liked in the shop so I decided to take a chance and try it on. I was anxious- bodycon and stripes! Two of the things curvy girls are told to avoid like the plague. But I tried it on and I liked it. Actually I loved it. It was super comfy, I knew it wouldn’t fly up on the wind and most importantly I loved how my body looked in it. I stepped out into the corridor of the changing room so I could get a better look in the bigger mirror. For some unknown reason I asked another woman who just so happened to be in the changing room at the time what she thought of the dress and then came the dreaded words “I do like it but I honestly don’t think it’s very flattering on you”. I know the lady didn’t mean any harm and I did ask for her opinion but it still stung. Luckily I acted against what she said and went for it, I brought the goddamn dress and wore it to Download and felt bloody amazing.
And so my love affair with clingy clothes and my lumpy body began. I wear what I want when I want. I’m done with asking other peoples opinions. If I like it then that’s all that matters. Fuck flattering, fuck size appropriate, fuck too revealing, fuck too short, fuck too busy. And I never ever bother with shape wear. If you want to wear it then cool, you do you, but I am so fed up of this idea that we need to smooth out our lumps and bumps to be entitled to wear form fitting clothes. I’m done hiding my shape and I’m done caring what flatters it. As long as I’m comfortable and happy then that’s what matters. Who’s with me?!
So apparently it is mental health awareness day today, or so Facebook tells me. As you all know I suffer from anxiety and depression and it still sucks major ass. Lately I’ve kinda got a bit more of a grip on life thanks to a mixture of support, better organisation, medication and just life situations being a bit better. But I still struggle and in a way it’s even harder to deal with when it hits because when you’re feeling shit everyday it becomes routine but when you have been doing well and it just (often) comes out of nowhere it’s got that extra shock value. You feel like giving up. You feel like all that hard work was for nothing because the crap never goes away. But anyway, I digress. I’m writing this post because I feel like there are some things I would like to explain about my anxiety because I know they might not be obvious to other people. This is probably going to be pretty badly written and kinda rambley but I felt like I needed to get this out. I’m pretty sure that this post in incredibly cliche and a million people on the internet have already said the same things but damn it, it’s important to me so I’m gonna write about it!
Trust me- I know it’s annoying when I cancel on you. It annoys me too and I hate having to cancel on people and it often makes my anxiety worse for a while, sometimes even sending me into a panic attack. When I cancel on people I often feel like they then hate me. I worry that you think I’m just making excuses when I say I’m having a bad mental health day. But sometimes I literally can’t leave my house, my room or even my bed. I would love to be out having fun with you but I sometimes can’t. Which leads me on to my next point…
Please don’t exclude me from plans. I know it’s frustrating when I cancel on you a lot but even if you think I’m not going to come please still invite me to events. That inclusion helps ease the fears that people don’t like hanging out with me and are mad at me for cancelling on them. It’s nice to feel like someone is thinking about you.
I can’t just “not worry” about it. Worrying is what I do. Even the smallest little worry can easily blow up into a massive worry. Telling me not to worry about something often adds to the worry and sends me spiralling into an introspective state where I start worrying about my inability to stop worrying about the thing I was originally worrying about.
I’m sorry I say Sorry a lot. Another thing that my anxiety causes me to do that I know is annoying and I wish I could stop. If I do something that I think is wrong or has upset you I will worry about it for ages, even if it’s a tiny thing and I will say sorry way more that you think is necessary. There’s a good chance I will message you later in the day to say sorry again. I know it’s annoying, sorry!
Yep- I am a confident person with anxiety. I’m pretty sure most people who know me would describe me as confident, outgoing even. I mean I’m fairly loud both literally and in how I present myself physically. But surprisingly confidence and anxiety can coexist in a person. I know, it’s confusing for me too. It’s a super frustrating experience for me. When I’m in a bad patch of anxiety, especially if it’s to do with some sort of social event, I often get very self critical, thinking back over all the parties I’ve attended recently or speeches I’ve given or new friends I’ve made. And it’s super frustrating- it’s like there’s two of me- the confident me and the anxious me. The fight and it sucks and I can’t really explain it but it’s so shitty to have to live with!
And breathe. That was pretty intense to write and I’m sorry if it makes absolutely no sense. There are so many more points I could raise but I’m gonna stop now because ironically writing this is making me very anxious. Just remember- you can never tell what a person is going through. Be compassionate.