Real Talk

A couple of days ago I shared the picture above on the blog’s Facebook page. The picture was from the Humans of New York page and it was captioned with the following:

“Alopecia is a weird disease to wrap your head around. It causes your immune system to turn against your body, and your hair falls out. I used to have a big blond fro that was a big part of my identity. It was hard to not get depressed when it disappeared. I started to think: ‘What value do I have if even my body doesn’t like itself?’ As I lost more and more hair, I kept trying to comb my remaining hair over my bald spots. Eventually I had to embrace it. On my 20th birthday, I decided that instead of having a bunch of little bald spots that I don’t like, I’m going to give myself one big one that I do like.”

His words hit me hard. When he says “What value do I have if even my body doesn’t like itself?” he asks the question I’ve asked myself many times over the years.

Just like Alopecia, Hashimoto’s causes your immune system to attack your body. Hashis causes symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, inability to get warm, difficulty getting pregnant (seeing that one first-hand right now), hair loss or thinning hair, as well as a variety of other symptoms. Coupled with PCOS, which causes hair growth on the face, menstrual issues, acne, etc. and it begins to feel like you’re trapped in a body that hates you.

And when your body hates you, you begin to hate yourself. In a society that tells you that you should be a size 2, have perfectly clear skin, and be hair-free from your nose to your toes, it can destroy you when your body refuses to do even one of those things.

I wish I had been stronger. I wish I could’ve been like the guy in the picture and learned to embrace it much sooner. I wish that I hadn’t allowed society to dictate my self-esteem. But for nearly 10 years, I did. I hated my body. I hated what I saw in the mirror. I was self-conscious every time I left the house. I felt like everyone could see that one black hair on my chin that was missed when I did my weekly facial hair-removal cream, or that they were wondering why I still had breakouts even though I was in my mid-twenties, or that they were judging me for not losing those twenty pounds because how hard is it really to lose that little bit of weight? (And since I’ve regularly asked myself this, I figured others were definitely wondering the same thing).

Turns out, 99% of the people I know or meet never notice any of these insecurities that I have. And as time has gone by, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t really care if they do. If they judge me based on a few perceived imperfections, I don’t really want them in my life.

Also, as I have figured out some treatments for Hashis and PCOS that my body responds to, I’ve started to feel like I’ve taken back some control which has enabled me to not hate myself so much. I’m beginning to like myself again and realize that I do have value. I won’t lie to you and tell you that I’ve been able to completely shed those inner demons and that I wake every day thinking I’m the most amazing human being to walk the planet. FAR from it. But I don’t wake up most days hating every minute I spend in the mirror.

There are several other factors that have allowed me to get to this place, but that’s for another day. I’m hoping this post hasn’t sounded too “woe is me” because that is not my intent at all. I am extremely lucky to have a disease that is relatively treatable and I know there are so many people on this earth that are living with issues or going through trials that I couldn’t even begin to imagine. But I wanted to share some of what I’ve been through in case there is another person out there that just needs to hear that they are not alone.

No matter what your circumstances, whatever life has thrown at you, whatever cards you’ve been dealt, YOU ARE VALUABLE. Don’t ever forget that.

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Keeping Time: A JORD Watch Review

Jord Watch 1
I don’t remember a time (no pun intended) where I didn’t wear a watch. I think the obsession began somewhere in my pre-teen years and it’s just continued ever since. I wear a watch daily and feel completely lost without one. So when JORD reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in trying one of their watches, I was thrilled!

Jord Watch 2
JORD specializes in wood watches. I had no idea there was even such a thing before they reached out to me but they are BEAUTIFUL! It was able to choose from a couple different watches, which ended up being very difficult as I wanted one in every color and style. I especially was drawn to the larger watches like the Sully, but I ended up choosing the “Ely” in Cherry. I loved the color and the fact that it had a date display.

Shipping was extremely fast! Even with having them size it, the watch came in less than a week. And it came in the most beautiful wood box. It was funny because my husband came home and saw the box which has a “J” on it, and he immediately asked what I had gotten him (his name is Jeff in case you’re new around here).

Jord Watch 3
He was very disappointed when he learned it was something for me, not him. He was even more jealous when he saw the watch. He isn’t the biggest watch-wearer himself, but he really liked that it’s wood. He’s commented several times over the last few weeks how much he liked it — he really wants one for himself now (and I think the dog does too)!

Jord Watch 4
The other great thing about JORD watches is how light they are. Since they are made of wood and not metal like most watches, it feels like I don’t have anything on my wrist when I wear my Ely watch. And it goes with so much! I’ve been truly surprised how easy it is to wear with jeans and t-shirts but also dress it up for work or a night out.

Jord Watch 5
And I’ve received SO many compliments on it! It’s quickly become a staple accessory for me. I’ve already got a wish list started and will be asking for one of the lighter wood styles, like the Sidney or Fieldcrest, for my birthday!

Are you a watch wearer? If you could choose from any of the JORD watches, which one would it be?

Watch Gift Ideas

***This post was written in collaboration with JORD Watches. I received a watch in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

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Friday Five

Sheesh, how did another week go by so quickly? Thankfully, it wasn’t quite the crazy hours at work like the week before. But I think I was recovering from all the busyness because this week there were a couple of days that I had to take a nap when I got home from work. I haven’t had to do that in quite a while thanks to my thyroid being under control, so I knew I was really exhausted and tried to lay low as much as possible.

– one –

My mom, sister, and I had a girls’ weekend in Charlotte and we had our first Blow Dry Bar experience at 1890 Blow Dry Bar. It. Was. AWESOME! Having someone wash your hair, massage your scalp, blow dry it, then style it for you? All for under $40? That’s my kind of pampering. I went with the “Loose Curls” style that even in NC humidity and heat managed to last ALL day. I even had some curls left the next morning after sleeping on it, so that was impressive. Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

– two –

Had some good shopping success at the mall. Discovered the amazingness that is H&M. Not sure where I’ve been but I’m now in love with that store. Such good prices and cute stuff! If only we had one in Wilmington… Madewell and Anthropologie were also having great sales, so I got a couple of tops from them too.

– three –

We couldn’t go to Charlotte without making a stop at IKEA!

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– four –

I am personally not a runner, but seeing this on Women’s Running Magazine is just phenomenal! You can be strong and healthy without being a size 0. 

– five –

And just because it’s Friday, and who doesn’t like a little Ryan Gosling?!

Hope you’ve had a great week!

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