Learn to Love Thy Self

​So yes, I love snapchat, I can manage to make myself look better than real life, which can be quite a feat some days. It has been hard to find an ounce of confidence these days and on Monday I went in and had my hair cut off. Our recent family photo shoot was a race against time for me, or a race against my hair. The medication I take for my rheumatoid arthritis and stress has been making my hair fall out by the handfuls every time I shower. It has been harder to hide my bald spots and even harder to make myself look partially decent with thinning hair. I expected to deal with some of this at some point in my life, just not in my thirties. 
Being chronically ill sucks. It has changed every ounce of who I am and I am struggling to accept any of these physical or emotional changes. I never thought the physical changes would bother me so much but since my hair started falling out, I feel like there is no way to make myself look like “me” again. I look in the mirror and wonder who the woman is staring back at me. My weight fluctuates quickly, my hair is thin and brittle, my face looks like I’m in my teenage years, and it’s hard to smile through it all. Who am I and what am I supposed to look like? Next week will I have any hair left? Will my medications make the dark circles return under my eyes? Maybe I’ll look twice my age before long and I often wonder how the disease has advanced the age of my body. How many years will I have left? Should I anticipate an early death? It’s funny how many other things a handful of hair makes you think about. It’s hard enough being a woman and approaching forty, but approaching forty having a disease most people relate to those more than double my age is depressing. Really.. I hear, “You are too young for that.” Unfortunately I don’t understand the point in telling me that because disease doesn’t care how old you should be when you get sick, it’s destructive just the same. 
So I’m sliding closer to forty and further away from thirty and I have a lot to think about, mostly, can I look and feel better and maybe finally accept all that is happening to me.  I doubt I will anytime soon because it still p’s me off. I know I have to figure out who I am and try to like myself, with my disease but it’s a particularly hard task for me. I, like my grandma, struggle with letting the opinion of others define me, especially those who don’t like me. Am I alone? I bet not.
I bet there are many other women like me who are in their thirties who feel like we just graduated from high school and wonder what happened to the last twenty years. I remember very clearly when my dad turned 40, it seems like yesterday, yet here it is quickly approaching. Sadly, I feel like I’m still in high school when it comes to how I view myself and how others view me. I feel like there is always a few haters that are watching me and waiting to tear me up and I know I have a few haters, including me. I hope I can figure out a way to accept my haters and exclude myself from the group. I have to learn to love myself, I’m just sad that it may take me until I’m forty to accomplish it. 
*d*

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