(Oops! I’m a day behind!) My chronic illness and pain journey led be into an extremely dark depression for nearly a year. I’m not exactly sure it’s ever going to pack is bags honestly. While I’ve lost so much to the pain it also lead me to a revelation- I can be whoever the fuck I want!
I wouldn’t say I was “the new Carolyn” because I just finally embraced the parts of my I thought people wouldn’t approve of. I live in the heart of the South, deep in the Bible belt so I just don’t see a lot of people like III wanted to be. But, I realized my disability MADE me weird. My pain left me with a fierce desire to live the life III wanted in the small window of low pain I had.
If they’re going to stare at me I’m going to give them something to see! I returned to my love of punk music and it’s ascetics. The featured image of my sitting in my wheelchair was taken outside of the debut concert of Green Day’s “Revolution Radio” tour. 😉 My hated wheelchair had earned me front row seats! I had fun added tons of black, grey, & white and distressed jeans. Of course Chuck Taylor All Stars! I picked up makeup again after about 10 years. I felt confident enough to get my first tattoo! * I’m getting no. 6 on Friday! 😜
Top L-R: My Chemical Romance’s Killjoy Party Poison’s logo; Totem style orcas in honor of all animals facing cruelty; Geo style of a beagle in memory of my late dog Buck; Bottom: Awareness ribbon butterfly in teal for Trigeminal Neuralgia – my neurological facial pain disease.
None of this was to copy anyone out any one style. I realized who I was through expressing myself appearance. Dressing to make myself happy and exploring makeup styles gave me the confidence to mentally reframe how I thought about myself. Like how my wheelchair went from a big sign of my failures to a something that enabled me to see my favorite band of all time-ever!
I think the strongest- most important!- realization was -to quote a My Chemical Romance song (my second favorite of all time-ever band) – I’m (not) Okay! That I didn’t have to accept and be grateful in some way of my disability. I can love the good parts of my life and still be angry as fuck about the other parts. I don’t have to pretend on the outside.