Lyme stole my “pretty!”

Anyone else feel like this?! I blame Timehop. I used to love when my Timehop app told me my day’s Timehop was ready. I’d cruise through the photos I’d posted to social media on that day one year ago, two years ago, three years ago. Now, more often than not, those pictures make me sad. I miss the way I used to look.

Lyme has impacted my life in a lot of ways, and the way it’s impacted my appearance, well I wish I didn’t care as much but I do.

Lyme changed a lot about the way that I look. My hair fell out (so I cut it off). I’ve lost 30 pounds so far. My boobs are deflated and I don’t have a butt anymore. My skin has gotten dry and flaky, my lips always chapped. My eyelids get inflamed and crack whenever I wear makeup now. (Seriously, what the heck, Lyme?!) And the sort of sizable muscles I used to have from crossfit are long gone.

I look back on pictures of my old self and I miss my long hair. I miss healthy, glowing skin. I miss that baby fat in my cheeks. This girl didn’t have a care in the world:

before 1 Before cheeks

This one, on the other hand, has a concern or two (and a heart monitor strapped to her chest):

Slim Face

This is the same pair of jeans in this picture! 9 months apart.

Before 5 (jeans) After (jeans)

And don’t even get me started on the sun-hiding fashion choice Doxycycline has forced me to make!

Doxy Fashion

When I get upset about this stuff, I tell myself looks don’t matter. And honestly, I know I still look ok. People tell me all the time how great I look (thin is in, I guess). And the truth is, I don’t think it’s my looks REALLY that bug me. There really aren’t even that many attributes about my appearance that I particularly dislike right now.

It’s mostly that when I look in the mirror these days, I don’t see myself. I see a sick girl. And no matter how many people tell me how great I look or how healthy I appear to be, I see sick.

I’m trying hard to appreciate my body for all the work it’s doing right now. When I make it up a hill on a walk without sitting down to pant a while, when I sleep through the night, when I get through a work day and still have energy enough to make dinner, I praise it big time. My physical self, it’s going through a lot right now, and the last thing it needs is for me to give it shit for not looking good enough while it does it. That will come in time, I am sure.

But I’m learning it’s important to mourn too, and express the things that make us mad. So while I fully accept and love this body for all it is right now, I am sure sure mad about what has been taken from me. And that’s ok too.

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