Have you ever had those moments when you opened a birthday or Christmas present and your voice went all high pitched in an attempt to be enthusiastic, but you were really thinking, “What is this and why?”
I experienced this very recently. My well-intentioned older sister gifted me a set of anti-aging products for my birthday. I’m 34. I wasn’t so much offended by this as I was thinking, “I don’t need this or care.” Most other people my age do use these products and access Botox and even fillers. Don’t get me wrong, I have always supported all the things that make us feel good about ourselves, not for others, but for ourselves as individuals.
I did find myself questioning why I had such a visceral reaction to this gift. Not only did I have no interest, I didn’t want to use any of these products.
As someone in recovery from an eating disorder who has faced my end of life time and time again, I love every year that comes and goes. All the years I never thought would come and go are a tremendous gift, that comes with all the signs of aging. I have come to love those signs.
Those wrinkles on my eyes that I have from smiling and laughing until my stomach hurt; those lines on my forehead that are there from working through the difficult and stressful hardship that is the recovery space. The list goes on and on. They are a sign of who I am, what I went through and the work I continue to do day in and day out. I don’t need a product to ameliorate these “flaws.” I even hate the word “flaws” because to me they are gifts.
If I was a statistic, I should have been dead years ago but that’s not what the universe had in store for me. I can’t say I’m in a place where I love my body, but that’s OK. I just don’t need to change it, even all the lines and wrinkles. I’m starting to finally accept what is, in whatever way that presents itself.
I may use that expensive exfoliant once in awhile, but not because I am trying to change myself ( but maybe just because I decide to do a self-care at night). I vow to do it to make me feel good, not to change any part of myself.
Those days are done.