Me, in an Instagram-ish manner. Embracing my under-eye circles and Resting Bitch Face. Deal with it.
I’ve mentioned here before, a number of times, how having M.E. forces you to plan the most simple things in a ridiculous amount of detail just so you can actually get stuff done. I’m pretty sure I’ve also talked more than once about how having fun with my appearance has a hugely positive effect on the way I feel about living with a chronic illness.
I’ve you’ve never encountered my musings on that particular subject, here’s a summary to put the rest of this blog entry into context. It cheers me up a lot to wear make-up, paint my nails and do interesting things with my hair. I tend towards the vibrant and creative. I am not a natural-look person, most of the time. There’s something very uplifting about having fabulous hair and nails when the rest of my body is feeling rotten. It takes a bit of time and energy to achieve this, but (to me, anyway) it’s totally worth it.
Disregarding for a moment the visual aspect of personal care, doing things like having a shower and washing my hair on a semi-regular basis actually requires scheduling. Yep, on Tuesdays I only work in the evening (rather than afternoon and evening) so that I have time to have a shower and wash my hair earlier in the day, then recover suitably before work begins.
A full body cleaning session is pretty tiring so it’s generally not something I’m able to achieve either before or after a full day of work. Thankfully I work from home so it doesn’t matter too much that I tend to work in my pyjamas, with no make-up on and hair like Sonic the Hedgehog. I should probably state for the record that I do actually shower more than once a week…just in case I may have accidentally given the wrong impression there.
Today sees the monthly Doing Of The Roots, where my naturally mid-blonde hair is turned a different colour by the power of chemicals. The act of slathering dye on my hair doesn’t take too much effort, but washing it off again means standing up for longer in the shower. I am currently rocking a serious platinum blonde, which is my favourite lazy-colour as it requires pretty much zero upkeep apart from the monthly root-doing. It doesn’t fade over the course of a few weeks the way the pink and blue I love to much tend to do. It looks ok in a grungy sort of way when regrowth becomes visible. A hair colour that looks very high maintenance actually isn’t at all.
I really don’t enjoy looking sick, but it’s something that can’t be helped a lot of the time. A lot of people with chronic illnesses who I’ve spoken to over the years have shared the view that dedicating a little bit of time and energy (when you have it – style is not worth making yourself sicker over!) to seemingly frivolous appearance-related things is good for the soul. When your body is the source of pain and unhappiness a lot of the time, it feels great to do something little that puts the awesomeness you have inside onto the outside.