Summer. You either love it or you hate it, and for me, I despise it. I hate everything about summer from the heat to the bushfires to seeing perfect skinny people walking around showing their perfect bodies in shorts and bathers while I’m over here in my black maxi skirt and top trying not to go up in flames from overheating like a car engine.
Not only does summer make my self hatred and lack of confidence go down even more, it makes all my health conditions 10x worse. My chronic fatigue gets worse, my POTS gets worse but the main thing summer does would have to be the fact that my anxiety and depression plummets even more.
Winter is good because everyone is bundled up in jackets and scarves and you fit in, but in summer people try to wear as little clothes as they can without being arrested for public indecency. For someone with no confidence and self esteem and who finally gets the courage to go outside, it is so hard to see so many people showing off their bodies and walking around like they don’t have a care in the world. I on the other hand, spend an hour trying and retrying all my clothes on to see what I feel looks even remotely ok on me and even then I’m still hating on myself and just want to hide. I hate my arms so much that when it’s 35degrees outside I’m still wearing a light jacket-y/shawl thing so my arms aren’t showing. The other problem is that I only like to wear black maxi skirts so when I have to walk anywhere the inner part of my thighs start to chafe and then I’m stuck with a horrible burning and stingy feeling every time I take a step.
Another problem I have when trying to find clothes for me to wear is that because I’m so bloated all the time from the Gastroparesis I look pregnant and so I can only wear loose fitting tops and if I do find a dress that I don’t hate and doesn’t highlight my muffin top, I have to suck my tummy in the whole time I’m out and that sh*t is painful after a little bit!
So between the struggles of trying to find something to wear and the inflamed self hatred I have from seeing skinny people out in their shorts, I end up staying indoors most of summer! That gets expensive though because then you have to have the air-conditioner on all the time and those bloody rising electricity and gas prices… annoying much?!
I have a hard enough time regulating my internal thermostat when it’s not boiling hot, but when summer hits I basically shut down; I overheat and feel like I’m going to pass out alot and I can never get cool. My hot flushes get worse and the pounding heart I get thanks to the POTS also gets worse too. Oh and sleeping! My god that’s an even bigger nightmare every night. I toss and turn and then I get Restless Leg Syndrome so I have to stand up and try to walk around my house until the pain of that goes away but then when I lie back down it comes back again. I end up sweating and panting because my two fans just aren’t enough to get me cool so I have to get up and go to the lounge room and sit under the aircon for a little bit until I’m cooler and then try to get some sleep. Oh and if I had to go outside that day and walk around, I also have to be mindful of the chafing I experienced so I can’t sit or lie down with my legs closed so that makes trying to sleep that little bit harder.
I wish I had the confidence to wear whatever I wanted whether it be a cute dress or a skirt that goes above my knees or a cute singlet top without worrying about how I look but I just can’t do it. I become even more aware of how I look and have a harder time with my anxiety and depression and all those unhelpful negative thoughts I get. I am constantly trying to cover up my stomach with the little jacket/shawl thing I’m wearing so no one can see my love handles or that my bloating is really bad that day and I can’t suck my stomach in at all so I end up looking 7 months pregnant (this is not an exaggeration btw, I genuinely end up looking heavily pregnant sometimes because of the bloating associated with the Gastroparesis. On a ‘normal’ day I look around 4-5 months pregnant and I can kinda suck my stomach in.) I end up fidgeting more and have to make sure that my arms are covered and I am so in my head that if I’m spending quality time with Mum, I’m not really there with her because I can’t relax and enjoy myself.
I end up feeling like a sweaty, pregnant looking beached whale.
Summer sucks all around for me and I don’t know if I’ll ever enjoy it…
Keep cool to the people experiencing summer at the moment and to the people in winter right now, I’m super jealous.