Monday, April 22, 2013

When the going gets tough.

I am just coming out of one of the worst cycles of insomnia that I've had for years.

The thing has lasted/had an iron hold on me since just before the time change and is only now easing up some.

That being what it is, self care has been hard y'all.

I'm going to be really honest.

At some point during the last month or so I stopped giving a shit. Doing things like bathing, wearing clean clothes, taking care of my skin, taking my vitamins etc became entirely unimportant.

I was (am) depressed. But not the kind that can be dealt with and pinpointed  I am fairly certain that my depression is cyclical with my bad bouts of insomnia.

I just stopped giving all fucks.

So lately this means that self care has been so hard.

Given how many fucks I did not give, and continue to not give I've had to put my foot down with myself.

the first thing to stop being cute has been my skin.. My skin is broken out, looks shitty and of course as I've mentioned before the fastest way to torpedo my own self esteem is my skin going to crap.

I was not doing it y'all. I really wasn't and couldn't really bring myself to.

So I did a few things.

Spurred by getting a new influenster box I bought some new things for my skin. I am making sure that I am hydrating by having a giant cup full of water and a straw and just sipping away until I hve to pee. This has been difficult.

Almost every night while I am doing my skin care rituals, in the back of my head I'm hearing myself talk shit about it. About how it doesn't matter, about how I've wasted time and money, about how gross my face is.

And then I look at myself in the mirror and say, wash your stupid fucking face right.

I have been anxious (as heightened by my insomnia yay) and eating is hard. I don't want to lose more weight or get sick so I have been fighting my give no fucks instincts and feeding myself and keeping myself somewhat okay.

I eat stuff and put peanut butter on it. I take small doses of tylenol when I need it because I am in more pain when my sleep is bullshit than when it's not.

I make myself take my vitamins.I 'm actually just back on my vitamins. I'd not taken them in a few weeks.

Here's the thing.

It's not really about me feeling nice or sparkly right now it's about survival.

No on one hand I don't give a shit how my face looks.

But I know rationally that when my face is awful, my self esteem is awful.

I take care of one thing to mitigate the other.

I cannot afford to get sick right now so I make myself take my vitamins, eat and drink water.

I do not have the financial means to let myself get sick enough to be missing a lot of work. I have no fall back. This is it.

So the days when I'm so tired I can't control my emotions or I'm so anxious I feel like I'm going to become a jittering vomit/poop fountain, this is about the conversation I have with myself.

OKay look. You are being an asshole. You don't want to eat, you don't want anything right now. I know you don't give a shit but we have shit to do. Remember that rent thing?  Yes so do what you gotta do and take care of shit.

Imagine this in a very stern commanding tone of voice.

My inner voice is often a barking drill sergeant rather than a sweet voice impelling me towards niceness.

My checklist of things to do daily is shouted in my head:

  • GO POOP!
It's all very noisy in here. I let that bossy loud voice be the voice of reason right now because my reason is broken.

I have spent some money on little sparkly things that make me smile for a minute. Yes, right now those few moments of OH SHINY are worth the expense.

I understand that right now because of the insomnia and the ensuing being off balance, I need to be careful with myself. I understand that in order for me to keep functioning as well as I can, I need to care for this stupid fucking body of mine.

I am really annoyed with my body. A lot of things hurt that aren't supposed to be hurting. Allergy season is in full swing and I itch from head to doe, my face is doing shit I don't want it to do. I want to maintain my stupid weight, I want to have my walks but not be walking so much that more bad things happen.

I have to keep telling myself that I can survive.

Only sleeping for 3-4 hours a night?

Fuck you brain, fuck you I will make it.

Feeling like the ugliest grosses human on the planet?

Fine. I can roll through it. I will, in spite of the sure emotional knowledge that I am the grossest human to ever walk the planet, I will take care of my fucking grossness.

Every day I do some little thing, even if (as it has been lately) I am doing my complicated skin care ritual. That's all. 

I am not hopeful it will pass on the basis of anything other than i know I can survive.

I am trying not to make any big decisions like hair cuts or colors.

I'm trying not to fall completely under my own spell of giving no fucks about myself.

I'm not giving myself too much shit about my bad habits. I'm smoking too much, eating too much candy, looking at too many silly things on ebay. I am not getting involved with/following any of the awful tragic things that have happened recently.

I am wrapping myself in soft batting as much as I can right now because I can't handle all the awful things. I don't read the news, I tumblr saviored a lot of stuff.

I will preserve what peace I have.

I will let myself be as crazy as I need to be when I get home or to myself. Why? Not because I think it is necessarily a good coping mechanism but it's the one I have.

My big point here is that when things are bad for you for whatever reasons, it's okay to just do what self care you can do.

If that means going to someone's house and laying in their bed eating cake, then maybe it's time to do that for a while.

If that means a news embargo, do it.

Need to be a cranky miserable fucker right now? Be a cranky miserable fucker.

The point is not to make yourself look good to the universe or world at large.

You preserve yourself.

We need to make it through the bad times too.

If you're having a bad time, I may not understand your exact circumstances but I understand.

So that's what's happening right now. I am doing what I can to get through, matter of fact I'm going to eat a packet of peanut butter right now and make tea.

I'm going to try not to scratch myself raw because my allergies are kicking. I'm going to continue being a reclusive cranky old fucker because I cannot handle 90% of the world right now. I just, I can't. So I won't.

I think that's all for right now homies.

Homo Out.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Things that are going on.

I haven't been certain how to talk about this so I'm just going to let it out.

I suppose TW because I'm talking about weightloss today.

My own.

Since about last October I've lost bits of weight. I honestly did not notice until I tried to wear my favorite pair of black slacks from Old navy and they were so big that without a belt I walked two steps in my apartment and they fell directly off.

On many levels I am very in touch with my body. I can normally tell within a few hours when my period is going to start, I know when I'm getting sick vs being just tired, I know what changes in my skin mean.

I did not notice what was going on with my weight until I had no pants to wear in mid winter.

I will be honest, when I really looked and realized how much weight I'd lost I completely freaked out. I had one pair of tiny pants that fit, it was still winter and I couldn't find my one belt.

Holy shit.

I was totally unsure what was going to happen, I felt so weird about it. I still feel weird about it.

Now when I'm taking my clothes off when I get home or in the bath etc now i see where my body has changed.

I won't lie and say it's been all sunshine and YAY I have a smaller ass.

No I've been worried that I might accidentally lose too much weight. My self esteem about how my body looks wobbled hard and fell right goddamn down.

Here's the thing. Being much smaller than I am right this moment, is really a bad thing for me. My body looks funny and odd and disproportionate to me.

Right now I'm (as usual with me) smack between a large size 12 and a mid-size 14.

that's pretty okay with me.

I keep having to pump myself up about it while I am looking at skirts on ebay. I had to change all of my ebay search settings. I have to try to remind myself that the beautiful skirt that is a size 16 that I have wanted for a couple of months won't fit me now.

I have to relearn my body and that my homies, scares the shit out of me.

I have to spend a lot of energy to make sure I am eating enough because I don't want to lose more weight. I don't want my body to change anymore.

I spend a lot of energy managing my responses when people try to talk to me about my weightloss. I don't really want to yell at well meaning people because it makes me feel like a jerk.

I worry sometimes that I am going to not notice and suddenly find myself pantsless again.


I don't even have the vocabulary to express to you guys the depths and ways I have anxiety about this.

And for me, anxiety at the best of times really fucks with my appetite and trying to take care of myself.


So where am I at right now?

I am back in that weird place size wise. I have been waiting and excited about doing some summer shopping in awesome plus size shops. A lot of the things I want to save for I am just a bit too small for. The same styles in average sizes I am a bit too big for.
I am remembering being this same size years ago. Some Jrs. larger sizes work well on me because I'm short and I like my skirts mid-thigh to knee or maxi length. I remember that in pants at this size it's easier still to wear elastic waists.

I'm still a fat person. I am a small fat person. Smaller anyway.

For my regular readers. Understand that the current state of my body, privilege be damned I have not forgotten being fatter.

I realize that my current set of problems is not the same as the problems I had when i was fatter and are not the same as those who are lots larger than I am.

My perspective about fatness and body things has not changed at all. If anything, a lot of the things I've talked about are reinforced now that I am acceptably fat. I dislike a lot of the commentary about bodies my size as much as I disliked it when I was bigger or when other people are bigger.

It's fucking stupid.

I am still entirely convinced that anyone who only gauges my health by the size of my ass is a lying ass liar.

I am still entirely convinced that medical professionals by and large, have no interest in my actual health as long as I look okay.

I am not okay with body policing.

I am not okay with the idea that body size whether it's a thin body or a really fucking fat body is indicative of moral failings or wins.

I could have not shared these things.

I thought about not talking about it here so I wouldn't alienate people.

But the fact is, as I've said lots of times over the years I've been blogging in this here slice of the internet, I will talk about whatever I want to. The fact is, this is a part of my life and my perspective so I will talk about it when I need to.

I don't like to in particular, I am vaguely embarrassed by how much my body changed right in front of my eyes. I forgive myself, stress does things to me.

Angst aside I feel like I am resettling in my body the way it is.

Yes, I have mourned the size 16 ass I had because frankly, for a minute I was filling out my size 16 pants in the ass parts and was pretty excited.

I am getting used to things and my ass. It's taking some work on my part, way more than one might think. Again I am reminded that smaller/thinner is not always good and desired.

Sometimes it's just traumatic and anxiety creating.

So that's the state of my ass and emotions about my ass.

Not great but adjusting.

And I am trying my damndest to self care through this and not be an asshole to myself surrounding my feelings about how my body is changing. It's hard y'all but, I am doing it.

Homo out.


Friday, April 05, 2013

The Way I cover my ass.

First let me say, FUCK YES BEATFREAK and everyone else who has reported in.

You are DOING IT.

If you're confused see this entry.

NOW spurred by Marianne's piece at XOjane. Yes, I suspend my XOjane embargo to read Marianne.

Let us examine some of the few recentish outfit pictures I have.

Now before I post these, can we not talk about my weightloss? I will probably talk about it at some point but, I'm still feeling very weird and confused by it so I don't want that to be the focus. I am still fat, just a smaller fat.

As Marianne could be known by her stripes and fabulous hair, I can be known with my casual office gothness.

This outfit is pretty typical of how I prefer to dress when the weather is cool. The wrap top was thrifted years ago, the camisole is from the Fred Meyer's lingerie clearance section, the socks from sock dreams and the boots from Ross. The skirt from my first Deb Shops Purchase.
You see my silly America's Next Top model broken doll pose.

The second outfit, the cardigan was thrifted at value Village the tee from the fitted Old navy scoop neck area, warm winter tights, Socks and Sock Garters from Sock dreams and my trusty oxblood Doc Martens.

What always makes me laugh when it comes to how I dress day to day is that I am not quite the fancy goth. Also often at a fast glance there's isn't anything odd about how I dress, often I will see people take in the boots, the tall socks (often stripey) the metal in my face, and right now the almost ass length multi colored extensions and I get that wtf are you doing look.

Now what makes an outfit isn't just style, it' snot even the things like fit and how big your ass is.

Look at Marianne in her outfits, look at me in mine.

What we have in common is that neither of us, when you look at us gives a hot fuck about what you have to say about our outfits.

That is what makes an outfit.

One of the thinsg I have learned through my fancy goth phases, my trashiness (slips as outerwear yes PLEASE), weird shit I've worn, age inappropriate things, daytime inappropriate things etc etc is that regardless of how many people are looking, I still feel good if I'm not plucking at my skirts or kind of shuffling my feet around.

My rule for what I do and don't wear is very very simple.

If I can walk, stand and whatnot without having the urge to cover, tuck, adjust etc etc or project discomfort I'm good.

I learned at an early age because I was a black child in a place with not a lot of Black children, that people are going to look at me. Sometimes they are going to gawp, sometimes they will point, sometimes I will watch them look at me, or watch me and whisper behind their hands to other people.

That was even before I started wearing funny clothes or having funny hair.

Back then, that made me awfully self conscious. I was conscious of my skin, of my size (as a kid smaller than other kidlets), I was self conscious about my long hair up in afro puffs or big fat braids, I was conscious of everything.

I spent a lot of time trying to blend in. Trying to be invisible. Trying to avoid the undue notice of people because I was concerned that I made them uncomfortable.

Our society reinforces that.

Now think about that.

How fucked up is it that we are taught to hold the concerns of strangers, that we should not be comfortable in our own skins or our clothes or with our freaky hair color choices, so people are comfortable looking at us.

Not knowing us. Not caring for us. We are supposed to want to make other people feel okay with how we present ourselves, more than we want to present ourselves in ways that bring us joy.

I had a very hard realization about that once.

I was in high school and I had this autumnal rayon color blocked suit jacket. I liked to wear it with a camisole underneath, a short black skirt, black pantyhose and a little pair of black velvet kitten heels.

That outfit made me feel grown up, powerful and sexy. it was one of the first thing I owned that put a swing in my hips. When I passed reflections of myself my back got straighter, my booty went out and I Stomped.

Until one grown ass woman told me I looked like a slut.

In five seoncds of asshole behavior, she stomped all over something very beautiful and very important.

She shit on the tender little flower buds of self confidence, of self assurance, of me figuring out the intersection between my body as it was and how I wanted people to see it, she stomped on the wonder of feeling beautiful and powerful.


Because she thought my skirt was too short.

I wish I could go back in time and pat Baby Shannon on the butt and say, fuck that stupid lady she was wearing ugly shoes.

There were more incidents like that, often coming from adults who for one reason or another did not like my aesthetics  my body or the fact that I was not visibly ashamed of my teenaged chubby body but that one really started a long period of me questioning my instincts.

Instead of me having the opportunity to flex those muscles and learn how to wield the might of giving no fucks, I had to learn that I was the problem.

When I got a bit older, I remember another incident.

I was maybe 19 or so and out shopping or something wearing my favorite outfit. I had platform boots, fishnets, a leopard print slip dress (that I MOURN not having more of to this day), a little sparkly cardigan, purple hair, glitter on my face and a big black ugly purse. Someone told me I looked tacky. I remember distinctly looking at the woman, smiling sweetly and saying OH THANK YOU.

It was a turning point.

Since that day, when not working jobs with strict dress codes or uniforms I have merrily wandered around wearing whatever the fuck I fancy.

I have things like this magenta sequined a line mini skirt (I think it had been part of a dance team uniform or something), platform leopard print high heels, tattered almost see through black slips, cut off shorts with slits to the waistband with cowboy boots, all manner of make up, titties out, big ass hams out. Whatever makes me feel happy and comfortable.

For about a 1 year period I tried to dress "normal".

it was a miserable failure.

Sometimes when getting dressed I was in tears.

I cried because I hated the things I was wearing. They didn't feel like me. They didn't look like me and I walked around with my shoulders slumped and my head down.

I stopped and felt better.

So my darlings, here is the big point.

Given how many things in our world suck and how miserable we can feel for any number of reasons, why add one you don't have to?

In my world, the things I wear not only show the world a part of my personality and soul. They arm me.

My big winged liner, and all black outfits, and lip ring, and gauged ears and the boots and the extensions and the black lipstick and the painted nails and the beat face are all pieces of an intricate self defense system.

For people who wear uniforms to work or work in places where you can't wear anything too weird here's my solution for you.

Have to wear black pants? Wear some crazy socks. Wear crazy underwear. Wear a skeleton hand necklace and tuck it under your shirt at work.

Buy a blue lipstick and put it on going out the door.

It's not so important what you wear but that you love it.

Now my darlings I will leave you with this.

In this instance, fuck other people. Fuck their feelings. Fuck their opinions.

Your body, your presentation is not here for them it's here for you.

Play with how you present your gender, wear weird eyebrows, wear a cocktail dress and a ratty ass cardigan.

Decorate yourself with ribbons and coffee filters if you want to.

Do it for you. Get your armor on and go forth into the world with your head held high because you are perfect.

Homo Out.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Self Care homework DONE.

Well, self care homework on going. I had a rough week last week. Between being followed home a few times, tension headaches and shitty days at work last week was a mess.

 I was also just plain tired. I had to remind myself of the things I said to y'all. I had to start with a few easy things.

I had to process some news. Despite the inconvience of where we live right now, we're not moving as soon as we were hoping. It's just not the best idea and it's smarter for us to wait and make sure everything is fine financially than move and have to tighten the purse strings too much. Not to mention I've been walking downtown at night because I have a long wait to get my bus home, and I walk by these amazing apartment buildings and it's depressing.

At one point last week I felt just, useless and weird and unhappy. So here's what I did.

I took my time washing my face and used my new favorite thing the Sensuous Spice Mask by Montagne Jeunesse. I picked up a tube of this mask totally at random from Big Lots a few weeks ago and while I don't know if it makes a huge visual difference in my skin, I'm a big fan of how relaxing self heating masks are. If you have super sensitive skin I'd not use that one.

What else did I do?

I was peeling (yay season changes) so I took time to use my sugar scrub on my body and then I moisturized like hell.

And then Friday night after kind of flailing about for a while I got in bed and put in a whole new set of extensions which I will show you later.

It took me so long and I am honestly terrible at all things hair styling but I did it.

I feel like a unicorn with fantastic multi colored almost ass length twists.

Today was my first day out of the house with them and I got a lot of side eye from people and you know what?

I don't give a fuck.

I have my spring weight coat, I'm wearing a cute dress and my new favorite cardigan from Lane Bryant and naturally because I love it they don't have it anymore...


My point is that for me part of refuelling myself means putting myself into a state where I feel good walking around in the world. I feel ready for shit and I can deal with shit.

SOme of that also involved just ranting to my bestie.

I had to put myself on a new embargo.

I watched a lot of stupid videos on youtube, I listened to things I like, I started reading the second book in the Game of Thrones series.

I daydreamed dumb things like, I was thinking about how I'm going to decorate my bag, wondering if I could find a pair of cheap canvas sneakers to try decorating even though I hate wearing sneakers.

Here's the real point.

I had to take some time and frankly brute force and make myself be nice.

First I was an asshole and barking at myself in my head:


And then once I got some momentum, I could stop yelling at myself.

I watched a lot of true crime serial killer/killer things because I like them.

I can tell you my friends, I was really not giving a lot of fucks about self care and then I just did it. I didn't do it because I wanted to necessarily, to start out I was just tired and upset and itchy and feeling like the Grossest thing to ever Gross in the world.

But I know, even when feeling tht way I know that if I start I can continue. I will feel better in the long run.

Today I am sore from all the awkward positions needed to get my hair done but I feel better.

Now let's talk about something else.

When I am overwhelmed by life I have a very bad habit of internalizing a lot of bullshit and getting into a spiral of self directed criticisms and that can lead to a whole mess of badness that is all self directed.

When I put the brakes on and get myself that glass of water, stop and take some time to put lotion on my hands, find my favorite chapstick whatever, those are tiny moments where I have a chance to pull the emergency brake.

It is a treacherous balancing act to learn when to be bossy and maybe a bit assholeish to yourself and when to ease off and be gentle.

Think of it like this.

If you were to take a step away from yourself, and pretend that the you, you are looking at is a stray critter of whatever type you like.

Let's say this you that you are looking at is a wet, shivering stray cat.

You probably don't want the kitty to keep shivering. Maybe the kitty is an asshole cat but needs some taking care of.

Maybe you can handle doing that care, maybe you take the cat to a nearby vet.

But you don't say kick the cat? You don't say fuck you cat, it's raining and you suck and I hope you get the shits forever.

Even if you don't like that cat in particular, you don't want to see it suffer.

Sometimes you need to give yourself the same treatment.

Look at yourself and sternly say,

Okay self. This is some bullshit. You are being an asshole right now but I need to take care of you.

That is not an easy moment by any means but it is important.

Even when (yes Beatfreak I'm talking to you too here) you are looking at yourself and really are not into it, you can still take care of yourself the best you can.

Maybe you're like me and some skin care and water and you're back on the right track.

Maybe you need more serious intervention and need a meal or to put down everything and go for a walk.

Do what you need to do.

Do what means that you will survive the bullshit and maybe come out a little better than you went in.

If I can teach myself to do these things, you can teach yourself these things.

Now someone else asked about facial care.

So here's your first mission should you choose to embark on a skin care adventure.

I don't care what color your skin is. Go to a drug store and buy a facial moisturizer with SPF.

It doesn't have to be fancy or promise more youthful skin etc etc.

You just want it to be suitable for your skin (for instance if you have oily skin don't buy something for dry skin) and have at least a 25SPF.

I want you to put the tube or bottle next to the sink in your bathroom.

Write a note that says, Brush teeth, wash face, moisturize face.

Do it until you are doing it like it's your job.

Not only are you self caring, you're doing something good for yourself and it is low impact on your wallet (you can find a decent moisturizer for about 5-10$), you're helping protect your only face from sun damage and it takes about 20 seconds.

One of the marvelous things about self care is that you get to make your own rules absolutely.

Nobody can tell you yes or no, nobody can take away the good you do for yourself because it is coming from inside of you.

For me, right now here's my self care plan for today.

I'm going to drink out of my giant water bottle, snack on some chips and salsa and then eat my delicious soup.

After work I'm going for a nice walk.

When I get home I'm going to loll about in the tub, do a little face care and then slather myself with good smelling whipped shea butter.

If anyone is interested, later this week I'll do a revised version of my ways to feel fancy and fabulous on a tight budget. I'll give you links to some shops, give you some tips about how I manage it and stuff.

Homo Out.

Do your homework, do something nice for yourself right now.


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