RA vs Femininity

06Sep09

Sometimes it is hard to feel feminine when you have RA. I listened to a girl at work talk about how she loves to wear high heeled shoes because they make her feel beautiful. All I could think of is how painful that would be. When I chose what I wear I pick whatever is most comfortable. When I get ready in the morning, I prioritize sleep over makeup and skin care products.

Now, I don’t believe you have to conform to a strict dress code or way of looking to be beautiful. I’m really talking about feeling beautiful. This has always been hard for me. It seems like every day a new nodule or joint change happens and I can’t help but feel unattractive at my worst of times.

I often wonder, how can I look at myself and see strength, not disfigurement? How do I feel sexy when I feel pain and exhaustion? How do I feel okay with my far less than perfect self? I find this to be one of my greatest struggles living with RA. The constant change of this disease requires a constant revising of my definition of self. It requires me to accept changes that I feel are the for the worse, not the better.

I think my work friend has the answer. Maybe high heeled shoes won’t work for me, but it is important to take care of myself and do things that make me feel attractive. There are many ways to feel womanly and I need to remember to make that a priority. I think sometimes because I am constantly dealing with day to day living, I forget I have other needs and sometimes it is important to focus on those other parts of me.

How is it that you feel beautiful? Does anyone have some secrets they’d like to share?

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