Many of us with BFRBs know what it is to struggle through hot days. Summer comes along and while most everyone else is wearing shorts and t-shirts and styling their hair to fight the heat, BFRBers find themselves covering up. Long pants, long sleeves, hats—we know the drill. We know what it’s like to feel like we’re melting.
Not only that, but we know the envy of those who are doing well—clearing skin, hair growing back in—BFRBers who can walk around without covering up anymore because they are in a good place with their disorders. We look at them and feel like that’s the only way we will ever be able to be “free” again, too.
In reality, that’s not true. We don’t have to wait until we’re “healed enough.” It’s tough as hell, but we can go out into the world just as we are.
Think about it. We get judged either way. People ask questions either way. “Why are you wearing that sweater in this heat?” can be just as uncomfortable a questions as “what happened to your arm?” Either way, we tend to feel like people see through whatever excuse we might tell them.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s hugely difficult to do this. It’s taken me years to get to the point where I can walk around with Band-Aid covered and scarred skin and not give a damn. It took me a long time to be comfortable enough that I can bear the stares, even to the point of ignoring them.
To be honest, I just got so tired of hiding under the clothes. I got tired of being asked why I was wearing jeans on a hot summer’s day. I got tired of being physically uncomfortable because of the heat. I got so tired of waiting for my skin to be “good enough.” I finally said enough waiting, I’m just going to go for it.
So far, no one has asked a single question, and while I’m sure people have been staring or whispering behind my back, I haven’t noticed, nor have I cared.
While it’s great and amazing to get to a point of healing where we have clear skin or a decent head of hair and while we should celebrate those moments whole heartedly, we should be able to be comfortable with ourselves no matter how our skin or hair looks. We need to give ourselves permission to step out our doors just as we are and take a shot at being brave and comfortable.
It’s scary and some days we won’t want to. That’s fine, but even doing it for a day can be amazing. Can be life changing.
What’s important to know though is that we don’t have to wait until a certain point to let ourselves be free again. We don’t have to wait until a certain point to feel like we’re acceptable for the world to see.
We can do this now. We should do this now. And not for anyone else but ourselves.
Do this for you.