I've just had a sudden chain of thoughts, sparked off in the strangest way but has just been an eye opener and a real useful realisation for me in way of understanding my ED and the way my brain works...
Here goes....a lovely girl who I work with a couple of days a week and I, have just been having a conversation about hairstyles and hairdressers as I went to get a haircut yesterday afternoon.
Now, there is a bit of a story that goes along with my hair. I have, for years and years, had really long hair, usually with no particular style, just lots of colour and bleach!
Then, last year, I had what I considered to be a DISASTER with a decision I made about getting a haircolour done and ended up having to have A LOT stuff done to it that I really had no choice over and went from having hair that I loved to a tangled load of long, dry, brittle, broken, split, almost black witch-like hair. (due to the mess that was made of the colour, black was the only way to cover it up)
I really, really got into a terrible state about it and for weeks, wore a hat constantly- I wouldn't even let my husband see my hair as I felt as though I was the ugliest thing that ever walked (honestly, I really did).
Even then, I refused to get it cut or done into a style that would have helped the way it looked, as the thing that mattered to me most, even after all the mess, was the length of my hair. I didn't care that it was shit hair- to me, the fact that it was long meant that I had grown that and it was to stay no matter what! The thought of someone cutting even a centimeter off it, would be too much to bear. I had got my hubby to trim it a couple of times over the last few years but it was the most tiny bit off the ends and after he'd done it, I would keep going back to the mirror and checking and measuring the length and compare to how it was before I let him trim it. It was madness, as I knew it was in urgent need of cutting and logically knew that it would be much nicer if I had it cut but something inside my head could not do it.
This may sound really over the top and exaggerated but I tell you, it certainly is not!
The reason I'm sharing all this is because I realised, in having this conversation today, how I've managed, without realising it, to let go of my unreal idea that to be beautiful, my hair just HAD to be long or I was ugly (regardless of condition!) My hair now looks lovely and is way shorter than has been for ages and has some sort of style which I bit the bullet and had done about 3 months ago. It was a sudden decision and the day I decided to do it, I knew I had to get an appointment then and there, that very day or I might not go through with it. Funny thing is, to me it was SUCH a BIG DEAL and the anxiety for about a week after was immense. I started to analyse photographs of my hair now against that of a year ago and pulled them to pieces in my head about whether I looked less attractive with my new hairstyle- all in the same way that I do with my ED and photo's from the past against now- and the anxiety and feelings are identical!
I find it a very interesting connection, for perhaps a little more consideration and thought, see what's really going on.
I don't think it makes me a shallow person, as in, I only care how I look- as that's not the case- it's more the thought of me doing something that might put me in a worse position than i'm in now (even though that position NOW may not be best) and passing control to someone else to trust them to do what I want and not mess it up for me.
I guess it's to do with changes and habits and not wanting to let go of something for fear and not-knowing so can be easier to stay as you are. And even when my hair was truly at 'rock bottom'- (that sounds real funny!),it took me a year to let go and sort it out. And now I can have a conversation with my collegue about hairstyles and not feel an inch of anxiety that it's not that long anymore and that that has no real impact on my life or how I feel about myself deep inside.
This may sound weird and 'what the hell!!' but it has just struck several chords with me how distorted I can make trivial things and I find it interesting....Hmmmmm.