When I started this blog, I only showed my partial face photo in the header which only revealed from my eyes up. Then when I redesigned my blog and moved to my own domain and host, I decided to use my full face in the header and not hide anymore.
Part of the reason it was not easy for me to show my face was because I felt that all the trauma from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with the accompanying anxiety, sadness and fear could be easily seen. I was extremely insecure because people in general don’t really understand PTSD and no one wants to talk about it since PTSD is considered a mental illness. Some people can be quite rude and cruel.
I didn’t ask to be traumatized to the point where I lost my mind. I didn’t commit a crime or become less of a person, but most of the time I sure was treated like I had the plague. Now I can hold my head up and look you in the eye because my confidence is coming back. As you have watched, I have proven that a person CAN heal and be whole again if they work VERY hard at abolishing PTSD from their life. It isn’t an easy task, but don’t ever believe that it is impossible.
With all that being said, I feel that over the last five years, I have aged considerably – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have been through some of the worst experiences of my life. Actually, I have survived, and I really mean survived, the main traumatic life events that people experience. Some people don’t have to experience all of them, but I experienced just about all of them. So far I have survived them all. “Survived” is the key point.
Becoming allergic to grain made me gain weight quickly while it was making me sick…very sick. Within a year I gained A LOT of weight. Since I had never really gained weight or been overweight, I didn’t cope well with the fat me. No one believes me when I tell them how much weight I gained, but it was as much as a small person. It was just evenly distributed over my whole body, so I guess it wasn’t as noticeable.
Anyway, after changing my diet by eliminating all grain, I dropped the weight even faster than I had gained it. After the first month I had already lost thirty pounds. All the swelling from water retention and the allergic reaction, as well as the fat, just kept disappearing. Every day I seemed to change. It has now been a year and a half since I gave up grain and up until recently, I have been quite diligent about avoiding grain at all costs.
Then at the end of last year, I experienced a layoff at work. A single woman has to have a job because there is no one else to fall back on in the house. She has to work to support herself and the children or in my case, the child. Well, I still don’t have a job even though I have skills like crazy. It really isn’t making much sense. Because I keep worrying, I have lost more weight. I’m fast approaching my high school weight. Who would have ever imagined that would happen?
“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.” ~ Kahlil Gibran ~
Thursday I pulled out the makeup and worked really hard to cover most of the freckles on my face and dark circles under my sad eyes. I am saying that upfront to save everyone else having to tell me that I look sad. I look sad because I am sad. I have no job and that alone makes me sad even if we don’t factor in anything else that is happening in my life.
Anyway, this first picture was taken using only sunlight and I didn’t feel much like smiling, but I tried. I don’t think my smile made it to my lips. I basically have looked the same most of my life, but now I can see the wrinkles starting because fat doesn’t puff out my face anymore. (That’s kind of funny.)
Man, that picture is big!
After looking at that picture for a day, I decided on Friday that I had better take a picture with me smiling or my mother and aunt wouldn’t never let me hear the end of it. So I once again carefully applied the makeup. This time, however, I forgot to turn off the flash on the camera and I missed the great sun because I slept in very late. So I look a bit shiny from the flash, but the good thing is that I’m smiling and my bangs look better “swooped” even if the style is “so 80’s” per my sweet daughter. LOL
Yes, you can barely see Turtle basking under the sunlamp in his huge tank in the background.
If I had longer arms I would have taken a full picture of myself, but the tripod was in the car and I didn’t feel like going out to get it in the cold. So everyone who said it was time for a new picture of me, all you’re getting this time is my head. Hopefully it won’t crack your monitor!
“Unfortunately, sometimes sadness is so large that it overflows from the eyes.” ~ Sherry Riter ~
I’ve cried a lot since I lost my job. It was a blow that I wasn’t expecting. I had already lost so much that I couldn’t believe I was also going to have to experience being financially unstable. Of course, the layoff was based on greed…corporate greed, but don’t get me started on that topic. Once I have a job again, I will feel better and the fear will go away.
Several things won’t change. The grain free diet will continue for the rest of my life, so I assume I will remain thin. I will continue to age and the wrinkles will continue to gather on my face, but that is better than not living, so I will have to eventually just accept them.
Sometimes I feel sorry for myself, but most of the time I’m just sad that I can’t get past this hurdle in my life. Hopefully, I will leap over it soon and begin a new adventure of being fully employed so I can enjoy not having PTSD anymore. Having tasted the bitter, I will be able to fully enjoy the sweetness of life.
“There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as
the other in the year’s course.
Even a happy life cannot be
without a measure of darkness,
and the word ‘happy’ would lose
its meaning if it were not
balanced by sadness.” ~ C.G. Jung ~
Whether I’m showing the pearly whites with a big flash popping in my face or barely smiling in the sunshine, I’m still me and I’ve come a very long way. I’m quite proud of myself for not giving up and that I haven’t turned into a bitter, hard-hearted woman. Instead, I’m a good, compassionate, unselfish, loving person. I like that about me.