It's true. I can't.
Besides public speaking and spiders (shivers!), tight pants send me into panic attacks like nothing else. Tights, leggings, stiff jeans; I can't deal with them. I ball my fists and tremble and want to scream and run and cry every time I pull them up.
Sometimes, I succeed and make it through the day. Most times, I rip the leggings off and change back into loose yoga pants before a minute has passed. One time I made it through half the day and wound up having a panic attack in my Calculus II class.
This isn't some weird, lingering modesty attempt, oh no, with my small shape I barely had to worry about that nonsense. Nor is this some silly first world problem. No, this is the remnant of my eating disorder.
This is the deep parasite within that wants to be too thin, that rejoiced when my antidepressants curbed my appetite for a week. This is the fiery demon that screams 'look how everyone will make fun of you' when I feel bloated, the freakish clown that mocks me with reminders of unpleasant, needless gossip I've overheard on other people's weight.
I hate it. The process of recovery has been long and arduous, but it's been years since I restricted my food and exercised myself to the point of nothing left. Yet this - this stupid, stupid! panic - lingers.
I thought I was making progress. At the beginning of the semester, I wore leggings twice in one week. Seriously! Then the hesitation came. Then the I-feel-fat days came and went, and so I stayed away from the leggings on precaution. Saturday I tried again, and I knew what would happen even as I pull them on.
It sounds so foolish, to say I can't wear tight pants without panicking, but, hey, this is what's happening in my life.
Yet at the same time, my therapist has told me to look in the mirror each day and say, with conviction, "God did good when He made me." At first I was just doing it because I didn't think much of my looks in general, but you know what I found? I've started to appreciate this indefinable hair color I've always loathed, and I'm starting to pick out features of my face I actually like. Fancy that, I'm actually daring to like the way I was created. So maybe I should apply this saying to my body, too.
I usually practice keeping my head up when I walk by picking out a beautiful or special characteristic to everyone who passes me by. Maybe - I so fear being selfish - but maybe I can do this to myself, too, every day, at least until I'm comfortable enough in my own skin to don those black leggings and wear the cute skirt I bought over winter break.
Now, it's your turn. Because you're awesome. What's something special and/or beautiful about you today? (It can be looks, personality, a thought that comes to mind, etc. But compliment yourself today, okay, friend?).