A week and some change ago, I got a sweet new necessary accessory. Or, as my husband so cleverly coined, a “necessory.” As a result of my ACL reconstruction surgery, for the next five weeks, I’ll be sporting an oh-so-sexy black hinged leg brace. I know I know I know. I’m so trendy. Black leg braces are the new nude legs, y’all. I’m telling you. This time next year, everyone will be doing it.
Okay. Maybe not. But for right now, this is what I’ve got.
Last week, fresh out of the hospital, I took up a permanent residence on my sofa so I didn’t do much “dressing to impress,” if you will. (Unless, of course, you count sports bras, holey wifebeaters, and plaid boxer shorts the next big thing in fashion.) But at 7AM yesterday, my alarm went off signaling the time had officially come for me to actually get out of bed, get ready, and go out into civilization. Staring at my sad-looking brace-laden leg, I couldn’t help but feel sad. Weak, helpless, and (as screwed up as it is) unattractive and, therefore, a bit depressed.
I really don’t understand how people who live alone survive after knee surgery. There is a special kind of helplessness and humility associated with this kind of recovery. You don’t realize how precious and necessary your knees are until one of them doesn’t work. My husband has to help me do everything. I try to be as independent as I can, but the truth is, I can’t shower without his help. I can’t get dressed without his help. Oh, and my house is in complete disarray. A laundry bomb has exploded. The sink is full of dishes. The carpet is choking on cat hair and desperately crying out to be vacuumed. And there is just stuff everywhere. At this point, everything in my life seems to be out of control and (as I’m sure you can imagine) for someone recovering from an ED, all of this is very frustrating. Being out of control makes me want to do very insane things in order to regain control. (Breathe in, breathe out.)
The fact of the matter is, I can’t do anything about this knee brace for another five weeks. I can’t “walk” (read: hobble) without it, lest my knee buckle under my weight and send me tumbling down, new ligaments re-tearing all over the place. This brace and the limitations associated with it are part of me for now, as much as it pains me (ahaha I’m so punny.) So. Rather than focus on how much it royally sucks, I’m working it. I’m walking around like this brace is my answer to knee-high boots. The new fall craze! Since it’s black, I’ve been working a black-centric wardrobe. Black accents. Black accessories. Black prints. I love it!
TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: OWN IT.
This reminds me of all the things I’ve hated about my body in the past. My big boobs. My small butt. My giant soccer player thighs. My weirdly distorted ballerina feet. Things that I’ve done insane, stupid, unhealthy things to try to change. If I would have put half as much effort into owning these things as I did trying to starve them away, I could have moved mountains, people. (And no, that’s not some weird Song of Solomon-esque boob pun. Or, rather, I suppose it’s not an intended one. Darn my innate cleverness.)
Whatever you’ve got, work it! Even if you want to change it, and are in the process of healthily transforming your body, don’t hate it where it’s at. Love it. Work it. If you’ve got bangin’ hips, don’t hide them. (Also, I’m mad jealous of you.) Play them up with fun curve-accentuating belts. If you’re, ahem, mountainous like me, have fun with layers and dimensions to spotlight those curves. Do whatever you want.
Just don’t try and change it in a hasty, unhealthy, dangerous way. If you “take off your brace,” if you will, it could be disastrous. You will fall, You will fail. You will be worse off than before. Work what you got, and take the constructive, albeit arduous, steps necessary to reach recovery, full health, and self-love and I promise you, you will shine.