Everything Wrong With Me Right Now That Probably Isn’t

Like many people who don’t currently have a job outside of their homes, I am what would be called a homebody. My body rarely leaves my home. This is due to a couple of related factors: I have been unemployed/occasionally freelance for a number of months while trying to make a major career transition. That transition is actually underway since I learned I was going to be offered the job of my dreams, but the hiring process is delayed while the company straightens a few things out. So, while I rest easy knowing that I’m about to embark on an amazing journey/earned victory, I am still, as of this moment, a homebody.

Because I can’t do much outside the house that doesn’t involve an exchange of money that I can’t spare, I am basically sitting around the house all day with my dog. It sounds pathetic, but this is not a source of shame for me because what exactly am I supposed to do in the dead of winter? What’s happening to me while I wait for things to work themselves out, however, is starting to bug the hell out of me. I think I’ve turned into a hideous, disgusting monster.

Look, I’m not trying to fish for compliments here. I don’t really have to. I’m pretty. There. I said it. But this is not based on what I think about myself; it’s based on feedback from others, feedback that I desperately need right now because all this time on my hands has made me turn inward and nothing looks good here. It doesn’t feel very good either. I have no momentum nor the wherewithal nor physical space to take on some sort of fitness venture, so I haven’t gotten much exercise in the past year. My weight hasn’t suffered, but I’m stiff, sore, and soft. I used to feel like a warrior; I kickboxed, I did yoga, and I was Strong. I felt like I could run through a brick wall and then lug the aftermath up a mountain on my back. Now, I walk my dog. It’s not nothing, but man alive, do I feel like a slug. I know this will change, but it’s not happening now.

Working out three or four times a week, sometimes even more, not only improved my physical shape, it improved my mental and emotional shape. The endorphins had me in a near-constant state of confidence and I walked around like Claire Underwood and Angelina Jolie. It made me feel like I could intimidate the hell out of people, and I loved it. Loved. It. I can still walk around like that, but it feels like pretending because I’m so tired and sore and anxious and insecure.

Those women I mentioned are beautiful women. I felt beautiful when I was working and working out. Now, I’m doing neither and I feel like I look like the girl from The Ring. Or like a grimy raccoon that’s been living in a dumpster. Or a swamp gremlin that’s mole-white and matted down and dying inside. This is why I take pictures of myself on Instagram so I can present my most recent appearance to a few people and have them tell me that I look like the opposite of those things. I don’t need it for my ego, really. I just need reassurance that I’m not losing all my hair and breaking out in cystic acne because my every pore in my body is filled with rancid bacon fat.

That was a really grotesque paragraph, right? And none of it is true. But when you’re already self-conscious about a few things and other things that are bigger than you are beyond your control, you turn inward to the things you think you can control. For me, that’s my appearance. Everyone has “ugly days,” even if you’ve reached that coveted moment of blissful, resigned acceptance of yourself. It goes beyond “Yeah, my skin’s not my favorite” or “My hair is kind of flat” or “I used to have sick, sick abs, but my jeans still look fine.” We will all have a day when there is not a single thing good about how we look. We snap out of it. Life distracts us.

My life is on hold. I can’t snap out of it. All I want to do is fix every single part of me, but I’m not even sure I’ll do it right. The Pinterest and Amazon and Google rabbit holes are telling me all different things, and they might all be lies. There are lies sitting in bottles in my shower right now, and my hair and skin still aren’t that much better, even though they probably are and I just can’t see it.

Jamie, you went off birth control and it gave you PCOS, and that’s why you needed DHT blockers. Because your testosterone was high and you were growing an old lady beard and balding like an old man. YOU LOOKED LIKE GOLLUM, JAMIE.

Jamie, you lost what you thought was the job of a lifetime and the shock caused you stress and made your hair fall out and you looked like the “True Hollywood Story” of Girl, Interrupted, which looks more like a Ryan Murphy production which is gruesome and ugly but also HONEST.

Jamie, all of your follicles and pores are clogged. What the fuck have you been doing? Why are you putting sewer leavings and medical waste on your skin?

Jamie, you’re in your late 30s now and everything about you is dying, including all the eggs that are evacuating your sad, sad ovaries, like six at a time. Because there are no men left in real life who want to do anything but fuck you and leave you except for guys who do nothing for you and the dream versions of celebrities whom you date in your sad, sad head. #sad

Jamie, your scalp is taking over your whole head and if you cut your hair short as a way of “doing something fun to change your appearance/exert control over your body” you’re just going to look like that sick, sad, bigoted, sexist, be-comb-overed asshole who is ruining the country and the world. Yeah. You’re gonna look like Trump if you cut your hair. Bring as many pictures of Michelle Williams to the salon that you want. You’re gonna look like Donald Fucking Trump. No, you’re gonna look like what would happen if Donald Trump impregnated Brundlefly and it somehow survived outside whatever cursed, god-forsaken womb-sac it grew inside then died seconds after realizing that it looked like YOU.

So, yeah. This is where my head has been. None of this is true. But it’s a little hard to snap myself out of it. Drinking myself out of it works sometimes, but I’m aware enough to know that’s probably counterproductive to a body I already think is not functioning optimally. So I’m trying to stop. And weed is not an option for me.

But yeah, I have no clue what I look like anymore. I have no idea. I’m genuinely not depressed about the state of my life; between this amazing job, I’m also moving to an apartment in a great area and I have family and friends whom I love and love me back. My life is on a clear upswing, I’m just waiting for a couple of things to straighten out. When they do, I will go to work, I will work out again, I will spend much less time thinking about my appearance, and I can let life just happen to me. Like it’s supposed to.

For now, though, I am a disgusting monster that is freaking out. At least I feel like one. So yes, I will take pictures of myself and await the delicious, delicious compliments.

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