Battling Insecurities and a Change in My Self-esteem

Kellie McRae avatar

by Kellie McRae |

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farewell, loss, 2020, positivity, perspective, self-esteem, judgmental thoughts, religious, compromise

In my past life, I might have been a little vain. Never in an obnoxious way, but I was very secure in my looks and abilities. I have been told all my life that I am pretty, but I always say thank you, and I am gracious, as if it is my first time hearing it. I have lived my life unapologetically for so long that my confidence has grown over the years.

I would tease and tell people that my confidence level was just bordering on arrogance. I’ve never been a jack***, but if I was sure about my looks or my abilities, no one could change my mind. 

I’m the tall, thin one in a family of short, voluptuous women. But even as I gained weight, I never felt fat or in a hurry to be a vision of my former, thinner self. I never owned a scale because I didn’t care about the numbers — only how my clothes fit me.

Then, lupus came. 

Ironically, lupus did for me what many women wish they could accomplish. I lost roughly 60 pounds within three months. I didn’t even notice the weight loss until people started asking what I was doing. At my lowest, my nearly 5-foot, 8-inch frame was 98 pounds. I now weigh 100 pounds, and I am grateful for those extra 2 pounds. 

Many people want to be slim. For me, slim is fine, but bone-thin is not. While many of those around me say I look great, I feel as though I just look sickly. In addition to my baldness, I worry people see me and think I have cancer. (Some have asked.) I am often told that I don’t look 51, but I feel like I look 90. 

Many people used to describe me as vivacious, but now they probably consider me a chatty, lonely, old lady. At the beginning of the year, I was issued a mobility device. When the fella brought it into my hospital room, I told him, “I just went from 50 to 90 in the swing of a door.”

Since then, I feel I can no longer be seen as sexy, vivacious, or young. I often think people only spend time with me to be nice. The only thing I ever seem to talk about is being ill, and I have become really withdrawn. 

The sad thing is that I met my friends after I got lupus and moved abroad. They have never made me feel like they include me out of pity. These are my own insecurities. When a man flirts with me, I sincerely wonder why he is doing it. I also feel as if I carry myself like an old woman now, especially when I have the walker or require the electric cart in stores.

I hate feeling older than my actual age. I am trying to embrace the fact that I can still be the young, vivacious person I’ve always been. I just have new accessories. 


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