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Depression made me lose my style, now I want it back (and as revenge)

(25 Posts)
LoooReed Mon 15-May-17 17:39:21

I am baring my soul here a bit so please go easy on me.
I used to be a slim, attractive, fashionable woman but depression ruined me, I have been admitted to hospital a few times for psychiatric care and found it hard to see any point in caring for or about myself.
Depression has been pretty brutal to me and I stopped looking after myself. I have put on heaps of weight, I only wear make up once a month (but really love it - I used to love applying it daily and keeping up to date with make up trends), I have let my hair go grey and pretended I don't mind and worst of all over the years (and I am SO ashamed of this) I let my personal hygiene go to pot. I used to have severe OCD surrounding personal hygiene and I have no idea how I let it get to this place.

I am NC with a member of my family who absused me as a child. I haven't seen this person for over a decade but I will be bridesmaid at my cousin's wedding in September and I want to at least have a handle on looking even vaguely put together I front of them. This person always told me I would never amount to anything, how I am ugly and a waste of space, I cannot have them see me like this. I know I should do this for myself but I think knowing I will have to see them for 3 days running (American style wedding with rehearsal dinner, wedding and family brunch the next day) has given me the burst of energy just to damn well get started.

I need to lose about 7 stone (I have lost 1st 7lb since Feb with just walking) which is know is unlikely but perhaps 4 stone would be realistic? I am disabled so I do have days where I can't work out but I plan to try and walk 4-5000 steps a day, do yoga in the evenings and weights in the mornings. I will also eat no more than 1500 calories per day and drink 3l of water as per the plan from my consultant.

What I really need help with is looking coiffed and groomed (I know I will never be one of those expensive looking women but even just presentable to the outside world would do). I used to know what all the basics were but I will be honest, I rarely leave the house, some weeks I don't shower, days and days can go by without me brushing my teeth, I have PCOS and my facial hair is out of control, I have horrendous hang nails and cuticles, I have no skin care regime to think of, the skin on my body feels like sandpaper.

I used to dress beautifully, a lot like the lady in the photos but now it is all leggings and jogging bottoms. I have some nice clothes but none of them fit.
I have finally made an appointment to restart my therapy.

Please help me, I know it is disgusting how badly I have let myself go but please where do I start?blush

ginorwine Mon 15-May-17 18:31:34

Think about that woman you was before - you are still her wanting to reclaim yourself - what wd she chose ???? You seem to like full skirts - ? How about that. As a start ?

AwkwardSquad Mon 15-May-17 19:17:11

You sound like you've got a good plan worked out with exercise and diet. You've got time to work on the grooming, but I wouldn't try to do too much all at once or you might feel overwhelmed. I'd concentrate on a couple of basics of personal hygiene, and then build on that once you've established new habits.

So - every day, shower and clean teeth. Don't even worry about anything like nails until you're at the stage when showering and teeth is automatic.

Then you can tackle one other issue at a time. E.g. Add in face / body moisturiser to your routine. That'll help your nails as well. Then, hopefully, you'll feel ready to try the fancy stuff like facial hair removal (if you want to).

flowers for you.

shadesofwinter Mon 15-May-17 19:33:28

Well done for getting yourself to this point flowers

I think it's good advice from AwkwardSquad - just take baby steps. Maybe at the end of the first week you could add in a bit of exfoliation - try the Soap and Glory exfoliating gloves from Boots; that makes such an instant difference to my dry, scaly skin.

I wouldn't even start thinking about clothes just yet if you're planning on losing quite a bit of weight, wait until you feel a bit more confident in yourself.

Good luck, you're doing great!

FitForSpring Mon 15-May-17 19:50:20

Sorry you have had such a tough time, but your plan sounds great. I agree with pps that little steps are a good ideasmile. Every little step will get you closer to your goal. Make things easy for yourself by having all right things in right place. Like handcream next to bed so can put that on before falling asleep.
You have a huge advantage because you used to do fashion and make up so just have to dig out your old skills. The lovely photos you posted show you have taste snd style. flowers

mumofthemonsters808 Mon 15-May-17 20:14:34

First of all, just to say well done on your weight loss, that's an amazing achievement, you're off to a fabulous start. You have set yourself a goal and you can do this, you sound very determined and each small step is one in the right direction.I truly believe that any women can look good if she has the motivation, the time and money.You already have a lovely sense of style and those existing beauty skills are just waiting to be called upon and put to good use.

A cut and colour, eyebrow shape and facial wax provides the basics for you to build upon.One small change every night, can do wonders for your esteem, perhaps file and paint your nails tonight.Tomorrow your toes.

I wish you well Op and all the luck in the world in reaching your goal, please let us know how you get on, even if you have bad days, don't give up, this is the time where all that matters is looking after yourself, she's still in there, despite all the shit you've endured.

LoooReed Mon 15-May-17 20:53:59

Thank you all so much for replying, it was a huge leap for me to post because I am so disgusted in myself.

I am going to set my self a few weeks worth of small targets

This week, daily:
AM: Brush teeth and wash face
PM: Shower
Sunday: Try a mini manicure because the hang nails are painful

Week 2
AM: Brush teeth, cleanse and moisturise Face
PM: Shower, brush teeth, cleanse, tone and moisturise
Sunday: Manicure and pedicure

Week 3
AM: Brush teeth, cleanse and moisturise Face
PM: Shower including exfoliating, brush teeth, cleanse, tone and moisturise
Sunday Mani, Pedi and a face mask

Week 5:
AM: Brush teeth, cleanse, tone, serum and moisturise Face
PM: Shower including exfoliating, brush teeth, cleanse, tone and moisturise and eye cream
Saturday: Eyebrow wax and facial hair removal
Sunday Mani, Pedi and a face mask

OCSockOrphanage Mon 15-May-17 20:56:00

Perhaps, a half hour at a fixed time each day to start or continue a personal grooming mission would help? Choose a quiet period and decide a goal for the week: nails, hair, mini exercise, meditation? On top of the walking of course. Each baby step brings you closer to your goal.

AwkwardSquad Mon 15-May-17 21:10:16

That sounds like a great incremental programme, Looo.

Could I also say that it's really important to give yourself words of encouragement? Don't beat yourself up. You've been ill, and self-neglect is a classic symptom of depression. It's such a good sign that you want to look after yourself more now! Step by step, every time you do even the smallest thing, tell yourself 'well done!'.

Speaking from personal experience smile

jeaux90 Mon 15-May-17 21:12:49

Sounds like you are off to a great start and well done for the weight loss.

Lost of great advice so far. So good to be nice to yourself, I love taking an evening shower, it helps my mind unwind (I am an over thinker)

I've just taught myself how to do my own nails thanks to YouTube. I'm 45 grin

Sonnet Mon 15-May-17 21:15:09

Yep baby steps the way to go.
You'll get there - good luck

AteRiri Mon 15-May-17 21:26:08

Goodluck OP. smile I'm rooting for you.

LoooReed Mon 15-May-17 22:16:24

Thank you all so much again. I have had a little cry because of your kindness.
I am going to take things slow, I am going to buy a diary to record the small things I achieve, the small things must eventually add up to something good.
I am doing this for myself most importantly, for my children and husband and also as massive fuck you to both depression and my abusive relative. I have to do this.

If I manage this first week I am going to treat myself to a nice nail polish.

TryingtobePrepared Mon 15-May-17 22:31:48

Wow you are so strong! You've come so far and while baby steps forward are great please don't forget the massive strides you've made already xx

margaritasbythesea Tue 16-May-17 08:48:11

You sound amazing op. Your plan sounds good too. Like pp I would leave clothes for a couple of months but certainly the look you like is very doable with the fashions around at the moment. Boden do that sort of cardi. The ravello top they do would you be perfect and full skirts are v fashionable. Can you get to a place like John Lewis where they have a personal shopper or does that sound like a nightmare?

Scarlett and Jo always seem to have nice things in bigger sizes.

You have done well to lose so much weight already. Speaking as someone who lost 4 stone after depression, it's a huge psychological lift but I appreciate that it takes commitment.

I would be willing to bet that the loving DH and kids and a big smile would make the best accessories to that particular, ' fuck off,' never mind anything else.

lotusbomb Tue 16-May-17 08:56:01

Just wanted to wish you the best on your new new journey. You can do it! flowers

3boysNeedABiggerKitchen Tue 16-May-17 10:27:53

Good on you, a really brave post and although I have no advice I wanted to say good luck, there will be lots of mumsnetters supporting you in this journey flowers

comeagainforbigfudge Tue 16-May-17 19:18:59

How's today been coming along for you OP?

If I may ask, what age are your children? I ask as if they still need supervised with teethbrushing, perhaps you could do yours at same time?

Also, have you got fb? If so look up ink{https://www.lindybop.co.uk/\www.lindybop.co.uk]]/}. Don't be put off by their models, they aren't skinny minnies but they do look beautiful envy . Look at fb, lots of pictures of ladies of various sizes wearing full circle skirts/dresses etc. Might help you find your style/fit for now? I always look at the pages and pick dresses/skirts but I never buy them as I don't think I can pull it off blush

comeagainforbigfudge Tue 16-May-17 19:20:51

Not sure what happened to my link

www.lindybop.co.uk/

changingmylifecompletely28489 Tue 16-May-17 19:27:52

OP, PLEASE!!!! never forget how AMAZING, AWESOME, OUTSTANDING you are!!!!! You made it through hell, you are a survivor and I'm sending you all my love. Here, blowing some kisses for you, catch them! wineflowersflowersflowersflowersflowers

On top of your 5 week plan, add: "treat myself to one lovely thing a week". Whatever you want but NOT FOOD. Either an item of clothing/accessories, a manicure, a lipstick etc xxxx

Keep us posted!!!

DorotheaHomeAlone Tue 16-May-17 19:33:27

Good luck, OP. You can do this. I'm really glad you're starting some therapy to accompany this. You are not and never were disgusting. That is a very unkind thing to say about someone and I bet you don't describe others that way. Could you make kinder self talk one of the things in your list?

I think your plan sounds great but a couple of suggestions; could you split your tasks into two (musts and shoulds or similar). Some days you just aren't going to manage a full beauty regime morning and night or aren't going to stick to your calorie limit. Could those tasks be 'shoulds' do they happen most days but you're allowed to fall off the wagon occasionally without feeling too bad. Musts would be teeth and shower and some exercise and hopefully the kinder self talk. So zero tolerance in those.

MariafromMalmo Tue 16-May-17 19:37:01

Please help me, I know it is disgusting how badly I have let myself go but please where do I start?

Please don't say things like that about yourself.
If someone else said it about your friend you would be appalled. Really don't- be kind about yourself is part of your self care. It is so so important.

ArseyTussle Tue 16-May-17 19:47:45

OP, do you feel confident enough to get your hair cut? That would then be a daily reminder when you see yourself in the mirror that you've turned a corner.

silkpyjamasallday Tue 16-May-17 20:44:19

Well OP it sounds like you are off to an amazing start, congratulations, you have made the first steps towards change which are often the hardest.

I have had similar struggles with depression and neglecting my hygiene and never going out, I used to adore picking an outfit for the day and feeling good about myself and it totally disappeared. I have been slowly starting to take care of myself again, you plan of building up a little each week is such a good idea I may steal I and adapt to my needs if you don't mind. I have started to look after my skin as it had gone to shit and I have been really good about doing it most days (difficult with a teething breastfed 8mo) and after only a few weeks I am seeing so much difference. I am moving onto sorting out my teeth next once I have solidified the skincare habit, as they are badly stained from chain smoking and only drinking tea for 2 solid years.

The diary to list your achievements is also a good idea, it is easy to forget all the good things when the depression is threatening to strike again and having it written down makes it more tangible and could definitely help you keep on track and positive. Write out some affirmations and list things that you do like about yourself too, they don't have to be physical attributes either, just to look at if you are having a wobble.

Tip for the facial hair (I am the owner of a large number of facial follicles) the spring tweezers are really easy to use and much quicker than doing individual hairs. Very cheap and can get them on amazon.

For makeup I'm not much help as I've never worn it but a trip to a makeup counter at a department store would be a good place to start as they can help you build up from basics and discover new beauty trends that might work for you.

If you have Pinterest maybe start a board where you can save outfit ideas, hairstyles and skincare and haircare advice all in one place to remind yourself of your goals and aims when you are feeling the brain fog and it gets difficult to remember what you wanted or why.

If you can afford to maybe just treat yourself to one outfit like the ones you used to wear, doesn't have to be expensive as you are aiming to lose weight and if you continue at the rate you are on they may not fit for long but just getting out of the jogging bottom rut makes it easier to carry on and will make you feel better about yourself. They style of skirt you pinned is flattering on most figures so will still look good even before you lose the weight you want to.

Well done OP and I am sorry for your struggles flowers

comeagainforbigfudge Sat 20-May-17 16:00:22

How have you been getting on op?

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