My Mea Culpa Self-Care

Photo by Jonathan Ridley on Unsplash

Self-care. It means something different to everyone because we all have unique needs. Some people like a hot bath, but hot baths make me feel like I am sitting in a soup of my own filth. Some people swear by massages, and while I appreciate an occasional massage, my idea of relaxing doesn’t often involve some stranger pawing at me while I’m vulnerable. Some people love a good weekend with their besties, but as an introvert the last thing I want to do to relax is hang out with a bunch of other women having “girl” time in a shared home where I also have to share a bedroom. For me, self-care is more like something you would see on Parks and Recreation; I’m all about the “treat yo’self” method of self-care.

So, today I treated myself to some time at my dermatologist’s office, spending a stupid amount of money to let them abuse me because I haven’t done that in six years. They pulsed light at me and then, just for fun, I let them poke needles into my face because why not? They have to numb you before they do these things because they are just that unpleasant. The best part about my self-care is that it will leave me looking like a swamp thing for a few days, which means I get to stay home and avoid other humans. It really is a win-win. In a week, my skin will look better and in a month it will look even better still. And then I can do it all over again before the holidays, so I can have some downtime away from people before, well, it’s time to spend more one-on-one time with people. Tonight I get to sleep sitting up. WIth any luck, I won’t wake up looking like a vole (beady eyes, puffy face) tomorrow from all the swelling. Yep. This is how I take care of myself. It’s a little twisted.

It makes sense to me that this is my chosen method of self-care, though. This is what happens when you are raised Catholic. This is my self-flagellation for the sins of second-degree sunburns as a fair-skinned teenager and time on tanning beds as a fair-skinned college student. This is my mea culpa, my ten Our Fathers and fifteen Hail Marys on the rosary of life. I am absolving myself of my sun sins with a promise to do better before my next confession, er, skin-check appointment with my dermatologist. Self-care is what works for you. For me, self-care is admitting my blunders and making amends so I can face myself in the mirror every day.

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