Body confidence is a topic which is spoken about so often. However, I don’t recall hearing it from someone who cannot have much confidence in their body – HELLO SPINAL CORD INJURY. What I mean by that is, SCIs make your body so unpredictable with having to consider things such as autonomic dysreflexia (AD), pressure sores, spasms, the unglamorous list goes on. When you don’t have control over much of your body it can make you feel unconfident, like you can’t trust it.
I can tell you the anxiety that comes with a train toilet being broken the minute you wheel on to it isn’t fun. When you need to wee, you need to wee – AD kicks in so badly if you can’t; cold sweats, the lot. FYI, AD can be life threatening but I won’t go into that today.
This post isn’t just for fellow quadriplegics to nod a long in agreement, this is to educate people who don’t have an SCI. ALSO, lets be honest, most people can’t rely on their bodies 100% of the time. Who knows when you’ll be struck down by a disgusting sickness bug, glued to the toilet as you’re too scared to be anywhere else because of the unreliability of the body?! Everyone can relate to that! To be honest, I am currently sat here, stomach in knots, feeling sick sipping peppermint tea. Life is a double whammy of body reliability today.
Aside from the reliability of the body lets just talk about body image too because that is what a lot of people associate body confidence with. Being a quadriplegic I am also blessed *rolls eyes* with a sexy ‘quad-belly’, which basically means my stomach muscles are relaxed (since they’re paralysed), my organs are squished together and pushed slightly forward from sitting, creating a bit of a pregnant-esque look. On flat(ter) tummy days I feel so elated, until I eat something and again look like I’ve eaten a watermelon…whole. I’m naturally quite petite so I think it’s quite noticeable on me.
If truth be told most of the time my stomach looks bigger than my boobs, I even tried to search for a surgeon to give me a breast augmentation. Typically, my injury scared all of the surgeons away and I contacted A LOT! Is this TMI? Just keeping in real guys.
With all that said it would be easy to cower away and feel pretty depressed. Yes, I once was but I realised life is amazing no matter what. Even the fact that I’m here, you’re here, is a miracle. Well, just really, really rare.
LETS TURN THIS AROUND …
So, that was just a very brief insight of the body reliability/confidence issues a quadriplegic has to deal with. However, I work with what I have got. Being able to do my own makeup is an example how I physically and visually work with what I have got. I can physically do my own makeup and in turn show the world visually who I am.
I wear clothes I think are flattering on me. Obviously, there are SO many things I wish I could wear but unfortunately sometimes sitting in a wheelchair doesn’t make that easy.
It is so easy to look at other women and compare ourselves and wish we had the ‘perfect’ body. You know what, I bet they have physical issues too. Just because someone may look ‘perfect‘ doesn’t mean they have it easy. However, I must say I really need to get back in to the gym. Its so important to look after your body, then it’ll look after you a little more.
Despite what our bodies can put us through all of us should be grateful for them. Whatever shape, size, colour or ability. Although mine sometimes acts like my enemy, I am still extremely grateful it keeps me alive each day; letting me experience life.
Remember confidence goes a long way, love yourself; you are unique and beautiful.
I hope my photos can also show that a quadriplegic can be sultry too…but thats another topic ;). You can buy my bralette HERE.