The Side Effects Series: But first, lemme take a selfie
I've never considered myself a particularly vain person. (Yet, if someone is self aware of their vanity, does that make them more or less vain? A discussion for another time.) I wear makeup when I want to, but I have rarely felt the NEED to put it on before leaving the house (special occasions and classy events exempted). I don't have a beauty regimen much beyond washing my face, using toner, moisturizer, applying some foundation, light eye makeup and powder (and for those of you going, um, that's a lot of things, you must not be female.)
So when I look in the mirror and gaze upon my visage, I expect a certain level of normalcy, consistency, the same old same old staring back. Imagine my surprise each time I face the reflective pool and see the offspring of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the Michelin Man staring back (yep, I realize they are both male, which would also account for the nice little black chin hairs I've been finding).
It is quite something to feel nearly back to baseline and whip around to a reminder that we are not yet there. The puffiness, or cushingoid face, I have developed from the steroids is a constant reminder that I am not yet "back to normal." It is difficult to feel pretty or sexy when you look like a bee has suddenly take up residency in your cheeks.
There are a host of pleasant side effects that accompany Prednisone: irritability, heightened emotion, insatiable hunger, weight gain, etc. but this is perhaps the most demoralizing. I'm not crazy about the claw-like stretch marks on either side of my hips. The nice little pillow of belly fat is not my friend. But the "moon face," as it is sometimes called, definitely harshes my mellow.
I haven't wanted to take many pictures It's ebbing, slowly (again, none of this moves fast enough for me. They really call it being a "patient" for a reason) and I no longer care whether the public notices or not.
But, a little voice inside of me just wants to look in the mirror and recognize the person gazing back. With my whole identity so rocked and my body so run through the mill. It bothers me most at the times I am feeling most down or in awe of what has happened or, worst of all, in fear of all that I am vulnerable to. I just want to look in the mirror and recognize the face crying back at me.
Currently listening to:
"Lux Nova" by Eric Whitacre (Live at the iTunes Festival)
*Change up! Not a selection from a film score, though a choral movement and technically from a theatrical piece.
Luz Aurumque, or "Light and Gold" is a SATB (Soprano, Tenor, Alto, Bass) choral piece that I performed in choir my Junior year of High School. This piece is so instrumental as to why I love choirs. The swell and exhalation of the choir, the vibrato of the sopranos, the repetition of the lyrics, the gravity of the sustained unison. This piece still gives me chills when I think of performing it.
According to Whitacre's site Nova is an extension of Aurumque that uses material from his musical Paradise Lost.
Poem translated below:
Light and Gold