If you have read anything on my blog then you know I have some anxiety issues.  I have struggled with this for the longest time. I have taken a lot of medicine for this but I had decided to stop that and try to get more to the root cause of things. One of the things that helped me was learning to meditate. Another one was the decision to go “all natural”.

As I said, anxiety has always been with me. Certain things made it worse. Trying to fix my hair would freak me out. I could become really obsessive about it. I have this really big cowlick right in the front on the right side that never would co-operate. I used to color my hair a lot. I never liked how straight it was and it just hanging there…. a lot of things caused me anxiety or unhappiness.

image of Sabra

Me with no makeup in all my shining glory.

The same thing with makeup. I have never been a huge makeup girl but I felt like I should be. I have a skin condition called rosacea that made me feel really self conscious. Rosacea causes your face to be really red and sensitive and often break out. I felt like I should try to cover the redness and hide the breakouts and that always stressed me out.

On and on it went… worrying about razor stubble or body odor or whatever awful thing I was going to worry about. Finally I decided-screw it. I am what I am and that’s what I am and I didn’t want to try to hide it or change it any more. So I stopped.

I stopped coloring my hair. I started going grey in my late 20s. I have quite a bit of grey now and I actually usually really like it. I don’t mind my age and I don’t want to “fight it every step of the way”. I want to embrace it. Not only did I stop coloring my hair-for the most part I stopped brushing or combing it. I have found that I really like this approach. My hair does whatever it does and I don’t worry about it. I don’t find myself looking in the mirror much but when I do-I generally like what I see. The main times I will brush my hair is-every once in a while I worry that my unkempt look might embarrass someone I care about so I try to get myself a little more under control. The other time I will brush my hair is if I’m hot. That will allow my hair to move a bit more and wind to get in there and cool my scalp off.

For a long time I stopped wearing all makeup. Again, that took the focus off of myself and I just didn’t worry. I would get up, wash my face, brush my teeth and that was the end of that. After a couple of years of this I found that rather than feeling like I had to wear makeup, I realized I liked to wear mascara. Blue mascara. It makes me happy. I don’t get stressed or anxious if I don’t wear it but I do get happy when I take the time to put that on. I also enjoy a pretty manicure. I never really messed with that before. It was never anything that caused me anxiety but getting rid of the stuff that did stress me out opened up room for me to experience things that actually brought me happiness or joy.

Along with all of this I stopped shaving, wearing deodorant and worrying about what clothes I wore. And damn, all of that felt good. I found that I don’t think I am gross or disgusting in any way. I am not ugly when I leave myself as I was designed. I don’t stink. I mean.. sure I will get sweat if I am out working in the sun and its 100 degrees or something. Bathing takes care of that. Unshaved legs look different than what we are used to seeing but they aren’t ugly and Ill sure tell you-I hate the shit out of razor prickle. That used to stress me out even when I didn’t have a boyfriend but when I did-holy cow, the anxiety I would get if I thought he might touch anything that was less than totally smooth was pretty amazing.

There is so much in our society that teaches us we are gross. Its programmed in there from a young age. Taking the time to let some of that programming go away was nice. Now I do things because I want to. Sometimes I shave my legs, sometimes I don’t but I don’t worry about it now. To be real honest, I think so much of this is a big money making strategy. People need jobs. All of the insecurity that we are taught to have leads to a lot of jobs. Hair coloring, deodorant, razors, designer clothes, hairsprays and jells and on and on it goes. The things to make us feel acceptable in the eyes of the world and in our own eyes.

It makes me wonder what would happen in America if everyone suddenly felt good about themselves. What if we didn’t try to buy happiness or security with our clothes or cars-purses and shoes. What if people realized that they are throwing their money away on things that actually have no value, cost a lot to upkeep and actually cause anxiety rather than relieving it?