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Emotional Contamination

& Magical Thinking

Intrusive thoughts made caring for and expressing myself almost impossible. I was terrified of the chemicals in hygiene products which made showering absolutely untouchable. the threat of bad things happening with unsafe clothing felt overwhelming and I would struggle constantly with the doubt and debating. 

 

I had a few safe outfits that I would wear repeatedly, hoping my boss and family wouldn't notice. People were visibly uncomfortable around me and I eventually stopped looking in mirrors. I had once loved fashion. Inviting that creativity back into my life has been especially meaningful, and is something I think about each day as I get ready.

 

–A 

Perfectionism, BDD, & not-just-right feelings

I've always loved fashion and developing my personal style. Unfortunately, OCD and Body dysmorphia really complicated that passion for me.

Some days I would spend up to 2 hours just getting dressed in the morning...the process was exhausting, often so drawn-out and draining that I would be late for––or entirely miss––classes, work, appointments, and social events. I'd try on countless outfits, altering the slightest details until it all felt "just right," which was almost always unachievable. The color combinations, the fit, the overall aesthetic, the accessorizing...it all had to be perfect before I could even imagine myself walking out the door. I started missing out on my life, all because I couldn't get dressed for the day. Nearly every morning left me Curled up in a ball in my underwear on my bed, staring in defeat at a mess of clothing on the floor and several open dresser drawers, crying because of how hideous I thought my body looked...It felt humiliating and debilitating.

Every day now, I work toward embracing the not-just-right feelings and imperfections I notice when getting dressed. I aim to break the rules that OCD and the fashion industry have laid out for me, and rebuild my style with confidence and self-acceptance. I choose clothing that makes me feel bold and seen, not hidden. I want to build & exist in a community that does not police fashion, but empowers its members to use fashion to express their authentic selves, however that may look.

 

-Maia 

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