People have been telling me for a long time that I look young for my age, but that means something a lot different when you’re 35 and look 27 than when you’re 43 and look 38. Besides, who’s to say what 38 looks like when plenty of 38-year-olds look 33…or 23…or 43, for that matter? It’s all subjective anyway. The truth is, I have no idea how old I look these days. I just know it’s not young and I’m struggling with it more than I like to admit.
Situation / Trigger
Looking in the mirror
I don’t look young anymore.
Anxiety Level (1-10)
My skin is covered in spots – brown ones here, white ones there. On my forearms they’re all gathered together, forming a big blotch that pretty much covers the whole area. I fancy that, from afar, it looks like a tan, which still isn’t that great of a look when the rest of me is white as ghost. It’s also crepey in places, which up until recently I didn’t think happened to women under 60.
I have smoker’s lines around my lips. I quit smoking cigarettes 20 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I quit smoking weed (not because it was making me anxious and depressed, but because that’s when I noticed the lines).
Just in case they’re not visible enough, the smoker’s lines on my mouth are punctuated by parentheses that beg me everyday to rethink the promise I made to myself to never fill my face with poison.
I have laugh lines around my eyes (which I actually don’t mind).
Some of my skin is smooth and unblemished.
I feel young. That has to come across in how I walk, how I gesture, and pretty much every other way I use my body to move and express myself.
What’s More Likely
Parts of my body look like they’ve aged more than others.
Alternative Thought / Positive Affirmation
I look like a woman. I look like I’ve lived. I look like I’m alive.
Anxiety Level (1-10)
What’s Worrying You?
Keep your own worry journal and work it through. I picked up this tool in cognitive behavioral therapy. Inevitably, my anxiety level at the end of the exercise is less than it was when I started. I hope it works that way for you, too.