I’m wearing clothes today.

One step at a time.

Now, I grant you, the only reason I’m dressed is because I slept in yesterday’s outfit (black cardigan, purple-mauve maxi dress: no bra required). But. Dressed.

Making an effort actually requires effort when you’re down this far. Right now, the clothes I do wear are simple and kind to my body: loose dresses no shorter than my knees. Pairs of tights that will actually keep my legs warm. Soft knits, not scratchy. Nothing too synthetic. I don’t count pyjamas as “clothes” anymore. I have spent enough time in fleece PJs lately. My underpinnings can’t hem me in too far, which is why I’ve started buying my bras in a 36 instead of a 34.

Someday, I tell myself as I bookmark wishlist items, I will be able to walk in shoes with heels again. High heels. The highest. I’ll be known for that. And I’ll rock clubwear; hey, if there’s one thing this disease has left me with, it’s a slim figure. Genetics, of course, compensates by allowing me to retain my hourglass waist/hip ratio. I’m growing my hair, though it’s much harder to wash this way. I do miss wearing it like a cloak in the summertime, damp from the bath.

I will be able to leave the house and show my style to someone other than my cats, my parents, or my partner. My style, not this disabled deshabille.

Do you know I’ve dreamed of temporarily dyeing pieces of my hair bright teal? That I once went out in a lilac polka-dotted slip, a pair of leggings, and a black jacket? That I own a fire-engine red pencil skirt? (But still no perfectly-fitted white shirt of crisp, opaque material. Do want.) Tabatha Coffey is one of my style icons: sharp, no-nonsense, practical-cum-badass. Nobody mistakes her silver-platinum hair for a mere sign of age.

Tom & Lorenzo? Inspirational/aspirational reading. Jeannie Mai? Well, I could never go blue, but I wouldn’t mind some subtle honey highlights.

And if someday, I end up in a work environment requiring me to wear all black, I will learn how to put on a magnificent face.

For now: dressed. Step One. Let’s try not to go back to sleep…

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