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My Surprising Halloween Hangover

Earlier this week I walked through the streets of my neighborhood and saw adorable children and some adults dressed up in costumes for Halloween.

I saw a two-year-old Joker, a studious Harry Potter, a terrifying clown and a gorgeous vixen.

It was fun to see what each person was drawn too and how they manifested the character.

I felt as if I was watching a fashion show where the theme was “go for it, you do you!”<

All the costumed revelers walked on the windy, leaf covered street with a sense of abandon.

On this night we can wear whatever we want and rather than being judged for that, we get applauded.

What a great feeling, for both the observer and the observed.

When I put my tired, sugar-filled head on the pillow the word “acceptance” was circling in my mind. 

I thought how wonderful it is that tonight people were generally accepted and praised for their appearances.

Fast forward to the next morning, after my nice hot shower, I am standing in front of my closet eyeing the clothes in my closet.

I start having thoughts like, “Ugh I wear that all the time” or “That does not look comfortable.”

I notice a tense feeling in my chest and in my shoulders.

What was freaking me out about getting dressed?

I started to review my plans for the day to see what I should wear.

That is when it hit me!

I was not dressing for myself today, I was dressing for others.
I thought of how beautiful all the women in my supervision group dress and I wanted to match them. I wasn’t feeling competitive, but more using their dress as a gauge for mine.

But, every time I reached for the hanger with a beautiful flowy shirt hanging on it, I dropped my hand.

I kept feeling my eyes being drawn to the soft cozy sweatshirt that was hanging on my doorknob.

I longed to feel the comfortable fabric against my body and to melt into the hood when the wind hits my face.
My body wanted to wear this sweatshirt, jeans and sneakers.

I kept finding myself turning my attention from the cozy sweatshirt to the flowy shirt. I kept hearing in my head, “That would not be appropriate.”

Have you ever had a moment like this?

Maybe you are trying to decide between heels or flats, skirt or pants, a jacket or a sweatshirt?

Have you felt the body’s pull to one specific type of clothing, but then told yourself it was not appropriate?

My guess is you have, because it is so common. I hear it in my office a lot.

While I was in the midst of my clothes tug of war I remembered the costumes I saw last night and the accompanying joy on people’s faces when they wore what they wanted no matter how outrageous.

I grabbed the sweatshirt and literally sighed when it touched my body.

My body wanted to wear it so badly and when I gave it what it wanted, it thanked me with that sigh of relief.

I still had to fight the urge to explain why I am wearing a sweatshirt to my meeting, but when I felt that pull I remembered the smile on the face of the 35-year-old man dressed as Captain Underpants who was in tighty-whities carrying only a plunger.

Who knew Captain Underpants would be my inspiration?

What type of struggles do you have around getting dressed?

Let us know, we want to hear your experience!

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels


What Should I Do Next?

When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.

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