I’m only slightly ashamed to admit it, but I am 100% guilty of wearing holey underwear. Not just once or twice, (here comes the part I AM ashamed of), I wore really worn, tattered, and holey underwear for YEARS. Yep, you read that correctly. Don’t judge me for this. Truly, raise your hand if you haven’t worn socks or underwear a few times that should have been thrown out like the used rags they had become? Maybe it’s only me, but my guess is I am not alone in the ‘holy attire’ department. I don’t have a real reason for not replacing them. It wasn’t that I was too lazy or too broke (although, I have certainly been there before). Why in the world, though did I wear these barely passable rags of cloth for so long? Here’s the simple straight-up, cut to the chase truth-Guilt and poor self-worth.
The guilt I felt was real. No one would have been upset with me for buying new ones. No one would have starved or suffered either. It was guilt I placed on myself. When I was a kid, I would receive underwear almost annually from Santa along with a new toothbrush and other essential and non-essential (ie. fancy shave gel, the pricey razors and perfume). As an adult though, usually it’s something you would buy yourself, save for perhaps a ‘special’ occassion. The reasoning behind my guilt was something really hard to admit to myself, much less to you. I felt guilty for gaining so much weight. I felt guilty for taking the ten minutes it would have taken me to swoop in to grab some new underoos. I felt guilty for spending the few dollars on myself, when I could be spending that on the kids or putting it back in savings. I felt like making the investment in new panties was putting myself before my kids, my husband, my family. Seriously. I honestly have a hard time rationalizing this logic now, but the reality is these feelings of guilt kept me from taking care of this quick, cheap and easy fix. The guilt left me feeling stuck, unable to move, or do anything. So, I kept the same underwear for nearly a decade. I wish this was an exaggeration, but unfortunately it is not. I know the length of time, because it was a BIG deal when I bought new underwear to put in my hospital delivery bag, just before my daughter was born. I certainly couldn’t wear the worn out ones when there was a chance of someone else seeing them! For nearly ten years, I felt guilty about getting new ones, so much so that I didn’t.
Over the past year and half I have done some serious self-reflection. I realized that the guilt I was feeling was a justification I used to avoid the real issue. The underwear were just an unfortunate casualty in all of this. Being completely honest here it wasn’t just this that I denied myself. I put-off “me time”, doing things I enjoyed-to the point that I couldn’t remember what I liked to do, taking a long bubble bath, or spending time with friends. The REAL issue was that I didn’t feel good about myself. In fact, I hated myself. Loathed who I had allowed myself to become. Fat. Disgusting. Unattractive. Pretending to be happy but really miserable. Sad. Unhappy. Depressed. Embarrassed. My self-worth was so low that I really did not feel that I was worthy or deserving of some new underwear. Looking back at myself, I feel such sadness for the woman I was. If I saw anyone else buying underwear in the store, I wouldn’t consider them selfish, self-absorbed, or wonder where their kids were while they were just taking their sweet time trying to find the right ones. I wouldn’t think a single thing about it. Really, nada.
The truth is, my clothing more or less, probably looked alright from the outside, just like I hoped I came across to others. The reality was underneath it all, I was not whole. I was torn and worn out, just like my underwear. The difference between the two was that I needed to repair and restore myself rather than cast myself away, like I should have done with the pathetic undies long ago. I had to let go of the guilt and the terrible way I felt about myself. Wow, that last sentence was easy to type out, but doing it was not. It meant facing the things I disliked about myself and stop reinforcing them by negative self-talk. I had to decide what to accept about myself and what things I wanted to improve. With the closure of this decade approaching looming, I felt it was important to share with you this story. Some may not read this. Others may think I am nuts. That’s alright, no sweat or lost sleep here. Some though, will identify with this. This is for you sweet friend. For you, it may not be underwear, it could be anything else. The underwear don’t matter here, but you do! Forget about the underwear, you can replace them with whatever you are denying yourself. You are worthy of new underwear…brand spanking new undies, every single year, and just because. You are deserving and worthy. You don’t have to justify it to anyone else. It’s a necessity, just as taking time for yourself and doing the things you enjoy is. Here’s the thing though, just like me, no one is going to buy them for you. You have to do it yourself. Don’t waste any more time wearing those holey underwear.