I remember the exact moment when I spotted them. Perfect in every way, I had to make them mine, no matter the cost. Oh, if only they knew their future. If they could speak and tell me how they would meet their ultimate end. That their future would be one of darkness, shoved back in the hollow recesses of my closet. Out of sight so they don’t taunt me with their beauty. Goodbye dear, sweet, magnificent peep-toed pumps.
So many things I’ve given up
There are a great many things that I have given up for my psoriatic arthritis. Things I’ve sacrificed to the altar of pain and practicality, but nothing haunts me more than the loss of my favorite pair of cute shoes. Perhaps you think I’m vain, and you’d probably be right. And I’m sure you could argue that I’ve lost many more things of much greater value like friendships, moments with my family, or even my job. Again, you would probably be right. So then, why is it the shoes that seem to bother me the most?
To me, shoes represent youth, they show a bit of sass and yes, a lovely bit of flair if chosen correctly. The right pair of shoes exude confidence and determination, pride and promise. They can make or break an outfit. Without a doubt, my shoes have always been linked to my self-confidence. Which probably explains why I was so heartbroken when it became quite clear that my beautiful, peep-toed pumps could no longer do their job for me.
It is about so much more than my peep-toe pumps
Yes, I love my shoes. But I also love my independence. I love being me. I love being able to be “present” during a conversation and not focused on my pain. My shoes were always my statement piece. Now all they state is pain. Losing my favorite shoes is like losing a piece of myself. It is like yet another piece of who I was, “pre-diagnosis” is stolen from me.
I want to be positive about this. I want to find some sort of bright side. The truth is I have yet to find it. Sure, I have found some shoes that are “okay.” I have found some shoes that I guess will “work.” But I haven’t found anything nearly close enough to replace those peep-toed beauties.
A much needed distraction
I know shoes are not earth ending things and perhaps I should be more grateful for what I do have. But focusing on my shoes allows me to briefly forget about all of the “larger” things that I have lost. For now, that is okay with me. Being heartbroken over shoes beats being heartbroken over all the other things in my life that I can’t control right now. Focusing of my shoes takes my focus off of the fact that I don’t have the energy to do my makeup. It distracts me from the fact that I not only do I not have cute shoes to wear, I don’t have it in me to go anywhere in them anyway.
Goodbye peep-toe pumps, hello unexpected gifts
Yes, there is a great deal of things that living with PsA makes me say goodbye to: pain-free mornings, opening my own water bottle, and yes my dear peep-toed pumps. But, PsA has also gifted me with a strength I never knew I had. Presents wrapped in the caring arms of deeper, more meaningful relationship with those that know me best. So what, my feet aren’t as cute as they once were, nor do I feel as sassy. But I feel strong and hopeful so for now, I’ll take that gift any day.