Shoe Envy…

You can buy the prettiest, most feminine outfit in the world but then you get to the shoes!  Ha!  Who am I trying to kid…I don’t do feminine very well at all!  Always relating myself to some really bad drag act!  Growing up I never wanted pretty shoes, always preferring docs or trainers…comfort was my thing!

Now the choice is taken away, it’s amazing how you crave for those quirky little heels or dainty pair of flats that just spruce up a look. I now have developed shoe envy…it’s a real thing! It becomes quite obsessional with looking at people’s feet to see what creations they are wearing.  One of my colleagues at work wears the most amazing shoes.  She always looks incredible! Strong, yet feminine!  Me? More like a lumberjack on holiday!

My daily footwear is, thanks to the husband, really good quality walking boots which are incredible for supporting my feet and ankles.  This is great to help me get about and look fine with jeans or hidden under trousers but what about the umpteen dresses I own?  Erm…not a great look wearing an office dress with great big clumsy-looking boots…or even worse an outfit for a wedding!  I laughed when that argument erupted about women being made to wear heels at work…they’d have had a DDA claim on their hands had it been me! So what do I do?  Get rid of the dresses? Wear shoes that I know will break my feet within seconds?  It’s a conundrum!!

The podiatrist says only where the boots and docs with insoles, which I would have relished in my youth, but to be taken seriously in a board room they are just not a good look.  Plus, the pity looks when people realise why you are wearing such ‘supportive’ boots every day is beyond bearable.  I’ve tried all sorts of specialist shoes over the years but found none that provide any comfort and with my feet getting worse I’m sort of at a loss.  I cannot go barefoot at all anymore and if insoles aren’t cushioned you can forget it!  I suppose it’s a small thing but it really does impact on every day.

RA strips you of little pieces of yourself and for me, even though I’ve never been really feminine it has taken away my choices and for that I will never forgive it. Some of the shoes I can no longer wear have taken a trip to charity shops or the tip, the kid has inherited a couple as her feet are nearly as big as mine now and there are some I hold onto in the hope that on a good day I’ll be able to shoehorn my trotters into them.

Talking to a friend who is a Fibro and Lupus survivor, she said the only way she gets through each day is by masking how she feels with makeup, clothes and shoes.  She always looks incredible yet it’s sad to think that we do this to ourselves every day…mask how we feel to everyone around us.  I suppose that’s why my shoe envy is so rife.  If you wear fab shoes, that’s where people’s focus gravitates and not to notice your claw-shaped hands, awkward limp and furrowed brow from the pain.  As survivors we become great actresses and actors, with the use of costume and magician’s illusions!

Who knows what the future hold for our feet, those pebbles we walk on daily and the swelling that disallows us to wear those cute sandals, but one thing is for sure….I’ll hold on to those cute shoes in the hope that one day they can be worn again because if we haven’t got hope, what have we got?

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