Diary Entry 13: These Boots Were Made for Walking
Well – there has been another fabulous moment of insight into my Anxiety and how it filters into life without being noticed. This recent revelation came in the form of my new heeled boots. I bought them a couple of weeks ago because I started to crave a bit more height! I am a reasonable 5ft 6 but I do feel a bit shrunken these days.
I also had a desire to ‘walk tall’ because, apparently, it brings all sorts of physical and emotional benefits. It straightens the back, aligns the body and opens the chest out for more efficient breathing. It also improves confidence and purpose, encouraging the wearer to look the world in the eye and say “Yes, I am GOOD”. All of this positive energy for free (other than the price of the boots of course)!
Anyway, I found the perfect pair of black heeled boots – which, of course, they did not have in my size. In order to get the comfortable ones I liked, I had to switch colour to ‘tan brown’. Not my ideal, but fine for wearing with jeans.
Yesterday I teetered off to meet Mum and the Aunties and my choice of footwear really did cause a stir! My Mum said “Those are funny little boots!” Of course, everyone turned to look at them and a conversation commenced on whether my ‘little boots’ really were ‘funny’ and, if so, what was it that made them so.
Mum thought it was the colour; she was not convinced that they were ‘tan brown’ and, in the cold light of day, I had to agree. They were almost orange.
Then we discussed the material – suede. This is a fairly inoffensive fabric but, given the strange colour, I could now see that there was something ‘animal-ish’ about them. In fact, they made me look like I had hooves instead of feet.
Next – potential shocker! Perhaps it was not the boots that were funny – but the fact that my jeans were too short. We all know that half-mast trousers are a terrible fashion faux pas but I could see the point! When I looked down, my jeans only came to the top of the boots and they were too tight to go over them. Not a good look.
Anyway, whilst all of the above contributed to the appearance of ‘funny little boots’, we finally got to the main issue – and it wasn’t really about the boots. It was because I NEVER wear heels. The three inches of height I had gained (not to mention the weird style walk that followed) was an unfamiliar sight for my family. They had never seen me looking so tall – and that was clearly down to my heeled outfit.
So then….and I promise we are getting to the revelation ….. we discussed why, as a woman, I had never been a fan of high heels and why they had never really featured in my wardrobe. And it was a good question! I had to think about it and when the reason came to me, it made perfect sense. Or, should I say it would make perfect sense to anyone who thinks they are always five minutes away from catastrophe.
I recall shopping with friends and having them ask why I was sticking to flat shoes when those gorgeous high heels were in the sale. And my answer would be “because I can’t run in them“. They would look at me with a puzzled expression and ask “but why would you need to run in them?”. And I would think “Doh! Don’t you watch the news?” but I wouldn’t actually say it because it would take too long to explain.
But now I can put it into words. So yes – the reason I have never liked high heels is because I can’t run in them. And if I can’t run, then I’m not safe! If I can’t run, then how can I ‘get away’? How would I flee a burning building in high heels? How could I leap out of the path of a raging bull? And are we not always told to avoid wearing high heels on the escape chute of stricken aircraft?
To my anxious mind, the wearing of high heels reduces your chances of survival. It messes with the ‘fight or flight’ instinct which has been so powerfully instilled in us. The only advantage is that, if they do prevent you from taking ‘flight’, they may still come in handy to ‘fight’ with (by taking them off and using the pointy bit as a weapon).
So how come I am wearing them now? What does this mean? Have my new anti-depressants reduced my anxiety enough to have me wearing high heels? Is this a sign that there is a new part of me that does not see catastrophe around the corner? The very thought of this development does make me want to ‘walk tall’!
Of course I still have my fashion catastrophe to deal with i.e. the wearing of tan/orange boots with half mast jeans and a silly walk. But that won’t kill me!
Next Week: Travel Anxiety – A Personal Journey.