So as I have been wading my way into the lolita fashion scene locally, my friend Charmeine Etoile as made a blog post I shared about being a chronically ill lolita. That was really important to me since she did a lot to talk about what it’s like to be a part of most social groups when you live with an illness. Some of you reading this do know about the fact that I live with clinical depression and have been recovering from a rather… Strange set of circumstances growing up. (I know, strange way to put it, but I could write a book about even a few the things that encompasses, but I don’t really enjoy talking about the parts of that time that… Sucked.) So cognitive along with chemical depression on top of strange programming makes it a bit of a challenge to keep things normal at times.
Joining the local lolita community has actually done a lot to help with some of my worries about socializing and being able to meet new people. So far my wardrobe is primarily handmade items since that’s been one of my major outlets for creativity and relieving stress. I’ve found that being able to share my love of the fashion and art offers a common ground to start connections with that isn’t as stressful as other communities I’d been a part of.
I know many of you reading this who haven’t checked out for your local communities or forums may be reading this and concerned about the whole “catty lolita” caricature that seems to pop up so often. It was one of the things that scared me about talking to others about my interest for a long time, and in the group so far I’ve yet to have met anybody remotely like that. Of course, it was commented that I may have had so little problems was because I’ve not touched LiveJournal since about 2008. It’s okay to laugh at that. I’d heard a lot of drama tends to go on there and my first thought was “Is this 2003?” Then again, I don’t exactly read lolita secrets postings or things either, and I know some of my “secrets” may label me villainous for years to come. Especially relating to things like the subject of being a plus-sized lolita or a general weirdo in and out of lace. My thoughts on it tend to come from the been there and not interested in high-school anymore basis of… Feeling the need to tear down others who are braver than you shows a pitiful insecurity that, while I understand, I won’t acknowledge or participate in. My own insecurities keep me busy enough and day by day I’m working to improve myself, even if it’s hard. Having depression and anxiety about dealing with other people can sometimes feel crippling, but remember that you don’t need to do a thing for anybody else’s approval or pleasure. Your life is not for the amusement of nor a teachable moment for others.
Even now, I’ll admit it’s a bit odd to talk about how lolita subculture has been changing my life, but it gives a sense of beauty, wonder, elegance, and feminine touch back into my life that for a long time I tried to cast out because I felt it wasn’t “grown up” enough. I was so focused on living a life for education, and then money, that it made me forget who I was, and who I wanted to be. It’s given a place for me to be comfortable with who I am, what I am, and why I do what I do again. In a society where being “girly” or feminine is inferior or subversive, I’ve found my voice again. I don’t have to stop enjoying things to be an adult. I don’t have to stop being feminine to improve myself. I can use my passion for art to guide me back to my love for it and design and not worry about how I’m going to interact with colleagues and clients. Everything from the design gig I take over a weekend, to the food I eat, to the clothes I wear can and are part of my living canvas and search for meaningful beauty. Sharing this new outlook has become part of my recovery process and even though I’m still new, I’m glad to see that not only am I in good company, but there are others who have similar struggles and overcome even greater things themselves for this love.
So… As a lolita with an illness, that’s how the lolita lifestyle has affected me, and started to improve my life.