How A Bell’s Palsy Diagnosis Lead To Self-Acceptance
My diagnosis made me realize how mean I am to myself. For years, I’ve been searching for ways to “fix” what I perceived as flaws, often in the name of work. But the Bell’s triggered a shift in my thinking. Yes, I miss my old, fully working (cuter) face and wish I appreciated it when I had it. But more than that, I wish I hadn’t taken for granted how easy it is to exist in the world when you don’t have a visible facial difference. This week, I noticed I have developed synkinesis which keeps my Bell’s eye open when I yawn. I have fewer laugh crinkles around that eye, and my nostril doesn’t flare as much. Yet somehow I feel better about my face, despite not being as beautiful by our social standards that value symmetry. I’m not going to say that I’ve completely stopped caring about my appearance, but it’s interesting how, when there were no options other than radical self-acceptance, I found things to like.