Halloween is the one time you can be whoever and whatever you want and find acceptance and wonder in the weird, strange, sexy, magical parts of you. I love to have fun with my costumes, whether I wear something sexy, or funny or scary, I’ve always loved the preparation, the magic of transforming into whoever you wish to be. Developing body dysmorphia along with anorexia shadowed my love for halloween though, they made it extremely hard for me to get dressed on a normal day, let alone dress up how i wanted to and go out to a halloween party.

I’ve spent multiple years hiding because of this, hiding from the candy, the costumes, the people, and I’ve missed out on countless experiences because my body image had been so debilitating and I believed that awful voice in my head. I believed that I didn’t deserve to enjoy myself, that all I would ever be is ugly, useless, an embarrassment, so I didn’t dress up, I stopped wearing what made me happy, I hid from photos and parties and I told myself I deserved it.

Last halloween was the first one since I’ve been in recovery that I stepped out of my comfort zone and dressed up how I wanted and let me tell you, it was terrifying AND it felt amazing. 

My illnesses had me convinced that if I listened to them, if I stayed away, hid my face and stuck to the shadows that I would be safer, people would accept and love me more and you know what? Maybe that’s true, maybe hiding away did make me easier for some people to swallow but over my two years in consistent recovery I’ve come to realize that if I must dull myself down and make myself digestible for people to love me, then I don’t want them in my life to begin with. They can choke on my greatness. 

I was not made to hide in the shadows, or to feel shame about the softness of my body in a halloween costume I was made to stand out and love myself despite my illnesses telling me otherwise. I don’t know what I’m going to be for halloween yet but whatever i choose I’ll wear it shamelessly, I’ll eat the damn chocolate, Ill take the pictures, Ill smile in spite of the negativity in my head and I will find my love of Halloween again.

Author: Julia Graci

Born and raised in Vaughan ON, Julia is a passionate advocate for mental illness awareness. She is currently in university studying to become a social worker to continue to help people in need while trying to navigate the craziness of this new world. She joined the HAUS OF HAIRROR family in May 2021 and is excited to continue advocating for those whose voices are not heard.

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