Of Maintaining Your Gothy Nature And Creativity In Spite Of Ill Health

Well Snarklings, the Gothic Charm School book tour is winding to a close. There is a signing at The Dreaming comic shop in Seattle at 4PM on Saturday August 15, and then … good heavens, the schedule is blank! That isn’t to say that the Lady of the Manners doesn’t want to go out and meet more of you charming people, not at all! No, it means that there isn’t anything scheduled. If you have an event that would like to bring the Lady of the Manners out as a guest, please feel free to contact Gothic Charm School!

Be sure to toddle over to the Lip Service Webzine to read about the Lady of the Manners attending a Gothic Lolita and Ball-Jointed Doll convention. (The very short version is that it was a marvelous time, more conventions should host tea parties, and the Lady of the Manners is planning on attending next year.)

Also, the Gothic Charm School Batty Heart necklace from Rocklove and the Gothic Charm School body butter from Starborn Alchemy are both available now!

Reader question time! A dear friend of the Lady of the Manners wrote in with a serious question, one that might apply to more Snarklings out there:

question: Hello Dear Lady!
It is with awe I watch you continue to take over the world!

I am taking the time to ask you for help.
What does a darkly clad (or insanely clad) one do to remain true to the whimsy when one is ill?

How do I continue to feel good about myself when it is hard some days to get dressed, let alone get an outfit together?

I am trying hard to reclaim my whimsy and magic, but some days glowing pink hair is not enough. I would LOVE to wear your new chocolate scented body butter with sparkles – I think it would feel magical to sparkle AND smell like a cupcake, but sadly I do not think my health would allow me to do so – the sandalwood is not something I can have.

So, if one is bed ridden, or mostly bed ridden – how could I add fun and pretty to myself? I ask, as I must not be the only one of your followers to be dealing with ill health. And sometimes it IS better to look good when you can’t feel good.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Maia Arts

The Lady of the Manners absolutely agrees with you with regards to the looking good when you can’t feel good. Sometimes the act of doing something to make yourself look good goes a long way toward making you feel better. But looking good is not always a magic wand that will take away poor health (or anything else that might make one feel unwell), so please do not place so much importance on looking good that it becomes a source of additional stress for you.

Also, as the Lady of the Manners has said before, there is no need to look exquisitely gothy all the time. There are many, many days when the Lady of the Manners does things around the house while wearing bloomers, a concert t-shirt, and no makeup. (Of course, if the Lady of the Manners leaves the house, that’s a different story, but that’s because she really likes getting dressed up. It’s not a requirement.) Just because someone isn’t sporting full makeup and sumptuous dark finery doesn’t mean that they are any less Goth (or whimsical). It just means that other things are more important to them on that particular day.

But what can you do when you’re bed-ridden or otherwise unable to fully express yourself the way you want? Firstly, see if you can make your surroundings more in keeping with yourself. Art on the walls, nice pillows, books and music you love, luxurious blankets and throws, perhaps even lush shawls and gloves as soft, practical, yet attractive accessories? Low-effort beautiful things for the body as well as your surroundings; whatever it might be that makes you happiest. If reclaiming your space is beyond your means (physically or financially), see if your friends and family would be willing to help. The Lady of the Manners doesn’t mean asking your loved ones to go out and buy you things; instead, see if they have items they think would make you happy that they’re willing to loan you. Also ask about them coming over and being your muscle to move things around and put things on walls.

Another thing is to indulge in whatever sort of prettifying you feel up to. Days that you feel wretched and not up to leaving the house are sometimes the ideal sort of days to get all experimental with your makeup and see what sort of interesting looks you can come up with.

Do whatever sort of creative thing you can to remind yourself that there’s more to your life than being unwell. The Lady of the Manners knows that Maia Arts is a prolific artist on Polyvore (her sets can be found here), and there are other creative projects and hobbies out there that don’t require people to be in the peak of health.

The very important thing is to not let your illness define everything about you. The Lady of the Manners knows that’s incredibly difficult, and that some days will be better than others. But try not to let the bad days cast a pall over the good days you do have.

With that, Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners is going to continue the massive compilation job to get the Advice For Goths Of Color post finished (she’s hoping to post it next week!). As always, feel free to write to Gothic Charm School!

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