in the mirror

For the love of Joe, Mom, please don’t read one.


You were warned.

I work as hard as I can.

Therapy. Writing. Strengthening. Living.

Mothering.  Friending.

Being a wife.

How to feel like a wife?

How to feel pretty when you know you’re not the woman you used to be?

How do you feel attractive for the person who saw you at the hospital? Helped you bathe.  Helped you use the bathroom? Dressed you like a child?

How do you bring sexy back?

Are you supposed to be able to forget that this man thought you were beautiful? He thought you were hot? He found you good-looking with morning hair.

You sure as hell don’t feel it anymore.

Maybe you’re YOU in a lot of ways.

Important ways.

Critical ways.

Just not THAT way.

I want to feel pretty for Pete.

I need to feel pretty for myself.

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28 Responses to in the mirror

  1. Chris March 10, 2011 at 9:15 PM #

    I haven’t known you any other way and I think you are an awesome, gorgeous, person!
    Thanks for sharing. It takes alot to put things out there and you do it well.
    The hair looks awesome! Seriously, it does. No really, I swear I think it looks cool…..

  2. Susie March 10, 2011 at 8:17 PM #

    Well, I moved from one state to another back in November. Then my pos Dell died, so not wanting to put in $200 more to fix it, I finally just bought an Apple. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell the guy to transfer all my bookmarks.

    You might not remember me, Anissa, but I remember you. I’m the one who consistently encouraged you by these words, “Now go get tomorrow–like you always do!”.

    So this is the first post I’ve read of yours in months. Oh, how I’ve missed you! I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read your: SEXSEXSEX title. I don’t know about other readers, but it certainly caught my attention as I’m a widow! That said, you’re sexy! Want proof? I scrolled down and read Pete’s comments. Read it over and over. There’s a guy that loves YOU and knows you’re HOT! Why? No matter the strokes, you are still YOU!

    Let me share a story with you. My late husband and I were married for nearly 21 years. I knew him nearly 1/2 my life. Through the years, I would ask once in awhile, “Do I look fat?” He was the only guy I ever knew answered that question sincerel: “Susie, I’m not answering that question, I’ve known you when you were average weight, pregnant (gained 50# with our first), thin and then even thinner (Under 100#). I don’t love you for your body. I love you for what makes you YOU! That will never change!”

    I can’t speak for Pete, Anissa, but somehow, I think he feels exactly the same way! Now I’m bookmarking your blog right now! And it gives me exquisite joy to say: Now go get tomorrow–like you always do…

    • Anissa Mayhew March 10, 2011 at 8:35 PM #

      I remember you – I would never forget someone as wonderful as you! Tank you for your story and sharing that little bit of your marriage with me.

    • Annie from Oregon March 16, 2011 at 9:16 PM #

      I remember you too Susie! And I remember how your words rang with belief and confidence that Anissa would do have the victory! It always caught my attention, it brought tears to my eyes every single time you said it. Thank you for caring so much for this precious woman. And just look what she doing and going to do. Welcome back! I am so glad you are here for Anissa. Me too….all the time.

      • Annie from Oregon March 16, 2011 at 9:18 PM #

        man… ‘would do what it takes and have the victory!” is the rest of the story =o)

        • Susie March 26, 2011 at 8:02 PM #

          Annie ~ Mahalo for your kind words! I wonder where you live in Oregon. We moved to Bend from Hawaii (1992-2002) before we moved to the Santa Barbara area. And now after my sweet hubby died (cancer), I took a huge leap of faith and moved to Boise last November. Yep, just me and my cat.

          Still getting settled, and my son just visited from Boulder so I’m catching up with Anissa’s recent posts. I’m trying not to spend much time on the computer these days, but that will change soon. I have two books inside me just waiting to get out…

  3. robin plemmons March 10, 2011 at 11:24 AM #

    For the record, I think you’re sexy as hell. All of you. Promise I’m not hitting on you. Or am I?

    • Anissa Mayhew March 10, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

      You’re only saying that so I’ll get freaky next time. I’m not that kind of girl.


  4. Epcfail March 10, 2011 at 7:37 AM #

    I knew you when u were in your teens, I knew you when u were skinny, pregnant, chunky, thin again :) I knew u when u were wild, lost, angry, happy, content, peaceful. I’ve known you single, married, poor, not-so-poor :) I’ve seen you run, walk, crawl, and wheele. I saw u naked when your bod was at it’s best and at it’s worst. I’ve watched guys hit on you in your teens, twenties and thirties. I know I’ll see guys still hitting on you in your forties. Why? Cause your sexy never came from the outside! I can’t tell u what it is that makes u a sexy woman, u just are! You haven’t lost it, I saw it then and I see it now! You didn’t see it then so why are u suprized u don’t see it now? How many times have we talked about the years we wasted being insecure about our bodies when they were young and tight? As far as pete goes? Really? He’s bent! (luv ya pete) give me a break, he would think u were hot in a coma! Oh wait, HE DID! He actually said that you know! You’ll find your confidence again cause that’s just who u are! But if it helps just remember this, I’D DO YA!!!! ;)

  5. DogsDontPurr March 9, 2011 at 10:29 PM #

    (Preface: I’m only 43, and sometimes I still actually get my ID checked.)

    I’ve been having to use a walker for the last couple of years. At first, I was really embarrassed to go out in public with it. Not such a hot and sexy look, right?

    Well….oddly, I have never been flirted with and hit on soooo much as when I’m when I’m using the walker. It’s crazy! True story.

    My husband says, jokingly: “It’s because they know you can’t run away!”

    Ha! I’ll take what I can get!

    So, embrace your own sexy, and realize that the craziest things turn the guys on.

    DogsDontPurr´s last post…Fourty Three

  6. teri March 9, 2011 at 9:02 PM #

    I’ve read your blog for a while. Your story touches me more than you can ever know.- You keep on going at it- you have made such great progress, and I know that means the world to your husband and kids.

    About sexy- I could be wrong but what is more sexy than the love you share, the dreams you are willing to fight for and the desire to get where you are going? When you’re 80 and all wrinkled and saggy- sexy is the lifetime of love you’ve shared.

    Sure, looking as hot as you did in your twenties would be great- but even without the stokes- those days are gone. Well, unless you can afford LOTS of plastic surgery, lol. But the love- that gets better every year.

    And besides- you have awesome cleavage. That has to count BIG!

  7. Sharon Heg March 9, 2011 at 4:46 PM #

    Anissa, I can only echo what everyone else says. Feeling sexy is something that has to come from within – and when half of your body isn’t working anymore, if course it’s difficult to have those feelings; how can you feel wonderful about how you are now when a part of you is still grieving for how you were before. HOWEVER (and this is a HUGE however), how you feel about yourself is not necessarily (in fact, I’m sure is not) how Peter feels about you. Nor, for that reason, is it how any guy is going to feel about you in a wheelchair. Let’s say I was in a wheelchair too and the two of us were next to each other at, I dunno, the supermarket. *I* would just be “a chick in a wheelchair.” YOU would be, “That chick in a wheelchair…but did you see the size of her jugs?” Now, I’m not saying you should offer to jump into bed with the bagger at Publix, but men are men and whether you’re standing on your own two feet or sitting in a chair with wheels, boobs are boobs. And for straight guys, that’s sexy right there. But back to the most important guy – Peter. You’ve got a husband who loves you to pieces and who still thinks you’re a sexy chick with great cleavage. Start with that and, given time, hopefully you can start to feel the same way about yourself.

    Sharon Heg´s last post…Flash Mob Much Part 2

  8. Mon March 9, 2011 at 4:29 PM #

    Found your blog recently. I know it’s rough to not feel the way you want to…and I hope you can overcome this little bump because HOLY GUACAMOLE….your family portraits in your Flickr stream? That is one HELLA SEXY woman right there. Yes. YOU! Look at you! Radiating mystique and beauty and the sexy. Hopefully, you can find the feeling of “the sexy” because, you gots it already!

  9. Peter Mayhew March 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM #

    I still think that the only reason you’ve gotten this far is because I threatened to dress you like a James Bond girl when you weren’t moving, and then proceeded to plan out the days for you:
    – Maid Monday
    – Superheroine Tuesday (no capes!)
    – Genie Wednesday
    – Business Exec Thursday
    – Hooker Friday
    – Pants optional Saturday (shouldn’t every Saturday be pants optional?)
    – Football Jersey Sunday!

    Of course there would still need to be accommodations made for special days (i.e. Talk like a pirate day, Gangster week on history channel, etc.)

    Peter Mayhew´s last post…Milestones

    • Anissa Mayhew March 9, 2011 at 1:13 PM #

      I just want you to know this is NOT how you bring sexy back.

      • Annie from Oregon March 10, 2011 at 6:01 AM #

        I dunno sweetie – sounds to me like Peter has made a good start letting you know he loves you AS IS – and through it all he definitely finds you sexy. (This sounds to me like, possibly, a fantasy list, ya’ think?? =o)

  10. thepsychobabble March 9, 2011 at 10:38 AM #

    First, you have OUTSTANDING cleavage, lady. Nothing could make a person forget that.
    Secondly, do you remember how when you (okay, I) was an awkward teenager and everyone told you(OKAY, me.) that the key to being pretty and sexy was confidence?
    Yeah. Still pretty much true.
    And confidence is something you usually have in spades. So pull it out from where-ever it’s hiding and wear that confidence. You ARE pretty. You just need to stop doubting it.

    Aaaand /lecture :p

    thepsychobabble´s last post…30 Days-Day 15-Living Without Something or Other

  11. Amy March 9, 2011 at 10:34 AM #

    Echoing what others have said, I imagine if Pete were to write a post on this topic, he’d say he still finds you sexy and attractive. In some ways, maybe moreso because of the strength, dignity, humor, courage (the list goes on) you’ve shown throughout this journey.

    I am about 50 pounds heavier than I was the day I married my husband. Somehow, he finds me just as attractive as he ever did. I sure don’t! If my weight has affected our sex life it’s but not because of him, but because of how I feel about myself.

    Please don’t think that I put being overweight on the same platform as your struggles. But, as for how our men feel about us…I bet that’s very similar!

    Amy´s last post…Take care of you

  12. Michelle March 9, 2011 at 9:24 AM #

    I completely agree with Penbleth! :)

    Michelle´s last post…Single Mom Mentality

  13. Dora March 9, 2011 at 9:22 AM #

    I’ve only come across your blog recently, but I wanted to say thanks for posting this. Over the past three years I have been dealing with sudden onset arthritis/spondylitis. In addition to the pain and fatigue, I get to deal with the fabulous side effects (including weight gain) of the many medications I’ve tried. While I know my husband loves and adores me (I mean he has to in order to put up with me and my pain crankiness), but I still struggle with the feeling sexy thing. I mean how do you FEEL sexy when you’re in pain and aren’t comfortable with the weight gain? I wish I knew, but now I know that I’m not alone in feeling these kinds of feelings.

    Blessings on your day!

    • Anissa Mayhew March 9, 2011 at 10:18 AM #

      No, you’re definitely not alone. And sometimes it’s harder with reminders what is gone.


  14. DefendUSA March 9, 2011 at 8:26 AM #

    You know, Anissa…I have a friend who used to be thin. Then, she gained weight and i had not seen her in 10 years. We talked every day. I was worried that somehow it would change things. As soon as I saw her and she called me “brat”,… how she looked had not changed a thing. I suspect that even though it may be difficult for you, this is still what your friends know and what your husband sees. Even when I look at my husband, who has gained 70 pounds over 25 years, he is still the “same” to me. Just a thought.

    • Anissa Mayhew March 9, 2011 at 10:14 AM #

      I hope that he’s able to see more ME that’s coming out every day.

      And by “out” we’re not talking cleavage. Maybe.

    • Peter Mayhew March 9, 2011 at 10:49 AM #

      70 pounds in 25 years?!? I’m apparently on the fast track….70 pounds in 13!

      Peter Mayhew´s last post…Milestones

      • DefendUSA March 11, 2011 at 6:59 AM #

        Well, when we met, he was 163! Got as high as 234 and is down 15 in the last month…

  15. Penbleth March 9, 2011 at 7:04 AM #

    I like Kat’s comment, cleavage. Cleavage is always a winner. Feeling sexy is a state of mind, keep telling yourself you are sexy until you believe it. Let Pete tell you he thinks you are hot, tell him to tell you if need be. You’re s strong woman, that’s as sexy as it gets.

    Penbleth´s last post…I think Hub might have been trying to mess with my mind

  16. kat March 9, 2011 at 6:24 AM #


    • Anissa Mayhew March 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM #

      This I am trained for!!!

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