Lifestyle-Shaming Is A Normal People Thing

Humans are solar-powered for the most part. But, what if you’re just a goth? Learning that you are a nocturnal creature goes against society’s beliefs. Either that or you’re young partying too much.

From Dusk Till Dawn

Lifestyle-shaming is a normal people thing. This is something quite interesting, isn’t it?

We see the people we love getting up when we go to bed. We get laughed at or criticized for living in the night. People believe we aren’t normal, and we hear the same sentences repeatedly.

“You should go to bed. You won’t get up in the morning!”
“You should get up in the morning and live like a normal person.”
“You can’t live like that. You’re not twenty anymore!”
“Go to bed. This can’t be good for your health.”

Those are my top four favorite criticisms I heard all my life, and I’m thirty-six. The reality of things is that I never cared for the sun. I get hot very fast and sweat at nothing.

I prefer when cars are parked at their houses, the small street is quiet, and all lights are off. It’s calm, and I can hear myself think. People are silent, and it brings me peace.

Nocturnal To The Bone

Growing up, I wondered where those headaches would come from. It didn’t matter the season I would get them, and they would last. Later, I learned they were migraines, and it felt like needles trying to puncture my eyeballs.

My eyes would hurt, a sharp pain would remain, and I felt an intense need to cover them. When I saw an optometrist, she prescribed me glasses. I thought it was related to my sight, but she mentioned that I was at the limit. I didn’t really need them.

Fast forward to recent activities, I saw an optometrist, and she said I suffered from photophobia or “vampire’s eyes.” It’s a photosensitivity reaction due to my high intake of vitamin A. Another explanation, she said, could be pterygium or “surfer eye.”

My eyes absorb the light in high quantities, and any reflection can hurt me. It explained why it didn’t matter if it was summer or winter. With the light reflecting off the white snow into my eyes, it hurt regardless.

A Possible Ultraviolet Sensitivity

I never thought the day would come where I would have UV sensitivity. I went to school with twins that suffered from vampire disease.

They were allergic to ultraviolet rays. It didn’t matter if it was overcast or sunny outside. They always had an umbrella and were covered.

I learned from them that despite being careful if the sunlight was in contact with their skin for too long, they would develop what looked like a purple stain. It was the first and last time I ever met people with the vampire disease.

For more detail on this illness, I am planning on writing an article about it. There are myths and misconception about the disease that needs addressing.

Body-Shaming Had Me Hide

It could be 32 Celsius in the summer with all the body-shaming, and I was in a sweater and sweatpants, hiding my body as much as possible.

I hated myself so much that I wanted to be covered. My grandmother, who started body shaming, would tell me to dress according to summer, but I never did.

After so many years, I believe my body adapted to it. Now, I cannot remain in the sun without burning and having this sizzling sensation on my skin.

I turn red almost instantly, and sweat causes me to have burns and discomfort. When talking to my doctor, he mentioned the possibility of ultraviolet sensitivity. Not far-fetched considering my sight.

Becoming A Vampire

After finding out I have photosensitive eyes and an ultraviolet sensitivity, I discovered a possible mental disorder.

That one is rarer among people with seasonal depression. I have summer or daylight depression.

During the months of summer, I suffer from too many hours of sunlight. I tend to hide and “hibernate” in the summer. I despise the long hours of daylight.

It makes me sad, and I yearn for Fall and Winter. All the windows have blackout curtains because of my eyes and skin, so no ultraviolet light comes through.

I Am A Vampire

However, it is pretty hard to find a way to do it without the weather distraction outside of my writing. I can still develop migraines, and so it often takes away my focus.

For that reason, one room in the house is now entirely black. Walls, doors, moldings, and ceiling.

The computer desk is L-shaped, and in glass, my computer chair is black, the curtains are blackout black.

I even have a bed if I need to relax for the time a migraine must heal. I can’t imagine my life without my black room anymore. It’s my safe place.

Good Morning Means Goodnight

Living in the dark is not just a choice. It’s what my body needs to live. Working 9 to 5 isn’t a thing anymore, yet we still hear about it like it’s a rule.

My body really feels heavy during the day, and I have the urge to sleep. Meanwhile, working at night, I do not get this intense tiredness.

When I work at night, I can really be lost in my work, and my brain is in fourth gear. It’s like I can’t type fast enough to keep up with my stories or what I must write.

Why would I sacrifice this energy and constantly fight with my brain to try and please society? Don’t we just have one life to live?

I Owe Me Mum An Apology

My mother was an artist, a DJ, and an Event Singer. She lived at night and was a freelance musician.

I remember all the criticism from her parents, begging her to have an everyday life and be an ordinary woman. They compared her to others and said it wasn’t normal.

If I hear the word normal again, I swear, I will leave civilization for good and become a hermit. I can’t hear that word any longer. I’m Morticia Gomez. I’m not a Barbie Doll.

Stop Living For Others

I am grateful that as a freelance artist and full-time author, I can make my own schedule. I can allow myself to live upside down.

But that doesn’t mean I do not get all the criticism and judgmental opinions of others. It’s another form of shaming, quite unique and a thorn up my arse if you ask me.

However, now I know what my mother went through, and I owe her an apology. It’s hard to stand up for yourself, even if it’s to defend your work hours.

My husband has regular daylight hours, and sometimes he even has a comment here and there. It’s not mean, but it is a comment nonetheless.

Fall In Love With The Night

I love the night and its comfortable embrace. I love that the world falls quiet, and humans are away dreaming. I love that the nocturnal animals come out and say hello.

I love that it’s only me and ones like me that are awake working. The night is another life, and I embraced it.

Let the ordinary people have the day. Be a nocturnal being and lose yourself in the night. Don’t be afraid. We have the best the world has to give.

The OCD Vampire,
Arielle Lyon

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