I’m Dani Kelley,

and I do lots of things.

Mental Health

The body I have, continued.

Some days, I absolutely rock at self-care. Some days, I don’t hurt as badly and I’m able to function. It’s easy to accept myself on those days, to like my body on those days.

But some days, I look in the mirror and want to scream. Some days getting out of bed without screaming in pain takes so much effort that it’s all I can do to catch my breath. Some days I still want to give up on everything. Some days I’m still overwhelmed with feelings of betrayal about my body, feelings of hatred for it, feelings of moral decay and failure for being unable to attain society’s label of a Good Body.

But you know something?

The body I have is a Good Body. No matter what anyone says or thinks, even on days when I can’t quite believe it myself.

It’s the only body I will ever have. Its shape, abilities, size, and other physical attributes absolutely do not decide my worth as a human being nor my ethics or morals. The hatred I’ve been taught to have for it is what’s immoral. The system that shames women, particularly fat women, particularly fat opinionated women, is what’s immoral. My existence? Nah. My existence in this particular body has no bearing on my morality.

Celebrate the little victories.

These are such small things. Such little victories. What right have I to celebrate them?

The same right I have to celebrate the victories of all of my friends and family who deal with chronic illnesses, physical and mental. Small victories are victories. Medication that allows me to escape the never-ending cycle of panic is useful. Wrapping myself in soft, warm cloth is calming and soothing. Touching my skin and putting makeup on with gentle, loving hands is crucial on days where I struggle to love myself. Such a short amount of time of my day, and yet now I am calm. I can think. I am okay.

Celebrate the little victories. Always, celebrate the little victories.

Self-Care and Why I Wear Makeup

At long last, I’ve been able to record and produce another episode for Self-Care Artist! Self-Care Artist is an ongoing conversation about body positivity, make-up, mental health, social issues, and self-care in general. I hope you enjoy! Please subscribe and comment if you like it, and let me know what you’d like me to talk about next. Thanks! Subscribe to…

Online as in person: basic etiquette, boundaries, & choosing your own team.

With the advent of social media, I’ve found that such interactions are no longer relegated to holidays and reunions, but are now part of our everyday digital lives. What surprises me more often than not, though, is the attitude with which people approach social media. In recent days alone, I’ve heard that blocking someone on social media is narrow-minded, private walls are public forums where all opinions ought to have equal air time, and online interactions aren’t real life so everyone needs to just calm down.

Perhaps I’m a bit a biased, considering the sheer number of friends I’ve made through online-only interactions, but in my experience and from my observations, online life is real life. It’s an unavoidable part of life in the 21st century, and it amazes me that some seem to think online interactions suddenly stop having meaning because they’re happening on a screen rather than face to face. It’s as if being physically removed from a person gives one license to ignore boundaries and assume a far closer relationship to people than actually exists.

This sort of thing is incredibly familiar to me, having spent 25+ years in a culture that totally ignores boundaries and consent in person (let alone online). This further solidifies in my mind that the same basic etiquette you ought to show to someone in person is how you should treat people online.