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How Adopting Luxury Into My Lifestyle Affirmed Me in Ways Therapy Couldn't

Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

One particular morning, I was sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen. She brought me out coffee and oatmeal in fine china and didn’t say a word as she walked away. She didn’t make a big deal about it. I put my fingers around it, feeling the incredibly delicate bone china that I know a large portion of people haven’t had the chance to eat out of, and yet here I was about to eat out of them as if they were dixie cups and plates. 

As a young Black Queer woman, I puffed my chest out a little bit in that moment because I had been so down and out with the state of the world, and here I was in this moment treating myself to such a divinely intimate moment of intentional care. No one else thought to do things like this for me, so why shouldn’t I do it for myself? I was living in an existence that felt damned and the world would remind me of that at every corner, but with that little tea cup in hand, I could fight that.

That was only the beginning.

I started finding other luxurious ways to treat myself, and that wasn’t always with money. It was also with my time, space, and energy. As much as it was a luxury to buy my favorite perfume or go on vacation, it also was to deny someone else a hangout simply because I didn’t want to go, or call out of work because I wanted to nap and not smile in the face of people who were hell-bent on cursing me out.

For a chronically suicidal dark queer young Black woman, luxury became a personal revolution against the bullshit of the world.

Yes, some people could just call this self-care, but self-care and luxury to me are two very different things. Self-care is mandatory, in my opinion, and I base it on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Luxury is a treat. If I can do it, I will do it, but if I can’t my quality of life won’t suffer (massively, anyway).

Self-care is paying my bills on time, drinking water, and going to bed on time. Luxury is using satin sheets, spritzing them with a nighttime spray, and wearing silk pajamas to bed against moisturized skin. Luxury can be self-care, but self-care isn’t inherently luxury.

Incorporating luxury into my life on a daily basis reaffirmed my personal existence and even helped me fight my suicidal ideation. I believe it did what the affirmations were supposed to do. Instead of saying “I matter,” I acted it out, going to a dessert bar and getting delicately baked eclairs and puff pastries. Versus whispering “I’m beautiful,” I just drape myself in textiles that make me feel like a walking piece of art. Not only that, but I noticed my standards and boundaries improved afterward because I genuinely was treating myself the way I dreamt of others treating me.

Getty image by Images say more about me than words.

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