Freedom

The Mirror Crack’d – Daily Post – You wake up one morning to a world without mirrors. How does your life — from your everyday routines to your perception of yourself — change?

 

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She stands in front of the full-length mirror, absolutely hating the image staring back at her. From head to toe, she takes a mental inventory of all of her flaws. Square face. Too-broad shoulders. Waist not small enough. Hips too curvy. Squishy thighs. Thick lower legs. Cankles. Fat. Ugly. Fat. She is 5’8″ and wears a size 4, yet all she sees is fat. Her and her mirror just aren’t speaking the same language. She plans a trip to the gym. She plans to skip lunch. She may even skip dinner. She tallies calories in her head, wondering what is the minimum she can eat to keep from passing out. She thinks if only she were thinner, prettier, she would be happy. She would be loved. She would be worthy. Her life would be perfect. 

I have battled anorexia since I was 15. There, I said it. Not that many people know that about me. I don’t talk about it much. There is still much shame, much guilt. Stigma. Its been a long road. I don’t self-starve or abuse my body anymore, but the thoughts are still there. The negative body image and the self-criticism are still there. More so than I like to admit.

So, mirrors. The thought of a world without mirrors is an interesting one.

On the one hand, it causes me anxiety. The thought of going out in public without making sure my hair and makeup and clothing (you know, the camouflage for all my flaws) is acceptable – that I am socially acceptable – is a thought that my little OCD perfectionist soul cannot fathom. What would happen if I didn’t look “right?” Would I be rejected? Ridiculed? People probably wouldn’t even care. But for someone with social anxiety, the thought is crippling.

On the other hand, mirrors have been a prison. Shackles. A tool to breed self-hate. Maybe a world without mirrors would be… liberating. I have spent so much time in front of mirrors in my teenage/adult life trying to make that girl in my reflection who I want her to be, berating her for not being who I want her to be. If I couldn’t see my image, could I let that go? Could I just let her be? Could I let my loved ones be my mirrors, internalizing the love and acceptance that they reflect?

Sounds like freedom.

For more information on eating disorders…

National Eating Disorders Association

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

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