A few years ago for quite a few months, close on a year actually….. I was unable to look in the mirror. I hated what I saw there. Actually, hate is not a strong enough word, I despised the reflection that looked back at me.
She was everything that I did not want to be.
She was weak. She had let mental illness take over her life and I hated her for it. I hated her for the things she had done while I was ‘sick’. I hated her for the hurt she caused my family, I hated her for the hurt she caused herself.
I hated. I despised.
I wanted to die. I willed the earth to open up and just swallow me whole. But of course that did not happen. But that did not stop me from wishing it every minute of every day.
I no longer believed in myself, I no longer trusted myself or my judgement. I had made some very bad decisions and I hurt people whom I love.
I felt very vulnerable.
I had lost control of my life and I was extremely scared that I was going to lose control again.
I had spent a lot of my life out of control. Just spinning in every direction. And to be there again after so much time, frankly, scared the shit out of me.
I was scared. I was tired. I was mad.
Scared of how bad the illness had gotten. Tired of the illness, tired of being me. Mad at myself, in ways I did not even know were possible.
My mind was in chaos, my life was in chaos and I was in so much emotional pain that I was positive that I would not get through it.
I could not see past my mistakes. I could not see past the hurt I had caused.
If I happened to look at my reflection, I would call her names. Hateful names. I would tell her “I wish you would just die”.
It was a bad time.
I took to writing on the mirror. Words of encouragement.
“This is not how your story ends.” “Believe” “Love”.
So instead of seeing myself if I accidentally looked in the mirror I would see messages. They were written there to help me get through. But to be honest it took me a long time to even believe any of the words I had written.
I got through this time. I am not even sure how. It took a LOT of work.
And although I do not really like the mirror, even now, I can manage to look at myself with less hatred. I no longer completely despise what I see there.
Sometimes I catch glimpses of the pain I went through during that time. But other times I see a glimmer of the strength that I pulled from somewhere deep inside to pull myself through one of the most difficult times in my life.
The mirror reflects not only an image of my physical self but it reflects images of my soul, my emotional self.
Sometimes I still have inklings of negative feelings for the reflection. A little hatred, some sadness, maybe a little mad at what I see. But more often than not, I see strength. A strength that pulled me through, a strength that helped me fight and a strength that will always be there.