Why I Can't Look at Myself in the Mirror
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Health and Wellness

Why I Can't Look at Myself in the Mirror

And How I've Learned to Be Okay With That

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Why I Can't Look at Myself in the Mirror
Locke Hughes

I hate myself. It seems as though I say that lightly because I say it so often, its become almost as conventional as saying my name. The problem lies in the fact that when I say the phrase, I actually mean it – I feel it. I truly have an indescribable feeling of self-loathe that has latched itself onto my inner being since, what feels like, the beginning of time. I cannot shake it. I cannot change it. I can only deal with it, mold it, shape it, and adjust myself around it. I’ve dealt with this feeling for so long that I’ve learned to defend it – I stand by it, I make sure that it is safely tucked away inside of my soul for no one to see. When no one is around, when it feels most comfortable, it crawls out, and it sucks my conscience dry.

Yes, the feeling of hatred for myself has all but consumed me, but I do not let it define me. I enjoy my life and the people in it – I am not afraid of shopping malls, new clothes, the gym or food. However, I face my difficulties in ways that most people can’t see. Maybe that’s why few people actually believe me when I express how I feel about myself when I choose to. I’ll hear “Oh, stop!” or “Get over it” or my all-time favorite: “Well, do something about it.” Either way, I spend most of my time suffering on the inside, and quite frankly, I’d like to keep it that way (it’s easier, trust me). I’ve spent a lot of time and put a lot of effort into self-medicating and let me tell you something…it ain’t easy. But, it’s doable. And it works. It’s f***ing hard – don’t get me wrong, but if you can master your own brain (to an extent) it’s worth it.

I struggle every day. Every. Single. Day. It does not get easier, but it never gets harder. I am perpetually battling my own bully who has a first-person POV and who loves to remind me that mirrors exist to only mock me. If I eat a cookie, I’m a fatass; I eat a salad, it’s never gonna work. Oh, and my boyfriend? He’s only with me because he hasn’t found someone better looking to leave me for yet. My son is an excuse for my stretch marks. I’m out of breath when I run because I can’t workout. When someone compliments me it’s because they feel bad for me. I cannot pick out one physical feature on me that I am even remotely satisfied with – from my hair follicles to my toenails.

Now, tell me, wouldn’t that make you sick? I talk to myself like that every day, and FYI: there is no off switch. I have heard so many times before and will continue to hear for the rest of my life that “I need to stop thinking that way” or that “I need to stop putting myself through that” when in reality, I know that already. I don’t want to dismiss every compliment that flows my way. I don’t want to look in the mirror and feel nauseous. I don’t want to be jealous of other girls. I don’t want to be my own worst enemy. When my boyfriend touches me, I want to let him. Instead, I am completely overwhelmed with a feeling of disgust and anxiousness that I can only describe as such: when he runs his hand across my stomach I am paralyzed from movement, I am short of breath, my heart races and I hope to God he doesn’t think about me the way I think of myself. I don’t want to feel that way. I want to acknowledge the look he has in his eyes when he tells me how beautiful I am.

I used to think there was no way out of this kind of darkness. After all, where can you run to escape from yourself? I know now that the key isn’t to try and rid yourself of negativity – but to flood yourself with positivity. As with everything in this life, we are creatures in need of balance, and where there is bad there must be good. If you should ever find yourself in a place filled with darkness, keep in mind that you can always bring light to a dark room, but you cannot remove the darkness to reveal light. As such, you must remember that you can’t completely get rid of negativity (as much as we’d all love to) but can always add positivity. Most people will say that being controlled is a choice – I see things a bit different. I don’t think being controlled is a choice; most people don’t necessarily choose to be controlled by their abuser, right? They don’t choose to be controlled by their mental illnesses, their disabilities, or their peers. I was controlled by the shadows that haunt the innermost parts of my mind. No, I don’t believe being controlled is a choice.

But, taking control is.

This is an interestingly raw article both from my end and from yours. It might seem like I’m being too transparent about some of the things I experience every day – to some, it may seem like I’m exaggerating the hell out of it all. But I assure you that nothing I disclose about my thoughts, feelings, emotions, expressions or struggles is exaggerated for the sake of publication. I share some of my darkest places with the world in an effort to pull together those who cannot articulate the words to do so themselves, or chose not to.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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