Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
May 17

Mirror Images

Once upon a time, I would avoid the mirror. I’d run past, especially if I were naked. I’d force my gaze to stray from the areas I didn’t like. There wasn’t much that I did like. And it wasn’t just the morning routine that was disturbed by my self loathing. It was detrimental to my relationships. My self-consciousness infiltrated every area of my life in a way that others probably didn’t understand and maybe you can’t also understand unless you’ve been there, too.

Lately, as I’ve watched the pounds slowly melt off, as I’ve put on pants that I couldn’t wear for years, as I’ve shopped for clothes that actually fit, as I’ve found styles that accent my curves, I’ve been less reluctant to face what the mirror has to show me. I started with small steps. I allowed forced myself to view a little at a time, then a little more. Now I can stand in front of the mirror in full. I suppose I have desensitized myself to the images that I had convinced myself were so vile before.

Now I see me in the mirror, every day, as I apply lotion. I see my skin, my hair. I see my shape, I see my scars, my marks, my blemishes. I don’t love it all but I don’t hate it, either, and that’s the accomplishment. I don’t flinch or run away. I am more or less at peace and, yes, sometimes even happy with what I see, with parts that I used to hate.

The difference plays out in my life. I walk taller, shoulders back with my chin up. I spend more time beautifying myself. I laugh more. I am less self conscious in public, which makes me less uptight in general. I am more open because I am not trying to hide myself for fear that someone may realize that I am not an attractive person or, rather, that I don’t find myself attractive.

All this confidence only pushes me to do more because I can see it, in those mirror images, that I am almost where I want to be.

Mar 16

I don’t hate it.

I used to hate a lot of things. Or, at least, dislike many things. I used to look for the negative and find it quite easily. Let’s face it, finding the negative is almost always easier. It’s easy to look at the world with harsh eyes. But lately I’ve found myself using the phrase “I don’t hate it.” For instance, I bought this perfume and it was only $4 and even though it’s kind of weird and doesn’t last long, I don’t hate it. Success. In fact, I may have uttered a variation of that to Robyn when we were shopping.

I don’t hate it and nothing is permanent and that is good enough. Good enough? Who ever would have thought that the girl who likes things the way she likes them would ever settle for “good enough?” It’s not all of the time, I still have progress to make, but I have made progress and I have made it so well that I haven’t even realized it. I’m not straining everyday to be positive. Sometimes, I don’t need to even think about being positive; I just do it. Sometimes I accept that “I don’t hate it” is okay, that I don’t need to say “I love it” about everything.

Nevertheless, being relaxed is still a struggle most days. My anxiety and tendency to thinkthinkthink is ever-present. I sometimes slip back into my old habits and focus on how much more I need to improve instead of congratulating myself for the improvements I have made. It’s these sudden realizations of what I am doing or haven’t been doing that seem to boost my confidence and, as a result, ease my anxiety the most.

One thing that I have recently come to accept is that, no matter how much progress I do make, no matter how much I change the way I think, my anxiety is something that I will never be able to fully eliminate. It is something that I can manage but it is something that will always be there if I continue to go the non-medicinal route (and, to be honest, may still exist even if I do choose to go that route). I will never get a full reprieve from my anxiety but accepting that fact means I have far less anxiety about my anxiety (meta-anxiety?).

Less anxiety, in turn, means less insomnia. Or so I hope. It’s been ridiculously difficult lately. Luckily, I’ve stumbled across a few different apps for the Android and iPod that offer some sleep solutions. In fact, I used one last night that was terrific!

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