In The Mirror

I feel sick to my stomach, and all I want to do is lie down and pass out. How did I end up with a freaking complexion mirror for this prompt? I know it will only bring out the OCD in me, the nit picker, the critic, the one who is never happy.

I don’t want to look at my self, so I remove myself from the room to lie down, but am uncomfortable still, and walk back into a room of women staring intently at themselves. I need my blankie.

Excuse Me. Hope I’m not disturbing what I am so desperately resisting doing.

I feel sick, and the couch and my blankie feel perfect. Lying back, I let another long belch out. Between cramps and digestion issues, I couldn’t be further from comfortable, so let’s just dig in! How about that eczema?! Take a look closer, because, you know, you Have to in order to not go cross-eyed with these mirrors.

I can’t see the whole picture, just exaggerated bits, like every single pore, clogged, the etching of the past 2 years on my face, the whiskers. Holy HELL! When did 2 whiskers become 5, …..8?!

Skip to the eyes, the seat of the soul. Icy blue, unmoving, challenging – don’t pass. It’s easier to look from the side. Fuck, I don’t want to do this. That’s why I write abstract. I don’t want to reveal the boring truth that I am not as happy as I claim to be, that I don’t believe myself, that I believe my critic, that I hate the way my body feels, and I don’t want to touch or see my own body.

It’s the same old shit, day in, day out, and it hasn’t gone away. Years of therapy, eating disorder treatment, meditation, blah, blah….it’s still there waiting to eat me alive.

Oh yeah, the mirror…..ever notice that you can actually see through the mirror? No, like an optical trick, so you don’t have to see the detail, just an essence of you overlaid on what’s behind the mirror.

Ah, this I can do. Golden strands of hair between my hand and the canned lighting above me, and if I move the mirror to touch my face, I can put the can where my pupil should be.

This should be easy, right? I talk about life and people as your mirror all the fucking time. It’s easy to talk about others, to reflect to others. I don’t want to see my reflection. I don’t like what I see anymore. I try. You know, self-love, that illusive state of self-acceptance and compassion. Flighty mother-fucker she is!

Some days, the reflections of others are enough to override my own demons. Other days, they only incite the heavy tongue of my…..what shall we call that voice?

It doesn’t matter – because when that critic comes in, it doesn’t leave room for anything else. It shuts the blinds on light, snuffs the hearth, locks away the instruments, and pins the body immobile. Like a black hole, it sucks the breath out, and all your vitality with it…

God, the mirror. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t like what it reflects. It’s not true. I guess I am a good person. I do mean well, but I am always waiting to be called out. I want to be. Someone tell me I am full of shit, please, about anything, because I want truth. I want it more than anything. I can handle truth.

It’s gotta be better than the tale I spin around the voices in my head. My grandmother was schizophrenic. I once walked in on her talking with God. “God, you know, you just need to cut off his big toe,” she said, very assuredly and matter of factly.

I grew up looking in the mirror, analyzing every centimeter of my 95-pound ballerina body. 3% bodyfat was as low as I could go before my body started eating itself. One day, I sat in the shower stall, slumped in the corner considering suicide. I was convinced I was fat, and perhaps it would be easier to end it than to deal with these voices, these incessant voices.

So, I really don’t like mirrors. They remind that dark side of me of what I am NOT.

And our time is up, and I haven’t really gone anywhere but in circles, and I am loving lying in my sea of blue today.

*Day 1 of “Writing Back to the Body” with Kate Gray and Sarah Byrden in Hood River, OR