What does the mirror REALLY show you?

It’s been a while, I decided to take some time to clear my mind. But, I’m baaaack 😊

So, this post stems off my first story. I think and hope a lot more people will relate to this one because it is a more common taboo issue that people only seem to talk about when something happens to trigger it.

Having had an eating disorder not only effects the most obvious thing, your weight, it also alters the way you think. When I look in the mirror today, it’s different to how I would look in it 3 years ago. A lot of us, when we look in the mirror, tend to point out and notice the things we don’t like and ignore the things we do and I’m guilty too… I hate looking in the mirror a lot of the time and tend to avoid them because I hate my reflection, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I also compare myself a lot to other people and want to look like them and I know this is a thing everyone does which makes me feel reassured that it’s not just me, but also makes me sad that we do this. My reflection makes me think ‘ew’ my next thought after that is, ‘how do I lose weight to make this body part skinnier’, ‘maybe I shouldn’t eat’ and writing about it now is making me realise how real those thoughts are and how much it triggers me to want to stop eating. I get anxious sometimes when I look in the mirror, and the paranoia doesn’t leave me. I avoid seeing anyone and everyone, hide under baggy clothes, hide behind my make-up, and then eat because I feel sad, and then feel guilty for doing that. It’s a vicious cycle that makes me so angry and frustrated. My anxiety explodes, and my mind makes me feel worthless and like I’m not good enough. When I’m shopping with someone and they want to go in the fitting room, omg, I can’t explain the feeling that goes through me. It’s like something in my head sparks this emotion of ‘HELP’, like a warning, that runs through my whole body. I do it anyway because I don’t want anyone to know, but that doesn’t help me. I know it’s not just me who thinks like that in terms of self-confidence, which makes it even sadder. Accepting your reflection in general, is a difficult thing to do which I’m still working on.

I’ve taken steps to try and fix everything; Making sure I’m healthy and my well-being is my priority. The gym is a very interesting factor. There’s a lot of pressure today on men and women to gym and look a certain way. A lot of people feel like they have to gym to look like that or to kind of ‘fit in’. I’ve learnt to use the gym wisely to benefit me. I do things that make me happy, I love acting, I love helping people, I love travelling, I love being with people who are full of life, and these things take my mind off everything else, reminding me that there’s more to life than what I see when I look at myself.  Obviously, one of the hardest things is food. I immerse myself slowly into the ‘food world’ by eating out etc. and not worrying about what I’m eating. I still try and be healthy, and when I don’t I panic, the point is, I try which is what I keep reminding myself and one day I’ll get there. Despite trying to keep these things balanced, I have step backs like everyone does; but remind myself that I should air my thoughts out to someone, so they’re not in my head anymore. Speaking about how you feel, doesn’t make you weaker, it makes you stronger. One day I’ll accept I am who I am, and I am no less and no better than anyone else, simply because of what I see in the mirror.

I have so much anger towards society and social media for glamorising an UNREALISTIC image for men and women that puts so much pressure on us to look a certain way. If you go into high street stores, the mannequins are NOT realistic and that’s what people look to. “The UK have one of the lowest body confidence scores in the world, with only 20% of us saying we like the way that we look” – huffingtonposts. Films, TV, the fashion industry is all a lie; and what’s worse is, we’re exposed to this from such a young age that it becomes normality to us. Why is it only the muscly, tall men, and the skinny small women that are portrayed as the ‘winner’ in a movie? It’s always that girl that gets the guy, or that guy that gets the girl? (Not all movies of course) When did a certain image for women and men become so glamorised and idealistic? And why do industries like the film and social media portray and edit images of women that aren’t realistic? It makes people feel bad for not looking like that, to then find out it’s not even real… When I was sick, I used to compare myself to girls on social media, my Instagram feed was all images of different women’s bodies. I was so glued to all of that I didn’t even consider whether it was real or not… and it was all so I could look like them and now I regret that so much. The drive to want to look a certain way and be socially accepted, has affected me and I’m sure so many people. Social media needs to be REAL and glamorise and focus on what makes people who they really are. Acknowledge that everyone is different, and if we all looked the same, it would be boring…

So, after that, I ask you to ask yourself, what makes you, you? What things do you do that make you who you are? What drives you? What inspires you? What makes you happy? Acknowledge, and THAT is the real reflection of yourself; love yourself for who you are. Think about it, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, what does the mirror REALLY show you?

About mentalstability

Trying out blogging because it's important to know you're not alone - Drama student at University of Exeter
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