It’s been a constant thing this past year and a bit: Me looking in the mirror, staring at the person in it and not remotely recognising him.
It happened shortly after R’s suicide. When I lost a great part of myself. I would catch a glimpse of this person in the mirror and feel the chills run down my spine. I didn’t know who this person was anymore – and this was scarier than hell.
So, it’s safe to assume that I avoided a mirror as best I could wherever I would go. I was not up for the reminder that I was not the same person anymore.
Needless to say, my style and appearance fell a bit down a hill and soon I had to overcome this fear and stare into a mirror again. The same stranger was staring back at me, but at least his hair looked kept and his beard was trimmed neatly.
This continued. I had an understanding with this stranger in the mirror. I wouldn’t stare to long and avoided the dead eyes, while I would do my thing and go about my day.
Time passed by and soon I became comfortable with this stranger. But soon, he wasn’t a stranger anymore. I recognised him as the person who now was – not the one I remembered and wouldn’t be.
It’s been quite some time, but yesterday I woke up, walked to the bathroom and stared at this person in the mirror.
For the first time I didn’t avoid the eyes and I stared deeply into them. Somewhere far in them, a flicker of fire was burning. Small. But it was there. It was the first time in a while that I stared at this person and saw something that I had in common with him. We both might be so damaged inside, but there’ll always be a fire burning inside us that can’t be extinguished. I did the most impossible thing I didn’t think I would do next: I introduced myself to this person staring back at me in the mirror.
Through these past weeks I’ve faced a heartbreak, reliving ghosts of a loved one that has passed, demons inside my head and the terror of the dark side of this world. But, there was still a fire burning deep inside me.
The honest truth is: I will never be the same. Holding onto a hope that some version of the old me would return is now buried. I’m a new me – this is a rebirth of sorts. By taking all this pain I’ve endured, I’m just going to become a better version of myself.
I’ve only wanted one thing for this year. Only one resolution: To fall in love with myself again. I might have lost sight of it and took a detour, but this detour brought me to a point where I’m so much stronger now. And I’m finally opening my heart to the one person that really deserves it: Me.
Should you find yourself at a point in life where you’re at a low, shut out the world, reflect inwards and listen to your inner voice. Open your heart to yourself and be kind to that person trying to reach out. Always love yourself and always have your own back.
This in it’s own is enough to give you strength to face what ever troubles you need to face.
In the words made famous by The Help: You is kind. You is smart. You is important.