One day I was taking pictures at a window, catching that sunset glow. That proper sun that kisses your face and makes you look golden and like a goddess. That one. and I was at a party. And I heard someone say “WELL THIS GIRL LIKES TAKING PICTURES!!” Well I should have turned and asked if it was his muddy face I was taking pictures of for him to be sooo concerned!! Was it his phone!! Was it his sunshine!! Aaah just rubbish!!
But I became conscious of it and put my phone away and my heart broke a little.
Because I was finally back to being able to take pictures of myself. And that is one of my biggest achievements of the year 2018. And I realized, you know, you really don’t know what people are going through sometimes. So like I need to be careful of the comments I make.
So here it is. for a very long time (about 2 and a half years) I could not look at myself in the mirror. Wow. That sounds so sad saying it out loud. I could not. I did not feel worth looking at. It was a time of constant highs and lows and emotional disfunction. Life was happening to me. I was taking part in none of it. I would hide out a lot. Disappear. Convinced myself I was a hermit and I was antisocial. But I was just embarrassed, humiliated, afraid, confused, sad... beaten down. All areas of my life were just attacking me and I just didn’t know how to fight back.
And in my little unhealthy cocoon, I fought myself. Beat myself down to the ground and far below. I told myself I was not good enough, not worthy, not beautiful, just not anything good. And I sat in my darkness and began to believe it. I have three mirrors in my room. I only looked in them to check if my outfit was suitable enough to be outside. If I really really had to look at myself, I was putting on makeup. Yo. I discovered makeup and learnt how to hide behind it. I could not look at my face without even the slightest of makeup on. I didn’t take pictures. And when I did, its coz I had to. Or when I decided to take a picture of myself I would take it and cry. I just wasn’t worth looking at. I told myself that. It was a struggle.
Then one day by the grace of Jesus, I decided to stop fighting myself and fight the problem. And I started therapy and I had to do exercises like looking at myself in the mirror and saying nice things to myself. Wow. It sounds simple but I would literally break down trying to say something genuinely nice to myself. Whew. Self hate is so real though. And I would fight to say “you have nice hair” “you have nice eyes” “I like your piercing”. I was struggling. Struggling to compliment myself.
Then my next exercise was to go two weeks without makeup. Huh? Therapist moving mad!! Outside?? With these eyebags, hyperpigmented skin, pimples, THIS FACE??? Wow. That was the tough. I’d walk with my head down. Honestly. Who tf convinced me to convince myself that I was not worth looking at?? No. honestly, your mind can be your greatest enemy. So my two weeks went by and I did not die and then I went for a month.
And my final hurdle, taking pictures of myself in whatever state I’m in and appreciating them. Ya’ll. I would CRY. How the hell did I manage to bring myself there?? No. it was hard, really hard. But I finally managed to not cry whenever I looked at myself. To take the picture and feel beautiful. I did it. Progress.
And now I look back and I’m like wow, I really really did that to myself huh? Never. Again. Thank you. It is not easy though, I still struggle with the mirrors and pictures sometimes. But I breathe through it and say something nice. “fine ghel” “bad ting” “gorgeous ghel” Anything. Whatever will make me smile just a little bit. And I acknowledge that I have smiled. And that i have a beautiful smile. And I move along. Baby steps, but the progress is definitely visible.
So please let me take my pictures in peace. Let me enjoy the sunset glow. Let me look into my mirror for a few more minutes. Don’t say anything. Mind your business. Look the other way. Take a nap. Pretend. When I look at you, I should assume you’re…