Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Age 24

When I look in the mirror I see a happy, healthy young woman. She's brightly dressed and confident. She takes care of herself and is comfortable in her own skin. This person is me, and I like her.

Only a year ago, a very different person used to stare back at me. Her malnourished body was swathed in baggy clothes, and her dull lifeless eyes could barely muster the courage or the strength to stare back at me. This girl was suffering from an eating disorder, and the mirror was her enemy. Even at her thinnest, this girl still saw herself as a fat person, a monster whom she hated and attacked. She spent years trying to destroy this person, this creature in the mirror. And she very nearly succeeded.

Luckily help was at hand, and she entered a treatment clinic for people suffering from eating disorders. Here she began to rebuild her shrunken self, literally and metaphorically. As she did this, the story in the mirror changed, and I started to see myself. Eventually I discovered that I liked that person, loved her for who she was, and I wrote a book about the process of self discovery that brought me to this conclusion. It's called Mariposa and it's available from www.chipmunkapublishing.co.uk.

That frightened, starving girl has since become a distant memory, and my perception of myself has changed. Curves are good, health is good. There are parts of me I like more than others, but no one can be perfect. Above all, I can accept and make the best of who I am. Today the mirror is no longer my enemy, nor is the reflection within it. In the mirror I now see recovery, an exciting future and a person who is special in her own unique way. I see me, and I like it!