March 9, 2010

The Girl in the Mirror

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , at 6:07 pm by eddejae

This poem was inspired mostly by my own struggles with self-perception, but also partly by a fellow blogger who is also dealing with similar issues. Writing this was a learning experience for me, and I hope maybe it will help her too.

I wake every morning,

And remember.

Stumbling to the mirror,

I blink, and blink again.

The image looking back at me

Begins to cry.

The tally commences –

One, two, three, four…

Up and down my arms.

Scars I hide beneath

My sleeves.

My hands move unbidden

And span across

My middle, my chest, my thighs.

I turn away in disgust.

Cover my shame, hide my guilt –

The baggy old sweatshirt again.

I will not let you see,

I will not let you know,

These outward testaments of

My inward pain.

Smiles and sleeves and diet pills,

One secret for each scar.

Would you understand?

Would you turn in disgust, as I?

Fear me, label me, judge me?

Look through harsher eyes?

Would you question me,

Or perhaps prefer ignorance?

If you only knew

The scars that are cut

Into something deeper then

Mere skin.

If you only knew

The extra weight I carry

Comes from nights when

Food was my

Only friend.

But I am scared to tell you.

These walls keep me distant,

Yet protected,

From those I dare not trust.

How long until these scars fade?

How long until my reflection

Smiles back –

Confident, unashamed?

Last night I had a dream.

Before the mirror I stood again.

I clenched my fists and shut my eyes.

I screamed –

At myself, my scars, my body, my mind –

“I hate you!”

Then I heard a voice, gentle and low,

From where it came, I could not tell.

“Look. Look again. Yet deeper.

And see what I see.”

Hesitantly, I uncover my face.

I blink, and blink again.

The image looking back at me,

Begins to cry –

“Nothings changed! The scars remain,

I cannot bear to look!”

The voice replied,

“In those eyes I see a depth,

An understanding born of pain.

In your walk, a maturity,

A knowledge born of suffering.

I look at your hands and see

Your struggle with the world.

Your arms, they’re strong,

From lifting burdens,

Some never yours to bear.

Your legs are powerful,

Carrying you forward despite

Winds that threaten

To tear you down.

You see flaws and imperfections.

You see someone undeserving of love.

I see a girl with battle wounds,

Inflicted in a war with

The pain and injustice of this world,

With her past, with her demons,

With herself.

I see a girl who wants to be loved.

I see a girl tired of the pain.

I see a girl trying to get through the day.

Who has not given up on this life.”

“I see someone destined for greatness,

With so much inside to give.

You see weakness, I see courage.

You see despair, I see promise.

You see ugliness, but I…

I see beauty born from within.”

I awoke from the dream that morning,

And forgot.

Stumbling to the mirror,

To repeat the painful ritual –

One, two, three, four…

Then suddenly, the voice from

My dream resounded in my ears…

I remembered.

And looked again.

And smiled…

My scars were beautiful.

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4 Comments »

  1. Lillie said,

    oh my word. what comes between the waves of heartbreak and sadness are glimmers of hope i am finally seeing. how this poem touched me.

    i always felt tremendous alone, even in a crowd of people–family, friends, coworkers and so on…i felt like the outside looking in, and at times i wondered if my wounds were so visible that others were so afraid.

    now, i am feeling beauty, happiness, joy and love.

    i am shaking feeling afraid to say aloud i feel this.

    i almost want to say that no longer will i have the days of hurting myself. i desire kindness and tenderness i so yearn for.

    may i and you remember this always.

    heartfelt love,
    melissa

    • Edde said,

      You have no idea how much joy I felt reading your words. My eyes are filling with tears right now, out of happiness for you.

      I can almost hear the hope in your voice.Melissa, I hope you know that you’re loved, and you’re never alone.

      I am so incredibly grateful…

  2. Maddie said,

    This is beautiful. This is absolutly, breathtakingly beautiful. I don’t know what to say.

  3. Katherine said,

    Wow. I just started crying. This is my new all time favorite poem.


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