man in the mirror

i remember the first time i looked in a mirror, i started sobbing, more than ever before, because i hated what i saw… my mom had made my hair differently and excitedly pushed me to the mirror to see. but whatever was staring back at me filled my heart with shock, disgust, and anger. i wanted to scream, but all that came out was tears. who was that? why did i look like that? was that really me? i didnt sound like myself, and now i didnt look like myself, at all. i didnt recognize myself, do you know how scary that is? i dont know what i expected to see. i was paralyzed from head to toe, so that included my facial muscles. so all my facial features lacked shape and definitiom. everything looked different. i was so tired of people telling me i looked pretty, because lets be honest- i looked paralyzed, not pretty. maybe i looked better than they expected, but i am scared to imagine what they expected.. my nurses would always come in my room and look at my pictures from my former life that were strewn around my room. \’she had to have been a model!\’ \’she must have won a beauty pageant or something!\’ they would say. they were huge compliments, but they werent for me… they were for her. the HAPPY, carefree girl in the pictures who now felt like a distant memory… another life. shes so different from what i looked like now. she has perfectly straightened, lovely hair; i had an unmanageable mess covering my head. she wears cute, stylish clothes; i had to wear gross tshirts and sweatpants i used to only wear to bed. she wears high heels; i wear sneakers, shes cheer captain and im on the bleachers (kidding!) but seriously, i never wore sneakers in public, well except the gym. she seemed so put together and classy while i felt like a mess and classless. i always had drool on my face and food on my clothes. and i always had to wear my horrid, THICK glasses that i had hated so much, i rarely wore them before. ew. i wanted so badly to be that girl in the pictures again. but i have realized, i will never be that girl again, no matter how much i improved or how normal my life becomes. she had this unwavering optimism in her smile, this pure naivete in her eyes, and this incredible innocence in her face. but my optimism had been ripped away, my naivete was no more, and my innocence had been forced out. i was forever changed, on the inside and out. im older and wiser because of this all, with a few grey hairs to show for it. i learned my lesson, i dont look in mirrors anymore. but if i catch a glimpse of my reflection, i have to do what i do 1000 times a day, everyday – i have to remind myself that under this useless body, beneath these limp, fragile limbs, beyond this weak, soft voice, it is me, maybe a less bright-eyed version, but it was still me.

6 thoughts on “man in the mirror

  1. Hersh,Hearing your laugh, kind words, and advice, reading your amazing writing, and seeing that smile, will always make you you. Never forget that. And for the record, despite what you were wearing or doing in the hospital or at home, you will ALWAYS be the classiest girl I know. Love you SO SO SO SO SO much.

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  2. honey! it IS you! and i do think you still have the optimism ๐Ÿ™‚ when i look at you, i see the same innocent, easily shocked hersh i've always known. hehe. love you :)and… theres nothing wrong with thick glasses. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. I read your posts every day and the way I see it, its without a doubt the same confident, strong, loving, intelligent, fun young lady we all know and loveby the way, I went out to karaoke with some of my classmates a few months ago and a t swift song came on and guess who was the only person who knew all the lyrics..uh..wait…this is a public post isnt it? ah crap =)Love you bbear

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  4. okay first of all, I nearly pissed myself when you busted out those T. Swift lyrics in the middle of an emotional, serious rant.We all look in the mirror sometimes and don't recognize ourselves. Your beauty is your eyes, your smile, and your incredible spiritual energy. I feel it all the way from nyc. Now that's some serious beauty.XoXo

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  5. so i didn't comment on this when i first read it but my comment on your latest post reminded me of what i didn't say the first time.. i really mean it when i say you are just as gorge as ever. i know things ARE different but i remember definitively the first time i saw you smile again – even tho i had heard you laugh from my first visit, your smile was unbelievable because it is this irrepressible essence of you that will not and cannot ever change – and there are so many things like that really are the same. things were different at first but they are always changing, and i agree with rajul in that your beauty isn't at all diminished. ๐Ÿ™‚

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