Addiction. We all deal with it in one form or another. Among the popular vices include: smoking, gambling, and drinking. Mine? A little out of the norm. I developed this obsessive behavior of looking in the mirror. Sounds conceited, right? Except I'd go to the mirror 15+ times a day for the sole purpose of judging my appearance. In the spirit of post-Thanksgiving leftovers, I'd say I quit cold turkey.
Somewhat piggybacking off Kjerstin Gruys, who went one year without a mirror, I challenged myself to 30 days without my reflection -- no mirror, no pictures, etc. Check out my guidelines from my previous post, No Mirror November.
My Reflections Without A Mirror
Day 1 - I don't know if I couldn't sleep due to daylight savings or because the fear that developed for this next 30 days. I woke up with a lot of anxiety.
Today was so much harder than I thought it would be -- seeing my reflection in sunglasses, windows, etc. It's hard to just look away. I keep thinking others are judging me based on my appearance. But no one said anything or treated me differently.
Day 2 - I'm actually thinking more about myself now that I've removed the mirror. I'm constantly obsessing over how I look -- if I have something on my face or if my hair looks crazy.
Day 9 - Well, my husband put on my mascara today in the car before our movie (cue whip crack - just kidding!). I can just imagine the people that caught a glimpse of that and thought we were insane.
Day 10 - Each day I realize the need to find my acceptance in the mirror lessens and lessens. People are treating me the same and not being rude. They're treating me like a human being. It's sad that their kindness surprised me.
Day 18 - Today was really hard! I caught a glimpse of myself in my phone screen. I spent the rest of the day obsessing over how bad I looked. I hate feeling this way.
Day 24 - Dre talked to me about my journey coming to an end and encouraged me to continue. I think I might.
What I Learned
I would be a bully if I talked, or thought, about people the way I do myself. For some reason I thought people were judging me as harshly as I do myself. I was actually surprised when people continued to treat me the same, despite my unknown -- probably messy -- appearance. How sad that I thought so lowly of others.
This past month has been quite the experience. Breaking a habit is nothing short of hard work. Abstaining from my reflection completely took me out of my comfort zone and forced vulnerability. Some days were harder than I thought, while others flew by as if I had been living mirror-free my entire life.
I struggled. A lot. There was day 21 where I cheated a little. Days I felt extremely insecure and days I didn't care. I realized I use the mirror as a comfort. But it's funny how I find comfort in something that makes me feel worse about myself.
It's quite the vicious cycle.
Give It A Try
Have you been concentrating or obsessing over your appearance? Refusing a mirror may be an extreme, but making it your goal to focus on more important things can be so rewarding. I took a dive into uncharted waters and it was scary. After just two days I had convinced myself that this challenge was detrimental to my well-being. But after just one week, I began to flourish.
By the final day, I felt this amazing sense of accomplishment and relief! I began to feel comfortable and focus on more important things than outward appearance. And it felt great.
My mirror remains covered.