Mirror, Mirror: What I See Is Not Who I Am.
Do you ever look in the mirror and not recognize yourself? That’s a very cliché question obviously, but do you? I know I do all the time. Sure, I look the same; same shaped face, same eyes staring back at me, same nose, same mouth, same everything; but something is obviously different, I don’t feel like myself. I mean sometimes I feel fine or at least good enough, but other times I just feel empty, as if something really big is gone, something that used to fill me to the brim and that made me feel whole. I couldn’t tell you where it went or why it left or if it will come back, but I really hope it does.
I think I was last whole about seven months ago; whole and happy and ready for life, and then everything in me seemed to change. I started some new medicine about this time; medicine that was not meant for me, medicine that ruined everything. I developed a hormone imbalance which lead to depression, I did not realize that my empty feeling was chemically driven until it was too late. I was on that medicine for four months, and finally took the leap and stopped taking it. The day after I stopped, I felt amazing. It was as if every cloud in the sky disappeared, I was happy again, and I felt whole. That lasted for five days. I was then given a new kind of medicine, one that I hoped would allow me to continue to feel happy, while also making sure I wouldn’t pop a kid out in nine months. Well the new drug did the latter, but the happiness once again disappeared. As soon as I started taking the new pill it was as if a storm was brewing inside me, darkness swept through me, and the depression was back. I got off that pill immediately and since plan A didn’t work I went to plan B’s and finally to plan C. What I ultimately learned was that artificial hormones and I are not friends. In fact, we are enemies, who if in the same room will destroy one another. So, I chose an option without any hormones and thus far the storm has more or less cleared, but I still don’t feel like me.
I really don’t know if I will ever feel like myself again. I was once very happy, confident and driven, I am now at times those things, but not regularly. I am not as sad as I once was or as emotional. I think now I am emotionless, numb. It’s almost as though during that hormonally imbalanced period of time, I had all the emotions I was ever to have and I just used them all up and now they are gone. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel whole. Maybe that’s why I don’t recognize myself.
It has only been three months since I stopped the pill; not really that long, but I had hoped that I would just bounce right back to my old self. No luck. There are times I feel happier and fuller, but those times seem more fleeting, less solid. I really hope one day I will go back to the way I was, that when I step in front of a mirror I can say, “yes that is me inside and out”; only time will tell. However, I wonder at times if perhaps this is just me now and that I need to start recognizing the new person in the mirror and just accept her as me. But we will see.