Shatter the Mirror
Dedicated to my wee bee Zoe and to wee beauties of all ages—we are all beautiful, inside and out
As of February 15th 2015, I am officially seven years, post ED. Seven Years. I started out this post by trying to think of all the auspiciousness that is associated with the number seven.
You can sail the Seven Seas. Spend Seven Years in Tibet. Read seven delightful Harry Potter books. Appreciate paintings by the gifted artists in the Group of Seven. Whistle while you head off to work with the Seven Dwarfs. And you will have seven years of bad luck if you break a mirror—or so the superstition goes.
Or maybe that isn’t really true at all. Maybe that old superstition exists just to keep us afraid of the mirror. Afraid of the power the mirror seems to hold over us. Afraid of our own reflection.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”
The truth, the absolute truth, is that all along, it’s been You. You are the fairest one of all, lovely on the outside and lovelier still on the inside. So heartbreakingly and uniquely beautiful on the inside that it cannot help but radiate outwards.
But the reflection in the mirror might tell you something completely different. ED is behind that reflection, and ED feasts on insecurity, shame, silence. ED tries to tell you that you could not possibly be beautiful, because your body does not fit into any of the rigid, narrow, ill-fitting moulds of society. I have a secret to share with you, though: ED just happens to be completely and utterly wrong.
So here is my advice:
Shatter the Mirror. Smash it. Throw it against the wall. Watch as it breaks into a million tiny little shards of glass, and then carefully pick them up and glue them, piece by piece, into a sparkling disco ball.
I dream of a world that embraces all bodies. All shapes, all sizes. I dream of a world that embraces us all.
But that day will never arrive unless we start shattering mirrors. Shatter the expectations, the molds, the “rules,” the shame, the false reflections. Shatter it all, and build something new. Something that sparkles and reflects who we truly are.
I read the most beautiful quote about seven years the other day. It was written by Brett E. Jenkins, and it goes like this:
It’s said that it takes seven years to grow completely new skin cells. To think, this year I will grow into a body you never will have touched.
Shockingly, I am grateful to you, ED, for all that I have learned through this process of recovering my life from you. I can’t say that I miss you, though: I’m too busy dancing, under my own sparkling disco ball, with my wee beauty, Zoe.
Carrie Cox is a woman who recovered her life from anorexia nervosa seven years ago on February 15th, 2008. She is also an elementary teacher, PhD Candidate (ABD) in Education, workshop facilitator, and, most importantly, a mum to a beautiful inside-and-out girl, Zoe. Carrie acts as an advocate for eating disorder awareness and body awareness education in local, provincial and national media, and has been privileged to share her story at a wide variety of events for different organizations, including NEDIC. If you are interested in learning more about Carrie’s work, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out her blog at: adventuresinweebeekeeping.com, or attend her workshop on body activism in the classroom at the NEDIC conference this coming April 2015. #shatterthemirror