The Face in the Mirror
I had started a blog on another site, but it was deleted, so I am trying to recreate my first post below:
Three years ago, I went through something no one should ever have to experience. Literally overnight, my life was turned entirely upside down. After a month in the hospital, I came out 30 lbs lighter with 85% of my epidermis scarred and my eyes nearly unusable. When I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t recognize the face I saw. First, I could barely see it. Second, it was gaunt. The lips were black from scabs. The eyes were bloodshot, and the skin was bright pink because it was so new. The hair was terribly thin as it had already begun coming out in chunks from the trauma. My fingernails had begun peeling off, and my toenails were already gone. I gained sight back in my left eye, but scar tissue still crept into my vision, and the right eye was covered over completely.
Fast forward… Thursday, May 12th, 2011, exactly three years to the day this whole ordeal began. I’m scheduled for surgery. I spent those three years trying to adjust, trying to feel whole again, but all I ever felt was broken. No matter what I tried, there was always this lingering feeling in the back of my mind that I would always be broken. That no one would ever love me again. Until someone did. Slowly I began to see myself as becoming whole again. Slowly I found new things of interest, new plans, new goals. But still, I looked in the mirror and didn’t know who was there. With each surgery, there was a new face. As the medications I was on had me losing my hair, gaining weight, breaking out, I stopped looking in the mirror altogether.
But then a lyric from Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic” came true: “Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right. And life has a funny way of helping you out when you think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up in your face.”
I pushed myself in school and in work, anything to keep from having to deal with the grief that was quickly creeping back into my life. I pushed until I broke. And then all that was left was that face in the mirror. The one I’d been avoiding for three years. It still looked broken, but I was finally starting to recognize it. My eye doctor kind of gave up on me, his own skills spent, and he sent me here to Miami to see the absolute specialist on my eye issues. And this amazing doctor told me today that he will be able to fix it. He will be able to give me my sight back and my face back.
The only thing is now I have finally begun to get used to the face in the mirror. What will this next one be?