Peeling The Onion: Layer 2

“Mirror mirror on the wall; Alexis Lee is no longer the fairest of them all” I feel as if this sentenced repeated itself to me every single day for 3 months. Every morning I woke up I was reminded once my reflection met a mirror that I was no longer the hot friend. I was more like the friend with terrible acne, the friend who used to be pretty, the friend who used to be confident. Since I kept myself under wraps for so long I really built up my obsession with vanity.

I always thought I was vain prior to my skin problem, but once the medication’s side effects kicked it I knew vanity better than I ever had before. I was never the girl who was super concerned about leaving the house with a full face of makeup, but I was the girl that never went out if I had a blemish. I was now face to face with one of my biggest fears, raised, swollen blemishes all over my entire face. I made a strong decision that until my medication was adjusted and my face looked less like a meat lovers pizza, I was not under any circumstances leaving the house. This is when me and newly acquainted vice named vanity really had time to hang out together.

My time at home became an all day obsession with mirrors. Any mirror or reflective surface I could get my hands on was being used as a tool for scrutiny and deep inspection by yours truly. The fact that I looked so different from the girl I was so used to staring at fascinated me. As my appearance progressively got worse I kept feeling farther and farther away from myself. After the second month it was like I was looking at my reflection from outside of my body. I started to disconnect my feelings from my appearance, the less I looked like myself the more I knew I had to refocus my energy. Craving the view of my imperfections was becoming unhealthy, every time I saw them it was a further blow to my disintegrating ego and self confidence.

I knew that if my vanity couldn’t control itself, the girl on the outside looking in had to be shaken up a little bit. I decided that if my face’s appearance wasn’t going to improve I had to improve what lies under the face. If outer vanity couldn’t be achieved and I couldn’t be that shiny penny reflecting at the bottom of the pond, I was going to be something else. I was going to be a crumpled up 100 dollar bill, dirty and torn on the outside but within that bill held value. It was more about being worth more within, as opposed to attractive and holding lesser value.

I began writing everyday in a journal about how staring in that mirror made me feel. What that pain and itch of vanity made me crave, and why on earth it became such an obsession to stare at the imperfections. The more I wrote about the chinks in my armor of beauty the less those chinks effected my insides. The cravings of my reflection lessened and as those cravings shrunk so did my welts. The less I put stock in my appearance the better my skin was getting. Once I filled that notebook with all of my sins of vanity I decided the only way to soothe the beast was to tear the pages out. Just like vanity controlled me, I decided to take that control back. As I marred and tore the pages of that journal out something healed within me. I gained control of myself and my urges for perfection by destroying the beast of vanity.

Layer 2 of my journey taught me that all beasts can be slayed with the right tools. As long as you look within yourself and use the gifts you’re born with you can come out of anything. My talent for words saved me in a battle between vanity and myself. I was able to fill a notebook with feelings and thoughts that ate me alive, and in turn I destroyed that notebook. Vanity was the dragon I needed to slay, and slaying that dragon is exactly what I did. Stay tuned for more layers of my journey, remember you might just learn something about yourself.

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