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Sometimes I feel like I am someone else when I look in the mirror and I see a stranger staring back at me. I recognize her physically, but the rest of her is a mystery. When I look in this stranger’s eyes, they are different than the eyes I am used to seeing.

The person I look at most of the time, is happy. She loves her life now. She smiles more than she used to. She doesn’t have dark circles under tired blood shot eyes anymore. She isn’t constantly preoccupied by work with a cellphone stuck in her ear all hours of the day. She enjoys time with her family and friends in a deeper and more sincere way, this being the very thing that makes her smile more.

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But when I look in the mirror, every once and awhile I see a stranger staring back at me. Deep in the darkest brownest part of her eyes, there is doubt, there is fear, there is guilt, unrecognizable to others, for the burden she feels she has become thanks to her changed physical condition. There looking back at her is the waste of a human being she now knows herself to be. A secret she keeps well hidden, sometimes even from herself.

From time to time though, looking in that mirror, I can’t help but see this person I don’t want to be, the one I don’t really know. I wonder where the person I am used to seeing has gone but wondering is a wasted effort, because I already know the answer. She isn’t here. Instead, she has been replaced by this now flawed replica who stares back at me in the mirror.

I try to ignore this stranger but slowly a quiet self reproach erodes my inner confidence and little by little, the stranger becomes more familiar. I don’t want to accept this guilt ridden soul as being who I have become. So, I stuff the guilt for feeling like a waste into the pit of my soul and I plead with the stranger to stay there, away from my day to day life.

Once and awhile though, ever so subtly, when I look in the mirror, there she is…that apprehensive stranger staring back at me. She makes me question my otherwise happy life. I don’t like her. I’m glad I don’t have to look at her all the time!

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