Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Mirrors and Photographs

For at least a decade I have avoided mirrors. Or looking glasses, as Nancy Mitford would have said (she deemed the word 'mirror' frightfully infra dig. Along with toilet, serviette and fish knives).

I would hate it when a mirror snuck up on me unawares. I'd suddenly be confronted by my image and think "when did my mother get so fat? Yikes! It's me. Look away you fool, before you're turned to stone...."

If I knew a mirror was coming I could prepare. I'd suck my cheeks in, angle the head to avoid double chinnage and suck in the belly.

#1 calls this my 'scary mirror face', and says it looks nothing like me.

I hate photos even more.

Until the age of around 33 (when #1 was born), there were loads of photos of me. SM partying, SM hugging Mr SM (and his predecessors), even SM on various beaches topless!

Last ten years? Barely a single picture. All erased at infancy. I've been as merciless as Herod. Thank god for digital technology! One click and ppppffff....gone.

So our last decade of family albums show Mr SM, the heroic single father of 3. Or they would if photo albums hadn't been one of the activities that went by the wayside in favour of drinking.

Anyhow, a couple of days ago I went to the supermarket with #3. Once we'd finished and paid up I wheeled the laden trolley towards the lift. #3 pressed the button and the doors opened.

The lift was already occupied by a lady with a trolley, so I moved to the side to let her out. She was a fair bit younger than me, slimmer and well turned out. The sort of person I liked to think I was. But wasn't.

She moved to the side too.

Then I realised that the lift was empty. The back wall was mirrored. I was looking at myself!

The sobercoaster isn't always easy, but once in a while the universe throws you a gift like that moment of realisation, and it makes everything worthwhile....

Love SM x


  1. Nice! I really love your blog. I've been leaving comments all over the place while catching up, but don't waste your time reading and responding. I'll be around from now on. 'My first day well since many ill' was July 15, so I'm about four months behind you, benefiting hugely from your experience. I've started taking a vitamin B-complex and magnesium, for instance, to ward of the dreaded PAWS.

  2. Imagine ... in five years that difference of four months will not matter at all. We will probably both have grown tired of the whole sobriety 'thing' and turned our attention to other matters (happily sober, of course).

    1. I've seen your comments Ulla! Thanks so much for reading and posting! And huge congrats to you on taking the plunge - you won't regret it! Please stay in touch. Big hugs SM x

  3. That is awesome SM!! Amazing how the wine robs of us of looks, ages us and packs on the pounds. I know I'm only 11 days in but I can see the bloated face slimming down, the whites of my eyes clearer and skin so much brighter. The wonderful side effects of quitting really help with the motivation when the wine witch rears her ugly head.

  4. Your eyes are open. You see the real you now.
    I also avoided mirrors. Even when I looked good, I never wanted to look myself in the eye. All I saw was pain. All I saw in my body was the flaws.
    When I started yoga and therapy the mirrors in the yoga room became a lesson.
    I started at the back of the room.
    Now I am usually at the front. I use the mirror to correct position, or admire my sweaty ness. But never to critique. My body does some cool things. Aside from making 2 children, it has carried me through 43 years. I appreciate it now.

    Plus, if you are criticizing yourself or others at yoga there is a issue to address.

  5. Yay! You must be looking good Mrs SM!!! It's so weird when you see yourself but don't know it's you. And you've brought the sun to Scotland!

  6. Awesome post. I decided on day 1 to take a weekly photo of myself (same time, same place in house, sans make-up) just to see if there were any visible benefits to quitting. 3 photo's in, and I'm shocked to say the least!! That, and your blog, is keeping me going! X

    1. That's such a great idea Red! I should have done that! You're doing great - huge congrats xx

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  9. I love this SM! what a lovely gift to receive for yourself. xx