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"Who Are You Going To Be Today, Carol?"

The Return And Losses Of My Identity.

By Carol TownendPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
"Who Are You Going To Be Today, Carol?"
Photo by Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash

Today, I know who I am.

I am 'Carol.'

But who is Carol?

Well, today she got out of bed, did her hair, and her makeup; and she feels slim, happy, confident, and ready to face her day.

When Tomorrow comes, Carol will be a different person.

She might feel low, unconfident, unpretty, fat, and not feel ready to face her day.

There is a problem; She knows that she will hide under a face of prettiness and confidence to hide it, and she'll wear tighter clothes to hide her fat,

even though the 'fat' is not really there; she just feels it and sees it in her mind when she feels down.

"So; What about the next day?"

'Carol' might wake up bubbly, chirpy, and chatty. She might sing and dance around the room, and she might be able to wear what she wants.

The problem.

She might notice someone prettier, more confident, and more bubbly, who is slimmer than her and has better hair than her.

Carol will feel bad about herself and will change everything from her looks, and weight to the clothes she wears, just to take the 'ugly looks' and 'personality' away.

Then the next few hours and days after that?

'Carol' will constantly check her looks and her weight in the mirror, even though she knows the mirror will confirm her biggest fear about herself;

"Carol is too thin or too fat and ugly."

She will comb her hair, and redo her makeup a million times a day because just one thing out of place means that she is a bad person.

She will check every single diet book or magazine, just to get ideas on how to stay slim, or not be too slim.

She will then re-arrange her looks just to become 'more beautiful,' and go through a period of being beautiful, ugly, too, too thin, or too fat.

She will then go through every psychology book or article written, just to figure out how to change her 'horrible personality.'

She will then have to fight not to revert back to her eating disorders, in order to keep or lose weight, even though she does not have to.

Mirrors and people tell lies.

They tell her she is slim when she is fat, or fat when she is slim.

'Carol' will then spend the next few days asking,

"Who am I?"

There will be days when she recognizes the kind, caring, pleasant, bubbly person that she and everybody say she is; and days when she feels that she, the mirror, and everyone else are lying about herself to her.

'Carol' has a sound sense of identity sometimes. She can identify with herself for many months or years, but there is a problem;

She has body dysmorphia

She constantly worries about every detail; skin, freckles, weight, hair, makeup, looks, personality; and some days, she can't see herself or identify with herself at all.

'Carol' is getting better, but that doesn't mean the problem has gone away. She has learned to take great care of herself through her past years of DBT, but she will always struggle with that one question,

"Who are you going to be today, Carol?"

Her feelings and personality can sometimes change within a matter of days, months, years, and even hours.

Although she doesn't need therapy now because she has the skill to manage, she still has her daily struggles.

Mental health problems don't magic themselves away just because of therapy. Therapy gives us coping skills that help us manage them, and stay stable so that we can live our lives, but we have to use them for the rest of our lives in order to help us to live and accept ourselves as we are.


About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (3)

Sign in to comment
  • kp3 months ago

    I loved this piece. Thank you for sharing your journey; it is so important. The relevance and relatability struck me the most. Speaking on a societal issue that many of us deal with is brave, so I thank you again.

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Splendid self care, coping with a disorder story!!! Sending positive vibes and virtual hugs!@@❤️❤️💕

  • Naveed 3 months ago

    You have a real talent for writing. Well done!

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