A confession of vanity.

I certainly don’t think I’m the most beautiful woman in the world.
I never have.

But, I’ve always felt that I was a beautiful person.

Inside. Outside.

And, I would like to say, that EVERY woman should feel beautiful in her own skin. Every woman should know that she is beautiful. Set apart. Unique. Worthy.

At the same time, we should know that our value does NOT lie only in our outside beauty.

However, in this world, its hard to remember that. Not only that, its hard to teach our daughters this, consistently.

A confession of vanity.

I confess, that with the emergence of myspace, facebook, google +, etc, that I have taken that picture.

You know what it is ladies. Oh yes, the one you take of yourself! Just your face. Looking fantastic, because no one puts the bad pictures up for everyone to see!

And with my self-promotion, I admit….

There’s a little vanity involved there.

Last year, I began to have problems with my vision. It began happening shortly after our Portland family reunion. I started to see double vision AND started to have “floaters’ in my vision.

So, I made an eye appointment. The doctor changed my prescription. But, it got worse. I went back, and since my left eye had gotten worse, the doctor changed my prescription again and referred me to an ophthalmologist.

Several months later, I was finally at the ophthalmologist. My eye had gotten even worse since then! The doctor informed me that this whole double vision thing had a name, one which I cannot remember. ( ***EDIT*** the name is “Binocular diplopia”)

This is what happens when I see: I see double vision, floating vision, unless I cover one eye. It is very frustrating, makes driving to unknown places difficult, and did I say, um, frustrating!

Anyway, the doctor also told me that my left eye was starting to turn in a little. Yeah, turn in.

He asked to see a picture of my driver’s license, so he could show me, but my picture looked fine, so obviously this “turning inward” thing was new.

As a temporary fix, the doctor put a prism in my glasses to help me see singularly. He told me that: my condition was hereditary, had been present most of my life (doctors failed to connect the dots), that the best option for me would be eye vision therapy, and that since I’ve had this condition for so long, eye vision therapy may not work.

He also said that there was a surgery but the success rate wasn’t very good.

Then, he said that my eye would continue to turn inward, without eye therapy.

OH, and lastly, the prism would help me see single vision, but would make everything around my focal point blurry.

Out of all this, all I remember is thinking about my eye turning inward.

I was obsessed.

I kept asking Chris if he noticed, but since it wasn’t happening all the time then, he wasn’t noticing. I would notice it in random pictures, but it wasn’t very consistent.

In the meantime, I felt so DOWN. My insurance will not cover eye vision therapy, we were in the middle of a move to our new base, and I just wanted to see normal again!

In April, it started to get really obvious. If people took pictures of me from a distance, it would seem as if I would be looking to the left, instead of at the camera. Because I delete all horrible pictures of me, I couldn’t find an example, where it was really obvious. But here is a close up picture, where you can see that my left eye ( because its a picture, look at the right) is definitely turned inward.

It seemed that the prism in my lenses was helping me to see singularly by making my right eye more dominant.

And now, I can tell that people notice. My mother in law asked me what was wrong with my eye….and I feel embarrassed to say that this has totally screwed with my self confidence.

I feel like just hiding.

I don’t want to see old friends. And have anxiety over meeting new ones……all the time wondering if they are staring at my crazy eye.

I feel like making my bangs cover my left eye, and pretending to be emo. Except my wardrobe is FAR from emo!

I feel like a freak.

If I actually let myself think about it, I cry and cry and cry.

Pathetic, I know.

Its this stupid vanity! The other day, I felt so stressed out. The vanity issue. Chris leaving. Not to mention, just driving, seeing, looking, is frustrating! Everything is either double or blurry…..

The other day, as I was reading the bible and crying, I kept praying that I would see myself as God sees me.

Beautiful, intricately and purposely made.

You guys, I realize that to some of you this sound SO stupid! I just need to get this all out!

I was reading online that people who have this condition experience depression and loss of confidence because of it.

Boy is that ever true!

I’m so frustrated with this though! I just want to wake up one day and NOT think about this. NOT notice that my vision is screwed up and not wonder how crazy my stupid eye is looking!

I’m tired of crying about this and wondering what the doctor will say next, how bad it will get.

Mostly, I’m tired of feeling insecure and depressed about it. I’m tired of letting my vanity in the way of my happiness.

I’m tired of playing victim.

I want to say that this is it. I’m done. I will never cry or be sad or be frustrated about this again.

But, I know that I will. I also know that I have to start dealing with this differently. I know that I have to talk about this with people. Ultimately, I know that I have to learn to love myself again…because somehow, along the way, I’ve stopped.

Also, I wish I knew how to turn this italics off, but I don’t.

Last night, I was watching dancing with the stars. I wanted to see JR Martinez, a army veteran who was injured and severely burned in Iraq. I was stationed in San Antonio,during my years in the service, in 2003 and remembered hearing about him in the years following.

Here is a video clip from you tube. Please watch it!

His story brings tears to my eyes.

When I watched this, I just felt so dumb. This man is a HERO. He endured and survived through so much….I could never even imagine.

Honestly, veterans in similar situations can become alcoholics, drug addicts, homeless….BUT he refused to go that route.

Instead, he practiced a positive attitude, did NOT feel sorry for himself, and followed his dreams.

He is now, one of the most highly sought after motivational speakers in this country. I have never even heard him speak…but I don’t have to.

His story speaks for him.

His life speaks for him.

His success speaks for him.

I cannot, in anyway, compare my situation to his or compare myself to him.

He is a real life hero.

I’m not.

But his story inspires me to stop hiding….to start living!

to stop being frustrated and upset over something I really just CANNOT CONTROL.

And, as I’m writing this, I feel ashamed. That this even matters. How…..in the whole scheme of things, can this even matter SO much to me?

For, I can still see.

I can still see.

Thank you , everyone who read this, for reading this. I have been very candid and vulnerable on this post. I know that in doing so, I am opening myself up for public judgement, and that is ok.

I love everyone of you, for taking the time to read this, for being my friend, for knowing who I am, who my heart is, where my emotions can take me….

for always telling me when I’m wrong, too bossy, and for loving me despite ME….thank you!

5 thoughts on “A confession of vanity.

  1. I love you so much, and am sorry you are having to deal with this! It doesn't sound stupid at all. Yeah, it's not as serious as being a burn victim, but that doesn't mean you aren't going to have a reaction or feel some intense emotions sometimes. I'm praying for you and am thankful that you know God and can take comfort and joy in Him.

    And your sentence about the italics made me laugh out loud. I was reading everything very seriously in my head, and then I read that seriously, too and I could hear you saying it!


  2. You shouldn't count yourself so short, You are a HERO. You have been through a lot and it has made you such a stronger more beautiful person. You are a beautiful person inside and out. I think it is completely normal to let your emotions take hold. You are going through a change and it is an emotional journey that not many can understand. Just remember things can always be worse, so try to stay positive ( I know it is harder than it sounds) but you have great family, friends and such a strong belief and faith system. You will always be beautiful and special, one of a kind really with such a great light that shines through even when you don't feel like it is there.


  3. Dear Alicia:

    You know how much I treasure you and your sisters. I haven't always shown it and I certainly fell short of that. Yes. You are a Hero and not because you were in the service. You are who God says you are. You are his very own special treasure. I know all about being self conscious about things. That's the story of my life but I will say this: God is still willing and able to bring healing to that eye. It does not matter if it is hereditary or not. Remember Jesus healed the man born blind and if He could do that then he can certainly heal an eye turning in. I want you to know that you and Isabela are very special to me. Chris is also very special to me. I can't wait to see you on Thanksgiving. Love, Mom.


  4. Praying that your doc relayed good news to you, and that you continue to be strong! You are beautiful on the outside, so may your internal beauty stay just as bright!


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