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The Girl with the Trifold Mirror


There once was a girl with a trifold mirror…

She looked into the mirror, and she saw three different reflections of herself. The first was who she was, the second was who she is, and the third was who she wanted to be. To make eye contact with the first reflection frightened her. This reflection wanted nothing more than to drag her down. It wanted to fool her into thinking that her past experiences defined who she was today and to make her feel as if she was unable to move forward and become a better person. This version of herself was a victim with all the right excuses to not try. She knew that this malicious version of herself had to be put in the past where it belonged, so she picked up a heavy wooden brush off of her dresser and smashed this reflection into pieces, providing her with an immediate sense of relief and a desire to never look at this reflection again.

The second reflection had kind and sympathetic eyes. This reflection understood her and recognized the honest efforts that she was making to become a better person each and every day. This version of herself was rooting for her in every way you could possibly imagine. It made her feel good to be appreciated, and to have her efforts recognized. She decided to cut herself a break and make friends with this reflection, and from that day forward she knew that life would be easier and more manageable because she finally had herself as a support system and saw herself from an entirely new perspective. She knew that she would never feel alone again, because she would always have her own back.

Now, before I tell you about the third reflection there is something you must first understand. This reflection from the future understood her immensely more than the first and second. Reflection number three remembered what it was like to be in her shoes, sometimes seeing the worst in things and finding it hard to see the light that was indeed shining at the end of her tunnel. She understood that the future and things to come could sometimes be a scary concept to herself. So, out of fear that a mere glimpse of the future may not be enough to give her the motivation and hope she needed to move forward, she decided to show her some of the things that the future had in store for her, should she stay on the right path.

The third reflection took herself by the wrist and pulled herself into the mirror. The two walked side by side in a big, beautiful home full of elegant and chic furnishings. The house was on a large plot of land and had a vast backyard full of trees, green grass, and an inground pool. She took herself over to her kitchen where she saw her son (about ten years older than he was today), sitting at the kitchen table with his friends diligently doing homework and laughing about something that had happened at school earlier that day. Beside her son was a beautiful, fully grown Siberian Husky, licking her sons hand and looking for a treat.

She then took herself into her bedroom. On the walls she saw gorgeous and unique framed artwork that she had painted and showcased herself. She looked on her bureau and saw a leather Bible with her name embossed on the front. She also saw pictures from the years to come. Framed photographs of herself on beautiful and exotic vacations with her friends and family, as well as a picture of her son graduating from middle school.

She looked at the wall beside her bureau and she saw medallions hanging in chronological order, marking the milestones of her many years of sobriety. A bronze medallion marking one year, a silver marking five, and a shiny gold one marking ten. She could not believe it. Despite doubting herself at times and not knowing if she could remain free from the grip that alcohol once had on her life, she now saw first-hand that she truly had what it takes to maintain sobriety and to build this amazing life for herself. Now having this knowledge and insight that was kindly provided to her by reflection number 3, she gave herself a tight hug and walked back through the mirror, not wanting to spoil any more of the wonderful surprises the future held for her.

When she arrived back in her present-day life, she put what was left of the mirror away and cleaned up the broken glass from reflection number one. She had a big smile on her face as she swept the broken glass into a dustpan. She felt like a brand-new person, full of hope, gratitude, and joy. When she went to empty the broken glass into the trash bin, she saw on the kitchen counter the one-month sobriety chip that her brother had given her earlier that day. She now saw this chip as a token of freedom, and while she was hesitant to get more chips, she understood that she must proceed one day at a time. Nevertheless, she was excited for the future and all the wonderful things it had in store for her. She was happy, and nobody was able to take that away from her anymore.

© 2021 Nicholas Mercogliano