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Content Warning: Mental illness

I miss the way she used to smile at me
In the mirror looking back at me.
In the mirror, I’d look back and see
her pretty face. Now that’s all gone away.

Twenty-one is supposed to be fun.
Twenty-one isn’t supposed to be numb.
I didn’t think I’d feel this way at 21.
Because all I feel is my heart aching
And all I see is my heart breaking
In two
For the girl I used to be before I was you.

Twelve was a beautiful year.
Seven was better.
I wrote my first book.
I went on my first Disney endeavor.
Now I look around and realize
I’m having trouble with my mind.
Looking through your eyes,
I only see what makes me cry
And not what makes me laugh or smile
Like I used to before I was you.

The girl I used to be before I was you
Would have never let a boy break my heart in two.
She would never lie in bed while my dreams were awake.
She wouldn’t give up so easily just to catch a break.
At night when I’m tired, I lay down to sleep
And dream of that girl I used to be.

She loved flying on her summer yellow swing.
Her heart was full — but not too full to love everything.
She saw the best in people. She saw the truth.
She opened her heart and never was cruel.
Now she doesn’t know the liars from the loyal.
Her heart has turned to stone and her blood starts to boil
When she looks in the eyes of those who’ve betrayed

Her once loyal heart, and she’s no longer the same
Girl I used to see in the mirror
Before I grew up
Now I just feel useless and stuck
How am I supposed to find
A place in this world where I am going to shine?

I miss the suspense of Christmas night
And the way Halloween gave me a fright
When I knew of nothing better
Then opening Christmas presents or candy wrappers.
The tooth fairy looked like Tinker Bell and not a middle-aged man.
Now I must worry about doing dishes and taking out the garbage cans.
All the therapy in the world cannot bring back her innocence and youth.
Nothing can bring back the girl I used to be before I was you.

I just want to go back to sleep.
In my dreams,
I’ll tell that little girl to come back to me
Because she held everyone so tight.
She smiled even with her eyes.
She would fight through the pain and the hurt
And I miss her.

But I look back at the face I don’t recognize
In the mirror, and I don’t cry.
She’s never coming back, and that’s a shame,
But I won’t allow myself to feel that pain
That makes me want something beautiful back.
Because now my anger and my pride are all I have left
Of her.

Thea Miller is a junior at the University of Florida majoring in English with a creative writing focus. This is her second semester as a Features Writer. She has a background in dance and theatre, and now loves using writing as her main creative outlet. Previously having tried her hand in writing short stories, novels, lyric poetry, and screenplays for her own personal enjoyment, she is excited to be a part of this supportive and empowering platform that is Her Campus UFL where she can share her words with the world. Traveling is her favorite form of recreation and the most enthralling place she has gone thus far is Stockholm, Sweden. After college, she plans on attending graduate school to further develop her craft of screenwriting.
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