Not Everyone Is Looking At Me
How you look at your eyes is not how everyone else will look at your eyes. This is something I had to remind myself of when I was in the thick of my thyroid eye disease (TED) journey.
The appearance of the eyes can change dramatically with TED. My eyes did not look the same as I was used to and it can cause a lot of insecurities. There is a lot of adjusting and acceptance when it comes to this disease which can be very difficult. Having to see myself differently than what I was used to, took a lot of internal work and self-reflection.
What is noticeable to me...
I am my own worst critic and will obsess over things other people would never notice. It is a part of being human. We love taking the smallest detail and blowing it out of proportion, especially when we have no control over it.
TED is, at times, uncontrollable. The appearance of the eyes has changed and it is what it is. It can be such a significant change, there were moments where I thought, how do I look to everyone around me? I look like an alien to myself with these eyes, surely everyone who looks at me must see the same thing. (Spoiler alert: they’re not.)
Eye contact with thyroid eye disease (TED)
While eye contact is often a main proponent of communication, the person you’re speaking with isn’t normally glaring at how your eyes look. They’re focused on what you’re saying verbally and what you’re saying with your eyes while talking. It’s body language, not a study on eye shape.
I knew that my eyes looked different but it wasn’t as noticeable as I thought it to be. Sure, maybe some people noticed my eyelids were further back than the average person’s but it wasn’t something people commented on to me. If anything stood out to someone, they kept it to themselves.
Too busy to notice: Not looking at my eyes
On my most insecure days, in my most insecure moments, when I thought everyone was noticing how weird or strange I thought my eyes looked, it was because I was noticing them. I was letting the difference in my eyes consume me so I assumed everyone else could see it too.
The truth of the matter is everyone is living in their own heads to care about what’s going on in yours. Meaning, what your self-conscious part of you is telling you about how different your eyes look is how you see yourself, not everyone who sees you.
The process of perspective
The change in perspective is a process. When the way we see ourselves changes, it can be quite confusing. Externally, we have changed and that can change the way we feel inside. However, the way you look at yourself is not always the best reflection, especially when focused on a particular part of the body.
I thought everyone could see how my eyes have changed. Because I was seeing how my eyes had changed. But it was only because of how I was focused on my eyes and how they had changed that this thought I had existed. When I realized not everyone was looking at me the way I was looking at me, I began to change the way I was looking at my eyes. They’re different but not strange.
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