In late August 2013, I was admitted into hospital for anorexia nervosa. I was malnourished, depleted and I felt exactly as I looked: dead inside. On the same day I met E, with whom I later allied forces to help us get out of this (inner) prison. There was a moment where we both decided we were fed up (ironically) with the hospital and that we would fight to get out, together. I was 18 years old, I believe she was 17. The doctors and nurses would only let us out if we could show that we were truly getting better and so, came the inner battle of having to choose between the illusion of freedom we get from staying in what we know (comfort) and real, hard-earned, transformative freedom; the only way out is always through. I chose the hard one: I chose to fight and we both did.
On December 19th, 2013, we were both free to go home. Home was such a foreign concept, my body wasn’t my home, my parents’ homes weren’t my homes, my boarding school wasn’t my home and it felt lonely. I had great support around me, I had E, I had my parents, my family, therapists and friends but I was still lonely and alone in this battle. The acceptance of this very fact was what got me out of my suffering.
Today, December 20th 2023, 10 years later, I am going through a major life transition and I feel lonely again and I watch myself trying to blame things or other people for my loneliness « you’re not being supportive enough » and I am reminded that I must go through it alone.
Two phrases carried me out of my anorexia: « The only way out is always through » and « Happiness is a choice ». I’m so incredibly lucky to have, again, loving people around me but what are they going to do? Just like with E, we fought together what seemed to be the same battle but was it really? Her inner experience was probably much different than my own.
From 2013 to 2017, I understood nourishment as calories in/calories out, I was maintaining myself alive but something was still deeply wrong, I still felt depleted - at soul-level. This set me on a quest to understand what true nourishment was. I went to cooking school because that’s the closest I could get to nourishment. But working in the kitchen world is far from the nourishment I was looking for: I was feeding mouths but depleting myself, again.
I was craving something deeper, something for my soul and heart to feel nourished and fulfilled. I found India, and Yoga. In 2017, I became a Yoga teacher. Today, in 2023 at 28 years old, I am finally starting to understand what true nourishment is. It is not something to make me feel full, it is my inner capacity to expand to welcome in the fullness of life itself: all of me, all of life, all that is.
I am writing this for myself and to myself, but also for the people I love who are always with me. And for anyone who may need to be reminded that we are indeed alone in our pain but we can still cry and laugh together. Your inner world is a gem, a unique gift. I'm learning many things on this life journey and one lesson I want to share here is that the loneliness that we feel leads us to crave belonging, but we often confuse belonging with fitting in; so we tighten, shrink, contort ourselves. True belonging is feeling your loneliness, your pain, your beauty with such authenticity and love that you soften into the truth of who you are. Only then, true connection can take place.
I hope that you find your own inner capacity to expand ❤️