How? Why? Why me?
When I look at myself now, with open eyes that see candidly through a compassionate heart, I see a soul radiating la joie de vivre (the joy of living). When I look at myself back then – the fractured self of the years gone by, I see a struggling soul fighting against emptiness.
I may look identical, but I feel totally anew.
Back then, I was constantly flirting between ecstatic experiences and self-damaging habits. Living moments where I would feel expansive and free, I would closely hold the hope for happiness. And then, without really understanding how, I would suddenly feel imprisoned in my body, controlled by the darkness of my mind.
My symptoms where body dysmorphia, violent binge-eating episodes, depression, anxiety - all governed by self-hate.
My body was my medium of expression – as a movement artist, it would free my mind as much as it would reinforce the raw judgment I was inflicting on mon corps. My mind had long ago turned off the volume of my heart’s desires. A silent and invisible scream that I was no longer aware of. A total disconnection between my intangible self (my soul, my heart and mind) and my tangible self (my body, the world around me). At times though, I had the burning certitude that all of this wasn’t quite right. When I looked around at people, when I was immersed in nature, I could hear the underlying intuition whispering to me that life was meant to be much brighter, and that I perhaps was missing it.
No one had seen - not even those closest to me, how destructive I was toward myself. Yes, I could still smile. Yes, I still liked to dress-up and wear rouge. Yes, I still dated. Yes, I still liked to eat delicious food (before hating myself for it for days and making my body pay for it harshly). Yes, I still ran and danced, and swam, and cycled, and hiked, and moved (all the time, because resting wasn’t part of my must do’s). But, inside, I was dying.
I thought I wasn’t capable, I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t beautiful, I wasn’t appropriate…
How? Why? Why me? Answering these questions about my destructive eating disorder isn’t even relevant anymore, although it did help me greatly to use my intellect and cognitive brain in psycho-therapy to break through the first layer: acknowledgement.
I read numerous books mainly to cover-up my problems with diets or trick my mind to think I was healing when I actually was putting together new strategies to only ‘look good’ rather than ‘feel good’ (or feel period).
I tried kinesiology, I practised yoga regularly, I asked the stars to help me recover day after day, for years. It all contributed to help me surrender to the obvious. I was controlling my appearances, I was extremely self-conscious about what people would think of me, on a physical and intellectual level. It took so much of my energy, time and brain space that it was nicely covering the actual issue: I was disconnected to my true Self, I was fighting against myself, I was disrespecting my true needs.
I had many “recoveries”, and just as many relapses. I kept falling back down the sournois trap of self-sabotage, until I opened-up to a new way of healing.
About one year ago, I gradually let go of shame (perfectionism and controlling had previously prevented me from doing so). I started to express my issues, to look at it honestly, to let people see it. And then to ask for help. I stopped hiding behind diets, self-doubt, and ‘if only I was…’
I tailored my own holistic healing plan. I wanted to feel whole after all? So I had to address the issue as a whole by targeting all its malicious aspects at once. I conjointly started psychotherapy together with Ayurvedic nutritive and life-style advices and Yoga. I made rapid and huge progress, but I would still binge, sooth myself with food, or engage in other self-sabotaging patterns that prevented me from processing my emotions with self-acceptance and compassion.
I then added the last layer - ready to be me - I learned Transcendental Meditation (with Steve Griffith). From the first meditation, I could experience my purest Self, and I wanted to hold on to that. It felt precious.
A few months after, I fell deeply in love. A once in a lifetime soul love. A love that shakes everything, that generates magic. And just like that, after years spent in the prison of my own body and mind, my senses were free. I was living in the NOW, I was enjoying every single bite of food, I was savouring his eyes, like I was savouring my wine. I no longer looked at all the ingredients of the dish before placing an order, or googled the restaurants before accepting the date, or spent hours worrying about the size of my butt in my skirt. I was just living life. “That’s how it feels to be free of Eating Disorder?!” I thought that was amazing. Cause I had forgotten how it felt to be alive.
The romantic part of the love got subtracted from the equation. And of course, at first, my mind went back into self-harm, into resistance. The same questions came back. How? Why? Why me? After lakes of tears, hours in meditation, and a lot of self-discipline in continuing my self-made tailored program, I thought….What if? What if meeting this Soul was a catalyst for awakening the healing potential? What if, I could continue to feel all of me, without all of him? What if, I could feel as safe as I felt with him, without his physical presence? What if, there was something greater than romanticism in that love?
So I went with that. As an experiment. Pourquoi pas.
I have been practising this ever since. Learning to love myself the way I felt loved by him. Learning to accept myself the way he did, no matter how brilliant or how stagnant I feel. Learning to maintain self-discipline, and to respect myself the way he did, without judgement. Learning to feel and be all of me, at all times. And celebrate that.
Today, I feel empowered. The combined power of Yoga, Ayurveda, psychotherapy, and Transcendental Meditation has allowed me to uncover my beauty, to experience it from within.
I am endlessly grateful for this holistic practice which is now my way of life, and I am committed to share it. Everyone deserved to BE ALL OF THEM.
I have finally stopped asking How? Why? Why me? – now I rather think why NOT me? I now embrace every experience, no more shame, but a lot more acceptance.