“You can fall into pieces, or you can fall into peace”...
My childhood was so warm and filled with such thriving energetic life force. I was blessed in this lifetime of mine to experience a childhood in the countryside of my town. I had freshly cut grass to smell, fields to run through, bright stars to gaze into, and forests to daydream in. The yellow and orange that fell onto my country landscape is still very profound in my memory. Growing up in the country provided me with a sense of calmness about life. It provided me with the love for paying mind to everyday moments as they arose, because the butterfly that landed on that dandelion is oh so beautiful, and the only thing happening to me in this moment. My childhood was spent with bliss and an easeful mind; so naive about the world that I am yet to experience.
My life continued in this manner for a long time. Sunshine and bright stars. Warm hugs from my grandparents. Trips to ice-cream parlors after sport games. Always filled with laughter. Majority of my time was spent with my friends and very close-knit family. But as time began to flow away as it is naturally meant to do so, before I knew it, my parent’s relationship worsened, and then I met a boy in high school. And then my very bright yellow world turned dark black for a while.
During high school, I watched and became apart of a deteriorating marriage, and all that comes along with that experience. I was present in a mentally and physically abusive relationship, being cheated on, pushed and thrown, told to end my life, and reminded constantly that no one will ever tolerate or love me the way he did. During this extremely vile time in my life, hearing that I was loved by him was all that I wanted to hear from someone, so like a mosquito to a body with blood, I clung on ever so tightly to him.
I felt unloved, abandoned, at fault…and so beaten down and sad. The people and places to me that once gave me the sensations quite the opposite, were violently altered, and all of a sudden, I stood in the middle of a grey atmosphere with nothing that I once knew around me. When 90% of your external stimuli is that of stress, abuse, trauma and crisis, it really impacts the quality of your life and the person who you become.
Being in high school during these experiences; the time that I am to be creating my identity, my identity became a mirror image of my deteriorating mental health, destructive behaviours and attributes from an abusive relationship and vile home life. As time passed in these environments, my days got darker, and without conscious awareness, I began sinking into a bottomless ocean as I watched everyone around me swim.
Endless time was spent making sense of and utilizing self destructive behaviours to penalize my physical body, because I hated myself and my life. I deprived myself from nourishment by skipping meals, exercising beyond a regulated amount, abusing laxatives, and obsessing over calories; and I physically cut my own skin to find even just a moment of refuge from the overpowering thoughts that raced through my mind. I was directionless, and as I wandered around aimlessly among the grey clouds and grey atmosphere, I became completely dissociated from life and people around me. I was so angry, and so sad, and so overwhelmed and confused. And I was extremely far from the place I once called home…myself.
I just wanted everything around me and everything I felt inside of me to just stop, even for a moment. I fantasized about life coming to an end, and before I knew it, it almost did.
I attempted suicide in the summer going into grade 11, and I was admitted into a psychiatric ward where I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, dependency and adjustment disorder.
I wish from that moment of intervention I began recovery, but I did not, because like most, we would rather stay in the hell that we know then the heaven that we do not know. For the remainder of my high-school experience, my road to recovery was extremely un-linear. My life and my identity in entirely, was that of depression, an eating disorder, anxiety, adjustment and dependency disorder; so, I continued to identify with and live with those identities, because that was all that I knew about myself and about my life. It was who I was, and it was what my life was.
And then, my external environment began to calm. The night he threw me into a closet door at a party we were attending was the night that I broke up with him. I began college away from my hometown, and my parent’s separation had come and passed, and everything around me that was once so stressful and hectic was calming down – like the waves of the ocean coming to a calm after a storm passes. And gradually, I became stripped from those identities I had identified with, and I began my journey back home to my Self.
As I began to reconnect back to my Self, I decided to try out the whole mystical yoga thing that everyone raved so highly about. So, I mustered up the courage to attend a local Asana (physical yoga) class with my best friend, and I am so grateful that I did. In being present for this class, it was the first time, in a very long time, where I was fully connected to my true and authentic Self. Everything that was external to me, like identities from my past, were completely removed from befouling my essence and befouling my mind, and I was just there, in that present moment, with my Self.
Asana gifted me the present of connection, which is something that I had not experienced in such a long duration of time; and it gave me the key to open the door of holistic wellness and spirituality. In opening that door, I began living a life of yoga, and was connected back to my Self, and since have created a beautiful life out of this connection. One that is filled with choice, positivity, love and authentic essence. I have embraced a yoga lifestyle - utilizing Asana, mindfulness, meditation, essential oils, smudging and interpersonal energy work into my life, and I powerfully ignited and watched as the bridges in my past fell to ashes.
I am no stranger to being ripped away from my Self from external sources, choice of complacency and deteriorating mental health. But I am also no stranger to turning my life around and reconnecting back to my Self. There is not a day that goes by where I am not grateful to be experiencing another beautiful day. I wake up every morning with love and openness, and graciously experience the sensations of loving myself and loving my life. There is a life beyond suffering, and I am hopeful to educate and support those whom may be seeking asylum and final rest after many moments of discomfort, or for those who realize they are just simply not connected to themselves, the truth behind this.
“Light can only be understand with the wisdom of darkness”…