Updated: Oct 26, 2019
As I claim my truth and openly share it with those I love, those I coach and the world at large, my life has become more enriched and I feel more and more space to breathe and be me. It is only fair that those that work with me understand what it is that I do and why. So here is my journey thus far. It's not pretty but it is what it is and I wouldn't change it if I could.
At 13, my inner dialogue was consumed with what I ate, why I ate it and how I was going to get rid of it. I was a healthy looking teen that was experiencing body changes that were outwardly expressing to the world the same and that was an odd place for me to be. I remember the added attention, the feeling of innocence lost just by walking in my body and the overwhelming sense of shame and guilt that I carried as I transitioned into womanhood. It was a confusing time for me and I certainly didn't have the dialogue or understanding to make any sense of what I was feeling. All I knew was that I was now vulnerable as a result of my appearance as a woman and didn't know what to make of it. My body no longer felt like a safe space. I was receiving extra attention, some of what society viewed as positive and some of what society viewed as negative, but to me it was all uncomfortable.
It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I finally understood what was happening on an energetic level during that time. I was and am a highly sensitive person which is a commonality with 20% of the current population. On top of that, I am also highly empathic and intuitive. I didn't know it at the time but I was internalizing the thoughts and feelings of others while believing they were my own or others thoughts about themselves that I was absorbing as projections towards me. As a result, my nervous system was in overdrive and I was using food to cope with all the feelings I was experiencing, specifically the ones of rejection and shame.
I became addicted to food and would binge, purge or exercise continuously, sometimes multiple times a day, which in retrospect was my way of not fully engaging in a world that was far too overwhelming to process. Much of the time, I was in a haze, living within the process of the mind, detached from my body and eventually completely abandoning the sacredness of who I was and my connection to the divine. I punished myself for the shame I was feeling by going days with barely eating and counting every calorie that entered my body- most of these strategies learned through popular diet programs that plagued our society and still do unfortunately.
This loss of connection, that many of us experience as depression hit me hard in my mid teens. I remember begging for the courage to just hold my breath underwater long enough to fade away. I didn't fit the mold of a kid with an eating disorder and what I am learning is that not everyone does. In fact, thinking my mom or dad may read this one day breaks my heart. They were great parents that encouraged me to find happiness in my everyday. I wasn't abused and didn't come from a troubled home, in fact it was filled with love and stability. What does ring true for most people that struggle with food is that I was overwhelmed with feelings, thoughts and experiences that were too much for my specific nervous system to handle, or that's what my brain was telling me anyway. I was experiencing things on an energetic level that people just didn't talk about or know very much about.
This is why it's important to know that people don't always fit a mold, you can't always put them in a box. It is also wise to allow our judgments to fall away whenever we can because we truly don't know what others are going through and we may not even be aware of what is happening in our own backyard. I was good at hiding it, really good. It was self preservation.
As I transitioned into adulthood, the pressures of life did not go away but I did experience more freedom to be myself and chose environments that felt more comfortable, more quiet, more me. When I entered motherhood, I remember the feelings that jolted through my body every time my newborn cried. It was like an electrical current that charged every cell of my body with pain and uncertainty. As I have learned and didn't know then, I was feeling his frustration, pain and uncomfort with every cry and it was almost too much to bare. And so began the re-imergence of my coping mechanism. Once again, I was caught in the whirlwind of food and body image obsession that pulled me away from the overwhelm I was experiencing in my life. I was confused and tired and so afraid to ask for help or to be honest about what I was going through. I was filled with shame, guilt and dispair.
This Struggle stayed with me into my early thirties. Working as an RN in an acute care setting had me experiencing the overwhelm of feelings and projections that were not mine and halted my sensory mechanism into a state of paralysis. The environment was not ideal to say the least for an empath that didn't know she was one and therefore had no idea how to manage it all. It lead me on a path of searching for answers, studying nutrition, health, yoga, meditation and spirituality. I learned about my intuitive abilities and high level of sensitivity but I still didn't know how to cope with it or fully utilize it to enhance my life. I read more books than one would ever imagine was possible. I remember reading books by celebrities that struggled with disordered eating and how it only inspired me to be more like them. I knew if I ever turned this thing around and healed- my story would be honest, unfiltered and void of glamour. I recently pulled a journal entry from one of my last episodes before healing and would like to share it with you with the intention of providing an example of the healing that is possible regardless of how ugly or shameful the struggle may be.
This evening after a purge that I promised I wouldn’t do because of the pain and limitations of my neck due to continuous purging 4 days prior, I experienced something new. I not only saw the dissatisfaction that the event had provided; I also saw the sadness of it all in front of me, all at once. I saw the war torn image of my face. I looked into my eyes that were glossed over like no one was home. I acknowledged the sore on the corner of my mouth was there not because I developed a pimple but because my body was dealing with much more than normal hormone fluctuations, but the repetitive binge and purge cycle that was now evident on my face. You see, there is so much denial in the mist of this process. So much of my life was a lie to myself and others.
My face is puffy and I can feel the distention of my belly. I have gained approximately 20 lbs in 3 months. My belly is no longer distended due to ascities from re-feeding syndrome common in people that are starving but from actual adipose tissue layering down a protective barrier in front of my war torn digestive organs. I have elevated liver enzymes from organ damage and am more fatigued then I have ever been in my life...my breath is heavy and short. I can feel the damage on my heart as I am starting to have more heart palpitations that make me feel dizzy and somewhat out of my body. I knew my heart was under strain so when the left side of my neck and arm had pain and tenderness I went into panick thinking I was finally having a heart attack.
I was experiencing symtpoms of dehydration so severe that when I woke up my eyes would burn like they were being scratched with a pot scrubber. The edges of my tongue looked thin and had diagonal lines with a tenderness that I can’t explain. The arthritic pain in my hands and feet that I had not experienced since I started yoga had come back and with a new intensity. I was lethargic, miserable to be around and severely depressed. Even my womb was out of balance as my bleed cycle had become erratic and unpredictable. I told myself, this ED made me unlovable and pushed others as far away as I could. All I had left was making sure no one ever found out. Which ironically lead me here to writing this post, so that if there is anyone feeling these feelings they know they are not alone and it is possible to heal no matter how many years you have been struggling. It is also possible to share what you are going through with someone safe and to receive help.
What if I had a heart attack or cancer or some illness that was more socially acceptable, then maybe I would have the opportunity to heal. I believe there is a part of me that wants that. Maybe then I would also be scared enough or grateful enough that I lived through it to start to heal. I am falling apart physically and a part of me is relieved while the child within me is absolutely terrified. . I'm tired but I know there is a purpose for all of this and I know the people I love deserve a better version of me.
That day, for the first time, I felt a new archetype within imerge. That specific day I felt the warrior…I felt it as a wave of courage to look within and witness the now. I felt it take over my spirit and commit to being with me with the refusal to abandon me ever again. It arose to the challenge to carry me through the chaos that was before me so I could move to a place of respite and healing. That day was the catalyst of change for my healing journey. That day, I spoke up. That day I reached out for help.
What followed was the ability to see, feel and experience life from a new perspective and to utilize compassion and kindness to witness my shadow, heal my past and own who I am. I am a highly sensitive intuitive that is learning more and more about this process and how to utilize the gifts and minimize the struggles. I have experienced union with the divine, had multiple kundalini experiences and receive downloads of information for individual and collective healing and awakening. In client sessions more often then not, I am able to tap into the energetics of the individual with their permission to further enhance the healing journey with new levels of awareness. In the past, I struggled with what to call my work and I have come to realize that the name doesn't much matter. What matters is that I am honest with what I do and why and to acknowledge that my passion is to help others see through the haze of their struggle.
I am obviously not a saint...nor a perfect human... nor someone's guru. I am imperfectly human and living this life with the intention to live more fully with my highest self leading the way and serve in the best way that I can. When we allow our highest selves to be present in our relationships, our work, our lives we learn what is ours and what is not. I want to experience joy, freedom and abundance like everyone else and realize that the combination of my family and friends along side working with clients on their hero's journey allows for that sense of fullness in my life. I have tried to bow out of this work many times in my past, but that is just not an option anymore. I am here to serve through the divine. It is my passion, my service, my purpose.
Thank you for sharing space with me and allowing me to speak my truth. What is it that you are ready to look at in your own life? I sincerely hope it is not as dramatic of a struggle as mine but acknowledge that even the most subtle imbalance can be uncomfortable. I also acknowledge that it could also be more extreme. Regardless, can you feel your inner warrior rise and stand for the life you were meant to live? You were not meant to walk it alone. Many earth bound angels have been along my side on this journey and I would not change a thing if I could . Actually, if I am being perfectly honest, I would have changed the duration. I would have reached out for help much sooner than I did. The feeling of overcoming the darkness with the guidance of life's teachers is truly a remarkable part of the human experience, but we need to be brave enough to do so, we need to have faith.
My current modo: Breath deeply, live authentically and witness the potential greatness in every living soul.
With light and gratitude,