Friday night. Coming home after a great yoga practice. Did some Eka Pada Koundinyasana 2 today, a crazy super fun arm balance, along with a few handstands in the middle of the room which I couldn’t hold though. Still, I am very happy, I feel like I am getting there and might be able to manage to stay up for a longer amount of time rather sooner than later. One year ago when I started practicing those, I never ever thought I would one day stand only on my two hands. It feels amazing and I realize how much practice can get you to accomplish pretty much anything you want.
As soon as I open the door to our apartment, the fresh smell of cucumber and the sweet aroma of sugary rice welcome me home. We had planned to make sushi tonight, and R started preparing them as I was still in Savasana. Lucky me, I know. I let him finish his masterpiece as I work on up some team project for school. Half and hour later, dinner’s ready, and I can’t wait to taste my boyfriend’s creations.
We sit down and really, the sushi are amazing. Not only are they beautiful, they are also delicious. To complete this great meal, we are scrolling through some Spotify playlists, as R just downloaded the app and is going head over heels about how happy he is to have « the world in his pocket » as he says. I play the DJ and finally select the « Indie Chlling Out » playlist. We are having a good time, with the music in background, the sushi and the cats who joined the party, with Wiggo on the table and Rapha watching over from the counter. We chat and laugh, well I laugh, since I just found out in the afternoon that R looks very much alike Franklin the Turtle, which makes me laugh so hard I can’t breathe anymore.
As we are finishing our sushi and drinking some Santa Claus tea, our personal DJ puts on Coldplay, and R decides to switch our playlist to listen only to Chris Martin’s band. So here we are, digesting our sushi and emptying the table listening to Parachutes and The Scientist. Then a pause, and the too-well music notes start, filling up the room with lots of emotions.
” When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse”
By the time Chris Martin gets to “When the tears come streaming down your face”, mine are already rolling on my cheeks. Tucked in my boyfriend’s sweatshirt, I am holding on to him for dear life.
“When you lose something, you can’t replace.”
I am not anymore in our apartment. The song is taking me back in time, years ago. On a Friday night a bit warmer than this one, late August, I was listening to the very same song after a good dinner. Wasn’t sushi back then, it was pizza. I was not in my kitchen, I was in my room. Well, not exactly my room. My room for a bit more than a week, my hospital room.
In the dark, just like tonight, I couldn’t stop crying listening to Fix you, but unlike tonight, I wasn’t hold by my boyfriend. That night, I was alone, and I felt more lonely than ever. I did not knew what was going on. On that summer, at fifteen, I got what I wanted, but not what I needed. I lost something precious, something I could not replace. I lost my innocence, my freedom, my happiness. I got caught up in the unpleasant storm of an eating disorder, which led me to eat about 700 calories a day, lose more than 25 pounds in only two months, and made my heart struggle with less than 40 beats per minute. It was completely insane. I was sick, but in that hospital room, I did not have the necessary hindsight to see that. I thought I was healed, since I was eating again. In fact, I did not believe I was sick at all. I could not understand what had happened to me but deep down, I knew something was wrong, and I needed to be fixed. That’s why Chris Martin’s words resonated so much as I was listening to Coldplay’s song.
“Tears come streaming down your face
I promise you I will learn from all my mistakes
Tears come streaming down your face
Two weeks in the hospital that summer did not fix me. Neither did many years of therapy and treatment. However, what I promise myself is that my eating disorder would never step in between my dreams and me. It would never keep me from aspiring to be my best self : a loving sister, a grateful daughter, a devoted employee, a passionate student, a caring girlfriend. Throughout the years, whenever I felt the disease was starting to rule my world, I asked for help and got proper treatment to prevent it from taking over my life. Although I wouldn’t say I am healed yet, and might never be, I am proud of the work I have accomplished and how much I have done while having to deal with the eating disorder.
Twelve years ago, I would never had imagined that on that cold Friday night, I would be listening to the very same song but this time with tears of relief streaming down my face, hugged by my soon-to-be husband (only in my dreams, but still hoping R will get down on one knee eventually), only about two kilometres away from my hospital bed.
I was right back then. The eating disorder did make me lose something I cannot replace, an healthy and simple relationship with food, and some love and compassion for myself. But it is what it is. It also has been a way for me to learn to trust others, to open up my heart to friends and also to strangers who eventually became friends, to grow into a more sensitive, vulnerable human being but also into a more courageous one. It led me to fiercely never let go of hope, and to finally love and be loved.
Do persevere. Whether we are talking about a crazy arm balance, handstand or fighting an eating disorder, practice will not make it perfect, but it will get you closer to where you want to go, what you want to reach, what you aspire to be. Don’t ever lose hope, and please, never, ever let anything in between you and the life you deserve.
“Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”