I am 33, at a healthy weight, looking vibrant, healthy and alive. I truly love my life and have so much love and support around me. Life feels beautiful despite what’s going on in the outer world.
Yet for my 17/18 year old self it was a different story. She was in pain, lost, confused and experiencing turmoil of inner emotions that were easier to squish down than to face and feel.
Since I was 5 years old I had two best friends, they were twins. We had a sisterly bond, which made them feel more like family than friends. They had a medical condition, which meant they were not expected to live to an old age. There was something really magical about my friends, no matter what life delivered to them, they seemed to have an inner happiness, they were always smiling and laughing and they had a light than shone so brightly no matter what they were experiencing. I used to think that maybe they were Angels in disguise.
I was aged 12 when one of my best friends died, it was very unexpected and shook me to my core. I had never experienced a pain like it, it felt like it cut right down into my soul. I sobbed and sobbed to the extent that my Mum didn’t quite know what to do, so she went to ask my neighbour to come and help to soothe me. I still had my other best friend, her twin sister. We were very close and although experiencing the deep ache of loss, we continued to live our life and enjoy our teenage years.
I don’t think I ever really got over loosing my friend, I wondered how it could happen, why someone could be taken away so young, I had so many unanswered questions. Why do ‘bad’ things happen to ‘good’ people. Why do some people die so young when they could have a whole life ahead of them? I had so many inner questions but no-one to ask.. so they were kept locked up inside of me.
A couple of years later my friend was offered a heart and lung transplant, she had been on the list for a while and a donor had come up. The operation went well and she was soon up and about enjoying life again. Although 4 years after her twin sister had died, my friend also died. Her heart had rejected. I was completely numb, for some reason I was not able to acecess the pain this time round. It was as-though my inner protection system had blocked the pain and stuffed it deep down inside of me instead.
I couldn’t even access tears, it felt like a stony ice wall had formed around my heart to protect me from any further pain. Soon it became uncomfortable to be inside my body, it felt strange to be with myself as there was a sense of discomfort inside, a restlessness and a deep unease. I found a way to resolve this quite easily.. although definitely not the healthiest way to help to ease my pain. I found that if I drank enough alcohol I would float out of my body, I would find instant relief and be free from the pain I felt within. It it freed me.. and soon it almost killed me. I was hospitalised on a couple of occasions, the first time the doctor didn’t think I was going to make it through the night as I almost slipped into a coma.
I was banned from going out anywhere and warned by my parents not to touch alcohol. So I soon found another way to ease the discomfort. Life felt out of my control, so I decided to try my best to take back any sense of control that I had by restricting my food intake. At first it was to loose weight, I loved the idea of being skinny so that I could eat whatever I wanted and still be slim. It all got out of hand so quickly and within a year I was excruciatingly thin and honestly felt like I was going to die. My bum bones hurt to sit down, my ribs were protruding and I had to wear layers of clothing to hide how skinny I had become.
One night as I laid in bed, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I had developed heart palpitations from not eating. I was so scared, I was too frightened to close my eyes in case I didn’t make it through the night. So I laid there with my eyes wide open, wondering if this would be my last night on Earth.
Something came over me and I suddenly felt the impulse to pray.
I had prayed on and off when I was little and would often wonder who ‘God’ is and why I was here. I was definitely a believer of there being ‘something more’ yet I had never really been into prayer or gone to church and didn’t really associate with any religion. Yet this feeling to pray was overwhelming, it was an instant knowing that this is what I needed to do in that moment.
So I prayed. I prayed with all my heart. I didn’t really know who or what I was praying to yet I had hit rock bottom and didn’t see any other way out. At the time it felt as though I was praying to my friends that had passed away. I remember how much feeling I put into the prayer, I really really meant it. It was as if I was reaching out into the heavens and asking for help. I prayed with all my heart, I prayed to get better, I prayed to be able to eat normally again. I prayed for help, I prayed for strength and I prayed to get through this nightmare that I had found myself in. I must have fallen asleep after that as I don’t remember much else.
The next day it was like a miracle had happened.
I was able to eat a yoghurt. I remember looking down at this yoghurt in absolute terror, I had developed such an aversion to food that I was genuinely terrified of eating normal foods. Yet there was this force that seemed to flow through me, ‘something’ was urging me to eat.
From that day I ate normally again. I have no psychological or scientific explanation for this. What I do know is that my prayers were answered that night and I was given the strength that I had prayed for.
If I was to give a message to my younger self, this is what it would be, you may find that it speaks to you too:
“Have faith my darling, there is a miracle waiting for you. Open your heart and trust that there is a Divine plan beyond what you can see right now. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may just be surprised at how much love and support you have around you, both seen and unseen. Never ever give up, you are far stronger than you realise. Your future is so beautiful, keep going and you will see. I love you so much and I am so proud of you.”
I am sharing my story to inspire hope for anyone who may be experiencing darker times right now. I learnt that no matter how much pain we experience or how challenging life may feel right now, there is always a way out.
There is a bright future waiting for you.
No matter how tough things may seem right now, you can and you will get through this. You are stronger than you may realise and you have the light of the Divine shining through you in each and every moment.