I’ve never been a big writer. People who kept dairies amazed me, as I was often side-tracked very quickly. When recovering from amenorrhea (absence of your period) and my eating disorder, I noticed that sometimes I got very stuck in my thoughts. I wanted a nice way to process my emotions, instead of taking it out on food. During my recovery, I had shared many poems, quotes or little stories from Instagram accounts, and I noticed that other people found strength in these as well. If I wouldn’t post quotes for a few days, people would ask me when their daily dose of motivation would come. I figured if such small poems made an impact, maybe I could start writing some myself, to share with the world.
I started writing different poems, depending on the day, to express my emotions. Some days, I wrote none, some days I wrote multiple, and I noticed everything flowed for me. I always told myself I had never been the creative kind, but maybe I had seen creativity in the wrong way – maybe I was creative; not in painting, but in writing poetry!
Writing helped me put what I was feeling into a few words. At the end of my recovery, or what I see as the end now, I became more open towards other people, to show them my struggles. In turn, they too opened up and shared their stories, giving me the courage and hope to continue. While I did a large part of my recovery alone, I wanted to show other people that there is help out there and they do not have to do it alone.
Documenting my own process and sharing my story with the world has been amazing in terms of recovery and self-development. While I have never felt so vulnerable, I have also never felt this strong, this empowered and this ready to help others. There are so many beautiful things in life out there to see, and while it might seem like a dead-end tunnel, recovery is so worth it.
Give yourself grace, give yourself TIME, and allow yourself to feel. Writing has helped me a lot, but for you, it might be drawing, dancing or creating something else. I hope that by sharing my story, my ups and downs through my poems, others get inspired to chose recovery too. May you always remember you are stronger than you believe.
Written by Ananda de Jager (@anandaaaa)
Ananda is a Mental Health Advocate and Author. After getting amenorrhea in 2018, she went on a spiritual healing journey, facing her inner demons and having a strong calling to inspire others. She published her first book, Poems of Recovery in 2020 and now promotes the power of vulnerability during events, workshops and online.
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