Dear Former Me: I Love You But I Don’t Miss You
Seven years ago, I danced through life unconsciously. I was a workaholic neuroscientist studying how the brain can change itself. I chased recognition; like a junkie, I collected awards, accolades and achievements, yet I never felt the intoxicating satisfaction or happiness that I wanted so badly. I was blocked. I felt nothing.
I spent most of my time either in a laboratory or at the gym – I was training for the Chicago marathon. I ate cake for dinner; vegetables rarely graced my plate. I thought bliss was found within a Twinkie or a can of Coke. I never took the time to get to know anyone. Intimacy was completely foreign to me. I was experiencing an emotional flat-line: I never felt heart pumping euphoria, and I never dove deep into despair. My life was like floating in a small boat on the calmest ocean.
And then a storm hit, and the crashing waves chucked me overboard. And what happened next was the biggest soul-slap of my life.
Seven years ago a vampirous tick bit me, and the storm of Lyme Disease entered my life. I lost the ability to work; I rarely left my house; my mother referred to me as a shut-in. Lyme hijacked my life, and it forced me to stay still for the first time.
In that stillness, all of my blocks and barriers crumbled. I began to notice how the energy of others affected how I felt. I noticed how food either lifted me up or pushed me down. And I learned how my own thoughts influenced my healing. I started to reach out to the people around me, to connect and to listen. My heart opened up to love, and I was grateful.
My journey to recovery has been long, but I have a backpack full of lessons learned. I learned that if I wanted to recover, I would have to take action and do whatever it took to heal. I learned that I am not defined by the job that I do – I am loved no matter what. I learned that the food I eat could either heal or harm. And, I learned that if I take the time to listen and to share my truth, the energy and love that I get back is the most powerful medicine.
Now that I see recovery on the horizon, I’ve bought a new kick-ass boat: one that can not only withstand the rising sea swells, but it can also hold all of the people that I love and need on this journey.
I can say that I’m still an ambitious girl – I have big dreams, big desires, and big love to share. But I’ll never return to the soulless and joyless life that I lived. I’ve traded in my running shoes for a yoga mat and a meditation cushion, and I have given up junk food for green juices. I now live my life mindful of how my thoughts influence the world around me. I cherish the biggest love of my life: my man; and I give thanks, everyday, for my mother.
It took the bite of a poppy-seed sized insect to change my life. I can’t image ever being the girl I used to be. In fact, if I were to write a letter to my former self, I would tell her that I love her, but I don’t miss her.