I had finally talked about being raped while in the hospital, but I didn’t take it with me outside those doors. I thought its power over me was over.
After my hospital stay I made steps to start climbing out of my depression, the first being the steadfast decision that I will always choose life over death. I moved home to LA with my pup, got off my anti-depressants, ate healthy, whole foods, worked out every day with tons of yoga, and pursued my love of baking as a career.
My biggest game changer came a year and half after being released from the hospital when I started a 200-hr yoga teacher training. By then, I had told a couple close friends about being raped but hadn’t sought therapy and was still blind to many negative rippling effects of my trauma. The deeper I got into my yoga practice and the more I was able to quiet my mind-chatter with my breath, the more what I had pushed deep inside into the darkness away from myself came erupting out. I knew I had a choice to stay in the chains of fear or to break free. I was ready to be free.
I told my yoga teacher who encouraged me to tell my parents, which I did immediately. All the doubt, rejection, and questions I thought I would get didn’t come and instead I received love, support, and some more love. I made an appointment with Lindy (the awesome founder of our very own I Am A Rockstar) for a rapid trauma therapy session. My body immediately responded to the session, and from opening up my deepest, darkest secret (which is no longer that!) to the people closet to me. My chest (the holder of my heart), shoulders, hips (the seat of emotions) and hamstrings all loosened and opened dramatically, like they were releasing seven tons of weight from this seven-year secret. I felt alive and free and the colors of this earth were brighter than ever before.
Since then, every day the ground beneath my feet got stronger and more secure. Sometimes I was going two steps forwards, three steps back, frustrated and down as hell, and sometimes I was running straight ahead smiling. I still have ups and downs – don’t we all – but now I have a strong and steady center and grounding as well as the proper tools to deal with my downs and life in general. And, I always remember the advice the mother of my high school boyfriend gave me back in the day, “Trust the journey.”
It’s been over five years now since I was released from the hospital and I’ve created a life and body I absolutely LOVE and I am excited to have and live my life.
There were many tools that empowered me to do this, including healthy eating and self-care, but the greatest tool is my yoga practice. Yoga allowed me to tune into my true self and to speak and act from that place, to meet myself where I am in the moment and curiously and tenderly work with myself. I learned through my practice how to truly love my body and have compassion on myself; my “inner critic” went from a judgmental, hateful, negative b*tch to a loving, supportive, positive friend. Yoga has taught me to sit with uncomfortable feelings – anger, anxiety, sadness, and loneliness – and not react to them or curl into depression. Yoga taught me I am whole and complete, just like you.
Today my healing practice includes yoga, meditation, gratitude, writing, tea, plenty of water, gardening, healthy foods that taste great, time with true friends, cherishing my family, spending time outdoors specifically in the sun and by the sea, moving my body, chocolate, and slowing down to remember life only happens in the present.