My childhood has been amazing. I mainly spent it between Africa and Middle East, changing country every 1–2–3- years.
But when I got back from Africa and started this life in France when I was 15 years old, things started to change. And I believe I slowly slipped into this constant feeling of sadness. I hated my life, which lead to hating myself and everyone around me, especially my parents as they were the closest to me.
Running away from myself
I first went into anorexia and bulimia for about 2 years in my early twenties. I wouldn’t really be able to say how it started but I think I wanted to punish myself in some way. And have control on the one thing I knew I could control. I managed to get out of it on my own, without any help. But even though I was eating, emotionally it was a roller coaster with a constant deep feeling of loneliness. And it grew over the years.
I moved about 40 times in my life. Part of it is related to the fact that I was trying to run away from something or from myself. But I could go anywhere on this planet, I would still be with myself. I was going from feeling great when something nice would happen, to feeling totally down and wanting to end my life when I would break up with someone, have had a bad day at work or start with negative thoughts that would really take me way too far into dark places.
Trying to fit in
Over the years, I changed job I don’t know how many times, I went from one relationship to another, from one place to another, from one study to another, but I still ended up feeling this same crappy way. I don’t know how many times I wished for the plane to crash, or for not waking up in the morning. I was exhausted. After overloading myself for a year to not think anymore, I ended up with a burnout. I also had a back issue where I had to take morphine for about 2 weeks. I didn’t have anything special, the doctors told me to change my job. That it was all emotional and it was basically my body telling me it was really time to change.
The moment I went down
It was in December 2017. I can remember it so clearly. It was Christmas Eve. I had spent the evening having diner with people I couldn’t understand and feeling as lonely as you can possibly feel. After a couple of hours trying to pretend everything was fine, I told my boyfriend (at the time) that I had to get out of there. The room was small, too many people and I just couldn’t breathe anymore. I wanted to scream, I wanted to explode and just disappear. It was like this energy inside me had to get out but I couldn’t or wouldn’t let it. And that’s what was slowly killing me. And I knew it.
Reaching my limit
He walked me down to the hotel (I had booked a hotel room because I couldn’t sleep with him as he snored and couldn’t stay at his parents basically) and I found myself on my own, in this hotel room, wondering what was happening and what I was doing with my life. I started crying. I wanted to shout, hit the wall, the bed, I was going nuts. And I couldn’t stop it.
I was looking at my life and it was a mess. Reproducing the same pattern over and over again. Feeling stuck in this vicious circle without being able to break it and get out of it. I was exhausted, sick of being alive, sick of trying, sick of being me.
There was more to life than this. There was a reason why I was on this planet. But I wasn't able to figure out what it was. And this pain was always there, all the time, every day, every minute, every breathe. I had learned to deal with it but I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Because this wasn’t a life. What was the point of being alive if it was just to survive. I didn’t have any meaning in this life. I felt useless. And it’s not like I didn’t try to change. I tried. But always failed. And this time, it had to stop.
Making the decision
That’s when I heard this tiny little voice deep down telling me that I deserved better and that I could do better. That I was here for a reason and that I had to find it. I always knew this voice was there because it’s the one that kept me alive all these years and the one that didn’t let me do something that wouldn’t allow me to write these lines today.
I went out on the balcony and looked at the mountains across. It was lovely and peaceful. I wanted to give up, I wanted to end all this, I really did. But I couldn’t do it, again. Maybe I was too afraid of doing it. Or maybe I wasn’t ready to give up. Either way, I had nothing left to lose. If it didn’t work, I could still end everything later on. That was my thought to help me face the fear. I also knew that this time, I had to change for real. Not trying and then getting back to this life, I had tried enough and I knew it wasn’t working. The corporate life wasn’t for me, I always wanted to be self-employed, I wanted to have meaning in my life and I wanted to feel useful. I wanted to change the world using my voice.
Going all in
So I changed. During the year 2018, I quit the job, I broke up, I moved to a new country, leaving everything I had behind. I did this because I knew it was the only way for me to not be tempted to go back to corporate. It was the only way for me to not give up on my dream anymore. I needed to build up this faith that everything will go fine. That I was going to succeed. Because the other option was the point of no return.
I started working on my mindset daily and as of today, am still working on it. I know this will be a lifetime job but I’m very fine with that. It took me about a year to be able to articulate what I truly wanted to do with my life. I was scared, like freaking scared. Until it hit me just a few weeks ago. It had been there for months, I knew it, I could feel it. But it was like buried under a huge amount of layers I had to peel off in order to be able to see it and to articulate it.
Finding my purpose
Using my voice to share my message, to give hope to women who are where I’ve been and who can’t see this exit door, who feel stuck in this vicious circle I was in, these are the people I want to help and support. Because I know you can get out of it. You just need to know how to do it.
As Jim Carrey says, “Depression is your avatar telling you it’s tired to be this character you’re trying to play”. And that’s exactly what it is.