Alone with my Self. A quarantine poem.

Being alone was my greatest fear
I did everything I could to not be alone
My fear was not so much being alone
But being alone with myself
THAT was what my greatest fear was

I did EVERYTHING I could
To not be alone with myself

For years
I was a workaholic
Always hustling with a few side jobs
Making my job titles & all of my credentials
The biggest part of my identity
If you had asked me who I was then
I would have given you my job title
That’s really who I thought I was

I did EVERYTHING I could
To not be alone with myself

I also used food to numb my emotions
Nobody knew it
But binge eating disorder was ruling me
I used food like some use alcohol
Eating so much even when I didn’t want to
Forcing myself, punishing myself
I didn’t deserve to feel good
The physical heaviness and pain
Felt a thousand times better
Than what I felt underneath it all
Felt a thousand times better
Than what I didn’t want to feel
So I did everything I could to not feel
By avoiding slowing down
By avoiding being alone with myself

And every time I binged
It gave me the perfect opportunity
To focus all of my time & energy
Planning my diet & workouts
With the hope that if I could fix my body
I could maybe fix what was wrong with me
Giving me the illusion that somehow I had control
Because focusing on my body & health
Felt more manageable
Than looking at the wounds
That kept being re-opened in my heart
Being re-opened with triggers within and around me
I didn’t want to feel that
I didn’t want to be alone with that

I did EVERYTHING I could
To not be alone with myself

I traveled around the world
Looking for the missing pieces of the puzzle
Looking for the pieces that would finally
Help me not feel this void inside of me
Trying to escape the triggers
Trying to escape the pain
Trying to escape myself

I did EVERYTHING I could
To not be alone with myself

One day, I became a mother
I had this new identity
I was a MOTHER
Me? Really? Can I really do that?
I gave ALL of myself to that role
Feeling alone in a relationship of almost 2 decades
In the chaos of a marriage that was suffocating me
But this relationship was also me
Who I thought I was
I was the girl
Who lived with her high school sweetheart
Since the age of 18
I was the girl who married
Her high school sweetheart
That was THE fairytale
Isn’t that every little girls’ fairytale?

I did EVERYTHING I could
To not be alone with myself

But during one of these long nights
Breastfeeding my toddler back to sleep
As I was going through my dark night of the soul
It started becoming clear
That it was time for me
To learn to be alone with myself
I started slowly
And it was one of the scariest things I ever did
But I kept practicing
Being alone with myself
A little bit more and a little bit more
Until the Universe gave me a big push
And told me I was ready for the next level
I was ready to birth myself

All of my identities
Were stripped away from me at once
I cannot describe how painful it was
There are no words for it
I thought my heart couldn’t take it
The band-aid of my identities
Was what was holding me together
And now it had been ripped away from me
I know the band-aid wasn’t perfect
But it was something
And now I had NOTHING
Nothing to hold me together
I had nothing but myself
And I didn’t even know
Who my Self was

Overnight I was no longer a wife
Overnight I was no longer a mother
I couldn’t see my own son
Half of the time, half of my life, half of his life
My son who had been my whole life since the day he was born
The pain of not wishing him good night every night
Broke me open
Tore me apart
The pain that I was only going to be part of half of his life
Took away a piece of my heart
That I don’t think I’ll ever find again
The crack in my heart
Was so wide and deep
I thought I could never find my way out
He was not even 3 years old
When I realized that my son wasn’t even mine
He never was as no children ever are
But that hit me like a slap in the face
I was a mother
And also NOT a mother
At the same time

Let go
Let go
Let go
Remember the truth
Remember who you are

I cried
I screamed
On my knees
Asking why???????????????????
Why take everything away from me
The only answer I got
Go deeper
Within yourself

And I HATED that answer
But I had no choice
I had nothing else left
I kept practicing
Practicing being alone with myself
At times I distracted myself
With relationships with men
Hoping they would save me
Hoping that I could re-write
My fairytale story
But every time
I learned what I had to learn
Until I was told to go back to being alone
To deepen my practice of being alone with myself
Long weekends and nights
Alone with myself
I hated it
Yet I knew I needed it
To shed more layers
To strip myself naked
And see who I really was
Underneath it all

Breathing as I labored
Letting go, letting go, letting go

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It was a long process
It took years
But I have learned to be alone
To be alone with myself
To get to know myself
After all of these years
Finally feeling whOle
Feeling like ME
Feeling home WITHIN myself
I had forgotten that feeling
And now I never want to lose it ever again
Ask me who I am now
I know it in my bones

I still get scared
I still forget at times
Sometimes I still get angry
That my fairytale didn’t turn out the way I wanted to
But I was never meant to be a fucking princess

This quarantine
Reminds me of this process
This dark cocoon I was thrown into
That many people are being now pushed into
Some will numb & distract themselves until it’s over
Some just want to go back to how things were before
Some will suffer through it
Some will surrender
Some will see the beauty
Perhaps you’ll do all of the above
And that’s perfectly okay
But can you see what I see?
The beauty in the darkness
The beauty of the dark night of the soul

No matter where you’re at
I just want you to know
That it’s completely normal to feel how you feel|
But just say “yes”
Say “yes” to it all
Let go
Let go
Let go
Surrender some more
Keep breathing
Nourish yourself
Be gentle with yourself
Stand up tall
Light up a candle
Walk into the darkness
Crawl if you have to
But keep going
Keep saying “yes”
You can do this
You are meant to do this
You have been preparing for this
Your whole life
You are ready for this
It’s time to remember
Who you truly are

With so much love,
Aglaée Jacob