I came here to escape

Back when I was 23 during spring break of my last year at University, shortly after my older brother died, my mind was a mess.
I had had an eating disorder for the past 7 years. I flip flopped between trying to interact with people and hiding in my bedroom doing as many sit ups as I could and running in place.
When my brother died, it shocked me to the core, Granted, he was never that nice to me, in fact he was downright horrible most of the time. I was terrified of him. And when he was going through the motions of cancer, he started trying to make up for those years of torture. He died before I could say I love you.
But shortly after he died, I started living. I finally allowed myself to start drinking… I had my first boyfriend.. went to concerts.. etc.
Spring break was coming up. I knew I needed to do something spectacular.
I booked a trip to Ecuador. I paid money to volunteer at an animal refuge center in Ecuador right in the Amazon jungle.
I knew very little Spanish.. I had never left the country before (except when I lived in Canada).. I wasn’t too experienced in partying or making friends due to the ED.
But I went.. I had many struggles but also had the time of my life.. I got to feed a beautiful big-eyed Margay a chicken… I got to have monkeys play in my hair… I got to walk in the Peccary enclosure with mud up to my knees (GLORIOUS!!).. I hung out in hammocks with Australians and British and Spanish and Ecuadorian.. I nearly slept with a Hobbit-like British boy in the jungle as he took me to see the nocturnal Kinkajous-except everyone back at the camp sent out a search party for me… I helped to hike a tortoise out into the middle of the Amazon jungle for 3 nights to let him loose… My smiles were genuine.. My laugh was pure.. I was realizing what happy was
I happened upon this poem I wrote alone in my hammock under the Amazonian stars the night before I left the camp after a week and a half of learning to live and feel again..

I came here to escape
To leave my life behind
But now that I am here
I am beginning to find
You cannot fun from
What you wanted to
Those thoughts inside of you
No matter where you go
Where you sleep at night
The downward spiraling
thoughts-those you cannot fight
I thought I was so sad at home
Now its frustrating to see 
Escaping from the life I know
Cannot set me free
Now its time to head on home
To the place I left behind
Bring with me the tales of adventure 
That flow on through my mind
No matter where you go
Nor how hard you try 
There are that follow
That won’t pass you by
Your mind, your thoughts, 
Your body, your soul
I found out what it was 
I came here for
I tried to run away
To escape
Away from my cares
Away from these thoughts 
Away from my mind
Run far away from here
Leave it all behind
I learned the hard way
You cannot run
from all that you are


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