Boundlessness: A Q&A with Caitlin Leigh
**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.
Caitlin Leigh is a life coach and author who experienced a multi-faceted eating disorder for over 14 years. She has now been recovered for over 5 years, and continues to heal through creative expression, solitude, travel, and reconnecting with nature. Caitlin recently published a new book of poetry, Boundlessness. She talks with us about it here.
Tell us about your new collection of poetry!
My new collection of poetry is called Boundlessness, which was my intention and word for the year. I wanted to bring more openness and expansion into my life and release any resistance, and Boundlessness was a great way to encapsulate this. This book really expresses all the human emotions we experience on a daily basis, along with simple reminders of our inherent worth and beauty.
Can you share an excerpt with us?
Here are two poems from Boundlessness, “Panna” and “And I giggle.”
It feels as though
Has left my chest
As the golden sun
And some days
I sit with
Of my heart
You have touched
So deep inside
Joy is spilling over.
-And I giggle-
Why is poetry meaningful to you?
Poetry from others inspires me, and writing it myself is extremely cathartic and soothing. I am able to express things that I am sometimes am unable to speak and I am so grateful for this.
After leaving treatment for an eating disorder in 2015, I started using writing as a way to process and heal, and that is how poetry started coming through. I was surprised and also grateful to find a healthy way to process!
Creative pursuits have been such a gift on my healing journey and have played a significant part in my recovery. They have helped me tap into the shadow, the light, and to create something beautiful from the pain I once felt and that we all are bound to experience. They have helped me recognize and appreciate the blessings hidden in that painful time, which has been such a gift.
Walk us through the process of writing one of your poems.
It’s really such a unique process! Sometimes I would be listening to a song or be out in nature and I would hear words repeating in my head and would have to jot them down. These became poetry for me!
What other books or poems have been particularly helpful to your recovery?
I really enjoy Eckhart Tolle, as he writes a lot about being mindful and this has been a continuous practice in my recovery as I still learn to connect with my food each day. I also really enjoy Brené Brown, as she writes about the power of vulnerability and this has been so important on this healing journey. I used to think of vulnerability as weakness, and my mindset has completely shifted. I now see it as empowering and I am so grateful for this. Rupi Kaur and Nayyirah Waheed are a couple of poets who have inspired me and also share some great healing and vulnerability.
What other tools do you use to protect your recovery?
I have been building these tools over the years and I am so grateful. Nature and energy healing have been a big support system for my recovery, along with dancing, painting, and spending time with family and friends. Every day is a practice and an opportunity to utilize these coping strategies and I feel so blessed.
Any words of wisdom for those currently struggling?
Asking for help is one of the greatest things you can do to extend love to yourself and open up to others. You are not alone, you are loved, always ask for help and you will be surprised by all those who are willing to help you through this. This is one of the biggest takeaways and lessons from my recovery!
Boundlessness is available for purchase on Amazon.