Mandy Richichi Learo
Founder and CEO
Sylvia House : Sober Living and Wellness Program
Today I’m speaking with my good friend Mandy Learo. I first met Mandy when I walked into her Saturday morning yoga class. One particular morning I walked into class earlier than usual and there was only three women in the room – one of them being Mandy. They were talking about eating disorders, exchanging their personal experiences with them. It was one of those moments where I felt like I’d shown up early for a reason, that I was meant to be there.
The women didn’t stop talking about the uncomfortable topic, just because I had walked into the room. Which I admired. (Unfiltered. Raw. Open and honest conversation). It was beautiful. My presence hadn’t disturbed the delicate balance. That I had somehow been perceived as safe. I’d been accepted. And yet I hadn’t said anything. As all six eyes fell onto me, struggling to get my shoes off, the obvious new member of this intimate circle. I spoke. “I also struggled with a severe ED”. The vibrancy in the room grew warm and accepting. in that moment they embraced me. Their eyes growing soft as if to say: “We see you sister. We know. We understand, and we thank you for having the courage to share that with us.”
Since this experience I’ve shared here with you guys – my listeners. I’ve scratched the surface of my journey to recovery in episode 31. But even with all that , I gotta be real with you guys, I don’t typically walk into a room and announce myself as a recovering anorexic. However, in that moment I’m really glad I did. As more people trickled into the class there was this comfortable feeling I had of being known by Mandy. I didn’t feel judged by her. I didn’t feel less than, when she looked at me later and thanked me for coming to class. The world didn’t implode because I had shared this piece of myself with three strangers. I breathed deeply and stood a little taller – knowing that I had just overcome a enormous hurdle – I had shared something that had once made me feel a deep sense of shame, something I had kept hidden and secret for a long time…and now I had just shared that with my new yoga teacher and two additional strangers! This was a big deal to me. It is such a wonderful feeling to be seen for exactly who you are. To let go of pretending and pleasantries.
Which leads me to THIS episode: Mandy and I dive deep into her recovery journey from addiction to drugs, alcohol, and disordered eating. To where she is today a yoga teacher, business partner, and entrepreneur as she launches Sylvia House (IG: @sylviahousegvl ) a sober living and wellness program. You can help build the best women’s recovery residence in the country by contributing to their mission to create a safe space and program of action to help addicted women transition out of rehab and into happy, independent lives.
Just a disclaimer that these are adults having adult conversations so if you have little ones around you may want to save this episode for later, or pop some headphones in. Also there may be topics we discuss, that you find triggering, so please do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself! Also Mandy and I would love to hear from you and want you to know that we are here to help in anyway we can.
Also I just have to say that it’s been an absolute honor to connect with those of you who’ve had the courage to reach out to me! It’s amazing to hear from you guys! From your direct messages, reviews, emails, and I’ve had the pleasure of even meeting some of my listeners in person! You are some pretty amazing people. I wish I had an endearing name for you all! How’s the pod squad? I think it has a nice ring to it. Let me know over on Instagram @liveng_proof
Also please feel reach out to us! Mandy and I would both love to hear from you!
RESOURCES AND TOPICS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
The Minnesota Starvation Experiment
Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Referral Service
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
National Eating Disorders Association Helpline: 1-800-931-2237
Donate to the Sylvia House Campaign: * Estimated Opening Nov. 2018
LISTEN ON iTUNES 🎤🎧🎶
Your support enables me to continue to offer these talks freely. If you value them, I hope you will consider offering a donation at this time at http://livengproof.com/support/
Love & Light
P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Send me a message: firstname.lastname@example.org
This episode was brought to you by Dapper Ink