Poems of Recovery, by Ananda de Jager

October 29, 2020

Poems of Recovery, by Ananda de Jager

Ananda de Jager (1993) was born in Goes, the Netherlands. In 2020, she published her first poetry book: Poems of Recovery. After getting amenorrhea in 2018, she went on a spiritual healing journey, facing her inner demons and having a strong calling to inspire others.

Ananda now lives in Brussels, Belgium, where she wrote her first book. For this week’s Utility Avenue’s Spotlight, we bring you her inspiring story of self-discovery.


Poems of Recovery, by Ananda de Jager
Photo Credit: Nicholas Fotiadis
  • Who is Ananda de Jager?

Hello! Ananda is a 26-year-old girl living in Brussels, heading from the Netherlands. I’m a sister, a daughter, a friend, a colleague, a volunteer, and now also a poet/writer. 😊

  • How did it all begin?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with food and my emotions. For me, this was always present, but I never saw it as an issue. However, when I lost my period, I realized that this was a clear sign of my body that something was wrong. Further, I had many other symptoms of an eating disorder. Looking back, losing my period was the best thing that could have happened. Otherwise, I would not have worked on my underlying issues. Hence, I decided I wanted it back and began looking at my patterns, my motives. While doing so, I shared many poems and quotes on Instagram (made by other people) and got a lot of positive replies. Then, in the summer of 2019, I decided to start writing poems myself.

  • What helped you the most to become an author?

My problems (laughs). No, what helped me the most was that it was very healing in itself. Writing down your thoughts makes you go through them, and reading them back helps you to see how far you’ve come. Also, the work of other poets inspired me a lot. My goal is also to help other people so that I had in the back of my mind when writing.

  • What were the main challenges while writing the book?

The writing process was honestly quite smooth. It felt very natural to me, and I put my full heart into it. The biggest challenges came actually when it was published – sharing my story, doing interviews, shoots. Really being out there when I was not fully at ease with my body yet, despite having written a book about recovery.

  • Who was the most supportive of your journey?

For sure, my parents. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for parents to have a kid that struggles and does not allow you to help them. They were always there, did nothing wrong, and supported me in every way possible. I love them with all my heart.

  • Who is your book for?

Initially, it was for anyone struggling with an eating disorder, but I learned that even people who did not struggle with it greatly enjoyed it. For example, one reader came to me saying he had never faced eating issues himself or known anyone with such issues, but reading the poems gave him some insights on what it is like. That was really touching.

  • How have readers reacted to your book?

The responses have been better than I could have imagined. Everyone has been extremely kind, asking questions, saying how it helped them or which poems they liked. It was especially interesting to hear from people close to me how they experienced the period.

  • Do you have any other passions?

Yes! I love meeting new people, traveling, volunteering, and riding my motorbike. Next to that, I do pole dancing and weight training. I love being busy and challenging myself. I also really love trying new things and self-development. 

  • If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I believe everything I did brought me exactly to where I am now. I don’t think I would have done anything differently. It’s easy to say I would have solved my issues sooner or I would have been kinder to myself sooner, but in the end, all the steps were needed to be where I am today. I do wish that I did not hurt certain people in the process of me hurting myself through my behavior. No one deserves to be hurt, but I have also been the villain in some people’s stories. 

  • What future projects do you have?

For the moment, I am focusing fully on this book and helping others. I am writing for a project about Brussels’ lockdown, which is a really nice collaboration. Perhaps I will write a second book. I also collaborate more with different artists, which is a nice way of expressing myself.

  • What message would you send to your readers?

Be kinder to yourself. You only have one life in this body and have to be with yourself for the rest of your life. You might as well make it worthwhile! 

  • Can you tell me the essential idea of the book in one sentence?

To help other people in their healing process by sharing my experience with recovering from amenorrhea (the absence of your period) and my eating disorder.

  • Is there anything you would like to add?

If anyone wants to know more, see more work or order the book, they can check out my website anandadejager.com. Find me on Instagram @anandaaaa or @poemsofrecovery. I try to answer messages as fast as kind. And don’t forget to add joy to your life, dance! 😊 


Poems of Recovery, by Ananda de Jager Poems of Recovery cover


Ananda de Jager’s Contact Info

Instagram: @anandaaaa

Poems of Recovery, by Ananda de Jager
Where to Buy the Book

Utility Avenue’s Spotlight focuses on promoting inspiring businesses every week. For a chance to be interviewed, contact us at support@utilityavenue.com with the subject Spotlight.