ART BY: WWW.HENIGMAN.COM
What a crazy year it’s been. My husband and I relocated to the Pacific Northwest to follow his dream of running a third generation family business, and our combined dream to be closer to family and work on making one of our own. It’s not been an easy transition, although we are finally able to catch out breath and realize the beautiful life we’ve made out here. I still travel to Los Angeles and all over the world to work with some of my favorite clients, and feel healthily connected to the industry, while also maintaining a personal life and balance.
Balance has never been my strong suit as I am described (flatteringly) by my husband as “tenacious.” He told me the other night, “when you want something, you go for it no holds barred.” This is great if you know limitations, however, I am a workaholic, and was so incredibly unhealthy in Los Angeles. I felt if I passed on any gig, it would be my last. And so from a place of fear, I accepted every gig or project, collaboration or campaign that came my way, without realizing the need to breathe! I lost the fun part of myself, and slipped into a deep depression.
Leaving Los Angeles
The love of my life and I at a wedding on Alki
I have a history of depression and anxiety as a result of a sexual attack I survived almost twelve years ago. I was diagnosed with PTSD eight years ago, and have done a lot of work to identify triggers and coping mechanisms. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please be gentle. Please listen, and please know there are so many outlets. If you need to speak to someone, for healing, or to gain insight on how to support someone who is hurting, call the National Hotline for Sexual Abuse at 1(800) 656 4673. If typing is easier for you vs speaking out loud, contact them here.
I am not an expert, but I can certainly lend an ear if you need someone to communicate with, who has “been there.” So many of us are finding our voices, and it doesn’t feel nearly as lonesome or scary as it once was. My husband has been a champion through my ups and downs. I am so thankful he has been my angel on this Earth. We truly balance one another, but there are things you must do as an individual to thrive. And sometimes that means bonding together, and supporting another through their journey.
This is a long around way of saying that I am back. And I think for good? When you’re monitoring an illness, it has a way of saying, “I’m gone,” only to show up in your guest room, then move into your room without you knowing it. All of a sudden, it’s as though it over takes your home, and you have no space for yourself. For those who do not experience these realities, I am so thankful for you. Please know that sometimes, a good cry, or a hug is all that’s needed. I can tell retrospectively when I’ve been in a deep dark place because I stop writing, I stop posting, I just stop. I lose my voice. It is so sad to see my last post was almost a year ago, and to know that I was so “gone.” Importantly, we cannot beat ourselves up for these lapses in communication, but understand it is an indicator of where we are, and better identify when to move forward into a healthy life.
Accountability friends are key. I have my husband, and I also have one friend I trust implicitly, who can tell when I’m slipping and keep my awareness level of my illness on point. Keeping tabs on one another is a great way to show support and love.
If you’re still reading, please know this is my most vulnerable post yet. Yet, it is one of the easiest posts I have ever written. Now if it makes sense or not, that’s for the reader to decide. But on my end, things are looking pretty good. Better than good- they’re looking beautiful. And I am so thankful.