The best and brightest
Have you ever felt so exhausted? So done with fighting for and against everything? Feeling like everything that you do is like trudging through mud?
My breakdown moment came in two parts. I’ve had my fair share of trauma in my life, as most of us have. One of the most prevalent being having to deal with a father that suffers from substance abuse. In 2014 he found himself for the first time officially on the streets. The first time I saw him actually living like this was that summer and my younger brother was with me as well. My dad was a mess. I remember him being shockingly thin with his face sunken in and he was limping. My brother and I took him for lunch where he was popping nameless pills that he got on the street, he was agitated and complaining about the most meaningless things. He was falling asleep in his soup and we had to wake him up a few times. This was the first day, in my entire life, that I saw addiction for the real hell that it is. After lunch my brother and I went and browsed through some shops, checking out what the city had to offer. When we came out our dad was on the opposite side of the street sitting on the curb, falling asleep as people walked by and stared. My little brother, who is 10 years younger than I am and infinitely wise for his age, looked over at him and then at me, “That’s our dad,” he said, “everyone just walks by staring at some homeless guy...and that’s our dad.” In that moment, I had infinite compassion for my dad. My years and years of anger dissolved. My mind went on a ramble. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair that people didn’t treat him like a human, it wasn’t fair that he had to suffer like this hating himself so much, and punishing himself for existing. It wasn’t fair that he had to live in such a dark void where he couldn’t accept any form of love. It wasn’t fair that he felt so unworthy. It wasn't fair. The rest of the day was filled with aimless wandering as my dad scrounged through dumpsters and lashed out at most of the things I said. The sad thing, is that's not my dad. My dad is kind and loving. Life broke him. Lack of self love broke him. After dropping my brother off back home, I finally went home, keeping it together for the whole day. When I got home I dropped to the ground hyperventilating and sobbing harder than I’ve ever sobbed. I couldn’t stop. My sister came over and sat with me. Her and I have different dads so she just sat as I sobbed, there was nothing else she could do. That night I cried myself to sleep. The next day, I woke up crying. My best friend came over to get ready for our other best friends bridal shower. She got to my house and saw my swollen eyes, she hugged me, and I sobbed and sobbed some more. That was the first breakdown that led to my year and a half battle with depression.
The next year and a half was the worst time I’ve ever had in my life. It got to the point where I felt like if everything was going to be this hard for the rest of my life, I didn’t know if I could live through that. I never would have hurt myself, but I am fairly certain that if I continued that way that I would have had a complete mental break. Shortly after my onset of depression, my work decided to get rid of all practitioners at the time. I had been working there for over 5 years and in the end had about 2 and a half weeks to figure out where to move my whole practice. I didn’t like the place I had decided on and after 5 months there decided on a change to a new place. At this time my depression had deepened and I was also having a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. On top of all of it, I couldn’t seem to get ahead financially, even though I made an okay living. My creative life as an an actor and writer had all but bankrupted me. Things kept piling and piling up on my plate. All the things I thought I “should” be doing to have a career in film and tv and running a full time wellness practice. After moving my practice for the second time my body started breaking down. I was completely burnt out, and by this time I had been for over a year. I started getting headaches constantly, day in and day out. My body ached and I had pain all the way down the right side of my body, in my head, through my arms, down my hips and into my feet. I would go home everyday crying, and my partner would just hold me until I went and laid down. Closer to the end my body hurt so much that I was silently crying during treatments. Everything was spiralling out of control.
At that moment I finally said ENOUGH. I quit my job, I quit everything.
So here I was, off work for about a month or so, but I hadn’t really stopped working. I was finishing up film projects that needed to be finished and I was working 50+ hour weeks and busting my butt to get everything finished. I just wasn’t getting paid for any of it!
But I thought to myself that this was the path I wanted to pursue. I mean, I've been on this path as an actress, writer and producer in the film and television industry all my life after all. I’ve worked with big names in the industry, written short films and feature films, ran three production companies, created endless amounts of content and I had the experience so I thought “This is my dream, isn’t it? “
And here I was working myself to the ground, not getting paid for it, doing 50+ hours a week following what I thought had been my lifelong passion. And then out of sheer luck, came an interruption to the busyness I had created for myself. I was asked to house sit a couple of wonderful cats on a local island for a week.
This house, was in the woods and close to the small town, it was so quiet and they didn’t have TV. All I had was my ipad and I could watch Netflix if I wanted to. I remember it was beautiful and serene. Finally my brain got quiet and I could think and reflect about my experiences and where I was at and what I wanted and needed.
I could think and breathe. My sister lent me a great book and I finally slowed down. Of course I had my breakdown moments but I had this amazing realization about my path. Creativity. I wanted to live it and breathe it. And mostly I wanted to coach creatives. I have been in creative fields my whole life and although I love the expression, I don’t love the industry. It’s just not for me. But I’ve been through IT ALL. For the last 15 years of my life I had been self producing, writing and acting. Anything to get myself out there. Mentoring and consulting on projects so others could get their projects done and encouraging and inspiring. I've been taking care of everyone else and been coaching people back to health. And that was the path I wanted to pursue. I saw how many people struggle and I want our creative community to start healing, to get back to craft and to find the joy again. When I got home my depression had finally lifted and I immediately got started on my new path. I had found my joy again. I had found my passionate pursuit in this world.
The best and brightest
The best and brightest