An Ending, and A Beginning

Last week I published a blog post with a general update on what I’ve been up to over the past few years, as well as a promise to share more about what I’ll be doing moving forward this week.

Before we look at the future, however, I’d like to acknowledge and honor the past.

In 2014 I was rear ended on my way to my girlfriend’s house. It was a Saturday, and we planned to attend a kink event that evening. At first I thought it a mild inconvenience: my car was visibly damaged, and I was shaken up, but I was “just” rear ended - right?

By the time I finished exchanging insurance information with the other driver I was starting to feel stiff through my neck and shoulders, and decided to head back home. Driving two hours no longer seemed such an exciting prospect, and my girlfriend agreed that I should rest.

Before I drove home I called my fiancee, who directed me to urgent care.  I spent the next few hours getting diagnosed with whiplash and muscle strain, and was told to visit my doctor on Monday.

By Monday it was clear that something was seriously wrong. I was in too much pain to walk up the stairs to my bedroom and was behaving erratically. I was confused, belligerent, and forgetting things, repeating things I’d said just a few minutes before. My doctor confirmed whiplash and diagnosed a concussion. My chiropractor told me to take the next 3 weeks off from modeling if I wanted to heal properly.

At the time, 3 weeks felt like way too long. The semester had just ended, and I was planning a cross country road trip with another model. Modeling wasn’t just my only source of income, it was my life blood, my passion, my pride and joy, and at that time my only hobby. Asking me to take three weeks off to rest felt like being asked to give up the very core of my being.

I wasn’t willing to risk my recovery taking longer, so I acquiesced. Over the next few weeks that turned out to have been a very good idea. I was so disoriented I couldn’t be left alone in the house, so physically disabled I couldn’t shower without help. In addition to the physical pain and memory issues I was dizzy, nauseous, and depressed. I experienced severe anxiety and mood swings, and once forgot who my parents were and thought I was being kidnapped while riding in their car.

About a month in I saw a neurologist and started taking a medication that helped mitigate the concussion symptoms. At first I felt great on 10mg, but over time I had to increase the dose until I was taking 100mg every day just to function.

Then my grandma died.

There are times in each of our lives when everything gets turned on its head, years where everything breaks apart so we can remold ourselves from the ashes. At the time I wasn’t able to view this process magnanimously - all I knew was that my life was falling apart, everything sucked, and I couldn’t stop bursting into tears at inappropriate times.

And time passed.

I never really shared online how bad things got for me through the worst of this. Without getting too deep into the misery, suffice to say I eventually pulled myself out and began recovery. I learned how to practice effective self care, how to keep from perpetuating cycles of overworking and burnout, how to listen to and take care of my body. My pain and energy levels are now returning to better than they were before the accident (I had already suffered from chronic pain and fatigue), and last October I finally got off the medication I’d relied on for 4 years in order to function normally.

This was not my planned upon blog post for this week, by the way. But life happened, as it so often does.

This weekend I was rear ended on my way to a friend’s house. It was Saturday, and we planned to attend a women’s empowerment event the next day. At first I thought it was the end of the world - I’d been here before, you see. I knew what came next: the pain, the confusion, the tears, the years of rehabilitation.

As I got off the freeway and found somewhere safe to park I was sobbing. “Not again,” I kept saying. “Not again, not again, not again.” But even in shock, panicking, and deeply triggered, the self care techniques I’ve learned over the past few years kicked in. I started breathing deeply, I calmed myself down, and I reminded myself that I’m a different person, and in a different place, than I was five years ago. I have a stronger support system. I know and teach so many tools now that would have changed my life if I’d had them then.

And I started using those tools.

Over the past few days I have been in a deep process of healing - not only the whiplash and mild concussion from Saturday, but the trauma and pain left over from 2014. I am in the midst of a beautiful experience of being able to see this not as a pattern repeating, not as the ushering in of another dark night of my soul, but as an opportunity to close that chapter of my life.

That’s not to say that this hasn’t been painful, nor would I ever describe the past few days as easy. They’ve been intense. They’ve been powerful. And while I wouldn’t have chosen this, I’m grateful for the experience. And I’m grateful to have come to a place of gratitude that very same night, to have been able to change my focus from feeling victimized to looking for the beauty, the healing, the wisdom in this experience within an hour of it happening. That couldn’t have happened without the years of intense work, self growth, and transformation I’ve put in.

I’m also grateful that this time around my life is not on hold. I am taking care of myself and tending to my business. I’m writing this blog post. I’m planning a photoshoot for this weekend. I did a card reading yesterday.

There are cycles in nature, as there are cycles in our lives. I believe that lessons repeat until we learn them, and I couldn’t have asked for a clearer way to know that this lesson has been learned. This pattern will not repeat. And as I move into this new chapter in my business, I’m excited to also move into a new chapter in my life: one in which the car accident I was in does not define me.

It taught me the tools I need to help my clients, and I can let it go now, secure in the knowledge that I don’t have to identify with that pain any longer. That’s not who I am anymore.

Using Format