I had always been a high achiever, type A personality. I spent over a decade living a dual life of a documentary photographer and climbing the ladder as senior leadership in talent acquisition and HR. Therefore, when I moved to New York City to pursue my creative career, I continued to pursue my corporate one. Although I met all my goals as a creative and I produced significant ROI in my career, I was not happy or fulfilled.
I was burnt out. I had worked hour upon hour with proven results for others, but I had been depleted of my own sense of worth and I had absolutely nothing to show for it. That is when I realized both my personal and professional life were tethered together in unhealthy ways.
After taking a leap to move to The Big Apple to follow my dreams, I fell into a creative black hole. I hid from my creativity, I hid from others, I hid behind closed doors the reality of what my life had become. I was involved in an all consuming emotional, financial, and physically abusive relationship. I was manipulated and controlled. I fell into a depression and became physically ill. Desperate to escape but seeing no way out, I caved for almost two years. I sunk inside myself, ignored my intuition and wandered through my days as a zombie. I believed my abuser that I was nothing and deserved the abuse.
I dealt with my personal life by escaping into my corporate career, but I had developed so many unhealthy work habits that I turned to my personal life for relief and there was none. Both were chaotic.
I covered it all up. I hid from everything, while telling the world I was successful and happy. In reality, I did not love myself nor trust myself. Finally, after months of getting sober in body and mind, I began waking up. No longer a zombie, I knew what I had to do. I had to leave.
So I did. Using all the resources I could find coupled with an active support network, I left my relationship. I dedicated myself to my own healing through therapy. I sought the help of mentors and coaches. After months of sitting in the uncomfortable, lost in thoughts of what was next, I found my way towards my inner empath, my creative spirit, and my ability to help others find their way through my story and experience. I developed an approach to self that allowed me to write a new story of inner joy resulting in harmony between my life and work.