Celebrating Resilience and Embracing Emotional Healing
October 22nd, 2022 was supposed to be a celebration – my 45th birthday, a milestone filled with joy, laughter, and togetherness and my wedding anniversay.
However, life had other plans. A car accident left me grappling with injuries, survival mode kicked in, and I found myself navigating through a haze of pain and uncertainty. Despite the physical limitations, I surprised my sister with afternoon tea with her best friend and even executed a Halloween street party that had over 1000 attendees. My resilience was strong, but a part of me had irrevocably changed.
This post is a reflection on that transformative journey, how my support system became my backbone, and the realization that healing, in its entirety, requires more than just physical recovery.
Survival Mode and the Power of Community:
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, survival mode was my default setting. My business needed attention, and with an injured right hand, I was incapacitated. My support system, a network of family, friends, and loved ones, gathered around me, helping to move my business, literally and figuratively. Boxes of my belongings sat untouched for months, a visual reminder of the chaos and the sheer force of will it took to keep moving forward. I hadn’t died in the accident, but a part of me had.
Celebrating Life and Embracing Presence:
Despite the challenges, I was determined to find moments of joy and celebration. I surprised my sister, immersed myself in the spirit of Halloween, and did everything in my power to reclaim normalcy.
However, survival mode needed to stop. I yearned to be present, to truly live and not just survive.
My friends told me that I was sitting in my studio at 8 Maiden Lane, injured, concussed and staring.
I was moving from my first brick & mortor, I didn't get to embrace it and my long time friend, had called me in the am to say he father had past away.
One Year Later:
A "Death" Party and A Journey of Realization: A year has passed since the accident, and I was eager to celebrate life with my best friends. We threw a "death" party, a symbolic gesture to let go of the past and embrace the future. I had invited those who have been there, who support Styleworthy and who have seen me grow since last year.
In the evening, Ryan and I enjoyed a top-chef catered dinner with two of our other good friends.
Everyone thought it was to celebrate my birthday with my sister. While, my sister knew that it was to celebrate that I survived death. I mentioned it briefly then noticed my closest and oldest friends crying.
Fueled by a desire to face my trauma head-on, I boarded a plane the next day to visit the family I was with during the accident. However, life had other lessons in store. Faced with -20 weather, a local state of emergency, and signs of burnout, I was forced to confront the reality of my emotional state.
I had boarded that plane to Calgary with a message to the myself – "I’m Strong, I Survived." Yet, in the solitude of that journey, I realized that while my physical wounds have somewhat healed, my emotional healing is still on it's journey.
Embracing Emotional Healing and Moving Forward:
The journey from survival to living is ongoing, filled with lessons, realizations, and the need for continuous self-reflection. I have learned that healing is a holistic process, requiring attention to both the body and the soul.
My support system was my fortress during my darkest days, but true healing, I realized, comes from within. As I continue to navigate through post-accident life, I am committed to embracing emotional healing, being present, and celebrating life in all its imperfect glory.
It is October 26, 2023, 10:21pm and I landed at 8:50pm.
Tomorrow, I have to be alone for most of the day, in order for my to recover from my trip to Calgary.
For my 46th birthday on Monday, I am going to get a massage, have breakfast with one of my other bffs, getting my free Starbucks and committing to regular self-reflection and mindfulness practices, creating space to process my feelings and experiences authentically.