Fives years ago was when it all started… everything was amazing in my life: just finished shooting for TS 1989, multiple Pharrell covers, shot Hollister for the first time & moved to LA …then I woke up one morning and the room was spinning. I had stopped sleeping through the night over the past few months and my level of anxiety was through the roof. I had to call and cancel an important client meeting not only letting my agency and biz partner down but myself as well. Why wasn’t I stronger than this? About a week later I had to leave the office early cause I felt like I was about to burst.. and I did the min I arrived back home. Cried for the rest of the day with literally no apparent reason.
I found out after some tests and multiple vertigo mornings that I was dealing with pretty intense adrenal fatigue...with it comes: anxiety, depression and a whole slew of other alienating issues to deal with. I was boiling over..my pain was done not being acknowledged in my body.. so I was forced to focus on it.
I had just moved to LA within a few weeks of this starting.. which should be a time of getting out and connecting and meeting people. Instead, to get well, it involved a super restrictive diet, no sugar, no alcohol and in bed by 9:30. To say this effected my very extraverted-life of the party morale is an understatement and I went hardcore into self preservation and full blown victim mode. The cycle and snowball effect took a toll on every part of my life. But it was all part of what I now know was building toward waking the fuck up.
For the next years it was trying to climb out through diet & counseling & friends. I’d make little strides forward only to fall back harder. I felt so wronged by people pushing me away or not knowing how to deal with all the emotion that was coming up. Feeling abandoned, exposed & like I wanted to die ...and the things just decided to get worse, 4 car accidents, 3 ankles sprains, and the final.. an ankle break that locked me in my room for 3 months. Three of the most brutal but awakening months of my life. I was laying there so mad.. why wasnt anyone rescuing me from this? Saving me from myself. Breakdown after breakdown.
And then the slap in the face at the end of it...After another victim cry for help my uncle said exactly what shot me into another place in that moment: Sarah this is hard to say and you may not like hearing it, I know you’ve felt wronged in a lot of ways and I don’t like seeing it...but it may not be all on them.
That’s all it took. From that day forward I’ve learned more and more about how everything that happens is a mirror that just reflects the pain that’s actually inside of me. No one is inflicting pain on me. It’s the things that are done that remind or trigger what already exists in me that desperately wants to be acknowledged and healed. It’s been the most beautiful and painful journey goin inward to find the most peace I’ve ever known. I wouldn’t have it any other way and am genuinely now so thankful for every difficult situation that has been in my life as it’s only pushed me more to this place.
We avoid and run from here only for life to continue to serve us situations that finally get us to arrive in this spot... definitely wished I hadn’t been so stubborn to take this long but it was just the concoction I needed. Now literally every scenario that triggers any bit of discomfort I see as another way to go deeper and a portal to reach the pain that I may not have even known was inside. And when discomfort and pain is reframed through that, life doesn’t really have a grip on you nearly as much. And anxiety and depression has been able to fall away more and more and replaced with so much joy and peace. I hope the same for all of you on this day.. #worldmentalhealthday
*Pic above taken in the month that all this happened in 2014.