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BACKSTORY

From where she came to where she's going

The Foundation

It has been said we choose our parents. If true, mine were chosen out of a desire for a rich life over a life of riches. My four siblings and I were raised by two people who showed us stability, devotion, and love in the ways they knew best. Structure was a common thread in our upbringing, but room was always left for expression, creativity and rebellion. We ate home cooked meals together at the same table every night, spoke over each other as stories were told and laughed more than we argued

My parents had very different upbringings. Dad came from life on a desert homestead with a traditional nuclear family making ends meet during the Great Depression and mom was the only child of a single parent who raised her in the city life of Chicago. When they first met, he decided immediately she was the one for him. That resolute love carried them through a marriage that lasted nearly 60 years. Key to the formula was their belief in God demonstrated through a lifelong commitment to the Catholic church. These beliefs were cascaded to us in good faith and with the intention of providing us a solid foundation from which to formulate our lives. Certainly, the strong character fortifying each of our paths is because of their example

Cracks Creep In

As in all aspects of life as humans, things were not perfect in those early years. My childhood was peppered with some challenging events that interrupted a healthy development path. In order to cope I developed some compulsive behaviors like binging on starchy foods. With no one there to explain or make sense of things, I took cues from those around me to determine what would garner the most love and acceptance. Turns out my propensity to achieve was well received so that is what I did. Taking on leadership roles throughout my teenage years seemed natural and propelled me out of the hidden shyness that lurked inside. It also became clear as I neared high school graduation, my father had his sights set on me choosing a career in business. For better or worse, this well-intended influence guided my decisions into my fifties

Signs of Authentic Me

Meanwhile there was an artist in me desperate to be seen. Given a guitar at an early age, I quickly found my singing voice to be clear, soulful and strong. My mother sent me to folk guitar classes where the format involved belting out classic Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Neil Young tunes with a group of other enthusiastic beginners. Those timeless songs stayed with me and became anthems at campfires and family gatherings throughout the years where I was counted on to entertain. Eventually at the onset of my 30’s I found my path as a singer songwriter, investing in vocal training to develop my talent. On the back of my first marriage, I threw myself into writing and playing gigs. Sometimes solo, sometimes with other talented musicians, I caught the performing bug. Fantasies of a successful career as a singer played in my head on a regular basis, but talk of this with my influencers only brought those to a halt. At one point I discovered a love for creating visual art. When an opportunity presented itself to buy my first home in an artist live-work community I grabbed it, adding visual artist and graphic designer to my resume. However, every time I met that fork in the road - traditional career vs risky path - I went with safe and secure employment, leaving those artistic dreams behind

Fast Forward to 50

At the brink of entering my fifth decade, fit as ever and in seemingly excellent health, I met the love of my life and we married a year later. The future looked bright and I was happy. Five years deep into a corporate job, I was ready to make my mark and accepted a promotion to run global marketing for the company. Right at this juncture my body shifted into a harsh bout with menopause where my will to exercise disappeared and my emotions ran rampant. The stress of work and accompanying international travel took its toll on my mind and body so my propensity to cope through food went into high gear. With significant weight gain and heightened inflammation, I began experiencing a breakdown in my joints – exacerbated by an excess of cortisone administered to cover the symptoms. In six years I underwent a total of seven surgeries. While some of the surgeries were outpatient procedures, I was still being cut into at a rate of once a year. With each recovery period my body developed very dense fascia and physical activity became more and more limited. Somewhere in all of it I developed peripheral neuropathy in both legs and feet that to this day remains. And that dense fascia? It created extreme muscle tightness and imbalance in my limbs, driving chronic pain and fatigue that none of the specialists I was sent to could decipher. At a breaking point after being laid off from my 12-year job at the start of the pandemic, there was no other viable path but to make drastic changes for a healthier life
               

What Now

The time has come to holistically heal mind, body and soul. Dedicated to making the connections between how each collectively effect overall health, I have started working with some wonderful practitioners that I believe will facilitate my healing journey – among them are my primary physician and psychotherapist. With their help I intend to unravel the puzzle of my condition. Intent on restoring my health and discovering my authentic self, the journey will involve rewiring and reframing how I walk through the next chapter of my life. With great hope and excitement, I will proceed and plan to share insights and progress here, both for my own cathartic unveiling, and to possibly light the way for others sharing a similar struggle


 

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