Photo: Holly Becker
Hello dear readers. I haven’t blogged in nearly two months. It’s hard to type that; it’s the first and only pause from decor8 that I’ve ever taken in my nearly 14 years as a blogger. I relocated from America to Germany in 2009 – no pause. I got pregnant and dealt with pregnancy illness for the first three months – no pause. I moved twice within my city and renovated an apartment – no pause. I stayed home for the first three years with my new baby so I could spend plenty of time with him and still, you guessed it, no pause. But a really big shadow fell over me this summer. The biggest pain I’d ever felt. I found out my father died and it completely devastated me. I didn’t know exactly how to cope so I decided to not cope at all – to force a smile each day, to push it behind me. As you can guess, that didn’t work out so well.
“The only way out is through,” at least that is what I’ve read in multiple well-designed quotes on Pinterest. That statement though is so much more than what you take it to be at first glance. Have you really read it, have you digested exactly what that simple statement means?
It means this: You just can’t skip some things in life, or gloss over them, or try to avoid whatever pain is sitting there waiting for you to address. You have to just “adult” and face it. No matter what horrible feelings result, despite the agonizing pain.
That’s why I personally had to seek help because avoiding the pain wasn’t healthy and I knew it. I felt empty, lost, disconnected, sad to the core. I told everyone I was fine. Ha! No way was I fine. I was faking.
I hired a therapist, a close friend of mine since I was 25 years old, to work with me on Whatsapp calls each Tuesday night. I knew with her I could really talk, plus she knows me so intimately – she knows my history, so therapy with her seemed to be the best idea. And my god, it really was. She absolutely reset my buttons.
I still work with her, though less frequently, to coach me through the remainder of 2019 in case Christmas triggers more pain for me – because you never can tell if you are really “over” someone who died, in fact I’m not so sure with the death of a parent that you really can get over that. It’s something you cannot change (someone died) so you have to change how you see it instead.
Do you use death in a way that can be almost translated into something positive for your life – maybe it awakens you to the fact that you’ve not cared for yourself so well, or that you focus more on work than on friendships, or you need to travel more and enjoy the years you have left on this planet… I’ve learned that after the initial shock and devastation, you have to just move forward. Then, it’s about channeling the pain into something that can almost be seen as positive even though I feel guilty typing that. But on the other side of the darkness, where all of the deceased people go, perhaps there is the side that we also need to see… Those who passed away would want us to get on with life and to become better people from it.
Thinking in this way, I decided to care more for myself and so I changed my diet and lifestyle. That seemed like the best way to honor my father and myself. For the past four months I’ve gone from eating whatever and exercising whenever to being fully present with myself and my daily routines – including what I fed myself and how I moved my body, when, and how much. I nourish myself with food now, I plan my meals, I make choices that improve my health each day, I am kind to my body, I meditate. I feel focused but this time, not on only work and family and everything outside of myself, I am focused on ME first then those other things.
Through the death of my father, I reactivated myself and found inner peace.
Even though I’ve stepped away from decor8 (blog) for two months, I still participated on Instagram and elsewhere online, and I of course worked. I’ve been traveling (Paris, Vienna, lots of Hamburg day trips for HOLLY magazine), and together with my team we launched HELLO HOLLY – my first design and décor podcast in English (already with 5 episodes!). I was also recently in the hospital for a minor problem that I thought was major (which included an ambulance ride and a mega allergic reaction to morphine which I never realized I was allergic to – not cool), and and and. You know, just life and all of the “stuff” that happens from loss to joy, 6 great days and 1 sucky one, kindergarten drama with my son, blah blah blah. It’s life. But to disappear from decor8 for two months is very unlike me but at least now you know why.
And yes, I know there are a million other blogs and “digital content creators” that kept you busy, but I felt that I owed you an apology for not showing up here and at least explaining my absence. That is why I am here today. I’m okay now. I’m over the blue period and feel like I’m starting life all over again, only this time, without feeling like there was always someone out there that I needed to patch things up with (my father who left when I was 17). This tug at my heart that I couldn’t fix or heal. A heavy emotional weight left now that he has passed on, and I already feel really free of the overwhelming sense that someone and something needs to go back and be fixed or saved or helped. The pain and longing has been buried.
I am not going to say “I’m back” because I don’t think I am back in the same way, I’m not the same person now. I have evolved, changed, I left behind the little girl at last. I’m not back. I’m finally free.
Thank you for listening and being a friend to me.