The Divergent Musician Journey: Taking Back Control of Ones Life

Please be kind. Very personal. Posting some before and after weight loss photos!!! Do not judge, I love myself and my body no matter what weight I’m at and this is not about looks. For those who know, this journey has been about overcoming my dire health issues and surgeries I’ve had to face this past year...on top of everything else.

From 2011-2016 I was in the best shape I'd been in a long time. I met my former spouse in 2013, started dating in 2015 and lived together blissfully for those few years. I started gaining weight around the year we got engaged.

I hit my peak weight in 2017 after experiencing continuous stress, setbacks, and confusion while my relationship plummeted into a toxic rollercoaster when my fiancé started battling drinking/drug addiction and bipolar disorder. His family and I did everything we could to get him help, but like they say; you can’t change anyone, they have to make that decision on their own and do the work themselves...no one else can walk through their darkness for them. Then in 2018 I miscarried and the long line of health issues started occurring one after another, adding onto the stress of everything.

My family and some friends continually warned me I needed to get out early-on, but I was in complete denial, and still put on a happy face and persisted in a desperate attempt to save my relationship, instead of saving myself. It would take me 3 more years to finally leave.

I neglected myself for the sake of someone I loved, and that was my own naivety and fault. The long-term consequences and price of dealing with an unrecognizable and highly unstable partner was my psychological health. I got so broken down over time by verbal abuse, undermining, gaslighting, physical aggression, threats and emotional manipulation that I suppressed it all by resorting to my worst bad habit: overeating unhealthy food. Although the stress may have been due to the previous, I have no one else to blame but myself for the choice of resorting to overeating and not valuing myself enough to remove myself from the entire situation. The constant ups and downs became normal and I lost myself somewhere among it all.

It took a catalyst to wake me up and remind me of who I truly am, so that when the next altercation did happen I actually had the strength to walk away. That day came and I found the courage to leave for my own safety. Also ultimately so that he could take responsibility over his destructive demons and fill his own void; and so I could face and admit my own deep insecurities and contributions. I also needed to address what I was subconsciously doing that kept attracting abusive, narcissistic, and codependent relationships into my life.

So I packed my bags, said a tearful goodbye to my mother-in-law, wrote a letter, and left behind everything I owned (except my horn) in Colorado...my home for 7 years.

It's taught me a great deal about myself, relationships, and psychological patterns/behaviors within families, and so much more...but it nearly took my life at one point. Thus, why I have a therapist and case manager working with me on post-traumatic stress disorder.

I ended up flying/moving overnight to the Pacific Northwest on January 4th, 2020. Almost immediately many of my physical symptoms (including brain fog, which turned out to be dissociation - part of my PTSD) lessened to a degree. I was approved for the healthcare and medication needed. I got my hysterectomy surgery done, (gallbladder surgery was in Colorado), and chronic anemia was resolved through a blood transfusion. My sleep apnea has gone away, and I no longer experience vertigo. I still need hernia surgery though.

I even play in a brass quintet with my family, part of a great church, and a Women’s group, and surprisingly did my Musicians Dystonia & Injury Live Talk series, republished “A Short Guide to Horn Transposition”, and made a website for my Living with Embouchure Dystonia blog & everything collectively.

I started my fitness routine (hiking, kayaking, walking, cardio, yoga) and recommitted to plant-based food in June and here I am September 2020 down 61 pounds. Even my sister’s family switched to vegan (our church is also vegan) and they have been losing so much weight too!!!! 💕

Granted I’m proud! Unfortunately I have 80 more pounds to lose before I can do my hernia surgery (hahahaha....*cries*). Therefore, I upped my workouts and my doctor does weigh-in’s every month for me.

Yes I’m doing this for myself, but ultimately I’m doing it to save my life. Nothing is more frustrating than feeling like your body is betraying you and the least you could have done was take better care of it early-on!!! I was unbelievably angry at myself every time I ended up at the E.R., or waiting to undergo anesthesia before surgery, and especially when I found out I miscarried. I had to work a lot on forgiving myself....I still am.

I won’t take my health for granted anymore no matter what giant waves come my way now. I don’t think I honestly can turn back after experiencing this amount of time spent in hospitals this year.

I will say, being 5’00 ft tall, I am like a chihuahua, and I can easily gain weight by eating a crumb (hahaha!). I know the importance of being active every day just because of my petiteness. It’s my health that I need to center everything around, and not the other way around. No exceptions.

Anywhoo! This was suppose to be a celebratory post!!! So why am I not doing that?!?! Just wanted to say thank you to my family and friends for supporting me through these crazy life (yet positive) changes!

I can’t wait to post more photos as I go along!!! I’m going for the ✨gold ✨, and this last surgery will hopefully get done after that!!! Much love to everyone!

For anyone else out there struggling in a toxic relationship, know there is always a way out!!! Sometimes it takes your heart a long time to accept what your mind already knows.....but believe me, the psychological damage is not worth the effort put into trying to save someone...it’s their job, not yours. By stepping away you are doing a service to your long-term health, and to them by no longer enabling their behavior.

Your happiness, health, and safety come first and foremost.✨You deserve to shine from the inside out and never feel broken again!!!!✨ 🙏😊💕