My story of overcoming dangerous addiction, devastating depression, and an out-of-control sugar obsession to finally live the life of my dreams.
On paper, I had the perfect life.
In the space of a few short years, I had graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, married the man of my dreams, moved into a stunning building in New York City, and was pursuing my dream of becoming an actress.
But in reality . . . nothing was perfect.
Every day, I felt worse and worse — unwell, sick and in pain. In desperation, I went to what felt like 300 traditional doctors in search of an answer. But not ONE of them could figure out what was wrong with me.
So I made a decision to get to the bottom of what was going on with me, once and for all.
I remember going to see an herbalist who told me I was SO sick that I was barely living. (In her words: I was “almost dead.”) She pleaded with me to come clean about my drug addiction so that she could help me, but I kept telling her over and over that I’d never taken drugs in my life. (It was the truth.) She honestly believed I was on heroin or crack. It was bizarre.
After a lot of head-scratching, I finally figured out why she thought what she did.
I WAS a druggy—just not in the sense that most people would think.
I’d had severe allergies as a kid, which meant that my entire childhood I was on multiple pills every single day. I took steroids, used inhalers for my asthma, and received allergy shots a few times a WEEK.
The bottom line: I’d been taking drugs my entire life.
Finally, all that toxicity had caught up with me. The herbalist said I was basically “terminally ill”, and guided me through a massive detox. I drank a ton of raw juice, drank Chinese herbal teas, became a vegan, and even ate clay!
Finally, I started to feel better.
Next stop: LA to pursue my acting career.
I was still in my 20s and battling the aftermath of a heart-wrenching divorce which had sent me spiraling into depression.
Somehow, I was also juggling life as an actress, artist, gemologist, massage therapist, shiatsu practitioner, and realtor.
As a recovering drug addict, I refused to take pills of any kind—not even Tylenol. Even though both my doctor and my therapist wanted to put me on anti-depressants to help me get through the pain of my divorce, I just said “no”.
Sugar became my savior.
I literally couldn’t go a day without chocolate.
I found solace in the bottom of pints (and pints . . . and pints) of creamy frozen yogurt. I remember one day driving to Whole Foods in tears and snapping up 6 pints of the stuff.
It was gone in 2 days.
I’d scarf packets of chocolate chips, Twizzlers, Swedish Fish, candy, sorbet—anything and everything I could get my hands on in a bid to mend my broken heart.
I wasn’t putting on weight, so I thought my binges were perfectly normal and acceptable, considering everything I was going through.
It wasn’t until I moved back to New York that it hit me.
I couldn’t move. I was exhausted for weeks and months on end. I felt like I was 80 years old and got sick constantly.
I knew that there had to be a better way.
The first step was admitting I had a problem.
The second, seeking help—in all the RIGHT places.
I saw an acupuncturist, massage therapists, integrative doctors and a health coach. I became an IntenSati fitness teacher (high-cardio fitness to spoken-out-loud affirmations).
I studied spiritual consciousness at the Oneness University in India and earned the right to call myself a Holistic Health Coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
And I went on to become an Integrative Holistic Health + Wellness Coach.
Today, I haven’t had a cold in 6+ years.
My allergies have been at bay for over a DECADE.
My energy is back, full force.
I’m happy—really happy.
I remarried and am so in love with my husband with whom I have a beautiful daughter.
And I get to do what I love for a living—every single day.
Not to mention the fact that I get to make my own schedule and do more of the things I love—like travel the world (think: St. Lucia, The Bahamas, New Orleans, Puerto Rico, Greece, South Carolina, Florida, Hawaii, and Africa).
I love my family. I love my friends. I love my life.
But most importantly, I love myself—truly-madly-deeply.
I accept myself. And I realize that perfection isn’t the goal—it’s never been the goal.
Life is what you make it.
So go out there and LIVE it—in the truest sense of the word.