Sharing my story

A short film I made with HELLO! and Swarovski

As the year draws to a close, it feels right to share this video I made with HELLO! magazine as part of their Year of Love campaign in partnership with Swarovski.

It went live at the start of November but I’ve kept it quiet until now. Aside from the whole hideous thing of seeing—AND HEARING—yourself on film, it’s still hard for me to openly admit that, essentially, the digital world defeated me. That I’ve been (and still am) really fucking unwell. Sometimes, I still view burning out as failing, rather than the life-changing, life-enriching experience it turned out to be.

So anyway, here it is. Made with my best friend of more than twenty-five years, Daniela, who has seen me both at my best and worst.

When the team at HELLO! approached me to take part, I was initially hesitant—especially when I heard the inspirational stories of the other women featured. Mine seemed somewhat insignificant in comparison. Plus, burnout is a tricky ol’ thing to quantify; to neatly package up. I experienced a wide range of symptoms—both mental and physical—from crippling anxiety and chronic fatigue through to non-stop migraines, hair loss and temporary paralysis in my hands and legs.

But I’m equally aware there’s still a stigma around admitting overwhelm. In an era where being busy is worn like a badge of honour, I want people to realise that there’s more to life than #werkwerkwerk. That we’re human beings, not doings. That’s why I set up this site, and that’s the message I want to share. So, I stepped tentatively out of my comfort zone and in front of the camera.

As well as getting to share my story, it was a chance to celebrate the friendship I have with Daniela. I think our close bond really shines through in the video, and that’s probably the bit that makes me the most emotional, watching it back.

I’m really glad I took part, as the experience has confirmed a few things for me:

  • I actually quite like being in front of the camera (I’m Libran. I’m an exhibitionist). I’m learning to embrace seeing and hearing myself (in the same way I’ve had to embrace regularly checking my bank account, lol).
  • People are interested in my story. Even the hairstylist had someone close who’d been through a similar experience to me.
  • I need to embrace fear more regularly. I’ve been keeping myself in a bubble of safety by avoiding things that scare me.
  • I know my own style (HM x William Morris blouse = model’s own).
  • A Peace of Me is an important platform, and one that deserves more focus from me in 2019.

See the other inspirational stories at hellomagazine.com

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