Grief

My story of battling illness and the experiences I took from loss.

Seeing The Light

” Let light shine out of darkness.”

Hello beautiful darlings,

I struggled with deciding whether or not I wanted to publish this post and I really wanted to share real, raw and honest moments with you. I have sat down and tried to write and word this so many times. I knew by writing this it would trigger some emotions and feelings, but that is okay. I think it’s important to embrace the positives and the negatives in life. Most people assume that influencers live a perfect, worry-free life, but instagram is just a highlight reel of our life. I mainly share ootd’s, inspirational quotes, daily singing clips and my handbag collection. That is only a minuscule highlight of my life. When I asked y’all for feedback several weeks ago, you asked me to share my story and my experience with grief. Many of my friends have been struggling recently, and I thought this was the perfect time to write this post. Life teaches us many things, but it never teaches us how to handle grief/loss when we are faced with it.

Grief.

Where do I even begin with this?

I first want to disclaim that I am in no way, shape or form a therapist or licensed medical professional. I am merely here to share my story and to hopefully be there for someone who is experiencing something similar. My job is not to be a therapist, but a light for my community. Right now, the world is all suffering from loss. Many of my friends have suffered from losing jobs, losing theatre contracts, homes, wedding cancellations, graduations, deaths of family members, births, and major life events/milestones. Seeing it first-hand is devastating, and leaves me feeling hopeless. But, we are alone- together. That is the most important thing. I have friends who have worked so hard for Broadway and lost their life dreams; because shows are closing permanently. If anyone can relate to what is currently going on it’s me. (But, we will get into that story later.)

Grief

If there is one thing I realized, it’s that every SINGLE HUMAN BEING handles grief differently. Everyone is handling the Corona outbreak differently, and that’s okay. Be yourself, be easy on yourself and do what you need to do for you. I will share why I am handling Corona in a PRAYER over PANIC way. My life has been forever changed.

LESSON 1

We are all human, we all feel things differently and that’s okay. FEEL what you’re feeling. If anything, I learned how important it is to feel your current emotions. The more you push them aside, the more they will later on re-surface and worsen. I am personally a very sensitive and emotional person. I have always been that way, but realized not everyone is like that. Some people are sharing funny memes, some are sharing bible verses, some are making tik-toks (guilty ha ha), some are ranting, some are complaining about politics, some are not leaving their beds, some are working out all day, some are making music, and some are unsure of who they are right now. I just wanted to let you know – there is no right way to GRIEVE right now.

THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO GRIEVE.

Keep repeating that darling.

My Story

Before I get into my story, please do not read, if you are triggered by anxiety or struggle with health anxiety. 🙂

In early 2018, I was auditioning and attending casting calls like a normal everyday life for Meghan Nicole. For those of you who are new here, I am a musical theatre actor. I am extremely passionate about the stage and it brings me ultimate happiness and joy to get on that stage and share what God has given me with the world. I auditioned for Beauty and The Beast (musical) at a local Equity Union theatre. This theatre in particular was one I really wanted to work at. I have been auditioning for it for years. I was determined to book this show and well, I did. It was a dream. I was understudying the role of Belle (a broadway performer who I looked up to tremendously.) It was a someone-pinch-me moment. Three weeks before I started the contract I got very ill with strep throat. After healing, I still felt so ill. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t sing like I did, and was extremely fatigued. After a few different medication treatments I was feeling more like myself and back on track. In the back of my mind, I just felt uncertain and scared that I might have to back out of my upcoming contract. With the support and love of my parents- I did it. I walked in on that first day feeling healthy and strong. I opened Beauty And The Beast at a dream theater; I worked my whole career to earn that Equity card. (But wait, the story isn’t over…buckle up.)

We finished rehearsal and opened the run of the show. I was having a blast; truly. Loved the cast and truly had a wonderful experience. Towards the last two weeks of shows, my body started to feel weak and I started to develop flu-like symptoms. In all 20 plus years of performing, I have NEVER called out of a show. EVER. I even performed with pneumonia in college lol. I had to call out of shows my entire closing week of Beauty and The Beast. The theatre and cast were so supportive and loving. In that moment, I knew wow- something definitely is going on with my body. That’s when my journey began. I was ultimately heartbroken to lose the job I had worked so hard for. One of the toughest weeks for sure. I was disappointed in myself and my body. The support from loved ones is what got me through.

LESSON 2

Stand together. Be there for each other. Be kind to each other and to YOURSELF. It’s okay to not be okay. Those who truly love and care about you will not pressure you to feel strong or to feel sad. They will accept and love you for how you are feeling in that particular moment.

I get the question often on how to be there for someone who is dealing with loss (in quarantine.) Be a shoulder to lean on (virtually.) FaceTime them, call them, play an online game with them and just be there to listen. The friends who stood by my side during my loss are my best friends. Those who didn’t are vaguely in my life now. It’s times like these that you realize who truly deserves to be in your life.

Okay, back to my story. I had huge auditions scheduled the upcoming weeks, through my agency. I was finally being considered for huge broadway tours and opportunities I dreamt of. Unfortunately, I had to take care of my health and put all of that on hold. Imagine getting an appointment for broadway and literally saying- SORRY have to put my career on hold. I started the journey of going to multiple doctors, I was getting 20 tubes of blood taken per visit. I was jumping from hospital to hospital; I was uncertain and scared. My anxiety was crippling and I honestly didn’t know what would happen to me. What was this? Why didn’t they know what was causing my symptoms? Why was my ANA tripled what the average person should be. Why was my body just not fighting this? My parents held my hand tightly through everything. They did not leave my side. It took months and months to get a diagnosis. After seeing my cardiologist as a last resort; he suggested submitting to Mayo Clinic. After getting denied, my parents flew me out to Cleveland Clinic Hospital, it was at that moment we almost gave up. With teary-filled eyes the three of us stood together and walked in the doors together. New York doctors would tell me it was anxiety, that I was fine, but I knew my body. I was this bright, bubbly singing girl. I couldn’t walk or talk without being out of breath. I couldn’t live my normal life anymore. We finally found a doctor who didn’t give up. A year ago today, I was diagnosed with a rare case of Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (past case) and mycoplasma pneumonai. Only the Lyme was active at the time, but I must have suffered from those co-infections before Beauty. It’s crazy to think that I performed and really showed me the strength I have. Although, I am a strong woman the Lyme caused me a great deal of health anxiety. That is something I suffer with today. This relates to Corona where people feel a tiny cough and allergy symptoms and think they have Corona. I can relate and understand what you are going through. This is something I am still healing from and working on. Thank the LORD I did not give up. Through multiple treatments and medications we began treatments. The treatments were probably the worse part of my whole experience, but I am thankful for the doctors who did not give up.

LESSON 3

It’s okay if your journey changes because of grief.

It’s okay to allow yourself to change; whether that is for the good or not. Allow the change. Except it and move on from it. Although my loss may look differently from someone else’s- that’s okay. It’s still loss.

At this point, I had to explain to my agency that I needed to take the rest of the year off to get well. It was months of being “quarantined” as we are now with the Corona outbreak. Except, I couldn’t go outside, I couldn’t be in the sun or I would get a severe rash from my Lyme meds. I had to watch family events, family parties during the summer and moments from inside- through the kitchen window. I felt like the world was spinning and that my life was just passing me by. I had to turn down jobs, contracts, offers, collaborations, and major life events. I missed weddings, family birthday parties and more. I know that is how we all feel right now and I wish I could have taken my own advice now- back then. This is why I am sharing my story in hopes that it can be a testimony for someone who can’t find the light and is stuck in darkness. I watched my entire theatre career diminish, I lost relationships – family and romantically. I lost everything that was important to me because of my battle with Lyme. I was grieving losing everything I loved. I still do at times. It will just hit me sometimes. I know so many of my friends are grieving losing their jobs, friends and although it may be temporary it may not be. What we can do now- is find the positivity and light. I wished that I had saw that my blog was blossoming then and that something good was coming from my journey with Lyme. Although, I was losing- I was gaining something more beautiful.

We can go back to the basics and appreciate the little things. I feel that, this is why I have not complained or struggled with this current quarantine. I appreciate being able to breathe, to eat, to go outside, to be with my family. Some people are not as lucky. Count your blessings instead of your problems. You know? My worries are not being bored. I feel inspired, challenged, fearful, but also ready to see what God has in store. Everyone is different and that is also okay.

Lesson 4

Turning darkness into light.

Easier said than done. Believe me, I just felt this dark cloud over me all through out my journey with Lyme. I wasn’t myself. I lost who I was.

Losing something and someone is very different. I lost my grandmother when I was a junior in high school. Grieving over something and someone can also look the same. After losing my grandmother, I wrote my college essay about performing my dance piece about her. I used poetry and described dancing in her rocking chair. The piece meant a lot to me. I used her love and light in my life. I took her beautiful spirit and it was with me in everything I did. Every song I would sing, I would sing thinking of her laugh. Every breath I took, was for her because she couldn’t. Ultimately, we can definitely find the light through the stages of grieving. It may look different on everyone, but we can find it eventually. The people and things we love(d) can still be in our lives- it may just look differently.

After losing my career, jobs and everything I worked for. I turned to blogging. As I was enduring Lyme treatments, my mom and dad would quite literally encourage me in any way they could. I was very fortunate to have that support. I understand not most parents are as loving; counting my blessings. My mom would literally hold me up to get the instagram picture. I would lay in the back of my mom’s car between outfit changes because of how ill I felt. It was the most challenging thing I have ever endured in my life. Once I overcame and started to enter remission for Lyme, I was able to see and appreciate the small things. Such as, getting ready in the morning, eating, being able to take a picture of something outside, walk on the beach.

Grief changes us. It shapes and molds our hearts. We become more compassionate. We become stronger. We appreciate all that life has to offer. The truth is, loss has changed me. Sometimes, loss has a negative undertone and I don’t feel that I have changed in a negative way. In fact, I have become stronger and just know I am not the same as before. What I experienced will always be a part of me; and I like that. It adds an extra layer to who you are.

I pray for anyone who is suffering from loss. I know how scary the world is right now. The uncertainty is crippling, the news is heart-wrenching and leaving us fearful. To those who feel lost; you will be found. To those who are sick, I take my next breath for you. To those who cannot afford your next meal- please message me. Let’s come together. Let’s grieve together, but in our own unique way. Not only did I write this post for myself, but for you all as well. I decided to publish this today because maybe there is someone who really needs this right now, whether you are going over your own mountain or watching someone else; you are not alone. LIGHT OVERCOMES DARKNESS.

Testimony:

After finishing Lyme treatments, I pursued my career in fashion blogging full time. I launched my very own boutique in the middle of my treatments and pursued what God was calling for me. Grief and loss changed my journey. I booked blog collaboration trips and modeling gigs I dreamt of. I signed with one of the top agencies this year for influencing and blogging. I booked a cruise with REVOLVE (one of the top brands in the world.) Dreams were happening; they are still happening. Sometimes we have to allow loss to happen, so God can make room for beautiful and better things.

Stay strong. Stay united and remember, it’s okay to not be okay. I hope my story brings light and reminds you that there is a light at the end of every tunnel. It may not be easy to get there, but we eventually do.

Thank you for listening to my story. I pray for you.

My love always,

M

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5 Things I learned in 2019

Hello Darling,

Happy 2020 darlings. It’s hard to believe that it is already the New Year. I have been reflecting recently, on this past year. Putting everything aside, I have learned a lot this year. I am excited to see what 2020 brings me. Being sick most of 2019, was very difficult and taught me more lessons than I’ve ever learned. I’m grateful for the ones who stayed in my life and those who didn’t. Words that stand out to me from 2019 were, fear, strength, hope, courage, faith, trust and disappointment. Words that I am putting out there for 2020 are, fun, positivity, trust, patience, dreams, compassion, understanding, and self- acceptance.

I pray that 2020 brings you health, happiness, love and lots of fun!

If I learned anything, it was that YOU are in charge of your own happiness. No amount of clothing, money, materialistic things, Gucci belts, concerts, NYFW, or relationships will bring you that happiness. It’s so important to remember that and fuel yourself with the things that bring you the most joy.

GIRL you are STRONGER than you even know. Trust me when I say this. Unfortunately, it took me too long to realize it. As most of you know, I battled a very bad case of Lyme disease. Over time, I found that my strength didn’t come from a person, a thing or a medication; it came from within. I just needed the courage to believe it. Now don’t get me wrong, all of those things are amazing and helpful to help you during tough times. Remember, you are stronger than you know!

I think this one speaks for itself. I am the type of woman who loves to give, give and give. I sometimes forget to love myself first.

EXACTLY this! This goes for friends, significant others and even relatives. It’s so hard to stop caring, but worth it for your heart in the end.

Oh man darlings, this one hits so hard. Let’s be honest, things tend to look PERFECT in our imagination and on paper. It is so important to trust the timing of your life. Whether you lay your faith in the lord or the universe. You can NOT force the timing of your life.

Let’s make 2020 the best year of our lives. We will look back and realize we grew even more.

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A special darling message this Christmas

Hello Darling,

I want to start off this post by saying, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and New Year to all! We have been so wrapped up in shopping for gifts, who has the prettiest tree/decorations and living room garland; that we tend to forget the REAL meaning of Christmas. I wanted to share some scripture with you, that means a lot to me this Holiday season. I hope I can encourage at least one of you to find joy in the dark moments of our life. This is a real, raw and vulnerable post for me, so thank you for allowing me to be 100% Meghan. In the comments, leave a comment as to something you would like me to life up in prayer for you.

Even though it may not seem like it on my feed, and I haven’t shared too too much on my struggles- I endured a lot of hardship this past year. I struggled more than ever in my life. I hit rock bottom and lost who I was. I lost the bubbly, fun, loving and sweet woman I once was. It is important to me that I inspire at least one person with my story. I battled Lyme disease back in March of 2019 and unfortunately dealt with a lot of loss over the year. Friendships, jobs, relationships, and goals suddenly slipped away. I am not looking for sympathy, but rather to inspire those in need of faith/hope this Holiday season.

As I am sitting here, reflecting on this past year and it feels like such a blur to me. The best metaphor I can use to describe my past year is this: Last week I suffered from a minor eye scratch/infection and have been wearing my glasses for a week now. I struggle because the glasses are my old prescription. As I would drive, I noticed I had to squint and signs were SO blurry to me. Once I was able to put in my contacts again; it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I could suddenly see again. It didn’t seem as blurry anymore and everything began to read clearer again. I know this is a cheesy metaphor, but it felt like I was looking through blurry glasses over the last year. Unfortunately, I suffered from illness majority of the year and missed out on opportunities, jobs, family functions, and many more important life moments. BUT, I also found that I was able to accomplish some major goals for my business and made beautiful memories. I hit goals I DREAMT of reaching for the blog. I am SO BLESSED. To be honest, those accomplishments mean that much more to me because I reached them while being very ill.

In 2019, God really put in a very uncomfortable place in my life. But, I have a beautiful home and so much love. I am still thankful for this difficult season and what I went through. It has opened my eyes to life and I am FINALLY starting to feel alive again. I still have bad days and I don’t feel amazing, but I LIVE and LOVE life as much as I can. If you are struggling and are battling chronic illness, I wanted to let you know that you can do anything your heart wants. I reached TREMENDOUS milestones, from doctors offices, hospital beds and visits. I never gave up and that’s what means the most to me. I did not allow the illness to win. This year I have relied heavily on my faith and my family/ loved ones to carry me through. If you do not have a family or friends; count me as one.

I have grown closer to the lord and I wanted to share more of my faith with you darlings. I’m grateful for every single one of you here and pray for you all. 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I don’t know who needs to hear this this Christmas, but there is hope. Have faith that god is guiding you to your final destination. If you are hurting, if you are ill, if you are heartbroken, If you suffer from mental illness, fear the future, feel alone and lost- please know you are not alone. You are never alone. I am sharing some of my favorite verses of hope in the second picture.  I hope you have a blessed Holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, who you celebrate with and where you are. Just know I pray peace and health on every single one of you.

Merry Christmas from our darling home to yours <3

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UPDATED⋆⋆⋆Living Room+ Office Reveal

Hello Darling,

WOW! Major decor update alert here at #yourdarlinghome . I have officially been moved in for two months. I can hardly believe that two months have gone by already. I am LOVING the opportunity to share with you our updated home decor living room + home office. I have been working so hard to get everything set and finished. It took me FOREVER to find the perfect living room couch pillows. No joke- it took me a month to find the right ones. I will link everything below for ya’ll. As always, you can always shop everything you see- in the liketoknow.it app or click the shop tab in the menu up top! Thanks for tuning in and I hope ya’ll love our completed living room. It’s been so much fun decorating. I can’t wait to see it decorated for the Holidays.

My little home office all finished! I am LOVING how it turned out!

It has officially been one week since I moved in to my new home! I am so excited to share with you the details, of our living room thus far. As we add more things, I will share them on the blog. For now, this is what I have completed. I LOVE my bright and open space that is so cozy and a place we can call home. So excited for my new beginning here in the darling home. I will be adding new things to the blog weekly. I look forward to decorating and adding the final touches to our home. It has been a dream of mine to create a space like this and design everything the way I wanted it to be. I feel so grateful and blessed for what God has given me. We need something for over the couch. Any suggestions? Everything is linked and I look forward to you following along.

Home Sweet Home Darling….

I wanted to keep the living room neutral with pops of grey and beige. It was so much to see our living room transform into this neutral-toned space. The coffee table is VERY affordable and $100. It is the perfect rustic grey with a darker grey tabletop. The flower arrangements were made by moi. It honestly was a random after-thought. The table needed something to make the room pop and I had trouble finding an arrangement I wanted. I knew the exact colors I wanted and decided to take it into my own hands and make my own. Tutorial on that, will be coming shortly. It took me about ten minutes to make. The couch is the perfect size for us and the neutral tones were perfect for our aesthetic. Would you believe me if I told you the couch was under $600? The pillows came with the couch, except for the HOME pillow. I can’t link that, but found it in HOMESENSE. The tray and tic-tac toe board made the perfect accents for the table. Clearly, I love anything rustic! The wall clock was one of the FIRST decor items I picked up from TJMAXX. I am unable to find it online, but linked a similar one here. The blanket ladder was a perfect idea for us to store our cozy pom blankets. Mr. Darling has the sectional side of the couch, so clearly I needed something for my feet. I fell in LOVE with this pouf. Last but not least, is the rug. I knew EXACTLY the rug I wanted for my home. It fit perfectly and we are loving the pop of grey.

Tic-tac toe anyone?

I loved making my own floral arrangement. A tutorial will be coming soon.

View of the living room when walking in the front door.

Coffee Table// Chanel Book// Basket// Similar Clock// Blanket// Tray (in neutral)

When life gives you lemons, put them in a rustic cart….LOL

Okay y’all know that I needed this cart. How stinkin’ cute is it? We are not entirely sure what we will put in it yet, but so far we LOVE the character it adds to our kitchen/living room hall.

Farm Fresh Cart// Fake Lemons// Wall Decor

Thank y’all so much for your well wishes and sweet comments. Be sure to follow my home hashtags #yourdarlinghome !

xo,

M

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LIFE UPDATE: Where I’ve been, My launched Line & What’s Next?


Hello Darling,

 

     This post is going to be very real, emotional and honest. I have endured some of the hardest months of my entire life, but also have had some of the BEST. I launched my own brand, I am currently working with brands I LOVE and working in a career that I ABSOLUTELY love. I also have been extremely unhealthy, emotional and visited more doctors with names I cannot even remember. I have not been on an audition or sung since Christmas. There have been so many amazing highlights, but also living with so many unknowns, fears and struggles. On social media we only see a small percentage of someone’s life. We rarely get the opportunity to see the WHOLE picture. I am not here to ask for pity, but rather here to inspire, share light and positivity; that even in the darkest of days we can achieve great things. 

Where I’ve Been?

    I have received more DMs than I thought, asking where Ive been? Why I am not in NYC everyday? Why they don’t see me performing or auditioning anymore? Unfortunately due to the circumstances of my health, it was very important that I took a break to focus on healing, getting well so that I may continue to perform.  I need to get to the root of what has been causing my illnesses and what I need to do to feel 100% myself again. There have been so many disappointments and frustrating days where I wanted to give up. Days I felt that I wasn’t enough, that I couldn’t do my try-on hauls. But, You know what? That is a SILLY way to think. I decided to re-center myself, stop focussing on the what-ifs and live in the present. I decided to fully let go and give my life to god. To allow God to guide me, hold my hand and lead me where I belong.  Once I realized that, I was able to find happiness and joys in the small things. I started to have faith and I started to find ways to cope with my illness. I also realized that God has me exactly where I need to be. If I was not home sick and I was away traveling doing a show; who knows if I would have had the time to start my line? For that, I am grateful.
      There are many things that have been helping me to cope with my struggles such as Himalayan Salt Caves, cryotherapy, Reiki, board games and puzzles (lot’s of them), CBD oil (huge advocate of this), Vitamin D and B12, my family, Taylor, friends, my blog, my line, and most importantly Jesus. I recently joined a new church (Genesis LI) and I LOVE it. I feel at home, I have found a community that supports me, is there for me and has welcomed me with open arms. These things worked for me and they are not for everyone. I can only hope that if you are struggling you can find things that help you cope with whatever you are dealing with.

 

My Line

     Wow….that is all I can say. I woke up one day from a dream of my Grandma speaking to me. She said, “Floral and scrunchies” in the dream. I remember calling my mom screaming, “Scrunchies! That’s what I am going to do! Scrunchies!”  I felt that it was a sign from above and what I needed to do. I was so sick and pushed myself to make it happen. I stayed up for days designing, creating, contacting the right people to help me make my vision come to life. Last week, I achieved one of my lifelong goals and dreams. With the major help of my mom, Taylor, Melissa and Ciara; this was possible. It happened! I launched SHOPYDS ! We sold out of a pattern in just 7 hours. It was so cool and it made me feel so grateful and blessed for the opportunity. God has opened a door I PRAYED for. It was exactly what I needed in my life. And he knew that.

 

Where am I going?

         I am continuing on the path of healing, attending doctor visits, creating, blogging, working and most importantly living. It truly is SO important to think mind over body. The more I tell myself I can, I actually can. It may not be easy, and it may be SO hard, but in the end I will look back and be stronger because of what I went through. This has all made me so appreciative of even the small things. I will NEVER take anything for granted and I want to live life not in fear, but in gratitude, excitement and adventure. I hope this inspires you to continue on your path and to not give up. I know I will be back up on that stage singing, sharing my light and dancing until I drop. Until then, I will continue to live.

 

 

xo,

M

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