A life update from yours truly, Cassie Holmes

Hello friends! It’s been quite a while. I guess I should give you all an update. I could sugarcoat things and say that I’ve spent time away to focus on real life and that it’s all been wonderful. But that would be a lie. The truth is I’ve been struggling.

2018 was the year things really began to take a turn for the worst. There was the volcanic eruption in Puna where many of my favorite childhood places disappeared under a thick layer of molten lava. Then I had a traumatizing personal experience, followed by the loss of my grandmother, brother, and friend all in a matter of three weeks from different incidences. This was also the beginning of my entire family deciding to move to the mainland leaving me as the last sole survivor on the island. And on top of all that, I was struggling with chronic pain from a head injury. It was a lot.

I found myself stuck in a constant state of dread for the next catastrophic event. The fear of losing a loved one was always in the back of my mind. I slowly began to isolate myself from the rest of the world and I wanted nothing more than to disappear. I was not okay.

I’m happy to report that I’m beginning to do better. There were many factors that helped lure me out from underneath the rock from which I hid. There were friends that never gave up on me. They would tirelessly send kind messages and silly pictures. My sister who moved to the mainland made sure we had weekly meetings to discuss our book club. I’ll never forget the time I got to spend with my parents who took me book shopping and drove me cross country to see places like the Smoky Mountains. And then there’s my husband. The sweet, amazing love of my life who is a constant beacon of light. I am so grateful to have an amazing support team.

Depression, anxiety, chronic pain and so many other ailments can be debilitating. It’s easy to want to give up. And it’s difficult to get back on your feet, brush off all the dust, and move forward with your life when you’ve been knocked down.

I am currently in the process of picking up all the broken pieces and trying to find a way to put them back together. I know they’ll never fit the way they used to, but I’m going to do my best to take all the mismatched parts and create a beautiful mosaic out of what was once a mess.

I know the past few years have been difficult for many people. I don’t have all the answers, but if you’re going through a difficult time, I now know it’s better to be vulnerable and ask for help instead of hiding all the feelings away. The ability to face your fears and let go of your pride is a sign of true strength.  Don’t be afraid to speak up.