2022 in Review (and why you haven’t heard from me since September)


I’m never certain how to start these types of articles, and yet here it is…

2022 has been a strange and wondrous year. James and I have had a range of Sexy Travel experiences (from Parisian sex parties to luxurious clubs on the Cote d’Azur), have met some incredible people, and finally made it to our house in the hills, overlooking a stretch of the French Riviera. For many reasons, it has been an absolute dream… Which begs the question:

Where the hell have I been for the last three months?

I said for many reasons it has been a dream. For others, it has been a strange kind of nightmare. In June, I expressed my issues with pain during my period (that’s putting it mildly). That led to some medical happenings that required attention. Long story short, I fell into a multi-week depression because of medication I was taking, which made it difficult to feel excited about, let alone motivated by, anything. Thanks to James (and my stubborn will), I removed myself from that medication and spent the next month or so getting back to baseline.

I won’t go into specific details about that situation because our next QLQ (yes, I am making a full return) answers the question: is it endometriosis or not?

I promise I’ll explain everything!

What I will tell you now is that in the depth of that depression, my anxiety wreaked some kind of havoc on me, and that has been more difficult to shake. In an attempt to eliminate it, I took a break from social media (hence my abrupt disappearance on Instagram) and filled its place with connection; I connected with people, to nature, to art (I’m a collagist), to James, and to myself. This, happily, led me to some coaching gigs, which I’ve been enjoying tremendously. My clients are some of my favourite people and have made my days richer.

As a part of my “recovery” (for lack of a better term), I have recently committed to sobriety and have continued therapy (regardless of my plan to stop in January). This has been a massive and serious decision for me, as I’ve been struggling for years over my relationship with alcohol. The catalyst to this change (or more so the cherry on top of a poisonous dessert), happened during a recent trip to Italy.

James had booked this beautiful, rustic hotel room in Udine. It is a magical time of year. The streets are cool and glowing, embellished with lights and smiling faces. Every bar and restaurant serve hot wine and have outdoor heating; music fills the streets. James and I split a bottle of red wine, ate pasta and pizza, laughed, and flirted with one another, and when we returned to the hotel, the romance continued.

I fell asleep easily, as did he, and sometime around 2 in the morning I was awoken by a sharp pain in my chest. I flung myself upright, trying to breathe regularly, but couldn’t. I went to the bathroom, took some anxiety meds, chugged a glass of water, and sat back down, helpless and waiting. James woke, saw me clutching at my chest, a bit shaken. He took me in his arms then, and we breathed together until the pain subsided – his chest to my back, in unison.

It was scary, but it was a signal. Alcohol has been my anti-anxiety medication for years, and I’ve been both too blind and too ashamed to say it aloud. So I made a promise to myself: I would tell someone I trusted (other than James, of course).

I called my sister two days before Christmas and told her what happened. I was a mess. When I cried, she welcomed those tears with nothing but love and support. That conversation solidified something in me: I am stronger than my anxiety. Or, at least, I can work to be.

*

James and I spent Christmas with friends in Austria. There was white wine, red wine, champagne, and vodka. We ate a ton, swapped stories from the past year, and when it came time to cheers one another, I sipped apple juice from a flute.

After the convo with my sister, I felt courageous. I shared my history with alcohol with our friends and they too remained soft and present. They even thanked me for being so open.

For some reason, I had this idea that an admission of this kind would be climactic, dramatic, almost cinematic. As if my relationship with alcohol would receive gasps, questions, even destroy bridges. My relationship with alcohol has flown under the radar for so long, impacting no one else but me (I realize I’m lucky to be able to say this, as many people with dependency issues have it much, much harder).

From my admission came a fusion, an upleveling within the relationships. I realized my sister and our friends deserved more trust from me than I’d initially granted. Their hearts proved my fears wrong.

For this I am grateful.

2022 has been a rollercoaster, as most years are, and yet, I am entering 2023 feeling so full and optimistic about what is to come. Which is where I’ll do my final unveiling…

James and I are moving back to the United States.

He received his PR status, and we are completely shocked and thrilled (and terrified). What we started in 2019 (and ended because of the pandemic) can be revived. I cried at the news for two reasons:

  1. The USA is the land of opportunity, and we believe so much in who we are that we must give ourselves a fair shot at success.
  2. Saying goodbye to France (to Europe) feels like a breakup; I am leaving something I love, with no real certainty if I’ll ever be back to stay. For me, that thought is very painful.

But I remain grateful, as I said, because the last two years have made me stronger. I have been influenced in such a positive way by the people and spirit of this country. 2022 brought me some of the best friends of my life, the greatest experiences, personal growth, and the most fulfilling end I could have asked for…

So, I hope you can welcome me back here, to our little corner of the web, without too much resentment over my absence. I have missed you.

And I hope you have given yourself the opportunity to count your blessings of 2022 and look back on the obstacles with grace and compassion.

Until next time, friends,

You know what to do.

Quean Mo xx


P.S. What has been your biggest lesson of 2022? What has been your greatest victory? Comment below or DM me here.

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