My trip to Italy was by far one of the most amazing experiences I have lived and I love being able to share all of it with you, especially during tough times like these when we need a break from the crude reality and a breath of fresh air. In the midst of all of this craziness, I would like to take a short break from sharing stories of my trip to Italy and put you up to date on what I have been going through during this quarantine. Brace yourself because what you are about to read is quite a revelation and can’t be unread.

Please know that what I am about to share with you is deeply personal and has taken a lot of courage and vulnerability to speak openly. What you are about to read is not a cry for help, nor am I seeking any kind of attention or validation. As I sit here on my velvet couch writing these words I can’t help but feel confident and inspired to share my story. My intention in sharing my truth is, to be honest, and transparent hoping that my story can help and inspire others. Know that after reading this, if you ever need someone to talk to, if you ever just need to be heard, feel free to reach out to me. There’s nothing like finding confidence and trust in a person or a soulmate, especially during hard times.

So here it goes…

My life has always been about focusing on my image and being a successful professional. I have worked my ass off for years trying to build something for myself. Afraid of judgment and trying to portray the perfect life, I eventually transformed into a perfect little robot. I lived to please everyone living up to the standards of others, making decisions based on what people think of me and valuing the opinions of others over my own. I was far less than perfect. I was so lost and I was unhappy. Instead of confronting my reality and taking control, I would evade it. I escaped with a drink, or two, or I couldn’t remember… My truth is, I became a functioning alcoholic.

I am not sure when it all began or when the situation got out of hand. Had it been years, months, or weeks? I did not want to admit that I was not okay. After all, somehow I still strived to live that perfect glamorous life. Washing down my sorrows with bottles of wine with endless partying and reckless nights, was far from perfection. When I left for Milan I had the best time and somehow forgot about everything. I wanted to move to Italy and escape my reality because I did not dare to confront the truth. Even though I was overseas on business, Italy made me forget the hole I had been digging for myself. Unfortunately, as all good things come to an end, Milan had an expiration date and I had to fly back home. When I came back to face reality, I returned to a shattered lonely life. Life was shit and I hit rock bottom.

For about two years now, I was drinking daily on my own. I was somehow overcompensating for the deep sadness I was feeling. It was Gal’s 4th anniversary and right then and there I hit an all-time low. What was owned to be something worthy of celebration, turned into quite the opposite. I had to cancel an event that my team worked very hard on and had diligently put together. Unfortunately, we didn’t sell enough tickets and I was not willing to put my company at financial risk. I am glad I listened to my gut feeling at the time because only a miracle would have saved me out of that situation.

On top of that, I was only gone for 14 days but it was enough to notice a massive drop in sales. Nothing was being sold. Nothing. People feared I had Coronavirus coming back from Europe. Thankfully I didn’t and I still don’t, by the way. But that didn’t keep them from making strong and hurtful accusations. Finally, reality sunk in. Was this the end of GAL? Was I going to lose my store? I had to do something about it. So I had a huge sale hoping to get back on track.

My heart broke on March 24 when the official notice came in. I had to shut my doors. I was deeply saddened by the situation and I am not going to lie, I was terrified. What on earth would happen to me? I thought for sure I was going to lose the store. I am nothing without GAL. It is part of my identity, it is who I am. My biggest fear came to life. I always dreaded the moment of losing my company. I had already lost myself, I couldn’t bear losing my store. If you take the store away from me you might as well take my life with it. I lost control. I was miserable and I was drinking.

Out of denial, I scheduled a photo shoot. I continued to post and share on social media as if everything was ok. But In reality, I wasn’t ok. Behind the great hair, the glamour, and the so-called perfect life, was darkness, a sense of deep sadness and anger.

Three weeks had gone by and I had hit an ultimate low. I could not leave my bed and was swallowing down my sorrows with bottles of wine. I found myself to be alone and in a very dark place. I needed professional help. After fighting myself for quite sometime I decided to reach out to my life coach, Lulu Gomez. Know that this was not an easy step to take but I am very glad and thankful I found the courage to speak out and ask for guidance. She made me realize that just because I had built GAL on my own, it did not mean GAL was part of my essence. Most importantly, she made me realize I had no idea of who I was. I began to question ‘ who is Gesuina?’

I started to ask myself questions, search within me and analyze my situation. I had always been so hard on myself. Pushing myself to keep up with appearances and pleasing everyone without realizing the harm I was causing myself. It was then when I harshly realized that it wasn’t the idea of losing the store that was breaking me, but rather realizing that the store was the last bit of myself that I was holding on to. I did not realize that I had already lost myself. I had lost self-love and self respect a long time ago. I was breathing and existing, but honestly, I was not living.

I was done trying to compensate for situations that were beyond my control. It was time to take the reins and start doing things for myself. It’s time to rip off the mask and stop pretending everything is ok. This marks the beginning of a new era. This is a new Gesuina. A Gesuina free of demons determined to focus on herself.

Lulu was a great inspiration in my process, but I also want to give credit to myself in helping me overcome this process. I think it is important to note that it was my choice to take that tiny, yet hard, step to become the best version of myself and deal with my problem. I made a decision for me out of self-love.

I am committed to finding myself and learning to love myself again inside and out. I am ready to do things for me, only for me. I have always wanted to be fit and eat healthy, however, I never really had the time. Well, guess what? Now, all I have is time. I have always put the store first, but now it’s time I put Gesuina first. You know, I always wanted to learn more about specific subjects like psychology, finance, music and even become a better writer. Now, I have time to read, write, and learn new things. Running, cleaning, learning and growing. Things I never did on my own that I am finally doing!

Being in isolation during this quarantine made me realize that I had to start living life for me. It also gave me the courage to be able to share something deeply personal that hopefully inspires and motivates you. Also, always remember, you never know what battles people are fighting behind the masks they wear, therefore, always treat everyone with love and compassion Regardless of your story or situation, know that whatever your hardship is, there is always a way out. It is all about perspective. Just remember to love yourself along the way. Most likely, you will never have this much time again for yourself. Think very carefully about how you are going to spend it, and please, never take time for granted.

If your dream is to open your business use this time to put a business plan together. If your dream is to move to Paris, use this time to do research. If you want to make a million dollars in the next five years, learn how to do it! The sky’s the limit, nothing is impossible. For God’s sake, I’m mopping and cooking every day. Now, did any of you ever think that was possible? I know I didn’t. I now love myself enough to make time for the simple things that bring happiness to my life. Love yourself and push yourself for a better life. I hope I inspired someone today by sharing my truth and my story. Blessings to all and sending prayers to everyone.

See you after quarantine <3

-The new Gesuina.

- Logo purple