I feel compelled to write this down and share it. It’s a bit tough for me to do so, as I am hanging my soul out on the line, but I’m hoping it might also help someone else. Because someone else did the same and it helped me.
On Sept 15th, Canadian filmmaker and environmentalist Twyla Roscovich perished. She was a dedicated activist who served her greatest love – the pacific coast surrounding Vancouver Island. I came upon her work years ago and admired her beautifully crafted footage of the pacific coast that many of us, including myself, are in love with. Her beautiful narrative voice was deep and soothing, not just in tone, but in feeling. She made people feel good while educating about important environmental causes. One didn’t need to know her personally to be affected by her life or her death. I have several good friends who were close to her, I cannot imagine the pain they must be feeling.
I met Twyla in person briefly, in 2015 when I was visiting Malcolm Island. Fittingly, I was walking on a path, I have been walking on for years. We came across her and her little daughter Ruby on that path (pictured to the right). I remember her saying she needed to come out to the point more often. A mutual friend quickly introduced me to her as “orcagirl” who worked with Luna (the solitary killer whale). I remember quickly replying with my real name and that I had suffered PTSD following my experience with Luna. After the fact I felt stupid. Why on earth would I blurt something out like that to a complete stranger? I felt embarrassed and shy about it but I quickly let it go. With mutual friends and interests, we befriended one another on Facebook. There, I came to understand a bit more about her, beyond her work. And it’s that perspective that affected me on a deeper level.
An interesting synchronicity occurred. On Facebook, she offered extensive information for treating anxiety and PTSD with a technique called “tapping”. This is not something I had heard of before, and I had tried everything to end my anxiety naturally, throughout the course of my life. Long threads entailed with content, events, workshops, conversations and sessions involving Twyla. She made a huge effort to help end other peoples suffering, and clearly stated that doing so would give us the freedom to better serve our planet. I get it. I’ve been highjacked for some time due to anxiety. My physical body isn’t stable most of the time and am plagued by equilibrium disorders (after contracting a virus in 2004) and can’t work. Essentially living like a captive. The anxiety that follows behind such an experience feels like an out of control storm that never ends. It’s a rollercoaster ride I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I have wanted nothing more than to be free of this so that I can pursue my dreams further, the way she did – she was an incredible inspiration. Either way, I have pushed onwards the best I can, doing what I can in the best way possible, but it’s never felt quite enough, and i’ve never felt adequate. But when she put it out there, this information about treating anxiety, I observed with new eyes. I started to listen to the bigger message. And as we went along, in our lives, and on Facebook, cross posting this and that, perhaps I took it a bit for granted that more information might become available, or perhaps that I might attend a workshop in person someday. I have since gone back and saved every post for future reference as motivation to get on with it, which I am now doing. Life is just too damn short, even with vertigo and anxiety disorders.
I took up jewellery making as a rehabilitative therapy (aka art therapy) to strengthen my hand-eye coordination and to offset from the intensive digital work I had been doing as a freelancer and a scholar. The inspiration also came heavily from a place on Malcolm Island (where I ran into Twyla on the path), where rather magnificent things occur in nature. There, I realized my passion for making things with found objects and that when doing so, I was at peace. I am rarely OK. So the fact that anything has made me feel OK was a breakthrough. Living with anxiety has robbed my confidence. Living with vertigo has robbed my confidence. Double header, which plays off one another. I have forgotten who I am and what I am supposed to be doing.
On Facebook earlier this year, I shared my own work, as unnoticed as it might seem, where I gather some support, momentum and clues from others around me. With a crippled self esteem problem (impacts from long term vertigo and anxiety), I have been unable to accelerate in my creativity and in my life. I really didn’t know what it was going to take to move this process through. On a couple of posts where I shared my jewellery creations, Twyla commented, that my work was “beautiful” and that she “loved my work”. Now looking back, I realized that it made her feel good, and that’s all I ever wanted to do, is to make others feel good. I value her as a vibrant and successful artist who also faced anxiety and wanted to help others heal. Perhaps this is a clue for me to continue down that path, of making people feel good.
With her death, I feel a shift in myself to push harder, out of fear, into love and to believe in myself. It’s like learning to grow up all over again. She gave her life to her greatest love for the better of our planet. I must relearn to do the same, as I once did, to serve for the greater good. I need to thank her for setting this most difficult example. Thank you, Twyla for all you were and all you have done, my regret is that I didn’t get to know you better. You will be missed.
Please donate to the GoFund me campaign to help support her daughter, Ruby.
Visit her work at CoastCast
Learn about Tapping
Anxiety / PTSD & Vertigo