• Zoe Kennedy

Things aren’t always as perfect as they seem.

Updated: Aug 1, 2019

From a glance you may see me and think, wow I wish I was that busy and in demand, but that's just because I choose to show the world my best bits just like everyone else online. You may see my holiday photos and think that I am totally healthy, but in reality I had my lovely boyfriend helping me blow dry my hair the entire trip because I cannot currently do it myself.

When I started freelance I would look at other makeup artists availability and wonder how are they so busy?! How are they fully booked every weekend and doing 8 clients a day? I was envious and wanted that for myself. For me success was being the busiest I could possibly be and social media just worsened this mentality of striving to be a “successful makeup artist“.

Fast forward a few months and I am busier than I could ever imagine and I’m finally living my dream, however if I could go back and tell myself to be careful and not to push myself too far, then I would.

The Diagnosis

After completing my tax return I started to notice an ache in my hand and wrist and put it down to being a bit tired from lots of typing.

Little did I know that doing 10-12 clients per day on top of every other waking hour consisting of responding to messages or promoting my business on social media alongside spending hours of my time off doing my admin and doing weights in the gym would result in me getting a repetitive strain Injury that would cause me so many problems.

I kept working hard trying to save for my next step in my career and when I was nearly in tears working I finally realised something was extremely wrong.

A trip to the doctors resulted in days of feeling utterly hopeless and heartbroken after he told me “have you ever thought of being a doctor?” and “you need to consider changing your career?” For someone who is extremely passionate about the work they do this was a huge blow.

There is nothing else that I have to offer to this world than my art. To me - without being able to use my hands and my arms I am useless and this is something I still struggle with every day at the moment.

I have been diagnosed with tendonitis in both of my arms otherwise known as “tennis elbow”

I noticed when reaching out about the injury how many people had also suffered from it and overcome it which filled me with great hope for recovery despite the doctors negativity. However almost all of these people rested to get rid of it which was something that is difficult for me to do with bookings all the way up until December and people relying on me.

Pushing Through

After visiting a great physio my hopes were higher and I was going to build the strength in the area to cope with the strain and I should try and rest with my holiday coming up.

The exercises I was given were great and definitely made the pain better, but it had not gone. I continued to work crazy hours as the idea of letting so many people down after I had worked so hard to build my client base was not an option - especially with Prom season.

The Struggle

This injury still makes the smallest tasks difficult. I have to ask for help opening bottles and holding heavy items like a hairdryer, my mum has kindly helped me dry my hair for weeks now as it’s too painful for me to do. I was pleased when she bought an electric toothbrush - even that task was uncomfortable.

Carrying my kit or luggage is excruciating for me so I need help when doing mobile jobs as well as even going on holiday. I LOVE going to the gym and lifting weights but I’m not allowed to do this anymore until I'm healed. Finding a comfortable sleeping position can be difficult so my sleep is also affected.

Responding to clients is painful as using my phone and laptop hurts more than most tasks. So please bare with me at the moment as I have to get my mum to help me respond to enquiries.

The Rest

After my weeks holiday I did feel rested and they did feel a bit better but not totally. After just two days back at work I was back crying hysterically that the pain wasn't gone.

Rest really is the only cure for any repetitive strain injury and I have had to cancel 2 weeks worth of HD Brow clients (20th August - 1st September) leading up to my next holiday (1st-16th sept) in order to get a months rest where possible, I will be honouring all my makeup and bridal bookings as deposits have been taken but I will not be booking any further appointments until the 16th September when I’m back from the time off and I can reassess my health again.

I am hoping this will give my arms the recovery period they need so that I can resume again as normal, changes will be made on how many clients I do per day and when I do my admin to prevent this coming back.

All other bookings before and after the break period will not be affected and if your appointment has been effected you will have received a text message explaining, please respond to this so i know you have received it.

My Advice

My advice for anyone in this industry is never feel like you're not good enough because you're not working yourself into the ground. Put your health first and don’t push yourself mentally or physically for a job you love because eventually your body will force you to stop.

Don’t compare your journey with others as everyone’s different and everyone is facing their own struggles behind closed doors and nothing is as perfect as it may seem.

Know your limits and set your hours accordingly.

My blog's aim is to help people and I would hate for anyone to experience the pain I have because of a job they love. I hope this blog has helped people understand what I’m going through and in addition be a warning to those of you who know you are overworking yourself. Make changes before it is too late.

Thank You

A huge thank you all for your continued support and good wishes. I am overwhelmed with the messages of kindness and understanding. I feel blessed to have met all of my amazing clients and I look forward to getting back to full health.

lots of love,

Zoe x

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