Lisa Quental - Orange County Be Seen Portrait Experience

Lisa's addiction crept up on her slowly until she felt she couldn't go without alcohol. Realizing something needed to change she started attending meetings and got sober, but still felt she couldn't burden her family with her struggle. It wasn't until she was willing to put herself first that she was able to completely change her life and get healthy in both mind and body.

Originally studying to be an architect in the 80s, Lisa Quental met her future husband and changed course to work for him. He was designing and building houses and she began designing and working on the construction side of things. Lisa is now a real estate agent. She loves the people part of it and the way it keeps her engaged. Real estate allows her a lot of flexibility. She likes to make connections and stay in service to her clients. She and her husband were together for 35 years. She has a daughter, son, and two grandchildren–a boy and a girl. Her grandkids bring out the softer side of her.

When Lisa and I consulted together about her Be Seen session she had two different vision boards. Each represented what was going on in her life at the time. Style wise there was a little bit of everything. She was embarking on a new journey and felt as though she had a “split personality” and was becoming someone different.

Lisa had a long term addiction to alcohol. She got married and had kids and the business, and didn’t cross the line for awhile. Every once in a while she wasn’t able to stop drinking. These episodes started to become more frequent. At some point she realized she wasn’t able to go without. In her late 40s she took a suggestion to go to a meeting and has now been sober for over ten years. Her relationship with her husband was changing, and untangling could not be done without sobriety. Eventually Lisa realized she and her husband were still codependent; her therapist helped her to separate herself from him. She had done everything she could to save their marriage and wanted to embrace her vulnerability and get back to a healthy relationship with herself.

In the beginning, getting sober was a personal journey for Lisa. She didn’t want it to affect anyone else. It took a lot just to ask her husband not to have alcohol in the house. Even her own family didn’t really know how bad it was. She managed to stay sober with one foot in the program, but once she went all in it did start to affect her kids because of the time involved. Lisa was worried her daughter would abandon her if she didn’t spend time with her. However since she has set boundaries her daughter respects her even more.

As a child Lisa competed on her pony. The relationship between horse and rider is freedom and independence, and as she channeled that in her adult life Lisa became confident in being able to do what she needed to do to have a better life.

I was touched by Lisa's vulnerability in sharing her story and opening herself up, allowing me to photograph her in a way that brought out her inner strength.


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