Text "INSPIRATION" to Deborah at (310) 634-0769

DEBORAH DRIGGS

Most people don’t remember being seven, but I do. My parents were chaotic. My dad was mentally unstable, and my mom was quiet. They never hugged me, never showed me any love, and I never got anything from my parents.

But when I was seven, I realized I could put on a mask for the world. When I discovered figure skating, it was my saving grace. From the age of seven on, I knew that performing was how I would get everything I needed from the world-everything my parents couldn’t give me.

There’s no point for me to be here-nobody like me.

When I was 14, I was suicidal. All I wanted was to feel love, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. This drive to feel love from somewhere created a fire inside me. This fire raged, and I put it all into dancing. That’s when I got the opportunity to perform in Japan, which changed my life. While I was in Japan, I was asked to become a model.

I was hot! I was on fire!

At 22, I was everywhere. I was modelling, acting in commercials, and auditioning for everything-the Oprah show even booked me! Every room that I walked into, I was adored by millionaires and billionaires. I was with the wealthiest people in the world, meeting all the celebrities, and I knew that if I walked into any room where someone was looking to hire a girl like me, I’d already gotten the job.

By 26, I had already graced the cover of Playboy three times. I was in movies and commercials, modelling and in magazines. My life was one big distraction, and I was addicted to all the attention.

Behind the scenes, I was one big mess…

By the time I was 40, I had NOTHING. It was the first time that I had ever been alone. My whole life, I bounced around from relationship to relationship, and suddenly I was divorced and looking for a way to put food on the table and keep a roof over my children’s heads. The child support was minimal, and with three mouths to feed, it didn’t go far.

I tried to turn to the only things I knew how to do: acting, modeling, and waitressing. But I couldn’t find work. I thought about creating a business for myself, but I lacked confidence. So did odd jobs. I cleaned closets for a while, worked at spas, anything to make a little extra money. Eventually, I got into real estate, but just two years into my career, the 2008 downturn happened. I couldn’t sell anything. I couldn’t make any money.

I WAS DEEPLY DEPRESSED. I WAS RESENTFUL. I WAS ANGRY.

It felt like chaos was following me everywhere.

I had to ask my ex to let our kids live with him, which led to a nervous breakdown.

I was in full-blown denial.

I ended up in a rehab facility in Utah. I was on lockdown in a straight jacket and cavity searched for any drugs I might be hiding. At night, they drugged me to put me to sleep. I was in a living nightmare.

Reality set it. I had hit ROCK BOTTOM.

When I was asked why I was there, all I could think about was the overdose, the depression, losing my kids, losing my job, losing my child support. I was moved to a detox room for two weeks. I was forced into a room with drug addicts-I was forced to do classes day in and day out.

Then I got out.

I went to live with my mom in Florida. And all I could think about was how I was a victim. I was depressed, angry, resentful. I was pissed at everyone, and I mean everyone–my mom, my ex, anyone I saw–I blamed them.

My mom's dog saved my life. Daily walks around her 55 and older community forced me to interact with the locals. It took the focus off of myself and I started to be of service. I learned the stories and struggles of others and I didn't feel alone. They didn't know it, but the conversations we had actually helped bring me out of my funk. I felt like Cameron Diaz in "In Her Shoes".

So I started applying for jobs. I became a stewardess on a private boat called "Summer Love" for 3 weeks. It wasn't a glamorous job like I had thought. All I did was clean the ship day in and out. It was good honest work, and I looked 20 years older when I got off.

Then my daughter called.

In the meantime, my kids were calling, they were miserable where they were living. They needed money for school items.

I kept telling them, "I'm working on bringing you back home". It broke my heart to hear my children so unhappy and that they so desperately needed their mom.

I got a first-class ticket.

One day, out of the blue, a friend called me. She said she had my back and wanted me to go to New York City for the weekend, and she’d loan me clothes and anything else I needed while I was there.

On my first night in New York, she introduced me to a man who wanted to help me find work in New York. I’d have money upfront, a minimum of $8,000 a month, plus my alimony payments. I had 20 interviews lined up within the first week–Revlon, Hallmark, movie companies, and more. I started studying to get my life insurance license on the weekends, so I knew I would always be secure. 

Then the distractions came.

I finally got my kids! I was triumphant. Then, I started doing well at my job, and it all seemed like everything was going to work. Life insurance sales were paying the bills, and I began to feel comfortable with the mask I was showing to the world. I started shopping excessively, traveling, and dating to cover up how broken I was on the inside.

In 2017, my whole life changed. I started the journey to connect back to myself. I realized that everything I’d been doing was a way to stop myself from facing myself. I didn’t want to look beyond the mask. I tried to control everything on the outside, so I wouldn’t have to look inward. I realized that everything I valued was superficial–money, prestige, ego, validation. They weren’t fulfilling me.

I started my journey to find myself again, and I realized that I was just as much to blame as everyone else. I was part of my problem.

No more running.

I took a long look at myself and all my years of running. When I stopped to look, I realized I had an alcohol problem. It wasn’t caused by the anger or the trauma from my past. It was something I chose to do. Something I could control. I was an abuser. I would abuse anything and everything to make myself feel better.

The truth.

Diving into myself was exactly what I needed to thrive. When I stopped running and looked at myself directly in the soul, I found exactly who I was meant to be. I found happiness, deep relationships, love, confidence, control, joy, and so much more.

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