Holiday Season Smiles

For those of you who know me personally … last holiday season was a rough one.  I faced the biggest betrayal of my life by someone I’d trusted and it cut… deep.

The details don’t matter, but this holiday season I wanted to share my story to hopefully encourage someone in a dark place this year.

Pain happens.   In the history of my life I’ve been abused in pretty much every way possible  – physical, spiritual, emotional and sexual.  I have been betrayed – deeply.  Lied to, cheated on, stolen from… you name it.  I’ve lost people and pets that meant the world to me.

But I have found … that in those dark places… when you feel so alone, so raw, so broken…. there is a way to move on.

Healing doesn’t happen overnight.  It’s a process.  And this holiday season I would encourage you… wherever you are… to hold on.   Some days you just have to remind yourself… to breathe… to eat… to live… just hang on… it will get better.

These photos are from a shoot I did a few years ago.  I called it Smile.  They were my look back at an earlier betrayal … a reminder of how I was so broken, but still trying to paint on a happy face.

This holiday season surround yourself with people who let you be you.  Figure out what you need to survive, and find it.  Spend time in nature, get professional help, take care of yourself.  And hang in there.   Because in one year… everything could be different.

My calendar popped up a reminder the other day … I guess in the “fog” last year I set it to remind myself to check in with myself.  To see if I was still here.  And I’m glad I did.  Because I am still here.  And I’m happy and peaceful.

Who knew… hope… healing … were coming.

Sending everyone peace, passion, health, laughter and love this holiday season.

Sincerely, Shanna

tears_32 sm Smile Series - Shanna Forrestall (3) Smile Series - Shanna Forrestall (2) Smile Series - Shanna Forrestall (1)




  1. John

    Thank you for the powerful words, Shanna. You can touch people in ways not comprehended and give a boost when it is needed most. I wish you the best!

  2. Maria

    I LOVE AND MISS YOU. Even though I can’t hang out with you like I used to I still carry you in my heart. You will FOREVER be my guardian ANGEL.

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