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My Brain Soliloquy

5 Apr

People talk a lot about Depression. They talk about Anxiety.This excites the hell outta me, because these things SHOULD be talked about. They are major issues for a major part of our society, and are absolutely not to be taken lightly.

…And we’ve seen the unfortunate affects of trying to ignore them.

…Something I additionally deal with (because my brain is just this uber sauce of awesome) is not as frequently discussed, and as a sister-cousin of Anxiety, can live and procreate and feed and feed and feed for days, weeks, months…sometimes even years…with no formal medical go-to coping mechanism.

There is no pill you can throw at it to reset the chemistry of your mind.

…So far, the only help you can offer to ease it is therapy to try and coach the brain alternatively. Which, for me, has worked exactly as effectively as tell me to calm down during an Anxiety attack–in that it helps zero-much.

Zero-much.

Hyperchondria kinda gets the bumb-wrap of Schizophrenia in how the world relates to its victims. What I mean by that is: they fold it into comedies on film to make a character more “interesting” or “dark” or “off” or “quirky” or just “disturbed” in general.

What I can tell you about actually HAVING it, is: there is not a single, solitary thing that is funny about it.

…I can make fun of my Anxiety (eventually) in nearly every circumstance, after it is over. That is how I regain my power back from what it has taken. It is how I “win.”

…I had been diagnosed since early childhood with Hyperchondria…and what I can tell you about it, is that never once have I “won” even a slight piece of ground, from it. The way that it has manifested in me is so deep, and from so young, for reasons which even the shrink couldn’t conjur up…and it is (and apparently always has been, and WILL be) a constant.

…And when I say “constant,” I mean: I am deathly afraid of at least one thing, if not also another, at all times. I can have fleeting moments without…sometimes even a few days…but I’ve never made it a week. I’ve never seen an illness of another and not mentally had to go to war with myself about it. To the worst case scenario. Every single time.

… I never have an itch or ache or bump that I don’t lose sleep over. 

…Literally: lose sleep over.

…And it is always a blooming congregation of thoughts, which bloom horribly. Death is not the “fear” here…it’s the prolonged torture of horrendously, slowly, long-term eventually dieing.

This disease (often coupled with Anxiety for obvious reasons) makes this horrible little forever nesting environment in my brain, where it can feed and fester…and does. And because it has been so constant, I have been able across the years to build up a bit of a functioning tolerance to it. 

…The brain will fight. It will fight hard for you. Which is pretty cool. When it isn’t tearing you apart.

…But sometimes I get into pockets where it begins to overtake me wholly. Much like hitting the ceiling in Anxiety, when I need to ultimately fold and take the damn Xanax.

…Only, as I said before…there IS no “Xanax,” or other chemical brother, that exists, which can help.

Which means…when I hit this supremely arresting level of legitimate terror –say, I’ve been in for a good while now, directly after I finished my last bout with Anxiety…it’s like no-sleep, sweaty-shakes, zombie-esc central.

…And that is always fun while performing a show, rehearsing another, and holding down a full time work week.

So: I battle. I keep losing. I’m terrified damn near every minute about at least three things that currently come to mind, and am even physically manifesting my terrors bodily as the ultimate thing that takes a Hypercondriac out of commission in any joy or normal life department.

And though talking about it, has never helped me. And laughing about it, is never a possibility. I guess I’m putting it here in print for those who suffer from it too.

The terror is real. I get it. I understand you. I know it doesn’t help you even a little bit to know that. But: now you do.

I know.

And: I’m really fucking tired of knowing it.

~D

Carrie Nailed That Shit

1 Mar

“If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”
-Fisher

According to Ms. Fisher: my life has been piss-your-pants hi-fucking-larious, for the whole of February. A lot of things were terrible, a lot of things maybe not-so-much, but still super uncomfortable. And a shit ton of changes from all of it, has whooped my ass so hard that by Sunday — still very much not yet done with my ass-kicking– I woke up and puked my guts out for no apparent reason, save emotional overload. 

…I know this, as I had no rhyme or reason for said puking. And for the first time in my life, I actually felt better after doing it.  Enough directly after, to undergo a four-hour callback, in fact.

Just this month alone there have been three family illness (two of which were hospitalized, one a beginning cancer treatment), Mom got downsized (along with 40 other people in the administration) at work, Harriet started making even stranger noises and neglecting to work above 40mph, I found an over $8,000 fraud charge on my credit report, and this weekend took the absolute cake with over four hours in new car haggling, insurance shopping and fighting, dead cell phone repurchase needs, and last night…the last of this fucked-up past 28 days: a rent raise notice spiking me $60 more per month.

What-the-actual-fuck you guys?!

New car payments. New insurance payments. New phone payments. New house payments. And what’s even happening with my credit?

…I need to win the goddamn lotto just to financially survive at this point. 

…I literally haven’t had time to even look at my taxes yet, so who the hell even knows what might come from that mess…as I am swimming in place the hardest I can, hoping to stay solvent afloat until…I dunno when.

When will it be safe?! I can’t even freaking tell!!

My little blips of oxygen come in the form of:

*Little-Man Cuz, is back home again

* Aunt L is killin’ it at Chemo

* Ma’s severance and unemployment somehow actually cover her bills for a few months, as she looks for what’s next

* I have a dependable car to get to work and rehearsal 

* I have a cellphone that can accept a charge.

* I said “No,” and held my ground, for hours and hours without a damn twitch, in that dealership and with my insurance

* I’m in a show with the capacity to throw all my angst channeling

* I might just get into that other one, so I could continue doing likewise, double-time, come April

* I’ve got the kind of family/friends you can bottom-out bitch to, who say things like, ” Here’s some bucks, I’ve got a weird feeling you’ll need it,” “Yeaaah. That’s fucked up. Lemme buy you a drink and we’ll go on a walk-and-talk…,” “I’m praying stuff stops sucking!” “Let’s art tonight, until 4 am!” and “No one won the Mega Millions yet. I got us a ticket. Start planning now…”

…Cuz, really? I still don’t know how I’m even cognizant right now. 

Thanks for being my team. Wish I was more worthy of my Badass Conspiracy Co.
I’m working on it. But the dues might kill me.

-D

While We’re Cheating, Know: I Miss You

8 Feb

Cecil and The Theatre Husband, are rehearsing “Gypsy, ” just down the street. They open two weeks before I do (45 minutes, just South.) 

…Together: they are teamed up as Louise and Herbie…in the strange only-theatre-way that one can, directly after playing man and wife, (with me, as their  oversexed –or under, depending on how you look at it– neighbor),  in “The Underpants. ”

It kills me, that I’m not there, partaking of their awesomeness and swimming in the absolute ease and delight that it is to work with them.

…But I’m also kind of super exhausted from our first first act work/run-thru, on my only third day of blocking into “Bountiful,” with like an 80% new-people-to-me team. 

…And: we kick total ass.

For custody battles, we’re splitting other former loves-of-the-past. I get my “Arcadian” arch nemisis, and fellow-actor-turned-Director…they get my “Black Coffee,” Ingenu. 

…It’s like an acting key-party of people swapping, and we’re all getting really good sex, but it’s still kinda like: “…But, I like how you just know to do that one thing. ” and,  “I’m jealous of this,” and,  “I sincerely cannot wait for you all to kick ass but: I’m a little pissed I can’t be part of it too.”

…So it goes…with greedy, creative, bastards, like us.

It’s not about “greener pastures.” It’s about “having any fun at all without me.” 

…And it’s also the pride in one another. And the fact that our shows are staggered so we will all get the chance (ultimately) to bask in the creative, ridiculously talented glow of one another.*

(*We’re super humble, too…) 

 …But meanwhile: it makes, “How was rehearsal tonight? ” a kind of super-loaded question. 

…The kind where you’re like, “Good sex. Different. Learned a lot. Miss that ‘thing’ you do. ”

…And the other guy goes:

 “Yeah. Me too. ”

~D

Win-Losses & Trannies

4 Feb

I am pacing every room I inhabit with a bright yellow script -highlighted all to hell- as my companion. 

The script is fast becoming mutilated. They always do.

…I fuck up a line, cuz I forget which tense she’s in now, or which version of name-dropping she’s on, or where the hell that one line even comes from -which is why I keep forgetting it. So: I let a string of expletives burst out from self-frustration, and start again. 

…I’ve been doing this for hours, every day. Since Monday. 

…And I am very, very happy. 

This is the kind of thing that makes theatre people look like freaks. I know that. As much as I know that fighting with that yellow script over words, is an awesomely frustrating and gratifying kind of brain-foreplay right now. And my escape. 

I used to hate this part: getting off-book. I’ve decided that I don’t now…and maybe never really did. I wanted the words right away so I could get to work. Only, that was part of the work. The agonizing over every word choice and its place,  just as much as the playwright once did…this is where the relationship work starts

…Why can’t she stick to a goddamn topic even within any three sentences in any one monologue?!  She’s like a bee,  flitting from flower to flower without any structure whatsoever. And then all of a sudden: she’ll bounce back to that one flower over there again, or that one over there, with no transition of thought, and no complete communication on any story she starts, at any time. 

…My God, she is frustrating to track. 

…And that’s gotta be exhausting as hell to live like,  you would think. Always amped up about something, always chattering away about another, always splitting focus as many ways as possible, so she ultimately doesn’t say much of anything, until all at once: she explodes for what seems like a totally superficial reason. 

…Trying to track and learn her words, I feel more empathy for her fellow characters than herself. 

…Sitting down to book-work of WHY she is like this –in between line sessions — I’ve become her insider-champion. 

…In between: I’ve got a lot of damn work to do. Which is fucking amazingly lucky. And so this weekend, I will continue to pace and recite and yell at myself and her and Horton Foote, as the bastards we all are for putting me in this situation. 

…But in all the good ways. 

…Which is the only solace I’ve got at the moment with a fucked-up car transmission and no money to pay for it. 

I work ten minutes from home. I can borrow a car for rehearsal commutes. Mine hasn’t totally blown up. As yet. But it will. There’s nothing I can do about that. Which helps me mentally: not at all. 

…My brain this past week has been pulled from here to there, with worries,  frustrations, anger, hyperventilations and total fears …absolutely just as erratically as Jessie Mae in this script has. 

So: from where I sit now, here’s two things I know–

1. If I keep myself busy enough to not think about it as much as I can, maybe I can delay the inevitable from sucking the absolute life out of me, in the mean time. 

2. Horton Foote might be a fucking genius. 

~D

Honest Fight

19 Jan

There should be a way to fight this, “dirty. ”

…There should be a mental equivalent of brass-knuckle-packin’ fisticuffs you can haul out…and hair you can pull. You ought to be able to scratch it’s mutherfucking eyes out, bare-handed. You should be able to draw and see blood, to leave a wound with a scar that you can visualize later at other shitty times,  so you can point at it and say: “See?!  Kicked your ass that time, so I can damn-well do it again! ”

…If there was a way to fight this shit, dirty. I’d have long since done it by now. 

 …It can’t possibly be more taxing on my body than the only way I have to fight it: which is this absolutely exhausting step-by-step process…which besides the drudgery of “sameness, ” costs more and more frustration and stress with less and less yield. Because my brain is not playing fair. 

…So, IT can fight dirty as hell…and I’m stuck with throwing walks and meditation at it, feeling like some chumped up asshole whose just letting the inmates run the asylum from plays of sheer overpowering insistence. 

I don’t like losing. I don’t like being tied and strapped up in a helpless configuration of a straight jacket that my brain from time to time gets thrown into. I am in one right now…truth-told: I have been for a while. I am exhausted from fighting it. I keep waiting to find the combo out, and can’t. I’m doing all the “right” things,  fighting cleanly by all the “right” rules. 

…And it all means dick. 

It is beating the shit out of me. 

…And I have no choice…none whatsoever…but to let it. 

And it makes me mutherfucking FURIOUS. 

I am exhausted. I can’t work any harder than I am. I can’t screw a pretend smile and positive outlook on my face any more hours a day than this. I am losing my sense of personal strength as I try to temper my temper…my ONLY available asset I feel confidence in. I want to let the Hulk out and do a shit ton of damage…to show my brain that my will and fight IS stronger than “it.”

…And while that would feel absolutely AMAZING for a while: liberating and ass-kicking and power -infusing…I know that you cannot strong-arm this shit to “win. ” It is a lie that makes you feel good for a time..but it ends up costing so much more in the end. 

Like: your sanity. In full. 

…My rage right now is so great, that to unleash and feed it would be to throw a fifth of whiskey down it’s throat, tear off all it’s clothes, and go on a wild ride of nights full of random, wild, fuck-you, abandon. 

…Which is all fun and games and liberation. Until you wake up alone, in some other person’s bed you don’t know, and can’t remember what the hell even happened. 

My rage at my mental illness is exactly like an alcoholic blackout binge. 

…How else am I supposed to fight it? How else do I feel like I have any power at all?  When every “good for me” weapon is so supposedly “peaceful” and “enlightening ” and so very often feels totally and completely ill equipped for the monster fight it wakes up to…every day now for quite some time. 

I am tired of fighting an honest fight. 

I am tired of taking long walks every day in fresh air. 

I am tired of trying to refocus and meditate. 

I am tired of pretending I’m not scared about 11,000 ordinary things on any given day. 

I am tired of trying to spin my mental nightmares into something funny to laugh at in public, as they continue to privately terrify me. 

You are my people. This is this fucking blog’s purpose. I am standing here saying,  “I know I’m not alone. There are a lot of us. And we are all fighting and all tired.”

I know that. 

In the same “deep-truth” place where I also know that in some nondescript amount of time…just from out of nowhere, I will turn a corner…my brain will settle down a bit, and some semblance of peace (or at least far less struggle)  will come again. 

…But that time is not now. And while I fight on, I needed to stand up in the room and say:

It’s bad times. 

I am frustrated. 

I am very angry. 

I am tired. 

I am still FUCKING IN HERE. 

~D

McWinkerson

9 Jan

So here’s a first: think I put the wrong contact in my right eye…cuz everything’s been blurry and off all day. And it’s more than just a little annoying. At this point in my paper working day,  it’s given me a headache and made me nauseous. 

…So now I’m taking my “lunch, ” pacing the office while winking through one eye so I can type this without vomiting. 

(…she said, with hope.) 

It hasn’t been a great Monday. 

…But I’ve had worse. 

(…this is me: being positive .)

Oh,  hey,  and while we’re on that subject: didn’t get the show,  but did book a paid stage read in Feb. So…that’s like getting the vaccination shot and feeling only nominally like shit, versus not getting the shot at all and wasting away without aide. 

… I still feel diseased, but with the “good drugs,” so I don’t notice it as much at the moment. 

…Which is helpful. 

…What isn’t so helpful is the pacing and writing with only one eye. Things are getting squidgy. 

Shut it down, dude. 

But first: if you haven’t yet — see Bright Lights, and find whole sadness of joys. And also: add to your life-list for someone to creative-crush on you as eloquently as Viola Davis does on Meryl Streep. And also: try to be more like Meryl Streep…just like you know: in general. 

Over-and-out. 

~D

Markers

4 Jan

I bet that waiting for a casting call is a lot like waiting for the Jury to come outta that deliberation room. 

…Your fate in this, is now totally out of your hands, and it is at other people’s graces to determine your future for whatever space of time is at stake…which will almost entirely wage how you will be conducting your life,  and where, and with whom…often cases in total intimacy with complete strangers, who will know more random closely guarded secrets about you than sometimes even your significant other…but there is no telling how fucking long it will take them to make this highly anticipatory decision, until they finally make it. 

…And until then: you just have to wait. 

…Just sit here. 

One of my favorite UK classes reminded and pushed the mantra that the audition is my work,  and the rest belongs to “them. ” It is not my job to fret or deliberate anything. My job is done. 

…Unless they pick me up to do the show itself. 

…In which case, my new job begins. 

…But until or unless that happens… I’m not supposed to waste energy or worry about the outcome… 

…Which,  again with the “Jury” scenario,  is kinda the most difficult thing I’m supposed to do. 

How the hell do you actively “not care? ”

…And this gets even rougher when they draw the process out. And when you don’t know them at all,  or the way they might usually do things. 

…And when you are wanting to make plans and build schedules and stipend gas money and other finances. 

…And you could also use a haircut. 

…Many,  many things,  from basic personal care to several months of financial, social, and life choices are just sitting here in the box,  waiting for someone else’s decision to tell me what I can and cannot do. 

…Just keep counting the markers as they pass by. 

We are in day 8.

…It’s already been a long 2017.

Next: As resolutions I decided to chart things. (Cuz I pretty much do that shit anyway, so am destined to win at at least that.) 

…This time it’s one financial goal, one fitness specific, and some accountability for alcohol unit consumption…keeping in mind, I am no longer 20 with unlimited bounce-back before me. 

…At the moment I am at stellar achievement level with my Habitbull app. Course,  we’re only 4 days in,  but I bet you so much money that new gym memberships are already starting to feel neglected and whole cartons of cookies have already made their first binge round of “fuckit, ” with a lot of people we know. 

(…well,  the cookie one for sure. That was me. But then cookies were never on my list. That’s just a fucking stupid way to start hating the year before it’s even begun.)

…Meanwhile, I’m nailing my rules shit. (Even the addendums) 

…AND the cookie -eating. (You’re welcome.) 

Now: onto some more freezing cold walks and movie-watching…as I pretend not to wait for that damn Jury verdict. 

..This is me: not caring so hard right now. 

…So. Hard…

~D

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