I am not throwing away my shot

I am a quitter.

That isn’t a goal or anything, it is just what I do. I don’t know the real reason why. Maybe I just know I’m not the best, so why try? Why give myself fully to something if there is no guarantee that I will succeed?

I used to be skinnier. I was more active as a kid thanks to dance and cheer and horse back riding. But I quit everything in high school and became absorbed in books and TV. Slowly the weight piled on. I do think that these last 80 pounds that I gained in 2015 and haven’t been able to shed are mostly due to my depression medicine though. If I really focused on diet and exercise I could get rid of them, but it is a slow process and I tend to give up on things quickly.

I always wanted to be a singer, but not enough to really try. I can’t read music. I think that is one of my greatest insecurities. I took piano and violin, which I quit, and have taken a few months of vocal lessons plus my years in choir and musical theater and I still can’t sight read. I mean, I can tell when a note goes up but I don’t know where it is going to. I can guess, which is easier when I am singing melody. Funny thing, I used to sing tenor and alto, but because I wanted melody I trained myself to be a soprano. So now I sing higher than I did when I was younger.

I always wanted to be a writer too, but I was never dedicated. I’d write my little fantasy stories and my fan fiction, but I was never settled on my ideas so I never got very far. In middle school I read books by people who were not much older than me and I compared myself to them and got scared that I wasn’t good enough.

Not being good enough has held me back in so many ways and in so many things.

I want to change. I am changing, slowly. I may not read music, but I try very hard to know my parts when I am in choir or in a show, so I make up for that set back. I may not have a dancer’s body, but I will give it my all and try to get in slightly better shape so I can do the moves in the show the way they want them. (I have an audition this weekend that has a dance portion and I swear I’ll give it my all). I am working on my trilogy. True, I haven’t written this summer due to being very busy with school, but I am focused and know what I have to do to finish the first book.

I am changing. Bit by bit and inch by inch. I used to think I had missed my opportunities in life. I am not exactly a kid anymore, I don’t have my whole life ahead of me, I don’t have years to perfect my craft. I have fallen behind. But I am only 28. That may be old in the eyes of some people, but I am still in my 20’s. And then when I’m not, 30 is the new 20. If I work hard on my goals then my age won’t matter.

No matter how old you are, it is never too late to go after what you want. It is never too late to achieve your dreams or find new passions. We are humans and we are always learning and changing and developing.

The Numb Zone

Depression can sneak up on you. It can be sudden and without warning. Then there are days like today. You feel it creeping in like a cat towards a mouse and you do everything in your power to stop the inevitable, but sometimes you don’t succeed. That time, when the cat is creeping and before it pounces, I think of that as the Numb Zone.

Now, I don’t mean completely numb. It is just hard to fight through the cloud of numb to feel emotions. It is draining. Today is a Numb Zone day. Why? Maybe because I am tired? Maybe stressed or disappointed with myself? It could be a number of things, my triggers are not always easy to identify.

Numb Zone days make me quiet. I am sitting at work and I have barely talked to my work friends. I am “going through the motions. Walking through the part. Nothing seems to penetrate my heart” (Buffy the musical). On these days I feel very much like an empty shell. It takes a lot to make me smile and when I do it isn’t usually genuine. I lose interest in things I love, such as music and books or even TV. You’d think a numb mind wouldn’t care about being numbed even more by staring at a screen, but it doesn’t hold my attention.

On these days I’d usually like to curl up and sleep. Or I’d watch a bunch on TV and not feel anything. But I’m an adult. I have things to do and bills to pay. I have a full work day and then another 2 1/2 hours of a math class before I get to go home and curl up with my puppy.

The Numb Zone is not dangerous to me. It is only when I feel too many emotions that I actually want to self harm or kill myself, and those days hardly come anymore. No, the numb zone is just annoying because I want to have fun. I want to be a good person to be around. I want the energy to enjoy life.

I may snap out of it today. I might go get some hugs from my nieces, they usually can break me out of the zone a little bit. I will try not to over eat. It is really easy to over eat when you’re numb, but being fat is a depression trigger and I need to try and work on that. No, I am not in danger today. Numb days are easier to control. But if you ever see me in a Numb Zone, don’t worry. I’ll snap out of it somehow and know that it has nothing to do with you…maybe.

Words Fail

I am obsessing over Dear Evan Hansen and I think it is because I identify with him. I think everyone sees a bit of themselves in him, which is why it is so popular.

Words Fail has been in my mind for a few days, mostly for the following lyrics.

“No, I’d rather pretend I’m something better than
These broken parts
Pretend I’m something other than
This mess that I am
‘Cause then I don’t have to look at it
And no one gets to look at it
No, no one can really see”

I tried to hide myself for so long; from my family and my friends and myself. I wasn’t true to who I was, I wasn’t honest about my weaknesses.

“‘Cause I’ve learned to slam on the brake
Before I even turn the key
Before I make the mistake
Before I lead with the worst of me
I never let them see the worst of me”

I wasn’t really trying at life. I was going through the motions and never putting forth real effort because what if I did try and I didn’t succeed? What If I did give acting my all and no one cast me? What if I did really try to write a book and no one liked it? What if I was honest about who I really was and no one liked me?

“‘Cause what if everyone saw?
What if everyone knew?
Would they like what they saw?
Or would they hate it too?
Will I just keep on running away from what’s true?

All I ever do is run
So how do I step in
Step into the sun?
Step into the sun”

I have found out so much about myself in the past two years and this musical has put into words what I was always afraid of. It put those words to music, which helps me convey what I was feeling; what I still feel sometimes. I am still afraid that people won’t like me for who I really am. I’ve lost friends because I’ve come into myself. Some people have faded away, not wanting me as a part of their life.

And ya know…it hurts. I act like I don’t care, but it hurts that people I held so close don’t want anything to do with me because I don’t hide my emotions and act like everything is fine all the time. They get mad at me for having opinions or for not acting the way they expect me to. And it means that those friends that I had, the ones that I thought were real, were built on lies or an understanding that I was to be a certain person to them.

I was okay with that. I HATED myself so much that I was willing to ACT a part for the longest time. And I was scared that if I became who I honestly was that people would hate me too…and some people did and do. But I have to be me. I have to do what is best for me, because sometimes other people won’t.

And you, people who read this and still support me, you mean so much to me. I may hardly know some of you, I may have only done one show with you years ago, but your support means everything to me because sometimes I cannot support myself. Even if you are just reading this and never comment or like or talk to me in person, it helps me so much to write down my emotions. It helps that others read them because I am finally being honest and it feels good to know that other people are seeing this honesty. That is why I choose to write and share blog posts instead of just writing in a journal.

Because “What IF everyone saw? What if EVERYONE knew?” I don’t have to ask those what ifs anymore. I don’t have to be afraid of being hurt anymore because I have already experienced that hurt. I know what it feels like and I know that I can come back from it. I underestimated myself for so long. And we all need to STOP doing that. We need to give ourselves credit. We need to realize our strengths. And we need to “step into the sun”.

 

Why I Write

I am a writer. I won’t actually call myself an author until I get published, but I write stories and poems and books and papers.

Writing has always been something I enjoyed and, in the case of papers for school, something that has come easily. I feel that I can express myself better through writing than through speaking. It might have to do with being shy, but it also has to do with organizing my thoughts in a way that people can understand.

I want to be a published author of fiction books. Like most writers, I want to be the next J.K. or Sanderson or even Meyers. I want to write something that will be popular and change or influence the lives of others.

I like to write dark fiction (vampires and demons and the devil) but I also enjoy light fantasy as well (unicorns and fairies and magic). When I do get published I hope that doesn’t confuse my readers.

No, to the why I write stories. I write for the same reasons I read; to escape. It isn’t that I hate my life, but life can be hard. It is nice to sit back and escape to another world where you’re troubles are nonexistent. It is the same reason some people watch insane amounts of TV (which I also do).

I also write to create. I love making worlds and characters and seeing how they end up. I like the act of discovering things about my characters that I hadn’t known before I began. I like that I can control what happens in my worlds. I can make characters I can depend on, when my real friends have abandoned me.

I really can’t wait until I graduate. Then I’ll be able to focus on finishing my book, then my trilogy, and then moving on to the next story. Because there is always another story to be told.

3rd Attempt

I don’t know if you would call this an attempt. My family sure thought so.

I had had a really bad week. I had just moved back in with my parents and I was in two shows, Aida was performing and I was in rehearsals for Christmas Carol. I wasn’t happy though. I was poorer than poor because a job that I had turned out to be a scam and they didn’t pay me, which is why I had to move back in with my folks. It also made my friendships really tense.

Before a performance of Aida I stopped for dinner and a whiskey. That whole night was just bad. I texted two friends on the way home and told them I hated them. I then contacted my double for Aida and asked if she could finish the run herself. Then I texted the stage manager for Christmas Carol and quit.

I got home and was a crying mess. I let my parents know I wasn’t in a good place and my sisters, my beautiful sisters, came over to watch me that weekend. They spent the night in the same room with me to keep an eye on me.

The next day I wanted to be alone to do some destructive behavior and one of my sisters, Katie, jumped on my car and called the cops because she said I wasn’t going anywhere without her. I wasn’t going to kill myself….yet. I told her that I planned on doing it in a couple months so she shouldn’t worry. But I allowed her to come with me while I ate bad food and shaved my head.

I’d never let my family actually see me get that low. I am grateful that they stuck by me. I was convinced to stay in Christmas Carol, which I am happy about because that was my 6th year doing the show and hanging with my normal crowd. People tried their best to lift me up and comfort me and it worked.

My low moments since then have never gotten that low. I realize that I am a lucky girl to have some pretty awesome friends and family members. I am lucky to be loved and all I want to do is love in return. So thank you all for being there for me. You never know that the little things you do make a huge difference in my life. THANK YOU.

Self Harm

As suggested by the title, this is going to talk about harming myself. If you don’t want to know, don’t read.

SO

I have always been self destructive for as long as I can remember. It started with food. I am an emotional eater to begin with so if I feel strong emotions, anger or sadness, I eat. I eat when I’m stressed, I eat when I’m poor, food is the first thing I turn to. So after middle school I started to balloon. I steadily gained weight through high school, though I didn’t weigh myself. There was a small dip where I lost a bunch of weight and actually looked good, but I went right back to eating.

I think part of the reason I eat now is to keep from getting hurt. For example, I may not get cast in all the shows I want and blaming it on being fat is easier than blaming it on my acting or singing abilities. So I abuse food.

I didn’t start to actually cut until 2015.

I would never consider actually cutting my wrists to kill myself. To messy and too painful. But I did enjoy a small amount of pain. Maybe because I thought I deserved it. I’ve done things in my life I am not proud of and I thought I deserved to be in pain. When I felt like my life was out of control, I would cut. It made me feel like I could control something. When I was down and depressed, I felt almost numb. Cutting made me feel something.

My scars are not obvious, at least I don’t think so. They are very light and small, but to keep myself from doing that again I have my tattoos. They are messages to myself to love me. Plus I don’t want to ruin the designs with cuts. Since I started to get my tattoos I have not cut. Since I started getting my tattoos I have stopped being so down. I can look at my arms and remember that at one point I loved myself enough to get them, so I can love myself again.

I have gotten rid of that self harm now. Food is another story, but I’m working on it. Life is hard and we just have to take it one step at a time. As Buffy said. “the hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”

If you are choosing to live you are already winning in some way. So, if there is anyone out there who is lost, who feels like no one understands, who feels like harming themselves or killing themselves is the answer; know that people do understand. You never know what others are going through. Give them a chance, explain your feelings, because you never really know how they may be able to help you.

A Little Sun

SO

My attempt posts combined with the depression I’ve had for the past two days have made things a little gloomy. I want to share my story, but I don’t want to make other people depressed. So I’ll try to include something funny or uplifting between my downer posts.

I had some major depression this week from a money/insurance thing. It made me eat A LOT of calories, leave one class early, and cry during another. That was Wednesday and yesterday it carried over and I was still in a sad/bad mood.

THEN

A week ago I won a giveaway and I NEVER win anything. I got the products yesterday. A few of my friends put this business together where, with designs they’ve created, they make hand painted shoes, and shirts, and other cute things. They opened their first line and it is Disney princess inspired.

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What is great about this line is that the tie with princesses is subtle. I went with the Belle theme and got a cute shirt that says ” I want adventure” and shoes that have roses all over them. It was my happiest moment of the day. Check them out if you want a bit of happiness. Their next line starts at the end of July.

https://www.warnersistersink.com/shop/

In other good news, I have two block classes at school that end today! Just a final and a poetry reading to do and then I’ll only have two classes for the rest of the semester!

What I really want to do is be done with school. I really want to get back to writing my book; it is so hard to find the time. Luckily, next semester I am taking advanced fiction writing II so writing will be my homework.

I’m looking forward to the next couple weeks because my brother gets married next week and the family is going out of town for that. (My first vacation in years!) And after that will be the fourth of July. So I get to take three days off of work in the next two weeks. I love the little things that make life enjoyable.

SO

I’ll try to be more uplifting, but I also want to tell my story. I will make it obvious when I am posting about my depression so you can skip those blog posts if you like. For now, keep on smiling, sing a song, and enjoy your weekend!

 

 

2nd Attempt

The second suicide attempt is a bit of a blur.

I don’t remember what caused it exactly. I got home from work and I was stressed. Here is where my mind usually goes.

I have no money-I obviously can’t take care of myself- I’m not an adult-I don’t have kids or a house- I don’t even have a boyfriend-why would ? I’m fat- No one really loves me- I don’t even love me- why am I alive?

This downward spiral is typical of my depression. Money is usually a big motivator. People criticizing me on my own upkeep, such as my hair or weight or skin, sets it off too. Not much can stop this spiral. Things have done so in the past, my nieces usually help, but most often just sitting there and crying works.

Not that day.

My roommate and I argued about something. We were always arguing. I went to my room and cried. Then got up and took a bunch of pills and lay down to die. I don’t know if it was the magic combination I took, but instead of dying I went to the bathroom within 10 minutes because I had to throw up.

My roommate came in, I told him what happened, we got my sister on the phone and I got hospitalized again, but this time it was voluntary. My bishop at the time paid for it, so I wasn’t stressed about money, which was what made me leave my first hospital early. (Again, I will totally tell stories of being hospitalized. Mostly so I don’t forget the craziness. I have already forgotten so much.)

I came out of the hospital much better. I think I stayed 5 days. I started a new round of medication, this time it worked, and YES I was going to therapy before the second attempt and I continued afterwards.

I’m not saying you should walk on egg shells around me. I’m not crazy, I have mental illness, sure, but I’m not insane. I can handle life, especially where I am right now. I have a great job, I’m graduating next year, getting out of debt, and acting my butt off. Don’t pity me. My life is great right now. It is so great that I feel like I can tell my story without freaking myself out.

Again, this is just me being honest. I may or may not write about my self harm. But I will definitely let you know so you can skip it if you want. Technically this is my last real attempt, but my family would consider one more, so I’ll write about that too. THEN come the fun stories of being in the hospital!

Stick around folk!

1st Attempt

Not many of you know the specifics of my 2015 year of Hell. Let me break it down for you. This post is going to be very matter of fact and honest. No blood spilled, but if you don’t want to read, then stop here.

2015. I was living with a friend in Lehi with the dog we adopted together. We were both actors and auditioned for Ghost the Musical at the West Valley Hale. I got in. He didn’t. Begin the tension between us. Around this time my cat of 10 years was experiencing kidney failure and was scratching up anyone who came near her, and she lived at my parent’s house. I made the choice to put her down.

I was only in Ghost for two rehearsals. I got depressed because I felt that I was just the token black person, they didn’t even have me singing a good solo. So I figured they could use any black person (kind of true because they took the black MAN in the cast and gave him my part) and this was harming my self esteem. I quit. Then I put my cat to sleep. Then all Hell broke loose.

One day I left work early and went to my parent’s house to cry. I don’t remember if this was the same day I put my cat down, but I think it was. My dad was home and tried to calm me down, but he had to go. Cue the depression thoughts.

My depression may be the same or different from everyone’s, I’m not sure. I get stuck on one negative thing and it is a downward spiral until I figure everything about me sucks so why should I live? I got in my car and drove to Heber to kill myself. (I didn’t want anyone I knew to find my body) I texted my room mate all my passwords so that my parents could access my bank accounts and stuff. I stopped at a Walmart to get trash bags and duct tape ( I was going to suffocate myself).

I’ve got to say, that roommate, who I am no longer friends with, saved my life. He contacted my sister who is married to a cop. He got my location from my phone and gave her the information. (He had my passwords, remember?) So as I drove up into the mountains of Heber a cop pulled me over and took me to the hospital.

That was attempt number 1. It took place in January if 2015. As a result, I was hospitalized for four or five days, but that is another story. Funny thing, I’d gotten my first tattoo a few days before, telling me to love myself. Who knew now, two years later, how much tattoos would not just pierce my skin, but my heart as well.

Attempt 2 Tale….next week.

(To be continued, though you already know how this ends.)

(Surprise! I’m dead and I’m Becca’s ghost writing this blog. Ha ha…)

Dwelling on the Past

8 years ago…… A long time ago in the city of Orem a young girl had her whole life ahead of her.

I was 20/21 and the world was my oyster. I was doing so well in life. I was working part time, going to school part time, and acting (which is usually the life I lead). I had time for friends and working out and had so many adventures I should write a book about them.

I don’t know where I went wrong. See, I could have gone in a completely different direction and moved on up in the world.

I wasn’t in debt yet; I had savings and didn’t require a bunch of money for fun.

I was 100 pounds lighter; I would work out at 5 am before school and I don’t think I was really over eating at all.

I had the bestest friends in the world; I’d see at least one of them everyday and text the rest.

I got my second lead in a musical; Ti Moune in Once On This Island.

I was happy, though I had my dramatic moments, and things were going my way.

I don’t exactly know what happened, but I am pretty sure it all ended because I went on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint (Mormons). See, before I got my call (to New York so that was cool) I auditioned for a show, just because, and I got cast in Once Upon a Mattress as one of the princesses. Then I got a call from a theater that pays asking me to do To Kill a Mockingbird. They came up with this plan that I could do the first act of Mattress and drive to the other theater to do the second act of Mockingbird. That was the first time I was actually WANTED for a show. (Yes I know it is because I’m black, but it made me happy anyway).

That year Audra McDonald, my idol, was also going to be in a show at the Orem Hale and I wanted to do the show with her so badly! But I did the “right” thing and went on my mission like a good girl. I ended up only staying for 6 months. I think that the biggest purpose of my mission was to find out I had depression, which I’ve beaten back into submission, so I guess I got a good thing out of it. But 6 months is a long time. I started to gain weight as soon as I was in the Missionary Training Center and when I came home I was an emotional mess, so my acting wasn’t improving like it should have.

I did still get cast. I’m usually in 3-4 shows a year if it is a good year. But I wasn’t improving and I was getting fatter all the time, so that screwed with my self confidence. Basically, I was having a perfect life before my mission and then afterwards things fell apart. My friendships started to drift away, I started to get into debt, I wasn’t excelling in school, and I was getting fatter and loved myself less.

Now, I am in an okay place. I am back to moving up in the acting world, I have been hitting the gym and watching what I eat for a week now and have lost a couple pounds, the friends I have are real and good for me, and I should graduate next Spring.

But I can’t help but wonder…..where would I be in life if I hadn’t gone on my mission? Would I be a regular at the Hale theaters, getting paid for every show? Would I be at my goal weight and working out like a fiend? Would I be popular and talented and living on my own? Would I’s and What if’s don’t change anything, but sometimes you can’t help looking back and wondering…