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…

The Joy of Living

Believe it or not, it has taken a long while for me to get to where I am today.

To some people it may not seem like I’ve gone very far.

I have been going to college off and on for ten years and I don’t graduate till 2018.

I am still out of shape and obese.

I have never had a boyfriend and am no where close to being a mother.

I live with my parents.

I work a phone job.

I am not a professional actress, singer, or writer.

But guess what? It is the journey and not the end that is the “fun”. I look on the positive side of things now a days and it makes me happy.

I am going to graduate with a degree in something I love and am working on a trilogy. I may not be working on it every day because I am busy, but I have a plan for each book, which is further than I’ve ever gotten.

I am always looking for ways to change my weight, but a lot of people struggle with that so I am not alone.

I’ve never really wanted to be a wife and mother so why would I need a boyfriend?

I have a plan to buy a house in the next few years and while I live with my parents I get to see a sibling or one of my nieces and nephews each day.

I may work a customer service phone job, but I actually do like what I do and I don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

I rarely thought of being a professional actress/singer. I get into maybe one Hale show a year and I have fun doing what I love. It doesn’t matter that I don’t get paid each time I perform.

It may surprise you to know that there were some people in my life who didn’t like the fact that I was accomplishing so much. They were jealous and mean about it. I know it was them lashing out because they were unhappy with their own lives and I have forgiven them for that, but have ended those friendships. I don’t need that negativity in my life.

I have not had a suicide attempt since Fall of 2015. I am the happiest I have ever been. I’m not going to say that I have beaten depression. It is something that cannot be cured. But it is easier for me to live with and I rarely have sad days anymore, certainly none where I am in the depths of despair.

This world is magical. Life is wonderful. And I am happy with the progress I’ve made.

And YOU should be happy with your lives as well. Any progress is good progress. No matter if it is baby steps or if you slide back down the hill sometimes, you are moving upwards. You are working towards happiness and a better life. KEEP working. KEEP moving. And be happy for others who are on the same path but a different journey.

My Greatest Weakness

Yesterday I had a melt down. I was in class and started crying. I was so depressed I went and treated myself to dinner and wine. I considered dropping out of school. Why do I need a degree anyway?

Why did all this happen?

MATH

I HATE MATH. I always have. It stresses me out like nothing else does. It makes me want to cry and scream and break things.

I am taking Ology this summer so I can be done with math. For those of you who don’t know what that is, they cram all the math you need to know for your gen ed requirement in one semester so you can get it done. This is important to me because my math credits have expired (stupid rule) and I’d have to test back into math which would put me at the lower end of math classes, which would mean I’d need around three or four semesters worth of math to be done.

I am on track to graduate next year, but I have been holding off on math. I would have had my associates degree a long time ago if it weren’t for math.

SO

Ology is what I’m doing so I can graduate next spring. But it is shoving all my math in one summer semester. I am paying about 2,000 dollars so I can get finished with math. I would pay to NOT take it. I mean, I’m majoring in English with a creative writing and literary studies concentration. I will not need this math.

So, I am forced to do math this way. I have 4 exams, one of which I am doing this week. I Have 4 1/2 hours of math a week. I have homework and studying coming out of my ears. And on top of that I am taking 9 credits at UVU. So, I am stressed. Which means I cry, I eat, and yes I drink. Cause sometimes you’ve gotta say, Fuck you Life. I’m gonna have a glass of wine.

SO

That is my rant for the week. Tears will be shed throughout this whole semester, but please pray that I will pass Ology because if I don’t I do not think I am going to finish college.

What the Future May Hold

My future seems a little up in the air. I don’t exactly know where I am going,  but that doesn’t scare me anymore.

I know my goals, tentatively. I will graduate next Spring. I will finish my book and start to shop around for an agent and publisher. I will lose weight. I will excel at my current job.

My life is plagued by what ifs. What if I decided I wanted acting to be my main thing? Could I become a Hale regular, which was one of my goals in the past? What if I meet a nice guy and I decide that marriage is for me? What if I decided I wanted kids?

I can’t close myself off to the possibilities before me. Yes, I have planned my life around being single, but I do have to be open to that changing. Yes, I have chosen to focus on writing more than acting, but I am an audition addict so I don’t know how that will turn out. Having kids and being a mother might be scary, but who know what kind of mother I would be?

I cannot dwell on the What Ifs of the world. I have to just live my life, and take things as they come at me. It is nice to have goals, but you have to be flexible as well. You have to be open to the possibilities that present themselves or you will be torn apart by the What ifs.

All I can say right now is that I am happy with who I am. I am happy with what I think my future holds. And I’ll learn to be happy with whatever changes approach.

Goals (Again)

Okay. 30 pounds. 12 weeks. 1 girl.

I’m auditioning for Aida in 12 weeks. I don’t have any crazy dreams that I’ll get the lead, I just want to be cast. My body isn’t exactly “dance ready” though. SO, I looked online and it is possible to lose 30 pounds in 12 weeks.

This will be hard, my ankle is still acting up from the spill I took in my last play (a chase scene in 5 inch heels) so I can’t work out as hard as I would like to. And I am majorly out of shape, so that is a negative.

I have SO much weight I have to lose. Last weigh in I was 277. So I have over 100 pounds to lose to be healthy. Looking at that, 30 pounds is only a small dent, but a dent none the less.

Thankfully I will just be in school and working for those 12 weeks which means I’ll have time to cook and work out. Hopefully, if I don’t lose the weight, I’ll at least have built up my endurance so that I can dance and sing at the same time, or at least better than I can now.

I won’t post pictures cause I think I’m pretty gross without a shirt on, but when the weight is gone I’ll post something to compare. Fingers crossed that this will work and be a jump start to major weight loss.

All the Beautiful People

I just want to say, again, how blessed I am to have so many amazing friends.

Theater has introduced me to basically most of the friends I have and they are all crazy talented. I am glad I am taking the summer off from shows so I can have some time to see some of them perform.

I just closed Sister Act The Musical and it was pretty much the hardest show I have ever done. Surprisingly, even though I do 2-3 musicals a year, I don’t consider myself an actress, or at least not a strong one. I am a singer first off and I am not even very good at that (I can’t riff and I can’t read music). So being the star in a show, memorizing a bunch of lines, keeping energy up, and still having time to hang with my cool cast was hard.

Image may contain: 25 people, people smiling, people standing, people dancing, wedding and indoor

But the people I met in this production were so wonderful. I got to meet fun personalities and hang with some talented folks. I am very happy about that.

Thanks to my show addiction I do theater everywhere, the SCERA, Lehi, the Hales, and thanks to that I meet people from all walks of life. Just because we all like doing theater does not mean we are all the same. I have learned the types of people I get along with the best and the kind I don’t. I’ve become friends with LDS people and those I can just get a drink with. People have seen the best and the worst of me, and know my weaknesses, but still like me. That means a lot.

Image may contain: 14 people, people smiling

Theater doesn’t perfect people. In a way, it actually brings out the realness of a person. And because we get to know people on that level, the friendships I make in theater are very true. Sure, I may not hang with everyone regularly, I may only see them during auditions or the next show I am in with that person. But that doesn’t mean I don’t care. I love to see them post on Facebook. I love to like their pictures on Instagram. I love to know what is going on in their lives and to cheer for their successes.

Image may contain: 24 people, people smiling, people standing

What I am saying is, thank you theater for introducing me to some of the coolest people I know. To those who do one community show a year and to those who are on Broadway, I love you all. Thank you for being a part of my life.

Burnt Sugar

The scent of burnt sugar.

Something so sweet turned bitter,

that was me. Young and innocent, now burnt beyond recognition.

You pushed me and I fell, skinned my once soft knees,

now hardened by time, by age, by wear.

Was I perfect? Or is my perfection now in my flaws;

flaws that I tried to hide from the world, but now I hold to the light?

These actions shaped me; the fire, the shove, the harmful words…

Should I be grateful?

Grateful for the pain that I have been subject to?

Grateful for the pain I caused in return?

Our trails make us who we are, and now that I love me, love what I have become, do I love you?

Love. Love for the bringers of pain. Love for the bullies. Love for my abusers.

Your harmful words are written on my body in invisible ink, only I can read them.

I cover them with words people can read so I can hide them,

but I know they are there; scars that will never vanish, but that may fade.

They will become obsolete as love runs over me, like a thick lotion.

Love that also shapes me into who I am, the person I want to become.

No, I do not love what you did to me.

But I can forgive.

No, I do not thank you for the pain you’ve inflicted,

but I can love you anyway.

These painful moments, my all time lows, have made me, me.

To a creme brulee, the burnt sugar serves a purpose.

I am sweet again.

 

 

My (hopefully) Creative Life

I live for creativity.

That is a bit of a lie. I live for praise. I act, I write, I sing, in order for people to praise me. I’m like Tinkerbell,  need applause or I’ll die.

Image may contain: one or more people and people dancing

That is mainly why I act and sing. Which is funny because I don’t get to be a lead or sing a solo very often, which makes me forgettable. I sang in my church choir mainly so people could tell me how good I was. It’s funny because I think I am good (sort of cocky) but I also think I suck (low self-esteem). No matter how cocky I get I will never be truly cocky because there are things holding me back in the performing world. I don’t know how to read music, I’ve only taken acting classes two or three times, I’m not a good dancer, I’ve only taken voice lesson for a few months. Those combined make it easy for me to see that I suck. So, I need that praise.

I think that really is the life of an actress. You live your life hoping that someone likes you enough to cast you in something. And even when you try your best and have reason to be cocky, there is always someone better than you. They have had more training, they are prettier or skinnier, they have a larger resume. Acting definitely plays a role in some extreme mental problems. I could never act as a career, I’d probably die.

During 2015, the worst and most depressing year of my life, I dropped out of two musicals. The first was Ghost at a theater that actually pays and the second was Aida, with a great cast of new people to meet. That year I was struggling with my identity. I dropped out of Ghost because I didn’t want to be the token black girl. I didn’t want to be cast in things just for my skin color. I was sick of it because it said nothing about me having talent. It was all about looks. That prompted me to drop out of Aida as well. The only show I stayed in that year was Christmas Carol and that was because I knew they loved me for my voice; I’d been doing the show for six years.

Now, I don’t really like being the token black girl, but it does get my foot in the door to perform if I want to. It helped me get the lead in Sister Act and if I wanted a summer show, I don’t cause I’m taking a break this summer, three theaters were doing Hairspray so I could have done one of them. My skin color will also help me when I audition for Aida later this year at another paying theater, though I am gonna try and get in shape physically and vocally for that. I am more sure of who I am now, so playing a role just because I am black won’t kill me as long as I have something to balance it out; at least one recent role where skin color didn’t matter.

Image may contain: 2 people

I think my writing is really helping with that balance. Sure, you write in the hopes that someone will like it enough to publish it, but I am mainly writing for me. My trilogy is about what I like. It is about what I want to read. Sure, I hope I get published and become a huge success, but just finishing the books will be a huge accomplishment. And the books are just a nod to my creative side. It doesn’t matter that I’m a big, black women. It matters that I can create a world that hold someone’s attention.

It is hard to do it all. I am very busy so sometimes I cant act and write within the same week, but knowing I have that other creative outlet is what gets me through the day. I can share a new chapter of my story or share the song in my heart and feel validation through the applause, whether it is from others or from myself for doing a job well done.                                          No automatic alt text available.