As you all may know, Saigon sadly came to a close a few months ago. Yes, it was sad. Yes, I miss it. I miss Kim and the cast and the music with all of my heart.
Annnnddd yes. I’m ready to move on.
This post isn't going to be about Saigon. After four years, I dreamed about the freedom of cutting my hair, painting my nails and going wherever I wanted whenever I wanted. And it happened. I was traveling. Germany, London, NY and now I'm back home in North Carolina. Lovely ol' North Cackalacky. And it's very strange. Not having the things in my life I've had the past four years; a job, a home, a routine and Leo being close(ish) is strange. I love traveling. For a while it was exhilarating living out of two luggages. But now? I'm ready to work. I feel unsteady. The auditions come in and I read the breakdowns and have a crisis that I believe most actors do at one point or more in their career. WHAT THE HELL DO I WANT TO DO? WHAT AM I DOING?
Haha. I had a breakdown sent into me for a classical musical role I could never imagine playing. I read it over and studied the music as best I could. All the while thinking, this doesn't feel right. I know I'm not suited and more importantly I don't want to. BUT, of course I went in. And guess what? IT WAS AWFUL. It was so shit, I walked through Times Square with tears rolling down my face as I was on the phone to Leo crying, "It's over. My career is over." It was that bad. No no no no it was so bad I recall laughing on the way OUT of the audition room. Yup.
Anyway, I went back to my apartment that evening with an agenda for some serious thinking. Yeah yeah, Saigon was obviously going to play a huge role for what I do next. But was I ready for the next challenge? Were people going to see me for something more than I was? The biggest trial was accepting that I had no control over what was to come. But that's easier said than done. From speaking to a lot of my friends, I realized that we were all kind of...going through it. I don't know maybe it's the seasonal transition. LOL, we always blame weather. But something happened that woke me up from this dreamy transitional phase.
Relapsing isn't crazy. Sometimes it happens. And it's part of recovery. I'm not talking drugs/alcohol. I struggle with a different type of addiction. I had a bad day. Missing people. Feeling completely lost and strange about what was happening in life and future jobs etc. I had a bad relapse. I made myself sick once. And then again. And then again. Bleh bleh bleh I lost count of how many times around three in the afternoon. And I felt like shit the entire next day. Not only because there was nothing in my body but because I was so disappointed in myself. I had worked so hard over the past few years to NOT do these things. To NOT revert to my old ways. But I needed control over something in my life. And in the heat of emotion and lack of strength, I did the one thing I promised myself I would never do. I beat myself up the whole evening and the next day. My security rug was pulled right from under my feet. And I was falling into a black hole. With no idea what the hell was going to happen next.
I called my therapist as I sobbed in bed (**By the way I know this may seem like a lot when you're reading, I apologize for triggering anybody.**) He said something really lovely. He said, "I'm proud of you for calling. Tonight show yourself some compassion." That stuck with me. I struggled to comprehend what that meant. Compassion? HAHAHA okay. The familiar and comfortable rug of life's three pillars were gone. And my way of handling it was...well...not handling it well haha.
I had two challenges in front of me.
One - to accept that as much as I wanted to, I didn't have control over the events and situations life put me in. I DID have control over how I reacted. I had the choice to have a different perspective. Which I normally take for granted.
Two - Compassion. My therapist struck a nerve because he was right. I didn't know how to be compassionate to myself.
These two things were going to be the beginning of an amazing new chapter of discovering how to navigate through shit times in my life. To look it in the eyes and say YES THIS IS SHIT. Rather than wait for a light at the end of the tunnel. The light will come. Mustering the strength to put one foot in front of the other on a healthy path has to be the hard bit. A path of compasssiiiooonnnn. I know, I know...it's all crap we've heard before. And I completely underestimated how much of a weapon this was.
So, my therapist and I had a good session. I allowed my friends to shower me with love. I allowed myself to get back in the gym to help heal my body. I gave myself permission to rest, say no and eat things that were going to make it feel good. I allowed myself to block out people who were toxic. People who I knew didn't have my best interests. They have no place for healing. Well, they shouldn't have a place generally. It's a slow process. And it's okay to be over emotional (Mercury is in retrograde-a-fecking-gain). When the rug is pulled from under your feet and you're falling, you're not going to know what is going to happen. Don't sink into the hole. Here's a crazy thought...what if there wasn't a hole? You have clearance to feel whatever. And to use your resources (Friends, family, health and anything that makes you happy) as much as you need to feel better.
I say it every time, but you're not alone. Relapsing is part of recovery. Don't look up to people and think they don't go through it too. We're in the same boat together. This is a reminder to find how to show yourself some compassion. It's an awkward discovery especially when you're not used to it. But when you find your groove you find peace.
Thanks for reading guys. I love you all so much. I'm gonna try to post once every week and a half. Please let me know in the comment area if there's anything you guys wanna read.