Have had an ok day. I am really exhausted. Not sleepy as such, just completely drained. I really don't like being busy. I don't find it distracts me and makes me feel better like people always say doing things should - I find it wears me out and makes me irritable. I had my singing lesson earlier, which was the first one I have had for about 10 months, and that one was just a one off (and absolutely horrific and made me think I would never be able to sing again), so it is about 18 months since I have had regular lessons. My lesson today was ok. I can't see my old teacher, because she moved away, but I had a lesson with someone I have only had one lesson with before but have known for many years, and she is very good. I was quite worried about it before, partly because my voice has been hurting the last few days - I think just from using it so much with The Tempest, and partly because of the one off horrific lesson I had last year, when my voice was literally cracking every note I sung, and I just left feeling completely demoralised and shit about myself, and thinking I was useless and would never be able to sing again. So I was a bit tense, but it was ok.
There were a few things that she was able to point out straight away - mainly tension related, which made an improvement, but overall I didn't sound as bad as I was expecting to. I needed to record a song that I could email off for an audition, so I did that, and it was ok, although having listened to it back since I got home I think I should have made one more recording as there are a couple of bits I am not happy with, but never mind. The song I was using was an uptempo character song, which is what I am most comfortable with, because when I am doing a character song like that it is different to singing as myself, so I am more relaxed, and she commented afterwards how different my voice was doing that, in terms of placement and clarity and everything. After that I sung through a ballad, which was rangier, and that did sound pretty shit. Despite that sounding crap, I wasn't feeling too negative about the lesson though. What has really struck me though, and what she also pointed out, is that the vast majority of the vocal problems I have been having are confidence/mental health/life related, rather than technique related. I would have preferred it to be the other way around, as it would have been far simpler to correct bad technique than it is to sort out my life and get confidence, but I suppose even if I can just get confidence back in terms of singing then that will have an enormous impact on my voice. I tried singing the ballad that I had sung with her when I got home, and it sounded so much better, which does just confirm how much of my vocal problems are down to tension, and lack of confidence leading to swallowing the sound, and bad placement etc, but at least I know that if I can do it in my bedroom then I can do it, so hopefully next time it will be better. I have booked another lesson for next week, and hopefully I will be a bit more relaxed then now I have had a lesson that wasn't a complete disaster.
Had my appointment with the voice therapist after that - that was fine. She seemed fairly pleased with how I was getting on. I am trying really hard to energise my voice more when I am talking, as that is one of the main things she has told me to do, but it is quite tiring. But there definitely seems to be an energy issue, as in my singing lesson I was told I needed to energise my body far more. I don't have another appointment booked with the voice therapist - she is going to give me a call in about a month to see how I am getting on, and to see if I feel like I need to go back in, and I can email her if I am having problems etc, but I suppose that since there is nothing physiologically wrong for her to help me correct, there is a limit to what she can do.
It is nice having my friend here, I am really liking seeing her, but in some ways it is quite stressful too. I am worried about her because of how little she eats - she really has next to nothing, and so obviously that is concerning, but at the same time I am really quite jealous of the amount of will power she must have to eat so little. I wish I could do that. But I wouldn't want to be thin like she is, she just looks so ill. It is BMIs in the 16s/17s that I am really jealous of, so if she was that kind of size I would probably find it more triggering, as I would be jealous of her body as well as her self control. I feel guilty for being jealous of anything when she is so ill, but I can't help it - I would just love to have that much control over what I ate.
The thing about having her here that I am probably finding most difficult is that I am feeling obliged to eat more than I have been lately, partly because I have only been eating once a day really, and that doesn't set a very good example, and partly because I feel like if I am eating then maybe she will be more likely to eat - she certainly wouldn't eat anything at all if I wasn't eating. But as usual, I am finding it impossible to find the right balance, as I seem to only be able to restrict, or to eat whatever I fancy, and I am pretty much eating whatever I fancy as I can't restrict, and so I have already gained 1lb. So I am feeling pretty shit about that, particularly because I know that now I have got back into eating more again, I will find it harder to cut down again - the longer I restrict for the easier it becomes, and I guess I had been doing it for about 10 days, so I was starting to get quite comfortable on just eating 1 meal in the evening and not much else, and now I am eating more I have undone all the good I had done in doing that, and will have gained all the weight back and will have to start all over again. Thinking about it is actually making me cry - I am so, so desperate to lose weight, and it just feels like one step forwards two steps back. It's a bit like playing Snakes and Ladders really - you climb up a ladder and think you are doing well, and then suddenly you go sliding down a snake and find you are worse off than you were before you went up the ladder.
I have a performance of The Tempest tomorrow night - the rearranged performance from the rained off one on Tuesday. It is also my sister's birthday, so we are apparently going for a picnic. It is selfish, but I feel kind of jealous that my sister is getting to do what she wants on her birthday, with the people she wants, when I had to spend mine at a funeral. My mum was supposed to be doing something tomorrow, but she cancelled it so that she could spend the day with my sister, and although I know it is nobody's fault that I had such a shit birthday, it just feels unfair.
I need to try and sleep now, because my friend went to sleep over 4 hours ago, and my mum will wake me up in the morning when she wakes up, which is likely to be significantly earlier than I would like to wake up given that I am still awake, and not very sleepy as I am feeling quite tense.
Dear Mama, on uncertainty
2 weeks ago