Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Random musings

The last few days have been tough. I think I have just felt pretty wiped out by everything. I also seem to be very irritable - pretty much everyone says is pissing me off. And I am having definite trust issues. Right now I don't feel like I trust anyone at all. I am not even sure what it is I don't trust people with. I think just to speak to them generally. I have felt quite let down by some people lately (including L, although I know it wasn't her fault), and it is just making me want to keep everyone at arm's length. I often feel with friendships like I am the one putting in the effort - I have several friends who I would never ever see if I didn't arrange things, and with most of my friends it feels like I am always the one who has to do the contacting. I don't know how many friends I would have if I just left it and didn't contact them at all. In fact, I did do that recently with a friend. She is one of the few friends I have who lives locally, and I usually arrange to see her maybe every 2 or 3 weeks on average, and speak to her online a lot. Anyway, a few weeks ago I had repeatedly tried to contact her, both online and on her phone, and she wasn't replying at all. I knew she was coming online as I could see her doing things on Facebook, so she was just ignoring me. She does also have problems with Depression etc, and does tend to isolate when she is going through a bad patch, but we had made tentative plans to meet up, but then I hadn't been able to get hold of her, and then I kept trying to contact her, and in the end I just sent her a text saying that I hadn't been able to get hold of her for a while and so I would stop trying and leave it to her when she wanted to talk, and that I hoped she was ok. I then didn't hear anything from her until I had a message from her on Facebook saying Happy Birthday, and she also sent me a text that day saying sorry she hadn't been in contact, but that she hadn't had any credit on her phone. I then spoke to her online today, and she wanted to talk because she was finding things really hard and so needed someone to talk to etc, so we talked for quite a while about what was going on with her etc. I just feel like with quite a lot of my friends I am always here when they need me, or try to be, but in between they will just ignore me. It wouldn't have hurt for her to send a quick text or message on Facebook saying that she didn't really feel like meeting up or chatting, but that she would contact me when she did, but I just heard absolutely nothing from her for weeks, and I kind of just feel like that is a bit rude really. It isn't the first time it has happened but I just wish she would let me know - if someone tried to call me and I didn't feel like talking then I would send them a text saying that, but it just seems a bit rude to ignore someone completely. People confuse me. At the moment it feels safer not to let anyone in, not to be close to anyone, because then they can't let you down or upset you.

I am having strong suicidal thoughts at the moment. Very intense actually. And for the first time in a while, there isn't really anything to stop me acting on them. Well, there are all the usual reasons of not upsetting people etc, but at times like this it feels like there would be very few people who would genuinely miss me if I wasn't here. I admit there would be people who would be initially upset, and who might think they missed me, but when I think about who I speak to in a typical day or week, it is the same few people over and over again. Apart from those few people, I often wonder how long it would take people to notice that I wasn't here, if they weren't told. The only friend who bothered to send me a Birthday card was A, who has been in hospital for the last 8 months. But anyway, apart from not hurting people that there are no real reasons. Ok, I am rehearsing a couple of productions, but one I could be very, very easily replaced, as they haven't even got to the point of blocking my scenes yet, and won't for another 6 weeks or so, so that doesn't even count really. The Tempest would be more of a problem in that respect, since it is on in 3 weeks, but I am going to be so shit in it that it would probably be better for them if I wasn't in it. I don't know how I am going to learn my lines. I have 3 weeks until the first performance, and I know about half my first speech and that is it. I just don't have the concentration or motivation to learn them. And I find it so frustrating, because I used to learn lines so easily.

I was thinking earlier about how much of my identity is caught up in performing, to the point where I don't know who I am without it. I have been dancing since before I can remember, and been acting and singing for years and years now. For as long as I can remember I have wanted my career to be in performing. When I was very young I wanted to be a dancer, then when I got older I realised I would never be good enough to be a dancer, that I had left it all too late in terms of good training etc, and I got far more passionate about Musical Theatre and acting. But performing really is all I have ever wanted to do. When I was younger, everyone else changed their mind fairly regularly about what they wanted to do when they grew up. I never did. Then performing groups outside of school were the first place I felt comfortable, and like I belonged, and where I was happy. People started telling me I was talented. I felt like I was good at something. There were about 2000 students at my 6th Form College, and all 3 years I was there I was known as the best singer. I got all the solos in all the concerts. Random people used to come up to me afterwards and ask if I was going to go to drama school and perform professionally. The college principal knew me from all the concerts etc and used to stop and chat to me when he saw me, which in a place that size was pretty unusual. After the auditions for the college show I was given the choice of what part I wanted. The music tech students used to get me to record the vocal parts for whatever they had to record. At school I had always felt very average, despite it being less than a tenth of the size. I was never given big parts or anything at school, and then I was somewhere much bigger and yet loads of people knew who I was, and knew who I was because of my performing. I always kept performing, even after I had stopped everything else because of my mental health problems. Not so much performing in public, but I always kept up with my singing and dance lessons etc. A few years ago I used to go to a MIND drop in centre, and again I was always known as the singer there. They used to do a couple of concert type things a year as fundraisers, and I was always put on as the finale. Even when I was feeling really, really awful, and going through a really bad patch when one of them was on, I still went on and performed. I couldn't cope with going into a shop afterwards, but I could sing for the mayor. When I was on stage, it was like being a different person. It doesn't seem to work anymore. I just don't care about anything. I get brief times sometimes when I get really enthusiastic and excited, and it is always about theatre, so I know that deep down I still care about it really. I just don't most of the time. I think the problems I have been having with my voice the last couple of years have contributed to that. I started finding my singing lessons more and more frustrating, because my voice just wouldn't do what I wanted it to, and what it used to be able to do. In the end, about 18 months ago, I stopped having singing lessons - my singing teacher moved away, and I felt too bad about my voice to go to anyone else. I did try a couple of other teachers, just one lesson with each, but I felt embarrassed at how awful I sounded, and what they must be thinking of me, so I didn't go back. With one of the teachers, my voice literally cracked on every single note. I don't often sing now, and I don't know how I will ever get back to it. I am seeing a voice therapist now, who is hoping to be able to help to some extent, at least with my speaking voice. But I have been told by several people, including her, that my mental health problems are likely to be a large contributory factor to it - your voice is really delicate, and for some people any tension just goes straight to the voice. So I can't sing anymore. I have lost a large part of my identity with that. I have a lot of difficulty learning lines now, due to lack of concentration and motivation, so acting is a problem too, plus of course I have to use my voice when I am acting too. And even dance, which has always been my weakest of the 3 disciplines, has gone wrong, because of my shin splints coming back. They have been getting worse and worse, so they are now back to the stage when they are painful even when I am walking, and I can't jump at all. And I have no idea what has caused them this time. So overall, performing is really bad at the moment, and that has been my identity, my passion, my everything, for so many years. I feel like I have lost every sense of who I am now. Most of it went when I first started having problems with Depression etc, but now it feels like the remaining vestiges of who I am have disappeared. I am nobody. I am nothing. I have no skills. I have no talent. I have no personality. I am just an empty shell. And I can't live as an empty shell.

I am due to see L in 8 hours. I have this feeling she is going to cancel. I don't know why - I have no reason to think that whatsoever, except she did last week. I just have a feeling.


  1. Hope L doesn't cancel on you - you sound like you need some support. Am here if you want to message though my blog etc. I know it's not the same but I am, and genuinely wish you well and a way out of the hole you're stuck in. x

  2. It must be very frustrating and upsetting to always have to call people and to not have them there for you when you need them. Have you told any of them that you're having a hard time? Maybe they would help if they knew you wanted help.

    I hope L doesn't cancel. And I hope the appointment goes well.

    In your corner,

  3. L didn't cancel - there was of course no reason to think she would, but I will write about that in another post.

    NOS, the friend in question absolutely knew what was going on, and is sometimes supportive, but other times will just seem to ignore me for weeks, whether I am struggling at the time or not. It is confusing because sometimes she will be really supportive and caring - she sat with me in A&E for hours one day last summer when I was made to go there to be assessed, and when I was struggling a few months ago she made a card for me etc. But other times she just makes no contact at all. I don't have a problem with her not wanting to talk sometimes - that is up to her. I just think it wouldn't hurt to send a quick message saying so.


  4. I think sometimes people do not understand that doing nothing is as potent as doing the thing they are avoiding or resisting. In other words, maybe your friend just doesn't know what to say so is saying quiet. Little does your friend know that just acknowledging you with a "hi" would be enough.
    I am glad that L didn't cancel. I hope the session was ok.
    xx kris