I am not feeling that great. Not desperately suicidal or anything. Just not good. I suppose that is a bit of a daft thing to say really as I never feel good. I don't know how to explain it really. I suppose it is partly just the post show blues making me feel flat - I think that is something everyone experiences after performing. It fills so much of your life, particularly during the actual performance period, and the week or two leading up to that, and so it is bound to leave something of a void when it finishes. It is strange how slowly the last few weeks have gone - it is less than 3 weeks ago that my friend was here, and it feels like so much longer. Back then, just 2 weeks ago, I didn't even want to go to rehearsals, and I wished I wasn't doing the show at all. Then it took over for a couple of weeks, and whilst I would say I was happy to be going off out every night, and I didn't always feel like it, I got on with it, and it was fine, and sometimes it was fun. And now I suppose I just have a gap. It has been quite a few years since I have done a big musical, which may be contributing to it I suppose - I didn't perform at all, apart from some concerts and festivals, between 2006 and this year, so that was a 4 year gap, which is really quite a long time. I was still dancing, and I did some teaching in that time, and some directing and choreographing etc, but I didn't actually perform myself, and the last musical I did before Carousel was Les Miserables back in 2005. I actually hadn't realised quite how big a gap there had been - I knew I hadn't been performing for a while, but it is only now I have opened up my CV and am actually looking at dates that I have realised just how long. Then in 2006 I did open air Shakespeare, and a very small part in a play, and then absolutely nothing bar concerts/festivals, and extra work in one film in 2007 (which I don't count as acting as you just stand about and move when you are told to) until the one act play I did earlier this year, then The Tempest, and then Carousel. It is strange - between 1998 and 2003 I did 2 musicals every year, and sometimes a play or pantomime too, and then usually a couple of concerts as part of a choir as well, and various other things, and after that I started doing less and less, until I stopped completely in 2006. I know that is no coinidence - 2005 is when I first tried to kill myself, and also when I moved away to university and was hospitalised etc, and although I did a couple of things in 2006 when I was back home, I know things had changed. They had started to change before that actually - I did my first summer course at a big Drama School in 2002, when I was 16, and I came home pissed off that I was starting A levels rather than a performing course, and unhappy with the quality of the productions I had been doing, and just wanting more. I also had my first audition for a West End production that year, which despite being dreadful, made me want to perform even more, and therefore made me even more frustrated with college etc. Then 2003 was when everything seemed to go wrong and I was first diagnosed with Depression, and given anti depressants, and an Eating Disorder, and referred to the CMHT. And I suppose I just started performing less and less as I just didn't have the motivation or energy, and I found being around people too difficult. I kept up with dance classes virtually the whole time, and I carried on with singing lessons until about 18 months ago, when a) my singing teacher moved away, and b) I was having severe problems with my voice, and I did some acting classes for a while, and some summer courses etc, but there were absolutely no productions after the summer of 2006, until the spring of this year.
Then this year I decided to force myself to do things, even if I didn't feel like it. I knew that performing was still the only thing I ever cared about, despite not caring the majority of the time. So I got involved in the 1 act play. I can honestly say I regretted that about 99% of the time. There wasn't a single rehearsal or performance I wanted to go to, I couldn't be bothered with it, I didn't care about it, I didn't enjoy myself. Then it was on to the Shakespeare. That was better. I still didn't want to be doing it most of the time, but there were some points that I was enjoying it. Shakespeare wrote so beautifully that it is hard not to get into it - when something is that well written you have to put everything you can into it (as of course you should with everything, but some thing just demand it). So although I never felt like going to the rehearsals or learning my lines, there were times when I was pleased to be doing it. And then Carousel. That has been a bit of a mixed one. I would be lying if I said I haven't enjoyed it some of the time. I still felt a real lack of motivation towards going to rehearsals, but they generally improved when I got there, although not always. I liked working with a good choreographer. I liked doing the pas de deux (bar the somewhat scary Saturday performances, and of course hurting my back!). It was a little difficult only being in the second half of Act 2, as that meant I didn't go to many rehearsals, and so really didn't get to know the cast very well at all, apart from those I was in scenes with, until the couple of weeks before the show week, but when I did get to know them they were a really lovely bunch. I got to know the other principal females particularly well during the week of the show when we were sharing a dressing room, and that was great - they were good fun. So there were lots of positives. On the other hand, there were also days when the thought of going out to a rehearsal had me in tears, as it just felt too much, and a couple of rehearsals that I didn't go to because it was just more than I could face. 3 weeks ago I would have said I would be massively relieved when it was over. But it really did improve a lot during the week before the show, and the week of the show itself. I wasn't happy, and I wasn't hyper and excitable like I used to be during shows, and like other people were. I felt quite flat and numb. I didn't get at all nervous, which actually isn't a good sign, as you need a bit of adrenaline to give a good performance I find. But it was the most positive performing experience I have had this year. Maybe because it was a musical, and really that is what I am most passionate about, or maybe because of having such a great cast, particularly in my dressing room. I don't know. I still didn't have the spark I want, but I didn't spend my whole time wishing I was at home, and that has to be a good thing right? Goodness, this was such a tangent. I can't even remember what my point was....
Right, yes. So when you are doing a show, it kind of takes over you life, and when it finished you are just left with this hole. I suppose it is particularly strong because I haven't been doing anything else this week either - normally I would have been to ballet twice, but it has been half term so that hasn't been on. So yes, I suppose I am partly just feeling a bit empty because of the show being over. Then I am struggling with my weight and food as usual. I ate far more today than I should have, and so feel terrible, and am really scared of what the scales will say tomorrow, but not weighing is not an option. Then there is normal depression stuff. I am doing better than I was a few weeks ago I think - I have read a few books over the last couple of weeks, which is usually at least a vague indicator for me, as when things are really dreadful I can't read. But I just feel kind of on edge. I am still having lots of suicidal thoughts, but I am not in that numb, unable to move type depression. I feel a bit impulsive I suppose, which kind of scares me, because in some ways it feels more unsafe, but I don't think I am at risk of acting on the suicidal thoughts at the moment, even in an impulsive mood. I have been getting a lot of urges to self harm though. They are often strong when I am really frustrated with my weight and body. I wish I could just cut big slices of fat off. Off my thighs. I keep getting these pictures flashing into my head of just carving massive chunks of fat off my legs. I won't attempt it - that isn't my style, but I would like to. I really need to find a way of getting in control of my weight and what I am eating, because at the moment it is just making me feel terrible about myself. I need to lose weight. I can't even express how important that feels at the moment, and yet how impossible.
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