Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Creativity is Not Up for Debate

I’ve spent the last few months scraping myself off the floor from depression and anxiety. I was close to homeless. I’ve lost work. I’ve lost friends. I’ve lost twenty pounds. I’ve reached out and received handfuls of help from people I never would’ve expected. Simultaneously I was tricked and betrayed by others I never expected. I stepped back and away. I’ve isolated and cocooned while trying to figure things out.

I’m finally getting things in order and I’ve returned to a spiritual and mental health path that leads me back to feeling creative again. A weekly plan has been put in place to get me back on the acting trail. This is the first week and I’m already feeling excited about my revived creativity.

I’m bringing characters to life. I’m writing sketches again. I’m vlogging and keeping things light so I can stay on this path.

It feels great. I’m elated. Or, I was.

I find it interesting and frustrating to see how some people respond when I make a few changes to the freeepeace persona. I received many comments in support of my character Sabrina Elizabeth. I didn’t mean to fool anyone with her backstory but she’s such an absurd character, she needed an absurd introduction. She’s crazy and fun and a great acting exercise. She gives me good material to practice with - in regards to writing, acting and editing. What more could I ask for? And she’s just one character. There are more to come.

But what about long-time freeepeace followers who ream into me about what they think I’m wasting my time with? What do I do with that? To you I ask: Are you putting yourself out there like I am? Where are your videos? Where are your blog posts? Where are your public comments? NOWHERE.

So, thanks for your support in trying times. I mean that. But I’ll also thank you to keep your private emails filled with scathing comments and hidden agendas to yourself. Unless you have some actual constructive criticism to offer - makeup, lighting, editing tips - then don’t bother clicking send.

My creativity is not up for debate.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

THIS is why I love my Aussie!

Even with an ocean between us, Aussie and I spend a lot of time together - thanks to Skype.

We read. We write. We watch movies. We do puzzles. We play games. And of course we talk and share life stories. We support each other in our growth. We encourage each other to be the best we can be. And we inspire each other in our creativity.

Tonight this mock magazine cover was sent to me, having been created in twenty minutes by Aussie, from scratch. Seriously. With the exception of the photo, every detail right down to the barcode is Aussie's creation.

I just think this kind of off-the-cuff creativity is brilliant. And this is why I'm in love!

SEXZEE magazine cover

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dear Narcissus, IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU

Know what I love am curious about?

I love am curious about people who think all my personal life decisions have something to do with them, even when these same people want nothing to do with me and my life.

I love am curious about people disguised as friends who hug people, stab them in the back and twist the knife with a warm smile. How do they do that? These same people show their true colors when things don’t go according to their unspoken master plan. That’s my favorite.

I love am curious about conditional unconditional love. Seriously, wrap your brain around that one for a few decades.

I love am curious about family members who don’t call or write but they never fail to read a blog entry or watch my latest youtube video. Hi everyone!! Love you all!!

One last thought for those who love to sling mud: Things aren’t always as they seem. Even if you think you know what you’re talking about, think again!


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

A few things to check in about

Work

You know how I was pet sitting in Malibu over the holidays? Well, that client generously posted a “we recommend” notice in their community newspaper. Apparently that edition was released last week. From it, I received one new client and three other inquiring phone calls. Mostly people want an overnight pet sitter so they’re just gathering information.

I have no idea how long this new client will need me since I’m basically there to keep an eye on the newest puppy so my client can go to meetings and run errands. At some point, the puppy will be trained enough to be left alone for a few hours at a time.

I’m grateful for the work. It’s been a life saver.

- - - - -

Mental Health

I started on antidepressants eleven days ago. I only know this because I took my first dose on New Years Day. I realize medication is a taboo subject in some circles. I know this because of my own previous judgments about it. I was once a preacher of holistic, natural healing for all ailments. And I still am, to a degree. But if a diabetic needs insulin injections because her body doesn’t produce it naturally, who am I to judge the next person whose body doesn’t naturally produce sufficient levels of serotonin?

I believe this antidepressant medication is assisting my body in producing healthy levels of serotonin. For the past three months - and more dramatically for two weeks before the new year - I could feel how “off” my body’s chemistry was. It’s the most frustrating thing to want to feel good and not be able to.

So the meds are kicking in. I realize it’s a journey to get to the right dosage but already I’m feeling the positive effects. It does help that I’m getting work and my relationship is stronger than ever but at least I’m on a path where if the floor is ripped out from underneath me, I should be able to find my way to my feet better.

- - - - -

Physical Health

I’m doing much better getting food into my body. I still have days where it’s difficult to eat solid food so I bought chicken broth and high protein drinks to “ensure” I get nutrients. So far so good. I’ve also been drinking lots of water and eating provolone cheese and turkey breast when I can handle solid foods. I haven’t had any more dizzy spells yet so that seems to be under control. Thankful for that!

- - - - -

The House and Living

We’re still looking for a third housemate. I have a couple of people scheduled to come by this week. If we can get someone in here soon, things would feel a lot lighter in my heart - and heavier in my wallet.

My living situation is still so up in the air. So many variables come into play. The only thing I know for sure is I will be with Aussie soon. Here, there or elsewhere. We don’t know. We don’t care. It doesn’t matter. As long as we are together.


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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Anxiety - not a recommended diet

I know. I know. I have to eat - regularly. It’s just been so difficult to put and keep anything in my body lately. Stress has done a number on me and this is my body’s way of reacting.

It had been months since I’d been on a scale, or seen my full body in a mirror. But the other day when my jeans fell off my hips with the belt on the last notch, I knew I’d lost a lot of weight.

That night I made it a point to check myself. My hip bones are prominent and I’ve lost most of that muffin top ring around my waist. I can see directly to the floor when I look down. My little slope of a gut doesn’t block my view like usual. When I wrap my hands around my thighs my fingers and thumbs almost touch.

One of my clients has a scale in the bathroom. Even though I don’t need to rely on a number to tell me I’ve lost weight, naturally I was curious. Fully clothed in winter layers, I reluctantly stepped up.

Yep, I’ve lost a lot of weight. A lot. Anyone remember back almost five years ago when I had mono? Yeah, like that.

Makes sense now why sitting in this wicker chair hurts my sit-bones.

I know the media would tell me I look great. But look at the price I have to pay.

Anxiety is not a recommended diet. But what is when my body rejects food much of the time?

I need to look for healthy liquid food supplements during times like these. Things that have all the nutrients I need that my body will absorb - and not reject. Some juices are too acidic.

Any suggestions?


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Comedy of Errors - Not So Funny

I was pet sitting for the day. This client has two golden retrievers. One is self-sufficient at 4 years old. The other needs constant supervision at just ten weeks old. I’ll tell you right now, you can’t even imagine cute this cute. To think this little ball of blondness, one-third the size of Hunny, will soon be three times her size. Amazing and adorable.

It’s my first time meeting the dogs and their mom. She had no problem with Hunny joining me for the day.

I came in alone at first so I could get acquainted with her, the routine and her pups.

Smooth sailing.

It was then time to introduce Hunny to the pack. You know, the fourteen year old who’s a pro at house sitting and meeting other dogs. Always gets praised for her sweet softness and leaves the parent feeling at ease.

Not this time apparently.

The moment Hunny came through the front door the others were on her with excitement (expected). They usually work it out, and they were doing just that. Out of nowhere, Hunny squatted and dropped a stinky mess on their hardwood floor. I tried to get her back out the door as I saw it happening in slow motion. Instead, she sat down, creating an even bigger mess.

“Oh no! I’m so sorry!”

My client didn’t seem concerned about it too much. I was mortified. I told Hunny to go outside while I frantically cleaned up our mess.

After cleaning I went outside looking for her and the littlest fluffball followed me, passed me and headed toward the street. I chased her before I realized she would think it was a game so I got on all fours (mind you, there’s a computer bag on my back) and called her with a playful voice. She came right to me and I scooped her up and carried her inside.

Still Hunny was outside and she wasn’t interested in entering knowing a big one wanted to hump her and a little one wanted to be chased. I dragged her in.

At this point, awkward!

We went to the living room near the backyard while my client got herself ready to leave the house.

In an instant, my back started to hurt, my vision went blury, my heart was racing, my breath was shallow and I couldn’t shake it. The room started going very dark.

I’ve gotten dizzy before, from standing up too soon or running too fast or something. But it has never gotten this bad, nor has it lasted this long. It scared me so much that I started calling my client’s name but now I can’t be sure if I actually did that out loud. Everything looked silver and outlined. I knew the dogs were right there in front of me but could only see their silvery outline.

I tore my jacket off, then my scarf and squatted to the floor in a sweaty panic really trying to focus on breath. In a matter of minutes things started coming back to normal. When I could see again, I looked for water in the kitchen and sent my client off for her meetings with a smile. She had no idea her new pet sitter nearly flatlined on her living room floor!

“Hi. This is me on new medication, one hour sleep and no food in my system. Nice to meet you.”

I drank some tangerine juice and ate a sugar cookie. I still felt the residual effects throughout the day - congested chest, sore back, slight headache, blured vision - but nothing like during the height of the incident.


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Monday, January 5, 2009

Out With the Old

Thanks to all who have commented and sent emails in the last week. Knowing we’re not alone is really comforting in moments of deep despair. Yes, it’s the new year. I have goals, aspirations and desires beyond belief. Without sounding too dramatic (too late?) I need to take a few moments to reflect on this past year and hopefully lay some things to rest.

Last year I ventured into the world of freelance office work as a marketing, advertising and personal assistant for a few different clients. Right before that I worked at a prestigious university, processing applications and giving campus tours. I loved the position but, like many before me, refused to be micromanaged by an overbearing boss. It was a mutual decision when I refused to do work extra hours beyond my job description for no compensation.

Then I found YouTube and wanted to spend every waking moment creating, writing, filming and editing videos. That’s when the freelance work came my way. I was lucky to go on a random interview that turned into other work, completely different than the job I’d interviewed for.

Summer came and I was busy but miserable in my work. It was nowhere near fulfilling. What was I thinking? Turns out I was unfulfilled in other areas of life too and saw the end of a good long-term relationship.

Then came the fall. I met an Aussie who turned my world upside down as my world was already spinning out of control. So much all at once. I lost work quickly. I found myself living in the ghetto all alone.

All I wanted to do was sell everything and move to Australia. But with no work on either end, and a pup and kitty to care for, timing just wasn’t right.

We worked hard to get a housemate, to get extra work, to tie loose ends and to get Aussie here for the holidays. We failed at the latter and we were devastated. Anxiety and depression struck hard and deep. Nothing eased the burning ache, the sleepless nights, the days without food, the heartbreaking worry.

I found myself in a free clinic the day before New Years Eve. It was early morning. I saw a doctor for a prescription, a nurse for intake and a counselor for referrals. The receptionist and security guard (15 minute security check before I could even go in) were all very welcoming and warm. I sat in a comfy leather reclining chair in a room filled with magazines and a flat screen tv. I was in and out in less than two hours.

Immediately I felt relief.

That only lasted a day. New Year’s Eve was another tough emotional day and I was fed up! My medication had been delivered to my house, but I was house sitting in Malibu. So I made the trek to the ‘hood to get my fix. How cliche.

I took my first dose on New Year’s Day and since then, I’ve been experiencing the placebo effect. Nothing has changed except my perception. Well, that and a new-found level of commitment in my relationship.

It’s not easy. Work is still nil and adds to my intense anxiety.

Goals for the new year coming up.

Onward.


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