When I first started taking my anti-depressant, I was so scared of losing myself. I thought that taking an anti-depressant would mean turning into a monotonous zombie with no sadness, but no happiness either. A person that was completely unable to accomplish anything creative.
But, I took it every day and then I started going to therapy and I worked hard on being ok. And I no longer imagine horrible scenarios, and I no longer feel lonely when I’m by myself for a week, and I don’t think of myself as a lazy so-and-so, because I’ve accepted who I am. And I shot four commercials, and wrote my first spec script this year, (the longest thing I’ve ever written that was creative and not a research paper), and I did stand-up for the first time, and I gained real friends, and I reconnected with old friends, and I took a ukulele class, and I traveled to Peru. And I’m just as creative now as I was then, but now, I actually finish projects.
But there are some times that I forget to take my medicine. I always remember at 10:30 that night. But I found that if I take my anti-depressant late at night, then I won’t sleep and what’s the point when I can just wake up and take it then after a good night’s rest. This has been happening more and more frequently. And yesterday was a day that I forgot to take my medicine.
The first few hours in the morning can be hard. I’m sure it’s psychosomatic. I’m sure that my being permanently off medication wouldn’t be as dramatic as it feels in the first few hours. But I’m also super sure that right now, in this moment, a loop of doubt that I thought I had conquered, is back. And I can see what depression is like. I feel the weight of it.
And I stuffed a bunch of weird food in my face and called it breakfast. Then I ran in and took my medicine because I was scared of it getting worse and I was scared of it leading to a lack of work today. And I was scared to go back to a place I’ve worked really hard to get away from.
So I used to be scared of losing myself to medication, but now, I’m scared to live without it.
And sometimes, we are scared of change, and sometimes we are scared to go back.
I’ve been doing pretty well depression-wise, lately. Last night I did stand-up at Crashbar Improv and it’s been getting a lot easier. I can’t believe I’m actually doing stand-up. That’s pretty weird. The cool thing about stand-up is that you can perform every night of the week at open mics. Unlike indie improv, which can takes months to get up on that stage. Although it’s nearly impossible to get anyone to go to either stand-up or improv shows. Period. No matter how much you post on Facebook. AND THAT’S LINDSEY’S COMEDY TIP OF THE WEEK.
I’ve been a real dick about taking my medicine though. I mean I’ve been taking it every day, but I’ve been taking it at weird times on account of I keep forgetting to take it. The dick part comes in because I keep taking the medication late at night. So it’s like I’m back to when I first started taking it; waking up after only a few hours of sleep and unable to go back to sleep after I wake up. But mostly I think that’s actually caused by my cat.
She’s an asshole but I do love her. And I can’t be too mad at her; she just wants me to pet her. The problem is that she only wants me to pet her in the living room, and only early in the morning. And until I’m out of bed she will do a circuit of super annoying things. First she claws the rug. Then she finds my water on my nightstand and she splashes her paws around in it. Then she sees what change she can find on my dresser and she knocks it off one coin at a time. Then she just starts making this obnoxious beep-beep-beep noise in my ear. Finally she tells me I’ll never amount to anything. It’s demoralizing, but we have a good time.
One thing I have to work on as a person (as my therapist assigned), is spending more time with actual people, instead of just the cat. When Doug’s out of town, I end up spending a lot of time by myself. Sometimes, during the day, the only time I see people is at an audition or on TV, or if I have a memory of a person. And that’s not ideal. So I’m going to make an effort to really put myself out there. If you are free during the day, I am too, when I’m not auditioning or working on all those commercials I’ve booked (that’s where the money comes from son), or writing. I like to watch movies and talking about current events. My sign is Sagittarius. Pizza is my favorite food. BUT YOU KNEW THAT ALREADY.
So to answer your question - yes, my part was cut. They called my part of the facebook story, “too controversial.” And that was that. I guess Zuckerberg is still too scared to show the world that section of the tale. Balls in your court, Zuckerberg.
And now, to finally finish this ‘series’ on hypnotherapy. After you go through and heal your little kid self, you imagine going all the way back to being a baby, “in your mommy’s tummy”. Those are the hypnotherapist’s words; I didn’t have the heart to tell him that’s not what actually happens. Especially since he seemed to have some kids of his own. Anyway, this part kind of felt like lying to me. I was just kind of along for the ride while we were imagining myself as a one year old. I mean I don’t know what I was like then. I was a little baby doing baby stuff. If you really think about it, besides pictures you’ve seen of yourself as a baby, you don’t know what you even looked like as a baby.
So then you imagine going through your entire life, painting everything with self-assurance glitter. It’s pretty great. You imagine you’re flying through your entire life painting glitter on stuff and the glitter makes you awesome.
And then you go back to your library and you run up the stairs with so much energy. And you are so excited for life. And then he uses the gong to wake you up.
So you do this a bunch of times to a bunch of memories. And then at the end, you do a big forgiveness session, where you forgive yourself. And then you are done.
And there it is. So here’s the stuff I liked -
I liked learning how to look inside myself to find strength. I liked not caring about the stupid life stuff anymore. I liked being able to see nature and beauty again. Those are all great effects.
What I didn’t like -
Well, there’s a lot of conversation about greater creators and when my dude found out I was an atheist, he wasn’t happy. I’m cool just kind of supporting that he feels this way, but I seemed to insult him when I said I didn’t believe in a cyclical view on life. I mean mostly it’s about knowing that what we do right now is all there’s going to be, in my opinion. And to act like there is something else is selling yourself short. Why not do what you can with today? So it’s fine to have a disagreement about the afterlife. I’m fine with that. But if you have a similar belief system as me, you might find that you get a lecture every time you go in for hypnotherapy about this topic. And I mean every time. It got to the point, for me, that I knew this was something he needed to do and it wasn’t about me. I just let him do his thing. Which is how you should really deal with people that need to tell you where they are coming from. If you find someone is angry and in a bad mood, just let them do their thing. They’ll come out of it once they feel they’ve been heard. That right there was just an extra piece of life advice.
Would I do it again? Probably. The gains far outnumbered the costs. And people have noticed a change in me; a calmness that wasn’t there before. Do I recommend it for you? I don’t know. I’m not your doctor and I don’t know your story. I won’t say it’s perfect. I’ve definitely had relapses. But for the most part, I’ve felt a lot more content lately. And that’s pretty great.
In conclusion, the birds are chirping, hippie-dudes. Let’s get in my van and follow what’s left of the Dead around on the greatest tour of all times!
So, I told him, “that’s what YOU think!” - everyone died laughing. And that’s how Facebook was really created.
Anyway, where was I…. oh yeah, I was talking about the exact process of hypnotherapy. So he plays a gong and then you do a lot of mental imagery work. He tells you to imagine this sacred space. But he describes it, so I imagine all of his clients have the same sacred space. It’s not like in Fight Club where Edward Norton’s character has that ice cave. And in this space, your actual self resides. Meaning, what you think you are really like, or in my case, a person who is really cool and funny and who wears white togas. Because I guess my actual self wants to be in a fraternity.
At this point, you’re still just working on relaxing. So far, all of the work you’ve been doing is to get to a point of extreme relaxation. Then you go even deeper and even deeper into relaxation. And finally you imagine you’re in a memory library sitting on a couch. On either side of the couch are all of your memories. On the left, there are good memories. On the right there are bad memories. You’re going to work on the bad stuff.
At the top of these sessions I told the dude I wanted to work on self-confidence and so the first memory you work on is the first memory you can think of where you feel like a real idiot. After you’ve thought of that time in your life, you take yourself as a kid and you comfort your kid self in your imagery. You tell yourself that you are there and you will always be there for you. That’s what you do for basically every memory.
I saw one of these memories as being directly correlated to the problem of low self-confidence. One of the effects of low self-confidence was choking on auditions. And granted that had a lot to do with my being cut from a Harold team. But the hypnotherapist said that my reaction and feelings to being cut from Harold stemmed from an earlier memory. The first memory I pulled up completely explained all the choking that had been happening.
When I was in first grade, my reading group was putting on a play of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I was cast as the Biggest Billy Goat Gruff. A real honor. I mean I was the hero. I threw the troll off the bridge with my strength! But the kid who was playing the bad guy, the troll (in more ways than one), was pissed. He wanted to be the Biggest Billy Goat Gruff. “And she is a girl!” he asserted. “How can she play such a strong character?” So, the day of the class performance, I had one line to deliver. And I choked. Proving this dude right. Not only that, but he had to tell me what I was supposed to say. He had to feed me my line.
This was a class performance! In first grade! Not even some type of high school performance in front of the entire school. Our parents weren’t even there. It was a class of first graders! Most likely they weren’t even listening to what was going on! They were probably all thinking about what lunch was going to be that day or who was playing tag at recess. No one else probably remembers this memory. But for me, it really explains my thought process when I go into an audition. I used to feel like I was most definitely going to forget something. Which means that I would start to get worked up, and self-fulfilling prophecy happened – and now I’m in the audition, and…. here’s the choke.
So how does this stuff actually work? And what was that weird god reference all about from the last post? And I don’t remember you being in the facebook movie? Did they cut your part? Are all great questions. And thanks for asking them. Most of them will be answered in the next and final post.
As much as I think I’m not some hippie, I consistently have this outward appearance of being one. I’m a vegetarian, I live in California, I am liberal, I use organic soaps, shampoos, and face products and eat organic fruits and vegetables, I have been to Coachella, and recently I went to a hypnotherapist.
It wasn’t just one session. It was several sessions. SEVERAL. Seven of them to be exact. And while it was so hippie-dippy, it also worked. Not automatically, but it worked pretty quickly. In fact, hypnotherapy has a 92% efficacy rate or something insane like that. Also, while I can write the word efficacy, I will never be able to say it. But even when I write it, in my brain the word sounds like efficajfjiom (then the sound of my inner voice getting quieter as it tries to avoid eye contact).
So what does it mean to go to a hypnotherapist? I feel like no one really gives accurate details about what happens. I’ll tell you exactly what my sessions were like.
1. Expensive - I just want you to know that right up front.
2. Weird - but you’re not going to cluck like a chicken or anything. You are conscious of most everything that’s going on.
3. Like sleeping.
I specifically was working on - how do I say this - low self-esteem. Of all the shit that I’ve put on this blog, that was the hardest. But the truth of the matter is, I can be pretty mean to myself. And I’ve often just chalked it up to being realistic. You know, I’m not being mean; I’m just looking at the reality of the situation. It just so happens that what I think is reality is super-mega-harshin on Linds. Because consistently going over all of the mistakes you’ve ever made or things that just have never worked out every day, day in, day out, is not fun. It’s like the opposite of riding The Matterhorn. Because The Matterhorn is boss ya’ll.
So you go in, talk for A LONG TIME about what is going to happen and why there is a god, (more about that later) and then you finally get hypnotized.
You close your eyes, imagine all of the muscles in your body relaxing, the hypnotherapist counts backwards and then you are hypnotized.
Then he plays a gong. Well not always, just the guy I went to. And I really liked the gong part. I did. Ughhh, I am a hippie aren’t I?
This is going to have to be a series, because I’ve already written too much for how much more there is to go.
Today I rode a horse aroud Griffith Park for an hour and I am a better person now because of it. It’s part of my “resolution” which is not a thing, I don’t make resolutions. But awhile ago, I was trying to live life to the fullest and riding a thousand pound animal around on a mini-mountain should fit that bill.
It started with going to a water park and riding all of the rides without saying no. Then, I went to Montana and walked miles up a mountain to stay in a cabin with no bathroom. This was August / September. In October, I went to Universal Studios Helloween* (or whatever Halloween pun you want to use) and rode some super scary rides and walked through SO many haunted houses. In November, I went to Disneyland and rode Space Mountain and all the scariest rides at Disneyland. (I’m new to the whole Disneyland thing and didn’t understand that the real rides were across the street at California Adventure.)
But since then?? It’s been nothin’. I’ve had full days of fun things, but nothing super adventurous. And it’s hard to find adventurous things to do. I’ve googled “exciting things to do in Los Angeles” in a variety of ways and I haven’t been able to find ANYTHING. So the best thing I found was - horseback riding through Griffith Park. And while it was something different, and it could have been really dangerous, it felt more like a lazy man’s version of walking. Except that the “manliest” guy in our group (no offense to Doug) was super scared. This was on of those Ed Hardy wearing Hollywood club tough motha fuckas. And I’m not even joking when I say the guide had to lead the tough guys horse the ENTIRE time because tough guy was too scared to lead his own horse.
So I’m looking for new and exciting things to do in LA that apparently are off the beaten google path. I’ll consider a lot of things, EXCEPT SKY DIVING. I will NEVER go skydiving. That’s just plain dumb. If you have any suggestions, let me know!
*Other Halloween puns - Helltober, HallBooWeen, Horror Nights (actual name), Scary Rides and More, Hellter Skullter, Hell hath no Fury like a Woman’s Skull, Hellsinki Grimmland, Scaretober, King ArthSkull and the Fright Knights of the Underground Table, and finally - Get your Scares Here! Scares! $60 for Scares!
This blog looked depressing. It was white with black letters and so basic and simple. I had to SPICE. IT. UP.
I didn’t even want to come here because it looked like the before part of a Zoloft commercial. I instead wanted my tumblr to look like I was writing on a white rug thrown on a hardwood floor. I digress. This is not yet another post about how I’m going to write here again and this is for real this time because I’m really going to write here you just wait and see. This is a post about learning.*
And the past few months have taught me a lot.
The thing about Los Angeles and this business in general is that you feel like everything means something when in fact nothing means as much as you imagine. And relationships are built slowly and with true intentions and not through one event or one party or even one project. Every indie night and every party and every thing you think you have to do, you don’t. DO WHAT YOU WANT.
That’s the whole point. We all moved here for the reason of being creative and having the ability to be in a place where we aren’t ridiculed for having a “weird” sense of humor That’s why we are here. We are here to be creative with like-minded people.
Guess what? Another thing I learned is that we are all suffering from social anxiety! I realized this after huddling in a corner at a party with several different people all feeling like we wanted to crawl out of our skin.
You know how we all look back on our high school years and think, “Woof, if I only knew then what I know now! I wouldn’t have let any of that shit get to me.” It kind of turned out that our parents were right in that regard - who Jessie is going out with just ISN’T that important in the grand scheme of things. But also…we are doing the same exact thing now. We are still treating things as heavily as we were when we were young.
Okay Barrow, quit beating around the bush, all that “we” bull hockey should be “I”. I’m still treating things as heavily as when I was in high school. It’s so hard NOT to do that. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in bologna and cheese sandwiches! But I’ve just got to stop myself every day and say, “Hey, this is just a bologna and cheese sandwich, it’s not the most important sandwich of my life.”
So all I can do is remember that nothing is that important, that everyone’s freaking out under their own skin except for a few people, and when in doubt, spice up your tumblr page.
*My post was totally inspired by this post from Jackie.
I’ve been off writing for a long time. I think there was a much needed break from all of the honesty and emotional writing that comes from this blog. Sometimes writing all of this emotional stuff is just a drag.
I’m a person that just doesn’t want to have to deal with emotions. I’d much rather act like stuff is totally cool and just sleep and watch movies on Netflix. I just watched What Dreams May Come - that Robin Williams movie where he dies and he’s in his own personally designed heaven. It was on Netflix. That’s the connection if that’s what you were wondering. Talk about dreary nonsense.
Even some of the therapy I don’t want to do because it’s just like, oh man, I don’t want to be sad. I want to be totally cool and fun and giving out high fives to strangers just because it’s Thursday. So I’ve been avoiding this blog and emotions in general. But I haven’t given anyone any high fives. So it’s not like I’m going out there and making my dreams come true.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently reading a lot of self-help nonsense that a year ago I would have punched myself in the nuts and called myself a loser over. But now it’s all super ringing true. I keep starting conversations with, “I was reading this really interesting article on line ….(begins spewing self-help propoganda).” I don’t know what I expect other people’s reactions to be. But it’s like I have to hear it outloud to test if I think it’s actually bull shit or not.
So I guess I’ll try and write here again and see what happens. But don’t expect some kind of explosion of self-help for your ears. You losers can look those articles up on your own (nut punch).
On Tuesday I had an audition followed by a run to Target. I went in to get a trash can, I left with a trashcan full of shit. Well not really shit, just products, like a Halloween magazine and Booberry Cereal. I avoided purchasing the Halloween socks, which is an accomplishment.
Did I need Booberry cereal? No. Does anyone need sugar loaded marshmallow surprise with a ghost on the cereal box? Ehhh, I don’t want to judge other people. See the thing is, I’ve been going Halloween carazy lately. For the first time in years, I’ve put the Halloween decorations up in my house BEFORE the last weekend of October. Actually, it might be the first time ever. I sent out a Halloween card to my parents! Instead of just buying one and thinking about sending it.
In fact, in the past week, I feel like I’ve really accomplished a lot. My house is for real clean. My car is for real clean and the oil’s been changed even. My Halloween decorations are up. I finally got a desk and a spot to write that’s not just at the dinner table. I’ve been keeping a task list that I started making on Sundays for every day of the week, and it has really helped see what I get done. I feel like a real human person.
I get things done like this, in spurts. But I wouldn’t call it mania. It’s not like I’m manic about it, it’s just like one thing leads to the other which leads to another thing and then it turns out I’ve got a lot of shit done. I think the walks have helped my depression, which helps me get more things done. I’m going to keep an eye on it until the next big meeting with the psychiatrist and then maybe if things aren’t looking better, I’ll tell her let’s try something else (maybe that’s when I’ll ask about Paxil?).
My therapist told me I should tell my psychiatrist that I didn’t like the way she treated me. And I’m like ughhhhh, it’s just so much easier to be angry over here to myself for a couple of days and write about it on my blog, than to like, do anything real about it. And I don’t know if she really wants me to talk to my psychiatrist, or if she thinks that if I don’t think its important enough to bring up, then maybe I just need to let it pass. I hope it’s the latter. Because honestly, there’s nothing worse than having to tell people they acted like jerks.
Sometimes I can really tell people they’re acting like dumb jerks, but other times, I just can’t. I think it has something to do with the status of the person I’m in the conversation with. I’m one to default to supposed “experts”. I’m not that dude that’s going to tell a director their work was shit to prove that I have an opinion that’s sooo much different than what the rest of the general population even thinks. I just won’t say anything, and then I’ll write on my blog that Super8 was too influenced by bullshit Spielberg.
JUST KIDDING SPIELBERG! I WOULD LOVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH YOU.
You guys get it.
You guys, I’m a hardcore drug addict. Well, at least, that’s how the psychiatrist treated me on Monday during my monthly follow-up appointment.
I went in to the doctor, she asked me how my prescription was doing and I said I had noticed some down days. I told her the truth. And then I said, I don’t know what would need to be done about it. And she treated me like I was trying to trick her into more drug prescriptions.
She asked me if I was seeing a therapist, and I said, yes once a week. And that’s been happening for almost three months now? I don’t know. So she told me, she didn’t want to give me more drugs and I needed to work on my coping skills. To be clear, I wasn’t asking for more drugs. I don’t like having to take pills every morning.
But recently I’ve felt a little bit of a relapse. Not major, the good days still far outnumber the bad days. But I’ve noticed the days are there. And those bad days aren’t nearly what they used to be. Mostly there’s a bit of sadness or worry for a few hours. It can usually be flushed out by doing improv or working on something I enjoy. But I can’t do improv all of the time, so sometimes, I have days that aren’t great.
So, it’s my opinion that if this is happening, maybe there’s something else going on. Maybe my body’s not reacting to the medicine as it did before. I’m not sure. But I didn’t want to be treated like I was trying to scam more drugs to solve my problems. It was super offensive. In fact, my angle would have been less drugs, but doctors know more than anyone ever.
So, I went to the internet and there is something that happens to some people where their antidepressant doesn’t work as well after a certain point. And the recommendation is to exercise. So I’m going to try that. I’ve not been able to do my walks around the reservoir because it’s been so hot, but I could probably find something else to do. Also, I’ve been eating a lot of sweets lately. I think because I can’t drink and coffee is usually a once and a while treat, I use sweets to fill-the-void. But they don’t really feel as special anymore so I think I’ll probably cut back. Plus all the stuff about sugar high’s and crashes probably doesn’t help my medication at all either.
There were absolutely no jokes in this post. I think I just needed to put a recap of the other side of the medicine coin. I don’t want anyone to think my depression is cured, it’s still something that I’m working on.