At least I think it's depression. It feels like a cloud that's been following me around.
When I was young it found me. It found me in my parents voices screaming to me that I'm always to blame for every fight - that I should just keep my mouth shut.
It found me in being thrown across my room and hit. It found me in having both my parents hold me down to hit me, being drug around by my hair, by being forgotten. Ignored. Blamed.
I always dreamt of being an actress. A star. Being in those big blockbusters, Hollywood movies. I begged, pleaded, cried for help. What did I get told? "We're not living off of beans so you can do some stupid dream." What dream? It wasn't a dream. It was a part of me.
The cloud formed a pain. Deep in my soul, my spirit.
That pain found a release in a razor.
That razor became my best friend. My only friend. For every, "Look, now look at what you did!" Or "Look how upset you made everyone!" It told me that I was okay. For that moment.
One cut became two. Two became four. Four became twelve, and that became countless hundreds. For ten years the razor was my best friend. I remember being in school, at people's houses, going anywhere and everywhere with my best friend to escape the pain that was my existence.
The razor wasn't enough. Everyone made alcohol seem really appealing. What does it take for a 15 year old to pick up a bottle of liquor and finish it? To herself? In one night?
The liquor wasn't enough. Body issues seemed horrifying. I would try and cut my fat away, and pinch - pick - pull... Diet, starve, exercise. Cut, cry, scream, puke.
No amount of crying, bleeding or starving ever got rid of the burning deep in my spirit that screamed all these horrible things at me. So much louder and more profound than anyone in my house could ever echo.
I heard some kinds of pills made you not want to eat. I heard everyone at the parties talk about snorting, parachuting, shooting them. I wasn't happy with anything else I'd found to numb any pains I had. I had become a violent, painful mess.
At least I'd be a violent, skinny, painful mess.
What people didn't tell me was - pills become addicting.
As addicting as the alcohol had become, and the cutting still was.
Everything added another layer of darkness to the cloud that was my life. There wasn't enough alcohol I could drink. Enough pills I could take. Enough times I could cut to make any of it go away.
I went to school on my 16th birthday with a black eye. My dad really liked to back hand me over, and over, and over again.
Of course, that was my fault too.
Don't get me wrong, I was a violent child. I would curse back. When my dad challenged me to a fight, I'd accept. I'd throw, kick, and punch. I was a fighter.
I spent most of my schooling suspended and just one step away from expulsion. I was always fighting and skipping, cheating and not caring. Every principal knew me. It got so bad, I even saw the inside of a jail.
I guess any child would be violent and disobedient that had violence and negativity on display every day. How do you know any different?
On my 16th birthday, teachers called child protective services regarding my bruised eye. I didn't ask, they just did. When I got home, it was my fault. How embarrassing it was to have them be questioned, how horrible it was that I didn't just say how horrible I was.
Again. My bad.
I decided that day that I had enough. I couldn't take the cloud anymore. I wrote down all my suicide notes and went I to the bathroom to end it all. I got the Tylenol, I got all my pills I had no business having. I started taking them all.
Then, it stopped. I don't know to this day if I stopped it or if a higher power did. Above all, I did want to be happy. I did want all my dreams to come true. I had a tiny bit of my heart that was still beating.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I forced myself every day to smile. I researched the psychology of someone like myself. I say and analyzed my life, everyone in it. Broke down why I did what I did, why everyone else did what they did.
I became happy. I became clean. I became sober. I became SI-free. It took awhile, but it happened. It was such a rush of horrifying stuff every day, 24/7 that I sometimes can't tell where it started and ended.
Now, having been clean and sober from it all for so long... I am acting. I am living out my dreams. I did more than the broken 12 year old me would ever think I could.
...the cloud doesn't go away.
It's always there. It's the learning to live with moving it, and getting it off of you. See, now my source of depression and 'triggers' exist in another dimension.
The only thing I've ever wanted with my entire being seems to be the one thing that's virtually impossible.
I live in California, I go everywhere for jobs. Finding an agent is next to impossible because you have to be somebody to get someone - but someone won't look at you unless you are somebody. You can't even get a call unless your this or that, but to be this or that you would have had to get someone to care.
It's not the auditions that bother me. Nothing like most people would think. It's not the rejections, no.
It's the fact that to have rejections, you have to be looked at. That's the problem right there.
I have tons of actor friends who have the same complaints. We're the 'classy bunch' who won't do porn, won't get naked, won't get topless and certainly won't sleep with anyone for anything - so we're REALLY passed up.
On the days when I sit around and I think about everything I'm NOT doing, or stuff I'd love to be doing, but I'm not... Like on a set, auditioning... Meeting someone important...
That's when my habits have told me, "Hey, go get a razor. It works, you know it does! How about a drink? Two? Seven? Some pills - mix them all!"
I've learned to stop it. Right there. Everything in life is happening just as it needs to. Everything will happen, it's the patience I have to work on. I'm a workaholic, so sitting for me is hell. I need to take those opportunities to go to dinner with a friend. Watch a movie. Relax. Work on myself.
Work on peeling this cloud off of me again. If I stopped fighting, lord only knows where I'd be...
My friend Luke who used to sell me most of my pills is dead. Heroine overdose.
My friend Megan who always told me I could be anything I wanted to, and was one of the people who believed in me most is dead. Pneumonia.
My friend Brandon who was always a smiling face when I was in school, always lifted me up by just being himself is dead. Motorcycle accident.
My best friend, Kyle, who put me in my first movie and spent basically every day with me, always believed in me is dead. Suicide.
My friend Jared who I met on a set of a film I was in - an amazing person and a brilliant visionary who always had my back and helped me with so much is dead. Suicide.
...I could have been any one of those.
I'm just thankful that I'm still here to fight. Sure, it's easier to stop fighting. Much easier. Much, much easier.
There are days I still cry myself to sleep, but I can't give up. I have to find my smile and my strength, even if I'm in it alone. I'm doing this for myself and no one else. My happiness is #1. I deserve it.
The blockbusters will come. The huge blow-your-mind opportunities will come. No doubt, they will.
It's just remembering that I am an addict. I am recovered. I still have triggers, I still have certain 'mind-caves', as I like to call it, that I can get trapped in. That's a thing I learn to deal with.
I can't let it own me.
It honestly doesn't happen that often, either. It's seasonal, usually. But then again, all depressive addictions are somehow triggered by cold damp darkness and tons of family members, lol.
I can't let it own me.
I found my speaking out regarding my past and my pains, sharing my story and my goals and my dreams, it helps others. It means a lot to me with my knowledge of these pains to be able to walk someone into the light of theirs.
To my girls - you know who you are - I told you all you can make it into recovery, and I mean it. Your all beautiful people who have so much for the world. I know your pain. I do, really.
You have the power to change your life for the better. I will fight with you until you find that inner power I KNOW that you have.
All these thoughts, these feelings, and just like some tag-along cloud. Sometimes it's sunny and nice and cute and fluffy. Other times, it's black and feels like it's smothering you alive.
Remember - its just a moment. A short moment. One bad moment is one bad moment, it doesn't equal a bad life. I think that's the misconception so many have.
Now, my parents and I have healthy relationships. I accept that the past can't be any different, and I accept that their actions were a direct reflection of them being human beings who honestly didn't know any better. And that's okay.
Live life, be happy. Smile, love those who deserve your love. Follow your dreams and expect the best.
The cloud is always there. Smile, and the sunshine will come. Other than that, don't pay any attention to it.
You ignore it, it'll go away.
I'm a living testament to the FACT that you absolutely can make it. I promise you, if I could talk to the 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 year old me's that I would be arguing against that fact and would refuse to believe it.
I know where your coming from, but you can recover. It is possible. From all of it.