Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#YesAllWomen (pt2)

Hollywood is a mad house.

Literally. It's fuckery on acid. 

Btw, forgive any potential 'Huh?'s in the following post. I'm exhausted, but I have to get this out of my head or I'll never sleep.

#YesAllWomen

I can't get an agent, I can't get acting jobs, I can't get anyone to pay two seconds of attention to me or my dreams.

That's stupid to even expect in Hollywood.

If you know anything about me, I'm doing it all myself. At 25, with years of hustle and struggle and moving and travel and bullshit under my belt... It's the only way.

Not following the norm is always hardest. It's always hardest for those with a grander vision, and higher expectations/outcome for themselves/others.

But really... 

Why am I doing all of this myself? As insanely difficult and seemingly impossible as it is to go about being an actress/producer (especially actress) without an agent/manager/publicist? 

Let me list the reasons:

- I refuse to be told to lose weight because it's more marketable for selling sex somehow.

- I refuse to be in anything other than something I choose to wear, in a pose I choose, on the cover of any magazine or in any photo ever. Period.

- Yes, as a woman I do enjoy being 'sexy'. For ME. No one else. I have my own idea of sexy, and if it doesn't fit into some PR/Marketing plan, tough shit.

- No, I will not do ridiculous things or say rediculous things that I don't choose to say or do just to sell something.

- I refuse to have another argument with any director/producer/wardrobe department about what I will and will not wear. Yes, I know I have tits and ass. I was born this way. No, I'm not squeezing myself into booty shorts and a tube too for your film. Kick rocks.

- I will not deal with another email/phone call/message/third party communication from someone telling me that I won't want to go on that audition because they're another group of men that expect you to do sexual favors for things.

- I can't deal with another ride in a transport van with another actress performing sexual acts on the crew/director because "It's how to keep getting work", and then be looked at like I'm supposed to follow suit. Fuck that.

- I can't deal with the silence on every goddamn set. How everyone sees it, and no one fixes it. Can't handle it.

- I'm sick of being expected to go on what are basically dates with all levels of industry men (married and not) to even get a phone number or contact they promised. 

- I'm so FUCKING SICK of the characters written into films for women in my age bracket. 18-27 = whores, the other woman, bay watch type characters and 0 storyline. 0 meaning. Just selling sex. Sick of it. 

- Because of this:

- I'm sick of the silence from other women who won't stand up or themselves in the film industry. They're either so deep into it that they can't even see it anymore, or they're scared they'll lose everything and never work again. Which is a very very real thing.

- It happens all the time, and no one talks about it. Really. No one really has come forward blowing the whistle on it to help/save/inform other women about it. That's a problem right there. 

- Because the people even less likely to talk about it are the men that are pressured into doing things with other men to get jobs. Not only their career is on the line, but their entire marketing campaign as an individual. 

- Publicists work for the film industry. Not you. Period. Even tho they take a percentage, they work for the industry and all their peers in studios/sets/etc. They wouldn't put their jobs on the line to save your ass in the media. They wouldn't.

- ...and... Every wrong turn you make as a human being having human flaws and human experiences is more $ in their pocket. More magazine sales, more people calling to book interviews and figure out why and how. They may do a favor here or there, but if you're drowning - they won't save you. They'll make it worse.

Examples? 
* Lindsay Lohan
* Britney Spears
* Heath Ledger 
* Anna Nicole
... You get it.

- In the very end of the day, you are expendable. Your entire team may smile and celebrate and have sleepovers and love on you when you're 'hot', but cool down and they not only stop hustling for you... But you're lucky they even remember your name. 

- Because marketing for women is all about looks and sex, and for men it's all about power and presence. I want to be known for power and presence, not looks and sex. If I'm signed to absolutely anyone outside of myself, I lose that option.

- Because I've been advised by the agents I used to have at some auditions to 'Dress really cute, they like that.' And I knew exactly what they meant, and was floored.

- Because I had the option of being cast as some girl in a Harold & Kumar movie (I think that's what it was) with absolutely no audition because of how I looked. What was the role? Girl being fingered on a couch. I wouldn't have taken the audition if there was one, and I turned it down as soon as it came out of agents mouth. He said, "Come on, April, people seldom just hand out roles. This is a big film, you should do it." When I argued and said that's not something I would ever, ever do and had told him that several times before, he sighed and said, "Okay, if you want to make it harder on yourself."

- I have openly embraced the fact that I can often be a huge evil bitch, because I was told by older more experienced female colleagues with many years in this industry that, "You have to just accept it. In this industry, when you do any real work - are intelligent - or defend yourself or anyone else... You're a huge bitch. No matter how long you've been working. It'll never go away. Own it."

- I'd much rather be a bitch than a mute follower any day.

- I absolutely refuse to do absolutely anything that a 8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,17,20,24,30,37,40,50 year old woman can look at and feel less-than because of. 

- Even now, what I know and the potential I have is continuously made to be inferior to other men. I am constantly looked over and not taken seriously in business meetings, with marketing plans & SEO/SMM strategies because, "What could she know?"

- I first began my work as a producer because the older men who hired me thought I would 'sit there and be pretty, not actually do work'. When I got distribution deals for them and marketing outlines prepared, they dropped me because I 'made them look bad' because I was a young woman, & turned it all around to somehow be my fault.

- Because I enjoy standing up for others, being a voice for the voiceless, and being a real role model for young women. I would have 0 ability to do that when I put my career/life into the hands of others whose #1 objective is to follow the industry standards: Selling sex makes money, Make as much money as possible, spin them to work for our benefit.

... I could go on.

Just speaking from personal experiences, people. 

Above all, I refuse to be a part of the problem. A part of the actions and images and marketed feelings and fake concerns and films perpetuating all the problems that show up as extensive issues and horrors in the lives of #YesAllWomen.
 
Real talk.

Monday, May 26, 2014

#YesAllWomen

The hashtag #YesAllWomen has been all I've RT'd lately on Twitter. 

Basically, some women-hating douchebag in California decided to go on a shooting rampage. 

Here's SOME of the MILLIONS of tweets dedicated to women, women's rights, and the every day struggles of women that most men will never, ever understand:





Here are some eye opening snippets from articles & more relating to the topics mentioned above:




I say a huge PREACH to every woman taking part in this monumental #YesAllWomen movement. 

I not only understand, but have been thru so many similar circumstances not only just as a women, but as a woman who is an actress. 

The film industry has a magical effect on most of the women here - they can't open their mouthes and say anything for fear of being dropped by agents, being booted from films/TV shows, being attacked on a set/at work... It's insane.

I've been told I'm being blacklisted for not sleeping with directors/casting directors/agents. 

I've been told sending naked photos to directors is just 'how it is' to get cast sometimes.

I've seen women deflated and degraded who continue to do it, because they've been told - quite truthfully - it's virtually impossible to get any acting work if you don't just deal with it. 

Since I stand up, since I tell these men to kiss my ass and go fuck themselves - I won't ever get anything. I'll never go anywhere. 

...I am agentless, jobless, and virtually powerless as a young woman in this industry that is in large part to blame for the way men are treating women. 

The media/Hollywood gives no shits as long as it sells, makes money, and grows.

The films/people in the industry who DO care are most often 'black listed', and have just as hard a time as I am. If you're lucky, you'll see them at the festivals such as Sundance - which used to be for helping, and now has become yet another parade of A-List talent and A-List budgets.

I've posted extensively on this topic before, but ladies - women... I am trying so hard to make a company, a way for films and entertainment, that will help us all. That will uplift and empower us at the same time. There's a lot of details and headache and patience and shit I'm dealing with myself, being a young business woman...

"She doesn't know anything..."

"She's not professional, no way..."

"Sweetheart, you sure you can do this?"

"Can you compete against the men in this industry?"

"I hope they take you seriously..."

Having business meetings and dinners where men try and hit on me, when the purpose was to discuss budgeting and crew.

Having business meetings where the men laugh at my numbers and ask me, "Who did those for you?"

Business meetings where all they do is stare at my chest the entire time, and barely discuss anything - let alone answer any questions fully - then when they make an advance I reject, they get up in the middle of the meeting and leave saying they have "Somewhere else to be." 

Having men assume I'm a lesbian, throwing that at me like an insult to - in their tiny brains - explain why I want nothing to do with their advancements. 

Men tell me I clearly, "Need to get laid." Because after 5 times of trying to politely tell them to leave me alone, now I have to get aggressive and loud. Or, wait, I'm sorry... I have to turn into a fucking bitch.

Having men say I'm single because I'm a lesbian, or because I, "Must have something wrong with you. Do you just hate men? That could be why, too. Or a mental disorder."

Or that I'm a prude. That's a popular excuse of theirs, too.

The fact that I want to wait for a relationship with a man who respects me is unreasonable, apparently. I guess getting slapped on the ass, getting cat-called and asked to 'bend over for the brothers' is respect. My bad. How stupid can I be?

I hear you, ladies. I do. I feel for each and every one of you.

I'm working so hard to be a part of the solution. So, so hard. 

#YesAllWomen understand why this is such a huge, huge problem. 

#YesAllWomen are sick and tired of being treated this way.

#YesAllWomen are valid in their emotions and feelings. We don't need men or anyone else to give this their stamp of approval. 

...The fact that this happened, that there's men out there demeaning us for addressing any of these issues is disgusting. 

This shooting, his disgusting video, and all these #YesAllWomen tweets make me sad, sick, happy, upset, depressed, uplifted and inspired at the same time.

The point is...

We won't sit in silence.

We can wear whatever we want and not be raped.

We say say, "No." And mean it. 

We can have opinions.

We're not sitting in a kitchen.

We're not letting this slide.

We're validated by each other, and the men who are man enough to speak out in defense of us, and to open the eyes of the other men on the seriousness of this problem.

Do we have a right to be upset? To speak our minds? To stand up, and have the way we're viewed and treated changed?

Yes. We do.

#YesAllWomen

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What goes 'Bump' in the night...

Someone banged on my dresser.

Heard a male voice (I think it was male) say my name. "April!"

Heard a dog bark. Sounds like a loud, big dog.

Heard walking.

... That was what happened last night while I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep. 

Spirit wanted to chat, and an animal in spirit barked. I think it was my dog we had when we were little, Pistol. He passed when I was young. 

Anna Nicole has been visiting. Spirit has a weird way of passing messages through others to get to you. My Mom calls me today to tell me, "Hey! Ever seen the Anna Nicole movie on lifetime?"

"...Yeah..."

"Oh, well I wanted to tell you they're playing it tonight."

Hey Anna baby. I see you gorgeous! Message received! 

Tonight? Hmm... Let's see... I'll document what I can, usually if I wake up and type it - it breaks my 'zone', or whatever it's called, and I lose it all.

Just had a Déjà Vu moment, on a podcast recording with my Terror Troop people and my buddy Nikita Breznikov. We dropped a call and I remembered dreaming it, dreaming the entire moment. 

I sent a random tweet out to the Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) crowd only to get a phone call that a bunch of people I know are working on a film here in Detroit that Eliza Dushku is on. 

...I am still working on my Orange Is The New Black thing, did a podcast today about it.

I am scheduling what I designate as my psychiatric appointments for the summer with my medium friends. I'm really excited about it, couldn't come at a better time.

I got hit with a weird bout of discouragement and dis-embodiment weirdness today. I don't know what it is, just like someone slapped me in the face at the snap of a finger with crippling depression. Really odd.

I'm sure there's other spirit ghostly beings I'm not listening to, tho I have a weird feeling 'Stand By Me' is P. Swayz's new song for me. No fucking clue where that came from. 

My friend who is the alcoholic lives in a house where someone was murdered, I think. I feel tons of depression and weird coughing feelings when I'm in there, but when I step outside I'm fine. It's not her, either. 

She needs to sage it.

*sigh* 

...I shall see what happens tonight, and the following night. 

Zzzzzzzz
XoXo

Monday, May 12, 2014

Headache, Cemeteries, OITNB, Marilyn Monroe, Paparazzi & more.

I've got one massive headache - partially due to caffeine withdrawal, I can assume - so forgive whatever's missing below. 

It's 2:18a here, in Michigan. Right now, the creepo I am, I'm sitting under a full moon in a graveyard. 

It's poetic. I felt like blogging. 

..& I've been watching SVU on my phone. Thank you, Netflix.

I wonder if there's any women in this graveyard who lost their lives to a sick, disgusting rapist?

So, I want to be on Orange Is The New Black. That show on Netflix. 

I've literally been with every single agency in Michigan. Every single one. None of them did anything but cast extras, industrial videos or crapy crap. Or, call me to do 'modeling' = standing around at a 'product convention' in barely there clothing. No thanks.

That, and I haven't had the best experiences. What people don't talk about is that a lot of the agencies and casting directors around here hire/book/cast actors on 'favors'. Buy them beer, be their best friend... So on and so forth. I've been in several casting offices (reading for features, mind you, when they were coming here) where I've heard the casting directors (thinking no one could hear) say to another actor, "You've already got this, don't worry about it."

Mmhmm.

I've read with agents in Chicago, who love love loved my Erin Brockavich (spelled it wrong probably) monologue and raved about me (real or not I don't know) for minutes when I know damn well they didn't have to. 

I've read for agents in New York.

I've read for agents and casting directors in LA. Many of the casting directors had amazing things to say, but found some excuse which means, "You're good, you are, I would tell you if you weren't because I have with people I didn't like - but I can't really do anything for you (or) I don't intend to do anything for you because I'm just here on business. Collecting extra money, getting my name out there some more."

The thing that's always puzzled me was... I've never gotten bad feedback,

Once, by some guy in LA. Agent. It wasn't even bad acting feedback, it was about my headshots and website and not being SAG.

Really? Only 1% of actors signed with SAG are working. Really working. That 1% is the percentage we all know their names. The other 99% are filled with kids who said one line on one TV show 2 years ago and can barely pay their rent let alone their dues.

I don't have an agent, and quite honestly when I began being met with the sexual requests in exchange for representation and other things, I gave up. 

I'm the damn FBI when it comes to finding out actor submission information. I even got a lead for the show 'Burn Notice', they liked my look and wanted to bring me in - but, alas, no SAG card.

They can do the paperwork. That's what pisses me off the most. Now that I have a company, I'm working my ass off with paperwork and figures and legalese.. It's possible. It's a 2-3 step process with insulting check boxes and blank spaces, but it's possible.

No one takes chances on people anymore. That's the problem. 

Such a shame. 

So, anyways, Orange Is The New Black...

...I've looked up the IMDb credits of their cast, and some of the people who had substantial roles - OITNB was their 1st role! Or their 2nd, 3rd, 4th... They're virtually all nice, new fresh faces. 

I believe they're about taking chances on people, about believing in others. Seeing as how I believe their 2nd season is complete, going into the 3rd can't be far enough along for them to completely close tier minds to more new faces. 

At this point, it's just about me not having an agent to get me there. 

Fuck me.

So, I took it to Twitter, and Twitter let loose:


You can peep that on my Instagram too, if it's fuzzy here. 

It really is something to have people rise up and join you in something you're passionate about that is positive, with as much passion as you have.

I even have two podcasts scheduled about my wanting to be on OITNB & what's going on on Twitter about it. 

I'm not stupid. I understand that the OITNB Twitter account is not ran by the casting directors, or Jenji. Duh... But... From my own work doing SMM (Social Media Marketing) & PR work with internet/film advertising, it's virtually impossible for one human being to run that at all times. 

It's either on auto-posts, or people switch out. Also, the people who work it aren't without direct contact to someone telling them what to post, providing content, etc.

*shrug*

I'm a dreamer & a believer. You never know. 

In a day and age where you being a blip on their radar depends on you're 40,000,000 YouTube views, or 4,000,000 RTs or followers... Who knows. 

What I do know? I didn't go thru all I went thru for nothing. Maybe that would be a great venue to channel what I was, what I could have been. What was very, very real for me. 

To spin it with comedy, but basically be the person I could have been. 

I always say that acting for me isn't about 'creating a character'. Often times, that pressure - for me - inventing a new human being with her traits and walk and look... Often makes myself, and other actors beating themselves up over performances and relation to a story, nervous and worse than they really are. 

My acting is me. I'm not some delusional person who does the meathod thing, it works for some and that's fantastic... But I couldn't do it. I'm too sensitive, I'd end up like poor Heath. No.

I've just got an endless supply of multiple personalities that come out on 'ACTION' and are sent home on 'CUT'. 

I've just never been given the opportunity, thus far, to do what I know can be my best work. 

I believe I could do it on OITNB.

I mean, let's list the credits that I presume would be good for that show that certainly aren't on my resume:

- Been arrested.
- Been to Jail.
- Been in fights.
- Former addict.
- Sober alcoholic.
- SI (self injury) 10+ years.

...not bad grounds for something an actor can add to a show like that, ey?

Will it happen? *shrug* Only time will tell.

If not, there's a reason for it. That I know. 

I also know it will take some work on Lucy's side, & my angel agents. I like that term, LOL.

Maybe I really am supposed to man this whole thing on my own. After all, Lucille Ball was a non speaking extra in over 60 films before she ever got a line, then had it cut.

Also, there are some publishers kicking themselves who turned down Harry Potter and Twilight when they were fighting to be published. 

It's funny, I began writing a screenplay for a movie based entirely on a women's prison several years ago. Before OITNB ever came out. Didn't read the book, either.

Hmm. Ironic. 

Well, world, we shall see. 

If not, as I had said, maybe I am just supposed to man this whole thing alone. My career, Hollywood... Navigate where it goes in a way that's bigger than that. 

In the meantime, I'm trying to talk an aspiring actress friend of mine into a stint that will surely amplify her career, and convince another to take a CA vacation with me.. Away from the job hunting and business goals for once. To have her relax, and just experience it. 

I think it will put her mind at peace about the loud ticking of the clock that is her career constantly going in the back of her head. I know it did for me. 

To be able to show her a different side of California, one that I know now. That isn't not being good enough, or having to do this or that. Just relaxing, enjoying the town (not LA), and being. 

I promised Lucy I would go visit her soon, too. Her final resting spot is only about, eh, give or take, 9 hours from my house here in MI. That's nothing. 

Lucy also used to live a couple blocks from where I am, too. 

<insert twilight zone music>

She was basically a baby, but... Close enough. 

Ironic.

Lucy wants me to do comedy, OITNB is perfect for that. 

And really, I've got the go-ahead for my career from the legend herself. So, regardless, I'm pretty secure in myself.

No rejection could ever touch that. 

So, I wait. 

I read a quote that said, "A wise person knows the difference between patience and procrastination." 

I've spoken with my company's investors and given them a final deadline. If it's not secured by then, I've spoken with our director and other members of the lead crew about looking elsewhere for investment and pickup.

I have 5 scripts ready to be made, I've already done all the pie-chart-graph kind of stuff with audiences, marketing and sales... For every single one... With a release date, plan, and reason for the sequences they need to be released.

I'm writing another 3 scripts so far, have 3-4 that Kyle left behind when he killed himself - already have the blessings from his family for those. Add another 3 from people whose scripts I want to make into film, and even all of those audience/sales/marketing things are already done. 

Already have the marketing/PR people in place for it all, have cornered every market for it... I'm ready. 

So, it's patience. 

If this investment doesn't come thru they've been adamantly screaming will, fine. Will it make things harder? Of course. But... There must be another plan in place then. Something I don't see right now. Something that will surely be the best for everyone involved. 

The only thing I've ever wanted to do in my life was help people. Be the person to them no one was to me. 

Believe in their dreams, help them achieve them. Uplift them. Give them a job, a role, a chance. 

Really. Truly. Not just talk about it.

I've already been shown the power in really seeing someone, acknowledging them. Giving their dreams a chance. I've seen it.

That's what I want to do, more than anything. Be a day maker. A dream maker. 

A teacher. A support system. A mentor. A family, & a work environment on films they truly call a home. 

That's rare. 

I want to do that for people. 

I want them to be able to look back, years later, when their careers are sky high and be able to point at me and say, "She believed in me and gave me a chance when no one else would."

I'm just going to bask in that positive affirmation a moment...

...Wow, that's powerful.

I want frozen yogurt. 

Random? That's me.

I love cemeteries. 

It's so peaceful here. There is a nice little bench around a beautiful statue for a man and wife buried beneath me. It's in the perfect spot. Contrary to popular belief, as much as I come to cemeteries at night, there's never been any funky activity. 

Pssh. Movies.

Ya know, I realized some insane shit last time I visited Marilyn. 

I thought, "I'm gonna go and talk to her, sit and read maybe." She didn't mind it, she said I can use the bench there with her name on it.

First time I went, several years ago when I first moved there, my thing was to visit her every so often and 'share' a smoke with her. 

Long story short, they can bring their vibration down to ours and 'share' in whatever the spirit that is living is experiencing. Not sex, never sex. Stuff like food, drinks.. Smokes. 

That was before the 'can't smoke in any building' thing, of course. I think. 

Anyways, where was I... Ugh, this damn headache... 

So I had went there to read with her not too long ago. Say, "Hi." Visit. 

I didn't even get to open my book before people started swarming. 

Cars driving up, people taking pictures, talking to me like I lived there or something (in the graveyard). "Why is it like this? Where did that chip come from? Who left this lip print?"

All the other times I had went, there wasn't ever that many people. 

Ever.

At least, not when I'd ever been before. 

I remember sitting there, thinking, "My god. This woman doesn't even get peace  being dead."

She doesn't seem to mind it, not that I know of. 

Not that she hangs around all the time, but still.

Interesting revelation. 

That's legendary status. 

I highly doubt any celebrity alive now, short of Betty White or Don Rickles would have the same respects paid to them constantly, never ending, upon their passing. 

It's something everyone should understand becomes a possibility as soon as you start your trek on this career path. 

That's something I've never understood about celebrities now a days. Is it like it was when Lucy and Marilyn were alive? No, it's much worse now. But people know that. Unless your a Disney star, or child star who doesn't really know what they're getting themselves into... You know. Don't act surprised.

They know they'll be asked for their autograph, or picture, all the time. Why the hell would you busy your ass for that movie, that TV show? If someone can't handle the fame, step out. Really. 

It does take a very, very strong individual to handle that. 

You also need to learn the game, and understand how to play it - not let it play you.

I love how Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence & Nicki Minaj handle fame and fans. It's exciting to watch them interact with them, and the media. It's a study for me. 

Also, when you're respected... It's less likely to have people up your ass. In a negative way, anyways.

I do love Michigan. Paparazzi doesn't come here. Eminem gets the occasional drive-by, that's really it. Kid Rock walks around here, I've seen him in a store or two around my house. Usually, Michiganders just smile and mind their own business. 

Michigan has beaches, acres of land, city or suburban living. Lakes, amazing tourist attractions... Lots of people come here to be left alone.

No body fucks with Detroit. 

Please let Eminem get harassed in some public spot. I'd love to see what the citizens would do.

There's big mansions that go up here and there all the time. We shrug, and move along. 

More often than not, it's the secrecy and extreme lengths at privacy that make people curious. Or, so I've come to psychologically understand. 

In Hollywood, give them an inch. That's all they need. They'll spend a year discussing and dissecting that inch. You're good.

I can't wait to see what they have to say about me. I've got so much I'm open and don't mind discussing. 

Having a solid backbone is a must, too. I already know I'll either be accused of being a lesbian because of how I dress (or don't dress), that I have fake boobs (because I'm so small but they're not), that I'm fat, &/or god knows what else. 

I've got so many facets to my personality, I look forward to what they can spin about all of that. 

Something to look forward to!

It's all positive as long as you carry yourself positively, in a respectable way. Sure, everyone's human. People make mistakes. Your 'pros' just have to be more apparent than your 'cons'.

As is life. 

I'm doing pretty good learning Italian, by the way. 

Listened to enough songs in Italian when I was growing up. About time I learned it.

It's almost 4, I should sleep sometime soon. 

...I should stop and get this Gatorade first. Damn this headache. 

Goodnight, kids. 

XO

Monday, May 5, 2014

PAIN

Right now, I'm sitting in the living room of a woman who I have been friends with for years.

She's bright, talented, delightful and caring. She would give the world to anyone. 

She's in her 50s. She's got kids, grandkids, and a beautiful home. 

She's been a recovered alcoholic. Sober for years.

Fate brought me here today. I haven't seen her in some time, and I happened to be in her area on business. I called her to say, "Hello."

...only to be met with what I've always feared.

Silence, and tears. 

"Hello?"

Crying, "It's a bad day, April."

Ice hit my stomach, my foot hit my gas petal. I already knew. 

"I'll be there in 5."

When I arrived, she stumbled outside to greet me. Disheveled, broken, but still beautiful. 

I hugged her tight, and kissed her on the cheek. She reeked of alcohol, and didn't hug me as much as she held onto me for support.

"I slipped, April. I fucked up."

After caring interrogation, I find out she's drank 3 fifths in the last 2 days, plus half a pint today. Apparently, she's been slipping the past couple months. 

Right now, I sit in her beautiful living room - while she takes a shower upstairs - listening intensely for a 'BANG' or 'CRASH'.

She hasn't ate, so I got her food. We ate, and talked about things like pain - triggers - AA - and the history of her disease.

Nothing we haven't talked about before, but today - it's different.

I have lots of friends much older than me. I've always loved that. I don't seem to get along as well with kids my age. This woman and myself have been through a lot together, know everything about each other and our problems... But this woman is an amazing friend, and an amazing mother. She's always been there for me, she's always welcomed me with hugs and snuggles. She's never treated me like a kid, she's never talked down to me. 

She brought me to my first AA meeting. 

She talked to me about my alcoholism. She made me realize, truly, that I did have a drinking problem in my past. In my life. Her openness to talk about her personal struggle made me comfortable talking about mine.

Regardless of her beautiful home, kids, grandkids and career - she's not a woman to fuck with. I've seen her curse a couple people out nice and good. She's a ride or die, no doubt. 

In this moment, as I sit here calmed by the fact that I didn't hear a 'BOOM', 'BANG' or 'CRASH' - I am deeply saddened. 

I just heard the door open. 

"April!"

"Yeah?!"

"Are you okay?"

...She's still worrying about everyone else.

"I'm fine." I went to the stairs to meet her. "Are you?"

"No." She moves the baby gate I had put upstairs in case she wobbled in that direction unknowingly. "I'd be lying if I said I was." She held the wall for support, "I did take a shower tho!"

"Yes you did."

She paused, "You're okay?"

"Don't worry about me."

She shrugged. 

"Go get changed."

She moved off toward her bedroom, and I resumed my position on this couch. 

The decorative pillows, beautiful glass tables, flat screen TVs, decorations, paintings, etc. don't make up for the torment going on inside of her. 

...that breaks my heart. 

It makes it even worse, that now - as I have since spent the entire day with her and made it home - how many times today I have heard her give up.

"April, I was thinking... Maybe, just maybe, I have to die from this. I think that's what's in the cards for me."

"Everyone dies eventually, it'll just be sooner for me."

"I've been trying to kill myself with this shit for most of my life, I'm sure it's just getting close."

"I don't have anything to live for."

"There's no point."

..& many more.

Those all came sporadically. Sprinkled around conversations throughout the day. 

She called me over to be with her when she poured her alcohol out, had a panic attack after, then told me, "I wouldn't have done that if you weren't here."

As she was sobering up, we went out for the day. "I've just got to get out of the house. Please." She had me drive her car, and we went random places. To the store, around the lake, sat and people watched at some coffee shops. She asked for me to focus on laughter, and I did everything I could to deliver.

Of course, not without small bouts of meaningful dialogue.

She admitted to me, between the time I came over - got food - waited for her to 'get ready' - she kept forgetting things upstairs - then she finally called me to be with her to pour out her alcohol, she had snuck drinks the entire time.

It's really scary to look into someone's eyes and not be able to see any hope. Any real desire for change.

I can't even blame her. I can't.

People don't understand how hard it is. People just don't get it. How the fight is so hard, and so tiring - and life seems to continuously kick you in the teeth. Or, you're just a more sensitive person which is fine, and everything just hurts more. 

It is so much easier to just give up. People don't realize how beautiful an addiction is when you're sick of feeling, don't know how to deal anymore, and are just tired. Sick and tired of being sick and tired. 

I get it. I've been there more times than I'd like to admit. 

When I see my people like that, however, it makes my darkest moments seem more manageable. 

How she looked today, what I saw, was a visual representation of what depression and hopelessness looks like. For me, I feel, anyways. 

At the same time, it pisses me off. Seeing people give up. It makes me mad, and angry at them. 

...I love them anyways. 

I can't help it. 

As angry as I get, as loud as I yell, it's my anger at their rolling over and quitting that gets me so heated.

It's the only way I know how to try and fight them for their life.

We were sitting in her car today and out of nowhere she looked at me and said, "You know how they say people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime?"

"Yeah."

She laughed, deep from her gut, which was beautiful to see. She added a smile, "I'm fucking stuck with you."

I nodded. "Damn straight! Best believe it."

Once we got back to her house, and she was basically sober, we got into a slightly heated debate regarding choices vs. disease and addiction. 

I was firm, I stood my ground (as always) and told her if she chose to die that was fine because I know from experience I can't change her mind when it's made a decision like that - but I can't sit around and watch someone else I love die. I couldn't. And I wouldn't support it or enable her.

Her son stopped by with his girlfriend. They are my age, I haven't seen them in awhile. Her son talked about the AA meetings he's been to lately. 

*sigh*

My friend had found her first husband dead in their apartment. Her second husband verbally abused her and left their kids for most of their lives and wouldn't claim them. Her third husband beat the shit out of her and the kids...

...She can't seem to find any value for herself. 

Today was a new record for me. My heart has never broken more in one day, over and over again in different ways for different reasons, than it did today. In one day.

This is the woman who would give you every last penny she had. She would give you the clothes off her back. She would take a bullet, lie on the stand, take a stand, scream over crowds to defend you... 

...and she's hurting so deeply. Under all of it. She can't even find the will or reason to fight that hard for herself.

To be completely and bluntly honest - if I hadn't gotten sober when I did, she would be me. I knew today I am still only a couple slips and perpetually negative thoughts away from being her. 

I arrived home today, and I got this text from her. I'm in Green:


I hope to one day introduce you all to her. I really do. She's the best mentor, teacher, friend and supporter there is. Her and her sponsor are amazing people. I would really love for you all to meet them some day.

For now, I work with her and my company at the same time - the multitasker I am. I am aware that I can't help anyone who doesn't want to be helped, I am aware that it is up to her and only her to get sober, I am aware there are always things she can continue to do behind my back.

Part of me thinks back to Kyle and Jared. They wouldn't change, they refused. They gave me the same type of conversation. I couldn't handle it, and I had to walk at some point. 

I can't do that again. I know stepping out is most often the best help for some people, as I had assumed with Kyle and Jared. They needed to hit a rock bottom, as most people do before they finally go through a rehab that takes. 

...I worry that I'll get a call from one of her kids, or her sponsor, telling me she was found dead in her living room. 

...I worry that I'll get a call from one of her kids, or her sponsor, telling me she was in an accident driving drunk and died on the scene.

...I worry that I'll get a call from one of her kids, or her sponsor, that she is in jail for getting into an accident and killing someone else. 

...I worry that I'll get to her house one day, walk inside, and find her - dead - in her house - then come to find out she's been lying there, dead, by herself, for days. 

*sigh*

It's too much. Really. 

Some fucked up shit pain can do to you, man. 

Today, I had a meeting with alcoholism that I didn't plan on having in someone I thought was way more in control than she is. 

She had me fooled.

My new thought of the week is this...

I knew her so well, and she was strong enough to put on an act for everyone. 

Everyone. 

For years. 

How many other people that I know, or you know, currently have us completely fooled? 

How many other people that I know, or you know, are currently carrying burdens with weights we can't begin to imagine?

I gave her a spiritual workbook, wrote down 24 hr helplines/hopelines for alcoholism, jotted some inspirational quotes, etc... 

I know that no matter what I do, in the end, it's up to her and only her. 

Only she has the power to decide the outcome of this, no one else. 

I hope she chooses the positive ending to her story. 

Say a prayer for her, will you? Please? 

XO