Workaholicism & Saying “No”

Hello!

Wow, have I been up to stuff! Lots of stuff! I started working with a producer to record audiobooks and have already landed my first book contract 🙂 very exciting! It’s a royalty share program which means once the book is done I will get some of the royalties from all the audiobooks sold, which is cool. It’s also lots of performing, and an interesting challenge that I’ve never faced before. Recording audiobooks is tiring! I can only do about 2 hours before I have to stop.

I also have been writing my new novel, I’m about 8000 words in. And, this month I’ve been working on a short film. Busy!

Which brings me to what I’ve been thinking about this morning, and that is, workaholics. I feel like there is such a “thing” in our society to see who can be the busiest, who can work harder, who is stretched the thinnest. It’s like this competition to say “oh I’ve barely slept this week I’m just soooo busy,” and I hate that.

Why am I supposed to be impressed that you’re working 10 – 12 hour days every day? Why am I supposed to be impressed that you haven’t had a day off in 2 weeks? Or that you’re so stressed from all you have to do, and you win the “most miserable” competition? There are a lot of different ideas here, but overall, it seems like a lot of America is working too much and too proud of that.

“I’ll sleep when I die” or “while you sleep I WORK” or “#grind” … I need to sleep. Sorry not sorry. I aim for 8 hours a night. And that is weird to people! They “just can’t do that.” Arguably, I am more productive in an hour, after 8 hours of sleep, than you are in 2 hours after 5. Right? I think so. I get up early and I get my work done.

This is minimalism leaking into my life. I want to do LESS. I want to focus myself. Right now writing novels is my #1. Audiobooks is my #2 (unless I hate it). This blog… well… if you can’t tell… it’s pretty low on my list LOL. I do like to blog, but the value I get out of it isn’t worth the effort of a more strict schedule. Maybe it will be someday, but right now I want to focus on my two main goals. And that means writing one page a day no matter what. And that also means a lot of reading and time in the studio.

I had 3 auditions and got 2 of the books. We looked at the projects, and ended up turning on down because it was a looooong book. I was anxious to do that, because I’m just starting out! But objectively, it didn’t make sense to commit to that project. It’s okay to say no. Now I can focus on making my first book the BEST it can be. And there will be more after.

Is there something you can cut out of your life? Something that you’ve been hanging onto for whatever reason… afraid to say no, afraid to lose it as part of your identity, afraid to have more time? Something that if you let it go (or someone) you’d have more time for the things you love? Things that would make you happier?

Today, I worked on my book and some of my other goals and then I spent the afternoon with two good friends doing a puzzle. Socializing. Talking. And now I am doing a little more work, but I’m not cramming my schedule full because I want space to breathe and think and be. If you try to compete with me for who is the busiest YOU WIN and you can have the prize because I don’t want it.

Sometimes it’s hard to let things go, but once we do, we realize that we’re soooo much better off… yah… think about that 🙂

Better Overall, Worse Episodes

I’m finding that I’m better in the long run when it comes to my depression – I have gotten better at apologizing for mistakes and accepting that I’m just one person and I’m not perfect… Better being a relative word because overall it’s still really hard for me. I also stopped doing reckless things like binge drinking and dating a bunch of losers/mean guys.

So, I’m better, right?

Kinda. Because I find now… that I’m not numb to the pain… now that I’m aware of WHY I feel like this… it can make the times I do have an episode worse.

For example, from 22-26 I was severely depressed and super reckless, drinking, partying, dating the wrong guys, staying up late, watching TV all day, late for work, bad eating habits, all of it. I was in a lot of pain. But I had no idea, in a way. I was numbing it all, mostly with booze and excessive sleep, but I was unaware the depth of my depression.

Ignorance is “bliss” if you will.

Now that I’ve been diagnosed and treated, I’ve stopped a lot of my bad habits. But then, I’m not numb anymore. It’s like waking up in the middle of a surgery. I am acutely aware of the pain in my episodes, and aware of the depression that bogs me down, and aware, very very aware, that this is an illness that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. And sometimes that makes me feel really, really bad.

Depression is so mean, and when you’re feeling depressed and you know it’s because of your depression it can be meaner! It makes me feel like life is unfair. That I will always be struggling with my brain. It makes me think I shouldn’t have children, if I risk passing this to them. It makes me feel like… what’s the point in fighting this, if it’s going to happen again and again.

I have found that my “thoughts of death” have increased since I learned about my depression. Thoughts of death are different than suicidal thoughts – I have never planned out a suicide. I also know that committing suicide is too scary to me and also that I would never, ever, ever, be able to do that to my family and friends, mostly because if you kill yourself there’s a high chance yOU PASS YOUR DEPRESSION TO THEM FUCKKKK I would never want to do that!

Thoughts of death are more like, not wanting to be alive, or dreading the fact that you know you are only 1/4 the way through a normal human lifespan, things like that.

When I was numb, I just drank and slept and went through life disconnected. Now that I’m not, I’m like… can I really do this for the REST OF MY LIFE?!?!?! And WHY THE FUCK DO I HAVE TO. WHY. ME. WHY ME. WHY??? Fuck. It’s like, everyone is trying to climb up the ladder but you’re wearing weights. It’s hard enough around, why you gotta weigh me down!?

I may see a post or hear about someone who lost a loved one to suicide. They are always hurting, and usually can’t understand WHY someone would do that. But I do. I completely understand. Sometimes, I want to reach out and say… “the depth of their pain was something you most likely will never understand, but if you ever spent a day with depression, you would know. You would get it. Because it’s not you anymore… your brain is a monster that attacks you, and there is seemingly no other way to stop it.”

But I don’t say that, because that is a weird thing to say to people who are grieving a suicide.

LET ME SAY THIS: PLEASE DO NOT KILL YOURSELF. PLEASE. DO NOT. KILL YOURSELF. I do NOT advocate suicide AT ALL. YOUR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS ARE NOT YOU! I know you know that!!!!! Tell someone, anyone, what is happening. There are drugs and therapists that CAN help, I know they can, even if it’s hard.

If you are feeling suicidal call the suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255

And know this. I KNOW how you feel. I am also struggling. And I am still here. And I will continue to fight. Because there is stuff in life worth living for, even if in this moment it doesn’t feel like that at all. If it’s really bad, go to bed and sleep, give your brain a break from the pain and try again to get help when you wake up. And know that you are not alone, my brain is a monster too.