My first blog post was met with a lot of positive feedback from my friends, my family, and the improv community and I'm so grateful for that. I heard from people I haven't spoken to in forever. I also heard from dear friends who have been hiding in the darkness as well without me having any clue. I appreciate them reaching out. How encouraging it is to be reminded of how much pain we're all in! (I'm clearly a sadist).
But truthfully, thank you again to everyone who took the time to read my post and/or share your thoughts. It means more than you know.
As a teacher, I try to tell my students in improv to embrace every bit of themselves. We're all made up of thoughts and experiences that scale the entire spectrum of human emotion from ecstasy to noose-shopping. I tell them to be willing to revel in their vulnerability for that's where the truth is. Improv is all about accessing your true self in the moment and I feel like it's time to realize that isn't the extent of the lesson. Rather, LIFE is all about accessing your true self in the moment.
What this means is taking ownership of all that you are no matter how pretty or ugly it may be. And to know that our feelings and experiences are what make us who we are, but they're also what make us inspiring to others. And that inspiration can take many forms. Owning up to your shit may inspire someone else to do the same. Or by owning up to your shit, it could make someone else feel really great about how much better at life they are. Either way, you can be an inspiration.
Since depression, anxiety and shame are so self-involved, it's important to find ways to bring in the rest of the world. By realizing that our inner shit-show can positively impact others, it becomes so much easier to deal with. At least for me, it's giving me a reason to come out of the shadows.
After I wrote my blog the other day, I felt a sense of relief. And despite that relief, I still found a way to down two candy bars and half a bag of tortilla chips. What this tells me is my big fat dark passenger doesn't just feed off my shame, but feeds off of all my emotions. Which means, I should have plenty of material to write about. Look at me being optimistic.
It would be absurd of me to think that opening up would equate to the instant death of my big fat dark passenger. I know he's buckled in and has no plans to go anywhere. I know there's a lot more to him then binge eating. I know I'm going to have to fight for control of the wheel. I know this road is a long one. I know that this driving metaphor is going to get old soon. (and by soon, I mean now.) But as of today in this moment, I'm ready for the ride. (Okay, seriously...time to hit the brakes on these driving metaphors. They're a dead end.) ((I hate myself.))