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>Collapsed brain

>I am really determined to get an earlier night tonight. It was 7am again last night/this morning, and I just find that so hideous. I hate being awake still when I hear my parents getting up. If I lived on my own I don’t think I would care, but I just hate hearing other people getting up when I haven’t been to sleep yet. So I am really hoping for an earlier night tonight.

I got through rehearsal ok. I had to go at 6:30 to work on my songs for an hour with the Musical Director. That was ok. He seemed happy enough, although he is very precise about what he wants, so is quite hard to please. And seems to think that I have lungs of steel and can hold a note for far longer than I actually can. But he seemed pleased. Although it was slightly embarrassing, as I have a tendency to not warm up very thoroughly before rehearsals – on Mondays I literally don’t get a chance to as I go straight from ballet, and on Wednesdays I tend to do maybe 5 or 10 minutes, which is totally inadequate. Tonight I had probably warmed up for about 20 minutes, which is still fairly pathetic, but an improvement on usual, and he asked if I had just come from a singing lesson or had been warming up properly as it sounded much better than usual. Note to self: warm up properly – people can tell the difference unfortunately. I have got very lazy vocally – I haven’t had a proper singing lesson since the summer, and I don’t sing every day, which I really should be doing, and then I expect to be able to go into a rehearsal, without warming up properly, and sing four solos, a duet, and solo lines in a couple of other songs, plus ensemble singing. Doesn’t work. It isn’t fair on my voice. After that I spent an hour and a quarter getting increasingly fed up and desperate to get home, as I was just sitting around, as they were working on a number I am not in. Then finally they started work on the number we were scheduled to rehearse tonight, which is a big ensemble number, lead by me and three others, which has a big tap break in the middle. The tap is very fast – not difficult steps, but very fast, and with some tricky rhythms, which makes it difficult. Unfortunately I have already forgotten one section, which is indicative of my current inability to concentrate and retain information, as usually I just have to do a dance a couple of times and it is ingrained in my head, but I just can’t remember some of it at all. I now have no rehearsals for a week and a half, which is the most enormous relief. It is half term next week, and as the MD is a music teacher, and the Director/Choreographer is a dance teacher, they both have the week off work, and so are going away (they are a couple), which means no rehearsals until Sunday 27th. I also don’t have ballet next week for the same reason, so I basically have no commitments at all for the next week and a half, and that just feels so good. Although at the same time, it does make me feel more unsafe. When I have commitments, like rehearsals that I know I can’t miss as it would mess things up for the rest of the cast, it makes me feel obliged to keep going however shit I feel, whereas now I am free from that, which makes the suicidal thoughts even stronger. Of course I realise it would be difficult for them after that week and a half if I were dead, but I can’t think that far ahead, and all I can think at the moment is that I have no commitments at the moment, my mum’s birthday is out of the way, and so there is nothing to stop me acting on my thoughts. To be honest I am feeling quite unsafe.

I tried to phone my GP earlier. I didn’t have a clue what I would say to her. Saying ‘I don’t trust you because you have been taken over by them and now you have taken over my mum, but I need help’ seemed somewhat inappropriate, but is the truth. I don’t trust her any more – I don’t trust anyone. But I am desperate, particularly as I knew I have been feeling increasingly unsafe. So I didn’t really know what to do. In the end I did ring, at about 12:30, and the receptionist said they would get her to call me back as she was with a patient. She didn’t ring all afternoon, and I know that she has afternoon surgery from 4 – 6, so I knew that if she did call me back it would be after that. I had left my mobile number as usual, but I had to leave for rehearsal at 6, and was rehearsing alone with the MD until nearly 7:30, so couldn’t have taken any calls in that time even if she had rung. My GP tends to phone at strange times – I have had a call from her at 8:15pm before, so I kept my phone on vibrate in my pocket, so that I could answer it if she did ring, but I didn’t hear anything. When I got home my dad said she had rung at 7:30 – I don’t know why she had called the landline rather than my mobile, but obviously it meant I couldn’t speak to her. That doesn’t really feel like a bad thing – I didn’t know what I could say anyway. I just feel like I need help from somewhere, and I would prefer to speak to her than whoever happened to be on duty at the CMHT. L is in work tomorrow, so I have sent an email asking if she could phone me. Again, I feel very unsure about what I can say, as I am still feeling really mistrustful of all professionals, and I know she can’t change how I feel or what I am planning to do, but I just really need to talk to someone I know, and whom I have trusted in the past, even if I don’t at the moment. It probably won’t help or make any difference, but at least I will have tried. I really have absolutely no idea what I can say to her. I don’t even know what I am scared of. I just don’t trust anyone at the moment. I do wonder whether there is any point trying to get help. I have done that, it didn’t work. Maybe I should just learn from that and not try and get help – just get on with it. But when I feel very suicidal and unsafe I just get this frustrating part of me that nags me to talk to someone, even if I know it will make no difference. I suppose knowing it will make no difference is why it feels safe to do so. I know nobody can stop me from acting on my thoughts if that is what I choose to do, or at least L wouldn’t anyway, so despite feeling like she has been taken over and is against me, I know she wouldn’t make me do something I wasn’t happy with, like insisting I go to A&E, or having me assessed or anything like that, and my mum already knows so it isn’t like she can threaten to speak to her. That’s one of the reasons I couldn’t call the CMHT whilst she was away – there was the possibility of fuckwit ex-care coordinator being on duty, and if he knew I was feeling like this then he would insist I went to A&E, or have me assessed under the MHA, and I am not having either of those things happen. But I still trust L not to do that, and I don’t believe my trust in that respect is misplaced, because I know hospital is the last thing she wants for me. I feel confused. I don’t know what to say to her if she calls. I don’t know what I can tell her. I don’t trust her because I know she is on their side, but she is also my only option. And she can’t stop me. Suicide feels so appealing. It is like it is beckoning to me. I just feel like such a mess at the moment. I am beyond confused. My brain just feels like it has collapsed.

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>I am not feeling that great. Not desperately suicidal or anything. Just not good. I suppose that is a bit of a daft thing to say really as I never feel good. I don’t know how to explain it really. I suppose it is partly just the post show blues making me feel flat – I think that is something everyone experiences after performing. It fills so much of your life, particularly during the actual performance period, and the week or two leading up to that, and so it is bound to leave something of a void when it finishes. It is strange how slowly the last few weeks have gone – it is less than 3 weeks ago that my friend was here, and it feels like so much longer. Back then, just 2 weeks ago, I didn’t even want to go to rehearsals, and I wished I wasn’t doing the show at all. Then it took over for a couple of weeks, and whilst I would say I was happy to be going off out every night, and I didn’t always feel like it, I got on with it, and it was fine, and sometimes it was fun. And now I suppose I just have a gap. It has been quite a few years since I have done a big musical, which may be contributing to it I suppose – I didn’t perform at all, apart from some concerts and festivals, between 2006 and this year, so that was a 4 year gap, which is really quite a long time. I was still dancing, and I did some teaching in that time, and some directing and choreographing etc, but I didn’t actually perform myself, and the last musical I did before Carousel was Les Miserables back in 2005. I actually hadn’t realised quite how big a gap there had been – I knew I hadn’t been performing for a while, but it is only now I have opened up my CV and am actually looking at dates that I have realised just how long. Then in 2006 I did open air Shakespeare, and a very small part in a play, and then absolutely nothing bar concerts/festivals, and extra work in one film in 2007 (which I don’t count as acting as you just stand about and move when you are told to) until the one act play I did earlier this year, then The Tempest, and then Carousel. It is strange – between 1998 and 2003 I did 2 musicals every year, and sometimes a play or pantomime too, and then usually a couple of concerts as part of a choir as well, and various other things, and after that I started doing less and less, until I stopped completely in 2006. I know that is no coinidence – 2005 is when I first tried to kill myself, and also when I moved away to university and was hospitalised etc, and although I did a couple of things in 2006 when I was back home, I know things had changed. They had started to change before that actually – I did my first summer course at a big Drama School in 2002, when I was 16, and I came home pissed off that I was starting A levels rather than a performing course, and unhappy with the quality of the productions I had been doing, and just wanting more. I also had my first audition for a West End production that year, which despite being dreadful, made me want to perform even more, and therefore made me even more frustrated with college etc. Then 2003 was when everything seemed to go wrong and I was first diagnosed with Depression, and given anti depressants, and an Eating Disorder, and referred to the CMHT. And I suppose I just started performing less and less as I just didn’t have the motivation or energy, and I found being around people too difficult. I kept up with dance classes virtually the whole time, and I carried on with singing lessons until about 18 months ago, when a) my singing teacher moved away, and b) I was having severe problems with my voice, and I did some acting classes for a while, and some summer courses etc, but there were absolutely no productions after the summer of 2006, until the spring of this year.

Then this year I decided to force myself to do things, even if I didn’t feel like it. I knew that performing was still the only thing I ever cared about, despite not caring the majority of the time. So I got involved in the 1 act play. I can honestly say I regretted that about 99% of the time. There wasn’t a single rehearsal or performance I wanted to go to, I couldn’t be bothered with it, I didn’t care about it, I didn’t enjoy myself. Then it was on to the Shakespeare. That was better. I still didn’t want to be doing it most of the time, but there were some points that I was enjoying it. Shakespeare wrote so beautifully that it is hard not to get into it – when something is that well written you have to put everything you can into it (as of course you should with everything, but some thing just demand it). So although I never felt like going to the rehearsals or learning my lines, there were times when I was pleased to be doing it. And then Carousel. That has been a bit of a mixed one. I would be lying if I said I haven’t enjoyed it some of the time. I still felt a real lack of motivation towards going to rehearsals, but they generally improved when I got there, although not always. I liked working with a good choreographer. I liked doing the pas de deux (bar the somewhat scary Saturday performances, and of course hurting my back!). It was a little difficult only being in the second half of Act 2, as that meant I didn’t go to many rehearsals, and so really didn’t get to know the cast very well at all, apart from those I was in scenes with, until the couple of weeks before the show week, but when I did get to know them they were a really lovely bunch. I got to know the other principal females particularly well during the week of the show when we were sharing a dressing room, and that was great – they were good fun. So there were lots of positives. On the other hand, there were also days when the thought of going out to a rehearsal had me in tears, as it just felt too much, and a couple of rehearsals that I didn’t go to because it was just more than I could face. 3 weeks ago I would have said I would be massively relieved when it was over. But it really did improve a lot during the week before the show, and the week of the show itself. I wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t hyper and excitable like I used to be during shows, and like other people were. I felt quite flat and numb. I didn’t get at all nervous, which actually isn’t a good sign, as you need a bit of adrenaline to give a good performance I find. But it was the most positive performing experience I have had this year. Maybe because it was a musical, and really that is what I am most passionate about, or maybe because of having such a great cast, particularly in my dressing room. I don’t know. I still didn’t have the spark I want, but I didn’t spend my whole time wishing I was at home, and that has to be a good thing right? Goodness, this was such a tangent. I can’t even remember what my point was….

Right, yes. So when you are doing a show, it kind of takes over you life, and when it finished you are just left with this hole. I suppose it is particularly strong because I haven’t been doing anything else this week either – normally I would have been to ballet twice, but it has been half term so that hasn’t been on. So yes, I suppose I am partly just feeling a bit empty because of the show being over. Then I am struggling with my weight and food as usual. I ate far more today than I should have, and so feel terrible, and am really scared of what the scales will say tomorrow, but not weighing is not an option. Then there is normal depression stuff. I am doing better than I was a few weeks ago I think – I have read a few books over the last couple of weeks, which is usually at least a vague indicator for me, as when things are really dreadful I can’t read. But I just feel kind of on edge. I am still having lots of suicidal thoughts, but I am not in that numb, unable to move type depression. I feel a bit impulsive I suppose, which kind of scares me, because in some ways it feels more unsafe, but I don’t think I am at risk of acting on the suicidal thoughts at the moment, even in an impulsive mood. I have been getting a lot of urges to self harm though. They are often strong when I am really frustrated with my weight and body. I wish I could just cut big slices of fat off. Off my thighs. I keep getting these pictures flashing into my head of just carving massive chunks of fat off my legs. I won’t attempt it – that isn’t my style, but I would like to. I really need to find a way of getting in control of my weight and what I am eating, because at the moment it is just making me feel terrible about myself. I need to lose weight. I can’t even express how important that feels at the moment, and yet how impossible.

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>Catch up

>It feels like so long since I have written anything! That is mostly because my laptop charger decided to break – there were little wires poking out, so I decided that fiddling around with it trying to make it work probably wasn’t the best idea, although I did give it a little go. So that was on Saturday night that it stopped working completely, and then the only other working computer we have in the house is my Dad’s laptop, which he was using most of yesterday, so I didn’t get much time on the computer until today. I have ordered a new charger for my laptop, but I am guessing it won’t be here until the end of the week, so I will be laptopless for a few days more unfortunately.

The shows went well Saturday. Well, mostly anyway. My back and hips were hurting, but I got quite used to that really. There was something I wasn’t at all happy about on Saturday – someone came into our dressing room during Act 1 of the matinee and told me that my pas de deux partner had been drinking. I was pretty pissed off – for a start you aren’t allowed alcohol backstage full stop, secondly it is incredibly unprofessional, but also it is really quite dangerous – I didn’t want to do lifts with someone who had been drinking. He apparently thought it was all fine because he felt in control but I felt like that was pretty irrelevant – alcohol throws your balance off, and even if you do feel in control sometimes you aren’t. Several people spoke to him, and he promised them he wouldn’t have any more. The matinee went ok – I could smell the alcohol on his breath, but he did seem ok. Then the evening show came round and the second he walked on stage I could see he had been drinking more. There was fuck all I could do about it, so I just had to get on with it and hope for the best. It wasn’t that great – he wasn’t really drunk or anything, but he had definitely had enough that it was having an impact on his balance, and it didn’t feel right, and the choreographer could see it wasn’t right – the audience probably couldn’t have because they hadn’t seen it before, but the fish dive was actually quite scary – I ended up at such an angle I didn’t think he was going to be able to get me back up. So yes, I was pretty pissed off about that, and I really don’t know what he was thinking. All through rehearsals and the other performances he had been great – I felt really safe with him and we got on well, and I just have absolutely no idea what made him drink on Saturday. If he had stopped during the interval of the matinee like he told people he would once they had pointed out how dangerous it was to drink before going on stage and partnering someone then I wouldn’t have been so angry, but it was so clear that he had carried on drinking after that, and that really pissed me off. Anyway, apart from that it was all fine. Between the shows some of us ordered in pizza, and people just hung out, but there wasn’t that long really. I had lots of cards and things from other cast members – in fact I had a card and little present of some type from my stage mother every night! But got various other little presents and cards on Saturday, and 12 beautiful yellow roses from my stage father. My parents also got me some flowers and a card, as they had forgotten to get me a card at the start of the run, but I can’t remember what those flowers were. I am not good at flowers. I know roses and tulips and that is more or less it. They may have been Gladioli?? I don’t know. My mum did tell me but they are pretty flowers – I don’t need to know the name.

I went to the aftershow party. I wasn’t sure what to do, but in the end someone who lives not too far away from me gave me a lift home, so I was able to stay for a couple of hours, so that was nice. It feels quite weird it is over. I wasn’t sure what to do with myself tonight, as I should have been at ballet and then rehearsal, but it is half term, and the show is over. My body definitely needs a rest though. My back is still really quite painful, and so really needs a break, then my hips are still incredibly tight and sore. My cold and sore throat seem to be going, but I have at least 7 mouth ulcers which are very painful. I have had at least 3 constantly for the last couple of weeks, but now I just have so many of them, and some of them are really horrible. So I think I am quite run down. I have absolutely no plans for the week at all apart from seeing L tomorrow morning. The rest of the week is totally free. I think T wants to do something one day or evening, but I don’t know what or when. There are a couple of limbering classes at my dance school, but I am not going to go, although I feel like I should, because I think my body really just needs a break. I am not very good at listening to my body when it tells me to stop – I just make it keep going, like with my back and the show, but I think it is screaming as loudly as it can and I should probably take notice. So probably lots of watching bad TV and sleeping. Lots of sleep would be good. I am sleeping really badly, because I keep waking up from the pain of my mouth ulcers. I have been putting stuff on them, but it just kind of wears off and I end up waking up with them really hurting.

Mood wise I have been a bit all over the place really. Last week was quite strange, as I was having a lot of suicidal thoughts that I knew I couldn’t act on, and feeling very flat even when I was on stage, but then some of the time I was having fun too. It was a really lovely cast, and the girls in my dressing room were very funny, and so there was a lot of laughter etc, but then there were these underlying thoughts about suicide all the time. And of course my weight. I am not at all happy with my weight at the moment, and I was very conscious of it last week, particularly because one of my dresses was very tight – it fitted but it couldn’t have been any smaller at all. And I just can’t help comparing myself to other people. I know my body perception must be a bit wrong from the way I perceive myself in relation to other people, as if I find out their actual weight or measurements etc they are always bigger than I expect, as I base my expectations on how I think they look compared to me – for example the girl playing my stage mum I thought was much smaller than me, but actually she weighed a few pounds more and was an inch shorter, so I know that logically she can’t be that much smaller than me. Maybe a bit, because she is a lot more muscular than I am, but she can’t be as much smaller as I see her as being. I really do need to lose weight though. I have been saying that for so long now, but it really has to happen. Not to a stupidly low weight – just a weight that I can be more comfortable at. I know it won’t magically solve everything and make me happy, but it will at least give me one less thing to hate myself for.

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>More show stuff

>Been busy busy. Well actually I haven’t been that busy, but it feels like I have. Yesterday I had my flu jab, and then a show in the evening. On the way to getting my flu jab I mentioned to my mum that I probably shouldn’t have had my flu jab the week of the show, but the nurse who was doing the flu jabs scares me, and so I didn’t like to ask if I could rearrange it because I thought she would tell me off for wasting her time, so I had it done, and then got home, remembered that after my flu jab last year I couldn’t move my arm for 3 days, and got into a hysterical mess, panicking that I wouldn’t be able to move my dance, and therefore the dance would all be a disaster and thinking what a complete idiot I was. As it turned out it hasn’t actually been too bad – it was a bit sore to lift yesterday, but fine for dancing, and today it felt a lot better. So I was panicking needlessly, but that is my style I guess. Then I had a nap for an hour in the afternoon, and then went to the theatre. The show went pretty well last night, apart from a very funny moment in the scene before I go on, when the lead thought it was the ballet (during which he goes to get his make up redone for the scene after the ballet) and completely forgot he had another scene first, and so had gone downstairs to the make up people, and there was a good minute of stage time when he just wasn’t there, and the starkeeper just stood there polishing stars, and then everyone backstage heard this thundering up the stairs, and he dashed to the other side of the stage and walked on. Amazingly it couldn’t be heard from the audience apparently, but it was very loud, and very amusing backstage. Apart from that it was ok, although I think everyone felt a bit flat – not really sure why.

Today I had a rehearsal for my song for the concert I am doing in December, and then went straight to the theatre after that. It went quite well tonight – we had a particularly responsive audience in, although I have to say that they have all been fairly good, but they were particularly enthusiastic tonight. My back was hurting more tonight – it is really hurting quite a lot now. I had to take the tape off today that the physio had put on, as I couldn’t really be doing with getting it all wet yet again, and I didn’t think that it was really making that much difference anyway, but my back was definitely a lot worse tonight, so maybe it had been helping. My upper hamstrings/hips are still really tight – they seem to be getting worse. I can’t even get into flat splits on what is usually my good leg, and the place that is stopping me really shouldn’t be – that isn’t where doing the splits stretches you! So I am still doing them on my other leg, which I can just about still make it on. I think my body really needs a rest – it is just all seizing up on me. There are a couple of limbering classes next week at my dance school as it is half term, but I think I just need to rest.

Tomorrow I have a matinee as well as an evening performance, so will be at the theatre from about half 1 until after the evening show. There is no point in going out between the shows, as there will only be about 2 hours between the end of the matinee and the start of the evening performance, and getting out of costume and make up takes 20 minutes, then most people like to be there an hour and a half before the show to start getting ready, so that would leave 10 minutes out of the theatre, which obviously isn’t worthwhile! So I think people will just order food in – I can’t imagine anyone will bother going out. There is an aftershow party, but I don’t know whether I am going to be able to go or not. My parents are going to see the show tomorrow, and so they won’t want to wait around for too long after, and so I could just go for a little while, but then everyone pays £8 for the aftershow, to cover costs of food/drink etc, and it isn’t worth me paying that if I can only stay for an hour or less, and I would have no other way of getting home.

It is weird to think the show will be over tomorrow. I can’t quite decide how I feel about it. I think if I wasn’t injured I would be more upset, but I do know that my body really needs a rest, or my back is never going to get better. I will miss some of the people in the cast who I get on really well with, and I guess being on stage, but I know that even just a couple of weeks ago I really couldn’t be bothered with going to rehearsals. And I have been feeling fairly flat all week, despite performing etc. Other people seem all kind of hyper and excited, and I am just flat, and I can’t get that enthusiasm. Obviously I am pleased when it goes well, and I am definitely more comfortable being on stage and acting than I am just being me, but I just feel like I am missing that spark.

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>Tech day

>I thought that today was going to be an absolute nightmare. We had the band call this morning, which I thought would probably be fine, but then we had the tech this evening, and in my experience tech rehearsals are generally a nightmare. They are the first time you get on stage with all the scenery, microphones, costumes, props etc, and generally everything that can go wrong does, and you have to repeat things endless times for the tech crew to sort X out, which is fair enough as it is their rehearsal, but it really is tedious. And of course constantly being told the rehearsal isn’t for you – it is for the tech crew can be frustrating. So yes, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it – I don’t think it is anyone’s favourite part of a production.

I couldn’t get to sleep last night because I was really stressed about one of my costumes. It is the one I have to wear for the ballet and the scene after, and I was expecting something fairly flimsy and light, and easy to dance in etc, but was given a fairly typical Victorianesque child dress – fitted body, mid calf length full skirt with a ruffle thing at the bottom, sash, etc. I was stupid – at the costume call I just checked it fitted and that the skirt was full enough for me to do the splits in, and I didn’t even think about anything else. Then last night when I was trying to sleep I went into panic mode about it. I decided that a) it was too heavy and I wouldn’t be able to lift my legs properly in it, b) that my pas de deux partner wouldn’t be able to work with it as he is used to dancing with me in jazz pants, when he can easily grab my legs etc, without layers of fabric getting in the way, and c) that my foot would get caught on the hem attaching the ruffle bit and I would end up stuck or falling flat on my face. And basically just thinking it would be a complete and utter disaster and there would be no way I could dance in it. And I couldn’t sleep because I was just getting so stressed about the whole thing and how terrible it would be. So it was late when I finally got to sleep, and then I slept really badly with loads of dreaming and waking up and tossing and turning, so I was not happy about getting up, and I was feeling pretty stressed. The day did start well as I have lost 2lbs in 2 days, so felt slightly less grotesque, and slightly more ok about being on stage and dancing etc, but I really was tired, and I just cannot shift this cold/sore throat thing I have, let alone my bad back.

I got to band call today and immediately went up to the choreographer and told her I was concerned etc. She said she had also been expecting something more floaty, and to see how I got on, and a replacement could be got if necessary. I decided to put it on at band call to give me an extra chance to try it out and see how it felt. To be fair it wasn’t as terrible as it was in my head last night – I think I was catastrophising a little…. The ruffle/frill bit around the bottom is probably the biggest problem, as although there is no chance of my foot getting stuck in it like I was imagining, it is where most of the weight is, which is one of the problems both because it makes it heavier (although again, not too heavy to lift my leg like I was imagining…) and because it sets the weight of the dress in a weird position, and doesn’t allow it flow like it should. It is also a shame that the material is not at all sheer/flowy as it means you can’t actually see what my legs and feet are doing, which is kind of important in ballet. The dress would be absolutely fine for ensemble number dancing etc, but it just isn’t right for a ballet. And because of the weird weight line it throws my balance off slightly, which isn’t good. One of the chorus members had the bright idea that we could just unstitch the ruffle and get the costume woman to sew it back on before returning it to the hire place, but I am not sure about that – sounds a bit dodgy! Anyway, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting – my centre felt a bit out as I said, and you can’t see my legs/feet which is a shame after all the work the choreographer has put in, but it won’t be the end of the world if I have to use it – it will just be a shame. It felt worse in the band call this morning than it did during the actual tech rehearsal, but I think that is partly because the venue the band call was in had a really slippery floor, as so wasn’t good for dancing in full stop. The choreographer was great about it though – I asked if the director would have a problem with me changing the dress, as he liked it at the costume call, and she said ‘Well, you are my dancer, and if you aren’t happy with it and I’m not happy with it, then it doesn’t really matter what he thinks to be honest – it is primarily a dance costume, so I have the final say!’ so it was really good to know that she would support me, as I had expected her to just say something along the lines of not being sure there was anything they could do about it etc. Her, the director, and the costumier are going to the hire place tomorrow, as there are several more costumes needed because of the ones being sent not fitting etc, so they are going to see if they can find anything more suitable for me, but if not I will just have to make do with what I have.

The actual tech rehearsal went surprisingly smoothly! I don’t even like saying that, as I feel like it is somehow jinxing the dress rehearsal, but it really did! It was definitely the easiest tech I have ever been involved with. You normally have to stop so often, but I think we only had 2 proper stops, possibly 3, which is really pretty good going. There was one that affected me – the middle tabs go across at the end of the scene before the ballet, and the scene continues front of tabs as it merges into the ballet scene, and the tech crew have to change the set behind the tabs, and then the tabs open and I start the dance, but they hadn’t set the scene in time, and so the music for the ballet started and the tabs were still closed, so I just danced around behind the tabs for a little while until the director stopped the show and got them to reset the previous scene and do the set change again to see if they could do it in time, and it worked fine that time, so hopefully it won’t be a problem in the future. The ballet went fine, despite the dress. Dr Theatre worked his magic and stopped my back hurting the whole time I was performing, although I was in a lot of pain when I finished. The only other things I was really concerned about was a couple of things I have to do very quickly – the first is put my radio mic on after the ballet but before I have to enter for the next scene, which is about 30 seconds, but with someone helping me we managed it in time – I was a bit worried as I can’t have it on for the ballet as the mic pack would probably get in the way with the lifts etc, but I have to have it on for the next scene. The other thing was a very quick costume change – I have to change out of the dress I am wearing for the ballet, which means undoing the sash, unclipping the pin mic, zipping the dress, getting out of the dress, getting out of my shoes, and then putting on a petticoat, long white socks (would have been tights, but thought socks would be quicker to get on, and look the same as the dress is long), a different dress, different ballet shoes, another sash, attaching the pin mic to the new dress, and putting in a hair slide with a bow on it in maybe a minute and a half. It is definitely a pretty quick change – one to be done in the wings for sure and with 2 people helping. We managed it with about 15 seconds to go I think, so that was pretty good – 15 seconds is a lot in a change that quick, but there is definitely not going to be time to get back to the dressing room, even though it is number 1, and therefore closest to the stage – just through the stage door. But that’s ok – I have done plenty of changes in the wings before, and I seem to have someone pretty efficient helping me, so hopefully it will be fine!

In between the band call and the start of the tech I went out for a meal with some of the other cast members – the girl playing my mother, who I think is one of the most genuine, lovely people I have ever met – she is just so sweet and caring to everyone, and then 3 of the girls from the ensemble. We went to Pizza Express. It was nice. They are a really nice crowd. A couple of things were a bit difficult – firstly the obvious – eating out is always difficult for me. I desperately wanted to purge but couldn’t as for some reason we all went to the toilets together at the end of the meal, so there was no way that was going to happen. So that was tough. I tried to keep telling myself it was the only meal I was going to get today and so it was ok, and that I was dancing too, but I am sure I will have gained weight tomorrow, and that will be far from ok. Then the other thing that was slightly uncomfortable was that my ‘mother’ mentioned her husband being away at the moment, as his 19 year old brother had died, and it turned out to be a suicide, and one of the ensemble girls said her uncle had killed himself and she had been the last person to speak to him, and so it lead into a bit of talk about suicide, and I just didn’t know what to say. None of them know that I have mental health problems or anything, and it didn’t seem an appropriate time to mention that I have tried to kill myself a couple of times, so I just sat there and felt a little awkward. But it was good apart from those two things.

This was meant to just be very quick before I went to bed, and I have ended up writing loads. I should have learnt by now that I am not good at writing a little bit. Luckily I don’t have to be up early tomorrow. I do need to get some eyelashes at some point, as we are apparently supposed to wear false eyelashes I discovered today – I will be shit at putting them on, I might have to get the make up people to do it for me. I am just not good at things like that! There is a possibility I will have to go over to the costume hire place to try on dresses, but I expect the choreographer will sort it out without me needing to go over there. Then I have ballet 5:45 – 6:45, and then the dress rehearsal starts at 7:30. I am tempted to try and book another physio appointment for either tomorrow or Tuesday, as my back still isn’t better, and maybe there is some treatment they could do now that would make more of a difference. It is better than it was, but it does still give me quite a lot of pain, and I don’t think it should be 3 weeks after I hurt it, particularly with the quantity of painkillers I have been taking! Just a shame it is so expensive! I hope the dress rehearsal goes as well as the tech did – if it does then it should be a good show.

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>I think my body hates me. Firstly, I hurt my back. My fault, fair enough, but why is it still not better?? I hurt it 2 and a half weeks ago (and then hurt it more 2 weeks ago), but I did then give it 10 days of complete rest and lots of anti inflammatory tablets and painkillers and a physio appointment and Tiger Balm, so I think I treated it nicely. But it still isn’t better. It is still hurting me. Both my GP and the physio told me it would be completely better by now, and it is far from that. It is better than it was, but it still hurts a lot, and is definitely not completely better. I have been dancing this week, because I just couldn’t afford to take any more time off rehearsing, but I have taken out the lift that was most likely to cause a problem, as it was how I originally hurt it, and today was the first time I have danced full out and done all of the other lifts etc. But it is definitely hurting. Although Tiger Balm is a godsend, and helps far more than any painkillers.

Then there is this cold/sore throat/earache thing I have going on. I don’t feel terribly congested, which is supposedly what is wrong with my ear, as I can breathe through my nose etc, but my ear is still hurting despite the enormous quantities of painkillers I am taking for my back, and it feels weird – like when you have been swimming and have water stuck in your ear and everything sounds strange, except I haven’t been swimming and got water stuck in my ear. And then the sore throat/cough thing. Then I also have 4 mouth ulcers which are pretty uncomfortable to say the least, and finally, just to add insult to injury, I got a spot today. Fabulous.

So I think it is safe to say that my body hates me. Or I am very run down. Or a combination of the two. Can bodies hate you? If they can I am going with that. Otherwise I suppose it is just stress and lack of sleep and bad timing.

I went to ballet last night despite feeling shit. I had missed 2 full weeks because of my back, and so decided that I really shouldn’t let a cold stop me from going. It was ok, although possibly did make my back a little worse, although it is hard to tell really. Then tonight I had rehearsal, plus an extra dance rehearsal before to go through the pas de deux in the ballet as we have had so little rehearsal time. I think we have got it sorted now. My back hurt quite a lot after, but I don’t have to dance again until Sunday now, so I have a couple of recovery days. And there isn’t much I can do about it anyway. There isn’t anyone who could replace me at this stage, so I just have to get on with it. It apparently looked beautiful (although I suspect that is a gross exaggeration) so at least I am not hurting myself for nothing…

Tomorrow I have a costume call in the evening, and have told my mum I will go shopping with her in the day. My cousin is getting married on Saturday and she apparently has nothing to wear, so I have to help her find something. I don’t know whether to go to the wedding or not. It is all a bit difficult really. I would like to go, because it is my favourite cousin getting married, but I would need to travel there with my parents for the wedding at 12. They are then invited to the wedding breakfast in the afternoon, but I am not, and would therefore have about 6 hours to kill before the evening reception started, and I have no idea how I would fill that much time. Originally I was actually going to be invited to the wedding breakfast, but my siblings weren’t, as they are all married with children, and the place they are having it is expensive, and all of them going would basically mean an extra 12 people. But my mother knew my sister would have an almighty strop if I was invited and she wasn’t, so she told them not to invite me either. So I would have to leave the house at 10:30 with my parents, go to the wedding itself at 12, then find something to do for lots of hours until the evening reception started at 7. So that is a bit of a problem. I would like to see my cousin get married – I have always liked him, ever since he used to play hide and seek with me when I was little, despite being a lot older. In fact, I used to say that I was going to marry him when I was very young, before I realised that marrying your cousin wasn’t the done thing. But 6 hours – what on earth could I do for 6 hours?!

The other problem with it is that I don’t know what time I would get home, and I have to be at the band call for Carousel at 10 the next morning, until 2, then be at the theatre at 5 for the tech rehearsal, which should finish about 10, so I will be out the house for about 13 hours on Sunday, which is obviously a very long day, and it wouldn’t be ideal to precede that with another long day. Plus techs tend to be pretty stressful, and hellish, as everything that can go wrong does, and you suddenly realise you are going to have to completely reset certain scenes, or the staging isn’t what you were expecting, or your costume proves to be a nightmare, and you end up having to stop every 3 minutes because a lighting cue hasn’t worked etc, and you keep being reminded that the tech rehearsal isn’t for the actors, it is for the tech crew, but that doesn’t make it any less of a nightmare, and everyone leaves thoroughly disheartened. Or that is my experience of techs anyway. Then on Monday I have the dress rehearsal, and am intending to go to ballet before as there won’t be an issue timing wise, then I have performances Tuesday onwards. So the next week and a half is going to be pretty hectic.

So I can’t decide whether I want to go out all day to a wedding the day before all that kicks off. The obvious answer would be no – it would be a fucking stupid thing to do when I am already ill and injured and tired and everything else. But weddings are special – it isn’t like I can decide to go another day instead. But I just keep wondering what on earth I could do with those 6 hours in the middle, and do I really want to be out late the day before tech, or is that just asking for trouble? And if I do decide to go to the wedding then I also need to find something to wear tomorrow. What do you wear to a wedding in the autumn when the weather is crap? I only know what you wear to summer weddings. I also need to dye my hair tomorrow as it needs to be darker for the show really. Too much to do.

I am still feeling shit, but there isn’t much to say about that really. Nothing new. My weight had gone up today, and I felt absolutely terrible about it. I then rectified the sitation by eating nothing but junk food all day, which will ensure another gain tomorrow, and I will therefore feel even worse. T came over this afternoon to watch DVDs, and brought with him an enormous pizza and a chocolate orange. Actually he brought 2 enormous pizzas, but I only cooked 1 of them as there was no way I was eating more than half of one of those. So my food intake today has consisted of half a (giant) pizza, quarter of a chocolate orange, then at rehearsal there were jaffa cakes and Cadbury caramel nibbles, which I had quite a few of, and then a chocolate cookie my mum had brought home from work after rehearsal. So ermm the only non chocolate item of food I have eaten today is half a pizza. How spectacularly unhealthy and fattening. I really do disgust myself sometimes. So yes, weight is shit, will be even shitter tomorrow, feel depressed and suicidal, too much on, ill, injured, and have a spot. Life is going well. And yes, the spot does fucking matter. I am currently viewing it as the straw that broke the camel’s back. A little tiny thing but just made me feel everything that could possibly be wrong, is.

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>Run down

>I am feeling completely exhausted. I just could not get to sleep last night. I tried everything but sleep just wasn’t happening. I finally managed to get to sleep about 6:15 I think, and woke up several times, and then had to get up at 10, so only got about 3 and a half hours sleep, which is obviously far from enough. So I have been really exhausted all day. I saw L at 11, then had a physio appointment at 2:30, so met up with a friend for a couple of hours between. My friend and I had just gone into Costa when L came in with someone else from the CMHT, and then a little bit later 2 other members of the CMHT staff came in, including the twat, so I spent lots of time sending evil vibes across the room at him.

The physio appointment was a little bit disappointing. It was fine, but I wanted the impossible I suppose – some instant, miracle cure that meant I would be fixed overnight. She felt it and got me to do a few things, and said the muscle going all the way down the right side of my back was inflamed and had gone into a spasm. She gave it a massage etc, but there wasn’t really that much else she could do. There isn’t much I can do except keep taking the anti inflammatory tablets and rest it, and do some gentle stretches to keep it mobile. She said that in a few days the anti inflammatory tablets should start to make more of a difference and I would be able to go back to doing gentle dancing, but no lifts or anything that will strain it until it is completely recovered. Hopefully that will be within a week, which is really pushing it with the show, as that puts it to only a week before the first performance, but there really isn’t anything I can do about it, which is shit. I need to be really careful not to do too much and push it too hard, or she said I will just end up inflaming it again and it will take even longer to heal. Bad timing.

I didn’t go to rehearsal tonight. I should have gone, because even though I can’t dance I could still have done my acting scenes. But I just felt so exhausted and drained and low, and my back has been aching a lot, and I am just feeling really run down – I now have 3 mouth ulcers. I phoned the Assistant Director and said that my back was really hurting, and was meaning that I wasn’t sleeping well (ok, slight lie as it isn’t my back stopping me from sleeping, but white lies don’t hurt anyone!) and so I was just really exhausted and run down etc, and so I didn’t think I would be able to make the rehearsal tonight, and she said it sounded like it would be better for me to stay home and rest and hopefully I would feel better by the rehearsal Thursday. I am exhausted, but not sleepy, so don’t know how likely it will be that I sleep well, but I really hope I do. Tomorrow should be a quiet day, as I won’t be able to go to ballet in the evening (weight won’t be happy about that), and that was the only thing I was supposed to be doing, so hopefully I will be able to relax a little.

My friend who is coming to stay on Friday just uploaded a new profile picture on Facebook, and she looks so ill. I think worse than I have ever seen her. I am really concerned about her, and also obviously worried about her staying. I wish she could see how ill she is. And I really wish that she could get the help she needs. I am worried that she is going to die before a bed becomes available for her.

I was really upset by my weight today. I had eaten an amount yesterday that I was absolutely convinced would have meant my weight would be lower today, and it was exactly the same. I was really upset and stressed by that. It made me feel really out of control, because I had eaten an amount that should have lead to weight loss, and it didn’t, so now what do I do? So all in all it has been a bit of a crappy day really….

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