As I drove home from the first rehearsal I was listening to something on 89.9. They were talking about how there were so few great roles for women in Hollywood that they were having a hard time coming up with enough nominations for the Oscars.
I had just left a room full of LA women whose stories were all bold and swept you up, tossed you around and left you shaken but for the better.
Women, some of which have worked in the entertainment industry or been married to men who have. I wanted to scream into the radio, I have those stories, in a small theatre in SilverLake!
Today’s rehearsal had us all listening. It was really, really good.
Expressing Motherhood is not on the mainstream radar of LA(I love being the underdog) but damn this show should sell out.
I sporadically share a lot on the internet. Lately though I’ve been censoring myself from sharing. I mean really I always have shared but when it gets beyond just making myself look ridiculous some family members have grown uncomfortable.
After pushing post, sometimes I think of deleting them, sometimes I do. More often I struggle with the more revealing pieces, not the silly videos where I look awful and am doing something like pretending to be a man masturbating in a park. It was all in the name of road safety.
At couple’s counseling a few months ago, with a counselor we love, she told me I do need to keep my husband’s feelings into consideration when I share. He’s not a social media person.
He has worked with many people in the public spotlight and is not envious at all of how much attention the person receives. My guy likes to lay low. I respect him for that and sort of think he’s a cool guy because of it.
I blurted out in therapy, but I’m an artist!
Then the counselor said, well you still need to think about his feelings and your kids. They’ll find these posts. Think about celebrity kids, they have no choice. Then I felt a little dirty.
First off, I’m no celebrity at all but here are these people who are trying to protect their kids from exposure and I’m exposing my family and feelings for what?
Because it’s cathartic. Though I do not talk too much about my kids and I closed my personal blog down in ’08 when the show started taking off, I became nervous about all I had written.
I spent so much of my youth very quiet. I became quite shy in social situations when I became about 12. I could barely talk in front of boys. Once at camp an older boy said, what, you think you can sit there, not saying anything and just look pretty.
I remember it gutting me.
I kept secrets about my family sealed behind my lips. And in their containment the weight and sadness that built up inside me consumed me more then not.
When I moved to LA I loved out easily people swore and shared their stories. It made me laugh. I was still pretty shy and then finally I just started sharing and opening up and laughing at myself and I’d gained distance from secrets and I began to feel myself changing.
Then ironically, I co-created Expressing Motherhood, I was the kind of person who would skip speech class and receive an F for my fear of public speaking was something that would leave me very scared.
On Veteran’s Day this week at my kids’ school some dads spoke about their time serving. The second father who spoke, an older father, talked about being drafted into the Vietnam war. My 4 and 3 year-old were starting to lose it and I was quietly making our way our of the sanctuary when I heard the speaker get quiet.
He suddenly could not speak he was overwhelmed with emotion.
I’m sorry, I never really speak of this, he said.
And he could not continue, he said it just meant a lot to him and brings back many memories. I choked back tears and handed my kids my phone as I just dropped to my knees as walking out at that time seemed incredibly rude.
The other men rubbed his shoulders and it was a profound morning for me.
I understand that even if he had been seeking counseling and talking about what had happened to him in Vietnam perhaps he would still be choked up but the fact that he said he never really spoke of that time and to see all the emotions overwhelm him, just made me think about the power of sharing our stories.
Getting them out of our systems so they don’t weigh us down in shame or sadness.
This is a turning into a long post. What am I setting myself up for an excuse to share more with you?
My struggle with anxiety is daily but so much better. The hardest times for me are immediately upon waking. I try to do a free Mindfulness audio recording and I also take .5 mg of xanax.
I recently switched my heart medicine to taking it at night in hopes I won’t be as sleepy. It is indeed making me less sleepy during the day but my body or mind is just a little nervous towards the change.
But with more water, way less alcohol(little to none wine, a glass of beer is my go to I feel like there’s less sugar) no caffeine, exercise, calling friends, baths, mediating and yes a little xanax I’m able to function and do so calmly.
I feel like I’m trying to undo some harm I have brought upon this house over the last few years. Due to my own rage and sadness. And those were feelings that have been with me since childhood.
Just because I left a house doesn’t mean I got to leave the emotions at the door.
I have sadness at too many explosions at my children over the last few years and am staying so much calmer. It saddens me that I did that but I’m hopeful with my calmness now(of course I occasionally slip) I will re-gain their trust.
Anger and anxiety are often dance partners I’m learning.
So, here it is 7:26AM and I’ve shared more then some would like but even if I don’t share my stuff is still here. Your stuff is there.
It’s just proving to be a more interesting and comfortable place to live when I share versus keeping secrets close to my heart and letting them eat me up.
Thank you to those of you who have emailed me with your own struggles with anxiety. It means a lot to me.
Book a babysitter for the week of December 1st. (Credit will be added to account once you send booking request. )
Enjoy the show!
Huge thank you to UrbanSitter. I have actually booked my first babysitter with them for this Saturday. Having three kids of my own I’m psyched as we are always too lazy to find babysitters so we don’t go out too often.
You can even use babysitters your friends have used.
And your kids can pick babysitters via their video.