Mama Silverside is trying. Very, very trying.

I love burlesque. I love being in the audience, love watching videos on social media, love seeing people create and grow in their own artistry. Mostly I adore being on stage and feeling a particular power in having the room in the palm of my hand. I wish all the time I could do it more. And yet, I’ve never evolved past feeling like a newbie, a fraud even. I’m stuck on not believing I am worth even paying because I’m just not good enough. I’ve relied on only doing friend’s shows when they ask, and never go out my way to apply for different shows after I was knocked back a few times in my early days of performing. I let it affect my confidence and just didn’t bother trying again. I know, rationally, that it’s normal and I can’t be what all producers need, but emotionally I let it fester and really I do know better than that.

There’s also certain shows I can’t perform at for reasons that are frankly boring if you’re not me – and I’m ok with it, but I think I’ve also used that as an excuse to not try to get on other cast lists. I worried that people would question my credibility if I wasn’t ever on on the local, regular burly nights. I didn’t want to get into why I wasn’t because it is wholly inappropriate and unprofessional to do that. I assumed people would want to know and I just didn’t want to add to the drama that sometimes infects this otherwise wonderful scene. Basically, I had no proof that it’d even be an issue but I used it as an excuse not to try. That’s on me, not the reasons I used.

Truthfully I’ve used the physical issues I have to not try too. That’s not to say these issues aren’t serious or worth worrying about – but I held on to the fear of further injury while celebrating my friends who push past their own obstacles with determination and strength. I will always cheerlead for those incredibly powerful people who make their complications their bitch. Then I go home, feel bad about not being strong enough and I spiral into feeling more like a fraud and less like someone who can navigate the road to actually being a regular performer. So I don’t. I wallow. Boss move, me.

I think the worst thing I do is complain about it all the damn time. Seriously, I know I’m boring my friends with the constant ‘woe is me’ complaints about wishing I could perform again – especially when I do literally nothing to change that, because I use the aforementioned excuses not to try anyway. I know I’m doing it when I’m doing it but it’s almost like I want people to know the desire is still there but I just can’t. But it’s not that I can’t. Not really. Confession – it’s won’t and I need to accept that I’m doing it to myself. Is the desire still really there when the one thing stopping me is my own self sabotage?

Well, yes. The first step is realising the problem, right? I recognise that I have underlying health issues that definitely affect this particular conundrum. Yes, I do have mental and physical complications that I need to work around. I just need to actually work around them – not use them as a stop sign. I literally just don’t know how to do that yet. How to get out of the mental block of giving up already. How to stop using the excuses that have been a crutch for so long. And learn – finally – how to actually push to get into shows. Not to take it so hard when it doesn’t happen.

Wish me.. not luck. Wish me a kick up the back side. And maybe point me in the direction of producers who would cast a hopelessly out of her depth, but tries really hard, comedy and character plus size stripper?

Autumn falls…

I don’t talk about my spirituality often but I’m feeling closer to my faith than I have all year. This time of year, with the changing of the seasons and the focus of both shedding old thoughts, feelings and physical items while celebrating hearth and home, preparing to get ever more comfortable and cosy for the months ahead, truly make it my favourite time of year.

I’ve always been a homebody, and my mental health is intrinsically linked to how my flat is. Right now, it’s in a state of flux – better than it has been, but still a bit messy and overwhelming at times. I’m making a real effort to go through my home, cutting out the unnecessary and letting go of the things I no longer need. Whether by giving things away, donating to charity or being a little more mercenary and selling – I’ve been finding a certain peace in the conscious decisions to not need so much.

But it’s not all letting things go. I’ve been rediscovering my personal style and I’ve been taking great care and even pride in curating a new wardrobe and home decor. It sounds a bit extra, but shopping with intention and not just necessity has made my heart and soul happy. I’ve mostly stuck to charity shopping for these and I’m happy with that – I may not get everything immediately but it’s almost more exciting to find something I’ve decided on, like I’ve manifested my desires in a way that enriches charities I support, as well as mostly being more unique and less mass manufactured. It’s not always possible, of course – but it’s my priority before I consider other options. It’s never not exciting to wish for something and discover it in a little shop, just waiting for me.

My physical health is going through changes too. Doing a form of lazy Keto with Gof has made me appreciate food again, and has astonished me with the noticeable and immediate difference in how my body reacts to certain foods. Without realising it, being sluggish and feeling heavy within myself had become so normal that when that started lifting I almost felt like a superhero. It’s a process though – I’m currently having a bit of a downswing physically, but mentally I’m ok. It’s weird to feel content even when I’m physically exhausted for no discernible reason. I know it’ll pass though. My focus is still on achieving my goals, I’m just allowing myself a small pause to let my energy build back up. It’s almost too easy to let my mental health be affected by this and I’m actively fighting against that submission to negativity. I’m hopeful that I’m winning that battle more than I lose it. Intention is sometime exhausting, but I won’t be giving myself a hard time for not getting it right all the time.

The changes in my life seem so mundane, so ‘of course’ that it’s easy to not attribute it to the time of year unless you connect those dots, and I do. Call it Mabon, Autumn, Equinox or just coincidence in timing, whatever. For me, it’s a reminder of the close link in the spiritual and physical realms I try to honour. Sitting down and really thinking about my life and my choices also allows me to give thanks for the life I have and to honour the inside and outside influences in that. I am happy in welcoming the changes I manifest as well as the changes coming my way from the wider world. It allows me to be thankful, mindful and accepting.

And on note, tonight I am indulging in some self care; lighting some candles, having some extra skincare steps and listening to meditative music (I adore Ivan Torrent for this!) and generally having a lovely night. I hope you too!

Wearing the damn crown.

It’s a hell of a process to finally admit when you’re in trouble. Since it felt like my life led up to that one big moment, it was almost anticlimactic when things remained much as they always did. The big reveal was not the end, nor the beginning. It was a clearing of the throat, before continuing to breathe as normally as I ever have.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking through old blog posts, private journals and like. I know now that the shame and embarrassment of a life led like mine isn’t unique. There’s a safety in admitting that you’re not a special snowflake with problems and issues no one else can understand. It’s a relief to recognise that mental illness is not a problem I face alone in the world. My drama queen tendencies are symptomatic of my imbalance, and can be corrected. They are not who I am any more than this illness is. Even through the simple act of ageing, I cut out a lot of the immaturity I once claimed as a vital part of my identity. The work in that department continues, but awareness is a happy byproduct of growing the fuck up.

Still, I often wonder, ‘now what?’ Moving forward, taking ownership – why does life still feel nothing has really changed? Since admitting I needed help, I’ve began really taking my health seriously. I’ve had a few slips but for the most part I’ve took my medication, really examined my past behaviour and current reactions. I am noting the way my physical health affects my mental health, and vis versa. I realise I’m being more introspective and less demonstrative – which is probably a relief to my loved ones! Yet with all that I still feel overwhelmed by life and sometimes that can go to dangerous places. I’m coming to terms with the fact that bringing that side of the darkness to light hasn’t made it go away. It was maybe naïve to think so. There’s still a ways to go and most likely, it’ll just be something I deal with for the rest of my life. Not an encouraging thought, but perhaps a realistic one.

So I’m taking a page out of my old book and writing again. I enjoy it, and it forces me to examine my thoughts. Why online? Why not? Part of this is recognising I’m not actually alone – and really, how alone can I be online? Plus, I’ve received so much support from friends, family, even strangers. I’m never going to turn that down. It helps. And maybe, just maybe – the words I write can help someone else too. The worst thing about being open about mental illness is accusations of attentionwhoretiatis. Even when faced with suicidal ideation, self harming, voices telling you what a horrible worthless person you are – the stigma of playing at it for attention is so terrifying that so many people do not seek real help at all. I sure didn’t. But I’m not playing by that rule book now. It’s not helpful. So if you must, stick that diagnosis in with the others. Frankly, it’s the least of my concerns.

I’m pulling the reins now, and I’m giving them a good snap. What now? Let’s see.

(Title inspired by my ‘hiding in plain sight‘ post)

Hiding in plain sight.

tw – this talks about suicide and ideation. It is pretty graphic in places, but I didn’t want to pussyfoot around or downplay the seriousness of this issue. If you feel like this may trigger your own illness, please do not read this and call a group or local medical authority for help. I’ve included 2 numbers for UK and US readers since that where stats tell me most of my readers are from.

Mind – 03001233393 (UK) 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -1-800-273-8255 (USA)

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