Long Overdue Update

Behinds the scenes of “But I’m and Actress”

Hello everyone!

I’m still not entirely sure what is causing my website to act weird but it does have something to do with Chrome. I use that as my default browser, and for some reason the log in pop up Word Press creates isn’t showing up properly in Chrome, so I can’t even get to the regular log in screen. It is weird. So now I’m updating from Internet Explorer.

So a lot has happened since I last posted in January. I got the pleasure of being in a few films, “Thanks, Bill” and “But I’m an Actress” to name two and I’ve had two kind of big surgeries on my feet. I’ve also be able to do some voice acting! When more information is available about that project I’ll post it.

Because of the surgeries I can’t walk very well. I have a cane and a pair of crutches to help me get around, but it means I’ve been on an acting break since about mid March. I also haven’t been able to exercise as much as I want.

What were the surgeries? They are a medical implant called Hyprocure that is used to treat severe flat feet and other issues like fallen arches. I was born with flat feet, and for quite a while it didn’t cause many issues with my body. However in high school I was in marching band. For those of you who don’t know marching band requires you to be on your feet for many hours at a time. Our summer practices started at 8 am, break at noon, and then ended at 5 pm. Aside from small, five minute breaks during the practice, we were on our feet the entire time. I began to notice an increase in pain in my feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders and neck.

As I got older the pain only increased. I could handle it well enough, but the shape of my feet were severe enough that I was basically standing on my ankle bones and this caused my knees to bend inward. This made running, even for short periods, very painful as it put a lot of stress on my knees.

When I became an actress I was required to stand for hours at a time. By the end of the day I was in so much pain that I just wanted to flop on the couch and not move until morning.

So I did some research. I found several different options for “fixing” flat feet but decided the Hyprocure implant was what made the most sense for me. In March I had my first foot done. The experience was quite nice. I went to St. Vincent in Indianapolis and my doctor, Dr. Lanie Huffman, was incredibly informative and knew how to help me relax. I didn’t have a cane or crutches for the recovery of my right foot, but I will say it was painful. I’m about 98% recovered on my right foot, but last month I had the left done.

My left foot hasn’t been as kind to me. I am in pain longer than with my right, but I think my daughter has something to do with that. Three times now she has accidentally hit my healing foot, and I did twist my ankle at a Walmart. If I can get a hold of my x-rays to show you the before and after I’ll post them. It is quite amazing how different my feet are now.

It’s a weird thing to get excited about, but I have very normal looking feet now and I can tell my knees are already starting to look normal too. I’m so happy with the results, and I can’t wait to be more active again. Considering how long I’ve been in pain, I think a few more months is a perfectly find trade off.

What You Can’t See

I’ve had a really rough time recently. I won’t go into the details, but I find more and more that I need something good to happen. I’m not talking about something grand and life changing, but something that I can be happy about for a while.

This has gotten me thinking about the nature of my mental health. It is incredibly important to acknowledge that staying mentally healthy is imperative, and there’s a lot of information out there about ways to improve your mood (etc).

Depression is something I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager. I was often overwhelmed and found the only way I could get any joy was to completely immerse myself in my art and music projects. This, in truth, is not the best way to treat the problem because I was not addressing the issues at hand. It’s a bit too late to do that now, but I still managed to “wait it out” until my life got better.

I had tried to talk to my mother once, but did it in the completely wrong way and ended up exacerbating things. For the longest time I thought I couldn’t talk to anyone as a result.

In college I had a roller coaster ride with my depression. There were plenty of times that I felt completely overwhelmed and unprepared. My husband, Joey, helped me though I never really spoke to him more than a handful of times about how I felt. After I graduated I had one life change after the other. I moved, had uncertainty, moved again, then had a kid.

I guess things haven’t really calmed down a great deal, but there are so many aspects of my life that I wouldn’t change. I love my daughter, I enjoy living in Cincinnati, and I am pursuing something that I could only ever hope for when I lived in Lafayette, Indiana.

Yet despite this I am still having issues with depression. Depression isn’t logical. It doesn’t care how great your life is. It doesn’t care that you got a new job, have a loving family, or seem to be having one amazing opportunity after another. It doesn’t care if you lost a loved one, had your car stolen or if you had a traumatic accident.  It doesn’t care if you’re male or female. It affects all races and social classes. Depression is an asshole.

And so depression has come at me hard again. I have to force myself to get out of bed. I have to force myself to type this. To do everything that I have to do. I lack the motivation to eat (unlike in the past where I would scarf down junk food like it was nothing).

Since help is so expensive I’ve always had to figure out my own way to get past the large down-swings of depression. I’m going to start taking my daughter to preschool as motivation to not sleep until 11 am. I’m going to make lists of little things I can accomplish each day and not let the setbacks be so devastating.

I’m going to try hard not to spend the morning crying and feeling like shit. Because this is what I can do. This is what I can afford to do. I wish I could seek professional help but it is just too damn expensive and most insurance won’t even cover it at all.

According to NAMI 16 million Americans had a severe depressive episode in the last year. 16 million. I will take comfort, and you can to if you’re feeling it, in the fact that there are so many people who know what it’s like to be hit hard with depression.

Even though so many people are affected with mental illness, we don’t seem to be capable of treating it seriously. I wish with everything I can muster that the prevailing attitude about mental illness would change. For now I will make do.

We are human. We aren’t perfect. We can do this.