the last time i spoke to tom i said, sometimes, i just don't want to feel so much.
and he said, congratulations, you've just defined what an eating disorder is in a nutshell--the not wanting to feel.
i've been going through this interminable, undeniable period of writer's block.
as soon as i got here: capow, it hit. and i wondered if it had something to do with energy--with the transference of energy.
because, you see, for me...writing has always been an act of energy. of feeling. of seeing feelingly. what i mean is, i don't think it through terribly well. i mean i think it through, but mostly at a level of half-awareness. on a simmer of sorts and when it begins to boil...well, then i write. it's a feeling thing. of taking what i'm feeling and putting it on the page. so that while the reader may not get what i'm saying exactly, it doesn't quite matter, because they've lived in a different place, for just a moment. felt something just a wee bit their own. or not their own. they've experienced some sort of shift. (i think. i hope).
feeling and energy.
this post alone should be case enough to send me back to a school where someone can teach me how to write correctly and articulately and well. and yet, that's not really of interest to me. i want to write in the cracks. in the fault lines. i want to walk away with dirty fingers from sorting through the glorious and renegade weeds of my own life.
and so here i am, suddenly trying to act, and i can't write. and if i can't write, well then...
i always assumed it would be possible to do both. but this acting thing and tapping into emotions disperses and displaces my energy in such a way that the water only simmers. constantly, yes. but no real bubbles. no explosions of air.
and the thing is i'm quite sure that writing saved my life. and so i can't give it up.
how did it save my life? a good and valid question. well, because, if writing is feeling, and an eating disorder is the avoidance of feeling, then writing (for me) is the enemy of ned*. writing is the sorcerer's stone. the silver bullet. the long, sought after spoonful of sugar.
funny, i always thought it would be love.
acting is a feeling thing too. i do it feelingly. and i'm quite good at it. or i was. once. and yet in some ways (and i realized this just tonight) it was only perpetuating my sickness. as actors we are desperate to feel. but we play people who feel so very much that they want all the feeling taken out of them, want to stand barren. as actors we play people who rail against--who laugh when they need to cry--who become silent when the cries of rage overpower.
i thought i stepped away from acting because i couldn't align my health with the realities of the industry. but now i realize it was more than that. it was that it wasn't healthy for me to play people who didn't want to feel. because that was the reality of my life. it was too close.
there are days when i feel the residuals of ned. and suddenly it's as though i can't breathe. i mistakingly step into a pocket of space and time that he has claimed as his own and i am swimming through air, helplessly. and yes, i smile for the camera. and yes, as i do so i feel like a fraud. a liar. and while people kindly remind me of how far i've come, it doesn't feel as though i've taken but two steps from the ground zero of my own invited destruction.
and then just as quickly i step out of that pocket. and i see the many thousands of miles i've traversed. and i see the many miles i've left to go. and it all seems possible.
i don't believe the people that say this will be something i struggle with for the rest of my life. i think they're wrong. i think they don't know. i think that's something that's been said so often and for so long that others repeat it as fact.
i think i will look back on all this in two, ten, twenty years and i will in fact be doing just that, looking back. it won't be a daily battle. and i say all this because even now there are days where i feel so completely, so gloriously, so perfectly... normal.
i started all this rambling by declaring this a period of undeniable writer's block. undeniable might be a misnomer. maybe it's not writer's block. maybe it's just that i've not taken the time to sit down and hash it all out. to force the boil. sometimes words come easily and i've been so very fortunate to experience that. often. and yet there is just as much value in the uphill trek through the muck, the searching for words when words themselves seem impossible.
because this--all of this will make me a better actor if and when i decide that that's a path i want to embark on. writing is not the enemy of acting. and acting is not the enemy of good health. and, well...there you have it.
and maybe love is the answer. love of words and theatre and afternoon bike rides. and coffee, coffee too.
you know, i sat down to write a post on the virtues of coffee and this is what i got.
*ned is the name for my nasty little eating disorder.
to read more, go here.