I Am Enough

You know they say ‘fake it till you make it?’, well I’m hoping this philosophy may work on me one day. This has been the focus of my mind recently and one I have been discussing with a few of my friends.

Because what is ‘enough’? Enough for what? A pint of milk? (I am hilarious). I always thought my idea of not enough was a recent one, sadly I was wrong. Have you ever seen those ‘a post from x years ago’ and then you see the post and cringe badly? I had that the other day in a post from when I was 12.

Whilst still cringey in nature (and I obviously didn’t know how to capitalise letters) I’ve had this feeling of not being good enough for YEARS. This toxic mindset has been following me even before my edgy teenage years to almost adulthood. Why did I let this happen!? I’ve let it ruin relationships with people because all I want is validation for my ‘not enough’ complex. It’s got to stop.

My first step was accepting I need medication again and telling myself ‘It’s not because I’m not good enough, it’s for my health’. Also I’ve been looking more positively at the progress I’ve made a drama school, convincing myself I belong and spending more time with people. There are still some problems I need to address in me, some that will take more time but right now I need time for myself, to not hear from the things that bring me down. I am enough to live, I am enough for my course, I am enough to love and I am enough to prove I’m enough.

As Kesha sang: Don’t let the bastards bring you down.

You’re enough,

Gabby

Photo from my parents who are away on holiday living it up, you go guys.

An Anxious Actor: Gary Oldman Interview and Reflections

Hello all, long time no see. No I have not forgotten about this little blog I have created, I just have needed inspiration and motivation, something that has been in short supply as of late due to the amount of work I have had. A few weeks ago, my school had an old student return to do a talk, that student just happens to be Gary Oldman and I was lucky enough to see his talk, which opened my eyes a little bit to the acting world.

The talk began with Gary (I guess we’re on a first name basis) talking about his life before Bruford. He told us how RADA told him to ‘look for another job’ after his rejection was pretty shocking to hear. He went on to talk about the content of his old course and how things have changed. After talking a lot on his process and the difference of film and theatre, he began talking on the topic of mental health regarding regret. He mentioned how he had declined roles where the actors had gone on to earn oscars for that role which led to overthinking. ‘What would have happened if I actually took the role? Would I have gotten that award?’. The topic was furthered when Gary began to speak about ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’.

Before the filming process, Gary had experienced severe anxiety due to the expectation weighted on him. He had made Alec Guinness into an almost ‘bogeyman’ and almost dropped out of the role of George Smiley, thinking they would see him as a ‘charlatan’. His anxiety got so bad he took Beta-Blockers to cope until the first day of filming where he realised his anxiety was for nothing. The first day went really well, and he went on to win the BAFTA for best actor. If that isn’t the best case of unwarranted anxiety I don’t know what to tell you.

I mentioned the interview as hearing from such a well renowned actor about his fears makes me rethink my own. Everyday I have a moment of self doubt and I’m sure many do, but from an Oscar award winning actor is something else. He is a normal person just like you or me, an ex student of my school who made it big through hard work and perseverance. From my voice teacher who was a year below him, Gary Oldman was always working which led to his success. It shows that if you love something enough, with enough dedication it will pay off no matter how much later as long as you carry on.

It may be true that in my case that I am one of the weaker performers of my course, it may be that I have a long way to go in performance, but I’m going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming from my course. Acting is what I love, and I’m not going to let my mental health destroy that for me. Not ever.

All the best,

Gabby

Only my fringe is visible in this photo, but still counts as PROOF!!

Suicide: It’s Time to Talk

Hello people who still read this blog, I’m still shocked to hear that people do. I hope your winters have been okay and the dark evenings haven’t been too much. I’m still at drama school doing my module on the Maids and next week will finish for reading week. Sadly it’s not much time off for such a massive amount of time in class but I’ll have to make it work. I’m going to say for this that there is a Trigger Warning for this post so please don’t continue if talking about suicide upsets you.

I’ll be honest, my mental health has been on a pretty level low as of late. Whilst cutting down on beer instead I have been eating more and exercising less which has been a real downplay on my self esteem. Again with the winter months my desire to be lazy has been pretty strong, along with this the return of my suicidal thoughts has been a downer on everything. At age 13 I began to have these thoughts and didn’t realise that suicidal thoughts and obsessions weren’t ‘normal’ years later. Everyday I see posts about teens who have committed suicide and comments from teens saying they are going to commit suicide. In one day suicide of teens was mentioned five times just from Facebook which is concerning.

Living with suicidal thoughts in the back of my mind isn’t easy, and yet here I am. For me the breaking down of the irrational thoughts has kept me alive and the genuine consequences of that action to the point of tears. Here is a general list of things I remember to help me through, whilst they may seem dark they may help save a life:

1: Thinking of my parents having to plan my funeral, never getting to see me graduate or fulfil my dreams

2: My friends having to attend that funeral and look back on the times we had, knowing there will never be anymore

3: My boyfriend and how much it would hurt him

4: My dog never understanding why I never came home

5: Never getting to see my younger family members grow up

6: Leaving behind the things I wanted to do with my life

Thinking of this stuff brings me to tears, and makes me realise how much I have to live for, because there always is. If you are feeling suicidal please remember you are loved and reach out to someone or call 116 123 for the Samaritans who run 24 hours a day. Suicide is an epidemic for young people, but we can do this.

You are loved,

Gabby

It’s photos like this that make me smile with so many memories ❤️

Pushing Yourself Above and Beyond

Hello all, hope you are having a good start to your week. As this is being published, I am most likely still in my college completing my 12 hour Devising day and getting ready to go into my pyjamas and pass out. From Monday to Friday last week, my group and I have been exploring devising with games from 9am-9pm, something which I never thought I would be capable of and yet here I am, still on the course and not expelled for laziness.

My mental limits have always been an issue for me, the ‘Can’t do’ and ‘No way in hell’ statements still ring in my ears to this day. As a child it was the same with athletics championships where my worst enemy was myself. If anything causes me more than mild discomfort, the doubting side of me starts talking and the work becomes harder. Yet here I am, alive and well after five days of hard work and games. Nothing is harder than having a loud doubting voice and it’s hard to shake.

One key thing for me was knowing when to break to keep sane, letting yourself have some time and rewarding the self. For an introvert, hours with people is extremely draining so I have allowed myself to drink some coffees to keep me going. Additionally talking to my group members has raised my confidence, so being open about my mind and state helps pick me up and get me working. Knowing the final limit is so important, but most limits we face are false, much like hurdles in a race, and soon I won’t have as many hurdles.

See you on the other side

Gabby

An example of a bag outfit we completed last week, so many bags in our piece.

How To Survive School When You Have Anxiety

When you ask most older adults on how they remember their school years, many will respond how they were the ‘best years of their lives’ or how they’re still friends with their school friends. If you ask me, all I will do is give you a cold stare and ignore the question and hope you don’t insist on an answer.

On thing that people never tell you is that it is okay to hate school, it’s natural. As a teenager getting up early to follow a boring timeline wearing (in my case, brown) uniform isn’t what I’d deem ‘fun’. As I got older I only became more aware of the outright ignorant rules and games teachers used to enforce. My first Grammar school had teachers play a game where they would see how many uniform slips they could give out in a day, however if you got 3 uniform slips as a student, that would mean an after school detention. That’s some weird teacher sadism if I have anything to say about it.

When you’re under scrutiny for you looks, grades and behaviour, it’s all too natural to develop anxiety. Thanks to the aforementioned school, my anxiety was increased tenfold to the point I would fake illness to not go in. Yet I made it. If it were not for the friends I made in that school I wouldn’t have mentally survived the years. Friends who understand the struggle will keep you going. They won’t say stuff like ‘It’s not that bad’ or ‘Everyone is in the same boat’. No. In my opinion it should be ‘Everyone is on the same water, but not everyone’s boats are stable.’

When you’re forced into an environment you despise it is easy to think about giving up, but know you are stronger than the crappy system and the annoying teachers. My main thought has always been ‘I’m going to prove you wrong.’ And I did. If this anxious depressive mess can survive, then anyone can. Get all the support you can and stand up for what you think is right. You can do it tiger.

Best wishes,

Gabby

P.S considering starting a YouTube channel that will be different to this. My main idea is just to try doing random things I love so I can enjoy the videos too. Idk still in progress

Also I am naming my plants, I only have to name one more and that’s the aloe vera plant. Here is the squad.

Having An Off Day

I never intended this to become a daily blog, and on some days I may not update for days at a time. Today I wasn’t going to update because I didn’t want to show the more negative side of me, but then this blog wouldn’t be honest and I really want honesty.

Sometimes we have off days, where nothing has provoked us but the world seems dim. Yesterday I had a great talk with my boyfriend and yet I still felt bad waking up. Sometimes depression just takes your whole day and makes everything seem dismal and dark. My main concern has been my lack of close friends here, my mind has made this image that everyone here except me has best friends that always hang out. It’s the most isolating feeling, one that is hard to get out of right now.

To try and help, I went for a walk in the park and sat down just taking in the views. Walking by myself has the effect of getting my feelings out, even if it means returning to my room to have a cry in the bathroom (absolute peak of a day). But it worked, I feel less lonely than before. I still don’t feel great but I don’t expect that. Having depression means that you have those days where everything seems wrong, and having any lift in mood for me is a success.

In the end the main person who is going to make you feel better is yourself, you have to want to get better to be better, look after yourself and accept the feelings you have. Feeling sad is pure sh*t, but don’t beat yourself up. Know that your feelings are not forever and tell someone that you aren’t feeling too great. Having a good support network is key, especially any of those interested in the theatre path. For now I might play some music and read, maybe speak to a living person, whatever feels right for me.

Sorry if this was not helpful, but this is me at my most vulnerable without a façade and I’m no longer afraid to hide it from people.

Keep yourselves safe,

Gabby

Picture of Rose Bruford from the Park, looks so secretive from here.