Tuesday, 27 September 2011

I cain't say No

Of course, I can say 'No' - see, I just said it. But I do seem to find it really hard to say no to many things. That dollop of ice cream. That glass of wine. That acting job on a date in a week with lots of other days already booked. That night with MyMan.

Those last two might be the worst. Fortunately MyMan is good at remembering I am not supposed to overdo things and puts his sensible head on so we don't see each other every day that we could. It would mean me driving extra distances, spending time with him when I could be resting alone. Fatigue is a real pain in the arse. So we skype or phone instead. But the acting jobs... oh, he has no control over those.

Today I accepted a job on a date I already had booked to do office cover at a firm of solicitors where I sometimes work. I would much rather not do the office job so it's good I could cancel it to have this roleplay instead. But, and it's a big But, the new job will involve driving 80 miles or so there and back, possibly staying over the night before, and this is in a week when I am already booked for three other days of roleplay jobs. None of them near to where I live.

This week I'm not working anywhere except at home. Next week the madness begins again. Multiple different roleplays and rehearsals for a piece I'll be performing in mid-October. Oh and that piece is performing on the Sunday of that week when I am now doing four days of wide flung roleplay jobs. I surely am that girl who just cain't say no.

And this one is just because Hugh Jackman can really sing! Oklahoma!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The times they are a-changin’

I was driving back from a job recently. Going to MyMan’s house not my own home and the not-uncommon thought popped into my head that I am not the same now as I used to be.

My life’s changed, but then of course it has, it changes every day as does everybody’s. But now, I don’t know. Now I’ve got a man in my life. I have a commitment to him, to his family, his children. It’s changed. I like the change and yet part of me thinks… ooh that’s different… Did I want this? Did I seek it? Well, no but I’ve got it.

And moving on from that thought came this tune - The times they are a-changin'

It’s a protest song and sometimes I want to protest against my internal changes.

On Twitter @JSCarroll quoted Lewis Carroll: “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

I don’t want to go back to yesterday. I don’t even want to go back to before I knew I have MS let alone before I actually developed it.

However, I hate some of the changes. The uncertainties. Never knowing what symptoms the condition may throw at me.

I am used to uncertainty. It comes with the territory when you are an actor – never knowing what the next job will be, when it will come, where you will go. And now I have some uncertainties being in a new relationship. I don’t yet know MyMan’s world. I trust him and it but there are still many changes to take on board.

I am hugely lucky to have the life I have. I have friends, I have family, I have MyMan, I have MS. These are not incompatible. There are changes and we change to accommodate our changes.

I used to say to acting students “it’s not enough to want to be an actor. You have to need it. If you can see yourself being happy doing anything else, do that. This is not an easy option.” I chose it. I didn’t choose MS. I am trying to change to accommodate my different priorities. It’s not always easy but then who wants an easy life?

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Under Pressure

I don't do things by half. It may be stubbornness or perversity but I tend to fight through beyond reasonableness. So yesterday when fatigue hit me with the force of a ten tonne truck I carried on driving. Fortunately it wasn't a real ten tonne truck. And I didn't have much choice. I was in the outside lane on a heavily congested bit of dual carriageway in London.

I do have a history of ignoring symptoms and getting on with things. For years prior to DX, I probably ignored fatigue, lapses in memory, bowel and bladder symptoms. Now I try not to. If something pops into my head, I know I have to act on it straight away otherwise it is lost. I telephone someone as soon as I think of them. Sometimes I make phone calls to myself to leave a message on my own answermachine. As for the bowel and bladder, if I need to go I need to go then!

Similarly, if I'm going to do something I'll go for it wholeheartedly. No holding back here. I might do things at the last minute but then the pressure of getting it done just spurs me on more.

It may not be sensible to cram in everything I do and I probably should be packing a bag right now instead of writing this. I didn't really need to remake my bed this morning. I could have waited before producing the newsletter for my agency. I still  have to learn the brief for next week's job and drive 200 miles... I expect a forthcoming Fatigue Course will show me the error of my ways. Certainly for the last few and next week, I am chock-a-block - work, medical and personal stuff. I will plough on through though, That's the way I am and this is how it is. Under Pressure.