Lately, I’ve had to have some serious reality checks with myself.
What Happens: A boy I know posts on Facebook that “I had a mtg with a BIG agent at GERSH! and tomorrow they’re putting me on tape for a Lincoln Center play!”
What I Feel: “Why did he get a meeting with Gersh? God, I can’t even get an audition for off-off-Broadway. It’s because he’s thin.”
What I Tell Myself: He is a boy. It is easier for boys to sign with agents. You know he is not particularly talented– you did plays with him. He will not book that part. Take it one day at a time. Plus you don’t want to be friends with someone who brags like that on Facebook.
What Happens: I weigh myself after two days of binging, and I’m up at least 3 lbs from where I was the last time.
What I Feel: “You are so. fat. You should be ashamed. Stop eating. You’re disgusting and no one will ever love you or cast you when you look like this.”
What I Tell Myself: Let it go. You had a rough couple of days. Every day is a step in the right direction. 3 pounds is not necessarily visible. Take a breath. Don’t let it ruin your day.
What Happens: I am doing yoga at the gym next to a beautiful, slender young woman about my age.
What I Feel: “You fat, ugly, lazy whore. You should look like that girl. Next to her, you are a bloated, red-faced whale.”
What I Tell Myself: You are not here to compare yourself to that girl. She doesn’t want to be compared to you either. No one is watching you, no one cares. Breathe through your yoga. One day at a time.
What Happens: My friend doesn’t text me back until an hour before the event I texted her to see if she was attending.
What I Feel: She hates me. She read my text message and just didn’t want to go with me.
What I Tell Myself: She does not hate you. She was probably babysitting or not by her phone or in an audition or just didn’t respond immediately. It has nothing, nothing to do with you.
What Happens: I forget to call my grandmother and thank her for her birthday card and $100 check, and I’m scolded by my parents.
What I Feel: You are a horrible granddaughter. Why do you think you’re not the favorite?! Because you do shit like this. She’s going to die and you will hate yourself.
What I Tell Myself: Yup, you fucked up. Breathe. Write her a card. Apologize. She’s your grandmother. She’ll move on.
What Happens: I get cast in a part in a play. It’s a big part in a big play at a theatre that’s bigger than I’m used to.
What I Feel: How the fuck did I think I was meant to do this? I will be a complete disaster. I will not be able to learn my lines, I’ll be the weakest link, I’ll get a terrible review in the NY Times.
What I Tell Myself: Feeling this way is normal. It would be crazy not to be scared. They would not have cast you if you couldn’t handle it. They will not fire you, and you’ve worked hard and had payoff before. This is just part of the process.
What Happens: Your high school boyfriend is wonderful, and then you let him leave your apartment, text him the next day to thank him, and he never responds, and now he’s back in London for at last another year. And another ex-boyfriend is seeing someone else, someone older, someone from his own race (he’s Asian-American).
What I Feel: Everyone you love leaves you. No one else’s heart is broken years after the initial break. You’re weak and desperate and will never be loved the way you want.
What I Tell Myself: Sadness is normal. Moving on is hard. And just because you haven’t seen someone in two years and haven’t dated in five doesn’t mean you can’t still feel love for him and sadness when he leaves. But you’ll move forward. You always do.
What do you tell yourself to get through the rough patches?