Ok. It’s time I step into the confessional.
My personal life has been…a struggle recently. I’ve been feeling out of control.
And I’m going to be honest…it’s because I have just been mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted.
I’ve been getting home after back to back to back 12-hour days just in such a piss-poor mood, that sitting down and writing something deep and meaningful seems a) incredibly disingenuous, and b) downright unfathomable.
And it’s befuddling. Because I love pouring myself into projects and working hard and hustling.
I thrive on hard work and dedication. It’s part of my make up.
But this time, it’s different.
My body is telling me – imploring me –screaming at me – that everything is not alright.
And I’m not just talking about the permanent stress-twitch I have developed in my right eye.
Acting is a difficult profession because you’re the lowest man on the totem pole. The hours are long. The pay is practically nonexistent. And you end up having to work survival jobs that are grueling and unglamorous.
But I’m not complaining, because again…I know, I chose this “non-traditional line of work” as my mother continually reminds me.
But after composing myself after a full-body-shaking sob sesh, I realized why this time was different. Why I’m so soul tired and broken this time around.
This time is different because I am allowing myself to be taken advantage of.
With a project that is pushing the line further and further and further: with non-reembursed time commitments, physical exertion, passive aggressive BS, and disorganized chaos on set. And me just letting it happen. Taking it.
And after 5 weeks of this – 10+ hours a day, six days a week…I finally broke down.
And I realized that allowing this treatment is completely contradicting everything my recovery is about.
My recovery from anorexia has centered on the journey to accepting the truth that I have worth. Not because of what I do, who I know, what I look like…nothing. I have worth because Jesus says so. He said so when He embraced the Cross.
But allowing this treatment communicates – whether I realize it or not – that I actually don’t believe that. That, it’s okay that I just take it and put up with an
inhumane unprofessional situation because, at the end of the day, I don’t matter. I probably deserve that.
And that is false.
I am worth it. I am worth being compensated for my time. For having my time be respected and my intellectual property recognized.
Our actions, whether consciously or unconsciously, communicate messages to ourselves. What do we think we’re worth? Do I allow someone to walk all over me? Am I completely upending my life to meet the needs of someone who doesn’t even respect my time when I’m there?
I am worth respect. I am worth honesty. I am worth dignity.
So where to go from here?
When you’re reading this, a week has passed since I first drafted this post.
After writing this, I took a deep breath, dried my tears, collected myself and did something about it.
I stood up for myself.
I stood up for my worth.
I communicated that I cannot work under those conditions any longer. I need to be compensated and I need to be treated with respect.
And you know what? I feel really good about it.
Because my actions have finally backed up my beliefs. I stood up for myself and put my money where my mouth is.
And if I lose this project, then so be it. Because at the end of the day, my self-worth and self-dignity — everything I’ve worked so hard to solidify in my 8 years of recovery – those things are more valuable than this project. Those things are worth protecting.
So protect them I will.
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And check out my new “Journaling Through Recovery” series on Patreon, where I will be transcribing my inpatient journal! eek!! The second video entry is up now!