Tag Archives: help

I Know The Holidays Can Be Tough (or Trying To Give Support To My Friends)

When I was younger, I was diagnosed with depression. At the time I thought that the diagnosis was correct even though no medication was helping me. Now looking back, I’m pretty sure it was a misdiagnosis and my depression was more of a side effect of my eating disorder, panic/anxiety disorder, and mild OCD. But even with it being a misdiagnosis, I understand how helpless things can feel at times. But fortunately for me, I can get myself out of that mindset before things get too bad.

But that’s not the case for several of my friends. I have many friends who have depression and other mental issues that lead to depression. I’ve had friends attempt suicide and have been the person that someone calls in the middle of the night to hear a voice of reason when things seem impossible. I’m more than happy to be that person for my friends because I don’t want to see someone harming themselves because they don’t think anyone cares or can’t get a hold of someone. I sleep with my phone on and next to my bed so I can be available for calls in the middle of my night. I’m fine sacrificing sleep if it helps someone else not do something that cannot be reversed.

Like many other mental health issues, I think depression and suicide are getting more attention in the media and that it is becoming less stigmatized. If you haven’t seen last week’s episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (spoiler alert), the episode is themed about this. I think that this episode was so powerful and that they will continue to be as sensitive about the subject in the coming episodes. But just because something is being discussed publicly more often doesn’t necessarily make it easier for those dealing with it.

I know that depression can hit at any time of the year, but I also know that for some of my friends it can be worse during the holidays. If you are used to being with your family and can’t do that it can be tough. If you are surrounded by happy people and you feel like an outsider, it can be tough. Anything can be a trigger and it doesn’t have to be for a reason or make sense. But when depression hits and you feel like there is no escape it doesn’t matter what else is happening in the world. You just feel like you need out and that isn’t always the right thing to do.

I’m posting this now because I’ve recently had a few friends try to kill themselves. I’m glad that all of them were unsuccessful in their attempts so they are still around and are able to get help. But it’s still hard to think that someone I love that much felt like they were unloved. And no matter how much I try to support them, I know that depression is a personal battle and they have to work on it on their own. But not everyone has the same support that my friends have and I want to make sure that everyone knows where they can get help.

One of the best ways to get help if you feel like there is no other choice is to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

There is someone you can talk to 24/7 and help is free and confidential. They can guide you to resources to get help and will listen to you without judgement. And if you are a friend or family member of someone who is suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help you too. There are resources so that you can help someone else. I have used those before to help my friends. And I’ve also used their guides on how to report suicidal posts on social media so you can help someone who you may not know in person. Sometimes people joke about suicide and it’s tough to tell if they are being truthful or not. I’ve reported people who weren’t being serious on social media, but I’d rather be more cautious than to think someone is joking when they really are reaching out for help.

Hopefully if you are feeling helpless or know someone who is that you know that help is possible. I know that it doesn’t always seem that way, but it’s true. And when you talk to someone who has overcome depression they will tell you that there is hope and help when you need it. And once they are on the other side they are so grateful that they didn’t do something that they couldn’t come back from.

I know that for my friends battling this that many of them have a long way to go. But I love them so much and want to support them in any way I can. And I’m in it for the long haul with them. They are with me with battling my eating disorder and know how wonderful it feels to have someone supporting me on my best days and worst days and isn’t wondering how much longer it will take me to get over things. So by doing the same thing for someone else (even if it is about a different mental health issue), I’m just trying to pay forward the support I’ve been so lucky to get.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Trying To Help A Friend (or Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?)

I’ve been very lucky in life. Even when bad things happen to me (like car accidents), they are pretty minor and can be taken care of with very little effort on my part. They are inconveniences, but they aren’t that much more than that. I know that is something to be grateful for and I really am grateful that my life has had a relatively smooth path so far.

Sadly, my friends haven’t all been as lucky. And just this past weekend, a wonderful friend (and casting director who I respect so much) lost almost everything in a house fire.

Dea Vise has been a really big supporter of me and my career. She’s been helping me out with random things and is always up for giving advice to anyone who asks. I respect her so much for how giving she has been to the acting community, so I want to give back how I can.

Dea was out of her house this past Saturday when there was an electrical fire in the wiring under her kitchen. A neighbor called the fire department and then Dea to let her know what was happening. She rushed back home and sadly almost everything in her house was destroyed by the fire. Dea has a couple of things that she was able to salvage from the fire, but pretty much everything is gone.

Dea's Fire

(the photos were taken by Billy DaMota who was there right after the fire was put out)

But worse than the things she lost, her beloved cats didn’t make it. As a pet lover, I can’t imagine the pain of losing a pet this way. I’ve lost many pets (some in sudden accidents), but this is still different. But I also know that if Dea was home when the fire happened, she would have done everything she could to save her cats and she likely wouldn’t have made it either. So I’m just grateful that she’s ok.

She doesn’t deserve for this to have happened to her at all. I know that nobody deserved to lose everything in a fire, but she really doesn’t deserve it. She really should only have the best things to happen to her in her life.

I went by her house yesterday when there was a cleanup happening. About a dozen friends (and friends of friends) were there going through everything that burned to see if there was anything that could be saved. They did find some things, but most of it was not salvageable. I wasn’t able to help with the cleanup effort yesterday (I had 2 hours that were free and it pretty much took me that time to get there and back), but I did go by to bring Dea some things she needed. She told me she needed face lotion and online she mentioned needing socks and her watch collection being destroyed. She somehow left that day without wearing a watch which is very unusual for her.

So besides the face lotion she asked for, I put together a bag of things for her. It wasn’t much and a lot of it was silly stuff. But I was able to give her some nice lotions, nail polish, books to read, a day pass to a spa I got in a swag bag, some socks I bought at Target, and a watch I found at Target. I know the watch isn’t fancy or like anything she lost in the fire, but I wanted her to have something for now. And I know that she is going to need much more than what I was able to bring, but I wanted to help out in whatever way I could. And that includes sharing her story with all of you.

If you want to help my amazing friend Dea, there is a You Caring fundraiser  for her. All the money raised will help her rebuild her life and for any expenses she has in order to get a new home rented. I’m also trying to collect as many Bed Bath and Beyond coupons as I can. I know that the funds that are being raised will be used to help get her new home furnished and set up, and I figured that with the coupons at least the funds being used for things bought there can be stretched 20% further. If you are in the LA area (or if you aren’t but want to mail them to me), please let me know and we can arrange something so you can get your coupons to her.

This is a tragic situation but I know that Dea will come out of this ok eventually. Right now everything is so raw and awful, but she is such a positive person with so much light that she radiates that I know it will be ok one day.

Trying To Help (or An Adventure In My Car)

The other night, I was driving to my friend’s birthday party. To be honest, I was planning on writing about the birthday party on this post. But what happened on the way is more interesting and was a lesson for me.

I wasn’t that far from my house when I got stopped in traffic. The cars weren’t moving that much and I assumed that there must be an accident ahead. I wasn’t worried about how long it would take me to get to my friend’s party, so I wasn’t thinking too much about it. Traffic finally started to move slowly, and after a few minutes I was able to see what the issue was.

The street I was driving on was a pretty major street (2 lanes in each way). Besides the cross walks at the streetlights there are also some crosswalks not where there is a light. There is a cross walk button for pedestrians to push so lights flash and cars stop. The lights weren’t flashing but there was a woman in the cross walk.

She was maybe 5 feet off of the curb into the street. She wasn’t moving forward or back like she was trying to cross (or scared to do so) but she was swaying and blocking traffic. Cars were stopping thinking she was trying to cross, but she wasn’t moving. And cars had to go around her to be able to drive so that was causing a traffic jam.

When I drove by her, I could see that something wasn’t right. I don’t know if she was drunk, high on something, or mentally unstable but clearly she wasn’t ok. I was able to pull over about half a block away from the cross walk and called 911. I felt weird calling 911 because I wasn’t totally sure it was an emergency, but I was terrified that a car would hit the woman and I knew I had to do something about it.

The 911 operator was pretty amazing. I was able to give her the exact location where I was and since I could see the woman in my rear view mirror I was able to give her a full description. While I was on the call with 911 the woman started to walk back and forth on the cross walk and occasionally stopping in the middle of the street (and almost getting hit by multiple cars). I’m sure that I was making the 911 operator nervous because I kept saying under my breath “don’t get hit by a car” and “stop doing that” while the operator was getting the information over to the police.

I kept apologizing for calling 911 because this might not be an emergency, and the operator kept reassuring me that I was doing the right thing and that I shouldn’t worry (I was also worried about getting a ticket because where I pulled over my car was parked illegally).

After being on the phone for maybe 5 minutes, the woman stopped crossing back and forth and stayed on the side of the street that I was parked in. I relayed that information to the 911 operator and then noticed that the woman was walking down the sidewalk toward me. The operator said not to do anything and just to keep updating her on where the woman was.

Then all of a sudden, the woman stopped at my window. She was looking in and staring at me and eventually was knocking on the window. I started to freak out little bit, but the operator said to not engage with her and to just stay on the phone and update her as needed. Then, before I knew it, the woman was pulling on my passenger door trying to open it.

I totally freaked out at that moment. I’m so grateful that my mom taught me to always lock my car doors as soon as I get inside so this woman was not able to get into my car. But I was still terrified and I know the 911 operator was trying to calm me down. All I could do was just keep saying “why is she trying to get into my car?” and watch the woman as she kept trying the front and rear passenger doors. The 911 operator told me that the police were on their way with the sirens on and they should be by my car soon.

After less than a minute of the woman trying to get into my car, I saw the lights of the police cars coming down the road and when they stopped behind my car the woman was still pulling on my car doors. Once they got her away from my car, the 911 operator said that I could hang up with her and that the police would probably need to talk with me.

I told the police exactly what happened and why I called 911. They took notes on my statement and took my name and phone number and sent me on my way. I took some time to calm down (I didn’t know it at the time but I started to cry when the woman was pulling on my car doors) and when I finally drove away the police were talking with the woman by the cop cars.

I have no clue why this woman was trying to get into my car. I have no idea what was happening or if I totally overreacted and there was a reason for her to be in the middle of the street. All I know is that if I had heard of a woman getting hit in a crosswalk on the news that I would feel terrible that I didn’t do something. So I had to do something. By the time I got to my friend’s party, I was still shaking a bit and coming down from the excitement of the drive over. I kept thinking that maybe I had done the wrong thing (I still don’t know what happened with the woman). But the more I think about it, I know I did the right thing. Worst case, the woman explained to the police why she was doing what she was doing and she was sent on her way. But if she was in need of help, someone had to get the help to her.

I know that we all drive past things that don’t look totally right and don’t think twice about it. I was lucky that I had the time to pull over and call 911 about this, but hopefully if you encounter a similar situation (or if I encounter another one) you will be able to help out as well.

I Support Depression Screenings (or Why Must People Shame Others?)

There was an announcement made the other day about the idea that pregnant women and new mothers should be screened for depression. When I read this, I loved the idea right away. 10% of new moms will have some sort of depression and I know that there isn’t always a lot of help that is offered right away. My friends who have had babies have said that the first few weeks after birth can be lonely because they are in their own bubble with the new baby. And if they are depressed and in that isolation, it can be a horrible combination.

I think we are all familiar with some of the horrible stories of when postpartum depression is undiagnosed and new mothers do something drastic like hurt themselves or their children. While screenings can’t prevent all of these incidents, they can help limit them. And knowing that everyone is being screened for depression may help take some of the stigma off of it for new moms.

I don’t have any children, but the idea of postpartum depression has been something I’ve thought about. I have been diagnosed in the past with depression (I still debate if that was the correct diagnosis or if it was really my panic/anxiety disorder being misdiagnosed). While I was being treated for depression my doctor asked me if I was on birth control. When I told her that I was she seemed relieved. I was told that the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy could be pretty bad for me and could make my depression worse. I did some research on postpartum depression and it seems like it’s manageable if diagnosed and treated. Now that I’m not sure if I’ve ever had depression I’m not as worried about it as I was before. But it will be something I bring up when I have kids in the future.

But if people aren’t too familiar with depression and have postpartum depression, they might not know that this is something that can be helped or fixed. And having this screening for new moms will help make sure that everyone is ok.

But after this new announcement, an author shared on Facebook her thoughts about it and it made me pretty mad.

PPD

This is a horrible statement to make. Being diagnosed with depression doesn’t automatically mean getting medication. When I was diagnosed with depression I didn’t get medication. I only got medication after I was diagnosed with panic/anxiety disorder and then it’s only medication that I take when I need it (which isn’t often). Medication is not the only way to treat depression and in fact it’s rarely the first option.

Saying that all hormonal changes are normal will make women who are suffering from postpartum depression think that they can’t get help or that doctors will ignore their symptoms. Saying that meditation, prayer, nutrition, or love will fix it will make women who don’t see results from those things feel even worse about their depression. Sometimes you need to see a doctor, sometimes you need talk therapy, and yes sometimes you need medication.

As far as I know, none of my friends with kids have had postpartum depression. But if they did, I would have supported them in any way I can. I know that mental illness is not something that you can just wish to go way. You need to get help and there’s nothing wrong with that. And hopefully anyone affected gets the help they need and get through this. Depression is something you can overcome, even if sometimes it feels like you can never get out of the hole you feel trapped in.

If you or someone you know has postpartum depression or is struggling, please reach out and get help. Help is out there for you.

Over A Month On Vyvanse (or A Meeting With My Therapist)

I had an appointment with my therapist this week to discuss how I’ve been doing on Vyvanse. Honestly, I went into the appointment thinking that I would probably be stopping the medication.

While almost all the side effects I experienced the first few days have ended (racing heart rate, shaking, intestinal issues), I started to experience some new side effects in the past few weeks. Mainly, losing more hair that usual.

Now, I have no clue if this is due to the medication. I was diagnosed with alopecia when I was 14. Then, I had two pretty large bald spots behind my ears. I did injections and my hair grew back. But every so often I get new bald spots (and usually they grow back on their own). But now, I’m losing my hair on my head all over and there aren’t any visible bald spots. And when I looked up side effects of Vyvanse, hair loss is one. There’s no real way to prove what causes my hair loss (even with it being caused by the alopecia), but if there is something that I am doing in my life that is causing it, I don’t want to keep doing that.

So when I went into the appointment I figured it was the end of my journey with Vyvanse. It hasn’t really been helping with my binge eating episodes. I do experience reduced hunger at times, but it’s not what I was expecting or hoping. I had felt such a great lack of hunger and disinterest in food for the first few days, and now that that feeling is gone I’m a little sad. I wished that that would be how I feel every day.

I went over all of my side effects and concerns with the therapist. We both agreed that increasing the dosage would not be a smart idea. If it did help with the hunger/binge issues it might also make any side effects worse. And it’s really an unknown right now if the Vyvanse is causing the hair loss or if it is the alopecia/stress.

So right now, the plan is to continue the dosage that I’m on right now. As far as not feeling like the medication is effective, my therapist explained that everyone feels that instant “cure” when they start the medication. The receptors in your brain aren’t expecting what the medication does, so it goes into overdrive. But once your brain gets used to it, it feels like it isn’t as effective. But that’s where things can get scary.

Some people will tell their doctors how great they felt right away and then the feeling went away. So some doctors will increase the dosage. The patient will have those few days of awesomeness again and then that will go away. So the dosage is increased again. There is a limit to how much of this medication you can take each day, and you don’t want to get to the maximum dosage if you don’t have to. So the plan is for me to stay on my current dosage for 3 more months and then we will reevaluate. If my doctor feels then that I should have a higher dosage, we will increase it. But for now, he wants to see what happens over the next 90 days. And he and I will meet again after those 90 days to discuss things again.

My therapist also wants me to track how often I’m doing the things that make me happy every day. He feels (and I agree) that the best way to stay on top of my eating disorder is to not try to get rid of the binge episodes but to make sure that I’m doing things that make me happy every day. Eventually, my time will be focused on those happy things and not on bingeing.

I’m going to work on making a chart of my happy things (he wants me to come up with 10) this week and start tracking them either on Sunday or Monday (I’m going to make my chart a calendar so I can look back at each day easily). I’m hoping that if I make an effort every day to include these happy things that I will almost “forget” to binge.

I’m not sure if that will work, but it’s worth a try. And hopefully the next 3 months on Vyvanse will go smoothly and anything that I think might be a side effect will go away soon. But as always, I’m trying to stay positive and hope for the best.

1 Week On Vyvanse (or Hoping To Answer Some Questions)

I’ve been on Vyvanse for a week now. Since I’ve been so open about both my eating disorder and being put on this medication, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about it.

First of all, Vyvanse is an ADHD drug that the FDA approved for people with moderate to severe binge eating disorders. I’ve heard for years how ADD and ADHD medications have helped with my type of eating disorder, but the rule with my health insurance is that my prescription coverage doesn’t cover prescriptions that are being used for something that the FDA hasn’t approved it for yet. So while I wanted to try some other options, this is the only one that my insurance will cover.

To get prescribed this medication, first you have to be diagnosed with a binge eating disorder. I was first formally diagnosed with it even before it was a recognized eating disorder by my hospital. Since there really weren’t any treatment options at my hospital (they were going to consider me a non-purging bulimic), I went elsewhere for therapy. This included the RFO program which did have group therapy. I had to be re-diagnosed with a binge eating disorder to get the prescription.

This is not a weight loss drug. I know that those are out there, but I wasn’t looking for that. This medication helps to reduce the number of binge eating episodes that I have. To me, that is way more powerful than a weight loss medication.

And yes, I have felt some side effects. I had a racing heart pretty much the entire first few days. But now, that is gone. I also had issues with shaking hands, but that is also pretty much gone (that sometimes comes back when I work out). Beyond the first two days, almost all the side effects have stopped. The only side effect that I’ve felt every day is a little dizziness for brief amounts of time (maybe less than a minute) a few times a day. It feels very similar to vertigo (which I have so maybe that is what the dizziness issue is).

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how it’s going so far. Well, I’ve been on the medication for a week. And I’m taking less than half of what the dosage usually was for patients with binge eating disorders. I’m even taking less than the recommended starting dosage. I’m not sure why my doctor did it this way, but I will be meeting with him in just about a month to reevaluate (and I’m sure to up my dosage if I’d like to continue taking it). It’s hard to tell how much it’s working right now. I have had moments where I have no appetite, and I know that is something that this is supposed to do. But it has not reduced my binge eating episodes down as much as many of the trials stated it did for those patients. Again, this might be due to the low dosage that I’m on.

My plan going forward is to continue taking the medication and evaluating if a higher dosage would give me better results when I meet with my doctor next month. That’s it. I can’t really do much more than that. I’ve been warned that it can take several months to figure out if a medication is right for me and what dosage I need to be on. I just have to be patient and see.

If you have any questions about Vyvanse (I’m not paid to talk about it, just sharing my experiences with you all), let me know. I’m happy to help answer what I can. It makes me so happy that by me allowing myself to be open and share this with the world that others feel comfortable enough confiding in me. If I get nothing else out of this medication, I will know that I might have helped at least one person be less ashamed about their eating disorder.

Binge Eating In The Media (or More Help Might Be On The Way)

Binge eating has been talked about in the media quite a bit lately. Most of it is surrounding Monica Seles and her story. I’m so impressed that she went public with her story. Binge eating is such a secretive thing and even though there are many people who suffer from it, rarely do people speak out. So more often than not, people think that they are the only one with this problem.

I remember when I posted my post about my binge eating. I think that was probably the hardest post for me to write. I was so scared that people would judge me, hate me, and think I was disgusting after I wrote about it.

But instead, I found more support than I ever could have imagined.

Being “out” with my eating disorder really has been the best thing for me. I think that once I lose more weight, it will be a bit easier for me to be open about it with new people. Right now, I’m still scared that people will judge me and my eating disorder because of my weight (because obviously my eating disorder is what got me to this weight). But besides the fear of being judged, everything else about being open and honest about my eating disorder has been positive.

After reading the story about Monica Seles, I noticed that she was a spokesperson for a pharmaceutical company. I looked more into it and it turns out that the FDA has approved the first medication to treat binge eating disorders. It is currently a medication for ADHD that has expanded what disorders that it can treat.

I’ve been told in the past that going on a medication for ADHD might help me, but my insurance wouldn’t cover it since it was not an approved use of the medication. But now that this medication has FDA approval for use for treating binge eating, there’s a chance that I could take it and have it covered by my insurance.

Yes, there are side effects to this medication and losing weight is not one effects that taking this medication might cause, but it has been proven to bring down the number of binge eating episodes significantly.

While right now, I’m in a great place with food, once I remove some of the restrictions that this cleanse has, I’m scared that I will go back to my old habits. That happened twice after the UCLA RFO diet. And it’s not realistic for me to maintain the restrictions I have on the cleanse long-term.

I’m thinking of trying to get an appointment with my primary care doctor and seeing if they can prescribe this medication for me (or if I’m even eligible, which I feel pretty sure that I am). I don’t want to have to rely on a medication to help me, but any help that I can get would be amazing.

It’s weird to think that when I started to try to get treatment for my eating disorder, they didn’t even properly diagnose me. Even in my medical record right now, it says “eating disorder unspecified”. There wasn’t an option to put binge eating as my diagnosis. And the help that they were trying to give me was for bulimics (because according to the doctors, bulimia was the closest eating disorder to what I have).

But now, not only is it a recognized eating disorder and more people are speaking out about it, there is finally medication that might help. So much has changed since my diagnosis and hopefully all this change means that in the future, nobody will have to wait as long as I did to get a proper diagnosis or the help that they really need.

Being My Own Advocate (or Sometimes It’s Too Much)

I hope you all had a great Halloween yesterday (and aren’t too tired/hungover/sugarcrashed at school or work). I’ll write about my Halloween fun soon, but first I want to share a situation that I’ve been dealing with at my day job.

This has been going on for a year now, and I’ve only recently had the courage to speak up about it. There is one co-worker who honestly hates me. I’m her biggest enemy. I didn’t do anything to cause this. This particular person has always picked one person to be their enemy every time she worked. She didn’t start working until around October last year, so for the first few months of my job I didn’t have this.

Her hatred toward me as been seen in many forms. She refused to speak to me or acknowledge my existence unless necessary. That I can deal with. She mumbles under her breath about me every time I talk. That was ok for a while too. She used to work at the desk next to me and when she did it was a lot worse. But her desk was moved and it seemed to get better.

But in the month or two prior to our unemployment and then once we got back, things have been getting worse and worse. What made me snap was on Wednesday she said to me, “You are a piece of s%*t and should be hospitalized”.

At that point, I realized that I needed to speak up. My boss has known since the beginning that this person didn’t like me and that they were not particularly nice to be. But it was played off as it was her typical behavior (my boss has seen her do this with other people in the past). But it had been getting to me for a long time. It is a big reason why I’m not happy at my job. I just didn’t want to talk about it because it seemed silly.

But finally it became clear to me. I shouldn’t have to deal with this.

And sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve had people I work with who treat me like this. At my last job, my supervisor called me fat and undateable. When I complained to my supervisor’s boss and HR, it was almost laughed off. I also worked for an orthodontist in 2006 who was extremely rude to me and called me a brat.

You’d think that I’d learn not to put up with this anymore, but part of it comes from my fear of losing my job. I don’t want to speak up or complain because it’s so incredibly hard to find work. Even harder to find actor-friendly jobs. So I don’t want to put a job at risk by speaking out.

I did talk with my boss about this co-worker. He said that he had a serious talk with her and told her that if it happened again she would be fired. Yesterday it was ok. But I still shouldn’t have to work somewhere where I know somebody hates me. I know I’ve said this a million times, but I’m more serious than ever about finding a new job. An ex-boss of mine (who is a friend) let me know about an opening at her company. I’ll be emailing my resume later today.

What it comes down to is that I know that unless this co-worker leaves, I will never be truly happy at this job. There will always be an air of hostility and hatred. And since it is the fact that I work there that makes this person so angry, I need to take myself out of there. I need to look out for myself.

So, I’m putting this out there in case any readers know of any actor-friendly day jobs in LA (or work from home). I’d appreciate any help I can get. The sooner I can leave my job, the sooner that I can start being happier again.

Being Helpful (or Using Unemployment To Be A Better Person)

I’ve been doing a lot of selfish things while out of work. I’ve gone to Disneyland, taken lots of spin classes, and hung out with friends who I haven’t seen in a while.

But the past two days I’ve focused on other people, and that makes me feel good.

My friend Trevor, who happens to host the podcast I work for, was in a bike accident last week. He’ll be fine, but for a while, he was looking like this.

So while he had both casts on, he had to go to a doctor’s appointment. He texted me, and of course I was going to help him out (he’s going to pay me back when I must have my other hip fixed). I actually didn’t mind driving him because he had taken a pain pill that made him pretty loopy. He didn’t say anything too bad (I promise), but it was pretty darn entertaining. Some highlights were him saying hi to every car that passed us, discussing the bee that landed on my windshield, and saying that I needed to make him banana bread.

By the time I drove him back to his house, his loopiness had ended, but it’s still nice getting to chat with a friend and help him out.

Then yesterday, I made the 2 hour drive down to San Diego to see my grandparents. I wanted to see them, first of all. They had moved into a new place last January, and the last time I was there was before they had any furniture in the place.

So it was nice spending time with them, and I was able to help them out as well. I drove them to the store (neither of my grandparents are driving right now) and helped them get groceries and other necessities.

I also helped my grandpa fix something on his DVR (he’s super tech-savvy, but this was a weird fix). And I brought them some treats. I brought my grandpa some Peeps (I remembered that he used to love them), and then I made them some banana pecan bread.

IMG_1488

It’s actually the exact same recipe as my banana blueberry bread, but the store was out of blueberries. So I used the same amount as pecans in it. We didn’t try any of it because we ate dinner at the restaurant where my grandparents live, but it smelled really delicious.

I drove back from San Diego the same day since it’s just easier to not have to bring all my stuff down there for a night (and I didn’t want to impose). Added bonus, as I was driving north on the 5, I got to see the fireworks over Disneyland as I was driving past! That was good timing!

I’m glad I was able to do a bunch of good things over the past few days. And I’ll be doing some babysitting for a friend for the next two days, so I’ll be helping out some more. I just want to make sure I balance the selfish things in life with being a good person.

 

Making Ends Meet (or Needing a Side Job to My Side Job)

Most of the money I make at my day job are commissions. This was great when it was the high season and I was making in a day what it would take a week at my old day job to make. But now it’s the low season and I’m making much much less.

If I wasn’t worried about paying off credit card debt, this wouldn’t be a big deal. I would have saved up the “extra” money that I earned over the summer to cover me for the lean times now.

But I put all money above and beyond my living expenses to my credit card (I’m pretty sure you’ll all agree that that is the smart way to do it). So I’m back to trying to make my budget as tight as I can. This month, I’m only going to be able to pay a little bit over the minimum on my credit card. It’s still going to make a dent in my debt, but I wish I could make a bigger dent.

This day job will most likely be ending in January (although that is up in the air too). I’m not going to look for another full-time day job for a few reasons. I like this job and plan on returning next season in May. Also, I’ve found it so tough to find a day job that works with my acting. I’ll go back to my old day job of substitute teaching, but because I work for a small district, I know it won’t pay for all my bills.

So while it’s the slow time right now at my day job, I’m looking for something to do on the side. I already babysit for a friend’s kids, but most of the time I do it for free as a favor because my friend will do my hair sometimes for free because I can’t afford to pay her. I might look into adding some more babysitting clients, but since that isn’t guaranteed income, I need to look for more.

I’m not really sure what I’m going to do. I’ve been given a writing job on another blog (when I can tell you which one I will), but that job doesn’t pay. Maybe I could use it as a reference for a paid writing job, but to be honest, I never thought of myself as a writer. Maybe I should.

If anyone out there has ideas of what I could do as a side job, I’d really appreciate it. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know somehow it will turn out ok.