What Do You Get Out of Bed For?

Several years ago, I was in bed with a 30+ cm long picc line (long term IV), woven into my veins-face gaunt and skin nearly translucent with exhaustion and lack of nutrition. Every day, twice a day, I went to sit in a chair next to strangers while a doctor made me sick enough to “get better” on the hunch I had Lyme disease (and the misguided notion that antibiotics could cure me). In between, I chased sleep when I couldn’t chase my dreams. And for when I could sleep, I tried to think of all of the reasons to keep getting up in the morning. I realized that there was one thing I constantly daydreamed about despite the fog that enveloped my brain: Acting.

Despite the flu-like ache in my bones, despite the debilitating exhaustion, despite the fact that I couldn’t eat-I turned on my computer and typed up my acting resume, filling it with theatre and any form of performance I could squeeze from my past. My mom said she’d never seen me take so much initiative, mmespecially in my current state. I was on a break from school-one of many-and the thought of getting back to my premed classes sat no better than any meal after IV antibiotics. The strange symptoms I’d been feeling for years showed little sign of improvement. Banking on what I would or could or should do when I was no longer in pain stopped making sense. The better question: What would I get out of bed for every morning in SPITE of the pain?

I couldn’t believe that while my body was at its most frail, I got an email that would make it feel so alive. Shortly after taking it upon my sick, sad self to send out submissions, I got my first agent. And I would be starting auditions for film/TV and commercials for the first time ever as soon as I was back at school-not because a Dance Mom dragged me to them or because it was what was expected of me. It was just because I deeply, deeply wanted it.

Yesterday I got to act again. Between more bedridden days and rest and overwhelm and tears and hopelessness, I did an audition and felt that same passion and thrill. Today, I woke up hurting all over and ready to vomit. Today, I also went to set-and acted-in the cold rain. Today I’ll also crawl back into bed, pull out the ice packs and heating pads and supplements and try to eat-but with a little more money in my pocket from doing something I love.

Whether you have a chronic illness or not, chances are, you’ll have pain. You’ll have stress. You’ll have rejection. You’ll have days you won’t want to be awake. What are you willing to do anyway?

Current Agency: @option_talent

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