Thursday, January 21, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness: How May I Be of Service? (PART I)

I haven't been here for awhile, so this is going to be a long post. You may want to grab a cup of tea...

For the past few weeks, I've been working in production on "The BET Honors" - an award show to honor the achievements of African-American people in various areas. While the show will be a good one, the behind-the-scenes reality of it was ugly. I'm not going to outline the specifics, but somebody got fired, some new people came in - scrambling to make it all work, we were under-staffed, and some other people weren't pulling their weight, which put a lot of extra strain (in addition to the normally frenzied pace of production) on the shoulders of those who were working industriously. That's the most diplomatic way that I can put it.

The show taped in Washington D.C. Sick with respiratory & sinus infections, on antibiotics and having received a cortisone injection so I could fly without my head exploding, I flew out on a red-eye last Tuesday evening, landed Wednesday morning around 6:15AM, got to the hotel an hour later, slept for about 90 minutes, then went to work. I didn't get off until about 1 the next morning. That's pretty much the way it went for the next 4 days: all I saw of D.C. from Wednesday morning until Sunday afternoon was my hotel, the venue where the production was being held, and the 3 blocks in-between. On (rainy) Sunday I took a 90 minute bus tour with a friend who was working on the production, so we were able to see some of the tourist highlights, including The White House, which was one block from our hotel, but we hadn't even had time to get to it before then.

About once a year my doctor prescribes a bottle of 30 Xanax tablets for me to take if I feel like I'm about to have a panic attack. I use them sparingly (which is why I only need one prescription a year), but I was taking a half of a tablet in the morning just so I could get into the day without biting anyone's head off. Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile KNOW that I was on daily prescription anti-anxiety drugs for a long time. I'm talking off & on for about 17 years, and over the past couple of years I have really been conscious of making lifestyle changes that don't get me whipped up into such a lather that I need them. With the exception of a Xanax every couple of weeks or so, I have been off of them for about 2 years. I don't intend to go back, nor do I intend to become addicted to Xanax, so since returning to L.A., stressed and exhausted, I've had to take a look at what's really going on. If my days are filled with such anxiety that I need drugs to make it through, something needs to change, 'with the quickness!'

(I decided to break this up into two parts. Part II can be found HERE.)


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