An Introverted Actress

Self Care-athon: Day One

I've never been secretive about my own struggles with mental health. Then again, I guess I've never been hugely explicit about it all either. Whilst I'm not exactly a private person, what with the majority of my life willingly splashed across the online world, there are little slivers of my life that I like to take control over by purposely choosing not to share them. My mental health is amongst the things on that list. I encourage people to talk about their mental health in whatever way they think will help them however, I personally don't get much out of talking about my own mental health with strangers who don't know me or with those who can't help me professionally. For me, it seems like inviting a lot of opinions and voices into my brain when it's already very crammed up there. It actually helps my mental health to keep the ins and outs of my mind this side of the curtain, offline, and to only talk about it with people I am close to and/or professionals. Having control over that little piece of my world and making the conscious decision not to broadcast when I'm feeling low and instead, turning to a friend or a family member, makes me feel like I'm already more in control of my own brain than I thought I was. (I don't judge anyone who does things differently! Whatever helps people, helps people. It's all deeply personal and this is just me!) However, not talking explicitly and in depth about my struggles has never stopped me from telling the world outside my bubble that I am, in fact, struggling. There have been many posts scattered throughout my online history depicting just that because I recognise there is a stigma and I'm all for breaking it.

It's official. I'm a workaholic. This year alone (so far) I've rehearsed for The Addams Family and completed 150 shows of the UK tour, sung in parts for two other musicals, finished and published a book which I'm currently doing signings for across the country, started writing something new and in the midst of it all filmed, edited and uploaded 54 YouTube videos. I'm not complaining. I love my life and I wouldn't do any of it if I didn't adore it. I also know how lucky I am to be able to have these opportunities which is probably why I work as much as I do! I don't want to waste a single opportunity I'm fortunate enough to have. But eventually the result is a day like today. When something's gotta give and today that something was my voice. I rely on my voice to carry me through and so when it goes, I feel like I've lost a vital part of myself. Without it I feel utterly useless and incredibly lost. And so after a lot of crying and a lot of cuddles from Scott, Oliver, Sam, Cameron and some foul throat remedy that Dickon threw together...I knew I needed to take the day off. And I only came to the conclusion that I'm a workaholic when I got to my hotel room and sobbed because I wasn't on that stage with everyone else, mucking in and being kooky. When I'm physically not able to work, I fall apart. I need to learn how to slow down, chill out and rest when it's needed. (Then I need to learn to not feel guilty when I do). TL;DR: today sucked. Tomorrow will be better.
A post shared by Carrie Hope Fletcher (@carriehopefletcher) on

You may not have heard of The Blurt Foundation. They're a social enterprise dedicated to helping those affected by depression. I'm not sponsored by them nor have I ever worked with them before but they've certainly helped me over the years. They created something called The Buddy Box. I've received two in my lifetime. The first by someone named Kiely and the second came from The Blurt Foundation themselves. The Buddy Box is a marvellous little package containing things to try and brighten your mood. Socks, hot chocolate, amusing little tea coasters, affirmation cards...the box is always choc-a-bloc with happiness it's hard not to smile when you open one. If you've never heard of them, I highly recommend you check them out HERE.


I follow The Blurt Foundation on twitter and on April 1st they started something called the Self Careathon and...I've decided to take part over the course of April in blog form. Some blogs may be long arse essays, some may be short and sweet but I thought it would be something good for my own mental health, something that allows me to open up a little more about how I'm feeling and something that will encourage others to do the same. It's also a chance to get the most out of my blog! I think The Blurt Foundation themselves are taking part in this challenge on instagram so head over there to check out their posts too and please take part yourselves however you wish! Just make sure to use the hashtag #BlurtSelfCareathon !!! I'm a day behind but here we go!


DAY ONE: 10 THINGS ABOUT ME 

1. I like to pretend I'm organised but I'm (not-so-)secretly very messy.
My flat is in constant disarray. It's a mixture of having too much stuff to fit into my teeny weeny flat and no time to organise anything. I only ever invite close friends over who are happy to climb over boxes of books, posters and letters and sit in amongst empty cans of Coke Zero and millions of strewn sharpies.

2. My favourite alcoholic beverage is a Dark&Stormy
Dark rum and ginger beer with a slice of lime. Delish.

3. If I could live in boots, I would. 
I say that but I pretty much already do. I've had my Vonda Doc Martens for a year now and I've worn them nearly every day in all weathers. Love 'em!

4. I have a strange obsession with painting my nails.
I'm terrible at it. I get it everywhere but I find it so relaxing and my colour of choice is nearly always black.

5. I don't read nearly as much as I used to and I miss it. 
This is due to the fact that I write books now which is a wonderful excuse but reading got me into writing in the first place and I need to find more time.

6. I feel a little bit lost 100% of the time.
People constantly ask me how I have my life so "together". It's flattering that people think this but truth is, I'm just as lost as everyone else. I must just be a better actress than I give myself credit for.

7. It really annoys me when people say 'See? You can do it! It wasn't that bad, was it?' 
I know I can do anything if I put my mind to it! My parents instilled that belief in me a very long time ago. But just because I can do something, doesn't mean I particularly want to or that I will enjoy doing it or that I will have gained anything from it once it's over. They say success lies outside of your comfort zone which I agree with to an extent but, in my experience, if you leave your comfort zone just because you feel like you should rather than leaving for good reason, your endeavours are, more often than not, fruitless. If I'm going to leave my comfort zone, it has to be for the right reasons and for something that I deem worthy. It has to be for me and my reasons, alone.

8. My memory is terrible!
Over the past four or five years, my memory has become seriously crap. My theory is, it's so full of scripts and song lyrics now that there's little room for anything else, including my own schedule!

9. I don't like attention. 
Audiences can applaud Eponine, Truly, Wednesday, Beth or whatever other character I play as much as they like. I like having my work recognised. However, as soon as it comes to me claiming recognition, I want the floor to open up underneath me and hide me until it's over and everyone's gone home and no one cares anymore. I could barely even bring myself to bow at my own concerts this weekend. I could barely even bring myself to do the concerts at all let alone bow at the end! And this is new. I never used to be like that. I don't know what changed. But something did.

10. I really want a black Sphynx cat. 
I think they look like dragons. I really want a dragon. 

#BlurtSelfCareathon

10 comments

  1. This looks like such a cool, interesting and (almost) most importantly, creative way to work through mental health! Thoroughly agree with you Carrie, everyone has different ways of working through their own situation, whether it be over social media or not, and as long as it works for you then that is all that matters. Really looking forward to reading your progress over the rest of the month! Have fun with it :)

    PS: Yes to the black sphinx dragon cat - it could be your own tiny little Toothless!

    www.foxytravelsuk.co.uk

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  2. Just wrote the longest reply and it didn’t post not happy will try again.. I too suffer from mental health problems and have seeked help to which I was told there was a 2/3 months waiting list and have heard nothing since sadly this is probably due to such high demand! The most important part of mental health issues is admitting you need the help! Admitting that you’re not okay and as much as I wish you weren’t suffering it’s good for your young generation to hear you say hey I’m not always okay and that you’re actually a normal human being with own issues and worries. I think this really benefits the 14 year olds that follow you. We are lucky to have someone strong and stands up for that they believe in to follow but rightly so it does us good to know you’re not super human and don’t always have fab days (although I really wish you, i and everyone else did cos I wouldn’t wish mental health on my worst enemy) but standing together and saying hey today I’m not okay is totally FINE! We don’t have to be good all the time. Thank you for all that you do for your audiences but as your fans and audiences know we don’t expect the happy bubbly carrie 24/7 you can just be you! Keep being who you are (not to stop patronising) because you are ACING it! xXx

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    1. I meant not to sounds patronising...

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  3. I love this! And I COMPLETELY relate to your comment about always feeling a bit lost. I'll be 25 next month and I've gotten a lot accomplished in my quarter century of life, and therefore so many people--those my age and even those older than me--tell me how "together" my life is, when to me, it CERTAINLY doesn't feel that way. It's very flattering, as you mentioned, but there are definitely times that it can be isolating as well, as there's an added pressure that I SHOULD feel more together than I do! Knowing there are other people my age out there who get these comments and feel the same in that regard is reassuring. :)

    <3 <3 Katie

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  4. This is a great idea! I've heard of Blurt but hadn't heard of this specifically. And, the thing about your flat being a mess: I don't even invite my close friends into my bedroom cause it's that much of a mess! And, your colour of choice for nail varnish: We already knew you were always destined to be Wednesday ;) Definitely agree about lack of time for reading. We need to invent the book-a-day (like a holiday but soley a break for reading books.) I only get the chance to read if I'm on public transport mostly these days. I'm nowhere near as busy as you, but my memory is also awful so you aren't alone. This is a great idea and I might try doing some of these myself (if my bad memory doesn't get in the way, and oh of course those uni deadlines I'm currently procrastinating.)

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  5. Your own concerts are also your work! Maybe if you see it that way, you can accept the applause. The audience didn't decide to applaud just because they think you're a good person, but because they enjoyed your performance and it made them feel good, the same as when you're acting in a story.

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  6. Your own concert was absolutely fantastic and I hope you can feel comfortable in receiving the recognition you deserve! This is such a sweet idea and the blurt foundation some like a wonderful organisation. As does everyone at some point, I struggle pretty bad with my mental health so seeing others who do also is comforting but I totally understand your point. Privacy is essential especially with what you do and if you shared every single thing then that would be such an invasion of privacy. I look forward to reading these blogs throughout April

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  7. Dark and stormy's...completely agree :)

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  8. I feel the same way with number 9. I used to be an overly-confident, hyper kid who was always first to audition or sing or even put up their hand in class. But recently, I have started to be shy and stammer a lot, something I never used to do. My teachers and new friends (I moved into high school) think I'm a shy, low confidence girl but that isn't who I used to be. I think it may be due to extreme bullying that I experienced and my loss of childhood friends (but that's another story that I'm not ready to relive) yet I hate people even telling me I got a question right. The only place I feel like the old me is in our small drama suit playing another character, telling their story not my own. I've probably now spoken too much but I do hope you are having a good day. Smile and make a wish. I do hope it comes true.

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  9. I've decided to do it as well. I'm a bit behind but I'm going to catch up right about...now.

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