When Something Bad Happens | andreaenright.net

 

When you get the second worst news of your life, you are silent.

Silent when you first hear the news. Thoughts racing, but silent.

Then the silent tears start coming. You can’t speak. Only tears.

You finally let out your big shoved-inside-too-long sob. You pray the neighbors won’t call the cops.
And then you keep on sobbing.

You think, anything but this.

This. This is my breaking point.
You sob and sob.
Some words are rattled off. You pray with your husband. He prays, you are silent and doubt God exists at all.

Husband retreats to finish the work you’ve assigned him:

Cancel our dinner plans
Call and see if mom can fly in
Schedule a counseling appointment
Book a massage

You tell your husband you’re done. You aren’t leaving your bed or sofa for the next 5 days. That’s just how it’s going to have to be.

You say to your husband- if this is too much for you, please call someone. My mom can fly in. People will help if you can’t manage to take care of me AND you. But you see, I need to be taken care of. Because all I can envision as far as I can see is sitting in my bed being sad. I can’t clean or cook or be happy or normal.

Your husband says he’s ok. Sad, but okay. This wasn’t his breaking point you see, he can keep going.

So he retreats to complete your list.

You are left alone.

You see the sun outside. You haven’t been out today. Somehow you muster courage to put on clothes. Real clothes. Going out clothes.

You bundle up and you manage to leave. You plan to buy everything you want. Real therapy won’t start until next week so all you have is retail.

You go to Rite Aid and buy anything you want. Fancy eos lip balm. That lip stain you love. That bb cream you’ve been meaning to get. The newest People magazine.

You get dessert at the coffee shop.

You decide you must get your nails done. And not just done, but DONE. You splurge on a pedicure. Then you splurge on gel for your fingernails. You choose neon orange paint. It’s a shock. It’s bright. It’s happy. You hope it might make you feel better this week.

You’re not quite sure if it will work.

But this is what happens when you’re sad.

 

 

 
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First of all, I need to get over the fact that my blog posts might not cover EVERYTHING I need to say. Often, I have a lot on my mind and heart- but I don’t write about it because it just seems too exhausting. I have too much to tell and there’s NO way I will fit it into a cohesive blog post. There’s no way people will read it. There’s no way I’ll have the time/energy/willpower to get down ALL of my thoughts…

Well, here I am trying to just go for it. I need to write more. I WANT to write more. And I need to get over the whole perfection thing.

Are you with me? You catch my drift?

With that said, today something big happened.

I unsubscribed from my Actors Access account.

Now this is the part where I would normally poop out. I have to explain what Actors Access IS. I have to explain why it’s significant I unsubscribed.

I’m already exhausted.

But I’m gonna give it a try. A brief explanation, so I can get to the meat of why this is Something Big

Actors Access is a website I’ve been a part of since moving to New York. It sends you several daily emails that tell you all the roles and shows you might be good for. It’s a resource for professional actors.

Well, I normally get 1-7 emails from them daily. And for the past six months I’ve been skimming them but then I always hit delete.

Well today, I just unsubscribed from the emails for good.

(This means I’ve changed something that’s been happening like clockwork for THREE years.)

And I did because I don’t want to be an actor anymore.

At all.

I felt this the second I got home from my summer show.

This isn’t my dream.

This isn’t my life’s work.

This is not what I am passionate about.

This does not make me tick.

This is not the career I want.

I don’t want to be an actor anymore.

Now there’s a lot, a LOT, more to say on the matter. And I hope to have the stamina to write-it-all-out. But for today, I’ll leave you with the knowledge that something big happened today.

I unsubscribed.

And I let you all know about it.

 

 

 
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Feeling Icky | andreaenright.net

 

I felt an uneasiness as I tried to go to bed last night.

I put my head to my pillow and the streets were miraculously quiet (thank you NYC Snowpocalypse 2015).

But I still couldn’t sleep.

I had written this post. I shared our bad news. And so many people reached out. Shared my post. Said nice things. Bought BJ’s photos.

And I felt a cloak of ickyness weigh down on me.

I felt ashamed. Awkward. Embarrassed.

Maybe I shouldn’t have asked for help. They could have done something better with their money. We don’t deserve this.

So I had to check in with my spirit. I had to get down to it and ask myself:

Am I feeling uncomfortable because I shouldn’t have asked those people to help us? Because I did the wrong thing?

or

Am I feeling uncomfortable because I am overwhelmed and shocked by the grace raining down on us?

And before I could think the thought,

the words

Grace
Grace
Grace
Grace

swelled up in my soul.

You feel uncomfortable because your uncomfortable with My Great Grace.

(Thanks a lot, soul.)

And of course I felt uncomfortable–

Love was POURING OUT upon us.

And it felt strange. Uneasy. To feel, hear, see tangible support.

You see, we live in a time where strength means Do-It-Yourself and success means Independence.

AGH CATS SHUT UP.

(My cats won’t stop meowing.)

Ok. I lied guys. Remember this? I lied. I can’t stop. First lie: I’m writing this late at night. I said I tried to fall asleep last night but what I should have said is THIS night. Blogging is hard guys. I was trying to write this post as if it were tomorrow. Am I making sense? Probably not. Because Midnight. Anyways, I lied.

I ALSO lied about the house being miraculously quiet. It’s not. Snowpocalypse seems to only HEIGHTEN the amount of sound I am hearing.

HELLO truck scooping snow at MIDNIGHT.
HELLO neighbors below listening to TV at MIDNIGHT
HELLO neighbors above walking around at MIDNIGHT
HELLO cats down the hall meowing to get out. NO YOU CAN’T YOU WILL WAKE US UP AT 5 AM YOU WILL NOT BE SET FREE FROM THE OFFICE YOU WILL STAY IN THE OFFICE AND NO YOU CAN’T SLEEP WITH US UNTIL YOU LEARN NOT TO MEOW AT US AT 5AM ON THE DOT AND KNOCK AROUND LITERALLY EVERYTHING IN THE ROOM. GLASSES. PHONES. CANDLES. NO CATS NO.

So actually, snowpocolypse is making everything sound-y-ER. (That’s a word. Sound-y-ER. Meaning “with more sound.” And NO it’s not soundier, it’s SOUND-Y-ER.)

Seriously. The quiet streets are making everything louder.

ANYWAYS.

Grace.

This all goes to show I am very uncomfortable with grace. With help. With love. With compliments. With people buying things and supporting us and saying lovely words.

AND with all the annoying sounds I keep hearing. NEIGHBORS. BE QUIET.

ANYWAYS.

Grace.

I’m clearly learning something. Because I am TERRIBLE at this.

I feel an ickyness. A shame. A cloud hovering. Because my brain tells me

You shouldn’t need help.
If you were stronger, you would be fine.
How embarrassing that you shared you were struggling.

When I should instead be celebrating the miraculous, undeserved grace I’m receiving.

But it makes sense. If I have a lying habit, my brain must too!

GUYS. My BRAIN is a LIAR JUST like me! My brain is lying.

Because I DO need help! I do I DO.

And YES. Receiving grace is GOOD.

So thanks, friends, thanks for the help.

Thanks for purchasing prints and sharing on facebook and saying nice things and praying your guts out.

And thanks, soul. Thanks for helping me point out my brain’s lies. For reminding me it’s OK to need help. For telling me grace grace grace grace every time I need it.

 

 

 

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Some Sad News | andreaenright.net

So, I wrote this a few days ago when I was really sad. Since then, the news has settled in and we aren’t SO completely devastated, just regular devastated. But I’ve been editing furiously to take this post from super-sad to semi-hopeful, to reflect the lack of UTTER devastation, again, just regular devastation, we feel.  And I’m not sure if I’ve succeeded… But guys, there is this snowpocalypse coming to NYC and I am just too exhausted to change all the wording so here she is, boys. Here’s our sad news:

The cancer is still there.

Yup. Not the results we were hoping for.

We got the news last week when we got the results from BJ’s PET scan. And it was really sad. To put it eloquently.

As of now, we are doing ok.  Pretty bummed, of course, but ok. Today was actually better than most because we had a really good appointment with our new doctor who is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma specialist. She was nice and smart and an EXPERT on BJ’s EXACT disease. We heard about how treatable it is. We heard the hope in her voice.

So we had a really hopeful day.

But I know we’re not always so lucky. Sometimes we have I-just-want-to scream-and-stomp-but-can’t-because-NEIGHBORS kind of days or holy-shit-we-are-re-opening-the-cancer-box-all-over-again-and-we-thought-we-had-PUT-THAT-BOX-AWAY sort of days.  But sometimes we have snowy, sappy, hopeful days where food tastes better and kisses are sweeter.

Guys, I’m getting off track. I’m gonna try to ask you guys to give us money (sort of) and I am just rambling too much and now I am way more stressed about writing this blog post than I am about cancer.

Let’s refocus. I’m sure you want some details. Here are some details:

Phase 2.

That’s what we’re calling it. It doesn’t really have a name so we named it Phase 2. Well, I named it Phase 2 because I couldn’t remember its real name.

Anyways. Phase 2 will start in about 2 weeks and will take about 4 months to complete. YAY 4 MORE MONTHS OF CANCER!

Said no one ever.

Anyways. Phase 2 involves 4 more chemo-like treatments, which will happen every 3 weeks, and ends with the grand finale of a stem cell transplant, coming to a cancer patient near you around May.

Some good news: Phase 2 most likely won’t cause hair loss. YAY! A beard for BJ!

Some bad news: The stem cell transplant will require a 3-week stay in the hospital and up to 100 days of recovery time at home.

Some good news: Our doctor is fairly confident that this treatment will be very effective.

Some bad news: As always, there are no guarantees.

More bad news: We are pretty worried about BJ losing work and income during his long hospital stay and recovery time after the transplant. It will severely limit his ability to shoot events, and depending on timing, he may have to refund some clients who have weddings booked in May or June.

But some more good news: We have set up an online shop of BJ’s beautiful prints to help raise money to cover the time he will be out of work. We hope you will consider supporting us by buying one of his prints. It would help us out so much and HEY! You’d also get a beautiful photo print or canvas to hang on you wall! We got New York City skylines, beach scenes, and some Oregon photos, of course!

But guys, seriously, this is a no pressure zone. And we already feel wells of gratitude for how so many of you have already helped us. So please know we don’t expect you to contribute, not at all! Just consider this another option, another avenue for helping us out.

And with that said, would you consider sharing BJ’s shop with your friends? Can you blast twitter or facebook or call your mom? (I just feel like everybody’s moms always donate to these sort of things because moms are THE BEST aren’t they?) Anyways, please consider supporting us in this way. I know getting some extra income would set our (but mostly BJ’S) minds at ease as we transition into this scary and uncertain time. (He already feels guilty enough about having cancer. Now it’s cancer AND not working. Yes, BJ is crazy. Cancerous and crazy. EVERYONE knows cancer is not his fault. EVERYONE. But he still feels guilty. GET OVER IT BJ. IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT AND WE ALL LOVE YOU AND YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS AND YOU ARE STRONG AND WE AREN’T REALLY ASKING FOR MONEY WE ARE JUST ASKING PEOPLE TO CONSIDER BUYING A PHOTO PRINT AND THAT IS DIFFERENT. SORT OF. )

Anyways, want to buy a picture?

Ok, enough of that. Time for some gratitude. More than anything, thank you all, you ALL, for your continued support, prayers, and messages of encouragement. It’s frustrating to say we need it all over again but I KNOW you guys will come through. And for that, we are SO grateful. Words cannot express.

Much love,

Andrea & BJ

 

 

 

 

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BJE_5124

BJ and I have been saving up for a while and we finally have a chunk of money set aside. We’ve had our eyes on three big purchases we want to make but the catch is we really only have money to do ONE of the three big purchases we had in mind. So how do we decide?

I thought I’d turn to you.

Adulthood and finances are such uncharted territory for us, so I thought I’d open the dialogue and ask for YOUR thoughts about all this. I want to see what you think we should prioritize, and what kind of questions we should be asking ourselves.

First, let me tell you the 3 Big Purchases we are looking at:

Lasik eye surgery for me
A Cancer-Free Celebration/Relaxation/Recovery trip to Mexico
All-New Furniture for our apartment

And look at them closer:

Lasik
My current contacts are REALLY expensive. I use daily disposable contacts which are more expensive than other kinds of contacts. Our annual expenses for contacts are maybe $400-600 a year. Lasik looks like it would be $3000-5000, but it would be a one time cost. I’m young, I’m 25, so it could really save us some money in the long run. And it’s the kind of procedure I’ve always known I’d have to do SOMEDAY. But it now the right time? Should this be my first priority? But it’s just so PRACTICAL. I don’t know if I can bring myself to it. Maybe I’d rather pay monthly for my contacts (like we have already been doing) and go on a fantastic vacation instead…

Vacation
BJ just beat cancer. And the one thing we’ve kept saying to each other through the past six months of chemo is “we are going to get one HELL of a vacation out of this shit.” We talked about a trip to Ireland, a dream destination for BJ, but then we realized life has been so chaotic that what we actually needed to lay on a beach. We need to rest and rejuvenate and swim in the ocean and CELEBRATE no cancer. But now that it’s all over, life has gotten dramatically less stressful (amazing how just ending chemo can do that for ya.) So it doesn’t feel so pressing to go on a vacation RIGHT NOW. It would be nice, of course, but we COULD hold off if we needed to, OR opt for a mini vaca some place closer. We could probably do an on-the-cheap trip to Florida for under $800. Fly standby through my dad’s airline, rent a cheap condo, and sit on the beach. OR we could do a big resort vacation we’ve been talking about. So friends, should we skimp or should we splurge? Or should we hold off all together and buy new furniture…

Furniture
We work from home. And right now our home is not a restful or organized place. I’ve known for some time that our apartment needs an overhaul. We need area rugs and book shelves, a dining table, new sofa, and storage cabinets. To do what I REALLY want we need a a few thousand. We work from home, we are always at home. And in some aspects, I don’t think we’d NEED a vacation so bad if we truly had a relaxing and rejuvenating place to come home to.

 

I know this is a luxurious problem to have. The world is not ending, and I know that. But I really want to learn to be a good steward of my money, while also not being afraid to spend it. My head ALWAYS goes to the practical- but maybe beating cancer is a good excuse to splurge on a vacation. But then I’ve been complaining about my apartment for 3 years. Maybe now would be a good time to re-do it exactly how I’d like it. It could amp up my productivity and boost my energy at home.

I keep going in circles and circles. There is a good reason for all three purchase. Really, I just want to hit the jackpot and do all three. But since I can’t, what should I do?

So friends, help a sister out. Let me know- where would you start? How would you choose? What would you prioritize and what would you put off? What would YOU do?

 

 

 

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