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9:02 PM - Fri 9.18.15

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (AKA "CPAP")

A lot to write about this evening...

Well, I have been using my new CPAP machine every night, for the past four nights (For insurance to cover it, I have to use it at least four hours a night - So far, I've been doing more like seven. Though tonight I expect it to be more like six, six-and-a-half).

And so far, I feel absolutely no difference.

Still waking up - sometimes because of CPAP-related issues (sinus pain, runny nose) - still tired all the time, eyes still almost constantly ache with fatigue, still feel perpetually out-of-gas (Well, I do have to admit I felt pretty chipper after the first night, mentally...but I think that was just because I was happy with myself for taking action, and pleased with what felt like a good first night's success - based on previous experience, I'd really worried about getting up to the four-hour insurance mandate).

So, when it comes to actually feeling better because I'm sleeping better?

That ain't happening yet.

But I'm telling myself it's early on in the process.

And I'm actually surprised I'm not feeling worse - Seriously, I've added tubes and straps and what-all to my night, and I think, under those circumstances, you could reasonably expect some initial difficulty just "getting used to things".

But no - I'm having about the same shitty nights (And days) as always. I don't know what that says exactly, but it says something.

I want to be positive, and assume that if I stick with it, things will start moving in the right direction. I very much want this to be "The Answer" to what's clearly the biggest physical problem I have.

But even if it's not "The Answer", I still see some hope - If, as I suspect, I've developed sleep-apnea-with-a-side-of insomnia over the years (cause "waking up through the night" hasn't always been a "thing"), now that I'm doing the CPAP, I can hit up my doctor for sleeping pills (In the past, when I asked, he gave me some super-mild, barely-there sedative, because it's not exactly safe giving a person with sleep apnea heavy sleep meds - and, referring to "The King of Pop" and his untimely demise, because he didn't want to "Michael Jackson-me").

This might also be good incentive - where I didn't really have incentive before - to try to seriously moderate my soda/caffeine intake (Soda and coffee is pretty much all I drink...though I am trying to work sparkling water into the mix these days).

This is tough, because I don't really have a "baseline" for expectations - I don't know what "a normal night's sleep" is like, beyond "you don't wake up feeling like shit, wondering why you even bothered going to bed".

Specifically, I don't know what a normal middle-aged man's sleep is like (ex. I have this desire/expectation to not wake up at night ever, which might be unrealistic at my age).

So what is "realistic" here?

I don't know. I'd just like my life - mentally, physically, emotionally - to not be dominated by my fatigue.


Well, counting the Chicago Med self-taping, I've had six auditions this month, which I'm pretty sure - without checking - is the most auditions in a single month I've had all year.

And hopefully we're not done yet.

During this time, I was pinned for Agent Carter, on "avail" for the New York Lottery commercial, participated in a play reading for my friend Liz S., and shot an episode of Shameless.

So, relatively speaking, it's been a pretty "actor-y" period of time. Which is cool.

But it's not enough.

Because I didn't book anything - It's never enough until and unless I book something.

Because, since production started back up at the end of July, I've gotten called in on one tv show I've been submitted for - One. So I don't know if I'm being submitted for the wrong things, or if tv casting people mostly don't give a shit about me anymore, or what.

And because, maybe most of all, in terms of "work", we're fourteen years down the road, and it still feels like my day job is "the thing", and acting is the "sideline".

It's not going to be good enough until I experience a level of busyness, and success based on that busyness, that "changes things" - I want to be acting more, I want bigger, better roles, I want to be demonstrably more successful than I am now, and "demonstrably more successful" means, mostly, that I am making a decent living as an actor.

(I think when I was younger, I would have put more of an emphasis on being "famous". But while I still think it would be cool being "a known entity" as an actor, now it's a much bigger deal to just be making a living - while being "famous" to the decision-makers in the business.)

I don't want to work at Weight Watchers (Or anywhere else, really). I want to be working as an actor, fill the rest of my time however I choose to fill it, and have that be it.

Is that so much to ask...?


Sunday 9/19/15 (9:30 am)

I was thinking I should have ended this entry on that last bit...but I want to write some more, so I'm going to write some more.

The other day, it occurred to me to title an entry "Little Gifts and Small Victories".

It strikes me that positive little things happen in my life all the time, things that just "come to me" and good things I actually do, things that can just "slip by" if I don't consciously note them.

Because they may seem "inconsequential", but really, "inconsequential" is mostly what life's about.

Little gifts.

Small victories.

An example of each:

Years ago, when I was living in my previous apartment on 5th street, I found myself in need of a couple of replacement chairs.

And I don't remember if I initially "sent a message to the Universe" that I wanted some free chairs to come into my life, or if it was just a thing that happened, but in fairly quick succession, I acquired two chairs - office chairs that people had thrown out, that were nevertheless perfectly fine for my purposes.

(Why did I not just buy a couple chairs? Well, because, 1. Chairs cost money, and, 2. I would then have to schlep them home, and - since I like office chairs - have to deal with the frustration of at least partial assembly, which I can't usually accomplish without some amount of cursing and tears.)

I'm writing this entry while sitting on one of those chairs, but the other chair (That I sit in when I noodle on my keyboard) had a seat that had gotten so ripped up over time that I first tried to duct-tape it together, then threw a towel over it, and sat on that.

It looked like shit, to the point where I was embarrassed anytime I had to let someone into the apartment (It had been thrown out when I found it, but now it really looked like it belonged in the garbage).

So I started "keeping an eye out" in my neighborhood for chairs people had thrown out.

And most were too-far-gone, but before too long, I found one - a black office chair that rolls and swivels, that was already the perfect height for me, no adjusting required (To my eye, the only thing that seemed "wrong" with it was that it was dirty - so I wiped it down and was good-to-go).

So now I have a "new" chair, which cost me nothing and was acquired with minimal effort (Carry the old chair out, bring the new chair in, wipe it down with a wet cloth, and sit down). I even get a little "extra credit" for "recycling", and keeping this chair out of a landfill for however long.

And I get little "gifts" from the Universe all the time. Always have. Whether actual physical things I want/need, unexpected opportunities, or kindnesses bestowed upon me from others, I've been "gifted" all my life.

And it's important to "take note". It's particularly important for me to take note, because - being prone to depression and anxiety - it's easy to just have those things swept away in a sea of upset.


I am a slob.

I always have been. I don't know why (But I assume it's a self-esteem-bordering-on-serious-mental-health issue).

It embarrasses me, to the point where I not only don't "invite people over", I'd rather no one enter my apartment, ever.

But for going on a month now, I have kept up with my dishes - I clean them as I dirty them, instead of leaving them in the sink until I've dirtied every available cup, utensil, plate, bowl, or bowl-like container, then washing a single cup or plate or utensil as needed (As the mess in the sink gets more and more disgusting, serving as a buffet for roaches and fruit-flies).

The rest of the apartment? Still a mess. But this particular thing? I'm "taking care of it".

Like "taking note" of the various and sundry "gifts from the Universe" I receive, I think it's important to "take note" of the times I successfully "take action" on some given issue, however "small".

The same way acknowledging "gifts" gives me needed perspective - however much I struggle, mentally and emotionally, good things happen to me on a daily basis - acknowledging little "victories" gives me needed perspective on myself (I'm not just this guy who doesn't do enough, or doesn't do it right, or whatever).

Years ago, I got an email newsletter from Dallas Travers ("The Actors Advocate"), and the subject of that particular newsletter was about "acknowledging your success".

I don't remember if this was a quote from her, or if she was quoting someone else, but this quote has stuck with me ever since - "You can't build on success you don't acknowledge".

And that makes a huge amount of sense to me - so much so that I have frequently brought it up at Weight Watchers (I can't tell you how many times people get on the scale, have lost weight, and promptly either "explain it away" or bemoan that they didn't lose more).

But however much "sense" it makes, I still wrestle mightily with the idea. I think one of my most deeply ingrained beliefs is "I'm not good enough. I'm not doing enough. There's something wrong with me" (Without getting into it - cause this entry is going way too long as-is - I think it clearly has to do with my childhood).

So "Yay!" me - I'm keeping up on the dishes.

(And doing a lot of other good things to boot.)

And on that note, I'm going to close, and see what the rest of my day has to offer...


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