I’ve preformed solo at three or four voice recitals now- all during college. And while there’s always been a little performance anxiety, I’ve never melted down, shut down, and wanted so badly to pull out of the show.
Friday I rehearsed with the accompanist only an hour or two before the performance. It was horrendous. I spent 20 or 30 minutes sobbing in one of the bathrooms. That was the longest or hardest I cried in months.
I contemplated tossing up my hands and shouting, “I can’t do this!” I considered going on away, but texting my friends and family and telling them it was cancelled. I thought about going on stage, and then pretending to either lose my voice or forget the words.
Then I texted another performer in the line up. A seasoned vocalist who is in fact, enrolled at Berkley for graduate school in one of their music programs. She was able build my confidence and coax me out from hiding.
I took my lorazapam. I sang off-key at certain points, mixed up the pages of my music, and struggled to introduce my second piece. But at the time was to doped up on (prescribed) benzodiazepines to care.
My friends and family were supportive. My dad even said that my voice has matured since my earlier performances. My first shows were only show tunes. Things like “Memory” (Cats) and “The Sound of Music.” My repertoire now includes arias.
I was a bit depressed after the show, and very groggy from the medication. But I pulled through.
Our instructor took us out for dinner afterward. She and our accompanist lamented over how they’d eaten very little- or nothing at all- leading up to our 3:00 PM performance. I was triggered by this, but still ate the same amount as everyone else, if not more.
I rarely purge anymore. Bulimia is something I try so hard to keep in my past. But the urges have been strong lately. I’ve fought them for weeks by telling myself “You will need your voice. Your recital is in X days.”
Feeling so lousy about my performance increase the urges, but
so far I’ve been able to resist. The videos my dad took of the recital also trigger me, even though only my face is visible behind the music stand. Sometimes my face is the most triggering part of my body. I look like an obese chipmunk storing nuts for the winter.
I need to stay healthy, even if I’m not content in this body.
And I need to keep my Ra position. I’ll lose it if I relapse.