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YOUR EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Riding Waves

By Lisa Rice
Voice Actor
December 8, 2022

"I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more." - C. S. Lewis

In business and life, our days can be flooded with emotion. Often, we prepare ourselves for situations we know will be difficult.

The holidays.

A dreaded confrontation.

Saying no.

Saying yes.

Taking on new obligations.

Finalizing a difficult but necessary ending.

Not getting the job we thought we were perfect for.

Asking, "Why?"

Asking someone for anything!

Other scenarios hit us without warning.

Losing a regular customer.

Becoming fearful.

Fighting an unexpected health issue.

Facing a severe illness or death of a loved one.

Feeling betrayed, angry, bitter, lonely or discouraged.

As voice actors, we deal with sound waves daily. Emotional ones though, are tricky. In a healthy way, we can draw upon this reservoir to identify with a script because we've "been there." Yet, in real life, being tossed to and fro by toxic ones can be risky.

RIDING DANGEROUS EMOTIONAL WAVE

Several years ago, various circumstances beyond my control became more than I could handle.

From the outside looking in, no one knew I was riding a dangerous emotional wave. Even close friends and family were unaware because I had chosen to hide it. Being the strong, stable person others went to for help had become a source of pride for me.

That glass half full description? I usually brimmed over. Optimism came easy but then…it didn't. 

Stealthily going through the motions of daily life and carrying out a plethora of responsibilities became overwhelming. I saw no hope in sight. I dreaded waking up each day and began viewing life through an unwelcoming lens.

I tried all the helpful things.

I ate better.

Exercised more.

Carved out time for solitude.

Read the stack of self-help books beside my bed.

Tuned in to countless podcasts.

Nothing changed.

EXAMINED THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS

Then I prayed and asked for wisdom. I committed to study Scripture on a deeper level, specifically the book of Proverbs.

These worked in tandem with my decision to meet with a licensed, professional counselor.

She and I examined the thoughts and emotions with which I was struggling. We agreed that my first list of helpful things were good, but came up with other practical ways my life could be tweaked.

Remarkably, things started to change. Slowly, I began looking forward to the next day … and the next.

My outlook had brightened.

Some decisions were small. One was big and still affects me today. Until that point in my life, voice over had been a hobby. It was then that I decided to dive deeper. I submerged myself in all the information I could find. I invested in professional training and purchased recording equipment for a private studio. Lastly, I made it official by becoming an LLC.

Ripples of positive change seeped through to other areas of my life. Emotional gasps for air morphed into a constant mental treading of stability.

THE STIGMA OF GETTING HELP

Why do I share this very private chapter in my life?

Funerals.

Specificially, for suicide and substance abuse.

Watching lives snuffed out too early because of the stigma of getting help.

It's easy to see why society doesn't value the importance of physical and mental health equally. Emotional wellness can't be seen. If we fracture a bone, we have no problem going to urgent care - yet how foolish of us to ignore a broken spirit!

Why should we be slow to seek help? Embarrassed even?

Surfing the same emotional wave for too long and allowing ourselves to be tossed about on a sea of hopelessness is dangerous. Seeking professional help can make a difference.  

The only shame? Refusing the support needed to make it to shore.

I came across a graphic that said,
"Feelings are much like waves. We can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf."
More than that, I contend each of us has the choice of surfing in a new direction, but it's okay to ask for help.  
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ABOUT LISA  
Lisa Rice landed her first job in voice over at the age of 18, and it has continued to be the mainstay of her career. She's also worked as a writer, television and radio producer and on-camera talent. The decision to take her freelance work to a national level has allowed her the opportunity to voice commercials, narrations, e-learning projects, promos and telephone prompts for a wide range of customers including Target, Levolor, Nestlé, Curel, GE Healthcare, Bristol-Myers Squibb, PBS Kids!, Hungry Jack, CarMax, JC Penney, Arm & Hammer, Walmart and countless small businesses, non-profits and ministries.  



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Comments (2)
Peter O'Connell
12/19/2022 at 9:38 AM
Your shared thoughts are incredibly valuable on so many levels, Lisa.

The feelings you went through are universal and your willingness to share that you HAD them and how you pro-actively DEALT with them will help many people. Well done!

Finally, while not required by all in our professional to achieve success, your honesty in this article is a reflection of your great abilities as a voice actor. We have to be able to be open to the rawness of emotions, sometimes, as voice actors. The good the bad and the ugly. And all of us have all three...sometimes an overabundance of all three ;)

Thank you again.

Best always,
-Peter
Mark
12/9/2022 at 9:31 AM
Very nice article, Lisa. Not the easiest of topics to discuss, but you did a nice job with addressing the issue of dealing with stress & various emotions of one's daily life.
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