Profile: Nadine Crocker
Actress, Model, Writer, Singer & Songwriter
Platforms: Currently Working On A Film “Continue”
What past life experiences, physical traumas or genetics do you believe have had an effect on your mental health?
My family is genetically prone to depression, anxiety, OCD, you name it & we probably have it somewhere in our genetic line. Many of us will always battle these issues. They never go away, but with help we can live with the symptoms & thrive.
At a very young age my family & I lost my Grandfather to suicide. I had no idea how much that actually affected ALL of us until I was much older. And now being an advocate & a suicide survivor myself, my family has truly opened up to me about that loss. The damage it did, & its opened my eyes to the even more complex issues we all have from that loss, rejection, unanswered questions, & above all else the susceptibility we all have to depression & suicidal thoughts.
When it occurs in your family I think you are more prone to see it as an answer, a way out, because someone you loved did it too, but its not. IT IS NEVER THE ANSWER. But the long list of events that have shaped my life go on & on. My struggles are not from just one event but more a long series of events that some how I’ve packed in to my 30 years of life.
Growing up in a home that battles with anger…anger thats thrives through most CROCKER’S past & present. Seeing & experiencing that kind of fighting at a young age I think may have made me more prone to the anger or fighting I would encounter throughout my life. I found myself in many verbally & physically abusive relationships. Some of which I can admit I was just as much the abuser with the pain & anger I felt inside. WHICH IS NEVER THE ANSWER!
I am a sexual assault survivor, which I can truly admit rocked me to my core. It took a long time to find my way past that event, my fear of not being believed, & what could happen to me & my career if I came forward… I am sober from all substances. Being Native American & Irish, alcoholism was a very likely issue in my life, to which now I can say I am 3 1/2 years sober from. But I used drugs & alcohol for a long time to mask the pain I felt inside.
The loss of many loved ones in traumatic & sudden ways like murder, & auto mobile accidents also left me & many of our family members with an irrational fear of death – for ourselves but mainly the ones we love. I remember crying in my parents arms before my wedding, while pregnant with my son & saying ‘I’m just too happy, someone is going to die. Anthony or my son, someone is going to die. I don’t get to be this happy!!’ And I truly meant that. I thought my life would always be hard & a struggle. BUT what I didn’t realize is that my way of thinking & self sabotaging was what might have been perpetuating the cycle. Maybe all that therapy & coaching was finally truly resulting in happiness in my own life. I was taking the steps. But it wasn’t easy to change my mind & habits. But each day I see the difference. The life I’m living & manifesting. 23 year old me who tried to end her own life wouldn’t even recognize the woman I am today.
How did the effects on your mental health appear in terms of symptoms?
Due to those traumas & the pain I was experiencing it manifested in many ways. I was FRAIL & THIN. Bruises covered my body from lack of nourishment. I often cut myself &/or drank heavily to feel something or better yet to feel nothing at all. I was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis at the age of 21. And shortly after my kidney ripped open & I almost died of internal bleeding because the tumors were growing so rapidly. I didn’t take care of myself at all. Sometimes I look at photos of myself from then & I think I look younger now at 30 then I did then. The color had left my face, I just looked so sad. I want to be clear, some days I still recognize that sadness, it’s something I will always battle, but the woman I am today, now, has the tools to work through it.
When and why did you decide to ask for help to get relief?
I eventually had to seek help because it was evidentially clear to me I wasn’t going to make it on my own if I didn’t. I would die. The drugs & drinking had to stop. The self harm, the starvation, I needed someone I could talk to. I tried it on my own, & it wasn’t working. And at that point I would have tried anything not to feel the way I did anymore. So I had to try something new. Which was finally reaching out for help.
What methods helped you individually get/feel better?
The When I sought help I got in therapy once/ twice a week. I got a life coach who I saw 2/3 times a month & currently still see once a week now. I got sober & in a program for that. I started to be of service for other people. I read books & anything that could educate myself on how to cope & change my habits. I started physically working out to strengthen my body & to keep the endorphins going, which was a HUGE help for me & my depression. I dieted & tried to keep the harmful & negative things out of my body which also helped many of the health issues I had. I stopped dating for a pretty significant amount of time so I could change my habits & reprogram what a healthy relationship would look like to me…but also to have me time, which I had never taken before. I focused on the most important relationship I could, my relationship with myself. This had become the most abusive relationship I had ever been in.
I got in class for the things I loved & threw myself into my art. And eventually I started writing a screenplay of my story of battling with these issues “CONTINUE” to help others, but also as my own form of therapy. To see those events so clearly & vividly, but feeling like a totally different person writing them then who went through them. I’m almost unable to believe that’s how I once truly was.
Why did you decide to go public with your story? Who were/are you hoping to help and how?
I wanted to share my #SameHere story hoping I could help even ONE person see they are not alone. Other’s battle with these issues too. I was the strong one, no one would have ever thought I was going through any of these issues. But often the ones who appear the strongest can have the deepest & hardest battles going on inside. It’s the mask they wear for the world. And I used my fun loving, strong, funny mask to hide my scars.
I decided to share my story because I wanted others out there who felt that same isolation I had, to know they are not alone. There are many out there struggling with these same demons. The main thing that fed my unhappiness & disease was the ISOLATION. I had few friends, I felt like no one would understand me or accept me. I felt most of my life like I was already being prejudged on looks, what would people think if they knew what was wrong with me on the inside.
My family had their own stress & issues, they didn’t need me to lay mine on them as well. I felt like I had NOWHERE to go. But I was wrong. When you’re in that space you can’t see all the people around you who love you. We create these stories, of the ones who wont care if we are gone, or that no one will notice. BUT WE ARE WRONG. Because our family would be devastated, take that from a woman who has experienced a family after the loss from suicide. Your life can change. Thats the beautiful thing about life it is ALWAYS changing. You can turn it around! You can’t give up. There is help out there, there are people out there who care, who want to help, me included. You just need to talk to someone. Reach out today! I promise you’ll shed so much weight when you say it out loud!
How did people react when you went public with your story?
When I first came out with my story in publications, social media, & to loved ones I’d say the first reactions were shock. No one thought I would have these battles. I was strong, pretty, made a career for myself. They couldn’t believe I felt that way & hadn’t come to them sooner. And then support & love rained down on me; acceptance. It was shocking how many felt the same way as me.
Now I share my script “CONTINUE” with people, actors, producers, filmmakers & It has been a TRULY eye opening experience to how many people out there struggle with these same demons. EVERY person I’ve shared my story with has a their own loss to suicide, their own struggles with mental health, or mental health complication in their family. We all think we are alone in this battle but we aren’t. And by sharing your story, you open others up to share theirs too. So please, share your story with us. #SAMEHERE and @CONTINUEtheFilm which I created with the one intention of saving lives, showing others they are not alone, & shattering the stigmas that still surround mental health. Join me in making talking about mental health our new normal!”