There was a time when I thought people who had anxiety attacks were crazy...then I started having them. Today was my day off. I had lofty plans of how productive I was going to be, but after showering and getting ready I couldn’t make it out the door. While looking in the mirror attempting to make myself presentable, my neck was itching uncontrollably. After about five minutes of intermittent scratching I let out a squeal of frustration and began hitting the wall to relieve some stress. Next thing I knew tears were running down my cheeks and I was struggling to get adequate air through my lungs. I attempted to pull it together multiple times, thinking about all of the things I needed to do: take grandma to the nursing home to see grandpa, cook, clean, taxes (I actually wrote this in April - bear with me), write, workout; this never-ending to do list amplifying the anxiety rather than helping me move forward with the rest of my day. So I did what any self-sufficient 28 year old would do…I called my mom.
Hey friends! It's been quite some time since I've updated the blog. I'm going to fix that very soon with a Dr. Aron update, but in the meantime, check out my girl Elle's vlog! We talk about skincare, living with eczema, makeup, diet and helpful products. Enjoy!
Hello friends! As many of you know, I played Deena Jones in Dreamgirls at Village Theatre over the summer. It was an amazing, awarding experience that I'm so grateful to have had. I grew as a person and an artist in the process and loved the challenge of working on one of my favorite shows. I could go on about how great it was, but instead I want to share the challenges I faced during the process. Dealing with the pressure of playing such an iconic character while simultaneously battling with eczema and my own insecurities, I reverted back to old habits of negative thinking. Instead of continuing to fall down the black hole of negativity, as I like to call it, I chose to feed myself positive thoughts to turn things around. I talk about it all below!
After a full day of rehearsal and dinner with some cast mates this weekend, I got home and began the usual social media scrolling that one does after a long day. My timeline was full of the words “me too,” but I didn’t know what it meant. After continuing to scroll I saw the above quote in someone’s status.
I immediately felt compelled to post in solidarity, then stopped myself, because I thought of what I’ve gone through in comparison to some of the stories my friends have shared. I rated my experiences as “normal” encounters that almost every woman endures with men in her lifetime and decided not to post. These were the literal thoughts running through my head. I continued to scroll and tried to distract myself with other social media fodder.
After 28 years on this earth, I'm finally learning the importance of celebrating myself. A lot of people ask me why I'm so open on my blog about very personal issues. The truth is, I've lived so much of my life not loving myself, that now I take every opportunity I can to celebrate me; from the things I share on this blog, to my personal style, the way I wear my hair, how I choose to live my life and who I surround myself with. All of these things are a part of who I am, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Friends! It's been entirely too long! My apologies for taking so long to update the blog. I went into rehearsal for Dreamgirls in April, and the rest of my life was put on hold. After closing the show July 30th, I've been spending the past month learning how to be a human again, but I'm back and have so much to share! I plan to blog about my experience playing Deena Jones, but today I'm giving you a good ole Dr. Aron Method update.
It's time for another Dr. Aron Method Update! I know I just posted an update a few weeks ago, but I actually recorded that video in November, and it's already well into January. I've also been flaring pretty badly, so I wanted to share that with you all. In the last update I talked about how I had been eating really poorly and I needed to stop eating all the sugar and crappy foods. Well, after recording that video I stepped right into the holiday season and continued to eat all of the bad things for my body.
Confession time: I haven't owned a bathing suit since high school...maybe middle school. When I did own one, I constantly covered myself with t-shirts and sometimes basketball shorts at the pool and beach because I was so self-conscious about my body. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I suddenly realized I didn't own a bathing suit and I'd be leaving for Haiti in less that a week. Instead of making time to buy a suit, I procrastinated until the day before I left, on a two show day, to try and rush and find one. Apparently no one carries swimsuits during the off season except for Nordstrom and Target. I bought a suit from Nordstrom that was really cute, but it cost me half my soul, so my mom (God bless her) graciously bought a whole bunch of options from Target for me to choose from while I was at the theatre. Honestly, I didn't like the way any of them looked, but I chose this one piece because it covered me up the most and made me the least self-conscious.
After 5 months of the Dr. Aron Method my skin has vastly improved. I'm not completely eczema free, but the healing I've experienced thus far has given me a much better quality of life. I'm very happy with the decision I've made to do The Aron Method, and I look forward to seeing how my body will continue to heal. I recorded a video after 3 months of this new regimen and FINALLY finished editing it today. I'm new to vlogging, so I promise I'll get better at getting these videos up quicker! Check it out below.
Thirty Days of Active with Just Du Pree is on and poppin' friends! Yes, I just said on and poppin'...don't judge me. I got the inspiration to do this after making an effort to do something active every day after a long hiatus from the gym, biking, and working out in any capacity. Sometimes life happens and you just don't make the time to be physically active like you know you should. However, I always feel so much better when I make an effort to move my body; not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
I'm Lauren, aka Just Du Pree, and I want to thank you for reading. This is a space where I share my very personal journey healing from eczema and topical steroid withdrawal (among other things), life lessons I've learned along the way, and occasionally the thoughts of an awkward Black girl (no Issa Rae). I'm a performer and filmmaker, so if you feel so inclined, pop over here to see what goes on in my mind on the regular. If you like what you see, you can stay up to date with my work here. Much love, friends!