"I made it. All those years when I thought I wouldn't. But I did."
In a raw piece about the darker side of creativity and difficult relationships, Sophie shares her story of survival. She made it, and so will we.
Sophie Olivia Ali is an actress and a playwright who lives in south London . Her first play, 'A Town Without Pity', (about abuse within a family) went on at Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton when she was 21. Since then she has had her writing performed widely and was shortlisted for Kenneth Brannagh Windsor Fringe New writing festival 2013 and long listed for the Papatango New writing Award 2017. She has worked with the Bush Theatre as part of the new writing festival 'Boom", developed work with Theatre Royal Stratford East 2016, Rialto Theate, Brighton, Old Red Lion Theatre and White Bear Theatre. Her play 'Four Mamacitas and a Mother F*cker' was recently performed at the Southwark Playhouse (2018).
As an actress Sophie has most recently worked at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Park Theatre, Theatre 503 and the Areola in London. She is playing Valerie Solanas in the play Femme Fatale at the Wiltons Music hall, Cockpit Theatre and Latitude festival this summer.
Twitter: @SophieOliviaAli http://www.spotlight.com/0615-5646-1821
Sometimes I hear them. Those not in my creative world. 'But she's not published yet. She's never even been on Eastenders. She hasn't made it.'
I made it. All those years when I thought I wouldn't. But I did. I made it. All those nights and days of hiding. Self destructing. Standing by the Thames.
All the doubt and self hatred. Holding pills. All the depression. Temporary and clinical. Hormonal and self induced. All the voices, mine and his. All the abuse, physical and emotional. All the anger. Mine and his. The anger that still rises. In waves. In storms. The anger that is fear. The anger that is sadness. I made it. Despite him. And it isn't perfect. Life. I am not perfect.
I make. I create. I lactate. Stories. Characters. And babies. I made babies. I was never going to. EVER. I didn't want to. But when I thought maybe I did I wasn't good enough. I couldn't because didn't history repeat itself? Wouldn't I royally fuck it up? But then I did it. And it made me ill. But some how it also made me stronger. And I do FUCK up, daily. But that's okay. Because I can admit it and say sorry. Because I won't use silence or violence like he did. Because, I made it.
I think of other women's struggles often. I think of past generations. I think of my Grandma and her strength and I am proud. I think of women and girls all over the world daily and I know we are resourceful and amazing. We are amazing. We can make it.
I have three little girls. THEY are amazing. They inspire me. Infuriate me. Overwhelm me. Frustrate me. Annoy me. God they annoy me. Because, they are so like me. But, they are so not like me. I made it. I fought it. I still have to fight it. For some, like me, it takes a long time. But that's okay. Because I know that I have made it. Because I am here. And there were days when I nearly left.
It's not always easy. I still have doubts, failures (a few successes.) Love helps. Being loved and loving others. Loving life! Listening.
But mostly, friendship. Never underestimate it. Female solidarity. Female protection. Female fierceness. Female softness. Women, girls fighting. Standing side by side. Saying come on, you can make it. We can make it.