The Blues

Content warning: talk of depression, mental illness, psychiatric medication.

One million years ago when I worked in theatre there as a thing called ‘the post show blues’: a little depression that followed the end of a show. It makes good sense, right? You just spent the last 7-12 weeks spending hours and hours with your besties making art, partying, and living high on adrenaline.

I felt post-show blues for real.

I recovered quickly, usually with the aid of another show to move on to, or some other gig to occupy my mind. A couple days of the sads and off I went.

In 2014, in the midst of some theatre making I went back to school to get the required course to begin my masters. I did this while working 50 hours/wk. In 2016 I started my masters and was absorbed in that very seriously for the next three years.

I didn’t have time for the ‘post show’ blues.

On June 4 I got my Master of Counselling and dove into thousands of hours of paperwork.

Mom and I at graduation  June 4, 2019

Mom and I at graduation

June 4, 2019

There were some weird health things mixed in there too and now all the paper work is in, I am underemployed, I am not scheduled every minute of the day and HOLY CRAP, friends…

I HAVE THE POST SHOW BLUES.

But not just ‘the blues’. A real life depression episode.

And yes, it happens to mental health providers too. Depression doesn’t care.

My life is at a serious point of transition and for the first time since 2014 it’s real real. The protection and comfort of school has worn off, job hunting is scary, exhausting, and demoralizing, and I am adrift.

For me depression is heavy. It sits on my chest and keeps me in bed or on the couch. It tells me people don’t like me and are sick of being friends with me. It tells me not to waste my time. It makes me cry out of nowhere while my brain is saying, “this is depression.” My brain knows but depression doesn’t care.

Major transitions are hard. They just are, for so so many people. It’s ok to feel shitty. It’s ok to struggle.

The therapist in me wants to tell you (and me):

  • these feelings are valid and real.

  • it’s ok to have hard days.

  • do what you can - even one thing/day is ok!

  • be kind to yourself.

  • reach out when/how you are able.

  • drink water

  • move a little in a way that feels ok for you

  • scream, cry, wail… get the feelings out

  • sleep, eat, watch bad TV

  • take a bath or a shower

  • take your meds (if you are on them)

  • find a professional

I am considering talking to my doc about some meds… for a little while. The last fews my experiences with depression have increased and there is no shame in taking care of yourself that way too.

I just wanted to share with you all that the struggle is not yours alone, and you are not in it alone.

Lots of love,

Michelle

PS: I value transparency as a mental health care provider and I do reach out when I need help. I encourage you to as well. Please also note that I do not monitor comments particularly quickly so if you need immediate help please click those thinks too. I cannot provide mental health care in the comments.

PPS: I rode my bike to coffee and a snack and I feel a bit better. It is not a cure but the salve is real. I might still get some job applications in today! waves to potential employers.