When the depression gets really bad, it feels like I’m a different person. I look at myself, and I can’t believe some of the things I’ve done. For example: how did I ever manage to do stand up comedy? Even in the practical sense: how did I manage to charm myself into the position to get the last slot that night? Who even is that person?
And of course I can remember in a technical sense how I did those things, and I could emulate the component parts, but even still it feels damn near impossible to recreate. Because not only do I not feel smart and sexy; I am actively embarrassed that I would ever claim to be smart and sexy. But learning to “fake it” is necessary for survival, and over the years I’ve learned how to put on a good show: wear a face-splitting smile and add a cheeky wink. But I know full well that when the act is over, I’ll spend the next few days in a shame spiral – punishing myself for having subjected people to the grotesquely transparent charade.
Unfortunately, even when the sadness finally dissipates, the horrible things I’ve thought about myself remain seared on my mind. And it can take a lot of time to work through that shame and those insecurities. It’s a kind of cycle: I feel sad and anxious, I tell myself that I’m worthless, I fight the demons, I start to feel more rational and energetic, I work through my feelings of worthlessness, I use my new confidence to produce work for as long as possible before the sadness and anxiety takes hold again.
It means that I’m very rarely at peak effectiveness. It means that I only rarely feel like the person I hold myself out to be on this blog. The rest of the time I am, frankly, shocked at the vanity and arrogance of operating this blog, which assumes that people want to see pictures of me and read what I have to say about anything.
And that’s why I might disappear occasionally. Because while, to a certain extent, the entire persona of this blog is performative, it sometimes takes extra mental and emotional energy to be this person. Energy which I need to fight the demons and repair my relationship with myself.
All of which is to say: I appreciate your patience, and I’m grateful for all your support.
Posted in: Progress