It’s weird how creativity comes and goes when it pleases. I haven’t been called to write anything in ages and all of a sudden my muse takes me by the hold and demands I deep dive to unpack say what ….. big reveal: DEPRESSION. What else is there to talk about in 2023? Depression and all that comes with it. Oy to the Vey. Okay.
But depression isn’t obvious. Instead, what do people tend to notice? Not the gray in your eyes, or your lack of attendance at current events, nor your absence posting online. They say:
“Wow, you look great! How’d you get so skinny? What’s your secret?”
So I’ll say it again for the people in back. DepressiON. It can be a blessing, and a curse. All over I see, so many people are hurting, BAD. I see it in all different walks of life I’m entwined with. Hell, I’m like the strongest person I know, and I’M struggling… something is really out of wack here. Or is this just a part of getting older? Hell if I know. But I want to understand, and help others understand. So here I am, talking about it. Trying to find the right words to explain and learn and then better explain just what is amiss, and what can be done to heal.
Here’s one pro tip: When someone loses or gains weight obviously, it’s best to not comment on it or ask about it. Surely, if they are excited about it, or it’s a good thing, they will be talking your ear off about it, without you having to ask 😉
Now STOP calling me Shirley! I know I know…
One could argue that what I’m really doing with writing blogs and creating content is what I’ve always radically championed, which is to push for the truth and to try to find some meaning or silver lining in the dark clouds, whatever may be raining. I have always been an optimistic realist it seems, and though I’ve become a bit more jaded as I’ve aged, my enthusiasm for a good punchline still rings true.
But just how honest can I be these days? When you put yourself in the public eye, there’s always someone watching, and with that when you’re doing anything right comes haters; the naysayers. The people trying to bring you down. I’ve already had to walk away from a professional job to ensure my freedom to be an artist prevailed, as I felt I was being censored and silenced by community members who didn’t appreciate my large assortment of different artistic expressions. That one hurt. I felt as though I can’t be my authentic self, in fear of “what will they think?” I try so hard not to care… but really I probably care way too much.
Now, the older I get, the less fucks I have to give. I mean the whole reason I moved to California was to be radical and push the envelope of creativity, not to settle for mediocrity midlife. So I make moves… I perform in burlesque shows, while at the same time continuing to work in a professional environment, and hope to maintain a healthy balance. Yes, I still teach hula hooping to children, even though I read erotic poetry on the weekends at nightclubs. And I still have rabbis and people of different circles I hold in high regard in my network. And then there’s still my mother’s loud voice every time I post something controversially risqué online saying “what would your synagogue think?” So I continue to weigh the ethics… what’s more important, telling the truth, or being comfortable?
Obviously my heart mind wants to scream “THE TRUTH!”, while my head is staying “stay comfortable you dummy… why are you trying to make your life harder? BE comfortable”. Honestly, I just can’t help myself but tell the truth. It’s probably all the drugs I’ve taken that have brought it out of me over the years, like a truth serum.
The truth is, I’ve been depressed for a long time. It’s why I’ve become so skinny right now. I’ve been struggling to find an appetite lately… for so many things. My mental health has been up and down, for various reasons it’s hard to pinpoint. And It’s nearly impossible to get a psych appointment right now, or to get Kaiser to take me seriously with my health. I’m shooting blind as to how to solve not just my own medical journey, but also this global crisis, that feels like weighs on my shoulders. Every doctor I talk to is worn out, understaffed, underpaid, and angry at the system as well. Everyone is worn out and angry about something or another.
None of this is probably news to you… from our default world collapsing to my own mental health and how it has influenced my creative life. I’ve been a wide open book about this, at the risk of people even challenging my mental health, saying things like “yeah you’re thriving, you’re fine… you’re not REALLY depressed”. And while sometimes, even I think that could be true, only I know the depths of my despair that have often accompanied the highest of highs. My life is truly blessed, and I dare to say I have more moments to cherish than most. (If only I could remember half of them!) My memory certainly isn’t what it used to be after all the intoxicantions I’ve run through my body. More truth. More to expose… Maybe for another time. I am writing a book about it after all 😉 It’s called The Color of Fucked Up, and it’s about the Order of Operations in which an obsessive-compulsive borderline ADD addict lives their life a slave to. It’s a book about obsession really, everything from cheese to ketamine, to love and everything in between. I may never finish it, or release it, and that’s okay. I’m writing it for me.
This blog, I’ve written for me and for you, and what I want to leave you with, is this: IT IS OKAY to be depressed sometimes. It’s okay to feel like crap and take a few days off for your mental health. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to do preventative self care and to be honest about where you’re at. And it’s okay, to tell the truth. That’s all we can do.
May you be so blessed and free that you can be honest with yourself, let alone others who care about you.
Until next time,