Breaking down, holding on

A weird thing is happening. Part of me is losing control. And part of me is simultaneously analyzing why it might be happening. I seem to be having half a nervous breakdown. The analytical part won't let me really do it. It's too busy analyzing.

It started after the gig on Thursday. We had a really good show, probably our best show to date and certainly the most fun. I love to play anyway, but it's definitely even more fun when you have an appreciative audience. I so appreciate that! But after a gig, there is post-gig time. It's a bit like Linus from Peanuts having "post-Christmas letdown." You have to get back to real life.

And real life is, well, real life. It's great to decide that the path you've been wandering around on, the one you love, is really your career path. It's another thing to make it work. Meanwhile, bills must be paid.

I was fine on Friday, as I recall. It felt like a Saturday, and that was cool. But on Saturday, I had one of those uncontrollable crying days. Not all day. But it kept happening. Part of the reason, maybe most of the reason that day, was that we published a couple of band photos online. I am happy that my band mates are so photogenic. That's good for the band! And frankly good for them. Unfortunately, I'm not so photogenic. And that's hard.

I know, I know. I'm a feminist. I'm not supposed to give such importance to my physical appearance. I should be proud of who I am and what I can do, and not be bummed at what I look like. Everyone gets old, and so far I don't look my age. But my inner high school girl doesn't listen to reason. And sometimes she gets hold of my emotions and my tear ducts.

I seemed to have shaken that off. I was fine yesterday. But today, after a decent day at work, I was watching a documentary about Blondie on YouTube. It's quite good. But right about the point where Chris Stein gets sick, I started losing it again. I don't think it was directly related to the video. I knew I should get away from my computer and go to the gym. I knew I should have done any number of things. Except to collapse on the kitchen floor, which is what I did. And never make it to the gym.

And there was that weird thing. I was analyzing, but I couldn't stop what was going on.

I don't have a propensity for depression, except situational. But I don't truly know what's causing this. The stupid appearance thing is certainly part of it. My kitty is not about to go, but she's on the final stretch. We just don't know how long it will last. The bathroom reno has been a bit of an ordeal.

And maybe more than anything is the post-show letdown. It will be a while before we play another show, and probably until we practise, because people are busy. That means I need to take responsibility for my own musical-ness. I'm so much better at schlepping to practice, playing gigs, and even tweeting up a storm than I am at doing my own practising and, probably most importantly, writing. If I'm going to say I'm a musician, then I'd better be a musician. That means working at it.

I don't think I'm actually in danger of having a breakdown, although the recent incidents are of some concern. I'm probably more in danger of doing nothing. And doing nothing is the surest way for me to get even more depressed. That's not a cycle I want to fall into.


Vanessa Nix Anthony said...

Sometimes, when embarking on a career or life change, it can be helpful to have a kind of guide -- a non-invested party, to help you navigate it all. Have you ever thought of contacting a life coach? You'll need to vet them well (finding one through a friend is the best way) but getting a life coach could be just what you need. Any new life change brings with it, it's own unique challenges but in your case, this change is something that, though true value-wise fits your soul, it doesn't seem to mesh well with your societal programming (how will I make money at this?) A change like this can seem monumental at any age, but even more so, when you've already shaken up your world once or twice and when you thought you had your new career path all figured out. Pair it with the idea that the thing you REALLY, REALLY wanna do is something that you feel is impossible to sustain yourself doing and you have a collision course in the making. It can feel overwhelming to try and figure out your first step and how to plot your trajectory without seeming like a naive teenager. This is where your life coach comes in -- part counselor, part guide and definitely a resource, your life coach should stand for you and your values -- not your goals (because these may be different things.) I know many, many folks who have changed their lives for the better through coaching. Give it try. . .Best of luck and {{BIG HUGS!!}} -- Ness

sam b said...

Brave post, V. Lots of profound things about vulnerability here.

Véronique said...




That's an idea I should consider. Maybe I get overwhelmed because I'm trying to do this all without help other than what I find myself on the interwebs. Friends are great, but an outside pro might be just the thing. Although as you say, have to be careful, and choosy. Thanks!