Just read your status and was absolutely dismayed. absolutely dismayed 😕
I am so sorry to hear that. I do not feel like I know you well as we only met briefly last August, which was shortly afterwards, I now realise. I am not sure if I can offer much particularly insightful or useful. However, I can say that, after a brief meeting, I know that you are an amazingly warm, kind, generous and talented person. You have a lovely personality, an awesome talent and creative flare, and I can tell you are a fighter who will not let anyone or anything get you down. I have suffered depression in the past, too, and had to go through counselling etc. I know how hard that can be, especially trusting people and knowing who to turn to, to some extent more acute if you are a musician, artist or creative person. What you are doing is brilliant. You have an ace attitude and outlook on life. Be yourself and keep doing the fantastic work that you are doing. From meeting you I think that you cannot go wrong with that! 🙂
I am kind, so much so, that it has made you feel quite emotional. Having the confidence to get going again with new work and projects has been the hardest thing. Not knowing where to start. I was part of making life easier when you needed it.
I am glad that those experiences helped. It can be hard working on your own and feeling lonely. Also not knowing what you are going to be doing next. Whether you are still going to be gigging tomorrow / next month. Having your life "controlled" by an invisible rollercoaster of ups and downs.can feel quite disconcerting, It is good to be with other musicians. But at the same time, it helps even more being with the right people who can give you the support that you need when you need it. At times, I find the music industry suffocating. I have to take a step back. There is no shame in that. Nurture yourself and your wellbeing. Being mindful and looking after yourself. That is a positive step. 🙂
I sound very together and wise. You are 45 and still "clueless!" Being around good people always helps, You need to do much more of it. That is the bit that you are stuck on!
It is not how much you do. It is the quality of what you do that is most important. It can be hard to "quantify" / "qualify" or measure what you are doing or how you are doing as a musician, especially if forces within the industry chuck you around and you find yourself being "defined" by whatever life throws at you. But no-one knows you like you know yourself and you can only be your own best judge. People will say things and recommend the world etc. But they have not lived your life. It can be easy to lose your personal voice when you are in the midst of everything. Which is why it is sometimes good to take a step back to regain a sense of things. It is important to notice how things around you affect you. I think that by writing that Facebook status, you drew a line, which is a positive step. Having your own agenda / discourse, it is important. I am not always "together" but I have had to find coping mechanisms (they work most of the time). From how it sounds, it does not sound like you are "clueless" at all. Quite the contrary, in fact! What you said makes a lot of sense. I am sure that it resonates with many people.
Writing the Facebook status has made you own up to and own these feelings. Realise that you have to take some control of your life. This includes being honest with yourself about what you can realistically achieve. You wanted to hear what others had done regarding their depression so that you could gauge whether simply "getting on with it" (which is the advice of quite a few) would be a good idea. Actually, that has not helped. Yes, you need to take stock and work out what you want to do.
Yes, absolutely. "Getting on with it" is easier said than done. People often overlook that this needs to be preceded by the necessary step of realising what "it" is, i.e., what you like, what you want to achieve and what makes you the person that you are. That is not always a given if you have lost sight of those things which can invariably happen. But it sounds like you are definitely headed in a positive direction and you are taking your life back. Occasionally, it is necessary to say "enough is enough, I am going to do my thing". Not in a confrontational way. But gently, humorously. It takes confidence to take action. I definitely agree. To make it happen positively without necessarily having a source for that positivity in the first place. Good experiences help with that but opening yourself up to good experiences inevitably opens you up to the bad ones, too. Sometimes, that can be a problem. I am not sure how to advise on that bit, though.
It is all a bit of a gamble. Yes, you might have trouble defining what "it" is. That is half of the problem and you feel like you have "lost your way" creatively. But talking this stuff through has helped. You are realising that you cannot fix all of this at once.
No, you cannot be expected to fix it all at once and you should not pressure yourself into doing so. There is no shame in making less progress than you set out to. If anything, it indicates that you have higher standards and expectations of yourself, which is a good thing because that is something coming intrinsically from you. No matter what has sparked it, it is still you. It takes energy to realise that you are struggling. Even more energy to work out which things you are struggling on or how it can be broken down into more manageable steps. It is a sign of strength. There are people around you who can help. Maybe not entirely or in some ways. But little nudges here and there that might help.
You have not reached out much until now. You have cried a lot to some people but not explained yourself well. Not until now, anyway.
Crying is good. 🙂
It might not be quite how you want it, but definitely a step in the right direction. It has helped you get to this point.
That is true! Again, lack of confidence makes you think that people do not want to know.
It is possibly because they are not people who are giving you the necessary confidence in the first place. Not at all a reflection on you.
Again, this might be the case. But one or two people who you know do care. You feel like you do not approach asking of help well. They offer solutions but you cannot take them in. It feels overwhelming.
Yes, it is overwhelming. Maybe because, despite good intentions, they have not lived your life. Not all solutions work for everyone. It depends on the situation and the person who you are. But sometimes it takes a lot to work out the person who you are in the first place. This can put you a step behind. It feels overwhelming because you possibly have not quite reached that point for it to be comprehensible and applicable to your life.
That is also what makes it difficult to ask for help in the first place. Not knowing yourself well enough to articulate those problems and what makes you react in that way. Asking is half the battle as well as receiving help. Often, people do not relate to those types of problems and that creates a language barrier.
It can be tempting to take as gospel whatever "help" you are offered. But if that "help" does not help you, that can make it into more of a problem that it already is. Taking things with a pinch of salt and asking yourself "is that relevant to me?" Noting those steps in the logic that do not quite add up. Feeling able to pick up on those questions. It is a tricky science.
Especially if you are looking for answers.
You were looking for a magic solution to make everything better. Of course, no one has that. You think that asking people to share their experiences has been more useful. It throws light on how to manage for yourself with the assistance of others rather than hoping that someone will tell you what to do. You go and do that and think that everything will be OK. Which is, of course, not possible.
That is true.
I do not know if this helps but I take things literally. I have the shortcoming of often accepting what people say without questioning. I am easily frustrated because people are always contradicting one another, even contradicting themselves. I know that I am guilty of that as well, possibly as a by-product of society. Now, if something does not add up, I stop, I try to offset it against something else, which tends to lead me down a potentially endless trail of justification, one thing leading to the next etc. By that point, people have stopped listening and given up. I conclude that I have "won the argument". Of course, this makes me an insufferable pedantic and tires people out. But at least I get the satisfaction of justifying the rationale for my argument 🙂
Again, I am not at all saying that this would work for you!
It does help talking things through and not necessarily looking for the magic solutions. Sometimes, truths manifest themselves in the most unexpected ways and in the most expected places.
They do indeed. In fact, you never thought that Facebook would be a place that you could find genuine support and good advice. You say that you are not "great" in discussions about difficulties if they are yours. You also become negative and have to fight hard to feel positive about anything. Lately, that has been more difficult. Friends become frustrated with you as you dismiss a lot of what they say. So you have stopped asking.
I would not perceive that to be "negative" necessarily. Maybe you have not yet found something that has truly helped. That is a completely neutral, matter-of-fact approach. I agree that it can sometimes feel hard to frame situations in a positive light, when you do not have the language or means. Or if you are not in the ideal mindset to articulate it.
That is the problem. You think that you are not ready to hear it.
Yes. Maybe you are not. But that is not a negative thing. It is OK to need help. It is even better to not get ahead of yourself and think that you are "sure of everything".
Absolutely. This is why you have arrived at this point.
It is a strong position to be in. Imagine what incredible life choices you have to make ahead of you and what possibilities lie ahead. All at your disposal.
Age does not help. 45 is not old at all, but you start to panic a bit that you are axing. Nothing is getting better. In fact, it is sliding backwards.
Yes, but again you are measuring yourself against your own expectations of what is "Best" when you perceive yourself to be sliding backwards. When in actual fact, it is your expectations that have moved forwards. This explains something! It means that as you move forwards, your expectations do, too.
Yes, possibly. I can see why you are where you are. You have "not moved forwards" in the last few months. You have "ground to a halt".
Maybe you needed to grind to a half to step back and take stock of what happened in your life and how you needed to move forwards. If you are constantly moving forwards without a sense of direction or purpose, you might arrive at places where you never intended to go. That might not always be a good thing. You end up skipping things that you may have wanted to resolve along the way. I know that it sounds cliché but sometimes you have to take a step back to get a sense of where you are or where you need to go. It is true! Society puts too much emphasis on moving forwards the whole time and filling up your life with as many things as possible. Being "busy" etc. I do not think that this is healthy. It is no wonder that people put themselves under immense pressure because they are driven by society's expectations of what is considered "acceptable". Everyone moves in different directions. It is important to nurture yourself and act mindful of when you need to take time for evaluation.
I am right. You need to find a way of stepping back and carrying on earning a living. You need perspective.
You are doing the right thing. Talking to people will help you obtain that perspective. It does not cost anything and it is free! 🙂
You can do that and earn a living at the same time.
You say that I have been incredibly kind and helpful. I should do this for a living!
No problem, it is a pleasure talking to someone who is incredibly thoughtful and conscientious. I wish more people were like you!
Reading this, I am astounded at how together my head seemed to be at this point, considering the mental breakdown that I had later in the same month. I do not think that there was any connection (I had not "given anything away"). Maybe my triggers were something completely separate and that I had not been aware of them by this point. At worst, I might have not been practising what I preached (about being mindful). But that is OK. I was still acting kind and selflessly because what you were going through resonated strongly with me. 28/03/21
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have their reward.
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I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.