To talk about depression.

I read Jacob Wren’s post on the day I woke up feeling it and wondered about writing about it. About why I don’t.

I take two little pills a day and go see someone twice a week. I try to routinize my mornings and to exercise as part of that. I look for mindfulness training and other strategies. I use a fancy light for 20 minutes in the morning once it starts to get dark. It’s out now as I write this.

All to try to be better. My depression isn’t as severe as some and my pills are pretty low dosage, but they help. It all helps.There are good days and bad days. Sometimes I don’t do the things that help, sometimes I do. There are triggers and things that make it more work -
e.g. arranging rehearsal schedules - a crucial, but to me a difficult and disproportionately fraught, activity that is part of directing a theatre company.

When everything is going well and the projects are fantastic and the people are amazing, and still there are still issues - because there will always be issues[1] - I can edge towards the grumpy and grim.

In a time where I most need my excitement and energy to make these great projects work, with the support of so many great people, I linger and sink into depression. Maybe getting up and throwing the kettlebell around could help. Maybe closing my eyes and just making the calls could help. Maybe volunteering with the AIDS Committee of Toronto can put my shit in perspective and help.

Like Jacob, I sometimes think about depression as a reasonable response to a deeply unjust, alienating and anomic world. I have profound distrust of the pharma industry that developed the pills I take and a historical critique of the psychoanalytic frameworks that my therapist uses.

But they help - and they help me resist and look for alternatives to the unjust, alienating and anomie generating world - at least the small corner of it that I have influence on.

And maybe part of that resistance is talking about it in public a little more.
Living with the values that we use in the rehearsal room:
Admit what’s going on.
Try to help

  1. I want in no way to put this on anyone I work with. This is the stuff of life. ↩