In the world of theatre there’s a known reaction to the end of a show. After spending many weeks/months together with your cast rehearsing, carving out characters, and giving your all night after night on live stage – you will eventually have to face the closing night. There’s a feeling of relief from all the effort and a feeling of pride if the show was a good one – but there’s also this thing called the Theatre Blues. It’s that sad kind of empty feeling when suddenly there are no more rehearsals, no more performances- the thrill and the pressure are replaced by a vacuum. It can hit you pretty hard depending on how big the show was and what you have coming up next.
I was hit with this kind of bluesy feeling after returning from NYC last week. I tried to shake it- mostly because there’s no time for it and I don’t want to feel that way. But it caught me off guard. I felt overwhelmed, anxious, and threw my blankets over my head every chance I could. Meanwhile I still had to show up to set, write, supervise, take meetings, and try to be cheerful. I felt guilty that I even had these feelings because I just came from a career changing program where my entire world expanded, where I was offered and shown incredible support for my work and encouraged for my talents.
Then I remembered that I’m a human being, I remembered that many entrepreneurs suffer from bouts of depression or anxiety. What we do is tough. When you start a business you step on to a ledge. You open your every choice up to criticism. You take on tremendous responsibility. You will have moments when it all feels too much. Even when you love what you do. And that is ok.
But what to do? I want to feel good and I couldn’t just snap out of it. It wasn’t working.
So I gave in.
I let myself sink into it a little. I stopped fighting the feelings and just admitted to myself the same way I would after a play – that hey – I feel a little anxious and weird right now, I feel the pressure and I’m just gonna leave it at that for now.
It’s been over a week now. I feel better. I started giving my self some ease. I’m taking my daughter to dance class today, then I’m going to the gym to get my endorphins going. I’m not going to list the rest of the things I have to do today because I will start feeling anxious again. But I’m going to find ways to enjoy myself and relax in the midst of it all.