As an artist there is this unwritten rule all about hustling.
You hustle to get your name out there, your work out there, your upcoming events and classes out there…
You have to make time to create, to learn, to network, and to get inspired on top of the other bits of hustle.
Add to that raising a family and working a full time job to pay the bills and, well, the hustle can become exhausting on a good day.
When you are in the throws of depression – it becomes a cluster storm of impossibility that you have no energy or interest in maneuvering.
You pull the blinds shut, climb in bed, and pray for it to all go away.
The hustle and the art become this ancillary thing that you can’t get within 20 feet of and then the spiral downward begins…
- You’re depressed, so you’re tired.
- You’re tired, so you don’t do anything.
- You look at the things you aren’t doing and feel guilty.
- You try to talk yourself into doing the work because you know that moving the business forward will increase your mood overall and creating is your therapy.
- You stay on the couch and watch bad tv instead.
- The guilt leads to shame.
- The shame leads to feeling more depressed.
- And we are back to the beginning…
Now on top of this, you add in anxiety and suddenly you have other bits added in as well:
- There’s no point – no one is going to care anyway.
- Why bother when I am not feeling good?
- Is this any good? Will anyone like it/buy it/share it?
- I suck at this.
- It’s a lot of work for one person to see it.
Yup – this is my brain.
On a good day.
It is hard to move forward when the only person holding you accountable is the most messed up version of yourself.
It is also hard when you have a safety net – for me it is a full time job that is currently paying the bills. Granted, it is a good portion of my depression, but it is stable… the art world isn’t. The craft world isn’t. 8-5 Monday thru Friday – that’s stability. It is sad and safe and the same damn thing everyday.
I am working on all of it right now. I am.
And I am doing better than I was even a week ago.
I still have moments – those times when I dare to dream and reality or a comment or even a look knock me back into place… It is hard to dream and have those ideas or hopes dashed before you barely think them or say them. It feels like someone just killed my rainbow pooping unicorn of happiness.
And that’s part of navigating the storm… finding a way to get through it, survive it, hustling all the way to other side. Sometimes you get disoriented and your plans get destroyed.
Its the stamina to keep moving, however, that will eventually get you through to the other side, hustling all the way.
And now I want to say thank you to all of you – you have been so supportive as I have been sharing my story and my struggles over the past weeks. You are an amazing group of humans and I can’t thank you enough for all of your kind words.