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Friday, September 30, 2011

R U OK: A Confession.

It's a commonly known fact that creative types, artistes if you will, seem to suffer from mood disorders such as depression and anxiety moreso than non-creative types.

And it's perfectly understandable. We pour our soul into our work, be it writing, painting, music, choreography or other types, we put our heart and ourselves out there for the world to see, to judge, to deem worthy or to reject.

There is a lot of rejection in creative fields. And a lot of depression.

You may not have noticed, but I noticed a significant absence of myself on this blog lately. I've been posting, sure, but they've been about other awesome folk. They have been lacking in me.

And that is because I had what I tend to call, a 'down period'.

I have depression. It's a clinical thing to do with hormone levels that I have to control with medication. And most of the time I am perfectly capable of operating in the real-world and getting shit done.

But sometimes I'm not. And I realised, a week into canceling plans with friends, ignoring important emails, watching a lot of TV and napping that I was in a down period. It suddenly dawned on me that wait a second, this isn't exactly normal for me and though I thought I was okay - I wasn't. I had withdrawn from the world.

The day I realised that I was not okay (yes, it took me awhile. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, this one), I spent the whole day out of the house interacting with people and confiding in close friends and that has helped me come around and get back my passion and determination and hell...get back into this game called life.

In Australia a couple of weeks ago we had national R U OK day. It took me a little while to be brave enough to post this, but I feel it's important to say.

As most of my readers are also creative people, I know that many of you will suffer from bouts of depression, and anxiety and feelings of failure.

So I want to ask you:

Are You Okay?

Take care of yourself,

Love Sairz


  1. Thanks for being brave enough to post this, Sarah. It is true that depression and bipolar are over-represented in creative types, but you're right that doesn't have to affect a person's success in their chosen artistic field.

    We all need a little emotional support at times, depressed or not. I'm glad you're feeling back on your game again. xx

  2. Am I okay? I am a writer with a chronic illness and I have to remind myself to stop and ask myself this. Sometimes, I feel myself shutting down like a computer, not saying much because I don't know what to say. It's a hard world sometimes

  3. Sarah, you are wonderful & brave for sharing this. I think it's so important that people do talk about going through difficult times, because it's very easy to get caught up in feeling terribly alone & as if no one else is going through what you're going through. But, as you say, there are so many people, especially in creative fields, who experience depression and anxiety.

  4. Thanks for your comments, Write with you, Rhianne and Steph. There is an expectation that in public you must be happy and confident, whereas it can sometimes be a big act for many of us. As you said, Steph - it can make you feel very alone, unaware that others are out there putting on the same act.

    That was a brilliant metaphor, Rhianne, about the computer shutting down. It really can be like that, can't it? One thing turning off at a time. It's a great idea as you said above, checking in with yourself - are you okay, or are you unconsciously sliding into depression etc?

    We need to be honest with each other, it's such a supportive industry in other areas and I'm sure it would be here as well. It definitely seems to be a topic that resonates with people as this post has received a lot of hits, quickly.

    Hope you readers, both silent ones and commenters feel some sort of solace from knowing you're not alone. Look after yourselves.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Sarah. Creative types have to get their creativity from within, so are generally focused on self-awareness and consciousness and 'the buck stops with me' with work so it can put a lot of pressure and anxiety unnecessarily on us.

    There is absolutely a lot of support out there from other authors who are in the same boat - funnily enough, the ones who are supposed to be 'competing' with us are often the ones who 'get' each other the most and who can really empathise with the world we are in.

    I think asking people 'R U OK' and actually listening for an answer regularly would make people so much more aware and in tune with each other.

  6. You are very brave for posting this Sarah!!! I am definitely hard on myself when it comes to my creative muse & sometimes I just want to stay in my PJ's all day & hide under the covers...just w me & my thoughts! And it feels so good when you can catch yourself and say 'hey I need to get out' so I'll be OK. :)

  7. From someone who also suffers from depression or 'down periods' as you call it, your confession took a lot of courage and I can't help but give admiration for it.


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