I ended my summer Fringe Tour in San Francisco, where I not only got to perform for a lot of people, but I also got to spend time with some of my favorite friends and drink everyone’s weight in wine. While this was all super fun and remains at the top of my “I Regret Nothing” list, re-entry into regular NYC life has been a little bumpy.
First night post-show drinks. Irish Pub, of course.
Last night post-show dinner. That broccoli, tho.
I was jet-lagged for the first few days back. After that, I was struck down with some sort of 7-day, French Revolution-era plague. Highlights: fending off a finger-wielding “doctor” at the local urgent care, carrying one of these through the streets of Bed-Stuy, and having a surprisingly positive experience in the ER.
You want to put your finger where?
Most recently, Delilah — my Chief of Staff and Intrepid Canine Companion — has been under the weather. She’s 16 and has chronic heart failure that, when it acts up, makes her cough compulsively, sounding not unlike a flock of angry Canadian geese.
Sleep is elusive on Lafayette Ave.
Glad someone is relaxing.
Add to all this: Day Job is busy, credit card bill is shocking, and my heart is smarting a little over the recent end of what I thought was a really nice friendship.
I seem to have lost all interest in writing, performing, or socializing. The world should be bursting with Fall colors and instead it all just looks gray.
So, yeah, I’m physically tired. But, I’m emotionally drained, too.
Usually, I would try to counteract these feelings by jumping into action, mainly to avoid feeling the feelings I’m feeling.
But, after talking it through with my unfailingly kind friends and my unfailingly patient therapist, I’ve determined that I need a break. Time to go inward and sit with things a bit and not worry so much about what comes out.
A tool that I’ve used in the past to help me with this is The Artist’s Way.
TAW is a 12-week guided creativity program that helps people “recover from a variety of blocks including limiting beliefs, grief, fear, self-sabotage, etc… replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity."
This is a book that’s been around for almost three decades, and I’ve owned a copy for almost as long. It’s moved with me 4 times, but until recently I'd barely cracked the spine. It was one of those things I kept telling myself, “one day I’ll get around to it.” The main barrier was that the program required a non-negotiable commitment to doing “morning pages.”
Morning Pages, three pages written longhand in a journal every single day, seemed like a crazy commitment to my then non-writer self.
But as these things happen, I realized about a year ago that due to my burgeoning journaling practice and writing efforts, I was actually doing Morning Pages every day anyway so why not dive right into the whole thing?
I loved it. I got through more than half of the book over a period of 3 months before petering out. I think I was busy. But, it’s way more likely that TAW got hard, and I got nervous, and decided I’d rather drink way too much vodka with unworthy men than focus on my creativity.
I started over yesterday and set my intention: to show up. And to believe that my creativity, passion, and verve are not gone — they are just resting. All I need to do is be present, do the emotional work, and let them back in.
Here we go.
What do you do when you’re feeling emotionally depleted? Let me know in the comments below or on FB/IG!