I recently published a book (fiction – different pseudonym), and I fell into a deep, dark depression just a few days later. I am normally one of the happiest people I know. I am forever an optimist and always “the glass is half full”! What I went through after publishing my book, was almost foreign to me. I was physically depressed, sleeping much longer than my normal 7 – 8 hours at night, and even taking long afternoon naps. Upon waking, I was still exhausted with large black circles around my eyes. My thoughts were depressing, and I couldn’t seem to get out of my head. I was sad for no other reason than (what I thought to be) “hormones”, and I was crying easily.
But then a friend explained something to me, and a light bulb went on in my brain. He told me that, when you are creative, and especially working on something for an extended period of time (such as a book or an art piece), there is always the “let down” when it’s finished, and it is “released or revealed to the world”. That made sense to me. I’m a mother, so his words were already validated before he ever spoke them. I created life. I had life inside of me, working on it, every single day for (almost) nine months. When the child was born, there was a mixed sense of elation at finally seeing the final creation along with an underlying sense of depression at having to let it go, releasing this child from me.
I worked on my book off-and-on for almost the same time period as creating a baby. I think it took around 9 or 10 months to gestate before I published it. I put heart and soul into the book, and when it was done, I felt almost alone (though surrounded by more than my share of loving friends and family – thank you).
After a few days of being so down, I finally made myself get up and move. I walked three miles with my favorite music piping in from iPod. It helped, but it didn’t quite make it go away. I tried eating better. It helped, but it didn’t quite make it go away. The only thing that seems to be helping, is creating something new. I’m beginning work on a new series of books that I hope to begin sharing soon.
Like I always say, a writer’s gotta write; an artist’s gotta art; a drummer’s gotta drum.