“Babe, what’s wrong?” My husband asked me this question off and on all day. My answer was that I was just quiet, trying to relax or some other variation of, “nothing.” As I was getting ready for bed, he asked again. This time demanding that I take a second to check in with myself. I paused, seeing the concern in his eyes. I tried to think. A teardrop trickled down my face. My response? “I don’t know.”
The whole week after closing night, my emotions were a hot ball of confusion, and I didn’t know what to make of them. I felt mentally and physically exhausted, and I tried to knock out my responsibilities early in the week. The game plan was to get the icky stuff done, so I could take a few days off. Then . . . adulting. Doctors’ appointments, business obligations, parenting emergencies . . . Stuff just kept happening. It wasn’t a hectic week by any means. It just wasn’t the completely restful one I’d planned.
Every night I felt some type of frustration or sadness. Frustration that my house was a mess after two months of focusing on my work and not caring about how my place looked. Sadness that my body felt funny, and I wasn’t 100% sure what was going on. Frustration that I had a crap ton of business ideas that I didn’t have the energy at the moment to structure or pursue. Sadness that had nowhere to go now that I didn’t have somewhere to ball my eyes out every night. Frustration that I didn’t really celebrate my accomplishments my way, and I didn’t know why. Sadness just because. Every night some version of the emotional rollercoaster would happen until the night my husband asked me what was wrong and actually expected an answer.
After I told him I didn’t know, I went into the bathroom and had a mini meltdown. I silently prayed, “God help me. I don’t know what’s going on, but I need your help.” Then it hit me. This was depression.
I’d been spending so much time trying to push past my emotions that I didn’t even recognize I was being pulled back into depression. It’s been almost a year, and I’d honestly forgotten how that downward spiral feels at the beginning of it. This time, I didn’t catch it at the beginning. I recognized it once I was fully in it. I’m thankful for my husband for not letting up. I’m thankful for God for whispering the answer when I needed it. I’m thankful for my willingness to get help months ago, so that I knew what to do.
I was still sad when I walked out of the bathroom, but at least I was clear. I told my husband the truth. I was dealing with depression, and I wasn’t sure what triggered it. It could have been that I’ve been working on an emotionally taxing show, and my body was responding in anger about the trauma I put it through over the last couple months. It could have been that I was just emotionally depleted and needed to fill back up again. It could have been that I expected to feel amazing after the whole thing was over, and I was disappointed that I didn’t. It could have been a combination of all of the above. But what I needed more than anything was patience, kindness, rest and a partner that wouldn’t freak out on me.
Over the next two days I focused on all of those things. I stayed off social media. I organized some of my house while listening to sermons. I went to a comedy club with my best friend and laughed until my face hurt. A took naps when I needed them. I spent time with my guys (hubby and the toddler). I acted and got some of those negative feelings out, and I didn’t pressure myself to be perfect. I went to church for the first time in weeks and heard exactly what I needed to hear from God. I am loved.
I’ve had a few good days following my bathroom revelation, and I hope to stay on this path for weeks to come. I’m not pressuring myself to be anything in particular. I am caring for myself and slowly reintroducing my routine. The whole thing may have just been post-event blues. In which case, that sudden bout of depression was completely normal. Either way, it’s okay that for almost a week I was emotionally down. I’m thankful that I had faith to lean on and tools to help me pick myself up. I’m not sure that I’m 100% back to normal. But as of today, I’m feeling more joy than sadness, and that it is progress.
About me . . .
I'm Cyrah Hill. I'm a woman of faith, an actor and an everyday black girl.