Love in the Time of Depression

Love in the Time of Depression

If something is wrong, you go to the doctor. Sometimes you can see it, it might be a cut or a broken bone. Sometimes you can’t see it, it might be migraine or tummy troubles. If we are in pain, we go to a doctor. If you’re unlucky, you might need a doctor for a pain that can’t be measured, or a feeling you can’t describe. Doctor Doctor, I’m feeling hopeless. Doctor Doctor, I’m finding it difficult to make decisions. Doctor Doctor, I’m not getting any enjoyment out of life. Doctors can treat this, but first you have to ask.

I have a lust for Bryony Kimmings, after seeing Sex Idiot at university, I have followed her career as much as money and time will allow. Despite being at Latitude to work, I managed to sneak into her latest show Fake it ‘til you Make it. Created with her partner Tim Grayburn, they explore clinical depression and men. Bryony is constantly smashing any stigma she can but this is a story of love. Their love. A one night stand to singing, dancing taboo breaking theatre angels.

I’ve suffered from depression myself. My family and I call it the Black Summer. It sounds pathetic now, I’d broken up with a long term boyfriend. I thought he was the one but he was also the first. I’d gone to university as a way of killing time because he had. I’d lost purpose and direction. I drank, I took pills, reoccurring thoughts of death. I was constantly tired and barely slept. But I had an excuse. I was in a miserable situation and I could dismiss the way I felt because I had a cause. For Tim, one day something changed and that was it. It was chronic.

The statistics are terrifying. Men have a pressure placed upon to be strong, they can’t ask for help and that’s the terrible truth behind mental health and suicide in young men. Awareness is growing, author Matt Haig is constantly speaking out and enlightening the ignorant. Tim agreed to do the show to help people in his situation, he sings and dances with Bryony with his face covered as he doesn’t want to make eye contact with the audience. This is understandable as her methods aren’t exactly subtle. They are open, honest and raw.

I want to say I enjoyed the show. I did, there are moments of humour and their love for one another is tangible. I could feel it from my seat near the back. It’s clever and uses every method of performance known to man. But it’s not just a show, it’s a constant struggle. Tim is not only brave to step on stage having no training what so ever, he’s brave because he’s talking about it. We all need to talk about it. That’s why this isn’t really a review. This is me saying: there is help, ask.