Renee Adams/ R. Collective
Our industry exists to provide experiences for others that create euphoria and extravagance; however, the makers themselves: the muscle and minds behind the magic, are now, more than ever before, struggling to find it themselves. We surround ourselves with carefully crafted indulgences, and yet the elephant in the ballroom is often that those creating these masterful moments are the ones struggling with mental health, alcoholism, and addiction.
There is a vastly overlooked thread tying together our industry colleagues and mental health disorders, one that has been exacerbated during the current trials we’ve all faced—but prevalent for decades. While we celebrate the talent, we overlook the trauma it could be causing for the individual and those closest to them. We support the debauchery but shy away from discussing the disease. Many of us have been ravaged by the destruction caused by the deteriorating mental health climate we face ourselves or see affecting our partners, yet the stigma of perfection causes us to pause in sharing our truth.
The impact of the last two years is far broader than our pocketbooks. The onslaught of feelings: worry, fear, anxiety, sadness, and disappointment brought with them a tornado of triggers for mental health disorders and substance abuse, and yet our focus on survival has been heavily financial. Behind the zoom meetings, pivots, and petition signings, people are falling apart at the seams, and others of us are struggling to hold our worlds together entirely. As the pandemic rages on, the necessity to create the perception that everything is fine and ensure others feel that things are “normal” is neither healthy nor required. Right now, at this moment, there are thousands of emotions to be owned, and not a single one needs to be handled with refinement. It is wholly and completely okay to show your cards for what they are, and while our situations may be different, that doesn’t make them petty nor small, no matter what others are going through at the same time.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, substance abuse, or addiction, please find support. Just as we work together to create our professional masterpieces, we must come together to acknowledge and support each other’s personal struggles.