Rachel Bloom brings viewers music and laughter each week on her CW comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, but explains in a new essay for Glamour that beneath the funny veneer lurks depression.
It started, she writes, the night before she and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna were preparing to pitch the show to various networks, and she found she couldn’t get to sleep.
“That started a spiral,” Bloom writes. “Every night before a pitch that week, I had sleep anxiety. I became delirious — and afraid that I wasn’t sleeping; ergo I would ruin everything. But the lack of rest didn’t ruin the pitches, and I was good at covering up my anxiety.”
As a variety of factors in her life ramped up her anxiety, an unexpected switch in birth control pills caused things to become even worse. “I went from feeling anxious to sinking into the worst depression of my life. I needed help.”
Visiting a psychiatrist helped immensely, she says, as has meditation. “The thing that has most aided me through my anxiety and depression is realizing I’m not alone,” she says. “I’m naturally bubbly, even when I’m sad. But here’s what people can’t see: During a spiral the world feels dark. I have anxiety about anxiety, then I worry the anxiety will ruin my life. It’s a snake-eats-tail loop. But in opening up to others, I found a lot of people have felt the same way.”
She adds: “My psychiatrist has also helped me realize that not every thought needs to be indulged — some are nonsense. When I’m about to engage in an anxiety spiral, it feels like I’m balancing at the edge of a pool, and if I dip my toe into the nonsense, I fall in. So I have to stay balanced.”
These days, she writes, “I’m in a good place. I’m not dealing with depression alone anymore. My psychiatrist is on my team. So is Aline. Most important, so is my husband. He doesn’t try to diminish or ‘solve’ my anxiety; he says, ‘That sounds horrible. I’m so sorry. What do you need from me now?’ And when I’m tired, I just fall asleep.”
You can read Bloom’s essay in its entirety in the latest issue of Glamour.