The post event drop and what you can do about it.
The creative thoughts, the preparation hours, the excitement... The anticipation! The opportunity to take a risk!
The moment to be unapologetically yourself in an environment where you are supported, praised, and loved...
It's all just having fun right? Nothing could make this stressful...?
Melbourne Rubber is a not-for -profit social group for adults looking for an inclusive environment to express themselves. Slick Week and the annual Melbourne Rubberman title competition has been held since 2016 - the pageant where competitors can shine on stage. There are three rounds in which competitors compete, a signature look, an action look and a talent. The competitors are questioned throughout the rounds and they also go through an intensive interview process which is a major part of the judging.
And like all competitions there is a winner, this winner is titled Melbourne Rubberman for a twelve-month period and can then go on to compete internationally. Melbourne Rubber have also announced the Ms Melbourne Rubber competition which will be held for the first time in the near future.
So what happens when the winner is announced and the competition is over? Why is there a feeling of loss and sadness for all involved, including the winner, and what can help soften the comedown?...
It is completely normal to have feelings of sadness when events are over, what is not normal is us being able to talk about this as we can look ungrateful, unsatisfied and unsupportive. Our emotional hub is it’s own entity, it is not linked to our brain, it has it’s own agenda and its own needs, so while your head might be saying that you had a great time and feel proud of your achievements on stage, your emotional hub will be saying something has ended and it will activate the grief and loss emotions. The emotions associated with grief and loss are anger and sadness.
These feelings will often feel like they come from out of the blue and won’t be wanted. So what is common practice to not feel an emotion? BLOCK IT, and “get on with it”, smile and look happy, act excited, and if that doesn’t work, drugs and alcohol are good at helping us avoid the feelings….aren’t they?
Unfortunately, these feelings will not stay put, and blocking them just means on their way out they will be so much more intense! The way we help with this is to understand this process more, to drop the thinking patterns that we have to act in a certain way, and start learning how to acknowledge our feelings, all of them.
Once we can acknowledge, we can release and then we can celebrate our own victory and the victories of those around us.
Common Questions Answered -
1. What is Post Event Drop?
Post Event Drop is when the event comes to an end and all the months of planning and preparation that have filled your time and your thoughts is over. It is the sense that something is now missing, a hole that needs to be filled. Instead of acknowledging this feeling and releasing it, people tend to try and distract themselves from by finding something else to fill in the time. The person going through this can feel teary, angry, empty, and hopeless, it can happen to all the competitors including the winner.
2. I have no energy after the event, I cant even reply to my friends, is this normal?
Completely normal, the mental and emotional energy that is exerted being part of events such as these ones is huge, so afterwards your body needs time to recover. If you take the time out to relax and recover after the event with some down time, a massage, or a stay in bed and watch Netflix day, you will recover faster and be back to yourself in no time ready to talk through the night that was, with the mental capacity to string words together.
3. The winning/losing conundrum- how do I celebrate my win while being mindful of the friends I have beaten?
Communities such as this one, are formed with likeminded people who develop strong connections, it is all about feeling safe, understanding and no judgement. These close connections will mean that when the winner is announced mixed emotions will occur. The excitement of being named the winner, and the celebration of “you” can feel overwhelming when you are also aware of the effort your fellow competitors and friends have put into this. Care and concern for others is normal, but it is important that we learn the difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy means we can show our support for the ones who did not win with acknowledgment of their efforts, sympathy means we think to show our support we need to feel their feelings as well. Sympathy is never helpful to yourself or to others, so have a moment to validate the ones who did not win, and then acknowledge your own achievement and give yourself permission to celebrate this and be proud of you.
4. What can I do if I don't think the winner chosen was the right one?
This is very common, you have watched your friend prepare for this and all the work they have put in, you might know the other competitors but not as close as that one person you are cheering on, the announcement is made and its not your friend, you will believe that the judges got it wrong, you will feel disappointed for your friend and real anger at the process. Again, this is normal, you are allowed to have this emotion and you need to validate it and vent it. Let it out, say a few “F’s” under your breath, go for a walk to take a break, get it out anyway you can. Then once you have done this, you will be able to check on your friend, see how they are feeling without putting your emotions onto them. Your emotions come from a place of love, so don’t block them but do find ways to release them without it impacting others around you.
5. What can I do to support a friend going through the post event drop?
The best advice I can give for this is remind them that it is ok to feel this drop and let them sit in these emotions for as long as they need to. Don’t dismiss the feelings they are having by reminding them of all the joy and fun, and don’t try and distract them so they “feel better”. By acknowledgment and validation, emotions are freed, and people actually move on very well themselves, it is the blocking, ignoring and distracting that does all the damage.
Life, it is about the moments, the risks, being part of communities and building relationships with others. Letting your guard down, being yourself and having fun while doing it. Taking risks to be part of competitions and events is not for the faint hearted, it takes a lot of effort, energy and commitment. It is to reach personal goals and to be a role model to others. With all of this, there are always going to be emotions, and once this is understood, and time is given to acknowledge these emotions for what they are, without the disappointment or fear of having them, your mental health during events such as these, will be healthier and you will then have more space to enjoy the moment and reduce the impact of the post event drop.
If you find you are struggling emotionally after these events, please reach out, sometimes a chat with a professional can educate you and guide you back to yourself.