The things we need to hear

I have a question for you. What is the thing you need to hear most?  The thing you wish you could have gone back to your younger self to say?  The thing you wish you could say to everyone else?

For me it’s the same thing for every question:

It’s going to be okay.

It is.  Even if it’s hard.  Even if it seems impossible.

It’s going to be okay.  I keep saying it to myself until I start to believe it.  You keep saying it too, okay?

Your turn.

I’d point it out but it makes me too entertained when I see it.

This tip box is on the counter of a restaurant we always go to and every time I see it it makes me smile.

Last time we were in there Victor pointed out that the spelling issue isn’t helping but I’d like to think it’s intentional because you read it and suddenly there’s a kitten telling you that “coins piss” and then you subconsciously want to get rid of all of your coins.  Plus, when you put your coin down a plastic kitty paw comes out and snatches it and that is worthwhile entertainment.  Victor disagrees but mainly because he’s always impatiently honking and waiting in the car while I’m standing there for 20 minutes happily feeding nickels to fake cat legs.

Except last time we went in there the batteries were out so the box kitty was like, “NO THANKS, LADY.  YOU JUST KEEP YOUR PEE PENNIES” and  so instead I had to just drop all my change in a bucket that didn’t feature cats or urine, and then the cashier was like, “Um…that’s the bowl we keep the soy sauce packets in” and I didn’t want to fish all my piss coins out of the soy sauce so I just left and now I can never go there again.

Catscrabble

Remember a couple of years ago when I told you about this game my family invented called Crapscrabble?  If not, go read this and discover the best game in the entire world.

Recently Ferris Mewler discovered the bowl of tiles and decided to invent his own game of “Fish these tiles out of this bowl and fling them at your owner as hard as you possibly can and then pretend it wasn’t you when they get hit with tiny projectiles“.  And then Hunter S. Thomcat gets into it and furiously bats the tiles across the floor like he’s playing air hockey and Rolly is OCD about shit being on the floor so she picks the tiles up in her mouth and drops them in the toilet so now everytime I pee I’m getting secret coded messages from my toilet.  And then I yell, “THAT’S NOT HOW CRAPSCRABBLE WORKS YOU GUYS” but apparently it’s how Catscrabble works.

Ferris. What the hell.

“NOTHING.”

So now I’ve started to play CatScrabble, which works the same as CrapScrabble but you can only play with the letters you find on the floor but it’s always consonants and no vowels so you can’t win, which is pretty much how it goes with cats.

PS. I just looked in the toilet and the letter “P” was at the bottom of the bowl and Rolly was staring at me like, “See what I did there?” and I think my cat and a toilet just partnered up to beat me in a word game.

 

Virtual reality is scarier than reality and I managed to mortify myself there just as much as real life.

This week Victor attempted to get me into gaming by buying an Oculus Go (a sort of stand-alone virtual reality goggle thing that you can play games on) and I have to admit that I was totally sucked in to all of the horror/mystery apps and promptly got lost in a bunch of VR haunted houses.  This was very entertaining to my family who recorded me making an ass of myself and who refused to play any of the horror games, mainly because they seemed to consist of me screaming in terror, flailing and falling over furniture and crawling on the floor to escape things that didn’t exist and that you can’t get away from because that’s not how virtual reality works.

What I have learned from my short time in virtual reality is that I have way too strong of an imagination and that if I’m playing a game where I’m being attacked by giant spiders and you sneak up behind me and tickle my arm I will punch you right in the ear and you will deserve it.

This morning I woke up Victor because I was playing a zombie game in bed and he was like “What are you doing?” and I was like, “DON’T DISTRACT ME.  I’M BEATING OFF A HORDE OF ZOMBIES AND I’M GOING FOR THE RECORD” and he was like, “Ew, phrasing” but I can’t be expected to catch double-entendres while I’m being attacked by the undead, Victor.   Also, I was playing multi-player and the game paired me up with some guy in Russia and I couldn’t really understand what he was saying but he kept waving at me with his gun and I was like, “Wow, this guy is really friendly” so I kept waving back but turns out that he was waving to tell me to turn around and fight because I was being eaten by zombies and then I logged off immediately out of sheer mortification.  Conclusion: I can’t even be cool in virtual reality, y’all.

*******

And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by SUC-IT, because selfie sticks are annoying and pop sockets are so 2017. From them: “If you prefer to look like an Uber or Lyft driver with a giant phone mount in your car, well then we aren’t going to stop you but the SUC-IT will do all of the above with one single, sexy, removable device that you clip on to your phone. The SUC-IT suctions to just about any smooth surface you can find so you can take selfies, watch movies, use it on your boat, use for navigation in your car, and keep your phone from dropping.  And if you like forehead hickies then you can SUC-IT to your face (trust me, everyone tries it).”  Check them out here. Use promo code BLOGGESS10 for 10% off your first order!

Read A Book Day

Today is National Read-A-Book Day (which avid readers just call “Thursday”) so I was thinking today you could tell me a great book (because I am voracious and always looking for a new read) and then we could do a giveaway.

What is a book you loved so much that you almost wish you could erase from your memory so you could experience it again for the first time?

I have dozens but one of my favorites is Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

It’s simple and complex and she perfectly captures the sense of otherness and of fear in a way that few people ever do.  It’s a strange book but one of my favorites.

Your turn.

(PS.  Tonight I’ll pick three commenters at random and send you a gift certificate for free books.  Just make sure you use an email address in your comment.)

 

TMS. A month later.

It’s been about a month since I finished TMS treatment for my depression and anxiety.  A lot of you asked if I’d do a follow up after some time had passed so here’s a quick one.

I’m still feeling good.  Not perfect, but so much better than I felt before the treatment started.  Overall I think the treatment gave me a few glorious days of true remission but mostly it just pulled me out of the truly terrible depressive period I was stuck in the last year.  I still have clinical depression and anxiety disorder but it feels a billion times more manageable than it did.  I was hopeful that I’d be able to go off my antidepressants but I don’t think that’s a safe choice for me so I’m staying on them, although I might decrease the dose a bit if I still feel okay in a few months.  I think I could lower the dose right now but I worry about the depression coming back and at this point I’m terrified to do anything that might put me back in that hole again.

My anxiety is much better than it was before treatment.  My agoraphobia is almost nonexistent, which is something I couldn’t even imagine before.  I’ve been slowly cutting down on my Xanax dose and as of this week I officially don’t have to take it daily…only as needed during anxiety attacks.  I hesitate to share this here because I think it’s easy for people who don’t have anxiety to say “Good job on getting rid of those drugs!” because most people don’t understand that Xanax (while it has a lot of shit side-effects) is a damn life raft for anxiety.  And while I’m proud of the work I did going off it (because it was hard, honestly) I know that it’s entirely possible that I will have to go back on it and if I do I want to remind myself that that is not a fault or something to be ashamed of.  I’m happy and grateful that the treatment I’m on is working better than many of the things I’ve tried in the past but what I’ve learned is that I didn’t fail in responding to past treatments…those treatments failed to work for me.  And that is a big difference.  One we all need to keep in mind.

Because I feel better I’m able to do a lot of things to help myself stay better.  These were things that felt impossible a few months ago but now seem almost as easy as the people who don’t understand mental illness always insist that they are.  I walk 1-2 miles a day.  I get sun and fresh air.  I leave my house.  I’ve started cleaning out the piles of crap of accumulated when I was too tired to work.  I write.  I go to sleep before 2am.  I’ve stopped drinking and am training for a marathon.  HAHAHAHAHA.  Okay, not that last sentence.  If I ever exchange vodka for running-on-purpose it’s a pretty good sign that I’m in a cult and need rescuing.  But the other things are things I’m pretty proud of.  Again, I don’t think I could have done any of those things in the deep depression I was in, but I’m taking advantage of the fact that right now I can do them.

I still often feel like a failure.  I still have dark days.  I still have to avoid my triggers.  I still have massive problems with concentration and memory and motivation.  I’m still broken.  I’m still me.  I’m still looking for a way through.  But I’m glad to have found a way that helped me if for no other reason than to reaffirm that there is hope.  There is always hope.

PS. A few people have asked if I was compensated in any way for writing about TMS.  Fair question, but no, I wasn’t at all.  Insurance paid for some of it (after a ton of denials) and I paid for the rest myself.   I only share it here because I know I’m not the only  one struggling with this.  TMS is not for everyone and is still really in its infancy in many ways.  It doesn’t always work and when it does work it could stop working at any time and no one knows why.  It’s uncomfortable and time-consuming and expensive.  But for me, it was so worth it.  I was (and remain) very lucky.

 

You will thank me.

No blog post today because nothing I can write will be better to the response to this tweet.  Click here and scroll until your heart overloads on cuteness.  You will thank me.

Finding light

I got distracted by my dog’s vagina (if I had a nickel for every time that’s happened, right?) but I’m back to sum up the final part of our week in Europe.  If you missed the first two parts they’re here and here.

PARIS

We took a train from London to Paris and went through the chunnel (the tunnel under the English channel) but it’s only cool in theory because it’s not made of glass so basically you’re just in the dark the whole time.  Have you ever traveled with your eyes closed?  That’s pretty much what the chunnel is like.

Also there was a lack of sasquatches:

We ate a lot.

The one thing I really wanted to do in Paris was to see the catacombs so we did that first just in case my anxiety hit and I had to miss everything else and it was amazing if for no other reason than this sign:

No eating. No flash photography. No molesting the corpses.

Also, we went visited a bunch of haunted places during our vacation because I’m a dorky ghost hunter but the only possible ghost picture we got the entire trip was in the catacombs and fucking Victor took it:

If you click on it you can see it larger. It sort of looks like the ghost is wearing high heels and skinny jeans but it’s Paris so I guess even the ghosts are fancier than us.

We went to the Paris Flea Market and I didn’t buy any of these things even though I really wanted to:

I was worried that the taxidermy would get stuck at customs but I did consider buying the girl mannequin. She’s LIFE-SIZED though and Victor refused to buy another plane ticket home and also she looked so real and unsettling that I was a little concerned that she was an actual demon.

We took our kid a show at the Moulin Rouge. There were a lot of nipples but she owns nipples so I think it was probably okay even though Victor kept whispering “YOU’RE A BAD MOM” every time someone took a top off. Also, the show was for “ages 7 and up” so things in Europe are a little different.

We took a boat ride down the Seine and I have a lot of beautiful pictures on instagram but this was a favorite:

Truth.

We saw the Eiffel Tower and it was very bizarre because it’s one of those things that you don’t think really exists until you see it.  We didn’t go inside because there was a line and it was expensive and I hate elevators and stairs, plus if you go to the top of the Eiffel Tower you can’t actually see the Eiffel Tower, so I’m not sure what the point it.  But we ate crepes from a street vender outside and they were so good I screamed “ALL CLITORISES ARE BEAUTIFUL!” but only in my mind because my mouth was full.  (Of crepes.  Not clitorises.)

We wandered the streets and caught glimpses of the person our daughter is becoming:

View this post on Instagram

Paris.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

And in the evening the light turned golden – literally – and I suddenly saw why they call it the City of Light.

I tried to find an empty space to see the sun but it just wasn’t possible, so I stood in the deep shadows of the streets and I looked up to watch the light creep in and touch the tips of the buildings.  And I cried a little.  Because for so many months it seems all I seemed to write about was the dark depression I was in…how I was looking for the light.  And I found it.  Maybe just glimpses, but sometimes that’s enough.

It was enough for me.

And I’ll keep these pictures to remind myself that there is always light coming, even if you can’t always see it.

This day took a turn.

So last night Dorothy Barker wouldn’t sleep and she whined like crazy and tried to go out to pee at least 10 times so today I took her to the vet and the vet was like, “Her bladder is too small to stick a needle in (wtf?)  but we think your dog has a bacterial urinary tract infection and canine derma vaginitis” and I know the first one but the second one was new to me so the vet was like, “Her cooter’s all borked up.  That’ll be $300.”

Then she was like, “I’m giving y’all some medicated wipes. You’ll need to clean your dog’s vagina four times a day.”

me:

Dorothy Barker:

But then I got home and Dottie refused to let me near her lady garden and I was running after her yelling “LET ME WIPE YOU” but she growled and hid under the table and I was like, “YOUR VAGINA IS A GROUP EFFORT, DOG” and then she tried to bite me and I was like, “LOOK, I’M NOT TRYING TO SHAME YOU.  I ASSURE YOU THIS IS ALL PERFECTLY NATURAL FOR A WOMAN” and then Victor came out of his office and yelled about how hard I made it to be professional on conference calls and I was like, “Dude, don’t blame me.  Blame your dog’s vagina” and then he was like:

Then I decided that maybe it would be easier to wipe the dog’s hoo-hoo if it didn’t have so much fur on it so I went to Target to find dog-clippers but they didn’t have any so I went to the men’s grooming section and there were a thousand trimmers but I didn’t know which one to use and a lady who works there asked if I needed help and I told her I was looking for the best way to shave my dog’s vagina and she was like, “Oh” and I explained that it was for medical reasons, not recreation but she still looked disturbed and then I realized that maybe she’s one of those people who is very pedantic about the term “vagina” meaning the tube part of the lady garden and honestly it would be weird to shave  inside a dog’s vagina so I corrected myself and said, “My dog’s vulva, I mean.  Obviously.  You know what I meant” but it seemed like she didn’t really so I grabbed the cheapest clippers with the ear hair attachment because it seemed like if it was safe for ears it was probably safe for dog vaginas.

But then when I got home  Dottie totally didn’t understand what I was trying to do…

…and she got freaked out by the clippers and kept running from me so I had to wrap a towel around her head so that we didn’t have to make eye contact and share our mutual shame and then she calmed down a little (which is probably the same way I’d want to get a bikini wax if I’m being honest) but I was holding her like a burrito in one hand and the clippers in another hand and she got squirmy and I totally cut a giant chunk of fur off of her tail and now it looks like she tried to cut her own bangs, but if her bangs were on her butt.

Then Victor yelled at me for breaking the dog but she was already broken and I have the doctor bill to prove it and technically she seemed pretty happy to have a freshly shaven vagina and she ran around the house feeling the breeze on her downstairs apartment and showing it off to anyone who would look.

This post is going to get me so many gross internet search results.

 

 

“What would you choose to have squirt out of your finger?”

Hailey asked me what I’d choose to have squirt out of my finger on demand if I had the choice of any liquid and I thought vodka would be good but a bottle of vodka lasts me forever so instead I went with gasoline and Hailey said that would taste terrible but then I explained that I’d use it to never have to go to the gas station again.  Hailey chose hot fudge, which I’m not sure is technically a liquid but is still a very good choice.  Then I asked Victor what liquid he’d choose to have squirt out of his finger and almost before I’d finished the question he said, “Acid.  For sure.  I’d squirt acid out of my finger.”  And then I just stared at him for a bit because he answered that way too quickly but I think our choices probably say a lot about our personalities and this is one of the weirdest Rorschach test ever.

PS. I just changed my answer because I think that probably the best liquid to squirt out of your finger is blood because blood banks are always low and that way I could donate a ton of blood.  Victor just pointed out that my finger already squirts out blood on demand if I cut the tip off so it’s almost like I got my wish, except not really at all, Victor.

*******

And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Better Help.  Some issues in life are best solved with the help of a professional and there’s no shame in asking for that help.  BetterHelp is a great online counseling platform that provides unlimited access to a licensed counselor for less than the cost of in-person therapy.  Get matched with a counselor and start communicating via text, live chat, phone call or video within 24 hours. You should check them out here.