It’s like trepanation but not at all.

So.  Yesterday I started rTMS (repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and if you’re confused then you missed my post explaining it and you need to go back and read it.  I am currently in a depression so my head isn’t working perfectly but if I don’t write it down I’ll forget so let’s do this.

The most expensive hat I’ve never owned.

First off, it feels like a woodpecker is drilling holes into your head while you have an ice cream headache and also you’re paying for it to happen to you.  And your head is in a vice and have you have tape on your face and protective earplugs on and your eyes are blinking involuntarily in a small convulsion and it looks like you’re winking at the doctor, nurse, and the medical students watching you, and then you have to tell them that you are not trying to seduce them but you say it way too loud because you have earplugs in and that’s awesome.

Secondly, I started this post wrong but my head hurts so I’m going backward.  The doctor told me that before we start he needs to find out “where my thumb lives” and I was like, “Are you sure you’re a real doctor because my thumb lives on my hand and it’s really obvious” but turns out they have to find it from my brain, which seems like a really long trip, but whatever.

The doctor told me that in order to find the parts of the brain where they need to hit me with magnets they need to find the homunculus first and then work backward and I thought it was a trick because I’ve played Dungeons & Dragons and I am perfectly aware that a homunculus is a flying telepathic monster made of blood magic:

But the doctor was like, “Jesus, no, that’s horrifying.  It’s this:”

Worst sex toy ever.

And that’s way more horrifying than the telepathic winged blood monster but apparently there are different parts of your body that are affected when you get magnet-punched in the brain-pan and to make sure they’re in the right spot they make you hold your thumb up like a hitchhiker and they keep magnet-punching your noggin until your thumb falls.  I called it a reverse-Fonzie but the med students didn’t laugh because I guess they’re too cool for Fonzie.

Hey, remember when I said I started this woodpecker head stuff yesterday?  Yeah, no.  I got depressed and couldn’t concentrate enough to finish this post for a week so now it’s much later.  But in a way it was good because that depression was enough to make me realize how terrible depression is even when it super sucks to have to leave the house and get hit in the head with an invisible chisel and it made me keep going even when I didn’t want to.

Anyway, here are the things that I found out about TMS:

  1. My brain is not at all symmetrical which I thought was weird but then the doctor was like, “Well, your face isn’t symmetrical so why would your brain be symmetrical?” and that makes sense but it’s also a little insulting because basically I think he just said that I’m even ugly on the inside.
  2. It super hurt the first day but everyone assured me that I’d quickly get used to being pummeled in the skull and they were totally right and also this feels like a pretty good metaphor for 2018 in general.
  3. If it hurts a lot they might be on a nerve and if you tell them they can move it a little and then it only hurts a little.  SCIENCE!
  4. They literally put my head in a vice to do this but if you have a good imagination it almost looks like a fancy fascinator for a futuristic royal space wedding and I think if I keep doing it long enough I’ll develop a magneto-like super power, which would be nice to help find my keys or change the channel without a remote.
  5. Every day they do 20 minutes with one pulse per second on my right side, and then on the left side of my brain they do 20 minutes with LOTS of pulses for 5 seconds followed by 10 second breaks.
  6. I couldn’t write while being whacked in the head so instead I listened to TED talks and took up embroidery.  Finished:

Classy AND positive.

Honestly, I don’t know if it’s working or not but today I feel better than I felt the day before I started and that feels like a good sign.

One week down.  Five more to go.

Tell me where to go. Not to hell though. I’ve been there and the weather was crap.

Today I’d like to tell you how my TMS is going because I started it Monday but I can’t because ironically(?) I fell into a depression on Sunday and I’m still trying to pull myself out of it.  This means that my head isn’t working well enough to finish writing the post about it and so basically this is a live representation of me dealing with my brain right now:

The good thing is that this is reminding me of the importance of doing the TMS stuff and I promise I’ll finish the post soon because it is very interesting and bizarre and sort of funny and I wish my head would stop fucking it up for everyone.

While I’m waiting for my head to stop being a dick though I need your advice.  We want to take Hailey camping this year so we’re going to rent an RV for a weekend and just drive to Garner park or somewhere close, but I don’t really know about camping or parks or anything so if you’ve ever camped in Texas and have a good park to recommend please let me know.  Ideally someplace that has fishing and food nearby and paddleboats shaped like swans that also have margarita machines and xanax dispensers in them.  Or if you’ve never gone camping in Texas before tell me the best vacation you ever took because I am super bad at this.

Happy Father (Figure) Day!

Today is Father’s Day and that can be complicated for people because fathers are complicated people.  I’m very lucky to have a wonderful father (and that Hailey does as well) but for a lot of people this day can be hard or bittersweet or lonely or just plain uncomfortable.  So if you are feeling too much today then I encourage you to change the day up.  Go out and honor father figures in your life.  Maybe they’re friends who’ve been there for you, or people you’ve seen care for others in inspiring ways or even heroes you’ve never even met but who helped to make you who you are.  Honor the things you’ve done to help others grow and become better people.  Sometimes the best fathers aren’t even fathers at all.

And that’s sort of amazing.

Thank you to all who inspire, whether you are a father or not.


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.):


This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by WHO GIVES A CRAP.  No, really. Do you have the kind of bottom that deserves the best? Of course you do. That’s why you should start wiping with Who Gives  A Crap, this week’s wrap up sponsor. They make super soft toilet paper, that just so happens to do good too. They donate 50% of profits to help build toilets for the 2.3 billion people living without one and all of their products are made without trees. Good for the world, great for your bum. Click here and use the discount code BLOGGESS to get $10 off your first purchase.

It’s okay to demand the love you need, a lesson my cat taught us

This week Ferris Mewler has been weirdly needy.  He pushes the dog off my lap and growls at anyone in the way and if I’m not touching him he meows, forcefully, which is pretty out of character for him.

I shared this on instagram:

Ferris Mewler demanding love. Loudly.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

And a friend pointed out how lovely it would be if we all felt like we could ask for the love that we need whenever we needed it and maybe I have PMS but I was like, “AND A CAT SHALL LEAD THEM. WE SHOULD ALL BE FERRIS MEWLER” so right now I’m sitting at my computer with Ferris in my lap and in a minute I’m going to ask my husband for a hug and tell my kid to come snuggle with me even though she things she’s too teenagery and then I’m going to send electronic hugs to friends and then I’m going to send giant internet love to you. Yes, you. Can you feel it? I hope you can.

Now go ask for the love that you deserve. And give the love you want to see in return. Or pet some animals if people exhaust you. It’s all good.

Ferris Mewler and I love you.

Dear Hank and John and Jenny and Dorothy Barker and Sharknado

Last week I got to be John Green because Hank Green needed a cohost for their Dear Hank & John podcast, and I’m afraid of speaking but I love that podcast so I surprised all of us by saying yes. Then I promptly forgot everything that I said and when it was published today I listened to it with a mix of shame and pride. You should listen too. It was very fun and surprising safe-for-work and if nothing else it’ll make you feel better about yourself in comparison.

Click below to listen to Dear Hank & John Jenny:

Thank you, Hank, for inviting me on.  And thank you, John, for letting me be you. Sorry about the anal glands.

Happy birthday to you! Yes, you.

Happy birthday!

Is it your birthday?  I KNOW BECAUSE I AM PSYCHIC.

Is it not your birthday?  Yes it is.  You are wrong.  Because I SUCK at remembering birthdays and have even forgotten my own so I decided that today is everyone’s birthday.  If you want to go up a year you are a year older.  If you want to go down 10 years that’s fine too.  These are the rules of Universal Birthday Day.

And what do you get for your birthday?  You get something lovely and it’s entirely up to you what that thing is.  Go take a hot bath and listen to true crime podcasts.  Go buy a bunch of facial masks and oils and give yourself a spa day.  Go buy that thing you’ve been wanting but haven’t been able to justify.  Sit in the grass and read an amazing book.  Binge-watch Doctor Who.  Go to the movies.  Call the person who makes you laugh.  Forgive yourself for that thing you’ve been feeling bad about.  Dress your pets up in costumes and have a small parade.  Snuggle with rescue animals at a no-kill shelter.  Have a pillow fight.  Learn a new hobby.  Eat an ice cream cake.  Go to the library.  Pull out the slip-and-slide.  Have a whipped cream fight.  Take a nap with your pets.  DO WHATEVER YOU WANT BECAUSE IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY!

And that means it’s my birthday too so I am going to finish this post and then give away presents because that makes me happy.  So leave me a comment telling me what wonderful thing you’re going to do for yourself for your birthday and I’ll randomly email some of you gift certificates for books or bath bombs or whatever strange thing makes your heart sing.

Happy birthday, 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.):


This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by StoryWorth Bookswhich I’m actually a huge fan of and have bought for both of my parents.  From them: Still looking for a meaningful Father’s Day gift? StoryWorth is the perfect last minute gift. Each week, we’ll email him a question about his life – asking him about his favorite memory of his grandparents, or whether he’s ever pulled any great pranks. All he has to do is reply with a story, which is forwarded to you and any other family members you invite. At the end of the year, his stories are bound in a beautiful keepsake book your family will cherish!”  You should check it out here.

I don’t even know how to spell the thing that I’m going to do to myself but I still feel good about it so don’t freak me out, okay?

So if you read here you already know that I deal with a host of mental issues and you can probably tell that it’s gotten a bit worse lately and that sucks.  I go to sleep not knowing if I’ll wake up depressed or “normal” and when I do feel normal I’m so damn jealous of the rest of the world…people who can be around others without feeling exhausted or who can concentrate enough to finish basic projects or don’t spend thousands of dollars a year on medication that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.  People who don’t deal with intrusive thoughts and anxiety and who don’t struggle in vain to stop their minds at night and restart them again in the morning.

In the last year I’ve done all the things.  I did extensive blood work and took 32 pills a day to fix all the vitamin deficiencies and anemias and treatable disorders.  I ate low carb and cut out gluten.  I went 9 months without alcohol.  I lost 50 pounds and started walking and swimming and I tried to write goals and make myself do normal things and honestly I do feel healthier than I felt a year ago.  But I still feel fairly worthless at least 25% of the time.  And if this is as good as it gets I’ll still consider myself lucky and I’ll just wait for the darkness and dread to pass on those bad weeks, but it’s really…not comfortable.  That’s an extreme understatement but you get what I mean.

A few years ago my shrink told me that I’d be a good candidate for TMS and it sounded really scary so I ignored it like any sane person would because transcranial magnetic stimulation seems like diet electro-shock therapy.  But turns out that I was totally wrong.  I’m going to try to explain it and I’m super going to fuck it up so maybe look it up yourself but here’s the way I understand it:

So part of your brain sort of stops working properly when you’re depressed.  And a different part of your brain goes nuts and works crazy overtime when you have anxiety.  And your anxiety part of your brain can hijack the rest of your brain that already isn’t working and that’s how you get…me.

TMS sends electromagnetic impulses through your skull into small parts of your brain and it stimulates the part that isn’t working, like physical therapy for your brain tissue.  There’s also a way to use it on the over-active part that can slow it down to normal.  Supposedly it feels like a woodpecker tapping at your brain for 30-40 minutes a day for 6-8 weeks which sounds not fun but more than half of people with treatment-resistant depression (like me) see improvement, and around 30% go into full remission.  I can’t even imagine what full remission would feel like but I suppose if I’m willing to have an invisible bird drill into my brain for months it’s a pretty good indication that I need help.  I’ve spent the last month researching it and doing consults and last week after a million pages of paperwork and an interview a local psychiatric unit accepted me as a patient.  I start treatment this month.

I’ve talked to others who’ve done it and some said it was a miracle and some said it didn’t work at all so I don’t know if this will be an enormous waste of time and money but I’m willing to do what it takes to try.  And I feel lucky to live in a world where we are slowly – too, too slowly – figuring out how to treat these terrible things.  I had a great grandmother I never met who had such terrible rheumatoid arthritis she was in a wheelchair at my age.  Currently (knock on wood) my injections have me in remission from what was debilitating RA.  I’m lucky.

This is my other great grandmother.


It seems like her terrible secret is that she has a horse head for an arm but that’s just a trick of the light.  Her real secret was mental illness, and she spent the last part of her life in a mental institution where she died from a “heart attack related to psychosis and chronic brain syndrome” which is probably 50’s shorthand for “electroshock therapy” because that was one of the only treatments available for her.  Again, I am lucky.

I keep Lillie’s picture on my desk top.  It reminds me that it’s not my fault that my brain is sometimes broken.  It reminds me that you can be broken and still love.  It reminds me that some of us get better and some of us don’t…but we all leave a trace behind.  Maybe it’s light and kindness and gentle touches.  Maybe it’s dark and bitter and angry.  For most of us, it’s both.  But I’m fighting for more of the former…any crazy way I can.

I’ll keep you posted.

PS.  Several people I know have had good results on electroconvulsive therapy now so no judgement if that worked for you.  It’s a very different animal than it was in the 50’s.  Anything that works is magic.  🙂

For real though, someone get to work on those fruit roll-up sleeves.

Victor asked if I’d go with him to a party where I know no one and I laughed but turns out he was serious and I felt really bad for him but I don’t even go to parties that are for me but he really wanted to go so I told him I’d go but only if I could wear a t-shirt I made that says “HERE COMES HEPATITIS” on the front so people would avoid me and he was against that because I guess he has something against hepatitis and I do too because hepatitis killed my grandmother but that’s exactly why I made the shirt.

And also if people do talk to me I have an automatic conversation starter about the importance of hand-washing and clean needles and not inviting me to parties.  And Victor said that I couldn’t wear the shirt because I don’t have hepatitis but I think that’s short-sighted because tons of people have hepatitis and don’t know it and I just finished tuberculosis treatment so it seems like hepatitis is the next logical step with my luck.  Victor says faking hepatitis is not really acceptable at parties and I get that but “HERE COMES CRIPPLING INTROVERSION” seems like it would just attract others like me who would be like, “OMG ME TOO” and that would be a relief for a half-second but then we’d be all stuck together and none of us can carry on a proper conversation without blurting out inappropriate nonsense and we’d all rather be home anyway.  Honestly, the only thing that would make it okay is if the shirt had a kangaroo pocket you could stick a kitten in and when it got weird we just pull out our kittens and relax because we could just talk to the kitten instead of each other.  Someone invent that.

(Also it needs a hidden flask in the boob section and sleeves that are made of fruit rolls-ups so I can eat them in case I get too hot and/or peckish.)

PS. Victor just read this post and agrees that I should not go to the party. Whoop!  This blog is better than hepatitis.


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.):


This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by StoryWorth Bookswhich I’m actually a huge fan of and have bought for both of my parents.  From them: Still looking for a meaningful Father’s Day gift? StoryWorth is the perfect last minute gift. Each week, we’ll email him a question about his life – asking him about his favorite memory of his grandparents, or whether he’s ever pulled any great pranks. All he has to do is reply with a story, which is forwarded to you and any other family members you invite. At the end of the year, his stories are bound in a beautiful keepsake book your family will cherish!”  You should check it out here.

I still haven’t found what you’re looking for.

Every few months I look at my analytics to see what bizarre search terms brought people to this blog and this time did not fail to baffle.

A quick sampling:




DEEP BELLY BUTTON FINGER GIVES EXCITEMENT  (Hang on.  Are we still talking about a belly button?)

HOW TO MAKE A PAPER DOLL WITH BOOBS   (It’s probably easier if you use your hands.)

WHAT JOB DEPENDS ON PEOPLE LEAVING LITTER  (Are you just trying to justify littering?)

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO A FRIEND WHO BURIED MY CAT  (They really should make a card for this.)

HOT AUNTIE LEGGINGS IMAGE  (I don’t know if this is a fetish or a typo.)

LEG SHOT GETTING OUT OF CAR (Like, with a camera or a bullet?)


WTF KEVIN  (Indeed.  Get your shit together, Kevin.)

ARE CATS PRAYING TO GOD  (I don’t understand the question?)

WHAT DOESN’T IT MEAN WHEN A GIRL TELLS YOU THAT SHE IS SORRY FOR DISAPPOINTING YOU  (What doesn’t it mean?  Oh wait.  That’s what you asked.  Sorry.  I don’t know the answer.)

WHY DO THEY THROW THE FISH OUT OF THE SLEIGH IF HE CAN’T FLY?  (Weirdly, I know what you’re talking about and I asked the same question 8 years ago.)


WHY ARE YOU NOT PICKING UP YOUR PHONE  (Why are you searching for this on the internet?)


CODE OF WATERMELON (I’m so confused.)


WHAT IF MY HAMSTERS NOT GAY (Respect your hamster’s choices.)

WAS OLIVE OYL A PROSTITUTE (Great.  Now I want to google this.  I have become the problem.)





Twenty questions

Conversation between my daughter, my husband and me:

Hailey:  We should get off our phones while we eat and play a game.

me:  Okay.  Let’s play 20 Questions.

Hailey:  What’s 20 Questions?

Victor:  You’ve got 19 left.

Hailey:  What?

me:  18.

Victor:  Wow.  You are really bad at this.


me: 17.


Victor:  That’s not even a question.

me:  Double penalty for not asking questions.  You have to stand on one foot until one of the cats touches you.


me:  Uh oh.

Victor:  Ooh.  Bad idea.

Hailey:  What?

Victor: Denouncing the game while in the game is a triple penalty.  You just lost all your points and you can’t use your hands until somebody farts.

Hailey:  I just wanted to play UNO.

me:  Good luck playing UNO with no hands.

PS. The dog farted.  We played UNO.