One day I will be normal. (Updated)

Warning:  This is utterly unlike me and if it’s the first time you’ve come here you should skip this whole post and go read this one about how the GPS lady is trying to murder me.  I just needed to get this off my chest tonight for me and for everyone else who suffers from this.  I’ll be back to normal tomorrow, I promise.

I don’t usually write serious posts.  When I feel myself sink into a depression Victor makes me stay away from the computer, protecting me from myself.  He’s right to do it because I’m not well, not rational.  I get bouts of depression and anxiety attacks the way other people get summer colds.  The depression is easy enough to explain.  “I’m in the hole” is my typical way of describing it.  People who don’t know depression think it’s a metaphor and technically it is, but it’s more than that.  When I get into a true, chemical depression my sight actually changes.  I get tunnel-vision and things get all dark around the edges, like I’m stuck in a hole and can only see a telescopic view of the world around me.  I lose my peripheral vision and within a day the depression starts.  It used to scare me how dark it would get.  I worried that one day the world would go dark forever.  But secretly, I was a little relieved that there was a physical symptom to this disorder that feels like something you should be able to fix in yourself.  But you can’t…just like you can’t cure yourself from being blind just by willing yourself to see.  The depression is difficult but I’m lucky in that it never lasts long.  It seldom lasts more than a week and I only have major episodes a few times a year.  I live through it, knowing that any day the darkness will dissipate and I’ll crawl out of the hole, with no memory of what caused the episode.  The anxiety disorder is more difficult, mainly because it’s so unpredictable.  One moment I’m perfectly fine and the next I feel a wave of nausea, then panic.  Then I can’t catch my breath and I know I’m about to lose control and all I want to do is escape.  Except that the one thing I can’t escape from is the very thing I want to run away from…me.  And inevitably it’s in a crowded restaurant or during a dinner party or in another State, miles from any kind of sanctuary.

I feel it build up, like a lion caught my chest, clawing its way out of my throat.  I try to hold it back but my dinner-mates can sense something has changed, and they look at me furtively, worried.  I’m obvious. I want to crawl under the table to hide until it passes but that’s not something you can explain away at a dinner party.  I feel dizzy and suspect I’ll faint or get hysterical.  This is the worst part because I don’t even know what it will be like this time.  “I’m sick,” I mutter to my dinner-mates, unable to say anything else without hyperventilating.  I rush out of the restaurant, smiling weakly at the people staring at me.  They try to be understanding.  They don’t understand.  I run outside to escape the worried eyes of people who love me, people who are afraid of me, strangers who wonder what’s wrong with me.  I vainly hope they’ll assume I’m just drunk but I know that they know.  Every wild-eyed glance of mine screams “MENTAL ILLNESS”.  Later someone will find me outside the restaurant, huddled in a ball, their cool hand on my feverish back, trying to comfort me.  They ask if I’m okay, more gently if they know my history.  I nod and try to smile apologetically and roll my eyes at myself in mock-derision so I won’t have to talk.  They assume it’s because I’m embarrassed and I let them assume that because it’s easier, and also because I am embarrassed.  But it’s not the reason why I don’t talk.  I keep my mouth closed tightly because I don’t know if I could stop myself from screaming if I opened my mouth.  My hands ache from the fists I hadn’t realized I’d clenched.  My body shouts to run.  Every nerve is alive and on fire.  If I get to my drugs in time I can cut off the worst parts…the shaking involuntarily, the feeling of being shocked with an electrical current, the horrible knowledge that the world is going to end and no one knows it but me.  If I don’t get to the drugs in time, they do nothing and I’m a limp rag for days afterward.

I know other people who are like me.  They take the same drugs as me.  They try all the therapies.  They are brilliant and amazing and forever broken.  I’m lucky that although my husband doesn’t understand it, he tries to understand, telling me to “Relax. There’s absolutely nothing to panic about”.  I smile gratefully at him and pretend that’s all I needed to hear and that this is just a silly phase that will pass one day.  I know there’s nothing to panic about.  And that’s exactly what makes it so much worse.

I wonder how long it will take before he gives up on me.

I wonder how long it will take before I do.

********************

UPDATED: It’s been 4 days since I wrote this post and I’ve been amazed by the outpouring of support by people who left comments or who emailed me when their stories were too personal to share in a comment.  I’ve realized two things in the past few days…first of all, that I am incredibly lucky and grateful to have such amazing people who care, and also that this blog totally breeds crazy people. Either that or mental illness is a hell of a lot more common than I ever suspected.  Either way?  Thank you. And that’s not just a thank you from me.  It’s a thank you from all of the other people who read your comments and thought “I’m not alone.  I guess I never was.”   There were so many comments that spoke to me, made me laugh or cry or think, but I can’t choose just one as comment of the day so instead I’m going to just say thank you, for letting me be me even when I’m not myself at all.  You will never know the difference you make.

There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen

587 replies. read them below or add one

  1. <3
    .-= phillygrrl´s last blog ..Hello, Goodbye =-.

  2. My husband of 17 years has been through similar episodes and will be on medication for life. I haven’t given up on him and I won’t let him give up on himself. From what you’ve written about Victor, I suspect that he won’t be giving up on you. For what it’s worth, my heart goes out to you.

  3. You’re not alone. Don’t give up.

  4. I don’t get the depression, but you’ve described my anxiety attacks perfectly. That feeling in the pit of my stomach as my heart starts to race and I can’t breathe for wanting to scream. It’s not easy.
    .-= Veronica´s last blog ..Chasing Butterflies. =-.

  5. I’m sure you’re being flooded with well wishers at this point so I’ll skip over the obvious (that I wish you were feeling better) and get to the point. Victor has more of my sympathy and envy than you could possibly imagine.

    Most men I’ve ever know, myself especially, only *wish* we could find a woman as perfectly flawed as what you have shown of yourself to the world – THIS POST INCLUDING. That said, I will now resume my normal spider stabbing activities.

  6. Hang in there! You’re great. No, really. I MEAN it. Listen to Victor. Listen to your heart (not your head).

    Listen to the universe.
    .-= Guy´s last blog ..Why Every Company Is A Media Company =-.

  7. Don’t give up on yourself. My panic and depression attacks are not as severe, so I can only imagine how horrible that must be because I know how terrible mine are. Do you know that by you talking about it, you are helping so many of us? Those of us who aren’t brave enough to come forward and talk about it. Hugs to you.
    .-= Sarah (@scunning)´s last blog ..Saturday Snarkfest =-.

  8. Oh, Jenny. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Much love. xoxo
    .-= AMomTwoBoys´s last blog ..Sure Signs It’s Fall =-.

  9. Don’t. He won’t. You won’t.

    Thank you for being so brave, even if you prefer to think of this post as an uncharacteristic blip. I and probably many others need to read this, to know other seemingly together people have bouts of being absolutely frayed on the inside. All we can do is hang on and wait for the light, and you’ve just written a glimmer. Thank you.
    .-= shriek house´s last blog ..these pages must show =-.

  10. I have no idea if this does any good at all, but I’m giving you my tightest and longest cyber hug possible.
    .-= OpinionatedGift´s last blog ..Moving On Up and Out and Beyond =-.

  11. I just recently discovered your site (as in this weekend), and I can’t stop reading it (as in I read every advice column entry you have ever posted in one sitting). You are hilarious! I love your writing style and personality! Although this isn’t your typical post, I appreciate it’s honesty. Thanks for taking the time to write openly. You are certainly not alone. Thanks!

  12. Don’t ever give up. You are wonderful.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..How To Build A Hay Rack =-.

  13. i’m so sorry you have to deal with this. i can’t even imagine. it must be horrible.
    don’t delete this post. it’s important for others who deal with depression to know that they aren’t alone, don’t you think?
    take care and, well, feel better soon.
    .-= melissa´s last blog ..This Is NOT What I Expected Him To Learn In Kindergarten =-.

  14. Oh, sweetie. You’re brave to write this. And you’re not alone.
    .-= Stimey´s last blog ..Rules to Live By =-.

  15. Oh God Jenny, please PLEASE don’t take this post down.
    You are loved by so many and probably a good percentage of those so many need to read things like this. The reason is twofold:
    a) they are ‘like you’ and need a clever, delightful, beautiful and fun woman such as yourself to relate to or
    b) they know someone ‘like you’ and will get a glimpse of understanding through these words.

    I think you are gorgeous in about ten-dozen ways and what you’ve written here only reinforces that notion in me. Love and love and love.

  16. Little Jenny. xoxox

  17. I think you should leave this post up–when you see all the comments you get, telling you how funy and talented you are, it might help someday down the road when you need it most.

  18. I can’t tell you how many of these “serious” posts I have written with pen and paper…woke up the next morning and tore them to shreds. Anxiety and panic is the worst because even YOU think it’s ridiculous but ya just can’t make it stop. My family can be chewing their food at the table and I become overwhelmed by the amplified sound and it literally brings me to tears. And then I feel totally stupid.

    I wonder the same things. My hubby has been with me for 13 years and seems to be getting along fine, learning how to “deal” with me. As for me, I will just continue to deal because for me, it’s better than the alternative.

    I would tell you “It’s gonna be okay”, or “It will be better someday” but I think we both know that’s not realistic. I will tell you that I get it and wish you the best.

    Many Kind Regards,
    Erin

  19. You’re amazing. I love you. We all love you. I wish there were something I could say. I don’t know what anyone can say. But I wish you didn’t have to go through any of it. And I hope it passes soon.
    .-= Trish´s last blog ..My apologies =-.

  20. 20
    John Robinson

    Sometimes I think that the most brilliant and the most creative among us are more susceptible to problems like this. It seems that whatever it is inside us manifests itself as creativity and brilliance when turned outward, and panic and depression when turned inward.

    I know my post isn’t particularly helpful, but I wanted to post to let you know that you are heard, and appreciated.

  21. Oh Jenny. I don’t know you but I know THIS. “There’s nothing to freak out about, your life is good, why can’t you just be happy?” I get that a lot. The feeling of choking on your words because they might not come out as words so much as screaming or crying or hyperventilating. Yeah I get that a lot too. I don’t talk about my feelings, like, ever, and I totally understand the urge to delete this later. Or delete it now, or just not hit post. Just know I feel you and I would totally tell you that if we ever met, only I’d probably do something totally inappropriate like pass out in awe or chest bump you to show I FEEL YOU or something.
    .-= Just A Girl´s last blog ..Just Got Paid, It’s Friday Night! =-.

  22. You basically described me. So, don’t delete your blog. As the Vigilantes of Love song goes, “Vincent, he picked up the blade, and put it to his ear.” Sad song. Yet, psychologically, we are challenged by these chemical reactions in our bodies that elude therapy and medications.

    And, we erupt with creativity when these challenges subside. You are meant to be this way. I know I am.

    Moon
    .-= Cataract Moon´s last blog ..My Yom Kippur–Buddhist Style =-.

  23. Sending love to you, sweet Jenny.

    You are brave for sharing this. So many people feel like you do but feel like they are the only one.

    I love that you can be the funny kook that you are and yet, share the other side as well. You are a light to many.

    xoxo
    .-= Angella´s last blog ..Oh, Happiness =-.

  24. Jenny-

    Let go of the word normal. No one is. It’s an imaginary standard that we all want to achieve, but that no one actually has. It’s like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. You can spend all your time looking for that damn gold, or you can enjoy the rainbow instead. Enjoy your life, give up on normal.

    I’ve taken some form of anti-anxiety or anti-depression medication for about 8 years. My husband, who is a doctor, also doesn’t understand. He worked his way out of his depression without medication. And that’s great, but it’s not what worked for me. I feel guilty whenever I pop a pill (Klonopin, FTW!), but he doesn’t get it. What I try to remember is that he doesn’t need to understand me to love me. Victor loves you for you. For who your are. In fact, I suspect he loves you for the fact that you’re not “normal.” You’re something amazing. And you don’t have to be happy or even functioning every moment of every day.

    You just have to be you.

  25. Wow. My husband has suffered from depression and I found it very difficult to understand and deal with and I know that’s not the right or correct thing to do, but you feel how you feel. Thank you so much for putting this out there. It helps me, the person on the other end understand so much more. He sounds like a good guy, so I’m guessing he won’t be giving up you anytime soon x
    .-= Bern´s last blog ..SO LONG, FAREWELL, GOOD RIDDANCE =-.

  26. Never been quite that deep in, but have danced around the edges of those experiences.

    You are a powerful force in this world Ms. Bloggess. Hope you are already feeling the love flowin’ through the cyberwaves.
    .-= lastrealfool´s last blog ..Distance =-.

  27. Probably you should leave this post up, I know people that could relate and would feel relieved to not feel alone.

    I don’t experience the anxiety, but I’m sure I can relate it to certain areas where I’m not in control of what’s happening in my own body!

  28. I could write a book and I hope I don’t, but what I know is that anxiety is such a bitch. I can handle it so much less better than the hole, for the reasons you stated here so much more articulately than I can. I call the physical symptoms power surges, because that’s what they feel like in my arms and out of the bottoms of my feet (that sounds crazy to me, I don’t usually write it down.)

    With regard to your last sentence, I hope that he does not and I sincerely hope that you do not. It’s the ultimate unfunny joke that the brilliant and amazing and (what feels like) forever broken like you have some of the most desolate roads to walk at times. I could say any number of trite things in response to this but I know nothing fixes it except some kind of grace in the moment to moment of it happening, mostly from other people who care and who get it, and that moment at the end when it finally lifts and there’s an opening into a clear, better stretch of road. It should go without saying that I hope this happens again soon. (And I hope you don’t delete this. We can handle it. And yeah, I’ll speak for the universal “them,” whether they like it or not.)
    .-= Laurie´s last blog ..Now’s the Time the Time is Now =-.

  29. Also? Please don’t take this down. I think we all need a reminder that it’s okay to not be okay all the time.

  30. Jenny,
    I hope you feel better soon. It is hard, I know. But lots of people love you just the way you are. Thank you for making me laugh. I think you are terrific.
    Best,
    C

  31. From someone else who has been there: thank you. I’ve suffered from depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. for years, as has my mother. You said it all so truthfully and eloquently. You touched on every emotion and insecurity that comes along with the panic and depression. Your openness is something I truly appreciate. As an online diarist/blogger for many years, it’s sometimes very scary to be so open online. I hope that you DON’T delete this post in the morning…but if you do, I understand why, 100%.
    .-= MeredithElaine´s last blog ..Tales from the Bar (this could be a series) =-.

  32. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. And so sorry that you feel like you have to put up this wall of strength to make up for this one small “flaw” of yours. But it’s seeing posts like these every now and then, and seeing that you ARE indeed human that make you so great.

    I love your blog.
    Keep doing what you’re doing, and keep your chin up.
    You make millions of people all over the world crack up by sharing your sense of humor and the twisted, hilarious way you see the world.

    Mad support and respect from this bitch.
    .-= Cheri´s last blog ..VIDEO: September ’09 Favorites =-.

  33. I know it’s really really hard and the feelings you’re having are super real. Please just don’t give up, OK? It’s never so bad that you should give up.
    .-= Voix´s last blog ..There are worse obsessions, I suppose =-.

  34. Not as much of the anxiety with me (but enough to embarrass my wife at times), but plenty of the other thing. Yep, a “hole” is a good way to put it. Because of my proclivity to falling in those holes, I’ve lived as long as I have thanks to modern medicine.

    the media who sometimes go on about anti-depressants being over prescribed- If it means one less person going through the hell of depression by making them “so easy” to get, then so be it, godammit.
    .-= Terry´s last blog ..Warning- I have terrible penmanship. =-.

  35. *huggles and snuggles* I don’t have it that bad, but I do deal with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Disorder. I totally get the anxiety attack, mine start out small, then I worry and worry at it some more and my worrying making it worse, so the anxiety gets worse. Kind of snow balls on me. Mine usually stem from my PPD, though. Worrying something is going to happen to my family. Nothing specific, but enough to get me started.
    My husband hasn’t given up on me yet. Men are sometimes hardier than we give them credit for being. And don’t give up on yourself either *huggles*
    .-= Earth_Mommy´s last blog ..Chicken Update =-.

  36. (((Hugs))) It’s okay to talk about it.

    I read your blog every time you update it. You make me laugh until I cry. But this… This touched my heart to the point where I NEEDED to post a comment. Just so you know, your fans care about you. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t stick around and read. It’s okay to go all emo sometimes. It happens.

  37. I have no words other than thank you. Thank you for putting this out there, for being brave enough to talk about it because it helps. It helps everyone who suffers from any kind of mental illness to know that other people out there get it and that we’re not alone. Please don’t pull it down. It’s a powerful post.

    Huge hugs to you.
    .-= Major Bedhead´s last blog ..Wrath =-.

  38. HE won’t give up on you, and NEITHER WILL YOU! I don’t know anything about all this, but I do know that you have an incredible support group who will be there every step of your journey. They won’t let anyone else give up on you.
    .-= Blondie´s last blog ..blondemonde: a series of unfortunate events http://bit.ly/2s6XR =-.

  39. You know what? We love you. Flaws and all.

    You are a beautiful, brilliant, loving, charming, giving woman with a rapier wit and a ramrod in your back, though you don’t know it. It’s definitely there, though – it has to be for you to have so beautifully shared with us your personal terror and pain. It’s WAY stronger and WAY bigger than this thing…and your beauty, brilliance, love, charm and generosity are infinitely more precious to those who know and love you than you could imagine.

    Just think of the flaws as “flavor crystals” in the rare and sought after delicacy that is Jenny. Ain’t nobody pushing away from your table – not even you, kiddo. :)

    (And yes, I am aware that I don’t know you IRL. But, I’m nuts too. And very, very intuitive. ;) )

    xoxo
    .-= Ri´s last blog ..Austin City Limits Fest ‘Green With Envy’ Shuffle =-.

  40. Victor won’t give up on you. And you shouldn’t give up on yourself, either. Hell, I don’t show up to parties that my FRIENDS throw because of anxiety attacks. And they’re my FRIENDS. Or if my husband tries to plan something nice for us and I’ll just freak out and we can’t go. He’s gotten used to it and just gives me time to deal with it or he let’s me skip attending whatever function it may be. But he’s so happy when I can. And that gives me hope that I can do it again at some time in the future.
    .-= Pop and Ice´s last blog ..LadyStyx Be Afraid. Be VERY Afraid. =-.

  41. Hugs.

  42. I know you didn’t right this post for reponses. It poured out of you. I have those as well. But here is my response anyway.my wife and I love you. Your readers love you. I hope when things start tunneling in, you can take some tiny comfort in that.
    .-= Bryan´s last blog ..My ex-wife had to “jump me off” =-.

  43. I’m disabled by chronic illness, and when it flares up and I’m not such a pleasant flower to be around, my husband is kind enough to remind me (sometimes much after the fact but still): “It’s not you, it’s your illness.”

    It’s not you. It’s your illness.
    .-= ZenMonkey´s last blog ..Weekend sendoff: Weaksauce, just watch the video =-.

  44. Please don’t delete that. Thanks for letting us into your world. It doesn’t take away from the laughter we usually get here. I hope sharing helps you.

  45. I don’t suffer from depression but I still want to thank you for posting this. It is powerful, evocative, and helps us understand those around us a little more.

    I love your funny words, but it’s your truth, your depth, that truly moves me. Thank you be sharing this part of yourself with us. We all stand with you. Though it might feel like it at the time, you are never in that hole alone.

  46. All I long to hear is a strong voice telling me with reassurance that I do not have, that it will be alright. I don’t need a timeline I need a lifeline.
    There will be no giving up on anyone because there are too many people who understand and because you haven’t given up yet, I suspect that you, like me, do not have the capability to declare defeat.
    .-= AmyAnne´s last blog ..Phone Sex Anyone? Not Here Apparently. =-.

  47. Oh my lovely blogess. You have so skillfully described both the depression I battle and the panic attacks I also have. You, my sister in this agony called mental illness, are gifted that you can express yourself and your pain so elequently. I have giggled, laughed and cringed at your blog posts for over a year now, but this is the first time I’ve responded. I am you.

  48. 48
    I can't read my nametag

    I’ll join you in the fog. Of course since it’s a completely solitary thing, you won’t see me here.

    Still, wishing you peace, friend. Hang in there until it comes. It pretty much usually always does.

    I think.

    (I know, i’m a regular Chicken Soup for the Dark Night of the Soul. It’s a gift.)

  49. You are a beacon in a sometimes very dark world, even when you can’t see it (and maybe especially then, even).

    Wrapping my thoughts around you like arms…
    .-= Miss B´s last blog ..Fall =-.

  50. Please don;t delete this because you just described my life. And as you know it’s comforting to know someone else goes around all day feeling as crazy as you do. As overstimulated. As afraid of losing control & never getting it back. Crippled with fear or bursting with happiness-so little in between. You have made me laugh over the last few months. Today even-with douche canoe. But this is by far your most memorable post.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Boobies-Flash ‘em =-.

  51. Jenny, I love you when you’re funny. I love you when you’re not.

    I love you for being you.

    Much love and many hugs –
    Jess
    .-= daysgoby´s last blog ..preview of the goth years =-.

  52. Jenny-

    As the others have said-don’t take it down.

    Those of us who know need to hear that we’re not alone. One of the reasons I loved (and still love) heavy metal is that it tells me that IT IS OK TO BE ANGRY-that I’m not the only one who is utterly bewildered.

    When your brain is torturing you, just know we’re all here pulling for you, whatever that is worth.
    .-= Michael´s last blog ..And another thing… =-.

  53. I understand every word because I live this too.

  54. As someone who didn’t open her mouth for fear of winding up in a high-pitched upward spiral of freaking out, I feel a bit of what you’re talking about. I wish I could take this from you.
    .-= schmutzie´s last blog ..Don’t Hate Me Because I Love My Mother-In-Law’s Cats =-.

  55. Thank you for posting this. You are a brave, crazy beautiful soul. I hope you kick that black dog arse’s soon.
    .-= Brenda´s last blog ..It’s Friday and I’m not in love =-.

  56. We’re all broken. By allowing others to see our brokeness, we sometimes give them a certain amount of freedom from the shame associated with it. The creative mind seems to feel everything more intensely. Hang in there. This too shall pass.
    .-= katdish´s last blog ..Letting Go =-.

  57. exactly. exxxxxxactly. xx

  58. I love you people so much. You have no idea how much you’ve helped me to accept who I am. Thank you. I owe you more than you could ever suspect.

  59. Giving Up’s not an option, Jenny. Take Giving Up off the table. I know that doing so just makes it worse, and feels like cutting off an escape route that might come in desperately handy one day, but it’s like one of those doors in the Winchester Mystery House that just leads to a blank wall.

    I get cluster headaches (originally known as “suicide headaches”). Blinding, disabling super-migraines that afflict .01% of the population. They come every year — once or twice a day for a month or six weeks, and can last up to five hours. There’s medication that can reduce the effect, but like yours, it has to be taken in time, or it’s useless. So for a month or more out of every year I live in constant fear of the pain, or with the pain. Can’t talk, can’t lie down, can only pace and weep and drive my fingernails into my hands. And I wonder sometimes how my wife puts up with having something inhuman in her house and her life for so long; but when they pass, I realize the look on her face isn’t fear or impatience or disgust (all the things I’M feeling), but a sympathy and a sorrow that can’t be expressed, because there aren’t any words. She knows she can’t understand what it’s like (as I’m sure Victor probably knows), but she understands what it makes me do. She understands that I’d be different if I could, and even though when I’m in a cluster I can’t remember what it’s like to feel normal, or in control, that’s the job she’s taken on. She remembers who I am, and why she loves me, even when I can’t.

    To the people on the outside of our pain, who care about us, we’re never the monsters we feel like on the inside.
    .-= Scott C.´s last blog ..Defend Pretend Whore Hannah Giles! =-.

  60. You have no idea how much I completely and utterly understand every word, every sentence, every portrayed emotion. The roller coaster from HELL that comes with that anxiety attack. The crippling anxiety that comes at the most inopportune times. When you’re convinced you’re over them, they’re gone forever, you can be normal(ish). But then, SMACK! One really good one bitch slaps you so hard you’re down for the count and could care less about trying to get back up this time. This time it sucks SO bad there’s nothing in the world that can save you from the dark scary hole that is you. The kicker, you’re fully aware of it all. If we could literally black out when the anxiety, depression, and in my case angry non-violent rage, set in, maybe it’d be just that much easier to cope with. Ugh. I’m right there, I’m waving from the other side of the hole, right this very minute.

    I am having an “Oh shit! I’m not the only crazy bitch!” moment reading this post. If you need to, read my (three) posts from just this week. Maybe, just maybe they can help, the teeny tiniest bit. Maybe.
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..It’s laundry day. =-.

  61. My husband suffers from anxiety, panic attacks and depression. For years we didn’t understand what was happening to him, and a hundred times I almost gave up. Finally, I told him to seek help or we couldn’t live together anymore. After diagnosis and medication, he’s like a different man. The kids stopped looking at him like he had lobsters crawling out of his ears. We just celebrated our 25th Anniversary.

    I know depression affects different people different ways. Some artist can’t perform while on medication because it kills their creativity. Others manage to live a normal life.

    Thank you for your honesty. I’m sure it helps us understand you all the more.
    .-= Chumplet´s last blog ..Busy September in Chumplet Land =-.

  62. Hang in there. And thank you for sharing.

  63. “brilliant and amazing and forever broken” describes perfectly…. how close brilliance and insanity are intertwined. People admire you for what they see as beautiful, amazing, and untamed, while you just admire them for being normal.

    At least that’s how I feel. And I’m terrified of anyone finding out and lumping me with ‘them’. I’m not depression, I’m a person. And so are you.

  64. You are not alone, and small comfort it may be – more people learn from you and can be open and available to help others than you can ever understand.

    I did say small comfort.

    Take larger comfort in the love and admiration and thanks the Internets is sending your way.
    .-= Lori Magno´s last blog ..The flu has been kicking my @ss (or photos instead of words) =-.

  65. “They try to be understanding. They don’t understand.”
    And that is exactly why things like this need to be written, read, and shared. Thank you, for saying what some can’t, and what some others need to hear. Cheers.
    .-= Joey´s last blog ..The Nightman Cometh =-.

  66. You described me too. TO. THE. T. Thank you for sharing it, from the bottom of my messed up soul. PLEASE do not delete it. <3

  67. Heya. If another stranger’s opinion counts, I see enough worth in you that I’ll be sticking around despite whether you think you’re worth it. I just wish there was something I could do that could make a dent for you.

    *HUG*
    .-= Della´s last blog ..Winner!! =-.

  68. No, I don’t know, but this goes a long way to explaining it better. Just because I don’t fully understand does not mean I don’t love you or don’t want you to feel better and for this to go away for you. ((hugs)) because I don’t know what else to say. (But at least I’m admitting that, right?)
    .-= Headless Mom´s last blog ..Happy Birthday to Just Breathe =-.

  69. We’re part of the wild and lonely ones, your right we are brilliant and amazing and forever broken, life becomes even more volatile than it already is. there are drugs and therapies that are supposed to help but its only a matter of time, until the next depressive episode, until the next panic attack, until the next bout of depressive realism.
    Hang in there Jenny, I think that these are the reasons we can appreciate the times in between there are moments of beauty and peace. We are lucky in that we can love and cherish those moments more than the general populace, the moron inferno. We are a breed unto ourselves. The Wild and Lonely Ones.

  70. i’ve begun to suspect that there are actually more people that understand depression and anxiety than those of us who experience them once realized and it’s posts like this that help bring us *all* closer together. thanks for being who you are and allowing us to be a part of it.

  71. Here are a few hugs OOOOOOOOOOO. Okay if you stare at those O’s for a long time they look a little lewd. NOT intended.

    You are so much braver than Braveheart.

    Let’s laugh tomorrow ;)
    .-= The Fashion Slinger´s last blog ..No Need to Eat it Anymore – Day 4 of 30 Days of Night =-.

  72. I understand. I’m sorry. :(

  73. God, Jenny. I’ve been in that hole so many times. Just this week said to a few close friends who I know would notice such things: “If I stop getting out of bed, that’s bad. If I seem to be crying all the time, that’s bad.” ‘Bad’ meaning: I’m tipping over into scary territory, that point where sadness becomes a gaping black hole of utter despair, so do something. I’ve felt myself teetering on that edge for so many months now. I don’t know what will finally cause me to tip over, but I feel the danger. The tangible heaviness bearing down. I feel myself slipping.

    I say all of this to tell you: I know, I know.

    The drugs… yeah. I’ve always said that the most they can do, at least for me, is keep me from going under entirely. I’d be dead without the drugs. But it’s no solution. The drugs will never solve the problem… of what I am. I guess that’s the crux of it right? That this is just who and what we are — broken. And, like you said, it’s not a brokenness that is fixable, curable. The best I’ve ever felt i cold expect was to be able to stitch myself back together and somehow manage to hold the darkness at bay a while… until it inevitably rushes forward and kicks my ass again.

    I’m not being helpful. This isn’t about me.

    Jenny, you are brilliant. You have a billion people here, AND there, who won’t let you give up on you. You are loved. You are adored. You are deserving. Let those around you hold you up when you can’t do it alone. I’m one of thousands who would gladly lend my shoulder, my ear, my empathy and understand. You have an army at your side who’ll help you fight for you. Hold on and don’t let go. xoxo
    .-= Sweetney´s last blog ..Tiocfaidh ár lá =-.

  74. thank you for putting into words what I’ve been trying to explain for years.

    don’t ever give up. you are amazing.
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday: Man, I love this beast. =-.

  75. Please do not take this post down. It was so honest and really hit home for me.
    Plus, I have posted the link on my FB account, because I have several friends that NEED to read it to, to help them with their depression/anxiety or to help the ones that love them that need this eloquent description.
    It really helps to know we are not alone, because it truly does feel that way some times.
    .-= Bunnie´s last blog ..Little Girl =-.

  76. You just helped me understand what somebody I love goes through. I hope I will be more useful to them now, thank you.

  77. This does not define you. You are bigger, grander, than a condition. You cannot be given up on.
    .-= Trout Towers´s last blog ..just, ew. =-.

  78. Hi hon. I’m pretty sure that you know that I understand you — that I “get” you — as much as is possible.
    My problem is that “the hole” for me eats me alive, spiraling down, down, down, until there is no light to be seen.
    My anxiety has always been low-level and was nearly constant for fifteen years. I may be kidding myself that it’s no longer constant. Hard to say.
    So I would not even GO to the dinner because of the hole, therefore never needing to flee from the anxiety. Make sense?

    I think you are dear, and sweet, and REAL, and kinder to others than you are to yourself. I get that, too. I’ve worked on shutting up that inner editor bitch, and more than not, it works.

    Sending you hugs and some buspar.

    xoxoxo
    .-= VDog´s last blog ..Serenity Now Sunday: Confessions =-.

  79. There is a scientifically validated stress reduction technique that has been used on individuals with HUGE success that have similar panic and anxiety disorders. Transcendental Meditation. Numerous studies. Quick and life altering results. I urge you to have a look at the impressive website. There is no reason that you should continue to suffer.

    I wish you all the best.
    Adrienne
    .-= Durgagirl´s last blog ..THE GRANNY DIARIES =-.

  80. Actually, this post is exactly why I love blogging. Never have I had more hope for my future. You give me hope Jenny, because there are days when I think about having to fight the anxiety and the OCD every fucking day for the rest of my life. I’m 21 and I’m on meds. I hate when the panic sets in, and I have to play the same song over and over and over, curled up on my bed, hoping I fall asleep before I lose it. I’m forever broken too. Sometimes it sucks, and sometimes its easier to manage. But it’s nice to know I’m not alone. So thank you for posting this Jenny.
    .-= Molly´s last blog ..We’re More Alike Than Different =-.

  81. You only feel that Victor will give up–or you yourself will give up–when you’re in the bottom of the well. When you’re level, you’ll remember that he won’t do that, and you shouldn’t do that. I’m not a doctor, but I encourage you to find one who can balance chemical and counseling remedies to help you through these bouts. Remember, they’re just bouts–terrible troughs in high seas–and they don’t represent the whole of your mental health. But when you’re in the trough, you can’t see beyond the waves breaking over your head, and you think the trough is your whole life. It’s not. You don’t know me from Adam, but seriously, if you are feeling this bad in the future, please twitter or email me so I can remind you how hilarious and only slightly left of normal you are. You are not broken. Really.
    .-= pjwaldron´s last blog ..Uriah Q. Muttonchop on Advancements & Breakthroughs in the Great Scientific Endeavor =-.

  82. Also, for what it’s worth, i don’t think you’re broken. You’re just different. You’re more sensitive to the world’s input, and that’s an awful lot of data, a great deal of it very, very bad. Maybe it’s everyone else in the world who’s broken, because they *aren’t* open to all that data. The trade-off is greater creativity. Sometimes I’m not sure it’s worth it, but there it is. And I think there are more of us out there than we’ve been led to believe. So we aren’t abnormal or broken. We’re just not the same. And we understand maybe a little more.
    .-= katie´s last blog ..scribblegurl: @yohanik way. and i’m convinced he’s afraid of girls. =-.

  83. omg, please leave this post up. You are doing so many people so much good–and I’m not just talking depressives and anxiety types. What you demonstrate here is that smart people have real life-impacting problems. That may seem obvious to us, but for most folks, it’s a revelation. If we were all more open about this stuff, it would start a revolution. . . .

    love.
    .-= feralchick´s last blog ..feralchick: Not sure which, but something is seriously wrong or seriously right when one’s predominant food craving is roasted buckwheat. . . . =-.

  84. I beg you not to delete this and I’ve never blogger begged before. So incredibly articulated… tunnel vision and most perfect: “brilliant and amazing and forever broken” and all the thoughts and creativity in your usual hilarity are also consequences of seeing and feeling the world so deeply. Anyway- this piece is not unlike you as you warned. It’s excellent.

  85. We are all broken in some way. You are a lovely person in the best ways & the fact that you’re not perfect makes me sigh in relief because *shhh*… none of us have it all together. Thanks for being real.
    .-= Esther Crawford´s last blog ..Upcoming Trip to Egypt + Jordan =-.

  86. I call it “dropping my basket,” like some Southern lady with a euphemism. I like to think of Emily Dickinson, Hemingway, Samuel Johnson. Sometimes when it happens I wish I could put myself away, how easy it would be to just let go and let myself drop in to it completely.
    I let others believe it makes me eccentric when I know it makes me broken.
    (Instead I take medicine and hold on.)
    “Would you eat a cookie every day if it would make you better?” my dad once asked, and of course I said I would. So I take a peach pill every day and pretend it’s chocolate chip, oatmeal without raisins because I have never liked raisins.
    I pretend that I am normal because that’s supposed to make me feel better.
    Hugs to you, from one to another.
    xo.
    .-= Susannah´s last blog ..Lamb Lule =-.

  87. Everything you’ve written about this shows me you have support from your inner circle (aka Victor). Otherwise I would be more concerned. I say this coming from a place where I know that anxiety. The nausea, the onset of dizzy disorientation, of begging to escape from you, of begging whatever it is to get off your chest and let you breathe. You are lucky you are not with someone who mocks you when this happens, but supports you. And this time, I think it’s fine that he let you near the computer. Please don’t delete this. Funny, even hilarious people, are not always funny. Nobody is.
    BUT:
    If I use humor to liberally apply to all that is out of my control in my life, then my life is therefore hilarious.
    .-= gwendomama´s last blog ..I Barely Flinched (and then I had to giggle, because this is what my life has become) =-.

  88. *hugs*

  89. Jenny, if it were me qat your dinner table, I’d hold you close and tell you I was there until the shaking passed. Wanna sit at my table for BlogHer next year? Heh. But honestly, I hate that you have to deal with this, but love what you have made of it. Remember when I wrote about my crazy mom and you were so happy to read it? Leave this up for the person who needs it. They will love you all the more for it. Big hug even if you’re feeling better – love from kp.
    .-= kittenpie´s last blog ..How Long Will This Be Going On? =-.

  90. Jenny,

    Your way with words is truly astonishing. You make me laugh every day. Know that my thoughts go out to you. Hugs to you!!!

  91. {{{{{{{{{{{{{Jenny}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    You are perfectly flawed, just like every other human being. Unfortunately the very thing that makes us brilliant can also make us nuts. I’m so sorry it is causing you such pain. Hang in there and know that you are loved by so many.
    .-= zenmomma´s last blog ..So what’s your day been like? =-.

  92. First and foremost….don’t worry about being “normal”, it’s overrated. :)

    While I don’t suffer chronic depression (at least I don’t think I do…), when I fall into it, the one thing that keeps me going, that keeps me from overdosing, from doing a swan dive off a building, from driving over a cliff, is looking for and finding just ONE thing I can look forward to. One thing. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It can be waiting to see that Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr., or getting my hair done. It can be ANYTHING. Whatever it is, it has to be something that is outside of *me*, something I can put an anchor on and just hold on to until the darkness passes. It’s worked for me, and that’s all I can say.

    Finally–don’t nuke this post. Your depression and what you do with it, is part of you. As awful and sickening as it feels, it is what makes you *you*. You wouldn’t be the hilarious and charming person you are, if you didn’t have this “hole” to deal with on a regular basis.

    To nuke the post, is to nuke part of you. Don’t nuke part of you. You’d end up looking kind of crispy and weird.

  93. Jenny, please don’t delete this post. Many of us have demons inside us. None of us will admit to it. It makes us more imperfect that we already know we are so we pretend, we hide, we marginalize it, we manage. You will go trough it this time and the next time. Keep this post up, if not for you then for others who share your torment. xoxoxo
    .-= Joanna´s last blog ..jtrzpis: RT @Greeblemonkey The New Golden Rules of Twitter from @waynesutton http://bit.ly/4FS3T =-.

  94. Jenny,

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a week now and you’ve made me laugh so hard and marvel at how hilarious and brilliant you are. In posting this, you’ve truly earned my respect. Thank you for describing something so personal- I dated someone who could not find these words to tell me and I vainly struggled to “fix” the problems, fix him. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe him, I just didn’t get it- how things could seem wrong even when everything was right.

    For the first time, I have a slight grasp on that, so please, for everyone out here that struggles to find the words, or explain that they could just use support and not a quick fix, leave this post up. Even if it is uncharacteristic of you. You’re readers love all your facets- even your “crazy” ones.

    Christine
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..Daily Dish: Magazines want you to overreact =-.

  95. Ok – if you ever get “normal” I’ll stop reading you immediately. Normal is boring.

    I do hope you’re feeling better – or that you will soon.

    You’ll be back to you again soon. :)
    .-= ShredderFeeder´s last blog ..For @bwlight: On being the token white-guy. =-.

  96. No one that loves you would give up on you. Don’t worry, you’re in good hands.

  97. Quoting zenmomma: “the very thing that makes us brilliant can also make us nuts.” This is the utter unvarnished and unromantized truth. Every gifted comedian has a very dark side. I don’t consider myself gifted, but I laugh a lot. Jenny, you are truly gifted. That you will share the dark side makes you . . . something that can be purchased only at specialty outlets or Trader Joe’s? Nah, it makes you precious. Thank you.
    .-= feralchick´s last blog ..feralchick: Not sure which, but something is seriously wrong or seriously right when one’s predominant food craving is roasted buckwheat. . . . =-.

  98. 99
    a_wyrd_sister

    I think you’re a fantastic person (one of my favorite!) and this is not something that you should blame on yourself (easier said than done I know). Don’t let this thing diminish what a brilliant person you are in your own eyes. I can’t pretend to know what it feels like, but I can tell you you’re not alone. You have a large audience that adores you, don’t be afraid to share this. If you need us, we’ll come running. Don’t ever give up.

  99. I know EXACTLY how that feels. You described it so perfectly and I hope it will help those who don’t suffer like we do “get it” even just a little. It’s not our choice, it’s not for attention, it’s the way we are wired and it sucks ass.

    Hang in there chickadee, you are not alone even though it sure as hell feels like it sometimes.

    Hugs,
    Kate

  100. Please don’t take this post down. It’s true, it’s you, good and the bad. The Internet loves you, and we won’t give up on you.

    I have walked in those heavy shoes.

  101. Don’t take it down, Jenny.

    Please, please don’t take it down.

    Every side of you is worth sharing, and this post is where you opened up your mouth, unafraid of what would come out and not a single one of us is backing away.

    Tons of love to you.

    Lotus
    .-= Sarcastic Mom´s last blog ..Weekly Winners, Sept 27 – Oct 3 =-.

  102. 103
    Gavin Johnson

    I can sympathize. I don’t have anxiety attacks, but I deal with the same depression a couple of times every year. Every time it lasts a week or two. I’ve never noticed the vision thing, but I’ll pay attention next time. I have no affirmations, no words to make you feel better. It sucks every time. I wouldn’t call it suffering, because I don’t feel that the word fully describes it. I’ve never been able to explain it, but I know it’s horrible. When it happens to me, my whole attitude changes. I get angry about the most senseless things, my body hurts in ways that it shouldn’t, it’s just all sorts of terrible. You can take refuge in at least one thing. At least you can admit your “Mental Illness.” There are so many people out there that go through the same thing but won’t admit that something is wrong. It takes a lot more guts to admit something like that than it does to deny it for whatever faulty reasoning one can come up with. So good luck over the next few weeks.

    By the way, you are nowhere near the worst blogger ever. You are the only blog that I follow on a regular basis, because you are funny as hell.

  103. You pretty much described my depressions and panic attacks to a tee. I have recently learned that an “agitated depression” is like with all the symptoms of clinical depression and then panic symptoms on top of them, and maybe a little hypomanic for flavor. My latest med is the mood stabilizer Lamictal. It kept me really really normal for 5 months, and then a panic attack slipped through.

  104. This is beautiful and perfect, and I love that this is you too. I love that this is the same person I read every day who makes me laugh my fucking face off. I am like you. I take the same drugs as you. I am (brilliant and amazing and) forever broken. But there is nothing wrong with broken. All the best people are broken. You can’t be an interesting person and not be broken somehow anyway. Broken is perfect.
    .-= Alicia @ bethsix´s last blog ..Weekly WrapUp: October 4, 2009 =-.

  105. I know I’m nobody to you, but I will be pissed if you take this down. You have nothing to apologize for. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. You have nothing to mock yourself about. You have every right to scream. I’m so glad you have drugs that help you. I hope you can always get to them in time so you can avoid the feeling of simultaneously burning and drowning.

    You’re not broken. I think broken is when people are experiencing this, yet are in denial about what’s going on and refuse to seek help. You are the epitome of accepting who you are…anxiety, depression, meds, and all. I hope the only change you ever make is telling this monster to fuck off.

    Your best posts are the ones where you show your vulnerable side, whether it’s about your love for Hailey and learning to close your eyes more often or about how this depression just grips you and won’t let go. I hope it lets go.

  106. I love you.
    .-= Lynn @ Walking With Scissors´s last blog ..A Fish Out of Water =-.

  107. Wow. I was crying halfway through because you summed up my “blackness” so beautifully. I know it’s different for everyone, but your experience sounds so much like mine. And I honestly can’t understand my husband’s patience, and too worry that any day now will be THE day when enough is enough. God, I wish I had that choice. The choice to just leave it and myself all behind. I feel like a freak, like I’m living two lives–one that most everyone on the outside sees, and one that I endure inside my body. Because like you, it’s not just in my head. I have physical manifestations of my illness that effect my entire body. And I’ve seen SOOO many doctors, that I just don’t know what to do anymore. I know my triggers. I always have two specific pills with me, and I feel like a failure because I simply cannot do or live the same way that others do. I have two kids and we have an au-pair so that I can be around them without going into panic attacks. I can only be around them for certain lengths at a time before I need a “time-out” and retreat to someplace quiet or safe. My mother abandoned my brothers and I at a young age and ever since that time I swore I would always be there for my children. That I would spend time with them, and love them, and be around when they needed me. Having to need someone around so that I can be around them? Yeah, it kills me. I feel like a total failure.

    I understand the ball. I understand the need to flee. Gosh, I just understand. I’m an accomplished person and have a lot to be proud of in my life. But most of the time all I feel is shame. I’m a professional violinst, professional dancer, writer, mother, and wife. And yet somehow I let my sickness define who I am so much of the time.

    I know this must have been incredibly difficult to write, but thank you for doing so. Whenever I find another “kindred soul in hell” I am reminded that I am not alone, and that you can be amazing (you) and battle with mental disorders.

    You’re great. What strength you have to be so open with your fight. It helps us all.

  108. I love your funny. I love you much, much more for the honesty. You are amazing and talented and an absolute joy, and while I don’t know this particular burden firsthand I know the courage it took to write about it.

    I read something once: you are only as sick as your secrets. I like to think that in telling, in writing it for other people to see, it loses its power over you, just a bit. And you’re helping so many people who deal with the same problems.

    *fist bump*

  109. As someone else who also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks and depression…I understand. And like you, I welcome the depression almost with open arms and a smile- it is familiar to me, I know the symptoms, and I know it will go away. It’s like a sad old familiar friend, that depression.

    The panic attacks, though, they’re something else. You knocked the breath out of me when you said, “I know there’s nothing to panic about. And that’s exactly what makes it so much worse.” because that IS it in a nutshell. My panic attacks happen, there is nothing I can do to make them NOT happen, and I have no idea when they WILL happen. Panic attacks aren’t any sort of friend, and that’s what makes them suck so hard.
    .-= Chloe´s last blog ..Happy Anniversary (& A Giveaway!) =-.

  110. You are SO not alone in this. I’ve completely been there. I could have written this post. Sometimes my anxiety is triggered by something, like flying or a news article…but sometimes it just sneaks up on me with no explanation at all. Thank God for Xanax because if I didn’t have it, there are days that I swear I wouldn’t make it. That is the absolute worst feeling I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I can’t even tell you how much I could have written those words myself…just not so artfully. I also wonder if my husband may give up on me or get sick of it all.

    This summer, I had to be packed up and sent to stay with my mom for a month and my daughter was sent to stay with some of our family for 2 1/2 weeks while I “recovered” because I basically had a complete breakdown and felt like I was in a black hole. Just remember…we are the lucky ones. Yes, we suffer from this, but our lives are filled with people that love us and want to see us happy and well. Some people are in this battle all on their own.

    I also wanted to comment on your peripheral vision thing. Is that just from the anxiety or something? I’m asking because I have Intracranial Hypertension and that is one of my biggest symptoms…tunnel vision, loss of peripheral vision…amongst other things.

    Take care.

    ? Antoinette
    http://innermedley.blogspot.com
    .-= Antoinette´s last blog ..Cuddle-worthy or Barftastic? You be the judge… =-.

  111. And I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with this. You’re right- you usually don’t do serious posts, but that’s okay. I like the serious side of you just as much as I like the funny side of you. ;)
    .-= Chloe´s last blog ..Happy Anniversary (& A Giveaway!) =-.

  112. Thank you for posting this – you rock so hard. I have fought to keep the depression demons down my entire life, and baring my soul the way you just did scares the bejesus out of me. I am so sorry you are hurting. Bravo to you for writing about it. And bravo to Victor for loving you unconditionally.

  113. I’ve only experienced once a panic attack as major as what you describe.

    It was at a viewing for my then fiances, now husbands, grandmother. I’d never liked funerals, the dead bodies meaning nothing to me compared to the souls that housed them. My parents always kept me at the back away from the coffin, but this time they weren’t there, this time everyone was right by the body, and I hated it. I began to tunnel, huddling into my own body, hoping it would swallow itself up and take my mind with it and away from this rigid, cold flesh. I hardly heard a word, and my fiance knew I wasn’t well, so he was able to get me out as soon as it was ‘appropriate’. I began to shake, and the farther we got from the body the worse it became until I was finally in full psuedo seizure mode. My whole body flushed, I couldn’t speak, I was in danger of breaking bones and it took hours and a shot of something that didn’t work to try to relax my muscles and calm me down. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning after almost 12 of them shaking, my muscles tired themselves out, and I lay there in that hospital room, staring at the wall, unseeing.

    And thats when I broke.

    I had to quit my job as a tour guide because at times, I could barely finish my sentence and I’d race to a place to hide. I had to drop out of college because my mind began racing and I couldn’t concentrate and my grades plummeted. I’d had mild depression before, but after that night it took over me. I became irrational, hateful, and so so sad. I began cutting, taking medications to sleep for the days I couldn’t and then sleeping for days afterward. I just made it through my wedding with prescription bummed from a friend. It got so bad I was admitted into acute psychiatric care three times in as many months.

    After being diagnosed with Bipolar and given a slew of medications, it only got worse. As it turns out, I’m freaking ADHD, with maybe a touch of Bipolar. The depression has gotten better, as has the concentration, though the meds wear off halfway through the day or sometimes don’t work at all. But I’ve since developed a social phobia, from the shit my friends who dumped me, my parents, even my coworkers and bosses put me through, telling me I’m being dramatic, stupid, this illness doesn’t exist. I can’t work and I get shaky at the thought of going back to school, though I miss it. I write my stories and blog and stay in my home for days at a time. I only go out for something to eat if I absolutely want to or have to, and then it takes me hours to get up the nerve.

    I know what you go through, even if its just a very small piece of it. People love you (us…) when we say or do funny shit, but when it comes to the dark stuff, the painful stuff, the normal ones just don’t know. And they never will understand our fears, because sometimes we don’t either. I see the hurt and confusion in my husbands eyes when I get bad, when I want him to hold me one moment only to get disgusted with myself the next and shove him away. But he tries, so hard, the most patient man I’ve ever known. I wonder, just as you do, when he’ll give up on me, when I’ll go through completely with the half-assed attempts of giving up on myself.

    And even knowing others who go through what we do, we all go through it differently, and so we’ll never, truly and completely, understand what each of us goes through. But at least we know we aren’t entirely alone.
    .-= Brittany Landgrebe´s last blog ..NaNoWriMo – I Will Pwn or be Pwned =-.

  114. Wow. I’ve never heard anyone describe what it’s like and really felt like they understood. Thank you for this post. One of the worst parts about the panic attacks is the isolation. Knowing that people want to understand is a good feeling, but the loneliness of not being able to connect with them about it is horrible.

    When people find out, my favorite is this gem: “Maybe it’s all in your head.”

    Gee, thanks Einstein. Next time I’ll just make it stop then.

  115. “I nod and try to smile apologetically and roll my eyes at myself in mock-derision so I won’t have to talk. ”
    I haven’t read any of the other posts. I don’t think that I will. I have been right there, too. Hang on. I did drugs, talk therapy, xanax – it has gotten better – hang on.
    My worst was driving. I’d constantly want to veer to the shoulder – sure at any time I would just fly off the road. If I wasn’t in the car and it hit when I was on foot – I was sure that gravity was going to fail me and I was going to fly off the planet.
    My longest panic attack was 8 hours, of pacing and indecision. I wanted to go to the hospital but couldn’t get in a car and was sure it wasn’t bad enough to warrant an ambulance ride. I walked in and out of the house for 8 hours, 8 fucking hours of uncontrolled vacillation until my adrenals slowed down enough that I could sit in the car for the 20 minute drive to the ER, rocking and shaking. SURE I WAS GOING TO DIE. I didn’t, they gave me something akin to Spanish Fly (no shit) and I went home and slept.
    That was almost 20 years ago. Knocking on wood. It’s been a long time since I’ve even had a hint of something like that coming on again. I hope one day you can say the same. Hugs and good thoughts sent your way.

  116. Jenny, when the time is right, you will visit this page and be reminded that many, many people are pulling for you. Some of us have dealt with anxiety and depression, and some have not, but all will have been touched by your candor and the vivid descriptions within your writing. It’s impossible to read this and not have been affected. Know that even while you’re struggling, your words have helped others. I hope it passes soon…
    .-= Melody´s last blog ..Nags Head Sea Oats =-.

  117. I always hoped for normal, like it would be something that would erase all of the times that I had to run, that I wanted to die, that I just shut the fuck down.

    It hasn’t happened yet. But I have to say that a fucking ton of people who are pretty amazing have also not given up on me. I have friends and a loved one who love the shit out of me, who refuse to let me believe that I don’t matter because I’m broken. And even when I want to give up on me, because the anxiety for me is worse than the depression, too, they won’t let me.

    For whatever reason, it seems like people with anxiety manage to find the people who love us including the parts of us that are broken.

    I’m broken, more than a little. But I’m still me broken. And there seem to be some people who love that girl, fractures and all. i think you have those people, too.
    .-= Krista Lin´s last blog ..Learning new patterns =-.

  118. I won’t even try to compare myself to you except to say that I have my times when I’m depressed for no reason and I can’t bring myself out for days as well and I often wonder if my boyfriend will ever give up on me, too. I don’t know exactly what you’re feeling and I wouldn’t pretend to know, but I do know how it feels to not be sure if that one person will stick around through all the crazy, to wonder if they can take it and not give up on you. I only wanted you to know that, if it makes you feel better at all, it’s good to me to know that I’m not the only one who wonders about those kinds of things. And you’re extremely brave to deal with everything the way you do. I admire you for making people laugh despite your own pain.

    You’re pretty much amazing. :-)
    .-= Mistress of Snark´s last blog ..I’m almost positive that if I got Brad Pitt in on this action, the fleas would flee on their own. No one wants anything but a loving caress from Brad. =-.

  119. Thank you, thank you and thank you for writing this. I know you’ve heard me talk about my rabbit hole and the struggle to get out and sometimes the struggle is impossible. Other times I’m lucky enough to claw my way to the top and inhale the fresh air around the edges of the hole and let the light fall over me and drench me.

    I can’t even begin to give voice to the near-paralyzing panic attacks that leaving the house causes, and how having to interact with other people makes my skin crawl with a sinking dread that is utterly impossible to describe. However, somehow you’ve managed to do just that.

    You’ve reached out to me on Twitter before and maybe you’ll never know how much I appreciate that. But I’m letting you know now that I appreciate seeing this other, raw, side of you. It makes me feel a little less like a freak and a little more hopeful that I’ll find my way back to “normal.” I hope, on my journey, that our paths cross.
    .-= Audrey at Barking Mad´s last blog ..Quote of the Day – Some People Never Learn =-.

  120. giant squeezy hug.
    .-= Stone Fox´s last blog ..A Letter to My Brother =-.

  121. I’ve been fighting with my own depression and anxiety for several weeks now–I have major crying spells, can’t make myself get up to get such basic things as food sometimes, and have to take xanax to stop shaking sometimes. It should pass in a few weeks for me–this is the worst I’ve been in years–but I SO much appreciate people like you who are willing to put it out there and share your struggles with the world. It reminds those of us who sit in our offices, alone, fighting our own brain, that we are not actually alone. There have been so many times that your posts make me laugh when very little else does. Thank you for that. And thank you for sharing. I hope you don’t delete this post, because to me it is actually quite positive–you keep fighting. Sometimes that’s all you can do. So keep at it, Jenny.

  122. anxiety disorders are more common than you’d think… you’re not broken

  123. This serious post was beautiful. You spoke such truth and connected with the lives of others, including mine.
    You’re not alone, and you let us know that we are not alone.
    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability.
    You are wonderful :)
    .-= inspirEd23´s last blog ..This is me. =-.

  124. I’m not going to try to sway you either way to keep or delete this post because I know that during my struggle with mental illness, the last thing I wanted to hear was advice from someone. However, I did want to comment and thank you for all your writing. All of it.
    .-= Brent´s last blog .. =-.

  125. *hug* we love you here :) just remember that, k?
    .-= Taylor´s last blog ..Weekend Recap: Roughest Sex I’ve Ever Had… =-.

  126. Ug! I just wrote the longest comment only to have it be erased…
    The gist: THANK YOU for writing so honestly. I too have had trouble with depression and it is one of those things that people just don’t “get” unless they’ve been there. But posts like this really help! The honesty helps! Knowing that people that are super cool and brilliant don’t always feel super cool makes me feel more connected. THank you for this post and also for the other thousand that have made me laugh till I cried. You really offer the world a lot.

  127. to my fellow sister in the dark fog: hang tight, just a little longer. i understand completely how you feel, no, i don’t i guess. i understand completely how I feel in the same situation and it’s suck-o central.

    i love you and am sending happy kitten filled thoughts to texas right now.

    xo

    allison
    .-= Allison´s last blog ..let’s clear a few things up. =-.

  128. I don’t understand. Thank you for stating that. But that doesn’t change the fact that I want to. My sister has been wrestling with a mental illness for years and sometimes I’d like to switch places with her so I don’t have to be the douche that says the stupid stuff (like you mention). Usually I just do the even more douchy thing of just saying nothing. Or trying to be “normal” and do “normal” stuff. But that feels a lot like ignoring the elephant in the room (for the record, I’d also like to switch places so *she* doesn’t have to deal with it – I’m not THAT big a douche).

    I don’t understand. Is it enough to accept? (It doesn’t feel like enough, so I keep doing the douchy stuff. She humours me.) If it is enough to accept, it is enough that YOU accept? That is, maybe one thing you could control is releasing your concern for what others think. See? I’m totally proving I don’t have a hot clue. I’m sorry.
    .-= harmzie´s last blog ..You say it’s your birfday… =-.

  129. freaking awesome that you posted this, and I thank you for speaking your truth. and it’s so good that you did this b/c someone read it who needed to read it. and we love you.
    .-= Elizabeth Potts Weinstein´s last blog ..Resistance Is Not Futile =-.

  130. Thank you for sharing. I wish I could say it gets better, but it doesn’t. Just stick with your intuition and your gut and do what is best for you when you have an episode. Your loved ones won’t leave you. Even if you decide that you aren’t worth it anymore, the people who care about you won’t let that be an option.

    Keep your meds near you and within reach at all times, and know that you are not alone in your battle.

    Thank you for letting so many others know that they are not abnormal.
    .-= Houstonblogger´s last blog ..Guest Blogger, Mitch Cohen on First Saturday Arts Market!!! =-.

  131. (Do you even read down this far?)
    Please don’t delete this entry, it’s fantastic. Who said you had to be straight comedy, anyway? Seriously, this genuinely helped me understand people with depression. Thanks.

  132. Oh, shit, one more thing: NO day will you EVER be normal. Thanks be to Jesus for that.

  133. me too. mine’s heavier on the depression hole and lighter on the anxiety than you describe, but yeah, that. I’m in kind of awe that you kick so much ass while having the same kind of crazies I have

  134. We love you!!! Hang in there. Depression/anxiety/panic attacks are so difficult. So hard for people who haven’t experienced these issues to understand!
    .-= Gabrielle Valentine´s last blog ..This Is SO Frustrating. And It Gets Worse As I Get Older! =-.

  135. Harmzie ~ I think everyone is different and your sister is lucky to have someone who cares enough to give her what she needs. Personally I need people to treat me like I’m normal even when it’s happening. Acknowledging that they know I’m broken but that they’re okay with it and don’t see it as a something frightening is the best gift I’ve ever been given by people who’ve witnessed the attacks. I mainly feel bad that they have to see it so anything you can do to make her feel less self-conscious about it is huge.

    Thank you. And thank you to everyone who shared with me tonight. I feel so much less alone.

    Thank you.

  136. Thank you for writing this.

    You are not alone… and because of your sharing, your eloquence, and your strength… and your ability to put yourself out there and share yourself with the world through your blog, I know that I am not alone either.

    And it’s okay that neither of us are “normal”.

    xoxoxox

  137. Please don’t delete it! Please, please! Thank you for being just as honest as you are charming and funny. I understand awful. I’m so sorry it’s awful for you.
    .-= Heidi´s last blog ..Prediction =-.

  138. You are not alone…I know that doesn’t help but hopefully you find strength in that. Hang on it will pass and Victor will be there to guide you home after all he is your GPS. You are brave to bare your soul, but don’t ever be embarrassed cause we all have issues and no one is here to judge. Hugs to you and happy Monday!

  139. you fucking rock

  140. Wow… that was powerful. I’m one of those ‘everyone else who suffers from this’ and those last two lines really hit home with me. I feel the same way – I’m normal most of the time, but for when I’m not I always wonder how many more times I can do this to the people I love before they leave.

    Keep hanging in through the tough times to get to the best ones.
    .-= Kaylin´s last blog ..SLIS Roundup – Week 5 =-.

  141. If it matters… I won’t give up on you.
    <3
    .-= Sugar Jones´s last blog ..Getting Your Joy Back =-.

  142. I think your reactions make a lot of sense. It’s hard to feel bad, and it’s hard to figure out how to include, disclude or hide aching or anxious feelings during interactions with other people. There’s a rough process of negotiation: what do I show? What’s fair to call attention to? What can I quarantine and hide? Where can I assume the fetal position?

    That said, I think the existence of these processes of negotiation is actually heartening. It means that people are bigger, better than they may sometimes appear. People are processing and strategizing at the bus stop, while wiping their fingers across their lips, after laughing too loudly. Acknowledging that provides a good way to empathize and care about all these fools around you, because you can assume that something meaningful is happening with them, even if it is something small, even if it’s something melodramatic and indulgent, even if it’s only internal and hidden.

    These secret lives are something that many people have in common. I’m impressed and hopeful about that. I think it means that we don’t have to (and probably can’t) understand someone in order to care deeply and meaningfully about them. In fact, the act of accepting some level of ignorance, of incomprehensibility, can allow for respect, interest, and affection.

  143. I love your blog, and I truly do believe that you are a beautiful person. Even more so for sharing this. I’ve suffered from depression on and off as far back as I can remember, it’s not easy and there’s nothing so horrifying as feeling helpless to control your own emotions, your own body. Perhaps the only thing that can rival it is realizing that some part of you will always be a little bit broken.

    Once again, you’re not alone.
    .-= Kaylynn´s last blog ..Requiem of the Tide =-.

  144. There’s no guarantee that this won’t break your relationship…but there’s no guarantee on ANYTHING. And the fact that he is trying, in his way, to understand and help shows that he LOVES YOU. And some things just can’t be really understood unless you’ve gone through them – like pregnancy. And yet our husbands stand with us and offer their support and strength and beingness, even though they have no real concept of what is going on.

    And while I’ve never been clinically depressed, I spent much of my childhood wishing my parents had had an abortion. I didn’t just want to die, I didn’t even want to exist. I’m 27 years old now, and I’ve spent 33% of my life on AWESOME. But that doesn’t change the fact that 66% of my life was spent in the dark.

    I take great comfort knowing that the older I get, the smaller that number will be.

    Yes, you are going through a majorly rough period and, yes, it can even effect your marriage. But the longer you are married, the greater the percentage of badassicalness versus the deep tunnel! You’re dynamic and silly and funny and crazy. And yes, you have this dark thing that eats you from the inside out. But you also have what millions of people spend their entire lives searching for.

    Your beloved and your voice.

    P.S. {HUG}{HUG}{HUG}{HUG} You’re beautiful!
    .-= Hayden Tompkins´s last blog ..The Magic of Having Your Own Transformers =-.

  145. Jenny, it is so good that you put this up. It always makes people feel better when we open up about our imperfections and problems. Everyone has their own pile of crap to deal with in this life. You are not alone and now others know that they aren’t alone either. And you are awesome!
    .-= Donna ´s last blog ..Memories =-.

  146. Babe. You are as normal as anyone else. These things are not things that make you less than. You are a beautiful, normal, functioning person. I promise. You are.
    .-= flutter´s last blog ..Forgiveness =-.

  147. Just want to let you know that what you have described is very real. Im an unmedicated manic depressant who’s often on a self righteous or self loathing (but more often financial) path of self destruction. Taking anything (for me) does more harm than good- whether its Zyprexa, lithium, birth control, or anti depressants- but everyone knows whats best for them and approaches it differently. What matters is that you have found someone who understands this. Someone who understands you- who understands the nature of your beast and +1. If he’s with you now and loves you none-the-less for it, tries even if he doesn’t REALLY understand, and is there to stick it out with ya- you have nothing to worry about. Doubting this and giving into the distrust and paranoia only leads to the realization of your biggest fear.

    But on a lighter note- you give people like me hope. Im 22, have dated 20+ guys, and was just given up on by my best friend and the only man I have ever been with longer than 8 months who attempted to play the game and understand. Maybe I’ll find one who has enough room in his heart for 2 like you =). Thanks for putting this out there.
    Ps. your one tough bitch. keep it up.
    ~Katie
    .-= katie M.´s last blog ..Vforveggicide: got to be so you didn’t careif you were leaving or lovingoh, what you wereand what you were becoming-[and oh the mangled mess you are] =-.

  148. usually i try to be all witty when i leave a comment on your blog because i want you to be my friend.

    in a totally NOT irl way.

    there is no such thing as normal, there is only individual beauty.

    each day i move closer to not being ashamed of dealing with a mental illness. i also wonder if the day will ever come that i will be able to share this without feeling as though i’ve just shown someone my third nipple.

    whatever.

    i had no idea, and was in disgusting denial, to the fact that i was living with depression and anxiety for years.

    years.

    now i embrace the nausea, dizziness, irritability, inability to settle, the squeeze of panic surrounding my chest, wanting to run anywhere i can be alone, holding in screams, trying to calm the shakes, jumping out of my skin at the sound of a pin drop…i could go on and on…i embrace it because there is no other choice. so i deal as best i can.

    so you are never going to be alone. you are much too loved.

    plus, your breasts are made of awesome.

    andrea…medicated since 2008…and beyond.
    .-= andy´s last blog ..today is a good day for love and happy shit because there is way too much evil around us and that freaks me out. so go lick someone you love. =-.

  149. No one is giving up on anyone in this house, young lady. /”mom mode”

    It’s a struggle; I hope this one passes quickly. Take care of yourself. (um, I guess I actually can’t turn off the mom mode anymore…)

  150. Oh my God. My depression is not exactly the same but the anxiety I experience on a regular basis is very very similar to what you described. The build-up, the shortness of breath, the nausea, the need to flee (and the fact that I can’t escape myself), the muscle tension. I don’t take medication for it yet but I actually have an appointment tomorrow to talk to someone about that.
    I don’t have any encouraging words but thank you for posting this. There is something validating about hearing someone else talk about their crap and realizing it’s the same crap you go through.
    .-= seven´s last blog ..ohmyseven: @Gexe Say hello to my brother for me. :) =-.

  151. I had my first panic attack ever during sex with my ex-husband ( should have told me everything right there! ) and I swore someone had died, then that someone had broken in and on and on it went with the most horrible horrifying make-you-scream-out-from-your-soul things my evil treacherous mind could come up with. When I have them now, I want to scream sounds I didn’t know my body could make. I want to projectile vomit the likes of which would make the girl from Exorcist envious. My vicious evil little brain tells me things that make me cry in a ball because whenever I tell myself they’re not real, my brain yells even more hideous things even louder until I admit defeat. I am beaten, broken and wrung out like nasty old socks. Don’t give up. You’re not alone even if it feels like it. And it does. And eventually *I’mtotallywaitingGodsohurrythefuckup* they’ll find a cure for people like us that doesn’t leave us mute vegetables drooling into our own Cheerios. Blessings lady. Blessings and deep breaths. Living is still worth it.
    .-= Aria’z Ink´s last blog ..You Get A Two-fer LMFAO Friday Because I’m Totally A Thief Too =-.

  152. There’s a stigma to having depression. As a grown man, I hear it all the time. Fuck the non-depressed. Misery keeps me grounded and happy.

  153. I have been in your shoes. Or, you know, in shoes that are similarly messed up from time to time, to really mangle the metaphor. I’m grateful for the family and friends who understand, or who at least try to. I’m grateful for medications that help. And I’m grateful for people like you, who discuss these things publicly, and who help me remember that I’m not alone. I’m sure I’m not the only person who cried while reading this because she saw herself in your words. I know I’m not the only person who’s grateful you wrote them.
    .-= Jools´s last blog ..Stationery junkies, take note =-.

  154. I wish there was a good answer to all this, not just for you, but for me, too.

    Reading your description of the anxiety disorder, sounds terrible and yet, I often find myself thinking things like, “She’s got it easier”… I’ve lived most of my life with Clinical Depression. Not just depressive episodes, though I’ve had those too (terrifying) but Dysthimia, the on-going, “low-grade” depression that never seems to go away. Medication doesn’t really hep. While what you go through sounds tremendously painful, I can’t help but wonder how much better off you are, that the depression is intermittent and the anxiety can be medicated.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know this is not a competition. I know what each of us deals with is terrible…

    You’re very lucky to have Victor in your life, someone who cares for you and understands (as best as someone who doesn’t experience it can) The last two sentences of your post really resonate with me, as I had that very conversation with my therapist, last session.

    It’s just too hard, and it’s so unfair!
    .-= Kevin´s last blog ..No Rest for the Weary =-.

  155. i don’t have the depression but I have the panic attacks. I am pretty good at controlling them now, it isn’t easy, especially at work when I am serving customers. I am worried how my partner would treat me if he saw me actually have one. I haven’t let him see me have one yet…I go to the bathroom or start doing things that I can focus on to control the breathing and the shaking. Many times he has worried that I am angry because I am rushing around breathing heavy and doing the washing at 10pm at night. I really think he would understand, yet I am worried he wouldn’t and I would lose what I have finally found. There is nothing worse than having no control over your damn mind and body tho. Love to you xx
    .-= The Tall Redhead´s last blog ..Interesting!! =-.

  156. This is my first taste of your blog. And I completely understand. I call it the black hole.

    I’m in deeper than I’ve ever been before. I will be in hospital by the end of the week, I’ve no doubt.

    So. You’re not alone. You have more than 150 comments, clearly a lot of people care about you. But i know how alone you’re feeling right now.

    I hope, hope, hope that someone helps you climb back out.

    You’ll be in my thoughts as we do this together.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..I can speak Sam =-.

  157. I’m totally grateful for your humor and sharing your ups and downs with us, though they’re of course a lot higher and lower than that sounds like.

    I heard a woman say something like, if a guy doesn’t think that David Sedaris is our greatest satirist, then he’s not the guy for her. You completely pwn David Sedaris, in my humble opinion. Which I guess is why I’m still single. Gee, thanks.

  158. I hope you always have someone to keep you company on your way to the drug store. To hold the bag for you as you walk out. To open the pill bottle and the Dr. Pepper or whatever that shit is that you drink that isn’t Pepsi. To watch you take what you need to take. And then to continue the conversation you were having as though the conversation is what mattered, and not the pills, Dr. Pepper, or depression.
    .-= Backpacking Dad´s last blog ..Cure Juvenile Myositis Day =-.

  159. You just described what happens to me,

  160. I’ve had generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and moderate-to-severe depression for years. I understand.

    And I’ve never read a more honest description of these things. Although when I have a panic attack, I have a ringing in my ears, no tunnel vision. Wanna trade? No? Crap.

    P.S. I will totally understand if you delete this post in the morning, but I really, really hope you don’t.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..cow pie =-.

  161. Trying again. This will be my first comment. (on any blog… EVER) You just described me, down to the panic attacks, and how mortified I am to have them. Thank you. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  162. What can I say? That fucking sucks. I have anxiety, and it fucking sucks too. Panic is the worst – the palpitations, the way it hits you like a truck out of nowhere with no regard for time or place. The irrationality that you have no control over.

    Thank you for putting words to it. I don’t know you, but keep on hanging in there. You make me laugh, which is hard to do. So you MUST be fucking brilliant!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Things that make me question if I am really a dude at heart =-.

  163. jenny,

    right now 152 people have told you how they wish you well, and sent cyber hugs and not to delete this post. kindly let me be 153. i’m lucky that i don’t get panic attacks or depression. my husband gets both. they overwhelm him and absorb him. and he has issues talking about it. so your post kinda lets me see into his world. and i thank you for that. in november we’ll be together for 9 years, and in 9 years i haven’t given up on him even when i don’t understand it at all. please don’t give up on yourself. if you did, my dreams of one day buying you a beer will be crushed. and i’m selfish enough to be kinda bummed about that. and then the cycle would be started. i’d start to get depressed and write about it and someone would want to buy me a beer, but i’d give up and then they’d be crushed. and then the cycle would continue. and jesus. that’s a lot of responsibility to have. no wonder you get panic attacks. <3
    .-= jen lovely´s last blog ..I Can Finally Finish The Story =-.

  164. I started reading all the comments that everyone left you, but decided to skip over them. I’m afraid that if I read them, I’ll get intimidated by the “every one has said everything I want to say, I’ll just skip it” thing I do sometimes, and I don’t want to do that.

    I also have the depression and the anxiety attacks, so I get where you’re coming from, but not to that extent. Also I’m too scared to go get medication, so I think that technically makes me a dumbass.

    Hold on, I left a point around here somewhere….

    We love and adore you, Jenny. We love you, yes, because you entertain us and make us laugh, but we also love you because you’re honest and real and we love your flaws, and we love you BECAUSE of them and not in spite of them. You don’t water yourself down when you’re being funny, don’t water yourself down when you have bad days too. We’ll still love you anyway.

    I vote you leave this up. I blog a bunch, and when I write one that is, in my mind, more serious than funny, I want to delete it. Because I think if someone comes across it and has never read anything I’ve written before, they’ll think I complain and write nothing but emo woe is me-ness whilst listening to The Cure in a dark basement. I curse the day I ever heard the phrase “You’re only as good as your last entry.” Because, seriously, fuck those guys.

  165. When I was growing up, my brother suffered from SEVERE mental health issues. As a teenager, he was in hospital several times and as an adult it was a LOOONNGG road to what now appears to be recovery. I could never understand what his problem was.

    3 years ago I was struck with the great big baseball bat of depression. And then I got it, I started to understand what my brother went through. And he had it worse than me. Holy. Crap.

    Victor will be with you no matter what, that’s the deal he made. It’s the same deal my husband made. Sometimes he’s not so sure the deal is a good one, but then I come right again and the deal looks like a great one. That’s life – isn’t it? Ups and downs, and never predictable as to which one’s next.
    .-= bea´s last blog ..Mighty Life List =-.

  166. 167
    justlikeanovel

    This is my first time reading your blog, and I must say I relate to so much to everything you’re going through. I have had my own bouts of panic attacks, not as severe as yours, but currently fighting off with all my might a case of what could turn into depression. Thank you for sharing, thank you for exposing yourself raw to the many people that read your blog, and I look forward to making your blog into my next reading addiction.

  167. I always knew I wasn’t alone…but I had honestly never met anyone who had the panic attacks that described them so much like what I experience. I feel for you! Thought there is a little relief knowing it’s not just me…

    Hang in there…someone in crazy So Cal knows just how you feel.

  168. I don’t even remember a time when I didn’t have anxiety issues. I often wonder how “normal” people feel. Even with medication I don’t know what it feels like to be totally relaxed. Although I’ve only had one panic attack, at the scene of an accident, I live in constant fear that it will happen again, I fear nothing more than that loss of control. I don’t talk about it, so the people in my life don’t understand. It’s nice to know that there are people who do.

    Thank you for posting this.

  169. I get the depression, and thankfully only mild anxiety. When you’re in the black hole of depression (I call mine the Jenny-pit, or just say I have mind-AIDS again), it’s near-impossible to get your head around the fact that other people care about you. I am utterly convinced that if I try to talk to any of my closest friends or family about how I’m feeling, they’re going to get irritated with me. I came close to suicide while my best friend was in the next room and I couldn’t tell her that I felt broken inside. I KNEW that she would roll her eyes at me, sigh, and have that “why can’t you just get over yourself” tone in her voice. Well, in reality, she would have been amazing, but I couldn’t see it at the time.

    I haven’t had an episode in almost a year. I’m not sure if this is the light at the end of the tunnel, or if it’s only a matter of time. I’ve found counselling has done more for me than medication. I know now that if it happens, there is an end in sight, and I have some knowledge as to WHY it happens. It doesn’t stop it happening, but it does help me recognise it for what it is and to better cope with it.

    So many of us fall into the hole of depression… if only it was the same place. Then it could be an exclusive club, and we could have music and cake, and big squashy cushions to lie on, and have some company until it passed.

  170. Do NOT delete this post! I got chills when I read you describe the tunnel vision of depression since I’ve heard that from so many other people. I don’t get the tunnel vision, but I do get incredibly sleepy and lethargic.
    Posts like this help all of us to understand what those who have severe depression and anxiety attacks go through, and because of that we can take whatever steps we can to be supportive and helpful.
    Hell, if you and I ever wind up at a dinner party together, and you need to crawl under the table, give me a sign and I’ll get under there with you. It’ll be like the Fortress of Solitude, and we’ll make plans on how we’re going to punch Lex Luthor in the face if he gets up to any shenanigans. Also, we can tie everyone else’s sholaces together! ;)
    .-= Thunderhowl´s last blog ..Thunderhowl: I get to feed starving people AND find out how bad my grammar is. *headdesk*It’s both uplifting and a kick in the junk! =-.

  171. we sound like sisters…
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Just trying to listen… =-.

  172. I love your blog. I’ve been reading it for ages and you are a freaking goddess and have a wicked sense of humour. And even goddesses get anxiety and depressed. Don’t delete this post. You’ve got nothing to be embarrassed about.

    As you’d know, rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune problem and the immune system interacts with the neurological system which the darn doctors don’t even seem to consider. I have some ick auto-immune problems and can be really sensitive to food or drink, etc. For years I’d wonder what was wrong because I’d get anxiety which ended up making me feel depressed or my ability to concentrate or speak seemed whacked out. I began to realise it especially happened when I ate or drank things that affected my immune system in other ways or my other symptoms seemed to be worse. I think having an immunological problem makes you more vulnerable to neurological and other effects. The worse substances for me: caffeine, alcohol and gluten. Which totally sucks. The gluten’s not so hard to avoid. The other two – hey, I try. The other thing is hormones. They’re a bitch and can make you feel like the end of the world is nigh. And if you’ve got immunological stuff going on I think hormones are affected too.

    Then there’s life. Hey it can be fantastic but sometimes it can just seem crap.

    The bonus of all this: it can give you a really whacked out wicked sense of humour.

    Take care girl. Warm baths, bergamot aromatherapy, find a door to kick in and get lots of hugs.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Side street hurling =-.

  173. You describe this so well, but I still can’t imagine how it all must feel. However I do understand the pervasiveness of it: how, when it’s happening, EVERYTHING is tainted but you can’t tell until it’s over.

    You’re a fantastic person, as all these comments attest. Victor knows exactly who you are, possibly even more than you do. He’s still here. Try to remember that.
    .-= blueskies´s last blog ..waking in the dark =-.

  174. Um, yes, sounds like me. Especially the anxiety. I’m shocked you enjoy being told to “relax,” though. When I’m having a panic attack, the worst thing someone can tell me is “relax” or “calm down.” Trust me, I wish I could! But it’s impossible – it’s not like I’m working myself up on purpose. Sigh.

    I’m just glad more people are talking about it, so hopefully it’ll lose its stigma someday. Did you read the article in the NYT?
    .-= K @ Blog Goggles´s last blog ..Orange: I give in =-.

  175. From my position, face down in the foxhole, huddling next to you in the dark, also terrified and weeping and fighting the wantneedmust to run out in front of the guns and be done with it… all I can do is offer you my hand, a touchstone in the booming pitch-blackness of the pit, and we can wait together for daylight and a ladder. You are worth that. On your other side is Victor, also silently holding your hand. He’s not in the dark, buried in the pit, but he’s waiting for you to lift your head because for you – for love of you – HIS pit is your non-OK-ness.

    God bless, sister Jenny – squeeze my hand if you need to, there’s a long night ahead.
    .-= EarleyDaysYet´s last blog ..Funny Videos on Funny or Die. Watch funny videos featuring celebrities, comedians and you. =-.

  176. beautiful girl, you described exactly what happened to me the other night.

    Only I didn’t know that is what it was. That was some seriously scary shit.

    The fact that you go through that all the time just makes me more in awe of you.

  177. Everything I could say has already been said (including that), but I wanted to make sure to throw my two cents in and let you know how very much you’re loved and supported.

    – JM, reporting from the hole
    .-= Jaka Merriman´s last blog ..Banned Books Week =-.

  178. I get both depression and anxiety. I’ve read many times they go hand in hand. Lately, I’ve been having episodes myself. Hubby tries to understand too. It sucks. There’s nothing else to say. Hang in there.

  179. I understand…
    .-= Theresa´s last blog ..Well Guess Who Ended Up Going Anyways? =-.

  180. I don’t get the panic attacks but I suffer from depression. Mine tends to be an almost daily battle. Medications have helped ease it a bit but still there are days I have to force myself out of bed. If you’ve never been in a depression you don’t understand. I want to scream when people tell me “just get over it” “just get up and do stuff you’ll feel better” or the best one “there’s nothing to be depressed about”
    Your post is great… don’t remove it. :)
    Hang in there.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..A Few Things I Have Learned This Week =-.

  181. I know this has been said over and over, but I hope you leave the post up. You are an excellent writer and you have provided a valuable service explaining things that other people have probably not been able to explain to their loved ones or even to themselves. And I agree with the commenter who said that no one is normal. I just have to remind myself of that from time to time.
    .-= laanba´s last blog ..Photo Mojo =-.

  182. I hope you’re not striving for normalcy anyway. I would be afraid it would take your neato edge away. Normal is boring. It sounds as if you are dealing with your feelings very responsibly and have learned to recognize that these times pass. Sending good vibes your way.
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..Sunday Stash #9 =-.

  183. Thank you for posting this. It reminded me that I am not alone. I also suffer from anxiety and depression. I’ve never heard the symptoms described so perfectly. It’s terrible and my best buddy and significant other are the two ppl that keep me going. They never give up on me even when I fear that they will.

    Please don’t give up. You’ve touched my heart with this post. I, along with all of the other commenters, am pulling for you and wishing you well.

  184. Hi Jenny ….

    Just my two cents (along with everyone else’s…) – I have those days or weeks…we’ll just call them “bouts” where it feels like there is no place for me…but eventually I realize that if I didn’t feel that way, then I’m either pretending or I’m in denial…two places I’d rather not be. So, even though it feels like it takes a Herculian effort to drag myself out of it, that effort – in the end – always makes me feel more alive.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..tim got his 2 weeks =-.

  185. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
    .-= Nona´s last blog ..The little black dress strategy =-.

  186. He won’t and you can’t! I can’t pretend to understand what an anxiety disorder feels like but I do have friends that live with that illness and others. You aren’t broken honey. You simply have an impairment that you will have to deal with for the rest of your life. It sucks but it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. {{{Hugs}}} Jenny. You are a badass chica and I know many people adore you quirks and all.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..What Not To Wear: Wayne County Fair Edition =-.

  187. Oh, Jenny.
    I am so glad I got to read this, and I hope you don’t delete it.
    I wish I could teleport to your side and give you a hug right now.
    I have a pile of mental illness diagnoses myself: PTSD, panic disorder, severe depression specified as with psychotic behavior (that last one is my favorite, how cool does that sound?). I wish I could be there with you in a restaurant or at a party or wherever and help you get the hell out of there when you need to. Or at least share my xanax/klonopin with you. I read this and feel a connection like these 200-odd people commenting above be don’t know what they’re talking about. I understand Jenny, I really, really *get this*, and we should totally be BFF, damn the hundreds of physical miles between us.
    When you posted about BlogHer, you offhandedly mentioned that you had a panic attack during dinner and had to leave and return to your hotel room and hide under the desk, and my first thought was that I wished I had been with you, or been your roommate, so I could have helped.
    I’m “graduating” from the Intensive Outpatient Program at a local mental hospital in two weeks. I’ve been in it for a little over nine months trying to get a hold of myself. I was full time for the first month, and now just the mornings as I work in the afternoons. Soon I’ll be down to “just” my weekly individual therapist and my psychiatrist. And yet often I don’t feel like I’m any less crazy; just like I have learned to fake it better.
    Anyway, this is getting long and rambling. I just wanted you to know that you aren’t alone, and that any time you offhandedly mention a panic attack or depression or any of it, I notice, and my heart breaks a little because you don’t even know me, and I wish we did know each other, because I’ve been there many times, and will continue to fall into the hole and have panic attacks at car washes (I fucking hate car washes).
    I know there are hundreds of people commenting above me and offering their friendship and support, and I know you have your own support circle of friends and family, but if you want to add a crazy chick from Chicago to that list, my contact info up there shows you how to find me.
    .-= Annabelle´s last blog ..Oh, Hey, I Have a Blog! =-.

  188. Jenny … see what people like you do? You blog your Soul, man. You make people feel less alone, and more connected to humanity. That’s all any of us ever want. I truly hope you feel better … hopefully buoyed, by all the collective comments.

    Now, as for this “normal” …. during one of my first NA meetings, this guy was like, “There’s no such thing as normal! The only place you find normal is on a dial on a washing machine!” Than he laughed so hard at his own joke. I was thinking … seriously dude? I’m-a letchu finish I’ll just grab some smack first so I can laugh at your lame arse.

    But, turns out he was right. There IS no such thing as normal.

    Thank fuck.
    .-= edenland´s last blog ..Love and Pain and Truth =-.

  189. (((Jenny))) I understand completely. Sending you lots of love and support.

  190. Jenny, I’ve joked about this before, but honestly you are a huge beacon of hope to someone like me who struggles with many of the same issues – more constant, lower intensity anxiety than panic attacks, and depression that, like yours, comes and goes with no warning or reason. I’ve had two episodes that lasted over six months each, been hospitalized, and come out the other end – but its the little episodes that kill me, that make me feel like I’ll never get better, never be normal. Your sense of humor gives me perspective on this madness, your incredible daughter gives me hope that I might not screw up any kids I have any more than parents without this shit, and your husband, well, mostly just makes me jealous! Thank you for writing honestly about these things, it’s really important.

    PS: I’ve been writing about the depression on my own website, I’d really love it if you’d take a look.
    .-= Bekka´s last blog ..Jewelry =-.

  191. From one broken person to another, thanks.

    I’m so sorry you’re in this much pain. So sorry, and I wish none of us would have to go through this. I still don’t get why I do, and I why I feel so ineffectual and broken and weak because I can’t navigate through life like everyone else.

    But it does help a bit to know that it’s not just me, I’m not such a freak.

    So, thanks for sharing and thanks for, in other occasions, making me laugh so hard I forget, for a few instants just how defective I am.

    You are wonderful, and he obviously loves you and sees the good, even when you don’t. Don’t believe in anything else.

  192. Jenny…I, too, had panic attacks. It’s been years since I had one, but I spent years in behavior therapy and that really seemed to help. I totally “get” your anxiety/panic attack thing, and I’ll be thinking of you all day.
    .-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..What happened to my Mini-Me? =-.

  193. me too.

  194. I can’t add anything better than the comments before me, but I can add TO them and let you know, for the 195th time, that friends and strangers all appreciate, love, and support you.

  195. Next visit to the doctor for meds? You make Victor go with you. You need each other. Especially at times like that. If the doctor explains, then it’s not “just you.” It’s organic, Jenny. You have no control over the chemical releases in your brain, and Victor loves you enough to try to understand that. Who ELSE is going to make him Burberry butter?
    .-= Middle-Aged-Woman´s last blog ..Torturing the Children Through Song =-.

  196. I couldn’t read this whole post. Those symptoms I read you start to describe. I know them. So much so, that just reading about them makes my fingers dumb and my head cloud up and separate, and I had to stop, just so I could stay present today, in myself. I never know how to write about anxiety in a way people who doesn’t have it will ever understand. I have the same type of wonderful husband, he sits with me in our bed, tapping his fingers along my skin so that I still know I am there….alive. Because, well, it’s all he CAN do.

    It’s a great post.
    .-= Brittany´s last blog ..Driving Miss Crazy. Ok, that is the most hilarious blog title ever. It’s actually getting less and less funny as time passes, and I would change it, but titling my posts is my worst skill. Next to softball. =-.

  197. “They are brilliant and amazing. . .”
    So are you.

    {{{{hugs}}}} (even though we’ve never met in person, so don’t worry, I wouldn’t really hug you unless you wanted me to)
    .-= Fairly Odd Mother´s last blog ..A very fairy birthday party =-.

  198. Dear Jenny,
    My 15 year old daughter and I read your blog together and wanted you to know how much you mean to both of us. Not only do we laugh together while reading, we don’t go a day without a secret *wink* wink* nudge* nudge* each time we sear/hear William Shatner, Tim Gunn, a GPS, and so on, and so on… Incidentally, this is pretty much the ONLY time my kid talks to me, other than asking for money. And since 15 year olds don’t listen to their moms, I’m especially grateful for your advice column teaching her how to deal with creepy stalker types. She was impressed enough with your wisdom to share it with her entire Girl Scout troop. They may want to send you cookies.
    Please know that when you don’t post for a few days, we figure you aren’t feeling well, and we think about you and your family every day and send you cosmic good wishes. We love you (in a non-creepy, non stalker way)
    Lib and Katie
    .-= The Lunatic in the House´s last blog ..The appropriate response =-.

  199. 201
    theyamqueen

    You’ll never be normal. That’s why everyone loves you to the kind of stalkery degree that they do.

    That being said, it can be debilitating. It’s humiliating. It physically hurts. Don’t ever be afraid to share it with the anonymous internets. The people here can be a wealth of information and, barring that, they will understand or make you laugh or let you know… you aren’t alone. It’s one of those times when it’s not awesome to feel like a one-of-a-kind precious snowflake. And you aren’t. You’re amongst friends, albeit crazy friends.

  200. What an excellent description. From someone who suffers from GAD and OCD and will be on medicine even when I’m in heaven, I do believe. I have also dealt with depression before and that is the most accurate way I’ve ever heard it described. You, my dear, will never be given up on, by yourself or anyone else. You have too much to give. You’re in my prayers.
    .-= Kelley´s last blog ..Stop Him Before He Walks Out That Door! =-.

  201. Wow girl! Look at the LOVE displayed here for you!!! That was a brave post. Yeah your sick, but you’ll get better for awhile. You know the cycle. I KNOW the cycle. Keep fighting it. I’ll keep reading and leaving stupid comments. And Victor will be there. Bet, for a lonnnng time. When you feel better, I think you should write a stabby post, that always makes me feel even better. And you know its all about me!

    Just keep kickin girl. Lotsa people need you kickin.
    .-= peedee´s last blog ..From here to there and back again. =-.

  202. I admire you for posting this. I’m being treated for depression now, and I had postpartum depression a couple years ago. I like to be open and honest about it because it’s a medical issue, and the mental illness stigma is bullshit. People look at me like I have four heads when I mention it. I don’t mind, because I listen to lots of gory stories about open-heart surgery and pus.

  203. Dear Jenny,

    you don’t know me, nor do I actually know you, though I’ve recently discovered your blog and your wickedly funny brand of humor. Thank you for making me snicker every now and then.

    Do know this, though: like so many others here have said, you’re not alone in battling depression and anxiety – I’ve been diagnosed with depression four years ago and it still doesn’t go away. It has severely disrupted my life and fucked a lot with my mind and the worst is, like you said, because your mind *is* you, you can’t tell it to shut up and be rational and functioning and happy.

    “They are brilliant and amazing and forever broken.”

    *hugs you virtually* This.

    Don’t ever give up. Even if you’re broken, your brilliance and amazingness far more overweighs your brokenness. And there are people who see you as you are and who care for the whole *you*, even for the brokenness, for the jagged parts that hurt and tear.

  204. I forgot to tell you something– I’ve just been diagnosed with Lupus and probably would have been completely FREAKED about it… but I’ve been reading your blog and how you take all this shit with RA in stride, and with humor. BECAUSE OF YOU I KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT. Thank you for giving me a strong example to follow. I’m currently exploring what kind of hat to wear since more than half my hair has fallen out– I don’t think I can put up with a confidence wig ‘cus they make my head itch. I’m leaning toward the over sized beret that the “alleged” anorexic holly wood stars (like Rachel Zoe and one of the Olsen’s) are wearing , because everyone knows that anorexics lose a lot of hair, so they would know best how to hide it. Hmm, maybe you shouldn’t approve this post… Anyway, I keep looking at your pictures.. the ones where you say your face is really fat and honey, let me tell you: It’s NOT FAT. You look wonderful. Give me a couple more weeks on Prednisone and I’ll show you some fat as a baby’s rump cheeks. ~Lib
    .-= The Lunatic in the House´s last blog ..The appropriate response =-.

  205. I know this is going to sound cliche, but this post made me cry. I relate to every single thing you wrote about your panic attacks. I know how bad it is and I have tried to put it into words, but it’s difficult to explain to people who don’t get it. But I get what you wrote. It’s a horrible thing to experience. Probably the most horrible thing I have ever experienced, and people like us have to experience this horrible thing on a completely random basis. It’s terrifying. I’m sorry you have to go through it.
    .-= sanya´s last blog ..On Relationships =-.

  206. I’ve had mild bouts of both depression and anxiety attacks, but nothing like you describe. Even so, I do understand the feeling of helplessness; the feeling of “this is something I should be able to talk myself out of…”

    You are right; you can’t will yourself out of an attack any more than you can will yourself out of arthritis, a broken arm, or the flu. If only it were that easy.

    I’m glad your meds help some. I hope you are able to recover completely someday. You are truly one of my very favorite writers ever.
    .-= N´s last blog ..Probably My Worst Post Ever =-.

  207. Nice to see that you’re actually human.

    I was starting to think that there’s no way I could possibly ever be funnier than a robot programmed with gut-wrenching vomit-inducing-stomach-cramp-style comedy as it’s only mission.

    Now I have hope.

    (giving some to you…good luck)
    .-= moooooog35´s last blog ..The Power of Moog Compels You and Gives You Money from West Africa!! =-.

  208. This is not my comment, sweet woman, this is just fuel for the discussion:

    Panic Attacks and Kindling: Building a Different Fire

    First of all, this isn’t going to be a discussion of how to build a fire. Uh no, this is a review of a fascinating physiological phenomenon that I consider a physical contributor to panic attacks and anxiety. And that’s because the limbic system, particularly the amygdala, is highly susceptible to the effects of kindling. Now, before we get to work I want to make sure you know that I’m going to be cramming thirty pounds of information into a five pound bag. Okay? Well, let’s get busy.

    In the strictest sense, kindling is the term used for the generation of brain seizures by electrical stimulation. The pioneer of kindling, Canadian scientist Dr. Graham V. Goddard, believed kindling is a process of “message formulation” induced by repeated natural electrical stimulation of small and selected groups of brain cells. Now, scientists can also trigger these epileptic seizures in animals through repeated mild electrical stimulation of deep-brain structures. Curiously, as this electrical stimulation commences the effects are barely noticeable. However, sensitivity to the stimulation intensifies with repeated administration, ultimately leading to the animals seizing spontaneously. Yet, in spite of all this electrical zapping and seizure activity, physical damage to the brain is undetectable.

    In the real-life world of brain physiology, chronic life-stress can generate kindling-like stimulation with accompanying mental, emotional, and physical manifestations. Drug abuse and withdrawal, particularly involving alcohol and cocaine, can as well. This expression of kindling is of great significance to depression and bipolar sufferers, as it appears to stimulate and exacerbate mood cycling both in the immediate and down the road. Indeed, a specific life-stressor may initiate the kindling process with no symptoms in the present, only to have expressions of mood cycling pop-up later in life without the influence of a specific stressor. Now, it’s important to note that research isn’t suggesting this is a matter of having actual epileptic seizures, as we traditionally know them. It’s more an issue of a similarity to the strictest definition of seizure-generating kindling we reviewed in the second paragraph.

    Okay, let’s bring this kindling business to the panic and anxiety section of the stadium. Kindling can play a mean tune on our limbic system, in particular the amygdala. And this results in the generation of a whole lot of fear and anxiety. At the beginning of this discussion we talked about how electrical stimulation of the brains of laboratory animals generated barely noticeable seizures in the immediate. But, we also learned that the sensitivity to this electrical stimulation intensified with repeated applications, and the animals ultimately begin to seize without any stimulation whatsoever. Well, chronic over-stimulation of the amygdala, or any number of our forged neural highways, may lead to a hypersensitivity to fear-generating stimuli and a propensity toward hyperarousal. Doesn’t that make sense? I mean, consider the scientifically confirmed dynamics of neuroplasticity, the notion that neurons that frequently connect tend to establish long-term working relationships. Well, I believe kindling and neuroplasticity sit in the same section of the ballpark.

    So, let’s consider a real-life example of kindling to bring the point home. I’ve written about our HPA axis and noradrenergic (having to do with the neurotransmitter and hormone norepinephrine) system in previous articles. As it applies here, let’s just say the end result of their work is the activation of our fight/flight response; and we become rough and ready to deal with the threat at hand. Well, research has noted that early life trauma may have something to say about how all of this works, and it’s thought to go like this. Someone who’s been exposed to such trauma develops a hypersensitive HPA axis and noradrenergic system due to their overuse so soon in life. It seems our bodies just weren’t designed to deal with excessive amounts of their secretions so early on. These secretions include cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine
    .

    So, as a result of being chronically overworked, these systems become super-sensitive and super-reactive to stress. And as the years go by, any exposure to stress, even in what would seem to be tolerable measures, only serves to agitate and exacerbate this already hypersensitive and exhausted stress response. Ultimately, one ends up attempting to live life as an adult with out-of-control biochemistry. And this goofiness well exceeds design tolerances, resulting in any number of physical, mental, and emotional outcomes; including panic and anxiety. Yes, in this case, early life trauma, and its snowballing biochemical fallout, actually alters neurophysiology in the immediate, as well as stimulating psychopathology in the future. That said, kindling must be considered a significant biological contributor to panic attacks and anxiety.
    .-= La Framéricaine´s last blog .."Thank Le Camioneur for Small Favors…" =-.

  209. I hope you won’t delete this. This is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to what I feel being put into words. I have trouble explaining it to my husband so while he’s patient, I don’t know if he gets it. I don’t expect anyone to get it unless they live through it but your words may help him see inside just a bit.

    Add me to the count as being another “not normal”. There are a lot of us out here.
    .-= Call Me Cate´s last blog ..Breastseses =-.

  210. Long time lurker here.

    I understand the anxiety and found myself nodding my head along with every sentence you wrote about it. Mine came about last year, and there are days that I feel no one understands why or how I go into panic mode and they just sort of give me the , “Oh, you’ll be fine” spiel. I find myself agreeing with them rather than screaming, “Look bitches, if you had this shit, you wouldn’t be so fucking condescending about it!”

    {{{HUGS}}} Ms. Bloggess. I know what you go through.

  211. I appreciate you sharing, if for no other reason than you’ve put it so much more eloquently than I ever could. You do what you need to do and we’ll be here when you’re good to go. But do what’s best for Jenny first.
    .-= Ed´s last blog ..Curses! =-.

  212. Oh Jenny, you put it into words perfectly! I don’t have the tunnel vision depression like you do, just the regular kind, but I do have the anxiety. I know EXACTLY what you mean about social situations and rushing out, then feeling embarassed and out of control. You are almost poetic in how you describe it. It’s like you’re inside my head! Wait…you’re not inside my head, are you? j/k. After all, our names are both Jenny. That practically makes us twins. At least that’s how it works in Iowa.

    Take heart in this: think about the percentage of the population who suffer from anxiety disorders and then apply that to any public setting. Chances are, a good portion of people aren’t looking at you thinking “mental chick.” They’re thinking, “oh no, I wish I could help her without seeming like a psycho” or “I should distract attention away from her” or “I wonder if she has a person looking out for her right now, making sure she doens’t drive home.”

  213. Thank you so much for sharing. My husband suffers from panic attacks very often. He never explains to me what he is going through and reading this I understand just a little more. It made me cry, especially the end, those last few sentences. His is related to the military and the war, I will always support him and I hope he knows I will always be there for him. Thank you so very much…

  214. I’ve always been a highly emotional person, but I’d never suffered actual depression until I started taking a prescription sleep aid (for my chronic insomnia… I’ve also suffered anorexia and bulemia… we ALL have our issues). I felt like Harry Potter’s dementors had come to life and sucked all the happiness out of the world. Nothing was worth doing and I truly believed that everyone in my life, from my fiance to my cat, would be better off if I weren’t around. I thank god that it went away as soon as I stopped taking that medication, beacuse I didn’t have the strength to live with it. My heart breaks for you for having to live with this. I wish I could take some of your burden.

    Thank you for sharing this, even if you decide to take it down later.

  215. 217
    AprylsAntics

    Jenny, I had a dream you and me and my brother were talking on a porch. You were completely fine. If you want, you can hang out in my dreams whenever things get tough. Plus, you get to fly without an aircraft. It’s awesome.

  216. He won’t and you won’t. You put into words so well what more than a few people in my life suffer from, and as much as I’ve always wanted to, I don’t truly ‘get it.’ It’s nice to have more insight. What could your husband (or anyone) do more? To be more helpful?
    .-= Belle´s last blog ..Of Surgery and Swooning =-.

  217. Sometimes I just need someone to tell me it’s going to be okay, or to distract me before I got into a full attack. Sometimes I need to be alone. Sometimes I need to have someone force me to *not* be alone. There really aren’t any good answers aside from letting the person know you don’t judge them. That’s why I try to just tell people what I need when it happens and hope they forgive me for being so crazy afterward. I’m very lucky. They always do.

  218. I love you honey.

    You’re in my thoughts and my heart and I think you’re beautiful and I’m here should you ever need.
    .-= Miss Grace´s last blog ..Weekly Winners – Hardly Strictly Bluegrass =-.

  219. Thank you for describing something I could never describe. I’ve tried to tell the people closest to me when I go into depression the world actually loses color and I see everything in sort of dull gray/monochromatic and everything losing focus. And the anxiety… all the weird tics that come with it. I’ve been with my husband long enough that if he sees me raising my arm over my head, cocking my head to the right and yawning/sucking in as much air as I can – he knows I’m having a panic attack and trying to trick my body back into rhythm. He doesn’t tell me to “Just breathe” anymore. I can’t go anywhere without thinking at least once what it would be like if I totally lost my shit in front of everyone. I used to feel like I was the Tazmanian Devil and the world was in slow motion… and I was just cycloning (New verb!!) through everything. ((hug))
    .-= Gwen´s last blog ..Yeaaaaaa. I’m 15. =-.

  220. My husband deals with anxiety & depression. He’ll go for months & be fine. Then it all changes. It’s so much harder with a kid too. But I’m not giving up on him, just like I’m sure Victor won’t give up on you.

    Take care of yourself, lady. Big Internet hugs to you.
    .-= cindy w´s last blog ..on gun control =-.

  221. Wow. That is exactly how I would describe my depression and anxiety, and I have never been able to fully explain it to my husband, so I’ve never felt that he really understood. There was a time when he got it and knew how to help me avoid triggers, but now with three kids the focus is never on ME so it seems to be happening more and more often.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and being open. I saw on Twitter that you thought about taking this post down. Please don’t. You help a lot of people when you open up and share yourself. We all do. That’s the beauty of blogs, these are real people having real experiences.
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Meal Planning Monday: Swine Flu Edition =-.

  222. Since I don’t have a tenth of the writing talent you have, I’ll keep it simple:

    Please don’t delete this post. Your eloquent description is a great way to “let people into” this bastard of a disease (I was diagnosed with major depression first in 1998).

    Normal is boring. Normal is going through life as a drone, and not making people laugh on a daily basis. I wish for you to be WELL, not “normal.”

    I wish I could offer more. I know we’ve never met, and may not ever, but HUG HUG HUG.
    .-= Jennifer Mathis´s last blog ..This is going somewhere dark and creepy…and I kinda like that. =-.

  223. I like to describe depression in one way.
    You’re walking along a beach, happy as can be, or maybe not happy, but content. But without knowing it, someone has dug a huge hole, and you fall into it. No one else sees you fall, but you’re stuck down there, you can see out, but can’t pull yourself out. Without help.

    I’ve fallen into the hole so many times, in the past, that now I can see the shovel marks and have learned how to side step most of the holes. Sometimes I merely trip and sprain an ankle, but I don’t end up in the hole, in the dark, panicking. Most of the time.

  224. I love you for being perfectly flawed. Your honesty and willingness to share this is bound to help others.

    It’s helped me to understand those who are going through it.
    .-= Amo´s last blog ..What’d you do today? Oh just blogged for boobs. =-.

  225. Just like you said to me last week, I am very very proud of you and very very proud to call you my friend.
    .-= Aimee Greeblemonkey´s last blog ..And Now For Something Completely Different =-.

  226. Seriously, my mom could have written this whole post. I nursed her through one of the scariest things our family has ever been though. She is our glue and one day, she just became unglued. And you are right. Some people think this is something you can just shake off, rub some dirt on it, walk it off. Hey buttmunch, tell your wife to walk off her diabetes. How about you rub some dirt on your erectile dysfunction.

    You are very brave, and you are not alone. We have a history of mental illness in my family. And there is a history on my husband’s side as well. My kids don’t have a chance in hell. That scares the shit out of me.
    .-= LizzB (@hereslizz)´s last blog ..It’s Because I’m Old Isn’t It? =-.

  227. I think we’re all striving for normal. I don’t think a single one of us will ever get there. And that’s okay. Normal is a fallacy. But hopefully knowing that you are SO not alone in this makes things a wee bit better.
    .-= Just Shireen´s last blog ..Friday Night Bites =-.

  228. What a brave, wonderful post. It is posts like this that really open up discourse about conditions like depression and anxiety disorder. Thank you for helping so many people feel less alone.
    .-= That Kind of Girl´s last blog ..The Kind of Girl Who … wants nothing to do with you unless you stick the landing (An NTKOG That Wasn’t) =-.

  229. Wow, this must have hit something in a lot of us. Please hang in there. None of us are giving up!
    .-= Danielle´s last blog ..Can you add? What is 2 + 1? =-.

  230. I understand your frustration with not having a concrete reason for why these things happen. Without something to point your finger at, you can’t fix the problem. You can’t eliminate the source of anxiety or depression; you can only treat the symptom. My pet peeve is when someone asks, “Why are you so depressed?” They want an explanation and can’t accept it when I matter-of-factly reply, “I just am.”

    I’ve had depression for as long as I can remember. I’ve grown so accustomed to my miswired brain that medication actually makes me feel off-balance! This is how we are. Being wonky is our “normal.” We’re not broken. We’re just put together differently, like the creatures in the Land of Misfit Toys. Embrace it. That doesn’t mean sink into it and curl up with it like a fuzzy blanket. It just means accept it as part of YOU, and learn to appreciate and respect it. My depression does not define me any more than the fact that I like sushi defines me. Without these issues (I prefer to call them “quirks”) we wouldn’t be who we are and where we are today. The fact that you live with this makes you stronger than those who don’t; the fact that you can open up and offer us such a raw glimpse into yourself makes you a fucking superhero. Now all you need is a confidence cape to go with the wig!

  231. I love you when you are serious. I hate it that you suffer for even one second.
    .-= Momish´s last blog ..Leaping Lizards =-.

  232. Just about every day, I wish that I could just be.

    I wish I could just do the things I need to do and LIVE my life without looking over my shoulder to see exactly how far away the monkey is from my back. On good days, I feel brave. On bad days, my 39 years feel more like 99 and I’m sure that life will swallow me whole.

    Normal people don’t think like this. They certainly don’t give a second thought to taking a drive on the weekend, planning a trip, or doing anything spontaneous. They just do. They enjoy. They live. I wish and hope that one day I won’t have to write ridiculous lists and obsess over miniscule details before I feel calm enough to attempt something outside of my day to day routine; my safety zone.

    I’ve had a panic disorder and lived under the crushing restrictions of agoraphbia so long I’m sure I too will never have what I wish for and be ‘normal’. But there are still times when I have faith that it won’t all be awful forever. Those are the times I find courage to take a big step forward. And knowing that people like you, who I admire and look up to… also struggle with similar demons?

    Those are the times when the monkey fails at bringing me two steps back.

    Thank you. Feel better.
    .-= karen @agentninety9´s last blog ..I Wasn’t Raped Once. =-.

  233. I’ve been staring at my computer trying to think of something to say here, or to you on Twitter, but I can’t seem to put my thoughts together about depression and anxiety as you have here. However, what I do want you to know is that all of the kind words you have received here? I bet there are at least 5 times as many people who were also helped by your post that can’t/won’t comment. I know that you are hurting, but it’s sharing like this that let’s us know that we aren’t crazy or abnormal, this happens to other people too. The world isn’t ending because we’re having an anxiety attack or a depressive episode. People everywhere are dealing with this and yet the world keeps turning.

  234. When I lived ever-so-briefly in Texas, I lived in an industrial part of town (artist lofts, cheap rent) and had no car. I incredibly distraught over the total lack of growing things in my immediate environment. No trees, no grass, no plants, anywhere. The parking lot of my building was old and cracks ran across it and I started tending the stray tendrils of rogue grasses that grew up through the cracks, watering them, sitting out on the asphalt every day just to be next to those luminous, green, vibrant blades.

    So you’re cracked in this way (and so am I) ~ and yet, you have the most incredible blooms growing from those very cracks. The genius to see a boob in a lawn mushroom. The talent to bring others, others who have never met you, to a higher, lighter place than they were before they encountered you. The strength to show there is no shame in being naked, as in this post. And so much more.

    The cracks suck. There is no balm. But I know I would never trade them, not if it meant I had to lose everything that is growing in them and from them and because of them……
    .-= Daily Coyote´s last blog ..Caption Contest! =-.

  235. Jenny pumpkin darlin’ sweetie woman-who-makes-me-pee-myself-on-a-regular-basis

    loving you all the more

    and wishing you a sackful of good health, happiness & great meds.

  236. I want to cry right now reading this…thank you. No seriously THANK YOU. It’s not as bad as yours…I’ve only had ONE actual panic attack. But now there is always this nervous feeling, this sickness, this awful feeling and I know there is NOTHING TO BE PANICKY ABOUT, but it’s there anyway. It makes me want to hide in my home and not go out and enjoy all of the things that I used to. I almost feel worse that it’s not as serious as most others…one actual panic attack? What the hell? I feel like if I was like you…more of the obvious symptoms I’d have more of an excuse to act and feel as I do. My boyfriend is so understanding, I say I’m sorry I’m always sick, sorry fun things make me so damn scared now…so sorry. My biggest worry is when he’ll be sick of it too. When he’ll leave for someone who can just let loose and have fun all the time with now worries. No panic in their stomach. Thank you for writing this. Thank you.
    .-= Jen @ lifelove’n’wine´s last blog ..Friday Fill-Ins – It’s Fall! =-.

  237. As someone who went through a serious bout of depression myself, I just want to say thank you. In the best moments of my depression I would never have been able to come close to opening up about it like you just have. You are braver than most and I hope that what you’ve written today helps others see that they aren’t the only ones. Also, your blog makes me laugh out loud (almost) every single day. Please know that at any given moment someone, somewhere is smiling because of you.

  238. First off – sending positive feel good vibes for you from Brooklyn. Kudos 2 you for sharing this difficult & way too often stigmatzed illness. Very brave. Hang tough.

  239. Everything I could say to you has already been said better then I could. So I’ll just say this;

    I love you, Jenny. Hang on and this too shall pass. XO
    .-= Cher´s last blog ..Elvis Presley: Gospel Singer Extraordinaire =-.

  240. Thank you.
    I hope this episode goes quickly and quietly and you wake up in the morning and think, Yes, this is right.
    If it doesn’t, please remember that you are loved.

  241. Look, this is probably going to sound in appropriate but why add embarrassment? As you note, you have a medical condition. This is not the Dark Ages (really, it’s not) and (probably) nobody is going to be tie you down with stones to see if you float . Plus I hardly know you and I knew you had this and now more people know so let that part go and just cope as best you can with the matter at hand.

    Plus, let’s be honest, you can work this. There are a million authors but people meet them and it’s like, So-and-so is funny in writing but in person, ho hum. Do you think J. D. Salinger would have been so famous if he hadn’t been a recluse and had inappropriate affairs (wtf–he was a recluse!) that his lovers wrote about? Hemingway would have just been another guy writing books if he hadn’t shot everything in sight and raised 6-toed cats. C’mon. You see my point.

    Your problems make people love you all the more (200 plus comments & counting). Plus it totally lets you off the hook for people expecting you to be amusing in person. If I were you and by some miracle I ever got well, I would tell no one.

  242. Thank you for describing that so vividly. I appreciate your honesty. The depression I understand. And while I have anxiety in the form where I worry and analyze everything to death, I don’t get the attacks. I hope your world stops spinning soon!
    .-= Tiffany´s last blog ..Another week, another list =-.

  243. I just started reading your blogs in the past month and think you are the funniest woman I’ve ever seen. I wondered if there was serious side; if the constant hilarity was to make something else bearable; or if you were just the luckiest woman on earth. Sounds like there’s a little truth in all 3. Best wishes! Lots of people love you.

  244. I love you. xoxo
    .-= Karen Sugarpants´s last blog ..The Hairshirt =-.

  245. I get depressed a lot. Not like you (anxiety attacks,) so I’m not going to pretend to understand what you’re going through. It must be horrible and it genuinely makes me sad that this happens to you. What I try to do (when I get super depressed) is remind myself that this is a recurring cycle and I always feel better in a few days. And in your case, try to remember this: Batshit crazy comes with the brilliant writer package. The way you perceive life is both the source of your depression and your brilliant comedic style. It makes you, you, and I think those closest to you know that. And when you’re at your lowest, take comfort in knowing that you hold the record for most broken laptops caused by nose soda. Meanwhile, comment 217 talks about my sister and I hanging out with you in her dream. When you get depressed next time, let’s hang out in my dream. I have a catigator named Steve and a house made of waffles. If that won’t make you happy, nothing will.
    .-= MayoPie´s last blog ..Whoopi Goldberg is an idiot =-.

  246. I think, if you were as awesome and hilarious as you are, and not at all even the slightest bit crazy, we’d all be required to hate you instead of dearly love and idolize you.

    See? WIN.

    *Big, fat e-hug*
    .-= LiLu´s last blog ..Pure, Unadulterated MURDER… It’s A Beautiful Thing. =-.

  247. Wow. I go through this and didn’t really ever think anyone would understand. My husband thinks it’s just a switch I can flip; I wish he at least tried to console me through it. It sucks. I feel for you!!
    .-= Kendahl´s last blog ..Are You A Blogger, Looking For A Home? =-.

  248. 250
    Anna Marie

    Oh Jenny, don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

  249. Sorry… I’m in jetlag, trying to take my heart attack survivor husband to cardio rehab and the PA in Cardiology… but who could fail to be pulled in by someone claiming that someday s/he would be “normal.” That’s a great line. Who could resist? Not I.

    I posted, earlier, a big blather on “kindling” because it is something that is a physiological phenomenon that is directly related to panic attacks and a vocabulary word that is, unfortunately, not on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

    I would like to applaud you for having taken the time during both a depressive episode and a panic attack, while dealing with RA, being a wife, a mother, a woman, and a human being simultaneously, to write about your experience of both an oncoming depressive event and a panic attack in concrete terms. In some ways, I am led to wonder if the unique experience of tunnel vision, as a symptom of a depressive onset, is not, in some strange way, a self-protective reaction on the part of both the mind and body. It would be a brilliant psycho/physiological adaptive measure, when you think about it. The mind and the body actively behaving in a way, spontaneously, to limit stimuli by shutting down your peripheral vision. A gift in disguise.

    In any event, Jenny, I think that it was very kind of you to have made the effort to share your experience of these two ongoing health challenges with others. I don’t think anyone could fail to understand more clearly, after your description of your own cycles of depression and panic attacks, their own episodes or those of loved ones, friends, or strangers.

    I have a large hoard of Clonazepam/Klonapin of my own at my fingertips in the aftermath of 19 months of forcing my husband to drive me to the ER with great regularity because I was convinced that I was going to have a heart attack and die and I didn’t want to do so in a house with a heart attack, elderly, beloved husband. The ER personnel very kindly, each and every time, told me that I wasn’t having a heart attack, however, they woefully neglected to tell me that I just might be having panic attacks. I had to figure that out by myself. On the way to doing so, the doctors tried to give me anti-depressants and I refused because I was not depressed. If I were depressed, I promise, I would take them. Finally, I called Dr. Richard O’Connor, “Undoing Depression” book & online: http://www.undoingdepression.com/, and he listened to me and suggested that I might be suffering from panic attacks and the effects of “kindling.” He was right and I have not been back to the ER, except once, in one year. I turned around and educated the doctor at my HMO, took 1/2 a .05mg am and pm for one month, and moved out of the worst part of the kindling effect. I weaned myself off all but a 1/4 of a .05mg at night, for the time being.

    Fuck normal. Keep doing what you are doing–analyzing, describing, articulating, sharing your own experience and setting up fail safes for your own best care and well-being. By simply sharing your experience you empower others to do the same.

    Reserve harsh judgment on yourself until long after the Fat Lady sings. You can give up, if you want to–for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and then you can rise back up and continue what you were doing before you gave up for a time. There is nothing wrong with “giving up.” It is not synonymous with suicide, which is what most caring people fear one mean’s when one speaks of giving up. More “giving up” might actually prevent suicides. And, lest anyone think that I am talking out my ass, I will go on record as being the survivor of a mother’s suicide death by gunshot wound to the head when she was 58 and I was 37; a father’s suicide death by upper-GI hemorrhage due to chronic alcoholism; a sister’s extreme mental illness of 4 decades, a brother’s disappearance into Scientology and conspiracy theories; and my own dalliance with panic attacks, anxiety, and fear-based modus operandi.

    There are several books that I have found are full of shit:

    Undoing Depression by Richard O’Connor
    The Mood Cure by Julia Ross
    Depression-Free Naturally by Joan Mathews Larson

    Your commenters who have remarked about hormones are on target. Almost every woman going through menopause is going to be offered anti-depressants because the medical establishment is so utterly clueless about the extreme psycho/physiological stress that that transition engenders.

    Nutrition, meditation, medication, self-knowledge, communication, are all critical parts to maintaining your health, both physical and psycho/emotional. I love your blog work. I admire your courage. I appreciate your big heart. And Christ how you make me bust a gut with pure unadulterated glee!

    Amitiés,

  250. Hugs to you… I’ve been down similar roads. To me, panic attacks and anxiety are primarily physical. It’s like my body goes into this fight-or-flight mode, and my mind has to come up with a reason (no matter how wacky) to make sense of what my body is doing. Thinking of my anxiety as something akin to a seizure has helped me be kinder to myself.

    I’ve been on medication for almost 15 years, on and off. Last year I finally realized that I needed to stop messing around, trying to be normal.

    You describe short-term depression very well. I’ve only had to deal with short-term depression (usually brought about by lack of anxiety meds or lack of sleep), and even a few days of it were terrifying. I have great respect for those who manage to get through the black hole for any amount of time.

    Hang on to the hope — you’ve got tons of support here.
    .-= Aine´s last blog ..long time, and all that =-.

  251. I love that you shared this. I might repeat what some others have already said, but I don’t know what they said and don’t care. I have depression and anxiety as well. Part of my depression is a general lack of interest in things I like and a complete avoidance of things I didn’t really care about in the first place. Seldom have I read the comment section of a blog. I just don’t care. Sorry. Kinda.

    Your post reminds me of Tipper Gore. Minus the bat-shit crazy ideas she has about music. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a story about you and Tipper Gore having a Twitter cat fight, or something equally awesome.

    Tipper helped bring some attention to the issue of depression and mental illness. In my experience, people tend to think mental illness is someone with multiple personalities or Courtney Love. Depression is an illness. We are not depressed because of some event in our life that is causing us to be sad. It bugs me when people ask what am I depressed about. I’m not depressed about anything, I’m just depressed. I seldom hear anyone ask why someone has a cold. So, please don’t ask someone who is depressed what they are depressed about.

    The experience of suffering from chronic and sometimes debilitating depression is very hard to understand unless you go through it yourself. Watching the mini-series Band of Brothers does not mean I know what it was like to be in World War 2. The same is true with depression or Woodstock. You weren’t there, man, you wouldn’t understand. (I wasn’t there either, I was three in ’69.

    I don’t suffer from anxiety from the level that you do. I have had a few experiences that were close. One was in a restaurant as well and I just had to get out of there. Other times I have felt like I was going insane and that I would not be able have control over my actions.

    Some people think that drugs can cure depression. That is not always the case (Are you listening Mike Wallace, if you’re still alive that is, because not everyone can beat depression with medication.) I’ve had chronic and sometimes severe depression for the past eleven years. During this period there has only been one time that I felt great due to the meds. Unfortunately, it only lasted 10 days.

    One last thing…If you are against having health insurance reform/health insurance for all Americans, you should pray to the god of your choice that you never suffer from depression.

    I have been without health insurance for the past year. I rely on a mostly free clinic that is merely helping me from falling completely into a bottomless well.

    Jenny thank you for being brave and sharing this. Thank you for all of the laughs you provide. My depression often disables my ability to laugh. When I read your blog I know I won’t be able to stop laughing.

  252. “I know there’s nothing to panic about. And that’s exactly what makes it so much worse.”
    Yes. Exactly. Thank you for this post. I suffer from depression as well and so many of your words could be my own. But that above line really stood out. When I get “in the hole”, I hear words similiar to that, no need to panic, you have a great life, etc. And it makes me feel so much worse. I know I have a good life, I know I am lucky in so many ways, so when I feel like life is bad and I’m not lucky and then I hear those words, it makes me feel ungrateful, which sends me deeper into the hole.
    I am so glad you posted this Jenny.

  253. He’s never going to give up on you. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t be embarassed or ashamed. Let everyone see exactly what’s going on with you, and let them help, because they want to. It made all the difference in the world in my own healing. We love you!

  254. I know you have a list of people wishing you well, but I figure, every single one helps :D.

    Why have a blog (or 4??) if you can’t write about what you want to? I thought that was the reason behind owning a blog? Writing up your day to day life, because you need to yell SOMEONE about it, and your poor husband just doesn’t want to listen to you repeat yourself over for the twentieth time that hour (Or at least mine is that way. haha)

    I don’t have medical anxiety (though I suffer from the usual “Something Horrible is going to Happen to my Child if I Don’t go Check on Him Right this Instant” problems, and a definite Chemical Depression..) but my mother does. We don’t always understand what her triggers are, but we deal with it, and support her as well as we can.

    The point of that is to let you know that… well… If Victor hasn’t given up on you by now, I severely doubt he ever will. I mean, he MARRIED you, right??? He even had a kid with you! How better can a man tell you how much he loves you, no matter how crazy you might be??

    There’s not much we on the internet can do to make one other better, other than talking… and I know I have the verbosity of a 5 year old.. but I hope this helps….. :)

  255. As heartbreaking as it is to read this post (because I know EXACTLY what you are going through), it’s also amazing to see it spelled out to clearly. I’ve been having anxiety attacks since I was 13 years old, and it’s debilitating. I feel lucky that they come much less frequently and less intensely than they used to. But when one hits, it’s like this feeling that you can’t get away from, and it knocks me out. And the worst thing someone can say is “It’s going to be fine” or “There’s nothing to worry about”, because really it feels like my world is crumbing, and now I just feel worse for feeling that way to begin with.

    Thank you for your honesty, and sharing what you feel. I think you make an impact on people every day in different ways, and you are truly not alone.
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Fill in the Blanks =-.

  256. Oh lordy. I don’t have to deal with any of that in my own head, but that was just luck of the draw in my family. One genetic twitch to the right or left and I could have been writing this entry myself. But I don’t and for that I thank all the gods and goddesses available. I think if I did I would be wearing one of those victorian poison rings, the kind with a secret compartment, only instead of poison I would have my drugs in it there, so that they would ALWAYS be there when the need arose. You are one of the funniest people I have ever read, and I am so glad you wrote this entry to share part of yourself, and to let those who suffer the same issues know they are not alone. And I would seriously consider the comments of one of the other commentors about a link between your autoimmune issues and these issues. These things do not stand alone.
    .-= MidLifeMama´s last blog ..Strategizing =-.

  257. I’m SO there. The meds that usually help me have crapped out the last 6-8 months and I’ve been dealing with the can’t-breathe anxiety and soul-crushing depression. I keep wanting to write about it, but haven’t had the courage or the words. Thanks for this–I don’t feel so alone.
    .-= Dolanmama´s last blog ..Do You Have A Gambling Problem? (Other Than Not Knowing How to Play Baccarat) =-.

  258. You’re the best. Don’t ever, ever give up. You don’t owe us a thing, but we’re all here for you.
    .-= Tom´s last blog ..The BFL Picks This Week: Home Cooking Edition =-.

  259. That has happened to me ONE time and it scares the shit out of me. I can’t imagine it happened multiple times. Keep you head up! I’m so sorry.
    .-= Nel´s last blog ..Of Surgery and Swooning =-.

  260. With love.

  261. still love you….xo
    .-= Braja´s last blog ..The Kindness of Strangers… =-.

  262. lots
    .-= Braja´s last blog ..Sacred is as sacred does… =-.

  263. Wow. Its amazing how you are able to put these things into words. “I feel it build up, like a lion caught my chest, clawing its way out of my throat.” I could never explain what I was going through. The depression. The anxiety. All the things I dont remember. My friends now will tell me things and I have no real memory of the events or they are warped. My friends can comprehend alcoholism but not depression. I am so thankful that I have been depression free for four months now but every day I fear that I’ll slip back and restart the cycle. I have lost so much – family, friends, job, my love. I am so glad your husband tries to understand and loves you regardless. You are so blessed as much as he is. It is such a good quality to have – your strength and determination. Cant wait to read more of your blog.

  264. Oh, you’ll be ok, once you get over yourself…..

  265. Jenny, I am so sorry you’re feeling this way. Like many of the other commentors, I’ve been through horrible, black, frightening bouts of the same thing. You are wonderful in your entirety, each bit of you balanced by the other. I love reading your blog because behind the goofiness and skewed humor is an intelligent, kind, creative, sweet person. That shines through so clearly. I wish you could see you as others do; you’d be completely smitten.
    .-= vakadesign´s last blog ..You are being shagged by a rare parrot! =-.

  266. Keep on keepin’ on. You’re never alone.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..Chewin’ On That T-Bone In the Sky =-.

  267. 269
    sharoncville

    I don’t suffer from these issues, but I have dear friends who do. Thank you for putting it into words. Keep writing– this stuff and your usual offbeat, faintly blasphemous, always screamingly funny stuff. And the sweet stuff about your daughter.

    Maybe one day medical science will catch up. ‘Til then, at least know that you’re not alone.

  268. Hi.

    I really needed this, I guess, because I am having moderate anxiety today. Like. The kind when you’re just walking to your car and you start crying for no real reason other than everything is wrong wrong wrong even though nothing is wrong? Yeah. So um. I know it’s not the same. But that lion is clawing at my chest too.

    Love,
    Meg

  269. You should check out Danny Evan’s (Dad Gone Mad) book if you haven’t. I read it recently and while it is from the male’s perspective and I have not suffered from depression or anxiety like the two of you have, it was enlightening.

  270. 272
    skinny malinky

    You’ll never be normal. You’re abnormally funny, abnormally good at getting lost, abnormally gifted at writing, and abnormally prone to depression and panic attacks. I’m abnormally short, abnormally funny, abnormally messy, I have an abnormal life philosophy, and I’m abnormally well hung. My wife is an abnormally good teacher, is abnormally poorly informed about world events, is abnormally easy to live with, and is abnormally concerned about what other people think about her.

    You have a physical auto-immune disease, right? It sounds like you have a mental auto-immune disease also. Your natural mental defenses turn against you sometimes. But your overactive brain also lets you be as funny and as good a writer as you are.

    Fuck, I don’t know, I’m just rambling. Selfishly, I really, really hope you’re never normal, because then you’ll be boring as shit, and right now you entertain the hell out of me. I mean, you wouldn’t wish normality on Nacy Kappes, Paralegal, would you?

  271. 273
    Laurelpaig

    Those who love you, and even those who don’t know you are not embarrassed of you, they are hurting for you. They know the shame and guilt that you feel, and wish that you didn’t because you don’t need to. Of course all of this is easy to say and I’m sure the logical part of your brain hears all the well wishes, but it won’t change anything for you. I know that you are suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, have you ever had your vitamin levels checked? I have a chronic Vitamin D deficiency which causes severe depression and anxiety attacks. B-12 also helps with mood regulation. And I’m sure you know all of this, the chemo drugs are depleting your body of essential vitamins and minerals, but on the off chance your doc has not discussed this with you I wanted to bring it up.

    I can tell you are in a downward spiral right now, and that explains the last sentences about giving up, but I think it is really important that you recognize that things will get better, they always do. In my own life, once I understood that everything is cyclical it freed me to have hope.

    There is nothing worse than telling someone who is obvious pain to “relax”, my husband does it too and it drives me crazy.

  272. Don’t give up. You are truly not alone. And that man of yours-he wont give up either.
    .-= Lula´s last blog ..Progress! =-.

  273. I suspect that Victor knows you’re flawed and loves you anyway. He’s a good man. He only half rolls his eyes when you put waffles in the butter container, leaving that plaid pattern. He helps you get home when you get lost. He keeps you away from the computer when he knows you need to be kept away. He is cool with a sno cone machine in the bedroom.

    I would imagine the worst of it is intellectually knowing that there’s no reason to panic and panicking anyway. I have mild anxiety attacks, so I know a bit of what you speak. I don’t want to seem patronizing or like I know more about it than I do, which would be condescending. I don’t know what it’s like for you. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish the best for you, that you find a way to cope. But you make lots of people happy. You make us laugh and we love you. I feel selfish sometimes, because I get so much from reading your site, and often feel like I don’t give back a lot of what I get. You give so much, and this post proves it with your honesty. If there’s anything I can do, I would do it. I really would. Please don’t give up. The world is a better place with you here.
    .-= Andrea/ShutterBitch´s last blog ..I Promise, I Really Am a Knitter =-.

  274. It is an interesting fact that only the most brilliant people have bouts of depression/anxiety- Abe, Steven Hawking- you and me! No consolation, however, to know this…hugs do not help, drugs do. It took many years to find the right one for me and i would be dead without it. It is not mental or emotional or a thing that can be shrunk- it is chemical , like diabetes. My vision narrows, too. Very dark place, indeed. DRUGS are a great thing!I think that we are just more sensitive to life than those who skate through never knowing this deep hole thing…we observe more, feel more, take on more even when not intending to. The vibes of despair just glom onto us…it could be Africa’s despair- or a war over yonder but somehow we get glommed onto when we are particulary vulnerable…just a thought…like I said- it is common with brillant individuals…
    feel better? Didn’t think so…get some drugs and ride it out that’s about all we can do. Know that you are in good company.
    .-= lindasue´s last blog ..Daisy wins honors CANINE FREESTYLE =-.

  275. I have a theory totally unencumbered by any medical or psychiatric training. And now that it’s on the internet, I expect it to be embraced as the absolute truth. So here’s my theory– the more brilliant and talented you are, the more likely you are to have your brain do crazy stuff. Fortunately, I’m not as talented as you, so depression only sneaks up occasionally and not too harshly and that’s only if I forget the meds. But seriously, most really talented and interesting people are that way because their brain is a profusion of synapses and unfortunately, the synapses can’t be turned off at will, so the brain goes into sensory overload, which isn’t always useful. But I don’t think I would trade it for having a dull brain.

    Thank you, and I will now accept my honorary Ph. D.
    .-= jcaroline´s last blog ..New Blog for Web Updates =-.

  276. Thank you for sharing. I like your serious posts.

    xoxo
    .-= blissfully caffeinated´s last blog ..Stand back while I freak the f%$# out. =-.

  277. Also? I hope you are never normal. Normal is boring. You rock.
    .-= blissfully caffeinated´s last blog ..Stand back while I freak the f%$# out. =-.

  278. *hugs*

    I almost cried! I don’t think anyone will give up on you though, you are too funny to leave behind :)

  279. Jenny, I’ve come to this conclusion: The funniest, brilliant-est, wittiest and clever-est people are mentally ill (oh, and the most modest, natch). Seriously. Girl, I’ve suffered from this shit for as many years as my mind allows me to go back and sometimes I think the worst part is the stress that comes from worrying about the people who are worrying about me. I hate bringing this down on them, but I JUST CAN’T HELP IT. I call it being in my black place (which technically is everyday because I’m black). I know I’ll always come back, but everyday I wait for someone who loves me to say “You know what? I can’t do this anymore with you.” It never comes but yet, I still wait for it. And you know what? I DID give up on myself. I attempted suicide on March 4th of this year. You know what was the worst part? Being in the hospital, wrists bandaged, watching those that love me, cry for me. I’m actually crying right now, thinking about it. Also, I worry that I’m comfortable in my depression. I worry that if I weren’t depressed anymore, who would I be? Then I worry that I’ll never find out. I have no platitudes to offer you. Depression fucking sucks.
    .-= dubiousMa´s last blog ..One Blog Washes the Other =-.

  280. I know anxiety. It has been the little devil on my shoulder since I turned 11. I’m lucky that my panic attacks are few and far between (they clump… I’ll get a ton in a short period, then none for a loooong time). But while depression runs in my family and I *thought* I understood what it was like because of my problems with anxiety and seeing it first hand growing up, it wasn’t until my first child was born and I had a full blown 3 month long bout with post-partum depression that I finally realized that there is nothing rational about it. At least you’ve done this enough times that you know you can ride the wave to the other side. Lots of hugs, and thanks for sharing. And please recognize that you are pure emotion during this time, and reality is skewed. As awful as that well of emotion can feel while you are in the middle of it, coming out of it makes everything seem so bright, amazing, and beautiful. Not that I’d ever want to go through that again, but oh my gosh do I remember the feeling of seeing things through normal eyes again… it was like an incredible reward for the suffering that I’d gone through.

    By the way, I did say that this runs in my family. I want to say kudos to you and anyone who is brave enough to get help for it. In my family, it was something you just dealt with and didn’t get help for. It was very hard for me to get help, because I’d always been shown that asking for help was a weak thing to do. Opening yourself up and being honest is truly a gift to others, as is the fact that you’ve been able to seek treatment for it. Trust me… growing up with a father who suffered from this for years and refused to get help for it, but lashed out at his family because of it instead… as a child I couldn’t understand that it had nothing to do with me. That little girl in me wants you to know that you are doing your daughter such a favor by accepting reality and dealing with it.

  281. You are an amazing writer! Everything you have written in your blog is amazing. The fact that you have shared your vulnerability with us is truly a gift and an inspiration.

    Having suffered from depression my self, I want to tell you how fortunate you are to have it affect you so seldom. Being able to see the light at the end of your “tunnel” is something most others don’t have, and another reason why you are truly amazing.

    I don’t have the panic attacks and anxieties like you do (my anxiety attacks are very mild), but my very best friend does. She feels the same way, she never knows what sets her off and (the control freak she is) feels helpless when she loses control. When she feels like screaming, I scream with her, when she feels like crying, I give her my shoulder, when she feels like the world is crashing down around her, I give her my umbrella.

    I’m the person who, when her attacks happen, I do whatever I can to take the focus off of her. Usually I’ll embarrass myself in some way or another to make sure that people are talking about the crazy thing I did and forget all about what happened with her. Then it’s off to my car for whatever catharsis she needs.

    Thank you for your bravery. Your words will help so many people who feel the same way.

    I am hooked on your blog and this post is just one more reason why.
    .-= OhSweetSara´s last blog ..Helpful Tips =-.

  282. Whether you leave this post up or take it down is of course your business, but I think you should leave it. You say this is unlike you, to which I say this is not one of your typical posts — but it is still you. Most of the bloggers I read have something they are dealing with. Hell, most people I know take something for depression or anxiety. Believe me, you ARE the American normal. Just… don’t give up.

  283. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

  284. I know you are a complete stranger to me and I to you. But please know that you are appreciated and loved and this too shall pass. It is part of you and makes you, well, you. Wonderful, nutty, funny, off-beat, fantastically uniquely you.

  285. Thank you for posting and please do not delete.
    This post was an emotional education into your ‘disorders’ to any of us who do not understand, or who cannot relate.
    Thank you for opening my eyes.

  286. I am beginning to think Depression is a character trait in all of my favorite writers… and in a sick, sad way that gives me hope, because I have been through it and struggle not to fall back into it every single day. While I can’t relate to the anxiety (only sympathize because it must be terrifying) I know how it feels to physically feel the symptoms of a mental illness and how helpless you feel when you think people can’t relate or don’t understand. It is, honestly, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy ( and that’s saying a lot because I do wish things like herpes on them, but the face kind, not genital because that’s mean). Don’t be afraid of the serious posts. You’re a good writer whether you’re funny or not and I think your readers find your honesty refreshing.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Eliminating "I Can’t" =-.

  287. Great book called, Don’t Panic. It’s not patronizing and may be helpful. Helped my family.

    And I agree with Sumo, mental illness IS normal. You’re wonderful, Jenny.

  288. If it helps at all (and it may not) I think a lot of people have at least some understanding of what you’re talking about. I had an incident when my daughter got hurt and was being taken to the hospital – I started to drive to the emergency room and had such an attack that I couldn’t drive. I ended up in the median, looking drunk.
    The point is, don’t ever feel like you can’t just say “I’m having a panic attack. Talk to me later and I’ll be rational.” If they don’t understand, they will.
    Stay safe – and be thankful you have someone there to love you.

  289. I have never dealt with clinical depression, but I have dealt with severe and dehabilitating grief, and I just want you to know that even though depression (and sorrow of many kinds) is the most lonely feeling you can live through, we all, in some stage or another, wonder how long our loved ones will stick around, how long we can stick around ourselves.

    But you know? Love is more resilient than we can imagine. Even when we can only hold on to love for a couple of seconds at a time, it’s still there. I pray that you continue to hold on.
    .-= nakiru´s last blog ..danger danger will robinson =-.

  290. Thank you for this. For the heart-wrenching honesty and for helping me understand what it’s like.
    And may the two of you keep believing in yourselves and each other.

  291. There is nothing I can say that hasn’t been said by the 290 people commenting before me, but here is my personal “thank you”.You’re wonderful. There is a light at the end of that tunnel, & as long as you can see it, you’ll make it to the end. Shriek House said it best: “absolutely frayed”. Not broken. Not beyond repair. Just frayed. Don’t ever give up.
    .-= Ambry´s last blog ..Update! With Pictures! =-.

  292. This hurts my heart for you. The comfort is in knowing that this will pass and you will return to all that is good around you. Hang in there, kind soul.

    And keep up on your meds… this is what gets me through the day… that and drinking… or at least thinking about drinking… but I know better.

  293. I know I don’t stop by very often, but I read (and love) every word you write in my feeder – including today. Just wanted to say I’m thinking of you. Be well soon.
    .-= Jeff´s last blog ..In this case size DOES matter =-.

  294. I’ll never leave–especially because you write these type of posts. You are amazing!

  295. Jenny,

    Please please PLEASE don’t delete this. You manage to say so well what so many others feel, but simply can’t express.

    Although, the Tweets about sniffing the insides of grasshoppers? That was just plain weird.

    ~EdT.
    .-= EdT.´s last blog ..You really should read this… =-.

  296. 298
    Scott Myers

    Normal?? Who the heck wants normal?!?! We want YOU. As-is.
    RA sucks. Depression sucks. Anxiety attacks suck. But you? … you ROCK!
    Metaphorically speaking: no matter how dark the clouds, it does not rain forever.
    You’re loved, Jenny. Thanks for sharing. I hope you feel better … and soon.
    Don’t give up! The sun will shine again.

  297. Well, you’ve never made me CRY before. At least, unless it was from laughing so hard.
    This is a very honest, poignant, moving post. I’m glad you shared it.
    I haven’t had an anxiety attack in many years (knocking wood, here) but your description is very apt. And I’m both blessed and cursed with a husband who doesn’t freak out even when he SHOULD, so he doesn’t get it- but he tries. I don’t think he’d ever give up on me, and I don’t think Victor would either.

    Thinking of you…

    –Trish
    .-= Trish´s last blog ..Quickie w/video =-.

  298. I’m so sorry, I understand exactly what you’re talking about. I feel the shift in my moods and the physical symptoms that accompany and withdraw socially leaving my friends and family to wonder where I’ve gone and what’s wrong with me until I reappear. The perfect combination of meds doesn’t seem to exist but if I can feel the shift and manage it so that I don’t feel like giving up anymore, I guess that’s something. You explained it better than I have before! Hang in there.

  299. 301
    ParsleyPickles

    I have been reading your blog for some time and have never commented but I will now. I am 22, started having panic attacks about 3 years ago, and want to cry about how perfect you described it in this post. My (now ex) boyfried of 4 years never quite got it, he tried (bless his heart) but never completely got there. The worst thing for me was wanting someone, ANYONE, to truely understand how I felt at that moment, almost going as far as to wish it upon someone else, which is horrible! It is not nice that you have similar episodes but it is nice that I don’t feel so alone because you write about them. Thank you.

  300. Sending Hugs Jenny.
    Victor won’t give up on you and you can’t give up on yourself. You are a truly unique person and so damn funny, of course you have to have your vulnerabilities. We all do. You’ll get through this. There are more mushroom boobies to be discovered!
    xox
    .-= AmyBloob´s last blog ..It’s true, kids give you grey hair =-.

  301. Your talk about the hole is one I relate too. I describe it like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, down the dark hole into the other side. Everything is there but nothing is what it should be, it ‘s an illusion. Everything shifts, including how you see the world (literally both physically & emotionally). You don’t feel like you should & you aren’t sure if it’s them or you. Then you realize one day it’s you.

    It’s good to have someone support you, I’m glad you have that. I know I couldn’t get through a day without it myself.

    Thank you for writing this.
    .-= beth aka confusedhomemaker´s last blog ..Glamour, Body Image, and the Loving Your Body Revolution. =-.

  302. i go thru this too and what ive learned over the years being an artist of any kind be it musician or writer or painter is that with any gift comes the ugly…for every ounce of beauty on the outside of pandoras box the demons lurked inside waiting to be let out…and unfortunately i believe most beauty comes with the ugly. and depression and anxiety is the downside to creativity. im there with you. and so are others. that hole comes and you sit it out and then one day the sun comes out too.
    dont ever be ashamed at who you are and what you create for you are truly gifted. i read you every day and you are brilliant.
    .-= losttoo´s last blog .. =-.

  303. Hey, maybe this just means you’re a fucking artist! So you got that going for you…

    Seriously, take care.

  304. You were right,,,,geeezz such a bummer. I hope you know how much light you bring to the blogesphere ( I am kinda a blog virgin unsure of the spelling)But your rants are favorite of mine. They make me laugh out loud and for that I thank you. Let your darkside show some times . It obviuosly has a way of showing itself no matter what you say. Maybe you could get some darkside advice from Mr Vader there.You also need to know you are not alone. Mental ilness is also rampent in my family and fully getting lost in the throws of it while friends and family loose patience in me and all slowly leave me is something I ofter fear. I can relate. Please remember some of us need to hear your voice and the joy it brings…Thanks for all the yucks… Sarabeth
    .-= Sarabeth´s last blog ..I WON’T GROW UP! NEVER GROW UP! NOT ME! =-.

  305. 301 comments. Wow.. you hit a nerve. You did. Because I know, like so many others, I get it. I wish I didn’t. I wish you well. God, I hope our men don’t give up on us. And it does kind of add to the whole mysterious tortured artist persona, right? I’d trade it all if it meant less stress and confusion for my children though. In a heartbeat.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..I Just Got SERIOUSLY Pissed Off =-.

  306. Love you, Jenny. Every piece of you.
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..I began writing this before my appointment last Thursday. =-.

  307. I very much recognize myself in your post. Not the panick attacks, but the bouts of depression.
    I also try to hide it, the obvious parts. You try to be open about it, and you try to hide it.
    How logical is that?

    I also literally see things differently, although I just see mist. Mist in my head, mist around my happiness and mist around all things I love and hate. One big mist, as if a smoke machine has been blowing all my life.
    And I hope that the day after it will end, unless it’s already been a couple of weeks. No hope left then.
    But you know what? I always feel better sooner or later, and you will too.

    And just like you, I have a wonderful husband who sticks around. And I know it is because we give a lot back. My husband has to endure with me, but I offer a lot in return. From the peek you give us into your life, I know the same goes for you.
    Don’t put yourself down because of these ‘malfunctions’. This makes us who we are, and our husbands love us for
    it.

    PS: Sorry for talking about you as if I know you. Or your husband.
    Blame the wine!
    Good wine though.
    PPS: Feel better soon!!

  308. Wow! I, too, suffer from depression and you did an incredible job describing it. Don’t give up. Eventually the colors get brighter.

  309. While I don’t suffer from the exact symptoms you do, I also struggle with depression. Reading your blog (and a few others) totally helped me talk to my doctor about it and get medication. I feel better now, but still not 100% “normal”. I don’t even know what “normal” is anymore but I like who I am. I like me. Thanks for being a part of that and thanks for sharing your life with the rest of us. You are awesome.
    .-= PrincessOfForks´s last blog ..Life Sucks Or: Reasons why everyone is going to get stabbed. =-.

  310. ::hugs::
    .-= Jen E @ mommablogsalot´s last blog ..Daybook: October 5th =-.

  311. I love you Bloggess…
    .-= Eric´s last blog .. =-.

  312. Well… we won’t give up on you. All of us, right here.
    .-= Birdie´s last blog ..Banned Books Week =-.

  313. Amazing blog post. Please do not delete it! You nailed it! Your post will help so many people know they are not alone!

  314. I don’t want this to sound bad, but your post made me feel good. Good because sometimes you forget that you aren’t the only one out there. Keep on truckin’, sister.
    .-= ARG´s last blog ..THIS IS WHY I NEVER GO OUT =-.

  315. Jenny, I’m sure you’ll never read all the way down to this comment…but there is strength in numbers and I hope you see how many comments this post will get and know that that huge number is just a fraction of the people who support and love you, and who do understand.

    I try to hang on to happy and anxiety-free moments. My affirmations are: I am strong; this will pass; I have faith that I can handle this; I have support; I am strong.
    .-= Theresa B´s last blog ..My first decorated cake is literally a "wreck" =-.

  316. I read your blog every time you post and normally I don’t comment because I feel like I have nothing worthwhile to say but when I read this I had to say thank you I have never been able to describe what happens in my brain very well to other people and have always felt very alone but your post shows that at least one person out there goes through the same thing and now I have a better way to describe what it is that goes on so thank you so much

  317. Hugs. I have a “panic disorder” too. It sucks.
    .-= Pando´s last blog ..Oh, Come ON. =-.

  318. I hate – for both of our sakes – saying this but I am right in that hole with you. Except you can never be in that hole with someone else. You think you can do something together but you need to do it alone and get through it alone.

    In my hole I keep envisioning my car and an overpass and what might happen if I press on the gas a little harder. And then I tell my therapists and they change my meds and then I feel better and then I’m back to that car on the overpass.

    I hate it. It’s affecting everything and I, too, wish I could be normal. I wish I could get through a day and react to things the way others react to things. Instead of that there’s a lot of anxiety yet no crying. I’m just frustrated. I want to feel normal and yet I can’t. I hate it.
    .-= Heather B.´s last blog ..Jack Daniel’s neat =-.

  319. Hugs and big wet kisses from another resident of H-town. We all love you.
    .-= Shawna´s last blog ..We Really Were Happy Campers =-.

  320. Thank you for this post. I started getting anxiety attacks when I was pregnant, and I didn’t know what was going on with me. I didn’t know how to explain it either because – sheesh! I was busy having an anxiety attack. It’s awful and miserable and yet so amazing to read all the comments of the people who also know how awful and miserable it is. It’s nice(r) to know I’m not the only one…so thank you again for posting this.

  321. I completely understand. You are incredibly brave for being honest and talking about it…gazillions of people deal with this, but DON’T talk about it out loud. You made me feel better just by sharing your raw and vulnerable thoughts…I hope you feel better soon.
    .-= Sweetest in the Gale´s last blog ..One Single Impression: Descent =-.

  322. The Love of My Life™ had Major Depressive Disorder.
    This year she thought she would do me a favor
    And take herself away from me.

    Don’t do anyone any favors.
    We choose to love you.
    Let us, goddammit.
    .-= Sharkey!´s last blog ..Coloring =-.

  323. You are amazing and you are loved. I have sporadic panic attacks at night but not serious attacks. I refer to them more as night-terrors. Fortunately for me, they are few and far between. I can’t imagine living with the attacks you and others like you experience. Know that you have people that love you and we will always support you.
    .-= Motherofthemonth´s last blog ..Prop 8 =-.

  324. Thank you for being my voice… I’m on my third brain tumor. Was told that the last one was going to be my last one. it’s not. It also exacerbates my fibromyalgia/CFS.

    Even though he is my best friend and husband of 7 months, my anxiety about being a vegetable after the next operation is causing the attacks that you so elequently spoke of. I have one thing that you don’t…I can’t control the scream. It comes and I don’t know I’m doing it. That scares people more than the anxious rush from the crowded wherever-I-am. He rocks me until I stop.

    Thank you for being you and saying what you did today. I’m sure I’m not the only one you helped to realise that we aren’t alone.

    :s

  325. I usually read you because you are funny, but today, I’m proud to read you as a fellow member of the anxiety community.

  326. <3
    Don't give up. You are amazing and we love you.

    The blogosphere makes the world feel much smaller, like we have friends out there that we've never met. Just thought you might like to know that even though you don't know me, I'd be your sanctuary in a foreign city and lend you and hand to pull yourself out of that hole. This time and the next time. Anytime.

  327. ((Hugs))

  328. You are such a brilliant woman and if it takes a little “crazy” to have you in this world then so be it. I won’t pretend to understand how you feel but please know that we’ll all be there waiting for you when you come out of it.

  329. What is “normal”? Normalcy is overrated.

    You’re awesome! Your blog is amazing!

  330. So, you’re human after all.

  331. Jenny, you’re the sum of your parts. This is one part of you, sure. But there are other parts, other amazing parts, funny, generous, outrageous parts, warm, caring and loving parts, and when you add them all together, the crazy is just a small part. It is no doubt overwhelming and feels like the elephant in the room for you, but I would bet that’s not the first thing people who know you think about or see in relation to you. I remain, as ever, in awe of your humor and today, of your vulnerability, which is harder to share with us. Thank you.
    .-= Candy´s last blog ..America’s Least Convenient Bank =-.

  332. you are so, so brave and i admire you now even more, goddammit. i have similar condition- and i only got to close to writing about it once in a post about postpartum depression, and not with as much honesty as you. just know you’re not alone. i think it’s like this fine line between madness and genius that we mad geniuses have, or at least that’s what i tell myself, because it means i can maybe wear a cool mad scientist costume for Halloween. (plus I was thinking if I went full-on psycho and ended up in a straitjacket maybe i would have more hits on my blog.)
    seriously though? i just am sending love- to Texas from Maryland. You’re the best.
    .-= @marymac´s last blog ..GodSPAMIt! =-.

  333. Just hugs. Thanks for writing this. My husband experiences depression and anxiety as well and it’s helpful to me to hear about what he might be going through.

  334. Wow, the timing of this post was perfect for me. I experience the same thing as you on all accounts…not so much the physical tunnel vision…but everything else. Today my breathing has been very fast, and I am so agitated I feel an attack coming on. Hang in there…and know that there are people experiencing the exact same thing.
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..New Fabric Designs =-.

  335. Thank you. You described everything I have *ever* felt. I wish I could print this out and give it to people who have told me I am “rude” and “mean” or that I’m “overreacting” when I have a depressive episode, or a panic attack, or just good ol’ social anxiety around them. But I would have to print a lot of copies, because I’ve been told those things A LOT from A LOT of different people, so it would totally be bad for the environment.

    I want you to know something, too. The first night of BlogHer in Chicago, I was FREAKING OUT on the inside. I just wanted to HIDE. And then I found you in the bathroom, and you hugged me, and I knew that you kind of wanted to hide to, and I felt better. And I had one of the best nights of my life, following you around like a puppy dog, because you know how it feels, and I realized that we could be okay together. Thank you.
    .-= Ally B´s last blog ..The Importance of Good Goals =-.

  336. oh jenny… it’s debilitating. the anxiety attacks. physically, mentally, emotionally debilitating.

    thank you for writing this. you helped me feel not so alone in my own struggle with anxiety.
    .-= nic @mybottlesup´s last blog ..oktoberfest: a whale of a tail =-.

  337. thank you. thank you, thank you, thank you for being so funny all the time and so honest this time. It made me cry and really helped.

  338. Too many people are relating to you and accepting you. It’s gonna make you feel too normal. You’re not. You’re totally fucking strange.
    .-= BHJ´s last blog ..Going Off =-.

  339. I too can relate. But thankfully medication helped me tremendously and I don’t go through the horrors that you do. I wish all of us could make it all better. And hopefully we do, just a little bit. You’re so loved, Jenny, no matter what.
    .-= Suzy Voices´s last blog ..Guest Post: The Day I Married A Princess =-.

  340. the nailprints on my palms hear you. i’m in denial.
    xo for your heart and honesty.
    .-= ingrid´s last blog ..fun with google autocomplete =-.

  341. I have read this, felt this, and know. I hope that shortly, you come out of the tunnel into the blinding light and can laugh about how your eyes are burning in the light.
    .-= corina´s last blog ..Just a Few Weekly Winners: Sept 27 – Oct 3 =-.

  342. Oh Jenny, your post made me tear up in the middle of my work day, next to my boss, who is trying to ignore the fact that I’m reading your blog right now. Your writing gives all of us (especially the crazy ones) a break from the constant dealing with “normal people” who admire our brains when they kick their brains’ assess but judge us the rest of the time for everything, including the horrible painful shit, that makes us who we are. Your faithful readers admire your courage to be awesome and to be you, all the time no matter what. The feeling that it’s just a matter of time before you’re abandoned by the only person who really matters is the worst, most undermining feeling in the world. I know it. I really do. Please let yourself believe that he will never give up on you. You need to make Victor understand the depth of this fear. If he deserves your wonderful self, he’ll step up.

  343. I’m here. Suffering the darkness along side with you.

    Perhaps if we reach out in the dark we will find one another’s hand to hold tightly until we can see the light once again.

    I love you.
    .-= Redneck Mommy´s last blog ..Honesty =-.

  344. p.s. Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
    Albert Camus (1913 – 1960)

    p.p.s. Screw being normal. :)

  345. My 16yo son suffers with anxiety/panic disorder and depression. We think these attacks may have actually manifested with him as far back as elementary school. This past Feb. we even had to remove him from public school and homeschool him until the beginning of this current school year because he simply could not function. While I have never been through an attack myself, witnessing the trauma they cause my son and not being able to do much more than wait it out with him, I can empathize with you and do understand how completely overwhelming the feelings of powerlessness can be.

    I will never give up on him. I hope you can find some peace, and solace with those who love you.
    .-= Tara R.´s last blog ..No excuses… =-.

  346. There are several books that I have found that are NOT, NOT, NOT full of shit:

    Undoing Depression by Richard O’Connor
    The Mood Cure by Julia Ross
    Depression-Free Naturally by Joan Mathews Larson

    NOT is what I meant to type, of course.
    .-= La Framéricaine´s last blog .."Thank Le Camioneur for Small Favors…" =-.

  347. I don’t know how far you are into this and perhaps not very far and perhaps further than I am. My anxiety hit full force around 11 years ago and I have been struggling ever since. I can’t relate to the depression even though my doctors all think that I must be depressed since I keep having panic attacks. I wish it was that easy and I wish I could take meds for it but I can’t.

    When it hits me I feel like I am going to die. It is funny, other people feel like they are going crazy but not me. I think that it prays on your deepest fear and I really don’t care if I totally lose my mind, at least I will still be breathing! I do’t konw if that makes any sense.

    I haven’t read through the other responses with the exception of schmutzie so I don’t really know what has been suggested here. I just want to drop one name. Lucinda Bassett. She is an anxiety sufferer that founded the Midwest Centre for Stress and Anxiety. She wrote a wonderful book called From Panic to Power. I highly recommend it. Because I couldn’t take the anti-depressants and the doctors don’t want me on anti-anxiety meds, I had to do all of this chemical free.

    I’m not panic free now but I do have the tools to confront the monster and beat it back into submission.

    Don’t give up. There are lots of us out there. There are lots of tools out there to deal with anxiety disorder. And please, feel free to use my e-mail address and whatever other contact information you have on me (twitter or otherwise) if you need to talk about it. I would wish a lot of things on my worst enemy…anxiety disorder is not one of them.

    So much love to you.

    As an aside: many many many funny people in the world suffer from anxiety disorder. I was told once that I had a great sense of humour about it. I told that person that if I didn’t laugh about it, I would probably lose my mind.
    .-= melistress´s last blog ..Beginning Lots, Finishing None =-.

  348. You. are. not. alone.

  349. I am so sorry to hear this about you. I have Lupus, depression and anxiety attacks. I know what you are talking about and how tough it is. You are an amazing person. You will pull through this horrendous shit. And, you’ve got a great man who I am sure, will continue to support you.
    .-= violet´s last blog ..Bad Days and Good Days =-.

  350. Jenny don’t give up. Every time you write something that makes us smile or laugh you help. Maybe sometimes when the edges are getting dark you can write something like this and we’ll help you.

  351. I don’t know how many other people have commented to tell you that YOU are not alone. I don’t know what comfort that is, but as an anxiety and depression sufferer, it helps me to know there are others who are just like me or almost just like me.

    I hope you soon discover what you need.
    .-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..Something is very wrong. I may need a reverse intervention. =-.

  352. In my so eloquant way (cuz I am writer you know) I want to sum up my feelings on that post.

    THAT SUCKS.

    Um, not the post. But the depression and anxiety. I suffer from both. Much lighter forms. Like buying Tai food from a place run by Americans…kinda the same, but not with the same KICK. I am not screwed up enough for anyone to even NOTICE. I am invisible. I simply drudge on. Move forward. Make dinner. Write some comedy on my blog. just CONTINUE…..

    So I have deep empathy for you of course. And it must have been God’s way of balancing out your imense talents in writing and comedy. Cuz he totally does that you know. He is all messed up too.
    :)
    .-= The Glamorous Life´s last blog ..On raising a boy named Tucker. =-.

  353. Moved to comment, just to let you know (which you’ve already realised) that you’re not alone, and apparently well loved by hundreds of people who don’t even know you. Hugs from Down Under. Your blog makes my day.

  354. Thanks, Jenny. Never commented before, but I just wanted to say thank you for saying very eloquently what I can’t.
    .-= Nunia Bidness´s last blog ..Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. =-.

  355. I have to say, I have learned in the past year, normal… is highly overrated. Pain, anxiety, fear, hopelessness… these are things that threaten our very human existence. I wish I had an answer for you, or for myself for that matter… alas I don’t. Just know we are still here, still reading, and wishing you the best :)
    .-= Amber Schmidt´s last blog ..12 weeks to a Peaceful Christmas =-.

  356. If it helps you, that for me, seeing this post, reading that my most funniest woman in the interwebs doesn’t have it all together either…that even in the moment when you feel most alone, someone else has/does/will go it through it too unfortunately and that they too feel the despondency that prevails during such ‘episodes’ (what I call my ‘holes’ or panics) then it has made me a little calmer…if only for tonight.

    Love to you Jenny, you’re stronger than our synapses

    xx

    PS I linked my best mate to your blog this evening as she too is having trouble in the brain atm but told her to start on the ‘kitchen drawer’ post then read through and piece it together as really, it’s not so lonely out there when somebody speaks out.
    .-= Kerry´s last blog ..I <3 GC =-.

  357. I love you now more than ever, my friend.
    .-= maggie, dammit´s last blog ..Class Reunion =-.

  358. So I was going to link to one of those “Hang in there!” pictures of a kitten hanging off a branch in a fairly pedestrian attempt at ‘I’m being ironic but also supportive.’ But then I found this picture, which I think we can all agree is far more appropriate for the bloggess:
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/6jorgn

  359. I look around me and see that all people who are witty and funny and brave and dance in front of others and put themselves out there have something in common – they are people who are flawed.

    Those of us who live in the world and see the world and laugh at the world are also sometimes brought down by the world – it’s a weird balancey thing.

    Call it Karma, bi-polar, ups and downs, the circle of life, whatever you want.

    The point is that I doubt you would be the openminded, incredibly brave, unbelievably funny, inteligent, savvy, sassy person you are if there wasn’t a darker side.

    And as many other people have said before me, you are not alone.

    So come on into the darkness with the rest of us and remember two things:

    1) You have been through this before, and survived it before, and you will again
    2) This too shall pass.

    Now come on down to Seattle so I can hug you till you choke,

    IBC
    .-= ittybittycrazy´s last blog ..He Said She Said – Donut =-.

  360. I have a history of anxiety and lately I believe I am slipping again back into a depression that I’m not sure how to tackle. I allude to it on my blog, but don’t know if that’s enough. I hope that us 357 – make me 358, if someone else doesn’t beat me to it – people have made you feel a bit better. You’re not alone, I’m not alone, either. Stay strong, take care of you.

  361. you don’t know me, but you just impressed the crap out of me. just like you always do, but for completely different reasons.

    be well. see you on the flipside, cowgirl.

  362. Oh wow. I just found your blog a few days ago and you’ve been cracking me up. I’ve suffered from social anxiety and depression for many, many years, but I’ve never been able to put it into words like you did. Panic attacks are scary and embarrassing no matter how many you have or how “used to” them you get. And people will try to understand and tell you not to worry and to just relax, but the only ones who really truly understand are other sufferers.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Sunday Night Blues =-.

  363. I check out three blogs every day, yours is one of them. I like to think I’m funny (no blog, just FB status updates), but you’re way funnier. It’s great and you seem really great. I hope you feel better soon and continue to write and make me and others laugh, cry and think outside the box!

  364. Just the sheer number of comments to your atypical post shows you that you are anything but alone. Sending hugs to one of my favorite Bloggers and hoping you’re feeling more like yourself soon.
    .-= Jane´s last blog ..Dancing with Mrs. Happy and Mr. Right =-.

  365. Unlurking to say how much I appreciate your sharing such a painful part of your life. Thank you.
    .-= Louise´s last blog ..Preppy-docking =-.

  366. I didn’t know that other people felt these same things. These same feelings. I don’t have depression, I have a OCD triggered by anxiety attacks. I’ll be packing up from a trip, and I’ll lose my shampoo bottle, and I heat up. I get so hot, and my vision gets all spotty, and my nose starts to run, and my chest starts to itch, and I grab everything. I reach for anything I can, and throw it all in. I don’t get it. Iy makes absolutley no sense, but I always worry that I’ll leave something. And then I feel like inaminate objects have feelings, and that they’ll be upset or something. And then I cry. But the very worst part is after I stop crying, and I hate myself so much for crying. Cutting? It never helped. Screaming? Can’t scream loud enough? Punching? Never hard enough.

  367. I suffer (and I do mean suffer) from manic/depressive disorder. Also know as Bipolar. Half (or maybe a little over half) the time I hate myself. I feel out of control. I feel like I am self destructing, and trying to take the things I hold most precious with me. Like my relationships, with my husband, my sister… or even with my darling children. I also suffer from anxiety (not to your degree), mine is mostly social anxiety. No one likes me, they are all talking about me. Spreading lies. They are all friends. But no one wants to be MY friend. SIgh.

    You aren’t alone, Jenny. You just feel like you are. Victor loves you. Lots of people love you. You are important. You are important.
    .-= Martie´s last blog ..My Gorgeous Boy, My Number ONE Son… =-.

  368. 370
    CherBearBlue

    You’re not alone Jenny! Sometimes I can’t move for days on end and can’t stop throwing up. My depression is crippling, and as I’ve fought it, it is morphing into an anxiety thing too. There’s a ton of us out here and we love women like you who are strong, brilliant and hilarious…people like you keep people like me going. You rock and you’re in my thoughts!

  369. You can come out to dinner with me anytime. I will hold your xanax (or trail mix, whatever) for you, and I won’t care if you crawl under the table. I’ll tell people that you’re looking for my contact lens or that you’re a creative genius who gets inspired by the undersides of tables. Whatever you like. I’ll feel badly for you, but I won’t feel sorry for you.

    Victor won’t give up on you, and I hope you don’t either. It does seem like the universe is shitting on you, though. I think that would make anyone depressed and anxious.
    .-= a´s last blog ..Travels =-.

  370. Do you feel like you just opened up your thoracic cavity and let us all rummage around? You shared so much. You’re amazing. Victor must be too : ) (And I hope it isn’t offensive that whenever you write about a conversation between you and Victor, I always imagine he says your name like Forrest Gump would–Jinnaaaayy.
    <3
    .-= country mouse´s last blog ..Sweet Pea is already a whole year old! =-.

  371. My mother-in-law describes trying to crawl out of a hole the same way you do. Only she won’t go to a dr. who will check her chemical levels. It’s tough seeing someone hurting and not being able to help them. It’s great your husband tries. Whenever my husband says to “relax,” that is one of the few things that tends to irritate me, though! I hate being told to calm down or relax. That just riles me up! What a wise, brave woman you are to understand the cycle!
    .-= maryleigh´s last blog ..Bittersweet October! Delicious Autumn! =-.

  372. Thank you for being brave enough to write and post this. And not take it down! I have suffered severe depression and anxiety my entire life, drugs, therapies, wanting to delete blogs, twitter, facebook, friends… everything… the only thing that helps me feel better is laughing, and I always come to your blog to re-read my favorite posts when I am feeling down, and I always leave feeling a little better.

    In a non-stalkery way I have to say that I feel like you, Victor, Hailey, and even the pup, (even tho I totally can’t remember his name – but I often forget the names of my cats, and my husband’s friends will never let me forget the time I called him “what’s his name” ) are a part of my life… I would be extremely sad if you, and your blogs and Tweets, were not in it and (again, in a non-stalkery way) I would be here for you if you ever needed a friend and the other 25,000 of your closest friends were busy.

    You bring joy. And you are not alone. We are all here being not normal together. Thank God.
    .-= girlvaughn´s last blog ..are you ready boots? start kicking. =-.

  373. Woman…you bring joy to many. If in your depression/Anxiety you can hang on to that thread you can fight your way back. I admire your strength by putting up this post…it’s not an easy thing to share. Kudos to youdos.
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Distracted by Crap =-.

  374. oh, also – I wanted to mention that I just started a new class – meditation to help depression – so far it is helping and I am feeling extremely optimistic. The also have specific meditation for stress reduction classes — info is here: http://mbct.com/
    .-= girlvaughn´s last blog ..are you ready boots? start kicking. =-.

  375. 377
    ms. procrastination

    Don’t give up. Ever.

  376. Without understanding,
    love you anyway,
    hugs,Kermitt

  377. Thank you! I think the auto-immune disease of the mind comment is right on. You answered my question about colitits and anxiety in your advice column and it totally made sense. It really made me feel better and I am not ashamed to have to take medication to control it. Taking a pill every day beats crapping on myself anyday. Soooooo do what you need to do and forget what anyone else thinks. BTW from all the comments it seems to me everyone else thinks you are pretty great.

  378. 380
    Kasy Bryan

    I think you should carry the drugs with you at all times. I’m so sorry that you are feeling “off”. Hang in there!

  379. My friend linked me to this post, said it reminded her of me. I know almost exactly what you’re feeling. The mortification. My panic comes with waves of nausea accompanied by my intestines literally going into spasms. And I feel like I’m either going to throw up, or be stuck in the bathroom for an hour (which has happened a time or two). I once abandoned my boyfriend in a restaurant before the food even arrived. I called him from the bathroom to tell him I couldn’t come back to the table. Restaurants are the worst for me. I’ve had to stop in the middle of a meal and spit food out of my mouth because my gag reflex gets so bad that I know I’ll vomit if I swallow. It’s a control thing though. Can’t leave until the bill is paid. I waited tables to pay for college, and could eat in the back during my shift with no problem. But couldn’t sit and be waited on by a coworker when I had a day off. Happens occasionally in other places too (airplanes, etc.). I’ve found that taking a quarter of a Xanax just BEFORE I go into a trigger situation helps immensely. I can at least stay at the table, even if I have to push my plate away. But yeah, that feeling that I’m broken… And I have such high expectations of myself; it’s hard to come to terms with that “weakness”. Hate it. You are so fortunate, though, to have a supportive SO.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Fewer v. Less =-.

  380. <3 you're not alone

  381. oohhh anxiety and depression….my evil twins. i have to say i have read just about every word you have written. maybe. even. ever. and i absolutely love you. you’re awesome. and sharing this side of you makes you like elevendybazillion times more awesomer.

    hang in there. you have so many people that seem to love you. so many people that you touch. whether they are right there with you or out here in cyber world. you keep doing what you do. you have more people than you will know rootin’ for ya.

    and for the love of bob…if you have a snow cone machine in your room…i’m pretty sure victor wont run away. besides the GPS woman would just turn him right around and send him back to the driveway.
    .-= Loco YaYa´s last blog ..Nobody Even Knows I’m Out Here =-.

  382. I think if you were normal, you wouldn’t be Jenny. If you were normal you wouldn’t be thought provoking, just plain hilarious or as empathetic as you are. You have helped me through some hard ass times, whether it be from commenting to me or just knowing that although I feel alone, I’m not alone. My panic attacks come at night, always at night- but the night terrors, the shreiking (EVERY DAMN TIME my kids think I’m dying and it happens way more often than I care to admit), the running and the need to escape the home and the husband that keep me on my semi-sane life path are terrible to me and my family- but to anyone else I sound insane. I nearly threw up in my husband’s grandmother’s casket this weekend (swear to GOD), and had to put on my blank face to keep everyone around me from knowing just how close I was to the brink. No one knows. The entire weekend, I managed to “blank face” and medicate myself from offending my husband’s family for life. I love those people, so it was worth it. It isn’t always so easy. But I know that YOU know that. So Jenny, I think you are amazing and knowing that you help others by admitting to the line you walk, makes the fact that you hit publish on this so amazingly awesome.
    .-= Simply Jenn´s last blog ..The funeral, and the pure evil of breast cancer =-.

  383. 385
    DogsDontPurr

    When you said: ” I know there’s nothing to panic about. And that’s exactly what makes it so much worse”….you hit the nail on the head. Argh if that isn’t the worst part! It makes it so hard for other people to understand. It makes it impossible for us who suffer with this anxiety to understand.

    Thank you for posting so perfectly what this is all about. I know it sounds cliche, but now I feel that I am not alone. That I am not making this up in my head. That there are other people who experience this.

    Big hugs to you. I totally understand. Thank you for posting this.

  384. Wow Gal, you were sending your vibes out into the blogshpere. I don’t get over here but every so often sometimes sitting here for an hour or 2 catching up. Tonight I thought twice that I needed to come over and see what you had going on and I so didn’t expect this post!
    I feel for ya babe!! We are here for you!
    .-= Jen @ Eco-Office Gals´s last blog ..Flaunt It! Monday: myEARTH360 =-.

  385. Hi Jenny, long time lurker here.
    I can’t imagine you will have time to read almost 400 comments of support, but if you make it down here to the 370′s-80′s, please know I appreciate your post. I understand the depression, for me it is the exact reverse. I’ve suffered from severe depression for several years now and the anxiety is the kick in the stomach while I am down. I’ve felt weird and awkward for so long because I’ve basically been stuck in a beginning life crisis since i was 15… 5 years later and i’m barely getting myself together. A majority of the time I read your blog I feel like you’ve been sitting in my head. Honest! You are able to articulate so many feelings and views I could not even begin to express.
    I guess i’m not saying much, but that I too will live with a mental illness for the rest of my life. Some days are better than others; sometimes no matter how much I work out, talk it out, eat well, socialize and take anti-depressents I still want to curl up into a ball and never leave the house. I really admire you for being able to function with your anxiety disorder. You give me hope for my future. Thank you for this post.

  386. Fuck mental illness. Fuckity fuckity fuck it. What *is* “normal” anyway? Fuckity fuckity FUCK normal!!!! You are an iridescent light that peeks under the closed door where I’ve forgotten to stuff a towel and bounces off the mirror at strange angles until I’m not sure there isn’t an other worldly being hovering in the corner where the walls meet the ceiling…..whooooo hooooooo……. granny spent two weeks in a psych hospital in the sixities….mom chews prozac like pez……i have scripts for a variety of shit lying around…..who the fuck cares?????? I AM HAPPY….until I’m down…..but mostly I”m happy….embrace the good times and try not to live in fear of the bad…..
    .-= T Jones ´s last blog ..What a week! =-.

  387. Thanks for all the laughs and smiles. Much love.

  388. We’re all broken to some extent. I sure am.
    I can’t identify at all with any of your anxiety issues, but thanks to you I will sure recognize a panic attack in someone else and have some small idea of what the person is feeling and how to help them. I have issues of my own – we all do.
    You don’t have to apologize to your husband, your family, or your readers. It would be a facade to just come here and be the happy, quirky, funny Jenny that we all love and then pretend that there was nothing else going on.
    You’ve helped so many people just by sharing this. Apparently there’s many of your readers trying to go through the same thing alone.
    Don’t ever give up. When the world seems dark, do what you do best. Write it out. Your readers don’t expect you to be sarcastically funny every day. Be insane. Be depressed. Write it out. Don’t cover it up. Don’t be embarassed by it. Don’t apologize. Eff anyone who thinks otherwise. We never cared what they thought anyway.
    .-= Sue´s last blog ..The World is Moving Astronomically Fast – It’s Not Your Imagination =-.

  389. I’m glad you’ve left this up. You’re one of my favorite bloggers, and I would hope you can feel OK about letting out the bad as well as all the awesome posts.
    I’ll still be here to read read read. kiss kiss!

  390. I love The Funny Bloggess.

    But I REALLY love This Bloggess, This Jenny.

    So real, so raw, so honest.

    Thinking really great thoughts for you and sending you lots of warm wishes. Hugs.
    .-= Mrs. Cline´s last blog ..It Happened =-.

  391. My wonderful (and I mean that sincerely) ex had panic attacks. It’s true that it’s impossible to really grok what it feels like if you haven’t experienced it. With my ex, I had to give up trying to “get it,” and just be there in the ways he told me (in lucid, non-panicked moments) he needed me to be there. Everyone is different, of course, but for him that meant that we quickly found a place where we could be as alone as possible, and I would put my arms around him and hold him without speaking until it subsided (almost a maternal energy, really). He was so scared and vulnerable in those moments, and the meta-cognition, the self-knowledge, the frustrating realization that it wasn’t a response to any “real” stimulus (i.e., no monsters were about to eat him), just made him feel worse… broken.

    With the caveat that “everyone is different,” my suggestion for people dealing with this issue is to develop a signal between the panicker and his/her most trusted people (SO’s, family members, etc.), and a plan of action to be implemented whenever the signal is given. In my ex’s case, it would mean finding a private spot for the holding. In Jen’s case, it might be something more like, “Provide cover for me while I get the hell out of here, then help me get to my meds.” For someone else it might mean holding hands, or finding a place where it’s quiet, or whatever it is that person knows helps him/her. Advanced planning doesn’t make the onset of a panic attack any less scary (or likely, unfortunately), but it can help make it shorter.

    And, just for the record, I never loved my ex any less during his panic attacks. Frankly, I loved him more because he trusted me to be there for him. I would have fought hungry bears for him.

  392. i have a theory about normal. i think some socialologist or shrink took people way over here (flaps left hand way to the left) and way over here (flaps right hand way to the right) and averaged them and called that normal. i don’t think anyone should ever be there – there dwell dragons, and not the cool kind. so please don’t wish that on yourself.

    please don’t delete this post – we cherish the highs more when we are aware of the lows. i don’t know if this helps, m’dear, but i started thinking “mental illness” when you started talking about kitten mittens. darting under the table wouldn’t phase me in the least.

    in all seriousness, i have a friend who suffers from the anxiety thing. what is the best thing to do? let ‘em run? hunker down next to her and wait it out? bring on the alcohol? pretend everything is fine? which do you personally prefer?
    .-= Ericka´s last blog ..The Latest From The Studio… =-.

  393. Don’t forget the one of the nastiest side effects of depression. It makes us see everything so darkly and so convincingly that it isn’t hard to talk oneself into a nasty non-truth. Victor totally loves you and you are totally worth loving.

    Love you!
    Lotta
    .-= Lotta´s last blog ..Blue India Vintage Etched Lucite Bead With 14K Gold Filled Chain =-.

  394. Hey there. I am a fan because you are you. As I’ve said before, it’s been an honor getting to know you. Hang in there. AND DO NOT feel guilty about all this. You are not allowed to feel guilty when it is not your fault and you are not feeling well, unless of course, if you are Chinese, then you can feel guilty about everything, including global warming.
    .-= submom´s last blog ..“I have no life. I play with Lego all day!” =-.

  395. So, I, like many many of your readers I have peed my pants laughing at the way that you write, the things that you write and your ability to keep it real at all times.
    And here you do it yet again.
    While I’ve never been on the fighting end of this battle, and would most likely be the one who uttered “suck it up, you’ll be fine” to someone who is legitimately suffering (I’m an asshole, what can I say)
    I do want you to know that coming from someone who has NOT been there that I too appreciate your candor because it’s nice to know that someone so highly regarded by us all has human moments. You’re flawed. You are fucking funny as shit and I wish only to be half as effervescent a story teller as yourself someday.

    Your gorgeous wonderful family will keep you strong during any of the moments that you feel you can’t be. And just think there are things about Victor I am sure he is insecure about, things you just do not understand about him. You still love him right?
    Yeah well I’m pretty sure you are safe sister. Plus you are way better looking so there is no way he could get rid of you, he so could not marry “up” again. Lucky bastard.

    http://brookiebrooke2.blogspot.com

  396. I’m sorry. People may not always understand but they try because they care about you. You deserve their attention and their love. You may not always feel like you do, but you do.
    .-= followthatdog´s last blog ..Bitten =-.

  397. I definitely don’t understand Jenny, but I empathise. For my problem(s), there are groups where we get to say our name and our problem and everyone goes home feeling less alone. There should be Chronic Anxiety Sufferers’ Anonymous meetings. And everyone could talk to strangers about it and. Wait.

    O.k., rubbish idea. But love from me to you, lady

    P.S. CASA, right? Could be gold. Mi Casa es Su Casa could be the motto. The serenity prayer ain’t got shit on that.

  398. I will never give up on you and I hope you never give up on yourself. I’m just another of the hundreds of faceless web minions who love you but if you add it up, that’s a lot of love.
    .-= eldergeek AKA don-guitar´s last blog ..eldergeek: @EdofNV or… http://www.chatopus.com/ (there may also be other options available) =-.

  399. you certainly are not alone. however, those of us who suffer really do believe for periods of time that we are alone, don’t we? a friend’s death cast me into the darkness that you talk about. literally – i simply went to take a fucking nap one evening and woke up, believing i was having a heart attack at 23. tunnel vision, physical pain, waves of panic, and then reduced to a limp rag. i got on medication a few years ago when i realized that googling brain tumors for 8 hours a day was not normal. suddenly one day several months ago…i realized i had forgotten to take it for the past week. have been off of it ever since. i have not had any major attacks in the last year, and despite being very grateful – i am so GOD DAMNED frustrated that i cannot pinpoint exactly how i am able to draw myself out of those moments that i feel my mind and body start to “slip”. there is some sort of thread that i grab. whatever i had was actually chemical and i do believe most of us can find the thread. i just don’t know what the fuck it takes. i admire you for having the sense of humor you do when depression of that magnitude reduces so many others to one giant, flacid appendage.

  400. By the way, I purchased the BlogHer pass for next year, booked the hotel, not knowing ANYBODY either in real life or in the cyber world that will be there. I did it on impulse because on that day I thought maybe I’ll get to meet you in person. Stalkers like me love you dearly. You’ve got to hang on, my dear.

  401. Be kind to yourself.

  402. I’m a long-time admirer finally de-lurking to say thank you for your post. It takes four different drugs each day, every day, to right my haywire brain chemistry. Nevertheless, I will always remember a well-meaning friend naming off all the great things about my life and assuring me I had no reason to be depressed. Just as you said, it only made me feel worse. Please know that your blog is one of the highlights of my day, especially if it’s a dark one. You make me feel better. You’re a big deal to me, Jenny. So please, please hang in there and again, thanks.
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..I Mean…Really! =-.

  403. Hey Lady,
    Yeah, it’s me, Baldy. Howza girl? I have to tell you, every woman in my family had this. We call it ‘the Black Ass’. Then I started taking B-Complex supplements-one week, two, three, then months. It never came back. I got on the phone and spread it to my family. It’s gone. If you haven’t tried it yet, run to the drugstore, buy it, take it. You don’t need a lot, just be very diligent. Your pee will turn orange and smell funny, just reduce the dosage a bit until you can stand it and go on.

    I love you, if anything too weird happens to you, it will break my heart. So don’t.

  404. Your honesty in this post is amazing and I applaud you for it. I can’t relate to the depression part, but the anxiety attacks have been with me all my life, but not severe enough for medication. They seem to run in my family, from a specific line of people. I’ve had them since I was a child, my parents just didn’t know what they were. They always seem to come from no where and I often have no idea what the cause was. Nothing seems to help except being left alone and sleep. Your dishrag reference is one I use often. The hardest part is never knowing when they’ll show up.

    From what you’ve written about Victor, he won’t give up on you. We’re all pulling for you and absolutely love you so don’t you give up either. What you consider an usual post for you, is speaking directly to so many people who will realize they’re not alone. Guess what, neither are you.
    .-= LB @Wait, She Said What?´s last blog ..This is supposed to be a Moronic Monday post but all I can think about is that we closed on our house today!! =-.

  405. So I’ve never commented before, I’m horrible like that, but I read your posts religiously. And you’re completely awesome and hilarious but I’m so glad you posted this. I understand that feeling you talked about, it’s terrible and you never feel like you’ll get out of it but there’s always the light at the other side. So please don’t give up hope, tomorrow is another, better day. Now I’m going to shut up with the Dr. Phil talk and just tell you that everybody (that matters) loves you.

  406. I love you crazy, I love you sane, I love you funny, I love you serious, and I love you in blue. (It’s just a really good color on you.)
    .-= Lara´s last blog ..Go Ahead, Make My Day =-.

  407. Some of my all time favorite posts are ones where you talk more seriously about your life. Thank you for posting this, and please don’t feel abnormal, strange, or different. I hope it helps to know you have so many fans out there who support you.

  408. don’t give up, I am sure he won’t either, although I wonder when my husband is going to give up too sometimes.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Sunday Citar =-.

  409. It is brave of you to write about how you’re feeling. I get in spouts of depression and have even been on medication before. Lots of love!! Things will get better and just remember that “things happen for a reason”. I love that quote because I really, really do feel that is true.

  410. I have the EXACT same kind of panic attacks and, ironically, I was just in the middle of an almost-one when I decided to distract myself with Google Reader and look what I found! Someone else who knows that crushing wave of fear and panic that squeeze the very breath out of you! I’m so sorry that it happened in front of your in-laws but THANK YOU for sharing it with the rest of us that feel this way, because if you’re not alone then that means we’re not alone and that means we might – we just might! – all be okay.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Right now =-.

  411. I’ll forgive you this seriousness just this once because I know how hard it is. I hate it when I say I’m depressed and my husband says ‘what are you depressed about?’. Nothing, that’s kind of the point.
    .-= Zoey´s last blog ..Grinny Head =-.

  412. Jenny, that is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Thank you.

    Take good care of yourself.

    Hugs,
    Bic
    .-= Bic´s last blog .."Something is Wrong in America" =-.

  413. God, I love you.

  414. think of your depression as a gift, without it you may not have to opposite end of your spectrum and that is your humor. Do you know how many people who read this are jealous of that gift. Whenever I read your blog, I think damn why can’t I be that funny, and have that kind of imagination. Somewhere deep inside I am, but sometimes you need the shadow side in order for the light to come out.
    .-= dina´s last blog ..I am A Glassblower =-.

  415. Oh sweetie – I know how it feels. I really do. I have had nowhere NEAR the level of anxiety or depression that you have to go through on a constant basis, but what I have experienced made reading this post all too familiar. I’ve never been able to really explain what it feels like… the knowing that there’s nothing to panic about being WHAT you panic about; the tunnel vision; the feeling of utter hopelessness and not knowing what the root of it is, except you know it’s YOU.

    What a brave wonderous being you are to survive that. What an incredibly open and honest soul you have to share and to continue to fight to the light and shed the anxiety. Broken or not, you are amazing and brilliant, and we are all so glad you continue to come here and let us feel like maybe we can in some way help you get through it all. Hopefully that helps even a little bit — because we do truly all love you and we’re there with you through every episode, holding your hand and whispering encouragements in your ear. Hang in…

  416. You have put into words exactly how I have been feeling off and on for years. I have never been able to describe it so perfectly. I actually started crying while reading this. There are people who truly understand. You are amazing to put into words all that you are going through. Please stay strong and know you have a lot of readers out there going through this with you. Keep writing your awesome blogs and know you are loved and respected and admired by so many.

  417. I also get anxiety attacks. I read a book about them, which said a couple of things that helped. One was that a lot of people who get them are afraid they will start to scream, but nobody actually starts screaming involuntarily. So I know I won’t scream unless I do it on purpose.

    The other thing it said was that they tend to only last about half an hour and deep breathing helps. So when I feel myself start to get one, I take deep breaths and tell myself it will be over soon. Since I started doing this, many of them are minor and go away a few minutes later. It’s like I tell myself to put it aside for a while, if that makes sense.

    People who care about you aren’t going to ditch you over these things. You’ll be ok.
    .-= Les´s last blog ..Writing my godparents =-.

  418. I suffer from anxiety attacks and I too opt out of discussing online, but I wish I did because your entry here actually helped me feel more normal. Because if there are other people (like you) suffering how I suffer…maybe we’re more normal than we think?

    I’m amazed though b/c yours sounds way more debilitating then mine yet you do more than I do. Mine, less paralyzing than yours, keeps me sheltered. You are more braver than I am by far yet you suffer worse. I’m proud of you for that. Your fighter jet thing this year? Made me die just reading about it.

    So…do you something ponder the euhporia associated with finally giving in and just accepting some form of agoraphobia as a way of life? Because sometimes I look at that as HEAVEN because I would always be “safe” –

    Thanks for sharing. Seriously.

  419. I love you, Jenny. You are lovely and there are many of us who will never give up on you.
    .-= Kyla´s last blog ..Falling apart. =-.

  420. You are amazingly awesome and strong for writing this. To share of yourself the way you do is a gift you give to other people. A rare gift. So few are willing to be so vulnerable for others.

    I hope you aren’t ever normal. Normal is to be closed off. To be afraid. To be weak. You are open and strong, and while yes, you still grapple with fear it does not stop you. And ‘grapple with fear’ doesn’t do justice to the heroic battle you fight. Most of the ‘normal’ people walking around face nothing remotely close to what you do. Most ‘normal’ people face a small fear, like looking stupid in front of someone else, and are completely stopped by that fear.

    You face end of the world crap on a regular basis. You are like a character out of Star Trek, facing your own destruction time and again and yet you live through it, you come out okay. You’ve created a wonderful life for yourself. And you even manage to make the world a better place. I love your regular columns, your twisted humor. You make people laugh.

    And then you give a gift like today’s column. Look how many people you have touched. For every comment, I am sure there are tons more people reading, nodding along in agreement.

    Jenny, my dear, you are a great gift to the world.

  421. PS – I hope this doesn’t come along as assvice but I was wondering if having a mantra for yourself might help you ride the wave a little easier. When you aren’t in the middle of an attack, you know that it isn’t real. Is there something you can say to yourself to remind you of that? “This isn’t real. This isn’t real. This isn’t real.” Or “This will pass. Ride it out.”

    Some times imagery helps me deal with stuff. Like remember that tsunami in 2004? I remember reading stories about people clinging to trees, whatever they could find. I don’t know if imagining yourself holding on like that, picturing yourself lashed to the mast like Odysseus would help.

  422. Try taking high doses of Niacin aka vitamin B3. Start with 500 mg/day and go up until you feel better (get the no-flush version if you want). That shit WORKS. Check out the documentary Food Matters at foodmatters.tv. Niacin has been helping me feel better since I started taking it around March.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  423. Omigod !! This is probably the funniest post you’re ever written!!!
    I couldn’t stop laughing for hours. HOURS!!!

    Okay, I just wrote that to piss off everyone who doesn’t deserve your extraordinary wit and candor.

    Thank you, Jen, for letting us in to one more important piece of who you are.
    It takes courage to write so honestly.

    There’s a part of me that wants to proffer assistance in the form of advice and medical prescription.Panic disorders usually issue from unresolved childhood trauma….trauma still in there where it doesn’t belong.
    There’s another part of me that simply sends to you my love. . . . . . this is the one I’m going with.
    Thank you, Jenny.

  424. you are the reason i’ve never given up.

    thank you for that.

  425. Jenny,
    I appreciate you and have nothing but respect for your honesty. As a therapist/writer who knows the tunnel vision and hole all too well from persoanl experience, I salute your courage and candor.
    The panic attacks and anxiety fill you with an impending sense of doom that lingers long after the shaking ends. Meds numbed it for me but real therapy fixed it. I found that there is no shame in this. People like us are wired differently but we can bypass it. I haven’t felt like that in years and I thank God or the Aliens for having me find the right fit in therapy to get me to a peaceful place, no drugs, no holes. I would suggest hypnotherapy (not cluck like a chicken but actual therapy in a trance state to work out trauma), but you will figure out which piece will fit your puzzle.
    Please don’t give up. You are too special in this world and your voice needs to be heard by the masses.
    Respectfully and in awe of your awesomeness (not kissing ass just appreciating it),
    Lee
    .-= Lee´s last blog ..Relationship, Competition and Ape Hierarchy. =-.

  426. The worst part about depression and anxiety is realizing you’ll never be “cured”. Just when you think you’ve got it beat, it will hit your full-force. Don’t give up. The sane moments are worth getting throught the insane ones.

  427. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 1987 while away at college. During a particularly dark time, my dad sent me, for my birthday, a bracelet that he made just for me. The note that he wrote to go with it had words that I often clutch onto when feeling “not normal”. The bracelet was a very simple hammered gold band and he explained that “normally” a single hammer mark on a smooth surface would be considered a flaw; but put a bunch of those hammer marks (flaws) together and you end up with something that is unique and incredibly beautiful. Of course, I often wish that those “hammer marks” weren’t so damned painful, but I knew what he was trying to get at.

    I ran across a version of a Nat King Cole song the other day that was awesomely performed by Pomplamoose Music on YouTube: “Nature Boy”. The lyrics from that song that I, personally, am clinging to today are, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return”. Your hubby loves you, your beautiful daughter loves you, and we, your readers, love you – “hammer marks” and all.

    You have no idea how much this post of yours helps soooo many people…like me, for one…and people who live with people like me…. Please, please don’t ever give up!

  428. I normally don’t comment on your blog because of the sheer number of posts you get must be overwhelming but I felt I should with this one. While I don’t suffer to the extent you do, I know what you are going through with the depression and how difficult it can be when it hits. Thank you so much for your bravery and willingness to share with the world. I know how hard that is. I also know that people telling you not to give up doesn’t really help either. You work through it all in the best way you know how and, as a regular reader of your blog, I will be here when you bounce back. You giving up or not is up to you and I’m sure you will pull through. I know all I can do is just not give up on you. And I’m sure Victor won’t either.

    Thank you so much for the joy you bring to a lot of lives.
    Adam

  429. Take heart love, my father just told me he wished he had the balls to produce porn due to the failing economy…there is no such thing as normal…and no one is giving up.
    .-= Quinn´s last blog ..You Bet Your Ass We Are! =-.

  430. I don’t know you, but have been reading you for awhile now. I’m not the type to get all gushy and mushy, but…
    ((hugs))
    Hang in there. And thanks for your honesty.
    .-= Mamasoo´s last blog ..100 Things That Piss Me Off (or make me mad) =-.

  431. You are my hero. you make me laugh on mornings when I thought nothing could. I go “in the hole” as well. and I know the anxiety, though it is not as extreme as yours, I know that feeling. and you did a damn good job of describing something that is impossible to describe. Please don’t give up. we need you out here wherever it is we’re all meeting up. and we love you.

  432. I don’t think I’ve ever posted before – mostly because I can never think of anything funny enough that would warrant a comment.

    I don’t know what it’s like to be you – but I have a better idea now.

    I just wanted to say that I admire you very much – for having the guts to be so very funny and also for having the guts to be so honest.

    Whatever the best thing to say or write right now is? Imagine me having written that. *
    :),
    Anne

    * I imagine that word is “poop” mostly because that words seems to make me giggle most days…but just in case, I left it to you. :)
    .-= Anne (Happy Fun Pants)´s last blog ..Can you see me now? =-.

  433. Jesus, were you standing over my shoulder yesterday when I finally sat down across from the therapist I was so sure I would never need? Or admit to myself that I DID need?

    It’s fucking hard to acknowledge, let alone share with the internet, that you live these things.
    So, on a day when I feel embarrassed for not being strong enough to beat it back, when I feel vulnerable to the black hole (as I call the dark tunnel), thanks for sharing.
    .-= Catootes´s last blog ..inspiration provided by mother nature =-.

  434. I applaud you for putting yourself out there like that and feel bad you have to feel those feelings. I can relate, because I have issues myself, but the one thing I’ve learned is that no matter how utterly alone you can feel in a situation like that, there are TONS of people out there battling the same demons. Only a select few, like you, can own up to it. That’s a step in the right direction to follow it.

    I know words like this sound hollow when you’re in the midst of an episode, whether it be panic or depression, but know that I’m thinking of you and wishing the best.
    .-= Freak Magnet´s last blog ..Yeah, yeah, yeah. =-.

  435. Hi – I know your comments have a ton of support in them, and I’m so glad. You deserve the support because we all deserve it.
    And one small note: There are so many people who suffer from these kinds of things that there are names for them, careers around treating them, tons of R&D $ into researching treatment – I hope that maybe next time, instead of the judgment or shock you may read in other people’s faces you can also see understanding because, if only statistically, some of them are in the same place.. A good Buddhist might say that ‘they are you, so instead of seeing separation in their faces, see what unites you’, but for me at least, that takes some focus that I don’t usually have when I’m going through what put me there in the first place.. If that makes sense.

    However I’m writing for a different reason – and your comments have a ton of this too, but here goes anyway at the risk of being really really unoriginal:
    Thank you.
    The worst part for me is the knowing that objectively, there’s nothing to be (in my case,) depressed ABOUT. I look around, and things are really actually pretty ok. I may be struggling, but I’m fundamentally healthy, I have a job, a home and a wonderful family. But it’s defeating and helpless, in every sense of the word, to feel so badly ANYway. I try to focus, as you say you do, on knowing that it will pass, instead of focusing on knowing that it will come back. I’m in a dark hole at the moment myself, and really (really) needed to be reached. So, I’m sorry that you are going through it, but lucky for me that you shared it with us.
    Again, Thank you.

  436. I wish I had the courage to speak out like you just did. Thank you for sharing and making me realise that we are never alone, no matter how alone we feel.

    Over 400 comments speaks volumes..

    -Much Love-

  437. 439
    MissMultifaceted

    I applaud you for putting this out for everyone to read. I myself suffer from depression and have forever so I completely understand the hole, most people don’t understand when they don’t suffer from it themselves. There are so many people in the world that suffer from mental illness’ like panic attacks and depression, but so few people are willing to talk about it. This is just another reason to add to the list of reasons that I come to read your blog.

    Keep your head up, things will get better.
    .-= MissMultifaceted´s last blog ..We Aren’t Exclusive but….. =-.

  438. You can’t give up. You’re touching a lot of lives and helping people. Look at some of these comments. You have helped others just by talking about what you have. You’re a very special person, Jenny. May God bless you.

  439. 441
    baldheadeddork

    Two days later now. We still love you, still feel thankful that you trusted us enough to share this, and are still so grateful for having you even in this little part of our lives.

  440. There’s no giving up. Your readers will rise up as one and do serious damage. Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. Always hang on.

  441. Love you, Jenny.
    .-= Julie @ The Mom Slant´s last blog ..Body image of women-to-be =-.

  442. I will never give up on you.

    Never.

    Much love, darlin’.
    .-= Coal Miner’s Granddaughter´s last blog ..Open Letter 12 =-.

  443. *Hug*

  444. I forbid you to be normal. Where is the fun in that? We all love you, you little ball of crazy. I have panic attacks and sometimes suffer from depression (although yours seems to beat mine hands down). There is no use rationalizing your panic attacks. It is not the rational you that is in distress. It is the primal, “I don’t care what you say, brain” side of you and good luck talking her down. Time heals most things though. Just give yourself time and don’t feel the need to explain or hide your episodes. Those that love you understand. To hell with those who don’t! You are courageous and so giving to share this post with us. Thank you.

  445. I don’t normally comment on your blog, but wanted to thank you for sharing. I was feeling blue, and went to your blog for a needed laugh. I found myself moved by your writing. I so appreciate you sharing not only your humor, but your struggles as well. Obviously Victor loves you very much. There is much to love – you are beautiful, loving, and so, so talented. Hang in there, Jenny. This too shall pass. You are probably helping a lot of people by sharing this.

  446. Just adding to the lovefest for the bloggess. There are a whole lot of us out here pulling for you and enjoying your posts everyday.

    Oh and don’t stab Victor. He’s a keeper. We don’t all get Victors you know…

  447. Thank you for writing this, I’m sure many people feel the same way.

    Hugs.
    .-= ZDub´s last blog ..Thuggin’ Good In The Neighborhood =-.

  448. Oh, and one more thing said this one small voice out of 444 so far. Well, 445, if you count me. No, actually, 444, because i already commented once and the reduces the number by one. ANYWAY!!!! Not “Mental Illness”, as you mentioned in your post. Mental Illness doesn’t come and go. Not on a cycle. Not on a non-cycle. Things that can CAUSE you to look like a mentally ill person can, though. Things like hormone or chemical imbalances can happen cyclically. And Non-cyclically. But that’s what’s going on with you. Your body is trying to tell you something. And the only way it can get your attention is by radical reaction to changes in hormone levels or other chemicals in your body. The very first thing I would tell to do is look into a gluten free diet. Just for shits and grins, try it for a while. It can’t hurt you – and may even help you. I hope so.
    .-= lceel´s last blog ..Tuesday Tale – Challenge – something wicked this way comes … =-.

  449. Normal is so overrated. Besides, then you wouldn’t be you.

    Vic sounds like he is a great man, a man that won’t lose hope in you nor turn his back on you. Don’t worry, he will be there for you.

    Now don’t lose hope on yourself. It’s ok not to be normal, it’s ok. Really it is. As someone who has suffered from panic attacks and has a husband who is bipolar/social phobic/panic disorder….it’s gonna be ok.

    Hugs
    .-= Angel´s last blog ..An afternoon of bliss… =-.

  450. Thanks for writing and sharing one of the strongest posts that I’ve ever had the privilege to read about something difficult. I think you’re brave.

    Hope you can come out of your hole soon.
    *hug* from a perpetually impressed reader
    .-= Cess´s last blog ..Assimilation ftw =-.

  451. Thank you for writing this. My mother suffered from horrible anxiety and depression my whole life. Currently I’m fundraising for Anxiety Disorders Association of America in memory of her (she passed away in April) as I run the NYC Marathon in four weeks. I really want to bring awareness to anxiety and depression. It is all too common and all too stigmatized

  452. 454
    PunsKillPeople

    Thank you so much for writing this post…I’m sorry you have to go through shit like that, though. I’ve been on and off meds since I was in high school, with severe depression and a side of anxiety and self-mutilation thrown in (I’m like one of those dogs that chews its fur when it’s upset, except I do terribly self-destructive shit to myself. Clearly things would be much better if I had fur.) Hearing you describe the tunnel-vision deal was incredibly familiar…when I get depressed I think of it as “the dark times”, and I feel like I’m falling into myself, where it’s black and dead and I can never get out. Reading this post actually gave me hope. I have so much trouble holding onto the fact that the darkness will end, and that I’m not going to be lost in there forever. I’m going to have to try to remember that.

    I love your posts and your fantastic sense of humor, and the wonderful way you have of nailing a whole host of topics right in the balls. Please don’t ever fucking give up- you are my very favorite blogger on the planet, and I don’t think I could stand it if you gave up on yourself. Because you are fucking awesome.

  453. I just started having anxiety attacks in the last year, after a death in my family. It mostly happens in social situations that involve food. I’ll start feeling nervous for whatever reason (usually seems like no reason at all, it just happens), and then when someone puts a plate of food in front of me, I get nauseous and dizzy and have to run to the bathroom. Then I have to make up some reason why I’m not touching my food, and I sit there trying to pretend I feel fine and hope that no one pays too much attention to how much time I’m spending in the bathroom. It was very embarrassing the first few times it happened, and confusing, as I’d never had anxiety attacks like that. But now I just make sure I know where the restroom is when I walk into a restaurant, and I’ll try to chug a beer or two right away to cut down my chances of getting anxious. :-) Anyway, my point is (the same as most other commenters), you’re not alone. And quite frankly, with the amount of people here telling you you’re not alone, I’d say getting anxiety attacks IS normal, and people who DON’T get them are weird. :-) Also, thank you for making us all laugh. When I feel sad I read your blog. I can’t even tell you how many times you’ve cheered me up, and you don’t even know me. So, thanks for brightening a stranger’s day. We all love you. :-)

  454. Jenny…thanks for being the voice for all those who suffer. I’m glad you are you and are willing to share so that other people don’t feel so alone. For what it’s worth, your misery does sound less like a mental illness and more like a physical problem. I hope you find a way to manage it so you can also enjoy life as much as possible. I’ve been learning too that doctors aren’t going to rescue me. :-( Sometimes life sucks, but it sure helps to hear that other people are dealing with it too. Hang in there babe.

  455. 457
    Cedarflame

    Jenny, I am 56 years old and I have suffered from depression and anxiety attacks since I was in my late teens. I drank to make it stop because everyone kept telling me it was in my head, and of course it was in my head, but I couldn’t make it stop. I would love to tell you I am 56 now and never have anxiety attacks or depression, but that woud be a lie, it is a continual fight, at least now it is better understood and I don’t use alcohol to control it, but Xanax some times is my best friend.

    At one time when I was in my 30′s I thought my world would end up very small like my mother’s did (she suffered anxiety too and severe depression she lost a daughter to crib death) and then my mother got cancer and she fought it for many months. The best gift my mother ever gave me was on the last day I saw her and she said this: I was afraid my whole life of everything and nothing I ever was afraid of turned out to be that really horrible as I imagined in the end. The one thing I hoped I would never die from was cancer and here I sit dying from cancer (lung) and you know, it is not as bad as I thought it would be (she took no pain meds, she hated them and wanted to remember us to the end). She said Risley, don’t let your fears rule your life, they will never go away, but if you let them win you will die a sad woman that never lived because she was too afraid. It was the best and worse conversation we ever had. My mother gave me a gift, but she was dying a sad woman who thought she never really lived.

    We talked some more I left and went back to my home in Virginia and was to return the next weekend, but she died two days later. After she died I vowed to not let fear rule my life. I have travelled a good deal, fly alone, moved about drove back and forth across the country alone and some steps were wonderful victories and other just crawling along. But depression and anxiety are bastards and I am never going to let the bastards win. I cheer for you when you fly and land on battleships, go to Blogher, have adventures because I know the bastards are not winning. I will tell you that as you live with it year after year, you learn more about yourself and anxiety becomes easier to handle and control, but I am pretty sure we always feel like we are drowning in crowds and sometimes have to pull off the road just to let our hearts calm down, but I can think of worse things to have.

    Some people understand, some people don’t, some people will even tell you to suck it up and point out all the people worse off than you or like for instance them for that sort of insensitive no clue remark. However, people who trully love us, do not give up on us. Victor would be absolutely deadly bored without you and seriously some of the crap he says? Who else would understand him? Yeah, really.

    Never let the bastards win…Risley

  456. 458
    Cedarflame

    P.S. Finding a good therapis is harder than finding a mate. You know they are all bat shit crazy right? Therapist, not mates, okay some mates, but I meant therapist.

  457. 459
    Anonymouse

    I just started having anxiety attacks in the last year, after a death in my family. It mostly happens in social situations that involve food. I’ll start feeling nervous for whatever reason (usually seems like no reason at all, it just happens), and then when someone puts a plate of food in front of me, I get nauseous and dizzy and have to run to the bathroom. Then I have to make up some reason why I’m not touching my food, and I sit there trying to pretend I feel fine and hope that no one pays too much attention to how much time I’m spending in the bathroom. It was very embarrassing the first few times it happened, and confusing, as I’d never had anxiety attacks like that. But now I just make sure I know where the restroom is when I walk into a restaurant, and I’ll try to chug a beer or two right away to cut down my chances of getting anxious. :-) Anyway, my point is (the same as most other commenters), you’re not alone. And quite frankly, with the amount of people here telling you you’re not alone, I’d say getting anxiety attacks IS normal, and people who DON’T get them are weird. :-) Also, thank you for making us all laugh. When I feel sad I read your blog. I can’t even tell you how many times you’ve cheered me up, and you don’t even know me. So, thanks for brightening a stranger’s day. We all love you. :-)

  458. You’re not alone although it can feel like it at times. Hugs
    .-= Bonny´s last blog ..Download =-.

  459. Wow. You already have 454 comments but I feel the need to add one more. I have a girlfriend who has tried to describe to me the feelings she gets, what she goes through before and during an anxiety attack. (she also has bouts of depression) Never has it made more sense, been more clearly spelled out for me as when I read this post. Thank you for being so honest, perhaps I will be of more help to her now.
    .-= ModernMom´s last blog ..True Food Confessions =-.

  460. This was a really good post. Brave of you to share so honestly.
    .-= annie´s last blog ..Feeling the Love =-.

  461. 463
    Lacey Ramse

    dude, you’re fuckin awesome. We don’t mind the serious posts. We all love you anyhow.

  462. I dont even know you, but I do know that I definitely love you. Im sorry to hear that things are dark right now, you have a great and supportive following so if there is anything that you need say the word and Im sure you will have 100 within the hour.

  463. Jenny, you’re funny, creative, brilliant, courageous–and much loved by many.

  464. 466
    Kasy Bryan

    All your peeps have your back. Just ride through this as best you can, knowing that there IS light at the end of the tunnel. Take care.

  465. [...] the safety of a safe place that doesn’t exist. Those of you that read the Bloggess will know that she said it the best today: “The anxiety disorder is more difficult [than depression], mainly because it’s so [...]

  466. Victor knows how lucky he is. Love you.
    .-= Marinka´s last blog ..The Crock Pot Cometh =-.

  467. you outline this to a T. i hate the feel of the tunnel and the anger. we have small children, and so i desparately try to keep it together while my well-meaning friends and family talk about “getting out more” and “taking a class”. christ, i’ve been hearing this same tune for so many years i have given up arguing, i just pull the grin, nod, take whatever bullshit article they pulled out of the latest self-help woman’s mag. fold it small into my purse.
    we simply cannot afford the good meds. lexopro helped, but unfortunately we don’t have $10000 a year to spend on that help. cognitive therapy is ridiculous and i’d have to pay a sitter to go even if i WANTED to go tell some disinterested stranger my feelings.
    blah blah blah, sorry, i’ve made this all about me. i’m just saying, i hear you, and i worry constantly how much longer my husband will put up with this shit.
    good luck. hang in there as the tree said to the kitten.

  468. Jesus. It’s as if I wrote that. I can’t breathe. I can’t control my thoughts. I am terrified. I sweat. Then the exhaustion hits. It’s like a mild migrane that won’t go away until I have a med change.

  469. I just wanted to join in with everyone else and offer my support, and my thanks, for all you do. I couldn’t respect you more for your courage in writing this. God bless you, Jenny.
    .-= Charles Kuffner´s last blog ..Corrections, clarifications, and conundrums =-.

  470. Fuck yeah. The anxiety’s a bitch, and crippling.

    Thanks for sharing.

    love to you.

  471. Can I just copy this and give it to every asshole who tells me, “Just suck it up. You’ll be fine.”? Because I’ve never been able to describe the panic as well as you’ve just done. Thanks.

  472. I have suffered from panic attacks for nearly 30 years and recently found the Panic Away program; it has worked wonders for me. I am sure you feel like you’ve tried everything and may not be game to try something new, but maybe it would be worth a look for you. It’s not a scam or anything kooky, just a cognitive approach/technique that (for me at least) really, really works. I am not in any way connected with the guy who developed it or anything, just a satisfied customer who has been panic-free for a couple of months now, something I never thought I’d reach. Please consider checking it out.

    Best of luck dealing with it all, and thanks for sharing! You are the most awesomely funny person on the web, OK, in the world maybe — but if you getting better meant we’d all have to live without your hilarious writing, it would be so worth it. As long as you kept sharing NANCY KAPPS, that is.

  473. Please, please, pretty please post some small, monosyllabic quip so those of us who love you in the way strangers who’ve never met aren’t supposed to love will know that you are okay.

  474. I’ve been where you are, and I’ve been where Victor is, and I just want to say you’re both amazing. I’m sorry you have to go through what you do, and if I would do anything I could to make it ok.

  475. Don’t give up………on you……..on Victor………your beautiful daughter. You are not alone, and the humor and laugh outloud moments you have brought to my life in the last six months of down-and-out I’ve felt have been a true gift. It’s okay to stay cocooned, in your home, with your loving family until it passes. And it will.

  476. Thank you for this. I do hope that knowing that you are able to do more than I do in my life , and I don’t suffer from depression or anxiety attacks, I hope that this helps you keep going. I am a big fan of yours. You make me laugh when I often don’t feel like laughing. Keep on doing what you do. You have an awesome talent to make people both laugh and cry. Thank you for enriching our lives.

  477. You rock for being honest and open about this. The anxiety sucks, I am sure. But you could have anxiety and NOT be a gorgeous comic charming genius. So there’s that, at least. I will shut up now.
    .-= Suebob´s last blog ..Parents, What Say You? =-.

  478. Thank you for writing this.
    It’s incredibly refreshing to hear someone post so honestly; it’s always relieving to hear that we’re not alone.
    .-= Feather Stiletto´s last blog ..Dead Poets Society =-.

  479. Depression sucks, anxiety sucks. You rock and Victor rocks too.

    For what it is worth your blog pulled me out of a deep depression this summer, If it wasn’t for your crazy antics, I would have forgotten how to laugh and lost my way.

    Keep it up and keep believing in yourself. I think you’re living your purpose, girlie, and that is amazingly awesome.

  480. Hi, Jenny! I read your blog all the time… but I never comment. Why? Because I feel like I should have the most perfect, funny, witty comment to try to match how awesome I think you are. But this? This I had to comment on. Because today, I had a day… a day remarkably similar to what you’re describing here… except I never would have been able to come up with the words that you did. So I thank you for sharing… and for understanding a poor lady you don’t even know. I’m gonna try to climb out of my hole tomorrow. Thank you for helping me find the first handhold.
    <3

  481. I am so sorry you have to suffer through these illnesses. I have severe clinical depression, and I know that it isn’t something that you can ever truly get rid of, but it is something you can overcome and live with. It’s hard as a mother to give in to those feelings of depression because you just don’t have that luxury, and sometimes, that’s even harder than allowing yourself to feel sad. Your husband seems like he loves you insanely, and I don’t think him leaving you is something you ever need to worry about. Be strong, and stay real to who you are. I know you’ll be fine. Much respect :)
    Jen
    .-= Jeniel´s last blog ..P.S. to Nintendo Demons =-.

  482. I have never commented before but I have read your blog for quite a long time. I too, have issues with anxiety. I just wanted to tell you that when I read this blog knowing that you suffer from some of the same things I do and you still manage to be this charming, funny, and lovable that it gives me the encouragement to keep truckin’. The truth is, you are already normal. You are perfectly normal as Jenny no matter what afflictions you may have.

  483. I love your humor. You have made me laugh. Thank you for your honesty. Keep up the good work.

  484. Don’t give up on yourself. I suffered from those black panic attacks for years, and I still have my spells of what I call “down the rabbit hole.” I was able to say goodbye to the panic attacks with counseling and medication, which was like a miracle to me. As awful as it was to live through them, I think of panic disorder as a gift, because only we who have had them can understand, and it helps to know that you aren’t alone. You aren’t, you know.

    As for anybody else giving up on you, your gifts and talents are more than a match for what you think of as your shortcomings.
    .-= Kathi D´s last blog ..What I have been up to =-.

  485. And by the way. I have so much admiration for you because in spite of it all, you keep going and doing and trying new things, and really, what is more brave than that? It only wins if you give up, and you never give up–you are Wonder Woman.
    .-= Kathi D´s last blog ..What I have been up to =-.

  486. You are amazing in so many ways. This burden you have is the one of the things that makes you stronger and lovelier and better, trust me. Dont give up, I knew you would never ever give up.
    Victor loves you tremendously. Pls keep any sad thought from yourself. See we DO care about you! :) Warmest hugs and friendship from Wet rainy Land.
    .-= Jerry Silaban´s last blog ..Yes, please. =-.

  487. I’ve never posted here before, although I read everyday. Some days you are the only thing that makes me laugh. I also live with depression and anxiety and if it weren’t for Celexa and Xanax I’m not sure I’d be here right now. I am unemployed, divorced, homeless (staying with ex-boyfriend til this weekend, then moving in with a friend) raising a Son with emotional issues, one of which is anxiety (go figure) and yet mentally I feel better then I think I ever have before. When I wake up at night I don’t have the awful, lonely, OMG!!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO!!! moments anymore, which is awesome because I don’t sleep well, so it really sucked huge. The instant I woke up my heart would start racing.

    I’ve been where you are and I’m sorry you are there now.

  488. I want to say it, so I’m going to…poor baby girl…poor darlin’. I KNOW what you are going through and it is REAL. Even if there isn’t anything to panic about, your body IS. It has gone into life or death fight or flight mode and your mind seems powerless to anything but be dragged along with it.

    I wish I had some amazing “here’s how to fix it” words to say to you, but I don’t. Just know…you are not alone and know matter what your body tries to make you believe, this WILL NOT kill you.
    .-= Lucky Girl´s last blog ..You "Herd" It Here First =-.

  489. Jenny, I hope you are feeling better by now. Hate to break it to you, but I don’t think it’s your crazy that makes you not quite normal – your genes did that all by themselves. That’s also what makes you so special. So here’s prayin’ that the Big Bads in your life will one day be healed and you will be healthy, right, and whole … but NEVER “normal,” please.
    .-= Katy´s last blog ..Day 56309 or Something Like That =-.

  490. I, too, fight depression. “The hole” is exactly how I describe it also. I’m deep in a hole and cannot get out. It’s black, it’s bleak. Keep fighting. Keep laughing. And treasure who you are — because your readers sure do!
    .-= susie q´s last blog ..I won! I won! =-.

  491. 493
    Ava Lynn Sea

    You are certainly not alone and those that love you, will love you always. Take it one day at a time, and when the world seems overwhelming, just remember to listen to absolutely nothing but the slow rhythm of your breath, it’ll remind you that you’re alive and well.

  492. Every time my phone rings I know in my heart something awful has happened to the someone in my world….In the middle of the night I wake with a jolt, with knowledge of the tradgedies that have passed in the dark…My anxiety is minimal, but there nevertheless, always reminding me of my flaws. Always encouraging making me to be stronger with every day that I succeed in moving foward.
    .-= A Vapid Blonde´s last blog ..Simple Joy Sunday # 2 =-.

  493. You’re not alone in suffering from anxiety, that’s for sure. I also have problems with it. My panic attacks have a few triggers, but are most often caused by my giant pain-in-the-ass vomit-phobia. Needless to say, this time of year is tantamount to HELL for me because this is when the stomach flu makes its first of many passes through my son’s school and our friends’ families. It is literally all I can do not to hole up in a haz mat suit until summer, and I mean that. And it makes me feel crazy, too, because people who don’t suffer from anxiety issues don’t get it.

    Just wanted to tell you that you’re not alone in your crazy. You’ve got plenty of good company in the asylum, anyway. ;)

    Great blog – I’m a new reader, but will be a regular one!
    .-= Super Woman´s last blog ..turning the page =-.

  494. Jenny,
    I understand why you think Victor might give up on you, but I really don’t think he will. You are indeed one special woman, and it seems very clear that he knows that. Your warmth, love, caring, and your very special ability to bring laughter to people more than make up for the bad days. I’m most attracted to men who are, first, kind, and second, have the ability to make me laugh. I think that’s common, and probably is true for Victor.
    Sometimes when I doubt myself in a relationship, I think, what would I think if I were the other person thinking about me? So try and put yourself in Victor’s place. Would you give up on him if he had a medical problem? No, you wouldn’t, because you love him. Why would you expect any less from Victor? He’s a good and kind person too, at least he seems to be, from what you’ve written about him.
    I hope that helps, in some small way. I’m sending digital hugs, all the way from Connecticut, which makes them very long and hearty.

  495. Me too. Me, too.

    One thing I’ve had within my control that sort of helps is avoiding caffeine. It’s the dumbest thing in the universe, because coffee is like life elixir that tastes better than locusts and honey, but I’ve noticed in the long run, it keeps my anxiety down.

    Of course, anyone that knew me before, during the ‘pot of coffee a day era,’ now thinks I’m just a bitch. Meh.
    .-= Miss Ash´s last blog ..Not as Melancholy =-.

  496. Jenny,
    One more thing. I also suffer from depression and chronic pain, but not anxiety. I tell very few people about it, because I’ve had it with the people who do know (mostly my family) telling me, basically, to “suck it up,” get out more, forget about it, ignore it, stop taking so much medication, stop obsessing about myself, that I’m selfish, that I’m crazy, that I’m mentally ill, that I just need to exercise, that I should take vitamins instead of medication, that the shrinks and physicians are conning me, and on and on. I’m not crazy, but they make me feel as if I am crazy or that I am going crazy. Sigh.
    Anyway, I’m sure you and the others who posted here can relate all too well. Please know that your very honest and revealing post has helped me to stay sane, because you clearly understand, and now I know I’m not the only one. The “advice” from family – and sometimes “friends” – as mentioned above is destructive and demoralizing. At best, they just don’t understand. At worst, they just like to hear themselves pontificate. Why does everyone have an opinion on my health, when they’re not doctors?
    Sorry, I shouldn’t do this. Anyway, just wanted to say you’re really helping others who suffer too. Maybe that knowledge will help you now, surely it will help you when you feel better. Hugs again.

  497. I am only echoing what everyone else has said. It is brave to write this post. It is honest and helpful. I don’t have anxiety attacks, but I know the dark pit of depression, and the mentally-ill certainty that only I “know” the dark horrible truth about myself, that I am unworthy of love. But that is the lie of my sick mind. Your honesty – both in your humor and your sadness – is why so many people love you.
    .-= Veronica´s last blog ..Our Slow Food Experiment and Our Kids =-.

  498. Jenny –

    You are most awesome. I have panic attacks and depression, too, but my experience with these horrid afflictions is not anywhere near what you have gone through.

    You have one of the best blogs in the universe. Thank you so much for doing what you do. God, you are such the inspiration to me and so many others! NEVER give up on yourself. We certainly won’t.

    Now, go and have a big fat bedroom snowcone. You more than deserve it.

  499. This is such a powerful post, I appreciate your sharing it and giving us such a well-written view of what it’s really like. I adore you and wish there was something I could do to help. You are amazing.
    .-= Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting´s last blog ..Robbed Yet Blessed =-.

  500. i just tell people i need to go to the bathroom.
    .-= highway´s last blog ..My Superbowl Picks =-.

  501. Count me in as another one who suffers from the same thing. I wish to hell things were different. One thing I’ve noticed is how many truly creative people suffer from PAD. And you do have a true artistic gift. Thanks for sharing this.
    .-= Bennie´s last blog ..And on the Seventh Day… =-.

  502. I always thought it was WOW that you and I share a similar … insanity .. (based on what you write on your blogs). Now Ive read this and it is clear that WE ARE THE SAME FUCKING PERSON! My heart truely goes out to you because … I know.

  503. Victor says “Relax, There’s nothing to panic about.” Shows you how much he knows. Put his balls in a vise, then we’ll talk to him.
    .-= Suzy´s last blog ..Tragedy + Time = Kathy Griffin =-.

  504. Jenny–
    Even depressed and anxious, you’re awesome. And I mean that in the best sense ever.

    I’ve got bipolar II, PTSD and a little social phobia thrown in for fun. You know, just to make life more interesting. Like the Chinese curse, except in my brain. I understand the tunnel vision. I’ve had it when I become more anxious. I’m pretty much always depressed. I’m also irritable when people are incompetent, full of shit or just plain stupid, as the medication can only do so much to help me. Ahh, and some of the meds–the ones that kept me from being all stabby-stabby–stopped me from being able to feel anything so I quit those. There things I want to feel, ya know?

    ::gentle hugs::

    –Mer

    Mer

  505. :)

    I long for the day when you won’t have to be afraid to scream. Scream and be understood!

  506. Jenny, this post made me cry. I don’t have anxiety but a couple of people I’m close to do, and reading your account of it really helped me understand what they go through.

  507. I’ve known people with this condition, but this part was news:

    “If I don’t get to the drugs in time, they do nothing and I’m a limp rag for days afterward.”

    Thanks for sharing. Some of us are a little bit smarter now.

  508. As a fellow panic disorder sufferer, I related to every word. One of the best lines I’ve heard is:

    “Trying to explain the feeling to someone without panic disorder is like trying to explain the color blue to a blind person.”
    .-= Happy Hour Sue´s last blog ..Top 10 Things I’d Rather Be Doing Than Having Sex With David Letterman =-.

  509. your not posting gives me a panic attack. we miss you. take your time though, and feel better. Read my blog, it will make you laugh and you will feel better, this I know.
    .-= kay bryan´s last blog ..THE ALIEN =-.

  510. I hear you. Also, how come there are two drugs that work for erectile dysfunction and nothing that works for this shit?

  511. Nothing but total love and total understanding. You are so brave for telling our truth, I know I haven’t reached that point yet. Thank you to you, and everyone here who commented, for speaking to the screaming that lives inside my head. You make me feel so much less alone. xoxo

  512. Just right there with you.

  513. I have suffered from depression my whole life. When I had my first child, it got worse, and then worse again with my next child. I have days when you could never tell that I have any sort of depression, and others when I can barely talk. I also suffer from anxiety issues that have gotten worse the last few years. The worst thing is that my family just thinks I’m a moody, unfriendly person and that the depression is just a fake way for me to get attention. My husband couldn’t care less whether I’m happy or not. I’m totally alone in the darkest of holes and no one seems to notice or care. It doesn’t help that I absolutely hate myself.

    I’m glad you’re not alone in this – you are clearly surrounded by so many friends and people who truly admire you. I’m glad you’re not alone. Alone is all I know.

  514. I’m sorry that this is the first I’m reading this. But glad you know you’re not alone. I’m glad I have my “crazy pills” for those times I can’t cope. Been dealing with anxiety disorder snce I was a kid. Hubs has it too so heaven help the innocent bystanders if we both have an anxiety attck at the same time. I think the thing that gets me The most is that I never know when it’s going to happen it’s like coming up to a corner and never knowing if there is someone on the other side waiting to scare the shit out of you. Sucks but I try to hope that it’s for a reason.
    .-= Daisypantalones´s last blog ..Uh… =-.

  515. I too suffer from depression, and have been unable to get it under control. I have had a bad run with it the last two weeks. I have begun to see the light break through the darkness, but then something will happen, and the darkness comes back. Thank you for writing this, as I have felt like I am the only one who gets it, and no one could possibly understand the darkness.
    .-= Alli Campbell´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Sidewalk Chalk Art =-.

  516. Dearest Bloggess,
    I just found this tonight — October 7 — and thank you for writing so honestly about a kind of pain no one can see but only words can describe. You said it yourself so well, “I know other people who are like me. They take the same drugs as me. They try all the therapies. They are brilliant and amazing and forever broken.” But please, may I add — they suffer with an ILLNESS that they mistake for themselves. You are no more depression or mental illness than I am cancer. Your truth rings so much louder than the terrible illness you suffer from. Who YOU are shouts over and through the symptoms. And there is a loving and caring community out here that loves and supports you, through all things, good times and bad.
    Love and blessings,
    Jody
    .-= Jody Schoger ´s last blog ..From Co-Survivor to Survivor – How the Cancer Experience Changed My Advocacy =-.

  517. Thank you so, so much for perfectly distilling what it’s like. I am amazed and humbled by the comments here. So much support and understanding. Don’t ever give up, any of you. You are all worth fighting for.
    .-= John S. Gray´s last blog ..JohnSeaborn: Going to start a late 80′s / early 90′s south LA-style punk band called Rad Religion. We’ll wear Hypercolor, Slap Wraps, and LA Gears. =-.

  518. Don’t go being all thankful and stuff. It will make us feel important. We’re anonymous, crazy groupies for a reason.

  519. 521
    for the fear of losing credibility, i choose to remain anonymous

    I really want to say something witty and awesome and not try to be all sappy because I’m JUST. THAT. COOL. but somehow I just don’t see that happening because of how struck I am by not just your post but the outpouring of love sent by everyone.

    I’m 22 and was admitted into a psychiatric hospital twice already. I grew up with substantial sexual and emotional abuse, have been suffering from depression since I was 13, panic attacks since I was 18, rediagnosed with bipolar disorder maybe a year and a half ago, and now am in the process of having ADD and borderline tacked onto that list. I’m kinda impressed with myself.

    Despite all that, I just got into medical school.

    I know, you’re thinking WTF, I’M TRUSTING MY LIFE TO AN EFFING CRAZY PERSON?! Don’t think I’ve never doubted myself before. But that just makes me realize that you shouldn’t get shrouded by diagnoses and whatnot. I always compare it to diabetes – something’s physically imbalanced and without meds you’re fucked (uhh..can I say that uncensored?) but with them you’re just as capable of anyone else. Sure, we all have our slip-ups, but in the big scheme of things look at what you’ve accomplished. Surviving. That’s a big deal. Yeah, we’re not “normal”. We’re better than normal. We’ve been dealt a handicap and we’ve learned to kick its ass and stand above it. In the past year that I’ve been reading you I’ve envied you so damn much, flaws included. You’ve been dealt awful cards and yet you were strong, loving, and persistent enough to start a family and pursue a career in writing that you love. And yet still retain that kick-ass personality we’ve all grown to love. And you’re hot. I can say that b/c I’m a girl. And even if I wasn’t you’d still be hot. You’re so fucking amazing to me that when you PM’ed my friend on Twitter I gave her the silent treatment for 2 days. True story.

    It’s something that we all have to work on. Everyone’s different, yet nobody’s alone in thinking OMFG THIS SUCKS I’D RATHER HAVE MY BALLS CHEWED OFF BY A RABID DOG. I do like to think that, personally because being female with the absence of the aforementioned testicles makes it seem like a less dire alternative. Everyone’s at a different stage and unfortunately there’s no set time limit on when things will start to get and feel better and more manageable. Yet, it’ll come. It won’t be perfect (hell, I still have to walk around with antipsychotics in my pocket to quickly sedate myself if need be), but it’ll come.
    And just for the record, you rock even more having a blog that affects so many people. It’s like Woodstock for the crazies – your post was a life-changing diabolical event in the history of blogging, bringing oh so many people together for the love of one thing. You.

  520. 522
    for the fear of losing credibility, i choose to remain anonymous

    oh damn that post was long. feel free to not have it spam your page. it’s something that i just wanted to tell you, though.

    and here i go again with the spamming. but i have no other way to tell you. sadness.

  521. Mental illness is very common. My brother and I have both gone through what would be termed clinical depression that lasted for several years. Also, he has married and/or dated two women who turned out to be paranoid schizophrenic and had to actually be institutionalized. One of them thought the government had implanted something in her brain and was listening to her thoughts.

    I have a friend who has what is obviously some sort of fairly bad anxiety disorder, but she refuses to take anything for it. Because of some things she’s said, I’m constantly worried that she will commit suicide. She would be much happier if she would just take some Prozac.

  522. Dear Ms Fabulous Bloggess:
    If it is any consolation whatsoever–and, believe me, I know how hard it can be to find consolation in the dark clouds–you make me laugh so hard that rootbeer comes out of my nose. When I’m drinking rootbeer. Also, you make coffee and gin come out my nose. This seems to me a skill worth cultivating. Hang in there. You are appreciated deeply and kind of adored, and the fact that you are brave enough to share makes it better and easier for the rest of us.
    Love from Canada–
    .-= Lorraine´s last blog ..Hot Flashes/Power Surges: All Hail The Queen =-.

  523. …I feel like you are talking to Me, but sheesh there are 500+ comments here. You won’t even See Me but I had to respond anyways. It’s okay. I wish we could talk. I understand this so much and am way older than you and have Pushed Through it All through swirling peril and at Great Cost. You are a brilliant and amazing girl. All will be well. Breathe – just feel yourself breathing. Sitting on the curb breathing with someone’s caring hand on your back is a Good Thing. Better than being at the table and holding your breath. You will see this later. The End. Love you lots, me. :)

  524. i didn’t mean to make that smiley face thing. I meant to do this : )

  525. you are definitely in good company and i fully support you and your crazy b/c i suffer from the crazy too. i know what it’s like and some days are better than others. it’s high time we come out from behind the curtains and write/talk/blog/sing/yell about it. we can’t let the crazy win, we can’t let it take us so far under we lose ourselves. you are a beautiful woman, inside and out and me personally am grateful there is a bloggess in the world. makes it less dark :)

    xoxoxoxoxoxo
    .-= leah´s last blog ..you can’t get to the source if you don’t scratch the wound. =-.

  526. I just read your update and I am concerend that my kid may have been conceived ( i before e except after c ) while reading your blog. Will he be crazy?
    .-= William´s last blog ..I call you out =-.

  527. Did you actually read every response? I did. Theres a lot of fucked up peoples out there. And most of them LOVE you! lol Are you better yet??
    .-= peedee´s last blog ..Oh Geezzzzzzus! =-.

  528. Thanks for not deleting this. It matters. Also – screw normal. But do us all a favor? Don’t give up.
    .-= Space Kitty´s last blog ..Best laid plans… =-.

  529. Oh hi there. For a minute I thought I had stumbled into some sort of memory warp, and was reading something I unknowingly posted. But I’m pretty sure my husband’s name isn’t Victor, so that rules that out…

    Seriously though, the whole thing sucks, and like you said, I feel like I’m forever broken. Very well written.
    .-= thepsychobabble´s last blog ..Repost: 5lbs in one day =-.

  530. Wow, Jenny! I feel terrible that I’m just now getting to read this! My husband asked me today whether I had, and something about the way he asked said “Read it. NOW.” I’m glad I did, because I feel so much less like a tool.

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. I think you’ve just described my depression better than I’ve ever been able to; I will probably memorize it and paraphrase it (and credit you) if anyone ever asks me what it’s like.

    My anxiety doesn’t feel quite like that- I don’t really know HOW to explain it. You know when you’re watching a movie, and something really terrible has just happened, and they keep showing the character from all these different angles, looking like they’ve been slapped and shot and punched in the gut, and the music is this sort of throbbing bass drum sound, and it feels like it’s coming right at you and you just want to run? That’s the best I can do. I’m lucky in that it usually hits when I’m in bed at night, or at least at home where I can run and hide. But sometimes the night is the worst- because then there’s a voice that comes with it. And that voice is my ex-fiance, who cut me down like nobody else ever has, and now I feel like he died just so he could cut me down any time he wants to. He tells me everything that is wrong with me, and how everything that is wrong in my family is my fault. It’s my fault my son is so high-strung. It’s my fault my daughter still has potty issues. It’s my fault we don’t have money at the end of the month. It’s my fault that I’m overweight. And I just curl up into a little ball and try not to breathe too loudly because I don’t want my husband to know that I’m hurting again, because he’ll try to tell me that it’s not my fault, and it doesn’t help, and he’ll be all sleepy when he says it and then I’ll feel bad because I woke him up and he’s not getting enough sleep and maybe tomorrow he’ll fall asleep while he’s driving.

    I’m glad to hear (and see) that you’re not alone. Sort of- honestly, I just wish none of us had to deal with this shit, and we could all be happy and well-adjusted all the time. Because I haven’t taken anything for my depression in 2 years- not because I haven’t needed it, but because I’m too disorganized to make an appointment with a doctor so I can get a prescription- and frankly, I’d like to skip the medications because I really DON’T need it anymore.

    I hope you’re feeling better by now. To tell you the truth, I feel better for having told you (all!) this. Also, I hope any of this made sense, because I’m sort of on autopilot right now, and I’m not sure.
    .-= Tericat´s last blog ..Project 2995: Alona Avraham =-.

  531. for when you need them *hugs*
    .-= Sheila (@stinginthetail)´s last blog ..The house across the road… =-.

  532. Oh Jenny, you’re breaking my heart. And I’m already broken. I think there are a whacking lot of broken people out in the world hoping for “normal”. I’m afraid we’re probably in the majority. And I KNOW that we’re all attracted to YOUR brand of The Crazy, because we’re like moths to your Crazy Flame.

    Take care of yourself.

    –Yet another Crazy voice in the darkness.

  533. I have suffered from GAD and depression since puberty. We probably take the same meds and have similar symptoms. The worst if when I can’t get out of bed or would rather not see the light of day and my daughter has to live with me being that way. She is six and had never seen me have a full-on panic attack until one day a couple of months ago we decided to take her downtown on National Smores Day to eat some smores and celebrate her first day of school. Unfortunately, we got out of the car and started walking towards the restaurant just as a man decided to jump off a very tall building right in front of us. It was the most disturbing thing I have ever seen and I immediately panicked, hyperventilated and lost all the sensation in my hands and feet. The good thing is that my panic attack took the focus off what she just saw and she didn’t really think about it much afterward… Sorry for rambling. I blame the drugs. Anyhow, when I get panic attacks in the middle of the night, it helps me if my husband puts his hand on my chest and breathes with me so I can go through the motions of normal breathing until it feels more natural.

    Love your blog, but have never commented until now.

  534. We’re all broken or imperfect in some way or another. Some of the crosses we bear are more obvious than others. Some are heavier than others. Keep pushing forward. You may not be perfect, but you’re amazing, and while few of us who comment here really know you, we all care about you.
    .-= Brant´s last blog ..A turn for the better? =-.

  535. i so appreciate your honesty. its takes the shame away somehow. i get it. every single bit. people think im joking when i say my bed is my church and my meds are my communion, but its the truth.
    you are not crazy. i am not crazy. (but i do get crazy when i am told i need to fucking meditate or eat more organic foods to manage my “problem”) its hard. and we do the best we can. and sometimes we just cant. and we have to ride it through until we can breathe again without feeling like we are wearing that heavy ass x-ray shield vest at the dentist’s office. i say to myself constantly, “this will shift, this will pass, its just that mix up inside my body, it wont last…” and then i take my happy pills and wait for them to kick in. it wouldnt bug me if you had to let that scream out, hell, i join right in with you…. much love, beautiful entry, beautiful you…thank you

  536. [...] But something is wrong. With me. With Issa. With several of my friends. Hell, even Jenny the Bloggess admitted that she was in a funk. [...]

  537. As my darling dad has drilled into my brain for my entire life…….. anyone can be normal and sadly, most people are. What did my darling mom drill into my brain? Sanity is the playground of the unimaginative. What would I drill into your head? I love your big, beautiful, completely messed up brain. Victor and Hailey and my fellow Internuts are lucky to have you just the way you are.

  538. This is just heartbreaking. I am a lurker but had to comment on this post. I can only imagine how difficult this is to deal with. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. By the way, amazing writing.
    .-= J from Ireland´s last blog ..Yummy Mammy needs help. =-.

  539. Jenny, you have made us all double over with laughter so many times. How can you think we wouldn’t support you being whoever you need to be at any given point? Of course we do. And some of us are just relieved you’re not some kind of miraculous writing anomaly that we could never relate to.

    P.S. I am very grateful for this post because it is a final concrete statement of what it is like from the inside out that I can show to my husband who has NO CLUE how this kind of chemical/physical response is not something one can simply pull one’s bootstraps up past.

  540. At 540 comments I suspect there’s little I can say that’s new. Very well, I shall be one of the chorus. I suffer from depression and while my physical symptoms differ from yours I have to say that you nailed the description of what it’s like. The isolation, the awful, crushing helplessness of knowing that it will pass and yet having no way to speed that passing. The gnawing doubt that despite all the times before where it ended maybe this time I won’t make it out.

    Perhaps the worst for me is seeing the concern, helplessness and ultimately the incomprehension of those I love. It breeds an overwhelming desire in me to fix it, fix it, fix it, each repetition of which hammers home how helpless I am. I can’t even explain it in any meaningful way, I’ve given up trying. My code words to my wife are “I don’t feel well.” said in a certain tone of voice. I hate saying them, hate seeing what they do to her, but I found it’s better that she know.

    I’m 43, I’ve been dealing with this since adolescence and it’s taught me a thing or two.

    One, we are social animals. Shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased. Despite my inability to communicate my experience or even my immediate feelings when I’m depressed its better to be with people than without. I isolated myself for years as a coping strategy and it made it so much worse.

    Two, personification of the depression helps. Or at least it does for me. I picture it as an enemy to be fought for the safety of my loved ones. No longer do most of us have to confront physical threats to our families on a daily basis but we are decedents of people who did so successfully. Somewhere in me, in all of us, that warrior spirit (for lack of better term) still resides.

    Three: anger is an energy. [Thank you Mr. Rotten.] Despair breeds lethargy and lethargy feeds despair. Working myself up to hate my personification of depression has gotten me moving, literally. Sure I didn’t feel any better but sitting still and alone never made it better. Just getting out of the house, seeing something new, has on occasion started the climb back to a healthier state of mind.

    To be clear, I don’t offer these things as cure-alls for anyone. Everyone copes in their own way. They work for me, mostly, and that’s all I can say for sure about them.

    I will say this though and I’m convinced beyond any doubt that it is a true statement:
    Your depression and anxiety will not defeat you, nor will it defeat your husband. How do I know this? It hasn’t done so yet. It’s thrown it’s worst at you and you won. Sure it’ll try again but that’s just the last ditch efforts of an enemy out of ideas.

    I’ll repeat: shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased and both parties are made the stronger for it. Thank you for sharing. All the best to you and yours.
    .-= Coelecanth´s last blog ..Dancing in the Dark =-.

  541. I needed to read this. Just to know that I’m not the only one – THANK YOU!

  542. That was an amazing post – I admire you even more than I did before. I’ve been there too – many times and expect I will in the future. Thanks for writing about it.

    xo
    .-= slacker-chick´s last blog ..Six Word Saturday: Early Retirement Dreams =-.

  543. Thank you for writing this! mental illness is all around, it’s just a bunch of lucky bastards that doesn’t get hit by hit (the rest of us pretending to be one of the lucky ones, kind of a high-school thing)! but if there never were anyone like you or me (and the other weird ones hanging out here) the lucky ones wouldn’t been so lucky cause they would be dead… I don’t know if that is supposed to make you feel any better… but.. eh… stumbling on my own words, I hope u get better and u are not alone. Don’t ever delete it… it’s honest and really important. It made you even more amazing. Thank you!

  544. Good God! 545 comments is like a community panic attack. The only thing I will add is that I have gone to the doctor and demanded to be tested for diabetes, random heart disorders, and most recently emphysema, only to be told over and over it’s a panic attack. Oh, and I’m 32. If it weren’t for the whole “you have to be dead first” rule, I’d ask to be checked for early onset Alzheimer’s as well. You may never be normal, but I think I’ve met some normals and they are BORING!
    .-= Amber Forbus´s last blog ..Comment on This hurts me more than it hurts you, Joaquin by BravoJohnie =-.

  545. oh, I so get it.
    I’m a counselor- and I have from time to time (read:often) suffered from vacillating bouts of anxiety and depression. I always think that I should somehow “know better”… like I could *think* my way out of it or something. but, that’s not how it works. I kinda think that mental health is just like our physical health, sometimes we get colds, sometimes we get a virus and then sometimes we have to deal with chronic conditions… it’s all about how we choose manage it. no one chooses to get ‘sick’ (physical or mental), but we can choose to get some support, talk, write- do whatever to try to feel better. and an up side is: it’s usually this stuff, the grittier stuff, that connects us. people generally find they have a lot more in common when they open up and show what’s going on under the surface…
    ps- i heart your blog.
    .-= bryn´s last blog ..dear diary =-.

  546. You are a wonderful person, Jenny. Please remember that on the days you are in the tunnel.

  547. Hello. Just found your blog from reading some random twitters. I don’t do the twitter thing but sometimes read other people’s. Anyway I know how you feel about the anxiety, although I don’t get the depression. I have social anxiety which is a little different but do occasionally get the panic attacks, always in public places, always in front of people, always thinking like it’s the end of the world. It sucks. Hang in there.
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Weekending in ABQ =-.

  548. I know about this hole you speak of because I’ve got one of my own that I fall into sometimes. And when I do, the last thing I feel like doing is putting it out there on the internet, so I am very grateful for people like you who are brave enough to do so. Please don’t you give up.
    .-= Holmes´s last blog ..Gun For The Whole Family =-.

  549. I missed this blog when it first posted… I was in my own hole, as it were.

    There’s a million things I want to say, but it’ll come out sounding trite and lame. I had to comment on this post, though, so I guess thank you covers it.

    You’re pretty awesome. Even if you’re crazy. ;)
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..An open letter to Ahern Rentals =-.

  550. The hole…..perfect wording. Bless us all, we all have our little demons to deal with. Normal…..what is that? Posting before reading through all of the comments that got you through. Thanks for sharing…..how cliche but really!

  551. Jenny, I’m sitting here with tears running down my face. My wife and daughters suffer to varying degrees from anxiety and depression, and I sometimes joke that we’re a Zoloft family (I take a subclinical dose that is probably more placebo than pharmaceutical, but still….). I have sometimes resented being “the strong one” that has to deal with their issues.

    But after reading this post, I understand what they’ve been trying to tell me all these years. They don’t want me to fix it. They want to know that it’s OK, that I’m not going to give up on them, if they don’t give up on themselves. I never would, and that determination has multiplied. My guess is that Victor is a good man in the best sense of the term. Not only will he not give up on you, he’ll help you not give up on yourself.

    All the best to both of you. And thanks.

  552. Aw, honey, everybody’s crazy. But not everybody is this brave. And your humor is so life -affirming. Because the world is terrifying and you’re going to replace all your plates with frisbees because you’re a visionary. Damn, Jenny, you are a gift.

  553. 557
    not just you

    Giving up is not cool. And it will leave your loved ones more wounded then you will ever know. It’s been 22 years since my father took his own life and I’m still not sure how to deal with it. Keep sharing and keeping fighting. The world needs you – crazy disorders and all.

  554. Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

  555. I recently started reading your blog thanks to @inteligensia who spent 15 minutes at a pub last Saturday recounting your ‘Prinzessin’ post and a few other hilarious one-liners to me and another pal (I’m not complaining. I LOL’d plenty).

    Anyway, just finished reading this… come here and give me a hug, you cute, broken, wonderfully ‘layered’ INFP http://www.bestfittype.com/infp.html (or ENFP… I don’t know. Either. http://www.bestfittype.com/infp.html )

    *hug*
    .-= Mo´s last blog ..A while ago, somebody hurt someone close to me =-.

  556. [...] yesterday I felt myself falling into the hole again which sucks because I usually only have depressive episodes a few times a year and I just got over [...]

  557. Kind of silly to leave a comment now, but thank you. That’s my day to day life you just so poignantly described. Stiched up seamlessly on the outside, frayed and shredded on the inside.

  558. I doubt you’ll see this, since it’s a pretty old post, but a friend pointed me to this one, and I spent some time thinking about whether I should comment or not. I don’t have anything profound to say, and though I have some panic issues of my own, I know that I can never really get where you are coming from. I just wanted to say that, as hard as it can be for me to do everyday things sometimes, I know that you are dealing with so much more and are infinitely braver and stronger than I could ever be.

    I’m not much of a commenter, but I really treasure someone that can make me laugh on a regular basis, and you do that. Thank you.
    .-= Tim´s last blog ..Im Not Benny guest post, part Wait in the Van =-.

  559. I’m still reading and I’m glad you commented. You’re braver than you think.

  560. [...] one of us and a few days ago he tried to kill himself.  Why?  Because he’d fallen down a black hole.  He emailed me because he knew I “can understand how it gets when we suddenly become [...]

  561. Yeah what you said. Thanks for saying it. Also? I love you. :)
    .-= Jess´s last blog ..I loves me some Ricky Gervais =-.

  562. I just stumbled upon this post because of your newest post about your friend Jon. My father (Dr. Reid Wilson) is a world-renowned psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders and panic attacks. He and I are currently in Vancouver, where he is teaching his technique to other psychologists. My dad and I found your blog a few days ago and laughed hysterically at your other posts, doing dramatic readings of them that had us rolling around on the floor, laughing. And now, we read this. I read the post aloud to him, and he was right there with you. Brought us both to tears, and it is all too familiar to him and his work. He wanted me to reach out to you because he wrote a very well-known book called Don’t Panic (the third edition of which was just released last year) and you can find it on his website http://www.anxieties.com or in any bookstore. He told me to tell you that the book is not going to cure you, but if you take to the work, it can bring you to a higher platform from which to see another perspective. It will be a much easier place to work from and you won’t have to live in that black hole that you dread. You may also find his website helpful, as he offers lots of free self-help tips.

    In any case, please stay strong and if you want to reach out to him directly, you can contact myself or him via his website. He is in North Carolina, but could possibly offer support via email or phone. Keep on writing your hilarious blogs and all our best to your friend Jon.

  563. Thanks so much for sharing this, and making the others of us who are batshit crazy feel a little more normal ;)
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Quote of the Day =-.

  564. I don’t know how I missed this post but I LOVE IT!!!

    I am bipolar and also have anxiety/panic attacks (had one yesterday as a matter of fact). People think it’s just emotional or being dramatic…hubby used to say that I shouldn’t need to take medication. But his opinion has definitely changed.

    I have a coworker who says she cannot understand how anyone could kill themselves and I just smile. Because I understand it. I still think it’s wrong and selfish and horrible…but the only thing keeping me on this earth is my stubbornness and dedication to God and family.

    I’m totally linking to this post because it explains things so much better than I ever could!
    .-= castocreations´s last blog ..Coolest Creation =-.

  565. I’m writing here knowing full well that this is aeons old and nobody’ll read this far down, but I’m going to talk anyway. So there.
    Yeah, I get the depressions. People are always confused, because I can never explain why I’m suddenly so small for no reason–but of COURSE there’s no reason, that’s what makes a depression so fucking depressing. And every time it gets really dark, I come to terms with the fact that everyone I love is eventually going to give up on me, because really, there’s only so much tolerance anyone can have, and everyone has a breaking point, and that point is probably sooner than I’m prepared for. But…Well. To be uncharacteristically optimistic, nobody’s given up on me yet. Who knows? Maybe people are stronger than we give them credit for.

  566. I’m still reading. I hear you.

  567. I’m copying in a blog posted above, I hope that’s O.K., as I found it so insightful. I too suffer from occasional bouts of depression, where I’ve likened it to feeling like I’ve been poisoned with some toxic chemical, almost like I can feel it mucking up my veins. Unfortunately there is often a delay between when it sets in, and when I realize I’m affected, so it is hard to turn around.

    I’ve copied the blog because Colecanth’s idea of thinking of the depression like something animate, that you wage war against, the hated oppressor who keeps coming back, but keeps getting defeated, rang true for me and I hope others who see this are helped also. Thanks.
    FINALLY Bloggess, you rock in a way seldom seen in this way-too-normal world. I can’t even reconcile how creatively witty you are and thank god every day for this blog. Perhaps you know in your heart of hearts that people who are depressed ‘need’ this humorous lift more than the average ‘normal’ person, and that’s why you appear to have so many readers who have also suffered.
    OK here’s the copy from above:
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<
    At 540 comments I suspect there’s little I can say that’s new. Very well, I shall be one of the chorus. I suffer from depression and while my physical symptoms differ from yours I have to say that you nailed the description of what it’s like. The isolation, the awful, crushing helplessness of knowing that it will pass and yet having no way to speed that passing. The gnawing doubt that despite all the times before where it ended maybe this time I won’t make it out.

    Perhaps the worst for me is seeing the concern, helplessness and ultimately the incomprehension of those I love. It breeds an overwhelming desire in me to fix it, fix it, fix it, each repetition of which hammers home how helpless I am. I can’t even explain it in any meaningful way, I’ve given up trying. My code words to my wife are “I don’t feel well.” said in a certain tone of voice. I hate saying them, hate seeing what they do to her, but I found it’s better that she know.

    I’m 43, I’ve been dealing with this since adolescence and it’s taught me a thing or two.

    One, we are social animals. Shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased. Despite my inability to communicate my experience or even my immediate feelings when I’m depressed its better to be with people than without. I isolated myself for years as a coping strategy and it made it so much worse.

    Two, personification of the depression helps. Or at least it does for me. I picture it as an enemy to be fought for the safety of my loved ones. No longer do most of us have to confront physical threats to our families on a daily basis but we are decedents of people who did so successfully. Somewhere in me, in all of us, that warrior spirit (for lack of better term) still resides.

    Three: anger is an energy. [Thank you Mr. Rotten.] Despair breeds lethargy and lethargy feeds despair. Working myself up to hate my personification of depression has gotten me moving, literally. Sure I didn’t feel any better but sitting still and alone never made it better. Just getting out of the house, seeing something new, has on occasion started the climb back to a healthier state of mind.

    To be clear, I don’t offer these things as cure-alls for anyone. Everyone copes in their own way. They work for me, mostly, and that’s all I can say for sure about them.

    I will say this though and I’m convinced beyond any doubt that it is a true statement:
    Your depression and anxiety will not defeat you, nor will it defeat your husband. How do I know this? It hasn’t done so yet. It’s thrown it’s worst at you and you won. Sure it’ll try again but that’s just the last ditch efforts of an enemy out of ideas.

    I’ll repeat: shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased and both parties are made the stronger for it. Thank you for sharing. All the best to you and yours.
    Coelecanth´s last blog

  568. I am so impressed with the way that you talk through these emotions! I suffer from anxiety attacks related to my O.C.D., and I know from personal experience how terrible these things are. At times I can barely move I am so tense, every muscle in body tight, and if I even see a spider, I can’t stop shaking for hours. Your post absolutely touched me. You have a beautiful way of speaking that brought tears immediately to my eyes. What trust you have shown to your readers with this very personal experience. I appreciate that candor, and the gratitude you so obviously feel to your readers. I am so glad to be one of these readers, so glad that I found you! It’s nice to know that someone I respect and admire is going through some of the same experiences I am. I hope you feel better soon, and am glad that the people around you care so visibly for you and try their best. Many of my friends are quite unsympathetic to my condition, and my dad actually gets annoyed with me when I am having an anxiety attack and can’t function. Although I do have many people in my life who love and appreciate me, and who I am enormously grateful too, it is hard for some of them to understand how truly terrifying the world is to me. Thank you for showing your serious side, you have a special brand of bravery that is hard to find in a blog.

  569. I’ve got tears in my eyes and goosebumps from reading this post and all the heart felt comments. Isn’t it comforting to know that even strangers have a kind word to say in your darkest hour?

  570. Don’t give up; you’re an inspiration to me. I deal with ADHD, anxiety attacks and depression, and refuse medication for all of them because, even though the medicines make the bad times less bad, they make the good times less good. Unlike you I don’t deal with episodes in a way that could even remotely be considered productive: I don’t explain what’s going on to people and when I freak them out I just decide to start burning bridges. I acknowledge that this isn’t the right way to go about the whole ordeal, but I’m hardly thinking straight when I go through an episode.

    You have people around you who understand and care; something that I normally have, but this summer haven’t, as I am studying abroad with a group of people who were strangers before this trip. Needless to say, bridges were burnt fairly early on, and it’s been rough these past few weeks. I read your blog because you are endlessly relatable in the good and bad times; don’t ever stop, because I don’t know what I would do without people like you, Allie Brosch, Benjamin Broudeau, and Nicole Antoinette waiting for me when I escape to my solitude.

    Thank you.

  571. [...] not even really that sure why.   I guess partially because I’m ready to talk about what kind of nasty tricks my mind played on me this year.    And partially because I *think* I’m ready to take my blog back and share all of [...]

  572. Hello.
    I’ve been reading bits of your blog for over a month now, and I’m wondering if you’re suffering from PTSD. The topic of your book makes me think “yes”, only because I have suffered from PTSD as a result of my f*cked-in-the-ass upbringing.

    And I want to tell you that it does get better.

    I’m 40 and the symptoms have waned dramatically in the past 15 years. I’ve been through therapy a long time ago and I haven’t needed brain-drugs in like forever.

    Just trying to offer some hope…

    Alexandra recently posted New shit has come to light and it gets better I promise.

  573. I don’t know if you even check the comments on posts that are this old. I’m not a regular commenter to begin with…but I’ve followed your blog for years, and this post has stuck with me since the day you posted it.
    It was this post that helped push me to seek help with my own anxiety, to feel less ashamed about this disorder I cannot control.
    Thank you. It’s still really hard, but it’s never been easier.

    Joelle recently posted One year.

  574. So I’m a little late reading this but…I feel like it was me writing it. That horrible horrible feeling that sneaks up on you out of nowhere. When you’re perfectly fine and nothing bad is happening. Then you can’t breathe and your body NEEDS to shake but you try and stop it because you don’t want people to know. In my case, if someone notices and asks if something’s wrong it makes it 1000 times worse. And then after it passes when you can barely move because you’re so exhausted from your body fighting your mind. I have times where I go months without having them, then I will have a time where I have them every single day. I was given up on. My boyfriend of a year gave up. He didn’t understand and couldn’t handle why I wouldn’t go places with him. It was all about him. I guess that’s a blessing in disguise. I think it’s quite obvious your husband will never give up on you. You got a good one :) Thank you for writing this. It hit home at a time I really needed to read it… even a year after you wrote it.

  575. I just love you Jenny! I started reading your blog a few months ago, and I started from back in ’09, and am working my way to the newest stuff! I totally feel your pain with the whole anxiety and depression! I get it from my mother and as hard as I try to stay positive and always smile, its not always possible and this month has been one of the worst ones in my life, and God has been really testing me and my stregth and it has been harder than ever to stay poistive. Until I read this post! It made me cry and it describes me to the T! And I stole the comment of the day as my status on Facebook, because its so true, and its nice to know that not only am I not alone, but that it is almost normal to be screwed up, and hey… it could be worse!! So thank you miss Jenny, for hepling put a smile on a face that had almost forgot what a smile was! :o)

  576. I understand completely. I suffer from the exact same but with out the tunnel vision. What is even worse is that I’m only 14. What really helped the most was the support from friends and family. My darkest days where when I had a reaction to medicine. I freaked the fuck out and was hallucinating. I was hospitalized twice; once at 12 and once on my 13th birthday. When I got back to school I was a complete outcast. I was lucky. There is a school in my town that is completely accepting and I had a new life. I know how hard it is, but I also know that it will always get better. And even though you can’t remember this, your friends do. Thank you for being there for the dark days of your friends. And complete strangers.

  577. I read this and was shocked because I could connect with you through it. I am only 22 years old, and I am plagued with these problems already. I live with two roommates, the one having been my best friend for over 15 years. She will be with me forever, constantly helping me and keeping me grounded. If anything was to happen I wouldn’t be able to survive without her support. I would crumble and break and forever be lost.

    Jessica recently posted Does NO ONE else do the dishes around here?!.

  578. After reading your newest blog posted by a friend on FB I have just spent 4 hours reading your archives. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe a couple of times. Which doesn’t happen often since my husband died a year ago. Your conversations with Victor are so much like my ramblings with Jim, and my house is full of bizarre ornaments that caught my/our fancy. (I once asked him to lick my eyeball and let me lick his to see what they tasted like.) At 50, I have lived with a panic disorder for 24 years. As I’ve gotten older the attacks have become less frequent and less intense. I think the turning point for me was when I just started telling people an attack was coming on. Security guards, airline attendants, the person standing next to me in line, whoever was there. Scared the hell out of a few people, but once I said it aloud the fear of embarrassing myself was moot, which lessened the anxiety somewhat. (And they would know what was going on if I passed out or something, which also lessened the anxiety.) And every time the subject comes up with a new group of people, I see relief in at least one person’s eyes that they aren’t alone.

  579. Far out. I’m reading back through your archives, picking random months at a time, and I came across this post. All I can say is – YOU FRICKING GET IT. You understand it. You KNOW what I’m feeling.

    Just knowing that, that I’m not the only one on the planet who feels that way, who loses her mind at random times and currently doesn’t even leave my house if I can possibly help it – it helps. God, you have no idea how much it helps. Also you have no idea how much I’m crying and snotting all over the place, but that’s probably for the best.

  580. Also reading through the archives…I can’t believe I’ve just now discovered your Blog. Love, love, love. This post in particular because it hits home. Thank you for being so honest about what you go through. It’s more than helpful for those of us that go through the same thing and have spent most of our lives trying to hide it. Also, thank you for being funny as all hell.

    Hope recently posted Crap I feel like saying..

  581. 585
    Anonymous

    Do you read comments on old posts? I’m not stalking you. My meds decided not to work and the few people I can talk to are at work and I’m having crazy nightmares so I can’t even escape to sleep. I look at those depression support groups on the internet and it just feels like too much work. My kids will be home in an hour and a half and I don’t know what to do. It’s been 17 years of this and I’m sick of trying new meds with crazy side effects. So I’m going to try an old one again and see if it helps but until then I sit here wishing I could talk to one person who understands what I’m talking about. So I decided to leave you a comment on an old post to make myself feel better that one person who knows what I’m going through might read this. And let you know that when I’m down I read the post about you asking Victor to dress you as Wonder Woman and dump you out of a plane after you die. That usually cheers me up. Just not today. I’m sure later I will be mortified.

    (I totally read them and I understand completely. Remember that depression lies. Also, call the suicide hotline if things get bad. I have before and they’re there to help and can give you suggestions when you feel like you have none. The world needs you. ~ Jenny)

  582. 586
    DarkDisneyPrincess

    I just wanted to add another THANK YOU to the list. There are a LOT of us out there & most of us do not know how to express what it is like. It sucks that ANYONE would feel this way, but it’s comforting to know that we are not alone.

  583. 587
    GeneralChaos

    I discovered your blog a couple months ago and have been reading them chronologically – from the beginning up to now. I’m almost in tears because you so eloquently described how I feel when I have a panic attack.
    I don’t remember how old I was when I first began having one – I write about a mild one in a diary from when I was 10 years old – but they were rare, and I thought perhaps related to blood sugar levels or something… Well, they became markedly worse about five years ago.
    I was diagnosed with “depression” and “some kind of anxiety disorder” around then, am on meds, but they don’t always work well. This spring I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. My Dr. decided to switch my meds, hoping that might help the pain – and my incidence of panic attacks soared to at least 2 per week.
    Two times per week when I would suddenly, usually at night, nearly always at home, start feeling just how you describe. I’m not sure about the tunnel vision – I often have the compulsion to close my eyes so I don’t know. I get different “flavors” – sometimes I vomit uncontrollably (and then I can’t keep down my xanax. so it just goes on and on and on…) When I vomit that hard, sometimes I pee myself. Sometimes I *have* to remove some clothes (while vomiting) because I’m convinced they are keeping me from breathing. Sometimes my muscles clench so hard I’ve found myself bruised the next day. I have my meds no more than about five feet from me at all times now.
    If I don’t get to them in time, or can’t keep them down, it’s sometimes been a trip to the ER, having to convince the ER doctors of what’s going on (My partner does that – by then I’m incoherent) – and a shot of something later… Somehow she gets me home and tucks me in.
    I’ve often wondered how long this will go on before she leaves me, too.
    I’ve often wondered how long I can keep it up.
    Then I read comment #324 – and cried my eyes out.

    I’ve had allergy tests done, I’ve had heart monitors, I’m sure my Dr, thinks I’m a hypochondriac by now, but…
    Just hang in there. Thank you for posting this. I really needed to feel not alone in this horrible fog.

    The embarrassment of the possibility of “going crazy” in public keeps me home most of the time.

5 trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s