Sometimes the darkness can be beautiful. But sometimes it’s a real bitch. Depends, I guess.

Hi.

I’ve been a little missing lately.  Not just here.  I’ve been missing a bit inside my head, which in some ways is good because my head is not always fun to live in.

I don’t know if the depression I’ve been dealing with off and on for the last few months has just worn me down, or if it’s one of my auto-immune diseases flaring up, or if I’ve just been lucky enough to get mono AGAIN, but whatever it is feels ungood.  And I know that “ungood” isn’t a real word, but my head is where I keep all my good words and it’s not working well right now.  The rest of my body is following suit and so now I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to do to feel better.  I’m taking my meds and getting light therapy and eating well better and taking vitamins and trying to be active and all the other bullshit that you have to do when you’re sick but you aren’t sure where or what the sickness is, so you have to do all the due diligence because otherwise the doctor is going to just wave me away because someone as broken as I am is sometimes expected to be miserable.  But here’s the thing.  I don’t want to be miserable.  I would like to be happy.  And sometimes I am.  Today I feel better and I can concentrate enough to write this.  This sounds small but it’s not.  It’s big.  And I’m taking it.

And I’m not alone.  I’ve seen so many people lately reaching out for help and I’m not sure if I just think more people are struggling because I am too and I’m more sensitive to it, or if there’s something in the air or in the stars that has made this year more difficult in general.  I’ve seen people I love doubt their own light and feel broken.  And maybe they are, but broken doesn’t mean worthless.  Broken hurts sometimes but it is also what makes us different.

Last night as I was going to bed I noticed that I’d let most of the lights burn out in the chandelier and I couldn’t replace them.  Not just because I was too tired but also because I don’t own a ladder that tall.  So the few remaining lights that still flickered on cast a strange shadow on the wall and in a way it was really beautiful.  Like an unconscious mural that painted my house with invisible hands.  And it was striking.  And strange.  And dark.  And haunting in a way that is (literally) a little hard to see and also a little hard to ignore.  And it seemed like a perfect analogy for how I was feeling.  If my head was working better I would be able to wrap this up more succinctly, but if I wait until my head is less broken I might wait forever.  And then you’d never see the strange, dark loveliness that comes out when things are little bit broken.

dark bloggess

Broken can be beautiful.  I’ll remind you of that if you remind me back.

382 replies. read them below or add one

  1. It does seem to be going around lately. Glad you’re taking care of yourself, and thanks (as always) for the reminder.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Shadows can be lovely; all we need to see the beauty is just the tiniest bit of light. The hard part is remembering to stop and look around.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Bless you, Sweetie. By putting this out there, you speak for countless people. It’s OK not to be OK. YOUR light and your shadows are beautiful.
    .

    Liked by 6 people

    Half a 1000 Miles recently posted Whirley Pop Cornography.

  4. You nailed it, as usual. When we think we’re the only one, we never are.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t have any profound wisdom to share, but sometimes it’s nice to get a kind word from a stranger, so here you go: “kind”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 6
    Major Bedhead

    I’ve been struggling a lot, too. It’s not fun. Here’s hoping we both feel lighter soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is going around. I spent 2 hours with a therapist the other day and cried for 1 hour and 55 minutes. I held it together nicely for 5 minutes. Change in seasons? Retrograde? Not enough bacon? Whatever it is, this too shall pass. Take care of yourself and continue to find beauty in the shadows.

    Liked by 7 people

    Kristine @ MumRevised recently posted A Heart-to-Heart About Clichés.

  8. 8
    Kate Goffin

    A beautiful picture to go with a beautiful analogy.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m glad there is someone like you to point out the beauty and art in the everyday, then sharing with us so we can also appreciate something we may not have seen. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    jenndesi recently posted Two sides of one year.

  10. It is going around. Last weekend I had a complete and total meltdown. I just had to let go and know that the darkness wasn’t infinite and that I’d come out the other side. I was fragile and tired and still made it through.

    And then this weekend was all self care. My first three day weekend without having to work in the better part of a decade and I spent it sleeping and meditating and just relaxing. I unpacked all of the stuff and things in my head.

    And my reward was a moment of silence yesterday. All the internal noise stopped. And it was amazing.

    Take care, Jenny.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. 11
    Jenni (aka Sassypants)

    We are all beautifully broken.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hang in there and take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    Cassandra recently posted Throwdown Thursday: Too Many Meds?.

  13. I’ve been following you for longer than I can keep track of (I only have 10 fingers and 10 toes) yet have been reluctant to comment until now. Your words have been and inspiration to me. I can’t COMPLETELY relate to the dimness that sometimes shrouds your otherwise sunshine-y life (partly because Im on the other side of the penis equation, but mostly because I’ve been brewing my brand of crazy for 44 years and it’s almost as unique as urs), however, I have drawn hope and courage to get out there again, and start moving, and start interacting with people again. So… For what it’s worth, thank you. See ya on the dark side of a furiously happy world

    Liked by 2 people

    Gabriel Burkhardt recently posted Clinging to the hope of hot chocolate on Clingman’s Dome..

  14. Jenny,
    I love this. It’s so true and inspiring. And always remember that most of the greatest thinkers, creators, and contributors of the world have felt broken.❤️

    Like

  15. As always, I thought it was just me. My 19 year old kitty went over the rainbow bridge and I found myself missing her so much this week. And that was the proverbial straw. And yet we move forward and keep looking for the light. Thanks as always for being here to remind me that I’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Broken and beautiful.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Jenny Williams recently posted Spider Chips! Noooo!!.

  17. Thank you for this reminder. We are waiting on a diagnosis in my extended family and if it comes back poorly I will need this post over and over and over again.

    It has been going around. I have noticed it as well. Take care of yourself. You deserve it.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m not doing so great today, either. For some reason, my body just feels really gross and intrusive. The shirt I wore today is a little too short to hide my fat, or I don’t like the way my arms press into me as I sit here and type or something. And I gave my head a couple of really sharp raps with my knuckles a few minutes ago, and then really yanked at my hair. And I know neither of those things are really that bad, but that’s part of the problem because I would really, really like to do something more destructive to myself right now to get some of this awful feeling inside out, but I’m not supposed to. So I’m just sitting here feeling blobulous and awful, but at least this is a safe space to say that.

    In short, I would really like to run away from myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. So beautifully said. And the chandelier is a perfect analogy. You are not lost in the dark. You’re just learning how to work your way through it. Others have said it better than I could, but, yes, we are all broken. Some of us can move through life hiding the cracks, some of us let them show. The answer? I”m not wise enough to know. All I know is how I’ve made it through.We all find our own paths. Just know that you are not alone in your journey. And sometimes, when we see the light, it’s more beautiful as a result of our time in the darkness. Love your posts and your willingness to open yourself up to us. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 20
    amandaperlor

    I agree; I see people struggling more. It’s probably astrology. But sometimes the darkness makes the good moments, when they can emerge for just an afternoon, all the brighter.

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  21. ❤ So well said. And the picture is a beautiful representation of what my mind feels like at times. Thank you.

    Like

  22. I never leave a response or follow anyone’s blog but I felt compelled to follow you. 1. Because you are gifted and I love your books, but 2. More importantly I have the exact physical issues you have and some. I can only imagine what you feel because everyone is different but I do feel that it’s been a difficult time. My therapist says “tolerate” and talk it through but when all the things you are prescribed to do fails you feel hopeless. I had an episode where I get depressed and extreme anger – anger that I can’t control (it’s a bit of a bipolar symptom I guess). But as all thing, it shall pass and I have to believe that. Hang in there and you are right. You are not alone!!!!

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  23. I’m meeting Peter Capaldi & Jenna Coleman on Sunday. Anything you’d like me to get signed? I’d offer up Peter, but he’s mine. He just doesn’t know it yet…

    Liked by 1 person

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  24. There’s definitely something in the air. Lately, both my best friend and I have been dealing with more than our fair share of obstacles and we both feel broken in unwelcome ways. I’m trying to stay positive and remind us both that it’s okay to be broken because it shows we’ve been whole before and can be again. It’s still pretty hard, though, to be honest. We live very close to one another, but our respective medical/mental speedbumps make us feel so very far apart (because it hurts to move and stay awake and leave the house) and somehow makes it harder to heal. Jenny, you really are an inspiration to me, and I know that mountains (or small hills that feel like mountains) can be conquered, and we will all come out better in the end. I hate waiting, but it’ll happen eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Oh darling. You’re never alone on the Internets. You literally have a legion (or three) of fans and we love you. (I think we’d love you even if we weren’t fans, you’re just a lovable person.)

    Be well, and keep heading through. The only way out is through.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. 26
    herbertleslie

    Oh holy hell. I’m about 1/2 speed right now, and my husband is right in the tranches with you. He is a doctor who has to take call and it messes with his sleep schedule as well as his mind in general. We are going to buy a light box, but our doc says only to use it in the fall and winter. I’m thinking he needs it all the time because radiologists sit the the dark all day reading screens. (Can you think of anything more depression inducing???). I thank God for you and your dark humor, which we really wish we had more of ourselves!! I’m sending you some love and some gratitude!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. 27
    Anonymous

    Don’t worry you go be better, is just never forget this

    Like

  28. People have been suffering more lately, it seems. A few have reached out to me, others I drew out, because for once I could be the stronger one. We WILL see the other side of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you. I am so quietly broken that my family forgets. Or people don’t know. And I forget that I’m not alone or lazy or bad in my brokenness. Autocorrect thinks that should be ” broken mess.” Who knew it could get it mistakenly right? Humor– more light in our darkness. Thank you for quietly standing by me by writing this all down. Much love.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. You’re not alone. I’m struggling too. I’m tired of trying to pull myself through or over or even under, though. Broken doesn’t feel beautiful to me; being broken just hurts. It sucks and after 56 years of trying to keep hope alive through all the broken, I no longer see a point. So, for now, I will rely on habit. It’s a good thing breathing is a habit. Once upright, so is walking. Maybe habit is enough for now. I hope so.
    Good luck Jenny. I’m glad you have Victor and Hailey and all your wonderful beasties.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 31
    Joan Tinnin

    I am with you, wonderful lady. I’m older and my body is misbehaving. In 3 yrs I’ve had 4 vertebrae break in my back. Another knee replacement. Another shoulder surgery. Dr’s insist on opioids. No other plans. Today I find a study at University of Colorado that opioids MAY be the cause of long term pain. So my misery could be self inflicted. When I read your blog today I cried for you. Now I feel hopeful. You contributed to that by sharing your pain. Physical and mental. My heart aches for you. My daughter suffers from depression. I gave her your books and told her about your blog. Your sharing is now helping 2 more people here in Colorado. I only wish we could help you. We love you. I hope your head and your body feel well soon. You have many rooting hard for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. As you do so often, you wrote a post that not only reminded me of myself but of what I’m going through at that exact moment. When the God of Fucked Up Heads was handing them out, I think we got a couple from the same lot.🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Why the fuck is this going around right now? I’ve been feeling depressed about the end of my work year (I work for the local school district) and the prospect of having to keep my special needs son occupied/busy for three solid months without so much of a break for myself (a scary, horrible thought, even though it’s true) and then the laundry got piled up.

    Which made me feel even more depressed/anxious because I had SO much laundry to do.

    Hang in there, sister.

    Like

    mommatrek recently posted It’s that time of year again.

  34. Oh my. It really is going around. My lightbulbs are burning out as well. I guess I’m just feeling broken, maybe I’ll work on the feeling beautiful part. But it’s hard. I’m technically doing everything I’m supposed to do as well. Maybe I need to buy a tall ladder.

    Like

  35. “…broken doesn’t mean worthless”.

    Thank you for the reminder.❤

    Liked by 1 person

    Ealachan recently posted Lilac Season.

  36. I’m glad you were able to write b/c that is huge. Small steps….
    I don’t think anyone is broken…we’re just different. And it’s good to know we’re not alone.

    Like

  37. I’ve slept in excess of 20 hours at least twice this past week, not counting the handful of minutes I woke to feed the cats. The dreams I had were so vivid that I didn’t want to wake up from them. They were bright, they were exciting, and they were straightforward, unlike the rest of the shit in my head. I still have a few things that keep me from hitting that permanent off switch, but right now none of them are me.

    Like

  38. I don’t know what it is about May. It’s a freaking hard month every year. Maybe it’s just when so much in life changes. Growing up its when school years come to an end. Seasons are changing, and depression that some hoped was just seasonal turns it to not be. It does feel like more folks are hurting lately. Maybe that’s not true though. Maybe it’s finally starting to lose a bit of stigma, and we’re all starting to come out together. That’s a more positive spin on it anyhow.

    Like

  39. I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one in the shadows right now. Thanks.

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  40. 40
    RiverVox (@River_Vox)

    Lovely, strange and true. There should be a setting on the light switch for “weird”. Reminds me of the wonderful Leonard Cohen lyric “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” But, my dear, I have to caution you on the statement “I’d let most of the lights burn out”. Were you supposed to be tending them like little fires? Do you live there alone? I don’t like to see you treating a light bulb burning out as a personal failure. You just need someone with a bigger ladder. Wish I could deliver one to your door but driving from Boston to Texas with a really long ladder on my Honda Civic is probably not a good idea.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. 41
    Anonymous

    Today is my latest day of working at my job of almost 20 years. I too have been stuck inside my head.

    Like

  42. You’re definitely not alone in noticing this year is just off. I feel like I’ve been locked out of my house and someone is inside but can’t hear me banging on the door. If they would just hear me, I could get back inside and take care of the things I’m supposed to take care of.

    Liked by 1 person

    Jennifer @ WrittenByJennifer recently posted Not Quite Homesick.

  43. I’m struggling too. Broken and kind of alone in my own little world. I reached out for help but got rejected. I’m trying to tell myself that’s ok.

    But broken can be beautiful in it’s own right.

    Like

  44. That is really beautiful. How do you do all the things you’re supposed to do for your health when you feel this way? I’m not good at that, and I’m not doing those things. I just canceled a doctor’s appt. for today. Not a psych or therapist, just a gp. But I just can’t go. I can’t shower or do anything. I am very broken.

    Like

  45. Add me to the list of people that have been a bit more broken than usual. To top off a bad month, last night I had one of those real/metaphor dreams about my stoner son (real) and the badly leaking roof on the house (metaphorical) that was due to go on the market in a week. Anger and tears, fear and dread. Thank you for — what? just being you, I guess. You have helped me a lot, and have given me a vocabulary to talk to others about my broken brain.

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  46. Broken is still beautiful. And useful. And deserving of love.

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    DayLeeFix recently posted Small Town, Big Deal.

  47. I don’t know how to post a picture but I have a chandelier made of broken sea glass. The pieces are broken and worn down but beautiful in their own way. A lot of the pieces have been dyed, which to me represents some process to make them “prettier”, but it’s still broken sea glass. It’s imperfect, haunting, unique. And it’s FABULOUS. Like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 48
    michelleconnor17

    I thank God for you. You seem to post something soothing and kind just at the time I need it. I spent all day yesterday just doing absolutely nothing because I didn’t even want to move. I think there’s something in the air. I just can’t shake the weight of my feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. That is hauntingly beautiful. It just goes to show that the tiniest bit of light can still make the most gorgeous setting. You certainly aren’t alone in your brokenness. This year does seem to be worse than previous years. I had brain surgery (removal of a brain adjacent benign tumor – but the neurosurgeon still called it brain surgery) in August last year and I’m still trying to decide if that’s the cause of all my issues (my brain suddenly has like 4 inches more space to fill!) or if it’s something else. But whatever it is, I hope for all our sake’s that it passes soon. In the meantime, all we can do is do the best we can. And hopefully be as kind as possible to the people around us, because, as we can see in the comments, there’s a lot of brokenness out there and we could all use the kindness.

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  50. The month of May has broken my spirit and maybe my brain. I’ll keep trying. Thanks for the example.

    Liked by 1 person

    Janet Coburn recently posted Better Than a Flying Toaster.

  51. For a change, I’m in a decent place for the moment. My anxiety is getting the better of me at times but I have sufficient meds to get by for now and a doc appt on the 4th so I can hang on until then. So I can carry a little extra weight for those who need it.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. 52
    Anonymous

    I wish I could be as brave as you. I can’t work because of my depression, anxiety and chronic pain. I’ve been reading your blog for years and this is my first comment. I think it’s a number of reasons why people are so depressed. We’re not as connected physically as we use to be because of the technology, pollution and the government, generally speaking. People think I’m crazy when I say that. Times have changed too fast and too much.

    Like

  53. That picture is really cool. I told my husband last night, “For someone with my condition, I’m doing remarkably well.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Catherine recently posted When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

  54. my husband is suffering right now and I feel so helpless.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 55
    Anonymous

    Stay strong Jenny. Maybe it’s post book success and the tour. Anyone would be tired and worn out after that. It wAs a lot of hard things to do..

    Liked by 1 person

  56. We are the wordsmiths. I hereby officially wordsify “ungood.” You may or may not receive an official certificate (we’re lazy, but at least we’re unapologetic about it)

    I’m going to go ahead and disagree with your use of the word broken… “broken” implies that an item is not fulfilling its intended function, but since YOU get to decide your intended function – and change it whenever the mood or need strikes – the term really doesn’t apply. (When I’m in That Place I go with “I’m just not feeling it right now,” where “it” is left undefined because it’s all the things, but the point is the playful and non-negative tone.)

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    actualconversationswithmyhusband recently posted The Blanket Thief Conspiracy Revisited.

  57. I’ve been feeling the same way lately. A little over six months ago I started taking medication for my condition for the first time in my life, and it seemed to make a difference. But lately that dumb ole’ cloud has been seen lurking on the horizon and it’s making me wonder if the medication helped or maybe I just had a break from my symptoms. And if that’s the case now I’ll have to look at other, scarier prescription options. What I’m taking right now has a side effect of making any anxiety symptoms work, which I thought it wasn’t doing to me, and of course I was wrong. I found this out because I went to the E.R thinking I was either having a heart attack, or this was the beginning of another “Alien” movie and I was going to be the first victim with a chest burster and I’d have to name it something like Cecil. Nope, it was just my body deciding it finally wanted to see what going to the Emergency room is like. And that’s with one of the easier to take prescriptions.

    I get what you mean about the whole “healthy regimen” they push on us though. It’s like we aren’t’ taken seriously unless they can see or we look like we run a 5k and run a holistic food blog on the power of turnips. They’d probably take us a little more seriously if we didn’t try to assuage situations in the office with misplaced humor (I told an ER intern “Good thing I wore my pretty bra today” when they were setting up the EKG. Whoops.) But that’s just how we are. If we can’t laugh or find beauty in the weird or unfortunate things that happen to us, what else would we do? And we have people in our lives that love us for the way we are, even the dark, and not always happy aspects. And definitely not normal either. And we sometimes feel like we don’t deserve that, but we do, dammit! It sounds cheesy, but if you think about it, it’s all the hard and sad times that make those furiously happy moments so much more rewarding. We just have to ride over each wave as it hits us so we can get to the figurative beach. Where hopefully they have literal cabana boys and pina coladas.

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    nerril recently posted Work Meeting Notes (Squirrels and Roombas edition).

  58. I picked up a shell off of a beach once. It was very pitted by the sea and broken in a most fascinating way. I’ve had it on a shelf for almost 10 years now. I remember picking it up in awe of its beauty. The friend I was walking with turned to me and said, “Only you would pick up the broken shell when there are so many whole ones.” I love that she meant it as a compliment. But I don’t think I’m the only one. I love rust too. My husband wants to refinish every piece of old furniture we ever bring home. I want it clean but other than that I want the bumps and bruises that come with the life experience. I love the stories. Keep telling the stories, Jenny. The stories make the world a better place.

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  59. I too have been in the worst way since unemployed (not my doing). But then last Friday I had a fire in my apt complex. The fire dept condemned the building, I’m not even allowed in my apt to get underwear!! So here I am completely crushed, and now homeless… please share the following if you wish. http://www.gofundme/burkkelly87 I have had to update it due to the fire…I love your work and just knowing that someone out there can share the exact feelings I have with anxiety and depression, calms me. You will get through this.

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  60. So glad that you share. I believe that alone helps. I wish I could wave a magic wand and heal all of us hurting for various reasons. I know I can’t so I will just hang in there and keep reading your posts because we are not alone.

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  61. 61
    Kelly Stoker

    I have a theory that most people in the US are dealing with a level of depression (on top of other depression) because of the political climate. I believe that the ridiculousness of it is really getting people down. I think that this is even more true if you believe that all people are equals and have the right to be happy and who they are.

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  62. hard few weeks for me too. keep shaking it off for a day or 2, then it is just. there. AGAIN. I need a vacation from my head.

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  63. I struggle with a brain that doesn’t work the way the typical world seems to think it should. Some creatives have said that it’s a myth that your brain has to be “broken” to be an artist, and maybe that’s true for them, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many creative people have had a history of atypical brains, whether it be some form of mental illness or other diagnosis (not necessarily “illness”). Depression and anxiety are things I haul around, but I’m used to the weight, mostly. Anything else going on in the grey matter I just speculate on (and rarely with others because they don’t believe me). Am I broken? Am I wired wrong, or am I just wired differently? It’s like seeing the world with more colors in it, and not being able to describe them to the rest of the world. “That’s crimson,” you tell them, and all they see is red.

    I guess what I’m getting at is… sometimes things are broken and need to be fixed, like depression. That shit’s gotta go. The fact that I’m “used to it” is not a good thing. Other things, the weird, quirky things that maybe other people think are broken… well, we need to convince them that weird and different =/= broken. And sometimes, broken things lead to amazing discoveries, like the shadows on the wall. Broken isn’t always bad.

    Except depression. Depression blows.😛

    Liked by 1 person

  64. I love how we can all blame the stars together on this one. And I also know we’ll be able to thank them sometime soon. I don’t feel all the way broken today, but somehow it makes it worse; I feel like, if maybe I could cry my eyeballs out, I’d be at least a little cleansed, but instead I just mope around. Luckily, we have your words to cleanse us instead. You are beautiful, and you have touched so many people in so many different ways. You reach so much farther than you know, and the least we can do is thank you for it, again and again. If I ever get another cat (who am I kidding, I should write “when I get another cat”), and I’ll name him (or her of course, really doesn’t matter) Jenny Pawson, pardon the pun – maybe you already have a reader with one such cat, in which case I’ll name it Jenny Pawson the Second, of course. We’re gonna be great🙂

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  65. That was beautiful! Thank you.

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  66. Oh honey, I think we should blame this on the starts. They are fucked up right now. So am I. Three deaths in two weeks is too much. One of them the woman who used to be my best friend: suicide. I can’t deal with this much death, so here’s what I do: I go sit in the goat barn and let goat babies jump on my lap. I go pull weeds in the garden, and that helps a little, and it’s also handy because I can cry into the soil. Also, my puppy’s fur works great for that.
    This will pass, it will, but it sure hope it would pass faster. Hang in there, girl. We’ll all try, and in the meantime, the stars will move into a different position and let some more light through. I hope.

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  67. I used to be terrifed by the darkness, but we spent so many sleepless nights together that we became friends. Allies. I would love to live in the light all the time, but sometimes I just need the soft unconsciousness of the night.
    I love shadows. I love darkness in general. I love it because it hides me from everything and everyone what/who tries to hurt me. It even hides me from myself.

    I guess Ernest Hemingway said: we are all broken, that’s how the light get’s in.
    So nevertheless I love darkness, I love to be broken. Because it means light will get inside.

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  68. Broken and beautiful, the photo, you and all of us. Incidentally, I lent my copy of Furiously Happy to a friend recently who is having a tough time and wanted to say thank you for writing something that gets it, and is funny and we can share to get through the crappy bits.

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  69. Big hugs….take care of yourself and go for a pedicure. Helps brighten my day!! I wish I could brighten your day like you do for me. Thanks!

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  70. I’m broken too. But while I was being broken in Canada, The Viking was being broken in Denmark, and somehow we found each other. I like to think that it’s the Universe’s way of saying ‘I’m sorry’. And then I discovered the Japanese art of KINTSUGI which repairs things with gold…..thus making them even more beautiful than they were before they were broken. So, The Viking and I are works of art now, if anyone were to stop and look. Peace, Jenny.

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    Mrs. Completely recently posted Daily Prompt: Blank.

  71. Thank you for this and the reminder that sometimes broken is beautiful. Ungood is actually the perfect word, I think. It has been a hard year and the ripples of that keep flowing outward which makes it even harder. I’ve let so many people down this year – friends who needed me especially and it just adds to the ungood feeling. Part of it is a hard year and part of it is just being at a particularly rough place in my therapy, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier to get out of bed. Anyway, if I had the energy right now, I’d hug all of you feeling the same way right now.❤

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  72. Maybe it’s not going around more, but thanks to you and others, people are ready to ask for help.

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  73. broken makes it harder to keep things together inside but it almost always produces beauty. little cracks where the light can come in. little cracks where the water can flow out and nourish the world around you. I always think of kintsugi – repairing with cracks with gold to honor instead of trying to disguise them. broken is beautiful.

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  74. I get what you mean by broken is beautiful, I honestly really needed this. It’s funny because I woke up this morning and thought “I could really use a Jenny post right about now.” It’s either a happy coincidence or you have some freaky mind reading abilities (which would be badass, let’s be honest), but your post also got me thinking (which is never a good sign).

    There is an inherent idea of perfectness in beauty and saying broken is beautiful is almost like saying you are broken in just the right way, perfectly imperfect. It’s poignant and striking and unusually intriguing. But what about being broken in the wrong way? Just plain old imperfect. Because depression doesn’t always lead to anything profound or meaningful, it doesn’t always draw like-minded people in (as we all know). It can be an ugly kind of broken and I think saying that is highly underrated. It’s not that we don’t need to remind ourselves that being broken can be beautiful, because seeing the ugly within ourselves is easy. We need to be able to recognize the good in our lives, even when you’re at your lowest and darkest. Otherwise, you’d just give up… But it seems to stigmatize being ugly a bit, don’t you think? No one says “being broken is ugly” with pride; it doesn’t give you hope or strength. You think ugly and you think unattractive, repulsive, you think of everything about yourself that you need to overcome. Does being broken only mean something if we find the beauty in it? In my experience, beauty rarely shows what is really there. It’s the messy, ugly parts of life that are usually the most interesting. I suppose it isn’t only about letting yourself see the beauty in being broken, but also about not forcing yourself to always look for beauty because that’s the only way you can see any worth in it. I mean, aren’t we supposed to not let the “shiny people” get to us, are we not meant to avoid letting “being beautiful” define us? Beautiful is just such a loaded word; I hope no one thinks they need to be broken in a beautiful way for it to be worthwhile. Because that is definitely how I feel sometimes, especially as a writer.

    In any case, I don’t disagree with you, your post really resonated with me (as did lots of the comments!) I don’t mean to be a downer if it came off that way. Happy to remind you that being broken can be beautiful; I really needed to be reminded of that myself today.

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  75. There is a lovely book by a lovely author named Pat Rothfuss. His books are fantasy, and you may want to read the other two to get the context, but the book to which I am referring is The Slow Regard of Silent Things. It is lovely, and beautiful, and haunting in all the right ways. The main character is lovely, and beautiful, and haunting. She is these things because she is broken, not despite of them. This book is not for everyone, as Pat says in his introduction. But it is for some people, and I suspect that many of them are here. I highly recommend it. It sums up being broken in all the right ways.

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  76. A lot of people are feeling broken right now, and in my circle it’s including some new faces. It’s amazing what comes from these times – a deeper level of creativity. Strange, dark loveliness is the best way I’ve ever heard of it.

    I feel thankful that my brain has eased up on me a little recently and I was able to enjoy selling my art (and being around people) over the weekend. So I’m holding out a hand saying “been there and felt that; come over to the lighter side” to anyone who needs it right now. It’s only 1 circle of hell further up, but we’ve got Netflix and AC so there’s that.

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  77. It is a truly weird time…..a lot of unsettling weirdness seems to abound but in weirdness there is a certain beauty…..and you have so much beauty in you, even the broken bits.❤

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  78. It’s so hard, but you creating #bloggesstribe on Twitter shows more people crying for help, and more people answering, and more people fighting instead of regressing to the darkness letting it suck them in. I put one tweet out there with #bloggesstribe and instantly got 4 people encouraging me. That can be life-saving. We can share our light with others in the dark, even if it’s a stranger on Teh Innernetz. We have you to thank for that. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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  79. I needed this. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, forcing myself through all the paces (shower. meds. venturing all the way to the living room couch) with nothing to go on but the blind trust that, if I do The Things, my head will clear. As always, thanks for sharing.

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  80. 80
    Anonymous

    With everything and everyone around me feeling broken right now, I have had zero ability to see, find, or even LOOK for beautiful. I will open my heart and eyes a little wider. I hope it’s there.

    Like

  81. It’s kind of reassuring to learn I am not the only one struggling.

    The photo is beautiful with the play of light and shadows. Black and White was the perfect choice. You should offer it as an art print.

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  82. So what do we do when the people we love blame us for not fixing our brokenness?

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  83. 83
    XStacy Design

    I really needed the reminder today. It’s so hard to keep that one alive when so many things seem to be pulling you down. Nothing like spending a beautiful summer weekend feeling alone and in the shadows and wondering why you feel so badly that you can’t and won’t come out to play. XO

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  84. A lot of people in my world are struggling right now–seems to be almost epidemic. All I can do is support them and send them whatever positive energy I have left. Because broken things are beautiful indeed.

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  85. 85
    XStacy Design

    Sara – Breath….and know that “blame” is a tough word for any of us. Sometimes – we are not ready to fix ourselves – or don’t know where to start. But being here with all of us – is a good place to make some time for yourself to heal. That is the best thing you can sometimes do – just heal.

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  86. We need you. Thanks for staying. Ps.. RORY went camping. We gave him knives.

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  87. Broken can be beautiful. Thank you. I needed that.

    Like

  88. Thank you for this. I’ve been feeling it too, lately. Depressed, anxious, manic…an emotional roller coaster. Doing “everything I’m supposed to do” gets exhausting. And then to be doing all these things and still not be feeling well doesn’t seem fair, but we continue on anyway, hoping, at some point, things will “click” back into place again. I hope it gets better for you soon. I hope it gets better for all of us who are struggling right now, and waiting for things to “click”. Thanks, as always, for your honesty and transparency, Jenny. It helps.

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    Beebe recently posted On anger and healing.

  89. I don’t live with depression or anxiety.

    I do live with life’s more common fuck-ups, failures and frustrations.

    Sarcasm and humor get me through most of it. Wish I had more to offer than hugs to those who need more. Glad you continue to remind us that the struggle is real, Jenny. Thank you.

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    OwnLessDoMore.us recently posted Screw it. I’ve got to get through these days somehow..

  90. 90
    Lynne Thomas

    I work with three people who are dealing with this broken-ness, and I am their supervisor. My advantage is that I have been broken for 66 years, and have experience with it on my side. I can understand what’s going on and help them identify their fears and deal with them. Living with depression and anxiety eventually pays off (to a degree), but you have to keep living. That’s the hard part sometimes.

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  91. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Hope you’ll be okay.

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  92. Jenny, I’m a guy, so I try to fix things (apologies for that).

    Anyhow, here’s something that I think about when I feel broken – not all broken things lose their worth: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/kintsugi-japanese-art-of-fixing-broken.html

    The second thing is that I recommend an audio book for you: http://www.audible.com/pd/Self-Development/10-Happier-Audiobook/B00I8NRAE0?ref_=audlib-pd-LIBRARY-grid

    I really recommend listening to this book. It’s one of my three favorite audio books (guess what the other two are???)

    Hope the fog starts clearing soon…

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  93. There must be something in the water (that or all this damned pollen) because I’ve definitely been feeling down about myself lately. The weather is beautiful, but the inside of my head feels pretty ugly. I’m happy to remind you that broken can be beautiful, because I know you’ve done the same for us so many times. In fact I wrote a (totally not creepy Misery-esque) homage to you and how The Bloggess is the reason I started my own sad excuse for a blog, after finishing “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” this morning…

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  94. Jenny………love your blog and have bought your books. Hang in there!

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  95. Sending you love & light Jenny. I’ve had weirdness in my head for a few weeks now. I don’t care for it being there, but it is what it is. And I just try to tuck it away so I don’t lose my shit all over the place. That photo of yours is stunning. We wouldn’t see the beauty of it, if there wasn’t some darkness, with the light poking through. Beautiful. Like you.

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  96. 96
    ocularnervosa

    People have always been broken, they are just better connected these days so they can share it with everyone else. Thanks for sharing by the way.

    Like

  97. Thanks for checking in with all of us. It wasn’t required, but I know that many of us think about you even when we aren’t reading your blog posts or your books. I know you know this, but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

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    Jenny Bristol recently posted Things to Love #9: Letterboxing.

  98. 98
    Anonymous

    Beautiful words. Beautiful thoughts. We’re all broken in places. Thanks for reminds us that the brokenness isn’t all that we are.

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  99. 99
    BSStillman

    This post from PostSecret today seemed to be quite on topic. “…I think: Your depression has been beating you up for years. It’s called you ugly, and stupid, and pathetic, and a failure, for so long that you’ve forgotten that it’s wrong. You don’t see good in yourself, and you don’t have any hope. But still, here you are; you’ve come over to me, banged on my door, and said, “HEY! Staying alive is REALLY HARD right now! Just give me something to fight with! I don’t care if it’s a stick! Give me a stick and I can stay alive!” How is that helpless? I think that’s incredible…”

    (That’s from Boggle the Owl. Love Boggle. ~ Jenny)

    Liked by 1 person

  100. Thank you for this post! I’ve been feeling the same way lately. I’m slowly trying to find my way back. I’m just taking it one step at a time. Here’s a quote that might be helpful:

    “We’re all a little broken, but the last time I checked broken crayons still color the same.”

    It always helps me feel a little better.🙂

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    angiem23 recently posted A Walk Down Memory Lane.

  101. What auto-immune diseases do you have, if you don’t mind me asking? I have one, myself.

    (Rheumatoid arthritis and a blood clotting disorder. ~ Jenny)

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  102. There is beauty in the flawed, yes. I find, however, that I can convince myself that I don’t notice the bulbs are burning out. I get used to it, and say “it’s fine–I don’t need ALL the bulbs to see.” I can say I’m literally speaking literally. I do get used to the bulbs being out, and I don’t have to. The effort to replace them seems silly until there are maybe two left–and then I’m working blind. Your metaphor is a really great way to present what you are working through; it helps me to understand it. I know there is light available out there–and maybe I need a little help sorting it all out, but it will be sorted even though it might take a little time. Be well! We’re here.

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  103. I’m sorry you are back down the rabbit hole (that’s what I call my dark hole)…. maybe this cat video will bring a smile? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdV6B72dGfE ….I feel like going down the stairs this way on a regular basis🙂

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  104. Broken in NO way means not beautiful. There is beauty, it may just be harder to find, but sometimes it is easier. And here’s some good words for your head: watermelon, sunshine, the smell of roses (ok, that’s a scent, but I used words to describe it), puppies, wolverines (I don’t know-just made me smile… dementedly), and onamonapias. Oh! and read Shel Silverstein, espeically “Uncle Shelby’s ABZ’s”. ❤

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  105. Broken can be beautiful.

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  106. I understand you. You’re not alone. I totally get it. I hope you feel better soon.

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  107. 107
    Anonymous

    You can add me to that list. 18 Months ago my depression got so bad that I tried to end my suffering.

    During my hospitalization, they finally found a med that seemed to work. My wife thought it was a miracle drug.

    In the last month, I lost my wife, and broke my hand so bad the surgeon doubts it will ever be more than 50%. And then the hand got infected, and my puppy that I got as a helper dog has trashed the house while we await his training.

    I’m not suicidal, but I wouldn’t step out of the way of a bus about to hit me either.

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  108. Without the darkness, we wouldn’t see the shadows. Without the light, we wouldn’t see the darkness. We need both light and dark to see the beauty. Keep looking for the cracks – that’s where the light gets in.

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  109. Shadows mean the light is nearby. Have had anxiety and depression dancing around the edges for weeks now. Some days they are closer, some further away. Still, there are flowers in bloom and my old dog snoring nearby. So, I still have hope! Virtual hugs to everyone 😀

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  110. Thank you for putting into words how I feel. I may not have the auto immune diseases but I fight depression every day. I’m off my meds right now which means I have to fight harder. But thank you for giving me a new way to look at the dark as I am looking around & can not go to sleep. Thank you.

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  111. 111
    kari stewart

    Sooo understand every word. Embrace the dark times, without them you don’t know there’s light.

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  112. Thank you for the reminder and putting into words what I have been feeling myself. I don’t have an auto immune disease but do have a chronic condition that, at times, weighs me down so much that I just want to disappear into a darkness where no one can find me. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone.

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  113. 113
    Stephanie

    Definitely something in the air. Although all the Central Texas gloominess isn’t helping. I’ve even considered asking for my meds to be upped but then remember I don’t like how I feel when the dose is increased even more than how I feel right now. There’s a meme that says “I don’t know if I need a hug, 6 shots or 2 weeks of sleep.” That’s where I’m at right now.

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  114. Thanks SO much for continuing to show up, and continuing to express the truth of the ebb and flow, light and dark, of it all. It helps all of us,I just know it.

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  115. 115
    Anonymous

    again another beautiful analogy. I often think that depression and anxiety are the curse of creativity..when we are able to be sensitive enough to the world around us to capture those moments and see the beauty in the small things, it means we are also sensitive to the bad times and the pain. Its hard not to feel alone, especially when your friends get sick of you being down…

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  116. I do think the planets are lined up wrong or something cause it has been very bad this year…I am hoping for them to realign soon so we can all feel better…and see the light…hugs to all…

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    The Hellion recently posted Do You Know Who This House Belongs To?.

  117. That is one of the most beautiful images I’ve seen in a long time. And today, I really needed it. Thank you, Jenny. You are important to me even though we’ve never met.

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  118. I’m definitely feeling it hard this year too. I think about the Depression Lies and red dresses and all the little ways my friends support me even if it’s more like watching them do it than feeling it and I don’t know WHY it’s so hard right now but it is, and we’re all together in our aloneness and it’s weird because it’s SO EVERYWHERE but we’re having this crazy Springtime in Texas and it should be fresh and beautiful but I feel more like I was caught in a hailstorm inside my soul and I’m all bashed about and no one can see it and there’s no insurance claims to be made for internalized hailstorms anyhow.

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  119. I’ve been struggling to get out of my darkness for a while now. I feel like I’m supposed to be happy and yet somehow am not. I’m sick all the time with some random symptoms which basically feel like I’m constantly coming down with the flu (but not actually having the flu). On top of this now comes the flood. I have been in my new home less than 3 months and can’t live in it right now because of the nearly 2 feet of water in my lower floor. The entire neighborhood is affected and yet somehow I feel like this is God’s personal message to me that I don’t deserve to be happy. That all the hard work that goes into me continuing to slog through this stupid life of mine isn’t worth it and I should just stop trying. I feel bad and I want to stop feeling like this. But I just can’t right now.

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  120. I hear you, Jenny. I feel it, too, and I always wish that others find more light even when I’ve given up on it myself. Stay strong. And you can probably find someone to come by with a ladder (I once read about churches that would let most of the bulbs burn out because it cost so much to get someone to replace them, they would just do all of the bulbs at once so it made since to let many of them burn out before doing so. It’s just practical)

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  121. Thank you for this. I’ve been feeling broken enough that even meds seem silly. Reading this reminded me it feels better to take care of myself. So I took them, and some vitamin D, and I’m brewing some tea. Hopefully it gets better soon for you, and for me.

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  122. 122
    ocindyocindy

    For me, the movement to visibility for ‘storms in the brain’ was started by William Styron – and given new life by Allie Brosh – and moved leaps forward by Jenny Lawson. I’m so grateful to them,and others like Pete Earley, because there is going to be a payoff in time of BETTER treatment and accessibility. From a multi-generational family of serious treatment ‘consumers’, I can’t even begin to express my gratitude! Jenny, you represent the truth(s) beautifully.

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  123. There IS “something” going around for sure; I’m no stranger to it and not entirely surprised by it. If you’re thinking you see and hear about more people like us, I think you’re right and I ALSO think it’s because you have been so open about your own illnesses that maybe others are becoming less hesitant to share… that is an AMAZING chain reaction!

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  124. Thank you for sharing this, it makes me feel like I’m not alone. I don’t understand why I feel so unhappy, but I feel sucked into an endless loop of sadness and anxiety that no one else in my life seems to understand. It’s hard to even talk to people sometimes, which is not me at all. I feel like I am living in the skin of a frightened stranger, and it’s terrifying me. I’m trying to reach out to others to say, you can get through this, you are not alone, because I know how lonely it gets in your own head. Best wishes!

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  125. Thank you! You remind me that it’s ok to be sick. I haven’t been doing well myself. I can usually cope on my own, but I’ve reached a point that I need help, so I had my first appointment with my doctor today. Less than an hour, a $15 copay, and a short questionnaire later and a have a follow-up appointment, a referral to a psychologist and a prescription fire Welbutrin. Even more important, I have hope and the beginnings of a plan.

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  126. You are not alone. Depression and anxiety have been kicking my ass for months now and it’s exhausting. hugs

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  127. Thank you Jenny, again.

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  128. Huh. All the lights are working, but the tumbleweeds of pet fur are adopting pets of their own, and the kitchen table is piled high with boxes from a yard sale that didn’t happen. I can get the very most basic things done, but it’ll take me all day of self-talk to get up and do those very basic things. Because I really don’t want to do anything. It all takes too much energy. I don’t even want to think. That takes too much energy, too.

    So, count me among those thinking “it’s going around!”

    You’d think the change of season would help, but the beautiful days just make the guilt of not being outside and enjoying them worse. Depression sucks ass.

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  129. 129
    Anonymous

    My best friend posted a comment on here that brought tears to my eyes we are both struggling lately. For some reason it does feel like everyone around me is just having such a hard time which makes it harder for me because I want to help but I can’t even help myself. But I’d like to say I love you Julie… and also to the bloggess… this was an amazing entry thank you for putting it out there for the rest of the world to read

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  130. Someone sent me a link recently about existential depression. The kind of depression that’s triggered by really big thinking — like the reality of death, or the reality of the political/religious climate here in NC. It was helpful for me to think that the way I’m feeling isn’t so much about being broken as it might be about the very air around me being poisoned right now. It doesn’t sound positive, but it was.
    http://sengifted.org/archives/articles/existential-depression-in-gifted-individual

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  131. Yes to it all, my dear. As so many of us turn to you when we are suffering, so you turn to us, and we all hold hands and support each other.

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  132. You are not alone; you have a tribe. A quirky, crazy, unique tribe who appreciates that you take the time to share when clarity finds you. I’m learning to seize each opportunity. By treating depression like a “real” illness I have learned to take advantage of the good days; the days that I am in remission. Thankfully, the darkness has always turned to light in my case. I wish the same for you.

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  133. You are not alone. I know that when you are in the black pit of hell that some of us fall in every once and awhile, no words or actions seem to help. One thing that seemed to have helped me was a good friend who admitted that she, too, fell in the black pit of hell and that if I didn’t hear from her every once and awhile, that’s where she was. I guess what I am trying the say, in my fucked-up way is we are with you in the pit. It sucks, but you aren’t in there alone. xo

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  134. Just popping out of my dark corner to pump my little lackluster fist and say “yeah. What she said / sees. Totally.” Gah, I’m so glad to have found you. Thanks for being findable in this giant world.

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  135. OH MY, so on my original comment above, I was going to mention how my thought of us all holding virtual hands inexplicably took my mind to that scene in “Jaws” where Quint is describing the circle of sailors in the ocean surrounded by sharks, and how the sharks had “black eyes, like a doll’s eyes” and “sometimes the shark go away, sometimes the shark don’t go away” and then i thought some readers might think that was going dark the wrong direction, but then i saw your previous post with Ferris being eaten by a shark and now I know my ESP was working.

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  136. I love moments of accidental beauty like this. Could you please identify the painting in the photo? I love it!

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  137. Sometimes I think you read my mind…and I’m so incredibly thankful for that. Thank you for always making me feel less alone on days like that.❤

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  138. I think I like being in the shadows better now. I’ve figured out that there’s alot of beauty in the shadows that you just flat out miss when in the full sun. There’s alot of activity going on at night in the natural world, when the shadows are long and the predators are out. Maybe some humans are meant to function more in the shadows too. At least that’s how I’m looking at it. I try to focus on the beauty I see and ignore the scary. Otherwise it overwhelms and I can’t see the roses because of the thorns.

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  139. I’m sorry that you’re struggling, wading through the deep water that is your mind on life…like so many of us. I wish that there was some magic pill I could give you to make you better, and back to your “normal,” I wish I had one for all of us.

    For myself, I would love to find some magic drug that would help my poor sweet chihuahua recover from her latest vertebral pain flare. Normally a course of pain meds and she’s her definition of better, but not this time, and watching her try to chart her course through her pain is heartbreaking. I suffer with pain, depression and anxiety daily, but watching her suffer is different. I would never ask for prayers for me, I’m a person, I understand what’s happening to me, she doesn’t.

    The beauty in your darkened house, brought some beauty to my morning, and I thank you…..

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  140. I hear you. And I will remind you (and me) that depression lies and it will get better. I told some close friends last week that I just want to be happy. I don’t want this broken feeling anymore. Your post helped, a little, so thank you for that.

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  141. Thank you for that, Jenny. Feel better. You are beautiful as you are.

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  142. Sending love to Jenny and all others in our #bloggesstribe who are struggling.

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  143. You are perfect

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  144. It’s definitely something in the air or the cosmos. My life is spiraling downhill fast. None of my freelance clients have any work for me, and no new clients are responding to my inquiries, so money is drying up at a time when I need to be making as much as possible so I can move closer to my son. We just came back from visiting him, and although his father takes care of him, I’m not thrilled with many elements of the way they’re living and I’m even more desperate to be within reach of him so I can take him out of there more often and have some influence on the way he’s raised. Yet right now I can barely make ends meet in my own life. My brain injury doesn’t allow me to work in a regular job, and if I can’t make any money freelancing I just feel like a complete failure. I’m not eligible for any help because up to now I’ve been able to make too much money for disability. I’m just lost in my own head and my failures and my depression and my need to take better care of my son. I just want to cry all the time and I’m panicking about the future as well as the present, because I don’t even know where this month’s bill money is coming from.

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  145. Kintsugi (or how my broken heart was repaired.) It’s the art of taking gold and mending a broken piece of pottery, restoring it’s usefulness and increasing its beauty.❤

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  146. 147
    Anonymous

    Dear Jenny

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  147. 148
    Anonymous

    This is exactly how I feel. When you are sick but the kind of sick no ones sees so they don’t understand. When someone asks you how you are and you say ok but you really want to scream out that you feel like shit. I’ve spent a lot of days lately myself waiting for the fog to lift. And trying to take in the beauty of the light in the brief moments that it does.

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  148. I’m feeling it too lately. It’s hard. I can feel it there lurking over me. I feel like I have to have shields up to keep it from taking over but they’re under constant assault and starting to fail.

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  149. Thank you so much for this. I am going through something so hard right now that it’s making my depression and my auto immune disease so much worse. Some days it’s hard to even just get clothes on and not sleep all day. It helps to know that I’m not alone in the struggle.

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  150. Bravo to you. You are doing what you need to take care of yourself. That is huge. Sometimes that’s the first thing that goes when depression hits, and you are fighting it. Prayers for you. You are not alone.

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  151. 152
    Doug in Oakland

    Thank you for sharing and making our days better even when you don’t feel so good. May you be feeling much better very soon.

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  152. It is definitely going around. My episodes have been closer together and more darker than normal. I don’t know why and it sucks but the plus is on the good days I appreciate my blessings so much more. I just have to make it to those good days.

    Liked by 1 person

  153. I think that photo is how I feel all the time. I wish I could carry it around with me and show it to people when they ask how I am, so I don’t have to fake some kind of normal response.

    I would agree that more of the people I know (including myself) who struggle are struggling harder lately. I think its a sign of the times. We humans rely on hope. And those of us who have a hard time with hope are seeing less of it in those that have an easy time with it right now. I know I depend on other people to be hopeful for me when I’m struggling. When they don’t have it, it makes it impossible for me to see it. Does that make sense?

    Hang in there everyone. The world really isn’t as awful as it seems right now. And none of us are alone, even if we feel that way because of our fucked up brains.

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  154. I’ve been pretty ungood lately as well. My wife almost said the words yesterday “stop feeling bad” but she knows deep down I can’t.

    Also, when the light bulbs are out in my house and I call it artistic, my wife does not agree. I’ll have to tell her that you do.

    Like

  155. This……especially the way you ended it…..is heartbreaking beautiful.

    Like

  156. . “Depression is a prison where
    you are both the suffering prisoner
    and the cruel jailer.”

    But whe can break free if we try.. Can i get an Amen over here.

    Like

  157. As John Irving so aptly put it:”keep passing the open windows”. You are my Hotel New Hampshire family. Healing thoughts to you.

    Like

  158. Love and hugs and images of fat, short, and surprisingly fragrant garden gnomes. Laugh, make merry, and dance, even if it’s all a lie, because you deserve the beautiful moment that feeling ridiculous can bring.

    Like

  159. While I don’t personally struggle with depression, several family members do. But even I have noticed how hard this year has been so far. So – PLEASE continue to blog! You have a wickedly funny way with words. You are an intelligent blog in a sea of mundane blogs. Thank you.

    Like

  160. I am in Saint Thomas on a dream vacation. I am so anxious I can’t leave the room. When I was outside, looking at that beautiful turquoise water, I felt so weird inside myself, I had to just come back inside and hide alone. My teeth are clenched. My heart is clenched. My hands are clenched. My heart is pounding and there is not enough room inside my body for all of these anxiety-filled feelings. This is ridiculous.

    Like

  161. 162
    Judy Sibelman

    In a world where both civilization and the biosphere are in catastrophic decline, it’s harder and harder for those of us who are (so far) privileged with plenty to keep the happiness bubbles we manage to blow, in all our personal brokenness, from popping. In other words, for more and more of us, it’s not easy to find reasons to get out of bed.

    Like

  162. That chandelier is us with you. When you’re feeling “broken” and need to be reminded of the beauty that is you, we’re here to show you. You return the favor by sharing your inspiring thoughts. Hang in there Jenny. Darkness can’t survive long in the presence of love, laughter and light.

    Like

  163. I think this year has been exceptionally difficult. I have never felt as broken as much as this year. In the past, I’ve been able to power through or find a solution and this year, I’ve felt as soon as I recovered, I was hit with something harder, bigger, more insurmountable. Sending you love and light.

    Like

  164. Broken is so much more than okay – they say that’s how the (flickering) light gets in. I think it’s in these times that I most notice the things we so often forget to notice. The beautiful things in the corners.

    Like

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  165. 166
    Anonymous

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  166. This is exactly how I have been feeling lately so much so that I didn’t go to spinning classes (and I’m addicted to it, so haven’t missed a whole week since last Novemberwhen I started.) I also stayed off social media all last week which is a huge feat since it appears I am also addicted to that; ahhh all the addictions. I took suffer from chronic pain caused by my fibromyalgia and have noticed that my body feels luke I was involved in a cage fight till the death, except nobody told me. I walk around exhausted with such brain fog that my only saving grace is the fact that I am finishing my Graduate degree so I’m taking some of my last courses. If it wasn’t for the fact that I woold have to pay back the money should I fail the classes, I wouldn’t even get out of bed. It sucks feeling so hopeless and melancholy all the time… Although I know that what we experiencing will eventually pass, we just have to take it day by day and night but night. It’s easier said than done, I know believe me. Hoping for the both of us and thank you for being so open and honest. Even though we may feel alone, it’s comforting to know that others feel the same way so we are all together in solidarity.

    Like

  167. Broken can be beautiful. Broken can hurt. A lot. Like a motherfucker. Sometimes we have the energy to do all the healthy things to get better (or maintain); sometimes we just have to wait it out in the dark.

    Here’s me letting you know you are not alone. I’m here. Holding your hand. We can just wait together. That’s all of the doing I’ve got for now. Just waiting. And, goddamnit, that’s enough. I’m enough right now. So, there, asshole thoughts in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  168. Very difficult for me too- was doing really well & then everything crashed in on me- my PTSD is at an all time high with more & more issues and am dealing with lots of other things that on their own i could deal with- but they have mounted up and become increasingly difficult. Last week I broke my 3 year no s/I streak & that just makes me feel worse.
    It’s comforting to know I’m not alone- but im also sad for everyone else who is suffering because I am a fixer.
    Much love to you Jenny & to all the others here who are having a tough time. 💜

    Like

  169. 170
    caitlinadams

    Gorgeous photo. Indeed, beautiful, dark. Thank you. Not sure what else to say, but I am feeling much the same way. When I am in a downswing (as I am now), I tend to lose time. I still exercise (because I can’t not–if that makes sense), and I still eat well (though food bores me), but hours disappear somehow, and then I feel even more depressed because I am not getting shit done. How did it get to be 2pm and I am just now showered?

    Like

  170. I have a dear friend who is selling this Plexus crap online and she keeps touting it as some kind of wonder elixir that can make you lose weight or gain weight, cure lupus and fix diabetes and depression. As if we could be cured so easily? I find this kind of advertising highly offensive. You could be well…if you really wanted to be…is the sentiment that I am hearing. Needless to say, I have cut ties with this person and it really makes me sad, on top of my normal everyday sadness! haha. Sometimes I have to remember that the broken people are the interesting people. I would never read a normal person’s book or listen to a normal person’s music so we are special and we are valued, greatly.

    Like

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  171. I struggle with depression, though it’s been hiding in the weeds for a while, for which I am grateful. But I have a vicious head cold and I’m terrified of sliding into 8 weeks of bronchitis again, and I have plants to plant in my garden, which is my “church”, but my head feels the size of a watermelon with just as much liquid sloshing around inside it, and I just turned another fucking year older, which sucks because my body is falling apart bit by bit, and I’m so deeply sick and dismayed at the downward spiral of politics in this country, and…well…the usual.

    But what strikes me right now about so many of us depressive/anxious/broken gang members is how we use snarky, intelligent, humor to get through another day, and how delightful a survival mechanism that is. How it helps. How a laugh I didn’t know I had escapes from the shadows inside me. How I feel connected to people I’ve never met who still understand. How much all that smooths the rough edges of the otherwise ungood day.

    Painters love the light, but they love the shadows just as much. High noon is boring when you’re trying to make art. Thank you, Jenny.

    Like

  172. Great post. Your inner critic might not think so, but your inner critic is a musty old fart wielding a yardstick. Don’t measure yourself by that yardstick.

    This, too, will past. Above the clouds, it’s always an endless blue sky.

    Like

    digbydigz recently posted Seek and Ye Shall Find the Joy.

  173. Sometimes we feel the most when we are the least strong. I forget who said it, but embrace the glorious mess you are. You are loved. ❤️

    Like

  174. 175
    Audreyously

    Broken is beautiful. Learning to love yourself, broken or not is the biggest life struggle. Add a macho spouse who doesnt quite understand how my brain works, and kids who demand all the love you have left in your heart, it doesnt leave much love for yourself. Ive been expierencing the worse depression ive ever had in my entire life over the past 5 months, the suicidal thoughts swarm my head with every negative thought,i hope to wake up in a seemingly posistive mood to make it through the day without losing my shit on everyone. There are good days and bad days but when youve got good days, make the best of them.

    Like

  175. Dayuuuum. I want to leave this fantastic, witty comment, but truthfully, I’m just sitting here a little in awe of how gorgeous your analogy was and how perfectly you captured how I’m feeling right now.
    Depression is a bitch. And not in the fun way.

    Liked by 1 person

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  176. I think you should keep the chandelier that way. The shadows are magic. And who needs to see properly when they’re walking up and down stairs in the dark, right?
    I’m with you, this year is hard. Fucking hard. I increased my meds. That didn’t help. I increased them again. That didn’t help. I added another one. It helps just enough that I can fake that I’m functioning. I can’t remember what a real night’s sleep is like. I can actually feel my brain click over in a second from “doing fine” to “here come the sads”. So yes, this year, so far is a fucker. But, IT WILL GET BETTER. And persisting in believing that that’s true is sometimes the only thing that gets me through the day.

    Like

  177. […] Source: Sometimes the darkness can be beautiful. But sometimes it’s a real bitch. Depends, I guess. […]

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  178. 179
    Anonymous

    Autoimmune disorders are a bitch. The variation in symptoms, how it affects the rest of your body, it pretends to be depression, or maybe you have depression, it pretends to be arthritis, but then you actually have arthritis. Back pain, fatigue, intestinal cramps, bleeding, etc…..
    Without a sense of humor, I’d be miserable. And it helps A LOT to have someone I admire admitting it affects her too.
    One thing I can always think of that makes me smile is Beyoncé at the door. ” knock,knock, motherfucker ” . Funniest damn thing I think I ever read.

    Like

  179. 180
    Billandjen Hughes

    I too have been having a hard time for months now. There is a quote I found that so fits how I feel……Today my forest is dark.The trees are sad and all the butterflies have broken wings. I hope your wings mend soon……..jen

    Like

  180. thanks for sharing. You’re beautiful, wonderful, and worthwhile.

    Like

    Alyssa recently posted Flowers in Alaska.

  181. This is a great example of how depression lies. You can still see the beauty in the darkness. Oh, wait, this might actually be an example of depression telling the truth.
    Damn you, Depression! You’re supposed to always lie to us.
    This is why you can’t trust depression. Sometimes it tries to trick you by telling the truth.
    Or maybe it really is mono. Mono can be bluntly honest.

    Like

  182. Today, I feel a little less broken, because of this. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability. You show us the light in so many ways.

    Like

  183. It was only after the start of this year that I realized just how much of a depressive funk I had been in for the last several months of 2015. It seemed as if everything was just piling on top of itself and I couldn’t get out from underneath it. I still have days like that but luckily you and the rest of the great people of the #BloggessTribe have been there to remind me (and each other) that this too shall pass. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Thank God we have each other to remind us of this little fact.🙂

    Like

  184. 186
    Mandi Johnson

    I know exactly how you’re feeling jenny…I go to treatment tomorrow for 6 weeks and I’ve never felt more scared and dark and twisty as a do now. I hope this passes for you soon…you are such a beautiful light to so many people…now time for me to go read furiously happy until I can get the strength to pack. Take care

    Like

  185. I’m right there with you, except that instead of getting back towards the light, I want out. Not by death really, I just
    am sick to death of trying. Any positive self talk just fills me with rage, and I want to climb out of my skin and run
    away screaming. I can’t have a breakdown(working for the man, ya know), so I’m muddling through, under protest.

    Like

  186. 188
    Heather Greywolf

    Someone I love dearly just hurt herself BADLY over the weekend. If her mother and sister hadn’t been alerted by someone who saw a very disconcerting online post she made, they may not have reached her in time to get medical help before the damage was irreversible. I’m not sure what’s happening right now, but you’re right … it’s been an ugly last month for a lot of people. Thanks for always trying to be the light in the darkness, Jenny … even when you’re not at full glow, we can always count on you to cast beautiful shadows.

    Like

  187. I was feeling pretty good about things and the complete craziness of trying to do a blog for the DFW area, and then I saw some young German guy named Tim paint with sand. And glue. It was unrecognizable until weeks later he goes TA DA and picks up a large mural-sized canvas and all the sand that is not-picture falls and reveals an incredible whatever – face, landscape, architecture. Today I’m questioning my mid-life’s work and wondering how will I ever when there are people more creative more awesome and I’m just …well it would seem I’m feeling sorry for myself so I’d better go do something like a coloring book to feel better.

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  188. Jenny, broken is beautiful.
    I love that you always reach out. You paint these terrible uncomfortable things happening in our lives with a strange eerie beautiful light. And when I am struggling I always try to remember kindness and the whimsical nature of the strange little corners that you get your strength from.

    It makes me hopeful for all of us in this beautiful tribe here, like kids visiting Hogwarts together and figuring out how to keep the dark spells at bay. This place? Is Magic.

    ~hugs~ Jenny. Because I can’t physically go up those stairs and stare at those shadows with you. I’d hold your hand too.

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  189. Don’t forget that lots of us out here love you.
    You are the best friend I ever had that I didn’t get to meet.

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  190. 192
    Anonymous

    I blame this crazy Texas weather. I get headaches and mood aches when the pressure changes so drastically and the flooding is giving me anxiety.

    Like

  191. Yep. Been doing my due diligence and trying to crawl out of the hole. Hard this time of year when most folks are “yay – sun!” and I’m “fiery death orb burns.” Trying anyway. Because we’re supposed to? IDK, just trying.

    Like

  192. 194
    Alexis Lynn

    The shadows have me too right now. Sometimes I really wish my brain had an off switch. It hurts to hate myself this much.

    Like

  193. 195
    Danielle

    Thank you for always saying the things that I find hard to put into words. I’ve been feeling similarly. Sometimes I wish I could just stop for awhile and take a break from being me. It’s too hard. Here’s hoping that we find those pieces.

    Like

  194. 196
    Anonymous

    Been feeling more broken than usual.thanks….just thanks so much for being

    Like

  195. On the plus side….one reason we may be seeing so many people reach out for help is that FINALLY people are starting to talk about mental disorders — in public, out loud, and to people who may not have had exposure to them in the past. The next step after that is people who DO have mental disorders realizing that they (we) are not alone. They (we) can get help. They (we) don’t have to be miserable.
    Your work over the past years has played no small part in this. I’m only one…but you’ve changed my way of thinking & speaking about the subject. So thank you.

    Like

  196. A song for all of us.

    Like

  197. Dammit! Wrong song (though good, too). THIS one:

    Like

  198. funny read about something o sad, it is true that darkness can be beautiful, or at least funny🙂

    Like

  199. Feel strong.

    Like

  200. I didn’t drive into a tree last week. I understand.

    Like

  201. Something sure has been going around, mental-wise. Maybe it’s just the time of the year, maybe it’s something else, maybe it’s because depression is never too far away. Get better soon. You’re the best.

    Like

  202. 204
    Anonymous

    You’re not broken, you’reyou’re Just struggling right now.

    You have inspired so many.

    Hell, you brought these 2 weirdos together. Suzi has been my light in the dark. We owe or friendship to you and maybe a little to Beyonce

    Like

  203. 205
    CJ Lawlis

    That picture is awesome! Your description is perfect. It’s nice to know that this too shall pass, just like the shadow.
    Thank you so much for what you do! You are AWeSoMeNeSS!

    Like

  204. 206
    Tina Hays

    Thank you Jenny for being so brave and sharing. I believe it is a dark time. I have been struggling for months now. Lost my mom in March and because she was a wonderful person, when she passed I got her house and a car. Two things I desperately needed as I was living in a bug-infested, nasty rental and my car was 17 years old with 167,000 miles on it. But I only got those things because my mom died. Very difficult to reconcile. I have some somewhat serious medical problems (that arthritis thing that is twisting my joints so my fingers don’t quite line up like that should and some days I can hardly walk, etc.) Other things have contributed and my head is quite the mess right now as well. But you help me so much because you put yourself out there so the rest of us can see that even though it’s a struggle right now, this too shall pass. Sending you positive vibes and the Power of the Paw from my kitties and dog. Rock on Jenny – you do it so well!

    Like

  205. It’s all this rain and dreary weather. When will we see the sunshine and feel dry again?

    Like

  206. The thing about shadows is they mean there is light nearby. Please keep sharing your beautiful broken self with us, because you’re our light.

    Like

  207. Hey. Broken can be beautiful.❤
    I’m so sorry you’re in the darkness right now Jenny. I know……we all know, that when that happens “all the bullshit you’re supposed to do” may not help. Because part of the problem with mental illness, specifically depression, is that you don’t want to do all the things you’re supposed to do to get better! Irony at its finest.
    But in the meantime, we are all still here for you and love you, our leader. #TheBloggessTribe will never give up on you.

    Like

  208. 210
    Sara and her deer Stella Neil

    -this-

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  209. 211
    Anonymous

    The chandelier made me feel better. Broken can definitely be beautiful. This has been one of my hardest years ever so far. I’ve decided it’s time to turn it around so if you figure out how to do that before I do let me know ok? 😘

    Like

  210. Broken doesn’t mean that we don’t work – just that we work differently than intended. Remember that, when the Japanese tea masters break a cup, they mend it & put gold in the crack, to remind them that being broken gives something the opportunity to be more beautiful. I am broken; so many of us are – when I was in art school, making ceramic sculpture, I wrote this poem (c. Rosanne Reynolds, 2000), called “Shards”:

    Things break, and most can be mended,
    But they never are the same.
    Some need to be re-positioned
    To catch the light in a new way,
    Hiding the joins that belie
    The purity of intent;
    Bending the eye into another plane of seeing.

    Sometimes pieces are lost, and we must strive
    To re-create the missing element,
    Deciding what made it fit the whole;
    How was it precious?
    Why was it necessary?

    They are never the same, and sometimes
    We need to re-define them,
    Refine them;
    Extend them into new dialogues
    By adding more,
    And shutting the door on what was.

    Things break, and sometimes can’t be salvaged;
    The pieces too small, the connections
    Too clumsy
    To ever please our hearts again.
    We take the love and lessons
    From beauty lost,
    And create another; never the same,
    But never quite different;
    Straddling the gaps with hope.

    Things break.

    -Thanks for indulging me; but for me it is the perfect metaphor. Wear your gold proudly, Jenny! You’ve earned it!

    Like

  211. Lovely shadows.

    Like

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  212. Today was the last class period with some of my 7th graders & as I said goodbye to them, I told them that in the future if they ever wonder if life would be better without them, to come find me & I would help them see why they are important. I told them “Depression lies” & that they are important to me beyond the 180 days I teach them. Thank you for reminding me about the darkness that drowns out the light in some people’s lives & the value of friends with flashlights. You are an American treasure.

    Like

  213. Mosaics are broken little bits that have found each other, held together by what they need, to create a most unique, strong, and beautiful thing. Yes, broken can be beautiful.

    Like

  214. Like our friend Brene reminds us – the mess is where the magic happens. One day closer to feeling better.

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  215. I am 68 years old and I guarantee, it get’s better. Hang in there.

    Like

  216. I was glad to be reminded about being broken…me as well as you. Sometimes I forget and then it’s hard to understand why I am thinking the way that I am (negative, self-destructive and sometimes self-pitying). I’m going to put a reminder on a sticky note(s) and paste it to the places I visit at three in the morning when I cannot sleep. Thank goodness for you…if feels good to not be alone.

    Like

  217. 219
    janice5minutesformom

    Thanks for the encouraging post! I hope you feel better soon!
    I am fumbling around in the dark right now too. It seems like my meds stopped working a couple weeks ago. I can barely get through the days. Hoping something magically fixes me soon. This is no fun at all.

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  218. Thank you Jenny. I’m reading this curled in bed, away from the world, and I feel a lot less alone.

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  219. Bonsai makes beauty of brokenness as a calling. Make bonsai.

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  220. And so we take it one minute at a time and remember that the darkness doesn’t stay forever. Eventually the light creeps back in. Until then remember we are here with you

    Like

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  221. I have had a horrible cold for a week and this gave me the excuse I needed to sob, which I have felt like doing for days. My problems are small, but I feel so much better. I want you to feel better, too.

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  222. 224
    scottishrose1028

    Thank you, Jenny. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and I’ve been so down and depressed about being alone, but reading your words really helped. hugs

    Like

  223. Sometimes broken isn’t truly broken, it simply works differently. Beautifully.

    Like

  224. 226
    Charlotte Wilson

    It’s been rougher than normal lately – a little over a week ago I faced one of my biggest fears, a house fire. Luckily it was outside, i have a brick house, and nobody was hurt (my poor car took the brunt on the damages and is still being evaluated). But, now the paranoia is even stronger and it’s taking every bit to stay above the water, so to speak. I hope things get better for you soon, and thank you for always being honest and open!

    Like

  225. Wow! Thank you, Jenny! Firstly, for You, seeing the the beauty in the dark and the “broken” …
    AND for sharing what you found, with us, and helping me to see the beautiful, “while-broken”, too! You have given /shared an empowering gift. I am better, each step, in the dark, this time, because You shared this, today – ; -)

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  226. God I needed this. I wasn’t sure if it was another bought of depression or my dr changing my meds, or I was getting sick or what. Glad I’m not alone and neither are you.

    Like

  227. I seriously considered ending my life…life is just too damn fucking difficult. I kept telling myself, “Hang in there for just one more day.” One day became quite a few…I’m pretty fucking proud of myself! We love you and your honestly, Jenny…so looking forward to seeing/hearing you in Cedar Rapids, Iowa!!

    Like

  228. I got your back. not sure how or what that means, but I think it means you can lean on a completely random stranger and I will agree with whatever you want me to, and then recommend ice cream or gummi bears if you’re lactose intolerant.

    Like

  229. Please feel less broken soon.

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  230. This is so fucking beautiful. (The writing and the photo.) Big fucking hugs, and also a strong tasty cocktail.

    Like

  231. Love from a stranger and positivity all around.

    Like

  232. 234
    Marjorie J. Birch

    Listen, if I thought it would do you good, I’d take a week’s unpaid leave from my job, show up at your front door wearing an orange tutu and bunny ears (not saying where) and do a dance. And my dancing is horrible. My dancing should be used as a deterrant. “Donald Trump, if you don’t stop running for President, RIGHT NOW, I swear to God, I’m gonna dance! I don’t want to do it, but if I have to… don’t make me come over there and dance…”

    Like

  233. I’ve been struggling more than usual with my depression, and my situational life-sadness, but when I know you are going thought the same, and I know that you understand, I feel a little better. I’ll be thinking of you, and hoping that makes you feel better, too.

    Like

  234. 236
    Anonymous

    The photo could be good inspiration when you are feeling better for one of your drawings. A while back you mentioned possibly making an adult coloring book. The patterns on the walls made me think of your beautiful inspirational drawings.

    Like

  235. 237
    Chance0508

    Thank you. I needed this today.

    Like

  236. 238
    D.E.A. Cunningham

    Hey Everyone–thank you all for confirming what I sort of suspected–it comes in waves and this past year has been kind of a big one. I’m attaching a link to a clip that sometimes makes me feel better (sometimes not). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3xyp54bZqs

    Like

  237. 239
    cherylnoble

    Okay I love your sense of humor. For 33 years I worked with people with mental illness ( I’m a social worker) and loved seeing folks bloom like roses from tight buds. We therapists get pummeled too, by supervisors who don’t understand or care that what we do helps and works. That said you’ve probably heard this before but has anyone considered you bipolar? The antidepressants work differently and sometimes worse if that’s what it is.

    Neither are we immune to life’s absurdities. Yesterday I went to a concert with full orchestra. I fought sleep through half. When it was over I exited through a different door and had no idea where I was but I had a Zus car finder I’d never used and the little thing worked great on my cell phone walking me the four blooms to my car. Worth every penny. When I got there I had an oh shit moment-no keys in my pocket. So back I went calling on my angels the whole way (can’t get by without them). There was still an usher who called the head guy who went to my seat and found them under the boring program I left. So then I had to Zus my way back again where my crickets in a bag for my pet lizards were about toast and my parking stub long expired. But no parking ticket ($35 here in San Diego). I did cricket rehab as best I could and most revived to be eaten another day.

    Sometimes your stuff is only a bit wacko than mine and my body chemistry is in better shape.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  238. You are one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met. You will make it through this. You are braver than you know.

    Like

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  239. The picture above is exemplary in how darkness can be rich and beautiful. I find that darkness (rainy days, twilight, forests, etc) are more restorative than light when I’m down. For me, when I’m depressed, light is cold, sterile and bleak. But time in the dark is healing and the light becomes soft and gold, bright and hopeful. I hope the dark does the same for you. Much love.🙂

    Like

  240. I got some good news today. I wanted to share it with you. My beloved dog had a large tumor removed two weeks ago and a scary amount of staples and stitches and me carrying him out to pee and him just falling to the floor and not even able to get up – and I was so sure he was going to die right then and there.
    This morning, he got his staples out. And we got the results: benign. I cried and bear hugged the vet. I know he’s old and he’s just a dog but he’s MY dog, and I love him. It was good news. My wish right now is that every one of you could get good news like this too.

    Like

  241. 243
    Anonymous

    funny enough I was listening to “Days like this” by Van Morrison when I read this.

    Like

  242. My life lately has spiraled out of control lately, I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease and lyme induced lupus which has just made my already existing anxiety and depression worse. I haven’t gotten out of bed much in the past few months. I was seriously thinking of just ending it all but out of the blue one of my friends gave me your books last week. They were phenomenal and got me to laugh and smile something I haven’t done in awhile. I found your blog online and have been checking it regularly, it can make me smile when there’s a funny post or on days like today when you are struggling too it gives me something I can relate to and know I’m not alone in this struggle against mental illness and autoimmune diseases. Just know that you light up a lot of peoples lives and give them a reason to keep on keeping on. You go, you got this!

    Like

  243. Yeah, it’s like that. I had a waive of depression that lasted about two days and then thankfully, I righted myself. I have a little more practice at it these days as a counselor in training, than I had before I became one. I have more skills and that’s helpful. I also have auto immune issues and totally get the whole, you want to solve it, but nobody knows how or can seem to help. I have a lot of experience working through these types of things and I get it. It’s legit.

    The picture is quite lovely by the way.

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  244. 246
    Kimberly

    I am so sorry you’re in a dark place. My husband suffers from depression. From you, I have learned that depression lies and I repeat that to him over and over when he is in the depths of a depression and can’t see his way out. Now, I will also tell him,”broken doesn’t mean worthless.” Even in your despair, you find a way to help others who are struggling. Now that’s a great gift. Please remember that the world needs all the gifts you bring. XO

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  245. Oh, I am wishing you a way out of the tunnel. Truly. I wrote a post once about kintsugi, which is the Japanese art of filling the cracks in things with gold–which actually makes them stronger than they were originally. Your gold is on its way . . .

    Like

    candidkay recently posted Happy (hardy har har) Birthday.

  246. I have been struggling for over a year and feeling so broken that some days it’s hard to just exist. Your books and this blog give me hope and remind me that I’m not the only one and that it’s probably not going to last forever. We just have to keep waking up tomorrow.

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  247. 249
    Anonymous

    My tribe of friends read your posts often. You help all of us get through our darkness. Light and love to you Jenny!

    ~Hope

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  248. 250
    Anonymous

    This comment’s way down here so it may not be seen. And I could ask on Twitter where I follow hundreds of you #TheBloggessTribe folks, but too ashamed to put this out there with my own self yet. Jenny’s message is about the fifty-hundreth reminder that I need to get help with this. I’ve rather systemtically cut off other outlets for help, as one does, but will give this tribe a go:

    anyone have resources/support suggestions for addiction? am an atheist and have not had success with AA

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  249. Love you Jenny! We are here!

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  250. Thank you for being able to put into words how I’ve been feeling too. It’s good to know you aren’t alone, even if you wouldn’t wish these feelings on anyone else.

    Like

  251. There can be no beautiful shadow if there is no YOU.❤

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  252. Your blog and your books are always a reliable source of help for me when I get stuck in my head. Thank you.

    Like

  253. You are beautiful broken or not or even somewhere in between. I think this whole year has been a goverment conspiracy to see if us broken people become more broken when tested or become more strong when all is said and done.

    Liked by 1 person

  254. When I buy things, if there is a slightly damaged one among many, I usually buy that one because a) I know it has less chance of finding a home since people don’t often see that it’s still useful and I’m a sucker for a rescue, and b) I always say “we’re all a little damaged anyway,” and I love the things that are just right up front about it.🙂 (My daughter has turned out to be the same!) My home appears put together very nicely if you only glance at it, but the secret is to look closely because there are dents here, cracks there, marks and scars and wrinkles… and I love it that way because I know those who care to look closely and ask for the stories that go along with all those bumps and bruises are the people I want in my life, and the rest just breeze on by and it all leaves a great impression anyway.

    My mother used to tell me choosing to be happy is sometimes a weekly, sometimes a daily, and sometimes a minute by minute decision. So true. The tool I found that helped me keep choosing to be happy the most is writing down five things (or more!) every day that I’m grateful for. Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book “Simple Abundance” helped me develop that practice. Also listening to Roger Mellott’s “Stress Skills for Turbulent Times.” (RIP, Roger.) That tape changed my life. Roger is hilarious so it’s easy to remember the vernacular he creates in your head. Neither his estate nor Career Track ever did anything about transferring the audio to a more modern format than audio cassette, but I did and can share via DropBox if you like.

    Besides, you’re an author. If you don’t have a few Hunter S. Thompson days, I think you’re not doing it right.🙂 (I mean, c’mon, you’ve been there and got the cat!)

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  255. 257
    Sheila Livingston

    Hang in there, toots. You brought me joy over the past week and for that I thank you. I listened to Furiously Happy on audiobook during a 17 hour drive from CA to ID, and then Let’s Pretend This Never Happened on the way back a week later. That may seem out of order but I had read Let’s Pretend a few years ago and, after the way Furiously Happy kept me engaged and alert on such a long, monotonous drive, I decided I needed a refresher of Let’s Pretend read by you. It was awesome. You’re awesome. Hope you start to feel better soonest.

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  256. So sorry to hear you’re sad. But you’re right. Everyone lately is going through some sort of struggle. I wish I had the right words of wisdom, except this too shall pass. Good days always follow bad. And you’re right, even a broken chandelier casts beautiful shadows.

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    Musings, Rants & Scribbles recently posted How to Escape Stores Forever!.

  257. 259
    Anonymous

    Sistah, please persevere, ’cause you’re amazing, fabulous, and we love and need ya.

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  258. Hi Jenny – Let’s Pretend is my favorite book in the whole wide world and you are super amazing. I get tangled up in darkness myself now and then so I kind of get it. But sometimes I worry about you because our people (including you) are extra sensitive and while I know you get a lot of support from people here, there are also a lot of really sad people here. I just want to make sure you focus on the support and guard yourself against taking on any additional sadness. It’s too much. And impossible to find your way out of. Find the light my friend, and feel the love. Walk away from the rest. You’re amazing.

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  259. 261
    Christina

    Lovely shadows in that pic. So glad to hear you from you at last.
    – a fellow Broken Person

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  260. I’m sorry that the darkness feels extra darkish right about now. It’s easier for me right now, because it’s garden season. All I need to feel right with the world is to be surrounded by my flowers. It’s much tougher in winter, as you can imagine. In the last six months I’ve had painful knee replacement surgery and the accompanying painful therapy, hubby lost his job of thirty years, had to have therapy for the shoulder that got jacked up by using a cane for the bad knee, had a cancer scare, and found out that our expected granddaughter will need heart therapy shortly after birth. Needless to say, I’ve had to fight off the darkness with a really big stick! Keep fighting girl.

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  261. It seems as though lots of us have been struggling lately. But I wonder if it’s not that, but rather that more of us are speaking out in shaky voices saying “I’m hurting. Anybody hear me?” Maybe there’s more hurting people who feel less alone. We can hope.

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    recoveringmama recently posted Little Escapes.

  262. Jenny…. sometimes you are the only flickering light in so many peoples chandeliers but by keeping that single light burning you let us see the beauty too! Thanks for letting us in. I’ll be keeping a light on for you too! Just promise to see my cobwebs as artistic hangings ☺

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  263. 265
    Heather in Arles

    Both my Sister and I are going through brutal life-changing breakups in major relationships (mine was 15 years and in beautiful Provence in a beautiful house with two amazing dogs – all left behind without choice) and we are not the only ones. I finally posted about it on my blog and I had so many emails from people who were also really struggling for a variety of reasons. I thought that 2015 was the bad year…?
    So I am sorry for the brokeness and darkness but not for the beauty that you find within it Jenny. May it be catching.
    Thank you for being yourself just as you are. You inspire me to keep being my wobbly self with pride…

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  264. Thank you for sharing this and baring your beautiful soul to your followers. In the last year that I’ve battled breast cancer I’ve held it together pretty well and rarely crying, mostly I think to appear strong for my 13 yo daughter, but the last few months have been rough. Recently at the oncologist I had a meltdown. He’s such a nice man, he asked if he could give me a hug and then upped my Lexapro. Just what the doctor ordered-drugs and hugs.

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  265. We are all broken; it’s just a matter of degrees!
    I wrote an essay called Et lux in tenebris lucent about the importance of hope in recovery — whether it’s recovery from illness or depression or a combination of factors. Unlike optimism, which says simply “everything will get better,” hope is the ability to see a possible path out of the darkness. Here is a snippet of the essay:

    Hope is different. It is what allows us to be able to put disappointment behind us, and to believe – to really believe — in the promise of a new beginning. Hope is the certainty that things will not always be as they are now. Hope is the knowledge that, despite the darkness we may find ourselves in currently, the light is always out there, shimmering on the horizon.
    No matter where your hope comes from — whether from faith in God, faith in the essential goodness of mankind, faith in the restorative powers of a long walk or a good cigar or the unbeatable trinity of sunlight, saltwater and sea air,
    and no matter where you find hope — in the care and concern of a friend, or the eyes of the person you love, or the smiles of your children, or the rising of the sun,
    may hope sustain you in your time of need, making clear for you the possible path to a better future.
    That’s my hope for you, and for me.

    Feel better soon.

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  266. People are more open to telling you that they are broken and hurting because you shared your story first.

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  267. Jenny, I love you. You’re not alone.

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  268. I understand. I’ve been in a bad place lately. I usually tell people I’ve misplaced my muchness. I’ve not lost it……its just misplaced. Lost on a dark place waiting for me to shed some light on it.

    Remember shadows can’t exist without light.

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  269. I actually had a terrible depression day today – the worst I’ve had in some time (probably because my anxiety was in check for once). It’s awful, but it’s also temporary. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself and allowing this post to serve as some catharsis. It helps to share the pain; otherwise, all of that hurt just builds up and exposes itself in unhealthy ways. And hey, if you can find an internet full of people who relate, even better!

    We’re all here for you and we love you.❤

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  270. 272
    Anonymous

    Jenny, I’m sorry you are having such a hard time. Please know that you are not the only one!! This year has been a nightmare for me too. It’s been very hard to remember what my (somewhat plagerized) tattoo says, ‘Depression lies’. And now I am in a situation where I have to make a very hard, life changing decision while I am only firing on half my cylinders. I hope I do it right!! I guess we’ll have to keep working on the D monster and know, even if it’s too hard to believe, that things will get better.

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  271. sometimes darkness is just fucking dark…… and scary…but the dragonfly lamp that my mom gave me is still lit up for you. on my desk as I write, thinking of you.

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  272. Sometimes I think I get so used to being in the darkness that I find it beautiful, even when I’m standing in the light. As horrible as it is, I’m so familiar with it that it’s comfortable in a weird, backwards, fucked up way. I’ve been struggling lately also, so thank you for being strong enough to post this for everyone else to read. You help more people than you know, and I know we’re all so grateful to you for that. Keeping a light on for you. 💜

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  273. A teacher of mine, 50 years ago, used to call it “Belly button peeking” It’s where we examine our every thought, every feeling, every pimple on our misserable butt and decide we are somehow unworthy.

    I choose to call it my “default” and don’t I believe it. Ignore that sumbitch and it will go away, well, eventually it will. It’s a matter of turning off the negative voices and just skating out from under that blanket of doom. Damn! Whadya know? The sun is still out there! We’re okay after all.
    Rinse, repeat as necessary. You are not alone Jenny. You can do this……again.

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  274. 276
    Bo Thilkjer Eriksen

    Broken or not…. Whatever leaves that beautiful twisted mind of yours makes a difference to me, and I’m sure to many others. So thank you. Fore useing your words and your struggle to make life better and when needed a little less crushing fore so many others. Now remind me again… In what parallel universe is that considered broken? This too shall pass is truely the wisest words spoken…

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  275. You are lovely, and beautiful.

    And I think Victor just got himself a big-ass ladder and box of lightbulbs for Father’s Day. Don’t even have to leave the house. All hail Amazon.
    😉

    There is a light in all of this. It’s flickering, but it’s there.

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  276. Wow that’s a beautiful, beautiful picture. I was struck by how the shadow casts its darkness over that beautiful picture of you. Darkness can be beautiful, but like depression, it always lies. It’s seductive, seeking to become a home for the broken and the maimed. It entices with its sadness and its pain and the aching that the shattered think they deserve to feel. I have reveled in that pain at times, and wept inside the coils at others, but I know ultimately I have to reach for the light so the shadows will go away. Because depressions lies and darkness lies, and with their agonizing beauty they lure us into the abyss. Keep reaching, Jenny. You are not alone. I’m trying to reach right now too.❤

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  277. Thank you for being the voice that so many of us don’t have. You inspire me even in your darkness.

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  278. I’ve been channeling you and telling myself that anxiety lies for weeks now. I hope to crawl out of my ungood hole soon and find some lightness. Hugs to the goddess, the Bloggess.

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  279. 281
    Mono Lady WHY

    I do not have depression as you do (and I’m so sorry that you do) but the anxiety and the autoimmune (raynauds and seronegative inflammatory arthritis of a type I may never know) but beyond that, WHY are they always disgnosing us with mono? What is this? I need to go to the same GP but she is far away and booked up and I’m sick and go to someone new and at the end when they are going to tell me what’s wrong, every time I’m like SHIT I FORGOT TO TELL THEM NOT TO DIAGNOSE ME WITH MONO, because that has happened like 10 times in 10 years and seriously the immunology expert who is mostly busy worrying about people with HIv was like, you need to tell them to ignore those test results but also, the next time you have a “fever” of 99 and see exhausted and your lymph nodes are swollen do come back because we need to figure that out. Shit I need to do that

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  280. You’re right, broken can be beautiful. Your post made me think of this quote:

    “When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” ― Barbara Bloom”

    Like

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  281. 283
    archiebarks

    great looking house.
    shadows make good friends.

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  282. 284
    geekgirlau

    The pieces are scattered to hell and back. I don’t know if I can ever put them back together.

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  283. Yes, there’s something in the air that seems to be messing with the order of things. If not for my current job, I wouldn’t be holding my life together at the moment. Life’s been challenging since the start of the year. I’ve not known a year quite like this. Some days I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and other days I see the train. I keep coming back to your blog, your writing, to remind myself to keep on fighting.

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  284. You are beautiful. Inside and out. But I’d prefer to not know if you’re beautiful inside out, because I’m pretty sure it would be hard to explain how that happened.

    Broken is beautiful…look at the Venus de Milo. No arms…….still beautiful.

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  285. two things occur to me: I wonder if your being so open and well-expressed about your own depression hasnt inspired people to be more open about theirs. It does happen, and it takes away a bit of the stigma, the shaming, that goes on with this stuff. It’s a lot like what women used to go through when they had breast cancer. You could know someone for years and never know she had lost a breast, or a friend, or a child, to cancer. Talking helps.

    the other thing: you don’t get shadows without light. Your chandelier makes the loveliest patterns, dont you DARE put new bulbs in. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  286. 288
    Anonymous

    Things will get better. They always do. Hang in there we all love you.

    Like

  287. […] personally or anything. I just love, love, love her writing. Her post from yesterday can be found here, and I encourage you to read her beautiful entry. Like I said, her words are far better than my own […]

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  288. It will get better. And you are so loved. Sometimes the internet tribe is more than a little invisible, but it’s kinda like this..


    Liked by 1 person

  289. Boy oh boy do I get it. It has been a darker than normal year. My mother who has been depressed for most of her 68 years tried to kill herself two weeks ago. First attempt. Why now? She is in good hands at the hospital and finally taking what seems to be the right combo of meds. I’ve had more friends struggling this year than ever before. So much so that I’ve stopped thinking so much about my own which is probably not a bad thing. I’m trying to look at it all as the new normal so I don’t get anxious. Life on planet earth is suddenly harder, no one knows why, be kind to each other (a wise author who is fond of Taxidermy has said) and we’ll all get through it together.

    Liked by 1 person

    Shari recently posted Wyatt and other Books.

  290. when I look at that photo I, for some reason, hear the sound of a cello

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  291. That is a seriously beautiful photograph. I don’t really think we are broken, per se, just living a different reality than some other people. I console myself that highly creative people are often a little different than other people, but the things we create bring such light into the world that maybe the darkness is the price we pay for bringing the light. Unfortunately, it easy to say that when the darkness hasn’t yet overtaken us (me).

    I’m struggling with something a little different these days. I’m not in the darkness, but I can’t seem to bring myself to take care of business. I could be doing so much more, but I’ve been moring pretty heavily the last nine months (working 55 hour weeks) that I think I broke myself. I spent two hours watching chicks on Monday. And Naming them. Two hours. I despair of ever caring about my writing ever again.

    That makes me think of my More Dog, Zoey. She never runs out of more. More pets, more food, more water, more treats, more pets again. Oh to be that ambitious!

    I almost didn’t post this because I saw the tons of comments and thought Jenny has plenty of support, she doesn’t need me. But that is the road back into my broken/unbroken little head, all by my onesies. So I’m commenting because I need you, not the other way around.

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  292. 294
    Christina

    I’ve been listening to your books on audio. I’ve listened to them both twice already and they are truly life-changing. You are a comfort. I wish that somehow your blog was available on audio. Your voice although not “characteristically or typically” soothing has become a warm home feeling for me and for many many others I’m sure. Thank you for pushing through all you must to keep writing (and recording) for us.

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  293. Last night as I turned out the light, I thought of how all my life I have been petrified of the dark and have always had to sleep with a small light on. Last spring, my younger brother shot himself. My husband and I found him. On a beautiful spring day in broad daylight, I saw the things nightmares are made of and I am no longer scared of the dark. Prayers for you to find your way out of the dark.

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  294. 296
    Rich Cosgrove

    Please hang in there. You are an inspiration to me; and have helped immeasurably with my depression.

    Liked by 1 person

  295. Eating better can mean eating better ice cream. Get Ben & Jerry’s instead of the store brand. Or, even better, Blue Bell since you’re in Texas! That’s what works for me. Hoping your load lightens soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  296. I’ve been thinking all of these things lately so I’d like to ask you to kindly leave my head. Only one allowed in here. ;-P

    You did say it quite beautifully though… ok. You too. Come on in.

    Liked by 1 person

  297. Yes, there is beauty in darkness. You also deserve the light and I hope that you find it again soon.

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  298. Reminds me of the Dumbledore quote I like to live by.

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  299. Thank you for sharing! There is beauty in your photo and your words. I’m also feeling like things are darker, harder right now.

    I was wondering if you could share anything about what you use for light therapy? Or anyone else that is reading this that uses it? Thank you.

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  300. Big hug.

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  301. You speak for so many people. While I am so far lucky enough to escape it myself several of my loved ones move in and out of the darkness and your eloquence helps me understand them and support them. xoxo

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  302. 304
    BooksInGarden

    Hugs. There are a lot of us in the dark. None of us is alone, truly. Because of those who are in the light at the moment are sending out many warm hugs. This, too shall pass – not fast enough, damn it. Love to all who spend times in the dark.

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  303. You are a light for everyone suffering from the darkness. It’s so refreshing that someone will actually talk about these issues! I seem to be on a bit of a rollercoaster so hopefully things will smooth out soon. If not, well…guess there isn’t much I can do about it, right?

    Like

    megtverdy recently posted Humble Pie.

  304. 307
    Anonymous

    I’ve made the same observation that everyone I know that struggles with mental illness has been having a tougher year than normal.

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  305. Me too. I’ve been pretty much depressed the entire year. But, my daughters are finally on medicines to help their depression/anxiety issues and that makes me feel good. I don’t want them to feel like I did growing up. But, it’s so good to know that we aren’t alone, when we can’t see the lies for ourselves. Chin up. We’ve got this.🙂

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  306. I’m going through a “strange feeling” time lately. Been extremely happy for 2 years and something has changed….that happy feeling is slowly moving in another direction and leaving a faint “questioning” trail behind. Working on solving it or, at least, defining it. Not broken quite yet. And whatever it is, I’ll try to embrace it.

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  307. Hey! Sometimes I feel exactly like you do and I struggle mightily to see whatever light there is and appreciate the beauty of my blessed life. Mercifully, right now isn’t one of those times and I am filled with abundance. I have so much and so I’m sending some of that to you (not all of it – don’t be greedy) to speed your recovery. I’m saying this to remind you that this will pass. And just that you’re writing a post such as the one above indicates it will pass sooner rather than later and you will feel your abundance again.

    Your simple words – depression lies – have all truly changed my life and made it easier to get through these times.

    Be gentle, kind, and loving to yourself, Jenny in the same way you have treated all of us. And be patient. Like a cold, there isn’t a lot you can actively do to get rid of this, but it will pass and you’ll feel better soon.

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  308. @Liz, I’m so relieved to see other pet mourners here. We just lost our 18 y.o. orange tabby and it’s stripped me down to my bones.
    I keep coming here for comfort and camaraderie because feeling alone is the worst but this website is one of the safest places I know and I’ve been watching so many others come here for sanctuary from pet loss broken hearts that this was the first place I came when it happened to me. So, just saying, you’ve got Jenny, and you’ve got the rest of us, too.

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  309. @Wendy, that’s about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m so glad you’re getting time in the “decent place” so many of us are currently missing. Thanks for the generous offer❤

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  310. @ Catherine, Yeah you are. That’s awesome. Own it.

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  311. Peace, dear one.

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  312. There is a term Wabi Sabi from Japan that means when an object is has flaws or cracks in it, it is more beautiful than an object that is perfect in every way. As human beings our flaws make us more beautiful not less. You are not broken Jenny, you do not need fixing. You are a strong caring woman who is not afraid to reach out to people and show herself for who she is. Your mental/physical issues have helped to make you who you are today. You are a gift. Thank you for being you.
    Jan

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  313. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling a little “ungood” recently. On the other hand, it’s often the interaction of shadow and light that gives things beauty and depth. I liked the striking design the shadows from the chandelier cast upon your wall. You’d have to pay a decorator a lot of good money to do something similar for you. 🙂

    Like

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  314. Hi. I’m dying a little each day. 41 years of the fight I can’t win. Recently, my only friend, who had to move to TX last year, gifted me LPTNH and Furiously Happy – on Audible. I finished LPTNH yesterday and am halfway thru FH and I just want you to know that the only genuine smiles I’ve found on my eff’d up face lately, are the ones you are creating as I listen to your books. THANK YOU.

    Our plethora of conditions sound so much alike, though, some seem worse for you, others not as bad, and I have a few you’ve yet to mention, you have a few I don’t. (I’m so glad my hair pain issue stops at just serious scratching and not pulling it out. That sounds dreadful.)

    I don’t know why I write today because I pretty much assume no one cares. My hubby says it’s unfortunate that I can’t be Furiously Happy because I either am too scared to allow or recognize a positive moment in my life, or I can’t remember them if they occur. I forget stuff easily… long term memory is fine, sure! I get to remember all that crap that created the mess I’m in now… but I don’t get to remember the awesome parts of current life (at least I assume there are some good parts now, IDK).

    Anyway, I know you have tons of fans and people who write. I know you help many just by being such a transparent you. I know that you don’t answer messages then delete accounts (I do it too). But I can tell you I’m not like anyone else, you know… “Unique”! I so envy your humor and wit. I have none of that. I can’t find joy, well, except my cat and adult coloring apps. But I want to do something special, help people, but I’m paralyzed by fear and can’t do anything.

    Ok, sorry… I’m just so sad. But I’ve just discovered you and your books and voice are inspiring. Bye now.

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  315. I have two tidbits of medical advice: 1) Elderberry capsules are very helpful to make physical symptoms feel better. (I don’t remember why though.) But when I start coming down with something, I take one and I don’t get sick. 2) The only pill that’s helped my depression is called Deplin. A lot of people haven’t heard of it, but it’s awesome. Look it up and ask your doctor about it. I also think it’s slightly more natural than most antidepressants (it’s technically a medical food).
    Also, you are a beautiful, wonderful human being!

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  316. 320
    Anonymous

    Thank you. I, too, am broken at the moment. Thank you for the freedom to exist in this space.

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  317. We love you Jen. I’m feeling a bit crap at the moment too, wish I could teleport over there and watch Netflix from a cat, puppy and pillow fort with you for a while. Even when you’re feeling broken you still somehow think of us and find a way to make us feel better. Giving light and love to overcome darkness is the most beautiful thing human beans are capable of. Hope you get your happy back real soon xxx

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    Michelle recently posted Sneaky Little Getaway. (Flat Rock, NSW).

  318. Thank you for that. I keep on repeating to myself that depression and anxiety lie. Most of the time, I have my shit together and I’m able to approach the world with a healthy dose of optimism. However, my period’s due soon and every so often, the week before, my stable mood just drops suddenly and everything gets dark. I feel like everything becomes too much, and there is no way out. However, I know that this too shall pass, it always does.

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  319. Jenny, whenever I’m feeling my worst, I come here, and you always remind me how beautiful the dark can be, and that it’s okay to fall apart, sometimes. We don’t have to be okay all the time to deserve love and happiness and comfort. That reminder means so much – and I’m happy to remind you, too. Thank you.

    Like

  320. I’m afraid this isn’t going to be particularly lovely or poetic, as so many other people’s comments have been, but I’ll plow on ahead and say that, by my reckoning, this just seems to have been a spectacularly shitty year so far for an awful lot of people in a hell of a lot of ways–we’ve lost a lot of good people (I don’t think I need to name names here), the news has been horrible, the election cycle has hit the point where people are slapping bumper stickers on their cars wishing that the Giant Comet would just obliterate the planet and get the whole damn thing over and done with, and way too many people, including you, me, and various others we both know, are having way too hard a time of things lately. I was laid off (well, that’s the polite way to put it; “shitcanned” might be more accurate) from a job where I was absolutely wretched, to the point where my innate depression and anxiety was aggravated sufficiently that I pretty much had a breakdown over Easter weekend. Fortunately, I’d started seeing my psychiatrist before then, and we’re changing up my meds, which (along with getting out of that truly toxic work environment) is starting to help a bit, but yeah…I don’t recommend melting down over a holiday weekend, especially when your insurance company can’t understand why your doctor wants you to have one particular drug instead of the one you’ve been on. (If they’d seen me on Good Friday, they wouldn’t have been asking that question…) On the brighter side, I’ve got some temp work now, and school (I’m in grad school working on a Master’s in Library Science) is coming along well, but yes, I do understand where you’re coming from, very much so, and I wish there was more I could do to help you and everyone else out there who’s struggling…would a virtual hug help? (I was going to try to post a picture of my cat Romeo, but I can’t seem to figure out how to do it here, but just imagine a 15 lb. big brown tabby cat with green eyes and major mitten paws–he has 7 toes on his front paws–rubbing against you and nipping at your hand until you start petting him. Remember, no matter how shitty things get, there’s always cats and chocolate, right? hugs)

    Like

  321. Beautiful Jenny, I understand exactly what you are saying. I too have not been right for some time since my mom died in Sept. last year. I have many of the same autoimmune diseases that you have and it’s hard to know sometimes if it is depression and the diseases or just the diseases or just depression, all seems to come together sometimes. Take care and know you have a team of people that love what you do and care about you. Thank you for so eloquently sharing your sadness, your humor, all that you are. Thank you.

    Like

  322. I wish you well Jenny, and I thought you might appreciate this artist: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/06/bill-domonkos-surreal-animations/

    Like

  323. 328
    Amanda Urola

    You always describe the depression headscape with such accuracy. You know this, but sometimes we need reminders: You are not alone; I am so grateful that you are here. And Yay! for self care!

    Like

  324. 329
    Anonymous

    Not broken,simply beautiful due to the shadows and lights. Even if I don’t see it, the moon and stars exist which is my mantra when I am lost in the dark.

    Like

  325. How about:
    Q: How many Bloggesses does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: None. Let the m***f%%%kers burn out, I’ll revel in shadows and dance in the dark.

    Like

  326. And for a laugh… a few years ago my sister went to the doctor feeling really run down. He said:
    ‘I think you’ve been burning the candle at both ends’
    She looked shocked and said ‘but…I’m a virgin’.

    Never. Went. Back.

    Like

  327. it is going around. Maybe it’s the news, which I don’t want but seems to find me anyway. My husband used to be the only one who thought my brokenness was beautiful. Now I’ve managed to disappoint even him. I may have hit the tipping point this time…

    Like

    whatswrongwithmom recently posted Maybe Denial is the Way to Go.

  328. I’m not sure you read all your comments, and of course take this with a grain of salt as I am -not- a medical professional. It is very unusual for someone to get mono multiple times, and could be an indication a Natural Killer Cell Deficiency. This could be one of those things where you buy a car and then start seeing it everywhere, because I was diagnosed with an NK cell deficiency a few months ago due to recurrent shingles. Regardless mono, depression, and autoimmune disease all pretty much blow, and I hope you start feeling better ^_^

    Like

  329. Isn’t strange that animals don’t have to deal with depression…or do they? Since we moved to the country, I marvel at the pure FIGHT of wildlife to survive. Eat or be eaten seems to be the mantra in the woods. Animals die and life just keeps rolling on. Birds keep singing, squirrels keep squirreling, and bunnies keep hopping, sometimes over dead turtles. Animals keep going and living for what reason? Life…it sure is SOMETHING!

    Like

  330. Beautiful insights into the darker moments.

    Like

  331. Hope you feel better soon. The thing about shadows and darkness, while its nice to hide sometimes, it always leads to light..

    Like

  332. Listen to Sia sing about the chandelier…just don’t really swing on it. The shadows are truly lovely.

    Like

  333. Thank you for reminding me of this. It’s still kind of hard for me to accept that something’s wrong with me, but I wouldn’t be the same person if I weren’t broken. I’d probably be happier, but I wouldn’t be able to come up with metaphors about how on one particular day I am frosted glass. Even if girls made of frosted glass break more easily, light shines through them in a different way, partly because girls made of flesh and blood aren’t translucent.

    Like

  334. I think your mind is just perfectly beautiful even when it’s broken. That you can still write so eloquently and that you can find beauty in the world is proof of that.

    Like

  335. Thank you for the reminder that being broken is not a bad thing. Been having a tough year, not really wanting to type a novel here, but I will sum it up as this. I am broken. My husband and I divorced in March. The relationship had grown distance over the last few years. It seems that we work better as friends than lovers. Love and Compatibility aren’t the same thing (something I have learned). The transition from lovers to friends has been harder on me, as I am not used to NOT begin around him. He has his life and I have mine. I love him as a friend, and he is my best friend and family. The relationship is over and now we have to rebuild the friendship. I am single and it is scary. I am trying to jump start my writing career, sell our house, and find myself. Some days are great, others, not so much. I hurt a lot and I don’t always know how to tell my friends. It one day as a time, and I do theatre (which is great therapy in its own rite).

    Broken is beautiful, and (my words borrowed from my mentor), “Pain is Weakness leaving the Body.” Thanks for your words!

    Like

  336. You nailed it. A beautiful display of the darkness. I hope it made you feel better after your post saw light.

    Like

    britta326 recently posted Mental illness: The unsung heroes and information.

  337. My Daddy doesn’t believe in the whole “Mercury in Retrograde” Conspiracy Theory, but Every Last Mechanical or Electronic thing in his house has BROKEN in the last week. We lost a TON of talent at the beginning of this year; some, due to the MH bullshit that we all seem to be dealing with. I’m unemployed enough that when I DO get to go to work, it still feels like UNemployed as opposed to UNDERemployed. My Depression has been fairly mild, even for me, but it HAS BEEN. Your words and Your photos ALWAYS help.

    I’m celebrating my 50th lap around our star on Saturday, AFTER I reach that particular “finish line” tomorrow. But apparently, the Mayan Calendar that supposedly ended in December, REALLY ends tomorrow or Saturday! http://www.indiatimes.com/news/weird/scholars-release-the-latest-date-for-apocalypse-june-3-4-2016_-255927.html Hooray! No more suffering of any kind! Let’s all Party Like It’s 1999!

    Like

    emelle28 recently posted Fairly Certain MY "June Gloom" Happened in May.

  338. Hi Jenny, just want to share that I love you. I’ve dealt with depression and ADD my whole life and work on my mental health every day – and I do this for a living! I have a blog on this site too – I will never have your talent at writing – but wanted to share that my “Don’t Pee On My Rocks” was inspired by your writing. I always share your books with my patients and encourage them to read them, especially Furiously Happy, although it’s better to read Pretend first for context. Please feel free to visit. Thanks for your ability to laugh and make me laugh at this curious experience we call life. Rhonda
    (truelovebreakingthecycleoffailedrelationships.com)

    Like

  339. 344
    Anonymous

    Not to argue but i think its the light thats beautiful.
    Darkness sucks. Love u

    Like

  340. 345
    Anonymous

    Wishing you better days. xox

    Like

  341. Wait wait wait. You’ve had mono a few times? ME TOO. …Fist bump?

    Anyway – you’re not alone in that circus ring. I actually had great success with a naturopath, but it was a long-ass road. Feelin’ ya, chica.

    Like

    KatieComeBack recently posted Assumptive Presentment Resentment.

  342. 347
    ocindyocindy

    Dammit I missed the cue and now I’m too late. I WISH I had said, please link your “I’m Broken” video to this – either one/both are just everything good. Can I make a ‘standing request’? Any time you write about ‘broken’, make that link – for those of us who love it over again & those who haven’t seen it yet.

    Like

  343. Well, you have made me laugh in times of desperate need. I wish I were so articulate and hilarious. I am not, so it must suffice for me to say Thank you. I wish we were friends. I would totally build a table fort and invite you in.

    Like

  344. Broken is beautiful!!! I’m a little broken – broken heart and broken spirit right now….. And Dad is broken – dementia – but yet not as he could not deal with Mom’s illness – so his broken is a blessing. And Mom is no longer broken as she passed into perfection on the 23rd.

    I’m saying this because your post reassures me and all of us who know depression lies – that broken is beautiful. And WE ARE BEAUTIFUL – its just really shitty situations that happens sometimes.

    Like

  345. Please pick up Ally Hilfiger’s book Bite Me on her experience with Lyme. I really think it will change your life (especially if you start to treat the lyme which imho you so clearly have).

    Like

  346. 351
    runninginterr/mutilatedwave

    hope you feel better..i’ve rarely texted anyone in 6 days and i’ve had my facebook and twitter deactivated. therapy at 3pm. first time will see a human in almost 3 weeks.

    Like

  347. 352
    Lesley Estrella

    “Broken doesn’t mean worthless” that is beautiful. And I love how posts like this can bring people out and remind us that there is light and that it’s ok to be broken. This blog has saved me countless times and has helped me work through my own issues over the years and I will forever be grateful to everyone for their help. (though most of you will never even realize you’ve helped.) And if anyone knows or goes by the name “KidNurse” I never had the chance to thank you for the books from booksgiving but what you did was amazing and I still think of your kindness. Thank you.

    Like

  348. […] ways is good because my head is not always fun to live in. I don’t know if the depression … Continue reading → […]

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  349. Love the spooky cool shadow. It would have caught my attention as well.
    I don’t really know what to say about what you’re dealing with now, but I don’t think you’re broken. I think you are who you are, and unfortunately you have to deal with these darker days while others do not. I hate that for you. But, it’s a part of who you are and what makes you wholly you. You wouldn’t have the insight to see the shadows and perfection of the art they cast, you might just see burned out bulbs. How very boring that would be. That being said, I do hope these dark days pass for you soon. My heart goes out to you. {HUGS}

    Like

  350. 355
    Anonymous

    Wabi Sabi

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  351. This makes me think of Leonard Cohen – “there’s a crack in everything, it’s how the light gets in.”

    Like

  352. Just had my first session of trauma therapy and feeling low, but holding it together overall. I’m going to be reading your book again over the coming weeks, your words will be my armor against the negative BS that’s bound to be stirred. This post has reminded, again that I’m not alone and to stay positive. Wishing you love and many happy, sparkling thoughts❤

    Like

  353. We are down to one lightbulb in our 12 light chandelier. No finding the hidden beauty in the shadows, just obnoxious inability to see anything. I feel similarly a little too far down the rabbit hole of depression. I know it lies. What I don’t know is how to get up in range of the chandelier to change those bulbs.

    Like

  354. I have no way to remind you, so I feel more than a little more asshat-ish by taking all of your reminders that sometimes broken IS beautiful. And that there is an existential reason for shoddy home maintenance. If you can think of a way that I can repay you, short of sending you a very tall ladder, let me know. I hate to be in debt.

    Like

  355. You need a MONKEY. When I win the Texas State Lotto, I will lend you my lightbulb changing monkey. ** Quick disclaimer, he lives in the jungle, of course. Just flies in bi-annually to change very high lightbulbs. Really sort of a specialty, he will be paid handsomely.**

    Like

  356. You are perfectly imperfect…..the shadow you cast (your writing) is very unique and wonderful!

    Like

  357. 362
    Anonymous

    Broken can be beautiful. I’ll remind you of that if you remind me back

    Like

  358. Gosh. This is so much how I feel. It’s been like this in May, April and now going into June. The depression is new for me yet the anxiety is an old and haunting feeling since its been years I’ve been dealing with it. There is beauty knowledge and hope on all things that are damaged . Thank you for the reminder and speaking for so many of us. Anx and depr can suck it.

    Like

  359. thanks for the reminder! Broken or repaired you are beautiful.
    Kintsugi

    Dropped, broken and sad
    Liquid gold flows into the cracks
    Stronger, stranger, new


    http://www.chopsticksny.com/contents/focus/2015/08/17763

    Like

  360. 365
    Gina Danger

    For a change I’m not in the dark place, which is nice. Probably because I’m north of some stupid parallel that means I don’t get enough sun for most of the year, and here we are approaching the solstice which means it doesn’t get much more sunlight than this, so, there’s that.

    Don’t forget. The only way you get shadows is if there’s a light somewhere. Keep looking for the light, and embracing the beauty in the shadows. Somewhere, sometime, it gets better.

    Like

  361. 366
    Heather A.
  362. 367
    Anonymous

    I want to say something to help you feel better but I don’t know what to say. Will this acknowledgement be enough?

    Like

  363. ” And then you’d never see the strange, dark loveliness that comes out when things are little bit broken.”

    Those seem like great words to me…so something is working<3 Hope you get light soon, but thank you for sharing the strange, dark loveliness.

    Like

  364. Sometimes I find my own darkness artistic. Sometimes I miss it. A lot of the time I don’t. The nightmares were horrific, but they were also a source of pride in that I relished being able to survive stuff like that. As if I got a medal for bravery. Twisted, I know. The darkness does inspire art to flow from my fingers. Without it I feel like that part of myself has been cut off.

    I’ve been off antipsychotics again and I haven’t seen or heard anything, which is a relief. Without the drugs, I occasionally become psychotic and am either completely convinced of weird shit (like that everything is a false mesh on top of the real world, the people I see aren’t really what they appear to be but are something else entirely, and that problems I face inside this mesh are traps, designed to kill me, and then I wrote down “I don’t know” 188 [I counted] times after I wandered around feeling stuff to see if I could get through the mesh and saying “I don’t know” with different emphasis on one word each time) or see things, like the burn victim without any hands and oozing blood and pus, accompanied by its nurse, in a bookstore. That was pretty weird.

    Sometimes I hear voices talking to me from outside, like when I heard “You know, you’re really pathetic.” I then proceeded to sass my crazy by saying out loud “At least I’m real, asshole.” Fortunately I was in my bedroom at the time and no one heard me talking to myself. Usually the voices are just babbling constantly inside my head, but sometimes they leak out. I’m just glad that isn’t going on in spite of the lack of antipsychotics. It’ll probably rear up again and I’ll have to take meds for a while, but for right now the lack of severe psychosis is really pleasant.

    Like

    Adrasteia recently posted Wishing for madness.

  365. Jenny–
    one other thought that we sometimes miss: creative people, actively creative, are very very prone to depression. It seems to be a given that if you’re a writer, or an artist, or a composer or anything else that requires personal creativity, you will end up at the far end of the bipolar stick. It’s who we are. Its what we are. I’ve learned to cherish that dark space, even though I despise the necessity of it.
    When you do those wonderful doodles, or write, or any of those other things you do so well, you are going through that same damn thing we all do, in our own way, uuuupppp and downnnnn over and over again.

    Not all bipolars are creatively oriented, but I can guarantee you, almost all creative people are bipolar. The other 1% just wont admit it. If you go down a list of writers and artists, actors and comedians who offed themselves one way or the other, all of them suffered from some kind of manic bipolar stuff, most of their lives. Bipolar is a blessing and a curse but it’s what gets the words out, the music written, the paint on da canvas. =)

    Like

    Judyt recently posted This is just plain fun.

  366. Thank you for this timely post. Broken is beautiful. Such amazing words…You bring such joy and light to your readers, I hope you find better days soon! xox

    Like

  367. […] Source: Sometimes the darkness can be beautiful. But sometimes it’s a real bitch. Depends, I guess. […]

    Like

  368. Holy shit, do you read all these comments? If you’re broke then broken is the new black. Or is it the new Orange? Which is the new black? Which is kind of like passé now, so maybe the new black is actually not orange or broken. I don’t know. The photo is beautiful.

    Like

  369. 375
    Anonymous

    Oh how I pray that your words of “broken can be beautiful” are true…although, I believe that about all creatures, except myself. My head is in a semi-permanent (at least I hope it’s semi) state of darkness right now- stress, work, divorce, selling house I love, not knowing where I will live, scared of custody battle, blah blah blah. But even when I felt loved and secure, I never felt that I could indulge my darkness for a moment, let it wrap me up, envelope me wholly, and just be. I love how you allow yourself time to bend to your darkness, because I think that sometimes, the quickest way to come out of it is to acknowledge it, and just…be.

    Like

  370. I’m thinking, “I live in shadows and I will probably die in shadows.” I’m not sure what it means but I think you may understand.

    Like

  371. Hey you, I finished your new audiobook last week and I adored it.

    But I’m really struggling today. I feel like life has never held any meaning. I don’t see the point in anything. My husband thinks I need a hobby to occupy myself but I have no motivation or desire to do anything, it’s like I just get through my day so I can go back to bed. I’m usually okay, I just feel like there’s no point to anything. I’m not suciadal or anything, I just think it’s my pms. Talking about it doesn’t help, counseling doesn’t help, distracting myself doesn’t help. I don’t want to take again.
    Anyway, I know this is the place to vent those feelings, so thanks. For the blog, for the book, for all you do.

    Like

    Jennifer Good recently posted NF: No news is good news 2.0 Or Why waiting six years to make an appointment is a huge waste of time.

  372. Dear Jenny,
    Thank you so much for sharing the humor (sometimes) and uniqueness (I like to call it that.) of a rather broken mind. I need to share how reading your book and your blog has helped me break through the loneliness of depression and anxiety. It’s so wonderful to be able to laugh with kindred spirits. Feel better. I’m rooting for you as I know your book has helped me root for myself. Thank you so much!

    Like

  373. I’m a little late to this party, but I have a thought that might give some hope. If you see more people struggling or asking for help, maybe it’s because we’ve gotten to a point where people are more comfortable talking about their mental health needs.

    Like

  374. …Then right now I’m fucking gorgeous.
    (so are you. <3)

    Like

  375. This makes me think of the line from that Leonard Cohen song: “There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.”

    Like

  376. 382
    Anonymous

    This is Insanely amazing that how people have survived the Impossible.
    => http://bit.ly/297XC4y <=

    Like

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  1. June Gloom June 1, 2016

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