If you follow me on twitter you already know that I’ve been battling off one of the most severe bouts of depression I’ve ever had. Yesterday it started to pass, and for the first time in weeks I cried with relief instead of with hopelessness. Depression can be crippling, and deadly. I’m lucky that it’s a rare thing for me, and that I have a support system to lean on. I’m lucky that I’ve learned that depression lies to you, and that you should never listen to it, in spite of how persuasive it is at the time.
When cancer sufferers fight, recover, and go into remission we laud their bravery. We call them survivors. Because they are.
When depression sufferers fight, recover and go into remission we seldom even know, simply because so many suffer in the dark…ashamed to admit something they see as a personal weakness…afraid that people will worry, and more afraid that they won’t. We find ourselves unable to do anything but cling to the couch and force ourselves to breathe.
When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker…but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand.
Regardless, today I feel proud. I survived. And I celebrate every one of you reading this. I celebrate the fact that you’ve fought your battle and continue to win. I celebrate the fact that you may not understand the battle, but you pick up the baton dropped by someone you love until they can carry it again. I celebrate the fact that each time we go through this, we get a little stronger. We learn new tricks on the battlefield. We learn them in terrible ways, but we use them. We don’t struggle in vain.
We are alive.
I wrote this post a month ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to post it then. I was too weak from fighting to shout, and so instead I whispered this into the night and left it unpublished until I felt like I could speak to it with the battle-cry it deserves. Years ago, coming out about depression and anxiety disorder was something frightening, but now people are more honest and open and so much of the shame has dissipated. We may not have pink ribbons or telethons but we know that someone out there understands. That is, until we’re honest about how it affects us. I’ve never written about this because I can’t talk about it without it being a trigger but I think it’s important to be honest even when it’s scary. Especially when it’s scary.
I self-harm. I don’t do it all the time and it’s not enough to put me into an institution or threaten my well-being, but it’s enough to make it frightening to live in my body sometimes. I’m far from suicidal. I do it to self-sooth, because the physical pain distracts me from the mental pain. It’s one of those things that’s impossible to explain to people who don’t understand impulse control disorder. Honestly, I find it hard to understand it to myself and I’m working my ass off to fix it now before my daughter is old enough to see the things I don’t want her to see. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I am safe. My disorder is fairly mild and is becoming more controlled. I’m in therapy and I’m not in danger. I avoid triggers and I’ve found therapies and drugs that are helping. I’m getting better. But I sort of feel like I can’t completely heal from this without being honest about it. So here it is. Judge me or not, I am the same person I was before. And so are you. And chances are that many of your friends, family and coworkers are dealing with things like this. Things that are killing them a little inside. Things that kill people who don’t get help. Silent, bloody battles that end with secret victors who can’t celebrate without shame. I hope that this post changes this somehow. I hope that you feel safe enough to be honest about the things you are the most ashamed of. I hope you have someone there telling you “It’s okay. You’re still the same person to me.”
I hope to one day I see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle and that they celebrate the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.
I hope one day to be better and I’m pretty sure I will be. I hope one day I live in a world where the personal fight for mental stability is viewed with pride and public cheers instead of shame. I hope it for you too.
But until then, it starts slowly.
I haven’t hurt myself in 3 days. I sing strange battle-songs to myself in the darkness to scare away the demons. I am a fighter when I need to be.
And for that I am proud.
2,646 thoughts on “The fight goes on.”
Read comments below or add one.
We’re all for the better that you are a fighter when you need to be. Hang in there, and know that there are many out here that you don’t even know who are pulling for you.
I think you are an amazing example for everyone out there, and especially people struggling with similar issues! It’s so empowering to see someone who is so fun and funny and smart and accomplished…who also has this thing that sometimes takes over her life. It’s always a part of you but it ISN’T YOU.
You’re awesome and thank you for sharing something so deeply personal.
Go Jenny! You can win.
You are strong, even when you feel weak. Thank you for this post and so many others you have written. I hope you know how many days you brighten with your humor and candor even when your day meets you with struggles. It’s a new year and every day is a fresh start. I wish you all the best in 2012.
Wow. I hope I can acknowledge the strength my friends’ with depression have. Thank you for enlightening me. You are bad-ass!
So honest. So Brave.
Thank you for this courageous post, and for all the ways you shine a light on a misunderstood and under-respected illness. One that I too battle. xox
I for one am proud of you and your fight to bring the darkness to light. I have seen the love of my life struggle with anxiety, and while I want so badly to be able to protect him from everyone and everything, I know that part of the battle is learning to do this himself. I agree with Victor though; I’d rather have him weak and broken than not at all. Good for you for giving a face to this horrible disease, and for working so hard to kick its ass for yourself and for those you love!
It is something to be *furiously* proud of. 🙂
I wish I could be as strong as this… I wish I could.
Thank you…from someone who has been where you’ve been far too many times. May we all eventually find lasting peace with ourselves.
I’m so proud of you! I too came out of the depression closet very publicly and I commend you for taking care of yourself, getting the help you need and sharing your story so that others may hopefully help themselves too. Love you! xoxo Renee aka cutiebootycakes 🙂
I love you even more now Bloggess. Depression is a BITCH.
You are still the same person to me. You are amazing.
I don’t know you, but I love you. For speaking your truth and fighting the fear. Thank you. I fight as well, cry with the losses and roar with a victory. Roar more!
I’m not sure how much this will mean from some random stranger on the Internet, but: it’s okay. You’re still the same person to me.
Thank you for being so brave. You are truly and inspiration.
GO BABY GO BABY GO BABY GO!
You’re still the same person to me, only I just love you more.
I usually leave jokey type comments – but I gotta say, you should be proud to be able to write and post something like this. You help a lot of people, myself included. xoxoxo
I hear you
Keep fighting the good fight. You’re doing all you can.
I was there. I fought. One day, I just decided to say “fuck it” and faced the world head on. It was like a lightbulb.
Not everyone has lightbulb moments. All you can do is fight and scrape and refuse to fail, hoping for the switch to be turned on.
WHATEVER, depression and anxiety make me tremendously wonderful company. Come here and let’s lie on opposite sides of the sofa together, staring blankly into space, hoping the phone doesn’t ring.
I always knew you were a rockstar. This just proves it even more. Reaching out and telling your story helps everyone. It helps people understand you, it helps people understand depression, it helps people understand that just because you ARE depressed and have issues doesn’t mean you aren’t a beautiful human being inside and out. You are a crusader, even if accidentally.
Much love and chin up.
I am so, so grateful to have you in my life, Jenny. I haven’t self-harmed in the traditional sense in a couple of years, but I do it in other ways every day. You’re so damn brave. Love you.
Thank you for publishing this.
you are a warrior and I am proud to know you
I agree with Lindsay. You are amazing, and every step you take makes a path for someone else to follow. Keep going!
I’m so glad you feel like you can be honest with all of us like this. That is so brave! Big hugs to you! I’ve battled depression for years and am constantly amazed at how little people understand about it.
I have fought depression for the better part of 30 years. I’ve been diagnosed for less than half that. While I don’t self-harm physically, I do stupid things to counteract and distract from the Shitty (my coined word for my own depression). So many of us have been there, girl. SO. MANY.
You know as well as I do, you have to take it a day at a time and every 24 hour period is a victory in and of itself.
I think it is amazing that you are speaking of this openly. So many people see it as a disease of the weak and that people should be ashamed. As someone who comes from a long lineage of depressed folks, it is refreshing to have someone be so straight forward about it. Keep on fighting. You are an inspiration to the rest of us.
You’re a wonderful person. Keep your chin up and keep fighting the good fight.
Jenny, HUGE pat on the back from me. I’d carry you through the streets on my shoulders if I could, but I’m weak and lazy. I have the scars, too… But you show me, in the times when you’re able, to show me, show us all (writers) what we can be. Fight on. I’m in your corner.
sending you lots of love. thank you for sharing. I know you will be helping many see some light through sharing your darkness. xxo
Your honesty & bravery is making anyone who suffers with mental illness, better. Thank you.
I love your honesty and perseverance. You are beacon of light even in your darkest times.
Thank you for being awesome.
I teared up reading this. XO
This has brought me to tears. Thanks for being one of the brave ones.
Thank you. I just assumed I was alone-I just assumed it was teen aged girls who did that and I, at 50, was a total aberration.
But can the ribbon be platinum? I’m allergic to silver 🙂
You are wonderful
I just wanted add my support. I appreciate the honestly in this post. It’s gripping and special. So many people need to hear this, including me. Thank you for having the courage to face today and the balls to press “post”.
I’m going to go back into lurking now, but I am always here with you no matter how many fabulous flaws you might have. I’m here as are so many of your fans who respect, appreciate, and adore you.
Here’s to a bright new year! xoxo
thank you for sharing this. Those that don’t battle this will never completely understand. I didn’t until it started happening to me. Unfortunately I have no insurance, so it’s a battle I fight without the help of therapy or drugs. Luckily I have an amazingly supportive husband who helps me through my super dark times.
I seriously love you for sharing your hard times as well as your happy times. xoxox
We love you and are so impressed with your courage for this post. I wish I could hug you for real. And if you put silver ribbons in your store, I’d wear one proudly. I have depression and anxiety disorder too. xo
This made me cry. Thank you for speaking up. No one in my life understands what I go through, and it is overwhelming to read about someone else who feels the same way.
This is an incredibly brave post, and you’re an amazing survivor. I’m proud of you for doing what you’re doing, and I offer you celebratory hugs.
What an amazing and personally revealing post. My heart goes out to you on your dark days and rejoices with you on the bright ones. You are a brilliant writer and I truly enjoy your blog. Thank you for having the courage to share your deeply toughing story.
This took MUCH courage. Onward and upward.
From a fellow “survivor” of what depression can do, this is me patting you on the back. It sucks, it’s debilitating, but in those moments when you can pull out of it, life feels oh so right all over again.
You are amazing. Balls to the wall awesome. I know that fight, and every day you make it deserves a big fucking hell yeah. I love you more, not less, because of your battles. Not feeling alone is so damn important. Thanks for letting us take this ride with you, and being so brave and strong.
I don’t want this to sound flippant, but it takes a lot of bravery to share something so deeply personal and painful to you. I truly admire that. My friends and family know I struggle with depression, but a lot of them don’t understand how strongly it holds onto me. That’s not because they don’t care, but because I try so hard to hide it and pretend everything is fine. Even when I do share it and tell them what’s going on, people have a hard time understanding it unless they’ve dealt with it themselves. Thank you for giving such a strong voice to a usually private battle.
Way to go, Jenny. This post will help so many people. What a good mom you are. Hugs.
I’ve never commented here before, but you are an inspiration to me, as a writer, as a humorist, and as someone close to my age who has been engaged in an ongoing war with depression. Thank you for this, bless your heart for writing it.
Thank you for being so honest.
Thank you so much for your honesty. Keep fighting.
whoa. thank you for sharing this.
You are so magnificently brave.
I can empathise. I hope you know that lots of people will read that post and completely respect and admire you for your honesty about a subject which so many people are afraid to talk about. Depression is not a weakness, I think it makes us pretty bloody strong to battle it every day, even on the days it’s not there.
I love you.
And I understand.
Boy how I understand.
And I wish I could share like you do.
Thank you for writing this. Just…thank you.
I wish you never had to feel this way..but it gives me an odd sort of comfort to know I’m not alone…that you’re surviving. You are such a beautiful person..and this just shows me that even more.
..Even if my physical response to this post has my eyes doing weird misty things.
PS – You can sing to me..anytime. Keep fighting. xo
You brave, beautiful woman. As a fellow fighter I salute you and your story and your courage. Sing those songs, tell your tales. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Thank you for this. I have fought anxiety disorder since I was 20 and every time it rears its ugly head I have to fight against rising feelings of hopelessness that I will never be free of it. Most of my friends and family don’t understand what it’s like or why I can’t just “snap out of it.” Reading your posts makes my heart hurt for you. I’m sending you all my good wishes.
I’m not usually much for commenting on websites because I don’t necessarily think anyone cares much what I have to say amongst a sea of other commenters, but I couldn’t let this one pass by. While I don’t struggle with this particular disorder myself, I know many people close to me who do. You should be unbelievably proud of yourself (both today and every day) for having the courage to speak this out loud. Every cause needs a pioneer, I suppose, and even if that isn’t what you want to be, the strength it took to write this may just inspire someone else to be that. Sending a million long distance hugs your way. I know you can survive this.
thanks. for everything.
Thank you for writing this. I find hope and strength in your honesty, transparency and willingness to be vulnerable with all of us (many many of us who have never even met you). Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Much love to you.
I am so proud of you and for so many reasons.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you speaking out.
I admire you!!
Patting you (virtually) on the back right now. Brave, brave, brave.
thank you for this post, jenny.
ironically, a lot of us cancer “survivors” resist that label, because we don’t like the whole war metaphor. we would rather the pink ribbons would melt away so that we can just tell our stories, in their raw messiness, so people would not expect us to be positive and heroic.
to me, a true hero is somebody who tells her story as it is and as it happens. thanks for doing that today.
Thank you, Jenny. Below the surface, there are all kinds of creepy-crawlies. Your standing up and talking about them makes them shrivel in the sunlight. Thank you.
Shit, just realized I screwed my links up. Ah well. Just so you know I’m not a troll, I’ve added them here.
Thank you for posting this. I love reading your crazy a$$ posts and can totally relate to many of them… I feel like I relate to you so much more now. Stay strong.
Yay! Congratulations and I’m so happy for you! I is very difficult to come out of any bout of depression whether you want to admit it or not. I have been depressed and didn’t want to admit it for years. Luckily, I never hurt myself physically; however, I did suffer silently even though I’m sure my loved ones knew something was not right. I applaud you for sharing your victories and your struggles! I wish I could be as honest as you and I wish that the world would support those who suffer as it is real and it’s difficult.
I am thrilled and I pray you will continue on your journey on your terms and not compromised by the hurt and pain that depression fills us with.
Jenny, glad you battled through it. You are a survivor. May there be a sea of silver ribbons — I mean, think of all the people returning from a decade of war, too…will that be the catalyst that forces us to acknowledge the disease here and necessity of support?
Anyway, when my RSD flares up (like now), I have an portable electroshock therapy unit (TENS) to stimulate my nerves so I can still walk, jump, exercise, wear socks (no joke, sometimes the pain is so bad I can’t stand touch at all, even of a soft, light sock). Just the discomfort of the small, pulsing shocks causes me to sigh in an agony of relief from the pounding pain.
Why don’t we have something like this for people in severe depression, like you, who need pain to self-soothe?
You are brave. You are loved. You give so much hope to others living with depression. I am so very grateful you share with others who may see a twinkle of themselves in your and your situation. Jenny, please keep sharing as you can. Sending so much love to you, J-J-Jenny and the Bets. Love you always. xoxoxoxo
This post is amazing. As a fellow survivor, I appreciate your honesty. Thank you.
I never comment here, but I wanted to speak up to say that you are brave and wonderful and you have no reason to be ashamed.
Happy New Year!
I only know you through twitter and your blog. But I love you. And I’m really glad you share the good stuff and the dark stuff. Be well.
Thank you for your honesty and clarity. I just put my silver ribbon on!
Thank you for sharing this. I am battling my own depression and such honesty helps me.
I’m right there with you Jenny, as are so many. We CAN make it through this. Thank you for having the courage to speak up and let us know we’re not alone. *Huge, massive hugs*
The more people that are brave enough to speak out the closer we’ll be. Keep fighting, I’m glad you have the support.
I am the support for someone and its hard, thank you for recognising that. *hugs*
I’ve tried to explain even to myself why self-harming is a way for me to avoid true suicide. I’m not sure I’ve ever come up with an answer, but it is good to remember that I’m not the only one. (I’m at more than six years since my last self harm, but I still ponder suicide every day despite being happier than I ever have.)
Thank you so much for sharing this. I had my fist struggle with depression this year. I am 23 years old and I had no idea why I was feeling so hopeless and alone. At times I felt lie life as I knew it was over because my sadness overwhelmed my life, I couldnt function at work because I kept crying, i couldnt play with my son because all I wanted to do was cry and my hisband was so scared that it was him that was making me sad. Im glad I got through it and Im glad that there are people like you out there that have a bigger voice than I do to share your story. I admire you and appreciate your honesty!
Hurray! Huzzah! You made it! Now, do yourself a favor and join up with this site: http://www.askabipolar.com/
I’m not saying you’ve joined the bipolars of the world (although, my sister does say “my crazy makes me awesome”….she’s the founder), but it helps me when my depression gets the better of me. They also have a FB site, everyone there is awesome. It’s just a suggestion, and they have MANY suggestions for those fighting the fight. Again, hurray! Huzzah! Go you! 🙂
I can’t say much other than , I understand.
I’m always glad for the reminder that I am not alone, that there are other people out there who suffer the same way I do and maybe even in worse ways. Thank you for putting your own struggle into words and sharing and I hope these comments serve as a reminder of your influence and your strength. Keep your head up.
Thanks for sharing your story, I find it heartbreaking that someone that makes me laugh so hard deals with such a struggle. I am happy you are winning the fight.
You have no idea how badly I needed to see this today. Thank you, Jenny Lawson.
I have either 5 words, or 10,000. Seeing as this is a comment form, and not a book or Facebook status, I think I’ll go with, “Thank you for writing this.”
You are ABSOLUTELY still the same person to me. Only better. Braver, more vocal, more … you. Thank you!
Thank you thank you thank you. You put a face on a disorder that very few understand or even recognize as a real health issue. Depression is a motherfucker and it’s often something we fight in private because we fear that we’ll look crazy. I mean, isn’t it just sadness? Can’t you just STOP being sad? If it were that easy then we’d all be Mary Fucking Poppins, all cheery and flying through the air with an umbrella. Well, it doesn’t work like that. So thank you for sharing your disorder and hopefully those who didn’t ‘get’ what depression does to a person will understand it a little better now.
You are the most awesomest! Depression is truly a battle and a war. I’m so glad you fight because, honey, I LOVE reading your stuff. Hope you find love, peace and light.
Jenny, I love you. Period, point blank. As someone above me posted, its a part of you but it doesn’t make you who you are. Thank you for being strong enough to be weak, like everyone else.
You are brave. You are loved. You give so much hope to others living with depression. I am so very grateful you share with others who may see a twinkle of themselves in your and your situation. Jenny, please keep sharing as you can. Sending so much love to you, J-J-Jenny and the Bets. Love you always. xoxoxoxo
I have always admired your writing, your humor and your honesty. I admire you even more now and know that you are strong! I can’t wait for your book to come out!
Thank you. I connect with almost every word you wrote. I hope your struggles become fewer and your happy days far outnumber your sad ones.
Oh I love you even more. Thank you for you.
And if you can do it, then maybe I can too.
What a brave post . . . fight on Jenny. You are amazing, in ways you might not know.
I will look in my craft box. I don’t think I have silver ribbon, but I do have sparkly grey yarn. I will find a way…
Because I’ve survived, too. And I need to remember not just to be happy that someone else is surviving… but that it’s OK to shout and cheer over surviving.
Unless someone steals my food, I don’t cry. I am currently sobbing like a baby, as I have and am suffering from something so similar. It’s a lifelong battle, not just to find peace within ourselves, but to try and justify those moments when peace is the absolute last thing that you’re feeling, if you’re feeling anything at all.
I’m there right now, fighting to claw my way back to the top before I let myself be buried once again. I know my signs, I know my tools, I know my triggers. But I also know what a goddam hard road it is to pull ahead. Reading this today–from you–had given me a little bit more strength. Although internally it feels like it does, life doesn’t stop for depression. You still have to put one foot in front of the other and hope that you don’t fall flat on your ass. However, knowing someone else is taking those same steps can mean the world.
In other words, thank you.
You are the best.
Your bravery is an inspiration to all of us who struggle, in whatever way, in whatever manifestation. I wish you continued progress in your journey. I thank you for your honesty, and I thank for sharing both the humor and struggles in your life. As my mother and I always say, we want to be your new best friends 🙂 I think, after reading this post, that holds true all the more…
Even though we may never meet, I offer my thoughts and support…
We love you Jenny. And we get this. I get this. You are inspiring and wonderful. And if you ever need anything from me/us you know you just have to ask. I just blogged about my year in review – depression included. Thanks to brave bloggers like you I’ve had the guts to say it out loud. Xoxo
I hate to tell you but you are the best the absolute BEST spokesperson for this. You pretty much defy all the stereotypes–the idea that depression is the result of humorlessness or self-pity or people choose it or want it or get something out of it.
It can make a person pretty damn humorless, etc. No one could get sick of me for leaning on them except maybe my husband. I think the best gift I’ve been given is that my relatives are so much worse off–I am the healthy one, relatively speaking. I can’t afford to give up as I’m the only one with the strength to paddle this boat full of debilitated family members from the 10,000 foot waterfall most of the time. Although I might anyway, of course.
It’s so funny because I could have written this post. Exactly TO THE WORD. So apparently there are a lot of us. I was even in remission for almost a year. Until recently. But that might pass soon. I’m hoping this is a glitch and I’ll get back to the remission. You do feel scared it will happen again even if you are in a hiatus for such a long time, as I have been.
Keep on, stay alive as long as you can. And thanks.
I’m proud of you. You are incredibly brave. I’m with you.
You put a smile on my face by sharing this. My partner has depression and social anxiety disorder. It is an every day battle, and there are definite cycles with any of these disorders. I’ve gotten to the point where I recognize his cycles (which helps!)
But it still is never easy watching someone you know go through this. Our automatic response is to help, however, with depression, it’s not going away. It’s always there, always around. The deep low cycles are the ones most noticeable to others, those can’t be hidden.
But it’s always there, in the thoughts, in the head, in the body. It is truly an illness that so many have no idea about so thank you for sharing a bit of you about depression.
I have to read your blog more often.
From one fighter to another…..well said! I often say that if I would go to therapy for my leg, why not for my mind??
I have come a LONG way in 12 years. I have still a lot to go but in the end, I know that you and I will win over the demons of depression and anxiety!
You are not alone!
Somehow? This made the holes I keep tripping into with this pregnancy a little less deep and scary.
I do feel like my depression is something I can talk about online, but not with my real life family and friends. they say it’s ok, but they don’t get it. I am a burden. and I feel it constantly.
As someone in the middle of the darkness right now I find strength in the fact that you survived. Much love to you and all those around you.
You can’t see it, but I’m wearing a silver ribbon.
Oh, and I’ve taken to singing Sheldon’s mom’s “Soft Kitty” to myself. (Big bang Theory) Dang if she wasn’t right that it makes you feel better. 🙂
Jenny – you do what you need to do to take each day as it comes. We’re all rooting for you. Keep making us laugh!
Wow, just wow. I think that’s the most articulate description of battling depression I’ve ever read. You are brave, and amazing, and it’s ok because you are still the same person you were to me when I read about Beyonce. I will be happy to wear a silver ribbon-after many years I am stable, and managed to get through some recent trauma without self harming-haven’t in almost 3 years. I know there will be another battle, but as you so eloquently state, I’ve learned new tricks on old battlefields. I am unashamed to tell people that I spent time in a mental health facility-it saved my life and taught me that like you, I am a survivor.
Keep fighting, friend.
I’m a stranger and everything but I’m damn proud of you. For writing this, for hitting publish, for owning this and working through it and for wanting better and going after it for you.
I needed to read this for so many reasons. Thanks for being strong and brave and generous enough to write and publish. I crossed paths with you earlier on Domestic Mischief and thought your remarks on medication were so sound. Happy, healthy, BEAUTIFUL new year to you!
You are awesome. That is all.
I’m speechless because you’ve been able to write what so many feel unable to put into words or have the courage to say. I applaud you, and I celebrate with you. You are brave, courageous, and wonderful. Thank you, this has helped me.
Keep fighting and never give up!
You are such a strong person.
Depression is a silent bitch that you have slapped in the face.
Much love to you, Mama. Much love.
OMG…I cried when I read this. Cried for you in your silent pain, and cried for me because someone has finally put my struggle into words. Thank you, thank you, thank you – I am happy to hear that you are in therapy and seem to be making good progress. Fighting the depression and loneliness is exhausting. Thank you for having the energy and courage to publish this post.
I come from a long line of women who suffer from debilitating depression. It’s not something that is easily understood-even by the person it’s happening to-and it’s harder still for the friends and family who have to stand guard while you suffer, but it is real and it’s horrible to live with and to witness. In my family we didn’t get on the road to recovery until we stopped hiding it and brought it out into the open where we could all deal with it. Thank you for bringing this out into the light where we can all experience it and begin to learn how to deal with it. It’s a disease that feeds on shame and secrets.
Thank you. For giving a voice to so many who don’t have the skills to voice what they’re feeling. What an amazingly beautiful, snotbubble inducing post. Just….thank you.
Thank you for being a voice for so many. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being brave enough to share this post. Thank you.
Thank you for being brave and speaking out about this. I have suffered with chronic depression since I was a child and though I don’t self-harm I do subscribe to your view on honesty about your condition; to me, speaking about depression is the route to survival. It is unfortuante that a lot of people are still uncomfortable with hearing about depression, I have been told many times to be less vocal about my fight – but still I talk because if I’m honest about the way it makes me feel and the struggles I have fought then my brain can’t tell me I’m weak and my parents can’t tell me depression doesn’t exsist… I’m proud to be a survivor, proud to be a warrior – I will always have depression but I will never stop fighting.
Thank you for this incredible post. I’ve told people that clinical depression is worse than cancer. Few believe me. But it’s true. When I was diagnosed with cancer, people came out of the walls. They nourished me with love. They brought casseroles, they brought flowers, cards and funny movies.
When I was diagnosed with depression years before I had cancer I could barely get up out of the chair in the loft. It was like living in cement and suffering relentless psychic pain. No one handed me a ribbon, held a parade or organized a run in my honor. It was like being null and void.
What I tell people now? These are diseases that can kill. Both can be lethal. Find the right treatment, stick to your plan, and let people love you.
You are the best,
You are amazing. Every time I come to your blog I laugh or cry and sometimes both. I wish that you could always see and believe how amazing you are and how you help fight the darkness for all of us who are sad, afraid, and/or in pain. We’ll hold that belief for you until you’re ready. We’re cheering for you!
Your bravery as you fight this battle not only makes you stronger, it makes all of us stronger, too. You are an inspiration to so many people because have found the courage to use your ONE voice to speak up about what so many face. You have become our silver ribbon of hope.
Sending you gratitude, light and healing.
Wow. Just a few minutes before seeing this I posted on twitter about the pain in the ass depression is. I applaud and thank you for sharing this. Not gonna lie though, I wish there was some kind of help for me. I do have depression but it is so triggered by my home situation (which LONG story, can not be changed) So there’s that.
I am inspired by your awesomeness!
Thank you so much! You have said it so well! No we do not get pats on the back when we come out of the ring, tired and exhausted, but still functioning. You are a wonderful woman! Thank you!
I admire your honesty and bravery. You will beat this. 🙂
Something so hard for you to share makes the struggle of anyone who can relate a little less difficult. Just by letting others know they aren’t alone in their darkness…
Oh sweetie my heart is with you. As I sit here typing through the tears I applaud you for being so brave to tell the world and hopefully the burden will lift a little and at the same time you might reach someone else who feels the same and give them hope. I know depression doesn’t discriminate and even the strongest feel it. I know I have bouts of sadness that threaten to overcome my world sometimes too. It’s hard to climb out.
Please know that any time…any day you can always reach out to me. I’m really a good listener and sometimes it just helps to know there is someone who will listen without judging.
I want you to know how proud I am of you for being brave enough to share this!
God bless you sweet girl and stand proud! Do something nice for yourself and throw yourself a celebration. You deserve it! Big hugs sweetie!!!!
Jenny, thank you. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for making it a bit easier to be okay with a little chemical imbalance. You are fantastic and I couldn’t be more proud of you. Keep up the amazing recovery work and don’t ever stop being incredible. All the love in the world to you girl.
I love you. I’m so glad you made it through. Keep fighting!
It’s ok, honey. You are still the same wonderful, funny, healing, beautiful, creative, intelligent, everything-good-int-the-world person to me today as you were yesterday.
Tomorrow will be .0001% easier simply because you survived today to see it. Depression to me is solid soul-sucking black coated in razor-sharp deceptively-beautiful diamonds luring one into the abyss. I imagine a humongous trampoline at the bottom of that abyss that throws my shocked-self right back up to reality in all its various forms.
That depression wants to BE you. I’m so glad you’re finding more and more ways to beat it back, to become and remain victorious, to be YOU.
Fuck depression. Fuck self-harming, too. Fwiw, next time you need to control the inner pain with outer pain, try outer PLEASURE. Not as instant or immediate or inner-attention-grabbing, but imagine how soft the silk on the edges of a baby blanket are when rubbed across your cheek. Crap like that might work to negate the need for pain, and bring on the embrace of pleasure?
I want to say a million pretty things to you because of that post but I’m at a loss of words. That was beautiful and true and more things that I can’t properly comprehend right now. Thank you.
It’s okay. You’re still the same person to me, except now I’m sending you even more love and support. Thank you for speaking out and being the voice for those who feel voiceless. <3
I love you when you’re funny, but when you’re raw and honest like this, I love you even more. You’ve inspired me more than you’ll ever know.
Thank you for posting this. Truly.
Thank you for having the courage to talk about this. It helps all of us. I wish I could give you a big hug. Armed with a pitchfork to help you with the fight.
I wish I could just ask for help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting into words what I apparently can’t. As I commented on another post of yours recently, you have no idea how much your honesty about your struggles has helped me the past year. You are a blessing and a fighter — you will win.
You really are a kick-ass woman. Fuck that inside bitch up who’s trying to tell you otherwise.
I am tremendously proud of you. Someone I love dearly suffers from depression and I know how awful the battle can be. Keep your head up, keep doing what you’re doing, and remember your Monty Python; Always look on the bright side of life.
I’m not sure you are the same person to me – after sharing your story and having the courage to heal – you are even more amazing to me.
Wow, very powerful. I’m impressed you can be so honest with yourself.
thank you…… thank you….. thank you….
for the words I feel but cannot express….. as someone who has hurt herself since she was 11 but still cannot explain why to people without them thinking she’s daft / emo / looking for attention (at least in my head)
you make me laugh and cry….. like life and we all love you for it!
I’ve had my dose upped and I’m beginning to see a light….. that’s not a train….
We can ALL win
I am so glad you wrote this, sorry you too are going through it, but it makes me feel better knowing there are others out there and that I am not the only one. I had to take 4 months off of work due to depression and GAD, just went back Dec. 1. In therapy and on meds. I am proud of you for coming out and thank you.
I love you.
That’s the first thing that went through my mind as I read this. I love you, despite that I’ve never met you, will probably never meet you, and hell, will probably never be more than a faceless fan.
But you are brave and funny and talented and honest, and the fact that you can be so amazing and lovely going through all this shit makes me feel a little bit better when I have to go through the same shit. It makes me feel like maybe someday I could be as fantastic as you.
And I don’t know if it will help you (and I swear I’m not trying to be patronizing, just suggesting something that legitimately helps me), but maybe use sharpies instead? I’ve gotten to the point where that’s what I do when I…need the marks. When I need to ruin myself, because something’s gotta give.
You are an incredible writer and an incredible person. But to be perfectly honest, you’re not the same person to me. You’re something better.
I’m glad you’re getting better, Jenny.
I have a friend who has anxiety, and she blogs about it. I’ve never heard anyone explain what it was like until she did, and it opened my eyes to what a family member has been dealing with. Those of us who don’t suffer from it directly need to hear your stories, so thank you.
Way to go, Jenny! You have done something that is so brave and for that I applaud you! So many people have been there and are there right now. By speaking out about it, you make those of us who understand the struggle, feel as though we have a voice. Thank you!
I’ve never posted here before, but I just wanted to say both well done, and thank you.
I am proud of you. And I thank you.
Me too sweetie. Silver ribbons it is! Wish I were as creative as you, but I take my photos and cook fabulous meals sometimes and the kids are OK. I’m 72 and it does get much much better, maybe because the girl bits quit trying to kill us, but we still tend to hide the scars….it’s part of the hero thing. I’m kind of proud to be a superhero. Grandma in the Bone Comics. When I was 62 I had a tattoo of feathers – wings to fly with – and I never look back.
I won’t judge you! I’ll just love you instead.
Silver ribbon campaign! YES. I would proudly wear one in support of the struggle I and many of my friends have gone through and survived. I struggle a lot with the depression and anxiety… I broke myself of actual self-harm a few years ago when I realized that my son was old enough to question how I got the cuts. That was a wake up call for me for sure. But believe me, there are days its so very tempting to revert, even though its been 5 years.
Each day you have to challenge yourself to not let things get that out of hand. As someone whose been in a place similar to where you are now, it does get better if you make the effort. It won’t be easy, but the rewards are worth it in the end. I have the scars to prove how far down I’ve been, and I use those scars as a reminder that I survived and I will keep surviving. Music and writing have become my outlets for pain management instead of cutting.
You can do this Jenny. I have faith in you.
Thank you so much for your bravery and strength. I know it doesn’t always feel like that but I’m starting to think that bravery feels more like shit than it does some magical, happy time. I’ve struggled with depression my whole life and have also recently emerged from several months of a really bad time and I feel this exact same way. Thank you for saying what I feel like I can’t. You are amazing and I feel stronger knowing you are out there being exactly just who you are.
Thank you so much. Thank you for being honest with yourself and sharing your strength. Every time I read your posts, I find more reasons to fight my own demons. Thank you for showing me we can make it in this world.
I almost never comment, but I hope I’ll one day be able to return some of that strength to you.
Please take care. You have got to be one of the loveliest person I know of.
You are incredible and brave. I bet there are so many being helped right mow just by reading this.
So often I read your blog quiety, not commenting because so many folks say what I would have. Not this time, this time I’m standing here applauding you!!!!
“Judge me or not, I am the same person I was before. And so are you”
Fantastic line, it’s so true that our fear of judgement holds us back, by living out loud…even in the tough times we can find support where we least expect it.
I have found that talking and admitting helps to heal better than anything else. That and time. And yes, each time we pick ourselves up off the floor we are stronger. Give yourself a mental hug. You deserve it!
Thank you for making me feel not alone or ashamed.
Amazing. Thank you. I recently admitted my depression online and it was really, really scary. I’m self-employed and my internet persona/audience are essential to not only my mental wellbeing (from a social standpoint), but to my income as well. My depression is under control for the most part, and I’m fearful of being defined by my illness, but it is so freeing to admit the struggle and celebrate the triumph over our own suffering. I applaud your courage.
You are so strong Jenny. <3 We all love you. You are also very lucky, and I dont mean to pull a pity card on myself but you have such an amazing family and support system. I have just recently started to have anxiety and most likely depression at times. I self inflect in other ways. I just wish I knew of a place to go to where I could get the help that I need, but I have no money. If you know of any hotlines or anything it would be wonderful for you to post them. But whats even more wonderful, just reading your blog and knowing that if you get through it. We can all get through it. <3
Wow, @maureenjohnson recommended your blog. She was right. Amazing, keep fighting. I can only hope that someday my blog is found to be such an inspiration. Just know we are all here, and listening
A beautiful post written by a strong lady; inspiration to us all. Congratulations to you for your honesty; I deal with depression, anxiety and yes, even self-harm issues to. You are not alone. I read your blog a lot and I had no idea – you bring me so much laughter, you even bring me out of my own crap sometimes!
Maybe we should think of these ups and downs as a crazy sort of blessing; obviously, throughout history, many strong women & men who impact society in an incredible way have dealt with these sorts of issues…is it because we were made to be so successful that we fall so hard? Who knows. I am a beautiful singer, the Mom of an autistic child, a Mommy Blogger trying to make a difference. And I am Bipolar with self-harm tendencies. Sometimes I try to embrace who I am as just that…who I am. I hate it sometimes, but when I think of all the good I can bring to the world, I think maybe it’s worth it, like it’s some kind of prerequisite to being AWESOME.
Because that’s what we are. Awesome. And don’t you forget it 😉
Thanks for all your humor, lady–Beyonce changed my life 😉
that is wonderful news. (even as I type it – it looks insincere, but it is totally.) I’m in the throws of one now. Worst one yet also. I can’t wait to feel the RELIEF. I know exactly what you are talking about. Relief….. 🙂 I’m thrilled you have some. I will soon… I just keep telling myself that. (the drugs help too 🙂
Kristen – huge fan. aka: alsfm
Thank you. For posting this, for ‘shouting out’, for making me feel less ashamed of being proud of myself for surviving. I’m an anxiety and Bipolar sufferer, not medicated for 9 months due to loss of a job and insurance. That’s changing starting now, with insurance in my pocket again (thank you to liberal insurances that allow domestic partnership clauses even between hetero couples that don’t want to marry). But the last year has been horrendous, and people have left, quit contacting me, just stopped being there- and I feel more alone than ever before.
But you made me realize i’m not with this post. That someone understands the deep and horrible self loathing, the battle for every single day. And that it *IS* okay to be proud that though I’ve suffered through horrible things that aren’t always fully in my control, I have survived them without completely losing my mind, health, and myself.
Wishing for the best for you, and all the other MI sufferers out there, this year. Thank you, Jenny, for being courageous, your wonderful self, and reminding me that I’m not alone.
Thank you for sharing this. On my first tattoo I added a grey-ish ribbon and I never really knew why. It’s kind of a “choose your own” type of thing (and it’s a super ugly tattoo all these years later but the ribbon held up) and I will think of this very thing. I struggle, too, but am no where near ready to share like you do. Thank you for the nudge. Thinking of you.
I so clearly remember the day i put down the razor blade (and went and got a tattoo instead. If there be scars, let them be the vibrant marks of the battles we have fought and won.).
Every day is a victory.
Wow! you are so brave to open up and share this. I’m glad you did. Sometimes all you need to know is that there are people who care. My depression is very mild. There are days I just want to run and hide away from the world. The self loathing is the worst. You are a survivor and you have given me hope to continue. Love always.
Thank you for sharing, and for fighting the battle with the rest of us. 🙂
I was crying as I read this, and I’m still crying as I try to figure out how to say just how badly I needed to read this today. I’m in my own spiral right now, and I feel like the more I kick and scream the less effect I have. If I keep up the funny I’ll trick them all and then I’ll trick myself too! I’ve been keeping everyone away, because it’s easier for me, I don’t want them to worry or worse, pity me. But you reminded me I haven’t ever been able to do this alone, and I’m not alone. Thank you for reminding me I can use my voice and the lies have no power.
Jenny, I admire you because you’re so strong, and you’re strong because you’re honest. Your courage to post this isn’t surprising, but it is reassuring.
Here is to day 4. You can do it, Jenny. We’ll be here to cheer you on.
Proud of you and your victories. Depression and anxiety are lonely fights. I know bc I’ve been dealing with an anxiety disorder for more than 25 years and despite therapy and drugs I still feel like it will always define me, will never really ‘go away’. Keep on keeping on, you are an inspiration.
Sing your battle songs, warrior princess. One of the happiest days of my life was the day my niece proudly informed me she didn’t feel she needed to cut herself anymore. I sabotage myself in other ways, mostly financially (stealing from my mom? who forgave me and understood?), so believe me, I understand where you come from. We’re with you all the way. You Can Do This.
Bravo for your courage and your victory. I would wear the silver ribbon for you, for myself, and for everyone else suffering from these crippling disorders.
I don’t know you (this is my 1st time to your blog), but I DO know your situation because I have been there. I know how dark and frightening that place is. I’m terrified of going back there and that keeps me honest about where my head is.
I don’t know you. But I know how brave and strong you are! And I am so proud of you for writing this and putting it out there on your blog. It’s not something I could have done when I was in that dark place.
You aren’t alone, not ever. So many ppl understand what you are going through. Keep going! You can do this!
This made me want to sing out. I too battle depression and it is a battle. Everyday.
I absolutely love this post. You seemed to sum up how I feel about it, how it affects my daughters.
Depression is such a bitch. But it feels good when you slap that girl back in her place!
Those of us with depression tend to self-hurt in one way or another. Some are more immediate and “scary,” others are slow and methodical sabotages. The great @SecretAgentL recently said, “I guess I’ll go eat my feelings.” Indeed. You’re spot on about the impulse control, and I wish you all the ability in the world to find a way to distract yourself and successfully redirect your actions. It’s only been as a married woman that I’ve come to begin to understand how hard it is for our loved ones to watch us self-harm. No method is “better” than any other—each method is our personal weapon of choice, and each method renders damages larger and small. Celebrate the small victories. It is the little successes that lead up to major changes. Love to you, best wishes, and silver ribbons.
I “get” it, fully and completely…I suffer from chronic depression and anxiety as well…I’m highly medicated but still, at times, the depression creeps up on me anyway…I have only recently come out about it to the strangers on here and FB…It feels good to get it out and to know others KNOW what you’re going through…Big Hugs!
You are amazing and brave
You are an even more amazing and beautiful woman for being able to admit this.
We love you as you are! You don’t need to be anything more than you–beautiful, imperfect, awesome you. Keep going, and let us help you shout. We’ve got your back!!
I love you so much. I don’t suffer from depression or really even know anyone that suffers, but I know it is a huge problem. You telling your truth will help so many. I’m praying for you and so many others.
Your honesty and bravery are amazing. You’re a great example of strength and courage. You’re my hero. Thank you for being the incredible person you are.
Hang in there.
Thank you for your post.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I could never write those words enough, Jenny.
You go, girl! It is so important to erase the stigma of mental illness. My sister suffered in secret. Everybody either has one or knows someone who does – we just need to be open and honest about it. Thank you for taking a big step.
You continue to be you – uniquely Jenny, the Bloggess, Mom, wife, daughter, survivor. And that is awesome.
I celebrate you. I have fought and have been fighting this battle for 6 years. It is a battle that is ongoing but we can beat it, even in small victories!
I just want to let you know that you are an amazing woman, wife, mom. Sometimes when you are in the middle of depression it’s hard to hear positives about yourself, but please know that you have so many fans, supporters and friends here for you. I completely understand what you are going through and if I could, I’d fly down and stick a metal chicken in front of your door. One with a sign that says, “YOU are fucking awesomesauce.” I would have the chicken say it to you, but as we all know, giant metal chickens can’t talk. Which sucks, I know, but please don’t get depressed about that, he’s supposed to cheer you up. Maybe it’s a good thing TSA won’t let me on a plane with a giant metal chicken.
You are strong for just writing this. Go you for doing this. I think that the strongest people are those who admit their weaknesses. I don’t see you any differently than I did yesterday. I see a strong capable woman who is handling something that could have crippled you. So you have my undying respect for that and for posting it. I read your blog every time it comes out. It makes me laugh. It cheers me up if I’m having a bad day and it makes me think. So thank you and keep up the good work and I think I’ve mentioned it before but I will be buying your book when it comes out.
You can’t hear me, but I’m applauding you.
In my heart and in my soul.
Big. Big. Love.
From one battle-scarred survivor to another, let’s shout long and loud for each other. I just wrote an article about the scars I carry on my arms – remnants of high school days and self-abuse caused in part by a reaction to physical abuse from my father. The scars will never go away, and I used to hide them. I no longer cover them up. They are a reminder that I am a survivor and above all else I am better than he ever was or ever will be. I have never treated my child the way he did, and she is now 18–a proud and happy young woman who knows that her mother loves her.
Proud of you, Jenny. I had no idea how much my depression was messing with my head until I dragged myself sobbing into treatment. I suffered for 20 years and not a single person noticed or tried to help me. Now I’m a little more…myself, and it’s such a revelation! I wish I’d had more people like you to share their own stories because I felt so alone and I’m sure many others do right now, too. Your story, and your commenters’ stories, help everyone. Virtual hugs to you all!
you are awesome & so brave. staying out of the dark, whatever form your dark takes, is the hardest thing i can imagine, because it is invisible, and sometimes people just don’t want to admit it exists. i don’t know you, but i am SO PROUD. big hugs.
You are so brave and beautiful. I’m a rape survivor. I used to cut myself. Never enough to seriously injure, just enough to feel the pain and remind myself that I was still alive. I understand.
Why don’t we have special-colored ribbons, or those nasty rubberized bracelets, or telethons for depression? I suffered from depression for years. When I told my law firm partners that I was being treated for depression, they told me that I should keep it secret ad to tell people that I was deferring my partnership because of my divorce, not because of my depression. I was flabbergasted. Depression is a chemical imbalance, no different than diabetes, so why must those suffering from it have the added weight of shame? For me, birth control pills were the cause of my imbalance. Now that I am off them, the sadness and hopelessness is much more infrequent and lasts for a few hours at most, but still brings back the fear of “what if it doesn’t go away this time.” But I had to find this out on my own because there is no Susan G. Komen Foundation or LiveStrong for depression. (And really, isn’t LiveStrong a much better motto for depression than cancer? How dare they take our phrase.) The information is out there for sufferers of depression but you have to hunt for it, the same way you have to crawl out of the sadness & hopelessness, as if the information is kept secret the same way we feel we have to keep our disease. It shouldn’t have to be so hard. I still remember being little and hearing my mother and her friends discussing the illness of another lady in their group and how they whispered “she has the cancer.” No one whispers cancer anymore. I would love to see in my lifetime the social change where we don’t whisper “depression” anymore.
So where do I sign up to help make the silver ribbons, organize the national televised concert, whatever is needed to bring depression out in the open and take the shame away?
thank you for sharing your story and being willing to put your truth out there for us. We applaud your bravery, your success, and your willingness to share.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am not as brave as you.
It’s amazing how someone you’ve never met can speak the words inside your own head. I’m thankful that my medication helps me, but dislike the days when I’m so frazzled I can’t find my medication… and that I’m in charge of people. I’m the frickin’ boss, and there’s no room for me to say, “Sorry guys, I’m depressed today, I can’t deal with your bullshit.” If I had some other illness, maybe.
A [somewhat] happy story– my mother’s pastor is suffering from depression and rather than go on pretending, he told the congregation and is on a leave of absence. I went with her to Christmas Eve services and saw him there, and it made me love her church even more to see every single congregant tell LP that they had been praying for him, could they bring food for him and his family, and give him a hug or a handshake. To see that sort of support… it makes you realize that people are capable of understanding, capable of supporting, and capable of loving anyone who has the same problem.
Thank you for this post. I suffer from depression. I am wracked full of anxiety so much so that I never want to leave the house. I take my meds to help me function (i.e. keep my job). And I sleep to hide from the world. I’m in my forties. I’m single. I’m alone. I’m tired. But I will keep pushing on.
You are wonderfully courageous. Your candor is amazing to me. I hope you continue to find ways to fight the fight, and know we are thinking of you.
Brava Jenny. Fight on. You are courageous. And on top of it all. Beyonce is on your side. 🙂
Plain and simple, you are my hero for putting this out there. It is so hard to struggle and suffer in silence and feel as if you can’t share your troubles. I respect you immensely for having the courage and compassion it takes to want to help others through your own story. YOU ROCK!!! Thank you Jenny.
I’ve dealt with depression since the last year of college (the year Bonfire fell at Texas A&M…I’ve often wondered if they’re connected somehow). My last bout was this summer and it was my absolute worst. I spent the majority of the summer sleeping, avoiding people and hating my life. My lowest point was when I told Ryan that I wanted to leave him and our beautiful daughter and never look back and the only things keeping me from doing it was 1) knowing my mom would never forgive me, 2) I had no money and nowhere to go and 3) I didn’t want our daughter to grow up knowing her mother gave up on her.
I hate that there is such a stigma around mental illness that I talk about mine all the time as if I suffer from diabetes or psoriasis. There is no shame, there is no fear, this is me, this is what I deal with, take me for what I am or don’t take me at all. When I finally emerged (that’s what it felt like, being held underwater), it felt glorious. I guess I’m different in that I don’t fear triggers setting me back into the depression…the only thing I worry about is the return of the summer…the heat…the monotony of the days…the cabin fever. Hopefully this coming summer will be different because my daughter and I will be staying with my parents.
Fight on, Bloggess, my sister in pain. I know where you come from. Keep speaking out. Lets teach our daughters that seeking out help isn’t weakness, it’s bravery. Fight on.
I really hope all these wonderful and supportive comments make you feel more hopeful about the world!
Thank you for writing this post. I’ve been fighting depression for four years now, and went through the depths of hell to get where I am now. I survived (and so did my mother, who suffered from borderline), but there was no-one to congratulate me when I did. I find solace in this post knowing that I’m not alone.
Keep fighting. And I will support you 🙂
By the time I hit post, there will be another 100 replies telling you how awesome and brave you are. I doubt you or anyone else will get this far down the page, but add my love and encouragement to the rest.
I’ve never replied to your blog before. But I want and need to say thank you for writing this. I’m struggling with this myself right now. Thank you. Keep going.
i heard one time a story about men who battled way back in like the stone age or something, and when they came through a fight alive, their fellow “battle mate” (?) would say three simple words to express the bravery he faced in the field, “thee thee thee.” This story may be totally made up from the person who one time told it to me, but i always use those three words when someone does something that completely inspires me. So, to you, Thee, Thee, Thee.
I am stunned by your transparency, and inspired by your bravery. Holy awesomesauce, Batman!
I just fought my way out of one of the nastiest bouts of depression I’ve had in quite a while. While I don’t self harm, I certainly understand and empathize with those who do.
Hats off, sister.
you are awesome.
thank you. and i love you. we all self harm. all of us. some drink, some use narcotics. some cut. some eat. but we all use something… ANYTHING… to make the pain go away. we are all here for you. we all love you. and it does get better
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. As someone who understands, thank you for being a voice for those of us who sometimes get swallowed by the darkness, and pray that we’ll come out on the other side.
Wow, thank you for this, you are a fabulous example of what people can achieve whilst dealing with something like this on a daily basis, I think it’s amazing that you can be so honest about it, you should be very proud of yourself 🙂
jenny, i’d like to say that you’re still the same person to me, but the truth is, i’m even more impressed with you. you fight this battle in a way i’m thankful i don’t have to deal with, and you’re resilient and courageous and willing to be honest so that others can draw strength from your weakness. you’re giving the finger to the cultural stigmas and encouraging others to do the same. that’s really freaking awesome. and i’m sorry, but i can’t look at you the same way after knowing it.
i am one of the people who doesn’t understand self-harm, but i’m thankful for people like you, who are willing to just be totally you, making us all love you, and give a small window into why it happens, so hopefully we can be an encouragement to you and those in our lives for whom this is their battle, and this is their survival.
sign me up for a silver ribbon.
[sorry there’s no funny or snark in this comment. i feel kinda weird being gushy and positive on your blog. raincheck?]
Thank you for showing me that someone else really does understand. I WANT to be happy. And I’m really trying, but sometimes it’s just hard.
I live where you live every day. I fight every day and it makes me very, very tired. I do not self-harm, but I do harm the people I love by not being able to engage in their lives – OUR lives – on a regular basis. I worry that someday my gorgeous children will look back on their childhood and think “what if….”. What if mom was healthier. What if she were more like the good times and not the bad. What if the doctors could figure out the right combination of drugs and therapy so she could live her life with us.
Jenny, your honesty makes it a little less painful – I’m not out here alone.
Thanks for sharing and making yourself vulnerable – there will be many, including myself, who understand and appreciate your courage.
I also have a daughter (now 18) who has seen me during some completely defeated times – she doesn’t understand it but has been an incredible bright spot always. She thankfully doesn’t suffer from this and I pray it stays that way. I wish the same for you – from what you’ve shared you are an awesome, fun, loving Mom and she will remember that.
My best to you always,
Every time one of us shares our secret battle with depression and similar issues, there becomes less reason to hide anything. It is tough to do, and there is still a stigma here in 2012. You have inspired me to be even more honest about my battle- even though I have already shared a lot on my blog. I still hold things back. There’s no reason to do that. All of this is medical–an illness like any other that needs to be treated and talked about. Much love to you today and every day. Thanks for being so honest.
Thanks for your honesty! I struggle sometimes too. I think I know what you mean when you say you self-sooth. Your honesty reminds me that I am not alone in those dark hours, days, weeks…other people battle these dark demons. We are survivors!
As someone who struggles with bipolar, anxiety, and ocd, I can honestly say, thank you. Thank you for writing this and saying what so many of us can’t say. It’s so hard to not feel ashamed when you feel like such a loser for sleeping all day because you can’t bear to get dressed much less shower and put on makeup. It’s so hard not to feel ashamed when you look around your house and you see piles of dishes, laundry and things just lieing there and no energy to change it. And it’s hard not to feel ashamed when others that don’t understand tell you to just take things one thing at a time, and not to worry, you can do all those things and more if you just put your mind to it.
You aren’t alone, Jenny. I don’t see you as anyone different than you are, more importantly, I see you as someone who is brave. We are warriors, together.
We love you!!!!
Thank you, Jenny.
You’re such an inspiration, and knowing that there’s someone out there, someone so successful and funny and vibrant with a family and a crazy Halloween dollhouse and who speaks at events that scare her, even while suffering – that gives me hope for myself. My problems are relatively mild, but they never feel like that at the time, do they?!
Again, thanks for sharing.
Thank you for your openness and honesty. It gives me hope.
It takes so much courage and strength to post something this deeply intimate. I come from a long line of depression-sufferers from my alcoholic grandfather to my sister who has never felt completely comfortable with herself. I have battled depression & anxiety too, although mine mostly comes in short bursts, I did have a period of time where I was in deep, so to speak. I don’t think I would ever have the balls to come out on my blog and say any of that. But you have given me a small bit of courage by leaving a comment here. Thanks for that. And you have a new subscriber.
Thank you for sharing. You speak for many that can’t find their voice. When you put somethinig out on the table and in front of a loving audience, you no longer hide it and in no longer hiding something, you no longer have to hide a secret, and when you don’t have to hide a secret, ,you can release any shame associated with it because it is no longer a secret. I will wear silver in honor of you and me and all the others.
Three days is awesome. And quite a long time. In the fruit fly world, three days is EPIC. Just take it one fruit fly lifespan at a time. That’s the best anyone can do.
Thank you for your honesty. The fact that someone struggling so much can bring as much joy, laughter and light to the world as you shows just how hard you are fighting. This world wouldn’t be complete without you and I wish you full and complete healing!
good for you. i am happy that you have come out from under the blanket. again. and i’m sure it’s terribly numbing for you… unbearable is not the right word, but when nothing matters..it’s all bearable… but I must say.. I often read your site…. and your humor and outlook is soooo off. Seriously.. your take on things is so fucking wrong … which makes it amazing. Truly. Amazing, and funny, and disturbing and hilarious and icky and questionable and ridiculously fucking TRUE. And that’s you. And it’s awesome. So I applaud you. And your depression. And your family. Because..honestly…without the shackles of that…your outlook on life would not be what it is.. and we need you.. we need people who spend hundreds of dollars on a metal chicken for a few seconds of hilarity. At least I do… It helps me to know that I’m not the only one who thinks ” 1,,2,3, red, left, origin, penis, 9, circle, cookie…” when asked to count to 10….. So again…thanks for being you.. and for putting it out there…
Wishing you nothing but the best in 2012… you are inspirational.
Thank you for pouring your heart out in this post. As the wife and mother of someone who suffers too, I can just imagine how heavy this felt for you. I hope that publishing this lifted some weight from your shoulders.
I can’t even tell you the significance of this post for me. I found out last week my 13 year old daughter has been cutting. Of course, I flipped and was on the phone with a therapist before she finished her sentence.
Thank you for giving me perspective and hope.
A year ago I was ready to die. I wanted to die and tried between self harm. But I loved my son and my husband enough to force myself to go to the doctor and tell him I wanted to die. I found that strength in part because a girl I knew did kill herself.
2 weeks after my son was born.
2011 was a year of hell for me. Crawling out of that pit and out of the habit it had become. This blog which I discovered around the time my therapy started was a huge help. It encouraged me to blog again and to speak and to grow. Reading this blog I didn’t feel alone, and i could laugh. So I want to say thank you Jenny, your blog helped save me and my family.
I don’t know you, but I do know what you’re talking about. So I want to pat you on the back, and give you hugs. We suffer in silence far too often.
This was a great post, and I will cherish it. Thank you <3
Jenny I love you so much! You are a survivor! And you’ve been a strong influence in making me a survivor too. I literally once brought up being “furiously happy” to my therapist and she says it was a great prescription. Thank you!
After depression attacks you where you’re weak, it tries to destroy you where you’re strong. It lies to you, tells you CAN’T when you actually CAN, tells you GIVE UP when you TRY, tells you NUMB when you FEEL, and tries to confuse you into not being able to tell the difference. And I really only know this through trying to help loved ones who suffer from it. You’re not alone, and there’s no shame in taking back your life, piece by piece, even if you think no one can see how far you’ve come. Keep on winning.
As a woman who sometimes thinks and does all of these things, I thank you for being brave and saying everything out loud so I can relate and feel less crazy.
As a mother of two & teacher of teens, I thank you for painting a painfully necessary picture and giving a voice to others who are confused & suffering.
Beautiful, you. <3
I am so very proud of you! 3 days is a million years worth of challenges when you are fighting the battle! And I thank you for sharing. I am honored that you are brave enough to fight the fight and tell the world at the same time. The stigma of mental illness is a strong one to fight when you are not in the midst of a battle, but in remission. I understand the fear that comes with being happy and waiting for that other shoe to drop. As someone who battles bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia, I thank you for your honesty. And more importantly, I thank you for your bravery! Thank you, Jenny. I am proud!
I admire your strength and courage. Depression is a mean bitch. Thank you for posting so others know they are not alone.
You are the exact same slightly broken, beautiful person you were yesterday. I was a cutter when I was younger, so I feel your pain (literally! :D). Now I wear my scars proudly, to remind myself not to give in again. I have a son to take care of, and I would hate for him to see new scars show up when to him I am still kinda perfect. 🙂
Jenny I am just so damn glad that you’re still here to post this. I am proud of you and admire your honesty, strength, and resilience. Keep on keeping on and know that we love you.
This is amazing and I can’t thank you enough for saying this. You are right. Those of us who suffer from depression and anxiety don’t get pats on the back for fighting our way through these debilitating periods of darkness, doubt, fear, and sorrow. It can drive family and friends away who don’t understand how this unseen illness is in fact, very real.
You are not alone. I too am a self-harmer. Like you said, not enough to be put in an institution and I am on medication and see a therapist. In a twisted way it is soothing to have your mind focus on the external, “seeable” hurt. It makes sense to externalize the internal pain. And it sucks. But you keep fighting the good fight, as I do.
And I know you fear Hailey realizing parts of you that you wish weren’t there. Like you, I am struggling to beat this hurting into submission before my kid (6 yo) becomes old enough to understand, but if I can’t, if I slip up, I’ll have to be gentle with myself and forgive myself. My shrink told me that it’s okay for my son to see me cry once in a while because it is an opportunity for him to learn compassion.
Also, my son (and your Hailey) will have the freedom to know that they can express their emotions freely and not be judged. While most of my emotions form childhood were brushed off as “drama queen” antics, when my son said last night that he just felt black inside and needed to cry, I held him and patted his back. By bringing this out into the light, you are giving it less of a hold on you and giving hope to anyone out there who might be hiding in the dark, too afraid to do anything.
If you know Aunt Becky, from Mommy Wants Vodka, I’m sure she’d love if you would allow us to cross post this on Band Back Together’s website. I’m an editor with the Band and I’m so happy for you and proud of you for writing this.
Hugs times 1.5 million!
Bloggess, you are my goddess. I wish everyone could be as honest as you about these things. rock on!
congratulations for having the strength to fight it, win and write about it. You’re honest and human and that makes me like you even more. Kia Kaha… stay strong
I may not share your struggle, but I can understand it. My brother is bi-polar and his version of self harm was to turn to alcohol and other…addictive substances. It’s taken a lot of work on his part, but he is overcoming it. So much so that he is going to be a husband and a father soon. Both of these are things he never thought he would be able to do. i have shared your blog with him in hopes that he finds another person who will understand his pain, and at the very least, he can read about it. So thank you, for being a genuine voice to people like my brother. People who feel as if no one understands them, even though they aren’t alone.
Crikey this came along at just the right time. I’ve just been through 4 weeks of hell with my son, and have learnt so much about Mixed Anxiety and Depression in that time. As a supporter/picker upper/ mum it feels like running a marathon, with no end in sight, and watching the person next to you slowly disintegrate and you can’t stop it.
We’re on track now with a medication that seems to be helping, and we’ve recognised a trigger, which we only just figured out. I’ve taken a month of work to try to simply “be” with him. And the horror of walking in to your son’s room every morning to check he’s still breathing is simply so hard to explain to anyone else. People saw him right before the trigger hit us, and he was so…normal. And so they can’t understand the speed of the descent and consequences.
Thank you so much for this post. It’s giving me something to relate to.
Just the fact that you had the strength to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be) to be frighteningly, baldly, blatently honest about your illness screams volumes. Depression is a fucking bitch. I hate her so much. If I could find a way to kill her for you, for me, and for the countless others who suffer in silence for fear of ridicule, I would. I would be a champion for all of us. Of course, as long as I have the mental and physical strength to do it, which isn’t often
i will wear my silver ribbon with pride…i know i don’t walk on this journey alone, there are many of us. Thank you for sharing this with those that know and those that don’t. journey on…we do not suffer alone
I don’t see you as the same person, knowing the silent battle you’re fighting. My respect for you grows, knowing how much harder you have to fight to be the wonderful, lovable, creative person you are.
I struggle with depression, too. I know how hard it is just to appear “normal” most of the time, and I get so tired of people who take that effort for granted. I had to drop a friend in 2011 who didn’t understand how much work I was putting into just going through the motions, who demanded so much more than what I could give. Her girlfriend called me lazy and manipulative for daring to reveal that everyday things weren’t always easy for me, while my (now-ex-)friend stood by and waited for me to get over myself and put forth energy I didn’t have.
On the upside, my fury at her callousness gave me something to be angry at besides myself. I wouldn’t recommend it as a traditional treatment for depression, but it got me through that bout.
The experience taught me that I don’t need people in my life who don’t understand and don’t care to learn what I’m going through. Luckily, I know a lot more people who DO understand, and who will support me instead of kicking me when I’m down. Most of them have been through the same experience, or have known others going through the same struggle.
It helps when there’s more information out there, more people who know or are willing to learn what this entails. The more people who understand, the less you have to lean on any one of them for long. And the less effort you have to spend on those who are too selfish or ignorant to understand.
You are a strong, beautiful and inspiring person. Thank you for this, thank you for being the person you are.
Oh Jenny. We love you and we would never judge. Keep fighting. You’re doing a hell of a job. I’m so proud of you for making it 3 days. Here’s to 3 more. And the 3 more after that… and the 3 more after that, forever and ever.
I admire your courage for being so willing to share, even if it was temporarily delayed. I hope others who struggle read this and are comforted that they aren’t alone, because it’s one of the worst feelings to feel like no one knows how this feels and you will never have peace and love (even if you “logically” know that’s not true).
I have major depression–have for most of my life–and I am not ashamed and you shouldn’t be either! When I was 14 I watched my mother slowly crumble in front of me and end up hospitalized for months. Nobody talked about it before, during, or after. She came home and we all picked right up where we left off. Except that we didn’t. She wasn’t the same, and neither was I. Our relationship suffered irrevocably. Now she’s 82 and I’m 43 and I’m suddenly involved in her medical care due to major surgeries she’s had. I’ve tried and tried and tried until I have no breath left in my lungs to speak with her doctors and nurses about her history of mental illness and the importance of keeping on top of it during her physical illness, because, as we know, the physical and the mental work together, and if one of them goes down the other will soon follow. And every single time I’ve brought it up, the voices drop and the walls go up. “But then we’ll have to bring in Psyche,” they say gravely, as if I’m asking them for an involuntary commitment. “Then go ahead and bring in Psyche!” I say, out loud and without shame. “She’s falling back into depression and then we’ll all be screwed, especially her!” I have so far gotten nowhere because the topic is taboo. Take care of this now. Get it out there. Tell people that you suffer from major depression, that it is NOT just a little bit of the blues, and that it does NOT mean you’re crazy or dangerous. It’s just a condition you have, like diabetes or high blood pressure. It’s manageable with the right treatment and the right support system. Do NOT be ashamed in front of your daughter. It might scare her, but not knowing the truth will scare her more. Be honest. Be open. Be brave. And fuck anybody who can’t handle it. I love you and I understand.
You are brave and strong and my respect for you grows with every post.
Thank you, from another survivor looking for the light in the darkness. Your openness about your struggle has given me (and countless others I’m sure) hope to keep going. That was all I needed, and EVERYTHING I needed, right now for this moment, and I didn’t even know it until I read your words. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, but that doesn’t matter, because you helped save someone else today by simply being human. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing this. I agree that being honest and sharing helps with the healing-at least, I know it did for me. I haven’t hurt myself in more than six years, and while I know it’s hard and everyone is different, you write with the kind of self-awareness I didn’t have until I was ready/able to stop. I don’t doubt you’ll be counting your days in weeks soon, then months, then years.
I have fought this battle. I’ve felt these feelings. I’ve scraped the razor across my skin because it hurt less than what I felt inside. It destroyed my marriage and it almost destroyed me. Now I’ve rebuilt but I still live in fear that it will happen again. I panic at the thought of it happening again. Thank you so much for sharing.
I guess this is timely because my ex apologized for not being strong enough to support me when I needed it most yesterday. It soothed a bit more of the pain.
(I’ve rewritten this comment approximately eleventy billion times now. I’m going to trust that people’ll recognize that I’m not trying to shill for traffic.)
I’m a perpetually recovering self-harm-er, too. And I know how hard it can be to say it out loud.
Thank you for your bravery.
I’ve been doing (some) work with the group site, BandBackTogether (dot com). We publish stories from, well, everyone. With all sorts of mental and physical health problems. Stories of rock bottom, of survival, of hope and of loss of hope. I know that one of the things that helps me in dealing with my issues is reading stories from people who are suffering the same problems. Or who have made it to the other side. I don’t want to step on any toes, of course, but I thought maybe you or some of your readers might get the same sort of comfort from reading stories that let us know we’re not alone, that I’ve found.
This is my first visit to your blog but it won’t be my last. You are so brave. First of all, it takes a lot of courage to fight depression. It takes even more guts to write as honestly as you do to help others understand the horrible illness a.k.a. depression. And I’m so impressed that despite what you’re going through, you want to support others who are also suffering from depression.
I sincerely hope that 2012 brings you renewed hope, good health & peace!
You are a brave woman in posting this and in doing the hard work to feel better. xoxo
Psalm 10:17 You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.
Revelation 7:17 For the lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
He will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Jenny, this is the realest reality I have ever experienced. A meaningful, tangible relationship with Jesus Christ is the only reason I pulled through my depression and am alive today.
Hooray for you – for being honest, for being brave and for being a survivor. I admire you on so many levels but none more than for being so candid. Wishing you the bestest of New Years – may you find something positive each day that makes you smile. Even if just for a moment.
I’m so proud of you, too. For all of this and for shining light on those who need it. I’ll bust out that silver ribbon anytime, anywhere.
You are, have been, and will continue to be, one of the bravest people I know. We are all here for you, always, and thank you for always being here for all of us. I know I’ve told you this before (seems like ages ago and an hour ago at the same time) but it was you who picked me back up and helped draw me out of the worst, longest episode of major depression I’ve ever had. And it has been you who has helped keep me from falling quite so low since then. Your bravery inspires me to be more brave and to be stronger and no amount of thank-you’s would be sufficient, from myself and my family. So know that I send you all of the loves. All of them.
I love you just because you exist, and I will always be there for you.
Kudos to you for surviving, fighting and sharing this with us. As someone who has suffered from depression in the past, everything you said is true. Depression does lie and it is crippling. But it can be overcome! Stay strong, Jenny and keep fighting it. We’re behind you 1000%.
You’re right, it’s difficult for people who don’t suffer from this to understand what it’s like, but it takes brave folk like you to talk about it and help others understand. You go, girl.
It hit me Christmas Day and lasted until Tues afternoon. Not fun, and I hate that deer in the headlights look my husband gets when I “get that way”. He understands, but obviously, I don’t like doing that to him. Ugh. On new meds as of last Wed. Fingers crossed.
Keep up the fight cause that helps us keep up the fight!!
Thank you. For being you. For being honest. For talking/posting about depression and your experiences with it, it needs to be talked about in order to inform people. Thank you.
It’s a beautiful post. It’s great that you are sharing your struggles with others. Thank you for your openness and for supporting so many others dealing with the same types of struggles. You are wonderful 🙂
First of all, holy jeebus. When I started typing my comment, there were only 6 comments to this post. I had to reboot in the middle of a software installation and there are suddenly 237 comments. I’d say this post REALLY struck a chord.
Secondly, Jenny, thank you for posting this. So many people caught in the throes of depression feel isolated and alone so being able to read that someone who as a seemingly-fabulous life (the premiere of Portlandia, a personal invitation from Armisen?!) struggles helps countless people feel less alone when they need it the most. I’ve shared this post with the site’s Facebook page and I will be cross-posting to the website’s forums shortly. Thank you again for the courage to post it and the hope given by doing so.
Happy 2012 to you and your family.
You.are.awesome. Never forget that!!!
Love, love, LOVE you still and always. You are stronger than most people. xoxox
Just saw the Tweet with the link – I usually check by from time to time but it has been a few days and I jumped on the link as soon as I saw it. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO – you always make me smile but this time you do have me standing on the chair and shouting to the air BRAVO!! (…the cat is now so far under the bed here I can’t even see her tail, but I see the bedskirt shivering against her – LOL!) Thank you Jenny for your perfect eloquence and bravery – the world IS a bit better because you are you, of this I am certain… and for all of us who read your words and find connection through them, you are precious beyond all. I will be keeping an eye out for the silver ribbon you mention. The adventure certainly continues – thanks for being you! And thanks for this! Most sincerely, Jan
I have been fighting the depression/anxiety battle all my adult life. I have become more open and honest about it with those I am around daily. It helps sometimes. It is definitely better than faking it! I finally realized that I will probably be on medication forever, which is okay because life with my dope is much better than without. I think we depressives are strong. We have to be. Keep up the fight!
You are brave and strong and my respect for you grows every time you post.
Atta girl. Keep up the good fight, there’s lots of us out here.
Let me tell you a (hopefully short) story. A few months ago, I found your blog. I thought it was absolutely hilarious and I loved it. For being so funny, so crass, and so completely honest when it matters the most. I started the task of reading every single blog post that you’ve written. It took a while, but it was worth it. Because somewhere along the way, this stopped being just a blog that I read to amuse myself. You became a friend to me, even though I didn’t know you and you didn’t know I even existed or read your blog at all. But it didn’t matter. You are still a friend to me. One who I can relate to, celebrate the little victories and mourn the losses with. One who I believe in and because we all need to be furiously happy no matter what the circumstances. And you taught me that. So all that I can say now is this: it’s okay. You’re still the same person to me.
As a kid I suffered from anxiety. Any change–as small as trying a new food or as large as moving to a new city–could trigger anxiety. When I changed schools, I began every September morning by vomiting. I paced, I mumbled to myself, I rehearsed my day before leaving home. I was a mess.
When I was 18, I believed I had found the solution: alcohol. I stayed drunk for 15 years, until the obvious health, relationship, and financial problems far outweighed the benefits. During my drinking, thoughts of suicide were my daily companions.
Sixteen year ago I got sober and began to tackle the challenges of depression and anxiety without the benefit of self-medication. I sought therapy and had a mental status evaluation, which I hoped would yield a surprising diagnosis. Unfortunately, no. Just anxiety and depression. So I tried a range of drugs, most either did nothing or produced unacceptable side-effects. I finally found a drug that works for me, and tho I’m far from depression-free, I’m better. Much better. Just ask my wife.
Thank you for your frankness. Thank you for fighting. Thank you for winning.
We all have our secret battles, some more devastating than others, and for you to share your battle is very brave and (contrary to movies and books) not everyone is brave. Bravo to you for fighting and bravo to your family for helping you in your quest.
Your little girl will be a better person for having a Mommy that had to overcome her demons, because you will be able to teach her lessons and share things with her that someone who hasn’t had to struggle couldn’t.
Thank you so much for being courageous enough to say this out loud. Every time a brave soul like you speaks out about these sort of things we come a step closer to all being able to talk about it. I have a number of people in my life who suffer depression, among other mental health issues. I occasionally suffer what I call depression-lite, I was clinically depressed after surgery and medication a number of years ago so I know the difference between then and my usual experience. I am quite open about it, and I always encourage people in my life to talk about it, because the feeling of shame and having to hide it just makes it so much harder to cope.
I will certainly be sending them a link to this post.
Keep up the good fight.
Simply, THANK YOU!
Thank you for sharing this… it has been three years since I have hurt myself, and I am still ashamed as hell of the scars that refuse to heal. I was like you, in and out of depression and no one knew… I tried therapy and medications but therapy made things worse and the side effects of any medication always seem to happen to me… I also feel like I “survived”, but can’t celebrate because I don’t want anyone to know. So I’ll celebrate with you in the virtual world! You are stronger than you think you are. And you are so brave to speak for those of us who may never be able to.
I have battled depression and anxiety for most of my adult life. It is amazing to me that I still come across people at work (I’m a nurse) who will see a patient’s medication list and say, “Well, no wonder, she’s on lex*pro, P*xil, lith!um, or whichever other drug said patient might be taking.” I want to shout from the rooftops, “I HAVE BEEN ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS FOR MORE THAN HALF MY LIFE! DOES THAT CHANGE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT ME?” I do not yet feel comfortable shouting this at work, but it is something I am VERY open about with friends, family, and even people I don’t know terribly well. I do tell people at work as I get to know them, and I tell them in the same way I tell them I have high blood pressure…because that is how it should be spoken about. It is not a personal failing or weakness, it is a diagnosis.
Even with all my experience with depression and anxiety, I was fortunate enough to be without suicidal thoughts…until I wasn’t…almost 2 years ago. My marriage was ending. I felt like a total failure for the first time in my life. I spent 2 nights curled up on the floor of my bathroom weeping and thinking about how much better it might be just to take every. single. damned. pill I could find than to keep feeling the way that I felt. I didn’t line up the pills, I didn’t even open a single bottle, but holy shit was my black hole deeper and darker than I ever thought it could be.
My now ex-husband helped me get the help I needed. I will never forget how RIGHT he was regarding that…even in the midst of everything crashing in around us. He didn’t blame me; he didn’t tell me to get over it. He was on the way to work and turned his car around and came back to help me figure out how to claw my way out of that ugly, lying pit of depression. I am fortunate that I had him to help me.
I don’t think that I was ever one to blame people who committed suicide. I always knew that it had to be terrible to get to a place where that seemed like the best possible answer. As I said, I wasn’t even CLOSE to taking action, but I would not wish for anyone to feel the way I felt.
Thanks so much for what you shared. Thanks for keeping on sharing it even when you don’t want to. We are a tribe, and when you speak, you tell things that not all of us are ready to tell…and by doing that you make it easier for the next person to speak his or her truth.
I love you for that.
**I’m now going to post this comment to my dusty blog. Thanks for the push***
So Brave to share your soul and struggle with this vast world of strangers. Thank you. For each of us who share any of our lives on the internet, there are too many who feel alone and suffer in silence. Your words help them.
Jenny, I’m so glad you are brave enough to share with us. I doubt you’ll read this, but I’m so happy you’re doing better now. I understand a bit of what you’re going through- anxiety disorder, OCD, & scratching till I bleed when stressed or worried over here. I’m overjoyed to know you found some things that help you, & never forget that if the darkness comes again, you can beat it back again. Rock on, Bloggess!
I had post-partum depression that morphed into a full-blown depression back when my daughter was a baby. The feeling of a thousand tiny deaths inside every day is one you don’t easily shake off. It’s like a wall between you and the world that feels impenetrable.
It takes so much courage and strength to poke holes in the wall to let the light back in, to let the fresh air flow into your lungs and breathe in the gifts within you and in front of you that are so hard to see in the dark.
Congratulations on winning.
It must be wonderful to have a support system.
Thank you for posting this. You are a brave and strong person. As someone suffering from the same, I know how hard it is to talk about your depression; how it feels, what it does to you, how your brain lies to you. Way back when, I was right at my breaking point before I sought help because I was ashamed and felt like I should be able to just “get over it” on my own. Nearly 15 years later, I now understand a whole lot more about this insidious disease, and I try to be as open as I possibly can about it (and my other medical issues). I, too, believe that the only way to eliminate the stigma and shame is to talk about it. I found that once I started talking openly about my depression, it lifted a big old burden off of my shoulders. At least I didn’t have to *hide* any more.
I am so glad that you are feeling better. Depression is a tenacious bitch. But you are strong and amazing and will keep kicking her to the curb. Know that there are loads of us out here who understand what you are going through and are thinking of you. *HUGS*
My best friend sent me this because I’d recently done a blog post about my battle with anxiety. It sucks, but we survive. This made me cry in a good way, thank you. Thank you for being a warrior. And FUCK mental illness. Wait, can I say fuck on your blog?
Jenny, I think you are amazing for bringing these sort of battles to light. You’re right in that you can’t battle it until you fully admit it, and I went through that myself as a teenager. I managed to accept that it wasn’t a defect, that it was just a chemical inbalance and get the help I needed.
Unfortunately that doesn’t make the depression go away entirely, and occasionally I find myself slipping into those holes as well. I’ll sit at work and stare at the corner under my desk in my cube and think of how I could just crawl in there and hide from my stress and cry for no reason. I think once I did. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s part of who we are, but it feels impossible to live with.
The thought of not taking my meds frightens me, and recently my doctor tried to take me off them for no reason. I am currently trying to find one to replace that doctor, since this is not okay to me. I never want to feel hopeless again. I want to be able to walk with my head up and not inflict pain on myself just to feel something besides the looming darkness (been there too, but in a coward’s way…).
So bless you for talking about your pain, and how you’re trying to fix it. I hope that you are able to conquer the scariest parts of this disease for Hailey and for yourself. But I also know that one day you’ll be able to tell her that you are strong and that you overcame an impossible struggle that was within yourself.
You are an amazing person. I know I found this blog through a link that promised humour, but what I’ve found is a woman I can relate to, and I hope I can be half of what you are as I go through my life. Your humour and wit is only a small part of that…I hope to have your courage as well when I face what ever lies ahead.
I have never commented before. I do read your posts all the time and I think you are wonderful. And very brave because you speak your mind and alot of times you say things that I would be too chicken to say…but I do think them…and that’s why you’re so funny probably. But I knew you suffered from depression…and I knew I did too, but I guess I couldn’t name it…until I saw one of your pinterest pins. It is the big monster sitting at the kitchen table. “Hello depression…I was expecting you” or something like that. That’s when I realized that I really do have this “thing”…and other people have it too. It was really the first time that I had hit a bout with the monster, and saw that picture, and then I guess I really realized that it wasn’t necessarily my fault. And for the first time I didn’t feel like a huge failure. And I didn’t feel so alone. You. Are. Courageous.
i just found your blog from a link someone posted.
it takes such courage to reveal so much of yourself like this. i suffer from anxiety and depression and know the weight, the misunderstanding and the loss of control.
that’s what i struggle with the most…losing control when a panic sets in, having to walk home in the rain for an hour because you felt claustrophobic on the bus and got off due to a panic attack looming, not knowing when it’s going to strike… having to give over your life to this mental black hole that you can’t crawl out of.
People dont understand because they can’t see it. They see physical diseases and pardon the sufferer.
Thank you for being so brave to share your struggle.
Thank you for writing this. Thank you for everything.
And congratulations on your three days of no self-harm. I’m impressed, proud, and deeply happy for you that you’ve had a good start on success.
Found you via Kiersten White. Thank you for posting this. I suffered Postpartum Depression for 6 months before seeking treatment because ‘it couldn’t happen to me’. Depression isn’t something to be ashamed of. I would totally wear that ribbon!
You are my hero. As you know, you already saved me once from my own demons. Thank you for being you.
You are incredibly brave, and an incredible person. We so often struggle in silence, and it shouldn’t be this way. I’m so pleased that your battle-cry extends so far round the world. I’ve had my own difficulties – here’s my battle cry about it: http://www.bandbacktogether.com/post/189/
I’m with The Band, and that helps so much – to know they’ve got my back. And we’ve all got your back, too.
Thank you so much….there’s a lot I want to say, but the words are kind of all jumbled up. In a nutshell: you are so not alone in this, and you are spot on that it’s not something you can just announce at work (“What did you do this weekend?” ‘Well, I picked the skin on my feet until they bled, but at least I got out of bed yesterday!’). The small victories add up. Counseling and drug therapy is like adding a whole battalion of soldiers to the fight. Thank you SO much for your honesty, because it kind of makes me want to be a little more brave too. <3
Everyone I know knows someone who is affected by depression. And I’m so pleased that the couragous among us feel strong enough to share their experiences. Sometimes, its enough to know you’re not alone. I’m sending you thanks for your courage and love for your struggles. And prayers that your dark moments be short and seldom, and that your light moments be enough to sustain you. We’re always here for you.
You are a victorious warrior. You will never truly know how your humor gphoe led me through a very dark time and all the while you were fighting your own demons. I stand in awe of your stength. You are a survivor and have every cause to look in the mirror and say ” that’s right…I rock!”.
I can’t imagine what you go through, and I really can’t imagine the balls it takes to post about it, so GO YOU!!!
The last person who told me I was brave for sharing my depression turned around and used it against me. She was my boss and she told me I wasn’t strong enough. I had to walk away from that job last week because of it and even though I see it wouldn’t have worked, it still hurts. I’m glad to see that you are able to use your voice to help those of us without one. My therapist even told me today to be careful who I disclose to. I’m sick of feeling like I have to hide. We NEED people to speak up. We NEED a voice. Thanks you again for speaking up. Maybe one day we’ll be heard.
Thank you for sharing this. Every voice that speaks its truth makes us all stronger and every time you share your story, someone who thought they were alone will know there are others who feel like they do, and that we can survive those feelings and learn to thrive. Sending hugs and love to you.
Thank you for sharing this – I do not have this disease but know many who do. Always looking to understand more. I am, however, a cancer survivor – going on 9 yrs ( was diagnosed at 30). Yes, I heard a lot of “you’re so brave” and “wow- the courage!”, and I appreciate those comments. But cancer does not = bravery, and my particular brand of cancer is not represented by a lovely pink ribbon. Yes, I survived. But I was also left broken to some degree. Anxious it will come back. Knowing because I was so young at diagnosis something will likely strike again. And while years have helped, that always sits close to surface for me. So really, are we that different?
I’ve never told anyone, but sometimes when I get really mad at myself (because I have pretty low self esteem and any mistake I make, I want to punish myself for) I hit my head on things, just so I can focus on the pain of my forehead instead of the rage at myself. It doesn’t happen much anymore, and it sucks, but I don’t talk about it because I don’t want to be judged by other people like I judge myself. I think you’re really brave for talking about your problems and smart for getting help. You’re a pretty big inspiration.
You’re a braver/stronger person than I am. I wrote a post admitting to self harm on my journal a few months ago and went back and locked everyone else out of it the next morning out of fear. Of how people would react. Of all the shit I’d get about how I was just looking for attention and all the other judgmental bullshit. I’m really glad I’m not seeing it in the comments here. I’m really impressed by you and the community here. Good luck in the future, really.
Hello Darlin’… this is much more common than people would like to admit, all the shiny happy people on the net, if you get in a deep discussion with them, are suffering in some completely devilish way, as you are, as i am, i have recently realized the same thing, you have to ignore the demons, coz they will never fucking shut up anyway, and that’s the only way to deal with them… also, check this out, and i’m serioius, dooooo check it out… truehope.com i love you for all that you are, and all that you are gonna be, but mostly all that you are…
Thank you for this brave and eloquent post that sums it up so well for so many of us. It’s so easy to feel alone, but you, glorious lady, won’t let us. Again, thank you.
You are so brave and will prove to be a lovely example for your daughter. Hugs to you, my bloggie friend. You have already won by clicking Publish.
I think we should celebrate. As much as we celebrate cancer survivors, and more. I celebrate YOU. Your wit, your strength, your inspiration to all of us out here. I don’t battle depression, but I battle anxiety and each year I get older, I try to make sure I am aware of what’s going on in my head for fear that it might become depression. But I’m not ashamed and I am think anyone who battles depression or any other mental illness/disorder should be either. We survive and that is admirable. Let’s celebrate!
You are amazing and beautiful and inspirational, and I am grateful to you and proud of you for posting this.
I had both chills and tears.
Thank you so much for making me feel less alone.
Thank you. I needed to read this tonight.
I hear you. I am proud of you.
You are wonderful and brave and strong. Keep fighting in all the ways that work for you.
Ribbon? We don’t need no stinkin’ ribbon. I think we need Beyonce the Depression Chicken.
I’m currently in the most depressive put I’ve been in for years. I’ve had depression since I was a teenager, and somehow I’ve just kept hanging on. Right now things are very very hard, but I just keep going.
Thank you for talking about this. The number of people who think that somehow we’re weak, or damaged, or responsible for being depressed just don’t get it, and it helps to know there is a tribe of us out there.
Have you tried a folic acid medication like Deplin? Recent research shows that almost 40% of humans cannot sufficiently absorb the folic acid in their foods (or even vitamins) and need special help in getting it. The folic acid deficiency can contribute (and cause) to depression, allergies, migraines, chronic pain, and conditions such as Parkinsons.
I have been taking it for 2 years -and it is life altering. Seriously talk to your doctor about it.
I am you. You are me. We will fight this thing. Some how, some way. And be strong. Not because we want to, but because we HAVE to. Much love to you.
YES. Yes to everything you said in this post. Thank you for your courage.
thank you for posting. I know how difficult these things can be, and I hope it gets easier from here on.
Wearing a silver ribbon, as I’m all too familiar with this battlefield of depression. I don’t self harm, but I do self sabatoge. Thank you for coming out of the dark to shed light on something that’s normally talked about in hushed tones. Glad to see you back on the other side.
*hugs* You’re brave, and awesome, and you don’t know me, and I realize that even though reading your blog has become a regular thing in my week … I don’t actually know you; but I just wanted to post to tell you, and offer hugs from another human in the world.
Depression is a bitch! I’ve read through some of the comments and it’s funny that so many of us that suffer find others by the hilarious blogs they write. I am an avid follower of several very depressed ladies who write the funniest damn things. Depressed people not only are rockstars but freakin’ funny as hell! Stay strong funny lady and know that by sharing your own suffering, you’ve helped so many others.
You know something? You’re amazing. As someone who lives with a depressed spouse and is intimately familiar with how crippling depression can be, all I can say is kudos to you for doing everything right and being honest and up front about your journey with it. As I always tell my husband – No one thinks twice that diabetics need insulin. Sometimes depressed people need neurotransmittors. They’re both biological replacements and the one shouldn’t carry a stigma.
I wish you all the best in your continuing journey. It can take time and there may be relapses, but I can tell you’re going to make it!
Proudly wearing a silver(-ish) ribbon for you, for me, for everyone whose life is touched by the insidious liar that is depression. Hugs to you, Jenny.
I’m proud of you!
Judging from the tears running down my cheeks, I think I really identify with you. This holiday season was the worst for me. But, they have passed and I’m still alive. I awoke with a fresh sense of purpose this morning so that’s a hopeful thing. Thank you for your honesty, Jenny!
What a brave post. Know that we’re here, in this community, with you. You’re an amazing person for admitting your battles and having the strength to survive. It’s not easy, because it’s exactly what you describe: a feeling of personal failure, that we’ve done something wrong and we’re not strong enough to do what’s needed to pull ourselves together. People not experiencing this depression just don’t understand or get it. Thank you for sharing this, and best your way in staying above water.
Jenny, you always seem to have the right post at the right time. I suffer from an anxiety disorder chock full of crippling bouts of depressions. Some days I celebrate just being able to leave my bed and move to the couch. Some days I weep so inconsolably it causes physical pain. Some days I am just numb and don’t want to fight. Some days I am thankful that I didn’t actively Lose. My. Shit. because someone told me to “stop worrying” or some other trivial verbal vomit that does not help me.
And some days I am happy and feel “normal.” Those are the scariest because I wonder why I can’t feel normal all the time. Thank you for posting this. I don’t feel so alone and I feel a lot more normal than I did before reading it knowing that I am not suffering alone. Nor in silence. I’m thankful that I have a few people in my life that know sometimes I just need to cry and be alone, or held or that I don’t have any idea what the crap I need. Those are the people who love me no matter what. And I am forever grateful for them.
It’s funny how so often we can look fabulous on the outside and feel so awful on the inside. I’m a huge fan of your work and even prouder of you as a person. If I had a silver ribbon, I’d be wearing it right now for you. xo.
your willingness to share helps in more ways that you will ever know. be well.
Oh Jenny. I want to give you the biggest hug I can give you for this post; I’ll hug my cat for you. Silver ribbons for all.
For all of the progress we have made in society towards enlightenment and acceptance, “coming out” with anything related to mental illness is still a very scary thing and I can’t applaud you enough. I live with and love a man who is bi-polar and has anxiety disorder and who has gone through the gamet of treatments for it – including ECT. My children have even inherited some of the anxiety. For those who are not inclined to these tendencies – it is almost imposible to understand (a.k.a. … me) if you have not walked in their shoes. You have so captured my thoughts on this subject though! I had cancer and everyone was so happy for my remission. At the same time my husband was going through his own remission and I was more excited about that than anything else because the effect on our family was greater! I wanted to scream it from the rooftop! No – look at him! Look at the change in him! Can’t you see it? It’s literally been years since I have had my husband!!!! And yet at the same time I didn’t want to say it too loud for fear that the depression would hear me. What if it could hear me? I’ll do whatever I can to help it stay away!
Thank you for your brave soul, heart, mind, voice. You are beautiful.
I find this so hopeful.. thanks for sharing. If it makes you feel any better, when I ‘came out’ about my illness- it was like a pressure cooker releasing steam. While I was so afraid of sharing, I realize the secret kept me trapped and made things only worse. Only after I could release could I find more self acceptance.
Depression and anxiety is such a curse, but on the flip, I value each and every day that I do not suffer. As for fear of the return, it might, but the defense mechanisms you have in place will guard you.
May your recovery continue, may you continue to make us all laugh, and may you know that you are among many who are survivors, not victims, of this disease.
Honestly Jenny, near every one of your tweets and posts brings amazing joy and fits of giggles into my day, so it’s all the more amazing that you still manage to keep that joy alive while beating the down days. I’ve only ever suffered mild depression, so I can only imagine the embuggerance of living with a more concentrated version.
It takes balls (metaphorically of course) to deal with this kind of thing and takes vastly huger balls (metaphorically) to share it with the world.
We may not be able to offer you tangible support, but I hope you can see how many of your readers are extending digital hugs across the the waves and are thinking of you.
You are splendid.
Shit you are strong. Even if you don’t think it every day, I know you know it’s there, and the times when that strength peeks its head out publicly we are all honoured to be able to share in it and take a bit for ourselves.
I could have said that all with ‘I’ instead of ‘we’ but I think the sentiment is so much bigger than just me. And this line “I hope one day I live in a world where the personal fight for mental stability is viewed with pride and public cheers instead of shame.” is incredible.
Cheer today, fight again tomorrow. Thank you for sharing.
I think you’re so amazing and brave to open up about this. We’re all behind you.
I haven’t cut for a few years now, but I still feel the urge during bad patches. You are brave, and honest and amazing. Really.
You should also visit Australia. I think you’d like it.
Thank you for sharing, I commend you for being so open a d honest and celebrate with you as you are winning the battle..
@Jazmyn (or others that may need this) you can check into your local community mental health (each county should have one) that offer reduced and sometimes free services, and help with medications if needed as well. You can also contact the manufactors if the medications and they have programs to help people obtain medications they need, but have no insurance/financial strain.
Jenny…I, too, fight those battles. The physical pain is so much easier to deal with and focus on than the mental pain and the evil, foul lies that depression sings to us, isn’t it? Uncertainty and discord trigger me. When you have ADHD, depression and are probably borderline Asperger’s, those happen a lot. But we can get through this, right? Together we can hold each other up when it becomes too difficult. *solidarity fist bump*
Don’t ever stop fighting and keep on winning. My cousin lost her battle almost a year ago. She always saw how wonderful everyone around her was but she could never believe that she was wonderful too. Someday we’ll truly understand depression and then we can beat it for good.
Congrats on finding the courage to write this post! I have been self-injury free for 6 years. You can beat this- you will!
I’m new to your blog. I am not new to the fight, or the lost battles, or the shame.
YES to everything you said. YES YES YES from the rooftops. Thank you for this.
Oh Bloggess, you are an inspiration. I love reading your blog and laughing my tail off. I am so sorry that depression seeks you out. Know that many, many people are not depressed because of you, your blog and your humor. Keep up the fight, funny lady. PLEASE!
Thank you. I have been (and will be) in this place. It helps to know others are going through the same thing. Thank you. You are amazing.
I sing myself that song daily. I survive every day. I pat myself on the back, because there is no one else around to do it. You are my hero.
Thank you for writing this! You are amazing and your victories should be celebrated…without shame. I love your silver ribbon idea…you should sell them in your store! 🙂
Love the idea of silver ribbons: Not exactly a silver bullet, but an acknowledgement of courageous fighters. Hoping your article causes a run on sparkling ribbons!
I just want to say I have suffered from depression and anxiety as well, and thankfully, I’m on the other side of it now. (It was caused by medication I was on at the time.) I can imagine your pain, and I remember the darkness that felt like it was swallowing me entirely. I remember crying for no reason, and feeling like my world was spiraling completely out of my own control. I just want to say that when all you can see is your darkness, WE can all still see your light. I think that’s why some people can’t understand, they can’t see the shadows. They see the good in your life, and don’t understand why it’s so hard. I always tried to remember that if other people could see the light in my life, I knew I could see it eventually too, even if it was currently covered in shit. I fought a lot of battles in 2011, and kicked a bunch of hurdles in the face. But it was exhausting, and hard. A friend showed me your blog in a time when I was pretty down on myself. You brought me to tears with several of your posts. But mostly the kind where I laughed so hard I cried, and peed a little. You are a strong, kind, and important woman. Please never forget that! All my love!
Kick 2012 in the balls.
A friend of mine used to get tattoos when she felt the call of pain. I did it that way once myself. Just an option.
Whatever works for you, thanks for talking about this. Many people deal with depression, myself included, and it’s really too bad there’s such a stigma about it. The more we talk, the more others will understand.
I’m happy and proud of you and love that there is such a supportive community. When I was “outed” five years ago due to a local scandal I was publicly ridiculed. Thank you for talking about your depression!
As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety, how has gone in and out of remission more times that she can count, I just want to say thank you. And I’m sorry. No one should have to suffer the hell that is depression. No one should have to shoulder the shame associated with self-harm (which I have also suffered from). You’re right that the stigma has lessened but we can always use strong voices like your own to help others understand.
I hope your remission is a life long. Holding you in my heart and in my thoughts.
Thanks for this.
You’re the same person to me- an awesome, hilarious, earth-shatteringly real, incredibly brave and awesome person. I would wear a silver ribbon. I would walk in a race with a thousand other silver-ribbon-wearing people. I’m a survivor too. I’m proud that I’m a survivor. I’m also on the very light-end of e self-harm spectrum. Never anything that would leave a mark or a cut, just enough to distract me. I’m so thankful it was never more than that. My husband is awesome. My parents are awesome, but they can’t understand what it’s like. I’m with you sister. In silver-ribbon wearing solidarity.
What a Tweetheart . I will be sharing this post ASAP.
Lame but true response to your eloquence: It’s okay. You are still the exact same person to me.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. You just motivated me to take my antidepressant for the first time in five days. I’ve really been struggling lately. I have depression, anxiety, and I self-harm. People do not understand. I’ve done my fair share of gentle reaching-out to see if I’m really truly alone, and it usually turns out that I am. Today I actually started composing a suicide note in my head. My usual depression is this sort of existential “I can’t stand the world’s suffering, and I’m a useless failure to stop it” stuff, but lately it’s compounded with some personal tragedies, that, unfortunately, are not “God’s will” and therefore continue to be my own responsibility, and provide me with less support than needed. Thank you for your timing today. I am still on my couch, but I will keep breathing.
Thanks for this…
As someone who experienced the depths of depression a few years ago (I’m getting better, but I still have “episodes” that can last for weeks), I really admire and appreciate you coming forward and being so outward about your struggle. Professional therapy didn’t work for me and I’m not a huge fan of meds (my personal choice…if it works for others, more power to them!), so I do my own mental exercises that seem to help fairly well. Having said that, reading blogs like yours are a tremendous help. Knowing that so many other people experience this is a tremendous help (albeit a bit heartbreaking). You and I are very similar in that we use humor and comedy as an outlet, and it’s been the best therapy I can find.
Anyway…thank you again! You’ve made a huge difference, and I hope you find consolation in that.
How I wish I had time to read all the comments on this post. I bet they are as moving as the post itself. I hear you, I feel your pain, and I admire you. We are all in this arena together, and we CAN all make it out alive. Thank you for sharing your truth. xoxo
Your bravery and honesty amazes me, but I found myself equally as overwhelmed by the positive, warm, and supportive comments everyone has left. I originally intended to remind you that you aren’t alone (as your posts often remind me throughout my struggles), but the outpouring of others who share in this disease makes it more evident than one comment could…
You are amazing. You will make it through this.
There’s nothing I can add, but I must say “Thank you”.
I’m also a self-injurer. I haven’t done it recently, but I self-injured for 23+ years. I know the struggle as I have undergone treatment for self injury almost 5 years ago. My story is on my blog:
Know that I understand when you feel the urges to, and the guilt after giving in self-injury. Know that I don’t judge you and that I’m honored you stepped out of the shadows. It’s embarrassing and shameful, but when you release your secrets there is no more fear of:
“Well, if they knew the REAL me, they wouldn’t like me. They’d think I’m sick and crazy.”
I see you. And I’m still here.
you are a hero. a voice for others. a real person with real words. thank you.
I understand this so well. I’m have severe depression and anxiety. I also self harm. It is so difficult for those unaffected to understand, it is hard to be misunderstood. This is a great post. So appreciated. Thankyou!
Holy shit girl, you are so fucking awesome, so strong, so amazing. I love you more every day.
Thank you for what you’ve written today, I’m just in awe.
Dear Jenny, just when I don’t think I can admire you any more than I already do, you drop something huge like this and I love you even more. Keep on keepin’ on girl.
Thank you for posting this.
I have just recently found your blog and enjoy it immensely. I am so sorry to hear of your illness and I admire you for being so open and honest with your readers.
I have battled depression and anxiety for many years now myself. I also have trichotillomania or compulsive hair-pulling. Some of the most hurtful comments can come from seemingly well-intentioned friends. They tell you about somebody else that has suffered ‘real’ tragedies, then remind you why you are ‘silly’ to feel so bad when you have a wonderful life and ‘Gee, couldn’t it be so much worse’. If anybody reading this has EVER said that to a friend thinking you are helping, DON’T EVER DO IT AGAIN! We know that it doesn’t make sense to feel the way we do when we have a family who loves us and haven’t just survived a genocide or whatever horrible thing we try to imagine to make us feel even worse about ourselves than we already do. Whenever I start to feel really bad, the ONLY that helps me now is experience…knowing that I made it before and remembering how good it felt to feel good again.
Jenny, I have two pieces of advice. One, erase the word self-esteem from your vocabulary and replace it with self-acceptance. You cannot ‘achieve’ your way out of this! Plenty of people with successful careers, picture-perfect children and houses worthy of Good Housekeeping (or depending on your tastes, Architectural Digest) are desperately unhappy. Love yourself; not in spite of your issues, but also because of them. They make you the person that you are. Two, I urge you to continue seeing different docs and trying different meds. Since tweaking my meds 4 or 5 years ago, I have NOT had any really bad moments.
Good luck and take care,
I love you.
I love that you are honest and funny and brave and you keep getting up. I love that you wield a parasol like a fucking ninja.
It’s hard to be honest. It’s hard to be strong. I haven’t hurt myself in 22 years. That’s an eternity and it’s a victory and it didn’t stop me from crying in pain and anguish and despair when I discovered my fifteen year old was hurting herself. But she hasn’t hurt herself in 6 months. And that’s amazing and I am grateful for everyday of it.
You are amazing and wonderful and I am so fucking proud and grateful that I get to be a part of the same planet you are on.
Over the past year I’ve come to realise that being strong isn’t about not letting life beat the crap out of you but about getting back up when it does. I can’t tell you how much it helps to know someone else is dealing with much worse than I am with so much humour and bravery.
I starve myself. It’s a weird nebulous impulse, somewhere between self harm and anorexia that has little to do with me wanting to be thin and everything to do with equating weight loss with acheivement. A year ago things had got to a point where hunger could be both a reward and a punishment and it took a huge personal loss for me to realise (and a good friend to gently point out) that not eating for three days wasn’t normal, grief or no.
I’m eating more now and mostly healthy. I have good housemates who make sure I eat and unintentionally guilt me into looking after myself because I can’t stand to worry them. But when I get angry and upset I fall back into not eating, arms outstretched not even trying to catch myself. Every time people tell me I’ve lost weight it frightens me a little.
Still, good things have come out of it too. I have a good friend who will giggle like a naughty school kid with me at my anorexia jokes. (The best one was when he was theorizing that women would rather go without sex than without food. As I said: “Really? You’re including me in that?”) Also for a while my official motto was ‘you can’t put an anorexic in a morph suit.’ I do drama and also have a weird life.
What I’m trying to say, in an incredibly long winded way is thank you for sharing something so personal. While the post itself might be serious the fact that you get up every day and continue to fight is nothing short of life affirming.
I’m so glad you posted this! I have no doubt it WILL help. And I love your taste in battle-songs…that one is perfect.