24 hours ago I published the hardest post I ever had to write. I’m pretty open about my struggles with depression and anxiety disorder, but yesterday I finally decided I was ready to write about my issues with self-harm. I can’t go into details because that’s a trigger for me (and for most people who self-injure) but I’m not sure what I expected. I think I expected my hard-core friends and readers to say something supportive and then sort of back away slowly out of not knowing how to respond. Instead, thousands of comments poured in. All of them supportive, understanding, and so many relieved and hopeful that one day they could come out of the closet about their darkest secrets. I was flooded with DM’s and emails from people who weren’t ready to come out but suffered from things I never would have imagined. Many were from friends I’ve known for years, and I found myself wanting to say the very thing that I dreaded hearing myself. “But you seem so normal.” And the truth is that they are. I once sarcastically said that “crazy is the new normal” but it’s not sarcasm anymore. We’re all different. Each unique. But that uniqueness that sets us apart is also what brings us together. Some people call it “the human condition.” I call it “amazing.”
I can’t respond to all of the comments and emails and DM’s but I am reading them and I can’t tell you how completely unburdened I feel. More importantly though, I want you to know what you’ve done for others. I had a lot of emails telling me how much my post helped them. I had many, many more telling me how the response to my post helped them. So many people listened, frightened, in silence to see how the world would respond to something that so many think of as shameful or an aberration. They waited for the condemnation or the silence but it never came. Those comments you left changed lives.
Last night an email came in from a woman whose twin daughters had both committed suicide because of depression. One had died only a few weeks ago and her mother made sure her obituary explained that depression had taken her child’s life, because she wanted people to know that it was okay to talk about it…because the more we admit these things the less we hide them away from the help we need. Then I got an email from a girl who was contemplating suicide. She said that after she saw the response to my post she decided that she wasn’t as alone or unfixable after all and she started the process of getting help. You did that. You saved someone with nothing more than the power of words.
During the night twitter exploded with #silverribbons tweets and I loved how many people made their own, or painted them on their own bodies to show support. A lot of people asked me to offer them in my shop, but honestly you can make them for free if you have a nickel’s worth of silver ribbon and a safety pin. If you do want to buy one though you can buy them here and here. Any profits will go to donating new red dresses for The Traveling Red Dress Project (A project designed to celebrate women in their strongest and weakest moments).
Tomorrow I’m off to New York to do something that terrifies me, but I somehow feel more confident now, and it’s so amazing that that could come out of such vulnerability. Thank you. Thank you for not crushing me when you could. Thank you for making me stronger so that no one else can. Thank you for saving me and for saving each other.
PS. This post wants a picture so I’m borrowing one from the fantastic Brooke Shaden. I don’t know what she meant it to symbolize but it’s how I feel right now. Still broken. Still stuck. Still fighting. But feeling almost weightless from having this secret lifted off my chest. Thank you for helping me carry this.
PPS. I promise my next post will be back to sweetly-raunchy and unhinged, irreverent glory.
770 thoughts on “Wow.”
Read comments below or add one.
As someone who has battled with it since I was little (and now am almost 38) that was the most incredible post ever!!! Jenny, if all the responses need answers or organization, I would love to help!!
I love that you can make me laugh even when I’m crying. Thank you for being so honest, which encourages me to try being honest with myself.
I thought your post was great, and am not at all surprised at the outpouring of support for you!!
Also, I totally hear you about the crazy-being-the-new-normal thing. We’re all messed up. My blog line is ‘Mayor of my own crazytown.” But good for you for putting it out there, in a way most people won’t (on their own, that is).
No, thank you for writing about it openly. Open conversation is needed, especially regarding self harm.
You’re amazing. I know it’s a simple comment, but it’s what I’ve been thinking for two days and can’t find any more eloquent way to say.
Standing O. You deserve it.
You are very brave, Jenny. And you make me feel like I can be brave too. Good on you!
You’re you. You’re human. There’s no shame in that. I’m glad you feel supported.
Also, you rock.
(Disappointed that’s not you in the photo though. That woulda been more kick-ass.)
Hang in there, Jenny. 😉
I had a feeling something amazing would come from you publishing that post…
I think it’s incredible of you to share. Thank you.
Truly inspiring are you.
Thank you, M’am, for being a voice of sensibility, sanity, support and compassion in a world sometimes lacking in those things.
love this, love the responses, love the photo and that you’re feeling weightless.
Jenny, I just want to say thank you. Like you I’ve suffered with depression and on top of it OCD. I’ve engaged in forms of self-harm that eventually evolved into piercing and tattooing. Like you I felt numb, and if at least I could feel pain it was something. Thank you for being brave enough to stand up and say it. Thank you for making me feel brave enough to stand up and say it. Thank you to all the supportive people here and on twitter, etc who have stood up and supported and shared.
I’m going to make my own silver ribbon, and when people ask me I will tell them. We need to stop hiding. We need to start talking. Thank you for helping to start that conversation.
Hugs! Good luck in NYC and thanks for all of your sharing!
Thank you for posting the original and this follow up. I have lived with depression my whole life. It’s a cloak I wear that never gets taken off, but sometimes I get to unbutton it and breath a bit easier. My brother also suffers horribly and has tried to take his life many times. I am so glad that your post saved a life. It is so hard sometimes to take the first step to ask for help. Just knowing that someone is getting help makes today a bit lighter. Thank you!
I have to say, I admire you for having the courage to write about self-harm. I’ve been suffering from depression/anxiety/self-harm since I was 14 years old. I’m now 24 and still struggle and still have a hard time talking about it because once people know it seems like they never look at you the same again. Your bravery in dealing with your depression and anxiety has inspired me to finally get help this year and to finally stop being afraid of myself. So thank you 🙂
Even in the darkest of times – there is always hope. With the light of a little silver ribbon, you might just help someone find their way. Thank you Jenny – I will wear my ribbon with pride xxx
A friend of mine once told me “You’re broken. It’s alright. So am I.” Sweetest words I’d ever heard. You’re right, it takes the weight right off and somehow makes it not so much go away, more…feel normal.
I am at a moment of flux in my life. My career went through a major drubbing last year, & I have been at a loss of how to move forward, what direction to go in. I’ve had my own struggles with the inner demons. Just after Thanksgiving, I lost a friend to depression. He committed suicide. There hasn’t been a day that does by since then where I don’t think about him, what I could have said, what I could have done, hoping his wife is okay.
Thank you, O Blogess, for being brave, for talking about your struggles & for peeling back a very personal layer to your onion. It’s one thing to be the funny girl, but totally another to let people know that even someone as loved as you can be plagued by fear, darkness & doubt.
Your silver ribbons will shine it out. & this all adds to the arrows pointing me int he way I need to go, what I also need to write about.
I miss you Dan. My writing can’t bring you back. But your death can help move others forward. I will make it so.
Silver ribbons for the silver linings we all need and deserve. You are strong, amazing and brave for helping to start a conversation that I hope grows and grows, and saves lives and relationships in the process. xo
I know the feeling of the picture…excellent choice! Very real, yet surreal all at the same time. Safe travels!
People are pretty amazing sometimes. Thank you for bringing the opportunity to see just how connected & beautiful they/we are.
Good luck in whatever you are doing! 🙂
The support was amazing, and I posted shared your blog post with several friends. As someone who has battled depression for years and years, I could identify. There is still so much stigma in some circles, such as my family, that the battle is that much harder when those you love refuse to recognize what you are going through. I am very blessed to be married to a man who knows what I go through and does what he can to help me and keep me balanced.
Thank you for speaking out. Lots of love to you and to all of us who have our own silver ribbons.
I think so many people connect with you because you are brave and strong and say things so many people are thinking – but who don’t have the voice you do.
Posts such as yours truly help those of us who don’t struggle with this particular thing understand it a little bit better, to help us get it as much as we can without experiencing it.
I hope part of you feels lighter with the release of this vulnerable, private part of you into the interwebs. I know there are many, many people who are thankful you did.
The post was amazing! Thank you.
You are incredible.
We are all fighting our own battles. Some are big, some are small. I applaud your courage to share your deepest secrets – it makes my own burden a little lighter to know I’m not alone.
Love you bunches.
Jenny, you should wear one of these.
Thank you for being the inspiration some of us need to say the things that are ugliest and hardest to say.
I agree. Wow.
You are my hero in so many ways. When powerful women and men admit where they are weak, it gives those who feel weak the permission to experience their own power. You do this. Thank you.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Thanks for making me feel more accepted. You rock.
I haven’t said anything in response to any of your recent posts about depression, mostly because I have been trying to avoid the truth about me. I’m still not ready to say what I really need to say, but I just want to thank you.
Thank you, Jenny. You deserve every kindness the world has for having been so brave and bringing the world together like you have.
I am so crying right now. You’re right, though — your post made us feel like we weren’t alone, and then everyone came crawling out of the woodwork, out of those places where shadows live, where we hide, and said, for a moment, ‘Look, we are here!’
It’s amazing to know all the words we shared helped others. And I’m going to remember this any time I feel like hiding instead of hitting publish, or saying something, because who knows? I’m very open on my blog about living with Fibromyalgia, and I get notes all the time from people who have it and suddenly feel less alone. And that’s amazing. Simply amazing. Makes me wonder why we all hide when we’re all dealing with the same things.
I’m at work and practically crying from this post. I feel like the entire community has gotten a big hug from everyone else.
Thank you for this.
The power of support is amazing. We all should remember that.
for one of the first times ever, I commented on one of your posts about my own depression. And one of your readers emailed me.
And then today I was able to word vom on my blog about it.
YOU did that.
Hi. Nobody’s normal without lots of help. Good luck on your trip, and I hope you are OK. xoxo
Someone else above said it best. Standing ovation. Love you Jenny.
You have our love and support. Good luck in NYC. 🙂
Jenny, you are a truly amazing human being. Thank you so much for both of these posts.
Love you!! LOVE you!! Love YOU!! That’s all I can say.
You are an amazing and courageous woman.
I just love you. You are so awesome.
Your post was incredibly courageous and enlightening. Thank you for it and for today’s post about the response.
Whenever the clouds of doubt and pain descend, remember this: you are a life changer.
Your support is well deserved. I have read your previous post and I am amazed at the bravery you have shown and I wish you nothing but the best in your battle. Battles were meant to be won – remember that.
Your courage has likely made it easier for other people to reach out. That can be the hardest part. Bravo!
There probably isn’t anything I can say that hasn’t already been said.
So instead, i’m going to leave you with a bit of humor. I usually click on your posts b/c well they are good reads (regardless of the serious or humorous nature of the topics) – this time i clicked because the thumbnail that showed up on facebook of this lovely picture you included looked ENTIRELY like something else and like something else you’d be likely to post.
TO me – it looked like a naked raw chicken sticking out of a window – and I thought maybe someone was gonna cook Beyonce! Ahh what the eyes and mind sometimes see…. 🙂
You are awesome! Thank you!
You’re doing a brave thing coming out about your depression, and helping many, many people by doing so. It’s so easy to say, “Well, someone has to be the first to talk about this awful thing,” but it’s something else altogether to have the guts to be that first someone! I really admire you. Just wanted you to know that.
The only people who we think aren’t crazy are those we don’t know very well. Once we take the time to get to know each other, to let others get to know our true selves, only then do we turn “crazy” into…amazing. And beautiful. And perfectly imperfect.
Your posts, yesterday and today, make my heart happy. I’ve been clinically depressed twice, and now consciously manage my mental health everyday. God bless you for your courage and generosity. Hugs.
So amazing the power we have as women to lift each other up. You have started an amazing thing by giving people the knowledge that they are not alone and it’s ok to talk about it. Take strength in that and keep fighting!
Thanks again for being strong – actually, thanks to all of us.
All I can say is thank you.
You’re one of the bravest women ever, and I’m no shrinking violet.
Keep doing good for yourself and others. Shame is a waste of good emotions.
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest
I felt what you said last night too. I so identified that I didn’t even know how to respond. I hate this disease that lives with me like a fucking ghost and I’m the medium who can see it when no one else can. I hate talking about it because I hate acknowledging that it holds me hostage a lot of the time but I’m beginning to see the value and power in talking about it. I mean that many people wouldn’t have responded if there wasn’t power in shedding light on the black. thank you.
We are the people who thank you for having the courage to do battle openly. Someone in yesterday’s comments mentioned the difference in support when she had cancer. I went through the same thing. Cancer is something others can see and understand, whereas a brain that is intent on causing pain to its owner is something they on’t understand. And they say stupid things like, “oh, cheer up. Things aren’t so bad.”
People who came to see me in the hospital after my mastectomy were worried about me and they showed that concern. But the people who came to see me in the hospital after a suicide attempt were scared. Scared of the hospital, scared of their surroundings, scared of me.
Thank you for telling us it’s okay.
Everyone rocks. What makes us so great is how different we are and we all carry burdens that sometimes seem to overwhelm us. Turning our heads and pretending nothing’s wrong does not work. Being open and vocal does. I don’t know you. I don’t know the people who post responses but I am very, extremely supportive. My motto is “I march to the beat of a different drummer.” And that’s okay that I do. That you do. That other people do. Let us embrace who we are and not hang our heads in shame because of other people’s opinions or thoughts. Hold your head up high and look people in the eye. It’ll change how they look at you. I’ve done it.
Love you, Jenny! You are contributing so much to the world with your words!
It’s amazing how something that’s so isolating when felt can be so uniting when spoken. Keep fighting. We love to hear you. I am fortunate to not suffer from depression, but I’ve definitely been touched by it in others and know how hard they’ve had to fight to keep it at bey.
You’re amazing. Thank you!
we all have warts, some seen and most hidden. From obesity and the inability to keep putting food in our face to protect us from the evils we fear with layers of fat to bad behaviors that push away family and friends. YOU are not alone, and if we can just run that through our heads like a mantra than it’s another day we survive and hope for a better tomorrow.
I just posted a comment on your post you made yesterday about my story of dealing with depression with myself and family. Everyone should know that they’re not alone. All of us who have dealt with this in what ever form or degree have felt isolated and alone, which snowballs the irrational feelings even more. I’m so glad that some of us “little people” helped you feel even a little bit better. I know i’ve got your back, as well as anyone else who has to suffer with any degree of this! We are all crazy in some way, none of us are normal. And those who say they are imo are the craziest of us all! Keep strong, and know we’re all here to support you in whatever way we can! 😀
Your honesty and strength is nothing short of amazing. The things that happen when people band together are amazing. Everyone’s hearts are with you. Best of luck in New York. <3
So brave what you have shared and given to others. Even with mild forms of self-harming tactics to know that even those that seem so “normal” may struggle just like we all do, is a precious gift. Good luck in NYC and keep your heart full of all the love that came pouring in, it’s a good buoy when we have to stare our triggers in the face and “just keep swimming.” P.S. The image is breathtaking. Thank you for sharing the photographer.
Oh, Jenny. So much of what you do here is helping everyone lighten the dark for each other.
This made me cry. Wonderful. Wonderful.
Thank you for this. And for you.
I too write a blog (an anonymous relationship blog/journal kind of thing), and one of my readers told me once, “I like your funny stuff. It’s really good; I enjoy reading it so much, and look forward to it. The other stuff… you know… the really deep stuff… is a little depressing. Actually, it’s really sad. I have a hard time getting through it. Maybe you can label your blog posts with “LIGHT” and “DEEP” so that readers know, and I can, ummm… skip those “DEEP” posts.”
I thought about it for a bit.
Then decided… ummm… I write my blog for me. It’s about me. And my dysfunction. It’s not about you and what you want to read. Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries, beotch.
So, good for you. Hang in there. You’re not alone (as you’ve figured out).
It reminds me of the old adage, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” When we stop hiding things, we can stop living with the shame that we’ll be discovered. It’s awesome what you’re doing, and I hope you feel every ounce of love and admiration that we all send your way.
You. Are. Awesome.
🙁 Would so love to purchase one of those silverribbon necklaces, but it looks like getting it shipped to the UK costs as much as the necklace itself and I can’t afford a $56 necklace….
Just wanted to say though that despite this, I am glad you got the response your post deserved and that you also heard how many people it helped. Keep fighting.
For the second time you have brought me to tears, not from laughter like usual, but from my heart aching for you and others that suffer in silence from this terrible disease. Thank you for your bravery in speaking out. My SIL self harms, too, and I never know what to say to her or my brother when she slips to that point. I am sharing this with her so she will see that she is NOT alone and there IS hope. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You put a face on depression, and NOBODY does that. The nature of the beast is that we withdraw in ourselves when we need others most, and depression has to be the monster that sways a lot of people to suicide, but nobody puts that in their obituary….except that amazing mom.
You are amazing and fantastic for outing the monster and maybe shedding a little more light on him won’t add to the social stigma so many suffer under. Kudos to you.
By the way, I am a therapist. I treat trauma survivors so most of my clients have with issues with depression, anxiety, and/or self injury. I have sent the majority of my adult clients to this blog with you as an example of resilience and how that doesn’t always look the same from one person to the next – how we all need to find our own ways of thriving and we don’t have to follow a socially prescribed model of “healthy”.
Get this. YOU ARE A ROLE MODEL! A clinically verified role model. How you handled your disclosure only increases my sense of you as a trail-blazer.
I picked inspire as one of my 3 words for 2012, I only hope that can do one thing this year that is even half as inspirational as the post yesterday and the conversation it has inspired.
Again, thank you
You know I live in NY, if you want me to hold your hand or if u get anxious, just let me know and I will be with you asap. I mean that from my heart. And, you don’t have to be irreverent and funny next time, not until you feel like it. Laurie F.
luv luv luv. everything.
Thanks so much for your posts last night and today. My daughter suffers from panic attacks, bipolar disorder (which includes overwhelming depression), and has self harmed in the past. It’s great to know we’re not alone…my daughter and our whole family since we’re all impacted. Thanks again, Jenny.
it’s like the floodgates of truth were opened for all to witness. thank heavens for your courage and for those of all who responded in as much candidness. I’m in awe.
In the end you sparked a flame that became a raging, positive fire. And there are LOTS of people who will make sure to keep the flame burning 🙂
You go girl, with all that you are, and hey – what’s normal anyways? We are the sum of our experiences, and, even though it sounds corny – a problem shared is a problem halved.
So share, people, don’t be afraid! I’m sure there are more out there willing to listen and help than you can imagine right now 🙂
It makes me happy that there are people like you who are willing to publicly talk about depression and anxiety. Even thinking of talking about it tends to trigger me, and you manage to express this in such a way as to be my mouthpiece in some cases. Thank you, Jenny.
I am so grateful for these posts. I write a blog about depression myself (www.brokensaints.wordpress.com) but I don’t tell people I know (aside from a very few) because I don’t want them to think badly of me – or worse, feel sorry for me! In fact, I wanted to link to your post yesterday but I still don’t want people associating depression with me. So I guess I’m not out still, even though I write about it too…
Jenny – I know how hard it is to even talk about this. I was in denial (no, NOT a river in Egypt) for years about my depression and resultant anger. Fortunately, I had someone who helped me to come to the realization that I needed help. You, through your words and post, have done the same. Not one of the thousands of supportive comments would have been posted had you not had the courage to share your “craziness” with us. Jenny, YOU have saved a life. Thank you. God Bless you. Enjoy New York.
PS. = Knock, knock, M.F
I mean I wanted to link to your post on facebook. I did link to it on my blog because my blog is anonymous. 🙂
Thank you for trusting us, and helping us find each other.
So happy to be not alone.
Used to judge those that suffered from depression. Didn’t even really understand it after my father committed suicide but the day after my first child was born, I woke up to an unrelenting grip of depression that gave me insight into what it must be like for so many. Thankfully my depression lifted when my hormones evened out, but that month where I felt nothing but blank doom gave me an understanding I will always remember.
Thank you! You are right to think that some people will fade away, some do but your posts were so important in letting people know that there are a heck of a lot of people in the same boat. Just because our immediate “supporters” fade away, doesn’t mean that we are in it alone.
My picture is of me under a huge mushroom, always in that shadow you know? Standing up, looking normal to the world but under a very dark shadow that only I feel.
Thank you to you and thank you to those that have commented.
I fucking love you. That is all. Carry on.
Know that you have done so much good for so many people. XOXOXO
Thank you a hundred gazillion times for articulating the endless battles with depression so beautifully for those of us that just couldn’t find the words. Thank you a hundred gazillion times for being brave enough to spur conversation about one of the things everyone is uncomfortable talking about. THANK YOU for being you and not being afraid to share.
I love reading your posts. You are brave and strong. Also, you have made me laugh hysterically, which I need. Keep on!
Your blog truly touches lives and reaches out to others. There needs to more people like you in the world! Good luck in New York tomorrow!
I couldn’t even comment on your post because I was so overwhelmed by your words, and also by everyone else who commented. All I can say now is thank you for being you, the real you, not the glossy, proper, socially-acceptable you that you could easily pretend to be. And in your darkest hours of your next battle, just remember: it’s possible that you’re suffering so much because God (or fate or the universe or whatever you believe) knew you were strong enough to come out on the other side and help the ones who might not have been able to do it themselves. The people like me. Thank you, a thousand times, thank you.
The title of my blog is- But my mind is still in chaos and…
It’s a line from a song titled Say Anything by X Japan. The writer never finished that line and I’ve always wondered what he was thinking. So I borrowed that line and turned it into what I am thinking… at any given moment. Blogging about the things that get trapped in the repetitive loop of my mind helps me sort things out enough to sleep at night, and hopefully come to a resolution. Reading your blogs helps me to know I too am not alone… you and the others who comment on your blogs are right there with me. We all have our weak moments, but we also fortify each other in ways most ppl who don’t know our dark moments could never understand.
The picture is a perfect representation of what it feels like to know you’ve opened the door to one of the darkest parts of your soul and have found if not peace, at least a lessening of the darkness… ppl who can understand and who will stand by you while you struggle… that’s what we as humans should do for each other.
Thank you for having the courage to share something so personal. It gives others, myself included, the strength to stand up and say yes I too know how that feels.
I shared your post last night to my facebook and privately with some friends that I knew it would help. We had some great conversations. Thank you.
Oh my. This brought tears to my eyes and filled me with such loving feelings for people I will never meet. Those of you who suffer from depression are among the bravest I know. Love to you all.
Thank you, Jenny.
This gave me chills. This shows that the internet isn’t just full of mean people who leave hurtful comments, but people who do care about one another and want to see people survive. Your last two post show that. Thank you Jenny and the other readers of this blog!! You are all amazing people.
I am lucky, I don’t personally struggle with these issues, but have so many people in my life who do. People need to know others suffer, get help and get better. They need to know they are not freaks but people who are loved. Making it OK, talking about it, is so important. You are a beautiful and courageous person.
I didnt say it before but I will say it now. Thank you for your boldness, cause its made me bold. I went off my meds under pressure of family and have been struggling ever since. I am back on them and going to see my psychiatrist soon. I am sticking up for myself. I will be awesome again.
Everyone is amazing. Some people just require a little more sun, a little more water, a little more time and care to bloom. Those are always the prettiest and worth the extra effort.
We are strong when we speak out. Thank you for reminding us of that.
In Taoism, it is accepted that there is no good without bad, no positive without negative and that it is in accepting the whole of the thing or person that allows you to appreciate them and allows them to function. You are who and what you are, and that is not only ok. It is exactly what it is supposed to be.
I love you, and I don’t even know you!
You are so brave and I admire you. Thank you for “coming out”!
Jenny, you are simply amazing. Thank you for being so brave and strong. Even when you don’t think you are. Know that some (many) of us draw strength from your breathtaking example.
Way to be bold! I have friends who struggle with depression, and my heart breaks for them. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. You are a hero to those who suffer in silence.
Because of your words, and the comments about them, I got out of bed today. I’m going to go outside tomorrow. Wearing my silver ribbon. Thank you.
The Dark Army of Jenny the Bloggess RULES.
You are more than a role model. You are the voice we all needed to help us step forward.
Sometimes the internet allows people to be horrible and judgemental without fear of reprisal. To remain nameless and faceless while they tear down people’s dreams. Bullying in it’s worst form.
Then there are times when people rise up and support a virtual stranger because they can understand her pain.
Empathy. A wonderful emotion that allows us to be better people.
A number of years ago the comedian Christopher Titus did a special about his life. Hs mother was bipolar paranoid schizophrenic and his father an alcoholic. He expressed himself through comedy. One of the best lines (I’m paraphrasing) “those of us who have been through shit know to duck when it hits the fan.”
I love that sentiment. My take: We calmly wait unti the shitstorm passes, get the hose, a bottle of febreze and hose down the newly stained. And say, ‘Welcome, it’s easier from this point on to see it coming. You’ll learn to duck.’
Thank you for your strength & timing. Today was one of the hardest days in my life. I sat in a mental health office & asked for help. Real help, not just prayers & talking to girlfriends. All my love & support ~ you chicken lover.
Though this is the first time I’ve commented here, I’ve been reading your blog for a bit. Most posts make me furiously happy. These last two made me cry.
I’ve suffered from depression since I was 17 (I’m 32 now), and have never been treated. Sometimes I’m just sad, other times I’m in a bottomless, dark pit and can’t imagine finding my way out. I had a boyfried who didn’t understand at all and would say, “Smile. It’ll make you feel better”, and it would make me so angry.
When I was 20 or so, I wrote my mother a couple of suicide notes. I was serious, but I think I also just needed to know that she knew depression is real. I’ve never told anyone that.
Thank you, and your readers, for speaking out.
I just wanted to say thanks for the recent posts on your depression. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety and self-harming and suicidal thoughts and PTSD and a million other things for most of my life, and sometimes I don’t feel normal anymore. I feel absolutely alone and stigmatized for something I never chose to have. I’ve always felt guilty for being depressed, and even though I’m in an okay place right now (although pretty damn anxious these past few days), I still feel ashamed of myself. But when other bloggers come out with their own problems, it gives me HOPE. Hope not just for myself, but hope for everyone else out there that is struggling. We shouldn’t be ashamed or feel guilty — we should accept ourselves and feel that it’s okay to ask for help, to wallow in our misery when we need to, to tell the world to suck it when things go wrong. It took me years and years to allow myself to publicly acknowledge my mental illness, and I’ve found that whenever I blog about it, at least one person will comment about how my post helped or encouraged her. And I love that. All this shit that I’ve gone through has made me into a more empathetic, kind person, and by just talking about it, I can impact someone else’s well-being. And that’s when the world feels the most beautiful to me.
So, anyway, thank you! My thoughts are with you! You can beat the SHIT outta this depression!
You are amazing, and so is everyone who responded and took to heart what was said in the wake of your post. Thank you for your bravery, and for sounding a call that proved nobody has to feel alone.
I want to HUG ALL THE COMMENTERS!!!
Such a beautiful post, this one and yesterday’s.
While I may not fully understand, I do sympathize. And I respect the hell out of you for sharing your story.
These last two posts have touched and encouraged my heart in ways I can’t explain. Thank you.
Jenny, thank you so much. Next tattoo. Silver ribbon. To remind me depression is always a lying bastard and I CAN fight back! Thank you.
Thank you for being a force for so much good–in the form of funny and in the form of honesty and support.
my dearest bloggess of the universe… i’m proud of you and all the other people that came out in your comments, i sat reading them until i was too tired to go on… i also want to here by give permission to schizophrenics, people with many personalities, and other diagnoses, because we are not afraid of your suffering either, we love you, some of my best friends have those two diagnoses, and they are of the funniest most charming people i know… and please everyone, don’t forget to mention Jesus, ever see the exorcism of emily rose? (the true story was much more scary) well at the end of the movie her sentiment is ‘if they see the devil exists, they will know God exists’ and all of us here have seen the devil face to face, have had him whisper death in our ear, and maybe he’s hiding God from us, but deep down, we know who to call, and it ain’t ghost busters… fight the good fight of faith my warrior princesses!!! fight on!!
When I commented yesterday about my struggle, although slightly difficult to write, it took only a few minutes of my time. It did not interrupt my life or cost me anything. I just thought it was something that might help you in your struggle, the way hearing others’ stories helped me in mine. In fact, I stopped thinking about my comment not too long after I wrote it.
But then today happened. This post happened. I will now always remember the impact one comment on a blog post can have. What one kind word can change for a stranger. This is beautiful and it brought me to tears. Thank you for reminding me that kindness is more than a moment or a word or a gesture.
You are amazing. The internet is amazing.
Despite being broken, we are all so amazing.
I shared your post on my facebook page and have had a few people ask how they can help. I don’t think anyone has ever thought I was normal lol but I know most people have no clue I am Bi-Polar and have issues with self harming as well. I’m not ashamed of who and what I am but I know how upset and scared people get when confronted with the reality. I’m 45, just had my 5th child 4 weeks ago and of course I’m dealing with post partum depression but I have my support system in place with my wonderful husband. He is the reason I haven’t harmed myself in 5 years. It doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to and I don’t know if that will ever go away for any of us that have that issue, but we can fight it. I think its wonderful that people are starting to talk about depression and its effects more now and hopefully it won’t go back underground. Stay strong and know that we’re not alone in this.
I’m glad all the responses and shares have helped you and others feel less alone. I love the Silver Ribbon idea and the Red Dress Project and Beyonce and Copernicus and reading your blog. I started blogging in October of this year, and you have been one of my inspirations to keep it up.
Jenny, thank you so much for this. Your post last night came at a time when I was feeling alone and lost and it encouraged me to reach out and ask for the help I need.
I’ve been struggling with depression for years and refusing to do anything about it because I was ashamed to admit I couldn’t handle it on my own. Your post and the comments from your amazing readers reminded me that I’m not alone and I don’t have to go on this way if I can summon the courage to ask for help.
Thank you for being brave enough to say what not enough people know how to.
I had to go back and read the post from last night before reading this one. My girlfriend and I both struggle with depression, but reading your blog brought us to a point in our relationship where she opened up to me about her self harming. For all of us who struggle with depression, I am getting a silver ribbon tattoo. And whenever anyone asks what it means I will tell them. It’s time to stop hiding the truth and suffering in silence.
All we need is love and acceptance, even if they can’t understand what we go through. Thank you, Jenny for being an inspiration to so many. You have amazing readers as well. Hang in there and keep rockin!
I cried when I read your post last night. Because I could identify, because it made me feel sad that someone so accomplished could feel the same, because it seems like it’ll never go away, because I’m not alone, because you made me feel brave.
Depression is more than just feeling sad or having a bad day. Anxiety is more than feeling nervous.
Much love and mega respect to you. I’m glad you are working through your troubles and please know how much you’ve helped mine. 🙂
Thanks so much for being you, living your life, and sharing everything you will with us. It is an amazing thing and I love you for it.
I have battled with anxiety since puberty. My panic attacks ranged from scratching till I bled to litterally pulling my hair out. I’m turning 30 this month and with therapy and meds I’ve *almost* got it under contol. My sons are now gearing up for their own battle. But here’s the difference – their mother has a voice. My mother (their grandmother) fought her own battle in silence and watched me battle mine with no words of comfort. My children have a mother that teaches them breathing techniques and assures them they are not alone in their fight. We fight and learn together. Thank you so much for adding to our voices. I didn’t know we had our own ribbon and I can’t wait to show them that we not alone.
Thank you for introducing me to Brooke Shaden. I’m kind of obsessed now, but in a healthy way. ;-P
We’re going to hold you to the “raunchy” part. 😉
Honey, in the South we put our crazy people on the porch and celebrate them. you are welcome on our front porch anytime. We didn’t save lives, YOU DID. Now if that ain’t a 5ft metal chicken, I don’t know what is. XOXOX
In 1999, I had a breakdown. Oh, I wasn’t admitted or anything, but they really really really wanted me to–to the point where they called in security. Anyway, I lost like 50lbs in 3 months with it, and whenever anyone asked me how I did it, I told them, “I had a breakdown.” My sister was with me once when I told someone, and she told me to stop saying it–even though she knew it was the truth. She said it made her, and everyone else, uncomfortable. I told her that I loved her, but she was full of shit. I wasn’t going to lie about it just because someone else was uncomfortable with the truth. Since then, the depression has become something different than it used to be. I recognize it, and while I fight it, I also wallow in it a bit. I believe that it’s my brain’s way of saying it wants to nap more. Anyway, I’ve been fighting it since at least 1989 (probably longer) but wasn’t diagnosed at all until the mid-90’s. It is survivable, but God knows, I didn’t always think so. Thank you for reminding me that the world, like my sister, is full of shit, and it’s okay for me to say so.
Thank you for being so brave and inspiring. I knew there was a reason I kept coming back to your blog… I just love that you’re out there, writing what you do. You are funny, charming, irreverent, and so deeply honest. It’s wonderful. You’re awesome!
One of my BFF’s just emailed me and told me I had to come read this. I recently, about two weeks ago in fact, admitted to her and our other best friend that I wanted to die. It was humiliating to admit it but their support has helped tremendously with my efforts to overcome those thoughts. I have been seeking counseling for months and finally broke down and started meds last week. I was too far past the point of no return and not even my precious children were keeping me from going farther anymore. I’m still a long way from recovery, but I have discovered in the last two weeks that a lot more people love me than I ever knew.
Thank you for your honesty. Depression is a scary and lonely world. While I would never wish it on anyone, I am grateful I am not alone. Good luck.
Your honesty is touching and your bravery is inspiring. It’s so wonderful to hear that the reaction to your post was positive, THAT’S THE WAY IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. If there were any negative commenters, I feel that they should be dealt with in a stabby manner, but maybe I’m being too impetuous. I’m sure there’s a more constructive way to deal with them (gonna just trail off here because I’m not sure what it is)…
Been reading your blog for just a little while, but I’ve already fallen head over heels for your irreverent sense of humor. You had me at “Knock knock, motherfucker.”
Hugs from one Texan to another, I wish you the best on your journey.
I’m crying right now, but unlike at some of my darkest moments, I’m crying from joy. This is so amazing and I’m so glad that people are getting the help they deserve and finding comfort from our collective voice. You are all loved.
It’s been more than twelve years since I last cut myself. Ten since I threw away the little tin of razors I kept, ‘just in case’, and nine since I had a major depressive episode. It gets better. It GETS BETTER. And you, and everyone with depression, deserve the time to get better. Thank you for breaking the silence.
This post just totally made my day. So did all of the other comments yesterday; I just kept reading and reading and reading, and saying “Oh!” and getting a lump in my throat that was kind of a mixed ball of tears, empathy, recognition, relief, and even pride. When I first started going to counseling, I was paranoid someone would see me enter or exit the clinic, because of the stigma and judgments our society still places on mental illness (um, including me….I felt so awful having to admit to myself I needed help; I was terrified to take the step of going to counseling). I would say I was busy, or that I had “an appointment” when making plans and be as vague as possible about where I was really going. It’s been over a year since I’ve been seeing an (awesome) counselor, and now it kind of rolls off my tongue in conversation without me realizing it…there’s a moment of fear with the disclosure, but people have been more accepting and less freaked out than I would have expected. Thanks again Jenny 🙂
I tied silver tinsel into my hair today to go along w/ my blue feather (for mental health) today because of what you wrote yesterday. These are badges that I wear. So when people ask me why, I can tell them without hesitation that the silver is for depression and the blue is for mental health.
I’ve had people laugh at me and call me crazy to my face, asking when am I going to the looney bin. Once upon a time that would have sent me spiraling into shame, but now I give a cheerful smile and say “Go fuck yourself. ”
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Even as I type this, I am tempted to hurt myself b/c I am making myself emotionally raw and vulnerable, saying these things out loud, but I am calmed by the fact that I know that your struggle is helping to free me.
My heart loves you so much!
Exactly! You are loved. We are all different. And so, somehow, therefore, the same. Linked in love and compassion. Linked in love and compassion. Linked in love. Shining.
Thank you for your words. I do not suffer from depression, but my Mom, Best friend do. I have struggled over the years, with not understanding. I could not understand why they cant put a smile on their face and just face the day. Reading your blog and someothers, I’m finally starting to understand. Thank you again.
Jenny, thank you for talking about this. Thank you for making it known that it does happen. Thank you for being you. I have never met you but I know that you are an amazing, epic person. Somedays, I am in my dark place, and I all I want to do is hide. Thank you for showing me the light, you have no idea how you have affected me.
I have started posting my struggles with my sexual abuse history and my depression on Facebook. Some people are supportive, others tell me I shouldn’t air my dirty laundry, the latter get deleted. The truth is, I am who I am because of my struggles. I’m strong willed, smart, caring, funny, & a complete mess. I love my life, my struggles make me stronger and more empathetic. 4 yrs ago I swallowed a bottle of Tylenol Pm. My sister got me to the hospital just in time. I was in intensive care for 7 days and the doc said “I almost did it right.” I will NEVER try that again. I realized those closest to me loved me and all those years of them ignoring me was just because they thought they failed me, they didn’t protect me from harm, sexual, physical, & emotional abuse. People around you care, they are sometimes scared, but most of them are amazing and supportive. Thanks for the post. I cried with relief knowing everything I felt was exactly the same for at least one person. I was completely alone in my depression/PTSD.
Thanks. Even though I’m good now, I too go through stages. I now have something to read when I’m down and out.
First of all, I know I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Thank you. For opening yourself up like this, talking about your struggles. Thank you too for being a light in the darkness. I don’t have any epic stories to tell, but I’ve struggled with depression most of my life, I’ve only recently discovered your blog, but I want to tell you one of my dirty little secrets.
You’re my happy pill.
When I feel the darkness coming I flip over here, read through the archives, you’ve never failed to make my day a little brighter. And even more than that…I’ve recently begun sharing out my prescription. One of my best friends was in the hospital all of last month, in chemo, and one day I just decided I wanted to make him laugh. So I introduced him to Beyonce (color me too lazy to type an accent). Before long he was howling. I don’t think he’d laughed that hard since Granny waltzed in with a pizza and dared the nurses to say anything to her.
Never underestimate your own power, and seriously..if you were normal I wouldn’t laugh so hard and then where would we all be?
Depressed and not funny and on too many drugs. That’s where.
I love you, I love you, a million times love you. I often go to your blog to read what you have posted, funny, serious, or just information. I read yesterday too and cried because you felt you could share with us all your struggles, personal deep secrets, and what you are going through. Thank you for sharing it. If it was not for you, there would be some who would not be able to “come out of the closet” of anxiety and depression. You did this. You started it. We just felt it was okay because you came out. Again, I don’t know you, but I love you more than I can express. Thank you for this blog, for opening up, and thank you most of all for being YOU.
Your last post inspired me to share a bit on my own blog, not so much about my struggle, but how I am fighting it. I fought it terribly last year and this year I refuse to let it take hold of me and destroy me. I hope others read your blog and realize we are not alone, we can be a support team.
This is proof positive that you and your readers CAN make a difference in the lives of others. Thank you, Jenny, for being brave enough to talk about your “secret”. People like you (and your readers!) make the world a better place!
There really isn’t anything called ‘normal’ and the sooner we all realise this and stop judging each other for not fitting in the better we all feel.
We’re all weird. We’re all broken. But we’re also wonderful, beautiful human beings, every single one of us.
i was diagnosed with biopolar disorder two weeks ago after suffering for 22 years, thinking i could just “will” myself out of this, never quite finding the end of the string in this huge tangled ball of yarn that is my brain and emotions. i don’t openly talk about it – this is the first time addressing it outside of a small inner circle of friends – but i know how important it is to know you’re not alone. we don’t all have such a platform to do this. what a good thing you have done here, simply being real <3
You are a brave soul. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings. I have bipolar disorder and have also self-harmed in the past. There are days where it seems like it would be so easy to let go. It is deeply moving to know how many people you helped just by being strong enough to be honest. Thank you.
Thank YOU for being brave enough to step up & open up. Personally, I found it was an incredibly timely piece. One of my co-workers committed suicide last week and we all found out this week. None of us knew she was in that place. Of course, the first thing you think when you hear a friend has taken her life away from yours and everyone else’s is that you should have KNOWN…you should have said that one thing, should have been there that one time. You wish you would have made that extra step to be nice instead of snarky. You wonder what you could have done to stop this from happening. And even if you know that depression doesn’t work that way, that sometimes there is no one easy solution, that there was no one thing any one person could have done to gain a different outcome in that moment, in the back of your mind, you always hold a little self-blame because you weren’t nice enough, available enough, understanding enough, good enough to that person who is no longer here.
The thing, though, is that the next thought a lot of people think is, “I just don’t understand why anyone would ever do that to herself” and I think that type of questioning is where a problem starts. I think that type of not-understanding is where the shame and the hiding and the not-being-able-to-be-open-and-honest begin to take root. “I don’t understand” immediately makes you need to defend whatever it is about you that they don’t understand because it’s not an invitation to help that person understand, it’s an accusation as to your general wrongness. “I don’t understand why you don’t want to have babies” “I don’t understand why you would mutilate your body like that” “I don’t understand why you only love other men” “I don’t understand how people can be so stupid” – it is all the same message.
And that is why I am so thankful you posted your story when you did because for every co-worker of mine who said, “But why would she want to die? Why would she want to hurt herself? Why didn’t she just [insert solution]?” I was able to point them to your post and say, “Because it doesn’t work like that. It’s just not that easy and just because you don’t have those feelings doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to understand why someone else does.”
I don’t know if my co-workers read your post. If they did, I don’t know if it helped them understand any better. But if it helped make even just one more person accept that depression is an oppressive dictator that can’t always be overthrown, that it’s not a personality flaw or a weakness of will or a lack of spirituality, that it’s a real and horrible thing that people around us have to fight with every single day…then maybe their understanding will help them do that one thing, say that one thing, be that one person who helps someone else in their time of need. I know that’s not how life works, but still…maybe.
the only way i get to learn more about myself is by talking to someone else…
you’re a brave woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend, author, artist, comedian and human.
we’re all broken and the moment we accept this is the moment we begin to heal.
safe travels in NYC. kick some ass.
We all love you for being you, and for saying exactly what you think and feel…whether the end result be laughter, tears, or vulnerability. Your words are raw, and real. My grandfather suffered from bipolar disorder when my dad was in high school. He could not tell anyone of his depression/mania…he was the town dentist and this was just not something to be talked about. He took lithium (one of the few medications at the time to treat this) but did not get his levels checked regularly because he had to have it done secretly. His moods were erratic and unpredictable…his highs were high, and his lows were lower than low. He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head when my dad was a teenager. He left behind a strong, loving wife and 4 sons…age 16, 14, 12, and 10. It is so sad to me that because he could not talk about this with anyone that his wife lost a husband, his sons lost a dad, and I never got to meet my grandfather. So thank YOU for stepping out there and helping others gain strength through your brave spirit.
So very proud to say I read you. Your bravery and honesty is what dreams are made of. Thank you.
Jenny, all this makes me so happy. I am glad you are able to feel the love. There is so much of it here for you, and you have so much for all of us, too; a great big circle of love and acceptance. Also if you want any support while you are here in New York, a friend to eat lunch or have a cup of coffee with, a safe place to hide out, just DM me, I’m right here in the city!
You are amazing – we all are amazing – we rock!
Jenny The Bloggess, thank you. Thank you for being awesome and brave.
Again you leave me without the right words. The world is a better place because we can all just shout: Hey! I’m broken too! Thank you.
We love you, Jenny. Be well and remember that we all thank you all the time for what you do.
I’ve known a few creative people in my life, such as yourself. And they are all hugely loving, fun to be with, sparkly, crazy, and beautiful thinkers that really know how to tap into those special places in their brain. But with that creativity often comes a dark side. At times I’ve gotten angry with those same creative people and I’ve even said the dreaded words : “Why can’t you be normal??” (whatever normal is).
I’m now 46 and understand the world a little bit better. And after having lost a good friend to suicide (who was like a second father to me), I can now understand that depression is a disease. You don’t want to feel that way and can’t help it. I can’t even imagine what that must be like to have thoughts like that and you simply can’t get away from them. I bow to your courage. I can hope I would be that strong, but I can’t be sure.
I’ve finally learned that we ALL need to do whatever it is we need to do to help ourselves be whole, happy and healthy. Period. And there is no such thing as *normal*. I’ve also learned that those that call themselves *normal*……those are exactly the ones I should run from. Because they are the ones that are crazier than shit!
You write whatever it is you want to write about. Don’t feel like you have to immediately go back to writing what you are known to write about just because you think your readers have had enough of what you are currently going through. If they don’t understand and are just waiting for the “Court Jester” to come back and make them laugh, screw’em. You. do. what. you. need. to do.
Much love & admiration,
Bonnie in Rat Town, Flori-DUH (and I mean….DUH)
Jenny, I left a very brief comment yesterday, not feeling like my story was “enough” to share given what you’re faced with, but the fact that people are reading the responses and gaining something from them has reminded me that every story is important.
So here it is, for anyone who is feeling the same thing: I suffered from Post-Partum Depression for several years (undiagnosed for quite a long time), and although it presented mainly as a general malaise and apathy, I have to remind myself that it’s no less important than the more severe forms depression takes. It’s important enough to seek help for, even when your depression isn’t of the self-harming or suicidal variety. Counselors and medications DO help, and it’s not your fault that you can’t “snap out of it.” Hugs to all.
Love that picture. And remember you are not alone. (I shared your post with a couple of my friedns because you managed to put into words what I could not.)
The story about the girl who stopped herself from committing suicide after reading this post and comments really touched me. I almost didn’t contribute a comment last night, because I thought “Oh, it’ll just get lost in the shuffle of the other comments”. I’m glad I posted something. I realized that there’s no such thing as getting lost in the shuffle when everyone is contributing to the same collective thought of strength and support. Maybe she didn’t read my comment…maybe it only took the post, or just a few comments to help her realize we’re all struggling. Regardless, it’s been a while since I’ve felt attached to a cause greater than myself.
It might take a while for me to build up the courage to share my struggles with people involved with my everyday life, but I know reading these posts and comments will help me get to that point a lot sooner than I would have without them.
To be honest I had never heard of you before yesterday. Someone I follow on Twitter retweeted your ‘Hardest post I ever had to write’ without saying what it was about. As a writer, I was curious as to why it was so hard to write, so I had to check it out. I read it so quickly the first time I hardly understood half of it and had to reread it later, more slowly. As someone who has struggled with depression for the last three and a half years or so, I know exactly where you are coming from. I also self harmed for a while before I got help from my counselor, so I understand that too. I am glad you have the guts to talk about about–even if it’s only the ability to mention it and go no farther (I don’t like to talk about it either).
I am not alone, nor are you, nor is anyone else with depression. We can get better.
Also, next time I see silver ribbon, I fully intend to get it and make a bunch of little support ribbons! 🙂
THANK YOU! I finally felt comfortable talking to my mom about the depression our whole family suffers from. She sometimes jokes about being on anti-depressants for so long, but we don’t have enough open conversations about it. Thanks for starting this conversation and bringing awareness to the silver ribbons, too.
To quote a character from Doctor Who:
“The sky is full of a million million voices, saying, ‘Yes, of course! We’ll help!” You’ve touched so many lives, saved so many people. Did you think when you’re time came you’d really have to do more than just ask? You’ve decided that the universe is better of without you. But the universe doesn’t agree.”
I almost cried when I read this. I’ve been battling depression since I was about 12. I used to self-harm as well, and to be honest, sometimes I think about it still, though I haven’t actually done it in a long time.
This makes me want to get silver ribbons tattooed all over my body. Seriously. It feels so good knowing there are others out there feeling the exact same thing I am.
I can’t tell you how much these two posts have meant to me. When I read your blog, I always feel like you are the coolest, funniest, most with-it woman I could think of. But knowing that you go through what many of us go through without ever saying anything, makes me not only think you’re even cooler… It makes me feel a lot better about myself. It makes me feel like I’m not so f’d up and weird afterall. Thank you for helping empower us. You are awesome.
I really admire you for making so many people smile- even when you’re hurting yourself. Saying “I know it’s tough” doesn’t seem adequate- but I hope you remember how many people appreciate you.
I’m not sure if I saw it here or on pinterest or on twitter (or do I follow you anywhere else?) byt I really liked the explanation of feeling depression vs. having depression- like how its different to feel cold vs. have a cold.
I also hope you remember that so many people know you as the woman who saved christmas for so many families. That was AWESOME. I just read through the comments on those posts and got all teary again. You’re AWESOME.
All my love,
And, to completely sweep any heartfelt-ness out of that comment, the site I copied that quote off of used the wrong “your/you’re.”
I thought about your earlier post all day. 19 years ago my uncle committed suicide. He struggled with depression for many years and self-medicated on and off for as long as I had known him. And until this morning, I was mad at him. Angry. Pissed. He took himself away and left my father with no siblings. My grandparents are gone. My dad has no touchstone. My uncle left his daughter with no father. And it made me mad. Until this morning. And then that anger was replaced with an epiphany. I don’t feel sorry for him. And I’m not angry anymore. I see my uncle as someone who suffered from a disease. Just as my mother died from a stroke. And my grandparents from cancer. This is no different. I wish I had reached out and listened even though I wasn’t old enough to understand. I wish my grandmother had understood more. I wish he hadn’t felt so ashamed that he would have said I Need Help! But, I know there are many many others who read this today and maybe, just maybe, they felt a sense of relief. Or at least a ray of light. And my heart feels whole. And I feel my uncle is resting so much more peacefully. And he deserves that. And so do I. And so do you. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty. And thoughtfulness. And patience. And understanding. It set many of us free and that is the greatest gift of all.
p.s. @Andrew- that quote is absolutely perfect!!
I posted on the original blog and posted it on Facebook with a bit of my own struggles…. I am one of those people who started out telling those closest to me (not my family but friends) and those who might notice a change when I went on medication. I was very good at hiding the scary part of my depression from everyone who didn’t live with me. Once people found out they said, but you seem so HAPPY. Of course I do, it’s a MASK. I hide my true self. from everyone, at least I did. My anxiety was so bad even on my medication that I was crippled with it when I went to leave to go to work one day. I wanted to be home with my two boys (at then 1 & 2) I held them while I cried and then called my boss and quite on her voicemail. I then called my mom (who watched my boys) and my husband…. he already knew it was getting bad and work was part of it. I was so paranoid and no one knew or understood. After that it go better, but telling people and explaining it to them helped. Also helped me to be able to tell people when I was having a not so good day.
I applaud you and everyone else who shares their story with anyone. When I was at my worst, even though I was not suicidal I told my husband if I were to die and it was due to something I did because of my depression to make sure it said so in my obit, maybe it would help someone.
I know someone who told me once, “When I can’t even think of the words to pray, I just say, ‘God, be big!'”
Jenny, go be big. I know you can.
Sweetheart, we love you. You are an amazing person in so many ways, and your writings bring so much important stuff into the world.
My students love you too. Your blog posts are among the most asked for texts in my classroom.
As the mother of a son who carries many scars from self harm I would like to thank you. You may not have intended the results you received but you gave a voice to somany that felt they had none. I have been a longtime fan of your writing but have a new respect for you as a person. Thank you for giving a voice to those who felt they had none.
Crying for you pain. For my own. For the ones that lost the battle. For the one who are still fighting.
You’re awesome. Seriously. A real-live brave human being.
I would totally support a ribbon. I dealt with depression and anxiety most of my life. I’ve been plenty suicidal in my younger years and I was a cutter before I knew there was a term for it. We didn’t talk about such things. I was made to feel like getting help was a sign of weakness. That I was pill dependent and should have sucked it up. That is until a few years ago when one of my brothers was forthcoming about his own issues and his encouragement that we didn’t have to suffer silently. I have him to thank for getting it back together. Even so, my boss at the time was insistent that I keep my “issues” private, even to the point of hiding my medication from others. It felt like she was implying that I should still be ashamed. I refused. I am forthcoming about it in the hopes that someone else will realize that this doesn’t need to be something they have to struggle with alone. (Also she’s no longer my boss, so win!)
Honestly, I was too scared to comment the other day but I want to tell you … I bawled like a baby as I was reading your post and the comments. And the tweets. I’ve lost several friends to suicide (from depression) and it’s something I struggle with. Running has helped with the seasonal aspect of my depression, but it can still rear it’s ugly head when I’m least expecting it. To everyone to was able to share a story or just sent up a little prayer for those of us living it, Thank you. You’ll never know who read what you wrote or heard what you said and how much it meant to them.
This brought me to the brink of tears. The only reason that I didn’t give in was because my daughter would think something was wrong. God bless that poor mother. As well as everyone else who suffers from depression or any other mental disorder. I totally wish I could be where you are in NY so that I could give you a great big hug for all that you are and all that you do for others. Thank you.
The people that really love you will love the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the sick and the healthy in you. I love you Jenny! Big hug!
Brava!! Thank you for writing about something all of us survivors should talk about more. I’m getting me one of those silver ribbons!
You ROCK, oh ye bloggess! Oh ye GODDESS! Yesterday, when I finished reading your post, I literally said aloud, “Wow!” It was truly one of the most amazing pieces I’ve ever read. You are always “out there”, but this time, you REALLY put yourself out there. You, dear lady, are amazing and inspiring! Thank you for being (and sharing) ALL that you are.
Jenny…I didn’t respond last night because typing all this on my phone was beyond me…but thank you! After watching someone I love become a widow at the age of 35 when the love of her life was taken by depression, a depression he feared getting inpatient treatment for because people would “find out”, I was both relieved and frightened when the family stated plainly in the obituary that he died of suicide due to depression. Relieved that finally someone was saying it and frightened of what people would think, and how we would explain it to the kids, and all that stuff. Just like any illness or cause of death, the more openly it is discussed the more support the victims and survivors and caretakers will find. They need it and they deserve it.
The silver ribbon is nice, but I imagine your red dress pictures taking on the iconic status of the pink ribbon and empowering those who have been held down by depression. You have that kind of reach, that kind of influence, and I don’t think it’s an accident that you have found a giant megaphone. You are a light in the darkness for a lot of people, and it is in part for our own sake that we stretch our hands out to you, hoping to keep that beautiful light from going out.
Um, you do know that there is already a silver ribbon campaign concerning women’s reproductive rights, right?
But I am glad that you are feeling better and that ppl have been so supportive and kind.
Someone had to open the dialogue to get people talking. And now that the floodgates are open, good things can come of it. I hope the depression lets go of you soon because it’s a desperate liar trying to keep you in its cave.
And I kind of want to turn a silver ribbon into a sword and slay some dragons, just because it sounds like something my anxiety won’t let me do but it also sounds like fun.
Totally in tears right now. Jenny, YOU did this. YOU saved a person. Because YOU spoke up; we were compelled to respond. I find that when we write from our hearts people REALLY respond – they respond deeply and sincerely. And because of YOU and YOUR words we saved at least one person. Much, much love to you.
There used to be a commercials in the early 90’s where people were walking around with diseases stamped on their foreheads for some medication, so a friend and I used to joke that we felt like we had “Former Mental Patient” stamped on our foreheads. At the time I was trying to get health insurance at a small business, and it was horrible b/c no one wanted to insure me b/c of my history of anti-depressants. And the group therapy I was in–we all slunk out afterwards and weren’t allowed to talk to one another outside of therapy. Why not? Having depression was like having some dread disease that you couldn’t talk about. You were just supposed to ‘get over it.’
I think we all know that it isn’t something you get over. It’s something you try to live through. Cheers to Victor for helping you, and love and hugs to you for your valient struggle. Keep us updated please. We’re all struggling with you 🙂
I love you. I don’t know you and I know so much about you and I love you. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your story. My daughter is 18 and suffers from depression and has had issues with self harm. As a mom, it tears me apart. She does get counselling and it will probably continue for a long time. I think that you are amazing and thank you for giving me some kind of light at the end of what some days appears to be a very dark tunnel.
Why shouldn’t people be crazy? The world is pretty crazy.
If you fly over St. Louis, wave. I will be there. I started meds today. Thank you for gutsing me up enough to call my doctor and asking for help.
You’re the best. Thanks for posting. Sending you love.
Love the photo. Love the message. Love YOU. You are remarkable. Pod luck in NY – everything will be ok.
Jenny, thank you. Just…thank you. I wanted to comment yesterday but I was just too emotional. You are brave and generous. Thank you for giving us a voice.
Crush you? How could anyone want to, when your light was shining for all to see.
Thank you. Again.
I can’t thank you and your readers enough for being so amazing! You are one of my hero’s!
*** If you need my cell phone, please get in touch with me ( NY) AND I will send it to you so you have it. Wow, Jenny, just look at what you have done for the world. I have a blog post that I wrote a few weeks ago named “Aren’t We All Damaged In Some Way?” –it’s true isn’t it?! With love, Laurie F.
still loving you more and more with each post, Jenny.
I went and bought a silver ribbon necklace. I sometimes carry around pictures of my children in my back pocket to remind me why I keep going. Now I’ll carry this necklace and hold it and remember.
I said “pod luck” above. I meant good luck, obviously. I don’t know what pod luck is, but I probably want some.
fighting the fight with you. we are stronger than depression.
To Write Love on Her Arms – a website about self hurt and awareness of depression and mental illness.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
The vision is that we actually believe these things…
You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.
We live in a difficult world, a broken world. My friend Byron is very smart – he says that life is hard for most people most of the time. We believe that everyone can relate to pain, that all of us live with questions, and all of us get stuck in moments. You need to know that you’re not alone in the places you feel stuck.
We all wake to the human condition. We wake to mystery and beauty but also to tragedy and loss. Millions of people live with problems of pain. Millions of homes are filled with questions – moments and seasons and cycles that come as thieves and aim to stay. We know that pain is very real. It is our privilege to suggest that hope is real, and that help is real.
You need to know that rescue is possible, that freedom is possible, that God is still in the business of redemption. We’re seeing it happen. We’re seeing lives change as people get the help they need. People sitting across from a counselor for the first time. People stepping into treatment. In desperate moments, people calling a suicide hotline. We know that the first step to recovery is the hardest to take. We want to say here that it’s worth it, that your life is worth fighting for, that it’s possible to change.
Beyond treatment, we believe that community is essential, that people need other people, that we were never meant to do life alone.
The vision is that community and hope and help would replace secrets and silence.
The vision is people putting down guns and blades and bottles.
The vision is that we can reduce the suicide rate in America and around the world.
The vision is that we would learn what it means to love our friends, and that we would love ourselves enough to get the help we need.
The vision is better endings. The vision is the restoration of broken families and broken relationships. The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, finding love. The vision is graduation, a Super Bowl, a wedding, a child, a sunrise. The vision is people becoming incredible parents, people breaking cycles, making change.
The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.
The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.
The vision is hope, and hope is real.
You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.
Thank you for reminding me that there are people who do understand what I go through every day as a “Bipolar-American”. They may not be the people that I need to understand it, but they’re out there, they are legion, and they are some of the strongest people I’d like to have my back at any given moment. We all need to remember how strong we are just to survive with a mental illness. Thank you, Jenny, and hugs from a stranger to you.
It’s OK. You’re still the same person to me. <3
I was in tears before….but am now sobbing openly because I’ve taken the time to read the comments (your words made me post the comment before reading them). Am beginning to realize, that people DO care; more than we we think. And if strangers can care – then our families/loved ones might even care more – if we were honest.
Stop making me cry, Jenny.
I’m just glad you feel like you can come on here and be so open with everyone and not be afraid to show how you are really feeling. You are a real person, with real feelings and real struggles, and not hiding behind some persona who is fake. Thanks again Jenny.
to the mama who lost both of her babies to depression – i’m so, so sorry and wish i could do something to make you feel better. -another twin mama
Love you to bits, Miss Jenny. Backing away slowly from this community which embraces you and me and all our neurosis could never be an option. Standing together tight and strong will keep each of us propped up in our own moment of weakness. And think of all the new jewelry opportunities now that we’ve adopted the silver ribbon en masse! xoxo
Jenny – you are truly amazing in your ability to help people while you try to help yourself. Much appreciated!
You bring so much joy and hilarity to the world.
Wonderful follow-up post. I just woke up, so my head is a cloud of “OMFG GO BACK TO SLEEP” and “Mmmm…breakfast”, but I’m glad to read that so many other folks found a little comfort and peace (and perhaps kindred spirits) as a result of yesterday’s revelation. People underestimate how relationships form/work online, but they often start from just simply reading a passage by a stranger who shares a situation/feeling.
Your post was powerful and important, for both your own healing and for those who snet you private messages because they were/are asahmed and afraid. I hope everyone can continue to heal and grow stronger knowing that they are never alone.
Thank you so much for writing openly about these difficult issues. I’ve been blessed that depression hasn’t touched me or my loved ones, but it’s very important for me and others like me to hear first hand accounts. You are the reason why people like me understand – at least a little bit – how hard a battle you fight every day.
Now, changing subject completely, come to NYC, it’s awesome and more awesome. If you have any time for yourself one afternoon, visit high line park, it’s so serene and beautiful! And of course, I’d love to show you around 🙂
Honey, we’ll take your posts any way they come, funny or serious! You’re brave and AMAZING and why are you coming to my state and not stopping by?! I’d love to give you a whopping hug and buy you a doughnut (that’s what I do with people I love). xoxo Safe travels. Chin up. You, my dear, are a rock. effing. star.
Lady, you have some FIERCE. COURAGE.
I will make a silver ribbon. I’m surprised no one ever thought of it before.
I’ve never self-harmed, but I know why it helps when there’s nothing else. I know what the deadness feels like. When you’re falling down the rabbit hole and coming back up is the most impossible, difficult and painful thing in the world.
I also know what it feels like when your head pops up out of the hole and the sun shines on it again as if for the first time. It feels weird, because the pain has become more familiar than feeling okay. I’m glad you’re above ground again, Bloggess, because I love your unhinged irreverence. What I love even more is how you say out loud what everyone else is too hinged to say, even when it needs to be said. Keep it up. *deep breath*
Whether you are being brutally open and serious or brutally raunchy and snarky, you are wonderful and courageous. And adored, just as you are. Thank you – every broken, fabulous, incredibly amazing molecule of you.
You = hero.
Thank you for posting. Thank you for reading my blog post and thank you for posing a reply. I never could have imagined when Wil Wheaton mentioned your blog, I would read it and feel like I can relate to you, as if I knew you all along.
Thank you again — you are wonderful and amazing — and funny, which is why my daughter connected me to you, but this is so brave and strong. That you can be funny in between times is so incredible.
It’s that old “turn about is fair play” stuff or something like that my mom used to preach.
You’ve made life good for so many with your words….now let so many make your life good with their words.
More big love. Lots more.
I am going through the same types of things and just started blogging about them. I am not the best writer, but I write what I feel.
I “self-harmed” a couple days ago for the first time. I haven’t written about it either. It scared me, but there was such a strong urge to do it. I have to say – I don’t regret it, but I need to talk about it.
If you have any advice, please feel free to give it. http://therantingsofa30somethingguy.blogspot.com/
Thanks for being so open. You never know how many people are thanking you for your help.
Thank you. This is the first time I’ve had to deal with depression, my dad committed suicide this year and we couldn’t understand. We know more now – he was sick, he was feeling weak and alone. I never want to get to that point. I’ve been seeing my doctor for depression and I’m open and honest about the meds I take and how I’m feeling – that helps me, it doesn’t help everyone in my situation, but I’m so grateful to have the amazing friends and family in my life who help pick me up when I’m falling. I’m grateful for your post, none of us are alone. Thank you.
Wow! Just wow!!!! The faith and hope displayed have made my heart warm and my eyes fill up.
I have to say what you did took courage. I have a new found respect for you as a person, a woman and a creative person. How you were able to create your blog content while struggling defies all logic but takes a lot of heart. Thank you for being a voice with those who suffer and fight with depression and sometimes are not able to tell anyone. I have been there and know loved ones who suffer in silence.
You have the support of your fans and most importantly Victor. Thank you for sharing something so private. You have once again used your voice to say the things most could not. You have not only gained additional support but helped those obtain hope, not live in fear and judgment in a world that could care less at times. I think we need to make a silver Beyonce. Salute!
You are amazing, Jenny. You inspire. I came very close at one time to that same struggle. We feel your pain. We love you. We are all very proud of you for speaking out. For standing up.
Still loving you beautiful, beautiful Jenny.
One of my best roommates in college was a cutter. She told me and said she was on Zoloft and had it under control. I wasn’t sure what to think or so, so I just said “ok”. And left it at that. But we were watching tv when a commercial for the drug that worked for her came on, we watched and when the little sad bouncing blob turned happy, she and I would laugh and say “look, thats you!”. Some how that dumb bouncing blob on the drug commercial managed to make it an ok thing to talk about without any feeling of taboo. We’d laugh and move around the room in the bouncing blob type of movement (why? i have no idea, but we found it hilarious at the time). Thank God for that dumb blob icebreaker b/c she felt comfortable enough to come to me when she was even thinking about it, and we’d watch a Disney cartoon and laugh and it would be enough to pull her back from “the edge”. If she hadn’t been comfortable with me, I think there would have been a lot less Disney movies, and a lot more scars. If only the icebreaker was that obvious every time, then maybe no one would have to feel so alone in their suffering.
Jenny, you are a fantastic woman and changing lives all the time. You have brought so much laughter into my life and those of my friends. I’ve had a hard time with depression the last several months, and it helps to hear what other people are going through. Good luck in NY — hope it goes well. I’ve pre-ordered your book and look forward to reading that!
I can’t read any of this without crying years of joy.
What is normal anyways? Why would we think any differently of you? I only think more highly of you for speaking out about something that shouldn’t be kept a secret because as it DID do…it will help someone. That is the amazing power of honesty making a difference in that one person’s life. (and probably many more you don’t know about). I’ve felt the crushing weight of depression and it isn’t a world I care to go back to ever again. I refer to them as the “dark years” and they are literally a blur. With support of great friends I pulled out of it. Absorb the strength from your fans’ support and love and show NY what it isn’t ready for…the awesome you…and possibly a new stuffed sidekick for the collection…who knows. 🙂 All the best and hugs to you. Keep up the fight fabulous lady.
I love you and all those struggling in silence to whom you give a voice! None of you are alone. You never have been, and now you know it thanks to Jenny and her courage. We really are all in this together, and are a part of the same family. If anyone wants someone to talk to personally, please feel free to email me. We may be ‘strangers,’ but strangers are just friends waiting to happen. :o) And I can’t hug you from here, so you don’t have to worry about the strangle. ;o)
Standing Orgasm. Just sayin’.
I’m a recent fan, having only discovered your hilarity a few months ago. You have made me laugh til I cried and simply cry with joy at the incredible community you have built here. You are an inspiration. I applaud your honesty and openness. Keep fighting- we love you!
I commented on the last post and I’m sure this one will be once again lost in a sea of support, but for me, I wanted to add that sitting at home on my couch–still mired in my own struggle–I still draw strength from your words and those of others. My story doesn’t involve death or suicide, it’s never been about that much of an escape, but it does involve a constant, often painful struggle to put one foot in front of the other while projecting an image of “normalcy. ”
Well, not normal, as I humorously share my “issues” on my blog and am also quite open about things, but I never admit to their depth. I often think it’s something I just “need to get over.” You–and your readers–are a reminder that no one is normal and we’re all more similar than we realize. Who needs normal, anyway? We have each other.
We have strength in words and numbers.
“I live in my own little world but I have friends here.” Anonymous
P.S. At first I thought the woman in the pic was falling and then I realized she was being lifted up.
Two years ago instead of going to work one morning, my brother pulled into a parking lot and shot himself in his car on a cold March day. I knew he was battling depression but I didn’t know that it was telling him so many lies. Depression is a lying cock sucker. He was beautiful and now he’s gone. One of his co-workers told me at the funeral “There is nothing you can do now to save him. Your job now is to find the ones you can save.” I think I’ll make a silver ribbon and see who I can find that is still walking in darkness that won’t leave. Thank you for giving them a voice, Jenny.
Jenny, I don’t believe I’ve ever posted before, but I wanted to share with you that you have been a huge inspiration to me, and I think you’re an incredibly strong, brave, talented, and funny woman. I admire you for posting your battle, which in turn, has given so many of us a voice, and hope. I’ve been battling, too, but don’t share it with anyone. They just wouldn’t understand. I’ve been close to trying to end my life 3 times, the most recent being last February, right after I’d had major neurosurgery – to the point of lining up all the pill bottles in my house, counting them out, researching on the internet, and figuring out that if I just kept swallowing, the pain would finally stop. I’m not entirely certain exactly why I haven’t just gone and done it, other than having seen the damage it can to do the survivors (and that my youngest son would be the one to find me).
Thank you, and many blessings to you and your family.
Blogging changes the world by changing people’s perceptions.
You have changed the world.
This is a good thing.
Thank you so much, your battle is my battle too.
Love, love these posts. Thank you so much for taking the risk and hitting publish. It is awe-inspiring to see the effects that these posts, and comments, and tweets are having.
You say it and make it real for so many who need to know it is ok to struggle with feelings, emotions and actions as part of the process to getting to their own place of self. The glory of you is your ability to help others laugh and see that crying is all part of the path. I’m stull trying to figure out how soda or milk through the nose is healing but hey, that’s the risk we all take.
Thank you thank you
I sent your post to a friend. I hope it’s as powerful to her as it was for me.
Keep on fighting, Jenny. The world is a brighter place for all of us with you in it.
I am a mother and a blogger that has suffered from depression, Social Anxiety Disorder and the occasional bout of Agoraphobia due to Bi-Polar disorder. If only the rest of the world could be as supportive as this group here I would not be so afraid to tell the truth about myself.
I’ve never posted, but I am a devoted reader of your blog. I <3 you. You have made me smile many days when I really couldn't imagine doing so before I clicked. Just remember – What doesn't kill us, makes us stranger.
Love you – really – and have never met you and probably never will. I am happy today to know that I am at least in good company 😉
I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now, I think I was about seventeen when I started reading it. When I was nineteen, I developed relatively debilitating arthritis in both knees, and as someone whose main activities were field archeology and Japanese swordsmanship, and who has never handled long-term pain very well, that was rather problematic. I didn’t really have a support system, and there was a lot of other crap happening, some of which was the reason there was suddenly no support system. I didn’t tell anyone, someone on my hall told me about a week before I was hospitalized that she liked the fact I was always smiling. I almost didn’t call anyone. I don’t think I would have, if I hadn’t been reading this blog, if it hadn’t seemed like maybe mental illness wasn’t something to be kept secret at all costs. A year later, I’m trying to become someone even half as brave as you, and not hide, or lie, or pretend. So…thanks, for saving, and changing my life.
BRAVO! You are wonderful for sharing. As someone who battles depression and has led a long battle with dealing with abuse issues from my childhood, I have found that giving voice to my problems has lightened the load I have felt crashing in on me for years. I applaud your courage as well as those you have surrounding you who lend you their strength when you need it. Well done!!
Jenny – you are one of the most beautiful souls I know. So brave. With more strength than you allow yourself credit. You have done something amazing here. By sharing your journey, you have let thousands of other people embrace their own with a little more acceptance. I hope that alone continues to carry you forward on both up and down days. xoxo
I was going to post when I read yesterday. Then, I held back, embarrassed. I suffer from depression and have, unfortunately, listened to people who said I should just quit being negative, that I was weak for being depressed. I appreciate how open you were. It had to be scary. I do often feel like I should be able think positively and magically never fall into the black hole of apathy and sadness that rears its head. I was also touched by the comments, grateful people who don’t understand didn’t judge. You have a following and you’re using your influence for good, which is something more people should do. Thank-you.
I am in the trenches with you, Jenny. I have found some weapons to be more effective than others, and i want to share one with you; Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You just have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours,
And I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile, the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
Are moving across the landscapes,
Over the prairies and the deep trees,
The mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
Are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
The world offers itself to your imagination,
Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting,
Over and over announcing your place
In the family of things.
Thank you. For everything that you do, thank you. You are a wonderful person, and your strengths and struggles help me in my own battle.
I also know how justifying it can feel to have people come out of the woodwork, telling you that they’ve been there. People you thought you knew so well… but never really knew. It’s nice to know you’re not alone.
You are a survivor.
You are amazing Jenny! I just sat in the Dr Office for an hour and half today with my best friend in the whole world. A piece of me would die without her. And while she dug deep for the courage to talk to her Dr about the feelings of depression she’s been experiencing I saw a woman who was so strong in fighting her way back to a fuller life. I was so proud of her =)
I myself just was diagnosed last spring with an anxiety disorder. I was terrified at first. Why for the first time at 33 was I just now experiencing this lapse in control of my own life? What had triggered it? Why couldn’t I get a grip and was I weak for seeking help and medication? So many feelings and emotions flooded through me trying to make the decision to take back control of my life by any means necessary.
To this day I have not regretted my battle to survive. I chose to fight for my quality of life, to be the best me I could be. And some days quite frankly still suck but I dig my way out of the hole and usually land back on my feet fairly quickly.
I am so very thankful for having gone through this myself so that I could be there today holding the hand of my very best friend who needed my support while she stepped into a very scary place in her life, but the one and only place she needed, to begin to recover and fight for her own survival =)
Thanks for being HUMAN!
You are a gift.
Just…thank you. Not only do you make a difference, but somehow you give others permission to make a difference too.
Sending so much love to you, and out to everyone suffering their demons tonight.
Jenny – thank you for writing about this. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety most of my life and it really helps to know so many others really do understand what it’s like. I think the more you and others write about it the more people who don’t suffer from it will understand that it’s not something you can just “get over.” Over the last few years I’ve found so much support and so many resources through the internet. It’s still not easy to deal with but I don’t feel hopeless anymore, and haven’t been suicidal in years – and you are a big part of that help. I hope things go well in New York and that you feel better soon. <3
We are all here for you. And no one is going anywhere. We all love you, and will continue doing so.
Reading both of these posts in succession brought me to the edge of tears. If I wasn’t in a public place right now, I would’ve tumbled over it from sympathy. I’m only twenty but I’ve struggled with anxiety & depression for the majority of my life. In high school I’d get panic attacks so intense it felt like my mind was screaming into a megaphone–and I didn’t tell anyone until my senior year. It helped a little, going to college helped a little more, and talking to a counselor helped even more; but the best kind of therapy is knowing I’m not alone. I’m not broken. I don’t have to hide every time I cry. To you and all your readers I send genuine love and support.
I am full of admiration for you for laying it all out there in a way that has helped others in very significant ways.
People who criticize the internet or blogging or social networking just don’t understand the real and powerful GOOD that can come from the connections we make with the people who live inside our laptops.
Jenny, you are amazing. You inspire so many people, and touch so many lives. You make me laugh, you make me cry, and no matter what, I’m rooting for you.
Honesty is the best policy, even if you are only being honest with yourself and no one else ever hears a word of it. Start your journey to being gooder, woman. Proud of you.
Your story and the response to it reminds me of the story of the stone thrown into water and the ripple effect. You just never know who’s life you will touch when you share your life.
I don’t struggle with severe depression and anxiety, but have a close friend that has her whole life. She has been having a hard season, so this morning I called her and told her about you and then told her about this post. It meant so much to her, just to know that people are sharing the story. YOU have done an amazing thing, and I hope once you are feeling better, you will look back on this and realize the hero you are.
I have 4 friends that have commuted suicide over the last few years. I wish they could’ve seen this first. So many people dealing with so much. I wish they didn’t feel so scared and alone. Everyday I wish I could hug them one more time. Thank you for talking about this. If you can help one person from suicide you are my hero.
The more we talk about depression and mental illness the more we make it less shameful. I don’t feel ashamed to admit I have hypothyroidism, and I’m sure friends and family aren’t ashamed to have allergies or diabetes … but for some reason society has decided that mental illness should be kept secret.
I have battled depression, self-harm and an eating disorder and I am not going to stay in the closet of shame. I have won and continue to win those battles and I’ll be damned if I won’t feel proud of it. My maternal grandmother killed herself in a wall of silence. I will not. Nor will my daughter or son. It is empowering to speak about mental illness and to take it out of the dark and into the light. It is healing and necessary.
So thank you from my corner of the world too.
Thanks for this. You’ve really touched me.
Love you Jenny. Keep talking truth.
I’m not surprised your blog touches peoples lives and that the people who read and comment are helping save lives.
I tell people my family is “pedigree crazy”, cause they’ve got the papers to prove it! When I shared this, upon my first visit to my own mental health professional, he was amazed at my coping mechanism. Some of the “healthiest” people with the most screwed up mental insides use humor as a way to survive. According to my doctor, it’s the one thing that can’t be taught, it’s almost a natural instinct in people but the people who come out on top from identical situations (like shitty childhoods, i.e. siblings) are the ones who master the art of humor as a coping mechanism.
Laughter is just the best medicine, sometimes its the only one you can safely take without worrying about overdosing.
I have been dealing with depression and aniexty disorder since I was twelve and finally got help last year. Like everyone else, my good times are awesome and my bad times are really dark. Thank you for being so brave and talking about how so many of us feel on a daily basis. I compare my depression to a duck. You see me and I have trained myself to look totally calm going across the water but underneath I am paddling like hell to stay afloat! I am lucky to have an awesome husband who understands and a select few friends who help but I am absolutely ashamed sometimes. Thank you for raising your voice for our crazy army! Cheers to you, to everyone going through this, and to all the friends and family members who struggle to help keep us afloat!
Thank you so much for sharing your story Jenny. I know it will open doors for conversation and help someone else, or many someone elses, not feel so alone. I have suffered from depression, mostly mild, but one particularly scary episode. Actually two. Most recently it was the “I need to go to a hotel and get better alone so that my family won’t have to see me this way” kind. A long-time friend said during a group dinner recently “I’ve never known anyone with depression. I just just understand it.” I thought, “Seriously, you think you don’t know anyone with depression? Of course you do.” Like you, I feel that discussing it in detail triggers another or deeper episode. Conversation leads to understanding. Thank you for starting the conversation, and prayers for brighter days ahead.
That was a hard post for me to read, and it was such a relief to see someone admit to what I have been ashamed of so openly. I’ve seen references to THE post all over the internet, and so many people are so moved by what you wrote. You are a brave woman… and I think you may have started a mini-revolution of sorts. Your hilarious posts make me laugh every day, and then there are the days where you show the best of what the internet can do. Let’s kick depression’s ass 🙂
You are amazing. Your readers are amazing. Everyone is amazing.
Good luck tomorrow!! 🙂
and thank you again
the more we all hug each other and admit the darkness and say its okay the dark will be followed by lighter times, I’ve been there and can help you out…
the more all of our burdens will be lifted together
I’ve resolved to engage more on the internet, even when there are so many comments on something I fear my voice won’t be heard. So I’ve never commented before. But thank you. Thank you so much for being open about something that can cause so much shame
Amazing. Thank your for sharing your story, it makes shouldering the burden so much easier. Much love to you.
While I myself have struggled with depression and a variety of panic attacks, anxiety, stress . . . . since I was 13 – now 28 – My biggest struggle for the longest time was trying to help my husband understand that having depression is not something that you can just will away or “just forget about”. He struggled to come to terms with this fact until he was recently diagnosed with Severe depression also – I made him go to the doctor – he is now facing his inner demons with help – We have both been suicidal in the past – (my husband within the past month) and I have also experienced talking a good friend out of suicide in high school – in the heat of the moment it seems like suicide is the only option – I hope everyone has have some support that they can lean on and let you know it is okay! We need to break the stereotype, and speak out – depression is not something that we should hide behind! If you do it will consume you! Don’t be ashamed to ask for help – as you can see by the comments pouring in we are NOT alone in our fight! Day by Day!
thank you. Just thank you. For the real and the hilarious but definitely for the real.
jenny, your blog, your posts, your life that you share with us…..all of it is inspirational and gives me hope. i struggle every day with depression and axiety. a wise woman once told me that anxiety, depression, and all that shit LIES TO US. don’t believe the lies. there is nothing you could say or do that would keep us (well, definitely me) from loving you.
That picture makes me think of some places I’ve read about (in theme parks maybe?) where you go into a space that has GIANT sources of air flying up that allow you to “fly” over them. I think that would be exhilarating! Maybe I’ll find one someday. Or maybe you could find one and I could live vicariously through you. I bet you’d love it.
Amazing. I once had an argument with a sociology professor about the Internet being a community. I said it most definitely is one and he stated because there was no physical proximity of the people involved that it didn’t qualify as one, no matter how common everyone’s interests were. I told him to get his head out of the classics and start redefining his curriculum, because, regardless of where we are, we are a community – we have common and not so common interests, issues, likes and dislikes, and, most importantly, we do have each other’s back. We are not alone. We may be broken, but we are not beyond repair. & the very fact that over a thousand people can chime in with a “wow, you too?” means something significant. Can’t you feel the hugs Dr. Beck? I certainly did.
you are beautiful, have fantastic breasts, and your ass looks great in everything you wear! Here’s to an awesome day of loving exactly who you are, no matter what!
I just want to say thanks for being YOU! Because you inspire me on so many levels.
The Internets are some kinda wonderful. You know, except when they’re not.
So glad you’re not feeling alone, and so glad that you’ve given others the strength to keep moving forward.
Your picture reminds me of this:
It’s called weightless.
A nice way to feel, generally (emotionally) speaking.
I hope you know it’s you and your courage that’s changing the world. One post at a time. (((Hugs)))
This post made me tear up, what beauty can come out of speaking the truth!
Rob Delaney wrote that his worst depression was more painful than the time he got into a drunken car crash, broke all 4 limbs, and was in jail. He wrote that his depression was more painful than being in jail, unable to move. (He’s 9 years sober now.)
That explains to me what hell my sister must’ve gone through last year, and I can understand a little better what you go through. I love you, Jenny.
It’s funny isn’t it. We all have secrets that we sit and stew on. Things we are ashamed of . That we think no one else will understand. That will slowly eat at the core of you. That we would be shunned or ridiculed if we dared to share. That to speak them aloud will give them even more power. When in reality in the darkness and silence is where their true power lies. In that one post you provided a life line to so many people.
You’ve made me laugh over the years with your post. Tears rolling down my face snort laughing and I appreciate that more than I can express. But the power of your writing, in you, is that in that one post you gave people the permission to breathe, to reach out, to feel less alone. I know you’re still working through your own issues, but you should be truly proud of what you’ve achieved in the last day. I hope you hold that little nugget next to your spirit, next time the darkness threatens, and know that you made the world brighter for a whole lot of people.
Like I said in my tweet yesterday, people have called the backbone of my blog ‘brave’ but it doesn’t even come close to what you did yesterday. Truth be told, I’ve got a few skeletons in my closet but have SO many personal friends and family reading (not on your comments though … I’m safe here!) that I’ve been afraid to introduce them on ODNT. Maybe one day courage like yours will help to inspire mine.
And I’m still waiting to take you for that coffee. Next time you’re in NOLA (and it’s not New Year’s freakin’ Eve!), let me know. I promise I’m not a crazy person. Well, yes, I am crazy … as in “zany” and “off-kilter” … but not as in “stabby” or “the-call-is-coming-from-within-the-house-y.”
“Chin up, Chin up … Put a little laughter in your eyes. Brave it, Save it … Even though you’re feeling otherwise.” — Charlotte to her pal, Wilbur
Keep Calm and Carry On……aka… take some Xanax, Remicade, Methotrexate, Cymbalta and Plaquenil then order a glass of wine! Life is good! You’re stronger than you know…and you are not alone. Godspeed…
The older I get, the more I realize that everyone is hurting inside to varying degrees. Some people had hard, hard childhoods, had terrible things happen to them and just got a really raw deal. Some people didn’t have any of that happen and just had the insecurities of being a girl, or having a big nose, or being fat or being skinny and just not feeling good enough.Nobody really talks about any of it. Thank you Jenny for talking about your very personal story. And I think I can say for everyone, we’re here for the ride, whatever you write! And we love you!
I’m a male who does low-grade self injury, by occasionally biting fingernails into the quick until they bleed and similar. But, more often than not, I turn my anxiety inward with various bodily symptoms resulting.
It’s a mix of early life and family anxiety heritage thrown together. Glad you talk about this.
“weightless in her empty house, nothing’s like she said it would be…”
lyrics from the song She from the movie Cashback…that’s what came to mind when I saw the picture.
Thank you for being you.
Thank you for these posts. I’ve suffered from depression since I was a child and have been told more than once by people I went to for help that “there’s nothing wrong with me, my life is just fine.”. My mom still claims I am lying about being suicidal when I was in college (“it wasn’t that bad”) even though she wasn’t there and her actions are what sent me over the edge. I am blessed to have a husband that helps me deal all the while not understanding at all. He was once someone who didn’t believe depression was real but now he has a much better understanding and appreciation. We can all help to educate all the others out there and make it easier for everyone else to get help. Thank you for being brave enough to tell your story to the world and giving us the strength to do the same.
I love you. Thanks for every meaningful word you’ve shared. I too have been fighting the seemingly endless battle of depression since I was about 13. I”m now 47 and it is sad to feel that I need to hide my greatest obstacle, to pretend I have no continuous foe. I bust my hump to make everyone believe that I’m happy go lucky, just so they don’t know that I’m dying inside and praying the rest of me would follow suit. When I dug my way out of an abusive marriage, people ran to my aid. Unfortunately, the first thing they said was “How could you let this happen?” I never felt able to respond truthfully, that I hated myself too much to believe I deserved better. Climbing out of the bottomless pit of depression is a long, lonely haul. Thanks for speaking out and making me feel like maybe I’m not a freak with a chronic “mood issue”, but perhaps a warrior fighting the noble fight.
on our birthday, i joked that we were twins, and now that i’ve read yesterday’s post (somehow i missed it), i have learned that we share another thing in common: i self-harm, too. many of the people in my life do not know about this. thanks to the help of a great therapist and equally great drugs, i’m pretty much recovered. but it’s still a battle some days.
thank you for giving me a voice.
Jenny, I just started reading you recently and have so enjoyed how much you make me laugh. I was very moved by your serious posts yesterday and today. Bravo for your courage.
Thank you. This is my goal, too, to make my depression seem not quite so freaking weird and crazy. I am a writer because I see and feel the world differently. I see and feel the world differently because I struggle with depression.
I am grateful, every day, that I can be a writer . . . even when it comes with the big-ass burden of depression.
THANK YOU for sharing your stuff. It’s messy and beautiful and this (your honesty) is exactly how we make mental health issues as acceptable and mentionable as cancer and diabetes. Rock on.
I didn’t comment, but I really appreciated the post. I’ve been very lucky to not have many major struggles with mental health since leave adolescence. However, a few months ago, I was prescribed an antibiotic that made me lose impulse control to a degree I’ve never experienced. I wanted to hurt myself often, and did a few times. I almost intentionally rear-ended someone for being a tiny bit of a douche in a parking lot. I felt so out of control, and unpredictable. I was scared to even be alone with my son for fear I’d lose control.
I feel rather blessed to have had this solitary week of mental illness. I knew, intellectually, that mental illness is not a ‘weakness’, not an individual’s fault, but an illness like any other. After that, though, I KNOW, in my core. I had a peek into the war so many of you fight and I have so much respect that you stand up and keep going. It’s hard, very hard, but you are strong. Very strong.
Someone needs to make a silver ribbon out of barbed wire. I would do it, but I do not have the resources.
It was the post last night that made me start reading your blog, when the link to your blog was RT’d. Incredible entry! I, too, have had major bouts of depression over the years, some more serious than others.
As Erin said above: “everyone is hurting inside to varying degrees.” And she’s absolutely right. Some people are hurting more than others, and for varying reasons. You’re doing your part to help people realize that their pain is no less important than anyone else’s. Thank you for that.
You don’t know how much I needed this post today. Now I must go read the one that inspired it. “Still broken. Still stuck. Still fighting.” EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling. Thank you! BTW, I found you because my daughter shared your Beyonce the Metal Chicken story – HILARIOUS! I should laugh like that every day . . .
I have never felt quite witty or clever enough to comment before- though I faithfully check in every week and laugh or cry until I hurt and am so glad someone else is as twisted as me.
After years of self abuse, suicide attempts, abusing substances, depressions that felt like black holes, panic attacks in JC Penney (damn those people call Security with a quickness…) and constant anxiety, self doubt, anger, fear, tears……………..the therapy clicked, I found the right prescriptions, learned how to recognize the edge of the abyss before I fell over it and learned to try to take care of myself. And every day- no matter what- I can tell myself “You can do it” and mostly believe it. I’ll never be thin, rich, famous or save the world- and I won’t say there are never shit days- but I can promise you if you continue to fight the good fight, you will slay the dragons!
I really believe this is saving my life right now.
I’m in it. Thats okay, I’ve been in it before, and I know it lies. This one is so so much worse that it has been in sooo long, but it will end. Working out new meds, though its still not right. Went on SDI because I couldn’t keep fighting and trying to do my job. Now they tell me that when I get off disability I’m laid off. How’s that for irony? Lay off the person on disability for depression/anxiety. I guess the silver lining there is it ensures a few more months of depression. Pays better than unemployment. Joy.
Its all in the little things. Take what you can get. I’ve made myself stop pulling out my eyelashes, but have discovered that it is perfectly fine to pull out pubic hair. Its like free waxing with your OCD.
I do have pie. Not as good a pie as I’d have liked since even the no fail pie crust can be screwed up by adding too much butter, which I did because I was distracted by being pissed at my f**ktard ex-husband, and the fact that he is currently screwing with me by visiting MY grandmother. WHO does that??? Mentally abusing jerks, that’s who… who I am no longer married to, so that is a big win for me. Also I used up those apples that were too old to eat, so that makes me virtuous. Although one apple looked like it was infested with death chiggers. But I’m pretty sure death chiggers can’t survive being cooked. Anyway, there is pie.
And I’ve got my kids back from he-who-shall-not-be-named. Granted one of them was returned with a sprained wrist and broken guitar, when he has to play gigs all weekend. And one of my xmas gifts to him was lost. AND learned that HWSNBN didn’t bother to even get anything for my daughter for xmas, because he is spending all his money to send my son to China for a school trip, and apparently the joy of knowing her brother gets to go to China should be enough. For an 8 year old. Guess who got to go shopping with Mama today. But must not waste energy on fury… sigh.
So on and on and on it goes. About a week or so ago it occurred to me at 2:30 am that ordering hatching quail eggs off eBay was a good idea. So now I am obsessively caring for a homemade incubator full of quail eggs. I wonder if any will hatch… I guess it is better than worrying that no one will ever hire me again since I am obviously unstable. Obviously.
I went on medication. I’ve had to adjust it periodically since then, but I know that it saved my life and my family. Stepping up and accepting help kept me from running away from all that I loved because I believed I wasn’t worthy. That’s depression lying to you.
That you were brave enough to say out loud what you said, poking a huge hole in the wall, let a load of light in for so many others. #silverribbon
I love you, Jenny. I couldn’t get in to comment today no matter how hard I tried. But you and all the other comments made me so proud. I really do just love you.
amazing! thank you for sharing not only the previous post but this one as well. it declares victory, and reaffirms the goodness of bravery. you are an inspiration. thank you! it reminds me of a talk by Brene Brown on Ted Talks abput authenticity. check it out : http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html. (p.s., she is a social work scholar and so am i! check out my blog at multiparadigmatic.blogspot.com.
I am sobbing after reading both posts…I read the first one at work (great idea…ugh) and then again tonight at home, alone. Jenny, thank you for using your talent and voice to give words to this battle. So many of us don’t have the words, or strength or chutzpah to put it out there. I am going through a very hard time and have been feeling very alone–your posts, and those comments from the wonderful people that read your blog, have somehow broken through. Yes, I still feel like absolute shit but at least I am crying…at least I am feeling and at least I am not alone….I wish I could have a mini-Jenny for my pocket and of course a magical red dress….good luck in New York–you’ll be a rock star, we ALL know it!
I admire you so much for your bravery. You have helped so many people.
You are my homepage, Jenny. Forever and ever. Amen.
thank you. thank you. thank you. have fun tomorrow…HAVE FUN DAMMIT!!!
Thank you so much for posting this. The simple power of words to save lives, to bring hope, to create a commonality and a community where before there were strangers, it all amazes me and lends me strength in my own fight.
Just think how many people you helped that did not respond. YOU ARE AMAZING.
11 years ago today my cousin killed himself. i was 12, he was at least a solid decade older than me, and i only ever met him once that i was old enough to remember, but i loved him fiercely. i hated him for three years, because i couldn’t understand why he would just take himself away from our family like that, how he could do that to us. i hit my own battle with depression in high school, and came to understand. my senior year of high school a friend of mine killed himself. if i could have anything, anything in the world, i’d take those two back. i would give anything and everything to get them back if i could. i miss them terribly.
The responses are as wonderful as your post. I applaud all of you. ALL of you! I just want to hug every one of you.
Good luck on your journey, and may happiness shine through your life.
Thank you so much for sharing your battle. You never know who around you is battling that demon called depression. It sucks the life out of you, you contemplate driving your car through the next guardrail as you cross that next bridge, you wonder if there’s anyone that would truly mourn the “real” you instead of the person you present because of the mask you wear every day just to get by. You have brought the topic of depression and the reality that every day that a person battling depression gets through is a day of victory. THANK YOU and please keep fighting. You bring so much light to the world and we need you!
As someone who suffers from anxiety, OCD and depression, all I can say is thank you. And you’re not alone. You’ve got so much support and it’s wonderful. <3
Best of luck, and really, just good show. It’s easy to be sarcastic, and snarky, and it’s hard to be that publicly honest.
And add this to your other two posts that I thought were the best ever…AWEsomely brilliant.
And you will prevail on this next adventure. The WORDS will keep you…as Maya Angelou says, “Surviving is important…thriving is elegant.”
You, my Goddess, are ELEGANT.
Prevail~Tattoo Girl (sending massive doses of Goddess blessings, Magick, Spirit, and Light flowing strongly your way)
Hey girl. Kudos to you for talking about it. Everyone has some kind of burden to carry around, and it’s comforting to know there are people out there who are struggling toward the sun too, even if their plight is different. You are a brave, strong lady. I wish you healing and happiness this year in abundance. <3
I love that people can still surprise someone with kindness. It’s so refreshing in this day and age.
Hang in there Jenny. We need more poeple like you.
Thank you Jenny.
And why don’t you have a Furiously Happy t-shirt in your store? You totally should.
Sending love to you and to everyone who feels as though they have to hide who they really are. We are all scared inside, but knowing that everyone else is scared is what makes it easier for me to function. Seriously. Even the most seemingly self-assured person has a tragedy, a phobia, an issue, a SOMETHING that they wish to hide and want to change. We’re all more alike than people realize.
What an amazing post and the picture portrays it beautifully. Brave and healing.
“still fighting”… Yes. Because you are worth fighting for.
Thank you for everything you do!
Thank you for being real. Your two posts have made a difference in my life today. By publishing what you did, you have allowed myself, and others to be ok with themselves. That just shows we are not alone, and if we stand together, we can accomplish anything. Even happiness.
Hugs to you and all those who have left comments.
What a tremendous relief that must be to have that behind you. I have such admiration for you and your kind heart. I hope the next time I get the chance to see you it will be on terra firma sans the bathroom stall. I envision that happening for you.
I’m completely going to fit you for a cape and tights. You are still amazing, and you continue to be so. Keep on, keepin’ on, Jenny.
You’re far more amazing then you think Jenny. Don’t forget that.
I have been to that darkest place. I nearly didn’t come out. But I did, and you can too. I believe in the wonderful, crazy, creative wonder that is you! Thanks for writing about all of it. You shone a light in that dark corner for many people. The world is a better place with you in it.
If someone as fucking cool and hilarious as you are can survive, let alone be brave and talk about it, what do the rest of us have to fear? Thanks for making my depression seem a little less lonely. You are my straight girl crush.
you are a supa’ sta’. love your sarcasm, wit, and humor, and now i love your honesty, bravery, and heartfelt, open compassion.
Thank you again. Reading this was the best way to end today.
You are a marvelous soul ~ keep being you, the very best ‘you’ that you can be xxx
When I read the self-harm part I stopped breathing. I still am trying to figure out how I am going to explain my scars to my daughter, especially since it wasn’t a “teenage thing.”
Thank you for sharing.
As someone who deals with anxiety and has loved ones with various painful mental illnesses, it breaks my heart that you have to hurt too. I am thankful for your willingness to be a beacon for those who fight. Always keep fighting, build your army, and keep marching forward. I shared your Depression is a Lying Bastard graphic with a close friend who is in pain last week. It helped her life her head up. Thank you.
We make people laugh, Soul Sister. That’s what we do, so many of us who have these things about ourselves we deem too awful to say out loud. I referred to myself in my writing for years as “The OCD Chick.” Only in the last year did I decide to become “just” Sher Bailey.
I still write for the laugh about most parts of the illness of obsessive-compulsive disorder and I call it my therapy. But there are parts no one gets to know because they are just mine, and there will never be anything funny that will come from those places.
You’re brave. You’re funny. Those two things make you at least 84.9% more likely to have an amazing life, and do fantastic things. xo
I have so much respect for your ability to articulate such clear appreciation for the outpouring of respect/love that came your way! It brought tears to my eyes.
Good luck in New York, that city won’t know what hit it once you’ve blown through 🙂
Blogging can be such a powerful tool. Thank you for using it to make us laugh, but also to make us stronger.
Thank you for posting this. I say it to anyone who will listen and who’s talking smack about someone’s life – everybody’s got their own shit. If someone tells you they don’t, they are lying. The ones that try to hide it the most will be hurt the worst. Everyone has her own battle. If we approach each other believing this, there will be much more empathy in the world. Thanks for using your space and your voice to talk so openly and honestly. It helps so many people, you really have no idea. You can’t. It’s way bigger than you.
It takes a vat of courage to be so candid about a topic so completely taboo. Thanks for sharing your humanness with those who long to hear they are not alone. I only wish my brother had found your words in his darkest hour. http://melindawentzel.com/2012/01/02/if-only-you-had-known/
you are so amazing! thank YOU!
This post gave me chills. Yesterday’s was pretty raw and awesome, but reading about the response you got was incredible. And I completely agree that crazy is the new normal. I don’t believe I know very many adults who are not on meds. XO
Jenny, you truly never cease to amaze me. Your family, and all of us who know you through your writings, are truly blessed.
You are amazing.
If there’s one thing I love about the Internet, it’s how it allows you the ability to be yourself and be honest in a way that face-to-face contact never may. I’ve seen more people come out about their battles with anxiety and depression, and it has made me feel SO much better about admitting mine to those in my immediate surroundings. It is an illness, one that a person cannot just “get over,” and the more people can be made to understand that and to understand how many of us suffer from it, the better. It’s always shocking to the world to learn that even us “funny ones” suffer (and sometimes I wonder if we’re not suffering more; forcing laughter through the tears and the ambivalence).
Thank you for adding your voice.
You’re pretty crazy-amazing.
And by the way, you said earlier that you couldn’t repeat the Christmas miracle of last year. Guess what? I think you surpassed it!
Thank you, thank you so much.
I felt a weight lift off my chest yesterday when I wrote my comment on your last post. Just being able to talk openly about cutting and being in the hospital… it’s so freeing. It’s so different how “real life” normally is, and I hate that we see it as normal to NOT talk about these issues.
I want to make a silver ribbon. In my art class we’re starting a project that can basically be on whatever we want it to, and I’m choosing to do mine on depression. I think adding a silver ribbon (it’s supposed to be a 3 dimensional, mixed media piece) to it will be perfect.
Also, I hadn’t heard about the Traveling Red Dress before now, but I think it’s a beautiful idea.
You are amazing for writing these posts and appreciating all the comments. Really, thank you. ?
I loved your post and your beauty in writing it, but the response made it all the sweeter.
Good luck in NY. After what you did here yesterday, you can do ANYTHING.
I’ve written a post about what I’ve been going through lately. It’s still in Draft mode. Every day I try to push post. I can’t. I just can’t.
To borrow (steal) from a song, you Bloggessahead the wind beneath our wings.
Thank you. My family and I have suffered through depression for years now. I have always been insecure about my weight and have never had much friends. I’ve recently started a new medicine regiment, started at a new school, and started reading your blog. You lifted me up when I was down and brought me back to earth. I’m doing much better and have even been able to help a friend who felt secure enough to confide in me. I applaud your strength and love your work. We all care for you, even the ones you don’t know.
You are a hero, Jenny. Your voice is powerful, your heart is pure. So happy to “know” you in this amazing country called The Internets.