There’s a moment.

Several weeks ago I had surgery to stitch up a hernia in my stomach.  It was supposed to be very simple but the recovery for me was horrific.  Worse than labor, or gallbladder surgery, or stepping on a floor made of loose LEGOs.  I had complications and developed a seroma, which is a “tumor-like collection of serum from damaged blood and lymphatic vessels after significant tissue disruption or trauma.”  It sounds worse than it is but it hurts like a bastard and I’d end each day exhausted and teary and unable to take complete breaths without flinching.  I might need more work done to fix it but they often go away on their own so my doctor decided to wait.  So we’ve been waiting.  And this weekend I was able to walk around and leave the house.  And Monday I could sit up from laying down without wanting to scream.  And Tuesday I felt almost normal for several minutes at a time.  And today, if I’m not moving, I feel good.  Really good.

The point is…today I feel okay for the first time in what feels like ages, because time – when coupled with pain – drags by so slowly.  I still hurt, but more like someone punched me, or like other people probably feel when they do too many sit-ups.  I can finally sleep without waking myself up thinking I’m being stabbed, and I can completely forget the pain for several minutes at a time.  That sounds small, but if you’ve ever pushed through pain that doesn’t stop for weeks at a time then you know the blinding relief that comes with a few minutes of peace that doesn’t accompany the nauseous dizziness of narcotics.  There’s a moment when you feel aware of the absence of pain, and that simple moment is such a wonder that it’s practically euphoric.  And you remember what it’s like to not hurt.  What it’s like to live.  And it is so beautiful there aren’t words for it.  It’s so incredibly easy to forget what it’s like to breathe when you’ve been holding your breath for so long.

It’s the same thing that happens when I come out of a rheumatoid arthritis flair-up that puts me in the hospital.  It’s the same relief I feel when I pull myself out of a depression that lasts longer than a week.  After a while you forget exactly what it’s like to feel good again, but then when you come out the other side, it’s dazzling.

I’m writing this to remind myself of the light.  Of the dazzle.  Of the fact that it’s worth trudging through the muck because the way out is so much better than you can remember.  It’s like the first shower after a week in the woods, or the sun on your skin after a month of night.  I’m writing this because I know I’ll be in dark places again and I’ll forget how wonderful it is to emerge.  I’m writing to remind you that if you’re struggling now, it will be good again.  It will be so much better than your lying, forgetful brain remembers.  And I’m writing to tell you that if – right this moment – you are healthy and well then you should stand up and do something wonderful to celebrate it.  Go walk barefoot on the grass.  Treat yourself to a good book.  Call or visit someone you love.  Make plans for a trip.  Eat a chocolate ice cream bar.  Enjoy the sun.

And if you don’t see the sun right now, keep trudging.  It’s there.  It’s blindingly magnificent.  And we’re waiting for you.  Promise.

Just remind me of this the next time pain or depression lies to me.


410 thoughts on “There’s a moment.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. This is how I feel after I have a flare up of gastritis and feel nauseous for 3 weeks in a row. I always remind myself that it WILL end and when it does and I can finally eat and drink like a normal human being it’s the most awesome thing EVER. It may not feel like it ever will when you’re dealing with it, but it does end.

    So no matter what kind of pain you’re in, cling to that.

  2. The thing that gets me through significant episodes of pain is the mantra “Someday, you won’t even be able to remember what this felt like.” The other thing I do to help is to just feel the pain I have NOW, not project that all into the future (“You won’t be able to work, you’ll lose everything you own, you’ll be miserable forever…”) as I tend to do, because that’s where the real serious distress comes in – the idea that it will never be over.

  3. I hear you… during the winter I had a bad injury from slipping and falling on the ice (I won’t talk about the three people who walked by and just left me lying there – including one co-worker). One day about four weeks after I woke up and realized that I wasn’t in horrific pain, that I could move my arms and my head without my back and neck complaining. That moment is dazzling – and glorious. I am so thankful that I am not in pain daily like some of my friends with fibro and I just wish that science would catch up and provide the greatly needed relief.

  4. You have no idea how much I needed to read this right now. Thank you for this. I owe you big time, Jenny.

  5. I really hope you are right. It is really dark and painful here right now.

  6. This resonated with me so so much. What does a hernia pain feel like in the beginning. My pain along my groin at hip has gone away now. But it was like an aching toothache. I procrastinate to the ninth degree having already survived a cancer. I don’t want to have any more poking and just get my yearly ENT checkup. so far, so good. That is how I look at it. One day at a time. I love your blog.

  7. OH MY GOD, I am experiencing that right now. I’ve been having severe back pain for ten months. It was FINALLY diagnosed and treated two weeks ago and I’m still on an absolute high of being able to walk and carry groceries and pick things up off the floor. It’s a beautiful thing.

  8. I know this feeling. I had a robot hysterectomy the day before you had your WHO repaired and, let me tell you, after over 20 years of that thing trying to kill me, it’s like a whole new world. I’d been in pain for so long I’d completely forgotten what it was like to feel normal.

    Thank you for this. You put it better than I ever could.

  9. OH MY GOD, I am experiencing this right now and it is glorious. Serious back pain for ten months that was FINALLY diagnosed and treated about two weeks ago. I’m still on a high from being able to walk normally and carry groceries and pick things up off the floor.

  10. Thanks for talking about this. Because I have bipolar disorder, I often wonder if the good feeling after a depression is real or hypomania. It’s good to know that it’s possible to feel good without going too far the other way.

  11. Deal.

    I’m dealing with sciatica pain right now, that I classified as “childbirth plus one” in the ER recently. Because of previous addictions, they can only give me ibuprofen. This really reminded me that there IS an end to this…..and it will be DAZZLING. Thank you.

  12. I’m glad you are feeling better. I know the feeling well. This is also greatly misunderstood by those who aren’t familiar with depression and suicide. They say killing one’s self is “selfish” but it’s really just an inability to see through the endless emotional pain. They don’t want to die, they want the pain to end.

  13. Yes. Good reminder for right now. We lost a young member of our family this week and this is something I need to remember… and share with the rest if the family. Thank you. (And feel more better soon!)

  14. I’ve been stuck in a depression phase lately. Feeling like there’s no point going on. Not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you so much for writing this. You have no idea how much it helps.

  15. Thank you for saying that. I have depression & anxiety and you are so right. Thank you for putting into words what I cannot, as my concentration isn’t there right now. I have both moments of darkness and dazzle, but the dazzle makes the whole fight worth everything. 🙂

  16. Oh, Jenny, how I needed this reminder today. My stomach has been killing me slowly, and tomorrow I go for more tests, the first at 9 am and the last at 330 pm and I just don’t even know if I can make it through them. I’m just so damned tired of being sick and being sad. So damned tired of it, and I know you understand that. hugs

  17. You’re right. There is a moment of dazzle. It’s so hard to remember. It’s so important to remember.

  18. Your writing is so clever and laugh out loud funny, it sounds amazing that you would ever suffer depression.
    As for the pain, take the pills on time so it stays under control. And get someone to buy you some pot.:-

  19. Such a wonderful reminder, and much needed for everyone at some time or other. Needless to say you already reminded me of this with your book, back when I was having a rheumatoid arthritis flare and shingles at the same time, all while failing miserably at getting pregnant for well over a year and a half. So thank you, twice.

  20. Keep getting better! Keep finding the joy and humor. I had a hip replacement five weeks ago and was rehabbing nicely until I wrenched my back a couple weeks ago. I’m just about over the back pain that made me feel like I was in some saw-a-dude-in-half magic act gone terribly wrong and today I was walking with my metal cane in a lightning storm. I was certain I’d get electrocuted! But I didn’t, so yay!

  21. I’ve been managing chronic back pain since my surgery last year. I needed to read this like nothing else. Those days that are pain free (or less painful) still leave me feeling incredulous. Worth celebrating indeed.

  22. Deal….the pain eventually will subside and you will feel free from the pain and a wave of relief will flow over you….hang in there.

  23. I just truly started to see light again this week after several weeks of some of the worst anxiety and depression I’ve had in years, and, yes, the light does come. It’s amazing every time it does.

  24. Deal. And when you’re in the bad place — all you need to do is post “rescue me” and your bazillion and something set of followers (who all wish you lived down the street) will be typing like mad. Our world is better because you’re in it!

  25. I know exactly how it feels. I am recovering from knee replacement surgery. I am exquisitely aware of every moment that I do not feel pain. It is wonderful. I have had long periods of time when pain isn’t constant and appreciated them so much. I am now having a new kind of pain around my knee cap and I am feeling the darkness coming again. Taking a step back from progress is hard. I will remember to keep trudging now.

  26. Oh yowza, I needed to hear this today. Thank you for the reminder; I know what you say is true, but how I appreciate the reminder!

  27. I love your blog I find it incredibly funny. I can’t really relate to chronic depression but I can totally relate to this post about suffering from physical pain. I suffered from chronic debilitating pain for years. And I know EXACTLY what you are talking about when you talk about the euphoria of lack of pain. I cannot tell you how incredible it was when I had my last surgery and it WORKED. When I woke up and realized that the pain I was in was nothing compared to the pain of my everyday life I about had a breakdown. I wanted to grab my surgeon, hug her, and place her on a pedestal and worship at the alter of her greatness (but I didn’t because I didn’t want to go to prison. The absence of pain is an incredible thing. Something that I will NEVER take for granted ever again. I have been pain free for about 10 years now, and I still remember the unrelenting agony, praying to literally die so would’t have to deal with the pain anymore. And I remember the excstasy I felt when I woke up from surgery and realized that my pain, the devil I had been living with for 15 years had been exorcised.

  28. Could you maybe add a disclaimer that your blog should not be read while eating? I know you don’t have a weak stomach, but some of your readers do. I’ll be back a little later. Thanks.

  29. Aww chum. First time commenter, long time reader. Am glad you’re feeling better, just want you to know you’ve brought a lot of laughter to my life so never doubt your worth in this world. You ROCK. Am off night shift (work in the diagnostic labs in a hospital in Scotland so your story resonates) and struggling to sleep and need to get up in 4.5 hours, eep. Thanks for being there even when you don’t know you are. 😉 you matter to so many. And thanks to my colleague Morag who told me about you in the first place 😀 Best wishes always from across the Atlantic xxxx

  30. love this… thank you for sharing. I will share this with a client of mine tomorrow because she has a hard time grasping that there is sunshine after her dark and I have had trouble helping her to see it. Maybe if she can hear it from someone else, it might start clicking. So thank you for sharing.

  31. Your timing is incredible. Having a bad day right now and pondering some life choices I’ve made and wondering why another person’s depression and stress means I need to hurt too. It’s hard to feel strong for someone else when you feel like you’re doing everything alone. Sorry to vent. Thank you for reminding me that the valleys eventually turn back into mountains.

  32. Yesterday morning I woke up with a totally clear nose for the first time in weeks. For HOURS, I was obsessed with the idea that I could breathe freely through my nose. I just couldn’t get over it because it was so amazing. I had completely forgotten when it felt like to simply be able to breathe.

  33. A long long time ago — maybe 45 years or so when I was in high school — Pete Seeger had a show on PBS/NY/NJ and I think that was where I first encountered Richard Farina who wrote “Been Down So Long It’s Beginning to Look Like Up to Me” (which is a great title for a not so very great picaresque novel from the 50’s). But the title (which I think he stole from some old blues singer) is one-half of what I know about going through the kind of rough, ragged, horrible times like the ones you describe. The other half comes from another folk singer type person — maybe it was Harry Chapin but who it was doesn’t really matter — who was talking about those kinds of times he had experienced in his life and he said something like this: “Eventually you realized that there are things that run in cycles and when you remember that it shows yourself that you are already past the lowest spot and working your way back up again.”

    Of course none of it is that easy. Sometimes the way down into the valley is steep and sudden and like falling off a cliff or sliding down the side of a shale pit where there are thousands of little sharp-edged rocks that are cutting you while you are sliding down totally (or almost totally) out of control. That doesn’t give you much time to recognize what is happening much less make a positive response to it or call out for help. Those are the times when it takes every ounce of energy to keep from sliding down even further. Like when the Red Queen told Alice that it takes all the running you can do just to stay where you are and if you want to go somewhere you have to run even faster. Somehow we do.

    You’ve done it so often you’ve gotten good at it.

  34. Know the feeling. I suffer from chronic back pain brought on by a couple of titanium rods used to hold my back together. And you are right. Those few pain free moments after hours and days and weeks of mind numbing pain feel so GOOD. Same when I realize I’ve actually gone somewhere new without freaking out (agoraphobic) or when the anxiety subsides after days of gut wrenching terror. I’ll remember with you.

  35. Perfect timing for this post. My kiddo has been sick and we have been stuck in the house for several days. It sucks watching him in pain. But today he was able to eat two bites and keep it down. I am starting to feel the beginning of a ray of sunshine.

  36. I The best, and really only good part of struggling with depression, is coming out of it on the other side. The joy, the freedom, the people who carry you through. It’s been a tough week. Thanks for sharing.

  37. Deal.
    Keep your chin up Jenny, for you are loved. Thanks for helping those struggling.

    You. Are. A. Rock. Star.

  38. Usually your blogs make me laugh. This one made me cry. Today was the first day that I wasn’t in pain for months. Long story short, I had a hysterectomy two weeks ago after months of constant pain leading up to it. I had a glimmer of normal today and it was dazzling, even though it didn’t last vey long. You spoke to my heart and reminded me to remember that it will get better. Thank you, I needed this today. Keep up the good fight Jenny!

  39. Total deal and gentlest of hugs to you 🙂 Thank you for being a warm sun on a cloudy day to us!

  40. You’ve got yourself a deal!

    I’m glad that you’re feeling better and as I have had a number of health, as well as emotional issues this year, I know exactly how it feels when it seems like there is nothing but dark at the end of the tunnel.

    Thank you for sharing with us and a round of applause for breaking through to see the sun again!

  41. I don’t comment though I read and laugh often and thanks to you I have a huge metal
    Chicken in my yard! However, I thought this post was especially brilliant as it reminded me
    Not to take the little things for granted and to celebrate then
    Everyday because God knows you never know when some
    Horrible thing might happen. Thanks for the reminder and I hope
    You are soon well enough to dance in the grass too!

  42. Today I really, really needed to read this. I might not believe it each day, but today, I really need to believe it. Hope you’re back to your relative normal neurosis sooner than later, and thanks. Just…thanks.

  43. When I’m feeling in a dark and broken place, a friend reminds me that “the cracks are where the light comes in.” But then I wondered about another saying, “stick it where the sun don’t shine”. There’s a crack in that region … so…. light DOES get in there? Is there is light in my butt? If there is, it must be like a refrigerator because I’ve never seen it on. I’m pretty sure there is not a fridge in my butt – you’d remember something like that happening, I’m fairly sure.

    There’s not really a point to this.. I’m glad today was a better day for you. I love that you shine your light out for others to see and respond to.

  44. My dad used to be a pilot, and once he told me about a time when he was riding along on a flight, and he decided to see how long he could go without putting on the oxygen mask when the cabin pressure dropped. He said he felt fine for several minutes, despite the pilot and copilot both telling him he had lost all color and needed to put the mask on. He finally did put on the mask, and he described it as someone turning on the lights and bringing color back to the world, as soon as oxygen got to his brain again. He didn’t even realize that the light and colors were gone. I think of this any time I’m depressed or sick and don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel – that I just need to find my oxygen mask. Glad you are on the mend and I hope you are completely recovered soon.

  45. Yours is the only blog I have ever read. This post right here is wonderful. I thought depression in my past and people really do need to read things like this!

  46. I’m not lying when I say you are my hero. I’m having a bad week. Hell, it’s been a bad year. It’s so bad that I’ve been thinking about the alternative… a lot. I’m tired, and sad, and scared. On my worst days I can’t remember that depression lies, but I do remember something else you wrote. I am their only mother. When it feels like I can’t wake up another morning because of the physical and emotional pain I think about the pain and confusion my children would feel if I chose the alternative. I don’t know if things will ever get better but I have to try. Thank you for your words. Thank you for sharing little pieces of yourself. Thank you.

  47. nods That moment after a severe asthma flare (the kind where if I don’t get steroid treatment I can cough for 3 months) when you finally realize that you’re breathing and not thinking about it, that it doesn’t hurt, that you don’t have to calculate every single breath because too shallow and you won’t get enough oxygen to heal and too deep and you’ll cough your lungs and throat raw….yeah, it’s pretty amazing.

  48. deal!
    Virtual very gentle hugs to you.
    It reminds me of when I woke up from a diabetic coma two years ago and found out I was juvenile diabetic (God’s joke to me at age 53) and also found out I had nerve damage in my legs and screamed if anyone touched them. Every day is better than the last and you can take pleasure in the fact that you will heal. You will feel better. You will look back on all this someday and say “I’m a survivor!”
    You bring such a gift of joy to us, we can only hope to bring you strength in return.

  49. Thank you for reminding me again how depression lies and life will get better again. Sometime in the future. Even though I can’t see it now. Thank you! And enjoy some sunshine yourself while your body lets you!

  50. feeling awfully anxious the last few days. I smiled at the end of this post though, and I’m about to go and literally stand in the sun. Thanks Jenny x

  51. I needed to hear this. And I forwarded it to someone who I know needed to hear it more than I. Someone close to someone close to me didn’t think she could find the light again and extinguished hers forever just 24 hours ago….thank you for this Jenny.

  52. I also needed to hear this tonight …. I follow you because you are hysterical, but apparently there’s more to it

  53. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this today. I am laying in my bedroom/cave currently unsure if I will be able to move because of depression. I know the light is there somewhere, it just feels like never ending darkness right now. Hopefully tomorrow I will need to pull out the sunscreen.

  54. That is how I felt a couple of months ago when I had shingles. It took a while for them to diagnose because the bumps didn’t show up for a while, but it was the worst pain ever (even worse than the back labor a few weeks ago with no epidural). Then one day I realized I could stand having clothes touch my skin without it hurting like nobody’s business and it was amazing.

  55. Christ. Two words: tooth ache (or is it one word, toothache?). I had a cracked tooth last fall. Wanted.To.Die. Had visions of grabbing my son’s hockey skate and reenacting that scene from Castaway where Tom Hanks goes all oral-surgeon on himself. Literally counted the seconds until I could take the next vicodin.

    I’ve been through 3 c-sections, one horribly botched VBAC, having my husband walk out on me and being the mother of four teenagers (ALL AT ONCE). And I’d gladly go through any one of those experiences again before dealing with pain like that motherfuckah tooth put me through.

    That pain lasted four days. I cannot even fathom being in pain any longer than that. Props to you, Jenny. And congrats for making it through the barbed-wire fence that is pain. You will be glad you wrote about it, because every single day, the pain will retract just a bit. And your memory of it will soften, become kind of blurry like Cybill Shepard looked on Moonlighting. You’ll tell yourself “Aww it wasn’t so bad!” and that’s when you sit down somewhere quiet, re-read this piece and let yourself go back. Not because you’re a masochist, but because sometimes it’s good to remember how bad it was.


  56. It’s a wonderful reminder for me right now. I’m currently recovering from back surgery after months and months of horrible back pain. I hope my dazzling moment comes soon.

  57. Thank you. Thank you so much for this. I’m in day four of one of the worst RA flares I’ve had in years. I needed a reminder that this sort of nightmare has an end. So thank you.

    And I’m so happy that you’re finally feeling better.

  58. Deal, set, match.

    I’ve been dealing with my anxiety lately and it’s been worse the last four days or so. It’s hard and I usually feel like a prey animal but I’m struggling through it. I keep reminding myself that the inner voice lies and it will get better.

  59. “It’s so incredibly easy to forget what it’s like to breathe when you’ve been holding your breath for so long.” – Yes. Thank you for the reminder. You’re right, we all need reminding sometimes. <3

  60. Deal, set, match.

    I’ve been struggling with my anxiety and it’s been pretty bad the last four days or so. I keep telling myself that the inner voice lies and that it will get better.

  61. I have, recently, for the 1st time in my 56 years had a problem getting out of bed. If I’m out of bed, I don’t want to leave my room. Exhausted. . That’s all I feel, and for no reason. I’m a little frightened because I don’t know why!

  62. Yesterday I smelled the clover growing in my organic yard and wished I could lay in it. Today for the bloggess and for ME I did! In the RAIN! It was perfect.

  63. Thank you so much for writing this. You have no idea how well you hit the nail on the head. Things have really sucked lately but it’s good to be reminded that there IS an end to this tunnel of darkness.

  64. My husband has recently had to deal with anxiety and depression. I made him read this, and he said that you were spot on accurate. Having been dealing with depression myself since my teens and anxiety since my dad passed three years ago, I totally agree. Thank you for this.

  65. I have chronic migraines. I’m in pain nearly every day. I have pain meds, but my insurance will only give me 10 a month. (Thanks, Blue Cross/Blue Shield!) There are a lot of days that I forget what it’s like to not hurt. I just had my 30th birthday this past weekend, and….it was a pain-free day. It was glorious.
    Thanks for the reminder. It’s going to get better. I know it.

  66. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Suffering with a chronic pain due to medical issues, depression, and right now failing to raise funds for a business…I needed to hear this more than you can ever know. 🙂

  67. I’m in a bad frame of mind right now. I haven’t talked to another human for weeks. I don’t leave my house. I am supposed to travel on Saturday to see my brother but don’t know if I can. I will try to heed your advice and embrace this trip with arms wide open. Well, with arms not as closely held around my torso. So you have a deal.

  68. YES. Deal. ♥

    This is how I feel after a few days of bad sleep and my Fibromyalgia is flaring and everything hurtsandI’m just So… Freaking… Tired… yet I can’t sleep. And then, finally, for whatever reason, I get a decent night of sleep. SLEEP! And the brain fog clears and the pains reduce to aches and I can shower without having to take a break between the shampoo and the conditioner. I feel human, again! Hallelujah!

    Yup. It’s nearly magical. 🙂

  69. Thank you for making me cry in the good way. You don’t know how bad I needed to see this 🙂

  70. Deal. Also, Yes. Yes. Yes.

    This week, I had a moment of remembering the awful symptoms I lived with for more than two years while my medical team were searching for answers–ultimately diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (I know, a HORRIBLE year to receive this diagnosis. I am learning to laugh through it, but I tell you, the seemingly constant, mostly annoyed public commentary has brought on more than one bout of depression. A different kind of ouch.)

    Anyway, one of the many awful, frustrating symptoms that I had before my diagnosis was very painful joints in my hands. At times, I couldn’t hold my keys properly or get enough coordinated force to unlock my door. Before my diagnosis, I thought I had inherited early onset arthritis from my mother and grandmother (I’m almost 40). It was humbling and more than a little scary. I was amazed when this symptom gradually disappeared within months of my diagnosis. I didn’t expect that to happen, I didn’t know it was connected to what was happening in my abdomen, but it was and I am beyond grateful. It was exactly like a weight lifting off my shoulders.

    I am a mom of two young girls, and when I was at my sickest, I lost more than a year of family outings and physical play with them. The last several months, I have found myself crying in gratitude many times while taking a long walk or dressing dolls or playing catch or soccer.

    I am living my life fully again. This week I was working out a complicated knot for one of the girls and I had a flashback to last summer, being stuck outside my house with them because I couldn’t use my keys. I cried again in gratitude as well as in sadness that it happened in the first place. But we are all fragile, amazingly intricately balanced creatures. I had (have) my turn on the wheel of living with the downside of that fragility. At times, I feet isolated because of my illness. If I am accidentally exposed, I still get physically ill enough that I can’t get out and about for a few days. But now, in a surprising way, I feel more connected to the people I pass each day, knowing that everyone is fighting their own quiet battle. I have much more respect for our resiliency now, and even in my dark times, I know the path will eventually turn back. I just have to hold out and get there.

    Thank you for sharing this. I am with you in spirit. Solidarity!

  71. Thank you soo much for this! It transformed an awful day, and gave me some perspective. Am so glad you are getting better!

  72. Thank you…I have been wrestling with depression for a while now, feeling like I can’t do anything right and there’s no reason to try because I’ll just f**k it up. It is a lie, like you said. Things will be better.

  73. I’m glad you’re feeling better. This is my seroma story. I had to have part of my kidney removed because of a nasty, fast-growing tumor (I named my tumor Belial, and he was taken away and dissected before I could request to keep him). I had to have a stent between my kidney and my bladder (to allow my kidney to heal up), but the stent was removed too early, and my kidney leaked because it wasn’t quite healed up. I developed a 10 cm deep abscess with a seroma underneath it within 10 days of my stent removal. I ended up getting another stent placed, and the wound took 5 months to heal, during which time I had to have the packing removed and replaced every single day. I’m an absurdly slow healer, it sounds like you have a similar issue, and it’s frustrating and sucks ass. It does get better, and life is good! We are all rooting for you. On a side note, my stent is gone, my wound is finally healed up, and I’ve had my first 6 month checkup and remain cancer free. WOOT!

  74. This time last year I believed the lies. The time I didn’t spend sleeping (which was most of the day) I spent fantasizing about suicide. On one of my visits I stayed eleven days in the local hospital’s psych ward. It just didn’t seem to be enough. So I did some research and found a residential facility a few cities away. I was following through on one of my fantasies when I got the call that the facility had a bed waiting for me. After a few more days in the psych ward to stabilize, I spent the next month or so in intensive therapy groups. Even now, I still see my therapist every week, my psychiatrist every other week, and I’ve joined a depression support group.

    So why am I typing this? Because today I had that moment. I’m healthy enou
    gh to go on a cruise around the Mediterranean, and I’m. So. Fucking. Excited. I’d forgotten what that felt like. I’d forgotten how amazing it feels to have faith in myself. To accept that the probability of falling down the rabbit hole again in no way lessens how strong I am now.

    I’m also typing this because I’m not sure where else to say it. I once shared that checking myself voluntarily into the psych ward was the bravest thing I’ve ever done. Now the bravest thing I’ve ever done is to spend a month at a residential facility dedicated to psychiatric illness and addiction. In all honesty, it saved my life. If you’re reading this and feeling the way I felt, maybe it can save yours too.

    tl;dr – deal.

  75. I can relate. I seriously injured my back and it was the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced. Every moment of every day hurt terribly. Relief from that type of pain is indescribably wonderful.

  76. “Dazzling”. I need to remember the word for the next time I find the light!

  77. Deal. You needed this, and I think a lot of us needed this today. I sure did.

    I’m glad you can see the better days coming on this, though. Really, truly glad.

  78. I have pretty damn near chronic foot pain… It’s been ongoing for a few years. The other day, I was walking around and it felt… Normal. I am not a fan of normal… But the oh-my-feet-don’t-hurt was delicious!

    Small things.

  79. Wow wrote a long post and it ate it. 🙁 (said cannot be posted)

    Many years ago I had a complete hysterectomy and ended up with a seroma. When they went to remove the staples, told me they had to leave it open to heal from inside out. I actually got hysterical and they called my doctor out of surgery (it was an associate removing the staples). For nearly 2 mos it had to be flushed and packed with wet gauze (I did on weekends, nurses the first 6 wks during the week). I was traumatized. It had almost healed when I took a dive to catch a chow rescue that was getting loose. I manage to both grab her leash and damage my incision AND developed a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde stomach with one side white and the other a red hot flaming cellulitis mess. I did more crying. Now I look back and laugh, but it was not at all funny then.

    On pain and freedom from it… I actually am opposite. Mostly, because pain is daily for me, I handle it, departmentalize it in my brain so that only when I want to sleep does it become (usually) unblockable. It is when I take enough pain meds not to hurt, or the rare times when I really don’t, that I have a great deal of mental adjustments. I think about how this is what NORMAL life should be like, and how rare it is. I have to work mentally to stop fixating on that and enjoy those times. We all need reminders for something, I guess.

  80. Thanks. I needed this today probably tomorrow too. Maybe I’ll take that shower soon.

  81. My husband used to say that depression was like watching a b&w TV with nothing on any channel except awful tampon commercials. And you’re right – it’s stunning when the color comes back and your regularly scheduled program resumes.

  82. Deal.

    My hands had been hurting for two and a half years, and they couldn’t get an RA test to come back positive. Finally, an RA doctor looked at the knots on my hands and said, “Yeah. We’re doing something about this.” She warned me it could take two or more months for the injections to work. The very next day I woke up…and for the first time in forever, did not hurt. I could move my hands and I didn’t want to cry, which–oddly–made me want to cry. So I, like so many others here, know how you feel. We’re with you. All the way.

  83. Total deal.

    Having a 16 yrs old with Aspergers/OCD and a 9 yr old with bipolar/RAD/possible schizophrenia coupled with the house burning down less than a year ago it is sometimes hard to remember what a normal day is like. With no pain.

    They exist. Like a unicorn rare. But they do exist.

  84. I so understand this … terrible back herniation got to the point I couldn’t walk without pain and had to eat Thanksgiving dinner standing up … bad enough that I had surgery 2 days before Christmas. Anyway, one thing that came out of this was my realization why there are VERY nasty people in the world … those who seem so miserable that it’s almost impossible to be near them. Anyway … whenever I meet these people, I think perhaps they’re in chronic pain and that makes them so mean 🙂 because I know I was mean to those around me and I couldn’t help it.

  85. So sorry you had so much pain. I guess without the lows, we wouldn’t appreciate the high as much. Just don’t overdo now that you feel better.

  86. It is definitely a magic moment when you have that realization that it doesn’t hurt quite so bad and you feel almost human! Three years ago I tore half of the tendon off of my kneecap. The closest I can come to explaining is that it feels like someone is trying to pry your kneecap out with a screwdriver, stabbing your knee with a white hot piece of metal and a vice grip is squeezing the hell out of your knee, all at once, for the first three months. I was basically on bed rest for three months and it was even longer before I wasn’t counting the minutes till I could take more pain medicine, before I could walk more than half a block without needing to sit down and cry. Before it took me 10 minutes just to walk up the 17 steps to my apartment, one by one.

    That first moment when it didn’t hurt so much, when I didn’t want to cry from the pain was incredible. I still have chronic pain, but I’ve learned how to manage and live with it so that only sometimes I say “I can’t”. Its a deal Jenny, lets all keep trudging.

  87. I have new empathy for people who live with chronic pain and can’t tell you how much I admire the strength of anyone going through it on a regular basis! Last month, out of nowhere, I developed a bladder infection that caused symptoms including shortness of breath, heart palpatations and dizziness. In a week, I took two trips to the emergency room, had multiple blood and urine tests, a CAT scan and an ultrasound. After confirming it was in fact a bladder infection, I was put on Cipro, which combined with the stress the infection put on my body, caused severe stomach pain. I finally met with an internist, who put me on medicine to help my stomach heal & thankfully have made a full recovery. But the two weeks of not sleeping well, being in pain, and the fear and frustration of not knowing what was wrong took a huge toll mentally. I was used to being healthy and active, and all of a sudden I was sick and in pain. It only last a few weeks, but I’ve never felt so scared and defeated. I’ve was SO happy when the medicine started to work and I started to feel better.

  88. I hope you are aware how many of us you help by posting these thoughts. I wish I could hug you

  89. Beautiful and such a gift for yourself that you are so kindly sharing with others…prayers for a faster recovery and the ability to remember this in your next dark place…

  90. Do some jazz hands to celebrate! Glad you’re finally through the worst and feeling human again. Yesterday I went & played with six Corgi puppies to brighten my sucky “I totally want to move miles away from this place” mood. Holy hell does that shit work. Might try to make a career out of puppy sitting, because PUPPIES!


  91. Been there. Surgery. For days a drink of water would have been like heaven. Seven years ago, I still don’t forget! Hang in there!

  92. I am two weeks out of surgery and I had completely forgotten what it is like to emerge. I’ve been swimming for so long, I lost sight of the sun. Thank you for the reminder that I’ll make my way toward the light eventually.

  93. How do you always come down on the wrong side of the odds? So unfair! Glad you’re feeling a bit better and I hope your recovery is very easy and quick from here…

  94. I’m just one of the many who read your blog and books; but I wanted to say thank you. And, Deal. And it’s so awesome to have someone who feels the way you (I) do. You are an inspiration. Love you, Jenny.

  95. I was in a coma for 6 weeks. I had to learn to walk again. People have NO IDEA how hard that is. And I have a step up between the room with the couch I am on all the time and the bathroom. I can’t even count the times I stared at that step debating whether to just pee the floor or tackle that step. Sometimes now, I will go up the step, down it and back up again, just because I can. Ok, so I don’t do that often because it hurts….

  96. Deal. Please continue to take care of yourself and feel even better.

    I can finally post here that there are many positive things going on in my life despite a horrible depression last year. I need to remember how right now feels.

  97. Thank you. Thank you for putting into such beautiful and understandable words what so many people feel. Two teens I know (a student of my husband and my friend’s son’s friend) listened to the lies and ended their lives this summer. No one was there to tell them about depression lying and that there are moments when you come out and feel like seeing the beautiful sun for the first time. You, dear lady, are a gift. A gift to those who don’t have the gift with words to express all that we feel. Thank you for never giving up and always thinking of your tribe.

  98. I’m so happy to hear that you are finally feeling better. I am in the middle of a can’t-get-out-of-bed-even-to-shower dip in depression, and instead of giving in I keep remembering your mantra “depression lies”. Tonight I’m making myself go to the gym after work and it’s partly because of you.
    It’s lying to me that it’s better to just keep sleeping away my reality, instead of doing something to fight it. Thank you.

  99. Thank you. So. Much.
    That was so lovely it brought a tear to my eye. Seriously.

  100. Thanks for this. I cracked some ribs on Saturday (who knew thrift store shopping could be dangerous?) and I’m in the “hurts to do anything” phase. What I’m most looking forward to on the other side is the ability to take a deep breath. I will treasure that.

  101. You have no idea how much I absolutely needed to read this tonight. Thank you.

  102. Deal.
    Thanks for helping us remember.
    Thanks for being there.
    I hope you feel better soon and can avoid any further surgical intervention.

  103. Yes. Please yes. To remember in the dark and to share in the light. Yes to this. Please? Please to remember while I’m lost in the dark. I need to believe that there is light on the other side of this and that it will get better and that my brain and my diagnosis lies. Anxiety, depression, PTSD. I will get better. I promise. I think. I hope.

  104. Definitely a deal. I felt that after I had my hysterectomy. I didn’t realize how much pain I’d been in for years. It was stunning.

  105. Deal. Your beautiful writing has helped pull me out several times, and frequently makes me laugh out loud. You may be the best thing I’ve ever found on the internet, and though I don’t know you IRL, I love you, Jenny!

  106. Deal. I so very much needed this, you were right about that. It’s been a rough day with the fibro, grief and depression taking turns punching me. I’m going to do something silly tomorrow: two coworkers and my BFF dared me to wear my rainbow wig to work. It’s ON.

    Thanks so much, Jenny, for just putting all this out into the Interwebs. You are LITERALLY a life saver.

  107. Oh, the Dazzle is so amazing when you get it! May you have many many more Dazzling Days! Love and Light heading your way! xo

  108. You said it so perfectly, Jenny, thank you. And good for you for cherishing the ups – it’s so easy to focus on the downs. Now go hug something stuffed.

  109. Deal! I’m glad you’re starting to feel better. And you’ll feel a little bit better everyday. Stay awesome Jenny and I’ll put you in my prayers!

  110. My screaming nerves and I need this reminder today. My moments are brief, but grabbing the dog and full-on walking make them even better!

  111. I am so desperate to find that dazzle. With severe chronic pain, though, that no amount of any sort of med will touch, I just have to enjoy the brighter vistas I get every now and then. Sometimes the vista involves huge amounts of pain, but a day well lived. Sometimes it involves a day of peace and calm even though nothing has been accomplished. I just have to remember that the cloudy, muzzy, icky vista is still worth it.

  112. You always know what to say when people are hurting. It’s a rare gift.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  113. Such a perfect way to phrase it- that day when suddenly, your head injury isn’t crippling, the bed doesn’t do flat spins and you can bend over to put on your shoes without fainting or throwing up- DAZZLING! If we didn’t have pain, we wouldn’t know joy- but why do I feel like some of us get more reminders of that than others? I guess that’s why some people are just more dazzling! I’m looking at you Jenny!

  114. My husband of over a quarter-century recently left me — and can’t even tell me why. The pain, fear, and depression are horrendous — until I feel like I have to scream and scream or I’m going to explode. I keep telling myself that it will pass and things will eventually get better — but you know how hard it is to see the light when you’re in the dark. Thank you for your words and the reminder that I can make it through this.

  115. I needed to be reminded of this. Even with drugs, the dark moments still come, and the nightmares are lurking just beneath the surface of the medication, waiting for me to screw up and forget to take them. I know this because one night recently I tried going off the nightmare meds just to see if I could have dreams again. I spent the entire night screaming because someone cut off my hand and ear and left only bloody stumps. That was fairly mild compared to what I have without any medicine at all, but it was enough to remind me that I DO need the entire stupid giant fucking pile of pills I swallow every night. Sometimes you just have to slog through the shit and try to remember there’s shinies on the other side. Love ya, Jenny. Thank you for the reminder. I hope your pain fucks off for good soon.

  116. Trying to find my way out of the dark; looking for any light at all. This helped. Thank you.

  117. I am prepping to have shoulder surgery this Friday. My shoulder has been aching every day for nearly 4 years, ranging from mild to pinching, shooting pain that grabs me by surprise. At first I thought it was just part of the osteo arthritis I have in my upper body and hands (let that be a lesson, people…never be a violinist!), but after an MRI last month it was found that my rotator cuff is 95% torn and needs a bit of repair. I don’t understand how my shoulder can be so badly damaged and not just dangle there like a limp flag, but there it is.

    The few times this week it has not been hurting have been so rare but so startling it makes me lose my breath. When the pain lifts, everything seems softer and gentler.

    I have suffered from depression since I was 14. I’ve suffered from severe anxiety since 16. And I’ve dealt with PTSD on and off since 2007. The fistful of pills I have to take each night to stay in the here and now is embarrassing.

    But when the clouds part…yes, it is wonderful.

  118. I needed this desperately today. My strength gave out and I crashed. The light at the end of the tunnel seems very far away again.

  119. Deal.
    I recently woke up with no knee or wrist pain – and it was wonderful! We do forget.

  120. Deal. I’ve been in those places. I always remind myself that clouds — no matter how dark and dense — are always just temporary. The sun is always there, bright as ever.

  121. Jenny,
    I had a (DaVinci Robotic) hysterectomy and developed an incisional hernia in my umbilical area. It is in the same place as yours. My appointment with a surgeon to discuss a hernia repair is on July 9th. After reading this post, I am SCARED!! I can’t imagine going through something worse than what I went through with my hysterectomy. What started out as a robotic surgery turned into a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy because there was so much scar tissue, they had to abandon the robotic surgery. In effect, I was actually healing from two surgeries: the robotic (5 incision) surgery and the 8″ incision from the TAH. It took three weeks to begin to feel normal and I was able to control the pain using Ibuprofen 800 mg and Tylenol 650 mg alternating them every three hours.

    I am scared to death that this hernia surgery recovery process will be worse than the hysterectomy recovery! I hope you don’t mind if I print out your blog post and take it with me to my surgeon. I do NOT want robotic hernia surgery. I hope he respects my wishes.

  122. Thank you so much for this. A few years ago, I thought I had herniated a disc in my back; it turned out to be just a really, really bad lumbar strain. But when I couldn’t stand up, couldn’t twist around, couldn’t breathe, I thought it would never quit hurting. Then one day, I could drag myself out of bed and crawl. Then the next day, I could grab onto furniture and make my way around the bedroom. Then a couple of days after that, I was fully bipedal again. And it was amazing.

    A few months ago, I walked into an uncharacteristically dark wall of depression. Finally, my dear husband took me by the hand and urged me into the car and took me for a walk through the woods, by the river, in the beauty of Arkansas in the spring. And I remembered what it meant to be part of life, part of not-hurting, and I could breathe again.

    Sometimes, you just need to be reminded that this, too, shall pass. Thank you.

  123. Jenny,
    I had a (DaVinci Robotic) hysterectomy and developed an incisional hernia in my umbilical area. It is in the same place as yours. My appointment with a surgeon to discuss a hernia repair is on July 9th. After reading this post, I am SCARED!! I can’t imagine going through something worse than what I went through with my hysterectomy. What started out as a robotic surgery turned into a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy because there was so much scar tissue, they had to abandon the robotic surgery. In effect, I was actually healing from two surgeries: the robotic (5 incision) surgery and the 8″ incision from the TAH. It took three weeks to begin to feel normal and I was able to control the pain using Ibuprofen 800 mg and Tylenol 650 mg alternating them every three hours.

    I am scared to death that this hernia surgery will be worse than the hysterectomy surgery! I hope you don’t mind if I print out your blog post and take it with me to my surgeon. I do NOT want robotic hernia surgery. I hope he respects my wishes.

  124. Deal. I’m glad to hear that you are on the upswing from the pain. And thank you for the reminder because I REALLY needed to hear it. XO

  125. This. Thank you so much for this. I’m in a down & waiting for the up again.

  126. Completely unrelated to what I’m going through but helped me anyway. Awesome.

  127. I’m in the same crappy boat as Ann at 6:08. when I come out of a funk I waste the dazzle worrying that it’s hypomania which is worse than the depression for me. Accepting the good days as just good days are a big struggle. But I’ve got people around me and the bloggers online to keep me going!

  128. Thanks, Jennifer! I really needed this. I’ve been in a sad place for a few weeks now and just want to be happy again. But dazzling would be oh so much better. You’ve got a deal! Hope you feel better soon! I’m hoping forward to a dazzling morning!


  129. Beautifully said, Jenny.

    This one is a keeper for me as my mind has been getting the best of me in the most horrible way, especially right now at night when it’s quiet, and it goes through a mega-list of imaginary scenarios of worry, fretting, sadness, and fear; and accompanied by panic attacks, hyperventilating, cold feet, and night sweats leaving me so incredibly exhausted each morning when I have to rise for work and attempt to function through the day.

    Note to self: “There’s a moment when you feel aware of the absence of pain, and that simple moment is such a wonder that it’s practically euphoric. And you remember what it’s like to not hurt. What it’s like to live. And it is so beautiful there aren’t words for it. It’s so incredibly easy to forget what it’s like to breathe when you’ve been holding your breath for so long.”

    You know what? Life is good. It really is. I need to remember that and be reminded of that. Often.

  130. Such a beautiful way to tell such a truth. There really is hope and happiness around the corner.

    I have a medical condition that causes persistent low grade anemia, interspersed with occasional bouts of severe anemia that have left me barely able to function. When I’m in the midst of that, I feel extremely tired, short of breath, fuzzy headed, depressed, and my heart races if I so much as stand up. Luckily I respond to iron infusion therapy, and let me tell you, when the red blood cells kick in to gear a few days later, I feel like Wonder Woman, ready to take on the world.

    Thank you for saying this to all the people (including yourself) who need to be reminded of the light at the end of the tunnel. There really is the most magical feeling when you finally feel better.

  131. My husband and I always read your blog posts together and I’m so glad I read today’s post. This is so beautifully worded and so true. I’m going through some rather interesting and tough changes in my life right now and I find myself constantly chanting, “It’s going to be over soon and you’ll be able to breathe freely then.” Thanks for sharing this!

  132. Deal. But I don’t have ice cream bars, just choco tacos and sundae cones. Will they work in a pinch?

  133. I really needed this today. I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago at the ripe old age of 32. I hadn’t really dealt with that when my best friend offered to watch my kids for a week so I could rest. Tonight the full weight fell on me. I needed to hear there is another side, I want to remember what it feels like to dazzle! I know will be okay, I will make it through because like you I have a tribe that lives in my computer. A group of people that though I have never met them they will help me. They are the The Wayward Backers and they are seriously the best people in the entire world. They are selfless, wonderful, and help me see everyday that I am not alone. Life is worth living for so many reason so we will fight through the pain and we will come out victorious.

  134. Thank you soooo much for writing this. As someone who’s had a chronic pain condition for 23 of my 35 yrs, it’s so hard to express “good days” – or short periods of “remission” to others.
    I’m looking forward to what I call an “upswing” soon. The upswings are what keeping me going.

  135. It seems to me that as a group we have seen more than our share of pain. Is that what makes us a tribe? Does our pain make us who we are, does it have some value? Just spent the whole day sitting in the hospital with a migraine because I got malignant hypertension (211/110 at the high point) because I was sure I could go a week without my blood pressure medicine and didn’t think about rebound. I’m about to schedule an operation on my neck and have been feeling like total dead weight in my family. But for some reason they’d rather keep me around anyway. Thanks for a glimmer in the dark- not just to Jenny, but to all of us. We need each other. I don’t connect easily with people, but I can truly say I love you all!

  136. Deal. I just finished your book and it was one of the most brilliant things I have read pretty much ever. Thank you for that experience. Feel better!

  137. I was just thinking of this very thing because I am headed into my months long unrelenting headache every summer brings. I have pseudo tumor cerebri whih means my brain is an ass and makes too much spinal fluid so my central nervous system stays over pressurized so I get the symptoms of a brain tumor without the benefits of there being a tumor to treat. FUN. Anywho. The heat of summer makes it MAD. I’ve had a headache nearly all day every day since February 2006. From late spring to fall it’s relentless. Then, there’s that cool crisp day in the fall when my head isn’t in crushing pain. And I think omg this is what real life feels like for everyone else! I thought about it this week when facing another summer of pain had me in years. Keeping my hopes focused on that day this fall when relief seeps back in for a short few months of a Deep South winter.

  138. Baby dropped – I can breathe again! It had been so long that I’d forgotten what taking a deep diaphragm breath felt like, and it is truly glorious! Now if he would just get the hell away from my bladder…

  139. Deal.
    This is so very true…thanks for the reminder.
    I hope you have lots more dazzling moments real soon.
    I <3 you.

  140. So very beautifully said. And just so you know – when I was recovering from a bilateral mastectomy and going through chemo several years ago (at the ripe old age of 35), there were days that despite the fog of constant pain, reading and laughing at your blog helped provide that ray of sunshine for me. Thank you for that. Welcome back to the dazzle.

  141. You’ve got yourself a deal. I bookmarked this post. Because God knows I need it.

    I came out of a very dark place this week. It does not help when the family is not on your side, and sometimes contributes to being a trigger.
    I’m scared of coming out and saying I have a problem. What I’m scared about is that they won’t understand or believe me. :/

    Thank you for writing Jenny. You help. A lot.

  142. Reblogged this on READ BETWEEN THE WHINES and commented:
    Jenny just said pretty much everything I’ve been wanting to say this week. Right now I’m having a difficult time remembering that there is light on the other side, that things will be better, that it won;t always hurt this much. And I appreciate that I am not the only one trudging. Wait for me, please?

  143. I wanted to say thank you! I have had a rougher day week month at the moment then i have had in a really long time and needed to hear or i guess read this. I have started a new job and still working part time at my old job. My old job boss sent me a text today telling me she needed to talk to me and didnt tell me why. So all day at my new job my stomach is in a knot only to find out 9 hours later she just needed to know when i was working this week for scheduling. I also in the last month moved home from staying with my sister and it is just rough trying to be a full adult again. I just want to go back to being a kid when bills didnt exsit. But yeah i just needed to hear how it does get better. I have tried reminding myself of it and it dodnt work. But hearing it from someone else does. So thank you!

  144. Thank you for this. I had my moment yesterday. I have had horrible back pain for as long as I can remember. Over the last five years or so,I have also had peripheral vision nerve pain stemming from the spinal issue. The possibility that the slightest touch would bring agony was so terrifying that,for the last three years I have basically cut myself off from almost all face to face contact with everyone but my husband. Thankfully I have extremely patient people in my life. About a month and a half ago, the doctor gave me a new med for nerve pain. It’s amazing! I realized yesterday that it has been two weeks with NO peripheral nerve pain! My spine and hip still hurt, but I don’t have to be afraid of being touched anymore! Now,if I can just get over the automatic flinch response,I might be able to live life again. You’re right,it IS dazzling. Love and hugs.

  145. I cannot tell you how much this post was needed today. Me, my mom and my twin sister and I all suffer from anxiety. We are all here together to spend some time with each other as well as wait for some test results for my mothers kidney. She is so paralyzed with fear it is unreal. When I saw your post
    I immediately printed it out and handed it to my mom. She cried with relief when she read it. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us and giving us strength when we need it.
    Be well

  146. You are loved by so many! Thank you for being brave enough to share and gifted enough to word it so beautifully.

  147. You would totally tell me to go walk barefoot in the grass after I just read about hook worms. Damn you, awesome lady! 🙂 Feel better!

  148. Look at how many people you’ve touched. I was just having a whine & a moan about how there are no good blogs anymore and you come out with that post. Well done, and- thank you.

  149. Beautiful…sometimes we all need that reminder that this to shall pass and there will be light and all the good things that might seem far away now! Thank you and hope you keep feeling better:-)

  150. Did your doctor give you an abdominal binder to wear after your surgery? I had an open laparotomy about a month ago after two laparoscopic surgeries the preceding 2 days…yes, 3 abdominal surgeries in 3 days. The surgeon gave me an abdominal binder to wear though and it really helped a lot. I also developed a large seroma in the laparotomy incision that had to be drained twice, and the surgeon had me keep that binder on to help keep the seroma compressed after he drained it. Fortunately, the seroma did heal…thank God…and my incision finally did as well. Long story short…if you don’t have an abdominal binder…get one and wear it all the time. .It helps so much by giving extra support to your abdominal muscles AND it will compress your seroma and hopefully prevent it from growing bigger.

    Sending healing energy and prayers for you! I am thrilled to hear that today was a better day. I remember that pain all to well.

  151. Ugh, I love you. (In a non weird way. Or possible in a weird way… idk) I have CFS and I’m struggling atm with the pain and the tired and the ‘I thought I was getting better, clearly I’m not’
    So I’ll wait – because the light will be there one day – this post was just what I needed to read today.

  152. For me it’s just newborn induced insomnia. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted, but apparently the price tag is never sleeping again. And no sleep makes Kristin something something. Definitely makes me a less than stellar human being/ parent/ wife/ employee. But there will be sleep again someday. Thanks for the post.

  153. Thank you for this. I’ve been so tired of being tired and in pain. I came here for some laughs and there was this post and all the comments… I read every single one and it was quite amazing. Even as complete strangers we all help each other and have each others backs all the time. Even when we are all tired and in pain we still hold each other up. I love this tribe and you Jenny. Thank y’all so very much.

  154. Thank you so much for sharing this, reading through the comments you can see how many people you helped with your words. Depression can get so bad that one entertains dark plans, because we forget the dazzle is out there waiting for us. Feel better, we all love you!

  155. You are one of the strongest people I know – you get up and keep going. sometimes it might take you a while and sometimes it’s harder than others but you still do it. So don’t think you’re weak because you aren’t.

  156. ‘Like other people probably feel after doing too many sit-ups.’ I’d imagine so, yes.
    That moment of awareness of a lack of pain – spot on! And it is wonderful, isn’t it?

  157. I felt really good, after reading your book, because you were put on the same “cancer medication” as me but for different reasons. I suffer from really severe, chronic eczema and I often cannot leave my house either, mostly because I look like I have leprosy. Just like you I felt literally no relief for a very long time and I didn’t even have the luxury of telling close friends and family about my disease because I quite literally wore it on my skin! Thanks for this post and don’t feel bad if you have to spend time at home for a while. It will just give you more time to explore the Great Indoors! Love ya!

  158. Not a big deal, but… It’s LEGO blocks. LEGO is a brand name, the blocks are the things you build with (and step on).

  159. THANK YOU. I’m so glad you’re seeing a light at the end.of your tunnel, but I’m also incredibly glad you posted this. I needed it.

  160. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing worse than physical pain. So your writing here made me flinch. On the other hand, it was almost a relief to hear you talking about something other than the two-headed bobcat or whatever. Sometimes it’s okay just to crash, even in writing, certainly on a website.

    Even if psychic pain doesn’t stop, one gets used to it. Can’t go on, must go on, ala Beckett.

    So glad you’re better.

  161. Thank you! When I am in pain (a chronic issue), I either feel so alone in it (you remind me that I am not) or I feel like a burden on those around me. You remind me that it WILL get better. And if it doesn’t, it will still be ok. Thanks!

  162. It’s a deal! Thanks for sharing Jenny, I really needed to hear these words today. So glad to hear you are feeling better. xo

  163. Deal.
    I’ll be printing this for my wall at the office…pinning it up with my big metal chicken button.

  164. Tears at “We’re waiting for you”. Sometimes that’s all I need to hear – that someone is there for me when I’m ready to meet them. Thank you.

  165. Thank you for writing this. I’m going to walk in the grass now and remind myself that feeling good will come again.

  166. You were right. I did need to read this. I’m going through something, granted not anywhere near as bad as what you are going through, and I’m feeling really sorry for myself. I needed the reminder that it will end, and that I need to be ready for it to.

  167. Deal.
    Wise words.
    I hope I see the dazzle soon, I thought I escaped radiation burns – I was wrong hit me like a burning brick wall 1 week after I finished , now 2 weeks out it still bites.

  168. And she manages to bring me to tears again…

    Oh Jenny, it is such a Deal…. because I just saw the most literal dazzling sunrise this morning and it made me so happy but came back inside and my wrist, neck, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle are all giving me fits and there’s stress waiting for me back inside… and I need to remember to hold onto the dazzle.

    I can not imagine my life if I had not been introduced to your blog, the self awareness alone is worth your weight in taxidermy critters 😉

    All the love to you for being dazzling xoxo

  169. Don’t tell anyone, but this post made me teary-eyed. I was in a car accident last year and have been working my way through a shoulder injury; I finally am on the more-good-days-than-bad-days side of recovery, so I relate to the pain you must be going through. Everything you said is true (as it always is, but this time it didn’t involve cats or giant chickens named Beyonce). Stay strong, don’t give up, and I’m happy to hear that you are feeling better!

    I need to go read the Beyonce post for the 9 millionth time, now that I mentioned it…

  170. Deal! No physical pain right now, but TOUGH TIMES! Light keeps shining through chinks in this dark forest and it is BEAUTIFUL. Nothing is as beautiful as that light! I cherish every beam of it!
    Hang in there and heal quickly Jenny

  171. Deal. And thank you for this. I needed it more than I can ever explain.

  172. Deal – thank you! I need to bookmark this post – so happy you are getting your dazzlingly beautiful moments!

  173. I knew that we were soul sisters! I had a total knee replacement done on May 28th and I developed a seroma also! I went back to the OR two days ago and had it drained and it feels so much better. It DID hurt “like a bastard” as you said. So, seroma sufferers unite! Let’s drain our collective consciousness! ….Heather

  174. I love reading your blog, and this one especially. Also, I want to thank all your readers for their stories in the comment section. Recently all I can see is the dark and being reminded that the light is around the corner helps immensely even if I knew it it helps to be reminded.

  175. will you be my marriage counselor? seriously. i think your the only person who would look at our messed up little world and make us whole again. love you jenny!!

  176. Deal.

    Oh, man — I can still feel a little of the wonder of the first time I woke up after a long bout of depression and felt good. Really felt actively good, not just “didn’t feel particularly bad.” It was so beautiful and overwhelming that I burst into tears in the shower at the absolute fucking wonder of wanting to be alive and facing the day. There is a moment.

  177. I wanted you to know that reading your blog, specifically posts like this, is a large part of what made me realize that I needed to seek help. Thank you for that. I have started the process of trying to get my brain chemistry working properly so that I can feel like a normal human being most days instead of just some days, every now and then, once in a blue moon. I know people probably tell you this a great deal, but truly, thank you for putting this out there.

    And, it’s a deal.

  178. I feel your pain. I’m in daily constant pain from a very bad knee that should have been replaced years ago. This week I met with a surgeon, and on August 13 I will undergo total knee replacement. I know it will be a painful recovery, but nothing they can do to me can possibly hurt as much as what I’m going through right now. I am thankful for this post of yours and will refer to it often as I forge ahead. Thank you!

  179. I am amazed at how when I need these reminders the most, they come to me, someone writes a blog post like this, someone posts a picture on the bookface, I see a friend I haven’t seen in 15 years and she says, “you’re going to be great, don’t get discouraged.” Thanks for the reminder, perfect timing.

  180. For me, crying typically consists of 30 seconds of tears followed by heavy reprimands to myself for getting “emotional” and then getting pissed at myself for crying. Every once in awhile, though, something stings and the flood of tears can’t be stopped. Your words got me today: “And if you don’t see the sun right now, keep trudging. It’s there. It’s blindingly magnificent. And we’re waiting for you. Promise.” Love you Jenny.

  181. Deal! So much!
    Thank you, again!
    Your blog has been my place to come for laughs, tears and just feeling understood for quite some time now. It is so good to see/read that there are so many of us out there that fight similar struggles but still come out of the dark times again and again and enjoy the dazzle and the sun. Thank you for creating this place and for writing this post that I will keep as a reminder for the times I feel like I never will come out of the dark.
    The last six months have been a strange ride for me. The year started with a major depressive episode. When I was just peeking out over the edge of my hole in the ground I broke my front teeth. That required major, painful, costly and time consuming work. And on top of that I developed a huuuge ovarian cyst that had to be removed. So I had these times of emotional and/or physical pain quite a lot in the last six months alone, but thankfully also the bright and dazzling moments.
    I hope your recovery goes well! I’m sure reading Wonder Woman in bed with Hailey is a great way to recover. 🙂

  182. I’m reminded of the old joke about the man who was beating his head against the wall. Asked why, he replied “Because it feels so good when I stop”.

    Yeah. It feels so good when it stops. 🙂 Glad to hear you’re feeling better.

  183. “It’s so incredibly easy to forget what it’s like to breathe when you’ve been holding your breath for so long.” Even not about physical pain and physical breathing, this line is awesome. You need to make it into something I can pin, RIGHT NOW! Please. My life right now is pretty flippin’ a awesome so I think I should go hug my kids, set up a tent, and read some books with them. What do you think?

  184. Thank you. I almost didn’t leave a comment because it is so much work. Have to go through page after page to get to the comment box. The scrolling isn’t what takes so long. The problem is that I have to stop and read most of the comments because they are written by reasonable, literate people who suffer like I do and have a good sense of humor about it. Thanks EVERYONE for helping me to feel like I’m not alone.

  185. You have a deal, girl! You are loved. Thanks for sharing your life with us all. It helps me pull out o the fog on a regular basis.

  186. I absolutely can relate. I’ll remind you of all the good things and you post this every so often.
    At times it’s so easy to forget! You’re the best! xoxoxoxo

  187. Wow, I know your pain. I am recovering from hip surgery. Prior to surgery, I walked around on a broken, literally torn, hip. It took 4 years, after the injury to my hip, to diagnose it. Once they did, my surgeon asked me to hold on as long as I could before he did the surgery, because due to osteoarthritis, I will eventually need a hip replacement. I made it two more years, so 6 long, tear/anxiety/depression-filled, years of unrelenting pain, and I finally had surgery. And it was worse than expected when he got in there, took 1.25 hours longer to fix, and 3 weeks into recovery, a wound infection later, I have had my moments where I wondered if it is worth it. I also have my moments, those blissful few and far between, where I know it will be worth it all.

    So I too know the waking with excruciating pain, that first sit up and wanting to scream thru clenched teeth, the fog of dizzying nausea from painkillers, and in general wanting the good Lord to come and take me home to eternity.

    I will pray for you, my fellow sojourner, on this life journey we apparently are strong enough to endure. The fact that God lets me wake each day is all I need of confirmation that today is a day to live!

    Blessings to you!!!
    J. E. MORSE

  188. This really brightened my day. Not to know that you’re in pain, but to be reminded that all pain is temporary and not to take good stuff for granted. I’m 22 and have had what seems to be an unfair amount of medical problems and surgeries in my short life, but six weeks ago I was hit head on by a pick up truck while driving home from work and have some very painful injuries from it. Stuff I took for granted like being able to go up the stairs to my bedroom or take a shower suddenly became impossible and it sucks. I understand that moment of “oh my gosh I’m not in pain this feels amazing” and how easy it is to forget how it felt being normal/healthy/uninjured. So I’ve resolved to making more out of my days and really enjoy the dazzle of life from now on. Thanks for this post…sometimes it means everything just to know that you’re not alone.

  189. You said it, I have lupus so I know when those flares begin, live seems to end. Thanks for the reminder.

  190. You make me smile. You have helped me with depression and I wish I could help make you smile. I hope you feel better soon. <3

  191. So very much happening lately…meds not handling the “stuff” very well. Reading your posts just brings deep, deep belly laughter!

    THAT is my light, my dazzle. Laughter.

    You’re one of my go-to places for laughter. I should say thank you. So, thank you.

    I hope that the recovery progresses just a bit more each day.

    BTW…what do people feel after doing too many sit ups? I’ve obviously not ever gone there.

  192. I was in a near fatal motorcycle accident 5 years ago. Wasn’t supposed to live through it but I did. They never thought I’d walk again but I did. I had my share of darkness through that as well so know of those places as well as the joy of triumph over the odds. One my one year anniversary of the accident, I wrote a blog post that noted something that was huge… I could wipe my own butt. While that sounds silly, when you’ve had the ability to do even the smallest thing for yourself, being able to get up, go to the bathroom, and wipe your own butt is HUGE.

    So celebrate the dazzle moments and that you can wipe your own butt. It’s the little things that make life so very special so find one of those little things and celebrate it! 🙂

  193. Deal. I know exactly that moment. Where you look around and blink and go, “Wait. Nothing hurts. Whoa….I’m actually OK right now!”

    Glad you’re having those, and they are getting more frequent. You got this.

  194. Thank you. Needed to hear this so much today and I didn’t even realize it till I read it. Thank for the tears and the reminder the sun will shine, it will be brilliant.

  195. Thank you for the reminder. I had a severe pain for 15 years. I finally divorced it. I left him! I left him 9 times before (mentally), but I could no longer take the mental abuse, feeling like a piece of shit, feeling like I failed, feeling like I should try harder, destroying myself to make an impossible situation work. Now I am alone with my thoughts, these thoughts can be so cruel from the echoing effect of a mentally abusive past. That at times I wanted to end it all, leave this plain. I saw it as a rational idea that could cure all. I’m so glad I found I still had a slither of light left inside of me that talked me around. I think I can see the end of the tunnel and I think I have made it to the other side of healing. The words are just whispers in my mind now and I smile. I smile and I’m starting to feel me again……

  196. Wonderfully said! I go through periods when I suffer from chronic daily migraines. The pain is incapacitating. And then there will be that moment when I realize the pain is gone, and it is truly one of the most glorious feelings in the world! One thing my battles with migraines has taught me is to enjoy the times I feel well, to celebrate being pain free, and to enjoy life every day that I can.

  197. This was a beautiful post Jen. I will print it and put it on my frig for those days I really need the reminder. Thank you.

  198. Deal! And thanks for this. Rheumatoid arthritis is making my life difficult and frustrating right now and it’s hard to see the light at the end of this tunnel but I’ll keep looking.

  199. Last week, i had terrible PMS. Bad, achy, thinking wrong thoughts PMS. Overwhelmed with anger and hopelessness.

    Yesterday, i drove home with the windows down on a lovely day and great music blasting and felt so good.

    I too was struck by the contrast and hoped next time I was crying in the bathtub with black black thoughts that i could remember how awesome a cool breeze can be.

  200. Deal.

    I can’t express how much I appreciate you posting this. My depression and anxiety have taken me to the darkest place I have ever been. I can easily believe that it will be this way, or worse, forever. It’s much harder to believe that the darkness might lift at some point. You have at least given me something to hold onto while I hang out here in the dark. Thank you, so much.

  201. As someone going through chemo right now, I have to remind myself there are good days and there are bad. I know I will get through this, but sometimes that tunnel seems a bit longer than other times. It’s really hard to not remember that light isn’t that oncoming train but it really is the end of the tunnel. The new day ahead that is full of promise.

  202. “What I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzeled, to cast away the weight of facts and may-be even to float a little above this difficult world” Mary Oliver

  203. @ purplepenguin #315 thanks for the link for the Ted Talk, I needed to hear that today, it was as beneficial to me as reading all of these comments and Jenny’s post. I have relatives with chronic pain, depression and mental illness, so I can relate. Thank you.

    Jenny, you are amazing and dazzling. I wish you a thorough recovery from your surgery soon. I hope you enjoy your vacation and know how very much you are appreciated. This is the best blog EVER and we are fortunate to have you. Take care.

  204. I needed this uplift today… especially since my blog post is about pushing someone down some stairs 🙂

  205. Tears in my eyes. I had to come out of lurkdom to say how beautiful this was. Yes, yes, yes. Thanks for the reminder.

  206. You SO need to write a book about living with RA. You would spread even more hope and help educate those who don’t get it.

  207. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this today. I was recently diagnosed with RA, and today I’m in so much pain giving up was actually a viable option there for a minute. Thank you.

  208. Your “Crazy” is brilliant, and speaks directly to the “Crazy” in everyone.
    It’s like one huge, fantastic family reunion. With Unicorns.
    I am sure there is a much more politically correct term for that, but I was born lacking the necessary filter required to protect yourself from offending large amounts of people at any given time.
    There is a point to this, I promise. It is like a PBS special, you may have to sacrifice 5 minutes of your life that you will never get back, but somewhere within the scene of the zebra (that they just made you fall in love with) getting eviscerated by a lion, it might teach us all something…
    then again.. it may just suck and traumatize you. It’s a crap shoot.
    I just recovered from major back surgery. And it was torturous and exhausting… not to be too dramatic. When you have a high tolerance for medication, you get the “Sorry.. Do what you can to make yourself comfortable and Rest” talk. I tried the “Rest” medication.. not very effective. The “Hootch” medicine was a different story. You find yourself feeling slightly envious of the thugs on Cops that are digging crap out from under their floorboards…
    “Wonder if That would make me feel better?? Highly toxic and illegal? Eh, I’d give it a shot”
    During recovery, every minute that drug by, felt like hours. For someone that usually can’t stay still, you feel like a sloth with chores accumulating around you like nagging little flies.
    It was all quite riveting. Enough for me to want to poke my eyeballs out and talk incessantly to the lawn guys, even though they don’t speak English. (They probably did but were too smart to encourage me).
    Then out of the blue, Magic happened!
    A wonderful friend surprised me with a present in the mail. Once I made sure it wasn’t ticking.. or powdered, (Been fooled by That before) I was ecstatic to find your book, and Candy!
    I promise I was Way more excited about your book!.. O.k. that *May be a lie.
    It made me so happy, it was difficult not to zoom through it!
    It was one of the best things I have Ever read in my life! I know that it Definitely one-upped the Sears circular.
    Honestly, It was my best friend and was brilliant. Thank you for the sunshine in the darkness.

  209. My chocolate ice cream bar, plan a trip, walk in the grass goodness is to take the time to read every single comment on this awesome blog. Thanks everyone.

  210. I read this (along with the comments) with a lump in my throat… and tears in my eyes…
    I’m not the only one! Sometimes I can fight the darkness away… sometimes it lingers for a few days. I pray that it doesn’t engulf me completely. Thank you for your beautiful soul!
    Deal 🙂

  211. I’ve had similar experiences, though have not been through much surgery; unless you count a lumbar puncture when I was hospitalized as a teenager (after a psychotic episode), or the two times I had to go to get my wisdom teeth out; they were compacted, and though I was anesthetized, I could still feel the tools ripping the teeth out of my skull, it was very unnerving, and the pain afterwards lasted for weeks.
    That and the fact I nearly passed out, as I discovered that I have a weak stomach when it comes to first hand experience of surgery and the like.
    I even have to look away when I have blood samples taken for fear of passing out.

    I’ve also had chronic pain after long bouts of a nasty virus that is in the same family as chicken pox and shingles, (you can guess what it is, and I’ve hinted, but not ready to say the word in a public forum), and realize in retrospect – as the pain and discomfort literally lasted for years, that I must have had some sort of post viral chronic fatigue type thing.

    At present I’m struggling with anxiety, Bipolar and some family and home stresses, but am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and am reminding myself that it may not be an oncoming train.

    I’ve been through stages in the last year or two where I’ve hardly left the house, other than trips to the library, buying fresh fruit & veg, and checking the mailbox.
    This week I had an old friend come to visit, and yesterday for the first time I visited a neighbour and joined him jamming on guitar for a bit over an hour.
    It sounds like nothing much, but it was a big step, as I have been more or less a hermit for the past 2 – 3 years, rarely leaving the house.

    I’ve had to accept yet again, that for the present, life without medication is not possible, and am faced with the possibility that I may need to be medicated for life.
    I know it’s just popping a few pills, but somehow it makes me feel lesser, and I have to face the internal conflict that my condition means I need chemicals to make me feel and act more normal.

    I don’t like it, but I hate to feel my moods being all over the place, and alternating between being terribly depressed, and then so hyped that sleep is impossible without taking something to switch off at the end of the day.

    I’ve had two saving graces that have helped me get through, the greyhound I adopted 5 months ago, that now means when I am home alone I am not really alone (he’s an indoor dog), and I usually manage to do a cardio workout at home three days a week to keep my fitness level up.

    The dog of course means I have to take him out for walks twice a day, so that is helping with getting me to be more social and talkative, though I am not particularly good at small talk (Asperger’s Syndrome, along with various other complaints).

    Talking about dogs of course is never too hard for a dog owner, so that at least breaks the ice and makes me feel it’s okay to talk, and that I don’t have to tell strangers too much personal stuff; stuff that would make most people run away in horror – the stuff I feel the need to share, but need to be choosy in who I tell.

    The thing is I guess, pain, whether physical, emotional or mental is a very personal experience, and it’s not something that is visible to others, and as they can’t experience what you’re feeling, when you complain the natural response is to tell you to buck up, and that things will get better.

    The great irony in life of course is that to deal with all the stress, pain, suffering, and difficulty it takes time and patience, and the only way to develop these is to learn to ride through it.

    The great problem with this is that you always feel that no one else knows what you’re going through, or that others will try to make you feel that you just need to get over it, or that it’s not so bad.

    Thank you Jenny for sharing; reading of your experiences with pain, suffering, depression, anxiety, and other assorted stresses helps us all connect, and realize that some are also suffering the way we are, and we are not so alone as we feel when cocooned in our world of suffering.

    I can’t feel what you feel, but I can relate, and relating to one another is what makes the human experience that bit more bearable when times are tough.

  212. A year ago today, I checked myself into the psychiatric ward for the first time for suicial ideation. It was a terrifying and incredibly helpful experience. Today is hard for me especially. Reading your post helps. I’m going to write “Depression lies” on my arms and try to be kind to myself. Finding your book yesterday, in Seoul, even across the world, was like a beacon of light. Today I will use it as a security blanket and a shield. I hope it will help me get through today. I think it will. Thank you.

  213. I’m so sorry, Jenny, that you’ve been going through all this extra BS.

    Your post made me think of the times when I’ve had no electricity, no hot water, no car, etc and how absolutely AMAZING it is when I’ve gotten whatever was missing BACK. Then, I forget and start taking it all for granted again. SIGH.

    I’m (still) dealing with depression that makes me just want to sleep all day and have to force myself to go to work and bathe. Thank you all for letting me know I’m not the only one who deals with that stuff. AND, thank you Tribe for triggering me to actually GO find a new psychiatrist and talk about what’s going on—we’re trying an add-on that might help with “motivation”. It’s a little hard for me to imagine being really HAPPY but I can trust all you that it can happen.

    I want to wish all of my fellow Tribe members suffering from physical and/or mental pain that your sunny day comes quickly.

    You guys continually amaze me with your Comments. (I’m afraid to hit the “refresh” and see the comments that have been added now that I’ve gotten to the end—#339, in case you’re wondering!!)

    Virtual (gentle or ferocious, your choice) {{{HUGS}}} to all of you!!!!!!!!

  214. Thank you for such a thoughtful blog. I am seeing the light myself, and it really sucks that I read you’ve been going through a bitch of a recovery. Get your sunglasses ready, you’re going to need them! Soon! At least, that’s what I keep telling myself….and it is slowly coming true.

  215. I just shared this with someone I love very much who’s in the darkness, and I hope your little bit of light punches through it. Thank you.

  216. Deal.
    I’m glad the clouds are parting for you. They always do, and they always will.

  217. My own personal mantra is simple: no matter how bad it gets, nothing lasts forever. I think you know that now. As bad as pain is, you’ve found little islands to swim back to where the pain lets up, gives you a break. and it does get better. (((hugs you carefully so as not to jar anything)))

  218. Thank you for this. I am in the midst of a deep depression at the moment, only able to get out of bed because I have animals that depend on me, and while I know that this too, shall pass, and I just need to shove through it, it helps to be reminded that I won’t feel this way forever.
    (also, I have the horse head squirrel feeder and forgot to put it up! so thanks to commenter who posted it – I am going to go do it right now, maybe it will cheer me up…)

  219. Beautiful sentiment , i often feel like im stumbling though the labrinth and the voices in my head are telling me i am headed the wrong way like the talking walls in the movie. Nice to break through the bull and see the sun now and again.

  220. You gave me a piece of something I desperately needed to hear. I am not alone, and it feels so good to know that. Thank you for this, thank you for expressing this feeling, and DEAL!! I’m here to remind you of the glorious sun when you need it 🙂

  221. I know exactly what you mean! I have a bladder disease (Interstitial Cystitis). I go through flares where my bladder hurts pretty significantly all the time. It hurts extra when I pee or just after I pee. And then, when I’m coming out of the flare, there’s this moment when I realize that it doesn’t hurt. And the absence of hurt just feels AMAZING! Thanks for putting it into words and sharing that feeling with everyone!

  222. DEAL!!
    Thank you, I needed this! Been on sickleave for “hitting the wall” and depression since 2010. Developed pain in every part of my body, having migraines too often! I’m on my way back to life again with the help of therapy, water aerobics, a personel agent, Doctors, Socialoffice, unemploymentoffice and worktraining!
    This reminded me of the light and to see how far I’ve come already. (Patience isn’t my strong side anymore! =) )
    THANK YOU!! I wish you the best!!

    //Carina (all the way from Sweden)

  223. It’s a deal. It’s hard to remember the bright when you’re in the dark. Someone has to shine a flashlight on your face and blind you every once in a while.

  224. thanks. I needed this today. Been fearful and worried about finding a job. And getting interviews seems so much harder. And getting a job near impossible. It’s depressing. Between you, a few good songs, and some friends…it’s helps to remember it’s not all bad.

  225. I cannot begin to tell you how much I owe you for saving my sanity. And last night when I read this, it was after a very, very, bad night with my equally unbalanced son. I’m still learning and struggling with doing this myself (recently divorced, Dad’s not exactly there) and this one post made me believe I can do this. I love you more than anything.

  226. Deal.

    Thank you for sharing this. I was going through a rough time when I came across this, & struggled to embrace your words. Now I have just begun to smile again, and rereading this brought tears (of joy this time!) to my eyes. Thank you so, so very much ♡

  227. Total deal! I had surgery last December and can relate so much to what you have written here. I also suffer from depression and it is so helpful to be reminded that the clouds do part and the sun does begin to shine again. Thank you for writing this particular entry. I love your humour but when you write these pieces about depression it is so healing and helpful for me. As is the laughter on your silly entries. I am just rereading your book for the third time and laughing just as hard as the first time. Thank you . Thank you. Thank you.

  228. Deal.

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was going through a rough patch when I came across this, and struggled to embrace your words. Now I have just begun to smile again, and rereading this brought tears (of joy this time!) to my eyes. Thank you so, so very much ♡

  229. Thank you as always for having the courage to share the tough stuff with us. I think we all feel a little better when we know someone else is willing and there to help get us out of the dark spots. Thank you for reminding us that there’s always an end.

  230. There was a time for about 2 months after a spinal injury that I could not void, pee, take a leak or whizz and I promised myself that if I ever could pee again, I would never take such a simple physical act for granted again.I never forgot how such a simple act when unable to be performed had such a huge, devastating impact on me. I am probably one of the few people who says a little thank-you prayer every time I sit on a toilet.

  231. Thank you for this. Had my 2nd round of chemo today (breast cancer, I am 31) and am back in the blahs. The first morning I woke up and felt good again after the first round was SO good, and a reminder to not take simple things like having energy for granted. The fight is worth it! Can’t wait to come out of the other side of the tunnel!

  232. I love you, Jenny Lawson. I think you are the best thing since sliced bread and dark chocolate. I wish you healing. You are one weirdly wonderful, beautiful soul.

  233. So true and beautifully expressed – I tried to write something similar but you’ve just captured what I was trying to say so perfectly. Thanks Jenny.

  234. Deff deal!
    I’m a recovering alcoholic and had many “dark” days laying catatonic on the couch to sick or depressed to move. The good days now are such a blessing it’s hard to describe but it’s the simple things in life now that I can take pleasure in a smile about. This was so inspiring to read bc I still have days that sneak up on me (being in early recovery) that I feel like a total whack job and just want to sleep bc I don’t want to inflict my craziness, anxiousness and irritability on anyone else…but then I read stuff like this and remember it’s MY life to live and I’ve been
    Given a second chance to do so and screw em if they think I’m nutso I’m going to revel in it and be marvelous at it bc it’s mine!

  235. This is an achingly beautiful post. A heartbreaker and soul saver all in one. I joined Pintrest just so i could pin it. Thank you for writing this.

  236. I have been reading your posts all day. It’s been a bad dark day that has taken me to places that I thought I was past by now. I need the dazzle, but honestly, I just need a little light in the darkness. Thank you for being you, I wish I could find more people like you. Right now I just don’t know what to do anymore.

  237. This is how I feel about migraines. The pain is so awful, and it’s so frustrating that there isn’t anything that consistently helps, that I can do or not do to make it better. But when it’s gone? Best feeling in the world! I could dance, and sing: My head doesn’t hurt! It isn’t just “practically euphoric,” it is euphoric.

  238. This is so beautiful. What life is about. You can’t have pain without happiness. They go hand and hand. It’s so hard to understand sometimes. It’s so hard to see the light. But, if you hang in there, you do find the light again. Sometimes, it seems impossible and like it will never come….but when you aren’t looking life surprises you again and you remember “life is good”.

  239. Deal.

    I love the part about dazzling. After a week or two under the weight and lies of depression, when you wake up one morning and want to get out of bed (after the forcing yourself to get up part is over) it is dazzling.

  240. deal…you moved me incredibly with those words…i wish you trillions of days & nights of healthiness

  241. When I am miserable with physical pain, I think, “There is no way I will ever be unhappy once this pain is gone. People that aren’t in physical pain are the happiest people in the world.” And then the pain goes away and I have time to focus on my other issues. Physical pain is great at distracting you from that.

  242. This is beautiful, you are beautiful, I didn’t know I needed this until I got it.
    The word “dazzling” is really sticking with me here. It’s like when you take a really fuzzy blanket outside to lay on, and something prickly and burr-y gets all hooked and snagged on it. Only my brain is the blanket, and that word is the paw-paw (does anyone else call them that? Is that a midwest thing?) and I’m okay with keeping it there.
    I just drank a lot of coffee. Sorry-not-sorry.

  243. I say similar things when my migraine medicine kicks in and I feel a turn in the pain. It is glorious. And when my depression starts to lift or my anxiety attack begins to wane. It can be so hard to remember that it can feel good when it feels so bad. Good thing you wrote it down.

  244. Oh, honey, I’m glad you’re starting to really heal. I couldn’t find a gif of adorable kittens in nurse outfits but I’m sending mental kitten nurses to help get you through the rest of your recovery. Thank you for taking the time to check in with us. 🙂

  245. Deal. Thanks for this. I’m in a stressful time right now – strange, sudden health issues that docs can’t figure out – and I’ve had some very dark days. Each day is difficult, and has been for 5 weeks, with no end in sight. But I will keep hoping and reminding myself when things gets really bad that depression lies. xo

  246. I LOVE this. Yes. I’ve had chronic pain since i was 18 (now 45). i’d be so happy for just one minute without pain. so yes, i agree. celebrate!!

  247. I teared up reading that post. I have depression and anxiety and you have described what it’s like for the weight if those issues to slowly lift. It usually takes a long time and is so gradual I don’t realize it’s happening and then…I might notice the sunshine one day. A few days later I want to go outside and after more time passes, I feel like going for a walk.
    Thank you for reminding that life is worth waiting for the darkness to lift.

  248. It’s quite similar to the passing of a deadline when a constant pain finally starts to diminish and you can see life on the other side of it again. It’s so amazingly invigorating. Suddenly you are capable of anything and everything and anything wonderful seems possible. Except cleaning out the garage. That’s an insurmountable hurdle no one can possibly overcome.

  249. I’m so sorry for your pain and suffering! I’m battling breast cancer and just today had two seromas drained. Fluid filled in the space where my breasts used to be, and the surgeon drained off 60 CCs from each side. Tonight is an oxycontin night. I can’t imagine having a seroma after abdominal surgery. I hope you heal completely and quickly.

  250. Please keep this up, I need this post now as I seem to be trudging through a dark place right now. Thank you for being awesome and sharing your journey with me, that I might find strength in your courage.

  251. Thank you for making me cry into my morning coffee, still in my pjs.
    Not only is it lovely to see this light coming from you, but it’s a word I needed to hear. I’ve been in the darkness for a month or so, and I’m trying to find my way out. Thank you.

  252. “Hernia”, just as is sounds in english, means “bullshit” in Russian. And also is colloquial for “penis”…. Just thought, you know, it might make you smile to know it.) You are amazing! Be safe and recover, so many people love you, read you and need you.
    Big hugs from Omsk, Siberia, Russia. No, really, we have internet there too !)

  253. You made think of something really, really, reeeeeeeeeeeeeally amazing.

    I. am. happy.

    I have been happy for a few months now, more or less solidly. The thing is… I was so unhappy for so long that every time I remember that…. I am floored. It still feels like a miracle, and it’s wonderful. And really strange. And strangely wonderful.

  254. I LOVE YOU!!!! Not in a weird, stalkerish kinda way…in an admiration for your ability to inspire so many people with your well crafted words and in the process touch countless lives – lives that you will never know you touched. Thank you for being you!

  255. Thank you so much for saying this – and for being there for those of us going through bad times. I’m really grateful for you.

  256. I haven’t been on your site for a little while and for some reason logged on today after being in week for almost a week with a migraine. As you know, the constant pain is so depressing and you feel as though your life is ending sometimes. At times I wonder about fate or God or coincidences or whatever it is that makes us do the things that we do–if they exist…but for some reason I just read your post for a reason and it was to remind me that there is a light at the end of this. A time when I will be OK. Thank you. I needed you just now and you were there.

  257. Every morning when you open your eyes, tell yourself, “Depression is a lying mother fucker.” But most importantly, remember that you aren’t alone. There are hundreds of women, just like you, who follow your words and posts. The ones who struggle to get out of bed. The ones who fight every day, so that this illness doesn’t get in the way of being mom. Never, ever forget that you aren’t alone. <3

  258. So basically, instead of working, I’m reading through a ton of your posts. We had to have my dog put to sleep this week, and I’ve been a train wreck since Sunday night. But today was a good day to read this post. Because on Tuesday (when he died) and yesterday, I felt like I was never going to be able to stop crying. And today, even though I’ve cried a bunch of times already & I clearly don’t have my shit together enough to get any real work done, I did manage brief spurts of not crying and checking a few things off the ginormous, growing To Do list. I guess one of these days my eyelids are going to stop resembling small, puffy pillows and I’ll stop bursting into tears any time someone speaks to me. Seems really unfair that I can’t just spend a few days in bed in the meantime, though. I need a cave. Or a vacation. Or a vacation in a cave.

  259. I hear what you’re saying, Jenny, and I agree. I spent a year being sick and not knowing it, I thought, well, im getting older. Of course it hurts to breathe, of course I can’t concentrate…and finally ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone to end all kidney stones, and a UTI that, as one nice nurse put it, coulda killed you sooner than later. oh, THANK you for that one.

    And the miracle is, as crap as I felt going in, four days later I walked out, well stitched and no pain killers, and haven’t felt this good in several years.

    I know this sounds specious, but sometimes I think people who rarely get sick, and who rarely go through pain, have no idea what it’s like to be in that tunnel, that cave, and come out into sunshine. It’s an amazing sensation, isn’t it.

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