I’m overwhelmed.  By the end of the week I’ll be fine but right now I’m dealing with massive deadlines, and Victor is out of the country, and Hailey has been really sick, and I feel like I’m stuck in quicksand.

I know this will pass.  I know my anxiety disorder is making me paralyzed and giving me a false idea of how bad things are.  I know that in a few days I’ll be back to normal.  But until then I have to just say that if you’re feeling overwhelmed and full of failure you are not alone.  Keep breathing.  Keep breathing.  Keep breathing.

I’ve been listening to angsty music that speaks to me, but honestly, today I need something to push me out of this, and pep-talk me into the sun and maybe you do to, so here you go:

PS.  If you hate being forcefully cheered up and instead you need to cry and feel like you’re not alone in being crazy then here are the angsty songs that have been my company this week:

Sending you love.  We’re in this together, y’all.

253 thoughts on “Shitshitshit

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I pretty much feel like curling up in a dandelion patch today. Even if it’s under a foot of snow still.

  2. I feel you, sister. I’m starting a new job next week and trying to get my life in order. Here’s the song I’ve had on repeat.

  3. What’s the saying? When it shits… oh no wait, when it rains it pours. I guess it could be when it (life) shits it just pours more shit. Sorry you’re feeling so overwhelmed with shit.

  4. This actually helps. Thanks. I’ve felt like I can’t make any progress on my own responsibilities because I run out of time after helping others with theirs (which is also one of my responsibilities here).

  5. If I said what I really wanted to say, I’d become very stabby. It’s been a bad couple of weeks for me. There’s been a ridiculous amount of stress, and I’ve been feeling like I’m loosing too many battles. Now, this morning, I just found out that the medical industry has screwed us once again. My son has a lot of issues, and the insurance company screwed up, many that he might not get his medication in time, meaning that we risk brain injury. I’m tired of fighting with big businesses who just don’t give a shit.

  6. I’m so glad this showed up today. I’m having a really hard week even though I finally got a job after 3 years – I think I’m afraid I’ll fuck it up and get fired and end up homeless (that isn’t a stretch. My landlord/friend is really close to losing the house we live in). I, like you, know that my anxiety disorder makes me think that things are much worse than they are, and that I’M much worse than anyone else thinks. I needed the reminder to breathe, so thank you.

  7. This one always makes me happy.

    Dar WIlliams also does a great version if you like a little variety.

  8. Oh darlin’, you have my sympathy. If I could hibernate through the month of February I would. Even with Valentine’s Day (which is nice) it’s pretty much the shittiest month of the year. Cold, gray and dreary. It’s hard not to feel depressed.

  9. You are the one who introduced me to Tim Minchin and “Not Perfect” which is frequently a balm to my jangled nerves. Thank you for that. I’ll give the others a listen. Hugs to you, Jenny.

  10. There are so many things I need to deal with this week and I feel like I am completely frozen. Can someone please come over and give me a good shove? Sorry you are going through this but does feel good to know you are not alone and will get through it.

  11. How are you guys putting videos in replies? Magic coding powerz probably, but thought I’d ask.
    Your permalink says it all, Jenny. I have an ED that I’m trying to push out into the sunlight and my brain is fighting me tooth and effing nail. As Anne Lamott once said, or something like this “you can’t find a broken mind by talking yourself out of sickness with a broken mind.” So shitshitshit is how I feel today.

  12. God. You are always the bravest person in the room, Jenny. You aren’t afraid to share how you feel. I don’t think I’ll every manage that, so knowing I’m not alone helps a lot. Thank you so much! Sending virtual hugs to you . . .

  13. Thank you. This week has felt like everything is crashing down. Influenza, 22 weeks pregnant, and mom admitted to the hospital for her rapidly declining health. On top of the normal daily struggles. My heart has just been hurting and I needed this. We are not alone.

  14. I stayed home two days this week “sick” which really meant I really couldn’t give a fuck about getting to work or much of anything, really. I consider the fact that I’m showered and sitting at my desk a win even though I’m currently messing around on the interwebs instead of doing actual work.

  15. I feel you. I also have a deadline on massive edits and I just keep thinking if I’d done this right the first time, everything would be fine. I swore to kick the ass of the next person who said it’s okay to write and worry about editing later. Screw that. No, it’s not and it saves hair pulling (the bad kind) and waves of tears. Who wrote this crap? Surely not me. Oh, wait. I totally did. * sad face *

    Hope Hailey feels better soon and you should guilt Victor into letting you buy whatever crazy taxidermied object you want because he’s out of the country and you’re way stressed by that deadline.

    Hemingway said write drunk, edit sober, but there are definite merits to editing with a buzz on.

  16. We ARE in this together and you have built this network so that we can know that. Now you know it, too, right? Your “false idea” of how bad it is is the truth for you at the moment, false cheering is a pain. Hang in there, hugs to you. And Hailey. And Victor. And even Beyonce! All I have to do is think of that aproned mouse and her motherfucking souffle and I grin. You did that! <3

  17. Man do I know what YOU mean. I am really sick and can only eat rice, applesauce and saltines. This has been going on too long and I am over it. Ready for a break in the ick! Hang in there. I keep hearing it’s fucking mercury’s fault and will be over soon.

  18. Man, it’s been a rough time for so many of us. Had to take a Facebook vacation to fight the feeling paralyzed by all the things….thing. English is hard today. Whatever. You’re super awesome and can do it! (That is directed not just to you Jenny but to all of the readers) I find absurdity very helpful in fighting back the aaaaaaaaargh, so let me recommend Professor Elemental’s ‘This is my horse’ it is so very weird and cheerful song, emphasis on weird.

  19. Yes. I am in that shitshitshit place myself right now. I keep trying to remind myself I’m not the only one. I’m a little too vulnerable to listen to Brave right now methinks. We’ll see.

  20. Wow, its like we’re having the same shitty week. I was home yesterday with a sick kid. I have huge deadlines by the weekend, an event on Monday, and lots of family commitments, and I can’t work from home.
    So I snuggled with my little dude, watched lots of Scooby-Doo, and made cupcakes for my roller derby team. Today I sent him to school fully expecting to get a phone call at some point to come pick him up. I can’t wait for next week!

    Big hugs to you Jenny!!

  21. Just recommended reading your blog to a Facebook friend who posted about a friend of his who is struggling mightily with depression. Hope he follows up, for exactly the reason that this post is what his friend and everyone struggling needs. Love you Jenny!

  22. Laura, if this helps, I was sooooooooooooo pleased to hear you are close to publishing your next book. I will buy several copies of it. Now, I will head out for a run. This always works for me.

  23. I admit, that Brave video scares the crap out of me. Maybe it’s too lofty for me. When I first heard the Pharrell song “Happy,” I cried, because I couldn’t ever imagine feeling like that during that particular dark time. What helps me now is Weird Al’s parody of it, though, called “Tacky.” Maybe because I feel more comfortable with people who are slightly warped.

  24. I have been crying myself to sleep every night for the past like 5 days. Im on new meds that arent working and was starting to breakdown, even considered the hospital. Then all three of my girls got sick yesterday and today. I spent 90% of yesterday covered in either vomit or poop from my kids. I couldnt do anything but cry and clean it up. I want to crawl in a hole or a bubble and let someone else do it all. Not to forget im missing work for this… used up all my sick time at work already and were not even 1/2 way through february. Im so exhausted and just done. I hope the hope returns soon. Cause its not there right now. 🙁

  25. There is something about this song by Faith No More that always helps when I am in that anxious place. Hope you get out of it soon! <3

  26. Ugh I feel ya!! I’m in the northeast where there has been ZERO sunshine for the past I don’t know how long. In the words of my sister, “I hate my hair, I hate my job, I hate my clothes, I hate the world.” But we have gotten through worse Jenny, and will get through this too!

  27. I needed this today. I’ve been out sick from school since last Wednesday, and I’m out again today. I hate being out because it just makes you fall further behind, and I’m struggling with two of my classes already to begin with. Today, my thoughts have been full of: need sleep, need to study, doesn’t matter if I study, passing gets me a degree this semester, fuck grad school, I’ll fail at it anyway, I can just work retail again, right?

    I hate my brain. (Add my ever-present, wonderful, please-go-fuck-yourself depressions, and I’m a wreck. I just cannot seem to catch a break.)

  28. Anxiety is such an asshole, when I have an anxiety attack I just want to curl up in a ball under my covers in a dark room until it passes. I know my puppy has helped me a lot since I got her, so go snuggle your puppy for a little bit. Or dress up Beyoncé in a feather boa and sombrero and stick him in Victor’s office when he’s not looking.

    Breathe in, breathe out. Go find a new bizarre, yet awesome, taxidermied animal to bring home. It will pass soon.

  29. Bravo. ** I have a Fantastic Point! Trust Me! I commend you for collaborating and encouraging such a wonderful group of supporters! It is Exactly like the mighty Red Wood trees! They are over 300 ft tall and can be Thousands of years old! The real magic is that their roots are Only about 10 feet deep. They spread out to intertwine with other redwoods to hold each other up. You will never see one alone ♡

  30. Ugh, girl I feel you. Mine rears it’s head rarely, but I was almost paralyzed in the grocery store this last weekend. It seemed like everyone was in my space and I couldn’t handle it! Long distance hugs!

  31. You do have an idea of what I am experiencing right now. I want to scream and cry and throw things. I can’t though, I’m at work but I did close my door so they don’t hear me muttering to myself. I hate this so much. I thought if gotten past this, I guess not.

  32. Must be going around, cuz it’s only Wednesday and I’ve been over this week since Monday. My self-discipline is waning and I just don’t wanna. Glad to know I’m not alone. Hugs to all y’all going through it, too.

  33. I’m waiting right now to do a barium swallow, and my choking anxiety is at maximum even though I’ve never heard of someone dying from doing a barium swallow. But I really needed to read your post right now. Thank you.

  34. Emma Louise- My Head is a Jungle Perfect description of the chaos and horribleness in my head most of the time. We get each other through this and depression lies. Always.

  35. 4-7-8 breathing has been doing good things for my anxiety. Dr. Andrew Weil has a video about it. I’m pretty sure the reason you put your tongue behind your teeth to exhale isn’t to complete some psychic circuit – it’s just so you don’t get dry mouth. I use it WAY more often than recommended, in addition to a variety of Judy Garland trail mix, and while I don’t fall asleep instantly, I do feel more calm when I’ve finished doing a set than when I start. I think the trick is remembering, in the moment, to do it. Because the last thing that you want to do when you’re all “SHITSHITSHIT” is sit down and think about nothing but breathing for 2 minutes. But it’s only two minutes, and it does do something nice for me. Couldn’t hurt, anyway, and it gives the Xanax two more minutes to kick in:

    Hang in there, Sister. Yesterday I couldn’t get off the couch – couldn’t wake up, in spite of 3+ cups of coffee. No good reason why. I was just bone tired for no reason at all. It sucked, and I felt so guilty. But I forgave myself, and I’m trying to make up for it today.

    Forgive yourself.

  36. Thanks! I needed the reminder that I’m not alone! Facing deadlines here too and some seemingly insurmountable problems coupled with depression and anxiety – blerg. Good music always helps! Thanks again!

  37. Or you can visit Susan Piver’s website and download her wonderful (only ten minute long) meditations…seriously. That is good stuff for the monkey brain…shuts them right down.

  38. Wow. Didn’t know how much I needed this song until I listened to it (still listening, up to at least a dozen times). Amazing… “Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live, maybe one of these days you can let the light in, show me how big your BRAVE is” Thank you Jenny!

  39. I may or may not have burst in to tears when I read this, because I totally get the quicksand feeling and I am smack in it. Thank you so much for the reminder that it does get better. I was going to try and write something witty and uplifting (because you often uplift me with your wit) but I’ll just leave it at thank you, and go finish my cry.

  40. I love Agora. 🙂

    It’s an older one, but Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel is a great song. Also,
    Ugly Side – Blue October
    The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes
    Good Life – OneRepublic
    I am Still Running – Jon Foreman
    Little Wonders – Rob Thomas
    The Worry List – Blue October

  41. Hang in there! You are not alone, you have a tribe of gazillions (well, maybe just millions) who care about you and want to support you. Grab a fur-covered member of your family and breathe in, then out (both directions are really helpful), in then out, (no, slow down, no hyperventilating)…
    Sending you positive thoughts from Seattle.

  42. Perhaps we can make some playlists for the church of bloggessianism? Inspirational, angsty, et al. I say this because I am not usually one to seek out new music, and this Brave song has got me feeling good things. I want to know more!

    Hugs to you Jenny, and everyone in this boat. I finished your book and I feel like you have managed to explain many situations I never quite understood about myself. Thank you for that.

  43. Jenny, I’d not heard Brave before, I’m having a tough time right now as I lost my dad suddenly 2 weeks ago; so I really needed the lift from that right now. So thanks for sharing & for the reminder to keep breathing, it sometimes gets hard to remember to do that.

    Terib19 at comment #30 – thank you for mentioning that, I’ve always loved True Colors, so I looked up their duet & it was as awesome as I thought it would be 🙂

  44. I’m old…54 years old, Sweet Baby Jesus when did that happen? Ya know those old Rod Steward albums? One side was all happy, bouncing, thumping music, the other side all wistful, horrible twisted love songs. My point? Mom knew what she was talking about…choose to play the happy side until you feel that way, too.

  45. When it hits me, like a brick wall and there is no escape, “Dance my darling, dance”! Here is a few songs that help {if you like 90s Electrofunkdance music} -> C & C Music factory – Everybody dance now; Salt-N-Pepa – Push It; Pump Up the Jam – Technotronic; Haddaway – What Is Love; Young MC – Bust A Move; Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It; Cypress Hill – Insane in the Brain.

  46. for what it’s worth, I don’t suffer from anxiety disorders (that I know of), but reading what you’re dealing with did make me feel anxious. Hang in there…maybe there’s a wee bit of wiggle room in deadlines? If not, don’t be proud, beg! Also concentrate on how very much Victor owes you when he gets home!

  47. This week has been truly awful for me as well. My daughter with type 1 diabetes has been sick with just a cold but it has made her blood sugar out of control and given her ketones (signs of diabetic ketoacidosis). All we can do is push insulin, push fluids and hope. She feels worse because the high blood sugar makes her feel twice as sick. My anxiety is sky high despite my meds. Afraid she will end up with DKA or her blood sugar will crash while, that she won’t be able to catch up with her 9th grade school work, that my company will fire me despite my FMLA paperwork. Type 1 diabetes is a disease that you really can’t control, you just try to contain it. Completely overwhelmed, can’t sleep, afraid to leave her. We will get through this, I know, but the journey is exhausting. Thanks for “listening”.

  48. I’m so in this with you that I can’t even, like the straight up white girl that I am.
    At times like these I pull out the big guns – cat videos, hang time with the D.O.G. and FUNction over form music.

    Because Super Grover. Obvs. It also makes me choke up.

    Because Fergie singing l’chaim in autotune is almost as good as Lexapro.
    Clearly Will.I.Am is my happy place. Also, cats.

  49. My go to happy song is Kung Fu Fighting. It is impossible to frown through that entire song. One of my co-workers swears by Xanadu.

  50. Dude, I must have needed it too, because that Sara Bareilles video made me cry. Jenny, thanks for being such a good example to your minions!

  51. Boy did I need this. Thanks for always sharing when you feel like this so we know we’re not all alone.

  52. My pick me up jam lately is Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder. It’s delightfully 80s-tastic and as a bonus, the video has that special wtf-ness that you can only find in early MTV.

    Some content was stripped by our security filters, but it should be possible for one of your Editors to embed the content for you.

  53. I think I saw this on here once..

    You are a great person. Not perfect. Not flawless. Not Faultless. BUT GREAT!

    I’ve written this on my arm when I forget to forgive myself or when I am especially critical of me. (I can be such the bitch to me sometimes….)
    It’s on my arm now because Victoria voice started in on me this past Sunday. It hasn’t shut her up but she hasn’t taken over either. (I call myself Victoria in private)

  54. <3 Thanks for this. I get that feeling too–like I am treading water as hard as I can, and still barely keeping my nose above the surface. Hope things get better soon!

  55. That’s a fun idea, to share Spotify playlists!

    [spotify id="spotify:user:123340689:playlist:2XODCeSnjqj8A3L3BDVZbQ" width="300" height="380" /]

  56. you had me at shitshitshit I’m overwhelmed. I’ve had the exact same feeling for like three weeks, so I finally went to my doctor yesterday and started a new medication. A sixth medication. It takes six medications right now to keep my brain chemistry sort of under control. I know you’ll make it through the week. You’ve made it through every single week you’ve ever come up against. I’ll be rooting for you!

  57. I’m sorry for all the shit. If I lived closer, I’d totally help with Hailey (even a sick girl is better than two boys, right?). I hope Victor comes home soon, that Hailey feels better soon, and that the deadlines are met (or not. . . It will still be okay). Hugs!

  58. I needed that more than you’ll ever know. I think it’s hardest (at least for me) when the one person who is your rock is the person you are at odds with. I didn’t know how to get through today. Now I am just going to try to be brave. And when I can’t, I will listen to that song and know I am not alone today. Thank you.

  59. I definitely needed that today. I’m in the midst of a knock down drag out battle with my body. The last few days have been the same. This fibro flare is kicking my ass and I have three kids due home shortly from school who need their mama to be 100%. It sucks when you know you could be happy and alive if you could just get out of your own body.. Grrrrrr. Thank you for the encouraging words and song!

  60. You go ahead and ROCK that shitshitshit.
    (then put mentholatum on her feet to make her feel better – my GF swears by it)

  61. You know how Hemingway called it “murdering my babies”? You take off your creative hat and put on your editor’s hat and edit the crap out of that copy like someone else wrote it. Sometimes, your favorite passages have to go. That’s what my teacher advised long ago and it still works.

  62. The photo of the open fridge in that Bear Hands video was pretty comforting. But it made me hungry & bummed that I didn’t have a refrigerator full of leftovers.

    Wishing you a speedy rise from the quicksand!

  63. Thank you – all of you. I have YouTube open in six different tabs and I didn’t know how much I needed that. Now I can stop playing “Closer to Fine” on infinite loop.

  64. I really needed that Rilo Kiley song today. This morning I actually had to ask my fiance if he would be sad if I died because it’s been one of those months. The worst part is that there hasn’t been too much of a trigger, it just hit me one day and I cannot seem to shake it off. I actually came to your site to look for your depression video but the fact that you just posted this makes me feel so much less alone. Thanks for always posting things right when I need them, I seriously don’t know what I’d do without this blog including you and all of the commenters.

    (I would be sad if you died. There are already too few of us in this tribe. You are needed. ~ Jenny)

  65. This song has gotten me through some dark/anxiety filled days. Breathe by Alexi Murdoch.

    Stay strong, Jenny and everyone else struggling.

  66. Oh the brave soul, that would bare a life upon a page while being crushed under it’s weight (paper is heavy!). Keep a firm grip on the keyboard, and just remember that chaos is always the calm before the storm. 🙂

  67. This winter has been incredibly hard, with too much snow and too much illness and too much worry. I finally let my common sense beat up my stubbornness, and called my doctor for help.

  68. You are handling deadlines and a sick kid all by yourself! You know what that makes you? A Big Damn Hero.

    Ain’t you just.

  69. Someone recently told me that DANCING is the best exercise for keeping dementia at bay. My best friend and I also believe it can stop one from grabbing those Christmas lights and a step ladder and — well, you get where I’m going. So, we invented a form of exercise we call KADABAY with stands for Keeping Depression (or Dementia) At Bay. (pronounced Kuh – dah – bay) Put of Spotify, a good pair of workout shoes and a sports bra and go nuts! I particularly love Uptown Funk (to show I’m sort of hip) and Grazin’ In the Grass (to show I’m eclectic and ancient). I can go from suicidal to euphoric in 3 songs!

  70. A Better Son/Daughter is one of my favorite songs (and I always want to quote it during job interviews when I’m asked if I ever let my personal life affect my job “you’ll fake it if you have to and show up to work with a smile”). And now I am blanking on my go-to happy and sad songs.

  71. I don’t think I’d ever really listened to the words of Brave, and certainly had never seen the video.

    I think watching that one right after A Better Son/Daughter made it even more powerful.

  72. Thank you. This week has been horrible. I have fallen into my pit of depression and anxiety. All I’ve done today is sleep. My “Brave” thing is to get out of bed. That may be all I do, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

  73. I keep a complete feel better playlist and I add to it constantly. Some of it’s distraction, some of it’s silly, some of it’s emotionally uplifting.

  74. I’m in a stupid loop. I’ve been stuck at home with the flu, but the more work I miss, the higher my anxiety goes and the worse I feel physically. I know I just have to wait it out, but I’m feeling like everything’s spinning out of control. Thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone.

  75. i had decided this morning that i needed to find a way to feel more positive in the midst of the nightmare i’ve been in for the last 2 years. and i decided i needed to make a playlist of super positive songs and start listening. and then you do this.

    thank you. and thanks to everyone in this thread. (i’ve got to look through my music and see if i can contribute.)

    i love you people, seriously. and we are in this together.

  76. I’m finding kitten videos much more uplifting than I used to. Also puppy videos. Put puppies and kittens together and I almost vibrate with happiness. Oh, I’m also feeling some happiness. That hasn’t happened for a long time. I wasn’t sure it was possible any more. I didn’t have any feelings at all for a long time. I recommend watching kitten and puppy videos even if you hate cutesy things. Thinking about things that are fluffy just makes you feel better. I think it’s the word “fluffy”. It’s a comforting word. Try it. Fluffy. Fluffy. Fluffy.

  77. Put everything down. Weather permitting, take a good walk outside for half an hour. Don’t take the music with you while you walk. Look at and listen to the world around you. Have a full body stretch when you return. Lying on the floor, stretch one arm and leg at a time. Finally, lie there quietly for several moments. It might just be that the music is contributing – negatively- to your mindset.
    Been there, done that.

  78. your post & the comments make me so fucking glad that my medication is working right now. been there, done that, especially crying over trivia. Once I cried cuz the traffic light turned red.
    Annnnnnd hiding & being unable to cope. I am so grateful for meds. the first 45 yrs of my life were before such meds existed. Even now, I know that peace is fragile & balance is easily lost. Hang in… it always goes away eventually. & DEPRESSION IS A LYING BITCH.
    love you all….

  79. I’ve been listening to the Dead Milkmen because they make me giggle. It’s hard to be too angsty when screaming along to “Bitchin’ Camaro”. And I’m having sinus issues that finally forced me to take sudafed today, which means extra Klonopin to keep my heart from exploding, so you know that I’m serious.

  80. Oh Sweet Heart, you know that if you struggle while in quicksand you sink quicker. We will love you even if you stay in bed with Hailey for the rest of the week. Deadlines are created by people and as such they can be bent. Fret not. All is well in the universe because you are in it and make it a better place, day by day and inch by inch. Cut yourself some slack and lay down your sword. Cuddle with Dorothy Barker and Hailey and eat peanut butter sandwiches (to hell with vegetables!) and popcorn until the sun rises in your heart. I can’t bear the thought of you in such despair. I don’t think you really know how wonderful you are just by being.
    Love, your best friend from a previous life.

  81. I am so sorry you are feeling this way. It seems extra hard with Victor not just away but out of the country away. Rest and take care of yourself. And while breathing, I find that keeping moving helps, too. I don’t mean exercise until you collapse, I mean keep taking tiny steps of doing, making, walking, dancing, whatever. Inertia is one of the great sucks of being overwhelmed. But a body in motion stays in motion, even if that motion is tiny and involves waving arms about while talking to yourself. And it won’t last. And Hailey will be fine!

  82. Just chiming in here. It helps to know I am not alone, and I hope it does for you too, and everyone else who is on here. This, too, will pass.

  83. No one knows me here, so I can freely say – without fear of reprisal – that my anxiety has been building over the last few days/weeks/months and it’s really at boiling point right now. Knowing that there are others out there undergoing the same stress, paranoia and depression really helps. I’ve been seriously thinking about just ending it… but if you can keep on, I can at least hold on for one more day.

    Thank you for being you, for sharing, and for encouraging others to speak up.

  84. Love you! Thank you for this. <3 I am overwhelmed myself. Work is getting to be too much and I’m ready to take my husband by the hand and walk away from it all. Kids are grown and gone. Why am I working so hard? I have so much I want to do with the man I love. We’ve been together over 30 years now and I just want to run away with him!

  85. Anxiety, panic, and self-doubt are liars just like depression. Some days I just need to Stuart Smalley myself – “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

  86. My anxiety has been in control for a week or so, keeping my stomach churning and my mind spinning a tornado in my head. Rationally, I know it will pass and that I am not alone, but the fucking anxiety isn’t fucking rational.

    That’s al. Thanks for the space to vent.

  87. I hear you. I just left a job I loved because of harassment at work, and started a wonderful new job which, unfortunately is 100 miles away from my family–I have to live there during the week and don’t see my husband and son until the weekends. Anxiety? Yep, a little. So believe me, I empathize with you completely. Listen to “This Is The Best” by USS. It will definitely do something for you:-)

  88. Sorry, not working, but this has been months in the making for me. Had to quit my job at a hospital b/c I couldn’t handle watching people suffer anymore (patients and their families). Alas, without a job – no insurance – and my husband I somehow fall between the cracks between Medicaid and ACA assistance, so no insurance either. Now I look for a job although the feelings are worse (b/c no insurance and dwindling money add stress), but I am a med tech, which is not exactly a transferable job, especially in my area. However, no worries – while the ugly monster may be in my head, I won’t do the dirty deed. I will always make sure I have money for meds and take them (being a scientist in the medical field is good for something) and I spent a good portion of my life finding ways to fight this battle without medication long before I was diagnosed. Hugs to all of my other strangelings who are dealing with what I am and so much worse. There is always someone out there that has it worse. Remembering that gives me perspective.

  89. OH MY GOODNESS, JENNIE!!! Thank you soooooo much for this post… it came at the EXACT right moment!!! Thank you for your honesty and humor when I truly felt like I, too, was in quicksand! You have no idea how much I adore you!!!

  90. I don’t have time to read all the comments now, so maybe someone has already mentioned this…but take a listen to “Fear” by Blue October. Hugs to you, Jenny. May this quickly pass…

  91. I’m right with you Jenny, The past few weeks have been an emotional roller-coaster for me, the saving grace is that I have my trusty dog to look after me, I have meds I can take when things are just unbearable, & I have an appointment with my shrink tomorrow.
    I agree sometimes all you can do is just keep breathing, but also I find it helps to distract yourself with something, even if it feels like you don’t have time; a few minutes of doing something else, going for a walk – preferably with a dog, or just reading a little can get you out of that bad zone.

    I know you, & I & most of us will get through our hard difficult times, the times that others can’t see us struggling, it’s unfortunate, but sometimes you just need to keep fighting on, & sometimes you just need to escape – whether it be having a medication day, where all you can do is loll about on your meds, letting things wash over you, or saying no to whatever is expected of you for the day, & putting your mental health first.

    I also know you have the responsibility of looking after your daughter, your cats & your dog, but perhaps since Hailey seems such an intelligent & loving child, you can start teaching her to help you a bit more around the house, or at least lighten the load a little for you when necessary; just my 2c worth, but it could be a real help when Victor isn’t around to help.

    I certainly know how you feel, & am sending you love, knowing that you will get through this, just as others of us will, partially because we’re stronger than we think we are, & partially because of the amazing community you’ve built with this blog.

    Keep breathing, keep going, & if necessary, just stop & change your focus, or just plain stop everything (once you’re by yourself), & have a cry, a nap, meditate, or whatever, just don’t let it get you down, because you know as well as we know that this will all pass in time.

  92. Misery loves company. Bad day at work, client says. “I thought you knew how to do this shit.” Come home to husband laying on the floor moaning with back pain. Listening to Jackson Browne and Ray Lamontagne and getting drunk. There is not enough wine in the world.

  93. This post was just in time. I just called out of work for being “emotionally unfuckingstable” ive been on the edge of a breakdown all day and i forgot that it was early dismissal so i was an hour late picking daughter up and it pushed me over that edge. Thank goodness my boss also battles with depression and anxiety. Also thank goodness for xanax and a glass of wine.

  94. Dear Jenny,

    Re: your last comment, “We are all in this together,” I just want to say actually I was by myself until you drug \ dragged me into this tribe.


    Rachel 🙂

  95. I feel like you just saw into my soul….I came here to be cheered up/picked up/distracted from the awful around me….how did you know I was at the bottom?? sigh

  96. Thank you for this today. For the first time in…. a very long time, I mentioned I had an anxiety problem to a friend. I don’t ever mention it but my husband knows how serious it is. Since I’m nursing, I can’t take anything. Needless to say, work + 6 month old + 2 year old = stressed out mom here. Thanks for the reminder that this too shall pass.

  97. Are we all fucked up at the same time? Here I am thinking I am alone…
    I couldn’t see the ranty videos past the first 5 seconds each. I watched Brave 6 times and only cried for 4 of them. Thanks for sharing.

  98. When shit gets bleak, I turn to The Roots “The Fire”… gets me fired up every time…

    There’s something in your heart
    And it’s in your eyes
    It’s the fire, inside you
    Let it burn
    You don’t say, “Good luck”
    You say, “Don’t give up”
    It’s the fire, inside you
    Let it burn

    Yeah, and if I’m ever at the crossroads
    And start feeling mixed signals like Morse code
    My soul start to grow colder than the North Pole
    I try to focus on the hole of where the torch goes
    In the tradition of these legendary sports pros
    As far as I can see, I’ve made it to the threshold
    Lord knows I’ve waited for this a lifetime
    And I’m an icon when I let my light shine
    Shine bright as an example of a champion
    Taking the advantage, never copping out or cancelling
    Burn like a chariot, learn how to carry it
    Maverick, always above and beyond average
    Fuel to the flame that I train with and travel with
    Something in my eyes say I’m so close to having the prize
    I realise I’m supposed to reach for the skies
    Never let somebody try to tell you otherwise

    One love, one game, one desire
    One flame, one bonfire, let it burn higher
    I never show signs of fatigue or turn tired
    Cause I’m the definition of tragedy turned triumph
    It’s David and Goliath, I made it to the eye of the storm
    Feeling torn like they fed me to the lions
    Before my time start to wind down like the Mayans
    I show ’em how I got the grind down like a science
    It sounds like a riot on hush, it’s so quiet
    The only thing I hear is my heart
    I’m inspired by the challenge
    That I find myself standing eye to eye with
    Then move like a wise warrior and not a coward
    You can’t escape the history that you was meant to make
    That’s why the highest victory is what I’m meant to take
    You came to celebrate, I came to cerebrate
    I hate losing, I refuse to make the same mistake

  99. I’m right there with you. It’s been a season of too much everything and I am hibernating in my house with my dogs and chickens (they’re NOT in the house; I thought I should clarify in case someone decides that might be unsanitary) and hoping it will be over soon. And it will, and it will be mostly fine I’m sure, but so many meetings and so much paperwork and so much to decide. It is paralyzing sometimes. Big hugs to you, thanks for the motivational music.

  100. Thanks so much for writing this today. I’ve had an overwhelming couple of days and have been feeling super unproductive and kind of useless. I paid a few bills today and I made the bed. It felt productive, but then I immediately felt sort of pathetic for patting myself on the back for doing normal adult type things.
    I needed this encouragement today, I needed to hear that other people feel like a fraud and a failure sometimes too. Thank you. And I hope Hailey feels better soon.

  101. Wow, that is exactly what I needed to hear today (and yesterday). A whole bunch of things either not going well or up in the air and I’m letting the rest of the funk make me assume that they won’t go well either. I know in a day or two I’ll look back and think “what was my problem” but right now it sucks. Sorry you’re feeling the same way but thanks for reminding me that I’m not the only one.

  102. Oh man do I hear ya. We’ve had a snow storm every week for the last month, I’ve about 3 feet of snow outside, more expected tomorrow and Monday, and now water getting in the house and a front door that’s attention span is shot and I am so ready for February to be over (though the spring thaw’s gonna be a bitch this year). Sending good vibes your direction for making it through the week.

  103. I’m feeling pretty good right now. Here’s a bucket of love and peace for everyone to dip into. You’ve all shared with me more often than you know.

  104. Anxious anxious anxious here. I’m a teacher and sometimes I come home frustrated and angry because it doesn’t seem like everyone has the kids’ best interests at heart. Then if I don’t get enough sleep because I’m wound up, I end up even more anxious than I was to begin with. Vicious cycle. I hate anxiety. But I can’t not care, either.

  105. I have loved looking through the comments and seeing everyone’s songs and videos that help them out when they’re having a tough time. So, I wanted to add one too. In case no one has added a dancing baby Groot here you go:


    Also, any song by Weird Al can instantly bring a smile to my face. :). Here’s hoping you get out of your dark place soon.

  106. My go-to song is probably this, Anna Nalick’s Breathe (2 a.m.):

    This week what’s been stuck in my head though is Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, which has a video that’s sort of weirdly good for a bad week, although you don’t expect it to be:

    Don’t read the comments. The only places I dare read the comments are here and on the Separated by a Common Language blog, they’re the only two places on the internet where polite discourse exists. (…In spite of the fact that we swear a lot here — we never swear at each other, we’re an extremely supportive bunch.)

  107. Thank You. I am in the middle of an increasingly shitty two weeks, and I cried my entire drive home from work tonight. I am eight months pregnant, have had an extremely nasty combo sinus infection/upper respiratory infection/bronchitis for seven days, have had a toddler who is sick and tantrum-y, and have a boss who crawled up through the depths of hell just to torment me (okay, and others). Sometimes you just need someone to agree that it’s all shitty and you’re not alone.

  108. Dude! This to shall pass. Like a gallstone. Or bad gas…. When I used to have a life and the subsequent stress, I would remind myself that those times are like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer; it feels so good when you stop. And it will stop. Keep aiming for the end, envisioning even experiencing it, and you will make it through. Really. It’s a tough, sucky time. Maybe set a timer for 20 minutes and bawl your eyes out? Other than the gummy contacts and headache, it worked for me. Kind of giving that part permission to go deep, with the promise of coming back. Or not. Tequila?

    Sending you and H warm, healthy wishes. xo

  109. “Tomorrow could be the ‘someday’ you were waiting for.”–Hannah Hart
    Inspiration and hope in a different package. Plus if you really need to laugh.

  110. And I thought your cheer up song was going to be “Let It Go.” Okay, put the knife away, I was only joking! Hoping you get a good nights sleep and can wake up and just do the next thing on the list and then the next thing and don’t look too far ahead!

  111. Freakin’ Mercury. Thank goodness it’s finally out of retrograde today. The last 3 weeks have been INSANE. I’m hoping the halo effect is short lived. Hang in there!

  112. Thanks for this. I needed this, especially now. My 8 year-old with ASD and anxiety is in the partial hospitalization program at a local hospital. Today was day one. Last evening during a meltdown she said she wanted to run away and kill herself. I’ve been trying for months to get her help. Rips my heart out. Anyway, thank you, so much.

  113. Sometimes it is the little things that save you until tomorrow. For me it was children saying “Hey mom….” I can say it does get better

  114. I can’t even tell you what this post did for me. Especially the Rilo Kiley song. It’s one of my favorites that I had actually forgotten about. Thank you. For everything.

  115. On those days, I like to listen to this really loud so that people can’t hear me singing.

  116. 15 years of sever panic attacks have taught me to examine the terror that I am feeling and ask myself how many times has the thing I associate with the feelings actually come true. So far, never. Zippo. Not one time has the awfulness become manifest. For myself, remembering the history of no bad thing happening is enough to allow me to relax. Or at least to cope with it.

    Pomplamoose Happiness:

    And if that won’t do it- Muppets Bohemian Rhapsody has got to at least distract you.

    It isn’t real. It will pass.

  117. I’m not going to share a video or a link to something that will make you smile (although I did find the cutest ever video involving two golden retrievers last week) no, instead I’m going to stand here and grin at you with encouragement. Until it gets creepy and you tell me to stop.

  118. I read the web comic Questionable Content ( for this morning and was struck by one character’s truth-telling, “Too much whelm will make anybody touchy.” Golly knows I’m touchy and moody and floundering and off kilter when I am in excess of whelm.

  119. Oh my god thank you Jenny. You summed up my week hardcore. I’m paranoid because the guy I like isn’t talking to me and I’m dealing with my sisters mental health issuses and having to deal with the fact that listening to her talk about them triggers mine like nuts. It’s getting rough. Thank you, keep being brave folks!

  120. Been there, done that, don’t want the t-shirt. Music therapy is the best, and that Sara Bareilles song is one of my favorites, and was my theme song for the entire year of 2014. Love you and your wonderful readers.

  121. Perfect timing. I’m on stress-leave from work this week, for the first time ever. (I’m a teacher.) We’re all in this crap together! Thanks for the music suggestions, both cheery and not. 🙂 Your week WILL get better! You are doing what needs to be done, I promise. If you don’t do it, and the world keeps turning, I guess you’re doing just fine. Good luck. <3

  122. There hope where you can’t see it, there’s a light after the storm…

    Thank you Jenny. Needed this today <3

  123. Sorry life is kicking you right now! Great use of ‘angsty’ by the way… I thought I was the only one who ever said it 😉

  124. Much love to all of you (US). We are all in this together. What Michelle H. said, “…choose to play the happy side until you feel that way”.

  125. This is my go-to song for when I hit the very depths. The Golden Palominos sing beautifully about situations where the very best you can do is hope things get worse slowly. This is the masterpiece at that, the singer telling herself she’s not going to break down and clearly not believing it one little bit. Losing myself in the sad beauty has an effect on me of shedding my own mood into the song, and after a little while on repeat I find I can step back out and leave the worst of my mood behind in the song; at least, enough to cope with the rest of it for a while.

  126. What I like to listen to when my brain is all stabby and full of lies: “This Tornado Loves You” by Neko Case and “Plant White Roses” by Kelly Hogan. And for when the BS gets to be too much and I need to laugh, I go for “Am I Sexy” by Lords of Acid, lol.

  127. I guess you are right, when you feel you are stuck the best way to get out is tray to find a minute for your mind to relax and let it go somewhere, I dont know maybe take a look at old pictures, and that will transport you to tat time!

    I also recommend the Katy Perry song ROAR. it makes me feel like a hero! hahaha


  128. I’m more of an angry headbanger, so when I feel overwhelmed I go for the rage songs. You probably don’t want that. (But for anyone else, Die MF Die by Dope is awesomely cathartic. Just not work or child friendly. At all.)

    What does help, other than music, is lists. I sit down and make a list of what needs to be done. And it’s just so goddamn depressing. So then I make a second list of what needs to be done NOW. Can any of these deadlines be pushed to another day? Then they will be. I take my shorter list, and then I tear up the other one and set it on fire. Then I work down the list. It helps me stay focused, even when it feels like I’m never going to see the bottom of the list.

  129. I’m having a not-fun week too–at least I’m in good company. I’d never seen the video for Brave before: it is awesome. : ) Keep moving, don’t think too much, know that you’re loved even when it doesn’t feel like it.

  130. That Agora song should come with a health warning. It is really crazy making, had to stop midway cos its way too Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!

    Last thing I’d recommend doing when feeling angsty is listen to creepy angsty songs. It’s like watching horror movies when you already spooked. It will not end well.

    Queued up as palate cleanser:

    Lemon Demon – Ode to Crayola (my go-to song since I was like 15. It’s very difficult to take yourself seriously listening to a song about crayons.)
    Tim Minchin – Rock and Roll Nerd
    Pharrell Williams – Happy. A1 hour version. On in the background until it sinks in.

  131. Not in a music mood lately, but I am a gamer, and I stumbled across a YouTuber by the name of Robbaz who just talks his way through the games (not a walk through, a talk through). He is hilarious. He is Swedish and his language is very NSFW, but if you are a gamer and can handle the rough language, I highly recommend him. He totally hooked me when he chastised the main character of Call of Cthulhu for smoking (it will make your nipples fall off). I actually listened to 3 episodes last night of another game b/c I couldn’t stop crying. I was laughing hysterically within a minute. If anyone is interested, this is his page:

  132. Thanks, Jenny. It’s been a shitty week here, too, and I heard that song with the lyrics “I’m giving up on you,” which always punches me in the heart and I needed to hear this. Love to you and everyone.

  133. I have been literally been repeating “shitshitshit” all week. I had a complete meltdown yesterday and was so lucky to have two good people around to talk me down, or up, or wherever. I know I wouldn’t have gotten things done nearly as quickly or well without them. So, thank you for blogging and continually letting me know I’m not alone. I actually never associated the paralysis quicksand with my anxiety before. It makes so much sense. I so appreciate your transparency!

  134. I like “N/A OK” by USS. It lets me know that “It’s okay I’m not A OK right now.”

  135. I could ship 30-40″ of snow to you if that would help. Thinking of you and hope your daughter feels better soon.

  136. omg I just misspelled Hailey’s name. Get well soon Hailey!!!! Is what I meant to say. (The way you spell it is the one I like best but my friend spells it the other)…

  137. Hey Jenny & everyone–
    This time last year I was dealing with severe PTSD & depression. Got through it, and am mentally and emotionally much healthier and happier. Had emergency gall bladder removal last September, then developed gastropareses, which makes my stomach hurt and makes me nauseated a great deal of the time. Also causes uncontrollable vomiting–been in the ER 5 times since October.

    Had I not spent time last year working on my mental and emotional health, I would not have survived this physical health crisis. (last Jan weighed 340 lbs, Now weigh 185 lbs. I’m 5’9″. Did nothing to try to lose the weight, it’s all from being too sick to eat and unable to keep anything I managed to eat down.) In the long term the weight loss will be fabulous, however, I am still scared sometimes when I look in the mirror and see the normal-sized woman looking back at me.

    Reading your blog and your book has helped me a great deal. I’m not alone. I can do this. WE can do this. It gets better. Scifi author Spider Robinson has a series of short stories (the Callahan books) built around the idea that “If you have a hurt and I have a hurt and we share those things, somehow we end up with less than half a hurt apiece.” This blog and all your followers prove this. Thank your for sharing your hurt. It’s made my own burden lighter.

  138. Oh my, gah! I love you even more now for listening to Sara Bareilles. Not that you needed an affirmation of my love for you or anything though. Listen to “Satellite Call!” It’s the song that gets me out of ruts. I hope you’re feeling better now.

  139. I love Rilo Kiley. “A Better Son/Daughter” is probably my favorite…so much that I have some of the lyrics tattooed my on shoulder. Couldn’t pick a better song to get you through the day!

  140. “… sometimes when you’re on, you’re REALLY f–king on and your friends all sing along and they love you…” This is one of my favorite songs when in the thick of depression. Kick anxiety’s ass because you are “REALLY f–king on!”

  141. This weekend was Family Day long weekend in my province in Canada. This morning I’m feeling just crappy about life. I have 2 really close friends, one lives far away so we only see each other a few times a year and although she was in my area this weekend she cancelled our plans to hang out last minute. My other friend, who lives close, has been so busy lately with her boyfriend and his friends that I didn’t even cross her mind, not one single text or call all weekend. Then her facebook post last night says how great of a weekend she had with friends and her man… yet I wasn’t even considered. I tried reaching out to her on Thursday before the long weekend, I told her I didn’t really have plans except to hang out with my other friend Saturday, but for the rest of the weekend I was around and had no plans. I told her that we haven’t hung out for a while and that I miss her… her reply was just “yeah it’s been busy”. I’ve been single for a long time and it’s never really bothered me but this weekend actually made me feel alone. I miss having someone to talk to. I feel alone and I hate this feeling.

  142. You are so not alone. Like you, I know that I eventually come through on the other side, but having people share their heart, as you do, makes the travel easier. Thank you for that.

  143. Anti-D by the Wombats really punches my emotions when I’m depressed. Solid song, give it a listen.

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