To missing friends. The ones lost. The ones in hiding.

Tonight I miss people.  I miss friends who I’ve lost.  I miss friends who still exist, but are too terrified of life to say hello.  I understand it.  I miss me too when I go missing.  But I’m still here – deep down- under the shell that protects me when life gets too rough.  I’m still here when my head tries to tell me I’m nothing.  I’m still here under it all.  And you’re here too.

You’re here even if you think no one would know if you were gone.  You’re here in the hearts of people you would never suspect you had impacted.  You’re here in memory and in reality and in the echo of every person you ever touched and taught.  You are magnified in ways you never knew.

Many years ago Victor took me to a tropical island.  It was a dark time for me and a reminder that you don’t get to pick the times when parts of you go missing.  It rained more than it didn’t.  My anxiety and depression magnified.  I got sick and I ended up in the hospital in another country.   When I think back to those days I have dark memories with a few bright spots.  I remember standing in the pouring rain, looking out into the horizon.  I took a picture because I knew I wasn’t me enough to appreciate it at the time.

I found that picture again tonight.


It’s beautiful.  And dark.  And if you look through the rain you’ll see that it’s amazing.  You just have to have the right eyes.

You have to learn to see what’s hidden beneath.

You have to remember that we are so much more than our broken minds sometimes recognize.

I see you.  I remember you.  You echo in me.  I miss you.  But you are not missing.  You are here.

412 thoughts on “To missing friends. The ones lost. The ones in hiding.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Today you win the award for the writing the exact right thing at the exact right moment. Trying to believe any single soul can ever see me.

  2. Sometimes I really feel I’m not. I go to funerals and wonder what they would say about me – whether they could find enough to say about me. I know people would be there, because you go to funerals for the living, not the dead. But I don’t know how much of a hole I would leave in the world. I fear it would close over very quickly.

  3. I can not thank you enough for this post tonight. I needed the reminder.

  4. Beautifully said, Jenny. And a beautiful, wild, stormy and sunny picture, kind of like how we feel sometimes. Love ya! 🙂

  5. Jenny, you are amazing and wonderful and I love you and I am so happy the internet let me find you, and your comment sections (best things on the internet).

  6. Wow! All of this is amazing!! You are here, with us all…thanks for joining in 🙂

  7. Beautiful! Exactly what someone in the hole of depression needs to hear. Once again, you speak like you’re in my head. Thank you.

  8. Thank you. I had an extremely rough day today and needed to read something that made me feel better. You did. 😄

  9. Yes, the picture is dark, but then again it’s more light than dark. Which, of course, is the way things often are, even when they feel the other way around.

  10. Thank you. While we have never met, your words have touched me at a time when I do feel alone and am protective of my heart. I feel your words and I thank you for them.

  11. I’m going through some family trials with my 27 yr old daughter who is in such a bad place she can’t even fight her mental illness, and I can’t fight for her, but I read this and it brings a little peace. I remember her. I know who she is inside, and I can only hope to see the beauty this photo represents in her eyes again soon, before it’s too late.

  12. In spite of the darkness, there is beauty in that picture, just as there is beauty in our spirit always.

  13. I miss the people in my life that depression took from this world, or just my world. My life wouldn’t be the same if they hadn’t been a part of it, and I wish they knew how grateful I still am that they brought me, in ways big and small, to where I am now.

    Jenny, thank you so truly for this post. You speak to so many of us, and for so many more who are having trouble speaking for themselves.

  14. Thank you. Your words, which I needed so badly and didn’t realize it, came at just the right moment. You are a beautiful, beautiful soul, and you have a gift more powerful than you will ever truly understand. Bless you for being so brave, and for reaching out to us. We see you too.

  15. I love rain and dark clouds and the beach. There is almost nothing more beautiful to me than that combination. This post makes me think of Chelle, The Offended Blogger, and where she went and if she’ll ever come back. I miss her a lot. There are others, too. Their lack of presence has left a dark place in my life and the world.

  16. Perfect. Just wonderful. Eloquent. Heartfelt. Beautiful. Hopeful.
    And much needed. I’ve been “missing”, well, most of my life. Feeling just….lost. Aimless. Purposeless. Depression and anxiety, my lifelong companion. This was perfect and timely. Thank you for this lovely birthday present Jenny. You’re a good person <3

  17. I recovered from a recent bout of suicidality and am reminded again that people WOULD miss me. It’s hard to see when you’re drowning in the black water, but when you surface you can see what’s real again, not what the shadows under the surface are whispering to you.

  18. I didn’t know how much I needed to hear this. You make beautiful words and have a beautiful heart and soul. You are loved, Jenny. Thank you.

  19. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I will try to remember this when I have another day like yesterday. You are a gift.

  20. I go missing and the people I call friends don’t care enough to check if I’m still here. They haven’t spent any time with me for over 2 months. I am truly alone.

  21. That was beautiful and sad. You echo in me too. When the days are dark and the walls around my mind are high, I remember you. I remember all the things you’ve taught me about about being different, about being broken, and about those things being okay even when nothing is. I don’t know where not only my life, but so very many other lives, would be without your echo.

  22. Often it seems like fleeing from the darkness just to get away so as to be able to function is the best one can do. To remember the darkness and carry light back to it because you can is a rare and wonderful thing. I am somewhat in awe of you.

  23. Your words, thoughts, emotions, couldn’t come at a better time than here tonight.

    As I lie here supposed to be trying to sleep, I’m overcome by such incredible internal sadness. I’ve lost my friends, my job is in the dumper, and my 3 1/2 year relationship is over. I’m sad. I have to start over once again and I’m so disillusioned.

    I try to take every day, day by day, but tonight, I miss my friends, I miss the man I’m still in love with, and I dread having to go to work tomorrow even though every night I come home I am looking for a new job. Exhausting. I’m weepy but more than anything, stunned that I’ve hit another wall again.

    Life is tough, I know that; nothing is perfect or ideal in this world, but does it have to seem as though everything is shit.

    Sorry to have vented here, but your words struck me like a bus. You’ve given me something more to think about, maybe something positive such as I’ve made a difference to someone somewhere somehow.

    Again, tonight I try, try so damn hard to remain positive as tomorrow is another day. There’s hope, right?

    Thank you for your words.

  24. Reblogged this on My Bleeding Ink and commented:

    Perfect. Just wonderful. Eloquent. Heartfelt. Beautiful. Hopeful.
    Here’s to anybody who needs to read this. Anybody that feels just….lost. Aimless. Purposeless. Depression and anxiety, a lifelong companion. This is perfect and timely. <3

  25. Do you know this song? I feel like it conveys a similar feeling.

  26. Thank you for the timely reminder. I have been struggling and a reminder that I am not alone in my struggles is worth more than words can say tonight!

  27. I’m headed “home” this week because of my step-father passing away a couple of months ago. I have family stuff to deal with along with the Memorial, that may or may not happen thanks to the lovely snow/rain weather we are having. Only (said with tongue in cheek) in Colorado can we have a Winter Storm Warning and a Tornado Warning at the same time in May.

    It’s easy to get lost in memories. I lost my father and step-father 3 weeks apart this year as the crossed through The Veil. The sadness hits me at odd times. Then I remember we have 14 grandkids ranging in age 25 to 1 y/o and have our first great-grandbaby on her way this September. It helps to make me smile and figure out how I’m going to get purple in my brown hair that doesn’t take to hair dye very well.

  28. Thank goodness for you. You articulate things I cannot. I often show your posts to my husband and your words help him understand. It’s a comfort to have you express things when I am too emotional to say them myself.

  29. You just can’t know how much this means to me. James Garfield and Ativan and you are the reason I’m still here smiling and I just want to say thanks 🙂

  30. Sometimes someone says just the right thing at the right time. Thank you for being that person.

  31. Will you offer this as a print in your store? No words need to be added, just the print speaks to where my soul is right now and where I want it to be.

  32. Amazing words. Thank you from someone who has felt lost. And will feel lost again. Thank you for sharing your journey. ❤️💐

  33. I relate on every level. Every breath, pause, sigh, thought put down. I muster to gain control and spin until I can’t stop. I miss the sunshine, think dark thoughts in the rain. My body gets heavy and nothing but a life size spatula can remove me from who I think I am. Then all of a sudden I awaken. The dream is over. I see until I hear thunder again. It sucks, but I put my life in drive, brake here an there and run lots of stop signs, but I get there…sliding sideways, hair a mess, but stronger.

  34. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been in a funk since Mother’s Day – my husband’s 12 year-old son came to live with us to escape a situation that was verbally and emotionally abusive with his stepfather. I’ve been thinking so often “I wish I could talk to Mom about this”, but I can’t. She’s still with us physically, but after living with Alzheimer’s for a decade, she barely remembers who I am. She doesn’t remember that I got married, or that I’m a stepmom. She raised 6 kids of her own and 4 foster kids. I wish I could talk to her. I miss her.

  35. I have been stuck in a very dark place these last few weeks. I feel as though I’m never going to come out of it because I can’t see any sunlight or hope or anything. It’s hard. I’m kind of a mess, but I keep plodding on, because somewhere down there, nearly buried in the dark, is a little spark that faintly tells me not to give up, to just keep plodding and eventually, I’ll make it thru to the other side.

    That and listening to this on pretty much constant repeat:

  36. Thank you so much for that, I needed it more than I can express. From reading through the comments, many others needed it as well, which helped me feel better too. I have been in a very dark and lonely place, but it suddenly feels brighter and a little less lonely. I cannot thank you enough.

  37. Wow, Jenny. You have such kindness and compassion in your words. I have not been deeply depressed in a long while, but I still feel waves of sadness at the strangest times. And my anxiety : well, I honestly don’t know what I would do with myself if it disappeared.

    We all matter. Each and every one of us. During our darkest times, when we think we can’t exist another moment, you can. You matter.

  38. “…you don’t get to pick the times when parts of you go missing”

    Holy fuck, I love that.

  39. Needed this. Thank you. LOVE that photo. It speaks volumes. Get through the rain to the amazing. We know the rain will come again, but knowing there’s amazing on the other side makes it do-able. <3 you in a big way.

  40. I’m just going to repeat what most people here have said: thank you!
    Thank you for putting into words the feelings that have been there for so long they are now like old friends who know more about you then you’d like them to.
    Thank you for being brave enough to share of yourself publicly.

  41. Sending love and hugs to those who need it tonight. I’ve been there and the posts as well as comments here remind me I am not alone and neither are you.

  42. I wish I could think of something profound to say, but all I can spit out at the moment is that I needed to read this, and I thank you.

  43. I needed this tonight more than you’ll ever know. We just moved to TX and I had to leave all of my amazing friends behind. Those that understand that u don’t feel like being on all the time. And now I’m in a strange land and have to fake it till i make it all over again and I’m terrified.

  44. Weeping, for all of us. For the pain that we are all in, and because we are not alone. Thank you.

  45. I am kind of at my wit send right now. I have been trying so hard to help him but I feel helpless now. i have a friend who is in desperate need of help. His father died, then his brother and he took care of his dying mother for over a year before she passed recently. Then his fiancé of 5 years left him, and left her 4 children with him. He needs HELP. He knows he does. He’s been seeing a therapist but he needs more. But as a make, it just seems like no one wants to help him. When he has reached out for help, he is passed from person to person till he hits a dead end. He’s had crippling depression and fights daily to get out of bed. He needs and wants a job, he needs and wants help for his depression and at this point he has $50 to his name and is terrified he’s going to lose his family home. He’s lost his entire family and losing the house would be the final straw I fear. He’s been fighting weeks to get the small life insurance there was and they are fighting it every but so he needs help with that as well!
    If anyone knows a group, website or even places hiring in colordo springs please let me know. I can be reached at zenthia719 at gmail. We have exhausted 211.orgs resources and he got nowhere 🙁

  46. You write beautifully. And you behave decently. And now it turns out you also take beautiful photographs. How is a middle-aged married man not supposed to fall in love with you from afar?

  47. Thank you. Feeling invisible and missing from myself. I know it will pass. It doesn’t feel as if it will pass. I will try to see through the rain.

  48. I sooooo love you, lady. I am going to buy the living fuck out of your new book. <3

  49. Reading this made my lips do that quiver thing not many things touch me so much these days…I hope you are ok …HUGS….thank you.

  50. Heh. I was just thinking about a tropical island in terms of a depression metaphor today, but in a completely different way.
    Today I was in a beautiful place. The weather was perfect. The light was beautiful. My body felt strong from the walking I’ve been doing. My chronic pains were all a neglieble levels. My clothes were flappy deliciously in the wind because I’ve lost more weight and am almost ready to go down another size. The songs playing in my earbuds were awesome. I felt really connected to my emotions, and they were good emotions!

    When I am in the dark places, or usually just the dull places, I look at memories like these and think: ‘if I can see it, why can’t I just GET there?’ It’s like holding a picture of Hawaii and not having the airfare. All of the positive self-talk that used to buy me passage is no longer accepted as currency. I don’t have any answers. But every now and, I suddenly find myself there…. I take a lot of mental pictures to look at in the dark.

  51. Thank you. My heart shattered into a million pieces on Saturday when I found out my sister has cancer. I have to be strong for her tomorrow. This helps me feel less alone tonight.

  52. Oh my word, this is beautiful. Someone once told me that the most beautiful things grow as a result of the rain. You just have to wait out the storm. It seemed kind of bogus to me at the time, but your picture speaks exactly that to me. I so needed to read this, so thank you. We see you too and I hope that you are OK tonight.

  53. I stopped taking the zoloft I had been on for a year about two weeks ago because of persistent neurological symptoms that were worrying. I have noticed today that the longing is back, the heartbreak, the insistent notion that something is wrong, or perhaps will never be right. I got to be happy for a whole year, which out of 36 years seems somehow not like enough.

  54. Damn it. I was trying to explain these crashes my 6 year old after the sky fell on Mommy’s head a couple weeks ago. “A piece goes missing . . . but I’m here. And it’s important that you know you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s not your fault. It’s never your fault.” Those were the words I needed. Now I have them.

  55. You know how it is, and it shows. That alone, makes me feel I’m not alone. Through the distance and in a language different than mine, you touched my (so often forgotten and unforgiven) soul tonight. And for that, I thank you. Love from Argentina.

  56. Well damn it. I’d been holding myself together. My best friend in a coma, she’s been in that coma for 9 days now and I know she is here, but I need her to be here here. I’ve never been so scared as I am now at the thought of losing her forever. I have no idea what I’m going to do if she doesn’t wake up, or what her 8 year old daughter will do. I just hope, wherever her consciousness is right now, it is experiencing something as beautiful as that picture.

  57. more of what I needed to read than I could have EVER KNOWN! Thank you…

  58. I needed this tonight…more than I knew it UNTIL I read it. Thank you…thank you….thank you.

  59. Thank you. Sincerely. I literally just got off the phone with “a missing friend” and the first thing I see is this. I AM still here, and I am on the way to a rediscovery of myself.
    I wish you many more rediscoveries as well.

  60. I never reach out for help, even at times when I feel like no one sees me. I’m the strong one, who can handle anything, and now, everyone expects that from me, and it makes me resent them all because they can’t see my emptiness – which isn’t fair because I won’t reach out. Ugly, vicious cycle that makes me feel like shit even more for being selfish. Not sure why it’s okay here, but even though I’m behind a screen, I feel like people see me.

    Doesn’t make sense, but I’m not very articulate right now. Mostly I just wanted to say thanks.

  61. You know this isn’t true or fair. You have people who love you. You have people to live for.
    You have work that has been loved. You do something that is meaningful.

    I don’t have those things. I knew from a young age that I was wrong. That no one would love me. I was just to ugly and twisted and said all the wrong things. They were right.

    All I wanted was to be loved and accepted. I wanted to belong. I never did. I was fat and ugly so I’m invisible. I’d fight with people just so they’d notice I was there. I expect too much from people. I’m just wrong.

    There’s no fixing something so broken. I’ve tried, moving from place to place to place. I keep trying to be better. The real me always comes out.

    I’m scared of the pain of dying but I cannot wait not to be here anymore. No one will miss me. And I will finally be free.

    (I’ve never even met you but I would miss you. And the thing about depression is that it always looks better from the outside looking in. I feel like a failure more often than not. I have people who love me but when my brain lies I think they’d be better without me. I feel invisible and fat and I have diseases that bring chronic pain and bullshit in my life. But it’s my life and it’s worthwhile. So is yours. I hope you stay. ~ Jenny)

  62. I was so alone tonight. Your post kind of slapped me in the face and said “you know what this is, it won’t last forever, and you’re not the only one.” So many people in pain, and a lot of the time we do it to ourselves. So grateful for your gift of putting things in words, and giving those words to all of us. Thank you.

  63. Thank you so much. You help me see things that I lose sight of. I feel less alone. I’m always thankful for everyone here. Support and hugs to everyone. You matter

  64. I just had one of the most difficult days that I’ve had in a long time. Thank you for this

  65. Dear Jenny,

    I read your first book when it was first out and have been reading your blog ever since, and I think you are amazing. I have never posted a comment to you before. But this post was so touching… It compelled me to tell you my story…

    I have been going through a very rough time lately. I am missing my brother, who is alive, thankfully, but “gone.” On March 2nd he was arrested for armed bank robbery and placed in U.S. Marshal Custody. It was and still is shocking to everyone who knows and loves him.

    My brother suffers from bipolar disorder and possibly ADD or ADHD. He has never been properly treated for these, and has often self-medicated with alcohol or prescription drugs, or sometimes both together, the latest medication he actually had a prescription for, Adderral. Since his early twenties he has both attempted suicide and threatened attempting suicide culminating in police intervention at least 5 times, and I have no idea how many times he has contemplated it silently and managed to talk himself out of it.

    The last few years he was doing better, holding down a good job and staying away from alcohol. And then last August when he heard the news about Robin Williams (who my brother had always loved and looked up to), it took him back to that dark place in his mind with the thoughts of suicide from years ago. He couldn’t understand how it was possible that even Robin Williams, a man so loved and respected by the world and all who knew him, could still feel so alone and sad. He went off on an angry tangent at work and lost his job. Things went downhill. But he kept his happy face on for all of his family and friends. I understand why. At 38, he couldn’t stand the thought of burdening his family with worry or asking us for help anymore. Of course we love him and would have done anything and everything we could for him without question. If only we had known.

    The FBI is now charging him with 4 bank robberies dating back to November, including the one on March 2nd. In two of them, he was unarmed. The last two, he brandished a pellet gun. He will be lucky if he is less than 50 years old when he is released.

    He told me he doesn’t remember anything from the day of his arrest except for sitting stopped in his vehicle after running into a median while fleeing from police. He remembers that moment. He remembers looking around for the pellet gun with plans of exiting the vehicle and pointing the gun at police so they would shoot him. He couldn’t find the gun. He got out and lain down on the ground instead. Another failed attempt at suicide by cop (yes, he narrowly survived an attempted suicide by cop many years earlier).

    There is a reason my brother is still here. There has to be, because he should absolutely be dead by now. He has narrowly survived so many times, not only the attempts to kill himself or to have police kill him, but many other close calls also.

    My brother, who I love so much, who has never wanted to hurt anyone but himself because his mental illness makes him hate himself, is now a notorious criminal. But to all who know him, he is a loving, helpful, uplifting, fiercely loyal man who is always trying to make people smile or laugh through his compassionate words or his incredible sense of humor. He hates himself even more now, obviously. It is so hard to see him hurting and to want to take away all his pain, when my ability to help is so limited. And then I watch our mother, father, stepfather and our 15 year old sister in pain too. It is heartbreaking.

    Although my family and I have each other, it is still a lonely existence. This is not something other people aside from them can relate to. I can’t chit-chat about this with the other moms at the neighborhood park or school. My husband tries to understand, but he will never truly understand what this feels like for me. Even if I see a therapist, I would venture to say it’d be pretty hard to find one who’s counseled someone in this type of situation before. I have told a couple close friends about what’s going on, but I usually avoid talking with them about it. Who wants hang out with the Debbie Downer all the time? And I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer either. But when I hear that my brother’s unit is on “lockdown” indefinitely (no visits or phone calls among other far more severe restrictions) because of a riot between racial groups, and that although he was not involved in the fighting, he got maced really badly by the guards when they broke into the unit to intervene, how am I supposed to stay positive? When I know he is suffering and that what he needs for his mental health is the exact opposite of what he is experiencing right now and will likely continue to experience for the next decade or more?

    I am here, but part of me is not, because a piece of me is missing, because he is missing.

    Thank you for your blog. Between my situation and all the other terribleness in the world, you are a ray of light in the darkness.


  66. This has so many echoes of a piece of writing I did at work today – I was exploring the word ‘melancholy’; perfectly timed, I needed this today…

  67. I have just re-emerged from a dark time. The picture is an amazing representation of everything you wrote. Thank you.

  68. I’ve been feeling exactly this. However, the difference is that I’m your 134th comment. If I disappeared tomorrow, 4 people would notice. 3 would care for about a week, maybe 2. 1 might care for a month.

  69. Thank you. You’ were my light in the darkness tonight. You and everyone else who posted here are amazing. <3

  70. Me: Stuck in that place of nothingness and bleah.
    You: Gives gentle reminder that even though I cannot see out of the hole I’m currently stuck in, there are others in similar holes and I am not alone in this feeling.
    Your words are like a life jacket; a glimmer of not-alone-ness as I float on this dark sea, in the hole, where I can’t see the horizon yet. Thank you for that.

  71. I needed this, my soul needed this.
    I was let go of my job today, daily I would just burst into tears from my depression, I’d hide in my office until my eyes weren’t red anymore. Being let go today was the kick to the jaw I hadn’t felt in a while. I needed this 😉

  72. I wish I knew you. So I could unknow you, so I could know you again. If would be a happy reunion. I love scores of people who probably have no clue. But I figure my love counts for something, anyway.

  73. I just recently shared memories of a dear friend. His birthday was yesterday. He took his own life shortly after Thanksgiving this past year. And in writing about the friend I miss I just ask that anyone in such a dark place remember death does not happen to you; it happens to everyone around you. Depression lies it leafs you to believe you are alone, but you’re not. And when you’re gone it’s your friends and family that have to bury you that have to live with missing you. I just wish I could get one simple message through to people struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide: please don’t ask your friends to bury you.

  74. Beautiful. This reminds me a bit of the article going around about greeting cards created by a Cancer survivor for friends who don’t know quite what to say but want to connect. Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a line of cards that are more all-encompassing for all the dark times where you’re not sure how to stay close, mental, physical and otherwise?

  75. I miss my friend Jenn so much. She died of a second brain aneurysm in August, she was 42. She was my friend for almost 30 years with some interruptions, but in the last few years we spoke every day. She called when there was breaking news, we watched the world fall apart together, we discussed the idiocy of local news during snowstorms, we laughed. The world was a little smaller and a little safer because we watched the news together. I still see something on the news or on FB and want to call or msg her and then I realize I can’t.

    I miss her so much and it’s like no one cares that I miss her because she wasn’t family and there’s no reason for me to be sad.

  76. Thank you very much, this has helped “save me” today. Thank you again.

  77. I felt crazy and invisible and maggoty tonight, and I needed to hear that I’d be missed. I’m still here, too. Thank you.

  78. that moment at 4:16 am and a part of you has gone missing for sometime and the tears are burning your eyes and you log on and this is the first thing on my wordpress reader. thank you it helped. still missing…but through the pain and tears I am in here. but ugh. I kind of wish we never go missing.

  79. One of the most incredibly beautiful pieces of writing I’ve ever had the honour of reading, thank you a million times over.

  80. Thank you. Dark days suck, and it’s hard to tell people you love, sorry I’m not me today. It’s not you, it’s just a sad day.
    I live over 3800 miles from my family and closest friends. Even though there is SKYPE, and Google, and Facebook and e-mail and phones, it doesn’t make them any closer when I need a hug and that knowledge brings on the sad days more often than not. I miss them every day and wonder if they miss me too.

  81. I’m in a place where I wish I didn’t have to be me. Why do these times feel more real than the times when I’m not ‘missing’?

  82. It’s too damn early in the morning to make me cry. I haven’t even had a full cup of coffee yet.

  83. How do you know this is exactly what I’ve been going through? i couldn’t sleep and found this. I’m going to take some deep breaths and try to find me.

  84. Sadness does not equal mourning…..Mourning a loss can go deeper than sadness ever thought about going….Loneliness does not compare to emptyness….Emptyness is scary and scarry…Perception is one’s reality even if that reality isn’t real. Wonderful write up today. Never stop writing.

  85. And, just like in depression, in that beautiful photograph there is a bright glow on the land and on the palm tree to remind us that there is more to life than those dark times.

  86. Good answer to random person. I wanted so much to reach through the wires to show him or her that there is beauty inside and we love her.

  87. I miss Nancy W Kappes, paralegal, something fierce. I still read her letters to you and wish she was still around, sharing her “Judy Garland Trail Mix”.

  88. Thank you. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed to hear that just now.

  89. Dear Random Person,
    Even though I have never met you, I would miss you. You are important and you matter. Depression lies to us and tells us that the world would be better off without us and that we would be better off if we were gone. It is all a lie. You don’t know how much your existence matters to others. We all hurt, we all have pain, we all feel that nothing will ever change, but it does, once you get to the other side of the darkness. I hope you stay and get to the other side. Hugs.

  90. Thank you very much for this post Jenny. Really touched me because I was just having once of those anxiety/depression manic moments just a day ago. The constant fight in my head like there’s 2 minds on opposing ends is so tiring. Its an endless fight, sometimes it seems like we are making progress and improving, sometimes its seems like we have fallen deeper than before. Very grateful to have read blogs by people who are also suffering in the same situations. Afterall, who knew it better than those who really been there.

  91. Thank you. Not for making me cry at my desk, but for giving me some hope.

  92. So I feel compelled to post how much I appreciate Jenny and her commenters. I have in my life often found myself at a loss in situations where someone is depressed or expressing suicidal thoughts because I fully intend to commit suicide one day (far, far in the future I hope) . I have a debilitating illness and I don’t want be wheelchair bound or blind or be diapered or …or…etc. I made this choice for myself, rationally, with a calm, clear head and since then, I have told everyone of my friends and family that some day (twenty thirty years from now of course) this is what I plan to do. I want them to know, and be ready and not be surprised. It’s my exit strategy. Unfortunately, this puts me in a bind when someone tells me they are depressed and thinking of killing themselves because I can’t really ever respond to them without sounding like a hypocrite because they know I have embraced the option for myself, and I believe it’s a right and I can’t really articulate why I feel the circumstances are not the same. I don’t suffer from depression and they don’t suffer from what I have and I often flounder trying to respond (this happened recently). Reading everyone’s comments is giving me some insight that I can use, and if anyone has some suggestions on what I could respond with, given my circumstances, I would appreciate any further suggestions. I have a friend who is struggling now and they would be helpful.

  93. I hate that I know this is true and I just cannot feel it right now.

  94. You have brought so much joy to people. I only hope part of you realized your are loved by total strangers. I also hope others realize you don’t have to know people to know they still care about you, simply because you are also human and we do not want you to suffer. Xo

  95. back when I was in a deep dark depression place, I was given this poem, which has hung on my fridge where I can see it, ever since. It was a source of comfort back when I was feeling very invisible and wondering if anyone would notice (or care!) if I ceased to exist….


    You may not think that the world needs you,
    But it does-
    For you are unique, like no one that has ever been before or will come after.
    No one can speak with your voice,
    Say your piece,
    Smile your smile,
    Or shine your light.
    No one can take your place,
    For it is yours alone to fill.
    If you are not there to shine your light,
    Who knows how many travelers will lose their way
    as they try to pass by your empty place in the darkness.

  96. I know some very serious people who think that funny, light-hearted people never worry, never feel pain. Thank you for reminding those people that it’s not so.

  97. i just discovered the poem Desiderata (how have I not read it before?). “You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”

  98. It’s important that you understand and that you say it out loud. thank you <3

  99. Thank you for the reminder. It’s been a rough patch for a while. I lost my job, and husband basically lost his, but was offered another position in the company, for a significant pay cut. Making less than half of what we were 3 years ago, with more debt. Financial stress makes life feel too difficult to face some days. I have a daughter planning a wedding, and another heading to college in the fall. I keep going for them. It is so hard some days. I’m glad I finally told my doctor that I think I need help.. she put me on a low dose of anti depressant that was doing pretty well.. until recent weeks. For a long time, I felt not worthy, and that the world would be just fine, and possibly better off without me. I still have some days like that, but it’s not practically everyday, like it used to be. You help keep me strong Jenny. Thank you.

  100. Thank you so much. I really needed to hear that & to know that someone else really gets what’s it’s like to feel this way. You explained it so eloquently.

  101. I’m stuck in the darkness right now and am struggling to see light. I needed this.

  102. You hit the nail on the head. “You’re here even if you think no one would know if you were gone. You’re here in the hearts of people you would never suspect you had impacted. You’re here in memory and in reality and in the echo of every person you ever touched and taught. You are magnified in ways you never knew.” I know this in my heart and try to remember it always. Everyone should remember this.

  103. I don’t even know how to “like” your post. I am so annoyed by my ineptitude. Anyway, LIKE. Also, you are so popular, it is very difficult to scroll to the end of the comments, hoping to find the like button, or the star, or whatever. This is the second time I have read something unexpected on your blog. I like it, though. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  104. I see the rain and I see the sunshine too. I needed this on a day that I’m missing a friend I still talk to, but who is no longer able to answer.

  105. All the hugs. And all the thank yous, everyone needs to hear this. I needed it today.

  106. @Ally – please look into Compassion & Choices. They’re the charity that worked with Brittany Maynard when she was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. They believe that everyone should have the choice to die the way they want. Their main “cause” is in terminal illness cases where you should have the right to end your life before things get so bad that you’re not yourself anymore. Alzheimer’s runs in both my husband’s and my family, and we have talked extensively about end of life choices, and we support what Compassion & Choices does. Definitely something to check out. Hugs to you!

  107. I needed this. I’m trying to get out of a very bad relationship and I’ve been missing for a while. Thanks so much.

  108. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been having a string of dark days. I needed to know that I’m not alone. And that I’m not missing. Hugs to you Jenny. And to everyone else feeling lost today.

  109. Fabulous picture! I have been buried in so much rain and chilly weather, out of the norm this time of year, and I can’t even get my garden planted properly. I love rain but I need sun to help my mood. I’m in danger of doldrums. Tropical sounds heavenly. Escaping in books in the meantime.

  110. Your timing is impeccable. The struggle is so real. I’m listening to your audiobook at night, it stops the traffic jam of thoughts in my head, and reminds me I’m not alone.
    Thank you.

  111. I love how self aware you can be, it has helped me start to become so too. great big squishy hugs You are here points to my heart

  112. “You just have to have the right eyes.” So true that it should be on a cross-stitch sampler. It’s a beautiful picture. I hope others see it and realize that they too will emerge from the darkness.

  113. You are seen. I read every single post and comment. I send out healing vibes for all of your hearts. A lot of love and SQUISHY HUGS to you all. We are all in need of being seen. Love to you Jenny for keeping this tribe together. Sarah…aka The Queen

  114. I really needed this. I feel so alone right now. I’m struggling through some intense migraines that leave me unable to make social plans because I never know when I’m going to have to cancel and I don’t really feel like I have any friends anymore. Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone.

  115. Thank you. I see you, I hear you, I than k you for your eloquence from your heart.

  116. Oh Jenny, I had no idea I needed to read this until I did. Never forget how much difference you make to us all. Thank you.

  117. Thank you so much. I really needed that. Jenny, are so brave, and so funny I pee myself. Thank you for reminding all of us broken doesn’t have to mean lost.

  118. Beautiful picture:) when the going gets tough,: I try to remind myself that blue sky still exists above the clouds and that it’s always there

  119. I’ve suffered with depression all my life. When I dug deep into it, I found rage. Rage about the way people treat the planet, animals, each other. Rage about war, injustice, and general stupidity. Rage at God. Rage about life not being what I expected it to be. And beneath the rage lay a pool of the deepest, most profound, beautiful sorrow. I wept for days like a mother mourning her child. I cried for everything. And I realized that I was crying because I LOVED. It is a love that is not okay to express in my world. But I said it anyway. I lit a candle alone in my house and told the world how much I loved. And I told myself how much I loved me. This is how, when depression has had it’s time with me, I move through it. It’s another mirror of love, one so deep and dark that it’s hard to imagine that beneath it lies so much beauty. I don’t stay out of the woods of isolation and depression, I’m just learning to navigate them better and to be less afraid of what’s in there. Jenny, it’s your heart that helps others to heal and allows us to be vulnerable here. Thank you, and I hope we all find the deep well of compassion beneath the pain.

  120. :::sigh::: thank you Jenny. Sometimes I need to be reminded that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train. You do that for me. I hope you have someone that does that for you too.

  121. I’m sorry for the people who struggle with depression and anxiety. I have on a small scale, but nothing like you and others have experienced. It’s wonderful that you get it, and so you use your writing to help pull others out from under.

  122. I needed this today. My biggest dream is coming true right now, and I’m just so sad. I wish I could enjoy it. I should be giddy. I’ve worked so hard to get here, and I’m just crying. I have no fucking idea why.

  123. It is am amazingly beautiful photograph, and it perfectly sums up the saying “without the darkness, there would be no light”. So many times I feel like I don’t make a difference, then I remember the stranger who smiled at me in passing when I really needed a smile, how that person probably never realized how much I needed that. And every night I pray that I will be a blessing to someone, no matter how small, no matter if I ever know it. We are all meaningful, we are not accidents, we all have a purpose, even if we never know what that purpose is.

  124. Jenny, I hope the sun finds a way to peek into the dark crevices of your mind today – even if it is just a glimmer. Hold on to it. Until that crevices becomes a crack and allows more light to enter. You know this happens gradually and next thing you know, you are in full sunshine again. It sounds to easy to type that shit and then I remember my dark times. YUCK. May your day be a bit better today. So many of us here. We are not alone in our aloneness. That’s not even a fucking word; but, there it is. Hugs to you.

  125. This was so perfectly timed for me. Thank you for putting this into words. My anxiety has caused me to lose almost everything, and I’m so lonely. I need to believe that the anxiety is not who I am, just something that’s happening to me, and that I am working to get through it. Your words are so helpful to me today, Jenny.

  126. So lovely. You’re like that palm tree, blown about by the wind but able to bend rather than break. We all have these missing times, but maybe they’re needed in order to find ourselves again.

  127. Thank you for this Jenny. At a time where I was feeling very alone, and wishing my good friends didn’t live so far away, this was what I needed.

  128. Thank you. Much needed. Some of the comments are heartbreaking, and I wish I could reach out to each and every one. I just watched Andrew Solomon’s TED talk on depression. He said the opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality. Now, on to search for vitality. Even through the darkness and rain.

  129. Thank you so much for this post. I wish I had read it last night while being stuck in one airport, then arriving home 6 hours later than planned half dead, and mostly insane. You are an amazing woman and it’s great to see others think like me.

  130. Thank you for the very much needed reminder. I feel your pain…and understand the photo all too well.

  131. I really appreciate this. I am going through a difficult time right now and it’s definitely been feeling like an important part of myself is missing. I’very been losing friends throughout the process too, I guess they just don’t want to deal with me the way I am right now. It’s easy to think that no one will miss me if I disappear, for a little while at least. So I’m dropping out of many relationships for the time being. I don’t have the energy right now for the people who only want to be superficial friends, I’m busy trying to figure out how to be a friend to myself. I suspect a few real friends will find me, and the others will get on with their lives with very little disruption.

  132. Oh, Jenny, you have no idea how badly I needed to hear that right now. My depression has reared it’s horrible, ugly head and I’ve been lost. Trying to find my way back. Thank you.
    Thank you for somehow knowing.

  133. I have low grade… Something. Maybe depression with a little kick of anxiety to keep it interesting. I feel like hiding in my shell most days, but I can’t. No matter how much I want to, I have too many people who need me to keep going, and too many friends who keep going even though I know they have a much harder time than I do. My brain hasn’t really taken me round the bend yet, so I CAN keep pushing, keep taking pictures so I’ll remember that my kids have a wonderful life even if I feel like I fail all the time. I’m tired though, so thank you for the reminder that there is beauty even when you have to look for it a little harder. 🙂

  134. Thanks. I’m the edge of another bout of depression and that helped.

  135. This was me yesterday. Today, the storm has passed. The darkness in me honors and recognizes the darkness in you.

  136. On June 14th, I will hit one year without my “soul friend”, a friend that I had hoped would pull through her darkness so we could have many more years to continue cheering each other on. I know she just couldn’t find the light anymore but oh, I miss my friend.

  137. Thank you from someone who is desperately trying to find herself amidst the chaos that is surrounding my life this week. It helps so much to know that I am not alone.

  138. Thank you, for your beautiful picture but most especially for your amazing words. I should know better than to read your posts at work, either I’m laughing inappropriately or I’m crying. You’re better than my therapist in so many ways.

  139. Jenny,
    I am so glad you know you’re here. I wish you could also always FEEL that you’re here. I quote you randomly to people so often, I bet you’re kind of EVERYWHERE. I can’t be the only one. We see you!

  140. Because depression lies, you may not believe me but know this: there are people you might think you barely know who would nonetheless UGLYCRY when they found out you were suddenly gone. You, whoever is reading this. Yes, you.

    You matter.

  141. Damn you ALWAYS have just the post I need. Thanks. You are amazing. That picture is gorgeous. I see the beauty. Through the rain. Now to do that with life. Thankd Jenny. Huge thanks.

  142. I really love your blog and the things you say about depression, but it makes me feel so lonely when I’m in depression (which is often; “thank you” bipolar II). I don’t know if anyone other than my cat loves me for me. But I do know even if it’s there, I can’t feel affection (let along the L word) – I’m so closed. Maybe depression lies but at least for me depression means a sloth-level of energy, and being alone I know that while I only have my cat – she also only has me and I would never leave her to an uncertain future.

    I do love how you share your life and family and yourself, and I can’t wait to read the latest book. Thanks for being you.

  143. Can I steal that picture for a screen saver?
    I’m also going to print out this post to read when Im in that dark place and I cant remember these things. Right now is one of those times.
    Stay strong everyone. Thank you, Jenny.

  144. You have saved so many. You give us a voice that we cannot express by ourselves. I cry tears of sadness because I’ve been enveloped in darkness. I cry tears of joy because I have hope for the light. Because…you. Thank you. I see you, too.
    For those who are on the edge of the abyss or have fallen into it: Read what Jenny has said over and over. Go to your mirror. Look at yourself and say (loudly): DEPRESSION LIES! If you cannot see yourself through the darkness, look for us. We see you.

  145. I don’t know how to make the hearts, or flowers, or much else for that matter, but I do know you are a lighthouse for so many. That picture is phenomenal! You amaze me Jenny.

  146. I have a list on my Twitter called “favorite celebrities.” You are on the list because I think you are fabulous. When I am feeling really low, I sometimes go look at what fab celebrities are posting on Twitter. I do it not to feel better but to emphasize the “whys” of feeling sorry for myself since most celebrities portray themselves to have happy lives online. Today, I stumbled on this blog in one of my depressed tortured Twitter moments. It made me cry, but in a good way. Thank you for being you and for always reminding us that depression lies.

  147. You have made me realise I need to hug someone who is also suffering sometimes in silence

  148. Depression lies to you, its lying to you Jen.
    I hope you are okay.

    Your suggestion from a while back…. speaks to me.

  149. You have absolutely no idea how much I needed this today. I’ve been feeling lost and tired and that I’m over all of it. My anxiety is skyrocketing but I have no idea why. On good days I don’t have a lot of friends and on bad days I feel especially alone. Thanks for putting this out in the universe for me to find…and for anyone else who needs it.

  150. Thank you. I need to print this out and stick it on my refrigerator. I wish it was there last week, when I cried for 4 days straight for no reason. Wait, there was a reason, and now I know what it was: The part of me who doesn’t cry all day went missing. Welcome back, me. And welcome back, you. Also, if part of you is still missing, hang in there. You’ll come back. I promise.

  151. Today we buried a 19 yr old that did not make it out of this terrible battle. This was the first post that appeared on my FB page today, it meant so much to me. Thank you for your beautiful words.
    If you save even one life, you have made an impact.

  152. Thank you for being amazing, even if your brain is telling you that your not. YOU ARE AN AWESOME PERSON! And after reading a lot of the comments here YOU HAVE AN AWESOME COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE. Always keep fighting!

  153. Jenny, I know that you are too busy to read or respond to comments, but I just want to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You get it. You understand what it feels like. This post, I thank you for. Reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Thank you for that, too. For the tears, for the laughter. For putting it all out there. For being honest. For being funny – no, not just funny, but laugh-out-loud hilarious.

  154. Thanks, that was beautiful, Jenny. I so needed to hear that.

  155. Wow! You are hysterical and insightful and know how to touch hearts. This will be saved and read when I need it. You make such a difference to your fans, friends, staclkers, I hope you know that!

  156. This is lovely and just what I needed for a very tough day. You are a good person with an ardent and compassionate soul. Sending warm thoughts your way Jenny!

  157. I’m glad I’m still here/there/somewhere. I feel absent in my life a lot…

  158. You are one of the most encouraging persons I know. Thank you for caring.

  159. thank you so much for this post. i just spent last night talking someone through a very rough night when she was thinking of ending her life. sending this to her today was very helpful to her as well. thank you for your raw honesty and transparency.

  160. You have no idea how timely this post is for me right this second.

    I so desperately wish this was actually true for me—-I wish you knew me & I wish you could say that I matter.

    I am on the very brink & I’m so exhausted & I’m not sure how to carry on & I know that I don’t want to.

  161. I really really needed to hear this tonight. Things look so bleak right now. Absolute shit. Thank you for reminding me that there are beautiful things in the world. Depression lies so hard. I think there is nothing that will get me out of this hole, but then little bright spots peek through, like you, and it makes me want to work harder to beat this awfulness down.

  162. I’m so glad you’re in this world giving words to the dark painful places. This is me, exactly. Thank you for putting it into words. And Thank God for men like your Victor and my Tim, and women worldwide, who take care of us when we need it, but value us enough to let us bloom, too.

  163. Big hugs to you Jennie. Looking forward to meeting you in October.

  164. I love this post and this picture. I can relate so much. I spent a year in South Africa seeing amazing places but my anxiety and depression clouded a lot of it. Still, I’m glad for the experience and I have my own photos that fill me with awe and sadness at the same time. ((Hugs))

  165. I came here for a laugh, as I often do. You are funny and I love your dark sensibility and irreverence.
    Occasionally you slap me in the face with a reminder of how we need to be good to ourselves and others. Thanks for that today.
    By the way, I treat all of your posts equally. I read them out loud to my husband from across the room and we either reel with maniacal laughter, or pause to talk about what it means to be alive. You are good at what you do Jenny Lawson. Too good.

  166. I could sit in that picture for. ever. What a scene. I’ve had some dark days myself lately. Glad to know there’s company.

  167. I don’t know what it is about summer, but it tends to be the most difficult time of year for me. Maybe it’s that everything is coming alive and everyone is having fun- and I feel lost, sad, alone. I try to enjoy the fun sun and summer holidays, but I fear that I’ll just ruin the good time and end up spiraling into my darkness. Depression sucks.

  168. To all those on here who have said that they have no one who would miss them if they were gone, know that there is someone out there right now thinking about you and hoping you find your way back into the light. The world would be a poorer place without you. Maybe you can’t hear that from where you are right now, but that doesn’t make it less true. Stay with us. We need you.

  169. Thank you. You have no idea how much this helps. I have been struggling with depression for a few years now but was only able to admit it to myself a few months ago. I’ve been getting help, but there are still many bad days. My birthday is coming up soon and it’s not helping the process. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ll never get my old self back, like that version of me is lost forever. Reading this today truly struck my heart. Reminded me that the old me isn’t gone forever, I’ll find her again one day.

    Reading your blog has really helped me through my journey. Knowing that I’m not alone is sometimes all that is needed to get through the day. I can’t thank you enough.

  170. I read your blog and cried. I needed to, I’ve been holding it in for so long. And I read the comments and stories about people who are suffering and I want to heal them all while feeling somehow guilty and worse about my own feelings. I have a good life. I do. Not perfect but it’s good and it’s mine and most of the time I think I do far more good than harm.

    But then there is that sensation that starts in my chest. Just a tingle or a little tightness that grows. And grows. Until I watch it devour me from the inside out. I am small. And so sad. And tired of fighting. My heart hurts, and my brain is an asshole liar. At first I can push back the loneliness and the numbness with logic. But it always wins the battle in the end. I guess I’m trying my best to stick around to see which side wins the war. I don’t even know which side I’m rooting for anymore.

    (You are alive. That means you are winning. Every day you stick it out and try and fight for the light you win. You are just too tired to appreciate it. I appreciate it. I’m glad you’re here. I’m sorry your brain is an asshole sometimes. Mine is too. But eventually it comes around. I’m rooting for you and for everyone else here who doubts their importance. ~ Jenny)

  171. Tomorrow I’m going to the funeral for a 54 year old man who I thought of as my brother. He was depressed and took his own life last week. I miss him and I miss all the years he won’t have even more. Someone said to me today that it’s not like he died after a long illness. Yes, I said, it’s exactly like that. Suicide is sudden only when we hide the illness.Thank you Jenny, for the work you do to shed light on these issues.

    (“Someone said to me today that it’s not like he died after a long illness. Yes, I said, it’s exactly like that. Suicide is sudden only when we hide the illness.” That. Exactly that. I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like it was a loss for the rest of the world as well. Thank you for sharing. ~ Jenny)

  172. In our emptiness, in our hollowness, there is a Love capable of pouring into us and through all our cracks, bringing healing to our broken places, acceptance of our imperfections, wholeness. That Love reminds us that we are never completely alone, never forgotten, never insignificant. We matter because He says we do. He loves us just because. You reminded me of that tonight. Thank you.

  173. Thank you, I’ve been hiding for years.. BTW is that photo of Waianapanapa on Maui?

    (I was too foggy to remember exactly where I was. Victor would know. I think it was Hana? There was a beach next to it filled with perfectly round black pebbles and cave to hide in when the tide went out. ~ Jenny)

  174. Thank so much. I feel like I am drowning. I am so exhausted. But there will be light. I know there will be light. I can get through tonight, tomorrow, this week and this month. Your picture shows the beauty of it all. I’m just so tired and overwhelmed… I can do this….

  175. I hope all the people who have written here come back and read the responses. I’m sending all the love I can muster out to you all. You are not alone. You’re alive and we need you to stay with us. If you think no one will miss you, you’re wrong. Please know that you would be sorely missed. Hold on. Keep going. Reach out. One more step. Depression lies.

    To those who are grieving, I’m so sorry for your losses. You’re allowed to be sad. All the feelings are valid. Grief has no timeline. It takes as long as it takes. Sending you love.

  176. I called my husband home from work early yesterday and made him hide all my meds. But I woke up in the middle of the night and I knew they were in his office, and that was what I thought: “THEY’RE IN HIS OFFICE.” I woke up earlier than he did today (the first time) and that’s what I thought: “THE MEDS ARE IN HIS OFFICE.” Today I made him go to Costco and spend money we didn’t have on a safe for my meds because I keep thinking that they’re just sitting there IN HIS OFFICE. My eldest daughter walked out on me on Monday. We’ve been paying her to come home three days a week to stay on top of the dishes and vacuum once a week and feed me twice a day because I’m in so much pain all the time that when I’m medicated enough to be out of pain, my brain doesn’t work well, but in order for my brain to function, I have to be in pain. It’s been fifteen years of pain every day, and the last year has been appallingly bad. She got married last August, and I went back to work, in spite of being sick and in pain all the time, to pay for the wedding. And three jobs later, I was sewing her wedding gown when ovarian cysts hit so hard we went to the emergency room because we all thought (including Urgent Care) that my appendix was going to have to come out before it burst. I was 19 when I learned I was pregnant with her, and my wholelife changed. I was a dancer. A really good one, a triple threat with Broadway ahead. But it all changed in the doctor’s office when I heard that I was going to be a mother. Everything since then has been for her, but with my shit together enough that she wasn’t being raised with a sense that she owed me. But I still expected caring. The day after her wedding (she was on her honeymoon, it’s just the timing of it) I ate something as a sample in a store that was mislabeled and I am deathly allergic to it. I’m very lucky to carry my epipen, or I might have died that day. I’ve been trying to get off the steroids since, because I needed them plus 12 benadryl a day to keep my airway open for WEEKS while my system stopped trying to kill me to save me, and the fibromyalgia came back with a vengeance, and the 70 lbs I’d lost came back with 15 friends to visit, and I need her to help me, to drive me to appointments, to help around the house. She has a PT job for 12 hours a week and the 15 at our house, which consist of lots of grace for editing photos she’s taken or working on another side business, is too much. Her sister is carrying 15 credits at a University getting her Bachelor’s degree and is working an additional 24 hours a week on top of that and is taking the bus everywhere because she’s never had time to learn to drive. My husband is losing his mind trying to keep up with the bills and worrying about me and trying to keep his job… but my eldest walked out on Monday. And it’s too big. I can’t hold it. It’s too hard, and it’s too heavy and it hurts too much. But now the pills are in his office in a SAFE. So I’ll probably be here to cry through tomorrow with hiccups and snot and a migraine too.

    (I’m incredibly proud of you that you told your husband to hide your meds. Asking for that level of help or supervisions can feel so shameful, but it’s really so incredibly brave. Be strong. Remember that everyone has to lean on others at times. When you’re strong again it will be your turn to lead. You obviously have done a good job as a mother and wife to have such an amazing family. ~ Jenny)

  177. I’m one of those friends who disappears into the vapors from time to time. My darkness can be so heavy I don’t want to bring it around others. Not when I can’t see beauty in anything. Or when I can’t fake a smile. Sometimes it’s easier to isolate, even though this is the least productive solution. But my friends come around anyway and pick me up. Just like I do for them when they’re in it. We all have darkness and light, and fortunately we enter those moments at different times. Depression is a liar and a thief. I pray for those who suffer from this elusive and insidious illness.

  178. As I lay here,overwhelmed with an anxiety -ridden day,I read this and cry with the xcmfort that I am not alone. Thank you for shining a light on the darkness of the depression and anxiety that keeps many of us lost, or in hiding. Thank you for giving me a moment of clarity on an otherwise depleting day. Much love!

  179. Jenny, I’m so glad there was enough not-missing for you to take that picture.
    I spent Sunday with my bff of 20 years. She made me promise again not to do myself in, because it would hurt her too much. Friends and family are surprised that I often have to ask if they’d miss me; they don’t realize how convincingly depression lies that no one would.

  180. Last week there was a funeral for someone I knew, in the context of a medieval recreation group I belong to. We hadn’t seen him for years, but he’d been a huge part of our local group. His sister didn’t tell us that the funeral was happening because she didn’t think anyone from among us would bother to show up, so we didn’t hear till after it was over, and I know there were people among us who had planned to go, myself included.

    People matter, and sometimes our lives touch far more humans than we know about. I know we all needed to have a chance to go through the mourning process that was denied us, and that people who are hurting are having a difficult time with this. We talked about it /politely/ through gritted teeth, if you understand what I mean?

    This is to say that even years after seeing someone, they are still in your memory and have been an important part of your life. So never forget this, and never underestimate the impact you have made on someone else’s life. Sometimes it’s on someone that you never really realized you mattered to. You never know who you have touched.

    And it is easy when we are locked inside our heads, and our despair, to think we matter to no one at all, when sometimes we’ve been important to people we hardly felt we knew. It’s very easy to think no one will miss us, when actually we’ll leave a large hole in the universe of many people. We are important to far more people than any of us realize.

    (Amen. ~ Jenny)

  181. I have social anxiety. I felt better about myself and my condition years ago when I read in your first book about hiding in bathrooms at social functions. I thought that was only me.

    I recently had birthday, a milestone year, and spent it alone. I have friends. I have family but it was a day that slipped them by and as the hours passed on that day I was horribly hurt no one reached out but neither did I make a big to do that it was my birthday, because honestly I don’t know how to do that. At the end of the day I decided I really didn’t have much of a stake in this world. And every day since I’ve struggled to figure out why I keep moving forward but I do. It hurts more than it doesn’t to the point that when it feels okay, that feels like the lie. But I do keep moving forward.

    To get back to my first sentence, you don’t know me. You don’t really see me, but your words, in book or blog, they provide comfort. Through them I’ve learned that, while I’m anxiety filled/depression prone and honestly one big dork, I’m not unique. I’m not a freak. Well, the last one is debatable… That what we deal with is hard and it isn’t imagined and there are people who understand. Thank you for your words, your honestly and sharing what people usually keep hushed.

  182. A very close friend of mine passed away Saturday and I miss him terribly. This – “You’re here even if you think no one would know if you were gone. You’re here in the hearts of people you would never suspect you had impacted. You’re here in memory and in reality and in the echo of every person you ever touched and taught. You are magnified in ways you never knew. … I see you. I remember you. You echo in me. I miss you. But you are not missing. You are here.” is EXACTLY what I am feeling. Thank you for the words I couldn’t find. Thank you.

  183. I will be 31 on my birthday (May 31st). I will also celebrate 8 years of being clean from a multitude of drugs. It will also mark 8 years since I nearly died…the third time.

    Many moons ago, I tried to kill myself and when I seemed to get better, I got in a shit relationship where the guy tried to do what I couldn’t. After a long stint in ICU and rehabilitating from injuries he caused, the already chronic depression worsened. I did not realize feeling like a fucking ball of shit at the bottom of the darkest hole could get worse, but it did. I felt so damn worthless. I began using more to try to stop the unbearable pain of the depression and the worthlessness I felt from that relationship.

    Then I overdosed a few days before my 23rd birthday (Happy Fucking Birthday huh). I woke up days later in ICU…in the psychiatric wing no less of our largest hospital with my parents on the other side of a window crying. I spent the first 72 hours in that room. I thought I was insane before then and this just magnified it.

    I was released and my parents went bankrupt getting my uninsured ass treatment. The moved me away from everything I knew and my cousin came with them to basically support me and make sure I did not fuck up.

    Over time, life changed…it was still fucking dark, but I managed with a support system, intense therapy, meds, and meetings. I met someone who kind of helped get the pieces back together and although I was broken, he said “there was light coming through the cracks” He helped build me up and encouraged me to go to school.

    Life changed. I got married (to not the guy that I should have married) gave birth to an incredible little boy. My life was good, with just the occasional suffocating moments.

    Then darkness set in. It was mere weeks before I was to graduate undergrad with my Bachelor of Science degree and I walked into my mothers room and she was collapsed in the floor. I did CPR and could not save her. My best friend in this world was gone and I failed. Darkness…lots of darkness. No joke a month after her service my dad nearly died and ended up having open heart surgery. Two months later my sons father and I divorced. All the while I graduated Summa Cum Laude and started graduate school.

    Now…here I sit almost 8 years between the last time I tried to kill myself. Nearly 4 years after my mothers unexpected and much earlier than anticipated death. My son is healthy, my dad is alive and healthy, and I am CLEAN and SOBER. I work in a line of work that is rewarding and I get to make a huge difference in the lives of others. Oh and the man I should have married, the man who had my heart that encouraged me to stay clean and attended meetings, my best friend, the guy who built me up so big I could go back to school….we are engaged.

    I do not know how I survived the darkness, or how I am still surviving, but I fucking did it. Yeah, it still creeps in and sometimes the air gets sucked out of the room. Sometimes I find myself crying for no good god dang reason. Sometimes I look at my son and wonder when I will fuck him up, or if he has my fucked up dark and twisty bullshit.

    Then I remember, I am a survivor. Much like you and all of these other wonderful fucking people here.

    Jenny…I am sorry I just wrote a novel. Sometimes, like now…when the house is quiet and the vastness of the darkness outside starts to creep inside, I get lonely…also I live in the fucking boonies. So it is dark and no one lives down here…

    But yes, you save me more than you know. You remind me to fight and to live and that the darkness is not going to consume me, because it has not consumed me and my life is infinitely better than it once was.

  184. Rebuilding here. Thanks for posting this. I’m glad you found that photo.

  185. Thank you for this, Jenny, I needed this today. I don’t have the illness you (and so many others here) have, but my sister does. She gets so angry sometimes out of frustration from it and it worries me FOR her. I’m moving several hundred miles away in a couple of months, and I’m afraid that she will sink lower because we are very close. These posts remind me not to get frustrated with her and to help her when she needs it.
    You all are wonderful people, keep fighting that monster because it never NEEDS to win. Mount that horse, grab your sword & shield and let us squire for you whenever possible.

  186. I wish I could see the beach. I wish I could see the rain. All I can see is fog. Fog so thick that you can’t see your own hand in front of your face. I’m so tired of this fog, and standing here all alone in it. I don’t have friends, but tonight, you made me feel like I do. Like I have a friend who rented out the lighthouse just to use that big bright light so you could reach through the fog and grab my hand. Thank you.

  187. The next time I am sitting in the tub and wondering what would happen if I drown (which according to the calendar should be in ~2weeks (god I hate hormones)) I will remember this. Thank you.

    You are always in my heart and my head. In those horrid moments, I hear “depression lies” over and over again, and I make it till morning.

    I am getting tears writing this. I am so dreading the next round. But, I will be OK. I mean, it will suck, but I will make it through.

  188. How strange this hooked me today. First time I have every been enraptured and time stood still for words on depression. This is what I wish I could infuse graciously into my love ones on how I feel, instead of hearing awkward silence or questions about what the reason was for this ‘episode’ of mine. First time I have ever read your blog. Thank you.

  189. Wow, I just stumbled upon your blog. Someone in a library facebook group mentioned it. I clicked on this and wow. This hit home. I have recently been depressed over losing some friends. I can definitely relate to this post. Holy Crap. Totally teared up and feel really great at the same time. Thank you.

  190. You don’t usually make me cry. Thank you for this post though. I learn today if my sister is going to get a chance at life, or die in about 30 days or so.

  191. That awesome moment when the universe hands you something you desperately needed. I was “missing” when what makes me…me ran away during a week-long anxiety attack. Thank you, Jenny. For your wit, your wisdom, your honesty, and your soul-baring. 💕

  192. I don’t know how you always put the exactly right words in the exactly right order but you do. Sometimes they’re silly and sometimes they’re serious but they are always so fucking right. Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

  193. I’ve had a terrible week for anxiety. My job is ending today for summer and I’m stressed about finances; I euthanized a baby bunny on Monday because my dogs broke its leg; my husband is working like crazy this week so I don’t have that support system because we’re on separate schedules and I hardly see him. I’m afraid of what I’ll be like if I can’t find a job for summer. There are so many days when I wouldn’t leave my bedroom if I didn’t know that there were kids depending on me. I’ve been missing for awhile and I finally had a breakdown in my car yesterday morning after reading this in my car. This is the place where I feel like someone understands what is happening inside my lost mind. Here’s hoping that the breakdown I had yesterday becomes a breakthrough very soon.

  194. I’m not sure how many people read every comment but: thank you.

    Last night was a rough one for me. I had a panic attack and then insomnia. During the 5th hour of being wide awake and alone with my demons, I started to wonder into the deep dark forest of self-harm. I didn’t do anything, but I felt the pull.
    I grabbed my phone to look for someone I might be able to call and talk too without being too big of a bother at nearly 3am. Instead, I found myself on facebook looking at some mental health support pages and then I saw The Bloggess’ post about “comment 307”.
    I clicked. I read. I read some more. I felt a little less alone. I managed some sleep and this morning isn’t as dark in my head as last night was.

  195. This is perfect. I shared this post on fb yesterday morning. I am experiencing the upcomings of depression due to huge life changing events and not knowing how to cope and not having anyone that is willing to really listen to me cry about it. We need to get a handle on this and people need to accept that depression is a sickness that needs to be addressed and treated. But the first step, is to admit it and seak the help.

  196. I understand Jenny. That picture is breathtaking, and so apropos of life. The dark. The light. The beauty. All together. It made me cry.

  197. You’re timing is impeccable. Hugs to all of us fighting this battle.

  198. It’s stuff like this that makes me love you. That and the weird craziness of you. :o)

    You nailed it right on the noggin with this one. And this reminds me again (and we know that we always need reminders) that we are never alone, despite feeling so strongly that we are.

    Thank you for this.


  199. To everyone here: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! More people than you can imagine have read your comments and are thinking about you and care about you. It’s what is so beautiful about about this community of strangelings.

  200. A friend text me yesterday asking me if it was in the air. Earlier in the day I posted on fb that I was feeling overwhelmed and down. I told her it must be the weather because for New Mexico it has been insanely cold and rainy when it should be warm. I sent her the link to the blog. She read it and responded, “That hit home. I felt so many people as I read it.”

    Apparently, the state of New Mexico needs you right now. Life is so good for me right now but I have trouble getting out of bed and coming to work because the dark consumes me. I see a flicker of light and I know you and all the people that love me are waiting for me. And sometimes that is why I come out of the dark because I know there is love.

  201. I always wander here when I need to remember that things will be okay. Not just for the posts, but for the comments. Thanks to Jenny and the strangelings.

  202. Reblogged this on #yodesmagodes and commented:

    Sometimes I stumble across the right thing at what I didn’t know was the right time, and realize that the Universe may very well be looking out for me.

    I am the friend that exists, but am too terrified to say hello. I have gone missing, and am trying to find my way back home.

  203. “You have to remember that we are so much more than our broken minds sometimes recognize.”
    I always forget. I needed the reminder. Thank you.

  204. Thank you. Thank you for this. I feel so disjointed and anxious and sad and lost for the past few days and I thought to check your blog to see if it would make me laugh but it made me cry, in the best, most cortisol-releasing way. Thank you.

  205. This was a very timely post. Oh, my stupid, wonderful, broken brain. You have no idea how many times I’ve read your words and have been pulled out of the dark, or at least remembered why I need to keep climbing out.

  206. Amen. I miss ALL the people I’ve lost… well, most of them. The rest can go fuck themselves.
    That is one astoundingly beautiful photo. 🙂

  207. Beautiful. We are all still here. through the storms and rain and sh*t and minds that want to undermine us and everything else. Have you heard the song “Fight Song”? I’m in love with it right now. it sort of ties into what you are saying. My favorite line in it is “I may only have one match, but I can make an explosion” You may feel tiny, but you never know how huge your impact can be. And your impact is HUGE. Feel better. . .Remember–Depression Lies.

  208. I’ve been going through a series of days where I’ve been spiraling down into depression, coming up for a second or two, and then crashing back down again, and it feels like I’m worthless and a failure and no one will ever love me. And thank you for reminding me that it’s not true, that my depression is lying to me, and that there’s a light waiting for me (hopefully soon).

  209. Sometimes I have a locked box on top of my refrigerator that contains meds. They’re not mine. They belong to my neighbor. She comes to get her daily doses every evening when things get bad. When things are good, she takes the box home. Until the next time she starts feeling bad. The bad times may last a week or several months, but I keep the box when she needs me to keep it.
    The day she asked to bring it over was a bad day. And it was the bravest thing I have ever seen. To know you need help. To overcome the insecurity and fear of judgement and just ask. I can’t tell you how happy I am to keep that box. She’s worth so much more than that, even when she doesn’t know it or believe it.
    If there is anyone out there that needs a reminder: Find a box-keeper. Please.

  210. Pretty sure there is nothing I can say that hasn’t been said in the previous 350+ comments, but somehow still feel I need to add my voice to them. To proclaim that I am here, broken mind and all.
    I used to think it would go away IF…
    …I found someone to love me
    …I got a better job
    …I had children
    …I was “successful” (whatever the fuck that means)
    Now I hear First Aid Kit in my head all the time:
    “What if to love and be loved’s not enough?
    What if I fall and can’t bear to get up?”
    There is no IF that fixes it. No external circumstance. You can be loved – by family, by spouse, by children, by hundreds of readers and followers and commenters – and it still doesn’t fix it. That’s not how it works.
    But you can keep fighting it. And coming here to remind yourself that there are so many of us out there, being bullied by depression’s lies. We have a tribe. We do belong. Don’t listen to the lies.
    Love to Jenny, and to you all.

  211. Sometimes I read your posts like this to get through the night.
    Sometimes nights are so long and all I want is for it to be morning.
    Sometimes I’m convinced morning will never come.

    Thank you for keeping me company on those nights.

  212. Beautiful. I know I’m messed up and I know there are people with far many more problems than I, but dang it all there are times I come here and realize that the “normal” I play at every day isn’t really normal but also that the days where I can barely get out of bed or I’m afraid to leave the house aren’t necessarily abnormal either. As always Jenny, thank you for all you do

  213. Jenny, we love you. We will know if you are gone. Your husband and saughter will know if you are gone. They are the most important people for you and they NEED you. Remember that.

    I have had many sad, lonely days myself lately. My father passed just after Christmas. I am the last of my “original” family. My mother died at 55, many years ago. My aunts and uncles are all gone. My only brother passed at 48. My oldest daughter lives over 6 hours away and refuses to visit, and doesn’t want us to visit her. She had a child she placed for adoption years ago, and I never hear from them either. My younger daughter is special needs, but could be independent, hopefully. She should never have a child, as she can’t take care of herself, much less a baby!

    So now, it’s down to my husband and me. He’s the baby of a large fammily on the other side of the country. He doesn’t understand why this is so hard. I am used to 20 for Sunday dinner, more for holidays, lots of noise, kids, and fun. He isn’t. This is so hard to convey to him. Just trying to makes the loneliness even worse.

    I keep reminding myself, my husband would know if I was gone. My younger daughter would miss me. My friends would miss me. I cherish my friends as we are all going through the same or similar passages that no one talks about.

    But, I still miss my Mom and Dad, my brother, my aunts and uncles. I want to call them and talk about the day. I want to drive by and show them something I found.

    It takes time and we have to be kind to ourselves.

    Be kind to yourself and know you are loved.

  214. I cannot adequately express how much I needed a post like this. Thank you so much for all you share and all you do. I’ve been trying to pull myself out of a rough patch right now and you’ve really helped me tonight.

  215. I feel like we are walking together and everything I feel, you feel. Your words…just exactly what has been going on inside my head and heart. It’s been almost a year since my daughter, my first born,, died suddenly at 22. It was ruled an of, but I know in my heart,she took her life and mine with it when she left. It is so hard to find any joy in living and I just feel like a walking zombie. Thank you for reminding me that people do care about me and you and all of us. Just seems life is a constant struggle and I miss the fun it use to be.

  216. Making this photo my phone’s lock screen, as a visual cue to pause and remember to take one day at a time — and to see through the rain.

  217. Will this be available to purchase? I need this print as a stunning visual reminder of your words, of my tribe, of hope, lies & having the right eyes.

  218. You are wonderful.

    That is an absolutely lovely picture – even if you can’t remember it specifically, I think you captured something greater than all of us, a remembrance of why it’s all worth it.

  219. Jenny, I’m so touched that my comment (307) resonated with you and others. Seeing that response was a surprising and positive end to a very difficult day. The funeral today was hard… I felt raw all day. Hundreds came to pay their respects and not a single person could say one bad thing about Billy.

    What I didn’t mention in my comment is that I know this about suicide because I’ve struggled with mental illness and suicidal thoughts for most of my life. I’ve spent a great deal of time in therapeutic settings, have had many friends who battled suicidal thoughts, and have lost far too many. Today I’d say I’m 99% free of these thoughts but as I said, it has been a long illness.

    And what I also didn’t say… was that it was my mom who made that comment. Because of course. Thank you for your condolences. It is such a loss. I only wish we’d found him sooner.

  220. Thank you for sharing a beautiful picture and for sharing the following.
    “I see you. I remember you. You echo in me. I miss you. But you are not missing. You are here.”
    and I’d like to add: in my heart, in my thoughts, and in my memories of my love for you.

  221. Thank you Jenny for this eloquent post. Sometimes I feel like that weird weeping angel statue that appears in a lot of occult fiction – in that I’m made of stone, but my tear ducts still work. I think the antidepressants I’m taking have removed all my feelings, so I don’t tend to react to events, unless it makes me cry. I am crying. Wishing everyone a safe night and better tomorrow.

  222. So very many days like the one in the picture… sun shining, dark clouds looming… all in my head.

    To p.k. – don’t know if you’ll read this but…if we bump into one another in the fog, I’ll hold your hand. Might not get either of us out of the fog, but at least we’d have something to hold onto.

  223. Actually, I don’t have to look through anything. The picture is beautiful, even with the rain. BECAUSE OF the rain, even.

  224. My sweet 16-year-old girls is in the hospital for mental health for the first time. They told us yesterday that she has depression and anxiety. I’ve been a long time Bloggess fan, and it helps to know a bit about her feelings. I just ordered her the Broken and Magical t-shirt as a welcome home gift!

  225. This was a beautiful read. I appreciate you and the fact that you have one of the only comment sections on the internet that doesn’t make me weep for humanity is a testament to you as well.

  226. Jenny,
    Thank you so much for writing what you do. You speak to my soul. for so long it seemed like i was alone. Thank you for being with me in the darkness.

  227. Thank you Jenny. I have a friend who I miss, and miss often. I celebrate that friend yearly – this year with the quote: “Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” ~ Rumi

    It is also wonderful to read the comments – there are a lot of us who don’t realize how we feel alone, or who needed these exact words.

    Thank you for sharing from your soul.

  228. Hey I suck at this blogging website thing and you seem to be pretty go can I ask for some advice or something I’ll take anything. I think I’m doing something wrong or maybe not realizing I’m doing something right idk trying to see the glass as half full instead of just actually filling it with more water. Anyways love your site pls say something back doesn’t have to be nice.

    P.s. I prefer something nice

    P.s.s. Umm idk I just always wanted to do that

  229. I worked in a treatment program for many years. I thought that I always tried to make it a better place for the people in the program. I always felt like a failure, which then just fueled my own depression. Five years ago, while I was visiting another program, a man came up to me and said, “You probably don’t remember me but I worked in the kitchen, of (program name) and I want to shake your hand. You always stood up for the people that we were there to help and even if no one listened, you kept trying.” I was blown away. I hadn’t been invisible. So, you’re right, we never know who we’ve touched.

  230. This was absolutely amazing. Thank you for your words and your accessible heart. I’m sure this post is sure to get me through many a tough day in the future.

  231. Thank you. I’m hiding and disappearing. I don’t know when I will come back out again. I didn’t think anyone else did this. Thank you.

  232. I need help. Please, please, please, anyone tell me why I am not worthless, useless, and unimportant.

    (You are important and needed. There is no one like you that exists. Talk to a family member. You can’t do this alone. ~ Jenny)

  233. It is do hard to lift brain out of depression. I have had the journey over forty years.
    My journey has led mecto TMS–transcranial magnetic stimulation. Meds don’t do it sometimes. Thank you for this post and this picture.

  234. I am S from comment 391—-thank you sooooooo much for responding to me.

    My trials have been difficult & long. I am at the beginning of the psych process & the appointments are not scheduled with alacrity in mind, which makes it difficult when you return from one & just think, “What’s next? And how exactly did that help me in my acute situation???”

    I am fortunate to not be alone, but I am at the stage where I am absolutely convinced that everyone would be better off if I were no longer around.

    I am nothing but a burden.

    I’m sorry for bothering everyone. [but, Thanks again.]

    (I can guarantee you that your head is lying to you if you think everyone would be better if you weren’t around. Right now you may feel burdensome but one day soon you’ll be the one caring for those who care for you. It’s a circle. ~ Jenny)

  235. I also feel lost! My family, in my opinion, has deserted me! Some days all I do is sleep! I want the feeling of love like I gave them! I worked three jobs just to keep the family together! Now my health suffers for it! I’m an inconvenience! But I won’t give them the satisfaction of beating me down!

  236. Memorial Day is coming up. I miss him. I miss him a lot. It never seems to change that on that day, more than any other day, I miss him the most. Also on that day more than the others, I feel lost. I feel like I’m living in a foreign movie, without subtitles, while someone presses fast forward. I feel like I’m a circle surrounded by a bunch of squares.

  237. Memorial Day is coming up. I miss him. I miss him a lot. On that day, more so than on any other day, it hurts more. Also on that day, I feel like I am in a foreign movie, without subtitles, while someone presses fast forward. I feel like a circle surrounded by a bunch of squares.

  238. You are amazingly funny and talented and this post was so right and nice..I am bookmarking your blog page for a time when I can really appreciate and see it properly, but thank you…Roz from Oz (Australia) nanoo nanoo x PS yes I am currently losing it….:(…:)

  239. It must be dusty in here, there seems to be something in my eye.
    I think it’s love.

  240. It seems we all are feeling this way at the moment, because I too hit a rough patch this past week. My best friend of two years hasn’t spoken to me in over two months now and it’s hurting more than I have been able to admit. But I broke down on Monday and Tuesday realizing that I miss her, I miss her so much I feel my heart breaking. I know she is hurting and doesn’t want to speak to me, but even though I can’t talk to her she is still here with me in my heart. I hope she sees that. I hope she feels that. Until then…I will just continue to be the one waiting and hurting.

  241. “You don’t think in depression that you’ve put on a gray veil and are seeing the world through the haze of a bad mood. You think that the veil has been taken away, the veil of happiness, and that now you’re seeing truly.” 

    The best quote I have ever read on depression. Tell me you agree?

  242. You can’t know how much I needed to read this today. I lost my sister to suicide in January, and have been struggling with depression (again!) ever since. Today on my way to work, I kept thinking what a relief it would be to die suddenly in a car accident. I had to really shake myself and say aloud, “I will grow old. I will see my kids graduate, and go to college, and get married. I will hold my grandchildren someday. Depression lies!”

    Thank you for being awesome, and being the voice that speaks into the darkness.

  243. I didn’t comment the day you posted this because… I don’t know why I didn’t comment. Maybe I was ashamed. But after reading through many of the other comments, I have found the strength to add my own:

    Thank you so much for this post. You’re beautiful, Jenny. I wish I knew you in real life. You would make a fantastic friend (and I would try to be fantastic back). I read your book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, and I loved it. I really admire you. You have some of the same mental health issues as I do, and yet you are (or at least were) able to go to dinner parties. (I am mostly housebound by mine, leaving only to go to medical appointments, things for my dog, and to the library, and usually some combination of errands so that I don’t have to leave the house more than once a week — or less — if it can be helped.)

    I too really miss people. I am 100% disabled due to major depression and three severe anxiety disorders. And I am almost completely alone.

    When I lived alone, I would at least get weekly phone calls from my parents. Now I live with my mom (I lived with both my parents from September 2012 until my dad’s death in September 2014. I had moved in with them to help take care of him in his last years of life). I get texts from my younger brother and “best” (see below) friend on my birthday and some of my Facebook friends comment with happy birthday wishes for me on this day, too. (I turned 40 in December 2014. This milestone birthday garnered a few-more-than-usual salutations.)

    But apart from the aforementioned once-yearly communications, I am mostly ignored. No one calls me. I don’t call them, either, but I still feel depressed that no one calls me. (Is this unreasonable?) I sometimes talk on the phone with one of my aunts (though she usually calls to talk to Mom and I’m just a “bonus”). I could call people, but why? I don’t have any new news to share. My life has been mostly unchanging ever since I had to stop working over five years ago. And I feel like no one would care when I do have news (“I adopted a puppy!” I posted this to Facebook; a few people liked and commented, but not the ones I most wanted to hear from).

    I am alive. That is all.

    I find that I am living for my dog now that Dad is gone. My Max is my son in all the ways that matter. I will never have a human child and, as you do, this is yet another thing for which I admire you. (I am the fourth-in-a-row generation to have mental health issues in my father’s family: great-grandmother (suicide); her son, my grandfather (depression; now deceased–cancer); his son, my father’s twin (suicide), and my father (frontotemporal dementia and primary progressive aphasia); and then me.) Without my Max, I would feel even more superfluous than I already do. He’s been with me since he was five and a half weeks old and recently turned two, though it feels like he should be at least five by now.

    I sometimes think that I should call someone (my grandma? my favorite aunt?) to let them know I love them. But then I think, “when was the last time they called me?” (Over five years ago, in case you were wondering.) And the apathy rises again and I’ll think, “What’s the point?” (My major depression manifests primarily as apathy. It’s debilitating.)

    I post things to Facebook every once in awhile: things featuring what I think are funny or at least interesting stories about our local wildlife or my Max (or both). I have only 96 “friends” but I am related to or have met all but maybe five or seven or ten of them. Only an average of five (max) usually like or comment my posts (and again, the ones liking/commenting are not often the ones I most wish would acknowledge me.). I feel unseen. And unloved.

    I feel like no one would miss me were I not here. My mom might, but I have a feeling she’d soon get over it. I’m more a burden than a help to her now that Dad is gone.

    I have one friend who instant messages me when he sees I’m online. One friend. One. And I’ve never met him in real life. Sometimes I feel like he’s imaginary (he’s not). We met via, an online social gaming site, about eight years ago. He worries about me. I am ashamed to say that I hate it when he tells me he’s worrying about me. I feel like saying, “I’m alive. What more do you want? Please change the subject.” I actually did say this (or rather, something slightly more tactful, I think) the other day.

    My brother is married and has twin daughters. I sometimes hear from my sister-in-law, but almost every time I do I feel like I was an after-thought.

    My “best” friend is not really my friend anymore. We used to call each other at least two or three times a year AND on our birthdays. We could talk for hours. But then he got married. We still talked, though not as often. And then he had a son. I remember him telling me about the medical help he and his wife needed to get pregnant. That was the last real conversation we had. And he kept putting me off whenever I suggested a visit. A year or so ago (I’ve lost track) I found out that he and his wife had a daughter. I found out AFTER she was born. This, more than the lack of the phone calls, brought home to me the fact that my best friend is lost to me. He once told me that my depression absolutely did not effect his desire to see/talk to me. I can’t help but feel that this was a lie. I still miss him; I always will miss him.

    I do know that if people called me, I would find something to talk about. (I am good at replying, not so good at initiating.) I just can’t think of anything that I could say to open a conversation were I to call them. “What’s new with you” when I’m the only one calling to ask is depressing to me and gets pretty old pretty fast, as I found back when I did actually sometimes call people.

    I don’t know if my feeling unloved and “what’s-the-point?” is justified or if it’s simply a symptom of my depression. Either way, it’s depressing. And so I can’t win. (But I’m still alive. I count this as a win.)

    This is an awfully long comment, isn’t it? I feel like I should apologize. But I won’t, because writing all this tells me that I needed to share it. I do hope, however, that (if you read it; if anyone reads it) you didn’t mind its length.

  244. Jenny, you have taught me a lot about embracing my eccentricities. I love that I feel more free to laugh and giggle and go off on random tangents that not many people follow. You and all of the strangelings here have helped me to actually be me.

    I was commentor 306, and now I can say that in addition to being a teacher, you saved me from the terrifying darkness. You responded when I thought no one saw me. At least not the hurting part of me. That response was my light at the end of the tunnel. It was dim at first but gave me enough to call my therapist. Then the light grew a little brighter. And I started looking around, really looking, and realized that I would be missed. There are people in my life that love me and need me. I have miles left in this hike to the end of the tunnel, but you got me through those first few steps.

    Thank you. This seems inadequate for what it did for me, but thank you.

    (Ditto. Because knowing I helped gives my own darkness meaning. It’s a circle. Thank you for helping me. ~ Jenny)

  245. I am S, from comments 391 & 394, and I cannot possibly express to you how much your response meant to me. Truly. Please know that by writing those few lines of encouragement you’ve made a HUGE impact on my present mental health.

    I’m doing better. I’m seeing a therapist & her latest assignment has been the most helpful thing I’ve ever done. She suggested, since I feel as though I don’t contribute anything tangible at all for my family, that I write down absolutely every single thing I do around the house/for my DH & DS. The very first evening I realized that I do so much that I am typically unaware of that I had pages & pages of small things that I do accomplish all the time!

    So, really I just wanted to say thanks again for supporting me—a random stranger, but a fellow strangeling. Thank you.

  246. This gave me all the feels. Thank you for being you and being able to write what we’re all so desperately trying to put into words. I see you <3

  247. First time reading while searching “I never found out we happened to my best friend”.

    I think I got those feathers from you. They were half black though.. Or dirty.. And while on hold with missing persons, FB notifies me that we’ve been ‘friends on this day for X years’. Sometimes it sounds like your Spotify playlist is taking to me, too ha. I’ve learned so much about life and purpose since you’ve been gone, I hope I can figure it out. But I’m gonna need some help. I hope you and y/our new friends can come by when I need it.

    I wish we had more time. Will never forget you, Nat

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