This is my song for you today:
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and it’s truly wonderful to have voices speak out about something so many of us struggle with. It’s not an easy subject or even one that people understand. Even the people most vulnerable to suicide have a hard time understanding it.
There are many things I could say here but there’s one thing that I hope you hear completely if you are one of us…one of the strange people who feels things too strongly…one of the people who battle with a brain that tries to kill you…one of the people who has to remind yourself that depression lies. It does. But I’ve said that before. This, however, is new:
One of the things that always saves me when I feel the deep isolation that comes with depression is the thought that I’m not alone – that so many amazing people are in this same dark place. And they feel alone but they aren’t. I’m with them. Sometimes you’re with us too. You might not be able to feel us here because your brain has robbed you of the ability to feel (or to not feel) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. You are here. You are needed.
You are home.
I mean that in two ways. You are home with us, the strange ones feeling the same doubt and pain, who understand and who would be the first to tell you that you are needed and necessary and that if we are going to keep fighting you have to as well. That’s just basic fairness. We rely on each other because no one else understands totally this terrible halfway-gone waiting place we have to survive until life comes back to us.
And I mean it in another way. You are home. You are home for the wonderful things that you still have to offer the world. You are home to unique thoughts that will help and inspire others. You are home to people who love you. And you are home to people who will one day meet you and tuck themselves into your heart for shelter.
You are home. You are real. You are needed. You are loved. You. Even if we’ve never met, know that I mean you. The you doubting yourself. The you who doesn’t let on how tough it is. The you who doesn’t know if you’ll make it through. You will. You’re gonna get through this. Even if you don’t feel it yet, trust me, you are already home.
PS. I know a lot of people who don’t touch this subject because it’s complicated, or maybe isn’t something they feel they understand enough to write about and I completely get that. There are all sorts of ways to help, from sharing suicide hotline numbers, or asking someone who seems down if they’re okay, or leaving an encouraging post-it note on a bathroom mirror, or just reaching out to say something kind to a friend. The small act of telling someone how important they are to you can be a limb to cling to when everything else in the world seems to be telling you otherwise. Spread kindness. Pick a few people and tell them the world is better with them in it. You make such a difference. Every single one of you. Thank you for answering the door when we ask for help. Thank you for being home.
187 thoughts on “You are home.”
Read comments below or add one.
You are wonderful. Thanks for being a voice for the voiceless. You always make me laugh, which is much needed, but I’m pretty sure you save lives too.
I see a ton of comments on Twitter today being retweeted: “permanent solution to a temporary problem” and ” gives the pain to someone else” being high among them. For those who are trying to support someone who may be suicidal, these things are NOT helpful, and in fact, can be seen as dismissive and condescending. People with suicidal thoughts (of whom I am one) struggle enough with feelings of guilt and low self-worth. Do not make it worse by telling them that they are selfish and cowardly. I know that suicidal thoughts are VERY hard to understand when you do not live with them in your head on a daily basis. It is enough to say “I love you and I am here for you”. Platitudes and judgement are not necessary.
(Agreed. I suppose those phrases must help some people otherwise they’d fade away. They are true words, but “true” and “helpful” aren’t always the same. I skip over those and look for the ones that help. One that I read said “If you are suicidal but still choosing to live I’m so proud of you.” Yes to that. ~ Jenny)
Thank you. Thank you for being kind and for being relentless in that kindness. Thank you for caring. You are home.
Jenny, I needed that today. Thank you.
I wrote two blog posts recently about suicide prevention. One is linked below. The other is at https://bipolarjan.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/a-tattoo-is-for-life/. They both include other links.
As someone who has a hard time reaching out for help, it is people like you, who are a constant voice that remind me to keep speaking mine. Even when I just want to put my head in the oven. As always, thank you for being you.
Jenny, thank you. You make a difference in the world every day, just by being yourself and being willing to be open and honest. Thank you for drawing us into this amazing community of friends here – it too is home. We love you.
You have a good heart, Jenny Lawson.
The world needs more of you.
That may make you laugh/wince, but it’s true.
As someone who has contemplated suicide himself, I know what I’m talking about.
Jenny, thanks for being the den mother to all of us strange ones and building this lovely (internet) home for us. Thank you for helping lift others up, and for being real when you can’t and need to practice self care. You help shine a light into the darkness, my friend.
Oh yes. Well said. When I spiral out or down or wherever the demon blows me, I know if I sit quietly and “watch” the emotion ebb and flow, rise and fall, eventually I’ll pierce through the cloud and touch my inner self, my true self, or as you say…home.
Sometimes the only thing that keeps me hanging on, is knowing that I would want my children to hang on. I want to show them that even though you might feel like you’re drowning in hopelessness, there will be a small moment of breath when you need it the most.
Also, Jenny, my “you” above was the royal “you”, not the YOU “you”. 🙂 Thank you for giving so many of us a voice. You are loved. Whenever you need a stick, you let us know.
Thank you to Jenny, and to all of YOU who have helped so many of us find our way to this place we can call home.
There are days when I’m quite certain I couldn’t have done it without you.
Spread kindness. That is the key to unfucking this world. When I am down, and it happens way too often, I try to do a kind thing for someone else. A kind word, a kind touch, or a smile at a stranger. We do not know the fights others are fighting as they do not know ours (do we even know our own fights?). Jenny, please, PLEASE, keep up the good fight. Today and all of your tomorrows. We are our crazy brothers and sisters-love each other.
Girl, we love you, too. Thank you. I collected a list of nice things people have emailed me, and wrote a post. If anyone needs help finding what to say, I’ve been told some amazing stuff, and you can read a lot there.
The world is a better place because you are here.
One of my all-time favorite quotes from The West Wing: This guy’s walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can’t get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up “Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. “Hey Joe, it’s me, can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”
Thanks, Jenny, and all of your Comment Weasels. Never forget that you’re the best.
Thank you so much for posting this. Especially today, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for me with a bunch of up and downs and today has been another down. Reading this really helps. Your whole blog has been a great on going support for me. I keep trying to remind myself that depression lies and I’ll get through this there is hope still even if I can’t see it.
You are so courageous to post this. It brings me much comfort and encouragement. Life is difficult sometimes.
Thanks for posting this. I am wavering today, a lot, between taking the pills and not taking the pills. I want to fight, but I don’t have the energy to, and those closest to me are tired of supporting me. But thank you for this.
(It’s ironic that when you most need energy to fight depression robs it of you. I understand that sometimes it feels like you’re a burden or that you’re asking for help too much but I can tell you as someone who struggles with that and as someone who has a family member who struggles you are more than worth the effort. I’d rather have someone I love ask for help every single day and still be here than have to deal with one day without them. ~ Jenny)
I want to believe you. Or maybe I just want to think that I want to believe you. I can’t tell anymore.
This is what I JUST posted on my facebook: “Since last August, it has been probably the worst year of my life. And that’s really not an exaggeration. I realize I have a 100% survival rate on shitty times, and I am likely to continue to do so. However, it gets very wearing on the head and the heart to continue to have to deal with difficult things. Knowing that #DepressionLies helps a little, but not very much. It makes things even harder when I have anxiety so bad that I have a panic attack when things start going wrong, even little things, especially little things that other people are able to shrug off. I wish I lived closer to my parents and my friends; I don’t know exactly how that would make things better, but I’m positive it would. I wish I wasn’t broken and could deal with things better. I’m not even sure why I am posting this, other than to maybe hear that I’m not alone.”
Right after I posted it, I started scrolling and this popped up in my feed. I’m not sure how you know exactly what I need to hear at the exact time I need to hear it. But somehow, you do. I’m sitting here crying as I type this because I’m so worn down and tired of feeling broken. And because I just finished reading this post and you gave me exactly what I needed: to know that I’m not alone.
Over the past five years, you have helped me more times than you can ever imagine. Just when I needed a laugh or to know that I wasn’t alone, you were there…over and over again. You have no idea how much that has meant to me. A year ago, I found the right treatment for my depression. Now days, the light is so wonderfully bright, that I can hardly believe I was in the dark for so long. I will be at your book signing when you come to DC and I will be thrilled to be able to thank you in person. I will also be ecstatic to show you the picture of my giant metal chicken. It makes me laugh so hard every day and reminds me that life is so, so good.
Thank you, Jenny. Keep doing what you do. You rock.
I’ve never succeeded with therapists – I just can’t bring myself to trust a stranger. Even thought I don’t know you personally, Jenny, I feel like you’re not a stranger – What you have shared through your blog and your books have made you a friend. I can take advice from you when I can’t from a practicing professional. I’ll wait through the pain, and emerge to celebrate with you. I know it lies. When the discouragement and hopelessness tries to drown everything else out, I read your blog or one of your books (still waiting for the second-can hardly wait!) and it lifts the voices of support over the din. Thank you. I’m a strangeling, and proud of it. 🙂
Thank you, Jenny.
Thank you, Jenny. It’s a nice reminder to those of us who love someone with depression as well…that there’s peaks and troughs…that you get through it by getting through it.
Dammit, Jenny. Straight up. You made me cry. So many hugs for this. To everyone out there struggling: you matter. The world is a much more wonderful place with you in it and would be an empty, sad place without you. I know, it’s hard to see that sometimes. It’s hard to find the light when you’re in the dark places. Stay strong and if you can’t stay strong, ask for help, even if it’s just texting or calling the hotline. It’s okay. It will be hard. But if you live to be on this planet another day, the struggle will be worth it. You are worth it, you are worthy. You are loved. Even when you can’t see it. Because you and your presence in this world matters.
Thank you Jenny, I needed to hear this now.
Thank you, Jenny.
Thank you. I have struggled in the past, and have had two kids struggle too. One is fighting the battle now. Just thank you for this.
Thank you for opening the door to “home” with your words when so many of us cannot find those words.
Beautiful, helpful, healing, Jenny.
Thank you so much: I often repeat “depression lies” to myself. And your post about a song list encouraged me to create two on Spotify (“holding on” and “holding on calmly”), which in turn helped me make it through until a bed was available in the clinic.
This. Damnit, this. All of the thanks. You are saving us. You are a big darn hero. And so are we.
I was able to not cry until the second to last paragraph. Because it is tough to get through. It’s tough to function when you just want to crawl in a hole. I want to stay in bed all day. Just for a little while. Because I’m just tired. It makes me feel better that someone else knows the struggle, even though we don’t wish it on anyone else, if that makes sense. Thanks for writing this for all of us.
One of the hardest things about living withdrawn and curled up inside of yourself is the hurt when people don’t see or acknowledge your pain. Thank you for this post.
it makes me kinda sad that you have to share stuff like this, and that it needs to be shared so often. Yet I am very happy that you do share, and the way you share. With so much powerful soul behind it. So again, thank you.
Thank you. I am so damn depressed right now, waiting for my med increase of 2 days ago to kick in. But I am not alone, I am home. And I will not give up.
This really is perfect. Thank you for being there, being open, and spreading the word about uncomfortable things.
thank you. thank you for being the why and the hope when we are alone.
Thank you. Today is the third anniversary of my brother’s death and probably the first time in five years or more that I’ve had thoughts of self harm. I needed this message today.
I needed to read this today. Today, I needed to hear this. Thank you.
Thank you for speaking out. You bring a light to even the darkest days, and even in your darkest days. You, dear Jennifer, get some of us through when it feels like nothing will.
I did what I could today. And I mean that in a couple of ways. I did what I could for others, in that I wrote a status on my real-life, non Bleeding, Non Ink, FB page about World Suicide Prevention Day. Talked about suicide rates, and about how they are higher in people with disabilities (which I happen to belong to that group.) I talked about how wounded soldiers come home and have a rate twice as high than the average population, with 22 dying by suicide every day in this country.
And I also did what I could for myself today. Which, sadly, was that I could write that status and then go back to bed. Depression’s a bitch. Feelings of sadness and hopelessness are a bitch.
But thank you for you. For your words. For the fact that you understand. For the fact that after I post this I’m going to read the rest of the comments and I’m sure your other lovely readers will have good stuff to say that will also be helpful. Thank you Jenny, and all your fans, for helping each other out. I kinda need it today. <3
Thank you. I’ve been struggling badly lately, though I’ve shoved it so far down deep that it only pops up in random stupid ways, like random crying in the parking lot over nothing. I’m still alone, despite what anybody says. This is a lonely disease. We’re a whole bunch of people alone together. Sometimes it’s just hard to see everybody else. Thank you especially for the last paragraph before the post script. That one made it through the fog.
Thank you for sharing your love with all of us.
I am absolutely sobbing. It’s taken me 20 minutes just to able to type without misspelling every singe word. I cannot tell you how much it means to hear someone (read?) say all the things that I have stuck in my brain. You’re an inspiration to us all. You inspire me to reach out to others, you inspire me to speak up when I recognize the symptoms in others that I see in myself. You inspire us all to be okay with who we are, and by accepting ourselves as we are, we can better see it will be okay and that it is necessary to fight. Thank you.
For everyone who has made it this far, I’m not a professional, I’m just like you, if you need someone to talk to, about anything…. CassieSteger@gmail.com
Thanks. We’re all home together.
Dammit, you made me cry too and swear (sort of) which I’m trying to quit. Thanks for the beautiful post. Knowing you are out there really helps.
“You are real.” This one is hardest for me.
Mark Louis Hudson – USA ODD DUCK I have found, that in my life, humor tends to help me to fight depression. It’s hard to feel bad if you are laughing and smiling. Fortunately, my life has been inadvertently, quite funny, but not always on purpose, or even at the moment of it happening. And so, I decided to write a book to show others, that we are funnier than we think we are, and that a little humor goes a long ways towards making you feel better and deal with life. My book is all true, of just a few of my life’s stories and how ‘Different’ I actually am ,compared to most of the rest of the world. It is what it is and I am HOW I am. Can’t change facts, but we can change how we percieve them. I hope my book helps. It was surely meant to do just that. Enjoy, and have a good laugh, literally, at my expense. http://www.amazon.com/Travell…/dp/1491869720/ref=sr_1_1…
Thank you. I’m so good at not letting “IT” show that even I begin to think I’m imagining it. I needed to hear (see) those words today. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing. I’m still here, even on days when I don’t want to be. It’s easier right now, since I finally sought help last year, and have a low dose anti depressant. It took the edge off. But there are the rare random days that just get to you.. ya know?
This tribe is amazing. Thank you all for making a home here.
Thank you… thanks for making me cry. I guess I needed it.
Thank you for being you.
This is lovely as are you – I shared this with friend who recently attempted taking her life – this touched her soul. Thank you for sharing so much of your wonderful self with the world ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you for using your voice. Sometimes it’s the simplest thing that helps is knowing that you (I or we) aren’t alone in this struggle, in the world, in the darkness. A simple act of kindness on my darker days had unraveled me and bright me enough light to make it another day. One of the moments I distinctly remember is when you wrote the post featuring “you cannot be replaced” and listed one of your reasons as “I’m her only mother” I wrote because it touched the part of my heart that spoke to my deep fears of raising my daughter alone and doing it wrong. And in that moment I chose to fight for her, and I’d, and the role I’d wanted my while life. Thank you for that post. Thank you for the laughter you bring when I’m in the dash place. Grateful for you just as you are.
Sadl, i had to post a goodbye to a friend last week. It sucks. I’ve been in a dark place before, where I felt like my brain was eating me up from the inside out. I still get the nagging anxiety and occasional panic attacks, but the depression is gone for now and I feel blessed. In any case, I wanted to share my Facebook post from last week and say goodbye to my friend one more time:
This morning on my walk a lovely older gentleman told me that I am wearing sassy pants. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
So, today, a long and winding post. Feel free to read on, but I warn you this is much of the stuff in my head that I don’t usually post and today it is tinged with sadness.
This morning a friend will be buried, so young. I won’t be there to see it. But I do feel it. We were never particularly close, but as I have said to others he always treated me like a long lost best friend when we saw each other. Conversation was always thought provoking, many times out of my comfort zone. I think we all need that sometimes.
Many times over the past week I found myself thinking about him. I feel like there’s been a great shift. He always seemed to me to be so strong and vibrant, and yet the darkness still got him. I can only assume that he didn’t feel there was another option. And that’s scary. It’s particularly scary to me because I know that we’ve all felt that darkness, though maybe not so strongly. There are people who are very close to me who feel that darkness acutely.
Sometimes I can have a rather intense positive attitude, or so it seems. Usually, I’m trying to convince myself to stay positive as much as I’m trying to convince other people.
I just hope that everybody out there knows there are so many people out there who care about you and would do anything to pull you back from that spiral.
Today may be a struggle, a trial. But is also a lesson and a gift.
Do. Be. Hope. Love. Live.
R.I.P Al <3
I’m finally coming out of the dark, and this is a wonderful reminder. Thanks.
Thank you, Jenny. It’s been a rough couple weeks/summer/year and I’ve been very low today, and I needed to hear this.
Cognitively, I know it’s there. I’m in the world faking it. Daily throwing a tarp over a tsunami, trying to keep it contained. Damn tarp gets smaller and smaller n the wave, bigger n bigger. And I know my son is starting down this road, at eleven. Why does it have to be hereditary? No matter how much I lift him up, to keep his head above water, it’s sucking him in, draining the joy from his beautiful face. I can trudge on, fake with the best, but watching him is too much to take. Noone sees it but me because I recognize it. Giving him support, comfort, and understanding I never had. Hoping this will be enough. And when he’s a little Jenny, introducing him to you, Jenny, (he is already a fan of Hailey’s banana man), and all your beautiful tribe so he will know how big home truely is. Thank you for the smiles, or at least the distraction. Depression lies, dammit. Hold on. Beyonce to the rescue!
I want to say something. Other people say, I would never kill myself. I would never commit suicide. It’s demeaning to hear someone say that. I don’t think people realize when they say it how much it hurts those of us who have been at that point. It’s a put down, it makes me feel worse about myself for doing what I did and I’m sure other people feel the same way I do. But I just grin and say yeah. I don’t know how to respond
Lol. When he’s a little Older. Not a little Jenny. Tho I couldn’t be prouder if he was! Sorry!
Dear some stranger ^^^^…
I don’t know you. . But please don’t take the pills. I don’t know you but I know that you are worth life. You are worth every breath, worth every sun rise And worth every sun set. You are worth every moment. ♡♡♡♡♡♡
I see you. . And it was worth it to me to say please don’t
This too shall pass.
Another random comment from another random fan. I just want to throw out there that you are a huge inspiration and my hero. I’ve been in the Army 17 years, 12 as a federal law enforcement agent- working rape and murder cases, and the strength you have has helped me with what I do. I have struggled with depression and darker thoughts for a long time. I have a wife and two kids who count on me to come home at night, but sometimes it’s overwhelming, the things I see and have to digest. It’s so black, and so thick- I can’t deal with it some of the time. Then I get to read something of yours and I know I can go on, I can be weird and messed up and damaged by it and it’s okay. I know I am just fine, damaged and imperfect as I am. Again, I doubt you will see these words in the ocean of similar responses, but I just want it to be out there that you saved my life and I appreciate you!
Thanks for getting me. Almost no one else does. I wish my husband understood.
Thank you for writing this, today and always. I’ve been feeling the edges of depression trying to creep in recently and this post was a perfectly timed reminder that it will be ok. Thank you for being the den mother to all the broken toys.
“you are home to people who will one day meet you and tuck themselves into your heart for shelter” just gutted me. I needed to hear that.
Thank you for this – I really needed this today.
I am not depressed, today. I am not suicidal, today. I wasn’t yesterday, either. But I have been both of those, a lot, for a long time. And I know I can be again, tomorrow or the next day. Your words are a precious lifeline for me to hold on that slippery slope, to keep from sliding all the way down. So very many thanks.
Thank you Jenny. We need you. Your voice is powerful, and gentle and kind. You are appreciated. God Bless
My Uncle Brett killed himself last week. It’s been hard, even though I’ve only met him a handful of times in my life. Because for me, I’ve been where he was. I never went so far as to do more than overindulge in sleeping pills occasionally, and wish I wouldn’t wake up, but I could see suicide in my future. I found a therapist, and am on some new anti-depressants, but it’s still a struggle. I sleep far too much, and now that some of the depression is gone, I find that my ADD and OCD are much harder to deal with.
I have a tendency to take in abandoned animals when I’m stressed and depressed, so I now have a bearded dragon. I find that knowing that this animal needs me to be here to provide for it helps mentally. Not so much financially. The only real problem is now I have to get him a tank, and find a place to put it. But now I have a new friend. I just need to find the right name for him.
@Casey comment #2
“I see a ton of comments on Twitter today being retweeted: “permanent solution to a temporary problem” and ” gives the pain to someone else” being high among them. For those who are trying to support someone who may be suicidal, these things are NOT helpful, and in fact, can be seen as dismissive and condescending. People with suicidal thoughts (of whom I am one) struggle enough with feelings of guilt and low self-worth. Do not make it worse by telling them that they are selfish and cowardly. I know that suicidal thoughts are VERY hard to understand when you do not live with them in your head on a daily basis. It is enough to say “I love you and I am here for you”. Platitudes and judgement are not necessary.”
And @ Jenny’s reply
“(Agreed. I suppose those phrases must help some people otherwise they’d fade away. They are true words, but “true” and “helpful” aren’t always the same. I skip over those and look for the ones that help. One that I read said “If you are suicidal but still choosing to live I’m so proud of you.” Yes to that. ~ Jenny)”
Thank you for saying that Casey. You are absolutely right in saying those things don’t make anyone feel better, and can actually be harmful.
Jenny, they are not necessarily “true words”. Sometimes the problems that lead to feeling suicidal AREN’T temporary (quite often they are, but not always. There are NO absolutes in this world), and while a suicide may indeed give pain to someone else, in my mind it’s highly doubtful that they’re are passing on the level of THEIR pain.
Just because some phrase or purported “fact” is repeated often does NOT make it true.
(I’d honestly be interested to hear from ANYONE that either of those phrases helped without making them feel worse about themselves)
Also, I just have to say that depression DOESN’T always lie.
IMHO I think that for folks with brain chemical imbalances that cause their depression, that CAN be the “truth”.
That it colors their view of reality.
But what about the folks with “normal” brain chemistry that simply have truly horrible circumstances that cause them to become depressed (and possibly suicidal)?
How is their depression lying to them?
PS-this most certainly isn’t an attack on anyone’s opinions, especially Jenny (I love this woman for all that she does!), but I am simply asking the question?
This post is everything to me and I couldn’t have read it at a better time. I am depressed, I have practiced self-harm in the past and to this day I’m still battling it. I was suicidal. I may not be today, maybe not tomorrow, but those fleeting thoughts and feelings are always chasing me. I just broke up with my boyfriend yesterday and I am a total wreck, trying to run from those feelings and praying I’m running fast enough. And all day today, it was feeling like I wasn’t ever going to escape these feelings again and succumb to that comfortable place where I place my hate and pain for everything in my life directly onto myself. But then I read this. And it stopped me. So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you for reminding me.
I’m trying to learn to wrap the darkness around me like a blanket made of hugs from everyone who’s feeling the same darkness. Not to lose myself in the dark, but to know that the darkness isn’t as cold as it tells me it is. And I’m trying to learn to carry those hugs with me in the light too.
Thank you so much, Jenny. I turned 28 last week and since then have been saddled with worse anxiety and depression than usual from worrying about if I’ll ever be able to take care of myself/live on my own with Asperger’s. When I read your old posts and came across Rilo Kiley’s “A Better Son/Daughter” I sang along and cried. I’m not out of the hole yet and it seems a deeper hole than usual, but that reminded me that one day there will be a way back to the surface.
I needed this today. I didn’t know how much until I read “You will get through this.” And the tears just came. I have had a difficult life and am currently going through the most painful and difficult time in my nearly 43 years. You andd this community help keep me going when I would prefer to stop. Thank you all for being on my way home.❤
Thank you. I love what you wrote because it’s not guilt-inducing or judgmental (not that you ever are). It’s just real and encouraging and encapsulates how I and so many of us who have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts feel.
I’ve been knowingly fighting major depression all of this year, after having suffered without realizing precisely why for a year (or two) prior. It was only when I was about to find myself homeless that I finally realized how bad things actually were and realized that waiting wasn’t going to allow things to suddenly get better.
Had I known in January that in September I’d still be without my own home and relying on the generosity of my friends, it would have been devastating. Frankly, it’s still not that great, especially since I may well again be facing being on the streets at the end of the month. But all I can do is keep struggling onwards.
Knowing that I am not alone has been a tremendous help. I wish I could say it stops me from feeling so along and forgotten all the time, but of course it doesn’t. But still, I’ve looked up your “depression lies” posts (as well as Wil Wheaton’s) on more than one occasion to remind myself that there are remarkable people whom I admire who can understand where I am. That does help and has been a lifeline.
I have to struggle not to want to hide again, but I will keep trying to fight as much as I can. And when (not if!) I find the light again, I hope to learn how to make a lasso from it and learn how to throw it to others, as you Jenny, have done for us. Thank you.
Keep fighting, everyone. I have it on good authority that we are worth it.
Thank you for illuminating this black cloud that has enveloped me. It is good to see that light, sputtering maybe, but burning still.
I love you for being so open and honest with your story and for making that story so accessible to others. Depression lies, and so does anxiety and all other forms of mental illness. They tell us that we are less than. We are not worthy. And that is bullshit. It is bullshit that we don’t have to fight alone, and you bring a wonderful sense of community to those of us who are broken. Thank you.
I am so incredibly grateful to be a part of this tribe. Home. Home is where they love you. And “they” are each and every single one of us in this tribe. A million thank-you’s could never express my gratitude to you, Jenny Lawson, and to every single amazing part of this family, this tribe, this double success unicorn club. I propose a toast, to each and every one of us- “To US, the Warriors, the survivors, the ones who feel so deeply that it literally and figuratively hurts. May we all feel each other’s positive vibes, love and support, to carry each other through the storms and through the rainbows. May we always find hope, light, laughter and validation in this sacred place, our collective home.”
Share the love, pass in on and be thankful to all you encounter!
I agree with so many of the comments. Mostly just ‘thank you’, Jenny. And thank you to the rest of the Tribe. Prosit indeed,
I am grateful you can put words to what’s in my heart tonight and that your website is a safe home to me where i don’t feel alone. I have one other person who gets it and saved me. I’ve found the person who needs me to understand and I’m paying it forward. It’s not easy when I still need so much support myself. Thank you for making me me feel normal, for saving me time and again with your humor and sensitivity to those of us struggling.
I’m in the role of teacher and advocate for children and stick my neck out fighting to do right by them even when fear and anxiety rule over me and plummet me into darkness on the inside when I have to project strength. It’s been a week of navigating rough waters and drowning seems probable.
You can’t possibly imagine how many times you’ve saved me from giving up. I am lucky to have stumbled across your first book and hope I can pull myself together and get your 2nd book before I sink completely and take a leave of absence from life to regroup and come back even stronger or at least okay enough to champion for the voiceless children.
You are amazing for being so honest and sharing your triumphs, silliness, joys, fears, and pain with all of us.
Thanks for this uplifting post. I always feel home when I’m here. Thanks for that.
Thank you so much for speaking your truth when it is hard. Thanks for being a safe place for so many of us. You are so much a home – I hope you know in your soul how much you are loved and what a difference you make.
I wrote the following a couple of weeks ago after an especially hard day. (I had to take it off my site because people were panicked…I felt like saying: “What? This is just another day in the life…”)
It’s like missing your footing mid-way down a staircase. A sudden shift, your stomach drops, and you instinctively clutch at whatever is nearest for support. Just finishing up a busy morning meeting. A split second thought and the bottom dropped out of my world. The thought of doing anything that involves leaving the bathroom is paralyzing. The thought of not just getting through the rest of today – but every rest of the day for the rest of the days of my life… Impossible.
I picture my son’s face – his ever changing self – growing , laughing and learning. Picture him not just tonight – running up to me at daycare for a hug and to be tossed in the air (while I still can)…but picture him in 5 years – 10 years – at his 18th birthday – tall and shaggy like his dad. The thought is overwhelming – but even more overwhelming is the sense that I need to be there. He needs his mom. I can’t check out. I can’t leave. Needed. Needed.
Panic claws at my breath. Breathe. Fight the hot rush spreading over my face. Get somewhere safe. Breathe. Ignore the tightness in my chest. No feeling is final. No feeling is final. Breathe.
I could. I can. I did. I do. I will.
Dont let go of us, Jenny. And you can be damned sure none of us will let go of you.
All of you, you’re special, you’re needed, and people love you more than you can ever imagine.
I can’t tell you how much I need this today. I have been pulling my head above the water, drawing breath in gasps, for weeks now. All I want is to dig a hole and crawl into it. Today I asked for more help, and my friend sent me here. I am home. I don’t want to live here, but it’s where all my stuff is, heh. I guess I should get comfortable. Thanks Jenny, I am so glad to have you as a neighbor.
thank you for finding the right words. Your words have saved me many times. <3
Thanks, Home Girl. Thank you for building and maintaining this place.
Thank you for being a light in the darkness for me today, and many many times in the yesterdays.
This, right here, holds me strong:
” … you are home to people who will one day meet you and tuck themselves into your heart for shelter.”
Thank you <3!
I need to print this out. Maybe it can be a touchstone for when the darkness falls and I am worth nothing. When the world would be a better place without me.
When all I hear is my mother telling me how stupid I am and my ex telling me how worthless and disgusting I am.
Maybe it will help.
Thank you for your warmth and kindness. It’s hard to believe i am needed in this world but my doubt torments me less than it used to.
“(Agreed. I suppose those phrases must help some people otherwise they’d fade away. They are true words, but “true” and “helpful” aren’t always the same. I skip over those and look for the ones that help. One that I read said “If you are suicidal but still choosing to live I’m so proud of you.” Yes to that. ~ Jenny)”
I think these words help people; unfortunately, not the people they’re intended to help – those who feel too much or at times nothing at all, and who sometimes get tired and feel it would be so much easier to just let go and not be.
The people those words might help are the helpless bystanders, the people who love and care about someone who is suicidal. I live a little bit in both worlds —- I feel way too much but fortunately (so far) haven’t been suicidal. But I know how it feels to stand helplessly, wishing I could help my son, who is suicidal. It’s hard to not be able to help, to not have the words or the power to make it ok for someone who is in so much pain. Those words offer hope to the helpless bystanders that this really is a temporary state and if we can all just make it through this moment to the next, maybe it will be ok. I would give everything I have and everything I am to trade places with my son or to find the magic words to change the way he feels — but I can’t do that. And so I take some comfort in those words realizing they are for me, not him.
I wish all of us and our loved ones many more tomorrow’s.
(Very well-said. And anything that helps those who help others is a good thing. Thank you for being there for your son. Not everyone has someone so close on their side. He’s lucky to have you, and vice versa. ~ Jenny)
At my darkest, deep in the well, I was not only ready to die but tried to this summer. It is a simultaneous condition of feeling too much and feeling nothing at all. All I felt at the time was relief, no panic, no remorse, no regret, no OMG what have I done, I still don’t feel it. I’m closer to being ok with still being alive. I’m not the same person I was 2 and some months ago. It’s taken all this time for me to have anything resembling a consistently better mood and energy. Getting the meds right takes forever. But, I’m still here, and I’m still fighting, learning that depression lies, and maybe things are not hopeless. It is hard to believe that I am needed, just the way I am, and I would be missed.
(I’m glad you’re still here. Your words are important and I’m glad you’re here to share them. ~ Jenny)
Home. My favorite four-letter word.
Once upon a time in high school, I told a girl who looked to be having a hard day that I thought her sweater was pretty. When I ran into her during college, she told me that she’d planned on going home that day and ending her life, but my kindness gave her hope that things would get better. I share not to toot my own horn, but to spread the word that the tiniest little gesture can make a world of difference to someone who is suffering. We all need to do a better job reaching out to each other and loving each other. Thank you for creating a safe place for people to do just that. I know these posts change lives.
You totally made me cry. People who feel suicidal should all be made to read that. Better then any helpline.
You made me bawl. Again. Dammit. And you are home.
@ Eve #78.
It’s an endless process for me to separate the existentialist dilemma, which is very real, from the body chemistry issue, which is also very real. To mix those two things frightens me. Like mixing alcohol and antidepressants, it’s tempting terrible fate. Just say no.
Setting aside the existentialist dilemma, I believe that in my case of “Brain Chemical Imbalance”, the feelings that manifest have to be considered “symptoms”, and not truth. (If anyone has better terms please help me out here!) Anyway, I think we each can choose to make that distinction for ourselves. I’d like to think we have a responsibility to try.
How I came to make my own choice was by watching the grace and commitment of another person with a different sort of imbalance:
I knew a brilliant person that had the “Body Chemistry Imbalance” of diabetes. I watched this person deal very matter of factly with this life long imbalance in for quite some time. This person’s diabetes is serious. If they fail to take care of their body the consequences can be dangerous. And yet the healthy way in which the situation was incorporated into their daily life, without self judgement and without self pity really helped me to own my own problem.
I chose to grant myself the same self respect. I simply have a body chemistry imbalance. It affects me differently than Diabetes. Instead of blood sugar crashes I get panic attacks. I suffer from depression. At one time dangerously so. Thanks to this other very brave person, I have learned (to try like hell) not to give the symptoms of my own imbalance any more power over my life than necessary.
And most importantly no more existentialist weight than necessary. Does it hurt? Hell Yes! Is a panic attack physically painful and exhausting? Fuck yeah. Will my situation ever get dangerous? Maybe. I hope not. Will I let it kill me? NO. I choose NO.
I can only offer this all of this as stuff that helps me cope. If some aspect of it can help anyone out there, then it’s all worth it. I mean no judgement of, or harm to, anyone. I mean support, and just maybe, some peace.
P.S.- I wouldn’t have the courage to do this if it wasn’t for Jenny. I’ve been lucky about those brilliant people.
Thank you. From someone who struggles with depression on a daily basis, hearing that there are others out there who are trying to cope with something similar to what I am going through is very comforting. People don’t always know how to address the subject, but I felt like you did it very well.
Beautiful and true. The second to last paragraph really got to me. I will try to think of this every day because we have value and we are vital. Thanks Jenny!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Jenny.
thank you. When I got the nerve to blog that I was having a hard time I hated all of the well wishes. I am more comfortable and used to being stoic and miserable, and no one reading my mind and giving me a big bag of dark chocolate M&Ms. But, I did speak up, because your words gave me encouragement and maybe mine did that for someone, too. You are helping me be honest.
It’s such a bloody good liar is the problem and the dark is pitch black. I can tell myself I’m not alone, but it feels hollow. So it’s nice to hear the words or read them, some form of reaching out by someone. Thank you for thinking of so many of us. Thank you for your consistent message, its repetition. Just thank you.
Thanks for your post. It means a lot. I live every day choosing not to give in to the part of me that thinks that suicide equals peace. Some days that part of me is pretty quiet, some days it can be pretty loud, but it’s always there. I don’t talk about it much, not even to therapists, because really, what is there to say? It’s been my constant companion for more than 50 years (my first suicide attempt was at age 12, over 51 years ago), and it isn’t as though I haven’t and don’t live a mostly “normal” if somewhat complicated life. Many years ago, when I was first hospitalized for my fourth or fifth suicide attempt, a doctor took me seriously enough to say that he thought I really was struggling with suicidal depression and would eventually succeed, as it were, not “just seeking attention.” He encouraged me to think about it as a sort of existential question, and to ask myself when the depression just seemed too overwhelming if I could stand it for five more minutes, and then five more minutes, and so forth — sort of like the strategy that a lot of alcoholics use to get through just one more minute, one more hour, one more day, etc. It worked for me, and truthfully, has continued to work for all these years. There are days when that question is all I can think about, and those aren’t very productive days, viewed from the outside — I’m doing well if I can get up, dressed, and walk the dog. Other days are better. Over the years, almost in spite of myself, and certainly in spite of the inner darkness, I have come to appreciate that there are good things in life and living even if there’s a lot of difficulty and struggle, too. I don’t mean to sound Pollyanna-ish or dismissive of others’ struggles; I just hope that some of the others who are struggling here can know that as you say, they are not alone, that other people have walked similar journeys for many years, and we’re here for each other. It isn’t easy, it isn’t pretty, sometimes it’s way too real for comfort, but the love and the understanding and sympathy we share are just as real as can be.
I am grateful. There are now many more sets of hands cupped to break the downward spiral when it gets too much momentum and takes on a life… My life… The connectedness is such a blessing and the laughter you provide Jenny is elevating! Let’s all hold on tightly, forming the net of hope.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
beautiful….and oh so true
I’m there. I’m there right now. I don’t know who to talk to. My partner is patient, and understanding, but thinks I’m amazing, so she’ll contest me if I explain how much of a loser I feel like. I have a few friends, some who also suffer, but I’m not quite in a place to see just how dark their roads can be. I don’t want to scare them off but opening up fully. I feel lost. I guess this is just an attempt at putting a message in a bottle. No particular recipient, but a much needed call for help.
i just want to say thank you. thank you for being such an amazing and inspirational person. thank you for being you! <3
That was absolutely amazing. Thank you.
There are days like today when I read your blog and am thankful that I’ve found you and it and the unicorn club members on here who are get that depression lies, that some days are amazing and that other days it’s a struggle to face the sun. While I’m thankful that I have a great husband (who’s just started understanding depression and anxiety after it almost cost us our marriage), terrific kids, a job that I like with co-workers that I like even more, that I’m able to pay bills while putting a little bit away – people don’t see the moments of struggle and if they do, they are uncomfortable addressing it. I’ve been struggling more recently, that feeling of drowning and I’m tired of holding my head above water but knowing I need to keep breathing….and coming to read your words and feelings and support gives me that gulp of air I was looking for…
Ok this has nothing to do with today’s post but… have you seen this: #DeadRaccoonTO ?
thank you! We are not alone! My grandfather committed suicide when I was young I’ve delt with depression my whole life. And now my husband is fighting major demons. It’s all around us, but people just are not aware. I live here in Maine and this company gets it. I bought one of their hoodies last year. This year it says “you are not alone” and we are not! Much love to you. Here is a link.
I know you’ll read this hundreds more times, but thank you. I really needed to hear it today from someone who gets it. And so poignant and beautifully written(!!) How are you not a world-famous autho….wait. Oh. Right.
And now I am weepy at my office desk. But thank you. Thank you Thank you.
I love you guys. Thank you for being so amazing and wonderful and honest. You are brilliant and I’m so grateful that you exist.
To the person who accused me of being Irish (?) and told me to kill myself, people don’t leave comments like that unless they are really miserable themselves and I’m sorry you’re in that place. You deserve happiness too. I’m not going to approve your comment but I do wish you well and I hope that you can get help because I’m sure you have wonderful things to offer deep down. And I am actually slightly Irish so good guess. I’m not sure what that has to do with anything but obviously you have a talent for psychic genealogy and that, at least, is impressive.
I needed this today. Thank you.
Recently I read a book that quoted the first line of Anna Karenina: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
And reading through all these comments, all these wonderful, sad, supportive comments, I realize unhappiness is complicated because each person is unhappy in their own way. I wish I could feel another person’s pain–really I wish I could take it away, but I think that maybe if I could feel it I’d know how to help.
I can’t do that, and I try to avoid the trap of saying to someone “I know how you feel,” but I will say, “I care about you. I can’t take away your pain, but I am here for you.” And I hope that’s enough.
Thank you for this reminder Jenny. I nearly lost a close family member to a failed suicide attempt (with a gun; modern medicine is amazing) and we’ve lost several extended family members to suicide. I don’t know what the answer is or even if there is an answer to help someone whose brain is telling them that they are worthless and need to die. Thank you for the constant reminder that “depression lies”. As a person with a “broken brain”, I’ve made that phrase my mantra.
Thank you so much, AGAIN! Not just for being the smile I need on bad days, but for being the voice of encouragement that I need to hear at the right time. No wonder Hailey is such an amazing girl, look at her mom!
Thank you Jenny
When my husband’s words make me feel worthless and unloved, when I feel like dying because it’s too much pain to go on, I ask him for help (because your spouse is supposed to want you around, right?). He tells me to just go ahead and get it over with, to put myself out of my misery, because somewhere in his twisted brain he thinks he’s helping. Do you know what actually helps, though? You. Your blog. And the song your niece wrote, “Dance All Night.” It reminds me that I may be broken but I still deserve to be alive. And that whatever I am now, I used to be magical. Just like you. Just like Gabi. So thanks for being my role model in how to stay alive. I think, “if Jenny Lawson can do it, maybe I can do it.”
(You don’t deserve those terrible words and I’m so sorry you have to deal with that. You are strong and brave and I can’t imagine having to deal with both a lying brain and someone you should be able to depend on who only makes it worse. He is wrong and he needs help. It’s not your fault. I’m sending you love and light. ~ Jenny)
Thank you. You touch so many people.
I wish we could have a convention of people who love Jenny, but I don’t think there’s a ladies room large enough for your fan club. Maybe Buc-eee’s in Madisonville?
Thank you, Jenny. I so needed this right now. There are times I proudly wear my Depression Lies shirt and do what I can to help other people going through the same thing. And there are other times …
Jenny: I will bet that you remember some painful suicidal times in your life when you were convinced the world would be better off without you. I have had many. While I know the struggle is real and never ends, could you ever have imagined then that you would survive to SAVE LIVES and have the platform to educate and share and help so manyy? We are all grateful that you have been able to fight back when your brain was trying to kill you, because you have changed our lives. In the way that scars leave behind memories of pain or injury, your book(s) are a physical manifestation that I can see and hold and know “Someone has been here, too. Someone has survived and lived through and past this pain. I am not alone.” You are so right. You have created a place that we can call home. Thank you!
I hope this isn’t too cheeky, but as somebody who has been close to the lowest depth and who is raising children with mental health disorders while coping with my own, it makes me happy that there are young people out there, like my daughter’s friend from FreetheChildren/MetoWe camp, who are advocating to raise awareness and help raise funds for Kids Help hotlines – please, if it’s not too inappropriate for me to use Jenny’s comments to promote this, consider going to http://teesforthepeople.com/products/live-for-another-sunset and supporting her in her fundraising efforts. Our kids are the ones who will take the stigma out of mental health issues and foster the discussions. Perhaps by the time they are raising their children, there will be no more ‘shame’ in having a mental health disorder (the shame which I presume prevented my parents from seeking help for me).
Thank you so much for this. We all have our stories, don’t we? I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched in some way by suicide or suicide attempts.
I made a long comic about the very real pain of heartbreak and healing by loving yourself, and to my surprise I had people with mental health issues message me to thank me for it (I didn’t expect that, I thought everyone who emailed would be undergoing a heartbreak).
Two of them were suicidal, and I hope I did the right thing by being kind and encouraging, and I searched out the suicide help numbers in their area and told them to please please keep them and call them if they ever need it.
I then emailed to check back on them after a day.
Both replied back, here is what one said:
“Cherlyn, thank you so much for caring enough to give me this information. You have no idea how much it helps just to know that you care. I will definitely keep that number in my phone and try to call whenever I need to. Thank you so much.”
I didn’t know that many people who are suicidal never consider reaching out for the helplines. But I hope I did all I could.
Thanks for this post, Jenny. I will bookmark it and send it to them later on.
Thank you for your post. I thought you might be interested in reading about an effort in St. Paul to paint stencils, such as suicide hotline numbers and positive messages, on a bridge that many people jump from. You can read about it here:
It’s been about 4 months since I lost one of my oldest friends to suicide and I’m still trying to understand any of it. I’ve written about it and I’ve read everything I can get my hands on. Thank you for this. You’ve been the one writer to make some sense out of it all. Thank you.
Thanks for speaking these brave words and for being your hilarious and kind self. Just clawed my way out of the latest depression well and am hoping not to fall back in. #DepressionLies
Jenny, My son and his wife have started an enterprise called Challenge the Storm (challengethestorm.com) Their goal is “to encourage compassion and show support for each other. The simplest acts of kindness are what grow to produce truly meaningful outcomes.” Also, “Making a difference is as easy as showing someone that they are not alone and that they are loved.” You might want to check it out. Thanks!
Thank you – I needed that today. Waiting to see a new doc next week to radically shake up my crazydrugs and looking forward to that special roller coaster of withdrawal/new side effects. I am going to DEVOUR your new book.
Last night, I was deeper into the darkness than I have been in a long time. I guess I had gotten used to my brain not trying to kill me for a change, so it scared the crap out of me to be back in that place. Then I read this post. It didn’t make everything better — how could it — but it gave me enough peace to sleep and and get out of bed this morning and face the day. And this morning there are hummingbirds in the flowers in my backyard, and all the comments from this odd but wonderful tribe, and I do feel like I am home.
So, because of this post, because of you, I made a video late last night and shared it on my facebook page. I told the part of my story where I checked myself into the hospital because I wanted to die and I didn’t want to die. And when I woke up, I was like OH NO WHAT HAVE I DONE I DON’T KNOW IF I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT PART OF MY STORY. And then the positive comments came flooding in. I’m so grateful you inspired me to share that part of my story. How will people ever know they’re not alone if nobody tells them they’re not alone?? So I guess what I’m saying here is thank you for reminding me that sharing my story is important. Y’all can watch the video if you want…… Wanna?
I’ve never met you but I love you.
I lost a niece to depression three years ago, and I wish every single person that struggles with deoression could have that burden lifted right out of their life. Talk to someone. Reach out. I’ve been that low before and hope to never be in that dark place again because life is good now.
Thank you for saying the things that are hard to say..
My son, Jordan, killed himself at 19. I want to thank you for all you do to help people in pain. You’ll never know how many moms you save from the grief and guilt that comes with losing a child to suicide, but I know you do it every single day. I just need you to know that I see that, I know that about you. Thank you, Jenny, for your loving heart and caring words. I see you. Love, Lori
I was okay yesterday, but today I am not. Not even kind of. Today I am torn up, sensitive, with dark thoughts that make me feel even worse and guilty. It hit me suddenly and with as much force as it could muster. I’m having a hard time not believing these are lies and that I shouldn’t just lock myself into a dark closet forever because no one would care anyway.
(It comes on so suddenly, doesn’t it? But it can leave just as quickly. Remember that. At any moment the darkness could clear and you’ll realized how important you are. You are. Stay out of the dark closets unless it’s to hide from annoying people while you read with a flashlight in the dark. Don’t use a candle. You’ll burn your bangs off. I speak from experience here. ~ Jenny)
Thank you. I’ve been on my own journey, wavering in and out of suicidal ideation, journeying the long hilly furrow of depression. Your blog, and the community that springs from it, has given me light on so many days when nothing else could. Thank you.
I remember the first time I thought about dying and how it would make everything easier, the pain go away. It’s hard to imagine being in that place until you come to it. Later, another time, my husband said something that I hang on to: “It’s not real. I know it feels real, but it will pass.” Sometimes that all we can do, hang on to the idea that the pain is an illusion.
I never read anything that put my emotions into words so exactly until I read some of the things you have posted. Thank you for that. Also, I am thankful for your husband, daughter and pets as well as whatever equivalents other people may have. That probably sounds weird, but I went through a time once when the only reason I had for continuing on was that I felt a strong obligation to my cat to feed her and not leave her homeless. I couldn’t feel anything, even love, at the time, but that sense of obligation was there. It was, I guess, the way love looks in the grey desert where there is no rain.
I puffy heart you very, very much. You, personally, your posts, your struggles, your books, have brought me back from the brink a few times. Thank you for all that you do. For touching these subjects. For sharing your self. For helping us all find our tribe.
Thank you for this. While I do not suffer from clinical depression, I have been through some stuff in the last 4 months that have sometimes put my thoughts into very dark places. Your blog has made me laugh and helped distract me from the pain. Thank you for reminding me that always happy isn’t the only normal, and there is light out there if you look.
“Depression lies.” I’ve never heard that before. What a simple yet profound way to put it.
So are you, Jenny. You may have just written an essay about it, but maybe next time you’re in that place an essay and a self-generated thought might seem a little flimsy. So you know, you are with us. We are with you. These blessings you give to others, they are with you, they are partially yours, they are at home within you. When you’re depressed, Jenny, you belong in my heart, and I belong to you. And all of us. We’re here for you.
Thanks for this wonderful post Jenny. It really hit home. I have been feeling that way a lot recently. I don’t think I ever really thought of suicide but I just feel that if I were to fall asleep and never woke up the next day, its fine by me, I won’t fight it. My counsellor said that means I got no motivation in life. Maybe its true, maybe its just an escape for me forever. Sometimes the depression suddenly sneak up and by the time you are over it, many days had passed and I have wasted so much time for me enjoy life. I want to enjoy life. But I’m surrounded by negative people around me and its drowning me. I can’t wait for your new book, that way I can some sort escape into the book world for awhile.
Thank you for this. In the past couple years I’ve noticed more people speaking out about the darkness and it helps to know we’re not alone. There is another side – after being suicidal for years, I’m not and it feels strange to want to live. Stranger still to know at the height of being suicidal, what I most wanted was to live and have the pain go away. Thank you for your words and the light within them.
You will never know how much this means to me. I am weeping with gratitude.
This might be a bit rough for some to watch, but the ending is worth it.
As quickly as the fog rolls in,
It lifts and all is clear again.
I wrote that when it was clear. It’s not now. I came here looking for a light through the fog. Thank you, Jenny. Thank you, all of you.
Jenny, I thank God every day for you and your willingness to share YOU with us.
It’s like you were reading my mail. I really needed this this weekend. Even though I’ve known, for some time now, just how MANY of us there are, it still amazes me how MANY of us there are.
You should check out my friend’s project about suicide awareness:
Thanks for putting tears in my eyes. I had to drag myself out of the hole last week. And even when I can’t believe it, it’s good to know I’m not alone.
I’ve been homeless for most of my life. I’ll try and come her more often. Friendly people galore, I think. Just not sure if my presence will lower the tone. Thanks anyway.
Dear Doctor Jenny,
Thank you for kicking ass on depression on an almost every day basis. Laughter is the best medicine, I don’t care if that’s a cliche.
Hey, how’s old Juanita the Weasel doing these days?
I am honestly puzzled by why the constant hatred of life that you express, Jenny. You seem (as portrayed by your blog) to have a humorous husband, a funny/cute kid, funny/cute pets and stuffed animals, a nice house, a delightful career as an author… in other words, something out of a sit-com. Yet, also according to your blog, you’re obviously not happy. Not only “not happy” but constantly suicidal. WHY is that? There’s obviously some underlying problem that you never want to address in your blog posts, which alternate between “I have the perfect quirky family life” and “I want to kill myself.”
(I think that’s a very good question that people who don’t have clinical depression struggle to understand. I have a neurotransmitter imbalance which causes my depression. I’m very happy with my life and I’ve never hated it. I’m incredibly lucky and I know that. I also know that when my depression tells me that I’m worthless that it is lying to me. If I wait it out I’m fine and I’m lucky that my thoughts of suicide are only thoughts and nothing I will act on. When things get that bad I get help and put myself in others hands until the danger has passed, and luckily it’s only been a true danger a few times in my life. Depression for me is a chronic but intermittent disorder that comes and goes and that’s pretty common for most people with clinical depression. It’s much like the other medical disorders I have (RA, blood clotting disorder, etc) which come and go depending on my medication and my body. Mental illness is very misunderstood so I’m glad you’re asking questions to get informed. It makes a difference. ~ Jenny)
Jenny, according to your blog posts, you have an understanding husband, cute daughter, cute pets (both alive and stuffed), a nice house, a burgeoning career — all quirkiness worthy of a sitcom. Yet also according to your blog posts, you are constantly suicidally depressed. Most depression is situational as well as chemical. If you’re serious about overcoming your depression, which part of your “situation” are you going to be leaving? Be honest, now.
(I’m assuming you posted again because you didn’t realize your first comment went through. See your last comment for the lion-share of the answer. My depression is strictly chemical, not situational and it comes infrequently and randomly. When I’m not in a chemical depression I’m just as happy as everyone else in the world. Maybe happier because I know that depression might sneak up again soon. I love my life and I’m very lucky and I’ve always said that. My depression makes me miserable and hate myself when it shows up but it’s treated with meds so it usually passes after a few days. I’ve seen a shrink for the last decade and will continue to forever. I’ll see her again today. She wants me to try transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy because that is supposed to stimulate the parts of my brain that cause my depression but I worry about the side effects so I’m going to hold off until more is known about long-term effects. Thank you for asking. Honestly. That’s how we increase awareness. ~ Jenny)
Thank you Jenny, for your original post and your kind, measured response to Anonymous’s comments. As someone else who is very fortunate to have a wonderful immediate family and the ability to earn a living, it too would appear that I have nothing to be depressed about. But that’s not how the brain works. And so, my knee jerk instinct was to go off on a rant regarding Anonymous’s comments. But you eloquently and factually explained the disconnect between the reality in life and the “reality” in a person’s mind when they suffer from depression/mental illness. Thank you too for providing another home for us.
I really needed to read that today.
And now I also really need a box of tissues. Dammit.
It’s great that you have the courage to speak out about your depression because the more people that speak out, the more others will realize 1) they are not alone, and 2) the non-depressed (and sometimes, well-meaning idiots) will understand what NOT to say to a suicidal person, and 3) it chips away at the stigma against mental illness. As a fellow sufferer of depression and anxiety, I totally get what you’re saying….
I had one brother attempt suicide and another who died by suicide last year. My family has serious anxiety/depression issues! I appreciate everything you write about the matter. Very close to home. Not enough people write about it. I’m still working on that myself. But I’ve posted a lot recently, around the anniversary of losing my brother. And asking for donations for the walk I’m doing…and people are just down right uncomfortable with the subject. Such a shame. Thanks again for what you do!
This was a good one. Thanks. Ordered your book today from my local shop. Can’t wait.
Reading your posts helps me to feel a little less alone. Thank you.
I’m afraid nobody would believe me if I said anything
Thank you so much for these words! I needed them so much today. I have been struggling with an episode of depression for 6 months now and my brain is just numb. I have no idea what I want to do with my days though I know I have something to contribute so thank you for the reminder that I still have wonderful things I can offer the world. That I have unique thoughts that will help + inspire others. That I am home to people who love me. And I am home to people who will one day meet me. Thank you.
I wish any of this made me feel better but even among other depressed people I feel alone. Depression isn’t lying to me. I don’t have a loving partner, or a close-knit family, or dear and trusted friends nearby. Financially I’m hanging by a thread. I really did misspend my prime years. I’ve tried very hard to maintain friendships and a social life but I really am invisible, expired, forgotten, unwanted. The proof is in the pudding. Some suicides really are tragedies that harm a wide network of loved ones in addition to the person with bad brain wiring. Mine wouldn’t even be discovered for days if not weeks, and only because my boss would try to track me down. Encouraging some depressed people to keep living is almost cruel.
(I’m glad you’re here. But I’m so sorry you’re suffering. You shouldn’t have to and I wish you love and joy and the strength to start over. You may have misspent your youth but that makes you wise and a wonderful person to help others without judgement. You are needed, but perhaps by those you haven’t yet met. I’m sending you love. – Jenny)
A friend of mine posted this link in response to a Facebook post regarding the suicide of my best friend over the weekend. The last paragraph hits home so very hard. Thank you for being an advocate for this terrible epidemic. You are valued. I am valued. Everyone is valued.
Thank you, Thank you so much. It’s been a hard day, at the end of a hard year, at the end of a hard 20 years,. I can’t see the invisible block of pain holding me down, but I feel it. And its so so good to know I’m not alone.