I’m not quite myself right now.

I haven’t been quite myself for the last few weeks.  I’ve told myself that it’s hormones or my arthritis acting up or allergies or an infection and it’s probably all of those a little, but the truth is that it’s a low level depression that I’ve been fighting off.  And that’s harder to admit because even though I know I’ll always deal with depression it’s so much easier to pass it off as something that everyone can relate to and that doesn’t make others feel uncomfortable or nervous.  I say that it’s low-level because I’m still able to leave the house and laugh and be functional, but the level of exhaustion (both mental and physical) is so utterly wearing on me.  I have so many half-finished posts or stories I want to tell you but I don’t have the energy to finish them or the self-confidence to think that they’re as good as I know they can be when I get my head back.  Instead I take my frustrated artistic energy and draw ridiculous things and make notes to myself of things will be fun to write about when I get that part of my head back again.

Depression is a lot of things, but sometimes for me it’s like having people in.  In my head.  The same way it is when you have people in your house to paint walls or replace a ceiling or rip out the plumbing.  You can still go about your life but you always have your guard up.  You know that there are parts of your home that you relied on that are now torn up and filled with strangers.  You know that in the end it will be worth it and that having people in, or having parts of your home raised isn’t the end of the world but it stops you, over and over.  You switch on a light and remember that the power doesn’t work in that part of the house for now.  You know it’ll come back, even though you don’t have an exact date when.  You move in the darkness, a bit more slowly than ever.  You avoid the mess when you can.  You switch on the light (again) and remember (again) that there’s no power in that room.  You do it again and again and again because even when you feel helpless you know that one day the light will come back.  And to not try is to give up.  And I can never do that.

So I’ll be here, trying the lights, and hiding in the rooms that are still safe and reminding myself that even when I think you’ll give up on me, you probably won’t.  And I won’t give up on you either.  I’m still here, even if you can’t always see me.

I’m just looking for the light.

bloggessdoodles

723 thoughts on “I’m not quite myself right now.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I’ve been in that same headspace for a while now. I keep hoping the lights will come back on, but thus far, they’re still busted.

  2. If I could I would light all the corners in your world. Imagine me giving you a big hug right now. Hugs make everything so much better, someone cares enough to hold on and tell you it will be ok.

  3. Thank you for sharing what’s happening in your head because it’s happening in mine too and it helps so much to see it brought out in the light.

  4. Wait… that’s depression??? I thought that was normal. That happens to me all the time. I’m starting to suspect I have undiagnosed issues. Hmmm. That’s a really awesome drawing, too, by the way. Well done!

  5. If it makes you feel any better at all, I’m in a coloring phase right now. And it helps a lot, particularly when my brain gets full and I can’t concentrate correctly. And right now what I really want to do is print out and color in your lovely picture up there.

    You’ll be ok eventually. And when you’re back we’ll be here waiting.

  6. Love this. As someone that’s dealt with depression and anxiety since 16 (or earlier), it’s been a long 20 years of this exact thought process.
    Hoping you get yourself back and feel more like “you” soon. It’s hard and exhausting and frustrating. Thank you for bringing light to it for others though.

  7. I see your drawings and I want them in an adult coloring book, since those are so popular right now. Have you considered releasing your drawings as a coloring book, so we can all create some art together?

  8. What I find hard is when its a gorgeous day outside and I feel like I should be out there and happy and active but then I don’t have the energy to do that. I find that one thing that cheers me up is dressing my pets in human clothes. You never realize how fun it will be to trying stuff a ferret into a sock sweater until you do it.:)

    (Now I need a ferret and a sock sweater. ~ Jenny)

  9. I thought that is was maybe just the spring weather making my moods fluctuate. But pretty sure I am just lying to myself and that it is my anxiety returning. I hope this time it doesn’t cause me to have a panic attack in work again. I know it will pass I just need to keep pushing. You got this!!

  10. Someone has moved all the light switches… I’m fumbling around, in the dark. I completely get it. Hugs.

  11. I’ve been dealing with similar issues. Hugs all around to people who this resonates with. Taking one step at a time, it’s all you can really do.

  12. I’m so sorry you’re going through depression again. It’s awful. I’ve been going through it the last few weeks too, yet again, and it’s so discouraging and wearying.

    None of us will give up on you, and we’re all so glad you keep hanging in there. Rest, find ways to feel as safe as you can. The lights will come back on.

    Also, FYI, that drawing is not ridiculous, it’s magnificent artistry. Just in case your workmen are not letting you see it properly. 🙂

  13. Oh Jenny how is that you always know what I need at the moment and write about? I totally understand and sometimes just breathing takes all the strength I have on any given day. Just take all the time you need to turn the corner and know that all of us will be here whenever you are ready.

  14. Me too… I’ve been feeling that way lately. I needed to remember that I’m not the only one who’s screwed up in a world full of normal people, which is how I feel. Damn lights.

  15. I’m right there with you. I don’t know it’s the start of menopause, or a mid-life crisis, but I feel like everything is ready to crash down on me, and I’ll have no room to breathe. You are in good company Jenny.

  16. You have to be yourself. Everybody else is taken. But I’ve found it’s OK to be not quite yourself because all your friends give you a little piece of themselves to make up for the part that’s not you.

  17. Spring is the most triggering season for me. Others are like “YAY! Flowers! Sunshine!” I think “When is the mania going to hit?”

  18. Hi there! I’ve been having a rough go of it lately, and I found this CRAZY place for solace: http://www.eagles.org/dceaglecam/

    I’ve been watching this little eagle family since the parents were sitting on eggs. Bald Eagles are just SO FARGING COOL, like they mate for life and do this death spiral sex thing. But then, they both coparent and are raising these two ridiculous furry flapflaps.

    I resonate with the fierce parents who are so badical, and the silly fuzzballs who spend a lot of time sleeping in the dappled sunlight.

    Maybe it can be a distraction while you’re under construction 😀

  19. raises hand Me too. Going to school right now is exhausting, and I have finals around the corner. If you feel the need to hide out, watch stupid TV, and snarf banana bread instead of posting, go for it, and know that there’s someone in Florida doing the exact same thing.

  20. I’ve been reminded lately that my depression doesn’t always look or feel the same (or I don’t remember “this is how it can be”). Like you, I keep wanting to attribute how I am now – kin to the sloths from Zootopia or that new commercial for Slack – to allergies or stress or whatever, and they probably aren’t helping, but it’s depression as much as any of the other symptoms I’m used to.

    Thank you, Jenny and commenters both, for the ever-present reminders we are not alone.

  21. Hugs to you (and giving extra batteries to the person sitting next to you with the flashlight). I am new to your blog but just devoured both of your books, and was so sad when they ended because I loved them both so much! You are a gift.

  22. Your drawings would make an amazing coloring book!

    I hope the people leave your head soon. <3

  23. I hear you on this, Jenny. I didn’t realise how deeply rooted a certain lifelong issue was until very recently and it’s kind of turned my whole damned life upside down. As of this moment, I’ve been awake almost two days straight because my brain’s trying to eat itself as a result, which means a fuckload of physical pain on top of it. Our brain raccoons can fuck off anytime now.

    sits next to you with a little book reading light, offers you Seanan McGuire’s “Every Heart A Doorway” to read, and makes shadow puppets on the wall as alternative entertainment

  24. Reading your books, following you on social media, and meeting so many of the tribe on social media…all of this has helped me immeasurably to begin to understand depression and mental health issues. I thank you, and all of the tribe, for that. 🙂

  25. Hoping that you find the light soon. Sending you healing thoughts and prayers and Huggles. Remember to look for fireflies they always have lights

  26. I’m just glad I’m not alone in that feeling. I thought I was just getting sick, glad to know it’s more “normal” that what I thought. I just wish it would go away quicker than it does.

  27. This may not help you but your posts, your books, and you in general have greatly helped me relate to my teen daughter who suffers from depression. Yes…since the age of 10…maybe before. Depression not only lies but is an asshole. It’s reading stuff like this and the comments that helps remind me to just be kind to her and help where I can and understand what I can so she knows she’s worthwhile and worth more than the voices tell her. I suffer from a lot of guilt from when I railed at her to just get up and eat…or get up and do the homework…or get up and bath. But I didn’t understand. But now we’re all learning and you really help. So whether you know it or not, whether you can see it or not, you’re emitting light that’s helping us all find the end of the tunnel. Thanks.

  28. Arms around you …holding tight. We must hold our “sisters” when they are hurting.

  29. I love how you’ve explained that – your words perfectly describe some of the dark periods I go through too. Thank you for sharing – reading your blog makes me feel so much less alone in this experience.

  30. My 18 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with depression and ADHD. I also have struggled with the same thing. The way you describe the feelings (or lack thereof) in your posts and books has really helped me to communicate with her. She wasn’t taking her meds consistently – like she could just pick and choose when she “needed” them. I asked her why. She said, “Mom, I don’t want to be depressed. I don’t want to have to take pills.” Due to her depression, we had to withdraw her from school and are bringing her home where we can make sure she is taking care of herself and give her some structure.

    I also bought her one of your “NOPE” shirts. I don’t think she gets it now, but maybe when she’s feeling better.

    Thank you for being the “light” in the room with no power.

  31. Just… as someone who doesn’t (yet?) have depression or anxiety, I want to thank you and all your readers who have shared their experiences and feelings here. I know that I am a more understanding friend because of it.

  32. when the elecktrickery fails to shine a light, #TheBloggessTribe is here with candles. hugs.

  33. You’re not alone. I’m another “me too”. Waiting for the lights to come on. In the meantime, someone should really bake us cookies. I’m getting hungry here in the dark.

  34. Hang in there sweet girl! We all struggle to find the light sometimes. And the way you explained depression in this post is BRILLIANT! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Many many huggles to you!!!

  35. Having the same issue. I blame the change in seasons. Or the pollen. Right now, mid-afternoon, I could sleep for days. Later, at bedtime, my brain will be awake. Then there are times I feel thoughts sliding away, like the worst game of chase ever. And the darkness? Yes. It’s there – some days it’s less there than others. But it’s like a fly you know you let in the house – sometimes its in your face, being annoying. Other times, you start wondering if it died, and if you’re going to find a small fly corpse. Then no… there it is again. Damn fly. Damn dark – despite all the lightness of the time change.

  36. You are an amazing writer, even when writing about the worst things. More importantly, you are a wonderful, special, valuable person who inspires us to keep putting one foot in front of the other and to live our lives. Your tribe loves you. We will never give up on you. Ever.

  37. I am talking to a friend right now going through something similar. She is so very tired of living being so hard. I try to anchor her, hold out my tiny light for her so she can see. I’m afraid, though. Afraid my light isn’t enough, and I will lose her. The funny thing is that we’ve never met, yet if she gives up and stops trying the light, my life will be so much emptier.

  38. Oh, Jenny…
    While I haven’t felt your level of depression since I was a teenager contemplating suicide, I know exactly how you feel. Like you, I have friends and family to support me and give my life meaning, but like you, i also have a part of myself that wants to just curl up and die some days.

    I don’t have the words to make things better. There’s nothing I can say that will draw you back to the light.

    But I offer you my sympathy and friendship. Always. Hang in there, Jenny. Hunker down and wait the storm out. The time will come when you’re ready to fight back and walk in the light again.

    And then you’ll realize you’ve been bathed in light all along.

    Be well, my wonderful friend.

  39. Thank you for sharing where you are right now. We’ll still be here, whenever you find your way back. I wish that I could tell my son these things, but he always says “Ma, I’m ok.”

  40. I spend the majority of my life flipping switches. Lately, I’ve stopped trying, just waiting for someone to tell me when the blackout is over. Thank you for the reminder to keep checking.

  41. Though my medication is helping a bit, I am with you. Just cannot seem to find that other part of me.
    She has probably gone fishing.
    So I will site by your side, if that is ok.
    We will get through this again, we know we will.

  42. Sitting here in the dark with you, sister. Want to hold hands? Maybe not, I can’t see where your hand has been. Wait, fuck it, I’d be glad to hold your questionably traveled hand if you’ll hold mine.

  43. Unfortunately I seem to be hanging out on the outer fringes of that darkness as well. Blame it on global warming, having to be outwardly strong when everyone else is folding, putting in yet another day and wondering if I’m making any difference. I don’t know, but the funk is real and I feel it’s pull to sink me beneath the surface. I’m tired, so very tired and mostly tired of no one seeing or understanding.

  44. There are a lot of us not finding the light these days. I found some of mine about 2 weeks ago… I wish I could share it with you.

  45. Take your time, rest, lots of self-care – we’ll be still be here whenever you’re ready to tell those stories. Promise! Lots of love to you, Jenny.

  46. Thank you for your honesty. You have helped me through 2 hospitalizations for suicidal ideation. I adore you.

  47. I’ve dealt with depression for 30 years, off and on, and you are a wise, wise woman to understand that the lights WILL come back on one day. For the first time in a lot of years, I got back on meds, and my new one is magic. I know that the time will come when my dose needs upping, or when they’ll fail altogether, but for now I’m hanging on to today. I hope the lights come on for you soon.

    Also, exhaustion is a right biotch who holds the door open for depression and lets it in the house, even when it’s not HER house to begin with. Rest. Find peace.

  48. Love to you! ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

    Also, here are some Pep ‘O Mint Lifesavers. They say you can make a spark, if you bite them in the dark!

  49. A lovely, poignant post about what so many of us are dealing with. Your words help put things into perspective in a way that can be difficult to acknowledge until you see someone else, very adeptly, describe that nameless thing that’s been hovering in the shadows of life. I promise not to give up on you if you won’t give up on us!

  50. I’m in that dim light with you. After a bitter disappointment, I find myself going home after work and sleeping for two hours straight. I then wake up, surf the web and go back to bed. I’m mad when the alarm goes off the next day. I just want to sleep the pain away.

  51. We will just sit here and wait in the dark with you. Our love for you is greater than our fear of the dark.

  52. We’re here. With flashlights and candles and chocolate and all the love you could possibly wallow in. We’ve got you.

  53. I am so sorry that you are experiencing a moment of darkness. Your “Let’s Pretend..” was so helpful in bringing back the light (read: laughter) on so many occasions, that it seems unfair for you to ever suffer from any low moments. Maybe a browse of your book-case could reveal your very own side-splitting, epiphany-causing, light-shining relief.

  54. Me, too. Mine is being situationally triggered, which makes it easier to not hate myself over it. But still. It always feels like a failure to me. But when I hear about other people dealing with it, I think, “She’s strong. She’s dealing with it. She’s waiting it out or tackling it or doing whatever she needs to do to still be waiting with the lights come back on.”

  55. So. That drawing you did is ah-fucking-mazing. I know I won’t give up on you. And I’ll be right here when you’re feeling better so I can read your posts that always make ME feel better. But it’s not all about me. So take your time and remember there’s always light, you just have to find the crack to be able to see it. <3

  56. I’ve been meaning to share this with you forever and just never felt brave enough to do it yet. Sounds like you could use someone else being a little brave for a while, though, and I think you of all people could appreciate a heavy metal song titled “Happy Song.”

    That version has the lyrics attached. There is swearing, so maybe no one should listen at work, but it’s strangely helped me quite a few times.

  57. Great metaphor!

    I’m curious…what is your depression trying to communicate to you? Have you given it a voice on the page? Or does that sound weird? It helps me to let the bugger speak. I write dialogue between my depressed/anxious self and my wise self. Nothing that will ever be read by anyone but me, so there’s no pressure.

    The wise self is like Captain Kirk. The emotional one is Bones. And the logical one is Spock. That triad is usually at play, one more dominant than the other. But they’re all there!

    Nurture yourself. Don’t feel obligated to post right now. We’ll all be here when you’re ready to come back.

  58. Sorry your head’s not quite right but thanks for drawing me a cool new coloring page. Coloring makes me happy. You make me happy. I hope you are feeling happier soon.

  59. I’m half way through your book. I am coming out of the winter slump. I don’t winter well and this last one wasn’t too bad because I took steps to prepare for it (nothing to do with storing nuts- although I did pudge up a bit) 😉 I start getting better in February and then Daylight savings happens and I digress a bit with the schedule wonked out. But I have more hope than I have had in a long time. I always joke the full moon craze is a misnomer- because I feel the affect 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after.. lol ba dum tssssss…

  60. Call for help — right now. Please. It’s so much easier when it’s still a little bit of something than when it gets so big it’s overwhelming. I did that last week and a big health problem — that would have been seriously painful — was averted.

    So pick up the phone.

  61. In musical theater/pit orchestra parlance, it’s called “vamping”. You play the same 4 bars of music over and over until the conductor gives the cue to go on and play the rest of the song. It’s a safe holding pattern for now, and when the time is right, you’ll hear that cue and move on to what’s next. You’ll know when it’s time, and we’ll still be here waiting for you.

  62. You do a great job of describing something I have felt many times. No wonder I like your blog – it’s like a group therapy for the socially anxious, among other things. Thank you. And I hope your lights are all back on soon, and that the new rec room is really swell.

  63. Of COURSE we wouldn’t give up on you – or anyone else! Take my (virtual) hand and just hold on. If you want to come sit on my big screened-in front porch, I’ll share my light and cats and some sweet tea with you.

  64. And even in your wandering around, trying light switches, you make so much sense. I wish I had been able to read your analogy years ago when I was in the middle of a long depression that sucked all of my energy away. We in the tribe know what you’re saying and are sending you hugs, flashlights, candles and have put a call in to an electrician.

  65. Give up on our most beloved President of the Unicorn Success Club?! Never! Meanwhile, your tribe is here and while we can’t necessarily turn the lights on for you, we may be able to guide you to them or at least hold your hand as you look. (and of course I’m speaking metaphorically here. Can you imagine all one bazillion of us literally showing up and trying to hold your hand? Plus, germs. ew.) 🙂

  66. Jenny….
    It’s like you have reached into my mind, sorted out all of my thoughts and put them so eloquently in writing…in exactly the way I have been trying to myself, but haven’t been able to sort through the noise to do.
    I am actually living through a complete kitchen renovation right now, while struggling with depression and anxiety and your parallel couldn’t be more appropriate. Brilliantly said.
    I need to tell you that your words have helped me. Even through your struggles you have helped me (and likely others).
    Thank you.

  67. Beautiful drawing, Jenny. I love how every time I look at it I see something new.

    Sorry you are struggling right now. I am too. The light will come back. For me, having you describe so perfectly what’s going on in my head was like someone lit a candle. Thank you.

  68. Me too. We’ll get through it. And in the meantime, thank God for Netflix and patient people willing to wait while I hermit myself. Sometimes it makes me so damn angry, the fog-blanket I can’t get out from under. Most of the time, it’s just exhausting.

    You’re awesome Jenny, exactly as you are. It’s important to hear that, I think, because sometimes it’s hard to remember for yourself.

  69. Hey Jenny girl. Just keep flippin the switch. It WILL come back on! And until it does we got you!! Xoxoxoxoxo

  70. That bump you hear is me in the other room. Nice to have company in a sometimes-scary space. Hugs.

  71. I felt this come on for myself today…feeling lost in my head and can’t get any writing done. Still able to leave the house and pretend to be a person and muddle through. Le sigh.

  72. Try Internal Family Systems therapy. I don’t know why–maybe because you can sort the voices in your head and tell Debbie Downer to sit down and shut up so some other part can get a word in edgewise–but it worked for me after 25 years of panic attacks. I had given up on ever being able to do anything but manage the symptoms with medication, and I don’t have them anymore. Not at all. Worth a shot! Feel better xxx
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_Family_Systems_Model

  73. I have felt like fecken shyte for over 2 months. Today….MANIA!!! DO ALL THE THINGS AND WEAR MYSELF OUT!

  74. Dear dear Jenny – you are so alone, while the lies trying to be more powerful than you are –

    But you are Not. Alone. I am with you, a little speck of light. All of us are. Sending little tiny rays of positivity and light, welcoming you back, when the strength returns to you.

    You know best. Try to keep moving, and bathe in sunlight; at least that’s part of my own “mantra”.

  75. So many good posts already; just know that we weirdos are all out here for you. It is actually comforting to know that there are others who understand (in varying degrees) what the stupid black dog is all about. I’m going thru a weird phase as well; wish my husband would understand a bit more and LEAVE ME ALONE> (sometimes silence is all I want. that, and a good burger). xoxoxoxo

  76. That is absolutely the best description, thank you so much for describing my head! And I hope yours gets some light, calm and clarity when the builders bugger off home.x

  77. Jenny, it will all be ok. You are ok. You are loved and admired. You is smart. You is kind. You is important. And you are someone to whom I would never serve Minnie’s chocolate pie. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  78. I am sorry you are feeling this way right now. And it is just for the “right now”-you need to remind yourself of that. I get my dark days in my brain when I become re-engulfed with sadness as my fiancé died not all that long ago. I am sort of used to the dark days coming-what I do is not fight it because I know it will pass. I don’t know if it’s right to say, but I just let myself be immersed to feel the pain.

  79. This was me for a month or so. I saw a new doctor and got new meds, but sometimes I still feel like I’m moving slowly through water or jello. But not fun jello like jello shots or jello cut outs. But the kind with a crap ton of fruit in it, like more fruit than jello.

    Wait what was I talking about?

  80. grab’s the flashlights -sending hugs (cause hugs from a complete stranger aren’t strange at all)

  81. Thanks for being so open about it. Doesn’t help you, maybe, but it helps others. And that shit goes around, so something will come along that helps you

  82. I cannot thank you enough for putting pen to paper and sharing some of your darkest moments. I have been better able to understand my own mind since listening to your 2 audio books. Things I didn’t even know we’re abnormal that I have been dealing with my whole life. Knowing that not only do you find a way to cope, but manage to find a way to also laugh at yourself, gives me hope in my own struggle. Don’t ever stop looking for that light bulb and thank you for sharing your journey. I can’t tell you enough how much you have helped me. And Rory, in your midnight cat rodeo has brought a giggle so often. Your artwork is great, hits the nail dead on.

  83. I have been feeling that way for a while now. Thank you for explaining low level depression so well. You can keep at it and fight your way out of the crap. I will probably be on my computer waiting for my light switch to work again too.

  84. I can relate to what you said in the first part of your blog about telling yourself that you’re fighting off an illness or your arthritis is bothering you, etc, because I do the same thing. It’s much easier to tell people (and myself) that I’m sick than it is to say I’m depressed AGAIN. Even when I’m doing well and feeling almost happy I can feel the depression lurking underneath the surface. Thank you for writing so honestly about where you are in your journey.

    I’m feeling strong and have been for a while, so lean on me if you wish. I’ll be hear, holding a light.

  85. Maybe it’s the weather… or the phase of the moon… or something. I’m there right now. I feel like if someone could just come hug me and hold me and pet me and call me “George” I will be okay. But I need that repeatedly about every 30 seconds until I feel better.

  86. This came in as I’m about to search for answers as to why my test results require a visit to the hematologist. . The tone was just so fuckin’ appropriate.

  87. Boy did I ever need this post today. There’s something comforting in knowing that the weird sounds in the dark are actually other people trying to find that damned lightbulb!!! We should seriously consider switching to led’s or some other more reliable light source. I can only imagine what my hair is gonna look like when the lights go back on.

  88. Something is in the air. I’m struggling now too… and unfortunately my kids are getting the brunt of it all, which is not fair and makes it worse and cycles and spins. But I’ll see you on the other side. I’ll be there waiting for you if I get there first, and if not, I’ll be trying to follow your light and example.

  89. Jenny, take a deep breath and send all those negative thoughts (people) to a tiny corner of your mind and shut the door. We will always be with you, we will never forget about you – you are a part of our lives and will be forever. So breath, grab the brightest crayon you have and start coloring in one of your beautiful designs. You will overcome!!!!!

  90. Thank you for helping me understand my best friend and for helping me to understand myself.

  91. We won’t give up on you. We will still be here when the people in your head leave and you come back out.

  92. Wow! This post hit “home” more than anyone around me realizes basically because I don’t want to admit it. I keep telling myself it is a choice but my choices are to keep going regardless of what lights won’t come on. So yes, I’m more comfortable in my safe areas. I’m more comfortable by myself most of the day. I don’t know how to answer the constant barrage of “what’s wrong with you?” Now I can say, “I’m waiting to find the fucking light switch so just leave me alone until you see the light on.” Hope you find yours soon! I truly love reading your posts….

  93. We’re here and not going anywhere. I’m currently in the space between the light & the dark. I can feel both the light’s warmth and the dark’s coolness. Don’t give up on finding the light and warmth. We’ll be here whenever you need something. Hugs

  94. Who’s cutting onions in here? I’m right there with you. Hopefully the light will come back on soon for both of us.

  95. I will never give up on you, Jenny. Even though you don’t know it, you’ve been there for me a lot in my own darkness. Sending you much love and light.

  96. Thank you for that description of exactly what’s happening to me right now.

    I literally said to my husband last week “it’s like I’m a house, and I can’t live in most of the rooms right now, so they’re closed up and I’m just sitting in the one room that feels OK to be in.”

  97. We would never give up on you. Ever. And we do understand. Probably too well. Just know that we are holding your hand and we won’t let go until the lights come back on.

  98. I hope you remember that, no matter how alone your depression self tells you that you are, you don’t have to fight depression alone. There are therapists who can help. There is a husband who gets it even if he does it in a very frustrating way. And you have a world of friends and fans who have been where you are and who want you to feel better. Depression sucks. Depression lies. You don’t have to stay there, but while you’re there we are right here too.

  99. I can’t thank you for this. I’m not sure if sharing helps you or us more, but I am starting to wonder if the universe is on its side or something. It’s been a cooler than normal spring, which makes me even more anxious because I want to at least be able to stretch out in the sun like a cat but it’s too damn cold to do that. So I just sleep all the time telling myself it’s going to get better (it has to get better) and in the mean time my husband and kids are just thinking I’ve lost it (again).

  100. Jenny, you know we are your tribe, and we totally get you. I hope you get to feeling back on your feet soon. I’m also leaving my link here, as you suggested. I think putting it in this kind of post, is also kind of appropriate.

    My daughter is participating in a fundraiser / walk, to bring awareness to Suicide Prevention, tomorrow April 15th. This is a cause that is near and dear to us, and I’m sure for many here. If your life has been touched by this tragedy, either by losing a loved one, or feeling the desperation yourself, or loving someone that struggles with depression.. please consider donating.

    Also, If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

    http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=970334

  101. Lord, if that’s not the best description of my life this week, I don’t know what could be. For me, there’s also something scary about calling it depression. Even though I’m on meds, and have had it professionally diagnosed, and I truly feel that it is an illness that I’m coping with to the best of my ability – if I name it as depression, I’m scared it means I don’t have depression under control. When my own voice is louder to me than depression’s, I know that I’m not responsible for being perfect – I have a network of support, good medical care, and a lot of experience learning how to be kind to myself. But when depression sneaks in and gains a foothold and rears her ugly head, I hear her voice screaming that I’m inadequate, that I’m faulty for not being able to function “like a normal person,” that I’m deficient and useless and a mess and unloved and unlovable.

    It’s shitty. But somehow it’s less shitty knowing that I’m not the only one fighting those mean, horrible thoughts. Depression is the one saying those things, depression is trying to pass as me – and you’ve helped me remember that I’m stronger than depression. I’m not depression, depression is not me. Thank you for that reminder today, on a day that I seriously needed it.

  102. I have been feeling the same way. A few weeks ago, I was looking around, trying to figure out what was going on and WHY I was feeling so exhausted and frustrated and sad and depressed and angry and just wanting to take a REALLY REALLY long nap… and then it hit me….

    Spring Equinox + Daylights Saving Time + Anniversary of Death of Dear Loved One = Depression & Grief

    I will always be SO thankful for Heather at Dooce posting about it several years ago. And I’m surprised every fall and spring that I don’t recognize it earlier, and after several weeks suddenly have an “Ah HA!” moment when I realize what time of year it is.

    ashttp://dooce.com/2014/09/18/dane-depression-fall-equinox/

    http://dooce.com/2012/09/18/remember-it-tomorrow-morning/

    I know this won’t be true for everyone, but I thought I would post it, just in case someone had not heard of this phenomenon before, and it would help them realize it’s not just them…. but the change in the light, the seasons, and the tilt of the earth can genuinely affect them physically. All this time, I thought it was just anxious and depressed me being more anxious and depressed and wondering why my medication wasn’t working as well anymore. But then sure enough… after a few weeks, it was as if I was walking out of the fog and shadows and back into the light.

    I really need to make myself some alarms and emails that will start to arrive a few weeks before each spring and fall equinox to give me a heads up that I will soon find myself feeling like I am surrounded by the fog and shadows again, and to not give up and to remember that my brain and body are going to try and trick me and lie to me and tell me I’m not worth it and no one will even notice if I don’t get out of bed. Instead I need to go to one of my kids and look deep into their eyes and tell them that I love them, that I think they are valuable, I think they are precious and unique and I am thankful for them every day. And then I need to go into the bathroom, shut the door, and look deep into my own eyes and tell myself the same thing…. I am lovable and I am loved, I am valuable, I am precious and I am unique, and I am thankful for you every day, and my family and friends are thankful for you every day too, and it is worth it to get up and keep fighting this battle, because you are making a difference in your kids and in your family and in the world, and it’s a journey and an adventure and a road that only you can fulfill!

  103. I’m glad there are brave people out there like you who talk about these things. I never talk about my issues with anxiety and mild depression even though I know it is supposed to help. Reading blogs like your helps a lot.

    Also – try finger painting. We did that in the adult recess event I held at the library and it does help.

  104. Thank you yet again Jenny. I’ve been in a similar place and have just admitted it to myself today. You explain it so well, especially about trying to turn on a light where there’s no power. I feel so bad for not being able to switch on that fucking light. And then I saw this post, and for just a fraction of a fraction of a second, I caught a glimmer, the one that says I’m not alone with these feelings, and while I hate that you and others are going through this, it’s also just nice to feel like other people know.

    Keep on writing, keep on telling your story, even when it’s hard and not pleasant, because it offers hope. And keep looking for your light, because you’ll find it.

  105. I am in the midst of both: my depression came back around just as my home renovation project was getting well underway. And most of the home things DIY. Do I have a half-painted living room, and all my books are boxed up, and the a/c vents are in the guest bath, waiting to be scrubbed for painting. And it all has to be done before the flooring guys show up in a few says (because I’m too old and creaky to be scraping up laminate floors and putting down new stuff). And all I want to do us sleep and talk to my dogs and get lost in Gilmore Girls oldies on Netflix. I’m not myself, and I don’t know who the hell I am. Thanks for understanding.

  106. Even the messy rooms in your head you’re embarrassed by are interesting and fun. They’re part of you, and that makes them awesome.

  107. A lot of people say this is BS so I don’t usually talk about it, but seeing so many having such a hard time right now too makes me just buck up and say it. I know what the sun is doing has a huge effect on me because I’ve watched it for years and it helps me to know it’s NOT all just in my head – or rather it IS but it’s being influenced by something I can’t control: the sun. If you’re so inclined there are 2 websites that are scientific and have been a HUGE help in educating me on the topic and just for the record: there’s been a LOT of solar stuff going on for the past few days. I mean, if it’s what drives the aroras crazy how obvious a leap to see how it’s doing the same to me! http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/ and http://spaceweathernews.com/

  108. I am with you, and waiting patiently for you. Do not worry—we will be here. ((((Many virtual hugs))))

    On an unrelated note, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE publish your ‘doodles’ as an adult coloring book!!! It would be the best one out there!

  109. Thank you for being here, Jenny! You make all our lives so much better, even when it’s hard for you to realise it. And yes, I’m in the same sort of boat right now. So exhausted and I know it’s from depression – and for once I know what’s causing the depression!!! – but it’s so hard to explain to anyone so I go with explanations I know are baloney but that won’t lead to questions that exhaust me even more.

  110. The other day I saw this wild turkey like a mile from my off ramp …from a really massive freeway , and I thought, you know wild turkeys walk around in PJs all year round …… And this one might even live under the freeway…but they literally never seem like they are turkeys. They seem like majestic Ben Franklin chickens.

    Who don’t run from anyone.

    Who wear PJs all year. Who dare us to gobble in their direction.

    So, you might have like a really bad month or undending months or maybe a day. But one day, you’ll realize I am a majestic Ben Franklin chicken, and it is hard as shit to be me. But I am magic.

  111. This may just be one of the most poetic descriptions of depression I have ever read. One day, that light will switch on, but you’ll never know unless you keep trying. So keep at it, Jenny 🙂

  112. When those people come in my house, they don’t cut the power, they put up walls between me and all the things in my life. Like working, exercising enough to not be sick, answering the phone when someone calls (even someone I love who will listen because speaking is on the other side of the wall.) I stare at the walls that are way too tall to climb and wait until I have the energy to beat them down. And I snuggle my dogs.

    Thank God for pets, they don’t expect us to be carpenters. Or electricians.

    The lights will come back on. And it will be beautiful where you are.

  113. It’s so hard when the rooms are so black and you can’t find your way and things seem unfamiliar. I’ll try and light a candle to push back the dark.

  114. I’m choosing to read as my way of procrastination. Still nothing gets done but I’m living in someone else’s space other than my own. Good luck.

  115. We are your people -we get this,hate it(depression) because it’s a jerkwad that lies but get this state of temporary being,hang in there,lady. xx

  116. at our best and at our worse we are still ourselves. please stop worrying about being you, even at half full you are loved just the same

  117. I think the habit that so many people are doing now on social media is just too much. A lot of folks think using the f word is somewhat cute and adds to their comments or blogs. I personally have been and always will be offended by it. My mother would never allow it and I never wanted my children to use it. Believe me, if I said this word in front of my children today they would lose all respect for me, as they should.Thanks. Ive been wanting to say this for a very long time.

  118. I’ve been in a not-good-headspace lately too. It sucks. And it’s affecting my marriage. But I have faith it’s going to get better. I keep reminding myself this is temporary. I hope all of us find the light soon. Hugs to you, Jenny.

  119. I love you Jenny (in a non creepy way) thank you for putting my exact feelings into the perfect words, yet again. I just slipped into a depression myself. It came on slowly. I am practicing good self care, and hoping it’s a short one. I hope you, I, and anyone else in the grip of a depression come back to ourselves soon. May this damn feeling be short lived, we have lives to live!

  120. Love the analogy…I have a big hole in my guest room ceiling because I can’t bear the thought of going through the “fixing it” process. Now I know it’s because my head’s going through that…

    On a ridiculous other note, has anyone seen the commercial for some heart drug that has old people singing “Tomorrow” as if their life depended on it? Talk about depressing…

  121. Hi J. Hang in there. You will be back.
    FWIW I love the pics of your beautiful daughter in stage makeup on Instagram. My daughter is the same age and does theater but I’ need to get her into that kinda class in my town!
    Good vibes
    Jen

  122. That is such a great description of low-level depression. I love the analogy about the power being out in part of the house, so you just need to keep flipping that light switch whenever you pass by. The power behind knowing that the light WILL switch on again is immeasurable.

  123. I totally get your post at the moment and it really sucks. Let’s hope the lights come on soon X

  124. Beautifully written. Even in darkness you help others. Holding a big spotlight hoping it will come into focus soon.

  125. All of this. My mom died in February and I keep trying switches, but no lights, yet. Just when I’m sure a light will come on this time,it doesn’t. I’m going to keep trying though.

  126. I’ll never give up on you. Don’t listen to depression’s lies. I love distracting myself with doodles, coloring and puzzles. Keep seeking out things you enjoy (or at least tolerate right now).

  127. I completely get where you are. The past few weeks I have been “just tired” pretty much all the time because that’s a lot easier to explain to others than “lightly depressed”. It will get better, and we will all still be here when it does xxx (ps if I wanted to send you a crochet unicorn is that possible?) (or just a photo of one if you don’t have the need for a physical one)

  128. I’m here to shine a little of your own light back to you. You make others believe and laugh. It’s a wonderful gift. Light, comfort and non threatening hugs.

  129. How beautifullly you describe the feeling! You make me feel like I’m not alone! Thank you!

  130. I spend so much time looking for the light. Hugs to you. And kitten videos and wine.

  131. Lately, for me, the power’s been off to the whole damn neighborhood, but I hear you, Jenny. For myself, I’m getting pretty tired of trying to find my flashlight and hoping the matches don’t go missing.

  132. Loving and living this analogy. Like many things you have come up with or found and shared over the years, I will be storing this in my survival arsenal.

    Much love to you in your dim lit space. I, like many, will be here when you get the lights back on and you are 100%. Even if yoy come back 90%. Hell, even at 50%. Not like I’m going anywhere.

    Ever stop an let in sink in, just how many of us would freak if something happened to you? Ya. You rock that much, chick. 💕

  133. I love your analogy about having people working in your house. That SO makes sense to me. ((Hugs)).

  134. I know the feeling all too well. (Probably more of us do than are willing to admit it.)

    I used to snuggle with my cats when I felt like all the lights weren’t working anymore. I can’t do that now, but you still have cats — and an equally adorable dog of a good size for snuggling — so maybe try some fuzz therapy. The worst that can happen is that you get some cuddling, right? (Well, unless your cats scratch or bite when they don’t feel like cuddling…)

    And remember that we’re all rooting for you! We’ll be here waiting for you when the lights come back on again.

  135. Y’all are the best. I’m at a conference – in my hotel room fending off a panic attack. Based on your suggestions I followed the internets until I landed on a live barnyard cam and I am being so thoroughly soothed by the animals that I only just realized how that one eagerly crowing rooster can surely be heard through my speakers out into the hallway and in the adjacent rooms.
    How long you think before someone calls to report me for harboring fugitive fowl?
    I’ll keep you posted <3

  136. I will never give up on you. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we will be your neighbours, in our own little mind houses that sometimes malfunction or have too many guests. We will peak through the windows when we can and wave or even set up old school can & string phones, which probably won’t work but you never know. Thank you for sharing this, and all the other things you share. Your fight inspires, helps, and has so much purpose. Stay inside as long as you need, and please know that whenever your ready to finish those posts, or come outside we will be here with open arms and support. Xo

  137. I am there right now. The ‘having work done on my house” is a wonderful analogy.
    I’m showing this to my husband, maybe this he can understand better.
    Thank you,
    Elise

  138. I saw the Weinermobile today. There was a kid in the grocery store blowing on a weinerwhistle. Before I left, I went back to the ‘mobile and asked for my own whistle. Because I used to have one when I was a kid.

    That has nothing to do with what you posted, I know. But I thought you might like it.

    And we’re not going anywhere.

  139. I would not know what this is like, except that my daughter is a rapid-cycling bipolar. When she calls me from the bottom of that pit, I always remind her that’s what it is and tell her she will ride the heck out of that ‘cycle and come out into the light again. Often she will take her meds and sleep it off. I guess she forgets “this too shall pass” so I just try to gently remind her. I can never fully understand, but I try to be a safe place for her to vent. Feel better, Jenny! This too shal pass.

  140. I’m not there now, but I’ve been there before. Although I do want to say that I think I subconsciously associate you not only with hard times, but with making it through those hard times with silliness and compassion. I had a nightmare last night basically about being useless and a failure, and then after that I dreamt that I was hanging out with you and we were dancing it out and being silly. And that brought me comfort and made things seem not so bad.

    So thanks for being a constant reminder, even when I’m not conscious, that even when times get hard and everything seems likes it’s falling apart that it won’t always be like that. And know that I’m having a dance party in your honor and sending you all the silly joy from it.

  141. Thank you for being brave enough to share your journey with us.Your tribe is here for you, and each other, always. #NotAlone Sending you love.

  142. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. —psalm 61.2

    Prayers have been said for you, Jenny! We will be here when you feel better. No one will give up on you!

  143. Ditto.
    You have support in us when you can find the strength to let us help give you strength. You don’t have to do this alone.

  144. Sometimes after being a period of extreme busyness, where I have to use all my energy to keep it together, I fall into a hole of exhausted depression. Too tired to fight I suffer there for awhile. Maybe it’s the same with you.

  145. Hang in there, Jenny, as you know you are NOT alone… some of us are searching for the light switch…some are waiting for the light to come back on, hopefully for a prolonged period. And there are those of us whose bulb is blinking/flashing ready to be replaced. We are here for you just like you have been here for us! Take all the time you need, we are not going anywhere!💖💪

  146. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. Right now my recovery involves watching episode after episode of Bones while I paint pictures. Lots of love.

  147. I’ve been sitting in the darkness for the last couple of months waiting for the power to come back on. I was just talking to a friend minutes ago trying to explain what’s wrong but couldn’t find the words. I gave up and figured I’d never be able to explain it. Then I read this and there were the words I was looking for. The truth is I’m tried and I’ve been in the darkness for so long I’ve given up on finding the light. It’s been a combination of a lot of things but mostly I’m just tired of everyone tairing me down treating me like garbage and thinking it’s ok to do so. Every time they do so I fight to get back up and fight my way out of the darkness. It’s come to a point were I’m to tired to fight and think maybe it’s just time to stop fighting and sit in the darkness. The more I fight the worst it gets maybe it’s time for a different approach. Maybe it’s time to just make friends with it and stay for a while. Sorry this is long but it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever talked about this. I’ve tried before but no one ever cared to listen or just couldn’t understand or just didn’t want to. I wouldn’t wish these feelings on anyone but it was nice to know that there were people that have lived in the darkness and understand. Thanks for that.

  148. I feel you, because I am so often in those rooms in my head as well. I was a studio art major, but I haven’t been able to do anything remotely artistic – except nicely handwritten signs for people – in years…many years. So for me, looking at the amazing art you create when you are depressed is amazing, because I can’t. Just remember, none of us expect you to put out cracker trays or even serve us drinks, we are content to wait until you find yourself again, whenever that may be. Until then, enjoy your mental blanket fort, and make sure it’s made with comfy pillows….

  149. No worries …. even in the darkest room…. the natural light shines through. … and it might not be as showy as the electric light but it’s shadows and gentle calm is beautiful all the same. FYI your my new favorite author. … and I thank God I stumbled upon your books. 🙂

  150. Funny that even in,what I know all to well to be a fleeting but considerably dark place you could come up with a fantastic metaphor like contractors for depression. Even when you’re low you’re still a joy. Take care of yourself lady. We know you’ll be fine.

  151. My own depression always makes me angry. And low level depression makes me go through the days cranky and slightly pissed off. It’s like that annoying co-worker in the background that JUST.WILL.NOT SHUT.UP.
    sigh.
    Yeah, I’m dealing with it now.
    You don’t need to be apologetic.
    Just be yourself.

  152. We forget that deep sadness will pass but too aware that happiness will. It’s good to hear you don’t plan on giving up. At some point that blue bird of happiness will alight on your head and I hope you enjoy it to the fullest.

  153. I’m too tired to flip the switches. I’m glad you’re still hanging in there.

  154. Jenny, I will never, ever give up on you. Because you are worth it. The part of you that doesn’t believe that right now, and I know it’s there – that part is lying. Try to talk to yourself the way you’d talk to me right now. That’s not cheezy, or crazy – it’s sensible and it helps. Would you tell me I’m doing a good job? Get my point?

  155. now that was a fascinating analogy. Please keep explaining what you are going through because it helps to know. When someone I know hits a low like that I would like to be able to say “hey, I think I get it.” You give us a dialogue that might not otherwise be there. Thanks

  156. I’m so glad to hear someone else talk about this aspect of depression. And you describe it perfectly. Keep trying the switch, and if the power doesn’t come on soon enough, I’ve got a box load of candles and matches. Hugs!

  157. Yep. I could have written this. Only not as well. I was in this very same spot when I met you at the Erma Bombeck thing, actually, and hearing your presentation that day was a flashlight in the dark for me. Keep doing what you’re doing — the light switch is around here somewhere.

  158. I wish I had the power of words you do. So many times, I’ve been in the dark, and reading your posts, your funny stories, and just knowing there’s a whole tribe of us, that have to go through this BS sometimes, well it doesn’t cure it, but it helps. Really wishing I could open myself up and just share the bit of sunshine I’m cradling. Here’s hoping it works like the power of prayer, enough of us wishing warm thoughts to you, that maybe it’ll help light you back to a quieter, light filled house.

  159. I have been battling Major Depression for almost two years. I can’t get some traction to pull myself out. On Tuesday, I had to put my dog to sleep. He was the one good thing I could count on and now’s he’s gone and I miss him so bad it hurts.

  160. I think I can safely say we’ll all be here clutching our flashlights and shining them into the dark for you hoping you can see them. We’re not going anywhere because you’re the one who passed out all these flashlights in the first place. Hang in there. Take care of yourself.

  161. I wish I was a sloth, then I’d give you big slothy hugs!
    But I’m not . I’d still give you a hug! Just believe we are all out here for you, so when the lights do come
    Back on it will be like a surprise party!! Unless you hate surprise party’s and in that case it will be nothing like that at all!
    But we are here!

  162. I don’t do adult coloring books and I ADORE your written books, but honestly based on your drawings I’ve seen, I think you should consider making an adult coloring book your next book :). Ride that wave while it lasts!! I hope you can turn the corner soon, and that you can find a source of light, even if it’s only a candle, until you’re feeling yourself. No pressure or anything, but you’re a source of light for a lot of people, too, even if that’s hard to believe right now.

  163. I am in the same head space. I have depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I hate the feeling of it trying to creep back in. Like you I keep trying to get the lights to go. Thank you for being so open and letting people know that it is okay to feel this.

  164. What a great analogy. I suspect you sharing your honest feelings despite the darkness may help more people than your funny stories do (as good as they are). Hoping the lights start working again soon. Hugs in the meantime.

  165. Jenny, love, we’re not in a rush. Happy to keep you company here. The same way you keep every last one of us company when we are there. You can lay your head in this collective lap. We’re not going anywhere. And we really like it when you’re so open with us, so please keep keeping us in the loop. It feels like trust when you share the stuff that really matters to you. It reminds me that I have been right to trust you with my fragile self.

    And in barnyard camera news…I appear to have blown my laptop speakers. I may have started trying to share (taunt?) the other hotel guests with the volume of the rooster crowing, once I realized it was a possibility. Didn’t want to be greedy. I hope they appreciate the sacrifice I have made for them.

  166. I recently upped my dosage of Happy Pills (anti-depressants) because the funk I was in was not going away. I also get Seasonal Affective Disorder from lack of sunshine in the Winter time. Feeling better, but not to my “normal” yet. Take care of yourself.

  167. I understand. I get it.

    Also, those drawings you do are wonderful. Beautiful. I see them and think “Hey, I get that. I wish I could do that when I’m depressed…”

    I love them. 😀

  168. We will never, ever give up on you.

    You are fantastic. You are strong. It will pass, and we will be here loving you the entire time.

  169. Thank you for your post Jenny.
    I have been feeling depressed for awhile and then yesterday my father in law died giving me a reason to be depressed. I want to be strong for my husband but I don’t feel strong enough to do the laundry.

  170. Oh man, that first paragraph pretty much describes me to a T. This whole post does, actually. It’s strange how a few words from a stranger are better at making me feel a little less alone than anything else that anyone could do.

    I’m gonna go hug my cats. Big hugs to you, Jenny, and to everyone else who feels like they could use one.

  171. I sensed you were heading this direction for a few days now, no worries, Honey, Look at your comments. Nobody is going anywhere. Breathe.

  172. Best Rx I’ve read so far is stuffing pets into sock sweaters. Photograph, video, upload to instagram and repeat every 3 hours as needed. Love to you, Jenny.

  173. This has been everyday for months, plus huge reactions to medications trying to help me, and a lot of melt downs uncontrollable because I can’t see the lights on any room. New med started on week one, and have been given a date to start EDMR therapy, you aren’t alone, we are all sitting in dark rooms searching for a light in houses beside each other, we just gotta open a window and shout off the wall things to our neighbors and maybe one of us will have s flashlight to share for a while.

  174. What a beautiful picture, both the drawing and the one you paint with your words… a beautiful, sad, relatable, hopeful, real picture.
    Thank you.

  175. I need color so badly that I defied the pending threat of snow and bought pansies and planted them just tto see their smiling faces when I come home from work. I also found something I think you may need. Pricy but Beyoncé needs a friend. http://trovatistudio.com/products/kenyan-recycled-metal-ostrich-plant-holders

    Your light switch may be off but you’ve lit so many candles with your honesty and willingness to share. Keep reaching for switches and pull chains and spoons.

    Rory be with you.

  176. I don’t want to write “this is perfection” because the subject matter is not. Describing what it’s like, living with depression, that is perfection. P.S. You read these comments, right? There’s so many. It’s like I’m talking to you in a crowded room, full of people trying to help.

  177. Nope. Not giving up. Or letting you down. Or running around and deserting you. None of that. (I’ll stop with the Rickroll now.)

    Hoping those lightswitches start working again soon. Thanks for who you are and all you do.

  178. You are never alone, ever. I was reading ‘Furiously Happy’ last night, so you were with me. You’ll be with me again later. Keep.pushing, Jenny. We’re all pushing with you. The light is there, just around that corner.

  179. When are you going to put your drawings together in an adult coloring book?

    Hope the depression eases soon…

  180. Your picture of what is happening in your head is quite beautiful. I love the empty space in the center. Very healthy to reserve space for peace and healing. My Mom suffered from depression as long as I can remember. For 20 years it resulted in her suffering from agoraphobia. I never understood what happened to flip the switch off or back on. But what a joy to have her come and visit without a panic attack. Just breath and bring the world to you in this beautiful blog. Bless you.

  181. While I am not currently in the same space I know exactly what you mean and how it feels. Your description is right on and not a way I would have ever tried to explain depression. Until you have been there you have no idea. I used to think people who were depressed should just suck it up but then it happened to me. And after almost two years in bed except when it was absolutely necessary to get out of bed and take care of my kids when my husband was at work I knew what those people meant. Your description is something I think non-depressed (is that a thing?) could relate to. Thank you for sharing that and I will be thinking about you!

  182. Perfect. Just perfect. Hang on. The light will be here sooner than we know it. Just hang on…

  183. Thank you for sharing this. It makes me feel less alone and broken with my mental illness.

  184. When my retail job decided to use walkey talkys I refused to take one on the grounds that I have enough voices in my head, I don’t want them on my hip, too. Boss thought I was joking. I don’t have “voices” I have inner dialog that I can’t control, I don’t tell people this. But #theBlogessTribe doesn’t judge, they understand and laugh with me, not at me.
    I hope I helped 🙂

  185. The things you draw aren’t ridiculous, they are amazing! Keep drawing, it’s such a great release. Draw a face for the people in your head then tear it up. Sometimes it helps. Hang in there. And thank you for sharing, you are such an inspiration and you bring so much light to so many people.

  186. Of all the things…we are here. Always. Thank You for being open and honest and allowing us in because it is extremely difficult. We are a tribe, by golly.

    Now…I know this has probably been said to you, but these doodles make my world go around. I know you have seen those adult coloring books for sale and “they are all the rage” right now. Seriously…if you had a BLOGGESS DOODLE coloring book…shit balls!!!! You could incorporate inspirational quotes and depression lies…it would be MAGNIFICENT!!!!

    Think about it.
    Love and Hugs and best wishes.
    We are all feeling this way…
    Sarah
    Aka the Queen

  187. Forever here. I’ll keep checking the lights, too. Thank you for never giving up. ♥

  188. I’m glad you’re still there trying the light switch. I hope the freakin’ electrician gets to your block soon.

  189. Right there with you. Told a friend I could see the light at the end of the tunnel — but I couldn’t tell how far away it was – or how fast I would get there. Please make a coloring book of your drawings!

  190. Depression, even low level, sucks ass. Hard to remember it passes when you’re in the thick of it. Thanks for keeping the convo about MH alive. Stigma sucks ass too.

  191. Thank you for being so open and honest. Finding your books and blog have helped me in some major ways. Being able to relate to someone else and what they go through (even though it’s different for everyone) has really helped me feel less alone. I am finally back at work after taking a 2 1/2 month leave and I am still struggling and trying to adjust to new medication and deal with the “real world” again. All I want to do is stay in bed and hide from the world most days. I hope this phase of your depression ends soon; keep checking those switches.

  192. I wish I had the energy to doodle/draw, but alas, I can’t even garner that energy. I’m back in therapy – and I’m there because I learned “Depression LIES” from a very special blogger. She has helped me identify when I need help! And I have reason to be depressed right now – Mom is on hospice and a whole bunch of other CRAP is going on.

    We will get through – I’m looking for the light each day and keep my appointments. 🙂

  193. You hang in there, Sunshine. You bring so much light to everyone else, it’s bound to get reflected back on you.

  194. You are amazing.

    I know, hearing that a. Zillion times may not help the depression. I struggle with bipolar and anxiety and ADD. I feel your pain. The light will come back on. Maybe when you least expect it. Just know you are adored and needed by so many. We will still be here when you come back to yourself. We are here right now, even as you stand in that dark room staring at the unchanging bulb.

    You are a light in my darkness. A bastion of honesty, open and judgment free discourse about mental health, and a ferocious sense of humor in the face of the sometimes crushing weight of your struggles.

    From on self-harming, oft depressed, occasionally manic, and perpetually anxious crazy to another… You. Are. Awesome.

    Good luck, Jenny. You’ll find your way back in no time.

  195. I am in the same boat. I drew a semi-colon on my hand last night to remind myself this is a pause, not anecessarily ending. No matter how many times I think about it.

  196. Thank you so much. Transcendental Meditationists rely on mantras to bring them to being in the now. I have them for remembering to hold on. ‘It’s a cycle. Just endure. It’s a cycle. Just endure.’ I even like the rhythm of it. Maybe, on a better day, I’ll dance to it.

  197. I dropped low this last time, but the difference was that I knew that it was because I was being stupid and messing with my meds. I learned a lesson this time, and that’s when you know the meds are working, you should not mess with that. I’m surfacing now, treading water, waiting to see land. It’ll be any day now. Love to you. 💓.

  198. Thank you for sharing. Now do whatever you need to take care and trust we’ll all be here still when you are back to normal speed. Hugs….

  199. Thank you for sharing this, I read your blog and your books and follow you on Twitter but I stay in my own little world and have never responded to anything. In fact, I’ve never responded to anyone’s blog, Twitter, etc. etc. I’m in the same space you are in right now; it’s exhausting. I’m sorry you are going through this but I’m thankful at the same time that you and others understand. I know my friends are tired of hearing it and my family doesn’t want to so I put on a brave face and laugh and smile and go on so they don’t know the pain and effort that it takes to get through a day. Thank you for putting yourself out there and know that you are certainly not alone.

  200. Jenny, everything you described was so wonderfully human and relatable. The thing about depression is, when it isn’t rearing its head we simply Don’t Think About It, and when it does, we wonder if and when it will EVER stop. It always does, even though no bout of depression is ever the same. I feel like end of March early April is a particularly hard time as everything is slowly waking up. The earth, the sun, our own SELVES! Its a time of rebirth and possibility. Be gentle on yourself and work when you feel strong again…which will HAPPEN. Big hug! xoxox

  201. You need some sunshine! Low on Vitamin D…. In the meantime, supportive hugs your way!

  202. I think so many of us who fight depression know this feeling. I tell my husband sometimes “I’m just fighting a little depression.” I think that is the hardest to work through because you never know if it will get worse or when it will back off. I always just want to FIGHT then because I know when it gets worse, there will only be the dark. There won’t be the laughter or the anger or the sadness. It will just be the depression, and that’s the hardest to get out of.

    Know we understand. Know there are pinpoints of light shining for you from everywhere. Thank you for your honesty and for the joy you bring, and for the amazing community you have helped grow and given a voice to.

  203. For me, it’s the voices, echoes of me, not others (usually), explaining in oh-so-reasonable ways why what I am trying to do is stupid, a waste of time, or someone else’s, that this time will fail like every other time… And I’m struggling not to listen to her, because she sounds so logical, so compelling. And on a beautiful sunny day like today, what’s not to love? Except that it brings a threat of migraine, so there’s that. I like the dark, and it’s not like she shuts up when the days are pretty, versus grey and rainy.

    I hate that someone who is such a shining light as yourself feels the darkness pressing in on you. I wish I could take it away, absorb it myself a least for a while. Maybe the nasty voice in my head would like the company. :/

  204. I have lived in that house.
    Sometimes it catches fire with anxiety that sucks the oxygen out of the rooms, burning my flesh and choking me with ash. But the firefighters come and I do not incinerate, at least not completely.
    Sometimes the walls collapse, and I am broken under concrete and metal. Bleeding and wanting to die, my heart keeps beating even though I wish it would stop just so the pain would end. But the ambulance comes and I do not die, even though I wanted to kill myself.
    Listen for the sirens. In the distance, I think I hear them. They are coming.

  205. Me too. And the coworker who is also like this right now, I just loaned your Happy book (that’s what I call it). It’s helping her. So know that even when the dark edges encroach, your light is dull shining on other people. XO. Hang in there, kitty.

  206. Sigh….I know about that dark room. I got overwhelmed by it back in November of last year, and, for a variety of reasons, including the loss of a companion animal I was really bonded with, I am still barely at the rim of the hole. Hang in there, Bloggess, and remember that there are many, many people out there that care about you and are cheering you along.

  207. I feel like you’re describing my life right now. Hope your renovations crew leaves you soon xx

  208. That’s a very effective metaphor Jenny. The one thing that popped to my mind was our contractor from the last renovation (lord I hate renovations). He became good friends with our two cats – Valerie and Shadow – and would feed them and let them in and out and make sure they stayed out of trouble while he worked. When he was done they were quite incensed that no one was home all day to cater to their needs. With our permission, he used us as a reference for future work, and included a picture of the cats with the promise that all pets would be cherished during the renovation. A value added proposition. 😀

  209. What an analogy! I totally feel like that: as if I am flipping switches that don’t function for now. Trying, trying. Thank you, Jenny.

  210. yep.

    I just “lied” to my doctor 2 days ago about having depressive thoughts because I was afraid if I said it to him, that he wouldn’t sign off on our move… and I know things would be SO MUCH WORSE if we don’t move… even though I’m depressed because we’re moving and I don’t want to go. I figure: they aren’t suicidal thoughts. There’s no self-harm going to happen… I’m just a ticking time bomb of tears and walking around with a tight chest, trying desperately not to yell at anyone. I’m just super grumpy with no good reason depressed. sprays essential oils on herself again

    And I know that a month or two in to living in our new place that I don’t want to go to, the weight will lift (or I hope it will) and I’ll stop crying (as much) but right now? I’m holding on to the next 7 minutes of quiet before my kids come down and start mirroring back all the ugh because nap time is over.

    7 minutes is up.

  211. A MS flare has put me in the same headspace, so I can empathize so much. I hope you find your light soon. ❤️

  212. Thank you for the best description of (I call it “maybe” depression). It is so annoying to trudge around in the half world and be pissed that I can’t just scream “you idiots, all is NOT hunky dory with me, so quit making me be a happy and fun person in YOUR head”……ever since a friend turned me on to your first book it has been such a wonderful thing knowing that I am not the only one…..you are awesomely awesomely flawed and human like all humans should not be scared to admit publicly they we all are (idiots! it’s easier to admit it)

  213. I’ve been feeling so exhausted lately from a combination of things going on in my life. Most of the time I feel like I just want to run away. So today I decided to give myself permission to do so. All day as I cleaned the house, helped with homework, got dinner going and felt that exhaustion wave over me, I reminded myself that tomorrow, I’m out. I’ve popped the cooler, my swimsuit and my book in the
    trunk. Beach day tomorrow!

  214. My 19yo daughter. She walks this path and all I can do is give her a safe place to be until she gets “unstuck” (as we call it). It’s painful. I worry. She suffers. Then the fog clears.

  215. I have been bumping those darned light switches for a few weeks…on a slightly deeper than typical low. I just started hugging my lightbox each morning, hoping it will shed enough light.

    You description is spot on…I am trying to do some ‘self care’ as I struggle with a long-term job search. Focus is hard. I thank goodness for my pet and my friends with pets.

  216. I got off my meds after twenty years.They gave me suicial thoughts which can be a side effect of Lexapro. Not longer numb, just more intense. And feeling GREAT.

  217. The good bit is that you are waiting for the light to come back. You know it will. That’s the positive. Like so many of us who battle the dark demons that take over our brains and our bodies, you have that to cling to for now.

    I truly dread the day that I don’t believe the ligh will return.

  218. Thank you, again, for sharing. That is such a great analogy. I have just began to come out of my most recent bout with depression… I am trying to get out of bed, out of the house, and I have strings of 3 or 4 days when I can function, and then the exhaustion overtakes me again.

  219. The most important war you will ever win will be the one within yourself.

    Peace and Positive Thoughts,Solitude and Serenity, Delightful Daydreaming.

    The best to you.

  220. I think the light switches are a wonderful analogy to explain depression to people who’ve never suffered from it. You know, those well-meaning folks who recite all the good things in your life, then expectantly wait for you to perk up. Only to be met with the response that you already know about the good things, but life still feels like garbage. Those folks, who just might understand the frustration of life with broken lights.

  221. Never stop flipping that switch-the light will come back on again. We will wait with you in the dark until it does. Thank you again for Furiously Happy.

  222. Oh, Jennie, somebody commented here that even in depression you are brilliant. So very, very true. I haven’t been able to trace my depression over the last several (many) months. Now I know that it’s because I literally have people in. My house. My son and daughter-in-law and their baby were supposed to have moved out over a year ago. They’re still here. So everywhere I go in my house it’s just as you describe. I need them to go so I can have my house and head back. I can’t believe I’m hurting myself in order to save them money. Somebody please help me have the strength to tell them to go.

  223. Keep talking. Tell us, tell your hubs, tell the kid who bags your groceries if you need to.
    Just don’t keep it in. Silent suffering makes the dark feel endless.

  224. I like knowing there’s someone else out there who gets it. I’ve never heard it explained quite that way, but it’s perfect. I felt myself tearing up because I know EXACTLY how that feels. I’ve been in a funk for awhile now. I’m functional, but barely. But barely counts.

  225. And the construction worker’s name is Wolfgang, but he tells everyone to call him “Wolfie”, which you would think would make him endearing, but no, he just yells at you all the time about how ugly your house is, and how much trouble you are, and that everything is going to cost WAY more than his original estimate. But you can’t fire him–you just have to wait until he’s finished. The least he could do is remember your goddamn name. Depression, like home renovations, sucks. Hugs to you, Jenny–no one is EVER going to give up on you:-)

  226. Sincerely, thank you for explaining what’s been going on inside my head for the last 2 years. I’ve been failing to describe it in therapy, and now you’ve given me this gift. What keeps me going when the panic attacks are unbearable and I don’t think I can stand another minute in my own skin, is that the gift of life is pretty damn amazing, and I will continue to push through to get to those 5 minutes, that one hour, or that whole day when I can finally breathe, when the sun feels glorious on my skin, and my laughter is genuine. Relief is on its way. I promise.

  227. I’m pretty sure this tribe will never give up on its chieftain. My aunt sent me a cheesy, but accurate quote about a calidascope, and how the beautiful images you see through it are actually made up of a bunch of broken things, (I butcher quotes. A lot.), because I’ve been pretty depressed lately, and the new meds are really screwing with me. I have been just trying to keep breathing the past month. I know its a lie. The crap my brain is throwing at me is just a shitty bully. I know it’ll pass, and I know it’ll be back. I just know I have to keep sticking around because my girls are amazing, my husband puts up with me, and that’s more than a lot have. I don’t have happy, pretty, feel-good stuff to share, but I can share in the crap, and know that it’s something we have a decent track record of beating through.

  228. I’m in a similar situation and that is an excellent analogy for it. Here’s hoping your lights are back on sooner rather than later.

    And we will never give up on you.

  229. Eloquent beautiful words craftfully swirled to give all people a sense of what some strongly misunderstood diagnosis are. thank u!

  230. Hi Jenny.
    I thought you were writing about me today. I so get everything you said. I want to say that you are not alone but just thinking that made me laugh coz you already have too many construction workers working about but I’m sure you know what I mean. Your head will clear up. Mine too. I have hope for both of us.
    I also want to say – even if your work is half-finished, I’m sure it’d be fine. I’d read it! 🙂
    All my best to you, Victor & Hailey & all your beasties.
    Molly

    PS. I’m headed for the sofa to watch Stargate. Sci-fi (even goofy sci-fi) saves me. That and my cats. >^..^<

  231. So sorry Jenny, you know we are all here for you…I did love your description of how you are feeling…I haven’t been feeling myself lately and it isn’t fun…The warmer weather and sunshine is helping though…we love you!

  232. I don’t like when people come into my home because I’m always afraid that they’ll open that “one” closet where everything is just really messy, and things like fuzzy retainers and my diary from 1993 are just there waiting to be exposed.

    I like coming here, to your blog, because I feel like we all have a similar section of our “nasty closets” that’s sort of the same anyway, so nobody’s gonna get judgy about it. We all love each other more because of our matching crappy closets – and YOU brought us together, and we love YOU so much for that. Every one of us will be here when that lightswitch finally flips the lights on. <3

  233. What a perfect description. I’ve had ppl react angrily when I say o suffer from depression because I am so functional.

    But the lights are out and I just wanna sit down in the dark and rest.

    May the light come back soon.

  234. Big hugs, Jenny, and thank you so much for putting into words what so few are able to articulate. We love your dark parts as well as your light, and there is no need to pretend for us. We support you, and moreover, so many of us understand all too well the sort of experience that you’re grappling with. We are here. We accept you as a whole and beautiful being, perfect in all your imperfection, and we will gladly sit with you in a room full of candles for as long as it takes the power to return.

    This too shall pass.

  235. Hang in there Jenny. Take a break if it helps, we know you blog not just for yourself but for everyone else who shares your situation. Readers understand. Take care.

  236. I hear and feel and accept your struggle as my struggle… the tribe’s struggle. I sought, for so long, for permission to be Furiously Happy. For most of my life, desire was shoved into a corner; my needs, my joy, my fulfillment always taking a backseat to the happiness of others. Then I met (in the form of two books & a blog) a broken warrior, fighting for a voice to choose the happiness that had eluded her as well. Thank you. I take your pain, because when we share it, it loses it’s power. Remember that laughter and pain (whatever the form) don’t like to share the same space, and that is a gift. So tell your brain to F**K OFF, cause you are on your way back to joy. No lies gonna hold this sister for long. Peace be with you, Jenny. Shalom

  237. Wow, Jenny! I mean, your post, and then all the comments echoing similar thoughts, similar head spaces. Even when you’re down and depression is lying to you about your value, about your impact in the world, you end up being a beacon of light.

    I said “same here” to so many of the comments and so much of what you said, that it’s affirming. Yes, I’m still depressed. I’m not magically fixed. But there’s comfort in numbers, I guess. It kind of normalizes it for me, grounds me when all I see on FaceBook is happy happy happy active and successful posts that make me feel like a failure at life.

    Thanks for the online support group, Jenny. I hope the darkness clears soon for you and all the lights start working again. In the meantime, you have a lot of company in the shadows. Okay, that sounded way creepier than intended. But you know what I mean.

  238. I will never give up on you. I hope those in my life never give up on me. Please don’t stop looking, I will be here when you find it. I may be searching myself, I’m searching right now, but I will be here.

  239. One of Erin Morgenstern’s flax-golden tales:

    “bunny without a hop
    Lost your hop! the other bunnies say and they laugh at the joke but he doesn’t find it amusing.
    He misses his hop and he doesn’t know how to get it back but when he tries to explain the other bunnies don’t understand.
    They tell him to cheer up, to just get up and hop.
    He tells them he doesn’t remember how.
    The other bunnies leave him alone after that.
    The bunny sits quietly and watches the grass and waits for the flowers.
    Flowers usually make him feel better.
    And then maybe his hop will come back, even though he cannot see the point in hopping at the moment.
    The hop usually comes back, eventually.
    But he does not know when eventually will be so he waits and watches and tries to remember what hopping feels like.”

  240. I always lurk around this site and read but never comment. I just saw this, though, and thought it would be nice to hear from yet another person who has benefited so greatly from reading your blog. Last night I gave “Furiously Happy” to a friend for her birthday. This is the third copy I’ve bought…gave the other ones to friends who passed it along to more friends who needed a bit of light in the darkness, too. This is all to say, thank you for everything you do. It means so much to all of us, and I think we all would love to share some light with you, as you have with us. Hope you feel better soon. We are all with you in spirit (even if some of us are silent!) 🙂

  241. We’re not going anywhere Jenny. You’re always here for us, supporting and encouraging us – reminding us we aren’t alone in our humanity – so we’re here to remind you that you aren’t alone either. Keep trying the switches, they’ll eventually work again 🙂

  242. You are loved by so many of us. Maybe picture us all as lightening bugs in your yard at night giving you love!

  243. Hang out with #TheBloggessTribe. To me you aren’t our leader, so much as one of us who translated all of our crap so we and the world could understand it all. Yes, people are weird and get shocked when “noticed” by someone they admire. But we have all had our lives changed by each other. And it’s funny. And hard. And sad. But when you talk to someone who describes something as “about one duck long” and is then is immediately asked “a stretched out duck?” and answers “a duck at rest” — and is then told to standardize his duck unit of measure AND THEN DOES. Dear lord, Jenny you would have been snorting over all of it. Because we OBVIOUSLY accept ducks as a unit of measure — but we want clarity. I won’t even start on the hats for the sex demons. We are your people. You gave us the gift of each other. It isn’t all on you. Hell, start a Twitter account that isn’t you so you are treated like us. We welcome you. You are as needed in the world as we are. You are who you are — even when shitty diseases attack. You are no better or worse than we are. You will be accepted and supported and love. Because that’s what we do. @june_leighton

  244. Living with the lights out is hard. I’ve had my son home(sick) all week, so no chance to really take care of myself. Tonight I’m going to a coffee shop to paint(cool event called Paint Nite). Hopefully I’ll be able to get out of my head for a bit.

  245. You are a beautiful & amazing fast talking, wit wielding woman! Even in a dark room, moving slowly around a mess, that still who you are.

  246. Right there with you, babe. You are light to all of us who struggle with life. Thank you. May you always know how much you are loved and appreciated for your vulnerability. <3

  247. I’ve never commented before, but I have lived with depression for most of my life and always find so much comfort in the way you write about it. I started following your blog because it never fails to make me laugh out loud (so that my husband always says “are you reading The Bloggess?”. But posts like this are what really speak to me, reminding me that I’m not alone. You put into words what I could never express about the experience of depression, and somehow that makes it a little easier to be at peace with the dark, knowing that it will eventually pass. Thank you for your honesty, and for bringing light to all those who may have felt alone. Sending positive vibes and hoping you will be able to turn on your own light very soon.

  248. Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.
    /Leonard ‘Bless him’ Cohen

  249. “the truth is that it’s a low level depression that I’ve been fighting off. And that’s harder to admit because … it’s so much easier to pass it off as something that everyone can relate to and that doesn’t make others feel uncomfortable or nervous”

    Please don’t underestimate the number of people who relate to exactly what you’ve just said, and that by voicing it you make the rest of us feel LESS uncomfortable and LESS nervous.

  250. Right there with ya, girl, right there with ya. This past month has been fucked up. I’m sad to hear you are there, too, but also kind of glad that I’m not alone!
    Hugs to us!

  251. I haven’t ever commented before but I think its important to let you know that I’m another person here for you. And to let you know how much I appreciate that you trust your internet friends enough to share your inner thoughts, struggles and fears and trust us to be here for you (which we are!). I hope that all of the love and support you receive can be a form of light to help shine through your darkness (and that maybe all of us commenting can eventually kick out those unwanted strangers).

  252. You say you feel as if you have other people living in your head…well…if your first paragraph is any indication, it sounds as if you’ve actually been living in my head, which might explain some of those headaches I’ve been having lately (well, the ones I can’t blame on the wonky weather, or my asshole boss, or grad school, or depression, or being a single woman w/a cat getting older, or life in general…)–I mean, I do have a pretty big head, but I’m not sure it’s big enough for two people without exploding, and I’d rather not make my roommate have to come home to not only find but clean up that kind of mess, much less risk my cat eating any of it before my roommate comes home (because supposedly cats will only wait 30 minutes after you die before they’ll eat you, whereas dogs will give you 24 hours before they start noshing away), thereby totally traumatizing my poor parents, who’d feel obligated to take Romeo in but would feel weird knowing he ate part of their daughter’s brain, and would that make him a kind of living cat zombie or what, although it would give the local police department a story they’d never forget…

    Right, I’ll just stop babbling now about brain-munching cat zombies and say that I get it–am there, doing that, will be there waiting for you along with the rest of the warped not-so-little tribe, OK? hug

  253. I’m guessing that many of the 300 odd answers will tell you the same. This should tell you that you’re not alone. Let me add to it. I decided to take each day on its merits and be happy on that day. Anything else would overwhelm me.

  254. Yep. I’m right there with you. I’ve been walking in and out of the sludge for the last couple weeks too. Every time the light shines for a few hours in a row, I get my hopes up. And then they are dashed when the fuzziness comes back. Still, I’m trying to be furiously happy in those light and breezy moments because you told me to. And I’m a rule follower, especially in accordance with the Jenny L. edition of life rules.

    This whole community could make music with all those rhythmic light switch flips.

  255. I’m right there with ya. I’m looking for a job and got turned down for one I waited for 2 and 1/2 months for. I just knew I had it. I had a list a mile long of the things I would do there. Then the blah blah blah no in an email came. It hit hard. I find myself wanting to cry for no reason. Yeah, my hormones are still out of whack and the chronic fatigue is getting me and yeah, I’m fat but wine and food still works for me. I’ve applied and interviewed at another place and hope to God I get it. If I don’t I’m not sure what I will do.

    When I’m depressed I let people down. I have a strained relationship with my sister and texted her last week to say I would call. Stuff happened and I didn’t call. Now I don’t call because I’m just ashamed. This is my life lately…. I’ll be praying for you! Hope you’ll do the same for me!

  256. Brilliant metaphor. I’m glad you’re in a place where you know the lights will eventually go back on. The scariest place to be is when you think they won’t.

  257. I’ve been struggling with similar feelings, but I couldn’t put words to them quite the way you did. Side note: I now have “There’s a Light” stuck in my head.

  258. OMG I’m going to send you a pic via instagram tonight. I have a creepy doll that I think you’d like to see. He’s a transvestite. With painted on hair. And he’s wooden and old and smelly. You can at least be entertained till you find that the light comes back on. Hang in there sister.

  259. Take good care of You. If you write a story that I find funny, that’s icing on the cake. Am just happy to be along for the ride.

  260. First time commenter, totally feel like Honey (played by Emma Chambers), Hugh Grant’s little sister in the movie Notting Hill. (I think the line she says to Julia Roberts–obviously thats you–is “I have felt for a long time we could be best friends…”) Not in that creepy way, I promise. Seems like the whole world has known you/about you/your book before me. Anyway, just read your book Furiously Happy, and want to just sit here in this space with you. Again, not in that make you nervous who is this crazy depressed chick way, but more like hey, you don’t know me but I am human and so are you and so there is that, and also hi, you aren’t alone. But you know that, but maybe the painting/demolishing party doesn’t know. She’s not alone party. I’m right here. Hanging with my new favorite author blogger lady friend. Anyway, hi. I’m here with all the others from the comments. Hi.

  261. It sucks. I’m in it too right now, & I really thought I was done with depression. Keep reaching out and fight the s.o.b.

  262. I’ve been in bed for every moment I don’t have to be at work, and I’m getting more and more behind, and I know in the back of my mind it’s depression, but I can’t muster up the emotional energy to deal with it head on yet. Here’s an electronic high-five, though, and hope for a speedy recovery for all of us.

  263. Sometimes, those “low level” periods are the GOOD days for me. And someday I’ll actually start posting my writings (for better or worse) on my own blog, which I started ages ago, but never actually accomplished anything with (kind of like that one time I joined a gym). We’re all here for you, for what it’s worth. Lots of love.

  264. It’s funny… I’ve been having the same kind of day. Walking into my therapist’s office (and finding out I wasn’t scheduled right) and having to say, “Sure, I’m available tomorrow” (because I’m available all the time because I don’t ever leave the house) definitely hit me where it hurts. I wound up throwing a fit and walking down the dock and bawling my eyes out while looking out at the lake because that’s what dramatically unstable do, apparently…

    Hang in there. You’re not alone! <3

  265. That one day at a time saying is horse puckey. It’s really “can I make it through the hour?” and if that doesn’t look promising, “can I make it through the next minute?”. There are times when minute to minute is the only way to go.. (and I’m pretty darned good at that) Even though the present may suck I know it’s better than the alternative. Peace on us everyone.

  266. My viewpoint: if you can’t see the light, it’s because you ARE the light. You have no idea how many times I’ve found myself at the bottom of that particular hole, and the only thing that brings me comfort are your words. I go through old posts, re-read your books, and I feel less alone. I hope all of us together can hold up the light so you can see it too. As long as none of us have matches. I don’t trust any of us with matches.

  267. After I listened to FURIOUSLY HAPPY I decided enough was enough! It wasn’t me it was just my brain. I made an appointment! The anxiety meds worked right away and I am waiting for the depression meds to do their thing. THANK YOU! For the courage.

  268. I’m in a hard place, too. I’m taking more vitamin D, using my SAD light, and eating cakey things as often as possible. And crying in the shower. There is little else more satisfying than showing in the dark, listening to StoryCorps, and let it all go.

  269. Sending buckets of love. Not scary Fantasia buckets. Little buckets of pretty flowers. Paper flowers if you’re allergic. Or vodka. Maybe I’ll just bring vodka.

  270. I’ve just come out of my own renovation and, even though you don’t know me personally, I know that you were there for me (hope that doesn’t sound to stalker-ish or weird-ish but I’m going with it because I know you get what it is I’m trying to say even if I don’t) because I came back to your page, your tweets and your Instagram every time I needed to. Sooooo, what I am really trying to say is that I am here for you and I am not going anywhere. No pressures about your posts or stories; they will come once your renovation is done. ~ hugs ~

    PS: one of the most wonderful things you did for us Bloggessians is create the Bloggess Tribe on Twitter. Let us be here for you because you were there for us when we needed you — that’s what good Bloggessians do.

  271. HUGS!!!! NO, SERIOUSLY. GO HUG A UNICORN! By the way, its not just you. It’s been a roller coaster ride for me too. Sometimes, we just need a spa day whether at an actual spa or just watch netflix for a day. Because stress can do some wild things to mental survivors. Personally, I am staying home for the next 24 hours before more of my bread goes stale and i bonk myself in the head with a van truck lid.

  272. I’ve been in charge of stuff today – little things like where to find the salad bag and I’m tired. Proud of the salad bag though. I’ve had low level depression most of my life, even as a kid and when I got older I added clinical depressive episodes to it. I’m on balanced medication for it now but your post takes me back.

  273. I can’t believe how well you explained that. It’s how I feel. I thought it was hormonal or something. But upped my meds and I’m feeling a teensy bit better. At least I can stay awake all day now.

  274. What a perfect way to describe the way I’ve been feeling for weeks. Looking forward to a temporary hold on renos for you, me and all of us soon ❤️

  275. Jenni,

    This is my first post on your blog, but I check it every day, sometimes several times a day. I read your first book & I had to make a rule for myself that I couldn’t read it out in public because invariably I would start laughing so hard while reading that I would end up in tears making a mess of myself. After reading the book (which was an impulse purchase after I saw Augusten Burrough’s comment on the cover. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.) I found your blog. Your blog has given me a new way to think about, to try to understand & attempt to convey challenges I’ve struggled with my whole life. Like you & so many of your readers have discovered, having a community to turn to who get it without explanation can make all the difference. One the biggest challenges with depression is the inharent isolation. For me, that isolation evaporates every time I come to your blog & a feeling of belonging soothes in the knowing there are a bunch of other people hiding too. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share the not so happy stuff along with all the joy. That bravery has created a space for so many others who would be totally alone otherwise. Be kind to yourself and know there is love flooding your way.

    P.S. Flash the Parrotlet never fails to brighten my day. http://www.FlashtheParrotlet.tumblr.com

  276. I am sorry you are feeling this way, but I love the art work that comes out of it. You are do very talented & your art work is just as fun as your writing. Thank you for always sharing yourself, your animals, & pix of your beautiful girl.

  277. I’m often hesitant to share the following, because it’s kind of one of those things that when people see it for themselves, it’s very helpful (as it has been for myself, and my lifetime low level hum of depression), and for anyone who it doesn’t resonate with, it’s a bit “crazy-town”. But what the heck, today I am going to throw it out there, and bare my craziness to the world. The insight that I had that has been incredibly helpful is that “all thought is illusion”. If for some reason, that doesn’t seem entirely crazy-town to you… I have my story at http://www.procrastinationpublications.com. From a fellow human being of craziness.

  278. oh thank you so much for this post. the imagery of someone being in your house, and especially flicking the light switch and having the power out, so resonates with me.. I herniated a disc in my back 3 weeks and have been laid up, which is flaring my anxiety and dysthymia. I so appreciate reading your perspectives and I love your zen doodle. 🙂

  279. Jenny, that drawing, like many of yours, looks like a maze. I’d like it if you made a new one, just as beautiful, but this one with a way OUT. You will still feel trapped from time to time, , but you will always remember the way back and the damned plumbers will be gone!

  280. There’s this lightbulb,in California that’s been burning for over a hundred years. 100 years! When things are dark, I like to remember that bulb, that’s been burning against all odds for over a century.

  281. Hi Jenny. I’m in New Zealand (hobbits, not koalas). The lights were off here too. Then I went to the mail box and your book was there. And I had to have the light on so I could read it – and now I can see again. Thank you; your words are like bright magical unicorns. Also, Victor is wrong about swans not getting you pregnant. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leda_and_the_Swan .
    Also, what happened to the swamp kitty your daughter saw when you had your beautiful Bluebird of Happiness photo taken? Was it a kitty? Was it a rabid skunk? Was it a chlamydia-ridden koala that you secretly brought home in your luggage from Australia. Take care of you. Sending you light from the other side of the world.

  282. “And that’s harder to admit because even though I know I’ll always deal with depression it’s so much easier to pass it off as something that everyone can relate to and that doesn’t make others feel uncomfortable or nervous.”

    Jenny, other explanations might be simpler, easier to brush off and quantify, but depression is understandable, no question. It’s deeply understandable to so many people (just look at all the comments above mine!). Not only is it just as relatable, but it resonates to a greater degree than casual mention of infections or hormones. And more than that, every time someone like you or anyone really, speaks out in courage, it makes it easier for other to speak out.

    We speak, we normalize, we foster acceptance and understanding. Keep talking, our voices will join beside you, into the beautiful off-key of our people!

  283. When you share these kinds of posts with the world I feel so much less isolated and helpless so thank you for sharing. I’m in the same low level depression boat, drifting aimlessly towards nothing, no direction, no motivation, nothing, zilcho. It’s been about 5 weeks for me and I know why I’m in it but I can’t seem to get out of it. Every time I think that I’m doing better I slip backwards and get stuck. I’m doing the same thing as you, sketching, doodling, endlessly in ink because with ink I have to keep going no matter what kind of mistakes I make. It feels good to be able to move forward on something even if there are mistakes.
    We’ll get through this, all of us together, we can and we will.

  284. The light is within you. Whether you can or can’t find it at this time doesn’t change the fact it resides within you. Take one moment, even one minute at a time…..Surrounding you in light.