Up and down and up again.

If you’ve read here lately you know that I’m coming out of one of the longer depressions I’ve ever dealt with and although it’s still up and down I’m having more and more days when I’m myself again.   Those days are bright and warm, and coming back is like the first brilliant, life-saving breath after spending too much time underwater.  I’m writing this now to remind myself how wonderful it is to breathe and live and feel human, both because I need a reminder for next time depression lies to me and tells me it will never go away, and also because maybe you’re in the hole right now and need a reminder that it will get better.

It will.

And then maybe it will get bad again.  The ups and downs are always there for those of us with forever broken brains.  But that’s okay because you come back out.  The good is worth battling through the bad.  It’s so worth the meds and the therapy and the time and effort and the waiting.

There’s a park in my neighborhood that we go to sometimes.  There’s a playground at the edge of the park and the swings look out onto a cemetery, which I always thought was both strange and also a bittersweet type of poetry.  Small children laughing and playing as funerals pass.  Life beginning and ending and ending and beginning all at once in the same small space.

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Yesterday I stopped there and the playground was empty so I decided to swing, and I went so high I felt like I was flying.  And I flew, in between death and childhood, up and down and up again…in the place where I felt alive again.

jenny lawson

And it was beautiful.

All of it.

It was worth it.

210 thoughts on “Up and down and up again.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Thank you for this. The last few weeks have been exceedingly difficult. Thank you for carrying the light into the dark spaces of our minds.

  2. You could benefit from another med eval, depression shouldn’t last that long or even happen at all. It’s awful and sometimes dangerous to feel that bad that long.-Cheryl Noble, LCSW

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. thats a beautiful metaphor for coming out of a depressive episode. I would LOVE to believe it’s worth it but my defective brain won’t let me understand.

  4. I wish everyone knew that they won’t always be sad
    I wish everyone knew it’s OK to ask for help.
    I wish everyone could find their “alive again” place.

  5. Finding balance is the hardest thing to do when everyone else is trying to shake you until you fall. Thank you for continuing to help others find our balance while you’re still trying to maintain yours. Kinda fantastic.

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is snowy and overcast and cold here and I have been wondering how I will get through the next six+ months until spring. Thank you for reminding me it is possible and also for photos of a warm, sunny day. May blessings heaped upon you for all the good you do for us, your audience, with this blog! 💋🐶💋🐭💋🐮💋🐔

  7. I don’t suffer from depression but your eloquent words always make me enjoy and not take for granted all the joy and beauty that surrounds me everyday. You are loved beyond your comprehension

  8. That was amazing, Jenny. It really touched me. It’s like you get me.
    Thank you. Also, I like your shoes 🙂

  9. Thank you. My husband is in a dark place right now, and struggling to find the right meds. He often talks about giving up. I of course encourage him to go on and remind him that I am always here to listen and hold his hand. It is very difficult to watch someone you love so much suffer so badly. I wish I could do more, but knowing the light will come some day is what gets me through.

  10. Not only is today Mental Health Awareness Day, it’s also Kick Butt Day and Angel Food Cake Day.
    So many of us struggle with depression and anxiety and while I know it will get better, I just want someone to hear me out and help me get better sooner. Sure I may live in one of the most densely psychiatrist populated areas in the state but that doesn’t mean my insurance allows me to see who I want or someone who can even see me this month (or this year in a couple of cases).
    But. The sun is shining. I can make it through today. I’ll worry about tomorrow in the morning.

    Thank you for sharing. Sorry to be a spoilsport.

  11. THANK YOU, Jenny. I don’t know that you realize how much of a difference your posts make — how much hope you convey, even in your darkest moments. Love you, lady!

  12. this is beautiful…thank you so so much for sharing this today. I’ve been in and out of the dark over the past few months, struggling with my depression and anxiety, and need these reminders that this is just part of my rhythm, my life cycle. flawed is no less beautiful, no less worthy.

  13. Definitely sharing this with my mother, who could really use the reminder. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  14. Just keep swimming…I mean swinging…or, just You do You and we love you and we’re still right here, where we will always be, ready when you are.

  15. I’ve been in the pit lately myself. When I say I feel worthless, my husband says that’s depression lying to me. I wonder where he got that?

  16. Thank you so much for that. It’s a beautiful thought and a great metaphor for life. That’s kind of my mantra when I am in the darkness, that this is just the low and it has to turn around again no matter how much my brain lies.

  17. Thank you for always being so open in your struggles. Mental illness can make one feel so alone. It’s reassuring to know there are others out there who know how you feel. <3

  18. Depression is such a beast, and often an insidious one. I relate so much to what you have been writing lately because depression has been pacing the outskirts of my life lately, too. Last night I was thinking of things I can do to help myself get through. I honestly think that this year’s presidential election has had an enormous effect on my state of mind. MUST DISTANCE MYSELF.

  19. The thing that is so hard to remember when you’re on the swing and feel like no one cares, is that all of us who can actually relate are gathered around just waiting to help you push through the darkness and catch you when you feel like you might fall. Depression makes you forget about all those who care about you. Enjoy the sunshine and light!

  20. Thanks Jenny for sharing. I hope you stay up for a long long time. I hope that while you wrote this as a reminder for the next time that the next time doesn’t come again.

  21. Deep.

    I’ve always wondered at that, at the things they choose to build next to cemeteries. For myself, when I’m drowning in my grief I want to really wallow in it and resent anyone calmly ordering a latte while I’m busy digging my hole… but a playground is probably one of the better options, since it’s difficult to see children playing and feel anything but hopeful.

    And, sometimes, grown-ups can play and absorb some of that. Maybe.

  22. Oh, I’m glad you’re feeling better. I appreciate the juxtaposition of the swing and the cemetery. That sounds like the title to a poem.

  23. This post puts me in mind of a song by Chris Rice called Love Is Gonna Break Through.

    “And my heart pounds with a thunder
    and I stop and wonder
    What should we do with life’s surprises
    Everyday the sun rises on us
    Like a swingset in a graveyard
    Like a bloom in the desert sands
    Look at my trembling hands
    ‘Cause it hits me like lightning
    That love must keep fighting
    And somehow, every time
    Love is gonna break through”

  24. Good for you and thanks for the reminder. I’ve been in this depression game long enough to have learned this, too, shall pass, but damn. It fucking blows. I’m no where near as bad as I use to be, & for that I am eternally grateful. But I do wish it would leave me alone. I hate when it creeps up & blindsides me. And, I think the person above is right. This election isn’t helping.

  25. I’ve alway thought of my depressions as a black lake I’m being pulled down into, as if there were cement blocks tied to my feet. Sometimes so far down, I can’t see a flicker of light, anywhere. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at holding my breath, but there is nothing–NOTHING–like that first lung-bursting inhale when you break the surface. I’m glad that you’re feeling your edges again and shrugging on the shape of your happy self.

  26. Just reading this makes me feel better. And I want you to feel better, too. I run and walk in the cemetery across the street from my house. People think I’m odd because I find peace looping around the paths, around the fountains, in the quiet. I read the names of the departed. I kind of imagine they are happy someone isn’t afraid of them, of death, but loves the trees, the birds, the stories that existed and kind of hover over that place. Thanks for sharing your stories so well, Jenny. Keep swinging, sweet lady. 🙂

  27. Glad that you are coming back to being more you! Thank you for still being the magical light that you are, even when you don’t feel like you! Thank you for making others not feel so alone and remember that you yourself are not alone!

  28. On a day where I feel like I am at my end… where I simply think that the depression will never lift, I have read your post and have an ounce of hope… an ounce. Better than the zilch I had prior to reading.

  29. When I read what you’ve written, I don’t feel so alone in the world. When I read the comments below, I know I’m not. There are so many of us, just barely hanging on, sometimes, but knowing we’re not alone gives us enough hope to hang on until the next time we get to feel the sunshine.

  30. You are such a poet. Thank you for this. It’s bleak right now and finding somewhere to feel alive has been difficult lately. Fake it till I feel good again is what i’m clinging to.

  31. Eleven months in remission from my depression now. Eleven months, after a terrible, horrific, wasted 3 years without a break.

    Still get the odd bit of anxiety, but nothing I can’t cope with, especially after eleven months in remission.

    In that time, the lying bastard depression separately took my friends Sarah and Adam, both after a huge fight against the nasty, evil thing.

    And those events didn’t take me out of remission, amazingly. I’m still here, eleven months later.

    I’m scared – terrified – that it will come back as I don’t know if I can go through it again. I can. I know that. I just don’t want to. And for eleven months I haven’t.

    As yours heads towards remission, I’ll raise a glass to you and hope that it’s permanent. And that mine is.

    Eleven months after 3 years. I’ve deserved this.

  32. Like many have said before me, thank you Jenny for writing this. Especially the point about using this to remind yourself that next time there will still be light and the end of the tunnel (and empty swings to fly on) xx

  33. I live with The Viking who is actually Eeyore in disguise. And sometimes a Beserker Eeyore. Oddly enough, he can usually keep me up simply because I have to keep giving him reasons to be thankful for his life. And when I start to come apart, he spools in his pessimism and tries to help. Which is pathetic because he has no clue what to do to make anyone feel better. So, he tries to shout me better (“Be Better!!) and when that fails, his immediate ‘go-to’ is sex and if that fails he buys me a new appliance or TV. I currently own 11 TVs, three of which are Smart TVs and one is a 3-D Smart TV. Thankfully I haven’t had a real major depression for a decade, I just flirt with it from time to time. So I understand the Up and Down and am truly thankful for the Ups.

  34. Hang in there girl! Remember that the good days will come again. Remember how it feels to have that one moment during the day when you forget your depression. Then think about the beauty of that moment when you feel joy again. Then look forward to the days that don’t feel as shifty as usual. Pretty soon those will come. Then you will get some weeks when more days than not feel OK or even happy again. Know that you will see times when you completely forget how bad you hurt. You’ll know you were and could be again. But you’ll be there for someone else, just as you’ve been there for me and so many others when our bodies and circumstances hurt so much. Thank you so much. Sending love and hugs. It’s a long trip but you can make it through.

  35. I just finished Furiously Happy . I had a “shiny person” type friend that blogged and read lots of self help/ law of attraction books I was always avoiding it and things like it . We read this for book club and get to discuss tonight and I’m excited but nervous in a way too… I had been a stay at home mom from 20-30 and just recently started working at my kids public school ! Yeah no shit cray! It’s been first thing to help me wake up out of a ten year fog of legal I thought was just just laziness and depression, but I never wanted to call it that . People don’t get it like ppl are always like your life is easy you have healthy kids etc. I never wanted to put a label on or admit feeling poorly. I have social anxiety or maybe just fear only meeting stupid ppl I will hate . From the last few months and then reading this book I have met ppl at work and put things in perspective that I’m not only person with a victim complex who is a self sabatoger. Btw I make up words all the time and used to have a blog where I wrote about good and also shitty tv shows cuz that’s mostly what I did for ten years was watch lots of tv and read a lot . This book was freeing to read in a lot of ways and I felt a very kindred connection with the author. I also have trichootillomania but occasional w eyebrows and eyelashes. Someone writing about all these things and especially the relationship w her husband is so similar to mine I felt like (minus the republican thing ) thank you for making me feel a tiny bit more normal and that I can get better and move forward !!!

  36. I so look up to you and follow your example in coping with my own depression secondary to chronic illness. And the obstacle course that is my bedroom. I share your love of cemeteries. I used to go jogging in cemeteries a long, long, time ago. Weird comment. Sorry.

  37. I just came up from the bottom of the ocean too. For the first time in forever, I got out of the house and took the dogs for a walk on the beach around the island I live on. The tip of the island has the vastness of the Atlantic ocean on one side and the with just a turn of the head, the Boston skyline over the harbor on the other. Kind of like your swing, I marveled at the difference between the endlessness of the ocean and the temporal presence of the city just looking left and right. Then I was amazed I was out of bed to experience and was grateful. Jenny thank you for being such an inspiration and reminding me that my broken brain is not alone.

  38. Sharing your journey helps so many of us move forward another step (or inch). And your readers often post comments that are also life-preservers to grab for and hang on when we drift in choppy seas. Thank you, Jenny, and thank you to your readers, too.

  39. Your honesty is a gift to others and will change so many lives. You are amazing – GO Jenny!!!

  40. 2016 has been a tough one so far,. Thanks for always being honest on here. I’m in a make-it-through-another-day mode. 😏 It has been such an amazing boost knowing I’m not alone. I’m not a freak. (Well, at least not in a bad way!) I’m glad you are here fer sure. My brain tries to make not being here tempting some days, but hearing others facing the same issues keeps me fighting, laughing, and living.

  41. What a supremely lovely idea. While this post is full of heavy-duty stuff, it made me smile nonetheless. VERY well played missy miss.

  42. I swear that swinging on a swing set is as good for the brain as coloring! I recently swung on a swing after yoga with my friends and it was the most free and unencumbered I had felt in a very long time. I highly recommend it!

  43. Reading that it will get better is so much more valuable and realistic than hearing it from someone who’s never been through it. Those people who haven’t spent months or years deep under water can suck it.

  44. 2016 has been a very hard year. I lost my son 2 months ago. He choose to end his suffering. I am happy he is at peace but I am not. So happy you are feeling better Jenny! You always inspire me and often times make me smile.

  45. Last weekend, a friend wasn’t able to wait for the upswing, and made the permanent decision to “get off the swing”, to sugar coat it. I wish I could’ve shared this with her. I wish I could’ve helped her see where the depression was lying and that her swing would go back up again. Thanks for writing this, Jenny.

  46. You would never know the exhilaration of being above the clouds if you didn’t have to start on the ground first. Swing on, Jenny.

  47. Thank you once again. This has been a very difficult year for me, with thefallbeing extremely difficult, one of the worst that I can remember. The swings were my absolute favorite playground equipment when I was in elementary school and the flying feeling was always exhilarating.

  48. Ahh I wrote this wrong. Let me try again.
    Reading that it will get better from someone who’s been through it is so much better than hearing it from someone who’s never been through it. Those people who haven’t spent months or years deep under water can suck it.

  49. someone is smoking skunk weed out in front of our office today. huge billowing clouds of pot wafting through the office and we cant figure out who the employe is thats smoking it. hopefully we never will. this has been a glimpse into todays office monday. hopefully it makes you giggle as much as the coworker whos partaking today!

  50. Thank you for this…I’m in one of the worst depressions of my life right now. I have to force myself out of bed every morning. You reminded me I need to get out and about, and interact with the world, even if it’s by myself. I could use some good thoughts if anyone can spare them. <3

  51. Currently on a downswing…looking forward to the up thanks for the reminder it’s one the way. Eventually.

  52. I wish I had the super power to fix your broken brain and since I can’t, I am thankful for your writing and for you and all who fight the depression war each day and night. Go hug your fur babies for me.

  53. My daughter suffers from depression. She is atypical and no meds worked for her. I found a book by a man who suffers from the same type of depression. I got it and she looked beyond skeptical when I handed it to her. After reading the flyleaf, she said that it described her. His solution was chromium. She takes it along with some other supplements from her psychiatrist. She is so much better. Still not completely, but so.much less suffering.I cannot find my order on Amazon as it was around 8-10 years ago. Have you heard of this? Please check it out. I love you and your work. Good luck!

  54. I want to swing in that park.

    This post, those visuals, these comments are oh exactly what I needed today.
    Depression is an asshole, and SAD is it’s bitch sister.

    Love💕 and Light✨ and Lunacy🌙

  55. I recently had the occasion to quote you to a dear friend when I said “depression lies”. I hope he listens, because he means an awful lot to me. And you Jenny, keep swinging! Both of you keep swinging, please!

  56. A playground overlooking a cemetery. Somehow, that just fits. Thanks for the reminder.

  57. Thank you for this post Jenny – trying to find help to get back into the light.

  58. Thanks for this. I need to hear that things can improve. My 17 year old son has depression and anxiety. He just texted me from school saying he’s having a bad day, but he thinks he can deal with it. Now I feel like I can barely breathe. He attempted suicide and was hospitalized last year. He sees a therapist, takes meds, does the things he’s supposed to do, but I so want to know that he’ll be okay.
    Glad you are starting to feel better.

  59. Thank you so much for this post. I, too, am coming out of a long depressive episode, and some days it feels like one step forward three steps back. The real test will come Wednesday, when I must go back to work after a week and a half absence because of the depression. If I can make it through work without harming myself I’ll know that things really are starting to turn around. And I owe it in great part to finding this blog and buying your book.

  60. Thank you so much for sharing…love the playground and cemetery and metaphor. I’ve loved swinging until my brain said NO and I thought my head would pop off…probably and ear thing. Sigh. Swing for me too. Hugs

  61. I love swinging. Although I don’t have depression, I am feeling very overwhelmed by all the adult things that are happening in my life right now. You have inspired me to go down the street to the park and just let it all out. Thank you.

  62. Jenny – if you don’t do it now, you should start skipping again. My wife tells me you can’t frown when you skip. As a man with a broken brain, the thought of ME skipping is a little embarrassing, though.

  63. Gorgeous.
    I’m on the downswing but fighting. Got out my happy light, upped my magnesium and vitamin D.

  64. It’s so hard, when you’re in the middle of a down, to remember the last time you were up. The long stretches feel like years and like you’ll never beat it this time around. I’m stepping off the down train right now after a five month battle. I hope it sticks around for a bit.

  65. Thank you for your bravery in sharing the things you go through. I admire you. The world needs you. Keep swinging, Jenny!

  66. That is a poem just sitting there looking at the playground and the cemetery in the background!
    The only way out is through!!

  67. Thank you! Thank you for all you do. I had mine conquered for almost a year. Then hectic work stuff hit at the same time Fall began. Lost time in the gym, lost meal prep time, lost sight of my personal goals. Now I’m in a bit of a slump. Nothing like yours, Nothing like mine before, but still a struggle. It will get better. It does get better. We can all do this alone collectively or collectively alone. Or whatever phraseology means “we got this”. All hail to our leader, Jenny!

  68. So when I am already compiling excuses I will make to back out of shit for the next 3-4 months- I’m not alone? :/

  69. When I first started following you, I didn’t have a broken brain. However, I am now dealing with some sort of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and it does the same thing…I’m ok for a while/weeks/months, but it always comes back to visit (and sometimes it brings friends). It’s exhausting. It’s evil. It lies. All of that. I get it. I understand. and I know that you do, too. I’m so thankful that you are out there, shining a light for others, Jenny. We need you. <3

  70. I was always told my life was like a roller coaster. Adjusting to the ups and downs is the greatest challenge of all. Thanks for the post reminding us that the sun follows the rain.

  71. Thanks you for another wonderful post Jenny.
    You are so right! The good is definitely worth the wait and struggle.
    How else could we appreciate it as much as we do on this side of the grade? 🙂

  72. Broken? Or simply wired differently? I don’t see you, or any of us, broken. Even tho it feels that way.

    You rock!

  73. That’s a fine piece of writing, Jenny… and the photo of your shadow on the swing is fabulous. xo

  74. I’ve been where you are, I don’t believe in platitudes from others that don’t know what it’s like, but those of us who have been through it,and back and through it again and back, etc, can support each other both on blogs and in person. You are not alone.

  75. Oh those days of darkness; when you’re in them nothing makes sense, the beauty of seeing the first glimpse of light. Oddly, once recovery has set in, it’s hard to remember just how far we’ve came.

  76. I’m glad you’re coming out of your dark place, Jenny.

    I started writing you a long message about how fucked up my World Mental Health Day has been, but it got so long I’m going to go blog about it.

  77. I’m so glad you’re feeling better. I’ve been okay for such a long time that I sometimes feel like I might get lucky and it might not get bad again. But I know that’s not true, and I hope when things do get bad that I can remember that they will be good again too.

  78. Glad you are feeling better, Jenny.
    One time I described my depression to my mathematician husband. I told him that everyone feels distant from me, most things aren’t enjoyable, and most things don’t matter much, including me. He replied: “Number 1, I’ve never felt that way. Number 2, if I did feel that way, I’d stop.” He has been nicknamed “Spock” forevermore.
    (We just hit our 35th anniversary, which either proves how tolerant we both are or that we were both too lazy to move on.)

  79. This was so beautiful to read. Just like you, just like me, just like all of us. It’s just after 3pm here and I only was able to force myself out of bed a few minutes ago so I would be up and pretending to have been up so my son wouldn’t come home to a quiet house with his mom asleep “again.” Some days I can’t force myself to do it, but I could today and I’m grateful for that.

  80. I got totally misty reading some of these comments. My twin brother chose to leave this earth 34 years ago. Recovering from someone else’s suicide is very difficult because you think maybe you could have done something. But they couldn’t take the pain anymore and didn’t believe it would get better. You couldn’t do anything at that moment, as difficult as that is to accept.

  81. Jenny, so much of your work speaks to me but this post is so spot on for where I am now. I could write an essay about why that is true. This is not the forum for that but I wanted you to know that you help me get out of bed every day during the worst time in my life. If you ever talk to fans offline please let me know.

  82. What do you do when you can’t ever remember light? I’m 39, not married, no kids. Life devoid of joy.

  83. I may or may not be tearing up in an IHOP right now. You so often articulate the feelings I struggle through. I owe you more than I can explain. I hope you’ll accept some nearly expired coupons for fro-yo instead. Love you SO big you splendid starfruit <3

  84. Thank you- the hardest is the downward swing. Once you hit bottom you’re done. I’s a cliche but so true. You either bump on the ottomans stop and no one stays still forever or you go all around and come out the other side into the light.i’m still way way only way down and I’m holding onto your amazing return hoping to catch your coat tails without holding you back.thanks forgiving so many of us hope- -and for taking us to the park.

  85. Hi, silent follower here…or silent listener, whichever way you fancy it. I like your work because it is utter art and an inspiration. I am an engineering student and when equations are not busy squeezing the life outta me, I try to catch up on a few things among them; your words. I do miss a lot but I let me tell ya that from what I read, you are an incredible human being and do not let depression drown you. This will sound vague but you need to grab it by the scruffe of the neck and tell it to go back to whence it came from. I would love to read your books, where can I buy? Lots of love from Kenya! Cheers!

  86. I’m so glad you’re coming out of this Jenny. <3 I’m sorry that it took longer than other times, that’s horrible, but I’m glad you’re coming out the other side. <3
    I’m also glad for fake names on the internet. Then I can say what’s really on my mind as opposed to, let’s say, posting my reply on facebook for all to see.
    …..I learned a new term recently. “Passively suicidal.” Had never heard it before, until about a month ago. And it describes me perfectly. My official diagnoses is “double depression.” You know, that thing where you go from major depressive episodes to just chronic depression. Yeah that. There are moments and days and weeks of happiness, but basically I’m always either mildly or severely depressed. Along with a diagnosis of GAD (with bouts of acute anxiety thrown in because why not) and PTSD because of some stuff that’s happened in my life and my brain’s inability to handle it.
    Whenever doctors would ask me, even to this day, whether “in the last two weeks have you” been depressed or whatever all those questions are on that intake they do, I never know what to say because I’ve sorta just been this way my entire life. Chances are that nothing will have changed “in the last two weeks” when they ask me that. So it’s tough to answer. And the doc, who is wonderful and awesome and I love her, will ask me, “Are you suicidal right now?” “Do you have plan in place right now?” And I respond with what turns out to be the definition of “passively suicidal” having never heard the term before. I say: No. No I’m not gonna go home and kill myself. No I don’t have it all planned out. But and here’s the definition, for anyone that hasn’t heard it yet, “If i were to die tomorrow, I’d be fine with that. If I got into a car accident, was murdered, whatever, tomorrow, that would be ok.”
    That’s “passively suicidal.” That’s me. And it sucks. And it would be pretty cool, 40 years on, to feel at peace one day. Fulfilled. Content. I hesitate to use the word “happy” because I have been happy in my life. Minutes or days or weeks. But that’s fleeting. What’s not fleeting, in a non-broken brain, is peace. I assume anyway. Contentment. Acceptance of your world and your place in it. Never had that. Maybe someday.
    Meantime, I’m glad you’re coming out of it, and I am thankful for #TheBloggessTribe because I know I’m #NeverAlone <3

  87. Im re-reading your books. They help bring me back.
    Im still deep in my darkness. I am trying my hardest not to believe the lies that depression is telling me. Some days are easier than others. Some days i just feel invisible. Most days scared, scared i wont find the light this time.

  88. I have been struggling too. Not as extreme as your problems Jenny. But Oct. 1 I woke up and realised that I felt better. Then Oct.3 my first grandchild was born, a perfect wee boy. Life is beautiful and worth the struggle to be here. Thanks for all you share Jenny. It helps me a great deal.

  89. Woman, you are amazing. The world is a much better place because of you. Thank you so much

  90. Jenny, we met in person a year ago today (Facebook reminded me). I am laying in bed in pain, again. It’s been bad and has flared up my depression as well. I feel like I have no purpose, no direction, I’m just sort of here, but not. Even when the pain isn’t horrible I don’t do because of the depression making things hard and without any joy.
    Your post today reminds me that yes, it does get better, for a while at least. I had some great moments of being “furiously happy” earlier this year, I forgot about the joy of swinging. I put that memory into my furiously happy box and will keep going. AND SO WILL YOUR. Gentle hugs.

  91. The cemetery/swing juxtaposition reminds me of a scene in my favorite movie, “Harold and Maude”. As Harold and Maude meet for the first time during a funeral, a marching band parades by just as the casket is being loaded into the hearse. The same bittersweet poetry. This movie helps me, in an odd, bittersweet way, to feel more alive. Have you seen it?
    Here’s a clip showing that scene.

  92. Smiling with tears~ thanks u a lot. i am so thankful to read ur books and blogger ,which bring me some sunshine and warm. Big bless for u 🙂

  93. I’ve recently discovered your writing through Furiously Happy, and now your blog. This is often the time of year when my ups suddenly become downs – thank you for the reminder that even though there are clouds on the horizon, the sky will inevitably clear again. Your words mean a lot to me.

  94. Being in an LDR is a constant up and down battle with my emotions. Right now, I am at a high and it’s rough knowing that yet again I will have to suffer the lows to make it to the next set of blissful highs. I like how you call it a “broken brain,” which is so true. When I am at my ultimate high, that’s when my brain messes with me the most. It’s so hard to just cherish the happy moments, when you don’t know when the next ones will come around. I may have to relisten to your books to help me get through the next couple of weeks.

  95. It’s funny,last night I called a domestic violence hotline (I’m safe, but Stockholm syndrome is a real bitch) looking for some connection,or validation,or maybe something else, fuck knows.. They were lovely and encouraging, but somehow not THE THING. Today,while I had YouTube on autoplay I got distracted by work just long enough that the algorithm was able to sneak in something educational- a School of Life lecture on Camus.
    I read the Plague years ago, I’m pretty sure I missed something crucial that everyone else “got” but could never bring myself to care enough to find out what it was.
    So anyway, it turns out Camus- when wearing his philosopher hat- believed that life truly had no meaning, no purpose. He found this idea liberating, because without a preordained reason to live, purpose to fail at finding or goal to miss, we can live for anything;life becomes a choose your own adventure novel. (I’m paraphrasing.) Most importantly, you cannot fuck it (your life) up, because the path you take doesn’t matter anyway.
    Not sure why, but this idea kind of released some pressure. Like, I can cry in my cubicle if I want to, go home and collapse in a heap of despair if I feel like it, etc. And knowing i had the freedom to do so somehow gave me the energy not to.
    Shit is wierd.
    I hope you feel better for longer.

  96. I am finally seeing light and happiness, after almost three years of trying to ignore the lying bastard. Hang in there, you are loved, and are free to be loved.

  97. Thank you Jenny – I didn’t realize it was WMHD, I’ve been so in my hole these past few months.

    Hope you’re doing well…it’s been a long time since we’ve talked, you know, since you got all famous and all. 😉

  98. Thank you for sharing that. Today i felt i made a fool of myself. I was thinking i was climbing on top of it all myself then my results came and i have a tumour behind my rib cage. I sat there in this world of silence, walked out cried the entire way to the blood taking place, cried in front of 15 people who i don’t know. Sat there in a corner and not one person reached a hand out to comfort, But I’m not sure i would want them too. The lady that was taking my blood cried when she saw my age. (35) Mother passed (50) twin (15) both brothers (48 and 45) all gone already. Father in a hospice. After being handed my pooh sample bottles i went to my work and broke down. I am a dental nurse and my first patient of the afternoon (yes i know I’m mad for going to work but i needed to keep busy) was a man on borrowed time himself and close to death. We cried together. The day progresses to dried up tear ducts and headache from the emotion. I wanted to shake everyone and say…..look at that person beside you, they are human they have feelings, some high and some low. Smile at them and if they need a hand reach out. We need to care more about others. We need to stop sometimes and reboot the brain. I have now told my 12 year old son and husband who works away a lot and he came right home. Our son is cooking dinner for us both for the first time in ages and he is hugging me with a tightness that is desperate. I wanted to stay on top of this depression. Its like waves. Ride with it. surf it out. Never wish a day away.
    You are all amazing people. We are all amazing together. Lets fight this. I know my waves will come and go but reading I’m not alone is my comfort blanket. Thank you Jenny and that you everyone on this page.

  99. I needed to hear this. No really, I had a bad attack tonight and had to figure out if I was going to make it or not. Turns out that I did – and in one piece too. My depression loves to tell me that I’ll never go anywhere or get any better then where I am now. I needed to hear that I wasn’t alone tonight. Thank you 🙂

  100. Life is a swing between good and bad, between life and death. Life is everything. I love life.I hate life. But up side down all the time is better than not be alive at all.
    Thank you, Jenny.

  101. “And I flew, in between death and childhood, up and down and up again…”
    No words, just Thank You.

  102. After a particularly rough patch of life, a friend and I snuck into a playground at night and found an old but working see-saw. We had a blast and used the ups and downs and the pendulum movement to find a balance between what we were grateful for and what we weren’t sure we could handle one more moment of. Lot of laughter, tears and finally a feeling of peace with it all. The swing set would be more gentle on your bum, though, so I think your choice wins.

  103. I wish I could say this made me feel better. It doesn’t. The only reason I’m posting here right now is because I admire that you are able to talk about your depression, and I have no one to talk to unless I’m paying them to, they’re forced to listen because they’re married to me (and even then they will eventually walk away), or somewhere like this where I can be anonymous because no one will know what kind of a parasite I am for needing someone to talk to. Never mind the paranoia that I have that someone with enough tech-savvy can probably track me down through this post anyway and expose me for the leech I am, taking advantage of an open forum to say how miserable I am. I don’t give anything back to anyone. I use people. And no one needs to hear about my crap. Right know all I know is pain, mostly physical, some mental. I just want the pain to stop.

    You say it gets better. This seems to be true for other people, but not me. I carry a place of darkness with me wherever I go. It’s always there, and I can only deal with it by ignoring it. Nothing else has helped. I keep to myself so no one else has to deal with it, because I already use people enough. Hell, I’m using you right now, exploiting the good nature of your blog and your community that you’ve created just so I can get stuff out of my head, if just for a moment.

  104. I cried a little when I read this, both because it was beautiful and because of my own demons Thank you. I will keep telling myself I am not alone

  105. A million thank yous for your posts. And your followers and their posts. And if you ever need another thing to be proud of, your photography skills are astounding! Love and hugs galore!

  106. yes.
    Will try to keep hope for things getting better.
    and yes, will keep going on the swings when I need them.

  107. This is a beautiful metaphor for coming out of a depressive mode. I can relate. I wish I knew a year or two ago that I won’t always be sad. It is OK to ask for help, and that balance is key. Thank you for this metaphor because once you realize you are this type of person (which is hard enough) it is worse once you realize how the ups and downs will always be there. Thank you, thank you, thank you, your eloquent words always make me enjoy and not take for granted all the joy and beauty that surrounds me everyday. This really touched me.

  108. After the birth of my daughter almost seven years ago I went through some rough times. Yesterday we played on the swings in our garden and we went so high. I’m flying, mummy!, she cried. It was magical. And it was so worth it.

  109. I survived September. We survived September.
    It’s only a little while to survive October. Surviving October can be done. It’s nearly halfway over already! It will be hard but it is doable.
    November is a short month, we can survive November, we can survive to roll our eyes when we go into the store on November 1st and hear the Christmas music playing, we can handle November. It will be hard but it is doable.
    December is a bit more of a challenge, but just think! There will be Christmas miracles! There will be snow days off from work, and there will be old holiday movies on TV. You can get a chocolate Advent Calendar at your nearest grocery store, and you can’t possibly waste that chocolate-you have to open one door each day. No skipping ahead! And before you know it, 2016 will be over. And it is hard and it is scary and it is tough, and it’s okay to be scared and having a hard time and needing help. But soon it will be 2017, and you will have survived, we will have survived.

  110. My daughter has watched me battle for her entire life…She reads and posts from your blog often.
    She was 2 and I’d been seeing a therapist for 6 months, trying to break the cycle of dysfunction and abuse embedded deep within my buried memories. I was terrified of hurting her and had reached out when I began to think of suicide.
    On that day, long ago and far away, when I pushed her stroller to the park on a cold blustery day. Wash Park’s North Lake playground was deserted, the swings swayed by the wind as I watched. Across the lake, the fire truck was returning to station.
    She wanted to swing. As I got ready to lift her into the toddler swing she said, “Up you’re lap, Mommy.”
    So onto a swing we went, my daughter on my beloved daughter on my lap and bundled against the cold.
    She kept saying “MORE” and giggling and screeching the higher we went. Until I realized that we had an audience of two firefighters walking towards us. As I slowed, one called out “Don’t stop!”
    When they reached the swings, these two men sat in swings on either side of us. And began to kick up their heels. Until the giggles of a toddler were joined by the banter of two grown men egging each other on.
    When we had stopped and I was putting Jessica back in the stroller, the men smiled and patted my shoulder and said goodbye. The “older” one (40’s?) turned and said “:I hope you feel better, young lady. You sure made my day better.” Had he seen those tears, my sadness?
    Between the swing and the men and my daughter’s giggles I’d found a space for peace within myself. Maybe for the first time, ever.
    Jessica and I went often to those swings over the next few years. And I would always take a few minutes to soar.
    Thank you. Your thoughts often lead me to a path for myself.

  111. I have been fighting depression for a very long time, my life has been getting worse and I have been fighting day and day to keep my head up. I dont have money to get the help I need but I will keep fighting. Bur lately I haven’t had the strength your post helps alto

  112. I’m new to all of this- blogging and putting my shit out here and leaving a reply. I have even more blogs than personality disorders and can’t figure out how to make http://girlinjams.blogspot.com/ visible and http://jackileer.blogspot.com/2016/10/stretch.html go the hell away….
    Let’s just go have a cup of bunny rabbits and speak our special language and eat as many
    Whoppers as we can fit into our mouths. k? Then I can tell you my cemetery story and we will laugh and laugh and cry a little and then laugh some more. I would like that.

  113. You have a gift for discovering what matters in life, and why, and then sharing it eloquently with others. And swinging is great – there should be playgrounds for adults. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

  114. Really glad to hear it’s getting better – I’ve had an absolutely hellacious month too. Just. Keep. Swimming. I also indulge in some swing therapy from time to time. One evening I was waiting for a friend to meet me for a walk, so I got on the swings and was feeling all serene and at one with the world until a dad and a little girl walked past and the little girl said “Dad, why is that lady swinging? She’s too old for the swings!” and before I could stop myself I shouted back “You are NEVER too old for the swings!!” and the Dad ignored me and hurried her along. Sending you mind cuddles. (I’m really excited for your colouring book btw. Especially as I now know not to use sharpies to colour with as they tend to ruin the other pages, even if they do smell awesome.)

  115. Also, I assume you’re already all over Stranger Things but if not, you need this show in your life. If only because of all the ‘alphabet wall’ Halloween costumes you could create. Wall costumes are very slimming.

  116. My sister in law recently posted a similar picture on FB, swinging on a swing. She doesn’t have depression, tho. She says if there were 3 of her, she still couldn’t do all of the things she wanted to do in a day. I told her if there were three of me, one would be sleeping and the other 2 would be on the couch fighting over the remote. I’m trying to fight off a depression. My therapist’s teenage daughter died tragically over the summer, so needless to say, I’m therapist-less for now. Not to minimize what she’s going through, because my family went through it when my brother died suddenly in a car accident. It’s life, and sometimes life really sucks. I’m glad you’re coming out of your depression. It reminds me that every time I go into one, I also come out of it. Eventually. But every time.

  117. I’m sorry you’ve been in such a long bout of horrible depression. I wish none of us knew what that was like & could live a life of lightness & ease. (Only benefit to this affliction is compassion & empathy for others. It is a pretty good benefit…if we have to suffer & all.)

    I mostly wanted to compliment you on your loveliness! Look at you, clearly in a cute dress, with your super cute Mary Janes, looking absolutely adorable on the swing!!! Kudos to you for being so fabulous! (I miss being cute, but illness has largely stolen that option for me. So I’m thrilled for others when they have the chance & seize that opportunity!) 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Sending much love & I hope the depression lifts for a VERY long time. <3

  118. I am in the down part. I am exhausted. My daughter is also going through depression and having anxiety. Shes 14. Its so hard. I hope I find the up again.

  119. I too have been battling in and out of depression of late, but only now am realizing just how deeply I have been down in it again. But, ever late to the party I recently and FINALLY read both Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend this Never Happened. And, in that order. Because, well I don’t do anything in order, mostly. I have to say, I haven’t laughed so hard and cried so hard in a very long time. Thank you! Just, thank you! I am now listening to Furiously Happy on audiobook, because well…you are narrating it, and it’s wonderful! You sound nothing like I expected, and I love it, and it’s wonderful and you are wonderful and your books are wonderful and make me laugh, and make me smile and make me cry and remind me, I am not alone. And, that life is worth living and worth being “Furiously Happy” about. So, thank you, thank you, thank you! Please know you are greatly needed and appreciated! Now, if you could begin that fourth book once the third is on shelves that would be great, since I need some more reading material and you are the only author I can currently bring myself to read, that’d be great, LOL! No pressure though, ;-). Have a wonderful day, and be Furiously Happy!

  120. Everyone go check out the song Jump Rope by Blue October. It helps me alot when I’m feeling sad and horrible. <3

  121. May more and more of your days be bright and brilliant and warm, Jenny. Just like you are. ❤️

  122. Jenny, thank you for being you, for sharing your ups and your downs and ups again. One of my high-school students did her personal narrative project about how she struggles with chronic illness and accompanying anxiety and depression, among other things. She feels really alone sometimes. As well as making sure she’s getting the professional resources she needs, I also gave her the link to your blog. Because she’s really really not alone. When she comes into class next week, there will be a copy of Furiously Happy on her desk waiting for her. So thank you for helping me help her.

  123. Atlas- I’d got hold of the whole “Life is pointless and that’s GREAT!” idea from somewhere, but didn’t know it was Camus who came up with it.
    I used to have a picture of the Sombrero Hat Galaxy up on the wall, which I loved because a) galaxy shaped like a hat! and b) however bad things get here, no-one living over there could possibly be worried about it.

  124. Swinging, on a swing, is one of the best anti depressants especially if you are will someone and can’t stop laughing. Or hugging baby sloths, that works too.

  125. You are very brave, and strong. It is a difficult path.
    Continue to reach out and help us all.

  126. Beautiful! I struggled with depression for many years and this such an accurate description of depression! Thank you for sharing!

  127. I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for years, and it’s helped me through quite a few dark spots in my life, more than you will ever know.
    I’ve seen some really cool things happen on your blog- lots of positive fundraisers, book-sharing, and in general: broken people helping broken people.

    Which I guess is why I’m here! I’m in a bit of a… dark place lately. I’m no stranger to dark places, but knowing the journey by heart doesn’t make the journey through those dark places any easier. I’ve thought about some dark things, and have come close to giving up hope. But then I remembered all of you wonderful people out there who have been proven in the past to help others, and I thought: why not?

    I’ve almost commented/emailed before, but always deleted before I hit enter (thanks, anxiety).
    It’s taking a lot of courage, and strength, and hope to write this today. I can only hope that maybe someone out there will want to help!

    I won’t put my story in this message, but if you’re interested at all you can click the link and decide for yourself. https://www.gofundme.com/justagirl93.

    Fundraising makes me feel self-conscious, because I automatically start thinking about all the people out there in the world who have it worse than me, and I start to shame myself a little bit. But I have to remind myself that we could all use a little bit of help from time to time, and there’s nothing shameful about that. Asking for help is one of the hardest things for me, and I think that a lot of you out there can relate to that!

    I would appreciate it more than you know if you could just spread the word…on your blogs, your Facebooks, wherever. Even if you can’t give any money just share the link. Due to the content of my story I don’t feel comfortable sharing on my Facebook, or including my personal information, pictures, etc. Admitting that you’ve been suicidal, that you’ve had a mental illness since you were a child, that you’ve been taken in the back of a police car to the hospital… those aren’t easy things to admit, especially not to people who see you on a daily basis and know who you are. I hope you understand.

    Anyone out there who has ever struggled with a mental illness, I am hoping you will understand and help a fellow broken person out!

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart,

  128. I’m sending you a shit-ton of hugs. Thanks for being so honest with your readers – you are helping more people than you know. I’m in early sobriety, and it’s a wild ride. Even though what you’re facing is different, just being reminded that things will change is so very comforting.

  129. I know that I may once again be late to the party here, but when I read this I absolutely needed to comment. As much as I want to play it off, I think I am also in a bad place right now. I am between overly emotional and emotionally numb.

    This was really beautiful, and I am so glad you have shared this with us.

  130. I’ve heard of that park! Someone mentioned ghost children from the cemetery playing with living children on the playground and i think that fits in with the bittersweetness of it all.

  131. thank you. I love your work, but especially i love this piece. you write the things I know, but don’t know how to say sometimes. I have chronic migraine and depression, and I’ve had an especially hard day today. Reading your words makes me feel a bit less alone, and a bit less hopeless. <3 blessings to you and your lovely way of being.

  132. Thanks for this! I am in the hole. I got a glimpse last week of the light but here I am again…staring into the darkness. Thanks for the reminder that it does get better!

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