The last year has been hard for me. I have glimmers of myself. I have hours each day when I can smile. Some days I come out of the fog and feel the terrific relief from coming out of the underwater of depression or whatever it is that haunts me.
I struggle through the day until sunshine comes back. Sometimes I get my child off to school and then go back to bed until she comes home. When my husband travels I feel relief that I can hide without shame, but the shame is still there. But I know a part of me remains because I miss them when they’re gone, and if I can feel that then I know I’m still alive.
It seems strange. How sometimes I can be normal and functional and my head and body will let me live like people are supposed to live, and then the next day I’ll plunge back into that halfway space where I’m asleep, either physically or emotionally. I remind myself that depression lies…that I’ll come back again. That the hollowness is temporary and could disappear any moment. I kill the day with sleep. I struggle to write, feeling such incredible relief on those days when my head works again and can put words together in a way that makes sense to anyone other than me. I write small notes to myself for the book I’ll finish when the hungry ghost that lives inside me is full, or spent…whatever she needs to do to leave.
And when I can’t write my words on the paper I draw them by hand…symbols and images and strange things from dreams. I draw and erase and draw and erase, and make and unmake myself. I hunch over my sketch book and find myself leaving images to prove I was here…even when I’m scared that I’ve gone missing.
I’m still here, even when I’m not me. I’m still me even when I come out of this spell. I’m me. And I am unpredictable even to myself.
I’m still alive in here.
343 thoughts on “I’m still alive in here.”
Read comments below or add one.
Your art is amazing. Thank you for still being here.
I’m so sorry you are having a hard time. You are loved, and you touch so many people.
Your artwork is amazing.
Also, so are you. Hang in there, Jenny.
I teared up reading this. This year has been like that for me too.
Your infectious humor masks so much. Sending you many positive thoughts. Saw the indie musician Ezra Furman here in London last night and he was talking to the audience a lot about that manic high that follows severe depression … we are all more alike than we may seem.
I know the hollowness can get intense. I am so glad that you are hanging on, and that you know that depression is lying to you and there will be joy again. You are a beautiful gift to so many, even on days when you don’t feel any of that as real.
It’s getting ready to rain here.
Normally, that wouldn’t be significant… but lower barometric pressure means higher intracranial pressure for me, which means everything from a headache to anxiety and depression. I know my brain is lying to me, but it’s hard to remember when everything is at the mercy of a cloudy day. Posts like yours help make it more bearable. Thank you for being here.
Your post made me cry. I have been here so many times. Know that you are not alone.
Right there with you:(
God bless you Jenny. So sorry you are struggling with this. You and your writing are a gift to so many. Do what you can do each day and that is enough. But hope those clouds lift and stay in their proper place in the sky and let the sunshine beam its way to you daily.
I’ve been feeling a lot of this today! I am dealing with multiple chronic illnesses and realized today just how much shame I thrust on myself when I can’t write 2k+ days or do 30 minutes on the elliptical. When it’s just 250 words and 10 minutes. If that. I forget that sometimes I have to move the goal posts. And doing that makes me feel lazy, shameful.
I have days where I’m “normal”. Days where the pain is insignificant. And even on my bad days, I pass for normal. (Aren’t I lucky to not look sick? groan) But on my bad days, I am a horror show on the inside. I have all these lies in my head telling me that I’m faking the pain, or that I’m a parasite. Today is a horrible day for the inside of my head. So many lies from my depression. So many horrible things.
Thank you for writing this.
I needed to know I’m not alone here today.
i can SO relate to this….sometime I wonder if i AM still here…. 🙁
I soooo get that. Art is such a wonderful method of expression, I hope you can appreciate how talented you are.
Even in your darkest days you remain a beacon of light to so many of us. I hope we can be a light for you 💗🕯
I’m sorry you are having a hard time. I’m glad you are still here.
Depression does indeed lie … And that lie can feel so overwhelming at times! I completed get wanting to stay in bed and sleeping the day away, as though nothing exists beyond the duvet. Recently I’ve been in a zombie state where I’m functioning, outwardly it can look as though I’m perfectly ‘normal’, but inside is just a mix of self-loathing, shame, irritation, sadness, etc. Of being there, but not being there, all at the same time.
Thank you for reminding me that Depression lies … And that the hollowness is temporary. Stay strong sweetie!
(PS – I love your artwork!)
You are here. We are here. With each other. For each other. <3
Yup. Depression lies. And we are grateful that you keep on keeping on. You touch so many people’s lives. hugs
We hear you and we’re there with you.
Yup. I feel you, Jenny. You’re not alone.
Struggling a lot these days. Thank you for your drawings and your words.
Because of you, I am a better friend to friends who endure depression and anxiety.
Your honesty has allowed me to go from “I wish I understood you better ” to “I might not understand all of it, but I’ll listen the way you need me to.”
Does it help to go back and read your funny silliest stuff, knowing that it will be there waiting for you?
great big hug
you are amazing. I wish i could make it better for you. But it helps to know that i am not alone. XOXO Jenny!
We love you! I appreciate your words on this; I’ve felt so much the same. And you’ll be back, and we’ll be here, and we’re still here when you have to be gone, sending hope. <3 <3
Thank you for always having the courage to share your truth. Continued love and empathy and gratitude to you. Sometimes the bravest heroes are the ones who admit to feeling pain.
When you share your full story; the good, the bad, the vulnerable and the personal…. it makes it easier to live my story. Being reminded that someone else out there stumbles on their journey and lived makes the fear of stumbling smaller. I still stumble, it still sucks. But the shame of the stumble is less, the embrassment is less. Thank you for that.
I want to hug each and every one of you. I am lucky to have gone quite a while without that horrible dark feeling; I feel it try to tug me back every so often but it hasn’t gotten me yet. Know that depression is a lying sack of shit and you are not alone. When there are too many feels, or no feels all, it’s OK – it will stop and things will be better.
Keep fighting. You’re worth it.
I am sending a big cyber hug to you! I hope the darkness lifts soon and you can come out into warmth and sunshine.
Thank you for everything that you do. The world is a better place because you are in it!
I am thankful for you. Sending virtual hugs, which are the best kind because there is no touching.
I’m in the trenches with you. Barely hanging on to my job, and I just want
to crawl under my desk, cover my ears and scream until the pressure stops.
I keep telling myself that if I can just make it to 40(in 3ish years), then I can drop this life
for good. Take care of yourself.
I am glad you are still here even when you aren’t completely here. It has been a horrible year for me too. There are at least 20 conversations happening in my head and I just want to sleep. But I can’t sleep because I dream, or more so nightmare and it won’t stop. I have no hope right now and only exist. Although I go to work and take my daughter to school each day it is only part of required function because I want to go back to bed. Worse yet I want to go into an internal, dark, quiet sleep. If anyone understands that, it would be you. Sometimes I pull out your books and reread a few chapters just to laugh again. I think without the words you put on paper that land into my hands have saved my life a lot of times. What I do is not living and honestly living would be too hard but I am breathing and I am here. Thank you for being you.
I know what it’s like, everyday a struggle of mental and physical proportions… all you can do is continue to breathe laugh when you can cry when you can’t… none of us are alone, we have to remember there are many of us, we just have to ignore the voice that insists we stay inside, and walk into the light where the rest wait…
Jenny you are important. Not even lying depression can change that. You are important there, and here. Love to you beautiful!
It’s a rough year – too many external pressures make it difficult to combat the internal ones. Fortunately, even though you may not feel like it, you’re strong enough to power through the dark times.
I’ve been feeling like this all year. Hoping (probably futilely) that everything will be better come New Year’s. It helps to know I’m not alone. Thank you for that.
I just… thank you. So much
Just read the chapter in “Furiously Happy” where Victor was telling you to breathe as he was trying to get you to the hospital during the first of the gallstone episodes and you thought you were being eaten from the inside by a Leprechaun, and now I’m going to risk annoying you by saying it too. Breathe Jenny – there’s all kinds of love stretching to you. You’re still in there and we’re all right here and you’re not alone.
I use a mental health app called My Mantra, which uses picture “boards” attached to mantras you need to remind yourself of. I have “I am capable”, “I will create”, “I am inspired”, etc.
The first photo under “I am inspired” – is a photo of you and I taken when you last visited Chicago. I brought my book trailer sign – the one that reads “I’m broken because – sometimes I can’t manage to leave my house:. and “I’m Furiously Happy because – I have lots of friends who live in my computer”. You signed it “You are my hero”
So I hope that this random person who lives in your computer can remind you that even when you feel hollow or exhausted or say “Holy Shit, Y’all!” during an appearance in an actual church, you are still an inspiration.
And you have to believe me because I’m your hero – you told me so yourself!
I’m still here, too. Some days I wonder why, but I keep going. It’s good to know I’m not alone in my struggle. Keep going. We’ll make it through.
I know the fog and I certainly understand the urge to hide. You aren’t the only one! All I can say, and hope that it’s helpful, is this: it’s always, ALWAYS been more rewarding to me to make the difficult choices, like leaving the house, making the phone call, writing the letter, or even just picking up the pen and choosing to start writing when the motivation isn’t there.
Look, I have no idea what it’s like inside of your head and I certainly shouldn’t be giving advice, but if your inner psyche is as twisted and neurotic and generally effed up as mine is, we aren’t that different.
Try making MORE of the difficult decisions and see if they aren’t validating, reassuring, and worthwhile (even though they are cripplingly difficult). Hang in there.
Knowing you’re still alive in there makes me remember I’m alive too. Keep looking forward!
You are just so talented. I love your drawings, I love your books i love your posts…I just love you! If it helps at all to know so many people love you…count me as one who does.
May she get her fill and allow the song bird to sing a beautiful song again soon. We see you. You matter. You are never alone. ❤❤❤
I understand completely. We’re all here. Some of us are in the same state, some are coming out of it or heading into it, and some are lucky enough to not be subject to it. No matter your headspace, we are one tribe of Strangelings. My bumper sticker says so 😉
Thank you for being raw and real, and for speaking out about mental illness. You have created a safe place for those who are struggling in your art, your books, and your presence. Thank you for being you and thank you for being here. We all appreciate it.
Praying for you.
We’re all here when you’re ready to join us.
Hugs Thank you for still being here. And for being brave enough to write about it. I hope that things get better soon.
Dear Jenny – We know you’re there. We can feel you. We understand it’s tough – some of us have been there, too and even the ones who haven’t can relate to your description. Hang in there! You are loved by many, and we want you to know that we are here.
(And in reading that, I can see it sounds like there are many people in my head. I was speaking for your followers, because many have expressed the same sentiment. I was not speaking for Legion. 😉 )
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Wishing you restful days til it passes.
I know even hearing all these encouraging words can sometimes not knock out the ghost, but slowly, surely, you are winning. WE LOVE YOU!
I took a volunteer job to try to combat the lies my brain tells. Turns out I’m good at it. I still have a lot of shitty days – today is one of them – but provided the transit strike ends I know I’ll be back in a classroom on Thursday and helping people learn to read.
Boyfriend and I will be doing “Furiously Happy” on audiobook soon. He’s loving Let’s Pretend (I got it as an audiobook after wearing out my voice reading so many excerpts the cost/benefit worked out).
We appreciate what you’ve done so much.
This year, 2016, has been a horrible year for many people, myself included. But it will be over soon, and I have to believe that 2017 will be much better. Hang in there, sweetie! Love you!!!
I appreciate you, and your openness about the darkness. You bring such joy to me, even when you talk of the dark. Much Love.
Much love to you, Sweet Lady, I know this is hard. Thank you for being so brave to share. <3
I’m in the darkness with you. I can’t find a medication that works and I’ve tried so many and I’m terrified I will never find one. Please please stay with us, you help and you bring laughter and joy and light and remind us we aren’t alone. I hope your darkness recedes soon. So much love and healing to you
I am so sorry it is dark and empty and painful today. I have many of those myself – it feels like mostly those. Thank you for the way you rise against the dark and thank you for making that visible because I learn so much from you, and get so much relief and comfort. You need a Bloggess of your own!
My Bloggess made me giggle-fart-guffaw on a plane recently and it was Good for Everyone.
I feel like you reach out and boop depression’s nose, and suddenly it seems it takes itself WAY too seriously, and I’m not as scared. Hopefully someone can boop your black dog’s nose for you, too.
One of these days, I’d love to quilt one of your sketches. I too have been feeling empty a lot lately. I’m actually envious of you because you’re able to crawl back in bed on the days you need to. I come to work most days and pretend to be functional, but inside is just echoes. Except when I quilt. I’d do it full time if I could. Hang in there. I’ll do the same. Hugs.
I send my friend your posts. She and I vow to meet you one day to tell you how absolutely funny you are. “Bad times /don’t last/ alwayz” is the Baptist version of ‘depression lies’. On Bad DAYS, the bed is the place to be.
I think that the year you have had proves that mental illness is no different from regular old illness. Maybe we should just delete the “mental” from the moniker. Sick is sick.
But you can and will get better. Keep trying until something works for you. In the meantime, you have my permission to eat crackers in bed.
Count me in. Today, as with most days, I have great ideas that I want to do. Then, my brain and body say, Nope. Not today. I wonder if there will ever be a day when I can actually do something. At least my brain allowed me to string a few sentences together. Remember that poster in the 70s with the kitten hanging on a bar? Hang in there Baby!
At least you can write. At least you can draw. I have no talents. I offer nothing to no one. I just exist and take up space and I feel guilty for that. Don’t mind me. I am just feeling down. I will wait, as I always do, for it to pass. Thanks for remind me that it will.
I’m hiding in minecraft. ❤
I’m so glad that through it all you came to Cincinnati. You forced me out of my comfort zone to come and meet you in all my nervousness. My counselor was even happy that I went. I am still here also. Thank you for all that you perserver through.
That piece is beautiful, Jenny. Remember, we’re here for you as you have been here for us.
It’s been almost two years since I finally realized that I was in a struggle with major depression (which I was badly losing at the time.) I am now on an upswing and on the verge of actually having the major pieces of my life put back together. But I still remember the hollow, empty down slide.
One of the things that helped me, more than once, was to visit your blog to be reminded that depression lies. It was a simple fact that I could trust even if I didn’t feel it. I could see everything you had achieved despite so many obstacles, how you were so incredibly frank with us, and how you kept on going regardless. You were and are such an inspiration, as well as such a talented and beautiful woman.
Through the Christmas Miracle of 2014, I had the enormous good fortune to meet an amazing groups of Saints all over the county and indeed the world. Many of us are still in contact and their humor, support, and caring is a gift every day. One of these lovely women was recently struck by the inspiration to reference the Japanese art of kintsugi as a beautiful metaphor for what all of us who survive mental illness, chronic ailments, and everything else life throws at us. Kintsugi is the art of repairing broken broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Thus repaired, the cracks aren’t hidden or disguised, they’re celebrated and highlighted, seen as beautiful evidence of restoration and continuing life. In that vein, your songbird may be silent for the moment, but this will only serve to to counterpoint and highlight the beauty of the song when it comes.
I’m so sorry things are rough. I’ve been there and your existence is one of the things that helped me to find a way back, in so many ways. You’re lovely as you are, always, and I hope that the hours when you can smile soon turn into days and weeks.
Not only does depression lie, it sneaks up on you. And anxiety hits you like a ton of bricks when you’re least expecting it. You are still here and this too shall pass.
This sounds like my daughter 🙁
I wake up breathing, it’s a good day. There’s a wee dog wanting to go out, still a good day. Children (and a grandchild) and a husband who love me? Good day. The rest is all details. hugs and hugs
Dear Jenny, tI’m glad you are here. I feel less alone in my own head.Even amongst a crowd.
I have been losing too. Losing myself, my joy, my drive. Just when I feel like I am slipping through the system, I rebound. It is never high enough. But the songbird still sings, the kids still laugh, my friends are good huggers and I get another day. You will get another day. Another chance to be free. Hang in there with us. We need you.
You are still here. And so are we. We will wait quietly until you come back to the light xxx
Your mess aren’t right, please keep getting evals until you don’t feel like that. As an LCSW I’ve heard this type story for yeas and seen with proper prescribing, seen those people come out of it
Sent from my iPhone
(I’ve tried pretty much all of the meds. At this point my doctor says transcranial magnetic stimulation is the next option but I’m concerned about long-term effects. I’m ready for the miracle drug to show up. I finally found one for my arthritis – although with lots of side effects and crazy costs – so I hold out hope that one day there will be something that puts me in remission for depression. ~ Jenny)
Hello Dear Soul, I have never written to you but I’ve read all of
your books and I think you are magic and beautiful and wonderful. And I know the pain you feel because I have been there many times myself. The darkness is brutal, but the light will come back. I think I’m sounding moire religious than I mean to, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Sending you love.
Your being here makes a difference to so many people. Giving us a voice even if depression mutes you… I hope you will hear your songbird again soon. Maybe hear her with the choir of readers who would love to lift you up in the background.
That is beautiful and so are you.
You are as amazing and awesome as your writing and I for one am glad that you are still here!
I know this feeling…like somewhere inside my brain is what’s left of Me, screaming and pounding her fists on my skull, wanting to get out. But the rest of the brain is so tired, and so sluggish, like walking in nose deep water, that it ignores Me. Too much work to get her out….
Boy howdy, do I feel this.
O Jenny you are so greatly loved by soooo many. Your life makes such a huge difference. In our world. I wish I had a magic wand to bring you light and joy whenever you are caught in the dark, as you and your honesty and authenticity bring light and laughter and joy to this community when we are caught in our pain.💐💐💐💐💐❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🐿
The fact that you’re still alive in here, and you let us know it, is (a reason) why so many of us are still alive in here, and also why some of us also let the rest know it. YOUR BLOG and YOUR BOOKS and YOUR ART and YOUR ENERGIES are such a huge factor in my blogging. And I’m not a humor blogger! But you help me to say what I need to say, in the public forum that is the interwebs.
Thank you, Jenny, for being still alive in here. Depression Lies, and It WILL Get Better.
Amazingly brave & thoughtful post. Your words help & support many, including yourself, I hope. So glad you can see through the lies… God Bless.
You just took a road trip with me from northern California to LA ((n a rented black convertible no less), or at least your audio book did. Every time I turned the car on, you were there making me laugh or feel better about some stuff in my life. I am sorry your demons are being jerks. And I m so glad that you are you. Hang in there.
That was beautiful. Your honesty about the struggle helps a lot of us who are going through the same thing. Thank you!
Sent from my iPad
Glad you’re here.
I hope and pray, if there is any other than self-comfort that is derived from prayer, that someday you can appreciate what a wonderfully talented person you are and what comfort and joy you bring to people who follow your blog and read your books. I’m sure that there are countless people who want to selflessly reach across the cosmos and enfold you in a warm, gentle, and healing hug!
“Every mans death diminishes me because I am a member of mankind; so do not send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee” and me and all of humankind.
My fervent hope is that you someday understand how many people truly, and unselfishly appreciate your unique, precious and insightfully different talent.
I fervently wish you could understand how many people so highly value your talent. A talent that allows you to see things in a such a humorously unique fashion and that makes us smile both inside and out!
Be Well Jenny You are so loved! 🙂
You are amazing and your drawings just prove it. I wish I coul bring you some gentil words, but I´m depressed to. Perhaps, You should write poetry. It helps because the words come and your criativity to. But I´m so little, here in the other side of the ocean! I think we need to understand our personality and stop for a moment. Then, we move one…
«No soul more loving or tender than mine has ever existed, no soul so full of kindness, of pity, of all the things of tenderness and of love. Yet no soul is so lonely as mine — not lonely, be it noted, from exterior, but from interior circumstances. I mean this: together with my great tenderness and kindness an element of an entirely opposite kind entered into my character, an element of sadness, of self – centredness, of selfishness therefore, whose effect is two – fold: to warp and hinder the development and full internal play of those other qualities, and to hinder, by affecting the will depressingly, their full external play, their manifestation. I shall analyse this, one day I shall examine better, discriminate, the elements of my character, for my curiosity of all things, linked to my curiosity for myself and for my own character, leads to one attempt to understand my personality.»
Fernando Pessoa, Diary.
As a mental health professional I am grateful and touched by your honesty about your struggles. The stigma around mental health is sadly still present and it is through blogs like this that I hope we can overcome this and those that need it can access and benefit from the help available. Thank you for all your words, art and wonderful spirit
Thank you for your honesty and your art. Please treat yourself gently: sometimes it’s enough to simply make it through the day.
2016 has been a real dick. I’m glad you are here.
It really does get better. Hang on.
I’m glad you’re still here, too! Some days your blog is the only thing that makes me truly smile, or if I’m having a really good day, even makes me laugh. Thanks for pushing through your dark times to bring some lightness into my life!
Then we move on…
Today? Today I needed to hear that. For the first time in a long time I needed to hear that depression lies. I feel completely blank. I just can’t. And I don’t even want to. So thanks. This is not forever, not even a little bit.
I’m so sorry you have to go through that. I’m glad you’re still here. Your writing made me think of the saying that is attributed to Buddah “Always keep a green tree in your heart so that the singing bird may come.” My wish for you is a forest of green trees and a flock of singing birds.
This year sucks all around. I’ve been feeling for years like I’m climbing up the down escalator, but this year it’s gotten so steep I feel like I’m falling backward. Today’s a really bad day. I’m sorry you’re down, Jenny, I’m sorry we all are. This is hell. I know this is the part where I say we’ll just grab hold and lift each other out of it, but I’m so tired of climbing. I just want to lie down here and rest in the dark for a while.
You are loved, and you are UNDERSTOOD by this tribe.
Thank you for your honesty, your writing, your art and the awesome community you’ve created. Thanks for being you and reminding us that we’re never alone, even on our darkest days. Hugs and ponies for everyone!
Me, too. I’m afraid if Trump wins, I’ll never come out of it. (I’m not kidding.)
The song bird IS there. Sometimes she has to travel through the winter, but she comes back in the spring, and spring ALWAYS comes.
Today I’m having a day. All the terror, uncertainty, confusion of the last week has come home to roost, and my feelings are leaking out my eyes, but I know that it’s part of the cycle. The tears come, and then things get better.
What you said about your husband traveling really hit home. Sometimes I try to hide how low I get because it’s embarrassing.
I feel this way too.
Thank you, this was beautiful.
Get a job, woman. You’re depressed because you have nothing to do and you have the luxury to sleep all day. And people like you get out there and try to make it okey to be lazy by pretending to be ill. Shame on you.
We know you in many small ways and we care for you in many HUGE ways. So many of us need you for the truth you tell, and because we share that secret of the sparkling coins at the bottom of the well.
I can hear your songbird even if you can’t. She’s very talented and her song always give me hope especially when my own singer goes mute. I’ll keep listening. So will you. Hugs. Big tight hugs.
I am so glad you are here. You made me understand by putting words to the feelings I was having when I couldn’t find the right description. You also helped me with pictures of Ferris, Dorothy, and Hunter. You have allowed me to still be here. I owe you.
I am with you, you beautiful land mermaid. This past year has felt surreal in how absent I’ve been.I’m glad you’re still fighting and glad you’re still able to see that depression lies, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Much love. Xxoo
My life fell apart last year. In January my beloved grandmother died and I was devestated. In February my first grandchild was born, a month early and her cord around her neck, but she was ok. Three days later, I found out my husband of 14 years, my best friend, was cheating on me with a woman he claimed to love. She is 20 years his junior. This year, she got pregnant and they are getting married. The final straw, I lost a job I love because I can’t pass a civil service job (I’ve been there 5 years). I am at rock bottom. I’m beginning to think I’m cursed. I know depression lies, but I’m so broken. I don’t think I’m going to make it.
(Keep breathing. Keep fighting. You are not alone in this. We have your back. Sometimes the worst things happening can be blessings…like freeing yourself from someone who wasn’t deserving of you so real love can come into your life. You can do this. ~ Jenny)
We are your tribe
Like you, we are no strangers to the dark. And we hold out for those times when the dark recedes, when we can feel human again, however briefly.
We get you
We are listening
Oh Jenny….I feel ya girl. Thank you for putting words into what I could not express for myself. Love you. D.L. Sister (depression lies sisterhood)
Thanks for your words. Some of us can’t find the right ones and you help it make sense or at least help explain what so many of us suffer from. You are not alone and neither am I. Thanks for sharing, it does good.
This is my story exactly. Word for word. You just told my story for the last year, nearly exactly. ❤️
You’ve drawn something I’ve felt for damn near my whole life, but with hope. Actual hope.
Does anyone listen to Louise Hay?
Thank you for sharing that it can take a long time to push through it. I’ve been struggling for months now, and I keep thinking, “Why is this still happening? I should be OVER IT by now, dammit!” but there it sits, like a fog. It’s screwing with my ability to read, which is dangerous because selling books is my job, and if I can’t read them, I can’t recommend them. So I let that pressure build up on me too.
So thank you, Jenny, for speaking in a way that allows me to let go of some of the frustration. We’ll be okay, you and I. In time.
Thank you for still being here. 🙂
Your resilience glows brightly.
Thank you for sharing your journey, I am dealing with learning that I am bipolar 2, so things make more sense, and the meds help, but I am not there yet.
Thank you for telling me that depression lies. It has helped me a lot! Thank you for writing so beautifully, it’s something I wish I could do but have never succeeded, my talents lie elsewhere. I guess I’m trying to tell you that you are valued, please remember that the world is a better place because of you!
I don’t know what to say other than Thank You for being here. My days are brighter because of you.
When I’m at my worst, there’s a small part of me that is aware that I’m anxious or depressed. It helps me to know the observer is there, that even though I have a mind, I am not my mind. I hand onto that observer, worm my way into that perspective, so I can view my depression or anxiety as if from a distance.
This sounds so familiar. Hang in there Jenny.
Your art is amazing! I am somehow functioning these days, tho I don’t know how. Some days just barely. But I smile and say I’m fine. So basically, I lie all the time…..jen
Even when you are low you are inspiring. I am amazed how you write your feelings down and I can feel them as I read them. You do have a gift and I am glad that you are sharing.
You are such an important part of my life. You share your depression so openly. I shamefully hide mine. This sounds really hokey, but please try it. Look up Louise Hay and download one of her positive affirmation thingys. I’ve been doing this for 2.5 months and my depression has improved immeasurably. I no longer have random thoughts of “if I were dead I wouldn’t have to feel.” I still take my meds, but the dark times are less frequent and not as intense.
Honesty is cathartic, difficult and just so beautiful. Thank you for the most honest thing I have read in millenia. Okay, well years!
Thank you for sharing this. We love you. We are in your corner. ❤️💖😉💕
Thank you for this
You’re good. You’re kind and you’re in there. We are good and we are kind and we are here for when you need us. Don’t ever forget that (in my best mom voice cuz I’m ALMOST old enough to be your mom). You sharing your experiences has opened the door for many people to speak freely about what they suffer with. And hopefully it’s cathartic for you to write and share during the shit days. I will stand up tall and say there’s nothing wrong with staying in PJ’s and schlepping about or taking the time to ride it out. Can you feel the community, Jenny? We’re here. <3 @shellwatthehell
You put the emotions into words so well. It’s that in between feeling. Not curled up into a ball depressed, but just coasting through each day, not really living. It’s a horrible existence. So many times I wanted to stay in bed all day, but I’m afraid if I do I’ll never go back.
But if I keep reading your blog, and hugging my kids, then I know I am still here too. And perhaps the fog will lift. I just have to remember to keep my headlights on and hope the forms in the distance take shape.
I like you Jenny, I like your words, your sense of humor, and your ability to share the vulnerability that is your mental illness. You are stronger for sharing as you help others feel stronger for being. Thank you.
My daughter is 13….she draws, doodles, pencil constantly in hand….then she sleeps- sometimes for days. The best days are when she shares her work. I feel like then she is herself again. I think you described a little bit of what it is like to be her. Thank you for putting it to words. I’m glad you are here!
I have to be anonymous today.
As much as you have touched me over the years, this is the first time I cried.
This is the most raw and honest post. I identify on so many levels, especially the relief of being able to hide with less shame than usual.
We are strong and we can do hard things.
Depression lies. Anxiety does too.
I am glad that you are here. It is so kind of you to share with others all you go through. Everyone has different struggles and though different sharing helps. You are the first and only blogger I have chosen to follow. Thanks for being a bright spot in my life. Joyce K.
Thank you so much…Hugs for your many challenges. Proud of you for doing what you can. I have a lesser version of what you have…so hard to explain to others. Thank you for you and your talent, courage, humor and beauty.
Here’s a big hug: (( )). I personally think you’re pretty awesome.
Jenny, you are not the only one. If that helps. Sometimes it helps me to know that but admittedly, sometimes it doesn’t. In case it does this time, I’m tossing it out there.
For Erin (#116) – you have more strength than you know. You’ve gotten this far. You are still here. I really don’t like the saying “take it one day at a time” but I must admit that doing that does work – although I have to break it down smaller than a day. I don’t mean to sound simplistic or insulting to your level of pain. At all. I mention this because it has worked for me and I too have had a horrible year. In May my remaining sibling died unexpectedly at only 54. (Our younger sibling was murdered 22 years ago.) In August my remaining parent died. Unexpectedly. It’s been a struggle. This is on top of my needing my 36th surgery (all of them a result of a horrific car wreck years ago) and finally facing the sexual trauma I endured in the military and getting help for that and the resulting PTSD. Some days I feel like I have to take it 5 minutes at a time but I know I can always do 5 minutes and then 5 more and then, before I know it, it’s an hour. Eventually those hours make a day and then a few days and so on. I am broken too but broken is better than gone. And when it feels like being gone would be better, remember that depression indeed does lie – it lies like a motherfucker. Talk to someone. Talk to someone else. Do those things, however small, that bring even a blip of a moment of joy to you for it all matters. It all adds up. You can do this. I wish you well.
Thanks for still being here. Thanks for the awesome ink works.
If it weren’t for all your challenges you’d be a very boring person. Like all the other Zombies walking around. There is humor in the darkness and you drag it out into the light. And we all appreciate it. :o)
” I struggle to write, feeling such incredible relief on those days when my head works again and can put words together in a way that makes sense to anyone other than me.”
Oh, how this resonates with me. Thank you.
I don’t know why, I’ve no trauma associated with it. But November first is always brutal. Maybe it’s blowback from the socializing and frivolity of Halloween. Maybe it’s the realization that winter is coming and the sun is going away.
Either way today sucks. If it helps even a little, know you aren’t the only one hiding in bed wishing tomorrow will come and the sun will come back. hugs
You are sunshine ☀️ to me ☺️
You are able to articulate so accurately and beautifully what goes on inside my mind & soul that I am unable to describe to my loved ones.
I know this feel. All I can say is your openness has helped me with my own struggles. Thanks for still being here.
I am writing through tears…not of sadness but of a relief of not being alone, a thankfulness that someone said the right words to explain how it feels, and an empathy for you in your dark moment. Thank you for your bravery in speaking about the overwhelming and all consuming feelings of depression.
I have been in a dark place for a while so I am posting this conversation with my sister to make you feel better because it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything you need to be worried or stressed or anythinged about and how often does that come into our lives? Not enough, says I.
Sister: (on phone) hey, what’s up?
Me: I didn’t mean to call you, I was trying to listen to your voicemail
Me: so what did you say?
Sister: for you to call me
Me: oh. Why?
Sister: um I don’t know. I said on the voicemail.
Me: so I have to hang up, listen to the voicemail telling me why I should call you, then call you
Me: okay bye
Message: hey it’s your sister. Call me.
Sister: did you listen to the message?
Sister: so why did I want you to call me?
Me: you didn’t say. You just said to call you
Sister: so you don’t know why you’re calling?
Sister: well don’t call me without knowing why
Me: my bad
Sister: that’s just rude
Me: won’t happen again
Sister: okay then
Me: good talk
Sister: love you
Me: love you too
I’m not very good with words but I just want to say that I’m falling into my dark hole lately and find it hard to leave the house. I can’t even hold down a job anymore and thank God I have a husband who can support us. BUT…. he doesn’t understand this mental illness, this depression and anxiety that overtakes me. I feel like a rotten person and like I should be normal. My dr has been trying different psych meds which have horrible side effects (most recently Rexulti and then Latuda). I have no more hope of finding one that works. I feel doomed to this darkness until I die. I just want to say I’m glad you are here to let us know we are not alone. I love your books. Keep writing!
I love this post because it did up his I feel most days. I definitely find comfort in the fact that somebody like you struggle with depression too, and can still conjure the beautiful words. Thank you.😊
Your words are so eloquent. Your emotions so true. Thank you for giving words and images to our feelings!
Hang in there, Jenny! Your words ring so clearly inside my head. I just wish the clear days would last a little longer for all of us. 🙂
I wish I weren’t afraid to share this with people I know. Especially the person I live with.
Thank you for your words and please hang in there. Also, thank you for being a public voice since many us may not be ready. I want to be open but I can’t find the courage yet.
Hang in there, Jenny. Thinking of you.
Thanks always for your honesty. Sending love.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.
I am there as well. All I do is sleep or lay down and gaze without focus of vision or mind. I’m so, so tired of the depression, of fighting it, waiting it out, waiting for it – I don’t want to do it anymore. I hate riding the wave. I used to be able to focus on knowing that the low would pass and the high tide would be back, I just had to make it until then. But after so many years I can’t focus on that part anymore – now all I can think is that the low will end, but it will come right back after a small high tide. And I have children and I see parts of myself emerging in them as they get older, and I am crushed continually by the weight of knowing what I’ve passed on to them by blood and also by having to grow up with me and my cloud.
(I inherited mental illness but I also inherited so many wonderful traits from my family. It all equals out. Even if you pass it on to your kids they will know that they can talk to you about it and that you will understand. That is a gift. ~ Jenny)
I wish I had known about you in early 2015, I wouldn’t have felt so alone!
You hang in there, don’t believe what depression says, just read what we say.
You are awesome and loved by so,so many. The good days always come back, just wait and see.
I don’t know if it helps, since we are all so different, but when I feel that way I like to hear:
You are normal and human and this is temporary.
Hugs and much love. You have so many people, myself included, who have been and are there themselves. And we are all rooting for you!
Hey, dear! Hang in there! I need you! REALLY!!! You’re the only one who gets what I go through, and there are thousands of people like me who are counting on your wise and honest words.
You are my light!
It WILL go away! It always does 🙂
Love you ❤️!
We get it more than the rest of the world Jenny. My head is cloudy as I try clear it with my phsychiatrist and phychologist, but on the days where I’m the only one in the family feeling the way I do, I know that this family always will understand. Thank you for sharing when the rest of us feel like we can’t.
Jenny, my nephew suffers from SAD and he uses light therapy to help his depression. It’s a light box that mimics daylight. I think it is worse in the fall and winter when it is so gloomy out. Maybe it would help you too. I am so sorry you are struggling and I’m keeping you in my prayers. Blessings & Peace be with you dear lady. You bring such laughter and joy to us on this page.
You are deeply appreciated. Take gentle care of yourself.
Jenny, your words have saved so many lives and depression lies has become a mantra for many of us. You are loved so much by your wonderful family and admired and loved by your tribe of people all over the world. There’s no shame in suffering from a terrible illness. We love you so much and would do anything for you. Many people in your life will help you in any way that you ask. Breathe deeply and know that you are surrounded by love and the liar depression will recede. You will laugh again and see amazing things and hear amazing music and laughter and there is so much wonderful future waiting for you. Wish I could ring your doorbell and be with you. With chocolate.
If only we could all hear each other’s quiet, reassuring voices…in those moments when we crawl, defeated, back to bed, overcome by those face-flushing tsunamis of shame, when all we want is to hide, to block everything and everyone from coming near, to make it all stop so we can curl up in the smallest possible shape and return to invisibility… if only we could sense each other’s recognition, when we are mortified by our seemingly endless inadequacies and our inability to perform even the most rudimentary of tasks… if only we rememered that at that moment beds everywhere were filled with friends hiding from nothing, too… maybe we would be kinder to ourselves. Because however afraid or alone we were, if another of us said “I’m scared and alone too, can I join you in there?” We would extend our hand out from under the covers and pull them in with us, making sure they were safe, and that they knew they were loved. We ARE safe, and we ARE loved – whether in bed, under the bed, hiding in plain sight, checked out, highly functioning or not functioning at all. No mental or physical contortion we cram ourselves into can alter that. I am with you, Jenny, with all of you, when you are in that place. I know you are with me too. My name is Gail, and I will hear you, somehow, if you talk to me. I’ll be talking to you too.
Your Tribe adores you and supports you. Little beacons of light, twinkling like stars, for we have our dark days as well. Together, we get through it all. Whether minute by minute, or word by word. In the arms of sleep, we all snuggle and struggle for comfort. But in the alone times when Depression lies the most, feel the truth of this outpouring from all. Some can post here, while others read from their shells, but we stand here with you. We stand here for each other, no matter what our personal pain (or the caretakers who witness that pain), is. We love you. We are here. And so are you.
Hugs for you. Hugs for our Tribe.
I know the hollowness. I know the fear. I know the pain. I know deep loneliness.
Hi Jenny, I just want to say thank you for sharing your struggles (and good times!) with us. When I am depressed, which has been a lot lately, it helps so much to be reminded that I’m not alone. Ever since I started following your blog I have been telling myself that depression lies and that the apathy, anger, anxiety, and all the other bad feelings will be gone soon. You taught me that our struggles make us unique (and even interesting) and that we can look back and laugh at some of the more ridiculous moments in life. You help me and so many others by being brave enough to put your story out there and I thank you for that. For now, we’ll all continue to hold on until the sun once again says “knock knock, motherf**ker” and shines through. : )
I just want you to know that because of you I was brave enough to get help. I’m so glad you’re here and alive. Depression lies and now I know it too. Thank you so much.
With you sister! I’ve been walking in silent darkness lately as well. My friends, family and you keep me going. One day, one step, one breath at a time. Namaste, my friend.
I’ve been incredibly lucky this past two years – in spite of a murdered child and emergency surgery, and the loss of a nephew I’ve been able to walk through my days mostly upright. The only thing I can figure out is my shrink, my doctor and I have hit on a good balance of meds. Doesn’t mean the darkness is never coming back but it’s been possible to walk through grief, work at my life and not dissolve into that hollow. Peace be with you – it will happen.
I have just discovered this blog and already I am awed by what I’ve read, both the humor that has me laugh until I’m crying, and entries like this that make me want to hug someone so both of us will know we’re still here.
I have spent a lot of time reading philosophy books hoping to find some kernel to cling to on days when depression lies hold too tight to breathe. Or days when anxious thoughts grab control of the merri-go-round and send them on a downward spiral. Your blogs, tweets and books have helped more than any of them. The honesty and sincerity you share is a guiding light to let us know that we are not alone. We are out here and working hard to stay strong. Just as we draw strength from you, hopefully you can draw strength from your fans.
Keep doing what you are doing. Work through things at your own rate and celebrate even the smallest success (like brushing your teeth when you just want to hide in bed). Take comfort in your fur children and your loving family. Take care of yourself.
You are a beacon of light for many of us. Thank you.
You are here for a reason! To give words to those of us who cannot speak, who cannot…even to ourselves. You are here to shout for the rest of us who toil everyday, who pull up our boots and look “normal”. We do it for our daughters, who most likely, will suffer as we do. You let us know we are not alone, and that we are not frauds, we can be, dare I say, some of the most important people this world has to offer, because our deep emotions that debilitate us, allow us to feel what the rest of the world cannot. I thank you, my daughters thank you. There is nothing more soothing than knowing you are not alone in hiding.
My adult son has similar mental illnesses robbing him of joy, ability to function, etc. (he had to leave college three classes shy of an Honors degree, damn it, among other woes). I have given him your books and referred him to your blog, and he does find some solace in your sharing your experiences (good and bad and god-awful). He in turn has made his dad read Furiously Happy, since hubby does not “get” mental illness (“Just get outside and take a walk”). He “gets” it a bit now, thanks to your book.
I am sorry you are dealing with the soul-sucking Balrog of depression right now. I have seen son be flattened by it, too. Thank-you for sharing – there is at least one young man who has benefited from your witty take from the “inside” of mental illness. Not to go all Little Orphan Annie on you, but surely the sun will come out tomorrow…or nest week..but come out it will. Hang in there.
or neXt week. Stupid typo!
I can relate. I fucking hate that I can relate, because it means there is someone else out there riding this toilet coaster (autocorrect version of roller coaster…seems legit) of depression/anxiety/insomnia. But tonight I snuck a bottle of beer out of the complementary bar in my purse, so I have something to feel victorious about…it’s rejoicing in the little things, ya know?
I bet you already know this, but “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops-at all.” I suspect Emily Dickinson knew about bad and good days and staying alive. I’m sorry you’re having a tough year. Please know you helped me during the worst times recently. BIG BIG HUGS.
Glad you’re still here. And happy you’re you no matter what. Hang in there. You taught a lot of people that depression lies. I’m sorry that lying bastard is living with you right now.
What is so daunting is know Is how many of us are in that fog. How we try to deal with it, chemically or searching for some other flicker of light that can pull us out. Thank you so much for your light, your writing, drawing and dressing Dotty up as cowboy hank. You are a gift to anyone who is wandering in the dark.
Me too. You too. I’m sorry you are having this happen again. Good for you for bravely sleeping through the days. Good for you for rising for your daughter. I have become a huge fan of your life and humor. My daughter just asked, “can i be done? ” i responded, “that’s fine. Thank You for putting in the effort.” I give my wholehearted tepid encouragement. You will get through the other side.
You are not alone, Jenny. There are thousands of hands reaching down to you, searching for you, ready and willing to catch you and pull you up. With your blog, books and sharing, you’ve created a lot of grabby followers and we’ll grab and hang on hard.
I am glad you are still here. I am, too. xxoo
I’ve been struggling recently, too. I go to work every day terrified that someone will notice that I can’t get anything done. My brain flits from one thought to another. It has happened many times before so you would think I could just wait it out. But I always fear that this time, I won’t find my way back from the lost world that smothers my mind in a gray fog. I feel guilty calling in Sick because I’m not sick, just tired all the time. Can I call in Tired? That would be better. Or Lost? Or Gloomy? Or just explain that my Songbird is Silent?
I have been gray for days. I know it will be OK but MAN is being gray hard. Love to you.
Sometimes victory is just taking the next breath.
Xoxo. Keep breathing.
Maybe you are the hollowness and the fullness. Maybe people like us are both so we can understand more then others. Even within your hollowness you shine a light that you yourself can not see but others can. Your like a light house all dark and damp on the inside but shining a bright beautiful light to guide others from the sharp jagged rocks bellow. Even when your broken you shine the most beautiful light. That’s what makes you beautifully you, not everyone can see through the darkness to know there’s an end. Just know we believe in you Jenny and I believe in all the wonder people on here. To all those in the darkness keep fighting for the light. Your worth it and I believe in you.
Love what you wrote and I have lived this way for many years of my life. I have Bipolar Disorder. I can relate to your every word. I just love your gift of being able to write so eloquently how I feel. Thank you…. you are a beautiful and very talented and gifted lady. Thank you and huge hugs to you!!!! BTW you are so strong every second of your day to do what you do and survive and thrive everyday!!! May your day overflow with blessings of joy and peace!
I’ve been where you are, and I’m sure I’ll be there again and I hope when I am someone will say: It’s okay. You are worthy of love. You can have down time (which can mean so many things). You can stay in bed all day and still be worthy of love. You are not measured by your productivity. You are not measured or measurable. You are immeasurable, and loved immeasurably just for being you. You are enough. And I hope those words, said enough by enough people, will send energy needed for the malaise to lift.
Last night at 11:45, I had to call my mom because I was having a panic attack so bad that I didn’t know what to do. This is life. Thank god for support systems.
I needed this today. So thank you. I’m struggle with Fibro and not getting anything done and feeling bad about not getting anything done, and the fatigue and the physical pain. But somehow knowing there is someone else out there struggling with just getting through the day makes it easier.
Molly, sending love. The fact that you are alive and breathing is a miracle. Hang in.
Jon, Your crazy sister made me laugh on a day that I desperately needed it. Thank you.
Depression. Lies. But it still sucks. Thank you for your message and know that you have done wonders of good for your tribe. Hang in there. Love you mean it.
As long as you remember that you are there, it’ll be alright. With lots of support & love you’ll always come back. Hugs Jenny!
I’ve been fighting off the numbness lately. It’s so frustrating when it changes from hour to hour and day to day. You never know when you might be able to concentrate enough to do… anything. The only constant in my life right now is a cardigan that feels like a robe and smells divine. It’s like my armor against anything I can’t handle.
Here’s to more good minutes than bad, and to periods of creativity that bring you joy.
While reading this I felt such a deep connection to what you are saying. It’s almost as if I could have written it myself.
I a so sorry to ask this, what you must think, very stupid question. I have been assigned various psychiatric diagnoses. The doctor talks medication. I don’t understand why one would take any medication if it does not prevent what you are experiencing. How can medication possibly be an improvement? Do you take medication on a regular basis and why does it not help? I find this personally scary, yet I acknowledge your bravery in facing the world with a positive face, despite the emptiness that you feel. Thank you for your total honesty and willingness to share with others.
(That’s a really good question. I take meds daily for depression and anxiety and they help. Unfortunately I’m one of those people who have taken lots of different drugs and none of them fully make the depression leave forever. It makes it more manageable and it helps with self-harm issues tremendously, but it isn’t perfect. If things get very bad I can add an antipsychotic but I try to avoid them if I can because the side effects aren’t great. I qualify for transcranial magnetic therapy because I’ve tried so many drugs and none of them cured me but I worry about the long-term effects so I’ve said no to it so far. I may do it in the future though if the depression begins to take more days from me than I can spare. ~ Jenny)
I haven’t commented before because it was too hard to verbalize how your posts resonate with me. But I’m inspired by you. Just wanted you to know. I’m hoping to become an active part of this community.
God, that is me to a T. Thank you for putting it into words. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one…
I just discovered your blog a short time ago Jenny and each day since then has been a brighter one for me. Thank you for being vulnerable and for sharing your story. We have never met, but you have become one of my favorite people in the world – I think you are brilliant and a true light in this world! I am so fucking glad you are here.
I know some of what you are talking about, I’ve been there. The fact that you keep going, keep writing and drawing is reminding me that I too can keep going too. You are so much stronger than you think, thank you being here for you and all of us who struggle.
Jenny, you are amazing and awesome. Love to you.
When I read your words, I recognize myself 20 years ago. I wish I could tell you how much you mean to that 40ish mom that is 60ish now. No one told me that depression lies. I was somehow a “bad” person and mother because I was a ghost of the person I “should, could” be. I love your honesty, Jenny. I’m glad you are there for us!
Yes, indeed: depression lies.
Treading water is how a person avoids drowning. As much as it may not feel this way, you are doing it right. Truly. (Also, I want to crawl into a cave and rest.)
Jenny, I need to thank you for being so candid about your struggles and treatments. I’ve been going through a rough patch myself where, if I don’t get out of it soon, I don’t know if I can continue working. I’ve always been resistant to psych meds, partly because I’ve been able to pull myself out of depression without them in the past, partly because I react horribly to even multivitamins, never mind actual drugs. But, when this round of horrible soul-sucking depression started, I was convinced it was my thyroid and was more than willing to take that pill, so when it came back that my thyroid was fine, my psychologist suggested I go to a psychiatrist for meds and I was ready to resist, but I remembered your book and realized, if I am willing to take thyroid meds to fix a chemical imbalance in my body, why not psych meds to fix a different chemical imbalance in my body? Looking forward to feeling better, in part because you helped reduce the stigma of needing antidepressants 🙂 Thank you!
I loved your last book Furiously Happy. I totally understand the darkness that can overcome your life without explanation and other one understands why you feel so awful and you can’t explain. I am bipolar with general anxiety disorder and PTSD. Except for me the mania is not a happy place. I get angry and have terrible insomnia. I am glad you’re still here and thank you for writing your book. I finally felt like I had someone who gets me.
This is the first time I post a comment on your site. I feel like that a lot, though people outside of my home think I’m this strong, happy, social person, I’m not that at all sometimes. Sometimes I’m scared and feel awkward around people. Many times right after I finish talking, I want to erase what I’ve said. It’s hard to get up and it’s hard to go to sleep, because I know that when it’s late, when everyone is sleeping, that I can breathe… and tomorrow it will all start again. But I do have good days. I also have great days. But that sadness does return. That loneliness does return.
We will be okay. Everything will be okay. The Universe supports us, all we have to do is ask.
I feel you, and I wish I could give you a big, long, I-get-you hug.
I’m with you,
Someone Like You
I’m so sorry that things are tough right now! You’re not alone!
I also want to say thank you for your courage to be so open about what you go through. I’ve been having a tough time myself lately, and I am getting through it more easily, in part because of your amazing stories. I’ve been reading both of your books before bed for the past month, and I attribute the decrease in my anxiety and improvement of my sleep to your hilarious, honest, and vulnerable words. I feel a little less alone when I read them. You’re amazing!
Your words make sense to me. My friend introduced your work to me. She has a big metal chicken in her yard because of you. I gave her a bigger metal peacock because of you. The big metal birds have given us much joy. She’s painted her metal chicken, and I have helped with a few, for Easter, Dia De Los Muertos, 4th of July. . . Thank you for what you do, both the happy and the said. There are a lot of us who get it.
Thank you for making space for this tribe. Knowing it is here has helped me more than you will ever know. Wishing everyone peace.
This has been a bad year. However, know that you are not alone. Many of us follow you not only for the amazing writing, but, the companionship of another one struggling with Depression Issues. I am sure that if you felt the need to reach out to ANY of your subscribers, they would be more than happy to lend whatever support you needed.
Yes, I know this feeling well, unfortunately. Today was an, oh, just let me sleep the day away. It’s a terrible feeling and people just don’t understand it. I wish only good days ahead for all of us dealing with this! Take care and peace to you.
For me, 2016 has just been one messy roller coaster of a year. I can’t decide if I just wish I could restart it and hope for a better outcome or if I just want it to just be done with. I celebrated the New Year claiming that 2016 would be my year, but it has just been one shit storm after another. As of now, however, I am just spending my days waiting for them to turn to night so that I can get back to sleep.
Thank you for reminded me again that depression lies. I hope that you start feeling better and get well soon.
I am so sorry u are feeling like this. Just know u have the love and support from your tribe. We all support you and are here for you and everyone struggling.
Oh Jenny, sometimes it gets so hard to bear, but it really, truly will get better.
Find your comfort, and appreciate those who appreciate you.
Just from this past month, if not before, I totally identify with appreciating having loved ones away, so the hiding can be hidden, but at the same time, I have also thanked my husband for suggesting activities that get me out of the house. I go along because we are in a new place and know no one, so I go for him, but sunshine and fresh air help me, too, even though my instinct was to stay under the covers.
Each day, you are you. You are here, and we are here, too. Sometimes, in part thanks to you!
I’ve been doing a lot of hiding this year. Hiding behind a smile, hiding how I really feel. Some days are harder than others. Just so thankful to have found your books/blog. Your writing is inspirational.
I believe…well i know for a fact i type this on behalf of a million of the people who don’t know your name yet, and the thousands of people that do.
I don’t pretend to know your levels of highs as lows as we are all individuals and we all range in depth of sorrow and glee.
I am new to accepting my lows and my highs. I am getting to learn the medication facts and symptoms that come with every pill and potion. I work in dental and i have for 20 years, patients hug me when their experience is lovely….yes that is possible. Yet inside i feel empty and no amount of hugs could make me feel human. Yet i pine for my sons hugs while he’s at school, cause those hugs are different. Why…Not sure. Maybe because he is my son, maybe cause its a comfort to know he’s always there. My son is the same age as your daughter and we are role models and we set the tone for their lives ahead. Yes some days are “stay at home” days. Movie days i call it. Some are hiding days, these days my husband knows to take Matt (our son) and go fishing or clean the truck for a few hours. Then there are the over active days and i feel like an internal athlete has taken over my body and mind. You and everyone one else who feels your emotional understanding are good and amazing people. I don’t know a single person on this website, i have meet nobody and I’m guessing never will. I’m still in my learning phase of accepting and owing my depression and anxiety. I fear it in some ways. I long for the days i can laugh so hard i pee a little yet fear the days i cry so hard i need new pillows.
My love and thoughts and arms reach out to all of you and Jenny your not alone. You have an army. You can pick our uniforms and you can order us to colour and walk in the park today and swing on kids playgrounds tomorrow, But you also need to know we don’t let our army down and we all back you. We adore your words and your humour. But most of all we adore who we are even when the S#!* hits the fan at times,
Solider on people and lets get drawing and colouring.
The thing with depression is you are always waiting for it to rear it’s ugly head and come for a visit, just like that strange family member you can’t stand, you hope it doesn’t stay around for too long. But after a while once you realise it’s unpacked it’s bags, there’s some comfort in it being there, and you feel like you’ve missed it while it’s been gone. Jenny I hope your depression has bought a nice present for you in it’s suitcase, so something good will come out of it’s visit.
Depression and anxiety are nasty vicious beasts forever nipping at our heels. You are doing such a great service by talking so honestly and openly. I really want to thank you for being so true. You make it easier for me to cope with my own issues knowing that yeah they suck big time but Im understood
It’s 2:30 in the morning and I finally have the strength to read these comments without feeling the oof of pain that comes from reading nice things I think I don’t deserve. Why are we like this? Why is it sometimes so hard to accept that we can be broken and brilliant as well? I don’t know the answer but I know that you saved me today. Thank you. You have no idea how you touch my life and the lives of those around you. I am incredibly lucky to have you in my corner when things are down and when they are up.
Depression and anxiety are nasty vicious beasts forever nipping at our heels. You are doing such a great service by talking so honestly and openly. I really want to thank you for being so true. You make it easier for me to cope with my own issues knowing that yeah they suck big time but Im understood.
I love you Jen. I have been suffering from depression since a car accident when I was 13. It did some damage and so I always have a low level of depression. Meds usually keep it under control. But this time of year is hard.
My 13 year old granddaughter is 2 almost 3 years into dealing with divorce and a crazy, Harassing Mom. And it is getting to her. She has just been diagnosed with being depressed. I mean who wouldn’t be with all she is going through….it makes me so sad that she has to deal with this
Anyway, my point is you have helped me so much. I never know how to explain what I am going through and I have shares some of the stuff you have said with her and it has helped us to be able to talk about it and know we are not alone
I have your books, and pre ordered your coloring book.
I just want you to know that we are grateful for you and you have made a definite difference in our lives.
Perhaps you’ve mentioned this before…sorry if I’m repeating, but I’ve found relief from depression, PTSD, and unrelenting back/leg pain using medical cannabis along with my antidepressants and an amazing therapist. And your books. There are so many ways to use it, with and without a head high. I use the CBD strains for pain, no psycho-active effects at all; and sativa for lightness, energy & creativity. It’s been amazingly helpful with PTSD & depression. I generally avoid indica. It can be emotionally intense & all I need is something else to make me examine my navel & haul out every sadness I’ve known. It is a soporific (hence the image of a stoner who can’t get off the couch, let alone leave the house) so it’s great as a sleep aid. It’s fun to smoke it with someone else; that keeps it from getting too heavy and you can just enjoy the trippiness of it. A note to all your readers who have been abused: The current over-exposure of Donald Trump is triggering PTSD in survivors of abuse. I recognized it in myself and searched online. Sadly, it’s a real thing. One woman Tweeted about it and got thousands of responses from women all over the world (sorry I don’t have her name , but it’s #notokay). My therapist has noticed a trend. She & others are advising clients to be very aware of how much exposure they’re getting. To all of us who keep passing the open window, and those who are drawn to it…light and love.
Depression lies. (Someone very wise wrote that)
You are still here. Because of that, many people are still here.
I know those voices in your head, they are in mine too.
You are a good Mom, wife, daughter, friend.
You have helped so many people and you mean a lot to us.
Stay. Because we’re selfish and we need you.
Until I read your books I had never considered the “depression” lies. Some days I don’t fully understand what that means. But now I get it. Namaste
Put aluminum foil on your enthusiastically pointed chicken. I had to call the shrink yesterday and get to see her today. October was ridiculously horrible for me too. I will survive!
I started going to the gym recently, and massive achievement for me, and when my friend asked how I was liking it. I replied saying “I’m liking it more than being alone in my room contemplating my eternal loneliness”. Their reply was “flair for the dramatic still I see!”.
I don’t blame them, they’re trying to show concern and have been really supportive but sometimes I forget, I think, that others don’t neccesarily grasp the depth of sadness and loneliness that we’re capable of feeling if they haven’t encountered it themselves. I literally am enjoying the gym precisely because it’s a choice I’ve made that whilst tiring and somewhat painful at times, gets me out of my room and distracts me from that pain when it’s threatening to take me over.
I write, like you draw, in order to remind myself that I’m still in there somewhere, and as long as I can try to articulate my pain I somehow can’t be totally swallowed up by it. I can also look back and see that for every time I felt like the pain and loneliness was eternal, it was a lie, and happier times followed. You are definitely not alone, your writing has struck a chord with me in many a troubled moment, and I can’t wait for your book of illustrations to come out 🙂
I also suffer from depression. Just look for the light at the end of the tunnel and remember it will get better. Never lose hope. I am here if you need to talk. Last year my depression lasted almost the whole year and I make it through.
I can relate. Sending you love. You have done so much for those of us who also suffer from depression. Have you seen Andrew Soloman’s Ted talk on depression? He really nails it.
“Sometimes I get my child off to school and then go back to bed until she comes home”
Oh, it’s not just me? hugs to you
I read your blog regularly. As someone who does not struggle from depression its hard to wrap my head around the battle you face, but I am impressed every day that you do fight the battle and come out the other side. Sending positive energy your way…
I wanted you to hear this song. I thought you might relate to it. I certainly do. <3
The shame of knowing my kids and husband coming home and realizing I just slept all day is mortifying. I do and do not want to work. I do not know if I can handle it. I had a phone interview and afterwards had level 10 panic attacks and almost fainted. But the shame I feel when the house isn’t clean, or laundry wasn’t done. Its horrible. Reading your post and the comments make me feel a little less alone.
2016 has been a sucky year. I think on Jan. 1, 2017, we should all have a (online) party to celebrate that the Year of Suck has finally passed. As of Nov. 2, it’s only 67 days away — less time than certain celebrities were married! We can make it. We can do this.
Counting down the days till this horrible year is over
You are so special. Come back to us when you’re ready. We are waiting for you!
we’re still here, too
This is beautiful and true. I’ve been having a hard time lately too. I’m glad we’re both still here.
Me too. I’m still in here too. Somewhere in the anger and fear. I appreciate how you are able to put this into words. Hang on to whatever you can get your hands around. And let go of whatever needs to go.
I am someone’s Victor. It’s hard.
This one speaks to many of us. <3 Your songbird is just resting. She’s still there.
I am furiously happy that you are here! <3
I’m so glad you’re around. Try to remember that you are loved. I’ll try to remember too. xoxo
I’ve had a huge setback myself, thanks to a little overzealous medication from my dentist. Not a good mix with anti-depressants. I keep telling myself that depresion lies, and I thank you for that wisdom. There will be light again.
Make a little birdhouse in your soul is the song what came to my mind when I read your post. Hopefully the link comes through – the song makes me happy and thanks for giving me a happy thought for the day!
Thank you for your kindness in sharing these words. It is as if you plucked each word out of my mind and heart. Thank you for the courage to say these words as they help to beat back the darkness that many of us here also face. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone and that I do not stand in the shadows alone. May we each step into the sun again soon. Oh, and did I say, thank you?
We love you, Jenny. Keep kicking.
You are here.
I don’t know if you remember, but you just finished creating a book with that very title. And scattered all the pages out on your floor as proof. It’s official, you are here. You. Are. Here.
And we are grateful, so incredibly grateful that you share your life with us. Because we are also scared, and lonely, and carrying a great weight that no one else seems to recognize. You give us a face, and a voice. Such a delightful, funny, uplifting, salvation-bringing voice.
If you can, please post when you can’t make words make sense. Especially when you can’t make things make sense! Then we’ll know you’re in a dark place & we can try to help pull you out!! Do not let this place you’ve created become part of what makes your life difficult. Maybe you need a code word, sort of like a safe word. 😉 How about blanket? Or fort? Noodle?
Just post blanket/fort/noodle & we’ll know & we’ll help—-I know I would love to have a brigade of helpers who would come out & tell me jokes, or post funny videos, or agree about how much life sucks sometimes, all with just saying one word. We do not need a real post all the time, and you need to know that you are not just there to serve our reading needs.
(Sorry for sounding bossy.) Sending you the sun.
this gave me chills. what a true picture. thank you for sharing to help others with depression.
I was going to try to make some analogy about the fog being like a blindfold and your posts being like the “Polo” to my yells of “Marco”, but then I realized that doesn’t work because with “Marco Polo” everyone is trying to stay away from the blindfolded person, not reach out to them and help them feel better. So your posts are actually like REVERSE “Marco Polo”. Let’s go with that.
Thank you for continuing to yell out into the fog, is what I guess I’m trying to say.
I’ll stop talking now. <3
I heard this recently and it spoke to me. “YOU are not depressed. You are you, and you are experiencing a depression. Saying you ARE depressed is like The Sky saying it is the storm. The Sky is the sky night and day, through sunshine and storms. And like a storm, your depression will pass, and you will still remain.” <3
Thank you, this, yes. 2016 is kicking my ass like 2012 did. I’m just hanging on in the hopes that after the holidays life can start over fresh and I can shake off this awful year.
That was so beautiful and eloquently stated. “Depression Lies” It couldn’t be more true. I’m so happy you see that and so happy you said so.
I want to give you a hug. HUG
This is really beautiful.
I know all too well the place you are in. It gets better. You’re amazing and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. You make us all feel a little less alone. <3
“the hungry ghost that lives inside me” great writing.Sending hugs and thoughts of adorable kids and funny pets and beautiful fall days your way.
Fuck you, you fucking depression! Get out of Jenny’s head and leave her alone!
I think I can help you. I really resonate with how you feel. I would like to read your tarot for free.. contact me please email@example.com of http://www.dancewiththeuniverse.com
You’re not alone, Jenny. There are so many of us who have been there. Or are there with you, alone somewhere else. I know you write yourself notes on good days. Go find some of those and read them, to remind yourself that this isn’t forever. Bad days/weeks/years come, but so do good ones, and sometimes there are strategies we can use to maximize the good times, and other times the bad days come anyway. Sometimes it helps me to take control of one thing. One, stinking, little thing. Like “today I’m going to get dressed” or “today I’m going to eat when I’m hungry” or “today I’m going to go outside.” Just remember: you know how to Jenny.
Jenny, my teenage daughter loves your books!! She says she can’t read them in places like dr waiting rooms because she accidentally laughs out loud. For Christmas I would love to surprise her with a Furiously Happy poster. How can I get 1?
Love you Jenny. Your audiobooks help me sleep at night! You are such a special person and I know you will always come out of the other side.
I’m very grateful you are still alive in there. I hope you will continue to be as you face each day against this awful thing that I deal with too. I’m so glad that you are still inside.
Your summary of the situation caused a dear friend to contact me and say he finally understood what I go through. Thank you for spreading awareness! I adore you.
You being here matters to me. Depression lies. Big, juicy, smelly lies. Quiet, insidious, hissing lies. Stare that fucker down, when you can, and let us stare her down when you can’t. I know you’ve done the same for me, for many of us.
So sorry you have been having a hard time. You are always the songbird, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
I now it’s hard, but please try to be as kind to yourself as you would be to anyone else having trouble.
Sending light to all; grateful to all for sharing.
This will probably get lost in the mess of comments… But you are a beautiful song, songbird- You are the dance, not the dancer….
Jenny you are still you and you are precious to so many. Hang in there. We are here for you.
I’m right there with you, Jenny. This past winter I descended into my first ever experience with depression and I’m on my second Rx antidepressant, and it seems to maybe be helping a little but it’s too soon to tell. Bad days it’s like walking around in a concrete pantsuit. I’m sleeping more than I ever have in my life. I fell almost like I’ve become someone else. This post is very helpful. I seldom comment but I read your blog daily, and I was a little amazed at how well you describe exactly what I’m feeling. Hang in there, you’re beautiful and you do so much good in the world!
Your light is still shining Jenny, even if you can’t see it.
You put beautifully written words to my reality. Thank you.
The clouds will go dissipate and allow you to shine bright again. Depression lies.
You are an amazingly gifted person .You help so many with your work including me. We laugh and cry with you and you connect us in this bizarre, beautiful, and often fucked up world. Thank you.
I’m incredibly thankful you’re here. And I’m sorry for the darkness you’re experiencing. But I’m grateful you’re here. Because your words help me feel less alone. The things that you go through, the days and nights of darkness. The unexplainable sadness, the feeling of isolation even when you’re surrounded by people. (or the feelings of isolation when you’re actually alone, but don’t want to be.) It helps me realize that there’s at least two of us that go through that in this world. And that’s comforting. But it’s not just me. And it’s not just you. It’s all of us. It’s #TheBloggessTribe And knowing that there’s more than just me, more than just you, that’s an oddly comforting feeling. Because even if nobody else gets it, even when everyone else says “what do you have to be depressed about?” or re anxiety they say, “I get nervous too, but just relax”…even when everybody else thinks those things, and they minimize mental illness, or don’t even believe it’s real, I know that you and my tribe understand it, and I feel less alone. And you did that. So. Thank you. I hope you see Light soon.
It’s not always easy, there are days when I feel like you. I rarely share but glad I came across your site today.
Totally been there too. It is one of the hardest things to go through, waiting to feel alive again. This past year I had to listen over and over again to my favorite inspirational band (The City Harmonic), just to keep from going under all the way. (Fair warning, it is a Christian band, but they speak so deeply to pain and struggle and heartache. And I find such hope in their words. But it makes sense for me since I am a Christian. But when it got so bad that I couldn’t even pray, I would listen to them and let their words be my prayer.) Anyway, I wish no one else had to feel this kind of pain, but you are not alone. I will say a prayer for you. And it’s great to see you use your struggles to help others. It helps bring some light out of the darkness.
Your hope feeds my hope, so thanks. My hope has been pretty hungry as of late. Trying to remember that the darkness always ends when my mind tells me to just run away from life. I’ve been re-reading the Anne of Green Gables series to try to shine in some light.
We’re not going anywhere, Jenny. And neither are you. (Folds arms. Sits outside door). We’ll wait. Take your time.
Thank you for being who you are. I recently traveled for 10 days alone, the longest I been away and farthest away I have ever gone. I listened to Furiously Happy on repeat in every airport, air plane and bus because it was so comforting to listen to someone who completely understood me. Though my anxiety was not under control the entire time I still made it there and back, which is a massive accomplishment for me. So thanks again, for being with me on my journey!
You have helped so many people, including me. You are still you and we will still be here before, during, and after this ghost. You are loved for who you are, “flaws” and all.
You are amazing!
One thing you may want to investigate is your thyroid levels. Not just the standard TSH which doesn’t provide a true picture (typically the only test ordered by GP’s ), but a Free T3 and a Free T4. These are the hormones that are used by all our cells for normal functioning. Our bodies aren’t short of SSRI’s etc.
My TSH was normal but free T3 and 4 were below range. I spent 20 years in and out of that dark place when by happenstance finally had others checked. Have not had any dark problems since even though I have serious health issues. About.com, thyroid will provide good information.
Just a possibility. Wishing you relief with a hug.
Dear Jennifer, In many ways I empathize with you. It beats chasing the fucking squirrel off my deck because I know the fucker is an FBI plant to keep me from writing. (Kidding). As a fellow blogger, I would like to know the process of getting sponsors and actually supporting my muse and I. I hope you have time to respond to this and are continuing to fight the good fight. Blessings.
As you can see, you are important to a very big bunch of folks. I include myself in that number. So please know you are not alone, just as I can find solace in your being here. Peace.
Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been feeling pretty empty myself, lately. As always, you do a wonderful job of reminding me (and I believe all of us) that we’re not alone. I wrote a blog post with a track back to this one, because especially seeing as how NaNoWriMo is upon us, I think we all need to hear that we’re not alone… <3
I read your post through my tears, because as usual, you nailed it. I thought 2010 was my worst year ever, but it doesn’t come close to the shit-hole of 2016. I only hope that you get as much comfort from your followers as we get from you. It’s hard to believe how many of us are going through the same stuff, but I’m so grateful we have this place to go and find the understanding we all need. Much love and hugs.
your honesty and pain is always good for my insides, my guts, my heart and my head. I could say it’s been a year of struggle (feels more) and I could say it’s been a lifetime (true, but feels mellow dramatic) of surviving depression, society anxiety (which awesomely is getting worse as i get older) and osteoarthritis (even though I’m only 32 years old). I found some tools that help me succeed at a career, loving care for a dog and maintain the healthiest relationship I have ever had for almost 4 years, but I feel I have to go numb to make it happen. Hoping to one day do all the things “normal people” do and not feel cold and empty inside to make it possible. It’s easier to fall apart, but I’ve done that twice over a 10 year period and both times lead to suicide attempts or contemplation.
Thank you for your words Jenny. You put into words so well exactly how many of us feel, I haven’t come across anyone or anything else that so accurately described how depression and pain can steal you. Theres a memory of myself of how I used to be, able to get out of bed and fix my children breakfast, and get simple things accomplished, as I’m laying in bed willing myself to try to get something done. Maybe I’m still in here somewhere too. Did you ever get any answers on your possible lupus? Anyway, don’t give up and we won’t either. You give a lot of us strength and a gift of putting what we can’t describe into words. You’re lucky to have Victor, as I’m lucky enough to have a supportive husband, don’t forget that too. And we all love you. Hugs.👍🏻
Keep a picture of your daughter to stare at. That’s what I do. (Of my child, not yours. I’m fucked up but not that bad).
You. Keep. Me. Alive.
I’m a wordsmith. And yet you always leave me wordless. Only silent sobs.
Excellent description of the indescribable burden of these conditions. Thank you. I always imagine my depression and anxiety as a two headed beast that wakes up, lumbers over to a filing cabinet, pulls a file at random, sits down with a cup of coffee and says to my brain, “Let’s begin, shall we?”
In the last 8 months I’ve started having difficulty leaving the house sometimes. This is a new, terrifying development because I tend to get better when I’m out with people…it quiets the voices in my head that tell me how awful I am for not accomplishing more in my life and that I’m a horrible mother. I hate this.
I’m going to tell something a very talented, smart woman said that has helped me through many dark days – Depression Lies. Hang in there, Jenny. There is absolutely no shame in taking care of yourself.
I’m sad, too. It helps to know that I’m not alone. I wish you well in your struggles.
There were lots of me toos but no me threes but I figure we should just add. So me 246 or whatever number we are on. This. This feels like my reality put into words.
So I have no idea if you would qualify for, or benefit from, this but it might be worth checking out. It’s worked like magic for me.
I’ll be the first to admit that it sounds totally weird.
(My shrink recommended it for me but I worry about the long-term effects. I’m considering it more though. ~ Jenny)
Big hugs for strength xoxo
I’m a lucky girl. I don’t have any big physical or mental issues, but when I read your writing, I get what it means to have those issues. You are so eloquent, I get what it feels like in a way. You an artist with words and in so many ways
Hang in there kid. You did it before, you can do it again.
I’ve been unemployed and without health insurance since June. I’ve only been able to refill my anti-depressants once. So, I sympathize and understand where you are coming from. I appreciate all you do to raise awareness for mental health issues. I’m grateful to still be functioning but on a much lower level than I’m used to. Some days are tougher than others but I remember there is at least person out there that cares that I stick around. You have the best followers and I always get a great pick me up ready your blog. Stay true to your beliefs and know that Hailey and Victor need you just as much as we do.
When i fought anxiety, the cloud lifted after i ate enough protien. Celexa has been a life saver. Too easily my brain would trick me into thoufhts of suicide. V.
There with ya! Work is the only place I feel “normal” and “functional” – all other places are foreign feeling and that I am out of control – so I sit in a little ball in my recliner until it is a decent hour for bed and there I retreat. I’m in counseling now – YEA – and I have meds. Today is the 1st day I’m feeling more myself in about 6 months.
Depression LIES and it is a f-ing *astard!
Sending you so much love, and thank you for always being the only blogger who makes me laugh out loud. That you can bring so much light even in your darkness <3 Never give up, love!
Thank you. Genuinely and sincerely. One of the reasons I love reading your blog so much (other than the deep belly laughs) is the way you make me feel like I am not alone. Your posts always seem to come at just the right time: that time when I’m feeling the darkness swoop in and I’m ready to let it consume me, if only for a little while. I don’t think you know (or maybe you do) how your words comfort, lift up, and move people like me every single day. So, again, thank you. Sending love and light your way to help battle that darkness that sometimes sneaks in when we have other things to do.
We love you, you’re awesome, and 2016 has been a particularly challenging year.
Did your depression only manifest itself after you retired from full-time employment? I ask this because I have a life long depressive condition and it is worst when I don’t have a reason to perform. It seems like even with the drugs and counseling you have gotten worse the few years I have read your blog. I am an empath and understand how hard it is to be around people and needing to recover and all that. But it does seem like you give your disease too much power.
(No, I was medicated and diagnosed many years before I was able to work from home. My depression is clinical and chemical so working from home or working out of the house both required fighting through it. I have bad years and this has been a rough one, but I don’t think it’s from being home. I just finished editing on my illustrated book and I’m working on my next book of essays now so I’m still working full time, just not when things get too overwhelming. I had worse years when I was working at the hospital but I wasn’t blogging then so you just didn’t see it. It’s cyclical in some ways. ~ Jenny)
You’re slowly coming out of what I’m just getting into the deep part of.
I’ve been here before. So I know there’s another side. One day my “normal” will be generally happy again. So it’s not as dark as it was the first time I experienced it, when I truly believed that I’d feel that way forever and that it wasn’t worth pushing through. I know now that’s depression’s lie.
As much as I hate it when people incessantly post inspirational quotes on Facebook, I’ve taken to printing off quotes that help me fight through and sticking them to the wall above my computer. You’re there. Your drawings are there.
This morning, when I was weeping as I drove home, because I had worked so hard to get the kids out the door, and then my 2 year-old projectile vomited all over himself, I turned on the Furiously Happy audiobook and laughed as I cried on the way back home. It sucked, but it sucked less because of you.
I’m currently struggling with a deep fall into my depression. I feel like the days pass without me. And I forget what it was like not to feel so hollow. But, I recently finished reading “Furiously Happy” and through every page I gained strength. I remembered to have compassion for myself, to be patient and to smile even when facing the inevitable sadness of the void. You helped me. And regardless of the continuation of my depression, for the little moments in which I got to read your words I wasn’t lonely, I wasn’t worthless. I was me. And i’m still me thanks to you.
I’ve read two of your books. Amazing. Helped me a lot. You are funny (as in ha ha funny, not funny looking..) Just wanted to say thanks. dougR (from Guelph, ON, Canada)
I’ve been in recovery for 8 months now and damn, it’s hard. I need to try dictating what I want to write dinner writing doesn’t seem to be a thing I can do.
That is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your art. What is therapeutic to you happens to be inspirational to me (and others, but who cares about them?). 🙂
Please know that I am alive today b/c of you. Thank you for being able to put the pain into words and thank you for reminding us that depression lies. You are amazing and you make a difference. My 5 kids thank you, my husband thank you and I thank you.
I cried reading this too. I feel the exact same way. There are moments when I am myself and then I disappear again. Thanks for your words and your drawing. I know I am not alone.
You just described my life.
I’m having a tough year too. But I am really glad you’re still here, because your tough year helps me get through my tough year.
Have you noticed that if you share that you are hurting EVERYONE leaves a comment? Wonderful isn’t it! I have suffered from what I call “The BLACK Place” all my life (so I KNOW what you are writing about, including the SHAME!) Taking a multi vitamin and LOTS of Vitamin “D” have actually really helped me, so has Art Journalling. I am sure you have tried everything… (sending healing energy in your direction) A FAN
I love you <3 You encapsulate everything so eloquently
Hang in there. I just listened Furiously Happy, the first of your books I have been introduced to, and found it amazing and encouraging. I’ve struggled with PPD and at times I was almost in tears by what you wrote from being able to relate to the hopeless feeling, but so often I was in tears from laughing. You are a gift and an inspiration, remember that! I work in mental health and wish I could hand out a copy of your book to the adults I see. Thanks for being a breath of fresh air for a topic that at times is controversial!
You are amazing! Thank you for being you! I do hope you decide to make this picture into a poster, or a card,or a anything because it is beautiful and uplifting. Fight on!
Your blog is so unique… whimsical, funny, and so honest. And you’re so observant and talented. I can identify with your struggle, although I don’t claim to “understand” it (who can?). I’m bipolar, mostly depressed, but go manic once in a while.
The day you posted this is the day I was “asked” to resign a good job I had held for 8 years. Six months ago, my performance started dropping. Then I decided it would be a good idea to give my boss’ close colleagues helpful written directions to where they could shove their ideas … they did NOT appreciate my bracing honesty (did I mention I’m bipolar?)
So today I find myself 33 yrs old, unemployed, uninsured, off meds, bat-shit bipolar, and armed with a letter of reference that says I haven’t killed or maimed anyone lately (that he knows of).
I like your phrase “depression lies” – I find myself repeating that often. For right now, depression is lying to me like a corporate attorney at a bankruptcy hearing, and she is being pretty convincing too.
You know it’s one of the really bad times when the best thing you can come up with to tell your psychiatrist is, “well I’m still here and I haven’t tried to —-myself.” My personal favorite is, “I’m still eating, and I even got out of bed and took a shower, go me!” Very sorry that you’ve had a wretched time lately, but so relieved to know it’s not just me. Thank you for sharing.
For me, getting to the point where I was able to realize that my brain was lying to me and that it WOULD, in fact, pass if I just waited, was a huge step. Because I spent a large portion of my life being lost in a fog that I couldn’t run my way out of….Hugs.
I’m not sure I could have put these feelings into words as well as you have. I’m glad I’m not the only one sleeping away my day and trying to hide my depression and down days by sleeping ’til an hour before my boyfriend comes home for lunch. It’s an awful, awful feeling.
I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such a beautiful drawing. I printed it out a week ago as a reminder that sometimes quiet and silence means a need to wait and listen rather than whatever fearful thing my head will tell me that silence means…Today the results of the election were unbearably stressful, and I added some color to your beautiful drawing, to keep my hands busy, to cope. I just wanted to say thank you for providing this, for making something so beautiful. I’m not sure I would have been okay today without it. Your art is valuable and has life-saving powers <3
Hi. I know this comment will be lost in the blizzard of comments that you receive on your posts. So it would definitely make more sense for me to just not comment. But the thing is, you’re worth it. You’re worth me wasting two minutes of my life, to comment a comment that will never be seen. You’ve helped me, made me laugh, made me cry, and the funny thing is, it always felt like you were right there. (does that sound creepy haha). Your dark humour keeps me engaged for hours. I love both your books, they are just so raw and brilliantly funny. You talking about you r mental illness and how you were able to see the light even when you were going through incredibly dark times, often inspires me to see the light during my dark times. Your weird escapades comfort me by showing me that I’m not the only weird person out there. (once I was bit in the eye by an ant and had to go to the hospital to get it removed, pretty weird stuff). Anyway, I think it’s important for you to know, that there is a shitload of people that draw strength and courage from you. Do you realize how strong that makes you? You are stronger than you know, because you are able to supply so many people with your strength. I hope you remember this when your mind tells you not to. I hope you don’t stop writing because dude, I love raccoon rodeos and I want to hear more. 🙂
Love and support,
That 15 year old girl that pees her pant and also cries from reading your books. (too long?)
This is my life for the last year. I eat, I sleep and I hide. It makes me feel terrible to see my life swallowed up in this manner.
Jenny – I wanted to tell you how much your journey has helped me understand what my 17 year old daughter is going through. We just recently discovered that she has been cutting herself and expressing and having suicidal thoughts. She’s now in therapy and on medication and is doing much better. From the moment we uncovered what’s she’s been living with, I’ve struggled with understanding it since I don’t have a history of dealing with acute depression personally. But between you and Wil Wheaton’s blog posts and hearing what my daughter has shared, I’m coming closer to imagining what she’s dealing with. It helps me to visualize the depression as a dark force that is whispering terrible things to her. Thank you again—and if you talk to Wil let him know that there are some more people that you and he have helped. #depressionlies
Beautifully written, and so well described. x