Hi. I’m still alive.

Sometimes this thing happens to me. It starts small. I spend the day inside. Then the next. Then I realize I haven’t posted on social media in a day and I think I should but I don’t trust my voice because I get used to the quiet. Then another day passes and I worry that I’ve waited so long to reach out that whatever I write should be very important because of the imaginary build-up in my head and then I can’t think of anything important enough to break the silence so I don’t write anything.  And then the next day starts and it begins again, but worse.  Quiet.  Hermity.  Afraid to even talk online.

It’s irrational.  It’s ridiculous.  No one cares if I don’t tweet for days.  No one cares if I do.  (I don’t mean that in a self-pitying way.  Just that no one is judging either way.)  No one is aware of the weird self-imposed vow of silence I accidentally placed on myself but the quiet gets louder and louder and each time I think maybe I just won’t come back…that maybe I’ll disappear forever.

I don’t.

I never do and it’s irrational to think that I would…that my brain would simply not let me leave again.  Even at my most agoraphobic I’ve never gone more than a week without leaving the house.  Even at my most terrified I never go more than a few days without reaching out on the internet.  But every time it happens I worry.

I wonder if that’s normal?  I mean, I know it’s not normal, but I wonder if it’s typical for reclusive people like me?  I wonder if that fear ever goes away…the one that tells you that the very last time you were a functioning person was just that…the very last time.  Ever.  I wonder if normal people hear the echo in their heads that grows louder and louder each hour?  I wonder if normal people write posts like these and then stare at them as they try to decide whether they even make sense to…well, to normal people.  I wonder if I even know any normal people.

My broken brain tells me to wait to post this because it’s unfinished.  And my brain is right.  But if I don’t publish it now I will delete it, and walk away, and spend another night in uncomfortable self-imposed silence.  So I’m  posting it.

It’s unfinished.  But so am I.  And I suppose that’s a good thing.

427 thoughts on “Hi. I’m still alive.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. While I certainly can’t claim to be normal, I often feel the same way. It’s not just you.

  2. I do this. So badly do I do this. It’s nice to hear I’m not alone. I’m afraid it’s been too long since I blogged. Has it not been long enough? Am I spamming people if I post now? But it’s been two days! Maybe it’s been too long?

    I deleted my old blog because I stopped writing on it. My self imposed exile got me too down and I just couldn’t write on it any longer.

    Now I have this new blog and I’m a mess about it. I do the same with twitter. I’ve considered deleting my facebook. I think it will relax me sometimes on other social media

  3. It is a good thing….we are all unfinished. Thank goodness for that! Love your outlook on it, Jenny. You are good, I am good. All unfinished together.

  4. There is weirdness in the air and it gets in your head. (That’s you in the general sense.) Some people think invisibility is a superpower, but it isn’t super.

  5. Thanks for reaching out! We love you! We don’t judge if you don’t post, but we so love it when you do. XO

  6. I’m doing it too. It’s my dad’s birthday today – he died just over 2 years ago from brain cancer. I kinda want the silence to swallow me whole; but at the same time it’s like a heavy blanket tangling around my feet that I can’t seem to quite shake loose from. Knowing that someone else is doing it too turns that tangle into a comfortable burrito, so thank you. <3

  7. I do this, too! Then I start talking too much, all the time, for fear I’ll stop talking and be afraid to start again.

  8. It’s ok. I have chronic depression and every winter is hard. Every damn winter. I always wonder if I’ll make it through. I always ask myself if I have enjoyed my last Autumn. So far, I’ve always made it. So far you have always made it. I send hugs.

  9. I’m tired of my broken brain and not sure I’m going to survive this latest round. And I haven’t told that to anyone because most people I know would never understand.

  10. Not even lying, just temp or fifteen minutes ago I was thinking of you, Jenny, because you haven’t posted here in a few days, and I hoped that you were okay.

    I’m really glad you’re okay. It’s also all right that you took some days away, because we all need those sometimes.

  11. If that post didn’t pretty much describe my last few weeks, I don’t know what does. We are all in someways unfinished and sometimes we need to retreat when life hands us WAY too many lemons and we’re dead sick of drinking lemonade.

  12. I mention you in my next blog post so I stopped by for a link and then noticed you hadn’t blogged. I was worried!!! I’m glad you found your voice.

  13. You matter. I was pretty excited to see that you wished me happy birthday on Saturday, on my Facebook wall 🙂 I always enjoy reading your posts.

  14. Keep going.
    We’re all unfinished, we all worry and fret, keep our voices low when we feel unsure.
    But we keep going.
    Don’t listen to the bs our “brain” tells us, much of the time it’s just insecurity hijacking our brain.
    Keep going.

  15. I’m sorry it feels so isolating. I don’t even have a blog, and if I did, nobody would read it. You have eyeballs reading & people that care. That’s so wonderful. I hope it helps to know that your writing helps your readers, who often feel as you do, but who are even more isolated. So, thank you.

  16. once again you created words to mirror the sonic echoes in my own brain; your words bring relief that perhaps I am not alone in the worry and fear that the echoes might consume me.

  17. Totally happens to me, but I don’t blog, so no one is waiting for my posts. I leave Facebook for months, especially during election years. I have too many kids and an extrovert husband for the luxury of days of silence, but on mat leave I stayed home for at least a week. Every holiday I’m home the whole time, sometimes in pjs all week. Going places takes energy, and I watch my spoon count closely.

    “Normal” is an idea, not a reality. Just be you, your normal or abnormal.

  18. I’m glad my brain found your brain-somehow I don’t feel quite as alone and broken as I did before I read this –

  19. Don’t be normal. Be Jenny. I like Jenny, hermitude and all. #metoo. That #metoo and hermity #metoo.

  20. Normal is a setting on a dryer. Posting. Phoning. Going outside. Washing dishes! We all have something. Talk to us, we’re happy to hear from you.

  21. I lost my job last week. I’ve been purposely making myself leave the house because I’m so afraid of falling into this habit. It’s cold, and I’m not okay, and I know if I don’t put on something besides my pajamas and make myself leave at least every other day, I just won’t leave. And why I understand that it’s not good, it’s also super tempting.

  22. Glad you reached out. Like you, I sometimes have trouble knowing when my introversion has turned from my fortress to my prison. This is me, waving at you from the window. Normal is a setting on the drier, and you are braver than you think and more beautiful than you know.

  23. I get it. Yours is the one voice I actively look for when I’m more broken then usual. Like now. When I’m this broken I miss the off the grid days before I joined social media. Then I think I will just delete it all no one will notice or miss me. But I never do. I am slowly working my way out of my darkness. I don’t have an ending yet. So I will just send hugs your way

  24. Thanks for the note. We’ve been thinking about you, because today is our anniversary. We’ve been together for about 20 years, and one of the things that really helped us figure out how to make this work was your honesty about your life and your family and how you got through all the things. It’s one of the things (along with great friends) that helped us get through too, especially when stuff was really not okay. So, thanks. We love you. You helped us, and we hope we can help other people too. Have a better day tomorrow, ok?

  25. I don’t like to leave the house. I don’t go outside and sit in the sun. I am perfectly happy to never go anywhere. But I can’t teach my kids that. I can’t not take them outside. So I go outside. I try to not text first because I get worried that, even with 1 text, I am bothering people and intruding on their lives so I keep me to me. I message my bestie because she is The One That Cares. Apart from my husband, if anyone wants to know if I’m alive, they should ask her.

  26. Thank you for posting this even if its unfinished. My brain has been very wonky today as well. I did not want to leave my apartment either. I am very quiet on social media until my thoughts try and take over, then I post what is going on in my life and then someone says something like “God loves you” or “pray about it more” and then I feel like a total failure, delete the post and just sit in front of my computer watching sad videos. You are not alone and as it turns out neither am I. Thanks again for reaching out to us out here and to you there, we are here for you too.

  27. What’s a normal brain? Does anyone know? I am an introverted extrovert. I crave the getting out of the house….but the getting ready is exhausting. Blog on bloggess. I need you

  28. Normal people? I wouldn’t have any idea what they think and do.
    I was sitting here in the dark, quietly hiding my tears. And suddenly, there you were … with me. I’m with you, too

  29. We’re all unfinished. That’s what life is…a journey where we build ourselves, and sometimes we don’t like what we’ve built so we tear some of it down and rebuild. Some days we build one small brick at a time and some days we seem to finish an entire wall (especially when we’ve been hurt…those are the fastest walls we build). And on those days when you don’t feel like building, it’s ok to be silent and just come back tomorrow to build a little more. Sometimes parts of us get destroyed, through no fault of our own, so we rebuild. Sometimes the rebuilt parts look patchy and weird, but all the patchy weirdness tells a story. It’s the story of us. And it can be really beautiful, if you look at through the right filter.

  30. Sometimes I think I say “I” too much, as in “I did this” or “I used to do whatever.” Then I think I’m talking too much about me so then I am quiet and don’t say anything. Then people ask me what’s wrong because I’m not talking anymore. My brain is broken. I’ll stop talking now. (I said I too many times. Ugh.)

  31. I don’t know what normal people do either but as for me, I can relate to this. It’s worse in winter when it’s cold but there is an element of it year around. We support you and care about you. 💚💛💜

  32. Normal=boring.
    I will happily wait for your posts for as long as it takes.
    You are such a beautiful work-in-progress.
    Aren’t we all?

  33. You represent normal to all of us who follow you. And that’s a good thing. Just to know we’re not alone. (Sometimes I fear I’ll stay in my cave forever. Where I feel safe.). {{{Hugs}}}

  34. My favorite teacher quote: “it’s never done; it’s just due.” I can also hermit for days and then I realize I need sunshine and reality and other thoughts than my own. I love your honesty!

  35. Me too…fear of rejection and just of revealing myself maybe. I’m glad you opened the door.

  36. As usual, you resonate with soooooooooo many. You are a most excellent human being. 😘

  37. Maybe you know this already (or maybe you have no idea), but your words are often (very often actually) the only reason I push passed my own screamy demons and make it through another day. Those fuckers can’t win when there’s an army of us (tentative and afraid as we almost always are) claiming the light on dark days.

  38. Tonight as I was chopping vegetables for dinner, I thought of you and hoped that you were okay because you hadn’t said anything on social media in recent days. I wondered if the stress of the renovation had finally gotten to you or if something else was wrong. So odd to read this post after having those thoughts only a few hours earlier. You are not alone, Jenny. My brain is broken too, and the other day in a total panic I wondered if I was ever going to feel normal because I was so overwhelmed and wanted desperately to not feel anything. Why do I always have to feel everything so deeply? The truth is, though, I don’t ever want to be normal. This place is so very dark sometimes, but every time I step out from the darkness my world is ablaze with light. Light only this place could have made me appreciate and understand. For that, I feel blessed. And for you, your vulnerability and strength, I am infinitely grateful. Thank you for every word of this post, Jenny, and for being beautiful broken you. You are so very loved.

  39. I do that with just getting up. Not so badly anymore. But still, sometimes it seems like just getting up and taking a shower is overwhelming. So I stay in bed, missing special events I really wanted to attend – a good friend’s birthday or a wedding. And I lie, saying I have the flu. Because it’s so hard for “normal” people to understand I truly wanted to be there but couldn’t make myself go.

    I used to wonder if I would never get up again. A long time ago, I used to drink to numb the pain and just check out. I used to wonder if that was how I was going to die. I figured it probably was.

    I’m 75 now and have been through the tunnel enough to know it always ends. Getting up becomes a normal thing to do again. And, the more I’ve gone through it, the more I’ve had the experience of breaking out of the blackness. It gets better. We all have to trust that.

    Thanks, Jenny, for breaking through your doubt and fear and posting again.

  40. This unfinished post? It was complete and completely understandable to me. And I thank you for it.

    Oh, and remember … that bitch – Depression – along with all her Mean Girl friends named Anxiety, Agoraphobia and the rest? They lie. They lie like the bitches they are. Post or don’t post as you can – WE know that we’ll appreciate your words whenever you share them.

  41. Keep posting every day, Jenny, because even in your briefest check in with us, you make me (and lots of others I suspect) feel normal!
    I’ve spent the past four days in my pajamas trying to feel like myself again–and I’ve looked for a new post from you MULTIPLE times each day. (Your face is in my bookmarks bar, and I click on you at least a couple times every hour.) Please remember when you’re feeling your worst, there are LOTS of people thinking about you and wondering what you, Victor, Hailey, and the menagerie are up to at your house. It doesn’t have to be eloquent or adventurous, just an “I’m still alive” to those of us who truly understand.
    Just knowing you’re still alive makes me feel better. Maybe I’ll even get showered and dressed in the morning. 🙂

  42. The last 2 months has just been arse bad for my family. It just goes on and on. I keep hoping that maybe the “trouble comes in threes” thing would really be true. Maybe it’s happening in multiples of threes here. I’m afraid to go out. I’m afraid to answer the phone. I’m afraid to speak to anybody. I don’t even want to tell my one real friend any more because I’m starting to sound like a bad news machine and chronic complainer. I want to find a deep, dark hole to crawl into.

  43. My therapist once told me something along the lines of “you’re an adult; there are no shoulds.”

    I try to keep that in mind, but, really, it seems like our brains are sometimes nothing BUT shoulds!

    And the shoulds can so easily become traps.

    Sometimes as the afternoon wanes I start to feel intense pressure to have some random thing done that I had mentally planned to do. And then I realize I never told my spouse that I was planning to do it. Relief! And then guilt. (I still should do it, even though I don’t have to do it… but I’m not gonna do it…so I’ll just feel bad about not getting it done when I should have gotten it done…)

    Rinse. Repeat.

    As kind commenter H.A. Sandiford said, we’re all works in progress. We should be kinder to ourselves while we’re under construction.

    I’ll try to remember that tomorrow. Hope you can, too.

  44. Thank you for posting this, just as it is. Thank you for sharing this moment, just as you are. It seems to me, and I may be interpreting this incorrectly, that giving a voice to what you’re going through is a kind of acceptance. It’s knowing yourself and what you’re going through. It takes a lot of courage to live through these moments, to accept them, and to do it out loud. I’m grateful to hear your story and witness the community you’ve created respond and share their own stories. It helps me so much, on good days and on not so good days too.

  45. No one is completely normal. “Normal” isn’t applicable to real humans, only to the imaginary statistically-constructed human.

    You are awesome! Everyone is afraid, and everyone is flawed. You write about your own awesomeness, and your fear, and your flaws. And your writing make us feel less lonely and weird.

    Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

  46. Oh, God, how lovely. At least that’s how I see this. I think it’s ok to talk confusion, to not have all the answers, to wonder. And I think it’s more than ok to be you, Jenny. No one else can do it. And for what it’s worth, whatever the thing, I never think I’m gonna get out from underneath it, or around it, or over it, or through it either. But here I am. Still.

  47. As something my husband told me today when I was explaining how messed up my depression/anxiety brain was acting that, tomorrow is another day. Take a deep breathe and try again tomorrow.

    hugs

  48. Please don’t disappear, ever. We need you more than you know. Even the unfinished and broken. We need it all because it reminds us that our unfinished, broken, reclusive, stuff is ok. Fuck normal. I don’t even know what that is. We are broken and beautiful. I LOVE us.

  49. I have agoraphobia so bad I haven’t left my property in 10 years. I am not afraid of people, I am afraid of death. I am afraid that if I leave my life will end. I can NOT get past this point in my head. I can NOT break free. I need help and can not get it. I have a wonderful husband who understands and does not force me. He just lets me go at my own pace. I am afraid I will never break free, I will never be able to get past my own prison. I applaud you for even going out after a week, for finding the strength to post even though you don’t think it’s finished. Yay you!

  50. I have this problem sometimes. I thought it was just me.
    Normal people are a myth (like unicorns, only without the bit about the virgins. Or, presumably, the horns).

  51. I empathize and completely understand. Post when you are able. Those of us who love you appreciate whatever you are able to give.

  52. I wonder if there is such a thing as a “normal” person. And if such a person exists, I suspect that their brain wouldn’t even spend time wondering about this sort of stuff, because …. well ….. UNICORNS! Or … squirrels. Or well whatever it is that a normal brain would think of, because let’s face it none of us are ever going to know what normal is! Don’t aspire to be normal. Aspire to be YOU!

  53. You are very brave. You are a hero to me, precisely because you spell out your pain and fear and lay it out there for all to see — and so I am reminded that I am not alone. Your very brokenness is in some ways your most valuable gift to the world.

  54. Thank you for this. I needed to hear it. I’m in a similar boat and was feeling so alone. Thank you for everything.

  55. I am in the middle of this exact quiet storm. Though I type anonymously online, I hide in the real world, from anyone who knows me, safe under my blankets. waiting for the neighbors to leave so I can let the dog out. not answering the phone. or the door. deciding to stay in when the family chooses to go out. just buried in the quiet. and it’s sorta nice. until I do go out. and then its all too loud, too bright, too much. I worry if I stay buried in the quiet too long, I’ll get lost and the world will get so loud, I won’t be able to go back out ever again.

  56. We are all still a work in progress, each of us with our own shit to haul. Every day that we wake up – we win.
    You won the day. Xo

  57. What bothers me is loving the quiet, the emptiness, darkness, being a contented hermit, and the “normal” people trying to guilt me out of my comfort zone because it’s not “normal” to be in myself for so long. What is “normal”? I bet “they” would be surprised….

  58. Jenny-
    Yes, what you feel is normal. Remember normal is all relative to
    the speaker. Speaking is validating your thoughts and feelings and
    those are important no matter what. You are invaluable to this world
    exactly the way you are right this very second. Every day you make it
    through to the next is commendable. You are a wonderful person.

  59. Here’s the thing: we love YOU, Jenny, whoever you are. We continue to love you through everything, because that is what love is. When I feel broken, I am reminded by my support system that love does not just go away…it stays for as long as you need it to.

  60. This was me at the height of my PPD after my second. I would leave the house only on Sunday for Thing 1’s swim lesson because we did groceries for the week afterwards and when I don’t go, stuff we actually need sometimes didn’t get bought. People would call the hubby if they didn’t see a post on Facebook after a few days. It took me a month to read birthday email from my bestest friend because I thought too much time had passed and I felt guilty for reading it so late. Not to mention showering once a week only because I forgot when the last time was. I really enjoy silence sometimes but sometimes you just gotta walk to the mailbox.

  61. Wow I love your last question. Do I even know a normal person? I can’t think of one offhand. I am sure there is one in my life but right this minute no one springs to mind. Gosh the more I think about it the less I think I can violate other people’s privacy and even give examples. Let me just say, I needed a day off today in the worst way from every thing and every one. Some how Goddesses and the Universe and 42 and everything cooperated to let me have it.
    I thank them all for the blessings

  62. I used to want to be normal. Then one day I realized that normal is not all that interesting. You’re not alone. And you’re better than normal.

  63. Your post was not unfinished. It said what you needed to say, then got out of its own way. I heard what I needed to hear. You are always apperciated!

  64. If you only knew how familiar this sounds. No, you are not alone. I don’t blog, but sometimes days go by and all I post on my Facebook page are memes from other pages. When I do post something personal, actually open up, half the time I either delete it or set it so that only I can see it. I don’t know what your diagnosis is, or if you even have one, but I have borderline personality disorder with bipolar II. Fun times. Not. I totally understand if days go by and you don’t feel like you can open up. And I also totally understand when you feel the need to totally open up and then maybe wonder if that was the right thing to do. Whatever feels right to you is the right thing to do, and don’t let anyone – including yourself – tell you it isn’t.

  65. I was just trying to explain almost this EXACT thing to a friend of mine! “Almost” because I’m not this awesome blogger with best selling books… 🙂 And “almost” because I rewrote it 50 billion times and deleted it. So yay for you! You didn’t delete it and at least I can tell you that you and the commenters have really made me feel so much less freakish! Or at least in good company which is very comforting. I had no idea that it was so common! We should all not get together and not talk. ha ha see what I did there…

  66. The voices in your head are liars. We love every word you post. Even if you only say hi. So say it. Prove those voices wrong. We love you.

  67. Well I don’t have agoraphobia, but I do struggle with major depression. A few years ago many bad things collided at once and I had a nervous breakdown, according to my therapist. I’m great now, for the most part. But that is because I had to rebuild my entire self almost from scratch. And now every time I sleep late, skip a meal, or run in to some stress, I start wondering if it’s all going to fall apart again. And of course it’s not, because just the fact that I am concerned about my behavior proves I’m keeping it together. But I still worry. I just have to take it bird by bird.

  68. Jenny, I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again: I am old enough to be your mother, but you have done more to make me feel it’s okay to be me than years of therapy or word word wordy words from anyone else. I treasure you. Do whatever is right for you, but please know there are so many of us who treasure your imperfections and your sharing them with us. Truly.
    I love you, dollface. You’re the best thing ever.

  69. There is no such thing as NORMAL. We are all different from each other in some way and normal does not exist. I gave up on anyone being normal a long time ago because it was just a fantasy created in my brain and everyone else thinks normal is something different, if you get what I mean. Just be you and forget normal.

  70. Because I’m staying at home a lot, being out of work and all (no stress there, nosiree), I’ve been having panic attacks. Just little ones, but they make me curl up and want blanket forts.

    So now she’s decided we need to get out more and make new friends, since all our friends live far away and we haven’t made any real friends, not the come-over-and-hang-out type of friends here in the neighborhood. In our defense, it’s not the best ‘hood in the block.

    But that’s made me even more stressed out. Meeting new people, making friends, that sort of thing. I used to be really good at it, and I can still fake it, but I’d rather stay home and be a hermit.

    Which is a roundabout way of saying “I hear you, even when you’ve gone silent. And you’re not alone.”

  71. Well, you are not alone, and you know it’s okay just to write anything, right? We are not, as far as I can tell, judging you. I mean, I myself am far too busy judging me. I may not be normal…

  72. My agoraphobic husband went almost two years only leaving our bedroom to use the bathroom and eat. He gets out of the house now, but cannot yet leave our small forested community. He can go about 1/4 mile from our home. I’d say you’re doing damn good comparitively.
    I’m currently battling an ugly patch of functional depression and caregiver burnout. I’m pretty sure having no choice but to be functional while I am this depressed is only making it worse, but such is my life. I constantly tell myself depression lies and the light will come again.
    Thanks for this post, Jenny. I’m so glad you didn’t delete it.

  73. You are not alone, kiddo. I do it, too. Maybe not exactly the same, but the same basic concept. I enjoyed reading this.

  74. I’m tempted to say “A lot of people feel this way,” but I don’t actually have the data to back that up, and can only go by my own head, which I know full well is not an accurate yardstick. (Or metric stick in the rest of the world.) If anything, you seem to handle it better than a lot of people do. I get into slumps where I will go weeks or months without writing anything of substance, and usually because of that cumulative silence that feeds into a fear of breaking said silence. Admittedly it matters less in my situation because it’s not my job, though it is what I keep thinking I’ll do with my life (and have yet to). And I may post a tweet or to friends on Facebook, but during said slumps it tends to be pointless things like links to YouTube videos, quizzes that tell you which of Ron Weasley’s sweaters you are, or random little jokes that took zero thought on my part.

    You’re funny, inspirational, and real. And while I understand all too well that the funny comes and goes, I can’t remember a time when you’ve posted anything that wasn’t interesting on some level. (And I also know what it’s like to have people tell you those things and have it sound like external platitudes that don’t quite sink in. I think that’s normal too. If there’s even such a thing as normal.)

    Anyway. No matter your moods, thoughts, ups and downs, posts or hermitages(?), just remember that we’re here for you, and that you’re three best-selling books ahead of most of us.

  75. I go through this often, and I’m mostly too scared to even post online, so you’re braver than I am. I keep most of my writing to myself. If I didn’t have a job and a child to take to school I’d have to tall myself into ever going anywhere. I mean, I’m not a normal person, but at least we have solidarity

  76. Every so often i get to a point where I all of a sudden realize i have casually been unable to go basically anywhere a normal human goes. my car is out of gas because every time i drive by the gas station my chest gets tight, i end up eating sketchy food i found in my pantry because im like 78% sure i will going to die if i walk into a grocery store. i dont think of it as disappearing but rather fading away. and it gets better, usually… or someone gets worried that you are starving and bring you food

  77. I’m often crushed by the weight of silence. The difference is that when I do speak/post it’s never better than the silence so I just go quiet again. Or I get defiant and say “fuck it, I’m saying stuff!” I’ll say/post all kinds of ridiculous crap and when I calm down I’ll regret everything. You have a real voice, a way of using words to make us laugh, think, and heal. Keep fighting the silence, your words are worth it.

  78. Today in my self imposed hermity (is that even a word). I want to reach out to someone and ask, “are you lonely “ because I am, yet I don’t want any one to know how lonely I get. Are you lonely?

  79. You are beautiful and so is this post. I completely understand. I am so glad you broke your silence and I love love love that you show us your real self because it gives us the courage and strength to show the world our real selves too, even the unfinished and broken bits. ❤️

  80. The reclusive-ness is so normal at this point that I don’t even question it anymore. Don’t even care. I just naturally assume that the people I know won’t even notice I’m missing because I’ve been missing one way or another for years. What’s one more day? One more week of silence? One more lifetime?

  81. I completely get it. I would be the same way if I didn’t have to work outside of the home to take care of my daughter, as I’m a single parent. I’m teribly lonely yet I don’t want to go anywhere to be with family or friends. I’m starting a new treatment for my RA this weekend and I’m scared to death because it’s an infusion and I’m so overwhelmed with medical bills and paying for meds for the RA, chronic pain, and severe depression and axinety. I’m afraid it’s going to be so expensive when I show up for the treatment I’m going to have to tell them I can’t do it. I’m so tired of hurting ALL THE FUCKING time. It’ makes me bitchy (at least more than normal). I just want to hide and pretend it’s not happening to me.

  82. I do this all the time. Not that I write or blog,, I’m not that brave or maybe I would just rather read and think. But I check out of life. Often.It’s why I have a dog and Netflix or maybe I would just not be at all. It’s selfishly a relief to know that a successful person is also afraid to leave the house or communicate with the outside world sometimes. Thanks for posting this.

  83. I don’t know if it’s “normal” but I do this all the time. I also find the longer I go without contacting someone, the harder it is to contact them even if there’s no reason for it. It’s like that physics stuff where moving stuff likes to keep moving and stuff that’s staying still likes to stay still.

  84. I deal with that feeling all the time, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one. I’m so glad you posted even though you felt like the post was incomplete, it was perfect. It’s real, vulnerable and honest and that’s what I relate to, the humanness of it all. Because we’re just humans doing the best we can during this human experience.

  85. I’ve struggled with panic for 20+ years, which for me always takes the form of thinking and feeling like I’m going to vomit. I have months, sometimes years, when I’m fine. But when the panic hits, I’m 100% certain that I’m going to be sick, even though it has never happened. For the past 3 months I have organized my life around this fear even though IT HASN’T HAPPENED. So yeah, anxiety and depression lie like a motherfucker. Write as often or as little as you want to, we won’t judge.

  86. Thank you for being my voice when I’ve lost mine. So many times you post your thoughts, and I feel slightly less alone with mine. I’m relieved you did not delete this “unfinished” work. It was comforting. Thank you.

  87. Sweetheart, we are your tribe. You are not alone. No one is “normal,” thank God. You are us. We are you. Nuff said.

  88. you are so inspirational and amazing please never stop sharing your experiences, you’ve changed my life

  89. I do try to “socialize” face to face at least once a week among friends. Then I spend the rest of the week wondering if I said the wrong thing AGAIN. Then I wonder if it is really worth it…or necessary. I don’t like wasting my time thinking about how much I simply don’t matter. What I do very much LIKE is reading your blog and even more than that, all the kind comments from all the people who genuinely care about you and how you are. It makes me feel so good to know those people are out there….loving, accepting, understanding, forgiving. See what you bring out in people? It’s a good thing and we NEED it. Thanks for your courage and generosity.

  90. Normal isn’t normal. Anyone who says they don’t have struggles is either full of shit or a sociopath. Part of what makes you amazing and inspiring is the fact that you acknowledge your hard times. You don’t Photoshop or ignore them. Like John Green wrote, “Pain demands to be felt.” Your honesty makes it possible for those of us who love you have the courage to be ok with being not ok.

  91. There is no normal. That’s the thing I remind myself when the monkeys in my brain won’t shut the hell up. There. Is. No. Normal.

  92. Honestly, I wonder why it would be horrible to be stuck on an island and never hear another human voice. That sounds like heaven to me, though I would probably crave human contact after 10 years or so. Anyway, you’re so right to post something, even if it feels unfinished. Pushing through for contact when you don’t want to or feel like it’s imperfect is what keeps us reclusives from becoming the scary witch lady in the house down the street (though that’s kind of a life-goal, so maybe I should think up a different metaphor). Good on you! You’re making great choices!

  93. I’m so glad you did post this because this is me. Quietly, umassumingly, innocently a bit introverted and a tendency to overthink it’s natural consequences. Has it been so long that it’s weird to call that old friend I miss? I almost always convince myself it is and I miss out and what could have been a rekindling or even just another nice memory. Was this thought good enough, complete enough to share? I’ll probably only share it with my husband and wonder if anyone else would have smiled. I’ll beat myself up for all these chances never taken, too, adding to the broken feeling. Depression now has me where it wants me–now unhappily isolated. What started as a self-affirming bit of reflection and restoration is now a part of a plot to separate me from any support that will help me against its attacks. And it’s always looking for a moment of weakness in which it may strike. This is why we must be ever vigilant to set our own rules for conduct, our own standards for what’s good enough and to he’ll with the rest of it. It is war for the maintenance of life.

  94. We are all unfinished. And that’s okay. Thank you for giving me a new mantra for my own struggles.

  95. The number of times I click on my Bloggess bookmark to see how my imaginary friend is doing…knowing you’ll be there with a story- maybe squirrels, maybe a new victory by Hailey as she learns something new- is so reassuring.

  96. You’re not normal. Because there is no such thing. Some people display their abnormality more than others. I don’t find your thoughts odd at all. I’ve had very similar thoughts.

  97. My mother let it stop her. She stopped connecting because of that fear. All her friends told me how much they missed her at her funeral. Promise me Jenny don’t let it go more than a few days cause that fear will cut you off from the rest of the world. I would miss things you say. It makes me laugh.

  98. I don’t give a flying rat’s ass what “normal” is, because there’s is NO normal. Just varying stages of unbroken. 🙂

  99. I go so many days without leaving the house that I can’t remember when the last day was and then I start to panic that I will never be able to leave the house again.

    I post way too much when I am anxious and depressed. I sometimes go back and delete posts because I’m afraid people will get sick of seeing my name. And then I feel depressed that I can’t ever seem to be positive.

    You are NOT alone. And no pressure on when you have to be on social media. We love you whether you can make an appearance today or not. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has these thoughts. (Do you also make sure not to schedule more than one thing in a day, because one thing is ALL you can handle?)

  100. My brain usually insists that staying home is normal. All those people who willingly leave their house are weird, not me. And I fantasize about never reaching out to anyone ever again, but then I remember that I have to interact with the clerk at the grocery store and so I daydream about being a robot who doesn’t need a house or food and can just exist but I guess robots still need energy so they’d have to at least be serviced sometimes. Damnit.

    So no. Not just you.

  101. I have emails I haven’t responded to in 4 years. I clean out my inbox regularly, but they stay there because I haven’t responded to them, so I can’t get rid of them. It’s. So. Stressful. I’m thinking about changing my email address…

  102. Cheezus! How did you get into my head? I do the same thing and then worry that I’ve totally hit the end. Maybe there isn’t anything else to write. Maybe I’m not good enough to find more. Maybe I’ve exhausted every tiny bit of talent and what ever is left is crap. You aren’t like that though. You are an infinite source of amazement. Whatever that shitty little voice in your head says, you are brilliant. :o)

  103. I know you have heard it a million times, but you are literally the voice that makes me know that I am normal and actually ok.

  104. <3 <3 <3 We’ll be here, whenever and however works for you. Also – pretty sure I’m not normal, but yeah, I do the same thing.

  105. You are way too hard on yourself. It’s OK to miss a day or ten. Post when you feel like it. And when you do post, it doesn’t have to be epic. Truth be told, I didn’t even notice you were away. Ack!! Don’t take that as criticism. I love reading your tweets, but …well, we all have lives. We get busy. It’s OK.

  106. I was just wondering how the flood was going and noticed you hadn’t posted on it, so yes, we notice.

    ps, I went on vacation without any electronic devices and someone wondered what happened to me. So I felt pretty good about that.

  107. No one is normal. No one is functional. Every one of us is broken in some way. But there are, occasionally, broken people who are brave enough to share themselves…and they make the rest of us feel a little less broken.

  108. You’re right, we don’t care if you post or not, you do you. However, if you want to post half-finished thoughts we will still read them, because we can all relate to what you’re describing. The most important thing is, if there is a need to reach out, do it. Not for us, for you. ❤️

  109. I’m not normal, so, what the fuck do I know? But for my not normal self, I can say that I have been there. Especially the worrying if the last time I was functional was the last time I will ever be functional. You’re still here. I’m still here. And these comments show that you’re not alone.

  110. It is totally normal! I do the same thing over and over. I sometimes wonder how long it would take for someone to find me if I died. Then the “who would even miss me” thoughts kick in. Ur not alone. U have at least one other person (me) that is living proof. I’ve never responded to u before cuz I figure u get so many responses u would never see it but I truly hope u see this. U r my favorite author and I’m always pushing ur books on everyone I know. I hope in another life we can live closer together and be friends. Stay throng, ur not alone!

  111. I don’t know about this normal people business, but I sure as hell go through what you’ve described. So, at the very least, you are not alone. I’m sure that if she hadn’t abandoned me, my psychiatrist would tell me that it’s because of the generalized anxiety disorder and not because everyone secretly hates me and wishes I would just go away … but, she did leave me. So, we’re on our own, Jenny. We just need to remind each other that we matter, and that we’re happy to hear from the others whenever we feel like we have something to say (even if it’s just to share a pic of one of our cats licking their butt in a weird position), because that’s kind of the beauty of this weird and wonderful tribe you’ve built (collected?). We are all unfinished, we are all damaged, and we all understand that sometimes just getting out of bed is a victory. We’re here whenever you have something to share with us … in the meantime, we’ll be taking pictures of that weird face our cat makes after he licks his butt.

  112. I’m in a low these days, too- so low and self-defeatist that I almost didn’t turn in my application for my Master’s degree that was due today at the latest. But I did. Even though I’m convinced I’m stupid and a failure and wasting my professors’ time, I still did it.

  113. I think it’s fair to say that if so many people are here with you and their brains do the same thing to them, it’s now a version of normal. CONGRATULATUONS, YOUR’E NORMAL………….hmmmmmm that sounded better in my head

  114. You are borken, but in the best possible way.
    I’m borken too. Off my meds and looping. In this particular instance it’s a couple of movies that are all I want to watch. Every. Single. Day.

  115. I think that there are more abandoned, unfinished blog posts on my blog site than actual, finished, published posts.
    My internal mantra is ‘no one cares what you have to say, so just hush up’. And there are more times than not that I am completely convinced that NO ONE would care one bit if I never said another thing… out loud or in writing. But, I’d miss you terribly if you were suddenly silent for more than a day or two… (in fact, if I don’t see posts from you, I ransack Facebook thinking it’s hiding posts from me… AGAIN! *shakes fist at Facebook).

  116. I go on and off through dark times. Right now, I’m stuck in a really bad dark time. And then I read your blog. And I smile, because I recognize the feeling. You make me realize that I am not alone in this, there are lots of us in there, and we will come out the other side – eventually. Good luck to all of us.

  117. I’m an introvert, love silence and stay home a lot. January and February are my most difficult months. My depression rears it’s lying ass and fortunately I have a few friends that remind me it’s happening. I’m also disabled and sometimes just. can’t. do. it. Lurking on social media is my specialty. I’ll keep being me and you keep being you. I love your posts, they (or the comments) always make me laugh.

  118. JEEZ, yes, I feel this so hard. It scares me when I have those days that it’s so hard to even walk onto the porch while my dog goes potty. Right now is especially bad because I broke my ankle and I live in a raised house so it’s the PERFECT excuse to not go anywhere, and I have only left the house 3 days in the past 3 weeks 🙁

  119. This happens to me too. (And sometimes I post too much and wonder if I should just delete the entire day’s tweets or curate them or something because jfc, nobody wants to hear from me THAT much, etc.)

  120. I applaud you, Jenny, for having any presence on the web. Seriously. I haven’t checked my LinkedIn in God knows how long and I can’t even remember the last time I posted on FB. Social media is daunting as Hell to me. I feel like it’s a strange stage and there are soo many unwritten societal social rules on there. I just don’t even bother. I’ll message people back on social media, but I just don’t do regular posts of my own. I haven’t even posted any pics on fb since my wedding.. 3 years ago! Sometimes you gotta just say FUCK IT! Lol. I push through my anxieties in other areas… but, yes, I can say with total confidence that I suck at the Internet.

  121. Actually it’s quite natural. The longer we wait with doing a thing the bigger the hurdle gets to actually doing it. Everyone has it (although with different things) I’m terrified of calling to my dentist (because I’m terrified of my dentist) so I can go for months knowing I NEED to call but not actually calling. And the longer you wait the more you feel like everyone there is judging you and that it’s better to just not waste their time with your petty problems and then I need my boyfriend to physically push my phone in my hand and sit there while I call. And then the dentist-assistant says “It’s been a while” and I wanna shout at her “THAT’S NOT HELPING!” but then I just say “Yeah” really quietly and then get super pissed the moment I hang up. And then after five minutes I feel like a fucking hero because I FINALLY called.

    So trust me, there’s a lot that’s “wrong” with you but this is an error we all have.

  122. I’m in my bedroom, texting my teenage daughter and elderly father (who both live with me and are home) apologizing for not being very talkative and / or nice the last few days. I’m tired, not sleeping well and having weird flashbacks from the last 10 – 15 years of my life that are messing with my mental health. The more time I spend not talking, the less I want to talk. I think I know how you feel. I hear you. I’m definitely not normal, and ALWAYS wonder what other, normal, people think and wish I could be normal too. Thank you for letting this weirdo read your thoughts, it means a lot to someone who feels so alone.

  123. Introverts are wired differently than extroverts. We gain energy from the quiet.I know I do my best thinking when I have had a few days to myself and no one else is around. Interacting with the world, for me, sometimes is painful. I am very intuitive and when I look at people I see them in a way that others do not. I see / feel the tension in their bodies, the pain, anger, joy in their faces, the energy that their thoughts make as they push against the mask they show the world. It’s painful for me to be around a lot of strangers because everything rushes to me at once. With family and friends I am able to create a buffer over time. Riding a subway train, an airplane, or being at the supermarket is exhausting for me. Meeting someone for the first time one on one is challenging because of this. If I had my way I would live alone out in the woods and never leave… I would have to have an internet connection though – and be someplace where Amazon delivers! LOL.

  124. I think it’s important to note that we are not who we are because of what we do. You are a valid person whether or not you ever communicate with another person again. Your thoughts exist whether or not you write them down or share them with anyone else. You are right about people out here not judging you; be sure to give yourself the same courtesy. Every moment counts; even the ones you spend by yourself.

  125. Thank you for letting us in. This post is beautiful. You are not alone. This happens to me too.

  126. I’ve been laying in bed trying to get out. I’m not depressed, I’ve just been tired recently. So I tell myself that I can get up when the clock turns to a “five” ending, then I read a little more and miss it, so I tell myself a “zero” ending. And you know something? This isn’t working for me and it’s making me feel like I’m broken, when really I’m just tired from mild insomnia and taking care of sick people. What I’m trying to say is that this post sounds completely reasonable to me and I think maybe we’re all a little unfinished.

  127. I hear you. For anyone battling depression, anxiety etc as well as physical illnesses, please take a little time to look in to EFT. It’s like a form of accupressure which has changed many people’s lives and there’s tons of free stuff online about it. I tend to stick to Gary Craig’s stuff as he’s the founder of the process and he’s on youtube or his own website http://www.emofree.com.

    I am in no way affiliated to this and make no money from it. I’ve used it for years and it helps me, that’s all. I hope it can help others who may not have heard about it yet.

    Stay strong people. You’ve been here before and come out of it and you will again. Quiet love to you all. x

  128. Thank you for not waiting longer and making it harder on yourself. Ofcourse, when you don’t feel like writing you really really don’t have to. But if you want to reach out, know that it doesn’t have to be funny or perfect or finished or whatever it is you think you need it to be. It just has to be Jenny, and you can’t fail in that. I don’t know any normal people and I am certainly not normal. I was sick the last week of december and stayed inside for a week, not reaching out and it spiraled out of control. I got stuck in my head. I did reach out eventually and made it outside a couple of days ago. Still depressed and lonely but reading the comments helps a bit. I hope it helps you too, that’s why I decided to write something.

  129. You’re definitely not alone in feeling this way. I’ve been feeling this way for months.

  130. It builds up slow, I get overwhelmed, and then I disappear. I get stuck in my head. Then, I’m afraid to come back, because I’m afraid everyone will just think I’m looking for attention. After a few posts, I settle back down–until the next time. I have no idea what normal is, but it’s comforting to know there are several of us out there. Sending you love. 🙂

  131. You are missed when you are not here because people care. Checking in is good because you have a lot of friends out here, but not checking in because you don’t have the energy is okay, too.

    I’m sorry you’re struggling. It’s winter, and you’re having catastrophic home repairs. It’s normal to feel discombobulated. We’re here. You are not alone.

  132. Ah, dear Jenny. Almost Always, I feel badly, because whatever you are enduring, I’m empathetic, because I do Know, on a lesser scale, I Do Know, what I too have been enduring

  133. “Normal” is a setting on a washing machine. It really can’t be applied to people. At least, that’s what I was told in psychology class!

  134. It’s not just you. This feels so true to me that I can’t stop crying, but it’s ok. My biggest fear is always that somehow I will cross some line and not be able to get back.

  135. It’s kind of like saying “I’m sorry,” … I feel like if I wait too long the opportunity is just GONE FOREVAR. You’re not alone (which thank God means neither am I, so…)(yeah, I’m also selfish like that) – at home with a non-verbal child as my only company for most of the day every day sometimes makes me feel as though my tongue weighs ten thousand pounds and the effort to speak is more difficult than swimming in cement.
    I, for one, am glad you’re still alive. <3
    Also? Have you seen the movie The Croods? At one point they burst out of a giant pile of giant popcorns at sunrise and shout “STILL ALIVE!” and that’s what I heard in my head when I read the title of your post. 🙂

  136. I call this a lack of Whelmbeing. Not well-being, whelm-being. You have allowed yourself to get overwhelmed and you need to get back to a state of whelmness. And you always do. You have felt overwhelmed millions of times in your life and you have always somehow worked your way out of it. That’s the first place to start, knowing that you will find your way back to Whelm-Being this time too.

  137. You’re still here, Jenny? That’s the best news I’ve had all day, and that includes being off for snoshleetsh.

  138. Personally I think it’s very normal. After my son started school but long before I ever went back to work, I would go days without going outside or talking to anyone..not in person, not on the internet. And nobody seemed to notice or care, like you said. They weren’t being judgey. They just didn’t notice I’d disappeared. And I was OK with that. I’m mostly ok still when I do manage to disappear for a little while. It’s nice (at least for me) to not have to deal with other humans for a bit. They’re loud. They’re complicated. They want shit from me like love and affection and for me to listen to their problems. And that shit stresses me the fuck out. So sometimes..I disappear. For my own sanity as much as anything else.

  139. I think like this and after I found out that I’m not alone, I stopped worrying quite so much about trying to make my insides match other people’s outsides.

  140. I understand. I haven’t posted on Facebook for over 2 weeks. And everyday I stress about it. I wonder if I should go for something important, or go for something funny and flippant. I should probably post something today. But maybe not.

  141. Please don’t be so hard on yourself! Solitude can be extremely restorative. I certainly can’t know your personal anxieties or phobias. I dont know ifb isolation leads you towards a greater struggle and doesn’t provide relief.

    But please, just google “solitude health”, read a few articles see how you relate to other folks who enjoy and require solitide in order to grow and thrive. And consider that perhaps what you are doing is a beneficial practice, not some horrifying indicator of illness.

  142. Staying in is so comfortable and safe. I like it in here where no one judges me but me and fortunately I think I am fascinating. It’s all good💕💕

  143. I can’t claim to be normal, but I have the same thing happen to me regularly. Something will throw me out of whack, I’ll go quiet, and the ease of being quiet lulls me into staying that way. I say ‘ease’, but it’s not a good ease. It’s a ‘this is the path of least effort’ ease. Giving in to that makes me feel even worse about myself, which makes me even more reluctant to speak, and suddenly six weeks have gone by before I’ve blogged or tweeted or had a conversation other than what’s required for minimal existence.

    tl; dr: brains, man. WTF.

  144. Unfinished just means open-ended, full of possibility. I don’t know if this is normal for reclusive, anxious people, but I do know it happens to me, too. You aren’t alone, and you won’t disappear.

  145. Normal people? Don’t know any. Don’t care to. Everyone else is so much more interesting. You be you, Jenny–that’s why we love you.

  146. You: “I wonder if I even know any normal people.”
    Yes, you do, but you don’t remember them because normal people are boring, bland and totally forgettable.

  147. We love you and are happy that you checked in. And we love you, so we are cool with you taking time in silence. And I think the draw of that love will keep bringing you back, so try not to listen to that fear.

  148. Sweetheart, when you finally realize that the term “normal” doesn’t apply to anyone you might stop judging yourself. There is no such thing, just the appearance of it as we perceive others to be.

  149. I don’t avoid social media…but if I don’t leave the house for two or more days….each day the thought of going out get scarier and scarier. I’ve been inside for the last 3 days. Just left the house. I’m nauseous and nervous but alive.

  150. Normal? I don’t know if any of us would be considered “normal”. But I could have written the sentence “I worry that I’ve waited so long to reach out that whatever I write should be very important because of the imaginary build-up in my head and then I can’t think of anything important enough to break the silence so I don’t write anything”. So whether or not either of us is normal, you put my thoughts into your words. And that means a lot to me.

  151. I do the same, and since I live alone, I wonder what will become of me. One day I might just disappear. I mean, I might disappear to myself.

  152. I don’t do this with social media, but I do it with my real life and in the midst of a terrible reclusive silence that feels impossible to break by reaching out to friends. It’s been too long, they have a righteous position of being hurt by my silence. I can’t face it and so another week of silence.
    It’s a horrible place and I know it’s self imposed and bigger and scarier in my head than real life but I can’t overcome it.
    So I think you killed it by posting this. Our brains are huge magnifying glasses to weakness. Things in the glass look much bigger than they are in real life.

  153. I’m glad you posted it. I wouldn’t have thought of it as unfinished if you hadn’t told me.

    Even when you are quiet you are still a functioning human being. Now I want to write a haiku about walking on tiptoe. No post goes to waste!

  154. You are a freaking inspiration to so many. You just keep doing you…broken brain and all. I haven’t left my panda suit or house in days because I live in the “New Tundra”. It is too cold to go anywhere.

  155. IMHO there is no such thing as normal 🙂 But there is such a thing as ordinary – and I think that’s all any of us are, ordinary human beings trying to get through our days. You are not alone!

  156. no one is “normal”. We are ALL on some kind of spectrum. ALL of us. So don’t compare yourself to “normal”. Because there is no such thing.

  157. I just typed and then backspace three Facebook comments and a text to my mom because, after rereading, I felt like they weren’t important enough to hit send. I get it.

  158. Don’t let your brain constipation stop you from thinking whatever shit you put out here isn’t wanted. We love you, Jenny! I blog too, and get butterflies in my stomach when I don’t post at least once a week. You, obviously, have a following of readers who will gladly check out what you have to say when you say it. Shine on!

  159. I have learned a behavior to post or say something when I start feeling withdrawn. I teach so going out isn’t the thing, it’s a mental withdrawal. I go through the motions but inside I’m locked in a drawer, gagged. So when I feel that beginning, I try to tell someone exactly that – I’m falling away, I need help.

    Thank you for posting this today. It always helps to know that you’re not alone. <3 Amanda

  160. I posted for the first time on Facebook in months because my brain is mean and evil it’s not only the most painful part of my bodystomach taking a very close second place but my brain voice is way meaner than my stomach.

  161. So much of what you say resonates so deeply, sometimes I feel like I’m reading myself (but phrased so much better than I could manage without a struggle). And let me just say that I wouldn’t want normal, I love the you that writes what I wish I could describe. Also, let me just say that it’s much easier to say that to you than to my own not normal brain weasels, but therein lies magic, because maybe if I really do feel like I’m reading myself……. and now I’m done because too many words already.

  162. Spent two days in the same place. I made myself go outside in the beautiful weather we are having. I fought the shoulda could woulda demons with raking the yard though i knew i would pay for that physically later. Thank you gor sgaring unfinished, unsure, and questioning….it helped me to reach out today.Thank you.

  163. I feel like I have one long, unbroken conversation going on in my head. And every once in a while I will bring it outside of my head. And it all makes sense to me but then I realize the person I’m talking to has no real idea what I’m talking about because I haven’t done any kind of lead in to whatever it is I’m saying. The conversation in my head, therefore, is sometimes on mute, and sometimes on un-mute. By way of saying you can do this all you want online, and I think most people get it. And btw, you hardly ever do this at all, your writing always makes sense to me, and I think most everyone here.

  164. While it may seem hard to get out of self imposed hermits it’s not. Go to something like Meetup.com and start a Meetup group for people that never go out. You’ll meet at restaurants or coffee shops. If you can meet once a week all together you’ll eventually want to meet for a movie and then a road trip or local winery. Things will go from there and you’ll be helping others like you who never feel safe enuff to get out. It’s ok! Iyoull meet people and help them while helping you. All the best sweet thing!

  165. I think it’s normal, well in the sense that if I didn’t have school to go to, I might sit in silence and reclusion for days. It tends to happen to me in the summer.

  166. If I did not have to leave my house to go to work, I would stay home. I enjoy going out and doing things but once I am sitting on my couch I talk myself out of leaving the house. I like sitting on my couch, watching tv and cross stitching or reading. Too many people out there some days. I am around people all day and just like the quiet when I am home. Is that bad?

  167. Thanks, I definitely know what you mean! I appreciate your affirming my experience, thank you!

  168. Hugs. I’m struggling with some similar things, though I’m not a writer, so I don’t think people would notice anyway.

  169. My husband works on oil rigs. Our daughter is 21 and lives at home.
    I have gone an entire week without talking to anyone but the cats, and that’s more like “I swear if you _____ One More Time, you’ll be a set of earmuffs” and the cats laugh and go snort catnip and make fun of me.

    Last year, I fell completely out of touch with everyone. My 49 year old husband had his second Widowmaker heart, I was in the grip of the worst bout of depression in my life, and I just couldn’t make myself reach out becauase everyone has their own shit to deal with. That ended with 9 days in the Nut Hut — where I filled notebooks writing several times a day.

    Hi, Jenny, I’m still alive. And so are you.

  170. yep, I think everyone does that. it’s just a shorter duration of being trapped in their own heads for some people and longer for others. I think maybe some people DON’T get trapped often/at all…but I also think maybe they’re the ones who don’t do a lot of deep thinking/pondering and live life more on the surface.

  171. When it’s quiet my brain hears music. I listen and sometimes it’s old jazz, sometimes a peice of a current song. I worry that I’m losing my mind if I can hear music in nothing. Once I asked my husband “quiet, can you hear that? What is it?” He doesn’t hear it. You are so fine Jenny, don’t worry.

  172. I do that all the time – I just don’t worry about whether it’s normal. It’s just me and my introverty self. You are way more normal than you think you are. <3

  173. So many comments already!

    Yes, you are broken, Jenny, and I love you for it. Mr. Cohen would say the cracks are how the light gets in, but he was poetical that way. I say your brokenness has saved people’s lives.

    Some of us are simply broken, for various reasons. That’s just reality. I won’t diminish your reality by blithely saying ‘everyone’s broken’. That’s just too easy. For me, it’s like someone telling me, all chirpy-like, ”well, everyone’s ‘on the spectrum”’. It discounts my truth.

    When you hadn’t posted anywhere for several days, I wasn’t worried. Maybe I was a bit…concerned, but that’s not the same thing. 😉

    Love you. So much. You are not alone.

    This isn’t finished either, because I could edit it to kingdom come. But I’ll just hit post and hope you understand. 💜

  174. Something that I hope will help…. to many of us, Michaelangelo’s best sculptures are those they call “unfinished.”

    Long ago I took a tour of Italy, and we stopped to see the David. It was nice, I admired it.
    But I was completely blown away by the four “slaves & prisoners” displayed in the same gallery. They’re powerful, emotional, and evocative. I was so entranced that I almost missed my tour bus.

    http://www.accademia.org/explore-museum/artworks/michelangelos-prisoners-slaves/

    And no matter what Yoda says in that dratted quote, there IS such a thing as try. Trying is doing, trying is learning. I prefer Edison’s point of view: “I have not failed 1000 times. I have learned 1000 ways NOT to make a lightbulb.”

    We never stop editing our own lives.

  175. Normal is a setting on the dryer. Everyone has their own normal. Mine is working for me, however I do have reality checks with trusted friends. Thanks for letting us know you!

  176. I call it hibernating. Even though I live in Houston and it’s mostly 99.99 degrees… I’m still hibernating and I’ve grown to realize that means my soul needs a break from the endless amounts of mental clutter. I’ve grown more and more comfortable with the quiet these days. 🙂

    P.S. you’re an inspiration to many.

  177. Cheers to you! I think we all feel like you do but aren’t brave enough to admit it. I sometimes allow myself to get pulled down to feeling not so social and sort of trapped in my own thoughts or maybe even lack of thoughts. I think it’s healthy actually for us to “check out” of this fast moving busy world, especially social media, and just allows ourselves to find the calm. The quiet. The peace. Don’t feel bad. Allow yourself these moments and thank you for speaking out. Remember someone famous once said “to thy own self be true” and those are very powerful very truthful worlds.

  178. No, not broken. How I know? Because when Haley was in trouble and needed you, you made that trip to the ER. And it would have been the same if it was for someone else’s lost pet. You’re the person that’s there in a crunch. Not broken. Opposite of broken.

  179. Not just you. Also me sometimes. But I don’t think I’m within the spectrum considered normal.

  180. Yeah, every time I’m unwell for any long-ish period of time (physical, mental, combination), I think, “This is it. This is my life now.” I’m invariably wrong. Thanks for poking your head out. We care.

  181. Well, I can’t speak for normal people, but this line so resonated with me – “I don’t trust my voice because I get used to the quiet” Thank you!

  182. Holy moly thank you for this. It gave me the courage to get out of bed and not keep beating myself up for my “funk”. It happens, I’m not the only one, I can get up and fall down again and I’m not the only one. Thank you thank you thank you ❤️

  183. I live in semi-hermitage (is that a term?) and I actually enjoy it. I’ve always had problems with being around people but perhaps that’s the curse of the unquiet mind. It’s learning what to tune out, what to actually listen to, and when it’s just depression talking. This is he land of misfit toys and I’m glad to be a member.

  184. Everyone considers me one of the normal people. I must just hide my stuff really well. I related so hard to this post. Even if the issue is not social media, this kind of thinking permeates my life. Thank you for continually making us feel like we’re not alone. I hope we do the same for you!

  185. I am also prone to isolation (and lurking on blogs that I love but worry I have nothing substantial to comment about). I appreciate that you posted even something you consider unfinished because it reminds me that I don’t have to have a grand plan to get out of my isolation: a baby step will do. I think that’s my word/phrase for the year: baby steps.

  186. You’re doing really well. I haven’t been out of my house in very nearly four months (except to retrieve a package from the front porch).

  187. You’re doing really well. I haven’t been out of my house in very nearly four months (except to retrieve a package from the front porch).

  188. Jenny,
    Every single time you post something, no matter what it is, somebody derives comfort, humor, understanding, admiration, a feeling of belonging, hope – any number of positive feelings. It’s an awesome gift you have.

  189. I know I don’t comment all that often, but I just wanted to say that I deal with this, too. My family doesn’t tolerate it though. That might sound shitty, but it’s actually wonderful. They let me wallow when I need to, but always draw me back out and insist I live my life with them.

    Keep reaching out, if you can. We adore you and are so glad to hear from you every time, no matter how often or how long you’re gone.

    <3 <3 <3

  190. Thank you for not deleting it and walking away. Always happy to hear you, no matter what your state.

  191. periodically i do something like this. it does start out tiny. i’m just too tired one day to check fb or twitter or tumblr, check and see if my friends are excited about things or in some kind of distress, and then i neglect to update, to check in with people who like to know i’m still breathing and doing things. then it’ll be a couple more of days where i’ve just been binging on comics or netflix or books and i’ve forgotten to text family, too, now. i’m still going to work, but i’m hiding from customers if i can help it. i’ll hear my husband if he tells me about his day, but i start hiding in the bedroom and continue the binging and i don’thave a lot to say. sometimes he sits with me. he might express concern, but mostly he lets me be and makes sure i eat. he’s used to this and trusts i’ll come back eventually. and then two weeks go by and my sister is blowing up my phone ’til i send back signs of life. and the it’s been a month or two and somewhere in there i’ve called in sick at least once, because i couldn’t stand the idea of going to work and actually did feel physically ill, and by this point i’m plotting to run away from home and start a new life with a job where i don’t actually have to interact with people or leave a tiny apartment and i’ll pay for everything in cash, so no one who wants to can find me. that’s usually the point where i decide i should probably have an actual conversation with that guy i married and maybe we should go out to eat, whether i want to or not. it’s exhausting, but after that i’ve usually included a way to stick him in the trunk of a car, so he can’t stop me, but i can take him with me. he doesn’t find it as funny as i do for some reason.

  192. So glad I’m not the only one. I don’t post on my blog for days and then when I do I just post business as usual. It bothered me, like I should explain my absence or something. I agonize over for quite awhile before I post. Then, I have one commenter who teases me. “Oh here you are back, like nothing happened.” She has no idea how much that tears me up inside. Or maybe she does and she’s a button pusher???? (sorry grew up with a lousy button pushing mother so I often suspect the worst in people). But really it is all good! Who cares if you post daily or once a week or sporadically. Life is far more than social media.

    I noticed some people mention about being afraid to stop talking because they may never start again. Once in high school I didn’t talk for weeks beyond one word niceties “thanks” “okay” and not many of those. Life was such that words weren’t needed (and no one noticed my lack of words) but then it loomed bigger and bigger until the dam burst loose and I babbled endlessly about useless things. It’s happened a few times since, just never on such a large scale. So I’m not afraid to stop talking and forget how, I’m afraid of the stupid babbling afterward. No one should be subjected to that!

  193. Honestly, I’m not sure there are any “normal” people. Just people who hide it better than others….

  194. Glad you’re still alive – it’s pointless to say “Don’t worry about this,” because worry can be at least partly involuntary; but you aren’t alone. And none of us is perfect, and the only people who are free of self-doubt are fools and psychopaths.
    There are a lot of us out here who can relate. Thanks for posting this.

  195. it is better than normal, it’s necessary.
    I for one I am pleased you are not find myself more grateful then the day before for you being out there for folks like us. promise me, please you’ll never be finished.

  196. Not being normal is normal. And if we’re finished, we’re either dead or the most boring person on the planet, so that’s okay then. Love you!

  197. I believe in our age of “instant everything” that it is not only normal but necessary to take steps back away from too much anything. I am overwhelmed daily by too much conversation, choices, advertising, etc. “We are the normal” not the other way around. Quiet heals. But we only need to know we are not alone and must come back occasionally to help other people. Thank you Jenny. Heart you.

  198. I think it’s okay to be gone now and then . As I tell my husband and my family…. “how can I miss you if you never go away?”
    That having been said, you do you. We’ll be right here when you come back .

  199. There is no such thing as normal, believing that there is is the delusion 🙂 I take comfort in that thought when I feel reclusive and shrink into myself and fear leaving the confines of my home. Like you, I always pull myself out of it, but it helps to remind myself that everyone has some kind of fear that they have to overcome, sometimes every day. At least we’re here for each other.

  200. Totally changing the subject but sometimes a distraction is a good thing. Did you know Rory hasA COOKING SHOW!?!?!?! My kids just showed it to me and they don’t even know Rory. It’s called Raccooking.

  201. I generally just Lurk online. No FB, etc…
    But, yeah, I have done this. I wonder if there are any “Normal” people. If there are, what are they Like ?

  202. “normal” is not your audience chica.
    Don’t bother worrying about needing to write something “important” if you just say ‘blah blah blah my brain hurts. how bout you?’ it’s a connection and everyone will be happy to hear from you. whatever. We can’t all be brilliant all the time. we just like to hear from you. and if we don’t we’ll wait, and know it’ll come when you’re ready. Plus then we feel better for only being able to think “blah blah blah my brain hurts” sometimes too.

  203. Thank you for this. I often feel like there is something wrong with me too, that I don’t want to leave the safety of my quiet space. We are just as normal as the person who loves going out and being around people, just different. Keep sharing the “unfinished” because it is the real deal.

  204. I understand. My therapist says I’m normal (at least someone does?) and I understand. Borken brains lie, and it’s often hard to see the truth. We’ll all be here when you’re ready to talk again.

  205. Last night I fell apart. Had the biggest meltdown in years after work. Felt like creatures were crawling through my veins. If my wife had been home I would have gone to the crisis center. Instead I lay screaming in my bed until I was crying. Had a long cry until all the anger and pain was gone. It was a huge relief. So you’re not alone.

  206. It’s perfectly normal. The thoughts in your brain are just thoughts. Sometimes, a lot of the time, they don’t mean anything. They certainly don’t define you, unless you want them to.

  207. People are forever saying things like “I couldn’t just do nothing, it would drive me crazy!” So maybe I’m already crazy because I’ve been home sick with Influenza B and I would have absolutely no problem staying home for much more time and watching You Tube and knitting and not having to go outside. Just yesterday I was wondering just how long it would take before I really did feel the urge to get out of the house…bills don’t pay themselves so I am back at work today, but that bed sounds really really good…

  208. I, too, do not know from normal. I started a blog last year and I’m putting a terrible amount of pressure on myself with the whole silly thing and isolation is my biggest self-imposed trap. Good to know that an AWESOME FAMOUS AND MAJESTICALLY talented writer such as yourself experiences self-doubt and anxiety STILL. Keep on keeping on!

  209. You are NOT alone in feeling like that. Thank you for posting because I feel that way often and don’t know anyone else who does, now I feel a little less broken❤️ Also, personally…I’d rather not be “normal “, one of the few things I like about myself is my quirkiness 😜 Hang in there girl, I’m rooting for ya !!

  210. i tell people i’m a functioning agoraphobic, sometimes i function, but i’ve always been agoraphobic, i don’t like labels like ‘normal’ too much, this is normal for me, sometimes it’s just my way of realizing i need to take better care of myself, sometimes i just require Alot of space.. sometimes i drift off to my little snowcave for y e a r s.. but i always come back around to reaching out to the few good friends i still have.. give yourself the space you need & reach out when you truly want to, you don’t have to take care of everyone else before yourself.. kitties are especially therapeutic in these times.. sometimes we can’t talk in words, with me this is when i do art.. it’s the only real way i can communicate certain things, only i fear no one else may fathom them..? take care,

  211. Please show me one of these normal people. I’ve never seen one and I would like to know what they look like.

  212. What even is “normal”. I don’t think it truly exists. One person’s normal, is another person’s abnormal. We continue to define ourselves, but what we need to understand, is that there is no real “normal” as we think there is. There are only differences. Mental health has many faces.. and we all deal with it differently. Choosing to be quiet is just one way of dealing. Talking about it is another. You find a way to meet it in the middle. And I love you. You are special and amazing, with an amazing family. And no, you’re not alone in thinking, is this the last time? Trust me on this.

  213. We are all unfinished and even the person you label as the “most normal” is not normal. There is no normal, it’s not a thing. We all have doubts and questions of our personalities and I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t, no matter how normal I have labeled them.

  214. What’s normal anyway?
    I absolutely recognize that mechanism, not so much in relation to social media, but in relation to keeping in touch with people. I’ve lost friends to that mechanism – casual ones anyway, the close ones are still there afterwards.
    I’ve also talked about it with several of my “normal” friends, and they recognize it too. It just affects them to a lesser degree. I think it’s probably very common, but some of us are more affected.

  215. I hire people to post on my blog. That way I don’t have to divulge my little mental problems that make me sick each day. Cassandra is my hired pen. I hired her because she could criticize people who thought cats were part of their family. Sometimes she comments on other people’s posts. Like this one. I save a lot of time this way.

    Dane

    http://www.danezeller.com

  216. I am better now, but I used to feel that something as simple as the grocery store was not for me. That isn’t a place where I don’t belong, I don’t deserve to be out there with the people who do deserve it. When you are thinking this way, it is so real. Other people, who haven’t experienced depression, etc. read it and think “what is she talking about?”. You are not alone, lots of people do get it. Hopefully knowing that helps a little.

  217. I’m not afraid of the outside, I’m simply uninterested in the outside world. With the growing ability to have everything, now even groceries, delivered to the porch, if I am left to my own desires, I would simply never leave the house except to walk my beloved dog. And even that, in my mind, would not count as leaving the home, because even though I wave to my neighbors and say hello as I walk my pup, these neighbors don’t really know me. Which means that I am really still in my private womb of my home – anonymous, undisturbed, unnoticed. I am just cozy and comfortable here. And when my husband is on a business trip I truly totally disconnect, because there is no daily preparation and anticipation of his arrival. Therefore I can truly hunker down in my anonymity. I don’t know if I’m agoraphobic, unsociable, or just comfortable on my own. And adding to this is that I HATE leaving my dog home alone. My husband says it bothers me more than my dog when I leave, but his beautiful, soulful eyes tell me this is not true. He HATES when I leave and is anxiously waiting for my return, which hastens me to do what I must and hurry home to his gleeful welcome. I do enjoy other people, and I enjoy my 3timeperweek Church attendance – I love being in the Church and with all my friends, but I would stay in my warm cocoon home if there weren’t people texting me asking if I’m ok. I’m PERFECTLY OK , I just like ME, and I like my dog, and I love this chair and this blanket. And I DO NOT think it is abnormal at all. It’s just a level of comfort – like the mounting dismay of putting my warm feet on the floor each morning rather than staying in my nice warm flannel sheets. I don’t think I am depressed. I don’t think I’m wierd, agoraphobic or antisocial. I’m comfortable. Why should that be a bad thing?

  218. Pretty sure it’s a depression thing, and it’s excessively common. You are very much not alone.

  219. Oh. I am so there. I didn’t even want to post a comment because I am then exposed as broken and what if I am not the same kind of normal broken? What if I am imagining that you are talking to me? Well. You are not alone. Not at all.

  220. When I have these thoughts, I go to Bridget Jones’ (the book version) idea that one day I’ll be found in my apartment eaten by Alsatian dogs. I don’t own Alsations but it always makes me laugh!

  221. Kind of like when you fall into your garbage can and as you start to crawl out you think you hear a car coming so you stay put and then you are so focused on listening for cars you really don’t know how long it been and oh my god what if the neighbors saw you fall in and are all like “why is she still in there?” I did that once. Ok I did that that twice but the second time I wasn’t in it I was just trapped under it.

  222. We need to allow ourselves to be works in progress. We need to allow ourselves to be going through things. We need to allow ourselves to have a NOW that doesn’t come with contextual conditions related to who we were or who we plan to be.

  223. I’m not normal either, and everything is unfinished, and the quiet keeps getting louder and louder and louder…

  224. I am actually not like you, I’m super outgoing, but I do so love to read what you think. Of course you know that what makes you the most anxious produces the greatest gift of your sharing your story. I love your musings, your truth-telling, your honesty. Do it as often as you can. Don’t take breaks for very long. Makes it harder to come back.

  225. You are your own kind of normal, and that’s why we are all here, because we each have our own individual ‘normal’ and cherish that in others, When I was a young and would ask ‘why can’t I have a normal family?’ (long story there), my mother used to say ‘normal is boring’. Don’t ever be normal, Jenny.

  226. Yeah, I do the same thing. The longer I wait to communicate, the harder it is to communicate.

  227. Jenny – can i use the quote from Anonymous, “Some people think invisibility is a superpower, but it isn’t super”? Is it legal for me to use that quote? It fits me perfectly and i’d like to share it with my therapist and a few friends.

    Thanks.

  228. I’m with you.

    I work in a high pressure corporate environment and yet I have a very severe anxiety disorder with a history of agoraphobic tendencies. Everyone that I work with has no idea that this side of me exists. That it often will take just one small thing to careen me off my mental path and down into the depths. I don’t think people talk about it enough. But I’m terrified to start the conversation. I wonder sometimes if my last foray into the office might be my last. If that presentation I had to do in front of 200 people is my last. It doesn’t take much to bring me back into my hole. Last week I sunk down so very low because my usual parking garage for work was full. It was that simple, and I was throwing up and crawling into my bed in the darkness at 6pm, wondering if I’d ever find my way back. I did find my way back though. Today I’m back in the office and I’ve got that look on my face like all is fine and that I’m ‘normal’ just like everyone else around me. My therapist always tells me ‘there is no normal’ there is only who you are and how you deal with it. I love hearing about your troubles because it reminds me that I’m not alone.

  229. You are definitely not alone.

    I’m not sure ‘normal’ is anything but a setting on the washer.

    I wish I were as brave as you are to speak out from the darkness to check in with the world.

    Much love. 💕

  230. i can’t tell you how often i do this very same thing. I’m doing it right now. It’s like you crawled inside my brain and put my worst fears in your sweet, unfinished blog post. i get sucked into an internal twister which pulls me into a solitary vortex and by the time i get out it’s been 3 days…a week…and now what? Should i post? i should. i so very should. But i can’t just write, like, normal every day stuff which is what i want to write…it needs to be WORTHY of the long break so..what should i write? Then i spend another few days worrying about THAT until i find myself painted into a corner of anxiety staring at my laptop, wishing it would all just GO AWAY.
    And then, i force myself to open it up and type one sentence. Then another. Muscle memory kicks in when the brain decides to go on a frantic walk about and words appear. Maybe not great words…but at least they are words. Pretty soon the brain notices something’s goin’ on over THERE and re-engages and the words get better. And a post is born.
    And after-post? It’s like post-orgasm..somebody get me a cigarette! IT. FEELS. SO. GOOD!!!
    It’s what we live for. To write.
    Again and again. Multi-orgasmic blogging. And your tribe isn’t going anywhere.

  231. This post is amazing. But my favorite part is this deluge of comfort and comraderie it brought on. This one post has at the very least brightened my day with the intensity of human compassion. Your words brought that about.

    So I hope you don’t ever let the doubts suck you in all the way, because you obviously have a voice that brings people together and that is powerful.

    Also, I almost break down and cry every time I have to leave my house after a few days of not. The car ride is always the worst. That last option to turn around and run back in.

  232. There is no “normal”, only statistical averages and means. Some of us have to be outliers to produce the best calculations. I want to write a paragraph to you about how I understand because I have similar thoughts and how to hang in there and cuddle your pets and family and put one foot in front of the other because sometimes that is all you can do. (Yeah, it’s a run-on sentence, That’s how my mind goes sometimes.) Blessings and thank you for posting your wonderful blog.

  233. John Green just shared this quote in the latest Vlogbrothers video, and it made me think of you (and me):
    “A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.” ~Eudora Welty

  234. I’m glad you listened to your heart and not your broken brain and posted this. You are not alone. And … as My Little Mom always said: this too shall pass.
    xo

  235. Don’t wonder about “normal” people. There are none. 😊. I fall off the earth sometimes too. I come back. Love and gravity help. ❤️

  236. I just spent 3 hours shopping for emergency kits of food, first aid, temporary shelter and researching responses to nuclear attacks. … I’m dreaming about them. I’m stressed about 5 other big things in my life. I think I just realized I’m stressing over this because I can’t handle the rest.

    To get to your point, staying AWAY from the internet and its rabbit holes seems like the damn smartest thing to me, at this point in time.

    I like what pennybrooker (#306) said, “Glad you are back, but not judging because you were gone. Just glad, because YAY FOR YOU!”

  237. Please scooch over so I can sit and be broken with you! I’ll bring the frozen margaritas and we can sit in lovely silence. (occasionally giggling).

  238. Fuck, I’m an extrovert and this happens to me in smaller way. If I need to/get to stay home for a couple of days, their is an increasing inertia about leaving. In college my dining hall was attached to my dorm and during exams I wouldn’t actually go outside for days. When I did, outside seemed incredibly weird. There’s a sensory component to it all.

  239. I think you are amazing! I’ve read both of your books and today “You are Here” just came in the mail. Yesterday I spent hours sewing, during which I listened to podcasts of you. I find you funny, endearing, so relatable. I know we would be be fast friends, well at least it seems like we would. I, like you love Home, and my own space and can be very social on social media but not always in real life. Please keep writing and sharing your stories. When I see “the blogess” in my inbox I’ know I am in for a good read. Thanks. Feel better. Peace out.

  240. It makes sense. I get ya! I like being a hermit, but I know I have to push myself out a certain amount of the time.

  241. I do this too. I worry about being too hermity, and spending too much time by myself…like you, I will push myself before too much time goes by to do SOMETHING!

  242. Thank you for being real! I wish I had known you (or someone like you since you were probably a child and didn’t know these things yet…) when I was in college. I was so agoraphobic that it was absolute torture to walk across that huge campus full of wide-open spaces and strangers. How awesome to realize that “normal” doesn’t really exit at all. We all have battles to fight…some just hide it better.

  243. I curl up in a ball for days in fear of going out. eventually it clears and stops crushing me, when i can breathe i venture out. it’s how i cope when the world gets to big & noisy. I just remember your words frightened rabbits fight the hardest

  244. I’m a new follower. Just since the fart post. I knew I was in the right place – haha! Then this post. It’s so relatable! I used to do this with saying “thank you” or “sorry”. Put it off because it wasn’t good enough or grand enough, then feel bad about it and so goes the shame spiral. I really try not to do this anymore. God life is so much easier without these perfectionist ideals to live up to. We’re all good enough. Blogging is hard and brave. I admire your ability to persevere so much! Thank you for choosing to continue to share. I hope you feel better now that you took the pressure off! This post is way better than good enough!

  245. You are never alone. One of us is always here listening, knowing, relating, and empathizing. Your words formed a tribe last easter and we are all here, all the time, saving each other from our broken parts because of your words and your courage to keep reaching out and keep publishing even when your brain is being an asshole. Together we make the most beautiful piece of art that nobody can ever see or touch because although it is stronger than we can put into words it is also invisible. It is the human connection we have with strangers near and far because of you and the magic of the internet.

    This tribe has saved my life and I know that I am not alone when I say that.

  246. I write posts like this too. Sometimes I think this is all I’ve been posting about, and when I start a new draft, the voice in my head tells me not to bother until I find something new to write about. When I hit a depressive patch, it gets even worse.

    Thank you for articulating this feeling so vividly; reading other people sharing their own mean brain stories really helps.

  247. Jenny, you have saved my life so many times. When i feel i can’t handle it anymore and feel so alone and broken, each time something you write speaks to me and tells me to keep breathing. So often what you write about depression is what i wish i had the courage to say. Thank you.

  248. That describes exactly why I haven’t posted to facebook in years. I’m -afraid- of it. That silly thing that some people post to constantly, I’m afraid of posting to. Also, I’m afraid my little hermit life is simply too… simple and quiet to talk about. Even though that’s not true. Even the quiet, little things, unfinished things, can be worth speaking.

  249. OK so my earlier post (that for some reason went up anonymous):
    Anonymous | January 15, 2018 at 9:22 pm
    I’m doing it too. It’s my dad’s birthday today – he died just over 2 years ago from brain cancer. I kinda want the silence to swallow me whole; but at the same time it’s like a heavy blanket tangling around my feet that I can’t seem to quite shake loose from. Knowing that someone else is doing it too turns that tangle into a comfortable burrito, so thank you. ❤

    Turns out that + your post sparked a poem, and I wanted to post a link to it here so hopefully you would see it and read it and know that even silent, we hear you.

    http://www.theheartlaidbare.me/post.php?id=100

  250. Someone once told me, normal is just a setting on your dryer. I try to remind myself I am not what my brain tells me but it’s hard for sure, been hearing that stuff forever. So I tell myself two things when I feel like crap. I am enough and I am loved. ❤️❤️

  251. Don’t worry. No one would let you disappear forever. We’d go looking for you… like that podcast about Richard Simmons. Not like stalkers. Just to be sure you were ok. 😁

  252. Normal is relative. Me, I don’t much like anyone I judge (fairly or not) to be “normal.” I only care about finding people who appreciate my particular flavor of crazy

  253. You’re still alive, and we’re still here. The only thing unfinished about your post is the next one. There’s alwaus the next one.

  254. It’s definitely not just you. I’m a festerer (I guess the correct thing to say is “I have anxiety”, but it’s more fun to say Festerer. 😉 ) and I always get worried that the Current Me is going to turn into the Always Me. But it’s never the case. I DO have good days again and so will you. 🙂

  255. I do that. And if the comments on here are to be believed, so do a lot of other people. Maybe it is more normal than you think.

  256. You have described to a tee what happens to me. It can sneak up on you – and once I realize it is happening I make myself reach out to someone close, or at least answer the damn phone. Thank you for your honesty, your vulnerability and your bravery.

  257. Quite often lately I’ve unplugged in the evening, I used to have 2 devices going at the same time. On the weekends I don’t check blogs or emails and that’s been going on for a year. It used to make me wonder if I wasn’t “normal” or just easing into my own bubble hiding from the world. Now I just don’t care – unless I’m missing a cute cat video 😉

  258. Very, very glad to read this:
    “I wonder if I even know any normal people.” I often wonder the same thing, for the same reasons, in the same circumstances.
    I would suggest we probably don’t — and that is a blessing.
    Thanks for hitting POST.

  259. That bit about “normal” people. I don’t think they exist. We’re all dysfunctional in our own way. Also, I had a favorite teacher that I found on fb. She asked what I had been doing and that was the last I talked to her. I obsessed about what to humble brag, how to impress her, how to amuse her – and I never answered. Oh well. I won’t answer her now for other reasons, but I totally get the need to not just produce, but to super produce. To not be average, not be just enough, but always be somehow “more”. It’s exhausting.

  260. Perhaps there are different variations of “normal.” You have found people similar to you, creating a kind of “normal.” Other “normal” people find their kind of “normal.” We are all normal in our own way… Or vice verse. Maybe nobody is normal.

    Side note…As I was reading this, I heard it in your voice because of how many times I’ve listened to your books on audible. Perhaps that makes me weird.. perhaps that makes me stalkerish…Who knows, but I love your stuff! 😀
    WOOT STICKS!

  261. burdens shared are less burdensome. you shared, but I somehow feel lighter. there is more fresh air to breathe, or something. by sharing your struggles you break through someone else’s barriers and help them shoulder their lonely load.

  262. I do the same and tell people “I’m in hiding”. It happens when I become overwhelmed and my brain goes into protective/survival mode. My brain makes an executive decision and says “No more excessive stimulation for you, you’re cut off.” Then I freak out about how long I’ve been hiding, which stresses me out even more, which leads to more hiding. Basically I just do myself a mischief and end up having to break the cycle somehow. 😄

  263. You, Wonderful, are Mona Lisa, a beautiful painting two eyebrows short of perfection. Except the eyebrows would have to be metaphorical eyebrows because I’m pretty sure you have eyebrows?

  264. Hermity. My new favourite word. I am hermity sometimes. Now it sounds a little bit awesome. Thanx!

  265. I’m not like you. But, as a person who surfs the web for entertainment and you are fun and entertaining (I buy your books and check in to blog here and there), you should not carry the weight on your shoulders. Plenty of people like me can wait. Heal when you need to, be a great mom, and who gives a shit about your pace in the blog world. I have never commented, this is a first. Don’t worry, you are doing a great job and don’t feel guilty. Take a break and just post a week long web shut down to live. I get it! I played Monopoly for 2 days with my kids to stop that pressure. Post below is you love her enough to love that she is real and needs real breaks.

  266. You are nothing but perfect just the way you are. The voices in your head happen to everyone, yours might just be a little bit more insistent. Keep on keeping’ on!

  267. I dunno if that fear ever goes away. I’m always personally a bit afraid of a relapse of some sort or another. I think people who deal with things like this, people like us, our brains just have, in times of extreme distress, jumped to that old state because it knows it. It’s like an un-comforting comfort blanket. This doesn’t make any sense in words but in my mind it does. The bad things are, for better or for worse, familiar.. so I guess that’s where our brains go. And damn is it terrifying.
    Sorry for my ramble. I hope that soon you can escape for a bit.

  268. You are a perfectly normal YOU, Jenny. I’m an extrovert but also very capable of hermiting myself away. When I think that I’ve got all the time in the world to maintain my blog and comment on all the ones I read, I find myself only posting weekly. WTF is up with that? I “should” post 2-3 times EVERY week, especially if I’m not really doing anything else but jigsaw puzzles on my phone!

    … but yeah, I’m broken like that. Also still alive.

  269. One thing I’ve learned from having sometimes-crippling mental issues is that ‘normal’ is simply…. Not real. Normal for one person is completely not normal for another. What you described… That’s normal for me, and for a lot of other people I’m sure. I stopped trying to be, or pretend to be, ‘normal’ long ago, and my life has only been better for it. That quiet, that echo in your head, that’s one of the reasons I always have music or tv (or, often, the Furiously Happy audiobook) on in the background… It may not be a perfect solution, but if there is some sort of noise that I can focus on then I can at least attempt to drown out that overwhelming quiet inside.

  270. I worry all the time that I am posting too many post about my depression and anxiety. I have currently been in one of my worst bouts I have ever exasperated. I find that writing is my outlet. I know that somewhere inside of me is the person I know. When I write I can see the pain in front of me and know that it is real. I write when I need to see whats real. If it’s the pain or if it’s the joy, I write about it but only when I want to. You don’t own anyone anything. We are a tribe. We love hard.

  271. Thank you, Jenny. I needed to read this today. And I get it. Unfinished or not, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Love.

  272. I do not have depression. I’m considered fairly outgoing for an introvert. Yet still, I get that feeling so often. I’ve not left the house in two days…what if I never do? I haven’t spoken aloud all weekend…what if I stop talking? What if I never post anything again? It’s so cozy and safe inside me, what if I just…stay?

  273. This quote: “It starts small. I spend the day inside. Then the next.” THIS is exactly where I am right now. I can work from home; I could go to my studio. But I am staying home, again. You are definitely not alone.

  274. You just described the last two years of my life. Holy crap. Gonna go hit “post” now.

  275. Thank you for all of your positive and negative thoughts. I’m Heartened by your work. YOU ARE A VOICE FOR GOOD!!!

  276. You rock! Your a star, just because we don’t see you/your posts all the time, we still know you brilliantly shine. Depression lies my dear. You are greater than you think.

  277. So, SO just not you. I’m there right now too, and reading your post made me feel a little less alone. You rock, Jenny.

  278. I wished you lived in Steamboat Colorado……this paradise that beckons everyone I know outside to live the dream……everyone but me !! I like to stay in my closet and hide amongst the sweaters with my new little condo dog–Georgia, she is a Great Dane. This should make normal people tilt their head–who chooses a Great Dane to hide with them in a small condo closet in paradise–my friends know I am not normal so they don’t hold me to those standards. I had to delete FaceBook because some strange man wanted to stomp my teeth out and make my body make gurgling sounds because we got in a political debate and he told me I was ‘week’ and I told him he was an idiot because I am ‘weak’ not ‘week’……..anyways, I have followed you and have read your books and they have saved me through some really dark times. I have had Crohn’s disease since 2012 and finally got it under control but apparently it can hate on your joints as much as your colon so here I am typing with a pencil because I have T-Rex hands and cantaloupe knees (truth be told my knees have never helped me type or write, but whatever) and lots of pain. Long story short–I totally get it. Thank you for being you….real…..just how you are. It makes me feel less weird, less alone.

  279. I only go out for medical and dental appointments and I constantly wonder if I will ever be me again. Each trip out that’s not essential feels like a victory, but I get so scared I won’t manage anything. Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone.

  280. There are things that I didn’t think I would come back from. Still not back but I stopped being gone.

  281. I am you. Together, along with the millions of others out there, we can get through it, one day at a time. <3