Right now I’m in Venice. And it’s beautiful and I’m with my family and we just celebrated Hailey’s 15th birthday.  I am incredibly lucky. Unfortunately I have been fighting off a touch of depression all week and it’s gaining on me.

It feels so wrong, to be sad or numb and exhausted when everything is going exactly right, but in a small way it’s comforting…the knowledge that my mental illness is illness rather than laziness or sadness. The acceptance that I can’t fight this off any more than I could fight off the flu.

Im lucky to have my family…that they try to understand.  That when I cancel on tours because I’m too tired even though I haven’t done anything but sleep they are kind about it.

And I’m lucky that there are bright spots when the darkness passes. I take photos when I’m happy so I that I can remember. I take photos when I’m sad so that I can experience what I’m missing right now, in the moments when I know I can’t appreciate everything I should.

Today we take a train to Florence to visit an old friend and to remember a friend we’ve lost. And I’ll try to shake myself out of my own head.  But if I can’t I’ll wait it out and remind myself that this will pass and that I am not my depression and that the moments when the sun comes out again are coming.  They’re coming for you too.

I’ll promise you if you promise me.

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165 thoughts on “Baggage

Read comments below or add one.

  1. We love you Jenny. Depression waits for no one and doesn’t follow our schedules. You and your family are so amazing. I hope this episode of depression passes soon so you can enjoy your time. You deserve to enjoy this time.

  2. I promise you, Jenny. I am holding on for Ketamine treatment which I begin in two weeks. Sending you love & hugs and hopefully happy, peaceful vibes. I hope you can enjoy Florence. 🤗♥️

  3. That sun will indeed find you again and it won’t pass you by even if you are in Italy – it finds you! And interestingly, that sun in Italy is called “il sole”. Apro pos, huh? It’ll shine its light right into you! This too shall pass – just as the clouds eventually let that sole shine bright again.

  4. I promise you too. And as a wise, kind, hilarious goddess once told me: Depression Lies. So don’t believe it. You are loved and you are needed. Here Comes the Sun from the movie Yesterday (just watched this tonight & it’s wonderful!)
    is here…

  5. Fuck, shit. I hate depression, bastard you show up and screw my holidays too. You know I spend some time in New York, we met at a book signing at Barnes and Nobles upper west side. Come on you should remember because I am nothing special, totally average, you meet tons of people better then me, you must remember me. Anyway, me traveling to New York; maybe it’s the jet lag, maybe the food, the people, the fuck that bites my ass I don’t know. But it gets me. “How can you can be fucking depressed while in Venice/New York ?”. Yeah, dude, my fucking neurons know it, ask them, not me. We love you Jenny, you’re so strong even when depressed. While in Italy, are you visiting Genova ?, Food is good, it’s where I was born and live with my family, apart when I frequently go to New York and get fucking depressed. And rest assured, this fucking low mood will fade away the day before you’re traveling back to Texas.

  6. The sun most definitely will come again. Enjoy life as you can and know we are all here with you and for you.

  7. Just keep fighting; we will lend you our Chi like the pandas in Kung Fu Panda III. I’ve been practicing. 🙂 You can be Po only much skinnier and prettier. But you’re like him, because he never gives up and he never gives in, he just gets back up again every time. As you do. xoxoxo

  8. I kind of needed to read this. Lately I’ve been wondering if I really have depression or if it’s my life circumstances (which I am very slowly working on). Or a combination, and I’m on the right meds regimen right now. Anyway, you remind me that depression is a real, nasty, lurking thing.

  9. Not only do I promise the sun will come back but also Depression Lies. It’s a lying, thieving mofo

  10. I have never taken a vacation with anyone since family vacations of my childhood. I quit asking people if they wanted to go. It has become normal to me. I am grateful that I have the gumption to at least experience things instead of sitting at home – it is a distraction. When I see Venice, I think of the movie “Dangerous Beauty” and want to become a courtesan… but fairly sure romanticizing syphilis isn’t worth it.

  11. Thanks for sharing the shit as well as the beauty and even though I wish you and I and everyone out there struggling with this stupid cruel confusing illness could just have it somehow magically lifted, for now we’ll just have to trust each other and do what you said and pinky swear that the darkness will pass and we’ll feel the light shining on our hearts and souls again because we have worth and people to love and contributions to make and sights to see and bookstores to open and so much to be pissed about and overwhelmed by and grateful for and laugh at until it hurts and learn and teach and eat. And also animals ❤️ You are loved Jenny – and even when you can’t feel or see your precious light, we can and promise to hold it for you until you’re ready to cradle it again.

  12. I needed to read this as well. I promise. I know the anxiety/depression I feel right now will pass.

  13. Depression lies, jet lag is a real physical bitch, grief comes and goes. It’s a lot. But there’s a lot of us too and we promise. You’ve got this, and sometimes, if you don’t, well… we’ve got you (and Victor and Hailey). I double pinky promise.

  14. You are worth more than your darkness.
    That saying always helps me when I am feeling blue, maybe it can help you,too.
    Lots of Love

  15. It’s a constant battle, isn’t it? Reminding yourself that this depression thing is real. It is an illness. It isn’t personal weakness or simple sadness. After twenty years of enduring all of its bullshit, I still sometimes think it’s just a deficit of character and if I was stronger I could just make myself better. Well I can’t, and I just asked for professional help yesterday. Thank you for sharing your struggles and joys with us, Jenny. We rock.

  16. Ohhhh yes. What a place to be and still carry the weight of our illnesses. I am also in the Mediterranean (Malta atm) and can fully identify. My anxiety was so severe last week that I stayed in my hotel room all day, literally missing a day in Venice. My agoraphobia was in full rage, so I only ventured out in the evening (also one of the most beautiful times of day in Venice). I battle every goddamn day with the expectation to “get up, get out and experience it!”, yet I no longer feel shitty guilt for the many days I can’t. My adaptations are immense and often fail, but today, in Valletta, a fantastic botanical garden is calling my name and it’s everything I need to get out there today. Gawd, I wish I could live the way others do, but gawddamnit I’m lucky to be here no matter what. But I’ll pop a couple Ativan to make it bearable ❤️

  17. Thank you for being so honest. There’s this pressure for people to pretend that everything is fine in their lives, particularly on Social media. So for you to write about what you’re going through, will help a lot of people. You will get through this.

  18. While reading I thought, “She should take lots of pictures, so she can have the trip later. A photo-do-over at home”. I know for me a lot doesn’t register until I see the pics on the computer or in an album. But hey, you’re already doing that, it seems. I’m glad your family gets it. And I’m glad YOU get it. This isn’t something that’s your fault in any way, and I’m so thrilled you can see that. Be gentle with yourself, and if you can, do a ghost tour… They’re quirky and might make you laugh in spite of everything. (We didn’t run into any ghosts, but when my husband was asked to check for a dead bloated baron, he found a bloated dead rat instead. Ah, memories!.). Just, you know…. Enjoy the people doing a spontaneous dance, -for people who get trapped in our own heads, we also tend to be rediculously observant when something special happen which others regard as mundane- and give yourself a break when you just need some time in bed with your head under the covers. Love from the Netherlands, Jo

  19. It really does like to pop up at the most unusual moments, like some kind of Whac-a-Mole made of rain clouds. Then anxiety pops up and says, “What if it stays FOREVER this time?!” Depression lies and anxiety is its jerk friend. This too shall pass, and the sun will come out again!

  20. It’s crappy that Depression came along on your trip with you – I’m glad you know it will pass and are taking lots of photos. Thank you for sharing the ups and the downs. I always put pressure on myself to enjoy every second of every trip and I appreciate the reminder to just feel what I’m feeling. Hugs!

  21. I really don’t understand depression but I am learning about it from you, thanks

  22. I promise you to Jenny. I know it’s not for everyone but I literally tried everything. I see someone else in the comments is starting ketamine treatments. They changed my life. 35 years of depression lifted. Yes I have to be ‘topped up’ every six weeks, but it’s so worth it. Just something to think about. Hugs.

  23. I have been in bed for almost a year now due to my depression. My dad had FTD and died less than 24 hrs after being out in a nursing home because he choked to death. My stepmother wouldn’t let me see him after I got him diagnosed at Duke. So I never saw him again. Then she put him in a nursing home not equipped to handle his disease and he choked to death on his first lunch there. Then, she died this April leaving everything my dad ever did to her son, who molested me. She never worked, my dad saved millions and had a nice pension. He worked his butt off, only to die from neglect and have all my family heirlooms sent to my molester. I’m in EMDR therapy and trying like hell to get out of bed daily. I just can’t seem to move. I shower less than once a week. My husband has been amazing, but his career just got pushed forward and is leaving him exhausted every day and to home to a messy house and a wife that stays in bed all day is getting to him. My meds have been changed, I’m seeing a psychiatrist once a month. He keeps lowering my clonazepam even though my anxiety attacks keep getting worse. I just don’t know what to do anymore. And I have a degree in mechanical engineering, but I got fired from my last job (hidden as they couldn’t afford me anymore) because I took FMLA because I became catatonic after no one realized I Serotonin Syndrome (even after I went to the hospital to say that’s what was wrong me, psych consult said I was “deeply disturbed” and it was all in my head, two days later I was catatonic and almost died).

    I know depression lies. I tell people this all the time. I’ve never ever not been able to get out of bed and I WANT to do things, but my brain seriously won’t let me. I also have daily migraines, six different physiological reason why and then PTSD, GAD, and depression add on to that. I really wish some swooping logic would be said to me and my brain would click and let me get out of bed. If anyone has any tips on how to fix this or at least try to get stuff done, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, my sister refuses to talk to me because hubs and I got a new car and we wouldn’t “be able to support her if she lost her job”. My mother and her both called me a druggy the second I woke up from my catatonic state and left me in the hospital. I don’t do drugs unless they were prescribed to me. I never took more than I should. I just feel so alone because my dad was my go to.

    Sorry for my emotional vomit. I just needed ideas to get out of bed. It’s been a year, I’ve gained 50 lbs and I can’t stay like this.

  24. You are miles ahead of where you were two years ago. Remember that. Hang on to that. Two years ago, a trip to Venice would have been an impossibility. You’re doing great with your self-care, and you are being wise to capture images of things you will appreciate more later.

    I’m sorry a black cloud has tried to settle. But it is only brain weather. Sun is in the forecast!

  25. Jenny, you have been so strong for me. Your triumphs and acceptance of your struggle have done so much to help me feel more human about my own struggles, to realise that my own struggles do matter.

    We are here for you, we love you. We will hold your hand when you need us to and sing with you when you want us to.

  26. You are living your best life. Your family loves you and this is not new to them. Be kind to yourself.

  27. I prescribe gelato. In Florence Perche No, La Carraia, Vivoli, De Medici, Il Procopio are all excellent. Dei Neri used to be my favorite but it’s changed for the worse. Also if the midnight bakery still exists and you’re awake at 3am you should check it out… big hugs.

  28. I promise, Jenny – this too shall pass. The reason love and friendship work is that we aren’t all down at the same time.

  29. When the darkest moments come, I sing “Here Comes The Sun” by the Beatles to remind me that yes, it seems like years since it’s been clear, but here comes the sun, doo doo doo doo, it’s alright.

  30. I have depression and anxiety, but chronic pain is by far the issue that most impacts my life. I cannot even begin to count the number of times someone has asked me if I was on pain while in Key West or Savannah or Germany or Austria or anywhere else my husband and I might go. Yes, people, I am. BECAUSE I TAKE MY BODY WITH ME. Even my therapist has asked this maddening question. Jenny, your brave admission of this traveling depression/angst/pain of ours makes me feel a little less alone. Thank you, and enjoy what you can with that beautiful family of yours.

  31. “I am not my illness” is something they force down your throat at “the unit” In Fredricksburg.

  32. Thank you, Jenny, for giving a voice to everyone dealing with depression, It helps so much more than you can believe. I hope you can come through this and enjoy most of your trip.

  33. I have depression and anxiety, but chronic pain is by far the issue that most impacts my life. I cannot even begin to count the number of times someone has asked me if I was on pain while in Key West or Savannah or Germany or Austria or anywhere else my husband and I might go. Yes, people, I am. BECAUSE I TAKE MY BODY WITH ME. Even my therapist has asked this maddening question. Jenny, your brave admission of this traveling depression/angst/pain of ours makes me feel a little less alone. Thank you, and enjoy what you can with that beautiful family of yours.

  34. I had my first panic attack in Venice. It was awful and scary. The most helpful people were the waiters, who kept bringing things for me to try to eat, though my stomach had shut down.

  35. If you can download a Kindle book, try a Commissario Brunetti murder mystery by Donna Leon, set in present day Venice. If you can’t leave your room, you can see Venice from the book. Travel is exhausting, glad you’ve got a self-care system working.

  36. Sitting with you in spirit watching trashy TV if you want. I’m going to try to leave the house today. I’ll be thinking of you.

  37. Sorry I posted my comment twice. Apparently I can use WordPress for a blog post, but can’t figure out how to make a comment. Ugh. I went back in to link to my latest post, which is about my chronic pain. Here it is.

  38. I was in Portugal in August when my depression started gaining on me and I wrestled with the very same things! Thank you for your willingness to share the vulnerable parts of life.

  39. I promise you the depression will llift; it always does. It always does for me, but sometimes it takes time. I hate it when it happens when everything around me says I should be happy — this happened on my honeymoon in the UK many years ago. I ended up in the B&B more often than not, sleeping while my husbad climbed some ruin or other. But you know what? He took photos for me so I could be there with him. It helped a lot. Family is everything.

  40. Right now it doesn’t feel like the sun will ever come out. I know it will (rationally), but I can’t believe it in my heart, and I know how hard it is to live with me when I’m like this.

  41. I can absolutely promise you that your own light will return. No matter how dark it gets, your spark remains. It just needs to rejuvenate sometimes.

    Sending love from NC.

  42. I love Venice! And Florence! And the beautiful thing about Italy is that even if you can’t do anything but sleep…you’re still absorbing Italy! I don’t know what it is about the place, but there’s a different feel there. I hope that you’re able to pass through this episode and have the energy to see wonderful works of art and architecture and fabulous goods at the markets. Or just sit in a piazza and watch the world go by.

  43. I absolutely promise. But you already know. Your light is always in you. It will break out again. ❤️

  44. You’ve fought this long and hard; while I’m sure having your depression strike you in such a lovely place may be heartbreaking, taking pictures to remember your visit as you crawl out again is very smart, indeed. Your family loves you so much and you have and are always learning more and more methods to combat this illness; I have faith you will come back from this, as always.
    And, it has to be said: being depressed in Venice has to be better than being depressed in, say, Kalamazoo or Burbank!
    We have your back, always.

  45. Promise with rainbows and glitter!!!! Extra GLITTER if you want it. Really…. I have lots of GLITTER in my craft room!

  46. I promise, too. This post put me in a happy mood for Hailey. I spent my 15th birthday on a trip to Europe. That was 53 years ago and I have not and will not ever forget it. I hope Hailey’s joy is infectious and you come down with it, too.

  47. When everything is going exactly right … This!!! I am glad you are finding acceptance. This is a constant struggle for me so thank you for the reminder.

  48. I promise! Even if you are hiding under the covers, remember they are Venetian covers! How awesome is that?

  49. Sorry to hear the BIG D is screwing with you. You are lucky, though, to have family members that understand. So many don’t get it and just wonder “Why can’t you just be happy?”. They don’t understand that it just doesn’t work that way. I promise the clouds will pass!

  50. You just finished a final final final final draft of a book. And then you went halfway around the world. It’s not weird if you’re mentally exhausted.

    A personal experience, that I realise may not apply to you at all, sso feel free to skip:
    I’ve stopped labelling myself af “ill” and instead accept it’s just how I function. For reasons (some known to me, some not) my mind shuts down sometimes, and I try (try, try, try, though I don’t always succeed) to use it as a reminder to take care of myself – my mind shuts down, because it tries to take care of itself. There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m not sick – I simply am, on my own terms and in my own right. I hope it makes sense what I’m trying to say.

  51. You couldn’t have written this at a more relevant time for me. I’m so glad that you managed to get to Venice, it is such a beautiful and intense place – I think it also has its own air of melancholy in spite of the beauty. I’m not in a great place at the minute (except that I’m in my new bed, which is electronic so I can move around more easily to escape pain and the bed is awesome), I’m feeling all the weight of the things I have lost through illness, the things I miss out on etc. Seeing your photo, which shows the front of the hotel I stayed in in 2006, made me think of the wonderful things I have been able to do and the joy they brought me.

    It’s tough being the one saying no, feeling like you’re somehow putting a bit of a dampener on things for others. It’s also tough to continually fight the blackness, the pain and the fatigue they bring whilst trying to not let people down. It sounds like you’re getting a balance and being kind to yourself. You are far more than your illness, whilst some days it defines what you are able to do, it can never define who you are. Enjoy your trip, enjoy the rest times and know that although your people can’t necessarily completely understand what you live through, they love you enough to know the impact the illnesses have on your day to day life and to support you through whatever that may be.

  52. Maybe your depression was wanting to try on a foreign feel. An Italian depression. Maybe it’s different, more exotic. Maybe it lies with a sexy accent. Maybe it eats different comfort food.

    And maybe I’m just giving you lies to trick your trickster with.

  53. So much beauty can be a lot to process and for me it can overwhelm. As a result, I tend to avoid travel because there is just too much input. So, now my approach to travel is dto spend more time in one special place- immerse myself and absorb the environment- take it all in. Knowing I can’t possibly see everything- I can savor the experience and be more present. And, as much as I love photos, taking them can also be a distraction and I get bogged down in trying to “get it all” and mot in taking it all in. Ultimately, I feel like I have been living the experience second hand!

  54. I hope you were able to see the David. There is nothing like it and photos don’t do it justice, one has to stand in front of it and feel awe.

  55. Thank you for being honest and giving us all advocates and a community that fights the lies together. You are not alone in this and neither are any of us. Sometimes, it’s all that keeps me fighting and it’s ok. Sending a hug across the miles – the sun is on it’s way soon.

  56. I’m in a depression too, and tomorrow’s my birthday. 77th. I hoped to feel good and have a small lunch with friends, but it’s not that way. I’ve had 40 years now with bipolar disorder, and notice my fantasies of control keep coming up.

  57. My husband and I spent a week in Venice…and we were very happy and comfortable….then, nine months later he died unexpectedly….that was 2007…still grieving….been through therapy, didn’t help….i’m sorry that this post is not uplifting, but sometimes the universe is not ready….wishing you the best with your family…treasure them….

  58. I usually do pretty well on vacation, but my now-husband and I went to a beautiful resort in Jamaica several years ago, and I cried practically the entire time. So I totally get it! And I am so enjoying your photos – they are stunning!

  59. I’ve been to Venice and maybe it was the water, or being closer to the ebb and flow of the tides (I live inland, normally), but I did find myself feeling ‘unstable’ or more emotional than usual. Perhaps this is your depression, or perhaps it’s feelings being stirred up by a city that was built from nothing. I hope you’ll feel better once you get to Florence.

  60. Dear dear one, Jenny, please remember – Traveling itself, no matter the superb companionship, and wow! Surroundings!, and happinesses in your Heart ❤️ and mind 🥰, … is still …
    [stress – filled on your whole being (all 3 of you, especially as a mother/parent/partner).
    You’re in new, Everywhere. New scheduling, everyday, Wonderful, memorable -of course! But aren’t you even kinda adding a stress, trying to overcome your own recognizable stress/personal travel fatigue/depression, because you are doing Your best to take care of Family, with Photos for later …

    Even Wonderful Perfect Travels wear you out. While you’re thrilled and happy, you’re still getting worn by the Always-Un-routine of Traveling. Inner weary = susceptible to/ becoming depressed.

    I think I understand- so be extra KIND to You 🦋 – this is what happens to me, and I had to travel WEEKS for work, before in life – much less Joy! I’d come home, physically exhausted and needing DAYS of recuperation – (aka curling up in bed and sleeping) – not “jumping right back into the ‘swim’ of things …”.

    Maybe you already know these things – maybe these reminders, will be another caring friend’s whisper in your ear – “Jenny, it’s another lie of depression – it’s just invisible Traveling fatigue, disguised as depression – lying some more. Be even KINDER than you have been to yourself – maybe in the future – you have to, HAVE TO plan on more resting time IN your itinerary, for you. So It Goes. (Yeah. Vonnegut) Enjoy Every Moment with Victor and Haley 💕 . Rest more, too, while Traveling.
    With Love, meant to Help, in your right ear . . .

  61. Promise! I so totally understand. That stupid shadow that hovers above us making us miserable, while everyone else is laughing in the sunshine. Remember to smile, even when you aren’t feeling it—it’s supposed to raise your endorphins and I’ve tried it and it works! Saying a prayer for you right now. Sending lots of love. ❤️

  62. Promise:-) Don’t forget that jet lag and the accompanying fatigue can exacerbate depression–it’s good that you’re getting rest. You look wonderful on that gondola!

  63. I could not love this post more. TY for sharing so honestly. It is beyond helpful for so many of us. MUCH LOVE!

  64. Hang in there. It is an illness, with horrible symptoms. The green mucous, stank-awful diarrhea, and sweaty clammy fever of the brain. This too shall pass.

  65. Sending hugs and love! Thank you for always being so honest about your experiences, it helps so many of us remember that we are not alone in this. Today I am going to work for the first time in three weeks, last week I could barely see a way through the depression and this week I’ve been laughing and having fun. It’s so hard to see it sometimes, but the darkness doesn’t last forever.

  66. I used to think that large chunks of my memory were blank because they involved a time period when I was in a miserable marriage. I figured that I had frequently disassociated during that relationship. Then, I discovered that I could still have huge memory blanks even though I was no longer in that relationship. Depression is such a cranky bitch. She makes me think I’m losing my mind at times. I know she’s made me lose so many memories. I’m glad you can recognize it when it’s happening and at least document with photos. Nothing worse than loved ones sharing a fond memory and then having to convince you that yes, you were there, you really were there, no, they’re not thinking of someone else–because your memories are just not surfacing for you. I hope the depression filter lifts so you can better enjoy the vacation. Be well.

  67. I guess no matter how long you’ve suffered with depression you sometimes still need reminded that it’s not just sadness or that you can’t just shake it off. My daughter always said that people saying, “What do you have to be depressed about?” was spectacularly unhelpful. She already knew she had a good life, people who loved her, the things she desired. That wasn’t the problem. And it’s hard to feel grateful and depressed at the same time. I’m glad you are finding joy in your days. Enjoy as much of your vacation as you can. Sending you much love! xoxo

  68. I love you so hard. I remember the night you first told us about depression and I felt so, SO understood. You rock, and you do what you can when you can. You are an amazing woman and you have to work much harder than most to do things. Hugs to you, happy birthday to Hailey and more hugs to Victor.

  69. Sending love and courage and strength to get through this depression. I hope you’re able to find moments of joy amidst the darker thoughts. Happy Birthday to Hailey!!!

  70. Waiting for it to pass can seem like an eternity, and then it isn’t. I always feel crappy about what I missed out on because of the dark cloud. I hope yours is short in terms of your own relevance. Thank you for sharing and hang in there!

  71. Love this and love you. I honestly don’t know what I would do without your bravery and truth about this ugly monster that lives inside me and so many others.

  72. It’s so hard to not convince yourself that it’s you causing the sadness – like, “What is wrong with me, why can’t I just enjoy life?” I’m proud of you for recognizing the demon and not internalizing guilt., And so glad that your fam understands and doesn’t try to require more of you than you can give.

  73. It’s one thing to know something and repeat it to yourself, but it’s hard to fight your own doubts sometimes. I find when I enter a depression I need to hear those same amazing thoughts you voiced, from someone else, someone who isn’t me in my own head. So here it is from another person: You are not lazy. Lazy people don’t write books and open bookstores and raise amazing children and take trips to Japan and Italy and then share their adventures with their friends (the ones in real life and the ones on the internet).

    And your limits are not weaknesses. We all have limitations on what we are capable of, and they vary from person to person just like our strengths. Our limitations do not define who we are or our value and worth.

    You are a beautiful, amazing person and your sunshine will return. You got this.

  74. My dad was an officer in the Army, and was stationed in Naples, Italy when I was in 6th & 7th grade. During that time period we traveled quite a bit. I remember one trip to Venice distinctly because it was the day Charles and Diana got married, and we watched the wedding on a small tv through a store window on a street in Venice. I find Venice depressing myself. Its beautiful, but its sinking!

  75. I just got back from vacation, feeling guilty for being consumed by my own brain. Thank you for the reminder that it’s okay, that our families love us, and that we’re always doing our best.

  76. I’m a social worker with 35 years experience with depression and clearly yours is biochemical. Besides antidepressants and CBT, you’re thinking is helping you through it. Actually thoughts can change biochemical a lot and knowing it will pass and expecting it to makes a difference. Meantime, even if you don’t go anywhere get outside in the sun, with a hat if needed, but no sunscreen. The vitamin D or something about the sun makes a BIG difference. Love your writing, met you in a Jolla years ago, and am so glad you plow through.

    Sent from my iPhone


  77. First, you look beautiful! Second, you’ve dealt with this enough to know it will pass.

  78. Hang in there Jenny and enjoy what you can. My daughter and I are both deep in a depressive hole right now as well. This morning I decided to name it Equinox Depression – is that a thing? I was doing good to crawl out of bed and get to work today. I keep telling myself baby steps. Hoping tomorrow will be a cheerier day for all <3

  79. Your progress has been incredible, Jenny! I hope you know that. At one time it was such a distant dream to just be put any kind of stamp in your passport! I applaud your authenticity and also knowing that it’s ok to acknowledge and accept the depression monster in the room. Hope you feel better soon.

    I know for me travel is exhilarating but it is totally exhausting too! Too much stimuli! I think I cry at least a few times per trip I go on…I get overtired and overwhelmed by the beauty I see-the newness-the new people-my excitement-everything! I let the emotions come and then my husband and I have a good laugh. Then we relish in the magic that is cable tv at whatever hotel
    we’re at and he lets me be me-his goofy wife who watches the latest Real Housewives of wherever
    with a messy bun in toe. ☺️

    I deal with depression and anxiety, but I’m also a highly sensitive person. I absorb everything around me very deeply. You might be a highly sensitive person too…a great book to read is “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Dr. Elaine N. Aron. I took the test in the book and boy, I passed it with flying colors! Reading that book helped me to appreciate myself more and empowered me to do what works for me. I also realised that break neck speed traveling is not great for me-meaning doing really packed trips with loads of destinations in a short period of time. Less destinations per trip might work better for you-just a thought! Thinking happy thoughts for you and the rest of the fam!

  80. You WILL feel better. Depression is a lying liar that lies. There’s a shit-ton of us in the Bloggess Tribe who have your back. Sending my strongest California-hippie vibes. And one question: can you bring taxidermy on an airplane, or does it need to be shipped? I. Need. Answers.

  81. Keep in mind that although this is a trip you have been looking forward to traveling is stressful and can increase anxiety.

  82. Thank you for your post and honesty as you are going through this. Your family is wonderful to understand and not to beat you up about needing to hide once in awhile. I won’t say “promise”, because at this point in my own life I can’t, not even to myself-it seems like it will never end. All I can say is hang in there and know we are pulling for you. Love Always!

  83. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m currently working through one of the longest bouts of depression I’ve ever had. But I finally took a shower today. Baby steps. Sending so much love your way.

  84. you are honest and amazing! This post is very relateable to so many of your readers (I know I definitely feel that way a lot). Your family, friends, and fans all love you and are sending you all the happiest vibes!

  85. How do you get past the feeling that you’re letting your family down? That is a huge part of my struggle….

  86. I am right there with you. I had severe anxiety today. Its been a while . and like an old shitty friend, she popped in in announced. She is lying. She is trying to force bad thoughts. I’m in a better place than I was a few hours ago… Its hot out and I’m just wondering if my winter blues are just creeping in a bit earlier. Deep breaths. For all of us on this journey. Xxxooo.

  87. Just started a book: “The Body Is Not An Apology.” I’ll go ahead and say, your happiness isn’t an apology, either. It’s not an apology you have to give to anyone else to make up for not being enough. You are enough. You have already been a gift to people you will never see (and lots of people you have already seen). Thank you for the gift of you, and do what gives you joy. Even if it’s sitting in the room caring for you.

  88. I hope you feel better very soon. You look wonderful! And I wish Hailey a very happy birthday.

  89. I read your book when I was in Venice in may. So there’s that. : )

    Hope you enjoy Italy as much as possible. It’s amazing. And so are you.

  90. Ditto that. Life is awesome right now and yet some days I’m numb or in pain or exhausted for no damn reason that I can fathom. I hope I’m not warping my kids & I hope they learn something about self compassion and balance through living with me. But mainly I just want the dark veil to lift again whenever it descends. Some days it gets really old that many people don’t get it & they think we’re lazy or just need to snap out of it. Your posts are a breathe of fresh air, very affirming. Fingers crossed that depression doesn’t steal your whole vacation!!

  91. Sorry you are struggling right now even though you feel you should be happy. I’m glad you have a good support system in place and that they love you no matter how you are feeling. I’m in a deep funk right now and I feel like I’m never getting out of it. Thank you for reminding me that this is an illness and not a character flaw.

  92. I hope Florence lifts your spirits (though I know it doesn’t really work that way)! But it’s one of my favorite cities in the world, and has absolutely delicious food. Also a bit less crowded than Venice, the one time I went, so hopefully pleasant in that aspect, too. And hey, taking a nap in your hotel room is still taking a nap in Italy, in probably an ancient and beautiful building. So, you know, that’s something.

  93. Jenny, I will promise you. As someone who’s mostly suffered from situational depression, I’ve started over the past couple of years to have short periods of intense depression related to my fibromyalgia. I had one over the weekend, and I understand so much better what so many people I value are feeling. I just couldn’t anything, I could fake it, but I couldn’t want it. And I heard your voice in my head. ‘Just wait it out. Just keep moving” and it did pass.

  94. You are SO much of an inspiration to me that I started writing a book. I am an agoraphobic of over twelve years who has ups, downs, and everything in between. I’m proud of you for doing what a lot of us think is impossible. Facing fears and loving life when you can. Keep taking those beautiful pictures and writing your amazing words because you can’t imagine how much hope they give the rest of us. One day, we will find our peace and everlasting happiness in life and won’t have to just pretend that we’re good at it. Thank you and never forget how much you inspire those of us that think they have no voice. Have a blast!

  95. I have a theory about depression/anxiety and the brain.. when any little shared side effect… like exhaustion from jet lag… kicks in, then the brain goes “I know this feeling, it also happens with depression” and then you’re off to the races. My brain gets very confused with feelings of excitement being the same as being anxious. Does knowing this make this disease go away? No. But I can sometimes distract myself by saying, ok brain, I get it, not going into overload. ♥

  96. I married a wonderful man who doesn’t totally understand my depression but supports me through it and tries to be there for me. I have moved to a tropical paradise. I have reduced my work-related stress. I still go through bouts of depression. Sometimes the day is sunny and gorgeous but I can’t see it through the grey filter of my mind. It happens.

    Geography just means I get depressed in a place I love instead of in a place I tolerate.

  97. I don’t know how to cure depression, but please know that right now I am imagining you surrounded by a bubble of love. That sounds weirder than I meant it to but oh well. <3

  98. I promise it will pass. Stay strong. Don’t push yourself. We are all on your side and you will get through. 💙

  99. My Mother was just realizing that she was starting to feel a little more depressed again, and that she needed to up her meds. “It’s that time of year, again, when the days get shorter and the seasons change,” she said and the lessening of the daylight gets her depression winding up to its higher levels. The demons just need to be acknowledged and fed their proper dosage, and there is the promise of spring… the rainbows will come out again. Give yourself a hug, and know that your photos and memories of your trip will help you later, when the demons of seasonal depression are back in their corners of your mind instead of up front, roaring to be heard.

  100. I feel so curious if you ever look back on your past life in HR and just marvel the fuck out of what you have made of your life now. All your successes- your marriage, your relationship with your daughter, your famous and successful friends, your ever-growing taxidermy collection. And your wonderful books. This isn’t an atta-girl note to you; you are fine. Sublime, even.
    All we have to do in Life is just get up one more time than we are knocked down. And we win.

  101. It’ll pass. It always does. It’s the waiting for it to happen that’s such a pain in the ass. When you’re my age you’ll feel the shift.

  102. I’m so glad that you have loving, understanding people in your life. I know that would help. You’re very lucky indeed, even though you might not feel that way right now. ❤️

  103. I’m new here. Just finished listening to Furiously Happy, which I have recommended to all of my friends. They both are excited to listen to it too. I feel better knowing I am not the only one who has depression episodes while on vacation. People who don’t understand usually scold me. “How can you be depressed, you’re on vacation?!?”. Because depression doesn’t have a switch I can use to turn it off when it’s not convenient.

    P.S. one of my best friends created a swear word that is now my go-to. I know it’s technically two swear words put together but it just rolls right off the tongue so nicely. Fuckerbitch. Try it, you might like it!

  104. Please try Ketamine……. my daughter has been getting infusions for 3 years now and hasn’t had a significant depression since starting. She still takes meds and gets Ketamine infusions every 3 weeks due to her tendency to metabolize meds quickly. She also gets Ketamine “trochies” to help between infusions. I really don’t understand why people with the means to try this haven’t done so. It is a life saver for most who try it.

  105. Promise! There is always sun shining above the clouds. May you see that in the plane on the way home, if not sooner. 🙂 Safe travels! XO

  106. Sending all the love and relating much more than I wish I did. <3

    Marian Keyes wrote something similar once. The depression tells you that you have no right to be depressed (which is super ironic, once you are no longer depressed…). It lies. You remind me about it all the time – thank you – maybe it’s my turn to reciprocate.

    I hope the sun comes out ASAP (or a bit faster than that).

  107. I was “celebrating” my 50th birthday with my wonderful hubby in London whilst under the black cloud of depression. Shortly after we got home, he learned that his father had passed away. We were broke, so I stayed home while he went back east to be with his family.
    Socially isolated (I’d been laid off work), my depression got worse. I was not really suicidal, but it crossed my mind. When I couldn’t stop crying, I called a therapist, who encouraged me to see an MD for an Rx for antidepressants. After taking them for 2 weeks, the sun came out. I woke up one morning, and it was like Dorothy opening the door of the grey farmhouse to see the bright colors of Oz. I am so, so grateful.
    My disease is not nearly as debilitating as yours, Jenny, but I’m glad you know it is a disease and will pass. You are precious to so many of us. Thank you for being you.

  108. Thanks, Jenny. Its nice to know I am not alone in my experience.
    I recently fulfilled a life-long dream to visit Japan and have fest guilty every day since getting back that I didn’t enjoy it enough or felt…anything, during the trip or after. I know that I am just losing ground to my own depression, but everyone around me wants to see and hear how much I enjoyed it. I was so happy and excited before the trip, and so flat and listless during and since. It will pass and I will hope my photos can take me back when I am better.

  109. It took me a while to remember your TMS treatments. Apparently their success was short-lived, which makes me sad (both for you and for hope for the treatment). Dang it!

  110. This has been nagging at me for a while, but have you gone to see a (good) infectious disease doctor? I think about your symptoms you’ve mentioned like random swelling, pain, etc. Sometimes anxiety and depression can be caused by infection. My mom and kids were recently diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and have very similar symptoms. It wasn’t caught until years after they contracted. I think about your dad’s taxidermy and strange pets.

    Just a thought. Hope you feel better. Much love to you.

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