Going Nowhere…slowly.

I told my shrink today that I think I have to go back on Xanax.  It feels like admitting failure, even though I know it isn’t.  It’s a medication, and one that I need when I’m ill.  And although I know logically that it’s strong to admit you need help and that I believe this without question, it still feels like weakness.

I’m in and out of the haze of mental illness now…in that bleary spot where you can’t trust your own head to judge life.  It’s different for everyone but for me when I’m in a bad place I feel like I haven’t slept since the last time I was mentally well.  I have slept, but the days feel chained together and I feel off, like when you’ve been awake so long things start to feel surreal.

Part of the reason why I think I’m feeling this depression is because of my anxiety.  It’s been a bit out of control lately and the panic that never ends leads to exhaustion and exhaustion to depression in that slippery downhill slopes of my own mind.

I’ll be fine.

I will.

And things are good.  My editor started reading my manuscript and loves what she’s read so far which makes me a puddle of relief.  The bookstore stuff is harder than I thought but hopefully next week the website will be up and I’ll have more news.  The ABA wrote this amazing story about it.  Tonight I have a rehearsal for my TEDx talk and although I’m literally sick with anxiety I feel like it’s important and I have hope that I can do it without crying.

So I will try to quiet the voices in my head that scream so loud that I am alone and that I will fail and that everyone hates me and will realize I am the loser my mind says I am.  And if you are hearing those terrible voices in your own head, know that they are lies.

It’s going to be okay.

You’ll get through this.

So will I.

352 thoughts on “Going Nowhere…slowly.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. It’s going to be okay, it’s good to share, and there is stuff to look forward too like a new book, the store and everything else.

  2. Jenny, you mean more to me than you will ever know. Thanks for being brave and awesome and weird and, most importantly, for making me feel normal. Hugs.

  3. Look at Victor’s face in the picture at the opera. I have never seen such love and devotion as that which shines in his eyes. You will be okay. You are okay right now. Brain weevils suck.

  4. Have you ever read any Louise Penny books? One of her characters is an old poet who defines FINE as fucked up, insecure, neurotic and egotistical. You’ll be fine.

  5. Thank you for sharing. I believe in you! Your going through some hard stuff right now, but you are going through it, and not quitting!

  6. If you’re weak, you’re the strongest weak person I know. I aspire to be like you.

  7. Thanks for continuing to be open Jenny. It’s easy to believe that people we admire have it all figured out. It’s a nice reminder that we are not alone.

  8. You’re not alone. You’re not an imposter. And this total stranger, half a world away, loves you to bits. You do whatever you have to do to be okay. Xanax, yoga with cats, going on a kale smoothy stint… (Though why anyone would?). You be gentle with yourself eh. HUGS! Jo

  9. “Part of the reason why I think I’m feeling this depression is because of my anxiety. It’s been a bit out of control lately and the panic that never ends leads to exhaustion and exhaustion to depression in that slippery downhill slopes of my own mind.” I feel this in my soul. <3 You’re not alone.

  10. Sweet wonderful lady, I know those voices well. Sending hugs and all my extra spoons!!

  11. We are all in this together. Thank you for providing an open and honest place for us all to connect and support each other.

  12. Darling we all love you so much. I empathize with you SO MUCH. Remember, you get medicine for when you’re sick… even if it’s your brain. It’s okay to cry during Tedx. You do you, always.

  13. If you can’t do your Ted talk without crying, is that bad? I certainly don’t think so.

    You have a lot of balls in the air, so it makes sense that your anxiety has been kicked up. Take the Xanax and feel no failure. That’s an order. Because when ragweed blooms, I have to take my allergy meds. It’s the season of things. You have wonderful new things going on, and your brain is just trying to keep up with your level of awesome.

  14. You are an inspiration and I look forward to all your posts. I think there are a lot of us who are here because we experience similar issues. Thank you for being brave to write what some of us have a hard time expressing. We all feel alone. But it is awesome that we can come here and remind ourselves that we aren’t.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You have no idea how much you help us and how much we love you.

  16. good time for reading….just visited my doctor this morning and have a new prescription for an antidepressant….haven’t taken these medicines since just after my beautiful husband died 12 years ago…hoping for relief this time…
    stay strong.
    thank you for your writings.

  17. I keep having bouts of depression, my mother asks, “what do you have to be depressed about?”

    Nothing. Everything is good, except my brain.

    We’ll be ok, you and I.

    And everyone else with wonky brains.

    We’ll be awesome.

  18. {Hugs} I’m lighting some candles for you, me, and everyone who needs a bit more light. They are Halloween candles, but still!

  19. i was today years old when i found out that victor’s last name is also lawson. in my defense… okay, i’ve got no defense. please don’t judge my brain for not braining. 😕

  20. I hear this so much. I just got diagnosed with fibromyalgia and it’s been a long go of not knowing if tomorrow will be good or bad. If I will feel like myself or a super crappy version of myself that I don’t want to be or be around. I am trying so hard to keep positive and do my best since I know the good days do always come but man it can be tough some times! Keep fighting the good fight. I will too and I will see you on a good day 😊

  21. Some days are just shitty. Truth. What helps me is to review previous shit times that have been followed by something good, or where something not-so-bad happened in the middle of a shit-stream. Or, eat ice cream? That works for some people. Hope you find a little something, something to make it a bit more bearable.

  22. Go to you tube and look for Good Lovelies I See Gold.
    Everything’s gonna be alright.

  23. You are not alone and you will get through this, sending you positive vibes from Canada!

  24. It will get better. I’m in a dark place at the moment too. And though I know you don’t know me, the fact is your writing has helped me so much with my demons, even helping me be open about them on my own blog. You are amazing and it will get better. For both of us. Hugs from Illinois.

  25. Just sending a hug, a high-five, or whatever other sort of encouraging gesture “works best” for you. We’ll make it.

  26. You got this. We all need help at times. I’m looking forward to the new book…bookstore and most of all the TED talk.

  27. Listening to you makes me sad. Like, I dont want my friends sad. But then at the same time I’m glad I’m not the only one. Hugs and shit. The Other Jenny

  28. Everything you’re going through, please know you are heard and that your voice is powerful (even though you might not believe it). I choose to hide because I’m afraid everyone will hate me and not like anything I write, but you and your amazing will pushes me to think differently.

  29. Jenny, you are always strong in my book. Some of things that you do, I couldn’t do, and I’m sure vice verse, if you knew me. One person’s strength is another’s weakness, and we must all be aware of that. You will be ok, and so will the rest of us who dance with the dark. Personally, nights are the worst for me, because my brain starts to spin, and I worry about everything, and accept guilt for things that aren’t mine to feel guilt over. I’m anxious all the time, and only can go to certain places in my town alone, but thankfully am training a PTSD/anxiety service dog, and she helps a lot. Not to make my problems out to be worse than yours, far from it, just to say, we’ve all got our own demons that take hold, and I would like to hank you for giving those of us who dance with them daily, a voice

  30. I think you mean you are not the loser your mind says you are. Because you’re not a loser. Minds are mean. ((Hugs))

  31. Everyone loves you. No one hates you. And taking medication when you need it is smart. No one would suggest that my sister (who has type 1 diabetes) should toughen up and stop using insulin. I’m sending positive thoughts your way! You help a ton of people just by being you. 💕

  32. Hang in there Jenny, we love you, but safely from a distance and not creepy at all! We’re all very excited for whats coming but get to place where your brain feels okay. Worry about us later. Go find your corn.

  33. I am usually more of a person that enjoys your posts and doesn’t comment but today I had to. I really needed this today. I too am going to the doctor to get put on meds for my depression and it feels like I lost. Like I wasn’t strong enough to deal with the depression myself. My husband doesn’t understand, we just had the usual conversation where he tells me all of the REAL reasons he has to be stressed and he is doing fine so I need to be not depressed too. Reading your blog always helps me because it’s nice to be reminded that I am not all alone in my struggles. That it’s ok to struggle, and I need to keep on trying. Thank you for always being so honest.

  34. Just remember, the voices in your head LIE, and YOU ARE LOVED, Jenny!

  35. The bookstore is a huge deal and bound to be ramping up your anxiety. I know you probably know that and if you do, you’ll know that this too shall pass.

  36. If you did not feel anxious right now I would be worried. I mean, a TEDx talk and opening a bookstore (& all that goes with that) and going on an overseas trip and all your regular stuff? A ramp up in anxiety sounds very normal to me what with all this going on. Dealing with that by continuing to see a therapist, taking meds when necessary (temporary or permanent doesn’t matter – just go with what you need) and opening up to your community online all sound like very strong, very forward thinking things to do to help counter the increase in anxiety (& the depression that follows).

    I’m not at all trying to make light of anything you are feeling or anything you said. I’m saying that from where I am sitting, reading this post, I’m seeing a lot more strength and competence in your actions than maybe you’re feeling at the moment.

    All my best.

  37. Riding the struggle bus with you…but it’s all going to be fine. The lies do tell us that we are failing when we need medication for some of these things but in reality it’s like needing insulin or any other medication to be well. You are not alone, neither am I-we are strong and will overcome.

  38. It is NOT weakness! Your brain is tricking you in to thinking that right now. My thoughts are with you Supergirl!

  39. I understand feeling weak about taking Xanax. I feel weak when I have to take Xanax too. I try to remind myself it’s not a weakness to have panic attacks and taking Xanax that I’m just using medicine to help me feel better.

  40. Jenny, you are not alone. I’ve been having a hard time of it as well.

    That thought, the one that tells you something is wrong. That gut feeling of dread. The inconsolable sense of danger.

    I’m not in danger. Nothing is presently wrong. What would I be dreading? It’s hard to tell. It’s hard to comprehend and explain unless you’ve been here.

    Every part of my body aches. The headache sets in and my anxiety is screaming in my ear. I try to relax my jaw but I’m sure my co-workers can hear me grinding my teeth. What could have been a pleasant morning at work has been overshadowed by the chest pain associated with panic disorder.

    The tears are all but falling. Stealing space in my eyes that should be smiling.
    Can I change it? Nope. Will I deal with it? Yep…until next time!

  41. You’ve got so many big, huge, giant things happening in your life right now, it must feel like a few dozen tons of weight on your shoulders. I would be a mess, anxiety-wise. A total mess.

    I’ve felt defeated when I’ve had to go back to Ativan when the anxiety has gotten out of control again. It feels like a crutch and I beat myself up over it, and it’s such a crappy feeling. At the end of the day, it’s just a medication for an illness – same as Xanax. My doctor always has to remind me of that – it’s just medicine. It’s not judgment in a pill form. (I love my doctor.) None of us beat ourselves up when we have to take antibiotics for a respiratory infection!

  42. I’m with you in the haze. It often seems like it won’t end. You forget what normal feels like, and you wonder if you’ll ever feel it again. Big hugs!

  43. If you cry during your TED talk know that we are all there with you understanding the tears and supporting the hell out of you. My state doesn’t allow use of Xanax for very long so my psychiatrist took me off in 2015 and I have been battling in the trenches with my anxiety and depression since. Still not on solid ground. Don’t feel weak for taking it, feel strong for being willing to get help. You are a jewel and we all treasure you!

  44. One of the things we love about you is that you let us see your stress and anxiety. You let us see that a break down is okay. Going back on Xanex is a failure, it’s knowing you need it now and may be able to get off again someday. If you breakdown and cry at your TedX talk, I think so many of us will appreciate seeing this too. Bring up tissues and acknowledge the emotions of something so overwhelmingly amazing.

  45. It’s okay to go back on medication. And going nowhere slowly sounds like a slow boat to China. And that sounds romantic. So you’re winning. I’m hugging you from here. Much love and light. Anxiety is my superpower and my nemesis. This too shall pass.

  46. It’s ok. You can feel your feels, it’s valid, and you are ok. Folks are rooting for you & we want you to succeed, but we will still love you if you curl up in a ball and say “not today, society” and take care of yourself.

  47. Sending you oceans of love, light and peace. I have been struggling as of late as well. Thank you for reminding us all that we will be okay, eventually. Jenny, please know your existence has saved more lives than all of the world’s shrinks and doctors and experts combined. Please keep letting your weirdo light shine so the rest of us weirdos can find safe harbor. Sending you virtual hugs!!!!

  48. So many positive thoughts and vibes being sent your way dear Jenny. After losing my father and my niece within 2 weeks of each other in 2017; my mother having a stroke at the beginning of the same year, and losing two of my dogs was in the first 5 months of that year as well, I feel like I have been walking in a fog, filled with apathy and exhaustion. I have just recently come to the realization that maybe I should make an appointment with a therapist so I can get a better handle on what I’m feeling/not feeling. You are not alone, and neither am I. Armed with just that bit of knowledge makes me feel a smidge more balanced.

  49. Your books have given me a relatable friend and a dark and lonely place…. which is funny because it was handed to me by a friend… and I have passed you along to others I see silently hating themselves through smiling teeth… the news of your Tedx is a little ray of light for me today. Also… if you go to the dr with a broken leg and they put a cast on it to help while you heal, it is not admitting defeat because you arent able to lay perfectly still for 6 weeks while your bones heal themselves…. so why should xanax be any different? You got a little brain break, it needs a little cast to help it heal… and eventually the cast can come off… brains are part of the body… they need help like every other part… so funny that the medicines that help them are critiqued.
    Thank you for your light
    And your love for taxidermy

  50. Oh Jenny – holding you in my heart. Please know how much we all love you – hugs and prayers!

  51. Ahh, Jenny. You got this. It’s OK to use meds when your chemistry requires them. You are not a failure. Failing would be to give up on trying to help yourself and be a better you. You definitely need the rehearsal since you are so anxious about it right now. Go ahead and cry if you need to. Get it out of your damn system that is messing with your head right now. Wishing you good dreams you dreamed of soon. Shine on!

  52. You are a beacon in the darkness. If we’re able to attend your TedX talk please give us the details. It’d be better if the audience was filled with people that love you, right? Youve got this, and so do I.

  53. If you need to read the TED Talk from a teleprompter or piece of paper while wearing a mask and hiding under a table, we will totally understand.

  54. Thanks for sharing and for opening up so completely that we can come in and join you in this space you’re in:)
    I ran across something today that helped me to cope a bit…maybe it’s worth sharing?
    …We are not defined by these patterns or anything for that matter. Therefore, we should stop
    trying to find ourselves.
    Instead, we should just be.
    Credit: What do you do when you’ve lost your purpose (or never had one to begin with)?
    An alternative way to lead a meaningful life – Samanee Mahbub

  55. I call the mean voice in my head Chucky and picture him like the cartoon in rugrats, and that makes me laugh.

  56. “the panic that never ends leads to exhaustion and exhaustion to depression”

    That right there. My anxiety is Every. Single. Day, some worse than others where it turns into full-blow panic. When I’m depressed, I know it’s because I’m worn out from fighting the exhaustion. I learned that about myself 2 or 3 years ago.

    Thank you for your words, every day <3

  57. Good for you for knowing you need the Xanax right now. You’ve done SO much lately; of course your anxiety is up. And that’s okay. You’re amazing! You went to Italy, finished your book, and are opening your book store! And your TedX talk will be great! We all love you so much. You are an inspiration to so many. Don’t doubt yourself. You are amazing.

  58. Would it help to make a big sign for yourself? “I am greatly loved”. Put it at the podium with your notes. Because you are. Never doubt it. But when you do, pull out that sign as a reminder.

  59. Jenny- you have this, and we are with you. My daughters survived a school shooting in May, and my 15 year old has severe anxiety. She is struggling so much right now, but just like you, she is telling people she is struggling. That is her story, and I going to share yours with her. Sending you love and light.

  60. I was afraid this would happen with the business goings on. Please don’t consider meds a weakness, ours brains need help getting those synapses firing g right! I’ll take my cocktail of pills till I die because I feel so happy now. Do whatever it takes, you only live once, make the days the best they can be! I know you’ve got thousands of friends but I’m always ALWAYS available for you. I actually mean it. Beadgoddess@yahoo.com

  61. Tears or no tears, your TedX talk will open minds and hearts. You will be kick-ass and you will be making people’s lives better even if you can’t see past the black hole or bright lights in your mind. We’ve got you, Jenny.

  62. I understand. You’re so good at describing and it’s reassuring to those of us, like myself, who sometimes have trouble articulating the chaos. Thank you for sharing that.

  63. Sending hugs and cheering for you as hard as I can! You would take an antibiotic if you had a sinus infection, this is no different. I know that you know this but i want to make sure you keep hearing it. As I’ve said before, you are light and goodness for so many, I hope we’re shining at least a fraction back on you when you need it. You will rock the TED talk- as your mantra goes – pretend you’re good at it. You’ve got this.

  64. Hey Jenny. Have you considered a life coach specifically for people who struggle with depression/anxiety? One benefit is that you get help setting a calendar, one that balances your unique character and needs with what you want to accomplish. My first thought as I read your post was ‘Wow, she just got back from her trip and is trying to prep for a TedX and the store. Having owned a retail shop, I suggest having a strong manager and asst Mgr which allows you some flexibility. Feeling pulled and pushed is inevitable so making sure a strong team is set is critical! Remember, 5 yrs to break even and anything sooner is phenomenal. It may only be one month here or there for a while but celebrate the achievements and build a retail family. I wish I could share all the lessons I learned to give you an edge up and relieve a bit of the mental cacophony you will experience. I follow you on Instagram (asarjeant) so pm me if you have any questions. Love yourself because you are awesome and have already done more than most people will ever accomplish! Hugs and happiness are being sent.

  65. Jenny, you are such an inspiration to so many people that even if something feels like a failure to you, I assure you all the people who love you will just admire you more for getting out there and trying. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression for most of my life and it has kept me from doing so many things, but you really do inspire me to keep working at it and not give up. Also my therapist would say it’s okay if you do cry at your TEDx talk, and I agree. <3

  66. You are so loved. We are so proud and all our arms are around you. Step by step, YOU CAN DO THIS!
    PS: I am in the exact same space you are in now, so I feel your pain. I’m telling you what I am also telling myself. 🙄

  67. I am suggesting that long haul trips are quite dangerous because they rattle the status of nerves. It happens to me, nice and basically depressed and anxious guy, maybe it can happen to you. I am not saying that you should never go beyond a 20 miles circle around your house, but jet lag, language barrier, different food, different climate can trigger anxiety hence depression. Besides, Venice under the rain can trigger depression to anyone…

  68. I wish I could make it better for you, and for me, for all of us. I can’t, but I can tell you that you are loved and admired and the world is a better place with you in it.

  69. Thank you for sharing this. I am so sad that you are dealing with anxiety and depression. That is my current and chronic struggle, as well. You are strong, you are capable, you are worthy.

  70. And it you DO cry during your TEDx talk, that’s ok too. You will probably reach someone in the audience who wouldn’t have felt connected without your truth and vulnerability. It’s ALL good.

    You are important, not for anything that you have done or will do, but because you are you.

    Take care.

  71. Jenny, you are my ambassador of Quan!
    You helped me realize that the voices in my own mind were lying to me and when to recognize it. I’m proud of you for recognizing it in yourself and doing whatever it takes to shut those fuckers up. You’re the best and I’m sending you nothing but honest love from my heart to yours!

  72. I’m so sorry you’re going through this right now, but I’ll give you an idea that my therapist gave me today. Hopefully it will help.
    You will never silence those voices or even change the narrative of those voices. You have to change the way the audience receives the messages that they send out. Put those voices through the lie detector test and see them for what they are.

    Persistent little liars.

  73. It’s going to get better and you’ll feel like your better self at some point and hopefully soon. Thank you for your honesty about all of this dark, heavy stuff. You’re not alone even if it feels like it. I can’t think of anyone who could do a better TED talk than you – it will be amazing. Wishing you peace of mind and sparks of light. It’s going to get better.

  74. I have been on Xanax for 25 years. Without it I most likely would not still be alive. Take the medication you need so you’re able to live the life.

  75. I love you. I’m your friend you’ve never met. You’ve helped me get through times like you are describing. We love you. I wish I could make you feel a soft blanket of love all around you. We are here. Thank you for being a part of my world. 💜

  76. You are NOT alone. It is good that you know what you need and get it. You are such an inspiration and a lifeline for so many of us.

  77. Lots of love and gentle hugs! Know that your honesty about your struggle helps so many. My son is dealing with depression currently, and this is our first time through it or the first he’s reached out to us. Your words and journey have helped us.

  78. You are NOT alone. It is good that you know what you need and get it. You are such an inspiration and a lifeline for so many of us.

  79. It’s going to be ok. I have to keep repeating this to myself.

    Until I read your books and blog, I never felt like anyone could understand what I go through on a daily basis. Thank you.

  80. I always remind my husband that he’s been through this before, and comes out the other side. Every time he seems surprised that I know that…like his brain is telling him it will never end and this is the worst it’s ever been and he is alone. Truth is, I’ve been through it with him every time since we were 21, and 16 years later I’ve learnt a bit more than when we started. He’s also gone back on medication after about 8 years without it- it was a hard decision, but one we can see helped. The other day he was telling me he was concerned about the side effects shortening his lifespan possibly by a few years. I cried with happiness- it wasn’t too long before going back on meds that his brain was once again telling him to give up on life completely- now he wants to live as long as he can. I’m so happy. He still gets depressed occasionally, but I give him a few examples of darker times he made it through, remind him how far he’s come, how safe our little family pod is, and how it will get better- we are all here with him, he is not alone, and it will pass. People say depression has cycles which I can say is true…but more like that waterwheel in pirates of the Caribbean. Sometimes your head gets stuck in the wheel, sometimes you are fighting together on top, sometimes you have a bottle of rum, sometimes there are zombie shell pirates, but in the end you will crash right the f&..k out of that damn jungle and make it to the beach. And yes, sometimes Jonny Depp is there. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but I like to think it’s possible. Wait, wasn’t this about my husband? Oops.

  81. I am sorry that you are going through this, but always to grateful when you share it with us. I have this new “mantra” that I say each night when I lie in bed too anxious to sleep: “I’m Ok, my spouse if OK, our son is OK, my Mom is OK, my niece and nephew are OK. Everything else can be dealt with” Sometimes I say it my head 50 times before I can sleep. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but most of the time it helps.

  82. While I don’t deal with mental illness, my recent multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) has me every kind of f-ed in the head. You have brought me so much laughter and joy with your uniqueness. I don’t know who recommended that I read “Let’s Pretend…” oh so long ago, but I am forever grateful. I also have the audiobook and find tremendous peace while falling asleep as you read the book to me. Excited for your TEDtalk. Congrats on every iron in the fire. BTW – I think if there is a movie about you, I think your daughter would be great cast as you! She is stunning!

  83. I’ve been listening to Janet Lansbury’s parenting podcast Unruffled and she ends each one with “Don’t forget: we can do this.” Something about how she says it is so calming and assuring to me (probably why she’s an expert at working with toddlers.) Anyway, that’s my mantra of the moment. To be said very gently but confidently. In case it might help.

  84. Oh those inner voices are such bitches sometimes, don’t you just wish you could pull her out your ear, or nose and just give her a fan good slap and tell her to shut the fuck up!! Xx

  85. Sending hugs and love and understanding and a million more hugs. You shall persevere.

  86. You’re not a loser. Took me a long time to realize that it’s okay not to be perfect, and it’s really okay to fail. The more a person tries to be perfect, the more they feel awful when it doesn’t happen. After you reach a certain age, you just say screw it. 2019 was the year of no filter on my mouth, who cares if I fail, and you can take it or leave it for all I care. It feels great. Today someone was leaning on their horn because they were waiting for me to pull out of the supermarket parking lot. They got bent out of shape when I walked a bit far to put the shopping cart back. The whole state of CT must have heard me yelling where I was going to shove that horn. No filter, no perfection, and just being me. Take it or leave it. Don’t really care. Feels awesome.

  87. You’re going to be ok, in fact, you’re doing really well to be reaching out for the support you need. xoxo

  88. …also, we are chatting about reducing meds again. That’s okay too – do whatever you think is needed to bridge those synapses and wake up the happy chemicals. If the bridge remains, you might not need the meds later. If it wobbles, you might need a little. If it falls, we’ll hold hands across the gap until you find a way to build a new one. We are all here for you, near & far. Xx

  89. You definitely aren’t alone. I have been having a really rough couple of weeks too, ran out of meds and couldn’t get more until I see my doctor which I couldn’t afford to do. But I’m going tomorrow and will be better, and you will too. You will get through this and always remember that we love you and are here for you.

  90. I’ve had my issues with Depression and thankfully I don’t have to battle that demon anymore because Anxiety has become my contant companion lately. Hope you feel better soon. I can’t wait to see your Tedx – I’m sure it will be wonderful.

  91. For what it’s worth, you’re doing the best you can with what you have and whatever extra that helps you get through times like this. Don’t think you’re any less just because you need that extra help. We all do, at some point in our lives. The fact that you don’t let your mental illness stop you is plain old amazing! Be proud of your tenacity and your courage. You probably don’t feel it but you’re one heck of an inspiration. Sending you much love and big hugs!! xx

  92. Don’t listen to those lies. You are amazing and if you do cry so what! It will just make us all love you more!!!

  93. I’ve had a shitty week too, but it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    Our new insurance just kicked in and the doctor I HAD been seeing isn’t covered anymore so now I have to go doctor hunting and hope I don’t end up with a real asshole. My depression has been all over the place and I think it’s because my thyroid is once again out of whack (because hey..that’s fun, right?) and/or I need to switch meds. I don’t know. Probably six of one, half dozen of the other.

  94. Between the new bookstore, your recent trip, your upcoming book, and a TED talk no wonder you are feeling anxious. That would be a lot going on for a person without a history of depression or anxiety! I am in awe of you being able to handle all of that. And you are strong person for recognizing that you need help, and being able to ask for it (two separate items that both take strength to accomplish). As a person who has dealt with anxiety for decades, sometimes just knowing the Xanax is there if you need it is enough to get you through. You are doing amazing. I am grateful to you everyday for showing that people dealing with no quite working heads can still be so amazing!

  95. You are the only thing that makes me laugh right now. I am in the lowest low. Idk if i can climb out of this one.

  96. I now have the song from Jungle Book, “I want to be like you” stuck in my head (OG Disney, not creepy Christopher Walken) because I do want to be like you. To say that the voices in my head won’t shut up about being fat/ugly/stupid, when I know I’m so good at my job, average looking, and 250. I want to say I need help with balancing the chemicals in my body, not labeling myself as insecure or nervous. I want to say you’re Wonder Woman for being real and I want to be real. Thank you for being you, tears, anxiety, depression, fears, and all.

  97. I’ve been on Xanax nightly for 15 years. Think of it like an episode of The Ranch I just saw. Put them in a Woman’s One a Day Vitamin bottle. You got this.

  98. You are so loved. Hailey is so loved. Victor is so loved. The animals are so loved. Anything or anyone else telling you otherwise is a lying liar who lies.

  99. Your TedX talk will be brilliant. There is only one YOU and being that you, with or without tears, is what folks want to see. This CareBear is sending you a whole bunch of rainbow sprinkles!

  100. You have done more to make me feel it’s okay to be me than almost anyone else in the world. I treasure you. And, of course, we’ve never even met.

  101. The voices in your head are assholes. Don’t hang out with assholes. Or if you have to, don’t ever forget that an asshole is talking to you. Maybe visualizing that will help.. then again, maybe that’s not such a good idea! Keep doing you, you are the very best you, ever! And lots of us love you, perhaps vicariously, because of your voice and your heart and the wonderful (if sometimes broken) way that your mind works. Be fearless. Tell the voices to go pee up a rope. Kiss your daughter and cuddle your dog, or vice versa (if either of them will let you), and give Victor a high five for having the fortune to have such a wonderful life partner! And take your meds as long as you need to. I’ll take mine, not so much in solidarity as because they keep me from having a heart attack or stroke or ANOTHER pulmonary embolism, but really for the exact same reason: They keep us alive to appreciate this wonderful, weird, beautiful world.

  102. You are awesome and eventually your brain will let you remember that. Very much looking forward to your TED talk and the new book … It is nice to have nice things to look forward to in bleak times. Many hugs, Rxx

  103. Cry if you want to cry, I am here for that too. It WILL be fine at some point and FUCK THOSE LYING HEADVOICES. JUST FUCK THEM RIGHT IN THE EYE.
    <3 I love you. I’m learning to love me. We gonna get this shit DONE, sister.

  104. Jennie, I know you don’t know me but I’ve been your friend for 10 years & I love you very much. The voice in my head tells me the same horrible things the one in yours tells you & it’s because of you I know it’s all lies. God bless you always. xo

  105. You never know the light that you bring to other people. So many of us love you and look forward to reading your blog, seeing your pictures, and waiting for your next book. You are loved.

  106. I’ve found myself slipping into this more and more lately as well. Being burnt-out at work, starting to hate a job i once loved. I try my hardest to look for the days that bring out the best and i’m circling the horses of my support group. I know it will get better and that’s what’s keeping me going. We’ll get through this.

  107. This made me cry at work. It hit too close to home. So that tells me that I too need to go back to my Psychiatrist and up my antidepressant. So thank you Jenny. Not for making me cry because I hate that! But for reminding me that I’m not alone and that my brain lies! I’ve been treading water for so long I can’t tell when I’m drowning now.

  108. You are amazing! You are strong, and inspiring, and you mean so much to people. You also have a faulty brain (I do too, my brain has been even stupider than usual lately) and sometimes medication is the best thing for it. You’re not weak, you have’t failed, but just know that we are all very grateful that you are so honest about everything, because it makes us feel less alone. Sending LOTs of aroha (love) your way!

  109. You are such a rock star – a new book, a new bookSTORE, a TedX talk, while raising (a wonderful) teenager?! You have a lot on your plate and anyone would be anxious – at least you’ve got the experience to know what to do with it. Keep powering on, but do wrap yourself in our warmest hugs and admiration. Know that you deserve to be good to yourself. You need whatever you need to make it through and there’s nothing wrong with any of that. We love you, Jenny!

  110. Asking for help is never weakness. I had to up my meds recently and I am still struggling with the hole I’m in. So this is me, boosting you up out of the hole. <3

  111. I have told my husband and best friend and a couple other people that I feel like I have been failing at being a good wife/mother/friend/employee for a while now. I have moments where it seems like I might be making progress and my mind shuts up for a moment and then it rushes back. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for putting into words the exhaustion I feel. I keep trying to remember that my mind is lying to me, but it can be so exhausting fighting that battle. Thank you for being honest with yourself and us about your struggles. Thank you.

  112. Nowhere Books is going to be wonderful because you really get why so many of us love bookstores. “They’re kind of nowhere, but they’re also kind of home.” (That ABA article made me cry a little.) I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself in the midst of everything. That’s the most important thing of all!

  113. Depression lies. You are loved. You are not alone. You are awesome. You are a success. Even if you cry and even if you fail sometimes, it doesn’t change any of the above.

  114. You’re doing so much right now! World travel! Starting a business, writing a book, raising a teenager, etc, etc. That’s a ton of stressful stuff for anyone! Any anxiety increase or mental health struggling right now seems like the NORMAL reaction to me. I know, “The Bloggess is feeling like a normal human should” is a weird thing to say but there you go! Do what you gotta do:).

  115. You’ve been so busy with the trip and Nowwhere Bookstore it’s no wonder you are overwhelmed. I totally understand. I’m in the same boat. Thank you for sharing and know ww love you and are here with you *whether you need us or not. Much love 💜

  116. If you have to cry, go ahead and cry. Crying is strength, in my mind, because it releases all that stress. If that isn’t the case for you, please ignore me, but know you are loved and that we’re all happily waiting to see your Tedx talk. You do you, you be you, and we’ll love it.

  117. Hey Jenny….. Thank you for being so honest. Even during this battle, you still share a message of strength with us. You are a blessing and * We Love You All the Time *

  118. You have given me my mantra and I shall repeat it now : Depression Lies.
    You are loved and wanted and needed by more souls than you could comprehend.
    I have followed your blog, read your books and admired you for years.
    Your truth weaves through my life reminding me, when I can’t understand how, that I will be okay.
    You will be okay.

  119. You are right, it WILL be ok, we’ll be fine. Try not to get inside your own head too much, and meds are OK!! If fact they are awesome when we need them! You go on with your hip/weird/honest self!

  120. You’re absolutely right – asking for help IS a sign of strength. It’s just hard to see that when you’re in the middle of it. And knowing this doesn’t help make it any easier or feel less like failure. I’m glad you reached out for help, and I’m hoping this passes soon.

  121. I wish I could give you a hug. I’m on Effexor and wish I wasn’t, but life happens and we try to get through it.

  122. Are you serious? You’ve been: Traveling. Setting up a new business. Preparing for a Ted talk. Writing a book. How much stress do you think you’re reasonably expected to deal with and not have any effects from it? Once things calm down a little, don’t you think you’ll feel less stress, and therefore less anxiety, and therefore less pressure to pretend that you can do everything at once?

    I hope the negative voices STFU soon – and that you can be released from this cloud to enjoy your adventures. Good luck.

  123. You are strong. I sometimes find myself doing things I am afraid to do because of your example, and that of other folks who struggle with illnesses, and do it anyway. It is OK if you cry in your TED talk. You would not be the first, and if you do it will be real. Real is important.

  124. Just to say…I went to a TEDx talk a few years ago when a friend was presenting. So I know from him EVERYONE was super nervous and I know from being in the audience that 100% of the people there were 100% behind each speaker. It was the most amazing thing Ive ever witnessed.

  125. Advice from my shrink. Try to rely on the Universe to catch you when you fall. Ask your friends for help; you aren’t a one man band. Don’t get drunk.

  126. If you start to cry, we’ll all cry with you and then we’ll have this big ass cry-a-thon and then feel better. Maybe someone will have cookies. It will be ok.

  127. Thank you so much and I’m sorry you are going through this…your sharing helps others. I’m off work…finally trying to take care of my depression and myself. Talking to others about it helps and is also exhausting. One hour at a time. Good luck with Tedx. Breathe

  128. Your brain is such an asshole… just like my brain is to me! Infinity amount of relatable heartfelt hugs!!!!!!!

    That last paragraph-my brain relates to that one! I have to take robaxin for muscle spasms once a day due to a car accident in June..an old lady driver side swiped me and I then bounced onto a cement divider. It’s been a long journey toward recovery (new PT this week, mris, pain management doc, neurologist, nerve test in the future, etc) and the robaxin… well, it makes me even more anxious, emotional, and I just had a terrifying realistic dream last night about my mom driving the wrong way on the freeway to the point where I called her in a panic and told her “not to get on the freeway today.” She cheerfully responded, “Your medicine makes you crazy…. but you need it!” 😂. Thanks, mom! You always know what to say.

    My goofy mood swings are also not helped by the fact that my husband had an ultrasound recently that not only showed that he has a hernia, but he also has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease as well. He needs to be operated on stat and we are dieting together to get his weight down=help his liver recover. Needless to say I’m overwhelmed, anxious, worried, depressive, hungry and in pain.

    As Amy Winehouse once eloquently sang, “What kind of fuckery is this?”

    I’m going to be nice to myself today-I’m going to do at least one thing that I enjoy doing today just for ME. Your RX from me to you is to do the same! Sorry I’m so bossy 😂. You are going through a lot and you’ve stretched your wings in a lot of amazing areas of your life! It’s no surprise that the twin millstones Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (anxiety and depression) are weighing on you. You are magnificent Jenny, and you inspire me to take better care of me. All I have to say is treat yourself!


  129. It’s okay and it’s awesome to be able to admit when you’re not okay. You are not alone and there’s lots of us out here nodding our heads YES along with you because you can say what we feel when we don’t even have words for what we are experiencing. Lots of cat cuddles.

  130. Your honesty and bravery remind me that we aren’t alone. I am sorry to hear it’s been rough. I am grateful that you share. My daughter struggles. You sharing your experiences helps her realize that it is ok to not be ok. It helps me
    Understand her better. Thank you.

  131. I haven’t commented on anything you’ve posted for a long time. But…I am 68 years old and have been dealing with anxiety and depression for as long as I can literally remember. I have been to so, so many psychiatrists and therapists, I can’t even count them all. So, I am here to tell you that I am HERE! When my mind tells me that it might be better for everyone else if I were to be gone, I just tell my mind to fuck off. (Wow. That in itself is a weird statement.) My therapist reminds me that I am hardwired for anxiety. I believe her. There are a few mornings when I wake up without the “what should I dread today?” mantra in my head. But every day I make myself do an inventory of all of the people I’ve helped. Including myself. I will be HERE for as long as my body continues to work. I’ve survived breast cancer. I will not let my neurotic brain kill me. Don’t you let yours kill you, dear Jenny.

  132. You inspire me every day. You have done, are doing and will do amazing things. Can’t wait for the book store to open.

  133. You’ve saved me more than even I know. I know that you’ll be okay. Sending love.

  134. I totally know the anxiety/depression slippery slope and the feeling of being all alone. It doesn’t feel so lonely when I read what other people are going through and if we can support each other we can tell the voices to Shut Up!! Hang in there, Girl!!!

  135. I believe in you, me, and all of us. We’ll get through it, we always do. See you at Tedx, I’ll be the one weeping loudly 🙂

  136. So totally random. I was watching a Korean movie and the song your niece sang (that she put on YouTube) suddenly was playing on the show. It was such a pleasant surprise! It made me remember how much I liked that video she did. 😀

  137. Our adult son has similar diagnosis, (he has to live with us now) and sometimes all one can do is remind a person that they KNOW the feeling (or lack thereof!) is temporary, and to just wait it out. You are stronger than the depression, it will eventually give up and let you feel better. If you need more meds to help win this battle, it is no more a weakness then a soldier in combat needing bullets for his/her gun to battle an enemy. The war will go on and on, true, but battles come and go, there will be truces when you feel much better, minor skirmishes, and then sometimes more major attacks. But always a truce, and a change to enjoy life, will come. Hang in there. My son looks forward to your next book, too!

  138. Doing the TED talk from under a table, or behind a lectern, or off stage with a mic is FINE. It might even be a better illustration of all the things. That, or JUST PRETEND you’re fine. No shame if that is just too hard right now. We love you. No matter what.
    — June Leighton

  139. I desperately needed to read this today. I just got off the phone with my husband, relating very similar symptoms to what you’ve described. He very lovingly and with all good intentions told me to “try not to worry so much.” Not helpful :-/. Thank you for continuing to share your struggles–it’s terrible that you have to endure them but reading that someone goes through what I do is its own kind of help. I hope for both our sakes that things improve quickly.

  140. When does it end. It is soooo discouraging and frustrating. So much hard work into getting better and it’s like I’m always back at square one.

  141. I’ve been going down that hole myself. Then my 17 yo daughter tried to kill herself 2 weeks ago and I find myself trying to hold up 2 people from drowning. I keep telling her, and myself, one moment at a time, and then the next moment, and soon it will be many moments we have gotten through and this moment will be a memory. Even through the tears, and the heart wrenching pain and exhaustion, keep taking one moment, and I will too.

  142. You have SO MUCH on your plate! It’s normal to feel overwhelmed/exhausted/etc. when so much is happening. Good for you for recognizing it and getting whatever help you need to get you through it. Writing a book and opening a bookstore are no small things. Most people wouldn’t even attempt ONE of them, and you’re doing BOTH! Hang in there and take care of yourself. You are amazing.

  143. Jenny, xanax is not a failure.
    Neither is crying during a Ted Talk. Do the best you can, Your best varies from day to day, like it does for us all. Your best may mean you knock it out of the park, although I always wondered if someone did that at Fenway, would someone else get a head injury? Your best may be conveying the single most important sentence of the presentation, crying all the while. Anyone who sees fit to criticize you for that has not experienced their fair share of hardship, because, hello, perspective!
    Committing genocide during a Ted Talk would be a failure. Just don’t do that. Anything above and beyond “not-genocide” is bonus points.
    I learned that in medical school, regarding exams. And now I’m a doctor, so it’s definitely true. Doctors know stuff and the good ones (like me) don’t lie.
    Here are the rules:
    1. Take your Xanax as directed if your doctor gives it to you, and if she does, I bet the bottle says something like “Take 1 tablet by mouth 2-4 times a day as needed for anxiety””.” I bet it DOESNT say “Take 1 tablet by mouth two to four times a day while thinking awful things about yourself for needing help from time to time like every other human on Earth. In fact, each time you take one, shame a decent person who needs an honest hand.”
    2. Give you Ted Talk at rehearsal and at the real thing as best you can, and don’t simultaneously commit genocide or that cancels out everything witty you said or meant to say.
    3. Jenny, you save lives. Not everyone saves lives, but your courage to tell your story without conveying judgment toward your audience who relates is saving lives every day. You’re a goddam hero and Ted Talk is lucky to have you if all you do is stand on stage and say “ribbit”. You. Save. Lives.
    Tell yourself what you’d tell someone you love if they were in your shoes. Do your best to nail it and if there’s no standing ovation, it’s because Trump outlawed them and pledges to swab the cheeks of those who stand while clapping. Or, it’s because the audience sucks. But your worth is true, huge and fixed. Others’ feedback only feels like it’s related to your value on earth. But it isn’t. You. Save. Lives.

  144. Sending you so much love and courage and strength Jenny!!! I know what it’s like to be in that place of anxiety, but you will get through this and you will feel better for having done the TED talk. Don’t worry if you cry…it makes you more human and we all love you, just the way you are. oxoxoxoxoxo

  145. You aren’t alone. You won’t fail. Because failing just leads to a different path, not some kind of doom, though it might feel that way. So even if you did fail at something, it would just mean another path was opening for you to be successful on. So failing doesn’t actually exist!

    I do know that feeling though, as I am finally conceding that I need to apply for disability.

    Hugs and sparkling raccoons to you.

  146. You are incredible. It’s hard to fight the voices in your head that tell you terrible things, but your words have given me strength when I needed it. I know that you will find your way through the darkness again! Remember depression lies, you are strong, and you are a light to so many! Much love.

  147. Your posts/blogs always make me feel better than I am at a given moment. Sometimes it’s just knowing others are out there fighting battles and not giving up. Thank you for that. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  148. I really, really needed this today. I’m midway between medications and just back at work and I’m hearing those voices so loudly right now. Yours may sound quiet to you right now in comparison, but you should know, what we hear is a roar.

    You said it best, so I can only echo:

    It’s going to be okay.

    You’ll get through this.

    So will I.

  149. Cry if you need to! Know that the lying voices don’t know you are my hero. Thank you for everything you have done, are doing, and will do. You ARE loved!

  150. You are so brave!!!! I do not know what is like to have mental illness per se, but I know what it is to stand in front of a group of strangers and lay myself bare! To venture into a new business?! You are incredibly brave and strong and you can do this. We are all behind you. Chanting from the glow of our screens “Jenny, Jenny, Jenny!!!”

  151. To my dear friend I’ve never met: It sucks, doesn’t it? You work to take care of yourself and do the “right” things and take meds and then you fell better and maybe it’s because of the things you did and maybe it isn’t. And then the darkness creeps back like mold in the shower, and you wonder if you’ll ever see the light again, and you feel like you failed if you ask for help/support/meds/whatever. I’ve been there. I’ll be there again. I try to analogize it to diabetes or asthma–things people have where they don’t feel like they failed if they need to up the dosage on their inhaler or talk to their doctor about what’s going on with their insulin–but somehow it doesn’t feel the same, even though it undoubtedly is.

    But you’re not alone, and you’re not a failure, and you are loved. You’ve been the light in my darkness many times, and you will be again, and you’re the light in other peoples’ darkness right now.

    You’ll get through this.

    We’ll get through this, together.

  152. Dear Jenny, you are far from a failure. Take a look back at your blogs, tweets and Facebook and instagram posts at all the things you have done this past year or so. You have left the US more than once and gone to places where they don’t necessarily speak English. (Holidays are big stressors) You have been searching for a place for a bookshop, found one, found a manager and it’s getting closer to opening. (Another major stressor). You have gone through difficult times with health, supported family members in crisis, you’re currently still in an acute grief period for a beloved family member. You’ve agreed to do a TED talk and finished another book. How many major stressors do you need to know you’re not weak? Gandhi would have buckled under that weight and started stress eating, the Dalai Lama would be wearing a permanent frown, trembling constantly and hiding under the nearest table. You are normal. You might need Xanax to get you over this tough time, but that doesn’t mean you’re in reverse. The darkness and heaviness is temporary, you need to rest a little, do something kind for yourself or someone else.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share this, it helps us all.

  153. I’m in my dark place, too. Multiple physical issues all ganging up on me and the left side of my brain is trying to jackhammer it’s way out of my skull. But, I’m not bleeding, or throwing up. I have no broken bones – no outward signs that I want to jump in a hole and pull it in after me so that makes me “crabby” and “moody” or faking it. I hear you, believe you and I know you’ll survive this, too. Again. We love you – not just the Bloggess or the fabulous book store owner but YOU, Jenny! Take care of yourself and I’ll take care of me and we’ll be fine.

  154. Use it only when seriously need it. It’s astronomically addictive. Supplement with CBT and anxiety reducing techniques. -Cheryl, LCSW

    Sent from my iPhone


  155. If you’re not familiar with her, you really should look up Migraine Girl. She also has a bookstore and often blogs/posts/writes articles about dealing with the store and also dealing with the random disablements of severe migraines. She might be able to give you a few tips on coping with the demands of the store vs. what’s going on in your head/body/psyche.

  156. Jedi Hugs! Hope that anxiety lifts soon. I worry when people take Xanax. I was given a low dose daily for insomnia/depression for many months and it broke my brain. Short term memory got very fucked up. It took me a year to recover. Please be careful with Xanax. It is not supposed to be taken daily, ever. Wish I knew that when it was given to me. I really fear what happens to young people who may not feel the mental effects but that it might make them so much worse as they age.

    Srsly, all the benzos have really bad cognitive side effects. And Tramadol, they gave me that a couple of months ago and my brain is broken again, short term memory trashed. I am super scared I can’t recover this time. The older you are the worse the cognitive effects can be. Please people, do what you need to do, but guard your brain. Without it functioning properly we are truly lost.

  157. Hi Jenny,
    My wife sends me your posts periodically, I just felt so moved by this one, I had to reply. Thank you for posting this. It gives me hope that I also can get past this, and not feel like a failure if I’m not always “ok”.

  158. You mean so much to so many. Stay strong and know that you are loved.

  159. What you write is so important to you, your circle, your fans and me. I cheer you on when you don’t even know me or hear that I am cheering. I know that seems sort of stupid to cheer on someone when you don’t or they can’t hear you, but for some cosmic link I feel like you do. People cheer on sports players, entertainers and others in the limelight, but for some reason it is different. I think that difference is because you tell the truth about it all. When I cheer for you it makes me almost seem like I am cheering for myself. You have done many things already in your life despite illnesses. I think that is amazeballs. Take that Xanax and follow it with a chaser of CBD oil…or not… and here us all calling to you like that last poster said you would hear, “Jenny, Jenny, Jenny!”, and in that chant, we are also ramping up for ourselves.

  160. you will continue to make it through. and i think it would be fine if you had to cry during your ted talk. why can we laugh, smile, frown, sigh, get indignant, etc., but not cry in public? if you need to, you need to. no shame in that.

  161. I’m so excited to read your next book and visit your bookshop, if only virtually. Much love! The darkness will pass.

  162. You speak (write) the thoughts that are running wild in my head all the time. And I’m sorry that you, me and so many other are having to deal with these stupid thoughts, voices, feelings. Anxiety and depression just SUCK. But pls know that you are a voice that lifts us up, cracks us up and makes us feel more whole, just by hearing that others are in the same place. Fighting the same battle. Please know you are a light and I personally think you’re awesome.

  163. You will be okay. And it’s fine if you cry during your TedX talk. We’ll all be there (metaphorically) in support, crying alongside you. Thank you for continuing to speak your truth even when depression is shouting lies. It makes me feel not so alone.

  164. Hi. I’m here for you, rooting for you, ready to stand up and cheer for you.

  165. You are a truly incredible person. The strength it takes to admit vulnerability is huge and I’m impressed by you again and again. Thank you for making us all feel less lonely in our journeys. You will pull through this.

  166. You are a strong person! Needing medication doesn’t make you weak. I realize that’s easy to say but hard to believe for yourself. My husband and I had that conversation recently and he was working to convince me that it’s really OK to need my anxiety meds. It is really OK. For you and for me. Sending you big hugs, Jenny!

  167. You give me and all mentally ill people hope and courage to speak up in our own communities about mental health. I love you and your courage so much…. and God Bless Vince and Hailey for their love an understanding of that aspect of your life.

  168. for your ted talk, remember that more than half the world is introverts. it just SEEMS like so many people are experts at coping because they tend to be the loudest and to control and manage. we want to hear you. we want to hear your struggles because they’re ours. and if you cry at the ted talk, we’ll just relate even more. you’re not alone. you’re not the only one. no matter how depression and anxiety lie. you are us. when you arent perfect, we see you in us even more. when you succeed, we see it as ours too. but personally, crying always frustrates me because i see it as a loss of control and i so desperately want some kind, ANY kind of control in my life and over my depression and anxiety. so like i said, i’d just relate even more, knowing it wasnt what you wanted or intended, and could have repercussions later after the talk, the frustration and self flagellation and headache and swollen eyes.

    and i’d give anything for a medication that could knock back the damn anxiety.

  169. Thank you for letting us help. I’m glad that someone I enjoy so much has the understanding and the compassion that you have. Thank you for making the distinction between the perception and the reality. Remember the floating weiner trick we learned when we were kids? Where you put two fingertips together in front of your crossed eyes and slowly pulled your fingertips apart? You could definitely SEE it, but you knew it wasn’t real.

    That’s where we live, sometimes. We perceive all that fear, or anxiety, or hear all those thoughts. And we know they aren’t real.

    But damn, do they feel real sometimes.

    And we learn, slow, or quick, or however we do it, that we’re realler and more powerful than what feels real. Because we’re fucking superheroes.

    You are. I am. Victor and Hailey are. Beyonce is.



    And when I need to, this secret power ring I fill with my super protein energy pill. Cause that’s how I roll.

  170. I needed those last four lines of text today. You have no idea how much it means when you share these bad days. I am not alone and am going to pretend you are cheering me on as I tell the voice in my head saying “you shouldn’t exist, people are reluctantly putting up with you” to shut the fuck up.
    Thank you a million times over.

  171. Yes, you will get through this. And you will get through it the next time, and the next time, and the next time. And if it takes more meds, so what? What ever works for you, works.
    I have been on antidepressants for most of my adult life, going up and down, but doing okay. Two months ago, everything in my life came crashing down on me and I tried to take my own life, twice.
    I spent a week in the psych ward, and they jacked my antidepressants up to help me level out. I was also prescribed a low dose of antipsychotic meds. I am working on getting better with the help of a psychiatrist, a therapist, the meds, and the support of my family. They are trying to keep me away from my triggers (other family) until I am strong enough.
    You can do this. We all can. It’s tough, but even when we don’t feel tough, we are.

  172. I wish you peace.

    I spiraled after my dad died in April. I finally feel like I’m slowly becoming myself again.

    I hope you see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.

    I can’t wait to see your ted talk!!

  173. You are loved. I look forward to your posts and your new book and your book store and whatever new adventure you decide on.

  174. I appreciate so much how open you are about your struggles. I try to be as well, because I know how much it helps me to know I am not alone, and I hope to be able to encourage someone else in the same way.Your words today were well timed for me….my brain has been doing a lot of lying to me lately as well.

  175. Girl…through you I have learned that these gut wrenching fogs I’ve lived with SINCE I WAS 5 YEARS OLD is depression and anxiety. You are a gift. Please know that I love and appreciate all that you share with us is life affirming. I’m 65 freakin’ years old and still fighting the good fight. Thank you for sharing your fight as well. I can’t help but believe that we are warriors. YOU are a warrior! Bless you,Girl.

  176. You are good, we love you! We support you along with the cats, the dog, Victor and Haylee. We adore you and it’s all good. Tell your brain this. It needs a rest. Say good night to it all! That’s what I do. And take 1/4 of a pill if needed. Please. Xoxo 😘

  177. Know that you’re in my heart. Your struggle is real, and you will prevail.

    But also: That article! Wow, they’re excited about your bookstore. And I am, too. I can’t wait until my husband asks, “Where are we going?” And I tell him, “Nowhere.” He loves bookstores, too.

  178. Sweetheart, you have so much to deal with right now. Of course you are feeling anxious and depressed. We all love you Jenny. Just read all the comments here and see how very much we all love you and support you. Thank you for sharing what you are going through. I wish you light in the darkness and peace to overflowing. Love, Amy

  179. Jenny, you are amazing! Remember that depression lies. Also remember you’re never alone -we’re all right here with you. Sending love and wishing you brighter days ahead. <3

  180. I always feel defeated when I go back on my meds too, but I know they will help, and I know when I need that help. At least I can tell when I need the help. Hugs to you, Jenny. Keep on trucking 😊

  181. Jenny, you just got back from Italy if I’m not mistaken. Jet lag and general readjustment does a number on my brain, and I got a Xanax prescription for that very reason after an international trip. It’s no big deal and definitely not a failure!

  182. Jenny, on that stage imagine every single one of us lifting you up! I’ll be there with my anti anxiety shield, batting away any nasty anxiety rays heading your way 🤺

  183. Depression lies and you are amazing, not for what you do, but for who you are. We don’t need you to do things like bookshops and books to like you. We just do. (And we also like bookshops and books)

  184. For the first time in my life I had to admit that I was broken and needed help. The doctor told me how brave I was to ask for that help – and honestly those words felt like an instant relief. You are amazing for sharing your story so others feel less alone. You are the the example of bravery I strive to be.

  185. “the days feel chained together and I feel off, like when you’ve been awake so long things start to feel surreal.”

    Thank you SO much for that description. Seeing it written down by someone else and knowing that others can feel this way is such a powerful thing!!!

    Thank you for making me feel less alone

  186. Jenny, I relate to so many of your posts, but especially this one. I am going through a lot of life changes right now, good changes, but oh so stressful. I’m moving in with my boyfriend, really trying to have an adult relationship here. He has an amazing house and we both really want this to work. I moved 12x in 10 years before settling into my own house. This move is so different. Not only am I moving, but I’m selling my house, which was my first house and where I’ve lived for the last 13+ years. While this is supposed to be a happy move, the stress is causing my depression and anxiety to rear their ugly heads again. It’s oddly comforting to know that others experience similar reactions even when the situation is a happy one. I too feel like a failure for the resurgence of these negative emotions. But, as you’ve so eloquently said before, depression lies. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Thank you for sharing.

  187. Sorry, accidently hit post. I was just going to add that I turned 45 3 days ago, and I seem to be falling into the pits of despair again. Coincidence? Change of seasons? No idea, but it sucks and I hate it. All will be well. Eventually.

  188. I tell myself that using Prozac for a part of my mind that isn’t working right is no different from taking Levothyroxine for my crappy thyroid. Sometimes I even almost believe it.

    You got this. We’ve got this together. Depression lies, pain mucks up everyone’s thinking, and there is still beauty in small things.

  189. Jenny you are so loved, just look at all the fan groups on Facebook and online you have. We are all eagerly awaiting your new book and your new bookshop.

  190. Thank you for sharing the dark times with us as well as the light. I was struggling in August/September and I very much understand how the constant anxiety can feed into the depression. Things are looking up for me now, after changing medications, so I can put more effort into sending good vibes and love your way. You are so wonderful.

  191. Sending you love, light, and prayers. I know what you are going through and that kind of depression/anxiety leaves you feeling like it is so hard to dig yourself out. Or at least it feels that way to me. You are beautiful, strong, an inspiration and I love how you share your truth with us!

  192. Oh yes, Jenny, anxiety lies, depression lies. So have faith in your abilities, dear, because therein lies your strength! To have faith is to trust yourself in the water. When you swim, you don’t frantically grab hold of the water, because if you do, you’ll sink and drown, right? Instead, you relax and float. Just for a minute or two, when I feel like l’m drowning in either one (or -yikes! -both) I say a little mantra: “Everything is OK. You are okay. All things have an end point. You have the ability to get through this. Ask for help when you need it. You will not drown. Relax and float. Breathe deeply, just breathe and float.” Hope this helps some! 🙂

  193. Sending hope and flotation support. I pray that you find the help and the mantra to keep you on the bright side of the street.

  194. Love you, Jenny. And your mind is broken in the most beautiful way. Like all the little pieces of colored glass in a kaleidoscope.

  195. Starting a new business makes people anxious. Doing a Ted talks makes people anxious. Do you have to do that?

  196. Don’t forget to outsmart depression’s crafty suicidal lies by telling somebody. And not just anybody- everybody. Calling/messaging the one person you know deep down won’t be there (and probably never has) isn’t outsmarting depression. Smart is using your own craftiness to tell a stranger if you have to. Anybody, till the moment/period passes and you an see a fragment of light again. Depression’s biggest deception is making you believe silence is best for everybody.

  197. You’ve got a lot going on regardless. Do what you need. Take the help, Use the resources. No one ever said you had to carry the whole flipping load on your own. Go easy. You’re amazing in ALL your various states.

  198. Having anxiety and depression is just an absolute blast! They both set each other off and the guessing game of what will hit you first the next time is so.much.fun. Seriously, I hear you. I’m just coming out of a anxiety/depression tornado. I need to talk to my doctor about switching up meds, but I loathe doing that for a million reasons, so that triggers my anxiety, which then triggers my depression, and the carousel ride continues.

    Hang in there, you’ve got this and we’ve got you.

  199. You’re too much of an inspiration to too many of us to be a failure. You have a medical problem, and you need the appropriate treatment for that problem – that’s not weakness any more than needing a cast is weakness when your leg’s broken.
    You have been braver than most of us with mental illnesses in sharing and normalizing the situation (and it is normal – most people suffer from some kind of diagnosable disorder some time in their lives.) I am in the same situation, for one – I have bipolar I, PTSD, dysthymia, chronic pain, and chronic insomnia and have to take seven psych meds and an opioid, and I know I’m not a failure. I’m a good parent and grandparent and I helped people in my work, and all those things are true of you (except the grandparent part) and you’re a damn sight more successful at marriage than I was.
    My guideline is to ask myself this: if a friend was in the same situation, would I judge them the same way my brain is trying to judge me? The answer’s always no.

  200. Jenny, I understand. I’ve been there for a while myself, and am contemplating the exact, same return to Xanax as you are. I freed myself from it early this year after realizing that it was robbing me of word recall and memory, as it is apt to do. As a writer, that terrified me more than the anxiety did. I feel as though I’ve been sliding into quicksand for a couple of months now, and there is no rope to hold onto. I feel like admitting that I need that pill is to just give in to losing words, courage…if you figure out how to not return to it, please share it with me, because I’m scared.

  201. I have been in therapy for three years. It started out as every week, then went to every two weeks, and finally I was feeling strong and happy and confident that I could face this life on my own. I challenged myself to start going only once a month. During that month I developed depression and a panic disorder. I was so disappointed in myself. I wanted to get through it. I wanted to prove that I could. But the depression and suicidal thoughts were too much and I broke down. I’ve finally been able to get on Zoloft and I’ve been on it for a week. I’ve been able to get this far without medication so that was another thing that I felt I failed at. I keep telling myself to hold on. Just hold on. Wait till the 6 week mark. Then see how I feel. Then tell the doctor if I need something different. Just make it to the next goal. That’s where I’m at. Thanks for being there for me when I needed you on Twitter. I’m here now if you need me. We’re in this together.

  202. I don’t comment very often but I have to say, given the tremendous strides you’ve taken towards your goals lately that it makes perfect sense that this would cause you to spiral. Maybe to a neuro-typical person this would seem backwards but where success bolsters them, in my experience it sends me to a scary place of doubt and anxiety. Positive feedback helps to keep me creating and moving forward but it isn’t a cure and all the bad stuff is still swirling around. What I’m trying to say is to basically reiterate what you said, that it WILL get better. Because I have experienced this backlash often, I know to ride it out and focus on things that make me better. As you stated, medicine, therapy, self-care. Kitten snuggles, pajamas, feel the warm virtual and non-germy hugs of your community. We very much love you and I think a hecking lot of us can relate. Also, lick someone’s elbow.

    Probably Haley or the Husband Unit because you can be reasonably sure that you all have the same microbes since you live together. Why lick an elbow? It’s weird, chaotic and people will probably laugh. You. You will probably laugh. I get urges to lick elbows and our dalmation does that to me randomly so I think I’m a doggo on the inside. I’m also short and a lot of people’s elbows are at mouth height. You know when you have to pee so you kind of dance around in a desperate attempt to appease the bladder gods? Well when someone is standing in front of me in a checkout line, with a bare elbow right in front of my eyeballs I do the same kind of shuffly weird hoppy dance and look around to stop myself. Also germs. Another decent reason not to lick a stranger. I need more than one, really, or I might do it. Only one reason not to and I will shrug my shoulders and embrace chaos.

  203. Oh, please be so, so, so careful with Xanax. They have found that it is very likely linked to dementia and definitely linked to confusion and instability while walking. My mother and my aunt both took it for anxiety, and both developed severe dementia at an earlier age. I now am sitting next to my 87 year old mother who doesn’t know what day it is, can’t remember how to brush her teeth and will eat an entire bag of 40 cough drops in a few hours if she isn’t watched every second. I’m not saying that her Alprazolam intake gave her the Alzheimer’s Disease, but it certainly helped it along. Try not to mess with your acetylcholine too much if you can help it.
    We love you and want you to be comfortable and happy and the best you can be for as long as possible!!! (Have you ever considered acupuncture? From my experience, it works quite well for people who are highly sensitive…)

  204. Scars you share become lighthouses for people who are headed for the same rocks.
    You, and your tribe here, are lighthouses for me over and over. I’m sorry that your struggle is so bad right now. You speaking when you are weak, you saying outloud meds are hard but it’s okay even when it feels like failure…these words have more power than any advice in a therapists chair. Screw those bad lying thoughts. I.dont think I’ve commented on the years I’ve read this…but if feels really important to add my voice. You, as you are now, beautifully broken, are enough and important. You, sharing your current truth, no matter if you are crying under a desk, will ripple out in the tribe with so much strength. I got to meet you at a seattle book signing, rainy dark night, and hearing you read the words I already knew were so powerful. Last…years ago lin manuel wife posted on twitter about him crying in the laundry room. She said she couldn’t go comfort him, because he was writing a part of Hamilton that need him to feel all the feelings to make it good. I get the feeling it was a marathon emotionally to write. But when I hear Quiet uptown, his hours of torture are priceless gold for all of us. That is all.

  205. I have a mantra that really helps me when things are bad: “I’m okay. I just don’t know it yet.” It’s a powerful little piece of truth. We are here with you and for you. Breathe. Air in. Air out. Air in. Air out. That’s all you have to do. So much love being sent your way. So. Much. Love.

  206. I hope you know that if it all went wrong and you cried in your talk, or even threw up on stage, we would still love you and support you, and probably just feel really close to you because omg who hasn’t been terrified like that.

    Fingers crossed that the Xanax take the edge off enough for you. It’s just another resource, like pulling on a sweater when it’s cold. I’m glad you’re wearing it rather than freezing.

  207. Sending big love and warm fuzzies.
    Even if you cry during your TED talk, it will be fabulous. You have things to say that people want to/need to hear. Just keep talking through the tears.
    You are fabulously courageous. I salute you.
    Please send smart, courageous thoughts to the west coast tomorrow morning – i am taking a crazy ass practical (part of my midterm) tomorrow. 10-11a PST
    We will all be fine; just keep breathing.

  208. You need to send that cake picture to cakewrecks. I feel like you and Jen should meet. You both love mayhem and grammar.

  209. it’s a lot to do all at once. The Italy trip, the bookshop and the manuscript. That kind of overwhelming can be triggering. One thing at a time not all at once. 🙂

  210. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you this: you helped me a lot. By being here, by telling tour stories, by doing the things you do. You make a difference.

  211. I just want to say that you have a lot going on. Mental illness or not, major events and major projects also have anxiety and stress associated with them. Good stress is still stress. To some degree, the stress and anxiety you are feeling is expected, let’s say. To have so many sources of stress at the same time makes it unexpectedly overwhelming, and it is totally fine to need extra help to deal with them. I absolutely like the earlier comment on wearing an extra sweater if you’re cold.

  212. You’re not alone. You’re not an imposter. You are important. You are loved. This is not your fault. You will get through this. We are here for you. Crying at TEDx is okay too.

  213. I needed this more than I could say today…having a really hard time. Finally made an appointment to talk to my doctor about meds…and it does feel like failure, even though I know it isn’t. I don’t know why this is all so damn hard, or why my brain is so loud, or why I can’t get through a day of work without crying anymore. But I’m going to keep reading your words so I know I’m not alone and until I can convince myself that it’ll all be okay.

  214. Just hang on for today. And tomorrow, hang on for that day. Hope the xanax works soon.

  215. You have a lot to be anxious about right now, so you can think of this as situational anxiety as much as mental illness anxiety, and I can certainly attest that when my anxiety ramps up, so does my depression. Think of the Xanax not as a crutch or a failure, but as a helping hand to get you through. Now, I am in no way a doctor, so take this with a big grain of salt, but have you tried klonopin tabs? My shrink prescribed them for particularly panic inducing situations like public speaking, or for me, driving on bridges and flyovers with low guardrails. The advantage is that they work fast, and where off fast. Disadvantage is that they can be addictive and high dosage can cause manic behavior.

  216. You will get through this. Your books and blog have helped do many people and you are stronger than the voices. Thank you for helping our family, we are thinking of you you.💕

  217. …yet you STILL were able to write this, and in reaching out, continue to put love and hope into the world. Thank you.

    Also, if you cry during the talk, then let it happen. Who says you have to sugarcoat anything for an audience? If they are there, they know what to expect. Unless you were giving a talk on the finer points of home taxidermy. Then they MIGHT be a little confused, but would probably roll with it anyway.

  218. I found Xanax was helping ease my anxiety, but leaving me feeling depressed, so I went on an antidepressant that helps with both. Valium helps when I need it.
    Wishing you well, remember that everything passes.

  219. You will work through this. You have a family that loves you, a fanbase that would do anything to help they possibly could, and a wonderfully quirky life that you’ve built.

    The world is a much, much better place with you in it.

  220. I wish you were here with me and my brilliant husband who says to me when I am where you are,”. Everything is going to be alright “ in his lovely Scottish brogue. It’s easier to believe when said by someone you love, but everything is gonna be alright.

  221. Jenny, so often you put into words so eloquently the things that I am feeling. you are able to describe my own mental illness in a way that I could never verbalize. I know the voices in your head may tell you things like you’re a fraud or you’re not good enough but they’re lying to you. They are liars because you are good enough and you are amazing. an anytime you don’t believe it you just ask us and we’ll tell you because we see you and we can see just how incredible you are.

  222. I just want to say that I’ve been following you a long time (since the Chron days!) and this is the steadiest I’ve seen you write about a rough patch. Right now everything may seem difficult but you’ve definitely come a long way from where you once were; I’m very proud of you for sticking it out and accepting that you need help.

  223. I have to go back to psychotherapy again, too. I should have done it ages ago, but I have been busy taking care of others and didn’t take care if myself until my body broke down on me. I’m trying real hard not to beat myself up for that. I’m just looking forward to being my better self again.

  224. Hang in there Jenny. I wouldn’t get through the day without xanax. I have a surgery coming uo so my shrink added oropanolol to keep me calm, and the stuff is golden! They’re just medications for an illness – like insulin for diabetics. Don’t be sad…be happy that there’s something that can help. You’ve got a lot going on in yout life right now!❤️❤️

  225. I had a dream last night that I saw you and your family out in public, and I went up to you and gave you a giant hug. You’ve never appeared in my dreams before so maybe you really needed the hug. I hope you felt it from afar.

  226. So of course you’re more anxious and depressed than before! Even a person who doesn’t suffer the ongoing depression and anxiety we do, would feel that way with all you’ve got going on right now. And jet-lag and seasonal depression are real things too! I helped to open a Barnes and Noble once, I was just a bookseller, but all of the staff was anxious about getting everything ready on time and being the owner of a bookstore, on top of that stress would be terrifying! Congratulations on recognizing your need for a little tweak in your meds to help you through it and admitting your struggle out loud so we all can feel that we are not alone, we are strong, someone else understands exactly how shitty we feel. After the first couple of months of opening your store things will start to fall into a routine and after a year, it will feel like a hot cup of tea or coffee… stimulating, comforting, but don’t spill it or you might get a temporary burn. It’ll all feel less overwhelming soon, and we all love you.

  227. Because of you I will never again look at the box of dog treats in the drive up window in quite the same way. Who else in this entire world has made me question my assumptions like that? No one

  228. Maybe it’s special in a way that we are to have such intricate emotions. Imagine having a heart that can’t break or flitter.. Just know you are that much more beautiful for your storm thats always brewing. There is indeed depth to you. I wish you have a rewarding experience whether it be good or bad. I will be watching once its posted and be rooting for you. Thank you for talking to the world you are so brave…

  229. You are so far from alone. And you regularly are brave enough to live your truth out loud and remind us that we are not alone either. Thank you for that, and for being a uniting force for many of us “misfit toys”. 💗

  230. You’re strong and you’re brave, even if you don’t feel it right now. You will get through the tough times again. I believe in you, and I hope you can, too.

  231. A friend shared this with me yesterday when I mentioned I was struggling a little. My anxiety over SAD returning later as it gets cold is, of course, triggering my depression to try and get a foothold.

    Remember you are loved. You bring joy to millions. You are a light in our darkness to all of us.

    Here’s Neil Gaiman reading his poem Blueberry Girl. His voice is always soothing for me and I love this poem.


  232. I believe you need to slow down and simplify your life. You apparently have too much stress. Lay on the beach, walk in the woods. Find the beauty around you and stop putting pressure on yourself. Love and blessings to you honey

  233. Dive deep. What you are experiencing, what we all experience (or at least I do), are the troughs and swells on the surface life’s wild ocean. But not very far down the waters are still. It is the place we find peace and the place we renew. I know that you know place because you have shown us that it is where your soul and heart and wisdom reside. Swim in all that love that you share so freely with us and let it sooth you. Take whatever medications you need, take whatever time you need, and take in all the love that is being sent your way, and trust that the waters will become calm again. ❤️🙏

  234. My mother has dementia of some form and every day around 4 pm until she goes to bed some 4 or 5 hours later her fear of the dark in all its forms gets full rein. And everything that helps her ease her fear only increases my anxiety. So I am making an appointment to get back on the anxiety medication after 15 years because despite what my brain tells me, I know that going on the meds makes me stronger right now. So I’m with you girl. I will send strength through the Universe to you as you have sent strength to me and we will be able to just turn to our brains and yell at them in that Carol Kane voice from the Princess. Ride,”liar! Liayurer!”

  235. Had a comment all written out that sounded sane and non-self-pitying and it’s says I’ve already posted it so I’ll just say I’m thinking of you and sending strength to you. And if the self pity first draft got through, disregard it please 😎

  236. I also have anxiety and depression. Thank goodness Xanax and Lexapro have really helped me. I feel “normal” now, not overly happy which some people think antidepressents do for you but on an even keel.

  237. I love and hate when you write these posts. I hate that you’re going through the situation, but I love how you write about it. Thank you.

  238. Oh I know The Imp of Depression, whispering nasty and discouraging words, whose only purpose is to settle in and make a home of your soul. Keep on marching forward, doing the things you know you need, and ignore that little f***er who tries to tell you nothing will work. Persist the hell out of it.

  239. Hi Jenny
    You’re right. It is temporary. Maybe as temporary as the time in your life before and preparing for a TED talk !
    So this too shall pass. Really. So me when we worked, it was such a struggle some days but we all got up to that alarm and we all got stronger at ignoring the extreme draw back too bed. We still have that strength. That decision-making process well formed in our brains. We ignored it. We got up. We will again. You and us. Amen

  240. Thanks, as always, for sharing, Jenny. You know, completing a good manuscript (again) and giving a TEDx talk are amazing, extra stellar, and anxiety-inducing events for anyone, so achieving all that while your head is trying to beat you up from the inside? You are stronger than most of us, I think, even if you don’t always know it or get to enjoy it. Please know that your ripples continue – the Audible versions of your books have been a calming way to get through a rough time for me, just now. Take care. We need you.

  241. Jenny-You are a strong, sweet, loving and wonderful person. Don’t let anyone, yourself included, tell you different. ♥♥

  242. Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry you’re struggling right now. One day at a time.

  243. Statement! You WILL be good as you always are 🙂 Love the ABA story. You are strong and brave. Love you!

  244. I’m sorry you are struggling. You are amazing and I thank you so much for sharing. You have helped me with your openess and honesty more than I could ever say. Thank you for being you.

  245. We love you and are here sending love and support as you need!
    You are amazing and you are enough.

  246. Love your guts, woman! Sorry it’s hard, but we all appreciate you fighting it. You make the world a better place. 💚

  247. A few things. Thank you for sharing. I was reminded by someone yesterday that there will always be more. My life can be exciting AND hard. I will for the rest of the life I live have chronic pain. Sometimes worse. Take to my bed like a Victorian heiress worse. Can’t sleep and it is 4:00 am, 5:00 am and my joints are on fire worse. There goes my Saturday plans worse. Anxious, mean, and depressed worse. BUT. There is medication. It is a trade off. Relieve the pain, lose the day. Well the day was shot anyway. But for some reason, I think I need to “power through.”

    I admit that as a former bookseller, I was a little worried for you. Bookstores ARE hard. I assured myself that you probably had the money now from your writing to get good, competent, professional help. I read in “the trades” that you did. Your on-line community wants to help. Let them. Be brave. Call Ann Patchett. See how she did it.
    TedX. OMG. that one thing would’ve been enough.
    I teach, I speak publicly, I do professional training. I get physically ill every time I do any of those things in front of grown ups. Even if I tell people that, they are shocked, shocked I tell you. I think I heard a podcast awhile back where you described what was going on in your head before the interview. Yes, that’s me AND I so totally identified AND I made my husband listen to it, AND he just didn’t get it. Tilted his head, looked at me and I could see the thought bubble above his head, “that’s so messed up, man.” Yet, I took comfort that I was not alone.
    You ARE asking a lot of yourself right now.
    Please stay in this world with us. Take the meds as needed, avail yourself of medical professionals when needed.Cuddle with the pets. Know that this too shall pass.
    Please keep making me identify and laugh, empathize and cry. You have a gift. Thank you.

  248. It can help to imagine yourself a scientist or a investigative reporter who is experimenting and learning when to add or subtract Xanax – no judgement, just interesting scientific information for learning from, that might help reduce any emotional judgements.

  249. You are loved by hordes of readers. We see how funny, insightful, encouraging, and brave you are.
    Think of your local Chamber of Commerce chortling with joy at all the readers planning their road trip to Nowhere… you’re a one-woman boost to your local economy.

  250. Oh my goodness! Guilt is the dumbest thing we do to ourselves
    Over anxiety, motherhood, fur babies, ECT just on life! Don’t
    Feel like a failure. You are a warrior, take the meds and be one.
    Would you tell a soldier with PTSD he is weak for having to take
    Meds? No so don’t do that to yourself. Giwife<seenwaytoomuch

  251. Thank you for sharing your journey with depression and anxiety. It has helped me so much. My antidepressant I had used successfully for 20 years stopped being effective. With the withdrawal effects of the old one and the new one not being effective yet, I had a major depressive episode last summer. My doctor asked if I had ever heard of rTMS. I practically shouted, “YES! one of my favorite people in the world had the treatment!” I had the treatment for 7 weeks and I am back to my old self. If I had not followed your rTMS experience, I most likely would not have tried it. THANK YOU!

  252. I’m not sure if this might help you with your TED talk, but it helped me with some of my own anxiety issues.

    Tim Ferriss had a really interesting podcast with Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking. In the podcast, they both discussed (in detail) how they each prepared themselves for their TED talks. They both had different strategies for dealing with severe, paralyzing anxiety. I’ve listened to this particular podcast many times. I’ve found the strategies really helpful for dealing with other social anxiety situations. It’s one of my favorite podcast episodes.

    If you’re interested, the podcast is titled: Susan Cain — How to Overcome Fear and Embrace Creativity (#357)

    Take Care!
    Juli Hoffman

  253. Jenny, I wish that I could reach in & pull you out, I wish that others could do the same for me when I am in that place. The best advice I’ve been given on such matters, I shall share w/you & your followers too, b/c it’s good to remember & to hold on to when there is nothing else in the grey numbness.
    “Keep your compass set & the fog will clear.” Like being socked in by dense fog when out on the water… you can’t see, feel or even hear much of anything, but if you don’t change your heading & you trust what was set when you could see clearly, you will come out of it & find yourself all over again. Here’s to the dawning & to the brave who hold on for dear life when everything goes dark.

  254. Thank you for sharing both your good and not so good days. With your stories about your life, you have made laugh and cry, but most importantly I now feel I am part of a wonderful clan. Please know that you are so very special and you are much appreciated.

  255. We have confidence that your TED talk will be wonderful, whether you cry or not. Promise to love you no matter what.

  256. Next order of business: purchase sharpie and dumpster dive for large, only slightly-soiled cardboard box to tear apart and create large sign that reads: “San Antonio or Bust” so I can be there for the premiere of the aforementioned book shop.

  257. Jenny – You’re the one who taught me Depression Lies.
    You wrote, “And although I know logically that it’s strong to admit you need help and that I believe this without question, it still feels like weakness.”
    Hello! Depression Lies!!
    You are strong, you have a kick ass support team, you have a great medical care team… You’ve got this!! So you need meds again. Maybe forever, maybe not. This is a disease. It’s no different than someone else’s body needing insulin for diabetes or inhalers for asthma. You’re right – you have a disease and you may need medication to treat this disease.
    I wish you well… and hope that better days are ahead!

  258. I have bipolar disorder and things haven’t been going very smoothly for me recently either. I’m saying I feel the pain or numbness or whatever phase you are in.

  259. You are the person that keeps everyone understanding hat they aren’t alone. You remind us that we are being lied to by that filthy bastard, depression, and that everything will be ok. You are not a fraud. You are as real as the sun, and just as bright.

  260. You’re going to get through this like you do every other episode you’ve ever had. The fact that you’re going back on xanax for a while doesn’t mean you’re a failure at all! It also doesn’t mean the electroshock therapy didn’t work. You’ve got an enormous amount of stress going on at the moment. Much more than normal. So, it’s understandable that you might need some extra help getting it under control.

    You’re good. You’re fine. You’re loved.

    Ro’s anxiety is getting worse. We’re looking into getting her on CBD edibles, since the prescription meds haven’t worked. Have you ever tried those?

  261. Have you considered doing your Tedx talk as a puppet show, but all the puppets would be taxidermy animals? That would be so weird and interesting and YOU, plus you could hide behind a curtain the ENTIRE time!

  262. You’ve said this when I needed to hear it…. “depression lies!” You are loved, admired, witty, heartfelt, open, smart and hilarious. Your journey isn’t easy, but you have mad skills and meds (for those chemical things that skills alone cannot tackle). You have a community that cheers you on from wherever we are and who also know you are a gift. Getting support (in whatever form) is strength, not weakness. Long distance hugs from someone who isn’t a “hugger”. You got this!

  263. That cycle you described sounds familiar. I have faith you’ll get through it. ❤️🥄

  264. My anxiety has also been out of control recently, which is definitely also stirring up depression. My vacant phone usage is through the roof, and I literally wasn’t able to get out of my PJs or out of a chair in my living room until 6:30pm. Right now, it doesn’t feel like I’ll be ok.

    But I will. And you will. And I’m sending you all the love an internet stranger can send.

  265. Aren’t you in Europe, somewhere? I’d need my Xanax backup too, in order to travel.
    I use it sparingly, because for me, .25 mg goes a loooong way, without dragging down my energy.
    I used to beat myself up for failing to be ok, unmedicated.
    Depression and anxiety lie!
    I think you taught me that.
    I hope you will remember, you are not a failure, you are awesome. You are not a failure, You are awesome. You are not a failure, you are awesome. Xanax can help, and that’s ok!

  266. There will be bad days and good ones. Sooner or later the good ones will outnumber the bad.

    Brains are really good at spinning off in whatever direction they’re headed, which is why I’m happy to know that you are taking care of yourself.

    I only know you from your words, but know that you are loved and worthwhile.

    We’ll wait for you on the other side of the dark days.

  267. you’ve got so much on your plate now, all at once, I think that would floor almost anyone. Going for the Xanax is probably the smartest thing you can do, and kudos to you for realizing it.
    Fingers crossed, lady. You got a lot of helpers here, and we are all leaning in with good words and encouragement…

  268. Chips and Cookies: Thank you for, “You have wonderful new things going on, and your brain is just trying to keep up with your level of awesome.” I’m going to use that as a comeback for my brain’s negative messages today.

  269. One of your most compelling traits is authenticity. If you need to cry during a TEDtalk, do it. We need more people being people.

  270. Just home from my Psychiatrist…had to ask for an increase in meds because while the depression has improved the migraines and fibromyalgia have beaten me to a stick paste.

    My rheumatologist, suggestion. As my neurologist has no new ideas. But hey it’s neither a brain tumor nor a new lesion…

    We are none of us weak, but the knowledge feels extrinsic, I know it but I don’t believe it today.

  271. I am proud of you and admire you for listening to your true voice, not depression’s voice. It’s hard, harder often than words can express, but you’re doing it with equal measures of grace and ferocity.

    You know your body better than anyone, and you know what works best for you as a unique person. We all have our own beautiful, flawed chemistries, and having the wisdom to request what works best for you is a sign of strength and of hope and of loving ourselves enough to take care of ourselves in the best ways that we are able in any given situation. Medications are part of our toolkit to use when so something in our body or mind isn’t working quite like it should, and there is no, I repeat, NO shame in asking for the right tool for the job at hand!

    Would we feel bad for shrieking for a wrench, a towel and a big ass bucket when a storm-phobic dog has ripped the toilet water intake line out of the wall, and it’s hissing, spewing and flailing around through the air, shooting untold gallons of water into the air like a possessed Supersoaker? No, we would not (but that’s a different story for a different day!). Point is, whether we’re getting our plumbing closer to a functional balance, or doing the same for our mind and body, we need what works in order to get the job done.

    And your only job right now is taking good care of you. Xanax, chocolate cake, sleep, talk therapy, hugs, pet cuddles, long walks, a break from work stress for a little while, or throwing yourself into the less stressful, more joyful parts of work- girl, whatever works best for you, follow that path with no guilt, no hesitation.

    Know that there are thousands of people who admire you, care about you, and are holding your, Victor’s and Hailey’s hands in spirit right now, and every single day.

  272. Jenny: If you haven’t seen it already, keep an eye out for Gary Gulman’s “The Great Depresh.”

  273. It’s relieving to know I’m not alone. I feel like I’m not really present anymore, kind of like when the Jedi becomes one with the force. You can see and hear them, but they’re not really there.
    I’m losing alot of memories and becoming uncoordinated. But we’re not alone. We will get through this, because that’s what we do. People who suffer from depression and anxiety are the strongest people I know because it’s a big bitch to get through and seems impossible. But then you finally have a day when you can get up, shower and put some effort into yourself and everything seems OK. We will get there. 🙂

  274. It’s like you’re in my head! I’m going through some shit right now and while I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  275. I have an interview coming up in three days and I almost called and cancelled it because I feel like I am not worthy of the amount of money it pays and I feel like I can’t do all those things listed on the job description and my friends and family remind me that the people who hire called me so they must believe I am worthy but I don’t believe I am. I’m hoping I can just pretend my way through it with fake smiles and fake confidence. Thank you for reminding me that the voices in my head are not telling me the truth.

  276. You’ve got a bad case of Imposter’s Syndrome. Just know that you have a ton of people who are behind you and we know you’re amazing! You are loved and nothing you could do would change that!!

  277. Not a failure, Jenny. I’m pretty darned good at managing my anxiety during the day, but bedtime is often spent rummaging through my mental tool box of coping skills rather than sleeping, and xanax lets me put the wrenches and chisels away and sleep. Sleep is good. You are good. Thanks for being here and helping me feel not-so-alone.

  278. Thank you so much for sharing your anxiety and other mental health struggles. Your openness and perseverance are an inspiration on the days when my mental health struggles get me down.

  279. You’ve helped me these last few days. Medication issues pulling me down into depression. I’ve been reminding myself that Depression Lies and that I’m not a worthless piece of shit, it’s my messed up brain chemistry saying that. It’s helped me. Thank you.

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