Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

A few months ago I finally did the TEDx talk that I’d been a nervous wreck worrying about.  I ended up having an actual anxiety attack in the middle of it.  One so bad that I stopped talking and stood in silence for a terrible minute trying to breathe.  I was told that if I really fucked up I could leave the stage and come back and start all over again but I knew at that point that if I walked off I would never go back so I stayed there.  And people were kind and waited with me.  And when it was done I got a standing ovation, which I didn’t really see because I was too busy running away, but Victor said it was amazing.

When they were editing the video they asked if I wanted to leave the anxiety attack in and at first I thought we should because it was a real look at life with mental illness.  And then I remembered how many people, like myself, can fall into a panic attack when they see someone else have a panic attack in that contagious sort of way that broken minds work and so I told them to make their best judgement.  In the end they cut out the awkward minute and I think maybe that’s for the best, although you can tell the changes in my voice from before and after.

Today the video went live so you can see it for yourself.  It is not polished and pretty.  I say “um” a million times.  I almost cry more than once.  But I’m proud of it.  It’s the best I could do with what I was at the moment and sometimes that has to just be enough.

And if you want to watch it, it’s right here:

Thank you for listening.  And for telling your own stories as you see fit.

434 thoughts on “Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I so admire your strength and bravery. Please know that you inspire so many others and you are so appreciated!

  2. I can’t wait to watch it! I can’t tell you how many times your words have helped me. Thank you.

  3. Sometimes I just want to give you a big hug, and thank you for being you. And then I’d sprinkle pixie dust all over you and run away.

  4. You are amazing! Thank you. This week I decided to go back on medication for my depression and I made an appointment for next week. It doesn’t feel like I’m worth the effort of trying again but maybe I’ll keep the appointment anyway and give it one more shot.

  5. Jenny, this made me cry. Several times. I’m a #25 too. I love you. Thank you. 🙏🏻♥️

  6. Did they at least send you a private link to the whole thing? I think seeing would be a strange comfort to me. I’ve done that. If like to see others to feel less alone. Especially since it sounds like it’s bookended by a wonderful talk.

  7. And now I cried in a good way while watching your talk. Thank you. Thank you for my sake, for my mother Anne Pollard White who thought her family would be better off without her, and killed herself when I was eight years old. Thank you on behalf of my great–uncle Sam Pollard, who was a brilliant mathematician who I never met because he killed himself.

    I have done so much therapy and read so many books on mental health and the sociology of mental illness, but when I read your books, I laughed and I cried, and I felt it was okay to be me.

    Thank you, fellow traveler, for creating the path we are on.

  8. I was actually looking for this earlier today… You were (are) amazing, real, relatable, approachable and it has been a huge help seeing you go out and do things that weren’t possible in the past. I also appreciate you sharing that it’s not all rainbows and roses now, it’s a daily commitment to get to a better place.

  9. Hi Jenny,
    This is wonderful. What a triumph for you and all of us who live with mental illness. I’ve been trying to write my story for a very long time. I’ve either been ill, ashamed or wanting to ignore my illness and it makes it very difficult to finish the project. It’s hard to discern how honest to be. In my quest to find other writers I can relate to, a friend lead me to you. You are a shining star in the darkness. Congrats on posting your TEDx talk. What a gift.

  10. Thank you for giving this talk. I physically saw myself in you…my depressed anxious self. Now I know what I look like to the world when I push myself to do things and be present in the midst of darkness. I feel seen!

  11. One of the best Ted Talks I’ve seen. You made me laugh, and cry, and most importantly you were real and honest. You are a great speaker! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Jenny, I enjoyed your presentation immensely and didn’t see anything unusual or interruptive in it. You were obviously emotional, but that works for that kind of thing. And you have a very sweet, brave smile. As for the brain fog, I wish that I could deliver that long of a speech with as little referring to notes as you managed to do!

    You seemed to be affecting each audience member individually and profoundly. And that’s a key to losing yourself as a good speaker: realize that it’s just a group of individuals, processing in their individual ways. Talk to them as the single beings that they are instead of being overwhelmed by the group presence. I’m empathic, and I know how intense the group energy can be. Instead, see each person in their individual struggle, for we are all connected.

    In that moment, you were NOT your illness. Your message was quite earnest and heartfelt and the applause told you all you need to know. I hope that sharing your experience to help others is a solace in your life journey. Many thanks for the link!

  13. Excellent! Well done! Please keep telling your story because it resonates with so many others. ❤️

  14. It IS beautiful, and wonderful and brave. Your honesty in dealing with life is inspiring. Like others I cried in a good way, holding my breath when I realized that was when they cut your panic attack. You look fab in your dress and I couldn’t even see your slippers but remembering that your feet were comfy made me smile. You are my hero. You stuck it out. At 18 I was so devastated by a panic attack during a piano recital that I ran off the stage, out the building, leaving my embarrassed family in the audience wondering if I would come bavk. I didn’t and didn’t perform again. I can barely play if anyone is listening. But you did it and maybe in the future I will try again. Thank you for showing it can be done.I love you and am proud to be in your tribe.

  15. Kudos, Jenny. Dress is lovely. Thank you for not only sharing your story but creating this place where others can see & say “I’m not the only one. I don’t have demons inside that need to be beaten out of me. I am worth the money it costs for medication, treatments…”. You inspire me to put my story on paper. Best to you in all you do.

  16. That was wonderful and very brave, Jenny. I so admire your strength and resilience. Fantastic job!

  17. You are worth it. You are so amazing and have given all the 25s a platform on your blog to see others stories or to share their own story. You make the world a better place. Thank you.

  18. Wounderful speech from the heart. Thank you for being brave and sharing Jenny!

  19. Thank you for sharing and for the reminder that those of us who struggle with feeling broken, with mental illness and just getting through the day, still have something to share with the world, and that it doesn’t diminish our worth. I see you as someone with the same struggles, but more so I see your voice, your story, your books, your blogs, your online community are all because of you & all the light that you bring to the world. And how that is so so much bigger than anything that your brain tells you is wrong with you. And that maybe because I see it as true for you, that maybe I can believe it’s true for me too.

  20. You did great Jenny. You made me cry. But a good cry… The “oh thank you I’m not alone” cry. Love hearing your talks and I’ve listened to your audiobooks dozens of times and I always love them all over again. I’m so grateful that I randomly saw an ecstatic racoon book cover and was immediately drawn in. I’m so thankful for you in the world. You’ve shown me that it’s ok to have low spoon days, and that I’m worth the meds and therapy and hiding in my house is ok. It gives me courage to try to grab some more spoons. Love you girl thank you.

  21. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been dying to see it! And you did SO GREAT! I totally understand why you took the anxiety attack out, and I’m honestly not certain whether I’d want to watch it happen or not, but I can tell you 100% for sure that just knowing it happened, and seeing you finish anyway, is incredibly empowering for me. Anxiety attacks are so insidious for making us (or me, at least) feel tiny and powerless and scared, but you beat the CRAP out of it on that day. You’re my hero! <3

  22. Thank you. I’ve been reading your blog for 10-12 (?) Years now, and you have given me courage and hope every time you post. When I was in suicidal mode, reading you convinced me to go to the doctor and go to a treatment center. I had hidden my depression from my husband for 30 years, but I finally had to let him know that “the love off his life” was broken. It also cost me my marriage, because he couldn’t have a non-perfect spouse. I am with friends now that know my story, and I am so much happier. Depression lies and depression kills, but when we talk about it, and share our story, we help others, and you have helped me do much. I love you sounds so trite, but I do, and you have been a light in my life.
    Laurie Baum
    Twin Falls, ID

  23. Happy to see this after hearing about it. What a terrific, sincere, meaningful talk! You were you – just what is needed!

  24. I have been hoping and hoping that I’d get to see this… It’s amazing…

    you’ve done SO much to bring issues of depression, anxiety, and mental illness to light… I’m SO glad you got to do this.

    No matter what, you can know you’ve helped ME. You made me feel not alone. Listening to your books, in your voice, has made me feel so not alone… Thank you for that…

  25. Good job you!

    I didn’t notice the “ums” until you mentioned it (sounded like talking to a real person rather than listening to someone speechifying anyway) but did you notice after your “pause” that you didn’t um at all? Your strength of conviction and message just burst out of you there – thank you for that authenticity. I showed this to my teen daughter who has a good friend who struggles and I could see the lightbulb and her “ah hah, I get it” face. Thanks for educating her in something I could not.

    And now I want a fake ponytail too!

  26. Know what I liked best Jenny? That it wasn’t practiced and polished and perfect. I’m sick of people’s need for perfection. I get caught up in it too. We no longer even know how to be ourselves because our masks are so firmly in place, we’ve forgotten. Perfection is fake. I wonder if some of our mental illness is trying not to feel what we’ve been told is wrong, less than perfect, or broken, when it’s what we all feel, and deal with, and hide with varying degrees of success.
    Your just you. And If you are, I’ll feel free to be me. Thanks for doing that afraid. Maybe I will be able to say some day, eff it, and do something terrifying too, whether the world thinks I looked like an idiot or not. Whether they respect or listen to what I say or not. I s

  27. shoot…I made a mistake…Wheeeeee……you stood up in your world, breathed in the air you deserve to breath, and gave us a piece of your beautiful mind. Thank you.

  28. Jenny, you are so amazing, and to me (and probably the rest of your tribe) you are a great comfort. I watched the video tonight to distract myself from an anxiety attack. I succeeded at work in a big way during the run up to Christmas, which was a novel experience for me as it seems my reach has perpetually exceeded my grasp. Now I feel pressure to keep pulling rabbits out of hats and I realized tonight I don’t think I am talented enough to keep it up. That would make me a disappointment to myself while confirming my low self image. You inspire me to trust myself more and to persevere in spite of my significant self doubts. Thank you.

  29. Lady, that took guts! And you pulled it off. Thank you for blazing the trail so others feel free to speak out too. You rock, Jenny!

  30. Jenny,
    Your courage moved me to write a blog post about you. It’s real and comes from the heart. You are an inspiration and your truth brings me to tears. I am reluctantly checking the box below for the link. Cross promo is not my gig. I wanted you to know how much I appreciate you and your work.

  31. That was wonderful! Thanks for being brave enough to do – editing or no. Always happy to read/see/hear something from you Jenny. Thank you.

  32. Thank you Jenny. It was inspiring. I want to share my story but I don’t think I’m ready to share the full version. I’ll stick with the version full of cats and kittens at the moment. Great work, you should be very proud of yourself.

  33. Oh I felt that. I think I didn’t breathe for 12 minutes. I kind of know how you feel-I had to deliver an urgent seminar to some people who were caught doing something that risked the lives of vulnerable people in care. I was up late writing it, then my daughter didn’t sleep, and my husband needed help (he’s also treatment resistant- what helps is watching movies together late at night, or driving to paddocks and horizons). Anyway, even my cat jumped on my head prior to daybreak…all in all I got maybe 2 hours sleep prior to the talk. I went in with these blank faces staring at me and literally started crying halfway through. The tears welled over my glasses like penguins sliding. But I didn’t stop talking – I wasn’t embarrassed I just cared (and had no sleep). Their manager said it was the best training they’d had because they could see I cared, and that their actions could make a difference to people who need someone to care. I was so worried I was terribly unprofessional, but it ended up working. I don’t recommend lack of sleep- but I highly recommend honest emotions- people aren’t used to raw truths & heartfelt communication. When they see it, they listen and take it to heart. I wonder what stories will be shared by the people who listen to your Ted talk? I wonder when I’ll open a library book and find a note inside, beginning with ‘you don’t know me, but Jenny inspired me to leave this story for you….I hope it helps you, as she helped me. If it helped you, please share your story and pass it on. With love, No.25….’

  34. Actually Jenny maybe you could have bookplates in your shop for people to write their story/a message on & place in a ballot box before they leave. Your staff could check the story/message is ok, then randomly put into books in the store? Or colour in a 25c (basic cost covered) bloggess design bookmark, leave a message of hope & place in a book…

    Also, at a concert a few years ago the singer released thousands of ticker tape messages in her own handwriting…people would grab these lovely messages out of the air. Perhaps you could also have Bloggess messages printed in your handwriting with messages of hope or joy or laughter…slipped into books.

    Just thinking out loud. 😊

  35. Nice shoes 😉 I tried to notice the panic attack, but got lost in the story and completely forgot about it – so well done, editing! And well done, Jenny!

  36. You held it together, even if you don’t feel like you did, even if there was an eternal-lasting minute cut out… You said it, people listened. You made a difference. Like you do, every day. Thank you for speaking up. <3

  37. Oh, Jenny! It was exactly what it needed to be. It was heartfelt, sincere, honest, and authentic. I personally couldn’t tell where the edit was, and I’m not just saying that to make you feel better. You just seemed super nervous, and I’ve watched many other TED talk presenters who were super-nervous.
    You just reached probably millions more people with your crucially important message, because the TED talks, whether on YouTube or the TED site itself, brings in people that may not have heard of the blog before.
    Kudos to you once again for fighting the good fight! We all love and respect you so much and are grateful for everything you’ve done to bring mental illness into the light.

  38. Just wanted to say you’re gifted with words! Writing/talking/blogging = wow. Really enjoyed the Ted talk and you cover your anxiety well. Did Victor make you do the talk ? So evil (but v nice with it).

  39. Jenny, you are an amazing person and an inspiration to those who suffers from depression and all other mental disorders. Your bravery and strength is a triumph to the human spirit speaking out loud that we all can overcome anything. I too suffer from mental illness and it has been through reading your words in print and now listening to your TED talk that I stand proud and unashamed of the person I am. Thank you for being so open with your feelings. You have given me such strength that I’m not afraid anymore. Because of you, I now have the courage to stand up and share my story too. I just can’t wait for your next book.

  40. I love this. But most importantly…where is the dress from? Good chance people were so mesmerized by it that they didn’t notice nerves or anxiety! I’m proud of you bc I fear the attack too much to try.

  41. Jenny, you are amazing. I am so proud of you, you did an awesome job. Thank you for sharing, and not just on your Ted talk.

  42. Such a great achievement – both personally and professionally. You are a shining example of courage and transparency, The example you provide is beyond amazing!!!

  43. That was amazing and true and scary as fuck, even for me, sitting here in my chair. You made it through, and you did a great job! I just want to say that I relate so hard to your overall message. In 2001 I was diagnosed with a rare form of miscarriage, a molar pregnancy. I felt so alone; no one had ever heard of such a thing. I had to have bloodwork done monthly for a year, and I wasn’t allowed to get pregnant again during that time because they had to make sure I didn’t develop CANCER. Cancer from pregnancy?! I know you know how hard miscarriages are, and that horror on top of it was brutal. In that time, I started a website where I shared my story, and I started a Yahoo Club (it’s that long ago now, LOL) for people to connect. It’s been 19 years now, and the group (now two groups) are on Facebook, but I have met thousands upon thousands of women going through this loss and fear. Many have had to have chemotherapy, and some have had multiple molar pregnancies, and others have had even worse stories. I collect stories from those who want to share, and I add them to my website. I self-published two book collections of women’s stories. The women in my groups share experiences and medical treatments and research they’ve found. They’re from around the world, and this condition is so rare and is treated so differently from doctor to doctor and place to place that everyone has a very very different experience. The point is, you’re right: Sharing stories is the only way to connect everyone and let us know we’re not alone. Thank you! <3

  44. After following your journey for such a long time and watching the TED talk, I can only say – I’m so proud of you.

  45. Thank you for such a powerful talk. There is a lot of mental illness in my family tree. It was never discussed. I remember being confused and ashamed when I was a child. Like there was something wrong with me because I could not understand what was going on. Now my daughter has a serious mental illness and I have been a loud vocal advocate for her, for treatment of mental health and for speaking about it without shame. Your words resonated with me. Opening up about this was hard, keeping it to myself was a lot harder. Please keep sharing, your words mean so much.

  46. Jenny,you are AWESOME!Thanks to you,I am able to voice my opinion at my book club,instead of sitting quietly,after saying my name,if I read the book and if I liked it or not.You,helped me with that. In my mind we are friends,even though we have NEVER met.

  47. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! I know how hard that was for you. I remember you talking about it. Thank you for sharing it now that it was complete. I’m crying and it was as perfect as it needed to be. 💚

  48. I’m a #25. I’m a psychotherapist. I use your stories for my clients so they can be 25’s as well.

  49. It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s the first thing that has made me wish I was still on Facebook so I could share with the world. Thank you.

  50. Not gonna lie–I ugly cried when you started talking about the 24. I’m still crying even after distracting myself by signing up for the strangeling book club! Thank you for sharing YOUR story even when some of us aren’t ready to do that yet.

  51. Brilliantly done Jenny. Applause and hugs for reminding us that our story matters.

  52. Oh, Jenny, thank you. Thank you for your beautiful, brave and deeply satisfying talk, and for being so magnificently you. With all love and respect.

  53. THAT.WAS. AMAZING!!!!! And honestly, I couldnt tell where they snipped the awkward minute. (I feel it should have been left in, but I understand the thinking for removing it)

    You were amazingly poised, and said um WAY LESS than you think you did. That dress is fantastic, and I adored the peeps of your slippers!

    I know how hard that was for you (you’ve told us) and TBH, you looked like you were in your element up there, like it was nbd. You’re WAY stronger than you think you are.

  54. I only recently learned about the “Insulin therapy” – the songwriter Townes van Zandt was subjected to it for his depression. I think that was a barbaric treatment also. I can only imagine what that did to the person’s body.
    Thanks for talking about treatment options and just surviving. I personally know how much depression can lie. Okay, I am crying now so I have to stop.

  55. Ohhhh Jenny that was sooo good it made me cry (in a good way). Thank you for having the strength to do that, and then for sharing it with us.

  56. I struggled not to cry beginning with the Story of the 24, and am so thankful you share your story(ies). It is no wonder you earned a standing ovation

  57. Thank you for sharing your stories. I have listened to them over and over. I can not wait for the next book!! I tell so many people about you and your books/blogs. When I laugh out loud people ask who I’m listening to or maybe even look at me like I’m a bit off( I’m more than a bit off).
    I do my best to share my stories. People aren’t always open to hearing. But it do try.
    Using The Mighty app and hearing so many more stories and sharing with others that have so many of the same struggles is amazing.

  58. You, Jenny are truly an inspiration for everyone, those with mental illness and those without. You are a crusader of the mind, fighting to make others realize that what millions of people go through everyday with mental illness. You are a fighter, so fight on Jenny, because we all love you!

  59. Thank you Jenny for that beautiful talk!! You are a brave teacher inspiring us all to fight on! Wishing you peace and love on your journey xo

  60. Love you, Jenny! Thank you for your openness and bravery in sharing this and all of your stories. Please know how much it means to me, personally, and to so many others.

  61. Thank you Jenny for the courage to do a Ted talk. I am being treated for depression. So far the meds are working—maybe too well. I find it hard to empathize, sympathize or feel anything at all. I no longer have crying jags but I also don’t laugh. I no longer become rude with my children and grandchildren but I am accused of not loving them. It is as though i am on auto-pilot all of the time. I find myself wondering if I can live like this for another 10, 15, or 20 years I will be 69 years old in May and other than severe arthritis, I am in good health. I lost the love of my life,my husband Bill, six years ago. I really find very little to live for but I go to bed each night, take my meds, get up each day and take more meds, and become my robot self for another 24 hours. Sometimes is is too exhausting and I do stay in bed. Other times I wish I could run away and find out who I am meant to be. I’m sorry this has turned into a long note. I just wanted to thank you for the Ted talk. I cannot get pod casts so if you had not posted it, I would never have seen it. Thank you.

  62. You were amazing Jenny. Your story is mine. Sharing is caring and you are a brave and beautiful soul to share yours. I don’t feel alone out here when I’m in my depressed dark world or when I’m so anxious I’m going to vomit and/or cry. It’s everyday. Smile for everyone but feel dead inside. Struggle. Cope. Carry on. Then I read your blog or I pick up one of your books and read a random chapter. You lift me like no drug or therapy has ever done. Just knowing you are doing what you are doing while also struggling to cope gives me encouragement to do the same. Get through each day. One at a time. Thank you. I’m telepathically sending you so much love you may get knocked over!

  63. You are amazing! That was a wonderful talk that was very inspiring. It almost makes me want to do some public speaking (even though that is my biggest fear). Keep doing what you’re doing! We need your voice!

  64. You are a fecking rockstar, Jenny. You’re willingness to be so open and honest is changing your world, the world around you, and thousands of individual worlds around you you’ll never get to meet, but who need you and your stories so desperately.

  65. Thank you for sharing this video… but thank you for continuing to share and inspiring others to share as well. We need more honest, perfectly imperfect people like you in the world!

  66. Wow. Thank you for sharing. You are powerful and I along with thousands of others are so grateful you are here to share. Really good work, woman.

  67. Thank you so much for sharing this! Knowing that you managed to share your story and to touch so many of us while suffering a panic attack means so much to me. I feel that much more empowered to continue through mine <3

  68. Your talk was funny. And sad. And real. Thank you for putting yourself out there so the rest of us know we aren’t alone. 🙂

  69. That was AWESOME! Didn’t see any panic attack. You handled yourself with beautiful grace, honesty, and sincerity. Well done, Ms. Lawson!

  70. I so needed that. I’m dealing with my own demons and I’m trying to come to term with them. Thank you for sharing

  71. Thank you, Jenny for being brave enough to share this. I have many family members who suffer from depression and every little bit of awareness helps us all. God bless you.

  72. I am so proud of you. Your message of sharing my story is meaningful to me. I should share but it is hard because my family believes I should just rub some dirt on it and go for walks and I’ll be fine. They don’t know that the only thing that stopped me from suicide 6 months after my husband died in 2018 was that I wanted to get my finances and affairs in order. I am happy the practical side of my brain took over.

    Thank you for being you.

  73. You are an amazing person. Thank you for the talk, and for the way you keep fighting.

  74. This popped up on my Twitter feed exactly when I needed it. Thank you, your work and your words are a huge inspiration and a crucial coping strategy. Thank you, Jenny, for being so open and for being yourself.

  75. You are pure starlight, my fellow TRD warrior 🌟 and inspire me to keep fighting. (Currently in KAP.) Thank you for talking/writing/being.

  76. Jenny, please keep sharing your story. Please. The most insidious thing about depression, the one thing that it reinforces,more than anything else, is the self-isolation that makes a deep spiral nearly impossible to escape. Sharing your story helps save lives, and helps others consider the idea that perhaps they should seek help. So please, please keep sharing your funny and funny-awful moments. Your stories mean more than you know, to others.

  77. You’re a hero to so many, me included. Keep telling your stories. Keep sharing your humor and honesty. #iam25

  78. Wonderful Ted talk. Didn’t notice any change in your voice. Thank you for being you and sharing your truth. Sending much love!

  79. I’m incredibly proud of you and everyone who shares their story. Well done. Bravo!

  80. Your talk was amazing! Real, honest, and injected with your own brand of humor and voice. I’d have only enjoyed it more if I had been there to see it live. Depression is a damn dirty liar and I hope we continue making strides forward to help all those affected by it. Keep telling your stories; I’ll start sharing mine.

  81. I’m crying. I’m sending hugs. I couldn’t even tell where the minute was edited out. You’re amazing.

    I’m trying to emerge from a depressive episode. I found out a few minutes ago that the drug the doctor wanted me to try, that I couldn’t get by any conventional means, will be given to me via samples. It’s $1210/month with GoodRx. I’m hopeful and scared and skeptical.

  82. it’s beautiful, Jenny. every second. thank you for sharing so much with us and building this community of wonderful weirdos <3

    ps: i need that dress

  83. Authentically honest. How inspiring. I wish I could be. But I try. And I am getting better. And you push me forward. And I think someday that push will send me over the cliff and I will Thank you!!

  84. That was fantastic, thanks for sharing, and enduring the pain I know it caused you to do so. I know it sucks so much sometimes, I appreciate you! <3

  85. This is beautiful and perfect. I cried the entire time, not because it made me sad but because it inspired me and filled me with pride for how much you have overcome to be on that stage. The world is better because you are in it, Jenny. Thank you for staying with us.

  86. I only heard a couple of “ums.” Depression is not the only thing that lies–so does self-consciousness. You sounded stronger, calmer, and better than you think you did. You sounded like a professional speaker.

  87. Thanks, nicely done. Remember that you’re (we’re) usually much better than we tend to believe about ourselves.

  88. Oh Jenny- how glad I am for a voice like yours to inform and educate those that don’t “get” mental illness.I grew up in TX and was laughing so loud at your book about Ag classes (and how true it is) that my kids thought I was watching a funny movie. My husband requests you on Audible because he loves your Rory stories. Please, please know and believe that you are a shining star for those of us that suffer and that I am so very proud of you for getting on that stage and sharing your life with all of us but most especially to us weirdos. All the feels, Kendra

  89. You are such an inspiration and so brave. You make me want to try harder for myself. Sending congrats on this accomplishment and lots of love to you.

  90. Wow I got goosebumps! I have shared your books with many of my friends and I must share one review.

    “I have been blessed in the fact that I have not yet had experienced mental illness, the book [furiously happy] helped me understand those who are in a much better way.”

  91. I love your bravery. It inspires me in all sorts of ways in many parts of my life. “If Jenny can do that, I can try one more time to lope my horse”

  92. I teach online classes for artists, and generally in the first post oeach class, I apologize for saying “umm” so often in my lesson videos. My theory is that my brain is racing ahead of my mouth, and that little “umm” is the time it takes to get the two to sync up. If I spoke at the speed of my thoughts, I’d sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

  93. Thank you for sharing Jenny. Inspiring. I realized that I don’t share my story. I’m going to try. By the way, you have a lovely speaking voice.

  94. Thank you on behalf of my mother, who killed herself after dozens of suicide attempts, on my 25th birthday; thank you on behalf of my grandmother, who died in a mental institute after being in it for most of her life; thank you on behalf of my great-aunt, who died of old age in a mental institute, where she was since she was 16 years old. Their stories need telling, but no one will ever know what they went through. Thank you for telling YOUR story to all of us — we need to be open, we need to tell the stories so mental illness is no longer hidden and silent.

  95. I am not #25, but I am someone who needs the little boosts here and there I get from Jenny and the tribe. I thank you all for being such incredible people and helping me to survive at a much higher level than before!

  96. Your talk brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for being so brave, and making me think – even just for a moment – that I can be brave too. Thank you for your stories….


  97. You made me cry, in a good way. My husband suffers from anxiety and depression. I suffer from anxiety, my mother has suffered from depression her whole life. Both my grandmothers suffered from depression, one suicided. Both my grandfathers suffered from depression and were alcoholics. My father suffered from depression and disappeared when I was young, he was well on his way to becoming an alcoholic and addict. All my aunts and uncles suffer from varying degrees of depression and/or anxiety. I have a cousin who is bi-polar, and only found out after her daughter was diagnosed, (who also suicided.) This Christmas my young nephew told me and other people at the end of a long table at dinner that he was really depressed and he wished he wasn’t alive so he wouldn’t feel “like this anymore.” I spoke with his father as we were leaving to make sure he knew that his son needed help. Depression lies, anxiety paralyzes, mental illness runs in families. When people self medicate with addictive substances that only make things so much worse. It is only in sharing your pain, asking for help, fighting for your right to proper treatment, fighting for your life, reaching out to help others, struggling to survive they we make the world a better place for all of us living with these illnesses/disorders/conditions. When we all stand together and shout out our truth, we lift up the people around us who are unable to see the light. We can be the instrument of the cures we need so desperately. Thank you Jenny, so much for being our beacon of light! And thank you to all the people who comment here, who make it possible for us to see we are not alone, depression lies, and we can be victorious in our lives by sharing, fighting for ourselves, and fighting for others.

  98. Ohmigod, that looks so scary, but you did a great job. No matter that I’ve heard the story of the folder of 24 a few times already, you made me cry (at work).

    Thanks for all that you do with your stories.

  99. Thank you for sharing your story. Your Tedx talk made me cry in a really good way. It was only as an adult that I found out both sides of my family have some history of mental illness, and when I discovered that, I felt a profound sense of relief about my own mental health issues. (And it irritated me that family swept it under the rug for so long.)

  100. I was with you on this, like with chills. And I cried. Needed to hear this today. Thank you seems not enough.

  101. Brilliant job. Thank you for always keeping the light on for us strangelings….

  102. I have watched a lot of Ted talks but I have to say that had to be the most beautiful one I’ve seen. Great job and thank you for speaking your truth, it has brought me comfort more times than you will ever know <3

  103. Thank you Jenny for sharing. I can hear the shortness of breath and anxiety in your voice and that is SO familiar to me. I adore your courage and strength to go through with it. So proud of you lady!!!

  104. It was so beautiful, you are so beautiful. You are one of the people making a big difference. You’ve given us all your voice and this community. We all love you ❤️

  105. Thank you, Jenny for always being honest and hopeful. Your TED TALK was great. You are great. You help to fight the stigma of depression. I remember when you first wrote about TMS in your blog. I am didn’t understand how it could help. I was afraid that it would do damage to my brain and mind. Last time year I had the worst depression I had ever experienced. I am as suicidal for 2 months. My meds weren’t working, I couldn’t work, I had given up. Every day was a struggle and I hurt the people around me who were trying to help me. When my therapist recommended TMS to me my first response was no way am I going to do that. Then I remembered that you had the courage to have the TMS treatment. I realized that I needed to do something different because the medication and the therapy was as no longer helping me. I have had 10 treatments of TMS and I feel a change. I feel calmer and I am not anxious all of the time. I have never felt this before. It is because of your courage that I was willing to try this. It has changed my life in so many ways. I am forever grateful. Thank you

  106. Depression lies. In so many ways. This one is great. You did a fantastic job.

  107. I am so inspired and comforted at the same time after watching your talk. Thank you for doing this. (By the way, I didn’t notice one single um and I was hanging on every word. Brilliant!)

  108. Thank you ❤️ I have listend to your audiobooks many times. So sometimes when life gets tough, I can hear your voice in my head telling me is going to be ok and that I shouldn’t give up. Such a lovely speech. You are brave and brilliant.

  109. Oh how brave you are to get on a stage especially in mid depression. You made me realize that I have been holding back my story as a form of protecting others from some darkness instead of using it as a light through darkness. Thank you.

  110. Thank you for sharing your story.
    I’m in tears. I really needed to hear this, thank you

  111. BRAVO, Jenny. Just shared across all my platforms, with link to your blog!
    And she did it, ANY WAY. Way to go, Jenny Lawson <3 #MentalHealthAwareness #EndTheStigma #depression #anxiety #FuriouslyHappy

  112. I just finished watching it and honestly whispered, under my breath, “Good job, you!” You did amazing!

  113. You are a BEACON OF LIGHT, Jenny! Thank you for being a shining star for all of us to follow.

  114. You told your story and looked and sounded lovely doing it! Congratulations!!!

  115. Courage is looking the thing that scares you in the face…and doing it anyway. Well done, you. <3

  116. Thank you. For all the people you have and continue to help (including me). For providing a forum for us to help and support each other. Your Ted Talk was inspiring, wonderful, honest, loving… Thank you.

  117. I am so proud of you, you did amazing! I personally would have liked to see the awkward minute to remind me that I can have a panic attack and still do the thing, but I wouldn’t want anyone triggered so I’ll just have to remember that it’s there.

  118. I wrote the above comment before watching it, so I was still in “Ooh, Ted Talk” shock. This was moving and courageous. Thank you for sharing, and for allowing us to share.

  119. Thank you for sharing. I took a personal day and needed to see this. I’m currently 12 weeks pregnant and having to lower my medication (I’m Bipolar) and the anxiety is bubbling away beneath the surface because of it. I just couldn’t be around the people today without panic. I was first introduced to you years ago by my mother and I still randomly pull up Beyonce for strangers to read. Thank you for all you share 💕 -Mandi

  120. Your Talk was amazing. Thank you so much for doing that. Also, I love your voice!

  121. Jenny, you did amazing! Thanks for being strong enough to speak out for all our family members suffering with depression.

  122. You did that so, so well. Such a powerful and important message delivered with humor and love. It had to be pretty terrifying (that’s the word that comes to mind for me, at least) so thank you for powering through for everyone who needs to hear it. You are amazing, lady.

  123. Thank you. I typed part of my story, but decided I couldn’t do it right now. I appreciate you more than you can guess.

  124. AMAZING! It gave me goosebumps. What courage you displayed. In the face of fear you stepped up. Can I say I’m proud of you? I don’t really know you but WOW! That was something so special. I’ve given talks in front of a large room, it’s not easy and I actually like to do it. Look at how far you have come!

  125. Phil Plait turned me on to your TED story. I don’t think I could do what you did. But you absolutely blew me away. Right away. I’ve been having a very hard time lately, and this made me feel less alone. I’m grateful to you for doing this.

  126. Bravo! So happy for you that you didn’t follow your impulse to run off stage. You’re a hero to so many! May you continue to inspire everyone who is fortunate enough to know you!

  127. Now that is the face of bravery. You have bigger balls then I have, that’s for sure! Well done and a fantastic message we all needed to hear. Thank you for pushing yourself to do this!

  128. Jenny, you are such an inspiration and I love that you are telling your story to make more people aware about mental illness. This is so very important! Your talk was wonderful and refreshing! Keep your lovely voice strong! I’m #25 too! Bless you woman!

  129. As someone who trains people to do TED talks and other speeches, I can assure you that the reason for your standing ovation lies in a phrase you state near the end: “radical honesty and authenticity”. They saw you bringing both to that stage and that’s what connected so beautifully. Huge congratulations to you – you did something very few people have done and it’s going to have such a big impact.

  130. Wow, so amazingly honest and impactful, and brave, and inspiring, and needed, and, and, and…
    Your resilience is truly inspiring and makes me hopeful every day when I feel down. Knowing you almost ran off stage makes watching this powerful, you were able to stay up there in your fabulous red polka dot dress and slippers and share your story to help others. An achievement to always be proud of!

  131. You’re message is so important and you did FANTASTIC. I’m an “um”-er, too. I try not to worry about it and just let it be, because all my energy needs to go toward overcoming anxiety instead. If my brain wants me to “um” in order to get through public story sharing, so be it. Let’s spin it positing. Um Power of the story tellers! 🙂

  132. Thank you so very much dear sweet brave story telling lady. You did such an amazing job. Your talk came straight from your heart and it was incredible. Life is not easy but when we surround ourselves with supportive people and people who love us with our flaws and all it makes it easier to live…to know life is worth it and we are worth it. Stories are what connect us and we should always share ours and listen to others and feel that connection. Thank you again.

  133. Jenny, thank you so very much for sharing and your honesty. I feel like we are all holding hands in a big circle supporting one another.

  134. That was beautiful. I am still crying as I write this. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your life with us. You are a gift to the world.

  135. You did great, keep fighting the battle. Love you from afar – not in a creepy way LOL

  136. Thank you so much, Jenny. I needed to hear your words today. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story to help others. You are truly a magnificent gift to this world. Thank you again for being everything you are already.

  137. I started TMS in November and it’s only because of you. I made a promise to my husband I would never try suicide again, but this past year I didn’t get out of bed. I showered every two weeks. The doctor kept upping this medicine and I kept getting worse. So finally I said enough, I want TMS. I’m still in treatment, it’s HELL for my migraines, but my attitude has improved and I’m getting out of bed and cleaning and doing stuff. I have my personality back. That’s HUGE. I am married to the best man alive, no doubt, he is patient and kind, considerate, loving, and I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for him and for you. Thank you for sharing your story and for teaching me that depression lies. It kept me safe. Now I just have to fix my migraine issue and I’ll join society again. Great job on the talk!

  138. Still crying…thank you so much, Jenny – and thank you to all the lovely commenters on this blog. You all give me hope and strength.

  139. I loved your speech, Jenny. The world needs more people like you. You wanted people to share their stories right, well I have one.
    My name is Joseph Simon. I’m 19 years old. I’m currently in college right now. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was just two years old. I would set up my tonka trucks in a row on my bed which displayed my patterns of thinking. I was not a normal child. But normal is a subjective term. I’ve suffered from some depression myself. I did not know that I had Asperger’s Syndrome until around tenth or eleventh grade, when I self-diagnosed myself with it, and then asked my parents about it. They confirmed my self-diagnosis. When I was younger, I would try to adapt to certain social situations. I would try to make friends and impress the ones that I had. This is the worst mistake that I have made in my life. I was bullied throughout grade school. In high school, during class, people used to play dog whistles so loud to take advantage of my hearing sensitivities. When they learned that they couldn’t insult me, because I knew that everything they said was false, they resorted to throwing things at me. The abuse at school wouldn’t stop until the very end of high school, on the last day in eleventh grade. But if I am going to write a memoir, they are going to be the first people who I thank. I’ll tell you why. But first you have to understand something. On my spare time, I used to practice math problems and math proofs for fun just to pass the time. A pen and paper was all I needed, or a sharpened pencil and paper, it really didn’t matter very much. I asked myself why they bullied me? I asked myself about their motivations for bullying me. So I used the logic that I use in problem solving and math proofs to answer the question. I defined each word in the question, and I defined those definitions. As i did so, I ended up defining the whole questions entirely. They bullied me because I put them at a disadvantage. But what I found wasn’t that. It was a follow up to that. They bullied me because I was smarter than them. They bullied me and attempted to sabotage my ability to learn in the classroom because they couldn’t succeed where I could. They couldn’t evolve like I did. You see, the only way they could have a possible chance at success, was where they were completely emotionally satisfied. Where they didn’t have to learn at all. I remember helping one of them in sixth or seventh grade with a math test. Not realizing that person was taking a test, I accidentally told them all of the answers to it, as they revealed to me after the test. They can’t go through life learning something new. They can’t go through life with any challenge whatsoever. That was the difference between me and them. It was why they envied me so much, why they hated me so much. They would tell you it was because I told on them. But if that were true, they wouldn’t be interrupting or sabotaging the learning. It would mean that they would avoid me and stop bothering me. But they didn’t stop. The reason why they hated me so much was because they couldn’t take advantage of me anymore. They couldn’t parasite off my work, brain, or as they would see it but not explicitly say it, “my services”. They were also the reason why I was too afraid to talk to girls. In the corrupted social norms in my elementary and middle schools, talking to girls would make someone seem “childish” or not masculine, as they would have it but not explicitly state it. When high school came I could only attend an all boys high school. I didn’t have a lot of chances to meet or talk to girls. and at the time that I did, I didn’t quite know how to talk to them or interact effectively with them. I still struggle with it now. But these people who bullied me in high school, they led me to think. They are one of the reasons why I write philosophy, why I ask myself why things are. Why I think analytically. Why I can answer almost any question that I can get my hands on, as long as I can define the words within it. However, I still struggle with relationships and making friends. And I do take medications for my serotonin imbalance. Despite the people who I encountered, despite what I’ve been through, and despite evolving to the situations I faced, I still don’t know how to talk to a girl or engage with a girl in regular conversation without creeping them out. I don’t know how to do it. I’ve been doing everything in my power possible to find a correct methodology to talking to girls. I don’t want to stay single for the rest of my life. I want to make friends with girls. So that’s also part of what I go through. I want to date online. I want to make friends with girls online. When I think about it, those who bullied me weren’t inherently mean spirited. They just lacked what I didn’t. The desire to challenge themselves. The desire to think like I did. They were afraid of what their friends thought of them. Consciously and unconsciously they were afraid of what their friends thought of them. But the truth is, they are currently just as lost as I was back then. They needed help. They didn’t have any urging to evolve intellectually like I did. Right now I practice Calculus problems and I didn’t even take the course. I’ve answered questions about philosophy such as the question, what is the true meaning of life? That’s my story that I wanted to share with you.

  140. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your courage is awe inspiring and a tremendous help. While I love my family and friends, I’m quite certain they do not want to hear my story. Having listened to you, I will give this further thought.
    You are beautiful inside and out.

  141. Bawling. I am overflowing with compassion and gratitude for your story, Jenny.

  142. That was wonderful! Thank you. I needed it today especially. Still weepy from watching. Bless your dear heart for being so brave. Love to you!

  143. I am so proud of you. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging others to do the same, or not, as they see fit. Love to you.

  144. I loved the Ted Talk Jenny. I have the variety pack of invisible disabilities going on in my family–and at least one kid who is also letter 25. I am so grateful. I did a Ted Talk up here about telling story a few years back. Thought you might like a listen when you have a moment. All the best. Kelley Jo in Saskatchewan.

  145. Amazing job!

    When I had breast cancer a few years ago at age 41, I cried while I was in the hospital waiting for my surgery. The next day I posted to my Facebook page that I felt like I was no longer brave, because I had cried. A friend told me something I will never forget. She said: “Being brave doesn’t mean not being scared. Being brave means being scared, AND DOING IT ANYWAY.”

    You, my dear, are VERY BRAVE.

  146. You are amazing, and your story has helped many. I am letter 25, I have battled sexual abuse, violence, thet has led to an adulthood of depression anxiety and self harm. You are an inspiration, I have to remember what you say “depression lies”. Thank you for sharing all the darkness, and the ridiculous laugh out loud hilarity of your writing. Depression lies, you are loved, you are needed.

  147. I loved this so much. Thank you for sharing, and continuing to share. I have a number of friends who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders, and the things you have shared have helped me understand them so much better. It also helped me seek treatment for the anxiety-driven insomnia I have suffered from since my teens.

  148. You are so brave. I wish I could be so. Thank you for showing us it’s not impossible.

  149. Stunning. I love you, your fake sweat absorbing hair, and your dress. I HATE anxiety and panic attacks. Well done.

  150. Jenny, you are such an inspiration to me. Your talk was moving and touching and brilliant, and I’m so glad I got to see it. Also, as a sweat-ridden anxiety girl myself, I’m gonna steal your ponytail idea.

  151. I love the line “radical honesty” – the world needs that now more than ever. Thank you!!!

  152. January is a bad month for me….I’m usually in a pretty deep depression and this year is no different. Thank you for helping me feel worthy. Thank you for your bravery and inspiration!

  153. Really lovely and important message. Something I struggle with, that maybe people can speak to, is when is the story NOT yours to tell? Mental illness is in our lives but taking about it might not be what a partner or family member wants. Talking helps one person and makes another uncomfortable. What do we do?

  154. I have been following your blog for years, and this is the first time I am actually commenting. I just want to say thank you for putting yourself out there and helping to break the stigma of mental illness. I am a nurse, yet I still feel awkward sharing my struggles with others in the medical community. Your writing has helped me immensely when no one else around me understands what I am going through. Depression definitely lies when it tells me I am alone and worthless. Thank you so much for all you do. You will never know how many lives you have touched.

  155. DUUUUUUUDE. I’m totally crying.
    That’s awesome.
    You’re awesome.
    The end.

  156. Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart for being you and for being here. We need you just as you are, perfectly imperfect, shatteringly honest, and still able to laugh. You deserve all the ovations. Some heroes have fake hair sweat mops instead of capes.

  157. You are amazing!! Touched me so deeply. Having a hard time right now. Thank you for speaking for all of us. ❤️

  158. Thank you so much for sharing YOUR story Jenny. You are very courageous and I am proud of you for what you have done.

  159. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story. What a wonderful difference you are making in our world! To all the 25s – you are enough and so many people who don’t know you care about you!

  160. Should not have listened to that while driving… Thank you, Jenny. You are loved and worth loving. ♥️

  161. Jenny, you are such an amazing, wonderful person, and I’m so proud of you for this ❤

  162. I only just found your blog (Thanks Reddit!). I cried watching your Ted talk. I’m in the midst of a deep depression and having issues with my own personality disorder and anxiety. Problems that I thought I was over and buried. I needed to hear these stories and have the encouragement. Thank you.

  163. Thank you for your courage, honesty, humor, resilience, and kick-ass way of always being authentically and endearingly you. Love & hugs to you, your family, and this beautiful tribe. You matter. We all matter.

  164. I am so grateful for you, Jenny. You are so right about how important stories are, and how realizing we’re not alone can make all the difference. I kept the reality of my life secret (or so I thought) for many years, and it wasn’t until I started opening up to people that I was finally able to break free and get on the path to my real, authentic existence. It’s messy, and imperfect, and riddled with mental breakdowns. But I feel free for the first time in as long as I can remember.
    Much love. xo

  165. Thank you so much Jenny! You are a true warrior princess! I have been slipping, but your story helped me cry and not keep it inside for a little bit. I feel so ashamed of my mental illness. It’s all kept hush, hush around me. Why is it so degradable compared to other illnesses? Thank you for speaking for all of us here and elsewhere. I’m sending a big hug to you, sweetheart ♥️

  166. Yay Jenny!! You did it! You looked beautiful, sounded beautiful, and said words that are important for everyone to hear. Thank you for being vulnerable!

  167. I’m so proud of you, Jenny. Thanks for sharing your story with all of us. Thanks for making us feel like we’re not alone. Much love! Xoxox

  168. Yes, Jenny, yes. I loved your talk, your stories and your encouragement to share our stories. I have depression too, and I found this inspiring and hopeful. Thank you so much for having the courage to embrace who you are and share it on that big stage. I hope I can do the same someday. With love, Elise

  169. You are such an inspiration. I am so proud of you! Thank you for continuing to be your authentic self and sharing it all with us. Much love & respect, Tracy

  170. Beautiful! Thank you so much for telling your stories and encouraging more… ❤️

  171. Thank you for sharing your story. I am not ready to share mine. Truth be told, I am in a black black place. How can I really know that depression lies when it feels like it is being truthful?

  172. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂 It is coming up on four years since I was directed to your blog and your books and stories changed my life. Thank you so unbelievably much for sharing your story.

  173. Girl, it’s time for a Super Soul Sunday with Oprah to share your story! 🙂 Your courage (both in this Ted talk and in your blog) is breathtaking. Isn’t it amazing how shining a light on the deepest, darkest, most vulnerable and hidden areas of our lives can actually liberate us? Keep speaking your truth, JL! -L.

  174. Jenny, you are a goddess. I often think about my little man, who is on the autism spectrum. In times past, he would have suffered the same fate as your grandmother. 🙁 Things keep getting better, but damn! They are hard enough to deal with now. I love my kiddo. My truth is that it is exhausting and sometimes I have to choose between him and myself in terms of who I take care of that day. Sucks. Thanks for listening. Thanks for sharing.

  175. The Ted Talk was amazing. What a brave thing to do! I SO wish I could speak in public. It terrifies me.

  176. Your bravery and grace are amazing! I love that you shared your story and so many people have been helped because of that sharing. You rock!

  177. I love how real your talk is. So many TED talks are so rehearsed and polished that they lose something. Yours feels true and real and honest. Thank you.

  178. You were awesome! I’m going to share this with people in my life who this will help understand why I act weird. 🙃

  179. I loved it. You came across as articulate, genuine, passionate, and maybe a little bit terrified, but all of it rolled out into a courageous talk. I’ll definitely be watching it again.

  180. Thank you so much for being an advocate in talking about depression. I am #25 and it took a long time, even with therapy, to admit that. You are such a special person. Much love <3

  181. Jenny, I will never not be amazed by your courage. This world is brighter because you’re in it.

  182. Wow!!!! You rocked it! The talk was powerful, passionate, real and you connected to the audience authentically. I know how hard we can be on ourselves – our own worst critics – we can’t really enjoy a job well done – we focus on all the minor mistakes – if only, I could have said this, I paused, I blinked too much, I should have phrased it this way, I breathed too much – yada, yada fucking yada ……. You accomplished what you set out to do – you shared your struggle, and spoke with compassion about not only those whose are currently on this journey but those who came before us who were literally in the dark. My Aunt experienced Electrco shock therapy in the 1950’s when she was just 20 years old – she was schizophrenic and remained lost to my Mom, her only sister, her whole life. I only knew her as a lost soul. There is so much we do not know. What I do know is that you are helping by being a beacon in a dark place. Thank you.

  183. Brilliantly done. Thank you for your courage. Also, were you wearing your fuzzy slippers? They looked very comfy!!

  184. i am one that becomes uncomfortable watching someone that is uncomfortable, but I found myself becoming more confident as you continued to fight for every word! In the end, I was in tears of joy as I felt like we both made it and I was so inspired.

    People search for the ‘why’ all the time, but each person’s story IS the ‘why’! Our worth is not in our ability to change everything wrong we experience, but to share a piece of ourself and know that it always makes a difference. The reason that you matter, Jenny, is not because you are a famous author and ‘accomplished’ TED Talk presenter … it’s because your story is uniquely and wonderfully yours! You have things to say and share that nobody else will ever have! It’s this uniqueness that makes us all special even in our shared weaknesses. It’s this uniqueness in ALL of us that touches others when we least expect it. #love

  185. I was really touched by your openness. We have depression in my family. My Mother had it. I have it and some of my children have it. You made mr feel like I’m not alone. Thank you. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for your honesty.

  186. God. Just. God. I’ve watched it 3 times in a row now. So good. All of it. So good. But especially the first 5 minutes. On a much, much tinier scale, all that stuff happened to me. Had a blog, talked about other stuff forever. In my case, it was Robin Williams suicide that pushed me to start writing about my own struggles with mental illness. But I didn’t finish it. I couldn’t. Hit too close to home. So there it sat. Until Carrie Fisher died. Then I finished it and took a deep breath and published it. And oh my god the same thing happened to me that happened to you! Most of the people that had left comments on my other entries, friends, metaphorical “family”, people I called “sisters”…..stayed quiet. Or worse, were dismissive. Didn’t believe it. Didn’t believe me, when I wrote about suddenly developing anxiety. Were assholes and wondered out loud how I could “suddenly get anxiety around us, your sisters.” So yeah, most stayed quiet. But there were also some friends, and a lotta new friends who, like with your entry, wrote “I thought I was the only one.” They felt less alone. And I felt less alone. And now, tho I don’t write as much as I’d like to, I have basically written exclusively about mental illness since that first entry. Maybe I’ll get back to it in 2020. Thank you for your existence. For writing “Seriously is it just me?” all those years ago, which was the first time I came across you, and thus started to feel less alone. Thank you for introducing me to so many wonderful people. #NeverAlone Thank you for this Ted Talk. It was amazing. ❤️

  187. it’s you Jenny. You are open and witty. An inspiration and a kind word. Depression is a F%king liar. We care about you and send good wishes your way.

  188. Thank you Jenny for doing this. Just thank you. Thank you for every word you have written. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for being you.

  189. I’m so impressed! You did beautifully! You had me at the very first fuck it. I bet it was huge relief to be done though. I don’t think I could have done this, so bravo to you! Thanks for sharing!

  190. You were absolutely brilliant, Jenny!! Thank you for your courage….it means the world to us.

  191. Thank you for you bravery, for sharing yourself, reminding us we aren’t alone and that we all have a story that is worth sharing. Thank you!!!

  192. Jenny, I teared up when you mentioned being “worth” the treatment. I’ve started EMDR for my anxiety, but I cancel the appointments often because it takes away money from my family and makes me feel selfish. I’m calling right now to schedule a session. I’m fucking worth it!

  193. You, Jenny, the Bloggess, are a 100 percent Goddess! Thank you for sharing your story! 🙂


  194. Jenny, you inspire in every single day. In big, huge, grand ways but also in small, quite, so-important ways. Thank you for being you and thank you for telling your story.

  195. I don’t have anxiety or triggers, so while I understand them editing out the panic attack, I think I would have liked to experience it with you? I mean, you made me cry happy-for-you tears anyway, so I don’t have a problem with ME crying scared-for-you tears, too. Anyway, that was so brave and lovely, Jenny. Maybe I’ll start sharing more of my stories this year! Thank you #NotAlone #ShareYourStory

  196. You are so freaking amazing Jenny! That talk was awesome. What a treat to see your smile while I hear your voice. Your voice that was a witness to so many of my meltdowns. I would listen to your books over and over because even on the bad days they gave me hope that things would get better. I learned that it would get bette, and then worse, and then better again! And I could handle whatever it was because I had hope…and I wasn’t alone. I am also # 25. ❤️

  197. I am actually nearly done with TMS…they switched the protocol a month in, because it wasn’t working. It’s still not. Which is horribly discouraging, because I actually HOPED that it would, and I don’t hope for much. At my mid-way appointment with my psychiatrist, she made a big deal, however, of pointing out all the other options I have for treatment, with the emphasis being this: TMS is not the end of the road for me. I really needed her to say that. And I really NEED to hear your continuing stories, because I’m working on hanging onto my own continuing story. So thanks. A lot.

  198. Thank you so much for everything you do Jenny. You have inspired me to be more open (and inspired this post). Thank you!

  199. This speech was absolutely wonderful. ‘Diamond in the rough’ is the description that comes to my mind. It’s beautiful due do the fact that it’s not as polished as you’d like, but it’s authentic and beautiful in the raw humanity it expresses. Emphasizing the struggles of depression and mental health that many of us feel in a variety of different ways, but we all deserve treatment. That being said, laughter is great medicine and I know many of your blogs, books, and stories bring smiles and laughter to me and many people. Keep being the best you, you can be and keep giving depression that middle finger! Thank you <3

  200. I have trouble telling my loved ones I am depressed. They say, “what are you depressed about?” And then either try to fix it with advice, or tell me what I’m feeling is something everybody goes through, and my feelings are no different from anyone else’s. They don’t seem to understand that I really can’t help it, and it can’t be fixed with advice. I feel so alone.
    Thank you for sharing. You give me hope.

  201. Hats (and pony tails) off to you, Jenny, for sharing your story and encouraging the rest of us to share ours. Your slippers added just the right homey touch to your talk. We love you.

  202. I’ve started this comment about 7 times… thank you for encouraging those who can to share their stories, and for acknowledging that there are endless way to share a story, and that there is no requirement to do so. Thank you for working through your own in-the-moment anxiety to share more of your humanity with us.

  203. Wow! Jenny, you are truly amazing! Thank you for being an inspiration to me and so many others.

  204. Jenny, you are amazing and your talk was inspiring AND you have the most beautiful voice!!!

  205. You did an amazing job! Thank you for fighting the stigma of mental illness. You should be proud of yourself for doing something so hard

  206. Thank you for being a storyteller Jenny! A life-changing, authentic, loving, brave, and humorous woman! You share such vulnerabilities that it makes people feel like they are BFF’s with you. Love you lady!

  207. Thank you, Jenny. You’re my hero. Your blog is a blessing, it’s one of the only things that I’ve found that makes me smile,(and laugh). I’m working on getting into TMS thanks to you. 42 years of being a #25 and counting. Keep on keeping on!!

  208. Thank you! You are a beautiful beautiful person and should be very proud of sharing your experiences. This was fabulous.

  209. I needed this today. Thank you for everything and continuing to remind all of us that we are not alone. I started new medication last week and am in the middle of a big move around the world that I am not ready for. I cried in front of my boss for almost 3 hours today, and he helped me by coming over and loading all of the furniture I was not keeping into his truck to take to his church / goodwill / the dump as required. Another friend also volunteered to send her husband over with his truck, as “he loves going to the dump”. Just a reminder that people will help and you don’t have to do everything yourself.

  210. It was wonderful to hear you talk about your story and through that, hear pieces of the stories of others. Your books have always helped me when I’m in a dark place to remember that depression and anxiety lie.

  211. This is so, so important! Thank you for putting yourself out there in spite of your personal discomfort. You are helping many people find their way.

  212. I am in tears because you are truly amazing. I am in awe of you. Thank you for doing this.

  213. I teared up several times during your talk. You did a wonderful job! I hope that you know how much you telling your stories helps us. I wish I could give you a hug.

  214. By the brief looks we got of the audience, I think they may not have gotten Jenny or they disapproved of swearing or they were constipated. But it was great Jenny. I couldn’t tell where the anxiety attack was, and your message is so needed. Thanks for sharing and giving hope. I loved your fake hair and Ted talk dress! I am praying for Dorothy B.

  215. I experience panic attacks when I drive on the freeway and it is becoming almost debilitating for me. Does anyone have recommendations for me? Where to start to work my way out of this?

  216. You did wonderfully. We aren’t alone and your willingness to put your story out there for the world to see has made possible for people like us to be a part of a loving, understanding community.

  217. It was pretty. And if it was polished it wouldn’t reach deep into people the way you do.

  218. You did such a good job! Being brave enough to go out there while terrified is a testament to your strength. Thank you for speaking for all of us. ❤️

  219. Well done. I applaud your bravery. I have a hard time sharing my story, because I don’t want to be perceived as anxious, especially to possible clients or my employer. Sharing on the internet makes it so public, anyone can find it. But I wonder if I’m fooling anyone by keeping silent. Oh, I hint about it on my blog, I skirt the edges of the beast. But I don’t dive in, I don’t admit, “My name is Diane, and I’m a hypochondriac who battles anxiety and therefore limits her world.” Plus, I don’t want to focus on it and give it more energy. I don’t want to be defined as “the anxious one,” “the problem child.” That said, I suspect more people are anxious than not, and we all have that spidey-sense that senses the anxiety in others.

  220. Thank you, Jenny!!! That was more amazing then I thought it would be!! You’re a hero to so many, for so many reason already, and now, there’s one more. The anxiety in your voice, the shortness of breath, are so common for me, and it made me feel as though I could accomplish some of my scariest goals because you stood on that stage, and gave a speech from the heart. Thank you for all you do, and for all that your followers do. At one time, I was a 25, but back then, there’s wasn’t someone like you to show me I wasn’t alone. I’m glad that there is now, in you, for all the other people out there that struggle. ❤️ ❤️❤️

  221. Thank you so much, Jenny. I’m crying a little as I write this. You have had such an enormous impact on my life through your writing, and I can’t thank you enough for it. Signed, Another 25.

  222. You’re speech was great! What you say applies to everyone. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t at one time or another in their life suffered from an anxiety or panic attack. We can all benefit from your wisdom.

  223. oh my dear woman. what can I say. And they gave you a standing ovation. You earned it, and you deserved it.

  224. Thanks for sharing this. You’re so inspiring, and are the reason I have been able to talk to some people about my own mental illness. I’m not entirely open open it yet, but you, and people like you, are helping me get there.

  225. Girl, good job! Your are so brave. Currently using a “Happy” light so I don’t want to jump off a bridge as I usually do mid-January. Light therapy is amazing!

  226. So, I’m as totally blown away by the dress as I am by your words: unique, fabulous, and totally perfect for the occasion in a way that only you could do. 🥰

  227. I hope you take this the way it’s intended because sometimes I am no good with words and things, but even your worst times, your darkest times, your hardest times shine a light that helps me find my way. <3

  228. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging others. I am not that brave. I appreciate that you said it was okay not to be that brave. Your books, your blog, and your commenting community may someday make me brave enough. For now they help me live one more day and hope for courage to share.

  229. Thank you for helping to erase the stigma of mental illness. It was very brave of you to go on that stage and share your stories. I admire your honesty.

  230. You did great. Thank you. Keep helping others and remember you are worth helping too.

  231. You made me cry, in a good way, twice. Thank you for being so brave and persistent in your message. Whew, I’m trying to be brave myself. It’s not easy, but I’m being called to tell the ugly truth.

  232. I commend your bravery… and the bravery of anyone willing to share their truth. I hope you remember this moment the next time Depression starts to lie to you… it’s an epic example of how awesome you are and how the world has been made so much better for having you in it.

  233. I watched the video before I read your blog entry. Honestly (and I’m critical!), I did NOT notice the edit, and I think you did beyond amazingly! I also realized that I really like the sound quality of your voice. It’s soft, high, sweet, and kind.

    I’d read your descriptions in months past about how you thought you did when you first recorded the talk. And then, when I watched the video, I thought, “Wow, she did so much better than she described!” I kept waiting for the awkward part, but it never came, and the edit where it was didn’t register. I also wasn’t struck by too many “Um”s.

    Thank you for your strength. It is truly inspiring and so helpful to SO MANY!

  234. You were amazing!!! I don’t think I would have been able to do that without crying. I kept tearing up just listening to you. My social anxiety makes me sweat a lot, too, especially on my face. Then I get embarrassed which makes me sweat more. I really hate it. But you looked great. I love that dress! Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story with all of us.

  235. You are amazing. This speech was amazing. It was honest and raw. Thank you for sharing.

  236. Thank you! Thanks for gathering your self together to make this TED talk. I can only imagine how hard that must have been. I have family members who have had and are having similar experiences. Fortunately, their stories are still being written by them. And, they are sharing the stories bit by bit.

  237. You are so genuine and inspiring! fYI the”um”s just lend to those virtues. It is my personal goal to meet you in person some day to give you a big hug and thank you for all you and your blog, books and incredible sense of humor has meant to me. Or maybe I’ll just say it here so you don’t panic thinking I’m some crazy stalker. 😄

  238. Just watched your Ted Talk and you were great! Thank you for sharing your stories, and especially for taking the leap of faith to include your battles with mental illness. Just considering how many lives you have positively affected is astonishing, and you did that. You did. So thank you.

  239. I think your talk was so important. Aside from your articulate and witty talk, being able to tell your story is such a powerful tool in self-healing and in the healing of the many. Sharing our story leads to others sharing theirs. Thank you for trusting the world with your zany tales. It is a better place because of you.

  240. Thank you! Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story and encouraging others to share theirs. You were magnificent!

  241. Amazeballs. Jenny, you are incredible.

    Can you make a tee-shirt that says “I’m a #25” Then we can know our tribe if we meet them in the wild. Anyone who has to ask what it means, we can tell them, ‘oh, just an inside joke with some friends.’
    People who know what it means will offer comfort and/or applause.

  242. Oh, Jenny. You speak just as beautifully as you write. You’re in inspiration and bright light to so many. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging all of us to share ours.

  243. So happy to see you and hear you on the screen today. Thank you for your courage to be the real you, slippers and all.

  244. That was wonderful, Jenny! I wish I could have seen it in person!

    Telling our stories is a moral imperative! It’s the only way we can get the truth out there and find others with shared experiences. I felt so alone growing up, always told never to tell anyone the truth about what was happening in our family, or I wouldn’t have any friends, according to my mom. I should never have listened to her! Secrets keep you sick! Telling the truth allows healing in a myriad of ways.

    I’m forever grateful that you’ve been able to beat the depression every time it comes calling for you. This world would be entirely too dark without your light shining in it. 💙

  245. I am pretty certain that I am in your folder of 24. On the hardest day of my life, sitting at work, calling a crisis hotline for the first time in my life, trying to stay alive long enough to get to a doctor, I stared at a picture of Beyonce on your doorstep (this was way back when Beyonce was not an international superstar) that I had captioned with a quote from Victor you had shared. He was driving the car, and you had said despairingly that his life would have been easier without you. His response (paraphrase): “It might have been easier, but it wouldn’t have been better.” I didn’t believe it for me, but I just kept staring at it and repeating it until I got to a doctor. My god, has it been 8 years?

    Thank you for these 8 years.

  246. Well. I don’t cry, and I only made it about 3.5 minutes into this before I started sniffling. Jenny, you have a unique ability to strike this magical chord that resonates with so, so many of us. Thanks for being your honest, brave self….and for sharing as much of that self with us as you do. <3

  247. Beautiful and genuine. Bravo, Jenny. May we all make a practice of radical honesty in the search for connectedness. Thank you for this – you’re very brave.

  248. Thank you for your bravery and sharing your stories with us. You say what so many of us are afraid to say or talk about when it comes to our mental health. I listen to your audiobooks in the car every morning and they put a smile on my face and I swear they give me just the extra spoon I need to get through my day. Love you 😍 continue to write and share

  249. I just watched your Tedx Talk. It is so uncanny that you said for us to share our stories. Yesterday, after I took my child to school, I felt this nagging urge to write down part of my story – being the mother of a teenager with depression and anxiety. It was so therapeutic and relieving to get it all out there. I have shared what I have written with only two people so far, two that are familiar with the story. Not sure if I can share with any others just yet, but I do at least have it written down for when I am ready to share.

    Thank you for your honesty and courage to speak on this subject. Thank you for bringing more light to it so that the stigma can be further erased. It is helping people like me be open to others when it comes to what my child needs.

  250. You are a Rockstar. And I’m a number 25. Thank you for going outside your comfort zone to inspire me to go outside of mine. The fact that you didn’t burst into flame on that stage makes me feel as thought maybe, just maybe, I can handle going to HEB today.

  251. You may not feel like it sometimes, but you’re a total rockstar. Thanks for having the strength to do this, and again for sharing it. I missed the build-up but off to watch it now!

  252. You brave and beautiful soul! Thanks for sharing your stories, humor and wit with us to get us through the day as well. xo

  253. My son has depression. I do not. Because he was so young during the worst of it (before finding the right treatment), it was difficult for us to understand what he needed and how to connect with him in ways that were helpful and meaningful and how to improve his quality of life. Hearing you articulate what he lives with has been immensely beneficial as a parent. Also as a human being! I firmly believe that when people share their stories (I’m a storyteller, too), others gain perspective on the world. We are designed to connect. How can we truly connect when we don’t understand each other? Thank you, Jenny.

  254. xxx (or ooo, whichever is the big one) YOU DID IT!!! The emotion in your voice just makes your message hit home harder.. You always make me feel braver and less alone. Always..The world does need our stories.

  255. I’m super late to the party here, but I finally found time to watch your talk and you did WONDERFULLY. I was so impressed and oddly proud as if I’m your mother or something, so that’s kind of weird, but happy. Thank you for sharing this. I don’t suffer from depression (a fact for which I am tremendously grateful) but you are helping me to understand depression better and hopefully not be a jerk to the people in my life who do struggle with it. We ALL need your voice.

    Also, not to dip too shallow before I sign off, but I loved the dress you wore for this!

  256. Thank you so much for this! I’m on Day 3 of listening to Furiously Happy, and I LOVE your voice. (If you ever listen to audiobooks, you’ll know that it’s not just about what is written, but also about the voice and tone and expression of the reader. I haven’t read or listened to your other book(s) yet, but I’m so pleased you insist upon reading your book(s) yourself!)
    I’m grateful to have found your book, and the timing is perfect for me (fellow sufferer of anxiety and depression, and it appears my children do, as well). I am loving the way you share your stories in a humorous tone; I love the way you generously sprinkle my favorite swear words throughout; and I’m pleasantly intrigued by your obsession with taxidermy!
    I look forward to reading (and listening to) more from you, and I’m glad I checked out your blog before finishing the book. I needed this TED talk right now! You did a great job, by the way!!!

  257. Dear Beloved Jenny, My family has enjoyed your stories since we stumbled upon your first book. Many of your stories became part of our family inside jokes, and we have been delighted to have you in our lives. But your real gift came when you shared your mental health challenges, because you have served an an example and an anchor to my beautiful daughter when her struggles with depression and anxiety began. I think some of the most creative and beautiful minds are those that have the deepest struggles. I see that in my daughter and I definitely see it in you too. Thank you for all the out-loud laughing and also for the darker stories. So glad we found you all those years ago and so happy to be connected to you. Great job on the talk. Thank heavens I didn’t watch it at work…still leaking tears.

  258. Thank you Jenny. Thank you for having the strength to stand for so many of us. You make my life better for just being in it: I have been number 25 or 55, 100, 1000 or however many have told you that. Each time you have come to Changing Hands bookstore it feels like hanging out with a good friend, and that is HUGE for me! My anxiety, agoraphobia, and PTSD have kept me from doing so many things but knowing through here that there are so many others in here that are feeling the same feels has kept me passing open windows.

  259. Jenny you absolutely should be proud of your talk and of yourself. You are amazing. You are an inspiration.

  260. Jenny, you are one of the most beautiful human beings on this world. Thanks for sharing and creating a space where we can feel safe and loved.

  261. YOU are a gifted public speaker. I’m sorry that it terrifies you. If you can find your way to do more of it, you should – your voice is loud and clear and we need to hear it. Thank you for sharing yourself in this way.

  262. your amazing speech makes me want to attend a toastmasters club. and please tell where where you got the sweat hair extension. this is a must for me. thanks for the talk. you made my morning coffee taste that much better.

    (Thank you! Amazon. Just look up fake ponytail claw clip. I think it was $20. ~ Jenny)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: