“Maybe you should just smile more.”

So this week was hard mentally for no particular reason other than my brain is an asshole. Yesterday I felt incredibly low and my shrink was like, “Go get a ketamine booster right now” so the clinic fit me in late last night, which was really nice, but then I had a full-blown panic attack complete with projectile vomiting in the middle of a psychedelic trip where I was pretty sure I was stuck forever in another plane of existence, so basically I paid hundreds of dollars for the privilege of throwing up while off my tits on a bad drug trip.

And I will do it again and consider myself lucky.

Earlier this week I tweeted about my struggles to keep upright mentally and I was flooded (thank you!) with sympathetic people who either are going through the same bullshit or who feel empathy even though they don’t understand it, but there are always a few DMs of people telling me that it’s probably all because of too much gluten, too little praying, a lack of whatever they are selling (so much herbalife), psychosomatic, 5G-based (what), or caused because I’m “just not smiling enough”.

The smiling one is particularly interesting since so many people I know with depression are the smiliest bitches you ever met because you actually can laugh and smile while depressed. In fact, humor is one of my great defenses against depression. That’s the tricky part of the lies depression tells…that depression only looks a certain way. It doesn’t. It can look like lots of things.

And for me it looks like a woman who has her shit together on paper but is pretty sure that she’s failing at everything and that everyone is mad at her. It looks like someone who has moments of great joy and moments of great sorrow and moments of utterly blankness. It looks like someone who doesn’t entirely recognize the depressed person she sometimes is when she’s out of a depression. And someone who doesn’t remember the happy person she usually is when she’s in a depression.

Today I feel limp with exhaustion but slightly better than yesterday and that’s a good sign. But there’s one thing I’d like you know and that’s that people don’t put themselves through this sort of torture because they need to smile more or because they’re just lazy or because they’re weak. It takes an incredible amount of work to fight this, and that work comes from the people fighting, their friends and family who support them and the people who dedicate their lives to caring for the mentally ill. It’s not fun and it’s a hard fight but it is 100% worth it and if you are reading this now and doubting that you are worthy of fighting for, I assure you that you are not alone and you are worthy. Also, maybe you should just smile more.


But not kidding about the fact that you are not alone.

You’ll get through this. So will I.

(Insert unironic smiley face here)

193 thoughts on ““Maybe you should just smile more.”

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Thank you for posting this. It must have been hard to write, but it makes me feel less alone.

  2. Mine today looks like executive dysfunction. I’m working from home and know I need to actually attempt productivity, but I can’t seem to focus on anything. I’m making sure to keep ending my chats with “lol”, though, so my friends and family don’t worry. The internet version of smiling through the blah. Hope you feel better soon. We’ll get there.

  3. I needed this. This week has been really rough for me family wise and reading your blogs/books/videos helps me to remember I am not alone in any of this and I do have a great support group to help me deal with everything. Thank you!!!

  4. To the person that goes through a depressive episode and comes out on the other side- you are my hero! The work and energy involved is huge! Hang in there. It WILL get better. Been there, done that. And still take the meds. 💜

  5. Sending love and prayers your way. I am mentally beaten up by my work and am now on leave. I don’t sleep, eat, and am a jittery anxious mess. Even with increase in my meds I’m a mess. And worst of all, I can’t read. I usually devour books. Not interested and can’t focus. Thank you for all your posts. Keep fighting the fight.

  6. The commercial where the woman holds the smiley face mask is exactly how I felt for the past 6 months. It was only recently that I realized I was so depressed. Luckily mine was situational and it’s getting better.
    You are my hero. Thank you for talking about depression. The ugly side that no one speaks about, you have made it so relatable. Thank you is such a little phrase. But thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. Oh yeh the condescension of that – i feel it so hard. my mom was always dismissive of my “moods” and looks down at people with depression. Her: They should just snap out it! it is absolute hell. now that i am a grown woman, i keep my thoughts to myself, and give her ALL THE SMILES. (but none of the real me- she cant handle it)

  8. Here’s a “definitely not a creepy guy from the internet” hug. I feel you. <3

  9. This week has been so hard even though I’m smiling my head off. I do it so I can convince others that I’m fine. I’m not fine.

  10. I am completely sympathetic. And offer no advice, only my unwavering support. When I was in chemo, I’d post on my blog, and on FB, how I was feeling and I’d say I DON’T WANT ANY ADVICE, I just want to vent and know you’re out there, and it NEVER failed that some poor well-intentioned soul would start up with the advice on what to eat, what to do, how to get rest, blah, blah, blah. And I wasn’t nice. I wasn’t in the mood. I turned around and said, “I SAID I didn’t want advice!” And the poor soul would slink away and I’d feel bad. But not that bad. People want to help. Except for narcissists. But sometimes all we want is to know we are loved and supported. Because the bottom line is this – we all need to get through our trials on our own. No one can do it for us. But oh, how good it feels to know we aren’t alone. All my best to you. I admire you and acknowledge your pain. Take care of yourself. You’re worth it. ❤️

  11. Thank you for this. Today I took my 5 year old to school, ran an errand, did a short workout, picked her up. I told my husband, “I can’t do life” – the little, normal, everyday tasks are difficult for me more days than I’d like. It’s hard for other people to understand. My sister, “why can’t YOU take her (daughter) to the doctor?” Me: because I can’t. And (husband) can and understands.
    I needed this post today. Thanks.

  12. It makes me crazy that anyone would tell you to smile! Like that would do anything for depression. I’m sorry you hear from the clueless so often. Hugs to you as you get through this bad patch.

  13. OMG people need to STFU (the people hawking things, the psychosomatic people and the smile people). I’m glad you’re doing a little better. People are so lame about depression and what it looks like. I remember a professor I had in college for creative writing–I wrote a story about a depressed person (biographical much?!) who slept a lot. Which was one of my things. So I was quite sure it could be a depression thing since it WAS a depression thing for me). ANYWAY, he was talking about how he thought the sleeping thing wasn’t believable. Because when HE was depressed, he couldn’t sleep. No, really!! So even people with depression can sometimes stink.

    But most importantly, I’m sorry you haven’t being doing too well and hope you continue to feel better.

  14. Last weekend I was telling friends that the “best” part of Covid was the fact that because mask wearing in public means no random guys have told me that I need to smile more….

  15. Jenny, we love you, support you, and wish for more good days than bad. You’ve got this and the soul side of you knows it. One step at a time, whatever steps you need.

    This post hits home for me. I finally started therapy myself and the very first time I saw my therapist for intake she told me I “didn’t seem too crisis-y” and the second time “well the quiz you took says you’re normal and probably won’t benefit from therapy”. I have my fourth session tomorrow. I don’t think this one is going to work out, but it’s the only one I can do right now (free through Native American tribe) so I’m at least giving her a chance. But seriously. Who says that?

  16. Gosh darn it Jenny, you made me cry. I am fighting to get the elephant of depression off my chest and I know my dr makes me wait two weeks of this before changing my meds, because changing my
    Meds is a nightmare for me. I live in a small town, so ketamine isn’t available. I will smile and laugh and make jokes until this elephant decides to move on. I think I will name him. Fred. “Fred the elephant, I know you are comfortable and familiar there, but move your ass. I am struggling!”

  17. Thank you for talking about this, thank you for helping people feel that they are not alone. I wish you all the good things, you are awesome.

  18. Hearts and hugs to you. Have you tried eating the Herbalife boxes? I hear they are gluten-free, and they will protect you from 5G, which is currently causing my dog’s hair to fall out and my toenails to grow in curlicues.

    I am so sorry that you are struggling. You are not alone. I just got an increase in my medication because I realized I was way more depressed than I thought. I am glad you have support from the people around you. You are not alone. The people who try to give out unsolicited cures are the worst. You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.

  19. Have you counted your blessings lately!? HAHAHAHA! I’m KIDDING.

    I was shocked the other day when someone told me I was about the happiest person he knew. Oh you sweet summer child, it takes damn near all my spoons to seem functional while at work. I get home and there’s nothing left….

    The oscar goes to me I guess. I’d like to thank the academy, Ativan and lorazepam….

  20. The most charitable spin I can put on the “advice” giving is maybe the person cares and wants to help fix things, and that’s how they’ve learned to try to help, in a thoroughly thoughtless manner, but “I’m helping!”

    Or, you know, it’s willfully awful behavior, but I try not to assume.

  21. We flock to you, because we ARE you.
    Every last one of your people are here, because we find solidarity with you, and each other.
    We find comfort in the fact that we are here, and not alone, in all the absolute ridiculousness of life.
    And yeah, that “smile more” idiocy……
    My favorite thing about this entire dumpster fire of the past 18 and a half months?
    Wearing my masks in public.
    I am NEVER going to give them up.
    (I do live in the Plague Capital of our Plague Ridden county, so we won’t ever be Plague Free, here.)
    They can pry my mask off of my cold, dead, unsmiling, face.

  22. Many hugs for you, and thank you for Broken (in the best possible way) which I am enjoying immensely right now. 💜

  23. When I’m told to smile more, I like to respond with an overly-enthusiastic “Wow! That’s amazing! Why didn’t I think of that?! Yeah, I’ll just SMILE more!”

  24. It always brings me comfort to read your posts because I truly feel like I’m not alone when I do. This week has been hard for me. I found out on Tuesday that my ex husband passed away over the weekend and I had no idea how I was supposed to feel about it. In the end, it brought up a whole range of emotions which in turn triggered a severe anxiety attack. This all occurred in the midst of trying to plan a weekend with a few friends to celebrate my upcoming birthday, which is already making me very anxious. So I’ve spent this week feeling sad, guilty and anxious, convinced that everyone hates me and a whole other range of emotions, which I know mostly are caused by my anxiety, but don’t know how to label or deal with. So a million thank yous for making this post when I needed it most. You have no idea how much it actually does help. Well actually you probably do. But anyway thank you. Hugs.

  25. Strangely enough, it was Allie Brosh who made me realize that I had depression. I always thought I was what my mother had said: moody, lazy, unmotivated, indolent, wasteful of the advantages given me by God and her hard work.
    I have done much work and talked things over with my therapist and now I recognize the signs of a bad patch coming up, and I can give myself the kindness to do what I need to do to come out the other side.
    Thank you for making all of us feel less alone and less broken. I hope we are helping you the same way.

  26. I love you so much for understanding. And I’m so sorry that you do, to the depths that you do. I wish you sunshine and unicorns, and rainbows pooped by niancats.

    Thank you. For everything.

  27. As Linda Tirado put it in her book Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America: “I…mind the smile-on-command directive on class grounds. Listen here, buster. It’s not my f*cking job to decorate your world, not unless you’re willing to make it so. Sure, I’ll smile. That’ll be five bucks.”

  28. I was once told to, “just hang out with positive people”, as a way to work out my life. OOOOOH so not helpful! Hang in there. There will be a better day ahead.

  29. Dear sweet Jenny! I just projectile vomited all over my nurse, myself , the cloth cushy chair and the walls during my ketamine today. High off my ass, swaying and sobbing, still hooked into the infusion, I was trying to help clean up. I will just have to burn my clothes!

    Your words, your articulation and advocacy means the world to me. THANK YOU for helping me put words around my days.

    THANK YOU and sending love, support and a little bit of ketamine-induced vomit to you!

  30. Mental Health is REAL Health. I don’t understand why some people think that it can be “fixed” by smiling more or doing any of the other nonsense you mentioned. You wouldn’t tell a person with a broken leg to smile more and they’ll be all better, would you? Same deal with mental health! Thanks for always standing up and saying what so many of us are thinking.

  31. Why are people (even well intentioned people) such a**holes? This hits home for me because I think most people would genuinely be shocked to learn that I struggle hardcore with anxiety and depression because I am very smiley. It’s just how I am and if I’m not feeling like I can muster good natured behavior (insert stabby motion) I interact with people as little as possible. It works for me but it is interesting how little we really know about what others are going through. Kindness first, stabby motion later. 😂

  32. So glad you’re here.
    For me the one that even the person closest me, who has medical knowledge, says that’s hard is, when i say I’m depressed: “what’s going on?” Or “what’s wrong?” Or “what’s different?” Or “what changed?” Which all sound like reasonable things to say but the answers are always the same: “I don’t know.” And exhausting to repeat.
    5G/herbalife/gluten/justsmilemore – equivalent to “here, put some windex!” People so want there to be quick, easy fixes for those around us – it’s so hard not to make suggestions.

  33. My favourite “JUST” advice came from a friend who was sure all my problems would evaporate if I would “just” take up running. I nodded politely for a while, but one day told her that running “just” didn’t interest me. She launched into an explanation of how running is like having sex: at first it’s hard to get into the groove, then it’s boring but you keep going, then it’s painful, but you keep going, and then you get to a sort of mind-numbed state where you feel you can just continue on forever, and finally, at the end, there’s this explosive burst of well-being that makes everything that comes before worth it. And all I could think was “WHAT KIND OF SEX ARE YOU HAVING, ANNE?”

    There was nothing, and I mean NOTHING, about her pep talk that made me want to become a runner. Ever.

    I also have been hanging out in the Abbys of Despair for months now. In December I’ll start some new evaluations. I was feeling hopeful about them, but now I’m terrified the tests will turn up some incurable condition that I will have brought on myself from being so stressed out from being so depressed because everyone knows that stress messes up our physical and mental health and if we would all JUST start meditating…

  34. It drives me insane when someone tells me to smile or to get some sunshine or to think positive. I can do all those things and still have depression and PTSD. Let each person who is fighting a battle, fight it the best way for them because I guarantee they have tried the smiling and the sun and thinking positive and it did shit all.

  35. I smile all the time, always have. I do great cheerful voice and excellent customer service. When I worked for my dad as the front desk person he always wondered at me because I grumbled to him every day when he came in – then one day he sat down in reception with me for half an hour while he was fixing something and watched me greet the customers. He was floored – you always smile and are so nice to them! I was like Dad, this is work – this is what customer service *means*, it’s why they loved me at my last retail job too, I can be friendly and charming and I can ring people up while I’m talking so every transaction is as brief as possible. But it’s not me – I’m the sarcastic bitchy one who grumbles to you, it’s just part of the job.

  36. It’s because you don’t have a room full of ferrets!! I keep telling my work that I need some emotional support ferrets but they look at me like I am crazy and change the subject. We should do an experiment and work in a room full of ferrets and see how we feel after. I totally volunteer to test it out!!

  37. The next time someone tells you to smile more respond with that meme of Morticia Addams smiling and the caption is, “Just because I’m smiling doesn’t mean I like you. I might be picturing you on fire.” One of my former co-workers posted that on my facebooks one time and said he didn’t buy my whole smiling and friendly act at work and that meme made him think of me. He wasn’t wrong.

  38. I’m sorry for your situation but sorrier for mine! Sorry! This post really moved me because WTH???? SMILES???


    I had a neurologist tell me I wasn’t depressed because my affect was too happy. WE SMILE SO WE WON’T DEPRESS OTHERS! WE ARE SAINTS WHO CARE ABOUT OTHER HUMANS!!!

  39. In response to depression or not, people who suggest “you should smile more” really are asking for a solid nut punch which might then make me smile more.

  40. Jenny, you are so special and I marvel at your “real ness.” The smug little bitch who told you to “smile more”. I hope she gets explosive diarrhea tonight. Oh, that was mean. Just keep on doing what you can to get through a day. You are the best. ❤️

  41. I was raised to function no matter what. So I can’t tell you how many docs, therapists, bosses, friends, relatives, etc. have said “You can’t be depressed or anxious, you just did …laundry, paid the bills, went to work, smiled at my birthday, got groceries, etc. Yet like you sometimes, feel like crap inside. Feel like why bother to keep trying. Thank God for meds, therapy and 12 step groups.

  42. “Funny you should say that. I do have a holistic remedy that is extremely effective, without chemicals, and employing a very sustainable technology. It consists of stabbing people who tell me to ‘smile more’.”

  43. Gotta love the “smile more” bullshit. I suffer from chronic depression, anxiety and chronic illness….I smiled more than anyone I ever used to work with because I felt the need to not let it show how I truly felt/feel inside. If only I could figure out how to make a living at hiding those feeling. 🤔

  44. Thank you for this today. Currently working on my daughter’s depression which she has finally asked for help with- Yay!! And on top of that my husband is going through radiation and HIS anxiety and depression and PTSD is in overdrive. So I have pushed my mental health down because someone here has to be the strong pushy one but I’m getting tired. Tired of everything. It is so much work, but reading your blog, listening to your books again, and again, and then again, helps. I’m so glad I found you.

  45. Sending hugs and “smile more” is right up there with “just calm down” and other words that make me want to choke the person telling me such helpful advice. Keeping you in my thoughts for better days ahead.

  46. I’m so sorry. Watching my son go through a severe depressive episode this week. I just wish I could take it off his shoulders. I was once one of those who thought he could just shake it off with a little healthy activity. There are things that do help, which you know, and he tries, but there are days he just cannot rally and I ache for him. I came here for the humor, but I’ve stayed because the perspective you give to all of this is really very helpful to those of us who love someone with depression. Thank you.

  47. “And for me it looks like a woman who has her shit together on paper but is pretty sure that she’s failing at everything and that everyone is mad at her.”

    Thank you for this. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so utterly seen. Sending love, and hoping tomorrow is an even better day.

  48. If I could hug you right now I would. So here is the best I can do for encouragement…HUG HUG.
    Please continue to do what you are doing to fight the depression battle!

  49. Frack Gorram Bastage Donkey Circus Performers telling us to smile. I laugh so freely and with mirth and bliss I’ve had performers backstage want to know who the woman is who is so free with her laughter. That is how so many cope with the depression. Right now I’m sleeping. I’ve been asleep most days.

    But to anyone who tells a person climbing the steps of mental illness, may they fall into a large pile of bovine excrement.

    Jenny, I’ve told my husband when/if (when) we move to Texas, he best expect frequent trips to San Antonio (if we don’t move there). I know I’ll have budgets but your ship will be frequented. And little book stands will helped to be filled.

  50. I’m one of those smiliest bitches, and whoever told you that can totally eat shit. Thank you for being you, Jenny. Your impact is felt near and far. I love you.

  51. I once had a boss who would say. “Buck up, little buckaroo,” when someone appeared to be sad/down. I hated that so much that anytime I had to deal with her, I’d force a big ol’ stupid grin on my face, just so she never said it to me. I was grinning in her office the day she fired me, first forced, then out of sheer relief. <3 These people have no fucking clue what depression and anxiety do to your brain, let alone what it can look like on the outside. Considering how many professional comedians self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, it's clear that just because someone can smile or be funny doesn't mean they aren't in pain on the inside. Duh.

  52. “ It looks like someone who doesn’t entirely recognize the depressed person she sometimes is when she’s out of a depression. And someone who doesn’t remember the happy person she usually is when she’s in a depression.” YES!!

    My biggest problem is with the phrase, “happy pills.” Depression meds don’t make you happy. They don’t make life a wonderful ride. They aren’t “mommy’s little secret.” They just (sometimes) give us a level playing field. That’s it!

    Oh and once when I was super depressed, I told a “friend” I was on the way to my therapist. She smirked and told me to take a walk outside – that will do just as much good bc of vitamin d 🙄. She also told me that she was so surprised I was depressed and anxious bc people of faith normally don’t feel that was bc of God. So now I had low vitamin d and sucked at being Catholic.

  53. Ugh, I hear this but for chronic migraine instead of depression. Everyone has advice, which is usually to sleep more, exercise more, or drink more water. I’ve had these for thirty years, you think I’ve never thought of those things or nobody before you ever suggested them? I haven’t tried Herbalife or smiling though, so maybe one of those will do the trick.

  54. THANK YOU for saying this. Depression is not a choice, or the result of things we choose to do, like smile!!! You’re a light in the darkness. Thank you for all you do.

  55. I hate that people think “Just smile more” will magically make me feel better.

    No, no it won’t.

    But we will get through this one, like we got through the last one.

    It’s a hell of a fight, and makes us exhausted.

    I have no point, except: I’m there too, and us elders of the mental health tribe will make it through again, with a few more scars, and we’ll come out on the other side a bit wiser.

    Or a bit weirder. It’s hard to tell the two apart.

  56. Some people really have no idea. I can be out in the world pretending to be a normal person, smiles and all, and feel like I’m dying inside.

    Today I had a totally uneventful experience at the bank. One little thing didn’t go the way I expected (and was a totally easy fix) but the whole thing left me feeling judged, defensive and angry. WTH is wrong with me? Oh, right. Depression. Pandemic. Life in the 21st century.

    Thank you, Jenny, for your honesty and humor.

  57. I once had someone tell me to get a massage. A MOTHERFUCKING MASSAGE will cure my bipolar disorder! Lolololol. I hate people sometimes* (*most of the time).

  58. Thank you! 😁 You always seem to show up when I’m feeling my worst. I appreciate you so much for your courage to share your feelings and making me know I am not alone. We all shall overcome this with support from each other. Have a nice night.

  59. I just fell apart reading this. I needed to read it so badly right now. Thank you.

  60. People can be very frustrating and insensitive. I’m sorry. When someone is resistant to treatments because their body or brain won’t cooperate, it is a constant uphill fight to find something that works.

    I just tried Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and vomited immediately afterwards (history of seizures doesn’t help). It also gave me a migraine for two weeks — and I don’t get headaches. It wasn’t until afterwards that I read that you had tried it, too!! You are braver than I am, since you managed to power through it. I will never, ever go back.

    I wanted the ketamine infusions you mention, but they won’t let me do it because I have a history of alcohol abuse. Sigh. Maybe it’s a good thing, given your experience. Egads!

    At the same time as my TCM, I was alternately put on Zoloft (SSRI) and Seroquel (an antipsychotic).

    Both Zoloft and Seroquel triggered sleepwalking and sleep eating attacks that have caused me to rummage through the trash and eat cat food in my sleep. It’s been awful, and I still don’t have it under control, even though I am no longer taking either drug. Now I have to do a sleep study.

    Because of this constant disruption, I was having rage attacks every day from frustration, and I had two PTSD attacks that left me trapped in my car. I was unable to use my phone, roll down the window, undo my seatbelt, start the engine, or open the door. I’ve almost died twice from heat stroke this way, so it’s no laughing matter.

    This all started because my new primary care took away my Xanax I need for panic attacks, and I started freaking out.
    She believes anyone who uses Xanax is an addict. (I take it maybe 3 times per month.)

    I finally tried something out of desperation: L-Theanine. It’s not a supplement, it’s an essential amino acid. I feel so much more chill, and have been so surprised by the relief I feel. This article had a bunch of other suggestions, if you’re interested in trying something new. I’m pretty sure you’ve gone down this road before, but thought I’d mention it anyways:


    In the meantime, I’m glad you are feeling a little better. It’s a terrible struggle trying out treatments that often backfire. You are a real champ. You NEED something — anything — that works. I hope you find it. Hang tough.

  61. Oh sister, I hear you. Why the fuck do people think you wouldn’t choose to be better if such a thing were possible???

  62. You’re point of not recognizing yourself after an episode really resonates. And ya bishes I smile all the time so you don’t see the ugliness that’s deep inside so thank me for the smiles. 💗💗💗

  63. Or you could have a therapist who, when I said I think I may be feeling some better, replied great maybe now you can catch up on what you owe me. I didn’t go back to the jerk and I didn’t catch up on what I owed him. This from someone I had gone to for help. I was so angry I actually did feel less depressed. For a little while at least. Virtual hugs and real good thoughts coming your way.

  64. Will smiling more also cure you of cancer? That’s something from Broken that made the biggest impact on me: No one tells a cancer patient to suck it up, take more walks, try running, or smile more. As someone who had radiation for breast cancer and is still on Tamoxifen, I don’t remember a single person questioning the course of treatment prescribed by my oncologist. And yet I still get the occasional comment about my need for meds for depression & anxiety and visits w/ my therapist.
    Bless their stupid, stupid hearts.

  65. Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your very real struggles with us- you are not alone and most importantly to echo back- you are worthy, oh so worthy! And so very true for many of us with depression being the smiliest people trying to keep our outside together for the world when we are crushed on the inside. Keep on fighting, writing and talking – and, well smiling when you feel like it and not when you don’t. I get it!

  66. Thanks for saying that Jenny! Even though I work in the mental health field no one would ever know how deep my depression can go sometimes, not even the psychologists I work with! Hmmmm I just keep smiling!! So what does that tell you?? People keep saying be kind, but so many just don’t have it in them right now!

  67. ” It looks like someone who doesn’t entirely recognize the depressed person she sometimes is when she’s out of a depression. And someone who doesn’t remember the happy person she usually is when she’s in a depression.” YASS!!!!

  68. So sorry it’s a tough time now. Sending you lots of whatever you need to major it to the next day, or the next hour, or the next minute.

  69. Yes to all of this. It’s like you too hear the little voice inside that gnaws away, day and night, telling me that I’m weak and not enough and failing at everything. Thank you for sharing your life and your stories. So that sometimes, when I am feeling slightly bolder or stronger, I can say, “fuck you depression. You are a liar.”
    You sharing your truth makes everyone feel more heard. More understood. And sometimes, even a little more smiley.

  70. Jenny…For the many who actually post responses, please know there are so many more of us wishing you well that maybe don’t know what to say. Hope today is a better day for you!

  71. Hoping tomorrow is a little bit better. Omg, the people who think there is some simple fix for mental health problems. Hard eye roll. I struggle with seasonal depression, so, “I should just get outside more in the winter.” Mm ok. My daughter and husband have chronic pain issues. So simple fixes there either. Thank you for sharing your story. I feel heard and encouraged by your persistence amid the mess of life. Hugs. Virtual anyway.

  72. Just came out on the other end of a funk. Smiling for the sake of smiling didn’t hlep. Self-care did.

    Good on you for the ketamine doses! I’m gonna get my medical pot card this weekend to get me through the worst of things…

  73. I needed to feel less alone today and you and this amazing group of people did just that. I feel broken because of my mental illness. I want to be able to work, but I haven’t been able to in 6 years. Too much stress leads to greater depression and severe suicidal ideation. Fighting to live is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I’m afraid I’m too broken for someone to accept me, love me, and eventually marry me. I have ALL of your audiobooks and they keep me company in my darkest moments, and help me to hold on even when I feel like I can’t. You have saved my life more times than you could ever imagine. Thank you!

  74. Herbalife. Lawd help me.
    That does not make me as ragey as “if you lost weight you’d feel better.”
    But still.
    Hugs. And spoons. You aren’t alone.

  75. Thank you, right there with you. My niece shared a meme today that totally fits this. Cool as a cucumber on the outside, squirrel in traffic on the inside.

    Also, thank you and all the lovely, wonderful people who grace this page that have sent and keep sending uplifting notes/cards. I have a stack of them that I read and reread and a few keep fluttering in from way back when we posted our addresses. Sending love and light to you all! xoxo

  76. Years ago I started following you because my daughters said you were funny, which you are. The one day you said you had something you needed to say, and opened up about your depression. I felt so amazing — you SHARED IT — I felt understood and part of a team and not so alone. I keep coming back — sometimes we laugh and sometimes we don’t and that’s okay. I started here because my kids recommended, but I keep on for me and all the fellow teammates here. Love and honor to you

  77. Jenny, please, please, please try Spravato, the nasally inhaled sister of whole Ketamine. There are no bad trips, I promise. It’s like a spa day for your brain.

  78. Thank you for being candid about your struggles. I wonder how many thousands (millions?) of people you’ve helped to feel understood and less alone. Thank you. Sending love and spoons.

  79. Thank you … reading this really helped me today. And just so you know, Furiously Happy is part of my official work library and whenever I’m stuck in the hotdesking office and feel like I’m not really sure if I’m even human any more or just want to collapse on the floor in the foetal position, I get it out and read the section about racing cats down the hall with smiling raccoony jockeys, and it gets me through the next half hour. Those photos are gold.

  80. Anyone using the words (or tone) “If you’d ONLY JUST. . .” when intimating or straight-up telling you how wrong you are about what you know to be true of your life/brain/depression/experience can “just” sit right the hell down. I’m glad you’re getting the care you need. Sorry you puked though.

  81. “And for me it looks like a woman who has her shit together on paper but is pretty sure that she’s failing at everything and that everyone is mad at her.”


    This speaks to my sad fearful heart so much.

  82. I wish we could set up a foundation so people could get ketamine for a reduced cost. That would be such a help. I could afford it then. Oh, and…thank you for posting this. I love you for posting. You always make me smile.

  83. Ok so I have horrible depression but I smile all day everyday. It’s a mask I wear because I don’t want to depress people with my depression. So no smiling will not make it go away. Also had a doctor tell me it was all because I was fat and if I lost weight it would go away. Well a$$ hole I weighed 130lb was a size 6 and still horribly depressed so no I don’t think losing a few pounds will fix my broken brain. Also he took me off my meds cold Turkey and I didn’t find out later how dangerous that was. If you are reading this and a doctor does this to you see another doctor immediately. You deserve to be helped!

  84. You said it for me. Thank you for the boost. I forget that I can smile when depressed and that doesn’t mean I’m cured.

  85. I’m looking at taking ketamine in the future. Does anyone have any advice about it? I have to go completely off Parnate (MAO Inhibitor) first though. Please email me at lynn at badens /dot/ org.

    And totally agree about the smiling thing. I’ve been able to smile and smile – and still be depressed. I learned to hide my feelings of depression and anxiety. “Smile and the world smile with you. Cry and you cry alone.” Anyone else been told that in an effort to bully the depression out of you?

  86. Thank you. You share and tell people things that need to be said. Keep fighting the good fight! You are worth it. I am worth it. WE are not alone.

  87. I have to say that chronic depression is not one of my Things.(I have Other Things.) But when I read your work, it sort of gives me a window to look through so I can empathize, with you- and with my friend who does suffer from chronic depression. Somewhat. Truly though, you are a gift that I have cherished since I read your writing for the first time. Many good wishes aimed your way.

  88. When my husband and I were going through a particularly hard time (living in another country in the middle of nowhere) and we shared our deep discouragement and isolation with our team leaders, the guy told us we should just smile more. It was so exactly the wrong thing to say (and meant well, too, I’m sure) that we’ve never forgotten it. Every now and then, when one of us is in the dumps, the other will quip, “Hey, just smile more, ‘kay?” and then ducks so they don’t get slapped.

  89. You are an incredibly brave and talented person.
    Your books were recently introduced to me by a friend, and they have helped me see that my fears and anxiety are valid and not mine alone.

  90. “The smiling one is particularly interesting since so many people I know with depression are the smiliest bitches you ever met because you actually can laugh and smile while depressed.”
    THIS right there–every time I hear that remark I’ll remember, and possibly quote, this. Love you Jenny.

  91. Thank you Jenny. My brain weasels have been cruel as hell lately and trying to literally unalive me. You’re like the best friend I’ve never met.

  92. OMFG. One of the things that drives me crazy is the people telling me I needed to find God or pray away my depression. I had one person once tell me she was praying for me while acknowledging that she knew that her telling me that didn’t make me feel better.

    I’m also curious about the ketamine thing. I’ve seen the ads but the cost was a deterrent.

  93. I love you Jenny and everyone else here. 💕💕💕 I am so sorry about the oversimplified, patronizing, insulting, unsolicited advice, which makes me absolutely furious too! I would like to add to that list people who play the devil’s advocate regarding my situation. No thank you!

    I have had a terrifying 6 months admittedly. I’ve had neurological issues (could be panic attacks or seizures) hives, abdominal pain, immense dread, migraines, head pressure, pain, itching, etc. I have tried everything in my power to get the help I need and have had no help from the medical community. The doctors say they know what caused my issues (I’m the one weirdo unicorn in a billion who was allergic to the Pfizer shot), but the ones I’ve seen can’t help me.

    My neurologist looked at me in our last appointment (while he was being short, dismissive and not listening to me) and literally said to me as I was quietly crying to myself that I “really shouldn’t be upset.”

    Perhaps I should do an Irish jig instead? Would that be better for you, doc? What is an appropriate reaction when my doctor won’t help me and I’m scared?

    Perhaps I should “smile more”… arrggghhhh!!!

  94. Same girl. Same. Well kinda because my anxiety/depression low was last week (Hello Fall S.A.D. beginning before the time change) and including a bacteria infection. Won’t bore with details = antibiotics and I’m feeling better. Mostly. I will get better.
    Did some walks in between rain showers to skip through the leaves looking for Fall Fairies and collecting treasures. My Nature’s-bounty-wreath is still waiting to be completed yet my alter of acorns, nuts, shells and leaves is quite nice.
    So same. From one Jen to another.

  95. I feel you on this so much. If one more person tells me paleo, or Whole 30, or more yoga will cure my decades long depression I may finally crack and be born into the hideous monster I feel like inside on lots of bad days. My monster self will eat them (without smiling) and then my soul will finally be released and I’ll drift up towards the heavens and probably get stuck in a cobweb for the rest of eternity.

  96. Because smiling helps so very much (please read this as the sarcasm I intended) I remember in high school being told by my mother (who had her own issues which she fixed with alcohol) that I needed to smile more.

  97. I’ve seen a lot of fb posts about S.A.D. hitting early this year. I wish smiling more would fix us all, wouldn’t that be great? May we all have something that takes the edge off, something to laugh about, and plenty of support and strength to fight!

  98. I’m 54 and my family is impatient that I’m not getting better. I don’t know how to explain to them that it’s not like a cold and they are partially responsible. Yes, Spravato did stop my active suicidal thoughts, but that doesn’t mean I can leave the house whenever I want. I’m sorry you are feeling this way. I just hope that you know how much you are loved. I’ve had WAY too many people who have told me I should do stand up. Apparently, telling the world about my MDD, PMDD, childhood trauma, self loathing and general shittiness of my life would be HILARIOUS especially when I’d have to do it with my psychiatric service dog and my other dog who tells me “you need clonazepam…STAT”
    I used to be a pharmacy tech and I heard the “smile more” shit all the time. I always wanted to ask those people how much they smiled at their office. I feel like my life is always going to be shit and I’m alone in it. I try to do what I can to make other people’s a little easier or help them out because it’s one of the very few things that make me feel a little better. You and your books almost always make me smile and feel better. You make the world a brighter place for me. I’m rambling now, but I’m hoping you know that just being you, smiling or RBF is a great help to a lot of people.

  99. When some clueless idiot tells me to smile more I’m thinking in my head “fuck you” and the rage bubbles up so hard I see literal red.
    The most smiley people I know are people who suffer severe depression, and they are smiling so you can’t see that they are barely able to keep it together. We smile to avoid the questions, we smile because we have to work at our jobs with people and it’s considered part of our uniform or job duties, we smile to keep others from being scared of us, we smile to keep people we love from worrying about us, we smile because if we didn’t we’d be crying right now.
    And I suffer from chronic pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, and allergies to weird stuff, and I can’t even begin to tell you the number of family members or friends who
    Just. Don’t. Get. It.
    They offer all kinds of simplistic and nonsensical advice and then get pissy if I don’t take their shitty advice, because they know better than me or all of my specialist doctors and even when I tell them I’ve already tried their silly nonsensical home remedies and snake oil. Like I did it wrong, or I didn’t try hard enough, or if I really wanted to I could make it work.
    So you have my sympathy and understanding and my admiration and my thanks for sharing and creating a community that understands people like us and the struggles we have.
    Just knowing that you’re going through what so many of us go through, and so many of the people in our lives don’t understand, makes us feel a little less alone, a little less weird, and a lot more understood and heard.

  100. Crying as I read this. But I am happy to have One Person (You) who knows what I’m going thru. At work its “I love your smile”, or ” I love visiting you at your desk because you are so calming”, or “you are the eye of the whirlwind” or, “you have it all together for all of us”. Inside I am a screaming, sobbing, confused and angry hole of sucking depression. And This Right Here is the only place safe enough to say that. I smile because it is stuck there. My teeth are quite literally falling out from gritting them so hard and my tongue bleeds from biting it so I can be the “zenplace” for everyone else. While I appreciate you being here and being Real for us, please don’t smile because you feel you have to. That is Hell. Always be you. And if that means telling some of us to fuck off, do it. Trying to sell you their crap is beyond wrong!

  101. I love you. ♥️♥️♥️🙏🙏🙏. You’re not alone. I’m holding your hand here, always.
    Just think of me and reach for my hand when you need it.

  102. I wish I had a magic wand to cure everyone of all the things! Blessings. You got this.

  103. Sending so many hugs! I’m glad you are feeling slightly better, hoping that continues. Strangely I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the ‘you should just smile more’, at least not said to my face, but I have gotten many “you just aren’t trying hard enough” and “you probably need more sunshine” and “why do you worry about things you can’t control, you’d be happy if you just stopped worrying about that stuff”.
    (Personally, what’s worse is the “but you are on new medication/going to therapy/doing this-and-this, you should be better now!” like yeah I have that exact same thought but that’s not really how this works!)

  104. After Robin Williams left us a group of my friends were all, “but he was so funny and made people laugh and smile!” I said, “People who make others laugh, smile and feel good often do it so others won’t feel the darkness and bleakness they feel.”

  105. A smile is a great mask that hides a lot. Hugs to you and everyone who is suffering this change of season.

  106. Gosh. Just last week I heard some bit of weekend public radio chatter about how some nerve gets compressed by your back teeth when when someone has a genuine full smile and so some people think they can improve their sense of joy in the world by fake smiling and I thought, Oh-oh. Polly-Annas are gonna be throwning this bs at every depressed person they encounter So sorry, yet amazed there weren’t more. Hope you continue to improve. Herballife? WTH?

  107. i would gleefully punch the person who told you to smile more. that is my all-time most-hated thing to be told. i’ve heard that line SO many times over my life. i’m currently going thru a med change and there are no smiles in me right now. no spoons left, only knives. (i saw that on a cross stitch, i might have to make that). hope the ketamine booster helps!

  108. Yup. I use sarcasm & humor to get through all the crap in my life too. I don’t smile as much as I used to but when I do, most of the time it’s a pretty good grin. Thanks for making me smile by making me not feel alone or crazy for acting weird to make it through each day. Things could be worse… we could be normal. O_O

  109. I feel you. I suffer from depression and a panic disorder that paralyzes me. Anyway, I had an old ass hole boss who said, “no one can be as happy as you seem; you must be faking it!” I replied with, “my whole life, something or someone has tried to pull me down, and I wear this smile like a medal because I refuse to give up trying to be a source of light in the world.” No one knows what you need but you. Keep strong (smile or no smile). ♥️

  110. Last week was the worst in a very long time. I went from confident and content to worthless and humiliated. Everything was wrong and my husband kept trying to help via root cause analysis, which turns into me eventually blaming him in some way before realizing that depression is simply lying to me about all of it. Then my period started (unpredictably for the first time in over 50 days)… and it all made sense again. I’ve booked an appointment with a therapist, joined a walking group, booked my first flight home in 4 years, and plan to go see a doc who specializes in hormone rebalancing. Warning – perimenopause is one hell of a wild ride for those mentally ill before it even starts. Hang in there & thanks for reminding us to remind each other that we are not alone.

    Oh yeah, and I’m already eating a weird diet due to gluten, dairy, egg intolerance and I’m a smiley chick, so your list of DM simple suggestions made me laugh.

  111. Yes we will (get through it, whatever it is for each of us.) The depression lies to us and says we’re alone, but we are a big weird family, and the replies here show that.

  112. I had my first appointment with a psychiatry nurse practitioner today. She is going to work with my insurance company to get me on ketamine and TMS to try and help me fight my oopressive depression and tinnitus. I have only had two quiet moments in 12 years. Theoretically this will calm the din. Not forever, but maybe for awhile. I’m scared but feeling hopeful for the first time.

    I remembered you doing these things, so I’m reading differently than I did when you published.

    Thank you for writing about all this. Thank you for being a lighthouse.

    I haven’t prioritized myself in far too long.

  113. I think I have finally gotten to the point where I have stopped giving my daughter “advice” for how to feel better. I finally accept that she will go through changes in her moods / depression and it is her life and struggle and my role to be supportive. The change of season is always a hard time for her

    With that, I do have some information that could possibly be helpful…..

    My daughter takes Ketamine IM shots monthly and she has for a few years now. It helps and keeps her out of deep depressions but doesn’t always take away some of the general depression. She is now also taking Ketamine troches and Oxytocin daily. It really helps. I still notice a general “down-ness” as the season is changing but not as low as it used to go for sure. We get these from a compounding pharmacy in Austin. Just wanted to share some new treatments …. good luck!

  114. So I now appear to be the *checks* 137th person on this blog alone telling you you’re not alone, so in addition to repeating that sentiment I will just say thank you, thank you, thank you for being so open about sharing what you are going through.

    My brain also decided to be a complete and total asshole this week, a very inconvenient week for assholery because I had to give/participate in several high-profile client presentations for my job, and somehow my boss’s brain was being an even bigger asshole to him (he struggles with some of the same issues that I do) so I was desperately trying to hold it all together. And my executive function is middling at best during a day/week when my brain is being kind to me, but when the full-tilt assholery kicks in I end up with severe insomnia and the exhaustion swallows up my rather meager supply of executive function. And somehow I got through the week with praise from the boss and happy clients and a smile on my face, all while inwardly spiraling down. And no one believes I’m actually a mess with a plethora of mental health diagnoses because I always manage to seem so freaking collegial and competent.

    May the universe grant you, me, and everyone else here better brain days for a while.

  115. Jenny, sometimes I wonder how it would feel to have so much love directed at me (as you do). I’ll bet that never in your wildest dreams did you think that so many people would love you, without meeting you and that the love would be real and sustainable! You
    are my favourite person, my favourite writer, my favourite thing to send waves of love to!
    I’m truly sorry that you are in a bad place right now. I don’t know what all of us (the Bloggessarians) would do without your honest, unflinching vulnerability. Sorry to sound so Fangirl, but you are the cat’s meow to all of us! Please know this.

  116. Wow, thank you for your story, your encouragement and your humour. I have found its hard to tell people what is really wrong or what is happening without them feeling like they have the answer. Drink more water, what have you eaten today? How much wheat? Maybe you should take vitamins. Be grateful for what you have and yes, I’ve been told I should smile more. It can get lonely. Also, how do you reach out for help when you are just too tired and apathetic all the time. Thank you for letting me rant.

  117. Im rooting for you. I, too, have been told to smile more, think positive, and even pray more. My response was “I’m praying like hell that I won’t positively strangle you whilst smiling.” My Mom then researched depression and anxiety and apologized. Anywho… I crazy love you. Just the way you are.

  118. Hey, I know it’s none of my business, but it sounds like your dose might be too high. I went for ketamine infusions for CPTSD, and my clinic aimed for a comfortable level of dissociation. I know everyone does things differently and something different works for everyone, but if you’re not getting as good results at your current dose, it might be worth trying a lower. Research suggests that everyone has a sweet spot and that it doesn’t have the same antidepressant effects at over 1.0mg/kg. Take care and get lots of rest. Hope you’re feeling better.

  119. Maybe you should eat more gluten….just kidding. God people can be jerks. I have no advice but just want to say I think you’re amazing and your writing and books have lifted me up so often. Smile if you want to – 💕💕

  120. Throughout history, great minds have faced challenges from all corners. Depression or any number of other mental disorders or stresses and they have pulled through and you will too. Damn lonely and scary journey when having to face and fight it all alone. You may be in the ring by yourself with that bastard, and it can be hard to see your supporters rooting for you on the sidelines but they are there. They are saying fight the bastard with all your might but they won’t be focused on whether you have a smile on your face as you battle the demon.

  121. I often wonder if I would understand posts like this if I didn’t also have depression. What must it be like to have never had depression? Because I figure as hard as it is for me to understand that, it’s just as hard for them to understand me. It’s because of folks like you that I keep fighting that battle because I know I’m not alone, even when so many people think smiling more is an actual cure. Robin Williams smiled all the time. We are not what we seem on the outside. Thanks for reminding me that depression looks lots of ways, so I feel less bad about smiling or laughing even when I’m suffering.

  122. My mother-in-law used to call my daughter “the child of grace with a wooden face” because she wasn’t a smiley baby yet my MIL thought she was beautiful anyway. My kid grew up to be a not-smiley adult who is comfortable in her not-smiley skin.

  123. I smile, but lot of time on the inside I cry. Sometimes for no “real” reason. I smile even though I can’t get rid of the guilt of leaving my first husband 18 years ago and subjecting my kids to a “broken” home, even though all is wonderful now and I have the best husband (and seriously, my soulmate) and they have a fantastic stepfather for the last 17 years. It’s all good, and I should smile for real, but inside I’m sobbing. I’m going to be a grandmother soon, so I am happy and I smile, but inside is the constant anxiety of what “I” didn’t do to protect her for the future. You see, with depression and anxiety, we are masters of disguise. Able to put on the false faces with the turned up corners of our mouths. Meanwhile, you are trying desperately to hold it together for the sake of your mother, or your husband, or your kids, or your dog. (And the dogs are the worst because if they see you crying they go into full on control freaks and try to make it better by climbing onto your lap but forgetting they weigh 65 pounds and you’re already hurting from laying in the recliner too long because your fibromyalgia decided to flare up at the same time as your gloomies did and now you have bruises all over your thighs that you’ll have to explain to the gynecologist again this year and insist that your home is a safe space.) Anyway, Jenny, whether you smile or not, just remember you are not alone and you are enough and you are loved. And if you do cry on the outside as I often do, tear-stained selfies are just as sparkly as those Snapchat filters and way better than those duck-face poses!! Love ya!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  124. I used to work for a manager who was THAT person. Who would be absolutely offended if you weren’t smiling all the time.

    When my depression and anxiety isn’t being a butthole, I am absolutely one of the smiliest damn bitches on the planet.

  125. My mind had two sayings before she understood my depression. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” and “You’re not going to feel 100% every day.” I didn’t know what was wrong with me that I couldn’t just do things like normal people and no one else in my family suffered from depression. My parents had no idea what I was going through and thought I just needed to try harder. She apologized many times later in my life after I was diagnosed and was angry that no doctor ever saw the symptoms. It’s actually easy to put on that mask and no one can see the depression. I’m sorry people send you those unhelpful messages.

  126. On top of the not helpful advice to someone who is kind enough to share their mental health ups and downs with the internets the ‘smile’ advice also has sexist misogynistic undertones that make me ragey.

  127. It was a bad week here too. I’m happy it’s Friday but I’m getting my booster so that will likely kick my ass back down again. I need a break from this darkness and I’ll pull through somehow. Probably by smiling more. Actually cursing a lot helps me more 🙂 Love you, Jenny. You will get through this. You are so worth it. Big hugs

  128. To anyone telling you to “smile more”, or buy their useless fucking shit, or to uselessly fucking pray—tell them they can fuck right the fuck off to dumbfuckistan. And MEAN IT. Yes, I’m furious with the amount of greed and stupidity in this world.

  129. Fuck all the smile more, choose happy, good vibes only BULLSHIT. I would love for it to be that easy!

  130. Out in public, when I’m feeling so low, guilty, bad, and less than human, I tend to make self-depreciating jokes. People don’t understand that I laugh and joke to keep from crying. My middle son fights depression also, and there were times I was in such a bad place that I couldn’t help him. When I think about how I didn’t parent my son well enough (which I know is not true, but my depression says it is), I can spiral down into such a dark hole, counting all the times I was wrong or stupid or weak or a bad daughter or bad mom. So laughing hides my depression from the world and puts everyone else at ease, while I’m dying inside. To know that there are people who understand what I just wrote, and don’t think I’m a bad person is so amazing. I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t found you.

  131. saw a new psychiatrist yesterday, cried, then she asked me if I frequently have bouts of crying spells. I told her every day for as long as I can remember, even as a child. she said, “so you’re depressed every day.” I said no, most of the time I’m just kind of in the middle, where I’m not sad and I’m not happy but I’m not not happy. so she’s changing my depression meds apparently, so I don’t think she believes me.

  132. I sincerely hope you feel better soon. You help so many people with your blog, I hate that your brain’s being an asshole. I take so many meds that most of the time I’m just numb, but I keep taking them because the outcome of not taking them is so awful. My husband understands that I am depressed, but he doesn’t understand what that feels like. It’s so good of you to share your story. You always make me feel understood and like I’m not alone. Keep your chin up. This, too, will pass. (Did I just sound like a preachy asshole just then? I just want you to feel better)!

  133. Depression runs in my family, so I know the feeling, though nowhere near as bad as you likely do.

    There are certainly days and times when your first thought about getting out of bed is “Fuck it!”

    And your second…
    And third…

  134. Because when your brain is being an arsehole, what you really need is stupid people joining in with the arseholery.

    I’m glad you’re able to get help, I hope the bad trip results in many good days for your health. Ignore the arseholes – either the grey matter one or the two legged variety – they’ve probably taken one too many horse meds.

  135. Sending you all the premium spoons. (https://target.scene7.com/is/image/Target/GUEST_292d7a3d-7981-46e9-ace3-5667b9ce1de3, idk if that link will work but the box just made me giggle when i saw them in Target)

    I’m going to go to a consultation for Spravato on Tuesday. I’m hoping I get approved and can start treatment soon. These last few months have been hellish. I’m better now that I’m back on a previous antidepressant that, while it isn’t doing *enough* anymore, it’s at least replenishing some (apparently critical) brain juices that I didn’t get from the new med I tried. And the lack of those brain juices made me horribly depressed, pretty much constantly. Plus the new med made me super sweaty, and made my heart race. It was gross. I kept waiting for it to “kick in” but I think the only kicking-in it did was kicking my ass. On my old meds, I’m basically just coasting on moderate dysthymia, and I’m on the highest possible dose already.

    Anyway, hang in there. Love you.

  136. Don’t forget “just snap out of it!” There’s a Nobel Prize for Medicine winner right there. Or a victim begging to be murdered (“I’ll show you snap”). Take your pick.

  137. Not making fun or light of anything, but with my own depression and sickness I read somewhere that you can’t puke while smiling (kinda like sneezing with your eyes open)…I smile a lot now so I don’t vomit

  138. I’m a therapist. Today I spent a whole session working on the guilt/shame/anger that came when the person’s father said “You know, you should just stop doing that” (referring to a self harm behavior) D’oh! Why spend 6 years in grad school? I could just tell people “Don’t do that” and they would be all better *heavy sarcasm*.

    Everyone is doing the best they can. Some days that means they opened their eyes or got up to go to the bathroom.

  139. So true Jenny. Love your books and I myself hide in books, in taking care of everyone and everything else around me and occasionally my own art. But I have fought depression for 30 years and found very little to connect with. Thank u for helping so many of us see light in ourselves and that we are not alone. Keep fighting. We love u.

  140. Why do we feel like people are mad at us? That feeling is my worst enemy. I spin and wonder and ask and then feel like people think I am a hot mess because I am asking. BTW – I am a hot mess and quite fine with it because sometimes I can get things done. And sometimes I am a hot mess because I wish I wasn’t so insecure and brave enough to ask people if they are mad at me. Ridiculous! Does that make sense? I wrap my arms around you, Jenny. I celebrate you for your honesty and humor. You have helped me and my daughter feel like we are not alone. My husband could use your help too, but he gets frustrated when I follow him around your books and say, “Just listen to this one chapter! (The one about getting engaged) It is so funny, I sobbed from laughter!” It starts with crying and then I end up sobbing and once again, become a hot mess! The End ❤️🙃🎶

  141. ” because you actually can laugh and smile while depressed”. GIRL! Say the damn thing 👏

  142. You are always a delightfully reliable source of a laugh cry. Thank you. I needed to hear this. And I adore you. Thank you for you.

  143. A dear friend once described his depression as ‘Auschwitz of the mind’ and I think people who survive it have the kind of strength and resilience that is super-heroic. I was there once, at 22, and it scared the death out of me. I send you and everyone who struggles all my compassion and love. And, I’ll send it to those who don’t understand, too, to help soften their hearts.

  144. I hope you find your way back to some good days soon. Thank you for sharing this. I didn’t know how much I needed to read those last two paragraphs today.

  145. I had to f***ing reset my WordPress password to reply to this, but it was worth it! I know it won’t make YOU feel any better but THANK YOU for posting this. And as my favorite sympathy/empathy card says “Let me be the first one to punch anyone in the face who tells you ‘This all happens for a reason’.” I’m in an exclamation war with someone at work. In person she is surly AF but when she writes emails, she uses at least 3 exclamation points after her thank yous. So I use 4 exclamation points when I say you’re welcome, just to see if she notices.

  146. A few years ago I was switching therapists. While talking with the new therapist he gave me a funny look and said “If you are so depressed why are you smiling? I told him I was trying to be civilized but if he wanted I could go back out and drag myself in on my hands and knees. And then I got up and walked out. I did find a good therapist that same week.

  147. I made a design to go on merch that says “if you want me to smile say something funny”
    it should finish with “otherwise stfu” but it doesn’t…yet.
    I have what’s often known as rbf. It’s just a face, though.

  148. It seems like telling someone to smile more is the equivalent of telling someone with cancer “Just have less cancer, you’ll feel better”.

  149. Love and hugs to you. You’re amazing and you help the rest of us way more than you know. Thank you for being you and hang in there.

  150. As someone who has battled depression in the past — including being suicidal — and still fights to this day with both it and anxiety, this spoke to my very core. I’ve long ago grown tired of wearing a mask and fake smiles those times I really have to force myself to. However it’s difficult when, as you mention, it’s easy to be more concerned about one’s outward appearance to others than our own internal suffering. Some days the smiles or laughs are felt deeply and authentically, while on others they’re painfully fleeting. Sometimes, I wish I’d just get out of my own fucking way. I’ve learned over the years that depression and anxiety can be very cyclical, and recognizing those cycles so I can be less hard on myself when they occur.

    Thank you sharing this heartfelt post and the important reminder that we’re never alone. That will always be the biggest rock to lean on when dealing with mental health issues.

    Stay strong!


  151. I hope the ketamine helped a little Jenny. We all here care for you so much (even the disillusioned smiley, Herbalife people). I am sending big hugs to you. I am so glad you are able to catch yourself before you get too low, and call your doctor. Lots of love to you. ❤️

  152. To ask those sad smiles I see, I hope one day there won’t be so many. Especially ones I see in the mirror.

  153. My brother and I are Bipolar and often suffer from long Depressions. So often we hear, “Well, just smile and eventually this will help you get better.”

    We get that so much that we end our calls in the humor of, “Don’t forget to smile ”

    Depression is hard. Thank you for your honesty.

  154. “But you always seem so happy!?” Sometimes I can even fool myself for a while.
    Love you, you give me hope

  155. Oh yes. Smile more. Totally works. If By “totally works” you mean my coworkers all believed me when I said everything was fine and would never in 1 million years ever realized I was losing my mind last spring.I am really good at appearing happy when I’m actually dying inside.
    You do what you need to to take care of you. That is the most important job you have.

  156. ‘smile more’ is SO multi-purpose. It is dismissive in so many ways! And sexist. And demeaning. And clueless. And insulting. The best thing is that anyone who says it is immediately recognized as not worth my time.

  157. I needed this more than you know Jenny. Today was ROUGH and the I “just need to”’s came from all directions. One friend even had the lady balls to say she couldn’t validate what I was asking her to (uhhhh that I’m severely depressed?).

    We ARE the smiliest bitches there are, and thanks for saying what I needed to hear: we do try, we do the work, but fuck, depression sucks!

    Sending you love and kitty cuddles.

  158. Unlike many of you, I don’t have the energy to smile. I always wear a depression face. And the smile police. One of these times, I’m going to reply with, “would you tell a cancer patient to just stop those cells from replicating,” because it’s the same principle. I’m changing meds and I’m so scared. This morning I woke up early because my heart was racing. My doctor is calling me back and I suppose I’ll have to go to urgent care. And I just started the change. All of my hopefulness is now gone and the beast is winning again.

  159. It’s me again. My doctor said she’s not worried about the rapid heart rate because it seems to be more anxiety related and to continue with our original med switch plan. Now I’m hopeful again and the beast is running away like a scared wimp. But it will be back…….

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