Listen

So, listen. Tomorrow is the release of the paperback edition of Broken so I should be writing about that but instead I’m writing something imperfectly that I need to get down and that maybe you need to read.

If you’ve been here long enough you already know I battle with depression and probably always will. This last week has been filled with wonderful things, like school plays, Indie Bookshop Day, Hailey’s first prom and book releases. And I’ve loved all of those but I’m also dealing with a medium-sized bout of depression that I’m hoping will just hover and pass soon rather than stay. It’s light enough that I can still function and enjoy life but numbing enough that I wish I could pause these good moments so that I could feel them fully as they are meant to be felt. I surreptitiously record these plays and moments so that the future me who will one day wake up from this fog can appreciate them fully. This sounds insane, I know, but I suspect if you’ve dealt with depression you might understand.

This weekend Victor got tickets for us to see Tori Amos in concert. Tori is probably my favorite performer ever (the person who got me through so many bad teen breakups and hard, lonely times). The fact that Victor owned a Tori Amos CD when we met was a giant contributing factor to me giving him a go, and the first concert we ever went to together was Tori, decades ago.

So it was very sweet when Victor surprised me with tickets for us and for Hailey and their partner and I immediately didn’t want to go and began making every excuse to cancel.

When I’m in a depression I can’t listen to music. It literally hurts because I know the emotions a normal person would feel and the cognitive dissonance of not feeling those emotions makes the depression even more obvious, and the idea of a concert of emotional songs that I won’t be able to appreciate was something I was not looking forward to, and honestly if Hailey and their sweetheart weren’t already excited about it I probably would have just begged off.

But we went, and luckily I’m still at that high-functioning level of medium depression where I have access to most of my energy, even though my emotions are turned down to a muffled sort of noise, and as she started to sing I felt so incredibly lucky to be at a wonderful event with people I love and so incredibly bad about not being able to fully appreciate it and so incredibly selfish for having so very much and not having the ability to live in that moment with the joy that it should have been afforded.

And then a few songs in Tori sang Bouncing on Clouds and I don’t know if it was the music or the moment or a synapsis in my brain spasming or a boost of serotonin from the depression gods, but suddenly I felt something.

She sang, “Is there a lone lost-and-found? Make it easy…we could make this easy…it’s not as heavy as it seems. I think we decide where we take our lives” and I felt it in my heart. And I cried. I cried so much and I was so thankful that Hailey and their partner were sitting behind us and that my mask covered most of my face and that the music was so loud that no one could hear me sobbing so loudly.

I cried for lost time and I cried for joy at coming so far and I cried from an incredible relief at being able to cry and feel, and I cried for how selfish I feel for being depressed even when I’m so lucky, and I cried for thinking it’s selfish to be honest about battling a debilitating disease.

I don’t know where it came from, but afterward I felt clean and like I’d finally put down a heavy weight I’d been carrying. And I thought, I need to write about this now while the memory is still bright, but I also can’t write well when I’m in a depression and I worried (I still worry) that I won’t find the right words. So I stayed quiet.

And then a fellow treatment-resistant depression sufferer who I have admired lost her battle. And I saw people saying, “But why? She had everything. She was just about to go back on tour and accept a giant award” and I had people reach out to me to say, “Sometimes it’s like we’re slowing being picked off” and I see others online saying, “Check on your friends even if they seem happy!” and all of those are valid things but the ignore the fact that we win more than we lose. Even when we battle depression, or cancer, or abuse or a million other things that try to take us out, we fight and win and love and are loved. Every battle won is a victory and every wonderful memory is golden and worthwhile, regardless of how it all ends. We fight and we love and we wait for the world to come back and each time that is worth celebrating. It is worthwhile. It’s easy to paint people by their last actions, but remember that they are so much more than that. They are more than what they battle. They are more than just their struggle. And you are too. And if you are reading this it means that you have lived. And I’m so glad for it. Right now. Right this second. I’m happy that we are here together. Even if we’ve never met, know that you are not alone. Know that if you’ve lost someone to the darkness they were more than their end. Know that if you are thinking dark thoughts it’s okay to reach out…to friends or family or crisis lines or therapists. And if they don’t understand or you think they don’t care, remember that depression tells you terrible lies and keep fighting. Even if you feel alone right this moment I promise that there would be an empty spot in life without your light. There are future friends who can’t wait to meet you so they will feel less alone as well. There will be a time when you come out of the darkness and can breathe again and all of this will look so strange to your eyes.

And until then, I’ll wait in the lone lost-and-found with you. Quietly. But there. Waiting for the music to work again. Because all of these moments are worth it.

240 thoughts on “Listen

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Thank you, sincerely and wholeheartedly, for always sharing your honest experience with mental health. It makes me, and I’m sure many other people, feel much less alone.

  2. Omg Jenny when you said you went to Tori I admired you so much. I thought I’d never see her because, I thought, I’d react just the way you said you did. But you were ok with it. You lived through it. Thank you for sharing and being there.

  3. You get me when no one else seems to understand. For that I will always be grateful and am trying to convince myself going tomorrow to the signing alone, that I’ll be ok.

  4. Battling that dark place today. Thank you for being a light 💜

  5. I’ll be here waiting with you. Love to you and everyone that shares this special place.

  6. As someone who’s been mentally preparing my pre-check-out cleanup list the past week (don’t want my family to find anything embarrassing when I’m gone), your words are a virtual hug I needed.

    (I’m hoping that my virtual hug is making you realize how vitally important you are to the world. Because you absolutely are. Please call the crisis hotline right now and get help. Reach out to friends and family and your doctor. This isn’t something you should battle alone. Check your email, friend. ~ Jenny)

  7. Just wow … what a raw, honest and heartfelt post. You are so brave. And I absolutely recognize the weeping that you describe here. It’s totally cleansing and when it’s over you wonder why the hell you don’t do it more often … Thank you for writing this and for being real. xo

  8. Thank you for this. For sharing the words and emotions that help us through. Hoping your bounce back comes quickly! sending ♥️🌞🙏

  9. Wow. So glad you wrote these words, for yourself and everyone who needs them. Thank you.

  10. I needed to read this today.

    I’m facing down what is likely to be a life-long chronic pain condition (this sort of thing happens when you get hit by a bus). And I’ve been trying to figure out how to get into a head space where I can at least be aiming in the general direction of accepting whatever happens. And I’m doing all the right things but there are moments when I’m drowning.

    I needed to remember to start paying attention to the good things too.

    Thank you!

  11. I’m not even sure where to start and this will be jumbled, but I’m so happy that you have the moments to enjoy because you deserve them and whatever you can manage to feel is good enough. You are always good enough; we all are.
    I hope this bout of depression lifts soon and stays away. I’m sorry about your friend. Let’s all keep fighting, because we’re worth it. And mostly, I just want to give you a big virtual hug.

  12. I didn’t get tickets to see Tori because my anxiety has been so bad the thought of sitting with so many people shuts me down. As set lists have come out, I now feel called to just go. But I can’t find affordable tickets and my BFF isn’t able to go. It’s not helping with the big sad I’ve been warding off. Tori is amazing and healing and I’m glad you felt a weight lifted.

    Thank you for your words. They truly help when things feel so dark.

  13. Thank you for this. Last night I had a dream (I don’t ever wish to remember my dreams as they are typically night terrors), but this one was of Dorothy Barker being found in the library I work at. She was amazingly sweet pup and naughty at the same time. It was my first light dream in years. Thank you

  14. Tears, here. You’re loved. Thank you, for everything.

  15. I see you. I see all the work that goes into just staying alive,

  16. I feel this SO much. I’m currently reading a book called Bittersweet, How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, by Susan Cain. I think you’d have a great appreciation for it! She talks a lot about music, and how it reaches parts of us we didn’t even know we had. thank you so much for sharing this <3

  17. Dammit woman, you made me cry at work!

    Seriously, you are wonderful. And I’m glad you are still here. I’m glad everyone who frequents this blog is still here. Keep fighting the good fight, and I will somehow find it in me to keep fighting too.

  18. “When I’m in a depression I can’t listen to music. It literally hurts because I know the emotions a normal person would feel and the cognitive dissonance of not feeling those emotions makes the depression even more obvious, and the idea of a concert of emotional songs that I won’t be able to appreciate was something I was not looking forward to”

    I missed a recent concert of a band I love, playing at a small venue in my town, and this perfectly sums up everything I feel. Thank you for always being so open, and being able to articulate things so well….

  19. Love you so much. Sending hugs, thanks and admiration for your courage. Know that your sharing helps so many.

  20. Thank you for writing this. You explained it all so well; it can feel terrible on top of terrible to experience such disconnection, it’s like living in a different world. Really glad you got to that concert. The depression vs anxiety battle is just whiplashing me daily… but I keep trying and working at it and hoping for the best… There’s very luckily something deep in me that believes that half of life is showing up and seeing what happens. There’s a future that’s not written yet.

  21. Wow. I feel like you are my cosmic twin. I had been battling my severe depression and felt “ pretty good” ( for me) lately. Until I heard about Naomi. She was a fellow fighter who gave me hope. Kept her book in my nightstand. I’ve gone back these past days to bad depression after her loss. Keep on keepin on Jenny 💖

  22. Thank you for always putting words to the blank pages in my head. You’ve made the world a little easier to explain to others each and every time you do this for all of us. ❤️

  23. You have been one if my favorite writers for everso long. You are funny as hell, articulate, deep and kind. But this post touched me to my very core, gave me goosebumps and made me take a deep breath. We are all warriors, fighting the good fight x

  24. I really needed to see this today.
    Thank you for your honesty, and your humanity.

  25. I don’t usually comment on your posts but this one really touched me. I don’t know how to say what you have made me feel, but this is wonderful wonderful and exactly what i needed right now. i recently reached out for help for the first time in a while and it has felt so good to breathe again. this has reminded me that that good feeling, the breathing feeling, is worth fighting for.

    thank you, and sending love!! I hope you start to feel a little better soon.

  26. A friend of mine once said that Tori Amos has a way of finding all of the places that still hurt inside you. There are songs of hers I can’t listen to without bawling: Like Winter… it reminds me of my dad so much and I miss him every day. I think of all of the places where crying would be accepted without question, a Tori show would be it.

  27. Oh, Jenny. Funny how you care so deeply for someone you have never met. I wish you all of the peace your heart can hold. Be well love ❤️

  28. I also suffer from TRD and I hear you. I was in a bad bad place just 2 weeks ago and needed to call my providers in a panic.

  29. From someone else that felt finally felt something from a song this week–thank you for normalizing this. Thank you for making this horrible illness a bit more bearable for me and a bit more understandable for everyone else.

  30. Thank you, needed to read this today. I’m also a huge Tori fan and this song deserved a listen today, as well.

  31. OMG, the pausing thing. So many times. And then when it lifts, it’s like those wonderful things happened to someone else because I wasn’t all there for them. So I don’t even get to enjoy them after the fact. Raise a glass (or some SSRIs) for those who keep on keepin’ on like they are living a country music song. You are winning. Cling to that lifeline.

  32. The words I needed to hear were about not being able to enjoy music when depressed. I thought I was the only one. I love music but there are times when I just can’t listen to it. I am glad you kept it together enough to go and experience that great catharsis. Just goes to show – and we know this but we have to re-learn the lesson every time – that when we push ourselves to do something, we usually find that the experience is much better than we thought it would be. Usually. Thank you so much for sharing this. So many people, especially me, need to read it.

  33. I went to see a favorite, Dar Williams, last summer when I was adjusting meds and feeling better, but raw. Smiled during the show but sat on the edge of an ugly cry. So happy, but so unable to process the way I wanted.

  34. This was exactly what I needed to read at the precise moment when I really needed to read it. Thank you. I’ve been struggling, too.

  35. So glad you feel better right now music is powerful it can elicit feelings if you let it. Glad you are out here in the the world

  36. Thank you for reminding us why it’s important to fight. I can’t wait to hear the music again.

  37. It’s possible I read this, cried through my lunch break, and felt better for it. If it was possible to thank you enough, I wouldn’t, just so I could keep thanking you.

  38. Thank you for sharing this because, as we say in this house – Depression is a lying Bitch. People need to know that depression can and does happen to ANYONE. It should never be “If it can happen to (fill in the blank), then it can happen to anyone.” It should just be “It can happen to anyone. PERIOD.” It’s a struggle for so many who think that they don’t have a “right” to feel depressed when their life is so much “better” than someone else’s. Depression is a mental illness, not something anyone does or doesn’t have a right to feel no matter who they are and how good or terrible their situation may be. Peace and love to you.

  39. Thank you for sharing, and helping us know we are not alone. We will sit with you in silence when you need it, and we will hear you when you speak. Sending love.

  40. Thank you. I do the same thing with pictures and videos and I hope to capture the spirit of the moment in candid shots so I can feel it later. I’m so thankful for your words and how you share.

  41. Thank you. I’m bawling in the bathroom.

    Every day, every goddamn breath is a victory. And you should know: my kid’s favorite book is Furiously Happy. Asks for it every night as their bedtime story – for over a year now.

  42. Oh, dear love! I hurt for you and with you. I share the music aversion as well as a reading aversion when the dark clouds come. YOU ARE ALWAYS THERE with wisdom and understanding. Thank you, Jenny. Thank you.

  43. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts, especially on the loss of Naomi. Whenever we lose a fellow mental health sufferer, I grieve like a friend, even though I never knew them. I’m thinking of a passage in your book when you say that as breast cancer survivors have pink ribbons, we mental health survivors should adopt silver ribbons. I wish our community would wear them as badges of honor, a symbol of our shared struggle and resilience, a reminder that we’re not alone.

  44. This is powerful!! You are such an amazing person Jenny and sharing with us just elevates you even more!

  45. Your honesty and vulnerability helps me fight my own battles. It makes me understand that I am not along.

  46. I think crying at a Tori Amos concert is universal. I went to the last tour with a woman I didn’t know very well, but we bonded over crying at the same songs.

    Internet stranger hugs to you.

  47. Thank you so much for putting this out there. I am much like you with treatment resistant depression et al and you give me courage. Courage that even thought I use humor to battle my depression, it’s a mask. Even though I functioned at such a high level for so long, it was killing me.

    One day it would be my honor to meet you.

  48. I fought and won. I think I’m finally through it this time. Furiously Happy helped some. Now I do my best to help loved ones through theirs.

  49. I can’t listen to music I’ve loved in the past because it makes me terribly sad for the lost time, emotions, people I shared it with. I’m in a current cessation of my depression, but always waiting for the other shoe to drop, or my C-PTSD to get triggered and push me off the edge again. Bless our sister who couldn’t stay and all the others, known and unknown to us.

  50. The fact that you share your feelings is a huge gift of yourself to me. I needed to read this today. You inspire me.

  51. Thank you. I am just sobbing. I am so thankful to you for finding a way during or sometimes after, sharing your thoughts on this difficult thing called depression. For all of us and the families around us, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  52. I’m so thankful that you went to the concert and found healing in your favorite Tori Amos. You deserved that, and your family deserves you! Shine on, Jenny!

  53. Thank you for being honest, open and sharing your pain and your struggle. It helps so many of us in the world.
    I heard about this famous person losing their struggle recently and how they had so many good things right around the corner to look forward to, and how everyone was asking why.
    And I thought to myself, because Depression Lies.
    Because depression and anxiety hurts.
    And it helped to know that this terrible tragedy will bring so many people into the conversation and understanding that mental illness is just that, an illness.

  54. My heart needed to hear this today. And I too went to a concert recently and has a strong reaction to a song I’d never heard before. “My mind is a mess in the morning.” I had to look it up and send it to my hubby before the song was even over because it was exactly all the things I feel about myself and how I’m “amazing he could want someone like me”. Music really can be magic sometimes.

    I’m sorry for your loss Jenny. But I know your words save so many. 💜 Thank you for sharing them.

  55. Thank you for always being a light at the end of the tunnel. My husband tries to understand, but he just does not always get it and being medically retired due to mental and physical issues means I am home, alone, a lot. I like it that way, but I know it is not the healthiest thing. We do not live somewhere to go out for a night or go to a concert except maybe once a year unless we travel. My PTSD does not let me wear a mask and people have not been understanding at all. They do not think that maybe I could be a victim that has gone through something horrible when I was a teen. And sometimes when I tell them, they still look down at me. The world of understand and compassion has gone out the window and it hurts my heart on how mean the world has become. Forcing biases on each other…I am scared for the world my children have to grow up in and that ramps up my anxiety. You are the only blog I read. Thank you for your time.

  56. Thank you so much for sharing. I have been so inspired to accept myself, depression and all because I know this experience means I am just really human. I am so grateful for you woman. I have no words.

  57. Depressed person here. I got slightly watery eyes while reading. It’s quite rare.

    <3 U

  58. This post made me cry.
    Yes, my partner was so much more than her end.
    And yes, i’m still here; trying to keep my head above water and somehow succeeding.
    One day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time.
    Thank you for everything and for putting it into words.

  59. Music is the only thing getting me through everything anymore. I can’t focus on a book, it’s like my brain melts the page. It’s awful. I miss books so much. I don’t know what I would do without music right now. My headset is perpetually on and keeping me sane and from sensory hell.

  60. Thank you so much for writing truthfully about your battles. You’re not alone and I know that there are so many people out there (myself included) that appreciate your honesty

  61. Hey, is there any way to check on Allie, who wrote comment #11?

    She’s writing about mentally preparing her pre-checkout list because she doesn’t want her family to find anything embarrassing when she’s gone.

    She needs help!!!

  62. I think we tend to forget that “good” things also cause stress. That can possibly help to explain why when lots of good things are happening depression can speak it’s lies a little louder.

  63. I lost my brother to the battle. Every single day I am reminded of what depression, anxiety and grief can do to someone. I appreciate this and celebrate you on finding your voice, even in the struggle! Sending love.

  64. You give me hope and tears and laughter as I parent my child through her battle. Thank you and hold tight to the good days that happened and keep reaching for the ones ahead. That’s what this mama is doing alongside those of you who are fighting.

  65. You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your Tori Amos music impact.

    I’m one of the fortunate people who have never known the depths of darkness that some other people have to tread. I’ve had losses that put me near the edge of the abyss, but never more than that. However, I’ve seen some struggles and listened to some people in mental stress that seems never-ending. I can only hope that my listening helps.

  66. Thank you. It’s such a wonderful thing that you had that experience at that concert, and more so that you’re sharing it with so many who might have felt the same way you did.
    I’ve always loved Tori Amos too. As I read that, the first thought I had was that she writes about the same things you do, and that might be why her music connects for you and for some of the rest of us. It might be why it turned that key for you this time.
    I can remember when I bitterly resented my family, especially my kids, because I wanted to just end it but they were the reason I couldn’t – I had a close friend whose father had died by suicide when he was thirteen and he was still so hurt and angry years later that he could barely talk about it; I felt that I was already letting my kids down by being me, but I couldn’t do to them what my friend’s father had do him – I sensed that it would devastate my parents too. And I saw them all as the locked door between me and an end to the way I felt and secretly hated them for it.
    Ultimately I got into therapy, psychiatric care, and a recovery program for childhood trauma, and decades later I’m doing okay. I hope for the kind of lucky outcome I’ve been given for everyone suffering with this thing Tracy Thompson called The Beast in her memoir.
    Please keep fighting and writing. It helps more people than you’ll ever be able to talk with in person, and I hope it helps you too. I will be keeping you in my thoughts, especially when I’m listening to music I love because of how it entangles with this affliction.

  67. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was so happy to find out that you love Tori. She has been my favorite forever and I’m so excited that you got to go see her. And you are my favorite author. So my favorites together. This is beautiful and important and just thank you. Know that you aren’t alone either. ❤️

  68. Thanks for your words, I have had a lump in my throat since learning aboutNaomi Judd.

  69. So proud of you for crying! In public! Peace, magic, and music to you.

  70. You hit them all for me. Abuse, cancer, depression. I know I have overcome them all but the painful memories pull me back in like the tide. Okay, cancer survival is only at a year and a half so I’m going to stop blaming myself for carrying that one! All the love to you and all of you surviving this life. It’s hard. ❤❤

  71. First comment ever. This was the most moving piece I have read in a long time. Thank you for being you. I have tears of joy and sadness but they are mine

  72. OMG Jenny! About to sob in how beautiful and true this message is and oh so how beautiful and true you are😭 (glad I am working from home as I read this-current emotional state would be hard to deal with in public) I’ve been learning lately that even in the darkness there is hope…I can’t explain it…but it is there…and I see that hope in things like your message here (I can even hear you speaking these words) I can only pray that others here and beyond read these words, find the truth here and hold on to hope-evn when it’s faint…it’s there.

  73. Empathy, compassion, love and extreme gratitude that you are alive, and I found you.
    We are all together supporting each other.
    Namaste

  74. Jenny, you are such a beautiful writer and soul. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us, and even when you can’t feel our love, know that it exists and is waiting patiently for you on the other side.

  75. Thank you for writing this. You somehow always know what I need to hear and I know I’m not alone. Keep writing. Keep fighting. We’ll be waiting, listening, and cheering you on.

  76. Thank you so much for this honesty. I am lucky in that my meds help lift the fog my PsA (Psoriatic Arthritis) causes. But the PsA is still there with all its pain and inflammation. Making me think I should just give up and stay on the couch. But I have my Physical Therapist and now you, reminding me I am stronger than my body. And most importantly, I am not alone. None of us are alone.

    And yes, can someone please check on #11. Make sure they are okay.

  77. Such lovely words! You said how I always feel, but am not eloquent enough to express. Thank you! Love you bunches. 💜

  78. I don’t know if you realize how often you are a voice for those of us who struggle and say nothing.
    For the ones whose friends say “you’re so strong,” “you have everything together””, “you’ve got this.”
    For those who, when we were brave enough to ask for help, didn’t get it.
    For those whose parents and grandparents always muscled through, so we have something to live up to.
    For those of us who live under the long shadow of the lying monster, and never let on, just to know we aren’t alone, to read your words and the words of others is such a comfort. Thank you. Love you 🙏🥰

  79. So many thoughts. So I’ll just say I’m so glad you were able to go to the concert and appreciate even the fact that your family and Hailey’s partner were having fun, and then connecting with her song. I want to see you and hug you (but I wouldn’t bc….anxiety and creepy!) because you are a wonderfully imperfect and real person and I am thankful every time you win your battle.

  80. I can’t tell you how much I needed these words today. Thank you.

  81. I lost my middle brother to the darkness a little more than 4 years ago. Ironically, he was a Tori Amos fan too. His loss coming so close to losing our dad really kicked my depression into high gear. I’m responding well enough to the meds, though I have to believe that something better will come along in my lifetime. Unlike you, I can listen to music, but cannot maintain the attention span to watch TV or read books. It’s sad because I used to read 1-3 books a week. Now it’s a miracle if I read 1-3 books a year. But I did read yours last year. Hugs and thanks for keeping on

  82. I feel every word of this. You give voice to the advice I try always to keep in mind:
    “We have different moods that profoundly change our outlook, and it’s not right to let your worst one murder all the others.”

  83. Thank you for this. At seventy, the dark times are still dark. But you show me there is yet light.

  84. Oh Jenny – I don’t know you in real life and you’ve never met me so I know this is super creepy but I seriously love you like I would any of my “real” friends. You are amazing and you inspire me every day. I’m so glad you’re here. Having someone who writes what I’ve felt so many times means so much.

  85. Jenny, thank you for this. Thank you for putting it out there while the spark is fresh and I wish you peace and comfort in this latest wave for you. I’ve appreciated your humour, warmth and wit as a bright refuge for years and I’m so glad you’re still here in the lost and found too.

    Sometimes when we lose someone like this, especially so publicly, I have to remind myself that depression isn’t a dragon hoarding our souls in a lair somewhere (that might be cool though!). As sad as we are, there’s no need to feel defeated ourselves when others choose to stop fighting. As you said, no one should be summed or judged by how we end, but by how we live and (more importantly!) not by others but by our own private, sacred, secret standard.

    Life is what it is; Beautiful, painful, delicate, awkward, but it is theirs, mine, yours to live each in our own way. Naomi brought so much joy and light to this world, and I’m glad to have basked a little in that light too. No tally of wins or losses can erase the joy and wonderfulness she – or I, or you, or anyone – has created in this world. I for one will stick around as long as I can, and I hope you all will love the journey as long as you can too.

  86. <3
    That's all I got.
    I so Less Than Three you, so very much.

  87. I’m crying because I want to be in the place you are now. My mask is slipping as I smile and say “I’m ok” and then reopen the wounds on my arms and hands just to feel the pain.

  88. Well, now I’m making tears. Which is a step closer to feeling than I’ve been in a while. Thanks for that.

  89. Look at all of these amazing responses. You are loved and you make a difference.

  90. Is there anyway someone can reach out to #11 and see she’s ok?

  91. My darling sister lost her battle last fall. All of us who knew her best were totally shocked. We knew she was struggling, but had no idea she suffered from depression. Like our dad. Like me. She was one of the hidden ones who smiled to hide the pain. It’s been a tough winter. Go see those concerts and plays and friends. Try not to focus on the parts that you may not be able to fully enjoy and appreciate just being with others, or a good drink, or a great hot dog. Appreciate them in honor of the ones who no longer can.

  92. Thank you. That’s all, just, thank you. Thank you for speaking exactly what I’m feeling.

  93. I’m so glad you’re here. I’m just in the early days of rising up from a months-long depression and reading your words makes me feel truly understood and heard. I’ve taken to just sharing your posts and pages with my partner with “what she said” attached to it because I can’t muster the strength to explain how I feel. But today, when you wrote about not being able to listen to music – I’m so sorry you experience that, but also thank you so much – music is my life, and I can’t bear to listen to it when I’m in a depression. I’ve been ashamed of this for so long. I found the energy to go to a concert two weeks ago and it also made me cry and feel all the things. Thank you for sharing all of your messy beauty with us so we can feel less alone.

  94. Thank you. Please keep fighting. We all need you in our lives.

  95. Aww, Jenny, you’re making me cry. Although you said you were writing about it imperfectly, I think you got it spot on. Thank you for sharing

  96. There were rumours she’d lost her battle. I’m so sorry for her and those left behind.
    I completely get what she was going through, I completely get the … panic … of something good coming that you don’t feel like you can receive.
    We forget. We talk about how music heals, but we forget that the makers have to work at it & that the battle can make it so hard to feel that.
    Thank you so much for your honesty, and I’m so thrilled you had that glorious moment.

  97. I love this and I love you..even though I’ve never met you. I love and deeply respect your courage, honesty, and the fact that even when you are going through an episode of depression and dissonance you are still using your voice to reach out to others.
    I want to remind you of something you helped me, and I’m sure many others, realize. Depression lies. You don’t have to feel guilty about anything. I don’t care how much good you have..YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MOURN when your brain is taking joy from you. It’s not fair and you have every right to wish you could feel differently..you could feel “normal” (whatever that bizarre-ass concept means. Lol)
    I’m sending you boatloads of hugs and I’m holding space for you as well until you feel like yourself again.

  98. Thank you for writing this today — just last night I was searching through our photos for my daughter’s graduation. They wanted pics from kindergarten through now and it was making me so sad — for the obvious reasons, of course, but also because I saw all these things we did through the years and I just rarely find any joy in them. Sometimes? I guess? And I saw things we used to do and realized I constantly manage our lives so we basically don’t do anything. It’s such a waste.

    I know people say that people care but I think people care in that abstract way — people care that there is suffering in the world. But no one really cares about my messiness.

    Is it really worthwhile? Aren’t I basically alone? Will there be future friends? Will I come out of this? Because honestly all evidence points to the contrary.

    I do feel like you understand a little though which is oddly comforting. I’m not sure why it’s comforting that a perfect stranger who lives 1000 miles away gets it but — thanks. 🙂

  99. Thank you, for always being vulnerable. Your pain is being used to help others and I hope that makes it just a bit more bearable! ❤️

  100. ‘Every battle won is a victory and every wonderful memory is golden and worthwhile, regardless of how it all ends.’
    ‘There will be a time when you come out of the darkness and can breathe again and all of this will look so strange to your eyes.’
    Oh Jenny, I’m sobbing so hard at this. But it’s a good thing, because it means I’m feeling. I’ve been absent from all social media and blogging for over 2 and a half years because events in my personal life have made it unbearable for me to face it. You laid a foundation stone that helped me build up my bravado some years ago and the support, compassion and understanding you share here is priceless. This has nudged me to reach out publicly for the first time in two and a half years and I’m so glad you found the courage to go to your concert and that it was cathartic for you. Look back on it with the warmest fondest memories. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for this.

  101. You have no idea how much I needed to hear every bit of this today. Thank you so much for your courage to be vulnerable.

  102. Thank you for writing this. You are fabulous! 💕 I’m glad you went to see Tori. She is insanely talented.

  103. I don’t have good words because I’m really struggling right now too, but thank you for this and please know that you’re not alone either, none of us is even though it feels so much like it sometimes. There is so much love in the world, there really is, even when you’re as broken as me or you or… Love you, dear Jenny. 💜💜

  104. Thank you for plunging into sharing your journey with us. Each post you struggle to publish, wraps me in a warm embrace of being seen. I appreciate your battle/struggles/raw honesty.

  105. So much warmth in your dark time. The explanation of your thoughts and world to you is amazing. You are amazing. Very honored to read a bit about you and your life and to better understand we are all connected in little ways.

  106. Thank you. It helps a little, and sometimes that’s enough. I’m also going through a bad phase right now.

    My reason for not listening to music when I’m in the pit is that it will tie the emotion to the music. I listened to The Cure’s “Disintegration” album *a lot* when I was in high school and deep into the worst of my depression. Most songs from it just immediately send me spiraling right back down there (thankfully Love Song, Fascination Street, and Lullaby don’t trigger). It’s gotten better, but I still skip them if they come up on my player.

  107. Jenny, I was so happy to finally meet you on Saturday at Nowhere. It was a joy for both my daughter and me to see you and try not to “fan girl” too much. I, too, struggle with darkness and shadows, and your honesty gives me hope. Thank you for your courage to stand up to the lies depression tells, because it gives me courage as well.

  108. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful moment. It really makes the fight Worth it. And thank you for being here, hope you can clear out the fog soon. Hugs 🤗

  109. I had 5th row seats to Ani DiFranco, my personal idol, and I didn’t go because of depression. Wish I had someone to push me

  110. 💜🥄 💙🥄💚 🥄 💛🥄 🧡 🥄❤️
    Love & spoons

    “Believe it if you need it
    If you don’t, just pass it on”
    -Box of Rain

  111. I am so sorry you are going through this. I really admire that you are able to live in the fog, and still help others by writing so beautifully and poignantly. Your words mean so much to those of us who are also struggling with the darkness. They let us know that we are far from alone and we are loved. Your words helped me release all the tears that I have been shoving down and I am so grateful. ❤️

  112. Sending you love. Keep listening to Tori. She’s my favorite and helps me through everything.

  113. I am glad that you are here, and I am grateful for you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Sending you a big hug from the East Coast.

  114. I’m on vacation in Cabo and my sister is alone at home taking care of our dad while he is going on hospice and possibly dying before I get home. So many emotions. I’m sure I will crash as soon as the stress lightens. It scares me.

  115. Thank you; this post was my “Bouncing Off Clouds” and I didn’t realize how bad the battle has gotten until the flood gates were opened in reading.

    I both mourn and honor every fellow warrior who falls in this never ending war.

    Seeing you take something from that loss and turn it into this is such a gift – I can’t even say. I will carry that thought of future friends with me now. I used to reach out to future me for help seeing things wouldn’t always be so dark, but I’ve been unable to reach that me this time, so I desperately needed this new thought.

    Thank you a thousand times and more ❤️

    May we keep fighting the good fight and celebrating every new day as evidence of another victory.

  116. When I was new to Twitter almost 12 years ago and just figuring out how it worked, I found your frank and honest voice talking about some of the scariest things in life and encouraging others as they struggled, too. I’ve read every book, watched your precious child grow into an incredible human, and witnessed your unbelievable humanity time and time, again. You’re an old friend I’ve never met, yet celebrate your every success as if you sat with me having coffee, yesterday. You’ve led me to love Wil Wheaton, not love others who failed to understand the nonsensical importance of holding twine and shall remain “anonymous”, and appreciate taxidermy in a way I never thought possible.

    But most of all, you’ve (quite possibly unwittingly) become the social media voice for all of us weird kids who never quite fit in *anywhere*, and in doing so, made at least this one feel a little less alone. I wish, for one day, we could see ourselves through the eyes of another who loves us. Through my eyes you would see yourself as a light in the darkness quietly and patiently waiting for me to catch up.

    Wishing you peaceful days, my friend, where you’re able to enjoy the light around you.

  117. Four weeks ago a dear friend chose not to fight anymore and it’s so so heartbreaking 💔 I am thankful we had him as long as we did but he is missed enormously and always will be. Please fight on, people, the world does indeed need your light. Thank you Jenny, for your honesty around this topic.

  118. I know that muffled feeling oh, so well. I recently had a day where everything was just piling on and life was doing that thing it does when you’re trying so hard not to go under the waves of a deep depression. It was being extra difficult.

    It all ended in me being almost 15 minutes late to a physical therapy session that I really needed because there is no parking nearby that doesn’t cost $8/hr on top of the pricey co-pay thanks to my crap insurance. I made it into the office and tried to calmly apologize for being late and ask the receptionist to please let someone know that it isn’t good practice to put your physical therapy office on the 3rd floor of a building with a parking garage that you will not contract with, and therfore, cannot validate parking in, in an area with no alternatives. But instead, my sweaty, red-faced head just started leaking right from the eye holes! I was embarrassed and awkward as I pulled myself together for my therapist, but later just actually so grateful that there was something that could still get me worked up enough to cry. It was like a crack in the big depression dome over me that muffles all the joy and excitement and even the sadness into a heavy thing that holds me down. I’ve been chipping at that little crack ever since, and I know I’m going to break the dome soon enough. I hope it takes a long time before my brain can rebuild it!

  119. We fight and win and love and life……..GREAT WORDS. So glad you went and had a good cry!!

  120. I love you.
    I have always loved you, and I will wait when I can’t love.

  121. Thank you for writing this. It has me in tears and I feel all the words. ❣️

  122. Thank you and much love coming your way. I’m a survivor of multiple suicides in my extended family. Thank you for the reminder that they were much much more than their final actions.

  123. Thank you. You’ve made me feel not alone. I’ve learned from you. I’ve had new experiences because of you. And I will always be grateful that you came into my life.

  124. I’ve been having medium level depression, then I cried today watching a Pixar movie, for reasons too numerous for here.

    Your post is perfectly worded because it’s from the heart.

  125. I know how you’ve struggled with going to shows bc of your depression and I feel you. I usually end up silently crying at some point during a show or musical. It’s the reason I go, to feel something. But I remember just last year I head Brandi carlisle for the first time ever and in concert and I had the exact same experience. During the story, it hit me and I was struggling so hard to stifle my audible sobs and was so grateful for the mask hiding my devastation. Again, I’m so glad ypu made it to see tori.

  126. You are so very brave for bringing the struggles of living with depression to the forefront. So glad you had the experience you did, music seems to get into me in a way nothing else can. I am sending you love and hugs.

  127. Tori Amos has been able to do that to me too. And Sally Fields in “Steel Magnolias”, the scene at the graveyard. Those have been my “I can’t cry but I need to cry just so I can feel emotions without doing any real self-harm to get to that point” go-tos.

    I’m just so happy to hear that I’m not alone in that.

    Thank you for being you.

  128. Holding space for you and for my two daughters who are fighting the darkness.

  129. “Even if you feel alone right this moment I promise that there would be an empty spot in life without your light.”

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to turn off my light…now, not so much.

    Thank you

  130. Depression is like being held hostage in a cave. You start to believe the darkness as the truth and the light is a myth. Thank you Jenny for being so vulnerable and sharing your life with us. You have given me strength and the courage to keep going when I was ready to give up. ❤

  131. I was right there with you at the concert, loving your sweet relief, and then I totally lost it. My mother also lost her battle with mental health (not recently, but still). Sending all the love I can muster to everyone who battles with the darkness. My battles with it haven’t been lifelong, but I know its voice.

  132. Almost exactly a year ago, my husband lost his lifelong battle with alcoholism. He literally drank himself to death. I have been having a rough week of reliving the horrible last year of his life and feeling terrible about his loss.

    And this was a precious gift to read this today. “Every golden memory is wonderful and worthwhile, regardless of how it all ends.” So much this. There was so much good in that man. Thank you for reminding me.

    Keep fighting. You put out so much light in the world. Thank you.

  133. Just like someone else said recently who’s spouse is losing and she is also fighting for him and herself: You can have everything and still have nothing.

    I’m glad you, Jenny, (and they) are still here. I’m glad that I can help others still be here as I’ve been told recently. And those of you struggling are also here! {*hugs*}

    Jenny, did you know that Broken is recommended in the Amazon/Kindle Reading Challenge this year? It’s under the part where you need to read a Non-Fiction book!!! I thought that was so cool!

    And those of you sending me anonymous stickers, Thank You! I’m also loving the letters/notes and stickers from those who share their addresses with me and returns are on their way! Thank you too! I’ve been busy with infusions and doctor appointments! I think I live at one medical place as I’m there every week!

    I passed on some stickers too. And I was inspired to attempt my hand at the wax seals that I’ve had for 6 months or longer and was intimidated by. Now I’m going to try doing them next week when I have a break from appts. Look up the February 14th Blog if you want me to send you something and search for Wynterose. Write to me and I’ll send you a card with stickers (I have all kinds) that you can use (that aren’t stuck on the card/envelope) or a postcard if you include your name/nickname and a good mailing address.

    Lots of good Juju, Love, Light, {*hugs*} and Blessings,
    Sandy/Wynterose

  134. Thank you, you magnificent, glorious, flaming beacon! (Which autocorrect tried to make”bacon”, but what can you do?) So happy that you’re in this world, and so thankful that you can capture in words what so many fellow travelers desperately need to hear.

    You are not alone. We’ve never met, but I love you. (If people can choose to hate for no reason, how amazingly much better would it all be if we chose instead to love instead of hate?) You fill a unique place in this tapestry of life that cannot be adequately filled by any other person who has ever lived. Even in the darkest depths, you are not alone. So many of us are with you – some ahead of you some behind you, some off to your sides, hidden only by the darkness of the valley we’re traveling. Please keep going. Please reach out, even when it feels like nothing can possibly help.

  135. Thank you for putting into words what I’ve been feeling but couldn’t identify. This encapsulates so much of how I’m feeling it’s uncanny.

  136. I struggle. I am never strong enough. I always want more from me. Probably more than I would expect from anyone else. Many around me only see my care for others. Think it is never-ending, think being outgoing is natural for me. They don’t understand how much acting I do. I do care. I do want to be there, but the smile that everyone sees is difficult to maintain. You make me realize that not having the strength I’d desire, the strength I feel everyone needs or at least expects of me, is normal sometimes. I may struggle always to give myself the grace I tell others to demand. I find comfort in knowing I do not battle alone.

  137. And thank you Victor and Hailey and their partner for getting you to Tori’s concert to help you spring a leak and shower us all with your courage and grace. What a gift your family is to our world.

  138. “It’s easy to paint people by their last actions, but remember that they are so much more than that.” Thank you so much for putting this into words. I needed the reminder.

    You communicate difficult concepts in such a clear way. Thank you for putting into words the things that our community of depression sufferers can’t figure out how to say. You are a gifted communicator and I want to affirm to you how special you are. Sending you love, Jenny…

  139. I visited Nowhere on Sunday & was glad I didn’t make it Saturday for all the festivities. It wasn’t crowded
    & so I could take in the vibe of the place better. Being there gave me the same feeling as going into a
    bright toy store on a dreary day. Like the way the smell of bakeries & coffee houses greet you, the
    essence of the creator of the space is palpable & equally welcoming. Today, reading this post, the
    same warmth is evident your words. Battle on, Jenny. You are a beacon in a storm to many.

  140. Jenny,

    Every thing you wrote made complete sense to me.

    “I wish I could pause these good moments so that I could feel them fully as they are meant to be felt. I surreptitiously record these plays and moments so that the future me who will one day wake up from this fog can appreciate them fully. This sounds insane, I know, but I suspect if you’ve dealt with depression you might understand.”

    That is how I feel almost all the time. My depression has worsened throughout my life; it is not merely “treatment-resistant,” but “treatment-refusing” or “treatment-teenager-on-a-rampage-rebellious.” It is my hope that someone will find a cure for depression that takes a non-budging stand and will die on its hill even if it means taking us down with it AND also a rewind button so we can go back and live those important moments (are there any unimportant moments?) as we should have been able to do.

    I render no judgement on those who find they need to lay down the burden of their depression and I agree that suicide should not define anyone’s life. It is not for me to decide what people can bear, especially when too, too many of us don’t have access to what we need to ameliorate our pain: meds that work, therapy, support systems, employment that accommodates mental health challenges…

    “Sometimes it’s like we’re slow[ly] being picked off”: Sometimes I feel like this, too — or, if not picked off, allowed to die off. This seems to be the attitude toward those of us with high-risk conditions in regards to COVID. It makes it hard to believe I have value.

    BUT — then one of your posts like the one today appears in my inbox and I read what you have to say and what all the others here write and I feel less alone, knowing there are so many others, too many others, who understand.

    I hope your depression lifts soon, Jenny, that your emotions rev up, that music and colour and joy re-infuse your heart and soul. Thank you for your post. And even though you didn’t talk about it, I shall be reading my new and improved copy of _Broken_ when it arrives in my mailbox.

  141. Jenny, as someone struggling recently I wanted to say thank you for being vulnerable and sharing. Despite having never met you, when I read your words I feel like I have someone in my corner. Thank you for everything.

  142. I am glad that you had a good time – even if you cried at the concert. (I was crying at the theatre this past Sunday night.)
    The fellow traveler you mentioned, is, I think, NJ. That broke my heart.

  143. I really needed to read this just now.
    I also cannot enjoy music when depressed, so for quite some time now.

  144. Thank you, Miss Jenny, for sharing your struggles with deppression. I hope you how much you mean to me and your tribe, we have a whole movement on Facebook. It’s a place where we can share our struggles, or a funny meme to cheer someone up that’s having a rough day. I love how you brought us closer to finding help when we need it and not feeling shame or that we are not worthy of said help. I go to a psyche rehab group twice a week. The mental health counselors pass the information on to us about various topics regarding self-care, dealing with anxiety, and helping us know how to fight our demons so we can help others. I love them and am thankful this is offered in my town to people like us with daily struggles. We have opportunities to head some of the groups with a specific topic or theme and I’m struggling to come up with one that would be different and that maybe we don’t talk about as often. I would love some feedback from your lovely tribe with some suggestions. Thanks in advance.
    Again, thank you Jenny, I love you dearly and hope the sun is shining on you today and know you are wonderful.

  145. Thank you. My partner has waves of darkness and sometimes feels like there is nothing left and I often feel terrible for being grateful I am of the cheerful sort because I cannot fathom the greyness I see in his eyes some days. I am blessed enough to navigate my life above the waves and seeing someone struggle with the very essence of life with no way to help can be so hard. Thank you for putting your experiences down for us all to see for ourselves and understand those we love better and have a glimpse into the joys and ebbs and flows of life. I hope the light shines brighter today ❤️

  146. I’m sobbing reading this. I can’t find the words to tell you how much I admire and respect you, except to say thank you. I’m married to the love of my life who has borderline personality disorder, only recently diagnosed. He works so hard at trying to be better, to feel better. I have depression and anxiety too, but feel like I have to contain what I’m feeling for his benefit. You have made such a difference in how I see things, how I am able to acknowledge what I feel. I’ve read everything you’ve written and I want you to know you have made a difference; that I feel less alone.

  147. I need a concert to make me cry it all out too. Crying is healing. I can’t seem to get a good one going. Breast cancer will kill me. I’ve accepted that outcome. Doesn’t mean I don’t dread that pain. So mini depression right now as well as I can’t find joy. I understand. ❤️

  148. I have been going through a bad spell for a few months and my husband (who is the best) asked me what I needed to be happy. That he would support whatever I wanted. I replied that being home taking care of him and our family is right where I want to be. That even if I was a billionaire doing everything I wanted to do and getting every treatment available my brain would still be an asshole. So your words, right now, mean everything. I am raw and crying and so thankful that you understand this awful darkness. Five and a half years ago I promised my husband to fight and I have. But it is not an easy thing for me. You make the battle I face easier to withstand because I feel less alone. Thank you, Jenny, for your courage to write and for the group of broken individuals that you have united as family.

  149. Thanks, I needed that. I’m tired of swimming to the light when no hand is reaching down to help…. But I know depression lies!!! And I’m still here.

  150. To all,
    I don’t normally leave comments and I know this is way too far down the list for anyone to read. There’s always light and I know it feels like it’s always a train. But it’s not. I am lucky enough that I know I leaving would hurt so many other people. This keeps me here.
    Thank you all for your wonderful words. And I struggle with you. I’m going to the Battle of trying to find a new therapist to that’s always frustrating disheartening and long. But if someone else is worth it that I am too.
    THANK YOU!!!

  151. One thing that people don’t get about depression is the vacuum of emotion. It’s not just sad, it’s a lack of ANYTHING. The general numbness is so hard to fight against. You get it.

    Together, we will keep fighting.

  152. Love you, Jenny. Thank you for writing this. You have no idea how many people you are helping.

  153. You are a shining star, a beacon of hope to those who suffer. I am fortunate that my depression is pharmaceutically under control most of the time. I treasure your thoughts and insights-and humor!
    Keep shining.

  154. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. Anti-depressants weren’t helping me, then they determined I had Bipolar D/o 2 ( the depression one). I feel good most of the time on these!

  155. I’m sorry that your friend lost their battle. I am glad that even though it is a struggle for you, you keep going forward and being a beacon to those of us struggling too. I hope you know you are loved by many even those of us who don’t “know” you.

  156. ….. Just, hugs. So many hugs. Thank you for writing and posting this even when you are in a depression and think it might not make sense, so many of us needed to read this right now.
    Tori Amos was one of the first concerts I went to after (finally) being officially diagnosed with depression and I don’t remember a ton about it but I do remember feeling… Relieved? That I wasn’t ‘broken’ enough to not enjoy a Tori concert.

  157. Jenny, I’m so happy that you had a serotonin breakthrough or whatever you call it. I suffer from chronic depression (since I was about 15, only no one knew 15 year olds could be depressed in those days)–and I’m now 59. Every word you write about depression seems like it’s for me, and I appreciate you and love you for that! You have an amazing message. Please continue the battle and being victorious.

  158. Such a wonderful post. I also love Tori Amos and she has gotten me through many a dark time. I love you Jenny. Keep up the good fight.

  159. Tori and her music have been a part of my life since I was 15, so 27 years. It’s complicated, but without her my entire life would have been different. Years ago I got a tattoo from Choirgirl Hotel because I wanted a visual representation of how much she is pressed in to my being. I’m so glad she was able to bring you happiness and good tears.

    I am also very scared after Naomi Judd’s death. To think that we fight this hard now, and we could still be fighting in to our 70s? And that it could still be so bad that we give up? I can’t bear thinking about it too much.

  160. Fortunately I do not suffer from depression, but knowing others who do, you help me so much to understand what they deal with every day. Reading this post, I teared up just empathizing with all you struggle with, and the joy you still find in your life. You are a voice for all those who cannot put their depression into words!

  161. Through tears streaming down my face I whisper “thank you” and I know you understand 💜

  162. Just sent this to two friends who need to hear it; one just one her latest battle and one who just lost her 22 year old grandson. Your imperfect words are SO IMPORTANT! Thank you!!

  163. Thank you for this today…. we are in a rough spot (again) as a family. It helps to read others’ struggles and to know we are not alone in our struggle.

  164. “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things or make them unimportant.” – Richard Curtis.

  165. Yes. There are days only the music reaches me at a cellular level and begins a degree of restoration.

  166. You warm my heart and soul and make me smile thru my tears. Thank you for being so fucking real and honest, Jenny Lawson!

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  168. There is no way this couldn’t be one of the best and most authentic things you have every written. Love that you put it down. The words are beautiful and raw and they help so many people. You are so loved. I picture myself sending huge, super-dorky but accurate love and comfort Care Bear beams to everyone who needs this right now. Xoxo.

  169. I’m lucky – my husband has held my hand while I’ve sobbed through many concerts. All the emotions. Depression sucks – and LIES!

  170. I love you and this post. I live in that middle ground between severe and mild depression. I’m currently trying meds for the 10th or 20th time, I’ve lost count. Just know I’m here with you.

  171. So beautifully said. I’m glad you’re on this planet.

  172. I really needed this and I didn’t know until I read it, just how much.

  173. I’m looking forward to reading the latest Strangeling book, but it will have to wait. Life has taken a big chunk out of me and I can barely keep my head above water. I’ve really enjoyed the books you choose.

    I wanted to ask you if it’s okay to use part of one of your blogs. The one posted on May 2 says so much I want people to hear. This coming weekend is a memorial service for my son. He disappeared four years ago and was found on May 1st, in his car, in the river that runs through our city. I’d like to have the last big paragraph read out loud. I probably won’t be able to read it but can likely find someone who will do it for me.

    His leaving four years ago was a complete shock, and we’ve never gotten any hint of why he’d gone. I’m sure you can imagine how I’ve felt over the last four years. But then to find that he’d committed suicide was another blindside. I’ve struggled with depression much of my adult life and it’s never been a secret. I thought he knew that if he felt the same that we could talk, that we could look for ways to help him. And now here I am.

    (I am sending yo so much love. And yes, of course you can use it, sweet friend. ~ Jenny)

  174. Amy,

    I have no idea what you’re going through. I’ve had to deal with loss, but not in the specific (and horrific) way that you have.

    I’ve written (and deleted) a bunch of crap that was all about me that I was trying to find a way to relate to you, but I just can’t — your pain is your own, and all I can say about that is that I hope the pain lessens over time.

    In my experience, time is a balm — you don’t forget, obviously, but over time, the good memories get a bit more shiny.

    My brother is gone, but I have no idea who I’d be without him. I just wish I had more time with him.

  175. I’m behind on posts. But the timing of me reading this couldn’t be more insanely perfect. I just saw Tori in my city last night. My friend got tickets (box seats! holy crap.. but I digress) and invited me to go with her. Now, being a child of a certain era I of course know of Tori Amos… could name a couple songs, would hear her on playlists and recognize the voice and think “yeah, I like this”… but never owned any albums or really was familiar with her catalog. I was excited to have my first real introduction to her music be live. It was a great show which I really enjoyed. I’ve been converted into a fan, and will be looking up a few songs in particular that struck me last night, as well as doing a dive into the catalog and bringing her into my listening lineup.

    But. This: “…my emotions are turned down to a muffled sort of noise, and as she started to sing I felt so incredibly lucky to be at a wonderful event with people I love and so incredibly bad about not being able to fully appreciate it and so incredibly selfish for having so very much and not having the ability to live in that moment with the joy that it should have been afforded.” You took the words right out of my mouth. Well, right out of the inarticulate soup that sometimes tries to make it from my brain to my mouth and usually gets mistranslated in the process.

    I have always loved live music. Everything from symphonies to jambands. But it’s not the same as it used to be. “It literally hurts because I know the emotions a normal person would feel and the cognitive dissonance of not feeling those emotions makes the depression even more obvious.” The change.. the loss.. is sometimes episodic, but also has been happening gradually for years. Maybe part of it is that I’m just getting old… who wants to be up in the pit or the front row anyways, it’s too loud and too many sweaty people, I can enjoy it just fine from back here. At least that’s what I tell myself. But I think back to how shows felt years ago.. that aliveness, that connection, that ecstasy (only sometimes chemically enhanced…) and I miss it. I was so SO happy to get back to (outdoor preferred!) shows after a year and half of no live music, but it’s been even worse post-covid. I still go to shows when I can, and try to appreciate each experience for what it is. But I haven’t gotten that break, that release, where I go “Aha! THERE it is!” I think it will come. Music is magic, and I’ll find that magic again. Thank you for the reminder.

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