Things I learn and things I never learn

So last night I was supposed to be moderating an event for Christopher Moore, who is one of my favorite authors and I was very excited about it but on the way there I started to feel sick and it was the kind of sick that precedes an anxiety attack (racing heart, dread) but it wasn’t incredibly surprising since I’d been reading about the horrific events in Uvalde and I thought I could just push through it or at least make it to the church where we were having the event so that I could have the anxiety attack in the parking lot and that was a terrible idea but turns out I wasn’t having an anxiety attack. I was having a panic attack.

These seem the same and can be interchangeable in language but for me an anxiety attack is horribly shitty but lasts about 20 minutes and with deep breathing and xanax it’ll pass. A panic attack is something so violently awful that you literally are not sure if you’re going to live. Chest pains so bad it mimics a heart attack, stomach pains like you have food poisoning, and sometimes passing out entirely. They’re very rare for me (thank God) and this was the second worse one I’ve ever had in my life.

Here’s what should have happened: I should have pulled over immediately even when I thought it was just a regular anxiety attack. I should have waited until it passed and if it didn’t I should have called someone for a ride to the event or gone back home. But instead I kept driving and so I was stuck in traffic as it got worse, which of course made the panic worse and pushed me into a nightmare. I managed to pull over at a gas station/Church’s chicken and facetimed Elizabeth who was already at the event to 1) tell her I couldn’t make it and 2) have someone on the phone in case I was actually dying. And she was very kind and sweet and told me not to drive and offered to come get me and take me home but I felt like a total burden and so I was like, “I’m okay. I promise not to drive anywhere. I’ll go inside so people are around me in case I need help” and I went into the chicken place and laid down on the table because it was cold and I felt like I was burning up and the chicken people were like, “Huh?” and I was all “I’M FINE” although clearly I wasn’t but I also didn’t have the strength to explain so I said, “No chicken needed. I just need a second” with my face on the table and I started to feel better until 3 minutes later when my lizard brain sent a message to my stomach saying, “FIGHT OR FLIGHT, MOTHERFUCKER! RELEASE ALL YOUR FLUIDS SO YOU CAN RUN FROM WHATEVER IS TRYING TO KILL YOU” and I was like, “YOU’RE THE ONLY THING TRYING TO KILL ME, YOU DICKHOLE” but my brain totally wasn’t having it so I went to the bathroom and was violently sick, but afterward I washed my face and took a xanax and felt like it was starting to pass, so I walked back out to my car and pulled out my phone to call Elizabeth and tell her I was still alive and that’s when I realized I’d never hung up and had my phone on FaceTime the entire time all of that was happening.


And a part of me was like, “Maybe I could still make it to the event?” but then that incredible weakness hit, as if I’d run a marathon (I assume, because I would never purposely do that) and instead I just laid down in my car and did that kind of crying where your body just leaks tears but you’re too tired to do the ugly noises associated with it. And I tweeted out my apologies to Christopher and the people at the event and called my friend Maile who drove over to bring me home and also brought her daughters so they could drive my car home since Victor was on a flight to Japan.

And I felt both incredibly lucky to have so many understanding and caring people in my life and also incredibly mortified that I’d managed to fuck up such a simple thing and also so incredibly exhausted that I was sort of too tired to continue to apologizing to people who kept telling me to stop apologizing for something that was not my fault.

Today I feel like a wrung-out hand towel. Still soaked in mortification and failure, but also sort of clean and empty…in the same way you feel when you have a cathartic breakdown. If I was less tired I’d write this better and have a better resolution but honestly I think it’s important to write this now…while I’m still in the midst of all of this. To remind myself that it’s okay to be human. To remember that people want to help. To remind you – if you need it – that people understand more than you give them credit for and the capacity for compassion is so great. And now I’m going to try to use the same compassion given to me by friends and family and strangers to use on myself…to try to forgive myself for the strange weaknesses that come with being me. Why is it so much harder to be kind to ourselves than it is to be kind to everyone else?

So strange. Our brains are such wonderful and terrible creatures. Treat yours kindly. And I’ll try to do the same.

139 thoughts on “Things I learn and things I never learn

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I had a panic attack at a beer festival once. I just had to get OUT of there so I went out and sat on a curb. I’d actually had nothing to drink. Police officers didn’t understand that and when you are having a panic attack, it’s basically impossible to explain you are not publicly intoxicated, that you are just fighting your brain. They finally left me alone.

  2. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I am so glad you have such a wonderful network of people around you that can help you. If I was closer (I’m in Canada) I would totally be one of them. If you are ever in Western Canada feel free to reach out! 😍

  3. You are perfect. Just the way you are. You did the right thing when you figured out what was best for you. You are a good and honorable person and that is why you continued to think about others even when your mind and body said to stop. You are an inspiration to others for discussing your struggles that we all seem to experience a version. You are exactly the right person in the right place in the right time. Love on yourself.

  4. We love you. & also Xanax. I only have lorazepam but I get how rehabilitation a major attack is & my heart goes out to you & if you ever have one in Seattle I will rush to your side. We need an app where blogess tribe members can register by location to fly to each other’s side in times of need. You could have had one of your peoples come drive you home! ❤️❤️

  5. I’m so sorry that happened to you. We were not made to take in the tragedy of the whole world the way we now are forced to.

  6. I’m so sorry. I’ve been to the ER twice because of panics that felt like heart attacks. Hugging you virtually.

  7. I love your words. I hope you let yourself rest as long as you truly need. This sounds very similar to an ND meltdown, I am autistic and deal with meltdowns, they hit you so hard in times of overwhelm & it’s an exhausting physical experience… solidarity

  8. This is my favorite oracle card. We are seriously broken and I have a hard time thinking I don’t need forgiveness for that. I’m way too hard on myself but reading these words truly helps. 🙂

  9. Yesterday was very very hard. I want to be part of the solution, so I’ve been donating to Gabby Giffords’ organization every month for years. Something has to change.

  10. I wish I could hug you, but not in an actual physical personal space invading kind of way, more like the invisible cloud of comfort kind of way. I guess if it’s invisible, I can.

    I’m sending you an invisible cloud of comfort and relaxation to bathe your brain in so that it will stop being an asshole for a little while and you can relax.

  11. I am so proud of you for taking care of you first. I feel awkward saying I’m proud of you because who am I to be proud of anyone else like that is some sort of honor I bestowed. But I am. I work from home as an electrical designer/project coordinator, and have massive anxiety when I have to go to meetings in person. You are amazing, and have helped me so much. I read your books when I’m feeling down, or out of it, or like I’m the biggest loser on the block, and it helps to feel like I’m not the only person who feels big things in crazy ways sometimes. It helps to know my brain isn’t the only one trying to ruin my awesome life. (I just typed ruin because I could not spell jeapardize correctly. see?) I read your latest book to my mom as she was dying from complications from Alzheimer’s disease last year. She passed May 20th, but I swear she had some laughs beforehand. Thank you. You make a big difference at crazy ass times.

  12. Happened to be reading my mail as this came in, so I read it immediately. I have been there, and I want to say how brave you are for sharing this. Thank you. Take care of yourself, and be kind to yourself. Easy to say, and hard to do.

  13. In a way, you’re lucky (!!) because when I got a positive result for the prostate biopsy I had a massive panic attack accompanied by violent diarrhoea. Luckily it hit while I was still in the hospital and not on the Subway on the way home.
    Hugs from Hamburg,
    PS: You are an amazingly strong women. We are all sooooo proud of you.

  14. I’m so sorry for your terrible day. The panic attack sounds terrible. The Uvalde horror is too much for me to process except for my knowing that I’m so angry I could scream. I’m in San Antonio too, and the fact that it was so close makes it harder. Stupid Texas. My youngest-15-whom we pulled out of public school in January for a severe migraine disorder, major depression, and anxiety doesn’t yet know about the shooting, which I’m so happy about, since they are currently taking an admissions test for a ridiculously expensive private school, where they will repeat 9th grade, since I don’t feel safe with them in a public school. Heck-we don’t even feel safe in Texas. I’m so sorry that your day was awful. If I ever see you you in a public place when you’re struggling, I can help even though I’ll fangirl way too much. Actually, I probably won’t-I’m good in a crisis. Except maybe the constant crises we’ve faced for the last few years. Your books have been a lifeline for my family.

  15. my heart goes out to you jenny. you had so many people around you because you’ve done the work to build and maintain that kind of support. of course your fans understand, you’d be compassionate and kind to each of us and it comes back to you tenfold. i’m glad you’re through that, don’t beat yourself up. be kind to yourself.

  16. I’m in the midst of learning to deal with the attacks (panic and anxiety) for the first time in my life.
    It’s strange, scary, and overwhelming…so thank you for being so transparent about your personal struggles. It really helps to know I’m not alone in the experience.

  17. I try to remember to treat myself as kindly as I would my dearest friend. It doesn’t always work, but seems a good reminder. Jenny, you give so much to others, just by being you and existing on this planet, please allow us to be giving to you.

  18. Please do not be mortified and you are not by any means or measure a failure. You suffered an acute bout of very severe illness. There was nothing at the moment more important than taking care of yourself and getting off the road. You did the right thing, for everyone’s safety including yourself as well as everyone on the road around you. Anyone who does not understand that needs to be removed from your circle and educated on the nature of your illnesses for the sake of everyone everywhere who suffers from any and or all of the same issues as you. I canceled my Dr. appointment today. Because I’m not okay right now and I need to extend the same grace to myself and to you that you would extend to anyone suffering. I’ve never even met you and you’re one of my favorite people.

  19. I’m so so sorry you had to deal with this. I hope the next few days bring you rest, peace, and comfort. You are an amazing human ❤

  20. *hugs for when you want them*
    *tea *

    Thanks for being brave enough to sharenthisnwith us and-you’re awesome.

  21. It’s exhausting and it’s over. You got it all out, even in words, and that is good. No apologies needed.

  22. Oh, Jenny–I hear you. I’ve been there, too. I’ll probably be there again sometime, but I hope not anytime soon, for me, and for you, too.

    It’s hard to feel loved and worthy of love when these things happen, but know that many more people love you than you can ever know. And many, many people value and appreciate you because you tell your story so clearly and immediately we know what you say is true because it’s our story, too, in our own ways.

    There’s no such thing as normal, honestly. There’s just all of us, trying to do the best we can.

  23. Thank you so much for sharing. I think it’s when we’re the most vulnerable and share during our weakest moments that we actually empower others. Letting them know they’re not alone. Even though debilitating panic and anxiety aren’t my constant companion – they are for my son – I’m going through some really weird shit that’s a whole lot of not fun.

  24. *Big Hugs* I carried a card from my doctor in my wallet while I was still driving. It said “(my name) is not intoxicated, she has a vestibular disorder.” Maybe you need a similar note from a provider you can just hand someone when you can’t speak.

  25. it’s a sign of strength to recognize what’s happening. it’s incredibly brave to be able to ask for help and then accept it.

    you taught me that.

  26. I’m so sorry you had such a terrible experience but I’m so glad you have such a wonderful support system. Thank you for sharing your struggles so we know we aren’t alone. <3

  27. There is a poem by Emily DIckinson that I always thought was a good explanation of a panic attack.

    After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
    The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
    The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
    And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

    The Feet, mechanical, go round –
    A Wooden way
    Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
    Regardless grown,
    A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

    This is the Hour of Lead –
    Remembered, if outlived,
    As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
    First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –

    After I have a panic attack, I feel wrung out, somehow clean, and in a state of strange calm.

  28. Jenny!
    I’m sorry you had the Lizard Brain (and maybe Amygdalar) Mutiny. I had THE EXACT THING happen today 10 min before I had an appointment with one of my patients (I’m a psychiatrist … ).
    What’s nuts is I texted my patient almost verbatim the lizard brain fight flight, I’m waiting for f/f/f to just GET ON WITH IT, but my brain stem nausea center is acting like an asshole but usually once I barf a single molecule and it all stops and I’m fine, but if I’m actually sick, I’ll let you know- you’ll really rather reschedule in that case.

    And I barfed the gross molecule.

    And sent the Zoom link, and had a productive appointment.

    Not exactly the same story as yours, but felt like we had some of the same shards as each other in those experiences.

    Love you, Jenny


  29. People at the event probably loved you all the more for yo being your wonderful, authentic if absent self, even as they missed you. Sending love and recovery (and prayers for no more shootings).

  30. I know this will sound weird but I’m glad (in a way) you have had enough experience with panic attacks to at some level know what was happening, even when you thought you were dying. Can relate to all of this from my first ever panic attack on the literal other side of the world from home. I’m so glad you got help and got home safely.

  31. I’m so sorry. It’s so awful when your body/brain betrays you. And to be driving while it’s happening it’s about the worst. You did the absolute best you could and that’s good enough.

  32. My thoughts/experiences about the difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack agrees with yours 100%.
    I have told my trusted people that, when I tell them I am fighting off/through an anxiety attack, I need them to give me time and space but that I’ll be okay. But if I say I’m having a panic attack, my brain is screaming at me that I am going to die in the next 3 minutes. And no matter how much I try to say otherwise, I am not okay, and that I need them to come save me.
    Luckily my last full panic attack was over 5 years ago, but I still fight the guilt when my anxiety keeps me from doing things.

    The last time I had a panic attack I was so sure that someone coming to get me was such a bother, I was tried to crawl from my office to my car without anyone seeing me. I got as far as the public bathroom down the hall before I had to hide in a stall. A stranger asked if I was okay, convinced me to call someone, and sat on the floor on the other side of the stall door for 20+ minutes to kept me company until my friend go there. I can’t remember that person’s face, but if I ever hear their voice again I will probably give them a hug with little to no warning.

  33. I know what it’s like to have a brain that needs rewiring. It’s not your fault. You are incredibly strong and brave to have dealt with these kind of experiences for so long. Give yourself credit for that. And always rely on the kindness of strangers – and friends.

  34. I would drive thru a shit storm to hang out you & Christopher Moore. Glad you threw up before taking xanax that could have have made a bad night worse.

  35. My brain is still screaming after yesterday. Being unable to swallow the existential pain of the universe whole is not a bug, it’s a feature.

  36. Sending you so much love and really appreciate your openness and honesty. That line where you say “Our brains are such wonderful and terrible creatures.” really resonates with me. As someone who got a rare brain cancer at age 23, I so agree that our brains are amazing, but they can be real assholes. Which I guess is a metaphor for life.

  37. I live in San Antonio and would be more than willing to give you my number in case you need help in the future. I hope you are doing much better today, although I know it’s a little hard to breathe for most of us at this moment. Thank you for your candor always <3

  38. Best line was about feeling like a wrung out hand towel. Those of us who know, KNOW. Hope you’re doing ok now 🥰

  39. I’m kinda jealous you have IRL friends. I have no friends near me. Basically no friends at all. I can’t call anyone but my husband but he’s the only working one right now so I don’t want to interrupt his job and be a menace. I’m just happy you have friends.

  40. I’ve had panic attacks heading to or at the beginning of events I really want to be there for and have sadly learned that “powering thru” never works for me. I’m glad you were safe and had people to call. Thank you for sharing.

  41. Sending you so much love. Thank you for your openness and honesty, that part where you say “Our brains are such wonderful and terrible creatures.” really resonates with me. As someone who got a rare brain cancer at 23, I can totally relate to the idea that our brains are amazing, but they can be real assholes. Which I guess is just like a metaphor for life.

  42. Yesterday was a traumatizing experience for all of us learning about Uvalde. In many ways, I think your brain responded appropriately. If more people had panic attacks after learning about such things, maybe we wouldn’t have to continue to hear news like this. Unfortunately, it’s sensitive souls like yourself that end up feeling like they failed. Please know you did a great job of taking care of yourself while it was happening. You are blessed to have such a great circle of support with your friends.

  43. Oh girl, I’m glad you did what you needed to to keep yourself safe. Plus it has to be boring working at a chicken joint and you gave them all something interesting to talk about.

    I’m out of my conspiracy theorist phase but I’m starting to get pulled back into the idea that we’re living on some alternate, bad Earth. Life is just so intense every day.

    Sending you a big pressure filled bear hug. ❤️

  44. All the love to you, Jenny, from someone who understands the difference between an anxiety attack and a panic attack. They’re so hard, especially when you’re out in public and alone.

  45. You are so strong and so, so loved. Thank you for sharing. I haven’t had an anxiety or panic attack in a while, but I have random moments of panic and those are so fun. -Sherard

  46. Thank you for sharing this; panic experiences can be totally overwhelming. You did great, toggling between the panic brain, rational brain, and lizard brain. I’ve been in this situation more times than I can count (hello, staff of Bath and Bodyworks! I need to lie down in the middle of your store! just walk around me)…and have learned that people who see this happening (and/or the people I tell) will want to help me…and that having this also makes me great at helping others who find themselves struggling. Hope you get good rest. You’re such a gem.

  47. I like Megan’s idea- what about emails or something that people can contact if they need someone to distract them when having a panic attack and just talk to them. Or what’s app?

  48. Random thought: I wonder if “a case of the vapors,” as they described it in Victorian times, were actually panic attacks.

  49. You are amazing. Thank you for telling us. It makes us feel in touch with someone who understands.

  50. I’m so sorry you had such a horrible time last night. You are absolutely right that we rarely give ourselves the compassion we give other people and reading that and now acknowledging it here is giving me the reminder to give it to myself so thank you for that. (Because of course what I had planned to say to Christopher last night at the signing table and what actually came out of my mouth were different things and I’ve worried all night and all day about how stupid I must have come across…after reading this I’m going to let it go and know that I’m probably making it worse in my head than it actually was) Please continue to give yourself compassion and know you are loved and appreciated by so so many people.

  51. Jenny, please add me to the list of people who would want to give you a hug! We all need to remember, especially now, that there is goodness, and kindness, still in the world!! (People like you!!) Thank you!!

  52. Best thing I’ve found for anxiety and panic attacks is my ESmart sleeve from Voxxlife. It’s drug free, non invasive, there is a pattern on the sleeve that triggers a response in your nervous system which has an immediate effect on your brain function. You can pm me for more information.

  53. I suffer from panic attacks in movie theatres and mall food courts. Maybe it’s the sound overload causing my body to react? Is starts as though I can’t swallow or get a deep breath. It then evolves into a cold sweat and that’s when I know I need to remove myself from the situation before I pass out. I usually try to go somewhere quiet — often a bathroom stall. Sitting on toilets became my safe space…Shitty, am I right?

    N.B: I also went through a phase where I would have anxiety attacks before going to concerts. I’d spend the entire day anxiety pooping and hide out in the bathroom during the show if I got overwhelmed. There’s just something calming about toilets…

  54. Thank you for this, Jenny. Between the finale of “This is Us” and the Uvalde shooting, I am one hot mess today. <3

  55. I’ve been to the ER mid-February 2020 due to something that I thought was a heart attack but later turned out to be a panic attack. My ER doctor asked me about my life, my work etc. and told me “you need to stop stressing out”. Two weeks later it all went to shit here and, spoiler alert, I did not stop stressing out, quite the contrary. Last week, I received my copy of “Broken” which I started reading a couple of nights ago. Thank you so much for all your words, and I hope the nasty post-attack feeling leaves you soon (on the day after, I always feel like a rag that somebody peed on and was then left in the sun 🥴)…

  56. I’m so sorry you had to suffer like that 🙁 but want to thank you for sharing this story. It makes me feel like I’m not alone in this fucked up world. Never apologize for being human.

  57. I’m so glad you are okay and you have people in your life to help you.
    I’ve had that kind of attack before. It’s so hard to think you are not dying when you have one, but you feel like you don’t want to bother anyone in case it’s just a panic attack and you are not really dying.
    I’ve been avoiding the news to protect myself from the current relentless death and destruction in our world.
    But I think we all are having a national mental health crisis after the horrific shootings that have happened all over this country.
    I think to have an anxiety or panic attack after hearing about this terrible event is a completely normal human response and demonstrates your empathy and caring for fellow human beings.
    I think if someone didn’t have a terrible feeling after hearing about the shootings in NYC, Buffalo, and most recently Uvalde, that maybe they should get a mental health checkup with a qualified professional?
    We need to love each other more.
    We need to support each other more.
    We need to understand each other more.
    We need to increase access to mental healthcare for everyone who needs it.
    Mental healthcare should be as easy and affordable to access as chewing gum.
    Sending virtual love and hugs and healing thoughts to everyone who needs it.

  58. Just what I needed to not be alone. To put physical and emotional into words and make me giggle too! I hope you feel better Jenny today has been a doozy for a lot of people. I think our souls are really tired.

  59. Dear All the fellow Texans*,
    When I read about Uvalde, I cried. I cried for all the folks who live nowhere near, but have solidarity by dint of shared statehood, and it is more awful. I cry for the people in Uvalde who are choking on their too thick, unreal, so real grief, who have alchemized from human to pure grief now. And now. And now. And F-Everythibg, its still true Now. It will never now be true Now. Pain is an infinitely iterative asshat of an emotion that way. And now. And now.
    I cry because these fellow humans are in agony.
    I can’t help this**, I feel grief that these people I don’t know, though know they are deeply grieving.
    It breaks my heart to know that though I can’t fully imagine their pain, I know it hurts, and they hurt and to quote Andrea Gibson, that their hearts may have only just skinned its knee.
    And I can’t help this next thing either, I cry because I know there are other people, who, like me, are grieving by proxy for strangers, and its iterative for your dear hearts too.
    I am grieving with a broken heart for the people everywhere who grieve with their broken hearts for the people in Uvalde who grieve with their broken hearts.

    And this is so not about me, and I bet I’m in good company every time I curse empathy sometimes because there is no dimmer switch.

    For anyone intense and empathic, none of us are broken.

    All of the mutinous acts of our brains:
    -twice removed grief that has me sobbing on the lawn in my back yard,
    -anxiety attacks,
    -anxiety attacks that could have been just that but instead that circuit in the Amygdala donned the fucking teflon shoes AGAIN, even though you told your brain to knock that shit off, because its mean and awful, and not for nothing, not doing you are a service, either, my own traitorous BRAIN!
    And as your brain’s teflon feet hurtle you straight off the ledge, there’s not a goddam thing to do except wave as you slingshot straight past those old-timey binoculars that with a quarter you can see the edge of the Earth, and peering through them, just SEEING the edge if the Earth is my verbal stand in for an anxiety attack, and panic is when anxiety wears teflon and you know you are rocketing straight off the edge of Earth, untethered and only a tiny strand of metacognition you make half moon cuts in your palms to hang on to your even miniscule ability to watch your mind unwind. Its the strand of metacognition that is apart from the flying off the edge of the Earth farrago.
    All any of us can do is breathe as time bulldozes us through.
    And when anyone says “its all in your head, I say, for fuck’s sake, of course it is. Where the shit else WOULD it be, because my head is where MY BRAIN lives. And I have an intensity and tenacity in my brain. Which mostly makes for not knowing why you’re crying when you hear someone sing an exact single pure note, pressure waves synchronized to the pitch perfect frequency, but really, why AREN’T you crying? Can you not hear the rare perfect miracle? And, sometimes, without consulting the Big Book of Crazy 5 TP (True Parts. They used to use TR, text revision. My mermaid blue DSM 5-TR is a one off, containing only the True Parts so is DSM 5-TP. I special ordered it from APPI Press.)
    Anyway, without even opening that tome, sometimes being born on fire with so much in my head becomes more unbuffered than my neutophysiology can compensate for. My emotions are in double pendulum*** status, and its all in my head, because that’s where emotions are born- in the brain, a damn important organ and part of my body. I thank the deity of my choice, usually metacognition and human inter-dependence, that my emotional overages that turn into chaos IS all in my head. In my brain, an organ in my body, which, like the kidney, can sometimes get in a snit. But my core self and worth and moral compass are ALWAYS spared.”
    And that’s why we’re not broken.
    We’re human.
    I do wish the fucking neuroengineers would hurry the hell up with the empathy AND the emotional dimmer switch though. A little *break* from being unbrokenly me, that would be nice.

    *I am not actually a Texan, but almost was. I’m ftom Maine, the next biggest state after Texas.

  60. I’m so very sorry you went through this. Honestly it kinda also helps me feel less alone. This month has been terrible. I’ve experienced panic/anxiety attacks for the past two weeks. I ended up at the ED last Sunday night. They gave me Lorazepam IV with fluids. I had to wait for 5 plus hours and when they checked my heart rate it was at 160. They had to do a EKG to make sure I wasn’t having a heart attack. I often think if our brains can do this why can’t we go to the other side and calm the fuck down?

    Thank you for always sharing your struggles. Your books have saved me – humor is such a gift. I hope you heal and I’m so grateful to have found you.

  61. Panic attacks are the worst. Be kind to yourself. You’ve already been kind to your readers by sharing your experience. You are the best, Jenny. I’m so sorry your brain messes with you so much. Love you.

  62. A giant ice pack hug coming your way! What brave people we are going through this crap over and over. You are an inspiration to all of us and I love you!

  63. This has been my last 24 hours, minus Chris Moore and Church’s Chicken. Every part of my body wants to run away but they all want to run in different directions at once. I am still recovering from a Rituxan infusion and my body doesn’t have a clue how to handle me right now. Instead I have a puke bowl (see Victor, it IS a thing!), medication, and a cat, who doesn’t understand but will lay on me to slow my breathing and let me cry into his fur.

    I thought of you during the night, thought of all of you. I have no other words that don’t feel trite; I’m just glad you’re here.

  64. I can’t watch the news right now. My thoughts are with the families and the community of Uvalde. But the pictures and news reports would haunt me for weeks and I can’t deal with it. I can’t do that to myself. Is that selfish? Or just realistic?

  65. Awww JENNY!!! Love you and everyone here so so much!!

    I’m sending healing love and virtual
    hugs to everyone everywhere for all incomprehensible events and otherwise 💕💕💕

    I wish I could buy you and everyone here a mug that I’ve been drinking from all week that has been a self love reminder.

    My depression has been so bad lately that I bought a mug that says, “Don’t be a dick” except I drink from it to remind myself not to be a dick to myself. I’ve drunk a lot from that mug this week. Please, everyone, be kind to yourselves especially right now 💕💕💕

    I also thought of you Jenny given a diagnosis I recently received not only for an ongoing neurological
    reaction that neurologists still don’t understand yet, I also was diagnosed with non-epileptic seizures.

    What you go through sounds a little bit similar to what I suffer. I get extreme dread, feeling like I’m on the downslope of a rollercoaster physically in my brain, vertigo, nausea, whole body shaking, difficulty thinking/verbalizing, feeling the need to empty bowels/urinate immediately upon beginning of an episode, crying out, grunting, sensitivity to light and blinking lights, headaches that precede events for days afterward, etc.

    I cannot take Xanax or any other medication so weirdly pacing/walking on a flat surface helps bring down my episodes. I also turn on a neurology reiki video which for whatever reason helps me! Here’s that video if anyone is interested:

    I’m sure you’ve had an EEG and MRI of your brain that were normal-if not then those tests might be worth doing (I’m not trying to pile on I just want to help).

    I did an EEG and MRI that were normal, which ruled out regular epilepsy for me and lead to my NES diagnosis as well as identifying a ongoing neurological reaction. Again, many hugs!!!!!

  66. Many thanks to the amazing Christopher Moore, who came into a room of dazed people (himself included) attempting to process the traumatic events still unfolding locally and gave a completely unplanned hour-long solo speech with so much grace and wit and actually succeeded in helping us escape for a few minutes. I’m a fan for life.

  67. Love you, Jenny. It IS okay to be human and you are a terrific human.

  68. I had something similar happen in college and went into a crowded Subway restaurant to rest and laid down in a booth and ended up passing out and wetting my pants. That was beyond mortifying. I kept apologizing and trying to clean up after myself while slurring but assuring everyone I wasn’t actually drunk at 4 in the afternoon. The staff gave me some cleaning rags to put on my cloth car seat and I went back to my dorm and my roommate, who I hadn’t gotten to know very well, actually took care of me, helped me shower and put on clean clothes, stole some ramen from somewhere so I could have “chicken broth”, and said “We’ve all pissed our pants in public, it’s part of the college experience” and then we watched crappy late night tv for the rest of the evening. She even washed my clothes for me. Thank you for being so real with us. I hope you feel better soon.

  69. My mother had panic attacks for years that centered on public speaking (which she loved to do) and driving over bridges (a problem since we live in a county that is a peninsula sticking off the Florida peninsula, and have a string of barrier islands off our coast). Oh, and flying (she traveled lots for work). She once had a panic attack in the middle of the bridge she had to take to get to the airport. She pulled over and sat until some nice highway patrolmen (luckily two in the car) stopped and drove her (and her car) over the bridge. She sat for a bit at the other end, then drove to the airport and got on the plane. She had a second one before takeoff and had to get off and go to the First Aid Station until she was okay to go back home.

  70. Had my first panic attack a few years ago during school shooter training for my new teaching job. I’m not doing so great today either. It’s okay to be broken in this way, in this way that turns into compassion.

  71. My girlfriend and I were there last night- at the church, not the chicken place- and we were horrified and uncomfortable to be out in light of the events of the day.. but at the beginning of the talk Mr. Moore reminded us that you’d want us all to be uncomfortable TOGETHER, and that helped.

  72. Thank you once again for sharing your story with the world. I get so anxious that planning a cruise has had me on a complete stop. You’d think that the anticipation of going somewhere nice for two weeks would lift depression and anxiety, but I feel nothing but anxiety about all the things that could go wrong. So I don’t plan anything, and the anxiety rises by the day. Thank God that my husband knows me, and is taking over the majority of the tasks involved in planning this cruise so I can make it to the ship without having a full blown panic attack. Thanks for reminding us to be kind to our broken selves. I’m sending you a virtual hug, and reminding you of how truly special you are. You have helped people you’ve never met just by being you. I hope you feel better soon.

  73. Bravery looks like different things. Sometimes it is soldiering through to see if you can make it. Sometimes it is asking for help from the depths of your weakness. Sometimes it is being vulnerable so others can begin to hope that they can be brave too. You get another bravery medal for your sash. Unfortunately, this one looks like a headless fried chicken throwing up in a toilet. And not a badass chicken either. Put it up toward your shoulder and cover it with your hair.

  74. Sending you a big hug. Your cartoon on forgiveness is exactly right. I’m so glad you are safe and that Elizabeth was available for you.

  75. Thank you, Jenny & everyone who left such kind replies. I needed to he reminded (again) that I am not alone in feeling like this. And that it sucks to feel like this, but it also sucks to get a really nasty head cold AND NEITHER ARE MY FAULT.

  76. I once had a panic attack just as I started to walk down the jetway to get on a plane. Total “I can NOT get on that plane” freak out. This was post regular hijackings, but pre 9/11, so they just viewed me as weird and removed my bags from the flight (sorry for the delay, fellow travelers), and I was able to re-book the next day. Not sure why. Never had one before that, haven’t had one since. But that one day, I was 100% certain deep in my soul that if I got on that plane something awful was going to happen and my body reacted with vigor. You have my sympathies, Jenny. Take care of yourself

  77. You probably hear this a lot, but thank you for putting your mental health out in the internet for us to read. I can’t speak for everyone, but it really makes me feel less lonely. Although we’ve come a long ways in regards to sharing our mental health experiences, it’s still not easy for me to share my depression, and anxiety with most people. I’m currently in a deep depression, and this is the first time I’m telling anyone. No one quite gets it like our community. Much love ❤️

  78. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard regarding being hard on yourself and negative self-talk is to imagine saying whatever it is to your five-year-old self. It really puts things into perspective sometimes.

    It’s so hard to break patterns that have gone on essentially your whole life, and it’s something that everybody struggles with. You’re not alone. And the fact that you were able to reach out during a panic attack is a positive sign.

  79. Christopher Moore is cool and all, but your health is way more important… and it isn’t like you’ve hidden all of this. Literally the world knows and loves you for it. Literally the world. Your brain needed to recoup itself. You’ve got this. And all our support. Always.

  80. I am wishing you well and hope you can take the time to take care of yourself. I wanted to say that I’ve had many attacks myself over the years and never knew the distinction between a panic attack and an anxiety attack. That helps me, in a very odd way, that there is a distinction.

    I’ve also learned many coping mechanisms to help me through them, but what you said helps the best – people you love who are there with you and can help you through. It is very true that a part of why I get mine are because I am so focused on taking care of others, I don’t take care of myself. That is important. And I hope this helps others who read this. There I go again, wanting to help others… 😛

    Take good care.

  81. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I hope you feel the collective love and support surrounding you!

  82. Thank you for this. I have been feeling so triggered and broken and like I just can’t breathe and it’s just nice to remember that I’m not alone, I guess.

  83. I’m also someone who distinguishes an anxiety attack from a panic attack, and, yes, panic attacks are far worse and horrible and there may be passing out and/or puking. You have my sympathy, because I know exactly what that’s like. Although so far I haven’t had one while driving, I’m always thinking of where I would pull over if one hit while I’m the driver. I’ve had them as a passenger, though, so it’s probably just a matter of time..

  84. I am autistic, though “high-functioning”, and I get overwhelmed sometimes (a lot) and just hit my limit. I was a volunteer for a therapeutic riding organization and did great with the horses and limited people interaction; no one there knew my struggles. I volunteered to work at the big fancy fundraiser one year with the understanding (mine anyway) that I’d be taking tickets sitting behind a table, thus provided with a barrier and limited interaction. When I got there, some other volunteer was in my chair. In. My. Chair. And she was not getting up. There were about 8,457,312 other volunteers milling around me in a very small lobby and I hit my limit. Meaning – I. Fucking. Lost. My. Shit. I hid in the bathroom sobbing (as quietly as possible) for about 30 minutes and then snuck out through the catering area to the back door to freedom, whereupon I called my husband to pick me up. It was awful. And I feel you on the cold table – I plastered my overheated, tear-stained mug to the stall wall trying to cool down. I was also dressed up, which added another level of OMG, WTF get these itchy tight clothes off my body immediately drama to the entire ordeal. Then I went home and hid in my own bathroom for a couple of hours. Panic attacks are no joke and I’m sorry. I’m glad you have people who get it. I don’t.

    I will also say thank you for Broken – I have done a round of rTMS after reading it and it helped. I am heading back for another hopefully. (They also offered me ketamine nose spray treatment, which I gather involves basically tripping balls with your shrink for a couple of hours, so that sounds like fun.)
    I hope you realize how big of an impact you have on people by being so open about your mental health struggles and that it doesn’t make you, or anyone, less worthy or valuable or smart or funny or a bad wife/mom/employee/human. We don’t get enough high fives for being tough and brave and for soldiering on doing life with all this extra EXTRA that other people don’t have. So thumbs up lady. Lay on the table. Whatever it takes.

  85. So sorry that this happened to you. Glad you had a good network of support. Take care of yourself.

  86. I’m another been there, done that lying on the table/leaning against the wall and standing in virtual solidarity with you. It doesn’t matter how much you know it’s not your fault; everything screams it is.

    The last panic attack I had occurred when I happened to be standing right across the street from the hospital. It was almost as if my brain were looking for a reason to visit. The attack came out of nowhere and I thought I was about to go i to cardiac arrest. And then all my emotions shut down and I got eerily calm. I think that’s what got the attention of the ER folks: the combination of the “Hi, I think I’m having a heart attack” statement and the casual “Nice weather we’re having” tone in which I announced that. They kept me overnight.

    I thought I’d been doing better, but recent testing showed I’m living in that state _all the time_ and it has become normal for me. Today’s slaughter reminded me why. And all my messages to congress people and other representatives do nothing to bring about change.

    I’m just amazed that there is anyone NOT panicking.

  87. I had my first panic attack on the day I was supposed to start a new job, and I had to call out.
    Such a strange thing that your brain has to go through – am I dying? It sure feels like I’m having a heart attack. Do I go to the ER? That’s really expensive and if I’m NOT dying, I’ll be pissed I spent the money on “nothing”. Now I at least know that this happens to me sometimes. I take a Xanax and wait through a torturous hour to find out if it’s “just” a panic attack or something else.
    My dad experienced the same thing when I was a teenager and did go to the ER because he was positive he was having a heart attack.
    It’s so friggin scary. But the people who know and love you will understand, even though sometimes it feels like I’m being a burden. Going through it absolutely feels like a life or death situation and should be treated as such.

  88. You poor thing. I have only had 1 or 2 panic attacks (when I had been laid off) but anxiety attacks? Unfortunately have had them most of my life. I have a bottle of Ativan I keep for emergencies. I have gone for a year or more not needing it and then something triggers it and I have to keep taking them to function. Your “governor” is an evil man and I’m sorry Texas has turned into such a totalitarian state. Big hugs

  89. It has been an incredibly difficult week for me too and you sharing helps more than I’m sure you will ever realize. It is also nice for us to all feel like we are not alone. While the world is so full of people, it is amazing at certain moments how incredibly alone you can feel. Somehow, just you sharing makes us feel like we are not alone. Hopefully sometimes, we are able to do that for you. So much love and respect for you.

  90. Bite the bullet and act like a Housewife and be good to yourself by hiring a driver….please consider this… is for your health…some ppl do better while concentrating on driving, for some of us that just makes the resistance stronger….bring music and funny stuff you love… good to yourself….treat yourself like a stranger…your Empathy
    will immediately help and feel compassion for her…who is YOU.

  91. Must’ve been something in the air yesterday. You are not alone. I had a breakdown yesterday too. It actually does help to know you’re( I’m) not alone. Things suck but there is good in the world & in us & it WILL get better

  92. Lately, my self care has included turning off the new/radio/facebook/etc. whenever they start talking about the shooting, abortion legislation, or climate change. We can’t continue to immerse ourselves in bad news and expect to be ok. I keep informed in SMALL DOSES and I do a lot of things to engage in the battles I believe are worth fighting – I’m not checked out, is what I’m saying. But it’s okay to not know every detail. Hugs to everyone who is struggling.

  93. “Today I feel like a wrung-out hand towel. Still soaked in mortification and failure, but also sort of clean and empty…in the same way you feel when you have a cathartic breakdown.” — Oh, you are relatable, and your words are so memorable. I am so sorry you have to experience that. There is no cure for being human…and that’s okay because you are one of my favorite humans of all time.

  94. “We like people for their qualities, but we love them for their defects.” In writing this line I meant to say that we must not simply “accept” imperfection when it is revealed to us – we must celebrate it. This, I assure you, is the true sign of friendship.”
    — Ron Perlman

  95. I’m a library cataloger and yesterday I catalogued Christopher Moore’s new book, which looks amazing BTW. I looked at his author photo, complete with a finely dressed wizard alligator taxidermy and some sort of animal skull dressed as a dark queen and thought to myself, “This person and Jenny Lawson would be BFF’s.” And then I read your blog post. Ugh. I know it was disappointing, but something tells me he would understand. Hopefully one day y’all can have a photo shoot with all your taxidermied posse…

  96. Oh! Sweetheart! You are incredibly loved, will never be a burden and you have an amazing talent for explaining incredibly hard things in a way people who have never been there can understand. You are a light, even if you flicker and buzz sometimes. Take care of your amazing self, we will all be here for you.

  97. So here’s the thing. And I’m so late to the party that hopefully no one will read this. But those of us who are not as attractive, not as creative, not as intelligent as you, who have no thing going for them to make people like, much more, care about them, with no one around them to be caring and patient, but who suffer all the same depression and panic attacks . . . alone . . . are jealous to read about your “events”, and your miseries because you pull through, often with the help of so many others, or with the grand imagination and creativity you were born with. I have no idea how people like me, and those having it even worse than me, keep on going on. To any of you out there like me born with so little and able to earn even less, good luck. I don’t know what the struggle is for. But we do keep struggling. And we’ve made it so far. Sunk cost philosophy. We might as well see if we can make it to the end.

  98. No need for mortification (which is easy for me to say, since I’m not you and this didn’t happen to me, but bear with me…) The best thing anyone ever said to me about anxiety and panic attacks and the associated embarrassment from having one is… those who matter don’t notice; those who notice don’t matter.

    Anybody who noticed and judged you… meh, to hell with ’em. And to those that didn’t judge because they (pretended they) didn’t notice… you’re our kind of people. x

  99. Your clever writing skills and your willingness to share your awkward moments are a great source of inspiration for many of us. Thanks

  100. Thank you to all the above commenters who make me feel less weird and alone and misunderstood.
    This community that Jenny has brought together gives me more strength than anyone can ever know.
    So, thank you to each and everyone of you.
    We are not alone, even when we are struggling by ourselves, because we have each other.

  101. I don’t know if this is helpful or coherent, but the way you’ve been so open and blunt about your mental health and dealing with things like this has helped me to be equally honest with both myself and my therapist, to accept that I’m not the only person in the world to break down in public, it is a thing that happens, and it doesn’t mean I’m a terrible person and need to go away and never be around people again. People still love even the broken, and therefore I can love myself too. Keep hanging on and doing your best, and inspiring people like me to do the same. ❤️

  102. Thanks for telling us about this. Who knows? Maybe I’ll see someone in the middle of an attack and at least know questions to ask even if I can’t help. Also even while dealing with a pretty crappy episode you are able to see the positives – the people who love you and show up to help. That is pretty cool.

  103. Jenny, do listen to your body (you did everything right!) And sharing all is a great way to get it all out. Know that you are loved just for being. Feel better! ❤️

  104. “Why is it so much harder to be kind to ourselves than it is to be kind to everyone else?”, this made me think…”Yeah, really.”. Anybody else cry when people are nice to you during hard times because you’re not used to having people be nice to you?

  105. Ugh, I hate when this happens. Except I’m usually in a crowd and EVERYONE is starting at me (even if they aren’t, they are) and I just want to get away with my dignity before the tears come but no, damnit, no. I have to be reduced to a weeping fountain of mass flabbiness trying to get out. Then EVERYONE(again even if they aren’t they are) is laughing at me.

    So, I get you, Jenny. I get you.

  106. You have no idea how much I admire you for being real about this. I was raised in a “we don’t have anxiety” kind of world, so when I developed issues in my first pregnancy I was extra freaked out by also being “weak in character” and apparently newly crazy. So… on our first anniversary trip, I had a massive panic attack stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike while I repeatedly threw up and thought for sure I was going to die, stuck in a car going 80 between semis. Husband eventually pulled to the side of the road while I ran into a field and threw up and tried to breathe, hysterical. State trooper pulled up and wanted to arrest us — turns out there was a massive manhunt going on at the time for an escaped spree killer couple AND the state computers had gone down in Ohio, our home state, so none of our ID stuff was working, blah blah blah. During my panic attack, while I puked like Linda Blair off the side of the highway, terrified of traffic flying by

  107. Sending so much love and hugs! It’s interesting how even if we’ve had stuff like that happen before we still think we can ‘power through’ and that just makes things worse. Took me a long time to realize that attempting to actually Do Anything while in the middle of an attack was simply not a good or safe idea.

  108. I get it. 100%. I wish you didn’t have to go through it – and it is exhausting. You are spent. You are not alone.

  109. I am so sorry this happened. I can relate. Please know that you are fucking awesome.

  110. Being exactly who you are in any given moment and accepting yourself to the greatest degree possible is radical, literally gut-wrenching work. You are a goddamn Warrior on the front lines of Being Human. We are so lucky to have you…just as you are. Authenticity is NOT for weaklings.

  111. I’m amazed that you were still trying to go to the event when your body clearly was not having that!!!!
    I was trying to go grocery shopping the other day when I suddenly got sick. I was able to get to the bathroom before I threw up but when I came out I went home. I didn’t try to do the grocery shopping.
    When you are that miserable don’t keep pretending everything is okay!!!!

  112. So sorry. Panic attacks are the worst. I have to sleep a while after I have one. I am always too weak and spent to do anything else. Hope you feel better soon.

  113. I sooooo ❤️ you!!!
    I, luckily, don’t get the heart/breathing ones…

    Mine are more like I have energy coursing through me, and I will keep flicking my hands, to get rid of some. My whole body, is like a candle flame, flickering up and down!

    LOL, I remember, my first one ever (my head Dr had totally changed my meds). I KNEW what was happening; I tried to talk/logic my way out of it (of course, I now know how impossible even the IDEA of that is!!! I’m from a medical background, am very intelligent, so it felt logical to me, that I could make it stop, using logic!!! Of course, I epically failed, only made it worse!!!).

    Because my father had been abusive, while I was growing up, I worried I might lose it, like him. I told Fucktard (now his name, after he cheated on, left and divorced me, 10 years ago, TWO years after I’d broken down in the kitchen, crying. He came in, took he in his arms, and asked me what was wrong… I finally could get out more than just, incredible sobbing.. and told him, I was soooo scared he’d get tired of putting up with all of this, and gestured around, that I was sooooo scared he would leave me, sick and alone. He MADE me look at him,, and told me, that he was NEVER leaving me, and that I NEVER had to worry about it!!! I was soooo relieved, I collapsed agant his chest, ugly crying:/sobbing…

    So, wnen I first saw him, AFTER he jumped the rails (he had moved to mommy’s, when I came home… I’d gotten stuck where I grew up, because he’d had hernia surgery, and was in so much pain, he couldn’t help drive down to get me… and, I’d realized, I could no longer do the long drive alone (I cried in bed at my father’s house, where we stayed,, while there, for about 3 days… I had been coming back, because I’d gotten tickets to see Taylor Swift… but, I wasn’t crying about missing the concert… I cried, because, here was yet ANOTHER, but this was HUGE, thing, I could no longer do… So, between Fucktard in such bad pain, and my inability to drive home, I got stuck there, for a year.. pretty sure, that is largely why our marriage broke… helped along by a female coworker, who saw her chance and took it…), I asked WTF happened to THAT?!!!! , and his reply was, a shoulder shrug, and, ‘things change’ (!!!!) We were married almost 30 years, together, 32, my entire adult life, up to then. I’d met him, when I was 17, alnost 18), that if I EVER said, ‘take the baby’, to just take him, don’t ask questions, etc.. just get the baby, because I was scared, maybe I’d be towards my kids, like my father had treated my siblings and myself.

    Of course, that didn’t happen… but, I could barely talk… one child needed to be driven to school (I told the other one to walk, the school wasn’t far…).

    I told Fucktard, it was like, ‘take the baby!!!’. That stopped him questioning me, and he took oldest to school

    Once Fucktard took oldest to school, I collapsed in bed, in a fetal position, and pretty much stayed that way,for 3 days… only able to get up to use the bathroom. I discovered that bananas were really the absolute, perfect food… bexause:

    1) easily opened
    2) easy, not messy, etc.., to eat
    3) the ‘wrapper was easily disposed of…

    Fucktard wanted to take me to the ER. I refused, because he worked at the hospital, in the cardiac ICU, was charge nurse at night; many there, knew him, and iI didn’t want rumors about his wife breaking down…

    And, being from a medical background, I KNEW what ER staff thought about panic attack patients…. kind of like a GOMER (Get Out of my Emergency Room… I have other, patients, who are REALLY SICK!!).

    I agreed to go see the Dr, and got the PA, someone Fucktard knew from the hospital, who, because Fucktard was there, took it very seriously, checked me out thoroughly, neuro checks, etc… . The result was, I was physically fine. So, we went to head Dt’s, and she realized, just how bad I was, prescribed Klonopin, but I couldn’t get out of bed, stayed curled up, in fetal position, could only watch SpongeBob SquarePants (I couldn’t read… that was a large way, he knew something was really wrong; I can, and do, read through a migraine…!!!), droning water, and eating bananas…

    So, I was like that for 3 days… I didn’t want the kids seeing me, concerned it would scare them.But, the second I saw him, after he got home from taking oldest to school, I starting just, utterly sobbing, felt like my entire body, inside and out… because who he’d been, back then, I KNEW I was absolutely safe, with him, that he would protect me, help take over,etc…

    The Klonopin finally kicked in… but, I then wore an invisible, massive scar… because, what if it happened again?!! Especially, while I was driving out in public, etc…?!!!!

    Head Dr told me that having that fear, put me in the DX of panic disorder. And she said she was NEVER giving me ANY new meds, until she had used them with maaaany other patients!!!

    So, then, I felt like the walking wounded, constantly scared, it would happen again, especially, somewhere I didn’t feel safe, like my bed…

    Now, finally, I haven’t had any like that, in quite awhile, though, I have slighy different symptoms, but, manageable…

    I get you… ALL of you!!!

  114. Love you, Jenny. You’ll never know how much strength you give us. I hope you have a better idea of the love, though. <3

  115. If we knew how to forgive ourselves, we wouldn’t be who we are. My friend told me once that she loves that I trust her enough to call her when I’m having an attack. It makes her feel important and needed. She loves me when I’m okay too, but she understands and loves that I let her be there for all aspects of my life. I know I’m #oneluckygirl !

  116. I really thought you were going to say that you ended up releasing all your fluids at the table. It could have been worse. Nice job taking care of yourself.

  117. Thank you from another broken person who needed this message. I’m so grateful that you share your life with us, and keep showing up. You are an inspiration to me – go through hell – hear the depression/panic/anxiety lies – and keep going. You have amazing strength and are deeply appreciated!

  118. How can one human being be so relatable? Also, I think I’m a big fan and reading all your books and I think that Virgina Wolf should have lived long enough to read your books because you are way cooler than she is.

  119. I once had a panic attack at my local grocer standing in front of the bill section. I phoned my husband and told him to find me between the unsalted mixed nuts and the roasted pistachios. Once I figured out I wasn’t trapped inside the store anymore, I called him back to apologize and that I could drive the 7-minutes home but he was already in the parking lot sighing his was inside.

  120. Thank you for sharing this. I think of anxiety versus panic attacks the same way. No matter how much you read and logically understand, it is still validating to have other people share similar experiences. Add my voice to the chorus. I understand the guilt and shame and remind you that your brain lies.

  121. You’re gorfiven. That’s the word my peeps invented for when you need to be forgiven for something that you don’t need to be sorry for. It’s been wildly useful in our circles. Hugs, and you have all the gorfiveness you need.

  122. “Soaked in Mortification and Failure” – you can always make me feel seen, even when you’re writing about yourself.

  123. You always remind me us of our own humanity by showing us yours. Thank you. And you make us laugh even about tough things–like vomiting on FaceTime:). Glad you made it through and glad you took care of yourself . . .

  124. Reading the things that you write has such an incredible capacity to make me recognize that, while I may never be normal, I am still enough. And so are you. *hugs (if you want them and are not in a place where they would make things worse)*

  125. Thank you Jenny, and for everyone amongst this wonderfully broken family. “I love you, I pray for you, and I promise somehow it’s going to be okay. Maybe not how we hoped or wanted it to be, it will still be okay.” Patricia Widdison (my grandmother). Who’s voice came through this post from Jenny. I’m here for any of you night or day, sunshine or rain, truly I am.

  126. So much happened so relatively close to the joint event with Christopher Moore it seems understandable that a person would jump into an overdrive state of being.

    AND you were so generous to leave your call on for your amazing friend.
    So glad you recognized it called for a bit of stillness and stopped driving.
    Thanks for your blog and books as well as other media.

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