Category Archives: TMS is painful but not as painful as depression

The pursuit of zappiness

This is my second week of daily TMS treatments and I know that’s all I seem to talk about but that’s because it’s sort of eating up my life, but in a so far totally worthwhile way.

Today I finished this embroidery pattern, which seemed fitting because I was stabbing someone in the head with a needle while being stabbed in the head with magnets.

View this post on Instagram

I’m getting faster.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

Then I started a new one but paused to take a panoramic picture of myself in treatment so you can see how it looks.

My face is mid-spasm because today they went up to the highest voltage but look how cute and teensy my feet seem.

And then I went outside and this happened:

I don’t know if this is working or it’s a coincidence.  I don’t know if it will keep working if it’s working now.  But I know that mental illness is real and that we’re worth the process of looking for a cure.  Today was a needed reminder of that.

And on the seventh day, she was cautiously optimistic but also totally expecting some sort of emotional avalanche to hit at any moment.

So.  Today is my seventh day of rTMS and I feel…crazy?  Which makes sense because they don’t magnet punch mentally sound people in the head for 6 weeks but what I mean is that I feel crazy for feeling like maybe this could be working.  Because (knocking on so much wood) I went from a full depression at the beginning of last week to a quick (for me) bounce back into “okay” and this weekend I actually felt good.  Like, I wanted to leave the house voluntarily.  I almost went to a museum.  That sounds like a small thing but I assure you that it is not.

Yesterday – for the first time in months – I felt like listening to music.  I don’t like music when I’m depressed.  It makes me feel too much when I’m raw and it makes me realize how numb I am when I’m unable to feel anything.  Instead I fill every quiet second with podcasts…anything to drown out the thoughts in my head and fill in the minutes until my head is right again.  Wanting to listen to music is a sign I didn’t even know I was looking for and it’s also a sign showing how long it’s been since I’ve been “normal” as all of my music was still undownloaded from the last time I got a new phone.

I’m not 100%.  I still feel exhausted.  I still feel brain fog and anxiety and the flashes of light in the dark are still flashes rather than steady streams.  It might be all in my head but that’s where I keep my crazy so that makes sense.  It might be a placebo effect but since I’ve failed at so many treatments it seems unlikely.  It might be coincidence that this bit of sweet relief started not long after treatment started and maybe would have happened normally.  I won’t know for awhile and even if it works it might not work forever, but I am so clinging to this feeling and to the reminder that things can be good again.  The reminder of how sweet it is to breathe again without having to remind yourself that this will pass.

I’ve had something really awesome to share with you for months  but I’ve been so down that I didn’t want to share it because announcing something great and then listening to people be excited about something I can’t feel anything about can bring about such cognitive dissonance that it’s not worth even sharing but today I feel good so today I’m going to tell you that I’m currently working on two new books.  TWO!  I’ve been working on them for awhile but they are now actual books with real live editors and publishers and probably won’t be finished for a year or two because I am slow even when I am good but still.

One is a collection of humorous essays/memoir like Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and the other is a YA southern gothic novel that I’ve been working on when I was too dark to be funny.  I’ll share a real announcement about them when I don’t have to rush off to the psych unit.  Today is treatment plus analysis and it eats my whole day and all of my energy, but it so worth it if it works.

Also, several of you asked me to make t-shirts for you to wear to show your support for me and for the people you know who are struggling.  Their specific suggestion was “You know…something that matches this community.  Something weird but supportive.”

Done:

Edited to add: If that shirt shows as “sold out” you can pick another one with the same design like this one.