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State Of The Trout: “IDK what the fuck is going on” edition

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Hey there, party people. If you’ve been here a while, you know that I struggle with my mental health. Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down, sometimes I’m non-functioning. Right now, I’m in the non-functioning stage. Since I’m open about stuff like this I thought I would keep you all abreast of what’s going on. If you’re not in a good place mentally, probably you should stop reading here. You don’t need my bullshit on top of yours.

About three weeks ago, I had another major breakdown. My husband (who is awesome) was talking me through things. We’ve both had pretty harrowing experiences with the death of loved ones in the past three years. Mine was being at the ER with my grandfather as he died. For my husband, it was finding his mother dead in her apartment.

“It’s just like with your mom, right?” I asked him through hyperventilating, panicked tears. “You see her that way every single day. You remember finding her every single day and you like, relive it constantly.”

And he said, “No, Jen. I don’t.”

And then he said, “That shouldn’t be happening to you.”

For the past three years, any time I haven’t been bombarding my brain with something, anything to do, I’ve been in that emergency room. Taking a shower is hell because there’s nothing in there to distract me. I step under the water and I’m walking up to the desk with pills and clothes clutched in my hand, only to have the nurse say, “We don’t need those right now.” And in my head, I change things. I shove the bags at them. I scream at them that they have to take them, that they do need them. Or maybe the scene begins standing outside the trauma room, watching them perform CPR on my clearly dead grandfather. He’d fallen when he’d had his heart attack or stroke or whatever it was that took him out and he’d hit the back of the toilet, badly injuring his head. The scene was gory and chaotic and I see all of it in mind several times a day, even when I’m not actively reliving the scene. My mind has to be constantly in motion or else I’ll get trapped in that night. But I also can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. I check social media. I play a game on my phone. I write a few lines of a blog post. I write a few lines of a book. I text someone. I eat something. Rinse, repeat. If I try to focus for too long, the distraction fails me. I take several naps every day.

This has been going on for three years and I thought it was just a normal part of grief.

As a result, I’ve really isolated myself. I avoid my friends and extended family. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I get constant anxiety attacks. On a family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge, my kids took part in a CPR demonstration. Watching them do chest compressions on Rescecutation Annie while Tom & Jerry (one of my grandfather’s favorite things to watch) played on a TV in the background sent me right back to that emergency room. I wasn’t at a waterpark with my kids or my husband. I was trapped in that memory, all alone. I rationalize withdrawing from people and events with, “If I don’t stay close to people, it won’t add any more of this grief when they die.”

And that’s weirdly true. I didn’t feel grief for the five loved ones who’ve passed away since. I didn’t go to their funerals, except for one. When my best friend’s mom died, I did manage to go to the funeral. I sat on my bed, dressed and ready to go, repeatedly slapping myself in the face and calling myself a selfish bitch for not wanting the leave the room. That self-harm gave me the motivation to get to the church.

Self-harm is a huge component of my sickness. The night my grandfather died, I broke my big toe kicking a crash cart. Since then, I’ve intentionally and repeatedly scalded myself, pulled out chunks of hair, clawed my face and arms bloody, slapped myself, and bashed my head into the wall hard enough to cause a concussion.

Through all of this, I’ve consistently told myself that I am weak, I am selfish, I’m just being dramatic, I don’t deserve to think I’m actually sick, and most importantly, everyone is tired of me talking about it. I’ve become boring, people hate me, and everyone thinks I should suck it up. So, I’ve gone on, sitting in the shower and reliving a traumatic experience, telling myself I’m being childish because other people have it worse or have had worse things happen to them, locking myself away to slap my own face and call myself a bitch because I can’t get work done or stay on top of the housekeeping or because I lost my temper and yelled at my kids. I tell myself I’m awful and that everyone would be better off without me. Some days, my bright side thought is, “One day, I’ll be dead.”

That shouldn’t be anybody’s glass-half-full scenario.

A few days before the anniversary of my grandfather’s death, my grandmother fell. When I arrived, she was sitting on the floor in the bathroom, more embarrassed than hurt but unable to get up. The ambulance came. She was fine, just bruised and twisted up a little. She didn’t even go to the hospital. I drove home screaming. Just screaming. It didn’t make me feel better but I couldn’t stop. I just drove and screamed, drove and screamed. I pulled into my driveway and stayed in the car, repeating over and over, “It didn’t happen again. It’s not happening again.” But it was happening again. The drive to their house, the time of year, the ambulance, the fall in the bathroom, and suddenly I was back in that hospital room and I couldn’t get myself out.

My husband said that’s not normal. He made me call the doctor. When they asked me why I needed an appointment, I broke down. “There’s something wrong with me mentally and I don’t know how to get help. Help me.” Thankfully, they had an appointment that day. I went home with a prescription for Zoloft and a referral to a therapist. Seeing the therapist made me feel better and worse. I went into the office full of anxiety, sure I was going to be sent away after being scolded for wasting everyone’s time. Because I’m not as bad off as other people, because worse things have happened to other people, because my problem is that I’m lazy and stupid and I just want attention. Obviously, that didn’t happen but I was pretty sure that it should have. She gave me the number for a suicide helpline and all I could think was that I should never tie up their phone with my problems because other people deserved to live more than I ever would.

Through it all, emails have gone unanswered. My work has suffered. The book I wanted to release this month? It’s not even halfway done. I’d planned out a whole schedule for this blog for 2019. I haven’t gotten a quarter of it finished. Every now and then I’ll hit on some kind of “organization system” that seems to work but then it all falls apart because it’s a skyscraper built on a foundation of popsicle sticks. My memory is shot. If you asked me whether an event happened last year or the year before, I couldn’t tell you. I forgot that one of my uncles is dead. Earlier this week, I was shocked to realize that a friend of mine got divorced from her husband. It wasn’t that she hadn’t told me or I didn’t know. I just…forgot. Sometimes, I’m in a daze where I don’t know what’s going on at all. My grandmother mentioned my mom today and I couldn’t remember ever having met her.

Yet on the outside, I can fake being remarkably capable. I’ve been volunteering at local theaters. A friend who sang in the pit with me on a production said, “You were the one I was listening to so I could remember where we were.” I’ve been props master for several shows and pulled off feats of frantic mid-performance hot gluing. I’ve had big roles that required dancing, singing, and memorizing lines. I can pull all of that stuff off. I can stick to a running program (when my foot isn’t broken) and hit my goals. I can hang out with friends and laugh and talk and seem like me. But I stopped being me a long time ago. I have no idea who I am anymore.

I’m probably going to make more posts like these. Long, rambling, poor-me pity-parties that will result in weirdos sending me emails telling me to kill myself or leaving comments here talking about how much they hate that I’m dramatic and attention-seeking. It’s okay. I already think that stuff myself, all the time. And I do way better at it than any random internet person ever could. Because deep down, I know that this is ridiculous. Nobody wants to hear this bullshit. And I do write it in such a melodramatic way. But right now, I have all of this…whatever. I don’t know where to put it, so it’s coming out here.

But I promise it won’t be all my self-focused bullshit, all the time. As I said, I can be pretty good at faking being capable. But this is what’s going on behind the curtain. I just felt like being honest.

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86 Comments

  1. rekhyt
    rekhyt

    Jenny. <3

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  2. Katy
    Katy

    I don’t think it’s ridiculous, I don’t mind listening, and I do think that you deserve to get better.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  3. Melodie
    Melodie

    Love ya, J. Tro. I’m pulling for you. <3

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  4. Rachel Tibbetts
    Rachel Tibbetts

    Thanks for being honest. What happened to you is really, actually, objectively on the scale of everyone in the world, bad. You deserve help, and there is help to be had.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  5. Lyn
    Lyn

    I am so, so glad you said something to your husband and that he heard you and walked you through those first steps. PTSD is a bitch, but there’s (fortunately/unfortunately) been a lot of research in the past 20 years and there’s good solid treatment methodologies. I hope you start to get relief quickly, and as long as writing about it here doesn’t make it worse I think you should, it can be useful to others as well as to yourself to talk about what it feels like.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  6. Sonjah Arr/Ambiguous Intent
    Sonjah Arr/Ambiguous Intent

    I love you, Jenny Trout.
    Let people be your life rafts when you need them, if not for yourself then for their own.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  7. Yay team “faking being capable!” Do we have jackets? ……we forgot to make the jackets. fuck.

    I’m glad you’re getting help; I hope you pull through.

    When you said “I stopped being me a long time ago” I know exactly what you mean. I’m still working towards getting back to being me. I’m mostly there, sometimes I backslide a bit, but overall I’m making it; you can too.

    <3

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  8. Kellie
    Kellie

    Do whatever you need to do. Take however long you need. The blog will still be here and so will we.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  9. Julie Jones
    Julie Jones

    Your husband is right. Listen to him.

    I lost my sister-in-law (my ally, my favorite in-law) suddenly and tragically in June. She fell in the shower. She was our age. I get stuck in it constantly, just like you said. I’m an avid reader, but for months I couldn’t read anything new because I just didn’t have the attention span. My daughter (10 and extra close to her aunt) and I would lie together on the couch, mindlessly watching Parks and Rec until Netflix asked us if we were still there.

    During this time, the ONLY thing I could read and enjoy were your 50 Shades recaps. I’ve reread them several times when I need a laugh, but I relied on you heavily during a heavy time. My little boys’ karate teacher and neighbor, who knew what was going on with our family, told me that he had only seen me smile and laugh in the last couple of months when I was reading in the waiting room during the boys’ classes. He asked me what I was reading that obviously made me feel better, and it was YOU.

    I’m grateful that you’re here and that you write, because you help people feel better. I hope you feel better soon, and until then, please know that you’re helping more people than you know, just by being you.

    Sincerely,
    A Random Lady in Texas

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  10. Terri
    Terri

    I wish I had the magic wand to send away your pain. Best I can do is to say I (we?) always will be here to lend an ear. I won’t bore you with the details of why I truly get what you are going through but I hope you can hang on to the knowledge that you will not always feel this awful.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  11. Tammi
    Tammi

    Jenny, you said that nobody wants to hear this bullshit, but I think everybody needs to hear this bullshit.
    Thank you to Mr. Jen for telling you the truth. You don’t deserve to be going through this. You deserve help and support and love now and before now and forever after now.
    Thank you to you for listening to Mr. Jen and going to a therapist and being at least a little bit willing to try to get through this.
    I’ve been reading this blog for years now. You have been unfailingly and unflinchingly honest about mental health – both yours and others. It makes my life better. I wish there was more I could do to make your life better.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  12. Donja
    Donja

    Oh, Jenny. You’re not weak, you’re not selfish and you aren’t being dramatic. This is clearly a big thing you need help with and that is okay. Your husband is absolutely right that what you are going through isn’t normal for people, generally. When you have something that big going on that’s impacting your life on such a big way, even if it seems normal for you, it’s worth getting help.

    I really hope things get better for you soon. And I’m so glad you are getting help. I can’t speak for everyone but I’m here even if all your posts are like this. You are worth taking care of, so please do. The world will not end because a book got delayed or your blog didn’t update as much as you’d have liked to.

    November 1, 2019
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  13. Jodi
    Jodi

    Just *hugs* and we love you.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  14. Yarrr
    Yarrr

    Keep fighting Jenny.

    You’re not being selfish or stupid at all, this is the sort of situation these help systems are designed for.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  15. Potato
    Potato

    I hope things get better for you soon. Mental health stuff can be so hard because it is so easy sometimes to pretend everything’s fine. You’ll probably hear it a lot here and it might not sink in right away but it’a not selfish to need help and your problems aren’t any less important than someone else’s. Also I’ve been following your work for a while and you show everyone so much empathy. You deserve empathy as well. I’m glad you’re getting help.
    I like to compare therapy to cleaning a room, at least that’s how it’s always worked for me. When you start out, you’re moving things around and finding old stuff that fell behind dressers and huge piles of dust and it seems messier than when you started but in the end you can get things organized and back where they belong. That’s my long way of saying I think it’s to feel a little worse when you start with a new therapist. I also think people don’t always acknowledge that going to therapy and dealing with mental health stuff absolutely is work, so don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t gotten things done on the schedule you planned because the work you’re doing on your mental health is hard and important. I don’t know you personally, but I’m glad you’re here and I hope things start to feel easier very soon.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  16. Claire
    Claire

    Sending love and support. You deserve help and life. We’re with you.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  17. Julie
    Julie

    Beautifully said.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  18. Caitriona
    Caitriona

    You are important and worth fighting for. I hope things get easier for you soon.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  19. Ria
    Ria

    Oh Jenny 🙁 it’s so hard. Sending you lots of love. We are all here.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  20. Canadian Natasha
    Canadian Natasha

    Hi Jenny, I’m just an internet rando who lurks on your blog and probably scares my landlords by laugh-crying maniacally at your excellent dramatic and funny posts.

    But fwiw, you 100% DO deserve All. The. Good. Things. and do NOT deserve to be mentally and emotionally smacked around by mean brain weasels every damn day.

    Would it help a little if you reminded yourself that you got *injured* when you had the trauma of your grandfather dying? Because it was an injury even if not a visible physical one. And it wasn’t your fault that you got hurt by a bad thing happening. And it wasn’t and isn’t your fault that you didn’t heal from that injury or that the similar incident with your grandma exacerbated the injury. Sometimes wounds don’t get better on their own naturally and they need some help to get there.

    You tried hard to crowd out your pain with other (good) stuff right? I have SO tried the same thing and it didn’t work for me either. (If only it did- my life would be much easier). So take the time you need. Do the counseling. Post more dramatic stuff on here if you want. Or take time off if you need to.

    I can speak for myself at least that I wish you well and I’ll keep on lurking as long as you have something you want to say. (Okay to be honest you will probably stay on my blog feed for ages and ages even if you need to go radio silence. I am not a swift giver-upper.)

    Sending internet hugs your way (but only if you want them)!

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  21. Jeanne
    Jeanne

    Jenny, you bring so much happiness and joy through your writing. I personally re-read your snark blogposts when I need cheering up and a laugh.

    Please take care of yourself. You are important, worthwhile and loved. You are not being dramatic. Every person is different and reacts differently to grief, events and life in general

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  22. Literally going through this right now with the death of our cat. Have multiple traumas that replay this way. It’s fucking hell.

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy works wonders. PM me if you need anything.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  23. Pansy Petal
    Pansy Petal

    *HUGS* I know where you are. I have been there a lot longer than three years. You and this blog have been an inspiration to me and helped keep me from totally jumping into that oh so attractive abyss. Right now, I am reaching out my hand, hoping to help pull you back as you have done for me. You are not alone. You are worthwhile and loved, very much!

    BTW, I agree with Kody. We need “faking being capable” jackets. Or at least a t-shirt.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  24. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    Mr Jen sounds awesome. Or at least a decent sounding board to ask, “Is this normal?”

    Well done on calling to get an appointment. Thanks to the doctor who actually helped. Don’t stop or change your dose without permission. And if you do stop, then decide to take it up again – take the lowest dosage. This will save you from the diarrhea and vomiting of my accidental overdose caused by quitting-then-taking-at-the-regular-dose. Learn from other people’s mistakes.

    Make a list of stuff the therapist should know. If you can pinpoint specific details (grief, flashbacks), then they can help you more specifically. A list is important so when it comes to appointment time, you don’t have to struggle to remember what you wanted to say – it’s written there for you.

    The self-harm isn’t good, as you well know. Ask your children or husband to hang out with you when dealing with scaldy stuff, etc. You may be less likely to hurt yourself if they’re there watching. I know it sucks asking your family to “supervise” you, but it’s best for everyone in the long run.

    Hateful emails? Mate, I am here to help. If you set up an email account for me to access, and forward your emails there, I can hopefully read and delete the hateful shit before you can see them. It’s always an option. Same with social media – if you need me to log in and delete/report/block stuff for you, contact me. You won’t be bothering me – it makes me feel good to actually help people.

    Anything else, give a shout. Need notes of encouragement? Weird shit or funny shit to distract you? Trout Nation is good at that, and if we can do tasks that might help ease your pain, let us know.

    November 1, 2019
    |Reply
  25. Angélique
    Angélique

    I mean, someone always has it worse, somewhere. That doesn’t make your pain any less real and anyone who judges you for it frankly isn’t worth your time. Lacking compassion is a hell of a lot worse than being brave enough to admit you need help anyway.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  26. Don’t wanna share
    Don’t wanna share

    No one ever deserves to have to relive a traumatic experience over and over again (except maybe Trump getting booed… he should have to relive that moment every day for the rest of his life. But unless there’s something you’ve failed to mention I’m pretty confident that you haven’t committed war crimes.) and you are not being unreasonable or silly or anything of the like. You are trying your best, you genuinely care about the impact you have on the people around you. You do more than your fair share to help people who don’t necessarily deserve it (how far you went for ‘Cathy’) and everyone deserves to be loved and supported.

    Several years ago now I was… something’d (No title feels right… rape feels too strong, sexual assault sounds like I was just grabbed against my will…) by someone whom could have given me everything’s I’d ever wanted in life (dream job and location) who also happened to be about 3 times my size on top of the skewed power dynamic. To add insult to injury I didn’t even end up getting the job since I was in the room on the recommendation of someone who turned out to be a pretty awful person to work with so they wouldn’t hire me for fear that I would end up the same way. Which, I mean, obviously I didn’t want to work for them after what happened but it just made it feel even worse like I’d gone through it for nothing. I still don’t know if that’s a terrible way to feel or not…

    But anyway, I kept that secret for a few years and it ate away at my soul. Like you, every single day I was back in that room, being backed into a corner, shaking with fear trying to find something I could say that would make him stop… every day I was imagining what I would have done if I’d been offered the job. Whether I’d have accepted it and tried to make changes from the inside, or just say yes long enough to get back in a room with him to stab him… it was in my dreams, it was in every interaction I had, it made me question my resolve to even go for my dream. Could I handle it if this is what it really meant?

    To top it off I had a lot of massive depression causing issues after that as well that only made it worse. But after a while, it went away, and I thought I’d gotten over it. Turned out all I’d actually done was refocus the fear and anxiety into anger at my ‘best friend’ who was the first person I told about it after years of keeping it to myself. She did NOT react well. At first she just completely lacked empathy, not even being willing to put off her relatively minor plans of going out for a drive with her live-in bf to sit and talk with me as I was crying, but then when she actually did talk to me she more or less told me that she was clearly better designed for my career choice than I am since SHE could have just compartmentalised it and moved on.

    But since I hadn’t actually dealt with the real problem, last week when I was working on a project with someone who reminded me of my assailant in personality, I was right back to that terrified ‘must find a way to run away!’ Mindset all over again. And let me say, that is a pretty big problem when you have to work closely with someone on a time crunch! And while he did set off red flags and alarm bells, he never actually did or said anything bad. And I need to get to a point where I can be aware of those flags without shutting down completely, and I have NO IDEA how to do that. NONE. If anyone has any suggestions please share!

    The world is a complicated, shitty place full of bad people and upsetting events. But it’s also full of people who mean well and want to help, and literal puppy dogs and rainbows :p don’t feel bad asking for help. Don’t feel bad not being okay. The human brain was designed to deal with physical threats, not the myriad of constant input and stress we currently all live under.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  27. Maile
    Maile

    Much love and support.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  28. Cherry
    Cherry

    I always appreciate your honesty in these mental health posts. You were one of the first people who made me feel like I wasn’t alone with all the self-harm impulses and depression and anxiety in my head. Take all the time you need and know that you are absolutely, without a doubt, totally worth it and we’ll all be right here waiting to hear anything you want to say when you’re ready.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  29. loving lurker
    loving lurker

    (CW types of traumas)

    For what it’s worth, I’ve yet to met anyone dealing with trauma who hasn’t said to me, “but what right do I have to even complain when other people have it so much worse!” This list includes people who are dealing with eating disorders, emotional abuse, physical childhood abuse, rape, and sexual abuse at as young as 3.

    So please just know that literally every single person–even the ones you look at and think “they have it ACTUALLY bad, not like me”–thinks they don’t have it bad enough to be worthy of compassion and care. If they’re clearly wrong about that, then there’s a good chance you’re wrong about you not being worthy of compassion, too. <3

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  30. Xebi
    Xebi

    This isn’t bullshit, Jenny. What if a friend or family member told you all that, would you tell them it was bullshit? Would you say it was ridiculous and melodramatic and you didn’t want to hear it? No, of course you wouldn’t, because you’re a compassionate and empathetic person. Are you treating yourself with the same love and respect you treat others with? Because you 100% deserve to be treated that way, you are no less a person than they are, otherwise they wouldn’t love you so much.

    I haven’t been me for a long time either. I had a baby over 2 years ago and the postnatal depression destroyed me and now I don’t know who I am any more. But it’s okay, it’s not forever. You and me will both find ourselves again some day and that doesn’t have to be a long way away.

    Sending love and fat internet hugs all the way from London (don’t worry, the Thames is still here, I checked).

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  31. Michelle
    Michelle

    Oh Jenny honey you poor thing, when my mil passed away it was the first time I had experienced death in a way that affected me in a similar way. I was with her as she struggled to take her last breaths and felt I had to be strong for my husband but didn’t have the words to comfort him or understand what the fuck is it all about.

    I’ve never struggled with mental healt before, I had no idea what was happening. All of a sudden it just seemed so pointless. I used to lie in bed at night and wonder how I could been so selfish to bring two beautiful children in this shitty world, agonising about how one day I am going to die and they are going to have to cope with it. My own mother is still alive and just thinking about when the time comes for her to go made me panic and wish I’d never been born at all.

    I used to feel like my life was a movie and I was watching myself act out a part, willing myself to just get through one more day so I could go to sleep and not think about it. On harder days I would desperately hope I wouldn’t wake up and have to do it all again. Then I would enter a circle of anxiety about what a dreadful thing to think, wasn’t I such a selfish bitch to even think of leaving my kids and my poor husband to suffer alone. It was so exhausting to just exsist. I didn’t want to make it all about me, my poor husband had lost his own mother, why was I struggling so bad? I was just being dramatic and over the top, I had a nice life no health problems, an ok job what did I have to worry about? It’s so hard isn’t it?

    I have never told anyone I was suffering silently, I was afraid …..I don’t even understand of what. I have a nice family who surely would have tried to help and live in a place where medical help is free. I used to think everyone loses their parents at some stage ….maybe this is what life is. Maybe everyone is is hiding it all too …bit it didn’t seems like it. I was lonely and afraid all the time. I would sit in traffic and cry where nobody could see me.

    Slowly the fog started to lift, so gradually that i didn’t even notice it a first, I just stopped overthinking and panicking about death/dying so much. It’s been five years and I rarely think about it at all anymore, I genuinely laugh and smile and am thankful for such a good life. I figure maybe it was just normal grief but I know it really shook me, I’m happy and confident, I can write a comment to some one with out over analysing it wondering why would anyone want to hear what stupid old me had to say?

    Anyway I’m rambling now but I want you to know I’m glad you wrote this post, you are not alone. We hear you and wish you well. I know I will think about this post and wonder how your doing, I’m rooting for you. I want you to do well and feel better, it got better for me and it can get better for you too. X

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  32. Joey
    Joey

    I don’t normally comment, but I wanted to today. You don’t deserve what’s happening to you, PTSD is a bitch and I hope that with meds and therapy you’re able to find yourself again. Thinking of you and glad that you were able to talk to Mr. Jen about it, ask for that help. Sending hugs if you want them <3

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  33. Zev J
    Zev J

    Sending love and support. I respect you a lot and am so glad Mr Jen helped.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  34. flamingo
    flamingo

    I’m so sorry to hear all this, Jenny, but I think it’s excellent that you’re talking about it. You’re not being melodramatic or exaggerating, I know because I was in a very similar state of mind. I isolated myself, spent all the time I could on running away from reality, couldn’t consistently do anything except hate myself, bite myself and cut myself, and yet people described me as outspoken, my own person. I had no idea who the hell I was and all that sounded very fake.

    I am sorry you’re going through a similar thing. I wish there was a formula I could offer that helps, but I think it’s different for everyone. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was that got me out of that state, but it is possible Jenny. I feel much much better now. I think talking about it and consciously trying to accept myself as I am, helped? But I don’t really have the words to describe what that actually means. I didn’t try to solve the problem or rid myself of it, instead I tried to understand myself and that it’s not my fault and that it’s okay to be this way, to give myself leave to feel all of those messy, toxic feelings and respect myself even as I am. Because I wasn’t trying to be that way, and neither are you. Fighting it never did any good for me. There just came a moment when I realised I have to accept myself as I am, as sad and toxic and broken as I was. I couldn’t really explain how it happened exactly, but I know I had that thought. It’s not your fault Jenny, you’re not weird or wrong, you are just hurting. It’s not your fault you are in pain. Your pain is not lesser because someone else is in pain too, it’s incomparable. You are the focus of your own life and you are allowed to feel however you feel. Accepting myself in that state didn’t make me happy, but it gave me relief. I no longer had expectations of myself I couldn’t satisfy and I no longer waited for a miracle to happen to change me. I just thought it was the best I could do at the moment, and if I was going to feel that way anyway, I might as well feel that way and be kinder to myself about it. If fighting it worked, that would have been great, but it never did, all it did was thrust me deeper into the cycle of despair and self hatred. I said to myself “okay, if this is all you can do right now, then that’s fine. I will work with that” and I started to express it openly, saying to people how I felt and why I couldn’t do something. I know it’s hard because of the pressures of society, financial things and family matters but stressing over it and pushing myself never ever worked so I just did my best with what I got.
    This is in no way to say that this is who you are Jenny or all that you are, but I tried to accept myself as if that was who I was and all that I was capable of. It helped reduced pressure and helped me navigate my life in a more realistic way, expecting everything to lag and fall apart, and that was okay. It’s not ideal and as I said, it didn’t make me happy, and it was still hard, but it did help. I am no longer in that state.

    In any case Jenny, nothing is wrong with you. You are hurting and all of you is reacting to the pain. It’s normal, you’re normal. It’s great that you’re seeking help and talking about it. All of us here support you and think of you. I always look forward to reading your recaps and posts, but we don’t need them now or next week so don’t stress over that. Also fuck anyone who gives you shit over this or undermines it, they don’t know what they’re talking about. I’m sorry if I said a lot of unnecessary things, I don’t mean to tell you what to do or how to live, I just thought I’d share what helped me. As I said, I truly believe the thing that makes the difference is different for everyone.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  35. Jordan Bell
    Jordan Bell

    As a long time reader I have learned so much from your writing. I’m so glad you’re getting help and I hope things start to feel better soon. You deserve all the good things and I think you’re important and special to people on the internet in ways you will never know, because of the way you write about storytelling, mental health issues, feminism and equality, and life. Your fiction is amazing and your blogging/nonfiction is, with no exaggeration, making the world a better place. Sending you love and light as a shield and protection.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  36. SwearyOldBat
    SwearyOldBat

    Oh, my dear. You don’t know me from Adam (long time lurker and all that) but you remind me so much of a good friend who always thinks she shouldn’t complain, she doesn’t deserve help, everyone else has it worse… it’s not true. I don’t know if this total stranger saying it will go even a tiny way towards making you believe it, but you *are* really suffering, and you *are* worth helping, and you *do* deserve better. And maybe if you can believe it, my friend can too.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  37. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    Aw, man, Jenny. I’m so glad you’re getting help. I welcome these rambling posts if they help you get this stuff off your chest a little. Bring on the bullshit!

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  38. SandorClegane4Dany
    SandorClegane4Dany

    Reading this post reminded me so much of what my best friend goes through. I’m going to say to you what I say to her: You are loved. You deserve to get better. I hope you do soon, but don’t be mad at yourself if it takes longer than you hoped. Brains are weird and tricky. Something I have discovered and try to pass along is that it’s important to firgive yourself. Even though you may know rationally you did nothing wrong and your feelings are not your fault, that sticky part of the brain likes to remind us otherwise. It’s full of shit. Give yourself grace.

    This lurker is rooting for you, Jenny.

    P.S. I think it’s very brave and strong of you to share. If it weren’t for people like you being open about their mental illness, some of may not have pursued help for our struggles. Thank you.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  39. Lainey
    Lainey

    Hi Jenny,

    My heart goes out to you. I know I’m just a stranger on the internet, but I’m extremely proud of you for actively seeking help. It’s not easy to bare your soul like this and it’s even harder doing so while vetting the help that you’re getting. Friends and family can provide support but in some regards, they are ill-equipped to do so. There is no shame in seeking professional help.

    Finding a therapist who’s on the same wavelength as you but also firm (and kind) enough to help you stand on your own is incredibly difficult and I hope you won’t give up until you find them.

    I was going through a quarter life crisis after grad school and your 50 Shades recaps kept me sane through that time. I love your snark and your humor, but most of all the amount of thought and knowledge you’ve instilled in them. It’s not just some rando jealous-bitching about a fanfic gone mainstream, you actually provided insight on how the characterization, story-telling, character dynamics and writing could be better. I learned a lot from you.

    Please don’t beat yourself up in thinking you owe us any sort of schedule when it comes to your blog. I love your Buffy and Angel recaps but I want YOU to enjoy writing them too.

    And that’s the thing about written work–you can always go back to revisit what you’ve enjoyed and it will still bring a smile to your face.

    Please be kind to yourself.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  40. Julie
    Julie

    Trauma is really a bitch.

    Here are some things I’ve learned, and things I hope you will get to.

    My trauma counts, even if it’s not “as bad” as someone else’s, even if it could be worse.

    My trauma isn’t my fault.

    My trauma lives in my body and I can’t think or willpower my way out of my trauma.

    I’m glad you’re here, and I hope you’re able to access good help that helps you get into a better place.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
    • Cosigning everything you’ve said here, and what Cheryl said below about depression lying. All of it. For anyone who needs to hear it.

      XOXO

      November 2, 2019
      |Reply
  41. Depression lies. Mental illness lies. I don’t know what to say to you other than you are valuable to too many people and I want you to believe it. Take whatever steps you need to realize your worth.
    Love and miss you.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  42. Dana Hunter
    Dana Hunter

    You’re so loved, and you deserve every iota of that love. I know (from personal experience) it’s probably next to impossible to believe that right now. But it’s true.

    If all your blog becomes is you talking about your trauma and issues and struggles, a good number of us will still be here reading, because we love you and also it’s so fucking important and courageous to say that brains break and they’re a bitch to heal when they do.

    You’re the furthest fucking thing from selfish. I know the part of you that knows that isn’t functional right now, but it’ll come back online after some time and meds and therapy, so please just be as gentle with yourself as you can be until then.

    I’m going back to lurking for now, but I’ll be here cheering you on as you get through this. And if you need some brisk sea air to set yourself right and give yourself a chance to breathe, you’ll always be welcome to crash with me in Seattle. I owe you for so much fantastic writing over the years, so, y’know, don’t hesitate to call in the debt.

    Also, too, I sew, so if everybody here decides on capes instead of jackets for Team Faking Being Capable, I’ve got us covered. We deserve capes. We’re goddamned superheroes for being able to fake capable when inside we’re just a massive mess.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  43. Tami Marie Alexander
    Tami Marie Alexander

    I am sure you have already been diagnosed with PTSD. I have it, as well. I relive things over and over again in my mind and can remember them in great detail even if they happened years ago but I can’t tell you what I had for dinner last night. It comes with the package. I have done the driving and screaming thing. I have done the self harm. And I’m going to a therapist and to a shrink and I’m on heavy drugs that I tried to wean off, believing I was all better and didn’t need them anymore but found out the hard way that I do. Oddly enough, it’s when other people need me that I snap out of it and have something to focus on other than my own problems. You found that with theater. Don’t beat yourself up over this, you are not alone, you have people who love you and understand you and accept you even if you are fucked up. Because we are fucked up, also. I love you and I am so happy that you are in my life now, even as an acquaintance, because you have done so much for me, more than you know. I appreciate you and if there’s anything I can do for you, name it.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  44. Gwen
    Gwen

    So much love to you, Jenny. Be gentle with yourself. You deserve it.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  45. Hannah Daltons
    Hannah Daltons

    I want to hear it! I love to listen, and if we as your readers can be a soft place for you to land, I think all of us want to be able to do that for you. No judgement here, we’ve all been through it, so we know how to help others through it.its your turn now, you take as long as you need. ❤️

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  46. Tree Lady
    Tree Lady

    Another mostly lurker chiming in to yell you that you are not overdramatic, not selfish, and that you have a right to your pain.

    Think about it like this: if someone breaks their leg, do you refuse to give them a cast or crutches because other people are in wheelchairs? No. You treat the affliction for itself, not ignore it for what it isn’t. (By this comparison I am not trying to minimize your trauma, just trying to reframe the issue.)

    I am mentally ill. Most of my close friends are mentally ill. And we all go through that self-doubt, that feeling that we don’t deserve better, that others will think we’re fakers – or worse, that we _are_ fakers. *It’s a symptom of the illness.*

    It’s natural to assume that our own experiences are the normal ones, and when we find out they’re not, we assume we must be wrong. But lived experience is _not_ wrong, and your heart and mind has been wounded. Glad you’re getting treatment!

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  47. Faceless Internet Stranger
    Faceless Internet Stranger

    Hi Jenny. You don’t know me, I’ve never commented on your blogs before, but you just point me to the people who are telling you that you don’t matter and I will fight them.

    I mean, I’ll lose. But I will still fight them.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  48. It might be worth asking you doctor about Cognitive Processing Therapy. It’s specifically designed to help with PTSD symptoms like the ones you describe, and I know a few people who swear by it. There’s a recent This American Life episode called ‘Ten Sessions’ that can give you an idea of how it works.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  49. CI-B
    CI-B

    Mr. Jen is right; it isn’t the norm, and it’s not your fault. Brain chemistry is bizarre. You deserve to *not* feel this way and I hope that you start feeling better soon. Much love.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  50. Kits
    Kits

    Long-time reader, first time commenter.

    I’ll be thinking of you. I so appreciate your honesty and I’ll continue to read EVERY post (and buy your books, BC you’re awesome.) Please keep on being honest to who you are.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  51. Anna
    Anna

    Your writing really inspires and amazes me. I hope you get better. And know that you are amazing, even if your brain keeps telling you o
    therwise.

    November 2, 2019
    |Reply
  52. Heather
    Heather

    I wanted to comment to say that I read this blog post and felt solidarity with you, recognition of how you describe the trauma symptoms and sadness that you have been bearing this alone for so long. I have PTSD and spend time working with and socialising with others who have been through trauma. I am yet to meet anyone who felt like their trauma was as bad as everyone elses, it seems like the comparison our jerkbrain does (what have I got be to so upset about? Am I not over this?) Is part of the PTSD deal.

    Everything you wrote made total sense, I want to validate how much it must have taken to see a therapist. That’s a big step.

    I’m rooting for you and hope you know that your readers want you to have the time to regain your safety and get right. We’ll be here.

    November 3, 2019
    |Reply
  53. Never Comments
    Never Comments

    Hey, Jenny. You’re awesome and we love you.

    November 3, 2019
    |Reply
  54. Meg L
    Meg L

    I support you Jenny! You are worthy of compassion and empathy. I hope your therapist and medical team continue to have your back and help you through this. And thank goodness for your husband as well. Sending all the good vibes your way.

    November 3, 2019
    |Reply
  55. Ange2
    Ange2

    Oh, Jenny. I’m glad you’re getting help. That’s a horrific way to live and you deserve better.

    November 3, 2019
    |Reply
  56. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth

    Just one more voice in the choir of love, here. I was sad when my regular doses of Jenny were put on hold, but mostly I was worried about you. Not that I know you past the blog, but things have to be REALLY bad for you to not write. And they were. And I’m so, so sorry that’s where you are right now.

    I might be a little low-key in love with Mr. Jen. I mean, to have someone in your life who can see you even when you can’t? That’s amazing, and I’m so happy you have that support. I’m also glad you’re getting more support, because you’re hurt and you need to heal, which usually takes some professional help whether it’s a mental therapist or a physical one.

    I did want to point out that even if you are being over dramatic (you aren’t, but if you were) the way you write sweeps us along with the story and makes us feel right along with you. The fact that I can read about someone I respect who is also struggling with an asshole of a brain is just a bonus. But I’m here for more of that, too, because we can’t heal ourselves and each other if we can’t reach out to talk about it. You being the leading voice is giving the rest of us a place to share, and that’s wonderful.

    I’m working on finding myself again, too, and one thing I stumbled on is to actually write down compliments I get. I’m getting some repetition and they aren’t the traits I would have picked on my own, but that many unrelated people can’t be delusional (right?). It’s helping me reassess where I am and where I ought to be headed- and that maybe part of being lost is that I’m actually on the wrong path for me. Just a thought if it might help.

    Now I’m off to the next chapter of The Centaur’s Virgin Temp, because even hip-deep in mental mud, you’re still knocking it out of the park!

    November 3, 2019
    |Reply
  57. Wub
    Wub

    I’m in awe of how much you managed to function before falling down. This should not imply that powering through everything until it hits critical is the right move. It probably isn’t unless you’re in a situation like a war or the zombie apocalypse. But I do admire your courage and strength

    What happened to and around you is bad enough, and enough stress, that you do deserve to react, to go up to someone and ask for help.

    As your husband suggested, a response upon the lines of PTSD where you cannot escape your reliving the traumatic event for longer than a few minutes at a time isn’t normal, and you do deserve to get your head fixed as a matter of urgency. It’s good that checking in with your husband gave you the chance to think, “maybe this isn’t right. Maybe nobody expects me to deal with this all the time”.

    I hope you get restored to something more like a bearable human life soon.

    November 3, 2019
    |Reply
  58. StarlightArcher
    StarlightArcher

    District 12 salutes your struggle Jenny! Because the struggle to move past trauma is real and just that… a fight. Last year I had a traumatic event happen to me. My apartment building caught on fire. I evacuated along with one of my animals and I ran back into a burning building to retrieve the other one. In the end, all of my personal stuff was fine. My cats were fine, my building (though slightly charred) was fine. The thing that wasn’t fine was me. I kept telling everyone I was fine, but I was lying like a liar who lied. I tried to seek help from friends, but some of them told me it wasn’t a big deal (I hadn’t even lost anything, so why was I all spun up, a little fear is a good thing). But it wasn’t a little fear. It was no longer being safe in my own home. It was hyper-vigilance when I was there. It was running to check every couple minutes to make sure everything was ok, and being afraid to close my eyes for even a minute. It was jumping at every loud noise and bursting into uncontrollable tears for no reason. In short, it was an awful way to live.

    After a series of cascading panic attacks and night terrors, I finally called my therapist. It took several weeks, but I finally did. She didn’t chastise me for needing her help or for not coming to see her sooner. She never minimized or told me how much worse it could have been. I merely spoke with her on the phone and she told me very simply I was had been through trauma and was allowed to be experiencing PTSD. When she said that I felt like I was finally able to take my first deep breath in a long time. I thought I wasn’t allowed to have PTSD. Nothing all that bad had happened to me. But it was trauma, and I was allowed to be traumatized by it. Then my therapist and I worked out a strategy for how to treat my trauma.

    So Jenny, you have been through trauma. Your soul has been touched by it, and you are allowed to experience trauma’s byproducts. It is as bad as it was, and there is no need to compare it with other people’s trauma. Even though you may feel the need to minimize, it was still trauma and you are still allowed to be traumatized by it. Hyper-vigilance is no way to live and being trapped in a hellish nightmare is not what humans were made for. I give you all the applause for taking the first steps on the road to re-discovering yourself. I know you and your doctors will work out the best plan to help you heal, and I believe in you! Carry on fellow struggler, I know we’ll both be so much better some day soon.

    November 3, 2019
    |Reply
  59. River
    River

    Oh lady, I have been anxiously checking your site over and over since your last post and became increasingly worried that something was extremely wrong. I’m so sorry for your health issues and the loss of your Grandpa… It breaks my heart that you had to go through that. Just know that your blog brings me so much joy and delight and I noticed your were absent and missed you in my life. I’m thankful your husband was able to recognize your need and you are getting support. And while I’ll await your next blog posts with bated breath you take care of yourself and write any long, rambling posts you need to.

    November 3, 2019
    |Reply
  60. Oddfellow
    Oddfellow

    You don’t have to be okay to be worthy. We love you however you come to us.

    November 4, 2019
    |Reply
  61. Kylie Glessing
    Kylie Glessing

    I hadn’t seen any posts from you for some time and was concerned, knowing you’d been having some issues with your foot. This is much worse, and I’m sorry to hear it. You’re a great writer, and although I’ve never met you, a pretty great person. I’m glad to know you are supported–Mr. Jen sounds pretty amazing. Keep on keeping on–we are here for you!

    November 4, 2019
    |Reply
  62. Sarah Byrne
    Sarah Byrne

    I wish you all the best in your healing, it can be a hard process but you are strong.

    November 4, 2019
    |Reply
  63. Amy Too
    Amy Too

    Jenny, one can drown in 6 inches of water and be just as dead as someone who drowned in 50,000 feet of water. If you’re drowning right now, you deserve all the help! It doesn’t matter if what you’re drowning in isn’t as deep as what someone else is drowning in. The symptoms and the end result for a person drowning in “only” a six inch puddle are the same as the person drowning at the deepest part of the largest ocean. The level of water doesn’t matter. Someone drowning in the bathtub isn’t somehow less worthy of being saved then someone drowning in the ocean. And we don’t expect the person drowning in the bathtub to somehow be able to resuscitate themselves while we send a lifeguard to resuscitate the person in the ocean. Everybody gets a lifeguard. Nobody can perform their own CPR.

    November 4, 2019
    |Reply
    • Chris
      Chris

      That is a beautiful analogy.

      November 5, 2019
      |Reply
  64. Margot Virzana
    Margot Virzana

    Jenny,

    I’ve been a fan of your blog since 2013. To this day, whenever i am grieving over the loss of someone (usually a pet because alot of my pets have past these last five years) i read that fanfiction of Bic McPenlamperson based on your blog because in the darkest moments, it always makes me laugh. I write stories purely as a hobby but my writing is better because of your tips.
    I’ve reread so many of the Jealous Hater’s book club posts because it helps to know the entire world isn’t skewed. These terrible books may be getting published but people like you are calling them out.
    We’ll probably never meet as we live on opposite ends of the country but I’m a lifelong fan. You’ve given me so much joy in your simple posts.
    And since you’ve given me so much joy and laughter, I for one am fine that you use your blog as a dumping ground so to speak for your bad days. I think its good you can share it. Too many people are still under the impression that depression or despair can be “walked off.” But everyone is different in how they cope. I am glad to know you are actively seeking a remedy.
    I know how frail mental health can be. I do hope you start to find a better headspace soon.

    November 5, 2019
    |Reply
  65. shel
    shel

    Sending you much love and support!! I check your blog on the regular, but I totally get why posts don’t always happen the way you planned, and it’s totally fine with me! You have a life outside of us and clearly have a lot on your plate!

    That mental load is hard, and I’m glad you’ve been able to reach out and hopefully find some help… and if the stuff you are trying doesn’t help, that’s okay, you can reach out for more help… because you deserve help and you deserve to feel better. Helping you doesn’t take away from anybody else that also needs help!!

    And I hope you can ignore or laugh or scoff at any idiot who tries to tell you that you don’t deserve help or that you should hurt yourself or says anything else negative/mean to you or about you, because those people are full of shit and don’t know anything about you and are just being horrible because they can hide behind some internet name.

    We love you and your blog and your books! This is your blog, if you need it to vent or complain or share what you are going through, we are here for you!

    November 5, 2019
    |Reply
  66. Potatoshoe
    Potatoshoe

    I’m a long-time lurker, but I’m coming out of hiding to say I hope that you begin to heal soon. I admire your honesty and frankness. I’m in a dark place right now as well, and I see a lot of myseld in your post. Please take care.

    November 5, 2019
    |Reply
  67. Vince
    Vince

    Everything you write about your struggles with mental health is so relatable to me. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    November 5, 2019
    |Reply
  68. Ashley
    Ashley

    Hi Jenny,

    I’ve been reading your blog for years now and I just wanted to say that everything you’ve done here has merit. Your recaps and videos are just incredibly funny.

    Sometimes I come here and find you’ve shown this dark side of yourself that most people keep hidden and I’m brought to tears. The things you write about are often close to my own struggles.

    Over the years I’ve grown to care about you as a person, though we’ve never met or spoken. I hope you keep writing here for years to come, whether you write about the good or the bad.

    Being vulnerable is brave and I admire you for it.

    November 5, 2019
    |Reply
  69. Hi Jenny, thank you for sharing and I hope writing everything out was helpful for you. If you benefit from sharing anything (or benefit from not sharing!), please do what’s best for you. I value your writing and voice so much and am so grateful for the chance to pay you for your books and chip in on Kofi or Patreon. That isn’t to say “hey write more” but to say “hey you are already great and appreciated” and I hope I can show that appreciation, along with I know many others, by doing whatever small things I can to support you. Take care and let people take care of you. I hope you are feeling better sooner rather than later and do whatever you need to do to get there.

    November 6, 2019
    |Reply
  70. Izzy
    Izzy

    I’m glad you’ve taken the first step towards getting better and wish you the best in your recovery. Your honesty here is so appreciated and relatable to so many. And for the people who waste their and your time trying to put you down, they couldn’t handle anything you’re going through.

    November 6, 2019
    |Reply
  71. jlt
    jlt

    Thank you for sharing this Jenny and I hope that this helps you take that first step towards recovery. Being stuck in that moment when the mind is not occupied–I can relate. It’s what PTSD has done to me. Therapy, meds, trying to integrate myself at a mind/body/spiritual level, those have done the most to help me…I hope that you find what works for you on your journey towards wellness. Ignore the haters. Know that people care about you and love you, and use that as your armor. <3

    November 6, 2019
    |Reply
  72. Jenny
    Jenny

    Hey, I didn’t see that anyone else said this so… My brother died 5 years ago right before my wedding. He was my MOH. It knocked loose a lot of shit from my cruddy childhood plus the trauma of loosing my bestie and co-survivor. What I was told by my pharmacist husband was that it takes the meds (and the therapy) a long time to work. And sometimes you’ll need to try different meds or a different therapist or different dosages. It’s hard. And it can be discouraging (“None of this works! or “I’ll never get better!”). But keep trying. Keep. Trying. Lean on Mr. Jen. Be open, be frank with your doctors. When you feel ashamed or dumb or unworthy try to remember you are none of these things. You are just struggling. And that’s ok. It’s been 5 years for me. I don’t really remember the first 2. My brother is still in my head always. But I have meds that work (mostly, most of the time) and I have 80% or so of my life back. And it’s so worth it. I can smile again, paint, love, write. Just remember that this will be hard, and you will struggle but that you can do this. It is normal to struggle. It is okay to to mess up and relapse and feel hopeless. But keep trying. You WILL get there.
    People who love you, and strangers on the internet are rooting for you!

    November 6, 2019
    |Reply
  73. Diana
    Diana

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Thank you for your honesty and openness sharing something so so private and difficult and challenging. I struggle with anxiety and depression on and off and it can feel so isolating because at the end of rhe day no one quite gets what you specifically have, no one has exactly the same anxieties and struggles you do. And I also struggle a lot with getting help because I don’t feel like I deserve it or I don’t feel like my problems are real (I felt weird even writing I struggle with anxiety and depression because I always feel like i don’t actually have it, that I’m just weak or ungrateful or just a shitty person). I have been trying to get the nerve to see a therapist and haven’t been able to because I am so scared they’ll tell me I don’t actually have any real problems. Reading your story has made me feel less alone. Thank you for sharing, I hope you’re able to find the right help and strategies to feel better and be able to cope.

    November 6, 2019
    |Reply
  74. Suzie
    Suzie

    Hi Jenny,

    You are wonderful, brave and incredibly talented. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

    Brains are liars. You deserve to be loved, and feel happy. You are not weak.

    November 7, 2019
    |Reply
  75. Anon
    Anon

    Ugh. The Suffering Olympics. “You can’t feel bad about X because other people have it worse!”

    I know a lot of your thoughts are internal, but that phrase (or some version of it) gets repeated a lot by a lot of people, so I’m sure it isn’t helping you. But it’s wrong. It is ALWAYS wrong. You’re hurting. It doesn’t matter if someone else is hurting more. You still deserve help. Fact is, you will never reach a level of misery that someone else hasn’t or won’t surpass, so at what point are people allowed to feel bad?

    So first step, PLEASE stop thinking you don’t deserve something because someone else is worse off. You AND that other person need and deserve help, kindness and love. Period. So let the people whose job it is to help you actually help you, OK?

    I know I’m just a random Internet stranger, so my words may mean nothing to you and I’m sure they’re not anything you haven’t heard already, but I hope I can at least inject some compassion into the world against all the nastiness.

    I can’t even pretend to truly understand what you’re going through since I’ve never been there myself, so I won’t. But … be kind to yourself.

    As for the memory stuff, it will probably improve once you’re in a better place. It sounds like severe brain fog. I have chronic migraines and Hashimoto’s, which both cause that, so I forget a lot of things I shouldn’t and often can’t think of basic words in the middle of a conversation and it sucks, but you can’t help it. The stress you’re under would definitely cause that.

    Your husband and your children love and need you, too. And you deserve to enjoy life, because what else is the purpose of being here is not to have a good time, right?

    <3

    November 7, 2019
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  76. Jenny, I know I’m hardly the first person here to tell you this, but you’re not alone. Reading through your post, it was heartbreaking to realize that so much of what you’ve been going through these past few years and months is so similar to what I’ve been struggling with. I’ve been stuck in the depression and anxiety cycle for years now with my life feeling like it’s on hold with so much just passing me by. Just recently I sent out a newsletter/blog post to my readers after a long hiatus trying to explain why I’d once again failed to have a new book out months after I’d said it would be. Writing is the only thing that brings me real joy a lot of the time, but even then it’s so hard to concentrate and put my nose the grindstone for so many reasons; my fear of failing and disappointing people, my exhaustion from work and poor sleep, being distracted and demoralized by the feeling that I should be concentrating on other more important things (like going back to school and getting a “real” career), and simply being too deep in a depressed funk to function.

    I know deep down that I should go back into therapy, but it’s been such a struggle in part because unloading all of that shit on a new counselor (since I moved away from my old one) is something I dread. But also because I’m humiliated to be truthful about all of it because so many of my problems are of my own making. I berate myself daily for making so many mistakes and poor choices, worrying that eventually everyone I love will get sick of me going nowhere with my life and leave me. But like you said, I’m good at putting on a mask of being happy and functional to the rest of the world. The only person who knows everything that’s been going on in the life is my wonderful boyfriend, and even then I hate myself for feeling like I’m a burden on him. And even then I don’t think he fully understands the horrible depths of despair I sink to on the worst days. Not because I’m deliberately hiding anything from him, but because I’m just so used to bottling up the worst of my feelings that it’s second nature.

    I think things are slowly starting to turn around for me now, though. I’m sorry for unloading all of this on you here in the comments, especially when you have so much that you’re dealing with. But I just want you to understand that I know how you feel when you say that you feel selfish for blogging all of this, that you think people will just think you want pity or attention. I get all of that completely, and you’re absolutely not alone.

    You’re a very strong person, Jenny, and I admire you for it. Turing that corner and seeking the help you need is monumentally hard, and I say that because I’m there right now, I’ve been there before, and it’s been a back-and-forth struggle for me for a long time. But despite what I tell myself on my worst days, I know it can be done, and I just need to keep telling myself that I’ll be ready for that next step very soon. Just know that as cheesy as it may sound, I’m proud of you for being able to take that step yourself. You have a lot of people who are proud of you and who will be there for you no matter what. Just take care of you, that’s the most important thing right now.

    November 9, 2019
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  77. WuBomei
    WuBomei

    “I went into the office full of anxiety, sure I was going to be sent away after being scolded for wasting everyone’s time. Because I’m not as bad off as other people, because worse things have happened to other people, because my problem is that I’m lazy and stupid and I just want attention.”

    This is exactly what I used to think, why it took me so long to get help. I’m so glad your husband got you to a doctor. I have faith you’ll get through this, even though it won’t be easy, but you have so many people rooting for you, cuz we’ve been there, too.

    November 9, 2019
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  78. M
    M

    I hope you’re being kind to yourself. I hope you give yourself the love and understanding you deserve.

    November 10, 2019
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  79. Beth
    Beth

    I’ve got a lot of mental issues myself. I’ve never been in a good mental place.
    Sounds to me that your experience with your grandfather caused a bit of PTSD.
    I’m glad you’re getting help, and I’ll tell you something I learned when I started seeing a therapist… it is normal for things to go good and bad with therapy.
    I’m not a cryer, but my therapist has gotten me to cry a lot.

    November 10, 2019
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  80. Casey
    Casey

    I’m so glad to see the volume of people here telling you what I wanted to: that you’re not being melodramatic, or bothering/boring anyone. I’m so happy that I had to scroll for a solid 20 seconds just to leave another comment echoing that you have readers who are invested in your well-being — not because you write incredible books or funny blog posts, but because the person we’ve gotten to know through this blog and social media is a person worth knowing, and continuing to know. I realize that’s far from the entirety of you (I’m trying to avoid going TOTALLY parasocial here), but what we’ve seen is a clever, insightful, and empathetic woman, a wonderful mom/friend/wife/author/blogger/person who struggles with mental health issues that are, sadly, to a lot of us familiar albeit not the same.

    This blog and the rest of your writing have gotten me through a surprising amount of dark times and places, where laughing with you is the only happy thing to happen in a day. I hope it continues to be a bright spot in your life through the cathartic (and sometimes distracting) practices of writing, and through seeing how many strangers want nothing but good things to happen to you, forever, because we feel you deserve it. Of course, as soon as it becomes more trouble than it’s worth I hope you’ll step away, at least until it becomes a source of pleasure again; we’ll miss you — I’ve missed seeing new posts, just like I’m sure everyone who checks back here periodically — but you taking care of yourself is obviously more important to all of us. (Except the trolls, but there hopefully aren’t many of those, and we’ll shout them down with snark and rage if they show their shitty heads.)

    This comment feels weird and kinda presumptuous, considering I don’t actually know you beyond as a fan, but Jenny Trout as a blog, author, and person(a) have been an important part of my life since around 2012 or so, and I couldn’t help but express a small amount of that here. I’m sorry things are so difficult, thank you for everything you’ve given us so far, and I’m proud to see that you’re taking such big steps toward getting out of that dark place. I hope things get better soon.

    –Casey 🙂

    November 11, 2019
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  81. Trynn
    Trynn

    I hope you feel better soon.

    November 12, 2019
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  82. Alisha
    Alisha

    Jenny, we love you. You don’t have to fake capable for us. You do you, and write and do what YOU need to. And we’ll be here when you find yourself again.

    November 13, 2019
    |Reply
  83. Riea
    Riea

    Sending you love and support honey. Glad you have a good support system. You dont need to fake it for us. Its ok take your time and work on you and your mental health. Wishing you all the best

    November 13, 2019
    |Reply
  84. MC Prince
    MC Prince

    You’re not alone, having these kinds of feelings. I hope you find a way out of the black spiral and feel better, soon. Love from Alabama. <3

    November 14, 2019
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