All existential again


My brain is such an asshole sometimes. I went to the cultural capital of the entire universe (New York City), narrowly escaped the storm of a lifetime, a major election happened, we moved our bees, and I had a traveling salesman come to my door selling art in a goddamned snowstorm. But may brain is all “we got nothing.” “No blogs up here, my friend.” Brain: you are a dick.

I made a muppet y’all. And it looked like it was being asphyxiated in my hotel room for 5 days, and my brain STILL DIDN’T WANT TO BLOG ABOUT IT.

They look like they’re dying. That is bloody comedy!


Good question. I don’t know really. When I posted about my rut a while ago, and all went fucksticks crazy on my blog for a few weeks, it felt like I was on a roll. But that’s not necessarily reality for someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, and is the mayor of peanut butter. The reality is that I spend my days stealing the kids’ Halloween candy and being sad, or at least vaguely dissatisfied. I have some reasons for this, but not nearly enough to justify the depth of it.

Cathy at Large Self posted this quote a few weeks ago that struck a nerve with me.

“If we can get to the place where we show up as our genuine selves and let each other see who we really are, the awe-inspiring ripple effect will change the world.”

—  Terrie M. Williams

This has been rolling around in my head for weeks. It was just one of those timely quotes that has embedded itself in my head and I can’t let it go. I haven’t really been my genuine self. Not that I haven’t been genuine with you all, just that I haven’t been the person that I really want to be. Or taken the time to really figure that out. And all that I really want out of life is to rock the shit out of it. I want to find a way to make those ripples, I just don’t really know how right now.

So here is my genuine self, right now:

I feel untethered. I am worried about everything. I am not feeling good about myself and where I am headed right now. I feel lonely; so unbearably, crushingly lonely (you are not the only one Creative Liar). I also feel like I am not enough for myself or for anyone around me. I know part of this is the disease of depression, but part of it is the circumstance of having let myself go.

Are you coming with me?

But these are also things that I am confident can be fixed. In a strange way, I feel like I am moving toward some unidentified future that will fulfill me. Or maybe it’s just delusion blind hope. Hell, maybe I am just drunk (thank you, Joyce Winery, your San Benito Pedregal something something is totally whateversszzzzsfzsdsdddfffffffffffffzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).

So in the spirit of me wanting to look forward and move toward something better, look for posts in the weeks ahead about people and things that inspire me. The world is good out there, I just need to find my way into it again.

And because I don’t like being serious: FUCKBALLS.


    1. Unfortunately depression and feeling out of place are far too relatable. I realize I am not unique in any way experiencing that. Maybe through writing about it and putting it out there it starts the momentum?

  1. Here be dragons.
    I think looking for the good in life is helpful. I look forward to your posts of inspiration. Balls to the walls! I have always loved that expression, my adviser last week seemed to find it less inspiring.

    1. Balls to the walls! If your adviser didn’t enjoy that then it’s on them. That’s possibly one of my favourite expressions.
      I have a few inspiring things in mind, I realize that I have to re-frame my thinking from all sad and crappy all the time. Thanks for reading, as always.

  2. Did your boys get all excited when you pulled asphyxiated muppets out of your luggage for them? Wait. You did give the muppets to them, right. Never mind. You don’t have to answer that. If I were you, I would have kept them for myself!

    Sometimes depression can make writing hard. Other times I think it actually helps (because it makes the highs seem higher and the lows seem lower). Yet when I’m really down, writing only goes so far, and it’s my real-life friends I want nearby, even if it’s just to gently tap me on the head with an empty wine bottle to remind me that they’re there. Hope you’re okay.

    1. Umm.. yeah, the muppets are totally for the boys. They totally play with them all the time. Or at least they would if they could reach them from the very high dresser in my room. Or if we told them that the muppets exist.
      Yes, writing has been hard lately because of depression. Sometimes it fuels a good rant, but lately I have the feeling that I should try to focus on more positive things. I realized this when having a conversation about something we did in New York, and Kris was all “that was amazing!” and I was all “yeah, but… ” and listed off 10 terrible things. Obviously there’s stuff out there I am missing because I am not looking at it the right way right now.

  3. This is a very honest post. That quote by Terrie M Williams rang true with me too and by writing this post you have put yourself out there. Let the awe-inspiring ripple effect begin. Here’s to looking forward and finding your way out of Fuckballs

    1. HA! I love the use of fuckballs. Perhaps my favourite word ever. Some might say that spewing emotions all over the interwebs is not a smart move, but I find it helps me to move forward, and then I find more amazing people who are in the same situation.

  4. I wish I could write something that will remove the fuckballs. I think being a thinking, feeling, self-aware human being leads to these moments of “what the fuck am I doing?”

  5. I am sorry you are feeling untethered, but I will still read every word you write. You are funny, inspiring, and you made MUPPPETS!
    It doesn’t matter what comes after, right now you are still Grand even if it all seems like fuckballs.

    1. MUPPETS! I think I have to write a whole blog post about muppets because they were so much fun. In fact, just thinking about it all, there are so many good things out there to write about… I just needed to break the impasse. Thanks for reading, my running, breathing friend.

      1. Finding something to write about is hard, I think. There is much to say, but when I read other people’s take on things it feels like life has been summed up and I have nothing to add. I guess we don’t write for others, we write for ourselves. Followers be damned. (Or something like that).

  6. I’m glad the quote spoke to you. And whether you know it or not, you are making ripples with your brilliant writing, your genuine self which does shine through, and your determination to move towards a future that fulfills you. Just realizing that creates movement and ripples. Can’t wait to read about the journey. You’re a courageous and brilliant woman, Jen.

    1. Thank you Cathy, and thank you for lending the quote to me. I wanted to do it better justice than a curse filled rant, but, well, here we are. And I thank you so much for your kind words Cathy. I hold you in very high regard as a generous and gentle soul, so any compliment from you means very much to me.

  7. Damn you, even in a stone well that looks like something out of Silence of the Lambs, you look good. As the Deputy Mayor of Peanut Butter, I know how it feels to be depressed, anxious, and lonely. There’s nothing that makes my heart ache more than hearing someone say they’re lonely. You have many many friends here who love you (myself included, naturally), but I know that’s only a small piece of it.

    Be kind to yourself. Be forgiving of yourself. Be patient with yourself. Acknowledge that this is you, at this point in time, and that it’s okay. I know that all sounds sort of hippy-dippy but it really is true. Holding yourself up to phantom expectations doesn’t do any good (at least, it never did ME any good).

    So for however long you’re down there, I’ll hang out in the well with you.

    1. Weebs; you’re the jam. I am proud to be co Mayor of PB with you. It was kind of cold and lonely down the well until you got here. Actually, that is going down the staircase at the castle in Central Park, so at least there’s something lovely waiting down at the bottom. And also the only photo of me from NY that didn’t make me look tired and crabby, which was kind of telling.
      And also thank you for the good reminder about being kind to myself. I tell other people this all the time, but for some reason it’s not advice I take to heart.

  8. I blame my beloved New York City for the return of your anxiety and depression. You spent, what was it — 8 days? — on sensory overload out here and then you returned to normalcy and it was, in my amateur Dr. Quackenbush opinion, a letdown. While you were here on vacation you were so busy sightseeing, it was a welcome escape from the monotony of the routine that I suspect is not very fulfilling for you. Instead of falling into a deeper funk where you indulge the demon of self-loathing, figure out a project where you could invest your energy in a positive direction so you can feel good about yourself. I’ve met you. I know for certain the you’re clever, you’re witty and you’re creative — all great building blocks. Do for yourself what you’d do for Kris, the kids, your family, your friends or even your hound. Be supportive. That project, whatever it is, is there waiting for you. Pursue it.

    1. The sensory overload of wonder that is NYC definitely contributed to my malaise. I was kind of tired and out of sorts going into the trip, and then 8 days of running around trying to see everything fried my synapses. And my back.
      I think you are absolutely right about needing a project or a job or something to focus on. While being at home with the kids is good on many levels,and I have been glad to do it, it’s often without reward and goals don’t come easy. I think I need some sort of carrot to get me through the next while. Thanks for the kind words, V.
      And hey! I could always open a bar specializing in mystery beer.

  9. double fuckballs. seems you have many sisters-in-arms. Count me in. I’ve been blog blocked for a while too. All I want to do is complain. So stuck in the tightly wound sad of late fall. tired. to tired to be funny or give a shit. I’m glad to know that you’re out there, because you get it, and you’re a really good person going through a shitty time. Knowing that people like you exist help my mentals.
    head down, shoulders squared, you’ll get through it. one way or another.

    1. We shall all join arms and do the saddest Rockette’s kick you’ve ever seen. The change of seasons definitely affects me. Any optimism I might have had in summer goes away when the sun goes down BEFORE SUPPER. WTF, WORLD? And the blogging, or anything that requires any mental effort is hard when it feels like you’re just putting on a show. But we’re better than this, Sara. There are bright things ahead. Like SAD lamps and shiny Christmas lights.

  10. I’m sorry things are very not fun right now. The upcoming holidays don’t help much either. I will be thinking about you and sending you Internet hugs. Vent, vent, vent away and just do what you need to do, always remembering to be kind to yourself.

    1. I am sorry that your genuine self is the same, only because it feels kind of crappy. But I am glad to have another sister in arms, as Sara called it. As for “nothing”, I was just going to copy and paste NOTHING over and over… do you think that would be good? It’s either that or Bees: Part 2 tomorrow.

    2. Breakfast with Santa! Saturday, December 1st from 9-11AMOssian United Methodist Church201 W. Mill Street in Ossian, In 46777Come have pancakes, deoicilus egg casseroles, smoky links, cereal, donuts, dutch crunch dessert, Coffee, milk and juice something for everyoneHave your children\’s picture taken with Santa and then they can shop in the Elf Store for their family members. Elves will be available to help them shop so they can keep it a surprise! All gifts are $2 and gift wrapping is included. This is a fun, holiday event sponsored by the Norwell High School Show ChoirSee you there!

  11. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that you showed those Muppets trapped in their bags. That’s what depression feels like sometimes- you can see out but you can’t get out. But it sounds like you are working that knot loose, slowly but surely. Keep thinking those positive thoughts!

  12. You know I already “get” this on all levels and I think you’re certainly headed in the right direction when it comes to focusing on the good in life. I have to remind myself to do that quite a bit and when I do, life is far less daunting. You are super great rollergiraffe. That is all. Oh and if you ever need need to suffocate another muppet in a plastic bag, I’ve got your back.

    1. I appreciate that; muppets don’t go down quietly.
      And I hate that you get this all too, but I fear it’s all too common. Sometimes I like to comfort myself with the knowledge that pessimism and anxiety has some sort of evolutionary benefit; I will never die from shock because I expect everything to go wrong, and if a bear ever tries to eat me I will have already prepared for that eventuality. At least there’s that, right?

  13. I feel like I need those muppets. Can I have them? Thanks.

    You are wonderful. I wish everyone feeling this way could see themselves through the eyes of people who think they are absolutely the shit!

    1. I don’t know how I missed this comment before.. I am sorry. The muppets are mine! But I will gladly use them to perform for you any time you ask.
      And thank you for the kind words Becca; it is hard to see the good for the bad sometimes.

  14. Looks like you started something here. I’m happy that I didn’t miss it. I know what it’s like, and seeking out things that inspire you is a wonderful thing. My story is a bit different, but I think it came down to me choosing to basically, be okay…..and that eventually led to happy. Let me know if I can help. Great post.

    1. Holy moly.. it looks like I did. I think you are a good model for what’s ahead Jon. When things were dark, you just sought light. It doesn’t come easy or fast, but it comes if we let it.

        1. I love that quote! I had it on a magnet above my desk in grad school, and it got lost somewhere in the shuffle. I need to tattoo it on my arm or something so I can remind myself of that every day.

  15. Dear RG,
    First, I hope it’s okay to initialize your moniker. If not, please let me know and I will not do it again.

    Secondly, I am so glad that Sara linked back to you on her blog today. I recently blogged about being Inspiration Impaired and it is absolutely correct that my brain was being an asshole. I have difficulty expressing myself in these ways anymore and it is such a relief to read what you and Ericka and others write and how you express it. I tend to stay too serious and perhaps even get a bit maudlin. Glad to have another perspective of expression.

    Third, is it odd I found this inspiring?

    Be well,

    1. Of course! Initialize away.. many people do.
      And two, I am sorry you’re suffering, but at least there’s company in misery, right? It is easy to be too serious about it all, and I know how hard it is to break that cycle. And three, I think inspiration is good in whatever form it comes. While I wrote this for my own benefit, part of the reason for putting it out there is because I know if I feel this way, others do too.
      Thank you for coming over and commenting.

      1. Misery does love it’s company and I’m coming to understand it’s not about making others feel as miserable as you do, but it’s about being connected, feeling understood, and finally finding a place of belonging in an otherwise lonely and isolated life inside a broken brain. I have difficulty being inspired by others who have overcome so many more tragic and difficult things than I have, simply because while their bodies and circumstances may have gotten bent, bruised, broken and destroyed, at least their minds and sense of self remained intact and I believe this is what enabled them to overcome and achieve at the level they did. All seeing their stories does is to highlight the disparity of mental functionality inside of myself. However, when I see otherwise able people going through the issues I have struggled with and doing the daily battle and fighting the constant fight and being able to find on and take hold of the good things anyway, that’s where I get inspiration. Thanks for being an inspiration.

        1. I think the major tragedy of mental illness is that we don’t recognize it as an illness. It’s hard for people who aren’t affected to understand that we can’t control our brains any more than someone could control MS or cancer… and we internalize that message.
          Sometimes being connected is all we have to save us, right?

                1. I just remember her talking about how being squeezed calms the parasympathetic nervous system. But what an amazing lady.. I have a nephew with autism and he lives in a different world of acceptance and support because of people like her.

                  1. Yup. She only wanted mechanical hugs though, people hugs have the opposite effect.

                    And you made my point, because of blogs like ours, Ericka’s, Amy’s, Sara’s and so many more, I think, collectively, we are the Temple Grandin of Mental Illness: Depression, Bipolar, BPD, etc.

  16. I hear you loud and clear Roller Giraffe. My life cycles in a very similar way. It is sometimes almost paralysing. However, like you, these are things I believe I can fix…I haven’t given up yet. We are optimists yes? Jen
    Did you say you made those muppets?

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