Writing is Hard

10 06 2014

There are so many distractions in the world—so many excuses to stay away from my keyboard.

Writing is hard.

I write blog posts in my head all the time. I tell you all about the woman I met at the playground who was just angling to give me her business card, the jerks who swore at me when I refused to sell them pseudoephedrine because they didn’t have proper ID, the way I struggle to get out of bed every day, but I do it because my children depend on me and I can’t let them down.

So much to say.

Sometimes I wonder if I did tell you these things, if I wrote all the thoughts in my head, if you’d keep coming back. After all, not every post is thought-provoking, award-winning content.

I worry.

But I need to write. Writing is a healthy outlet for me, and the longer I go between posts, the less I write, the harder it gets to turn to my keyboard.

So now I make a promise to you. I will write at least one blog post per week. Those of you close to me, or even those of you who are simply casual readers—keep me honest.

Writing is hard, but it’s what I know, and I don’t want that to change.

Y’all come back now.

Good Enough

8 04 2014

You’re so much more than good enough.
~ Sarah McLachlan

Thursday night we had the first rehearsal for this year’s Listen to Your Mother show. Did I mention I’m doing that again? Because I totally am. I know.  I honestly can’t believe I was chosen for a second year in a row, but apparently the casting director is suffering from some sort of brain-wasting disease, because there I am on the cast list.

Anyway. It was my first time meeting this group of women—over a dozen smart, talented writers—and even though I listened to my favorite nerve-soothing Pandora folk music station on the ride over, my heart couldn’t quite decide if it wanted to reside in my throat or my belly as I knocked on the door.

I was the third woman to arrive, and the other two seemed perfectly nice. We made small talk and waited for the others.

And then the fourth woman arrived.

“Hi, I’m Jenny-” I started, and she cut me off.

“Oh, you don’t have to introduce yourself. You’re like a celebrity to me. I know who you are,” she very nearly gushed.

Wait, what? A celebrity?

Apparently this woman, who appeared perfectly sane, is some kind of…fan of my writing? I was flabbergasted. Actually, I still am. I mean, I enjoyed the Listen to Your Mother experience last year, but I certainly never expected this sort of reaction.

Which brings me to the point of my post. I know—logically—so very many things about myself. I know that I’m smart. I’m fairly certain that I’m funny. I have a gift for writing. I’m musically quite talented. I could keep going, but you get the idea.

But I believe I am fundamentally flawed.

Now, if you were to ask me if good old Bob down the street has something fundamentally wrong with him, I’d be the first one to tell you that we’re all children of God and God doesn’t make mistakes.

I cannot apply this logic to myself.

I faced this room full of women who are smart, gifted, funny, and talented on so many levels, and I felt…less than. I felt like no matter what I said, no matter what I did, it would never be good enough, because I will never be good enough.

I will never be a good enough mother.

I will never be a good enough wife.

I will never be a good enough person.

The next day, my newly-discovered fan sent a friend request on Facebook. Her profile picture showed a smiling face with a hand held up next to it, and on that hand was written, “I’m Imperfect & I’m Enough.”


The thought struck me in the shower (because let’s admit it, all the best inspiration occurs in the bathroom)—maybe, just maybe, it’s not about being good enough.

Maybe I just need to accept that I’m enough.

I’m definitely imperfect. I’m far from good enough. But I am enough.

And you, out there reading this? This applies to you as well. You are enough. Whatever is going on in your life, wherever you are…you are enough.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. It means more than I’ll ever be able to adequately express.


Keep Breathing

26 02 2014

“I want to change the world.
Instead, I sleep.”
~ Ingrid Michaelson

I am depressed.

I hate those words. I hate that they exist at all. I hate that depression has a foothold in my life that I just cannot seem to shake loose. I hate that I sit on my couch and run through all the things I need to do and then I curl up in a ball and do absolutely nothing.

I’m not lazy. I’m not procrastinating. I’m not lacking motivation.

I am depressed.

I want to get back to blogging, but when I open a window to start a new post, everything goes blank. I don’t know what to say anymore. I don’t know how to say it. The medium that I love so much is suddenly intimidating.

I am…well, you know.

I look for the positive. I got out of bed. I took a shower. I talked to a friend. It could be worse.

It has been worse.

Still, that’s not exactly how I want to live my life. “Sure, I’m depressed, but I’m not to hospitalization level, so hooray!”

I want to be happy.

Why does it have to be so hard?

I Am Trying

17 02 2014

I wrote this in April 2011 but never published it because I was being less honest about my depression and I was scared of worrying the people in my life. I’ve decided to share it with you now…well, honestly, I’m not quite sure why. I just like the writing, I suppose.

Feeling scared today
Write down “I am ok”
A hundred times the doctors say
I am ok
I am ok
I’m not ok
~ eels

I stand in the shower and look at my blood vessels—a branching, complex network, relaying blood to the tips of my toes, the rough spot on my elbow, the curve of my hip.

My body contains approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels which circulate a little over five liters of blood. Step back from any squeamishness you have and imagine that color—a rich, gorgeous red. Picture the stark contrast to the pale pastel blue of my veins.

It is beautiful.

Millions of vessels. Capillaries, veins and arteries. A nick here, a scratch there. A satisfyingly fat bead gathers on my fingertip when the doctor performs my monthly blood thinner check; a rivulet streams down my shin when I cut myself shaving, pooling at the bottom of the tub until it flows down the drain, pink ribbons swirling.

One small slip, one wrong cut, too much curiosity, and all five liters will leave my body in minutes.

It is terrifying.

I’m not suicidal…I’m just fascinated.

I’m not okay.

Happiness is…

30 09 2013

My therapist asked me to write a list of things that make me happy.

He’s a very wise man.

It sounds like a simple task, yet it’s been giving me fits. Still, it’s something I need to do and I want to share the start with you. After all, you hear plenty about the things that make me unhappy. Why shouldn’t you join in relishing the things that bring a smile to my face? So tonight I write the beginning of my list, with the plan to add a few posts here and there that expound upon the same topic.

  1. Hearing my boys laugh
  2. Holding hands with Car
  3. A good nap
  4. Coloring
  5. Crocheting
  6. Chocolate
  7. Reading a good book
  8. A hug from Car
  9. Going out with friends
  10. Talking to my brother on the phone
  11. Getting a haircut
  12. Sleeping in

It’s not a very long or profound list at this point, but I know I’ll think of more to add to it. I have faith that I can do this.

A Simple Prayer

18 09 2013

“…and please bless mom that she can be happy.”

It breaks my heart.

I don’t want my boys to even know about depression, much less have personal experience with a loved one who suffers from it.  I don’t want to miss soccer games because I’m exhausted from ECT treatments, or because I’m just too sad to leave the house. I don’t want to dread helping in their classes because of the massive effort it takes to convince myself to face a roomful of strange children.

I want to clean the house. I want to cook dinner. I want to play games. I want a smile and a laugh that appear at the slightest provocation.

I don’t want to be a depressed person. I don’t want to be a depressed mom.

It’s a simple prayer, really.

Please, God. Help me not be depressed.



3 09 2013

It seems that all I do these days is forget.

It’s the ECT, of course. Electroconvulsive Therapy. I imagine I’ll remember everything, but I immediately forget every detail of my day. Oh, I’m spending the night at my parent’s house tonight? I had no clue. I guess I’d better pack my bag before my dad comes to pick me up.

It’s ridiculous. Unacceptable, really—except for the fact that I’m not so sad now.

I don’t know which is worse; forgetting everything, or being sad.

It’s being sad, right? I’m pretty sure it is.

My eldest child is turning eight on Thursday. I’ve forgotten to buy him a present.


His mom is—if not overjoyed with her existence—less sad.

Have I just forgotten to be sad? Is that what this is? I just can’t tell.

I hate this.

Here’s what I know: My name is Jenny. A doctor gives me seizures to help reset my brain. I’m happier than I was a month ago.

It’s a good thing.