Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A little story

Once upon a time, in a not-so-faraway land, there was a little girl named Jenny.

She was a sweet little girl who loved to swim. She loved school. She loved dressing up her dog, Molly, in old baby clothes. And she loved to sing country songs to herself while she was staring in the bathroom mirror. She was pretty ordinary, really... except for one little detail. Her brain was a little bit broken. She panicked at the drop of a hat. She was nervous almost all the time. And as she got older, it got worse. She worried about her grades. She worried about feeling different than everyone else in school. She was awkward. She cried a lot. And the kids teased her relentlessly. It was a hard way to grow up.

Fast forward until Jenny is a grown up. Thirty six and 352/356ths years to be exact. Now, she has four children and a little freelance business. She has a husband and a dog. She lives in a modest, but nice house. She drives a mini-van and still sometimes sings country songs to herself while she stares in the bathroom mirror. But her damn brain. It's still a little broken.


Last night, I had myself a good ol' fashioned nervous breakdown. For reals. I cried buckets. My hands shook. I rambled on and on, feeling the pressures of motherhood... feeling like I do EVERYTHING... feeling like I've lost myself somewhere between the corner of my current life and where I want my life to be. It's lonely here. And it sucks ass.

So, between the general anxiety disorder that I've had ever since I can remember, and the crippling depression that can result with so much constant anxiety, I'm a hot mess. I've tried literally DOZENS of different meds and med combinations. They all make me horribly sick or just plain don't work. I've tried all that fancy cognitive therapy stuff, but it's hard to pull yourself back from the edge sometimes. I have to do something different. Now.

For last night, I just took an Ativan to stop the racing thoughts and passed out until morning. I feel a little better today, but I'm still struggling. A lot. And truth be told, I'm waiting for it to get bad again because experience tells me it will.

Thing is, some of my really close friends know about this part of me. However, most folks don't. My family doesn't really have a clear idea of how bad it is. They ask me how I'm doing, and I always give them my best, "I'm going well, thanks." It's all a lie. I don't want to burden them with my broken brain, so I fib.

But, there comes a point when you have to stop pretending that you're okay and be real. You have to admit that you just can't handle things the way they are right now. You admit that you need extra love. You need thoughts and prayers and good mojo. You need phone calls and little encouraging notes in the mail. You need it like you need air and water and nourishment. For me, that time is now.

So, there you go. I'm out of the depression and anxiety closet. It was dark and stinky in there. I have no idea where to go from here, but, I'm out. At this point, I'm trying not to feel embarrassed or self-conscious... or so damn broken. I guess that's something I'll just have to work on.

Now, I guess I have to figure some things out. What's next? Will anybody care? Are people going to be supportive? Are the people who I thought loved me just going to... go away? Will I be forever branded "that crazy girl I went to high school with"? I have no idea. But, I do know that I can't stand another day in the depression and anxiety closet. Did I mention that it's dark and stinky in there?


PS. And for the record, if you call me and I don't answer right away, it's because this post has probably been the hardest thing I've ever had to write, and I may not be up to talking about it right away. But, I'll know that you called. And I'll appreciate it. And I promise to get back to you when I can verbally string together two sentences. Mkay?


  1. Jenny,
    I've been reading your posts daily and really enjoy them. I'm not the type to typically write a comment, but I felt like I had to this time.
    I am so proud of you and impressed that you have the courage to be so "real". There are very few people who could do that.
    I wish you didn't have to deal with those issues, but in my book, you are stronger than most people I know because you don't try to hide what's really going on.
    From what I remember of you when I was a little girl... I looked up to you and remember you as very funny and very creative. And nothing else.
    It sounds like you are a great mom. Good luck!
    Becki "Green" Herod

  2. You will never know how proud your Dad and I are of you. When you thought you were hiding your hurt we knew and we hurt with you. If there were some magic we could conjure up to heal your hurt we would do it in a heart beat. I'm so glad you have allowed yourself to come out of that closet. You deserve to shine and be proud of the beautiful young woman you are. There are so many hugs in this message. I hope you can feel everyone of them.
    From a Mom who has loved you Thirty six and 352/356ths years plus way before you were born!!!!!

  3. Welcome to life outside! I am so very proud of you for being so honest. It's a really hard thing to do and you've conquere it with grace and style...just like always. I hope you know that you have LOTS of people ready to listen and catch you when things seem to be falling apart. Have you listened to that Lady Gaga song Born This Way? If you haven't, you should. It's so true. God doesn't make any mistakes and He certainly didn't make any with you. I adore you dear cousin and I so want your life to be fabulous! the aren't as good at fibbing as you think. Love you girl! -Julie

  4. Jen you are a brave woman and did I remember to say strong too! Sometimes for me just saying things out loud helps! I just want you to know that you are not in this alone we all have our demons damn them! Just know that you are loved and in this with you for as long as it takes. Love you Sherry

  5. I'm so proud of you, and I'm sending tons and tons of hugs.

  6. Jenny,
    I truly enjoy reading your blog. I think you are funny, creative and sound like a wonderful mom. I never thought you were strange in high school. Honestly, I was too busy thinking people probably thought I was a freak. I think you are brave for coming out with your true feelings. I want you to know I am thinking of you and this post really touched me.
    Tonisha Arteaga Scott

  7. I care. I will always care. And while I didn't know you in High School, I can guess that most people were just like Tonisha and were pretty self absorbed and wondering if everyone thought THEY were a freak/crazy/whackadoodle. I know that's what I was thinking.

    And you have my number, and you can call me any time.


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