Sunday, November 8, 2015

It's Going To Be Ok (In Large, Friendly Letters)

[Note: A couple of weeks ago I had an especially rough day. Writing this got me through it. Maybe some of you can relate?]


I am a useless lump of a human being.

I'm tired, I'm unmotivated, and I have the self-discipline of spilled molasses. I wander around my house, just looking at things. Too bored to sit down. Too fuzzy headed to work. Too filled with self-loathing to just let myself be.

Lily scratches at my leg, and I pick her up, continue wandering. Her purrs penetrate the mental fog a little, and I rest my cheek against hers. No judgement here. But inside my head, it's all angry drill sergeants and ticking metronomes. I'm a wad of frustration, wrapped in wet noodles. I'd like to shake my fist at the universe, but I only have the energy for a bit of sullen pacing.

I'm not sad, though I look it. I'm angry. I can't decide which I hate more: the way I feel, or myself for letting me feel this way.

"Just get up and do something," John says when he finds me staring at the wall. "Come on, I'll help you."

And he does, for a few minutes. Gets me started on one of my many abandoned projects, or sets up that thing I need to photograph. But I quickly run into a problem. Either the paint isn't drying right, or the lighting is wrong, or that thing I need is outside in the garage. So I just sit there. Contemplating this one more thing I'm not getting done today.

I thought getting diagnosed with Hashimoto's was the answer. I thought the meds and supplements meant my days of crying on the couch because I just couldn't *move* were over. And at first, I did have a little more energy. For three blissful days after the doc bumped up my meds, it didn't feel like I was dragging lead limbs around. I wanted to stay on the treadmill desk all day, and had so much energy I actually started to feel afraid. It was so alien, being able to hop out of a chair anytime I wanted to, and even feeling a bit antsy if I sat still too long. "You're going to lose so much weight," John said wistfully, watching me buzz around the house.

But then there were some nasty, panicky side effects, blah blah, cut back on the such-and-such, and boom: here I am, a deflated Baymax, ready to power down within a few hours of waking up. Even bumping my meds back up weeks later had no effect; the magical fount of energy is truly gone.

I know I should be grateful. And I am. I'll take this over the panic. Always. I'd rather be listless than anxious.

I just hate that it has to be one or the other.

I base so much of my self-worth and happiness on my ability to be productive. To do things. It doesn't even have to be much! A blog post. A puzzle. A pretty photo. Something to show for my existence today, every day. It's why vacations are hard for me, and why I took up photography. The more I get done, the more I create, the happier I am.

So the days when all I've done is a Facebook update and a 6-hour Supernatural marathon? A complete waste. No reason to justify my being here at all.

Going to bed on a wasted day is like admitting a personal defeat. To sleep after having done nothing? It's a private shame, so curiously abhorrent that I put it off until the wee hours of the morning. So often I stay awake until dawn, fighting sleep with more energy than I've had all day, because sleeping means another day is well and truly ruined, gone for good.

The fact that that makes sense to me just shows how fuzzy I get.

I tell you readers that sometimes it's ok if all you did today is breathe. I tell you to give yourself time to heal, to hide, and to binge-watch Netflix. Sometimes I even tell myself it's ok, too.

But why do I need to hear it so often? ARG.


Then again, I wrote these words today. I vented a little of this frustration. Maybe one of you will comment and say, "me, too!" because maybe I'm not the only one who feels this way so much of the time.

If so, then let's just keep telling each other it's going to be ok.

Ok?


********


Update: I need a picture here for my Facebook update, so here's the derpiest photo of Lily I've ever taken:

It just feels appropriate.

240 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Borrowing the top comment. I DID NOT say it wistfully. I may have sounded a bit jealous at her potential weight loss but it's only because I'm fluffy. Jen is a stunningly beautiful vixen of magnificence and she will always be perfect to me.

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    2. Hi John, I didn't read it like that: I thought Jen meant you were wistful about losing weight yourself. We all love you both!

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    3. now see i read it as being wistful that she was gonna lose weight because you think she's beautiful the way she is!

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  2. It's going to be ok. Just needed to say it back to you.

    And please tell me the title is in reference to Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy, because that would make me SO happy. :)

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    1. It is indeed. High five for catching it!

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    2. You know, however bad things get, at least you can be happy you're not a Genuine People Personality prototype android like Marvin the Paranoid Android. There he is, brain the size of a planet... 8-)

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  3. You are not alone. So many days I have plans on top of plans, and get none of them done, overwhelmed by the things I should be doing and how far behind I am. I have just figured out that I come up with craft ideas as a way to excuse why I'm not doing the boring things like mowing the grass or paying bills. You are not alone. I am not alone. It will get better.

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    1. I totally had this day last week. I had taken a day off work to relax, and catch up on things. Instead I bing watched masterpiece theater and ate left over Halloween candy. And again this weekend, only it was Dr. Who. I'm really tired after so many years of meds and talk therapy and different meds and more talk therapy

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  4. Chronic pain is different, but still the same. Today doesn't matter. There's always tomorrow.

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    1. Agreed! It takes a lot of energy to manage chronic conditions.

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  5. I was just getting down on myself for about the same - this weekend I have accomplished nothing other than napping, and reading Epbot. :)
    Some people's minds and/or bodies need an occasional rest day. There is something "special" about us that means we need to recharge a little more often or a little more drastically than everyone else? I feel like I should at least try to write a little more encouraging/inspiring, but I'm in the same head space, so that will have to do. :)

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  6. Regular poster, anon this time.........
    .It will be OK Jen. That was just one day.
    Thank goodness you have John and your career and you pets and fan.
    Thank you for this, I'm going through something very similar but without any of the support.
    It's so hard.

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    1. Anon,the lack of support (whether there actually NOT be any support or if it just feels that way) is the hardest part - I know I am a complete stranger - but I care. And if it helps to have someone to talk to - I am sure many here (myself included) would be step up to be a "pen pal" of sorts (via email or FB or whatever works for you). We may not have answers.

      Sometimes, I think that's what the EPBOT community is - a kinda public but semi-private support group....

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    2. I've thought about this most of the day - and I wanted to reword part of what I said above -- "(whether there actually NOT be any support or if it just feels that way)" - This part is about me. There has been several times when I honestly felt like there was no support around me - even had some say they couldn't be bothered with what I was going through. Yet after it was over - I find out there were some there for me - I just didn't see them then.... or realize they were there.

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  7. I could have written this. I probably have written some version of it, in a journal or in a defunct blog. Defunct, because I often lack the energy or the motivation to update it. My best friend also has days like this, and what she and I tell each other is that we can have low days, we just can't give up. Giving up -- as in succumbing to the dark pit without seeing assistance of some kind -- is not allowed. I've achieved only about 10% of my to-do list today, but that's okay, because I'll keep at it. You'll be okay, too.

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  8. I am feeling this so hard. And then I have a productive day and I feel good and then the days that aren't productive feel even worse in comparison because it feels like there's no excuse. I've been playing around with this Every Da** Day list: (http://www.yesandyes.org/2013/10/my-every-damn-day-list-or-one-really.html) concept because then at least I can check things off a list. But it will be fine. It's not the best but I'm hoping that this is just a hard period on my video game quest of life (wow, all I do is reference YesandYes). And we are valuable and cherised and beautiful people because of who we are. Full stop. That I'm not just the sum of my outputs. Which is a hard pill to swallow, but I am valuable for being me and that includes every part of me, even the parts that frustrate me to pieces. Hang in there- you are loved, just as you are!

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  9. Hell this was great. I needed this. Eight days in and I'm just now getting the energy to start Nanowrimo instead of random crying spells and feeling like the lowest of the low because a professor decided to be a jerk. I might even start an embroidery project.

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  10. I've felt this way about 70% of the time for most of this year. Though I have a slew of autoimmune disorders, as far as I know my lack of productivity is the result of a depression that's presenting as apathy. I've known soul sucking fatigue with my health before, but this is different. I have energy, but I have no attention span, no drive, no motivation, and yet intense guilt about all of it. My therapist tells me it's okay to celebrate achieving just one thing each day, but when my clients are frustrated about late deliveries, I can't explain to them in a way that doesn't make me ashamed, and I can't avoid the guilt. I think my chronic pain and inflammation is harming my brain chemistry. Got new antidepressants, but they make me physically sick too. Hard to get up the energy and strength to try another one.

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  11. It's definitely going to be ok. I feel the same way so much of the time, and sometimes all that gets me through is knowing that other people are in the same place... even if most of us don't even have enough energy to tell each other we're here. But we are here, and we may be here a while, and that's ok.

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  12. As my health goes further down the drain, I have more and more days like this. It's okay to rest. Even when you don't think you should be, it's okay.
    John loves you so much, you are so precious in his eyes. Even if you don't feel like you accomplished anything, you are alive and that's important.
    You have brought so many smiles to so many lives.
    Even if you can't keep up like you think you should, that's okay. Even if all someone ever does is start something, that's important too.
    Hugs love, endure. Some days that's all we can do.

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  13. I feel guilty for my couch sessions too, with no excuse for them; no pain, no depression, just chronic laziness and no productive spurts to balance them out. I'll try not to hate myself too much, and say the gravity must be heavier here, and yes Netflix, I AM still watching, just hush and hit me with more of that sweet sweet Dean.

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  14. It's interesting to me that MOST of us who are posting can relate to this. When we're struggling, we tend to think, "Why is everyone else moving forward & I spurt then stutter then fall behind?" I have been taking meds for depression/bipolar for about 30 years & I think it took me about 20 of them to realize that nobody is always moving forward. Everyone has to hold on by the fingernails every now & then, and it doesn't matter if we do it every month, every week, or every day - as long as we KEEP hanging on. My husband has literally dragged me to the exercise machine & begged for ... and I still couldn't get onto it and 'move.' All it earned both of us was guilt & self-loathing. We're with you on this, Jen & John. It WILL get better. And it WILL get awful. But keep trying - I've switched meds so many times I can't keep up with the names, but each one has helped for long enough that my self-hate hasn't consumed me. One bite of the elephant at a time. One step into the darkness at a time. As long as your feet are pointing in the right direction, it's good. Love you SO.

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    1. I meant to say 'the exercise machine I begged for.' One day I want it, the next I resent & hate it. Ahhh, life.

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  15. I've been feeling like that for a while now. I let myself feel okay if I accomplish something, even a few minutes of online research for my job, because honestly that is all I can do sometimes.

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  16. It will be ok. We all have those days. Some days it's all I can do to keep my head above water so to speak. BUT I make it to the end of the day without collapsing into a heap and crying my eyes out. If I didn't get it done today, I can try again tomorrow. Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow, I just have to make it to then. Most people can't admit to others those kind of days like there's shame to them. Those are just days when I need to reset in my way. In the end- it is OK. We're all okay.

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  17. Me too. Oh, God, me too.

    I didn't know this is something other people went through, randomly, with no point, no reason, sometimes a trigger mostly (at least seemingly) not. And it really does make you feel worthless, and I really do stay up later and later and later on those days. Which of course makes "bouncing back" an impossibility, and the spiral continue. :P

    Thank-you for posting, Jen. I'm sorry you were going through it. Next time, you'll know you aren't alone!

    I'm going to do the healthy thing and go to bed now, instead of staying up all night. Then, tomorrow, I'm going to do my work one chunk at a time. And I will celebrate each tiny, hard-fought step I take -- and not put myself down for all the other things I don't get done.

    Hang in there, Jen. And hi, Jon! You guys are awesome for sharing with others who need it.

    <3

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  18. Jen, you are sick. Please, please don't take the symptoms as a sign of your personal failure. You honestly get more tangible things done than most people i know. Having a few days here and there is not a failure. You are amazing and it's 100% ok! xoxo

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  19. On the days I have a hard time I often find myself on here cause I know I am not alone in my feelings. You can do it!

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  20. Me, too. I've been experiencing weird sleep things and anxiety things for years now, and am only just now getting help because hubby's dad is a doctor. But I feel like I can't write, can't drive, can't leave the house because I have my safe little bubble and it is NOT OUT IN THE WORLD.

    So, I offer you the only form of comfort I can - "Me, too." We will make it together. Thank you for keeping me honest and keeping me encouraged, Jen.

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  21. Today. Right now. I needed to hear this. After a day spent binge watching the only thing that could make me crack a bit of a smile today, failing to cheer up my far-away friends who reached out in hopes I could make their difficult days a little brighter, and trying to convince myself that if I just did one thing on my to do list I could justify a day spent in stasis....I needed to hear this. Needed to give myself the permission...the grace to be human and try again tomorrow. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. Thank you for you.

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  22. Thank you for this!

    This has been me, off and on for the last few weeks, but especially today. This has been a thing for me for years--some years worse than others. And when I'm in the depth of it, I can't bring myself to follow through on anything but accumulating more self-loathing. I remember one year, I just could not take down the Christmas tree until March. It's been a mix of depression (regular and seasonal), thyroid, ADD, and a chronic autoimmune disease that sapped all energy--and even if I know reasons, it doesn't stop the restless, unproductive BLAH coupled with a sense of failure.

    Wait, all I wanted to say is thank you! I get it! You are not alone! And even though I personally am somehow lacking in character for this because that's what the BLAH tells me, YOU are not. And I love your derpy cat.

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    1. I totally relate to the Christmas tree! I did that one year too - it was just too much hard work to pack it up.

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  23. Me, too. You are awesome purely through existence, whether you've made something to prove it or not. And so am I, and so are the other thousands and millions of beautiful people who feel this way every day. We're all taking baby steps. Sometimes the smallest ones take the most effort. And that's okay. <3

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  24. A six-hour Supernatural marathon can NEVER be a waste of time. If nothing else, you've validated the wonderful work of the cast and crew of an excellent show, which in turn supports at the very least Jared Padalecki, whose own public struggle with depression makes us all keenly aware of the inner battles we all fight. We're all connected; your "wasted" time is anything but.

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  25. Thanks Jen. I really needed this today.

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  26. This is exactly how I have been feeling for about a month, but it has been especially bad this week. All I have the energy to do is sleep and watch TV. I get mad at myself for not doing more when I see how messy my house is and how much grading and lesson planning I have to do for work, (I'm a high school teacher), and when I remember that I haven't started on my own homework (I'm also a part time masters student). I break down crying on my way home from work daily because I am so mad with myself and just "want to be normal" like other people. So no, you are not alone, and you are strong, and you are beautiful, and you can fight back, but it will take time.

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  27. Hugs to you, Jen - and - thanks for posting the "derpy" picture of Lily - it gave me a huge smile. Also - Derpy. Love it!!

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  29. Someone saw my brain words and wrote them down.The hardest part for me is battling these feelings and lack of energy with the things that must be done (schoolwork most often falls into this category since it is always attached to a deadline). But it *is* going to be ok.

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  30. Oh very much yes-me-too. Today my goal is to shower and get dressed. It's 2:30pm and I'm still in my pajamas.

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  31. I know what you mean. Sometimes my biggest accomplishment is eating lunch. And binging on Robin Hood on netflix. I hear you.

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  32. Thank you for sharing these types of posts. I know it's hard to share this stuff, let alone go through it in the first place. I base a lot of my days on productivity too. I have a bare minimum of things I need to get down which is generally putting on real clothes, showering, eating. I try and do something else. Get college work done or editing for youtube, but I run into your same problem. For whatever reason, it just isn't right. And if I don't end up doing something, I just feel like a waste of space. It sucks. It's not fun, but the best I can ever do is muddle through it and try and make tomorrow a better day. Thanks again for sharing. I've always found it comforting to see that someone else is having similar issues. Mental illness can be isolating, reading someone else's perspective reminds me were not alone.

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  33. It's going to be ok. And it is absolutely ok to do nothing but breathe all day.
    Also, I love that picture of Lily.
    <3

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  34. You are definitely not alone. Thank you for being vulnerable and open and helping the rest of us. Here is a picture of my derpy cat so right back at Lily: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151832988516385&set=a.421136561384.188223.747236384&type=3&theater

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  35. A friend sent me a link to this post. Life has been an awful, nauseating roller coaster of more downs than ups for the past two years for me. I recently came upon this quote, that sometimes helps to make the awful days not quite so awful. Hugs to all of us going through our own personal hell.

    "On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good." - Unknown

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    1. Quote is by Vinny Genovesi (according to Google.)

      It's a great quote, and I'm going to use it frequently!

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  36. The sleep thing? Absolutely makes sense. Why should I sleep if I did nothing all day? Should I be rewarded with sleep for sitting on my ass and moping all day? No- I stay up to discipline myself. But ultimately that doesn't help anything.

    I have had to force myself to do something so many times. Sometimes it is better, sometimes it is worse. But I find being forgiving, yet firm with myself ("it is ok to be sad and tired, but let's try to do something a little more productive. You'll thank yourself later. There you go!") helps more than berating myself. Good luck!

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  37. Oh my gosh I feel for you so hard right now. After feeling more or less OK for the first time in my entire life for while, I have been having a VERY bad couple of weeks. Slipping back into this literally makes me feel like I'm dying, because for the first 20-odd years of my life I did nothing, was nothing, enjoyed nothing. And after working so hard to finally go back to school and find work, now I can barely get out of bed in the morning and stare blankly at my school assignments. I desperately hope this will pass, and I hope yours does, too. Thank you for sharing this.

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  38. It will be okay. It might not always be great or fantastic or fabulous but it will definitely no always be horrible and awful. Okay is good. It's a better place to be than most and it's a stepping stone to more and higher.

    That said... Thank you. You are not alone in this feeling and this mental place. I do the same things far too often for my liking. It is why I make lists so I can check off AT LEAST ONE THING to prove that I was productive today, that I had a reason to be here. It's why, if I call off work sick, I still try to do laundry or clean or something unless I'm horizontal with the Death Plague. It's just how we're wired and it's good to remember that the wiring can be silly and others share it and know exactly of what you speak.

    We all adore you. Whether you "do" something or not. Lily loves you, too, but she requires you to keep feeding her for her to keep loving you. It is the way of cats.

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  39. Thank you for always being so open with us. It's so good to have heroes who share their struggles as well as their triumphs.
    I have been feeling like this as well for a couple of weeks now - basically coming home from work to waste time on the internet, and then feel guilty that I've neglected all my good intentions. And staying up too late doing nothing, which makes getting up in the morning that much harder.
    The worst part is knowing I have no excuse. My circumstances are better then they have been in the past little while, my health is great, and I know that it's purely laziness that's keeping me down, yet I still don't overcome it.
    But I'm starting that upward slog into making the worthwhile choice rather than the instantly gratifying one, and knowing that other people have also fallen down that same rabbit hole makes me feel a little less guilty about being stuck for so long. Everything will be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.
    (by the way, 6 hours of Supernatural is an accomplishment. Despite owning the first three seasons on disc, I've only watched about 12 episodes because horror freaks me out.)

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  40. Me too. This has been me for the last few weeks. I desperately need to get stuff done, but have no desire, motivation or wish to do it, even with deadlines looming. It's kinda comforting to know that I'm not the only one out there feeling like a lump of Blah. I hope that tomorrow brings happier days for all of us struggling.

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  41. It is okay. You're definitely not alone.

    For the last few months I've been finally getting my health on track, being active, and just starting to figure things out again. Then two weeks ago it started unraveling on me. I pushed myself too hard during the public launch of the startup I'm at (insert shameless plug for new cloud app). So my chronic pain has had me laid up all day, unable to even get out of bed except for the absolute necessities. I'm kicking myself because I know I should move, I know I shouldn't have eaten that burger, I know I need to do a bunch of stuff, and I haven't done anything. I didn't even sleep. And I'm missing my furbaby that I lost last month (http://imgur.com/UUOwwEJ).

    But it'll be okay. Because tomorrow I know I'll get out of bed no matter how much it hurts, put on the mask and do what needs to be done. And we'll get through it, all of us.

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  42. It's nice to know I'm not alone while I sit on my couch, watching Mulan on ABC, and feel great anxiety over not doing the homework, studying, or housework that I desperately need to do. It's nice knowing that other people understand what it's like to feel so much anxiety over stuff to do, that nothing gets done. And it's nice knowing other people will be there to support me when I feel like this, even if it's not in person.

    Also I would like to argue that conducting a 6-hour marathon of Supernatural is the opposite of wasteful. Especially if it's an episode with Soulless!Sam or Crazy!Cas.

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  43. Me, too! :(

    It's okay. You don't have to prove your worth every single day. A friend of mine told me something one time: "Remember you're a human BEING, not a human DOING." It's okay to just be, sometimes.

    Also, if you have achieved a Facebook update, trust me, someone out there has read it, has laughed with you or identified with you or been happy to hear from you...you have made someone's day brighter because they have heard from you. And that is not nothing.

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  44. Me too. Less often these days, but early on after my thyroid issue was diagnosed? Just about daily. (I just passed 5 years since my diagnosis, and while things aren't all wine and roses, I'm a fair lot better off than I had been.)

    Also, something that has helped me is to scale back my expectations of how much stuff I'll get done in a day. Start small, build up as you discover that you can.

    It'll be OK. :)

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  45. I am so glad you can share this. I long for the day when I can share my struggles as openly.

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  46. Oh my goodness!! I desperately needed this today. Thank you, Jen. As always, you make my world a happier place. We'll be alright.

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  47. One thing that helps me is remembering it's okay to intake rather than output. You might feel better about your day if you put out a lot of things, but it's also important to take things in. And if all you're taking in is lore from Supernatural or the feeling of a cozy chair that's alright. It might come out as a short fic or a blog post about a headcanon or an idea for a new comfier chair. Or it might just stay in your head, and that's okay too.

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  48. I'm not sure if this helps but I mean it to be helpful. I think most people feel that way some days. That doesn't make it any easier but I know I just like to know I'm not alone.

    Also kitty snuggles make anything better.

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  49. Me Too!!! I am trying to be more grateful and try that grateful a day thing on FB and this was litteraly my post from yesterday.
    "Day 7: Today I am feeling grumpy and ungrateful. So, I am grateful for ice packs, Aleve, and the Gilmore Girls. And for those of you who will see this post and probably tell me to feel better."
    I have spent the last 5 days on my couch watching movies and netflix. I watched the ALL of the LOTR in one sitting Friday. You are not alone. Some days are bad. I'm better at telling others this than telling myself. Hang in there. Even when you do nothing you are still a valuable person.

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  50. I think my favorite thing about reading your posts (and resulting comments) is that it's a reminder that we're not alone. No one here (where I am) understands. No one knows what an extreme effort it is some days just to get out of bed. And even if they aren't judging you... *YOU* are judging you so your brain automatically jumps to the conclusion that they must be. There are days I don't get anything done other than read e-mail, play on facebook, and nap. The napping is the worst. I don't want to. I want to *do* something... Anything! but falling asleep is the only thing that ends up happening.

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  51. jen, you're awesome no matter what! i was supposed to work on cleaning up my pigsty of a house today, instead i'm trying to convince myself that rescuing a baby owl from my cat makes up for the fact that i didn't accomplish anything. remember, even superwoman gets to have an off day!

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  52. As a college student, I relate a lot to those feelings. During the semester, it can feel like no matter how much I accomplish, there’s more I should, and haven’t, been doing, whether it’s focusing on extracurriculars, volunteering, or even just socializing. It gets even worse during breaks, when I’m relying on my own motivation to get myself to accomplish things.
    What I find always helps is to write to-do lists, making sure to include small achievable goals. I don’t need to get all of these things done in one day, or even a week. But, it helps just to have these goals to guide what I do.
    Give yourself credit for everything you work on, whether or not you finish it. Any time you only get partway through a project, think ‘I’ll be that much closer to getting it done next time’. And if it didn’t work out? You’ve narrowed down your approach for that project, and that’ll help in the future. I also remind myself to get outside for a little, even if it’s just a five minute walk. There’s something about fresh air that just helps with perspective.
    Lastly, I definitely can sympathize with your guilt over sleeping, but I try to remind myself that it’s something that needs to be done, and by sleeping, I’m setting myself up to be able to do more the next day. Whether or not I’ll actually get more done is up for debate, but by going to sleep, you’re giving future you a shot at success.
    Sorry for the ridiculously long comment, but I’ve guilted myself too many times over the years for these same things, and it’s nice to think that someone could benefit, even a little bit, from my experience.

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  53. Greyness. That's what I call it. I have actually learned to embrace it and enjoy it in a kind of way, I accept that for a while thinking isn't possible. I also have learned not to flounder, but to be peaceful. Floundering makes it worse. I have discovered its a great way to get small things done and maintenance tasks, moving things from where they have ended up, back to where they should be in sllllllllllloooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww motion but it is amazing what you achieve and when the greyness lifts again, as it will, it will be OK and I find that having done those little things I never have time for with the big projects, I feel much less stressed overall. Have you looked at supplementing cortisol as well as thyroid or instead of? The whole endocrine thing is a mess. Cortisol and Iron supplements (I use Spatone, its a brilliant liquid iron supplment that doesn't bung you up or give you reflux) have made greyness a much less frequent occurrence. I am having a seasonal episode at the moment but I am really enjoying the greyness as a break.

    The other thought that came to me as I read your piece, was that today is a detail, your whole life is the big picture. You and what you achieve are awesome, productive and totally unique and irreplaceable. You fill the Jen shaped hole in the world really well and enrich a lot of other people's lives. Try not to get caught up in the detail if you can avoid it. Its processing time.

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  54. I can truly relate to putting off going to bed. I do that practically every night. It's kinda scary how you nailed how I was feeling.
    Sally

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  55. As for the critical parent voices! Pah. Tell them they are wrong because they are.

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  56. Thank-you, so much, for posting this. Today, I have felt especially anxious for no real reason. I became a shut-in today while I watched videos online and hardly achieved anything. Throughout this past semester, I have been working hard and pushing myself; however, I think I'm starting to feel the burnout. The feeling of no motivation, the fact that school work has made my eye start to twitch, and just wishing I could take a day off but my anxiety seems to prevent me from doing that.
    I prefer to work ahead of schedule, but this has truly backfired on me since I am ahead of schedule currently, but I continue to tell myself to get further ahead. A few days ago I was able to draw something just for fun and it felt amazing to do that again. A couple weeks ago, I set aside some time for me to take a break, and this helped so much. I'll be doing that again soon. During that break, though, I kept telling myself what you tell us: It's okay if all you accomplish today is breathing. At some point inspiration will strike you and get you out of your funk, but sometimes we just need a little time. Maybe it's out bodies telling us that we've worked so hard, but we just need a little break-- even if the break is a few days.
    Thank-you, so much, Jen, for continuing to share your experiences with us. You are not alone <3

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  57. I can't read all of the comments right now, but I feel like I could have written this post, too! I'm always so TIRED. I'm ready to take a nap as soon as I get up. I hate myself every day for not doing what I really want to do, which is write. I want to be a writer. I've wanted it since I was 8 years old! And I've tried so hard in the past, and it hasn't worked yet. And now I'm afraid to try. So even though I spend all day beating myself up for Not Writing when I Could Be, I still don't do it. And then it's time for bed and I'm just so defeated. I hate that I do this to myself, and that I'll probably do it again tomorrow. It helps to know you feel like this too, Jen, but I wish for better for the both of us.

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  58. Have you thought of SADD? I have been finding it extremely hard to do anything lately. It always seems to creep up around October. I hate to throw ideas at you because I know how frustrating that can be, but maybe it's worth looking into and getting a special light bulb.

    And if you need to feel like you accomplished something, I was the one who asked you for ideas to help my son when we went to Harry Potter World. Your ideas really helped and we had an amazing time, with a few anxiety spikes which we handled. It also comforted him to show him your website and all of the things you have built and the con pictures and Universal pictures. It helped him see that even though he gets anxious and overwhelmed, he can still do things that he wants to do. So thank you from the bottom of my mooshy, mommy heart. I am honestly tearing up right now. You touch people's lives.

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  59. I'm one of the "ME TOO"S!
    I will sit on the couch (if I can muster the energy to get up) or lie in bed, watching YouTube videos on my laptop or read the Internet on my phone. I will compile a list of things I urgently have to do in my head. I will plan out in which order to do them to get the most done that day. Hours are passing. I still haven't started to do anything. All the while my thoughts of what I should be doing are whirring around in my head and make me anxious, overwhelm me, paralyze me. I try to drown them out by engaging myself in the next video, the next article. In the evening I'm still where I started out the day, another day wasted, lost forever, nothing done of all those things I wanted to do, needed to do.

    My psychologist has diagnosed me with "agitated depression", the symptoms fit perfectly: restlessness of the brain, motionless body.

    I, too, place a lot of my self worth on what I accomplish. Being in that state, being increasingly unable to hide it from others, have made me so desperate that I was on the brink of suicide last spring. My psychologist referred me to a psychiatrist. She said there are quite few who REALLY know what they are doing. Most just prescribe SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reabsorption Inhibitors). I had a doctor prescribe them for me a couple of years back when I had my last really bad phase of depression. They did nothing for me.

    This psychiatrist prescribed me with something else: a Selective Noradrenaline Reabsorption Inhibitor (SNRI). Noradrenaline manages the energy levels of the body during the phases of the day. It takes about 6-8 weeks to work, but when it eventually set in, I did notice my energy level rising, getting stuff done again. It's a slow process still, but I'm getting better. I even lost a good 30 pounds without even trying. I don't feel like I NEED to eat more than a small portion to not starve or break down completely anymore. It's really curious how that works out.

    So, after all, I can't look into your head, I don't know if you are really dealing with the same stuff or if I just feel you do because I don't want to feel like the only person in the whole wide world with that peculiar niche of mental illness, but if what I wrote feels familiar to you too, it might be worth checking out.

    Otherwise just know: I enjoy your blogs, especially this one, no matter if you are spouting out new tutorials left and right or just writing a short "I'm alive though not well" like now. Because, despite the Internet being what it is, you feel like a real person to me. You made that connection. I see you, and I love you (in a totally friendshippy (autocorrect tells me this is not a word. FU autocorrect ) uncreepy way) and I'm sending you hugs.

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  60. Yes, yes, yes. All of this. Yes. I too have Hasimoto's. I've struggled with my meds, especially since "normal" feeling for me requires my thyroid levels to be on the very low end of normal. So finding a dr that wouldn't just stop once I was within range was tough. Even still... I'm always tired. Always. Most of the time I can function anyway, but if I don't take care of myself, or don't sleep enough too many nights in a row, or don't eat well, or the moon is in retrograde, or it's a Tuesday, or whatever, I can't function. And I'm so with you, where I look up at 5pm and realize that I've done nothing with my life but power eat peanut M&Ms and watch cat videos. I'm with you too on trying anything and everything that you think might help you feel better because it sucks to just feel so lost and exhausted all the time. I've tried a billion different meds, and supplements, and going gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, fun-free, all of it. So yeah.. I feel you. It's good to know I'm not the only one. :) Take care of yourself though. It is okay to do nothing, sometimes for days in a row to recover and get yourself together. And it's super easy for me to say that to you, but really, really hard for me to say that to myself. ;) Also.. LOVE that picture of Lily. She's so darn adorable.

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  61. I don't have Hasimoto's, but I do have MS. Have you seen the Spoon Theory? The basic premise is that you only have so much energy in the day. On good days you have more, on bad days it is hard to even get dressed. Don't hate yourself for not having many spoons, don't hate yourself for not using the ones the way your head says that you should. It's easy to be depressed when you want to do so much, and you just can't. It's easy to let physical symptoms fool your mind into a downward spiral.

    What I do is make ongoing lists, and I have a little kitchen timer. I set the timer for 15 minutes, and I work on something on my list. It could be sweep the floor, weave a square, or ride the exercise bike. Then I get 45 min to sit and stare into space if that is all that I can do. It's not easy. Some days it takes flogging myself. But I've trained myself to do it, and I find that it helps. It helps to be able to cross things off my list too. Oh, and my lists are little things. Reorganize my bedroom is not a list item. Sort through the bottom of my closet is an item, and sweep the floor of the closet is a different item.

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  62. ME TOO!! The past week has been especially rough, though it took me awhile to figure out what pushed me over the edge this time (daylight savings time, I think).

    Reading your blog posts like this, give me hope that this isn't a permanent state of being, and most importantly, remind me that I'm not alone. Thank you for that.

    I'll leave you tonight with two phrases. The one you titled this post with, and a favorite of mine that I've actually got as a tattoo.

    It's going to be ok. Keep on trying.

    <3 Sara

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  63. Me too! But really, it boggles my mind to see all the projects and costumes and everything else that you do get done. Seriously, you do so many, many things that are way beyond the capabilities of Average Joe. You may not realize it, but the vast majority of people do not even own a dremel. I didn't know what one was until I started reading Epbot!

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  64. I am also part of the "me, too"s. Thank you for sharing this and for sharing so much with us through this blog. I hope you can find some solace knowing that you have touched a lot of people through your writings. Because you were so open and honest about your experiences with anxiety, I was able to figure out that I wasn't slowly dying or going crazy or having a heart attack - I was having symptoms of anxiety. I was able to figure it out, and seek help, while knowing I wasn't alone in my experiences. That's a big gift you've given. I hope you take our comments as warm hugs of support to help boost you. But you're right, it's going to be ok. Sometimes it's ok if all you did was watch Netflix, or breathe, or paint your toenails green as you've said. :)

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  65. I feel like this *ALL THE TIME.* It often doesn't matter if I've worked a 12-hour day (and I feel like I don't do NEARLY enough of those) or if I've woken up at 1 PM and spent the next five hours binge-watching "Steven Universe" (yes I like that show too!). I know I'm ALWAYS technically capable of doing more and when I don't, I spiral into self-recrimination. I am a college professor on the tenure track and I have *INCREDIBLE* amounts of stress directed towards me both externally and internally. (Trying to earn tenure? Not. Fun.) Intellectually I know that I need "downtime." Yet emotionally I feel "unproductive" whenever I flop and play on the internet or watch Netflix all day. For me, the worst part is that the guilt doesn't actually STOP me from being unproductive - it just makes me feel bad.

    Like many posters above me, I find it interesting that SO many of us, from presumably very different careers and backgrounds, feel the exact same way. I spend SO much time thinking, "If I could just work harder..." and "If I could just buckle down and stop being lazy my life would be so much better..." Full disclosure: I've got a chronic medical condition (acute blood clotting disorder) and am on medication for clinical depression. Yet I still feel like even typing that is just "making excuses" and that if I was a better person, I'd be able to work harder and get more done and have a more productive and better life. :(

    Thank you for posting this. :)

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  66. Jen, I hope, for your sake, that things get better. I can tell you that for me, I have little hope right now. My SAD is so overwhelming; it gets worse every single year. Last year was markedly worse than any other I'd ever experienced. This winter will be giving last a run for its money. I barely get out of bed. I just lost my shifts at work (but am still technically employed there) from calling in so often due to my anxiety and depression, so I will be pulling in no additional income. I want out, but my dog - my beautiful, lovely, smart, stubborn, independent 13 year old baby - keeps here.

    P.S. Post more pictures of Lily, please. She's one of the most attractive cats I've ever seen.

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  67. Thank you for letting me know I'm not the only one

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  68. I think you're being too hard on yourself. You push yourself out of your comfort zone and constantly strive to 'get over it' so much that I think it's okay to have one of those days where you just can't be arsed. Don't hate yourself for it, call it a 'recharge period'.

    My doctor helped me understand my agitated depression by telling me that 'Everyone has a limited capacity to process and deal with 'stuff'. Sometimes the amount you have to deal with and the amount coming in exceeds your capacity (similar to the Spoons theory Christina mentioned). That's when depression hits and the tablets help you to expand your capacity. Doesn't mean you aren't going to have days when things grind to a halt and that's okay. It's okay to say 'Screw it, I just need to zone out today'. It'll help you reset.

    Don't beat yourself up over it. Rationalise it if it helps. You have X number of days of 'pushing yourself' and Y number of days where you simply recharge.

    Also: Lily. Gorgeous, adorable girl! Want her! I think the expression you photographed is called a 'Blerp' or 'Blep' - it's the 'new cat photo trend'. Pinterest it.

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  69. Aw. :c This is one of those times I wish I could think of more to write. I really do care, though, and Lily's expression made me smile.

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  70. I often need a day of doing nothing to recharge. And realizing that you don't like feeling this way is a good sign. I'm at that same point too, and two years post thyroid removal dealing with depression and anxiety, and not knowing if that's the cause, or if it's just the depression that I've been fighting since high school. Hang in there Jen, we'll get through this.

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  71. I often need a day of doing nothing to recharge. And realizing that you don't like feeling this way is a good sign. I'm at that same point too, and two years post thyroid removal dealing with depression and anxiety, and not knowing if that's the cause, or if it's just the depression that I've been fighting since high school. Hang in there Jen, we'll get through this.

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  72. Thank you for writing this, and for sharing it. I needed to read this today, to know I'm not alone. My days of creative accomplishment are long over (unmedicated, uninsured bipolar with many health issues), but I'll be OK as long as people like you keep sharing your words. Thank you.

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  73. Jen, I'm no expert on mental health issues whatsoever, but I just wondered if you had investigated MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction). I know there's plenty of documentation that it helps many people with depression and anxiety issues, and might possibly have some application for you...at least worth asking your doctors about. Thank you for being so honest and open about your issues...that's such a huge help.

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  74. Me too! It's going to be ok! We're going to get through this! Sending warm thoughts and happy hugs your way! Because I feel like I can do that today. And even on days that I feel like I can't, I still will, because you have helped me so much by posting things like this, and things not like this. Your creativity is amazing, and you accomplish a ton!

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  75. It's always good to hear someone else say they feel the same way over something... especially without you having said it first :) This year has been absolute crap for my creative side, which is just incredibly... defeating >.< I write, I paint, I draw, I make jewelry... I'm always doing something, and last year I was even to the point of actually selling some of my jewelry. I felt so good to have reached that level of accomplishment in one of my creative endeavors ! And then this year... I have managed to complete next to nothing. I made ONE pair of earrings... for myself. I have several paintings and writings that are in various stages of completion , but haven't actually finished anything. I did manage to make my Halloween wreath AND get it hung on the door prior to Halloween ( the day before actually >.< lol). Over all, I seem to be stuck in two stages... the NEED to do something, to create something, or to FINISH something... and then the despair as I just stare at my project or supplies and just have nothing to give to it. I've been trying to organize, or at least tidy up my creative spaces, and force myself to let go of things that I haven't used in the past couple years, or want to use but KNOW I'm probably not going to. Again, I'll start and have a pretty good go for a bit... and then just crash and things will sit around silently mocking me for not finishing them... I spend a lot of time mentally kicking my own ass over not being productive enough ( or at all) , so I totally understand and sympathize with your post. You're right... It will be ok. *I* will be ok. WE will be ok, and we will get through each day, one at a time, with varying degrees of achievement. Today I have several things I would like to get accomplished, but I know I most likely won't... so I'll be happy if I can get through at least one of them... or even at least START one of them.
    There's always tomorrow.

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  76. Me too! I wish I had more words of wisdom, or comforting quotes but all I have is the fact that I am right there with you, fighting my way through the fog of MS. I hope you feel better soon :)x

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  77. I hopped on the adult coloring book bandwagon, so that my hands have something to do when I'm bumming around on the couch. Little to no actual thinking, but I feel like I did a thing, you know? And if that's all I did, other than plow my way through my Disney movie collection this weekend? That can be okay. Sometimes it has to be, or I wouldn't make it through another week at work.

    I hope today is a little bit better, but if it's not, tomorrow will be. Hang in there!

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  78. I've been feeling this way a LOT lately, and it is so good to see that I'm not alone. (Can I say it is good when it isn't... maybe) You have put into words exactly what I've been wanting to say or explain. It is heartening to know I am NOT alone and that we WILL be OK.

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  79. I'm another artist/ blogger/ perfectionist that puts my value in productivity. Yesterday I made the time & space to sculpt and my hands wouldn't do it. Everything came out poopy. But as I've been around the world awhile, I remind myself that you have to have the down time to fail before the good stuff comes out. Sometimes my brain needs a chance to stop & catch it's breath. It's okay to do that. As a productive perfectionist, that seems lazy to me, but I have to remember even sprinters need to catch their breath sometimes. I have to remind myself of that a lot.

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  80. You don't have to justify your existence by proving you were productive today! Just remind yourself that because you are SO AWESOME, you need and deserve "regularly scheduled maintenance." Whether you decide you need a break several times a day, or an entire day of marathon down-time, or even several of those days back to back, enjoy it guilt-free. Try to frame it as deliberate care for yourself, rather than anger at yourself for not being able to keep up your best pace all the time.

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  81. As a fellow Hashimoto's sufferer for whom the medication has done less than nothing (my hormone levels are actually getting worse despite treatment, so now the doctors are starting to look suspiciously at my pituitary gland), I empathize SO HARD: Or you know, I totally would if I had the energy.

    Thank you so much for writing this, thank you for being open and human. We are not alone, and it IS going to be OK.

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  82. Thank you for sharing such intimate and personal details with us, your readers. It makes our relationship all the more special. For instance, I knocked down a pair of flip flops in my closet (a similar version of your awesome flip flop hanger idea) and I thought of you and your version of the hanger, and then proceed to thank you and John for being you. You meet up with us in Disney and Con's, you create crafty items (buttons) and let us buy them, you bring us the most awesomest, kick-ass photo tutorials that make us all want to live in your house! And don't even get me started on the amazing job you did with that nursery! So thank you again, from the bottom of my geeky, little heart. You rock, and you do you, we all have our own "demons" we must slay, always keep fighting, you have an entire army behind you, you will not fail.

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  83. There are so many projects I start with good intentions and a very clear picture in my head of how it will turn out. Often, I know it will turn out that way because I've done it countless times before. But, something so often goes wrong. The material is wrong, even though it's exactly what I used the last time, or my hands are wrong, or my idea is wrong. I get so annoyed that I can literally feel my skin crawl. I can't sit down and all I want to do is throw something, and, maybe cry.

    I have to tell you, that I have so often looked at your projects and wondered how you've managed to make everything turn out so perfectly. How come none of your parts are ever "wrong"? Your recent post about painting the My Little Pony for Day of the Dead is actually one of my favorites because I could so clearly relate to your feeling of having to throw it in the closet for a while. It gave me hope that someone who is so talented and so creative has those days too.

    I completely understand the feelings you mentioned in this post. The nice thing, though, is that even on days when you haven't produced anything specific, the things you did yesterday and the day before still exist as vividly as if you did them today. I'm still being comforted and encouraged today by things you wrote weeks and months ago.

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  84. It will be okay. I've had days where I wake up feeling like I'm going to conquer the world and make everything all sunshine-y and rainbow-y and I end up going to bed with a lot of regret over not doing anything productive or making any changes in my struggles. I've had some of the worst days where I feel like a sloth and don't want to do anything but I have to get the kid to school or the dog to the vet and it is so difficult. Reading your posts and knowing that I'm not alone in this big, crazy sometimes scary world make me feel more empowered and more ready to try and conquer my world. Because in knowing that you can open yourself up and be so honest with us, that the very least I can do is try just a little bit to move myself towards a better spot and maybe in doing so I can help someone else. So thank you for being someone who makes the world feel smaller and for being someone who created a safe space to talk and share. Thank you for continuing to remind me to Always Keep Fighting through my struggles and to keep looking for answers.

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  85. What you and I and everyone else who goes through this needs to remember is that it's OKAY to not do anything sometimes, that a lack of visible productivity does not equate laziness. Sometimes your batteries need recharging, your body and mind need rest, and there is NOTHING wrong with that. It's what gets you ready to do the next thing, and forcing yourself to do that thing before you're ready isn't going to help the situation. You have permission to sit on your a$$ and binge watch whatever you like. You have EARNED downtime. Remember that. Also remember we love you and John and the Derpiest Derp Whoever Derped a Derp, Lily. :-)

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  86. Postpartum depression with a 2 month old. Yesterday was the first day in about 5 or 6 months (yes, including the pregnancy) that I actually slept through the night, and I STILL barely finished anything useful. I have to keep telling myself that I wouldn't yell at anyone else that I know for this, I would try to help them and maybe take care of the baby for awhile or do their dishes. And today I'm back to getting terrible sleep so reading your post made me feel a little better. It's ok if I don't accomplish something today other than feeding my children and myself (I don't really feel like eating either) and getting the older ones to school and back. And it's ok for you to watch TV shows all day. Thank you for writing. :)

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  87. Oh sweetie, I wish I could give you a great big hug right now. As a survivor of failed spinal fusion (and hellacious chronic pain ) as well as fibromyalgia and depression I am so there, and have been for over 20 years. My lifetime career as a modelmaker, jeweler and general art geek is at yet another standstill, because I just run out of gas on a regular basis. But most chronic medical conditions seem to run in cycles, and you need to remind yourself that there will be better days ahead. Do not ever doubt you make a difference in the world, and in your readers' lives, especially. I pushed most of my friends away as my health became worse, so have very little emotional support, but your posts and your readers' comments make me feel better and not so alone. So you've done that for probably many thousands of people when you share the bad times as well as the good. Plus I always can get a few laughs from Epbot and Cake Wrecks, and giggles are so healing. Also, entirely because of reading so much of Epbot, I am constructing a steampunk costume for myself. You affect peoples' lives for the better in millions of ways, so try to feel good about that. And Goblin, my 16 year old black cat, thinks Lily is tres sexy!

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  88. Jenny, you are NOT alone in this. i hate those days too. there are days i hate more though. the ones where it feels like everything is spiralling out of control and i cant even keep my temper around the ones i love. that was just three days ago. two straight days of spiralling crazily and no control or brakes or even a fluffy airbag to land on. two days of angry outbursts, tears, overwhelming sadness, and most frightening, feeling like i was losing my mind. so i did the only thing i knew to do. i cried out to God and dumped it all at His feet. You see, three years ago He freed me from depression and I haven't had to mess with it since. In March of this year, I had my first full blown panic attack. talk about scary. but igave that to Him too. this week though, i guess i wasn't watching for the warning lights that happen before an attack and it snuck up on me and it was a doozy. but i am still here, and i am still fighting and i am still standing on His promises. I keep reminding myself of 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. That's the important part, that sound mind bit. it reminds me that God wants me to be happy, not scared, or sad, or angry, but happy. and one person's happy is NOT the same as another person's. For me, happy, is my house neat and my family happy. I may not be able to change the circumstances of the world around me but i can make my home a haven of peace.

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  89. Jen - you perfectly captured something I struggle with constantly. Hang in there and don't be too hard on yourself. Your blog is something I look forward to every week and I always find myself amazed at your projects and things you do. Sending hugs and good wishes!

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  90. 7 months ago broke my leg badly and had to have surgery. Before all this I have suffered from depression and anxiety for the better part of 20 years and I am 30. My leg has not healed and I have major chronic pain. I go to work because I have to. I stopped crafting because I feel like I don't have the energy to be creative and even my coloring book seems stressful. My equally unhappy/anxious husband has now stolen it :). Epbot and Cake Wrecks help me get through the day. You make me want to be creative again. I roam the bakery aisle in search of wrecks. (My husband solves problems with cake) He thinks I am a cake snob now. I just want to let you know how much what you do means to me. I need that bright spark to get me through the day sometimes. Thank you for everything.

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  91. It has been raining here for so long that I'm not sure if I remember what is like to see the sun. A few days of rain can be nice. But it has been weeks now and I am starting to really feel a heaviness and deep lethargy set in. I thought about buying a daylight lamp the other day, not just for the winter darkness, but to deal with all this rain. Anyway, I feel ya.

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  92. Jen, I feel this way a lot. As far as I know I don't have any medical issues, but I go through days and weeks of waking up with a huge to-do list and a PLAN, but by the time I get to work it's all I can do to complete the minimum I need to do. Then on weekends I have such a long list of projects I want to complete - quilted stockings, painted Christmas tags, quilts, updating my photo album, etc etc, and I'm excited and love all of the projects, but it just seems like so MUCH that I don't know where to start and all I end up doing is sitting on the couch playing Candy Crush. It's pathetic. Then before I drag myself to bed I, too, panic that I didn't do anything, and run around trying to accomplish something, and stay up way later than I should pushing a paint brush around while I watch TV. Eventually I do manage to finish a project and I'm really happy about it, and can move forward with something else, but I understand the crushing weight of being too overwhelmed to do something. Perhaps it will help if you make a list of the things you want to do - be very specific. More often than not it helps me; I can clear my head of the multitude of thoughts clogging my brain, and when I can cross something off the list it makes me feel accomplished.

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    1. Hmmm. I dunno. I took it totally differently, perhaps I'm wrong. Losing weight is NOT something Jen needs to do, if you've seen pictures of her. John is probably worried that she'll get too thin. Also, he was probably jealous since, again after seeing pictures, he probably thinks he needs to lose weight and wishes he could be the one to do it instead of her.
      He wasn't being the least bit unsupportive or insensitive. I don't believe he ever could be, with Jen. And I don't believe she would take it that way, as she probably understands her husband better than you do. I really don't think you need to drag John over the coals on Jen's behalf, when she sees no need to do it at all.

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    2. Betty's got it right, though John's just pointed out to me that the way I wrote it DID make it sound like he *wanted* me to lose weight. Sorry about that. He was just jealous of my energy, not excited at the thought of a thinner me. (Though I'll admit *I* would be excited about a thinner me - along with my doctor. Heh.)

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  94. I have had too many of these types of days to count. You are very much not alone in this. I have been reading your blogs for years and you are such an inspiration in your honesty and openness about what you go through. You've inspired me personally many times, not only in dealing with anxiety and depression, but creatively. I don't know you personally, but I truly believe that you have a beautiful soul and you send out ripples that positively affect many people. As hard as it is, hold onto that for dear life on days when those nasty voices tell you that you are "worthless" or " not enough." You are enough. We are all enough.

    Side note - no time spent watching "Supernatural" is wasted ;)

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  95. Just in case you want a practical idea: how about getting a balcony / view when you're on vacation? It's not always more expensive if you look at alternatives (like a condo in a less popular area). And if you can get outside, you have a spot to just sit with your camera and photograph.

    For example, when we went to Kona, Hawaii, the view rooms at the Hilton were $400 / night, but we found a view condo in a residential neighborhood about 20 minutes away at $125 / night. Watched the locals fishing and kayak-surfing for hours. Took some great photos.

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  96. Ugh. So much this. Yesterday, I forced myself to get up and go to the grocery store and to see Spectre, and then came home and laid in bed for a couple hours, watched probably 2.5 hours of Supernatural, then felt good enough to get up and watch Aziz Ansari's "Master of None" for the rest of the day. I think I may have had a hand in making dinner.

    I'm coming off a depression, and that's as scary to me as being in the middle of it. So many feelings that I haven't felt in a while and don't feel like I remember how to deal with them, even the good ones, which then makes me anxious and need to shut down. I'm at the 'have energy, can't figure out what to do' phase, too, where I wander around the house looking for something I can do without dragging myself back into depression because I'm failing (little fails, like you said, need something else from another room, or things aren't going right).

    Do what you can, and be less hard on yourself, and I'll try do the same. *internet hugs*

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  97. Meeeee too. I dread waking up each day and doing it all over again. I'm selling my family so short and I'm afraid I'm screwing them up, too.

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  98. See? Even the amazing Lily can't be a supermodel *all* of the time. You, who are one of the most productive, creative, inspiring people I have ever had the privilege of observing (only via your blogs, I promise), are entitled to off times. I know they feel like crap; been there, done that. But rest assured that you are mightily admired, respected, and loved, and not just by your wonderful spouse or your closest friends and family. And yes, it's admittedly more than just because you're a delightful person (as any reader here knows!); we are in awe of your resilience and stamina, the inner strength and fortitude that allow you to do so astonishingly much great stuff *despite* your health challenges. The struggles don't end just because I, or a zillion of us, wish it so for you, but you should know, all the same, that you are not remotely useless or any of the other epithets you feel like throwing at yourself when you're feeling lousy—we still bask in the glow of your presence shamelessly and are glad for every bit of *your* happiness as soon as it returns. Permit yourself the necessary wallowing to get you back on that track, and know that we'll all be waiting for you when you're ready to party again. You are loved.
    Kathryn

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  99. ME, TOO! (<--large, friendly letters)

    one of my favorite things about the internet--and more specifically, finding the teeny corners where i fit--is realizing there's a bunch of "me, too" friends-i've-never-met out there. we're all in this together. even when we're feeling most alone. sometimes it helps just to hear the "me, too"s. so please hear it: me, too.

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  100. LOVE.
    please accept this love free of charge, no need to pay for it with a photo or a funny or a project. you are worthy of love. and you are loved. even if you never post or create another thing, you are loved.
    p.s. it is ok. and will continue to be ok.

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  101. Definitely there with you... Some days are harder than others, but I just try to focus on one day at a time. And sometimes doing a netflix-supernatural-marathon to recharge my willingness to be around other humans is a wonderful thing.......

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  102. Me, too! I have days like that often, where all I seem to do is have negative feelings and negative self-talk about myself. It is no fun. :( And sometimes doing nothing except curling up under a blanket and watching movies/TV is just the thing to bring your spirits back up. For me having my dog helps a lot, too. Because no matter how horrible I feel taking him on adventures always makes me happy. I appreciate your blog posts! It's nice to know I am not the only one who feels this way and I like feeling like I have a place to fit in. Thank you!

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  103. "I base so much of my self-worth and happiness on my ability to be productive. To do things. It doesn't even have to be much! A blog post. A puzzle. A pretty photo. Something to show for my existence today, every day. It's why vacations are hard for me, and why I took up photography. The more I get done, the more I create, the happier I am."

    This. Totally 100% this.

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  104. Me too. All of this. We are not ok right now, but it's going to be Ok.

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  105. Just a little something to (hopefully) make you smile - My 30 year old daughter (who honestly looks like a very innocent 17 year old) went to a church Halloween party dressed in a mildly steampunk-y costume that she worked hard to create. Because of the bustier, several people thought she was a hooker. Must be something about her look - when she was about 15, she dressed as a flamenco dancer - pretty rose in her long brown wig, lovely long red dress. Several people thought she was a hooker. Maybe next year she should just go as a hooker.

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    1. I failed to say that she wore a long sleeved button-up white shirt under said bustier...

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  106. I can't tell you that it's going to be all better. Frankly, it might not be. I realize that's not the popular thing to say these days, but I don't want to lie. But you know that good days will return someday. You might still have a disease and bad days will be an inevitable part of that... but they ebb and flow too.

    I have Hashimoto's and something called hypopituitarism, both because of a concussion from an auto accident that someone else caused when they weren't paying attention to the road. I have no energy! I am in pain! I am not the person I was before that accident.

    But that's ok! It's ok to not be productive sometimes! It's perfectly ok to love yourself even when you're an overweight lump on the couch all day long!

    Let's thank goodness that Supernatural even exists because without it we'd be even more bored!

    Let's be able to accept that we're going to have bad days. That's just a part of life. Then we can appreciate the good days so much more when they come!

    My heart goes out to you. I love your blogs. Thank you for being you.

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  107. Me too, me too, me too!!!!!

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  108. Me too, but I've been lucky enough to have a couple of doctors over the years that have helped me accept these periods better.

    The first was a psychologist that explained to me that I have "Atypical Depression."
    The Mayo Clinics definition: "Any type of depression can make you feel sad and keep you from enjoying life. However, atypical depression — also called depression with atypical features — means that your depressed mood can brighten in response to positive events. Other key symptoms include increased appetite, sleeping too much, feeling that your arms or legs are heavy, and feeling rejected."

    The heavy arms and legs part was my Ah-Ha moment. Some days I feel like I'm walking through jello or that the whole world is a pool and I have to push through water to get anywhere. The smallest thing takes so much more energy to do, you know. The rest of the symptoms are all too true as well.

    The other was from my regular doctor. She said, seriously she did, that I needed to be a "Lady of Leisure." She was willing to right it out as a RX even. What she explained to me was my body doesn't handle stress well and I need to keep myself in calm situations to feel human.

    Of course that's impossible! But it has allowed me to accept my "off" days where I can't do anything but binge watch Supernatural (Me too on that as well) If I allow myself one day a week where I do nothing and take extra rest time if I know something stressful is on my calendar I can be productive the majority of the time. If I don't stop and take that time the cloud of jello stays with me the next day and the next day etc. I also try to plan down time after a stressful event. My family came to visit and between getting the house ready and all the things we did while they were here... It took 3 down days before I could even make dinner for my husband and kids.

    Jen and friends, take care of yourself any way you need to and try to accept that it's alright to do so. In the end you will realize that there are more up than down days.

    (Now time to creep back to my hiddy hole and avoid the bending holidays)

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  109. As i sit here with my list of frighteningly long list unfinished projects and looming deadlines, it seemed to me the best time of all to check this blog. My mom died last month and I cannot focus. Or sleep. I don't have time to grieve but I don't seem to be getting any of my work done either. All I want to do is read and sleep and feel guilty about doing either one because of all the work I'm avoiding.
    And here you all are, my compatriots, as we tell each other to have some patience with ourselves.
    Thanks.

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  110. *hugs* It's going to be OK, and it's good that we're reminding each other of that.

    That is a wonderful Lily blep.

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  111. I'm going through some of this because I lost my dearest friend (and ex-husband) in January. There are some days when I just don't even want to get out of bed. This is SO not me...

    But, my Cocker Spaniel MAKES me get up. I can't let her down. She depends on me to feed her, walk her, take her out.

    I hear you, Jen. Do what you can, when you can.

    I'm sending you hugs.

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  112. Adding another voice to the "me too"s. Between PCOS, depression, and thyroid issues, getting myself out of bed and to work in the morning is all I can do. Home at lunch and nap/internet all afternoon, broken sleep all night. Celebrating small victories helps. Things like "I showered this morning" or "I ate dinner that wasn't chocolate".
    Many many hugs to you, and to the others who feel the same.

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  113. My nephew once said to me "you need to re-define what 100% is".
    Some days 100% of me is not getting dressed and eating crackers for dinner.
    Other days it is working a whole day, walking home from work, going up and down stairs doing 2 loads of laundry, calling friends and house cleaning.
    Whatever kind of day I am having, I am giving 100% of what I have to give that day.

    After 20 years with Hashimotos' . . . life rolls along however it needs to on any given day.

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  114. Hello tribe of wonderful people - what amazing stories you all have! I'm an assistant professor at a university, and some days (TODAY) it's all I can do to get myself dressed and to the office, only to be smacked in the face by the enormity of some of these to-do's. Zoning out is not an option until I get home.

    One thing I'm working on is tightening up a really serious schedule. I think this will help me during the day to limit my online breaks, and a firm task list for the day will keep me working on the small items I need to finish to accomplish the big goals that sit like twitchy heffalumps in the corner of my office.

    Good luck and hugs all around for everyone! Thanks, Jen for rallying the troops!

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  115. You are not a useless lump of a human being, and that's just that, missy! You are awesome and rock so very hard, even on the days when you're just not feeling it. A very wise woman told me once in blog form that some days, it's enough to just breathe, which was already in my mind before I reread it in this post -- do you have any idea how much those words that you wrote when you were overwhelmed with preparations for a book tour have comforted me on rough days? Your advice was good, so good that you're allowed to take it yourself.

    Also, I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that a day spent with a Supernatural marathon was a wasted day.

    Also, that picture may be full of derp but Lily has the most exquisite eyes I have ever seen on a cat. Gorgeous!

    Be kind to yourself, dear lady! You deserve it, you truly do.

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  116. You are loved; you will never be useless.

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  117. Me too. And it's going to be ok.

    Thank you Jen. Thank you so much for this post. It's exactly how I've been feeling, but I couldn't find the right words to explain it to the people in my life. I think I will show them this post.

    It was recommended to me that I keep one of those adult coloring books by my bed. So even if I don't get anything else done, I can see that I filled in one more page and made one more pretty thing. I thought I would share the suggestion, maybe it can help others.

    But seriously, this blog is a bright spot in my day. Thank you for writing it, and thank you for sharing!

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  118. Jen and John, your blogs have been bigger than a life preserver for me - your efforts to share thoughts and enthusiasms and tough days and great days and cats helped me rediscover the threads of who I am, at age 40+. I'd lost them for 20 years and had no idea who I really was. Thanks to you guys, I know I love to craft, costume, be goofy, be creative, be sad, feel crappy, need help sometimes, and give help other times. I have learned to accept and forgive myself, in LARGE part, thanks to your sacrifices and work. I am not dependent on you (no pressure) but you are some of the bright lights in the universe and I'm so grateful. Hopefully WE can be your bright lights sometimes. Hugs from Sunnyvale

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  119. I have a little sand timer that runs for roughly 15 minutes. Sometimes I can talk myself into tinkering just until it runs out. Often, I'll find myself engaged in whatever I tinkered with and continue. Sometimes I go back to the couch and watch the Netflix again. It doesn't fix anything or it make anything go away, but I do feel less guilty if I at least tried. I wish I didn't understand what you're going though. Sigh - after all tomorrow is another day?

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  120. I have been feeling this exact thing for about two weeks now, can't do anything because I just don't have the energy/concentration/ willingness/ patience to do anything and then I am mad at myself for not doing anything. And the circle continues...

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  121. I've got tears in my eyes reading all the lovely comments here. I'm glad to say none of us is alone in this even if it feels like it on a daily. I sit here having spent the last hour and a half making sure my photography "books" were all up to date and invoices for anything left were sent out while constantly re-corralling my three year old who's figured out baby gates today. I'm whooped. All I want to do is go make a big lunch, find a good movie and take advantage of his nap time. However, my to-do list is daunting, and it's not even touching the do-list for selling the house. I wanted to spend this year building Baymax armor for my DH and the littlest boy. However, that's not happened. Nor will it happen in time for the con this weekend. The best I can do this week is get the boy's halloween costumes upgraded so their props will be con-worthy. Dark night collecting candy, they didn't have to be perfect, but for a con... We've got something every weekend between now and Christmas and I'm dreading the holidays as ever. Thank you for sharing. I know I needed it today.

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  122. This made me cry, because in all honesty this is how I've been feeling for so long. Yes! I'm happier than I was a few months/years ago (yay PCOS diagnosis!) but boo can't seem to get the energy to do things. I change one set of meds because passing out from migraines is better than having migraines once a week right? Why can't it be no migraines, no passing out, AND happier? *sigh* I totally understand. And Jen, seriously, you're my hero. So many times I just check Epbot when I'm having a bad day because I know that your posts and everything about you makes things so much better. That and my goal for my husband and I is to be like you and John. Y'all are pretty rad. So just keep going! If you keep going, I'll keep going and telling myself it's ok, deal? <3 I'm sending much love, glitter, and animal cuddles your way. Thank you for being you Jen! You've truly made my life better for it. :)

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  123. I have been feeling this exact thing for about two weeks now, can't do anything because I just don't have the energy/concentration/ willingness/ patience to do anything and then I am mad at myself for not doing anything. And the circle continues...

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  124. My sister and her husband use turmeric tea to feel better from their can't-get-anything-done/anxiety/depressionish symptoms. Apparently inflammation in the body causes weird, seemingly unrelated issues. My brother in law drinks it twice a day and felt a complete 180 difference from what he used to feel like. My sister also drinks a cayenne concoction to help with her foggy headed feeling.

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  125. Jen, I feel you. I want you (and anyone else reading this) to hear this: you do not have to put anything into this world to justify your existence. The Creator of the entire universe made YOU--he purposefully "knit you together in your mother's womb" and created you after his own image. He delights in his creation. That means you. Just as you are. Even when you are a lump on the sofa. You were worth his creative effort. He does not regret making you. And now, not only is he glad you are here walking around on his planet, enjoying all the gifts he has given you (your love of creativity is one spark of the divine in you!), but he desires for you to know him as he so intimately knows you. He even killed a part of his eternal self to forever secure his love for you. That's how much he values you.

    Let him woo you. Succumb to the overwhelming love offered to you. Curl up secure in the knowledge that you haven't done anything to earn this love, and so there is nothing you can do to lose it. Rest in the truth that you, just as you are, are enough.

    Not trying to preach--ok, well maybe I am. ; ) I realize we all have different ways of viewing the world, and most of the people who read this will not agree with it. That's ok. I just had to say it. I am just a wee bit older than you, and am just now--after a year of bad depression, and now with my body falling apart and my marriage getting a re-boot--starting to actually hear God in some things he's been whispering to my spirit for years. I am realizing all the unhealthy ways of thinking I've been trapped in. And now that I'm climbing out of the pit and seeing a glimpse of hope before me, of course I want to point others to the light too!

    Much love to you today.

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  126. You are definitely not alone!

    I recently got laid off due to a slowdown in business. It socks but I have employment insurance to fall back on at least. I started out my search with hope and found that the past few weeks have been exactly like you just described: struggling to get up and do things, even crafty things I enjoy like beadwork or anything. I've just spent a good amount of time in bed binging on TV (in this case the first 8 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries - which although it's Canadian, you'd love cos it has a wonderful steampunk atmosphere).
    Things will get better - slowly; definitely slowly.
    But it's frustrating, that bit of time before it happens. Knowing that I'm not as alone as I thought has helped and your post definitely made me tear up (the feels!).
    Hang in there cos you got this.

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  127. It will be OK.
    I had a lot of those days when I took the pill. I was on the edge of depression. I could end it easily because the pill had no medical necessity. Two months after the color had returned to the world. I hope your days will end and you come back to the busy side of life.

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  128. I totally felt the same way when I was on Synthroid. If you haven't looked into naturally desiccated thryoid replacements, you totally should. Some people do much better on them than on the synthetic versions.

    I have Grave's Disease, not Hashimoto's, which means I should be hyperthyoroid instead of hypo, but I swing back and forth and have a tendency towards the hypo side (which probably means my thyroid burnt itself out) and what works best for me is controlling it through diet and staying off meds, but I still suffer greatly from lack of motivation and the ability to get easily distracted, so I can relate In fact, right now I'm supposed to be making and packing out orders from my Etsy shop and instead I was on Facebook and then I came here. :P

    Have you watched Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries on Netflix yet? It's delightful.

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  129. Silly Rabbit, Your Worth Is Not IN What You Do. �� Your Worth Is Simply You.
    Signed, a friend relearning this lesson each day.

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  130. Definitely not alone, feeling this and drs don't understand how beyond frustrated one gets with one's self when feeling this way but some of us do understand and offer warm, fuzzy air hugs.

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  131. Completely relate. All of the Jedi Hugs if you want them and so much awed appreciation for all of the things you do when you're able to.

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  132. Wow... I needed to read this. This has been ME for a long time... I am a housewife. I stay home, no kids to take care of (but 2 adorable, crazy kitties!) and there are so many days I can not accomplish one thing. MAYBE I can make dinner... and sometimes that is a PB&J and carrot sticks. I feel so awful about myself, especially seeing all of those people who have it together, or at least it looks like they do. My husband tries to convince me I am too hard on myself, that he is grateful that his clothes are clean, we don't have piles of crap on the floor and that he 95% of the time has dinner waiting for him when he gets home.

    Thank you for posting this... It is freeing to know I am not the only one who struggles with this. <3

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  133. So much me in every one of your words. Just remove the Hashimoto's references and swap in appropriate terms for Fibromyalgia. I am 55 years old, and I struggle every day with the mismatch between having All the Ideas, and not having All the Energy.

    I understand you, because I'm right there with you. Gentle hugs, Jen to Jen!

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  134. I must admit that after reading the first few lines, I had to stop, look away and just remind myself to breathe. You hit the thoughts in my head spot on and it hurt a lot to read them. I've been getting better lately, mostly due to a fantastic family and a really, really good cognitive psychologist, whom I've been working with. So now I'm recognising myself as the person, who I lost for a few years. But the thoughts still lurk just beneath the surface, and even thought it hurts reading them, it is good to do so. To actively remind myself that I'm more than that insecurity and that I'm not alone.
    And neither are you! You are a fantastic person, and a very, very brave one too.

    Thank you for reminding me to speak out about how it feels sometimes - and to give my hugs freely to those who feel the same.

    ((((HUGS))))

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  135. I hear ya. It's all going to be okay. Nothing wrong with some Supernatural binging to make you smile. Love those boys.

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  136. Yesterday, the Sunday after my birthday party, I didn't want to do anything. In fact, at 10:30am before I even ate breakfast I decided I was not going to leave the apartment that day. And then, I didn't. As the day wore on I felt worse and worse about this decision. Through every episode of Master of None (A smart, hilarious, and touching new show on Netflix which I highly recommend) I felt angrier at myself, and... lethargic.

    I didn't get my hair cut, I didn't buy my groceries, and I didn't make dinner. I spent too much money on my own birthday party, and far too much on dinner that night. And I still feel shitty about it all. But reading this post, it feels weirdly good to know that someone so successful at their own projects, who loves to create and enjoy things, also feels this way from time to time.

    Having a reminder that everyone is human, and sometimes those days creep up and grab you like tree roots digging deeper into the earth is nice. It makes the pain feel a little less painful. And if you get up tomorrow and feel like all you can do is wander listlessly around, remember that we all feel that way too, and that you'll get up soon and have energy to spare. Getting through these days sucks, and it takes some time to snap out of the funk, but once you do it's great. So keep breathing, keep thinking, and most importantly, keep letting your amazing husband try to help you out of it. Without help, we're all just buoys in the waves, getting tossed about with no control over what happens. And you're a pirate ship coming to lay claim over your crafty endeavors with an amazing first mate and two furry deck hands. <3

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  137. I'm having an especially rough day today. I have a few different mental health conditions, along with some physical health concerns. Boy did I need to hear this today. Thank you Jen.

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  138. You so perfectly described how I felt for 6 years trying to iron out thyroid problems. I felt like something was wrong with me, not with my body. If only I could find motivation the energy must come. Don't get me wrong, anxiety can make you feel that way too, but trouble is, most times those two things come hand in hand. I also identify with the terror that comes with returning energy; terror that it will leave you, being at a loss of what to do with your newfound time, terror of the strength of emotions returning, as if the world is a little to bright to bear. Also, the fear when the energy drains and you think you must sleep your life away again so you do anything to avoid sleep. If I may pass on the wisdom of a stranger, fight to make sure your thyroid is right. Don't just go off of blood work, go by how you feel. Don't talk down your symptoms just because they feel gauge or not serious enough. Thyroid problems can also effect neurogenisis, making your brain feel slow and sluggish and your normal passion for things disappear. Self blame makes that worse. It took me a long time to accept that I had been sick and needed to be gentle with myself about it. Please be gentle to yourself as well, no matter the cause that weighs you down in a day.

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  139. Completely relate, Jen. Most days it feels like a real accomplishment if I go to the grocery store; it's hard to get up and get moving, and especially get out of the house.

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  140. (Trying to make my letters as large and as friendly as possible:) IT'S GOING TO BE OK. I've been there, too -- or close enough, with depression. 'Wish we all could hug you, Jen. You are "fearfully and wonderfully made." And you have a tribe who loves you fiercely. That's all.

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  141. ME TOO.

    There are so many days I feel like crap, mentally and/or emotionally and/or physically, and letting the day go to waste just makes me feel so much worse. I can't find a doctor who will help me figure out why my body has just felt out of whack since having my second kid, and can't find the motivation to look harder; I have two kids and no energy, so many days I just sit and Netflix-binge during naptime and then feel like crap for wasting my only opportunity to be productive; I'm trying to lose weight, but feeling like crap already makes me want to steal snacks during naptime that I won't have to share. UGH. It just gets so discouraging to feel like crap and not be able to put a finger on why or how to fix it, and I feel so much worse when a wasted day makes me like a waste of space.

    But this makes me feel slightly better. I'm not the only one. It will be okay.

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  142. Long time reader, very infrequent commenter. I haven't read the other comments, but I would say this to you: YOU ARE HUMAN. We are not machines, and efficiency is a measure of machinery. This happens to everyone sometimes. Please give yourself a break!

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  143. Oh, sweet Jen.
    I can't tell you how many days I've had where it hurt to smile; I was afraid to get out of my bed, my safety cocoon. I've called in sick to work because the reflection in the mirror told me I shouldn't be in public. "Go back to bed!" they'd scream. "You can't be around people today" and the upsetting thing is, I'd listen. Finally I'd convince myself to be productive and maybe finish a project, or clean, or make a home cooked meal, and I end up just moving from the bedroom to the couch to continue cocooning, not people-ing, and crying. By the end of the day I feel defeated and hate myself for not turning into a butterfly and wonder if I built the cocoon wrong.
    I start doubting myself. "Nothing is good enough, and why do I even try? Why do I insist on torturing myself day in and day out to accomplish nothing?". The reflection in the mirror changes and the monster inside continues to grow. The frustration, the anger, the exhaustion, the overwhelming feeling of not reaching self-placed outrageous deadlines.
    But in all actuality it's just a bad day, and everyone has them. You are not alone, even it if sometimes feels like you are. All we can do is take life one day at a time, Jen, good, bad, or boring, and remember that we do matter, at least to someone.

    (Everyone say it with me now), "This too, shall pass."

    --Piper P from Washington State

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  144. wish I didn't know what you were talking about, but I most certainly do--especially the postponing bedtime part, which leads to the most terrible vicious cycle. Many, many hugs, Jen!

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  145. Hey hey hey! Now remember to give yourself a break. Remember, its okay to have days where all you do is paint your toenails. We've all been there. You're a unique, creative, wonderful person and every now and then you have a string of bad days. The bad days are just the bologna you deal with to get to the steak. (Or whatever kind of food you hate to get to the food you like.)

    You were awake, you got out of bed, you tried. You didn't give up. And you gave Lily attention. I'm sure she doesn't think your day was wasted.

    So what if you have days where you don't get anything done. Don't ever compare yourself to other people. Compare yourself to how you used to be. And give yourself a break. You're doing fine, even when you think you aren't.

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    1. I'd even say that having the occasional 'do nothing' day is mentally beneficial.

      Perhaps the problem is the mindset that you have to 'up and at-em' every day, and that's just not a good place to be. We all need vacations, down-time, 'me time', whatever. Give yourself permission to do nothing every once in a while.

      Even those of us who don't suffer from anxiety or depression need 'do nothing' days. Even more so, I would think, if much of your energy is taken up battling illness (of whatever variety).

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  146. That is the cutest pic of lily! You are an amazing person Jen, I look at your blog and I'm inspired by all you create! I wish that I had the... well everything you have to do what you do. I know some days are rougher than others, But I want you to know that even in what you feel to be your darkest, you inspire. I hope one day I'll have the time/energy/creativity to do one of the projects you've done, but for now, I'm content with going to the sites of the artists you showcase and buy their squee pics.

    You. Are. Fab! Don't forget that!

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  147. Do you promise? (But seriously, I needed to hear things would be okay today). You are not alone.

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  148. Jen, it is going to be okay.

    Fellow Epbot-ians, it is going to be okay.

    I wish I could send you all flowers and give you hugs.

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  149. Me too. I've been fighting physical and mental illness for over half my life. I used to berate myself as you have described, and sometimes still do, but now I just try to tell myself that if I survive the day, that's enough. If I manage to express some form of kindness to someone, even just to myself, in the midst of feeling horrible, it's okay because it means that I just beat everything that is trying to defeat me. When you write about your struggles, you remind me that I'm not fighting alone, so thank you.

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  150. Jen, I just made last minute plans and was proud of myself for doing so. I took a quick shower, put clothes on, threw makeup on, got in my car, backed out of the driveway and suddenly couldn't breathe or think. I realized the mania of hurrying to get ready along with my hatred of last minute plans had triggered a panic attack. I sent the friend I was supposed to meet a text saying, "I have to go home.".
    It's subsided and now I'm exhausted, angry and disappointed. But I came here to re-read this and remind myself I'm not alone. Some days trying is the best that people with anxiety and depression can do. Some days trying is flat out too hard, and existing is the best we can do. It's comforting to know that it IS going to be okay.
    And one note about your post, it does matter to this community that you're around. That sentence about not justifying being here made me pretty nervous. We love you, Jen.

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  151. I don't really know what else to say that hasn't already been said but, yes, it's going to be ok. It's perfectly fine to take a break and just breathe and not accomplish anything. You are amazing just the way you are, and so inspiring to so many people, just being you is accomplishment enough. *virtual hugs*

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    1. Oh and btw, a 6 hour Supernatural marathon is never a waste. ;-)

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  152. I totally get your frustration about productivity. I had a huge to do list this weekend, but ended up feeling under the weather. So instead, I watched all of How To Get Away With Murder (Like...ALL of it - pilot through last week's episode) and I decided that I feel extremely accomplished. ;-) (Watch HTGAWM - Check!)

    (Also - you're totally ahead of me with your decorating....I really wanted to start Halloween weekend, but I'm still at the finish-getting-it-out-of-storage-stage. <~That's on the list for tonight...we'll see how that goes)

    Wishing you and John the best! xoxo

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  153. you know, someone who I think is pretty smart, said that it's okay if all you did one day was just paint your nails green...sometimes you just need time...and you know what... I kind of needed this post today. So, thanks.

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  154. I just had a conversation about this very thing with my therapist. I am recovering from a severe depression/anxiety, along with a chronic sinus infection that I probably had for at least a year without knowing it (I just chalked up feeling like crap to the depression). But now my ADD is so not under control that I start every day with a to-do list, accomplish none of it by the end of the day, and feel like a failure. Then the anxiety/depression "tape" starts up again. Breaking the cycle is soooo hard.

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  155. It's not just going to be okay; it is okay now. Thank you for helping so many people feel less alone.

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  156. I can so relate to all of this- comments and all! I have had this "intertia" for all of this year, It started when my Mom got diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and has intensified the past 4 months since she passed away. I have had anxiety for my entire life, but I am now getting panic attacks unlike any I have had in the past- to the point that i thought I was having a heart attack. Been to my internist recently and he has ordered a bunch of blood work and I will return next month for follow up. I asked him to check my thyroid since a lot of my symptoms seem to coincide with what I have read here. I too have the constant exhaustion, no motivation to get things done (like housework) and can barely make it through a work day without a nap during my lunch hour. I can thank you Jen for shedding light on these issues because I would otherwise just continue to think I am nuts. We are all a community here and I love that. Keep your chin up kid- we are all here for one another!

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  157. Hey Jen (and looooooots of other people). I am going through my own mental health struggles at the moment and wanted to share something that I've found to be really helpful. It's a form of therapy called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). It is closely related to CBT, which can be effective in treating anxiety, etc. Anyway, DBT is usually billed as a treatment for borderline personality disorders but it is sooooooo applicable for a range of other stuff. You may not be in a place where you can see a therapist on the regular, but there is a manual out there (of course) and you may find some of the practices to be really helpful.

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  158. Today was a good day. I made progress on a project, cooked necessary food for the week, and made it to the gym. Yet all the while, I had the nagging knowledge that *this was going to bite me tomorrow.* It's very likely that I will pay for my productive day with pain and fatigue. I may sit for hours at my computer tomorrow trying to make words happen and wanting to cry as the clock ticks ever nearer to deadline. I may have to stand in pain on the bus because the effort to ask a stranger to give me their seat is more than I can give. I may decide to not eat dinner until 9 pm because I need a couple of hours after getting home to get up the energy to reheat a meal in the microwave. And tomorrow, in preparation for surgery, I have to stop taking any painkiller (NSAIDs apparently thin the blood--not good before surgery), so I will probably be in a lot of pain and not be able to sleep. I can see this week spiraling down into that hazy hell of pain and obligation, where I try my hardest and it still comes out like shit, in my opinion, and wears me out even more in the process. Chronic pain/illness is hell. Coming from one "do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do" person to another, be gentle on yourself and lower your goals. You got up for two hours? GO YOU. Hell, you microwaved dinner sometime before 9 pm? AWESOME. You kick ass, and so do I, just for having the courage to try when we know how hard it might be.

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  159. you just summed up how I feel a lot of the time! I struggled through those feeling for 10 years in a relationship with someone who couldn't understand, who got angry at me if I hadn't done the dishes or swept the floor, now I've left and I find myself constantly apologizing to my housemate for things I haven't done... and every time I do he says, ''it's ok, you'll do it another time, it will be fine'' and it doesn't stop me from berating myself for everything that's not done and it doesn't stop those feeling of worthlessness that creep in, but it helps. So I'm saying it now, to you "'it's ok, you'll do it another time, it will be fine'' you've helped me so much with my own mental health issues (to the point i'm actually considering getting on a big plane and flying from Australia to America just to go to one of the Disney parks!) and I hope that my little message (along with all these others!) help you a little too, to show you how much we care!

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  160. Dear Jen & John,
    You have the support of all your faithful readers. We all say "me too"......listen to your own words of wisdom. Breathe when you can, do what you can when you can and just be. Sometimes that is more than enough. You are blessed and loved.

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  161. Thank you for sharing this today, after spending the entire day sitting on my bed with a book and never even finished the load of laundry I started about 6hrs ago now I'm sitting here mad at myself for doing nothing all day. It's nice to get the reminder that I'm not the only one and yes sometimes we do just need to take a day.

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  162. Hi Jen! I've been reading your blog since you first started Epbot but I've never commented before. I just wanted to thank you for writing this. I think it is so brave of you to put yourself out there like you do. Its reassuring to see that even someone who does such amazing things, and who I admire, still has struggles. It helps to be reminded that we don't need to be defined by our struggles. You can get through it and by sharing your experience you are helping countless other people get through it too. Thank you, you really are an inspiration!

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  163. This was EXACTLY what I needed to read today! I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's at the beginning of this year on top of depression and anxiety. Your post perfectly describes how I've been feeling and what I've been going through. It's hard to fully explain how that feels to people who haven't experienced it. Just knowing that I'm not the only one makes it that much easier. I too have a wonderful and understanding husband who does his best to help me do something every day. With the help of him and my therapist, I've decided that some days it's ok just to get out of bed, take my meds, and cuddle with the dog. I may not feel as accomplished as I'd like to, but I'm starting to be ok with it. Some days I'll be an amazing, super-accomplishing woman. Some days I won't. No matter what, I am not a worthless lump. And neither are you.

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  164. Me too! I was just talking to my therapist about this exact thing today. I am constantly making plans in my head about all of the fun things I want to do when I have a weekend to myself. And then the weekend arrives and I find myself just sitting on the couch, binge watching tv shows and napping all day long. By the end of the weekend, after accomplishing nothing, I feel like crap. For me, I know that part of this is my depression, which sucks. Why, why, why, can't there just be a magic pill that gives us energy and motivation with no side effects!

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  165. Jen, you are beyond amazing, and every time I read either Cake Wrecks or EPBOT, I'm blown away with your wit, insight, and real-ness when things go right or wrong. But I've been feeling that way for the past year. Now, I've always felt like I've had to try harder than anyone else I've known due to being diagnosed with anxiety and depression at 8 or 9, and then ADD at 14. My brain's freaky and stupid, I thought, and there's nothing I can do about it. Now, that's certainly not true, and I'm having to remind myself that all the time.

    Now, fast forward to last year when I was accepted to an art school that I truly felt like I belonged, and was surrounded by some of the best artists I've known. Having been to 2 other schools and those ended in failure, this seemed like my chance to finally get my degree and MAKE something of myself! Then my grants started running out, and I'm forced to take a year off to somehow save money to go back. And then my insurance ran out, which meant no more meds. And because of it, I've yet to make any art. I felt that, because I really can't focus without my meds, I was not as good as others because I fear that the only reason I've been creative was because I needed medication for the focus issues. There's my stupid brain messing things up again...but that's not true. I feel it is, but deep down I know it's not. We're our own worst critics, and we're all here for you when you feel that way. We can do this!

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  166. Sending many warm thoughts of support and hope that tomorrow is a better day!

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  167. Here is a little something to brighten your day. The special needs class in our town is hosting their very own comic-con. The class has kids through adults with varying degrees of mental or physical impairment. They learn job and life skills so that they can get jobs in the real world. From their site: "Simply, we just want to teach our students that it is ok for them to be themselves and give them a way to be a part of an integrated community- not as special needs adults, but just simply as a fan of something they love." There is an artist flying in from Canada (we're in TX) and also the DFW Ghostbusters group is coming as a special guest. Anyway, I just wanted to share with you because, if not for Epbot, I wouldn't even know what a comic-con was. This event will be my third. So...on the days when you feel overwhelmed. Don't beat yourself up. Would you feel guilty if you didn't do anything with a broken leg? Let yourself take a sick day. And then remember, you have touched a lot of lives for the better. Sort of like the butterfly flapping its wings causing a hurricane on the other side of the globe. On your good days, you're flapping your wings; on your bad days think of all the good you've done on this site. Okay, I've typed, deleted, and re-typed for 45 minutes. I still think I sound stupid and hope you understand. Here's a link to the con, not to buy tickets (it's a long way away for you) just thought you'd like to see it. con I hope I did that correctly....

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  168. Thanks for writing this. It's how I feel so much of the time, and it's really hard to shake. It helps to know someone else feels the same way.

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  169. Thanks for writing this. It's how I feel so much of the time, and it's really hard to shake. It helps to know someone else feels the same way.

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  170. I just finished a month-long partial hospitalization therapy program. I spent 6 hours a day for a month talking and learning skills in a group therapy setting. They changed every medication I was on for depression, insomnia, and anxiety. I didn't feel like it was worth it until the last two days of my time in the program. And the first week out of the program was spectacular. I got a ton of stuff done. I only had two anxiety attacks, but my boss was super understanding. I made plans for what I was going to do with my time. I scheduled appointments and talked to people. I planned my birthday party.

    And then I crashed. Today I felt like shit. I got nothing done except for going to my doctor's appointment. I didn't eat healthily at all. I drank too much coffee and took too long of a nap. I'm restless and twitchy and my hormones are all over the place. I'm beating myself up over a stupid mistake I made today. I spent too much money. Etc., etc.

    So thank you for showing me that it's not a bad thing to have a bad day. Sometimes it persists, and that sucks. But there's always the chance that tomorrow will be better. So I'll listen to some soothing music, do my breathing exercises, take a hot shower, and go to bed soon. And I will try again tomorrow. And so will you. And so will everyone else on this planet who is struggling.

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  171. So far, there have been 27 people who started their reply with "Me too." Plus, I think 90% of us were thinking the same thing. Suddenly that Lion King song popped into my head. Can you feel the love tonight?

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