Day 94 of 365: “i’m fine, thanks” and other lies.

I tend to put too much pressure on myself. As if this one post or this one speech or this one BJ or this one dinner is going to be the be-all-end-all for a person or, or life-changing for a group of people. I constantly pressure myself to perform.

A lot of times, I hesitate from writing what I’m really feeling. Because often, I’m feeling chaotic and unhappy and depressed and suicidal and lost, while also feeling calm and content and clear and focused. I am such an expansive being that I can feel all these things at once. (I think all humans can, right? Maybe some more than others.)

Oftentimes, I have no idea what I’m feeling. Or it’s too many feelings to put into words. Or, if I honestly answered your question, it would take an hour.


My feelings regularly contradict themselves.

And it’s easier and more comfortable to write about the clarity and contentment or the depression and suicidality. All or nothing, this or that, black or white, happy or sad.

I’m learning that human existence is more of an “and” than an “or.”

A gray area, sort of thing.

(Except I see it more like a swirl of colors with splatters of others. Beauty in chaos. When caught in the middle of it, it’s a fucking mess. When zoomed out, though, it’s beautiful.)

Writing a post that’s essentially saying: “I have been on this journey of self-discovery + recovery for 3.5 years. I’ve made it my full-time job. I am constantly reading and questioning and in therapy and pushing myself and making amends and having epiphanies. I am constantly growing. And life is better than it’s ever been. And I also feel miserable.” isn’t the most comfortable for me.

Saying, “I don’t think my approach is working,” isn’t comfortable for me.

Saying, “I think I need to play more, but the thought of doing so brings me to a state of paralysis,” isn’t comfy.

Saying, “I am freaking out and I don’t know why; please help me,” gives me a headache to even type.

Because I’ve been focusing so much on offering myself to people. On helping. On offering guidance or speaking wisdom.

On nurturing rather than being nurtured.

Meanwhile, allowing myself to be nurtured is one of the most loving things I can do for myself and for the nurturer.

Acting stoic and tough and saying, “I’m fine; what’s going on with you?” doesn’t do anybody any good. It causes chaos in myself, and distance between myself and the other. In short, it’s lying.

But I am SO ANNOYED with not feeling well!

(Which is mean to say to myself, I realize. “JEN. I am so annoyed with you not being happy!” That’s the very thing I’m wanting to avoid from other people, and so I’m manifesting it within myself.)

But that’s where I am. In the last few months, depression and suicidality and anxiety are higher than they’ve been in about 9 months. The good news is I’m still DOING stuff. I’m still hanging out with friends, going to work, painting, writing every day, and exercising. I’m doing all this pay-it-forward stuff… Logically knowing I’m doing the healthiest things for myself.

And meanwhile, my chest hurts and my brain hurts and my body hurts and I’m so fucking tired and I feel so fucking alone and so fucking scared.

Last night I looked up at the stars. I was lying supine on my back deck, staring longingly at the stars, feeling so fucking small and so disconnected and so far from home.

But isolation is a lie. We are all connected, and I know that as truth. And the only way to feel that connection down to my core is to share who I am down to my core.

I am so terrified of being a Debbie Downer. I am so scared that I’ll ruin friendships and relationships by uninhibitedly sharing my pain. Because there’s a lot of it.

And it feels old. It feels like I’m accessing pain that’s been around for a couple decades, if not longer.

And I don’t know when it will end.

I don’t know when the light will come back up.

Fuck, I say that. I say that because I want to sound poetic and use analogies. But I see the light. I do see the light. I see it and I feel it, while also feeling trapped beneath my own obligatory sense of have-to’s and must-do’s and responsibilities as a good person, a good daughter, a good employee, a good friend, a good client to my therapist, a good nurturer to my inner child, and so on.

I’m so fucking tired.

And I breathe. And I take breaks. And I watch movies. And that two hour reprieve is heaven for me. And when I settle back into my reality, the pain and the discomfort returns.

I’m not going to make sense of any of it in this post. I’m not going to try and figure it out or explain my upper limit issues to you… Or go into detail about all the good things happening. Because, when it comes down to it, what I feel is multifaceted. And logical sense doesn’t have to be connected to what I’m feeling.

At this point, I’m thinking maybe what I need is pure release.

And to be witnessed doing so.
(Which is simply terrifying.)

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Some days, I paint. Other days, I write. And rap. And tell stories. And do comedy. And doodle. And [attempt to] bake. And, one week out of every month, I merge with my sofa and sob about mortality and things like the existence of air and how we can't live without it and how utterly claustrophobic that is to consider. I'm relatively particular. And this is a place for me to share ALL the quirks.

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