Day 251 of 365: to feel different, I have to *be* different

Oh dear lord, the shit show I got myself into over the last week.

So I was in Sedona, having an amazing vacation with my amazing cousin, and then I got triggered. Some ass hat tour guide was showing us vortexes and she thought she could hold space for emotional healing and:
A. At no point was I warned that this tour would consist of that.
B. I’m fairly certain she had no idea what she was doing.

Plus, as it turns out, intense energy vortexes DO pull a lot of shit from our depths and then force us to look at the worst parts of ourselves we’ve been avoiding.

So maybe I’m the ass hat because I thought I could out-will a powerful healing vortex. And maybe it’s easier for me to blame the old lady with the weird accent.

Yea, that’s probably it.

And so I got home from the trip, and I was in it, man. I was in this deep sticky pit of depression and suicidality… And I thought I’d done all the right things to avoid getting there again… I’d done the yoga and the daily walks and the healthy food and the 180599826234 supplements and the meditation and the prayer and the journaling…

And so I’m looking at this to do list like, “I AM DOING THE THINGS THE BOOKS TOLD ME TO DO. WHY AM I HERE?”

And then it turned into this thing of like… Really getting lost in it.

Like, I wrote a suicide letter. Which, in twenty years of dealing with this, I’ve never fully done. I’ve started, and then stopped… Because it felt too real and too committed.

I was working on a living will in case my attempt ended me in a coma.

I felt totally stuck, totally out of control.

I prayed and begged and burned sage and asked archangels for help. And nothing worked.

I told my boyfriend yesterday that all I really needed was someone to come over and pick me up. And then, two different women texted me and offered just that. And I was like, “NOPE.”

My excuse was that I hadn’t showered. I was embarrassed that I’d be sitting in an AA meeting and everyone would be able to smell my vagina pants.

If you’re a woman or have lived with a woman, you understand that smell. It’s real. It’s not bad… But it’s potent.

So. I knew what would help me feel better, and I refused to do it.

Tonight I left my bed for the first time in days in order to spend time with my boyfriend. I’ve shared bits and pieces with him over the last few days of where I’ve been. He’s offered guidance, and I’ve promptly batted it away.

He told me something really difficult tonight. He shared how hard this all was on him, how he’s been in a similar relationship dynamic before, and that it’s a lot of work to be with someone who is in pain and, essentially, doesn’t want to get better.

It was a wake-up call for me. I guess I thought all my awesome efforts when I was feeling well more than made up for how draining I was when in a dark place.

But, truth be told, I’ve been in a dark place more and more lately. Honestly, I think I was manifesting some kind of sabotage to scare him away.

And it was starting to work.

And having him say that to me, and then give me an hour and a half of space to process… (Which consisted of sobbing and panicking and flailing and crying to a close friend on the phone for 30 minutes and then taking an ice bath to calm the fuck down)… And, when he came back, we had a really good conversation.

Where I got to hear, in the gentlest and most loving of ways, how fucking difficult I have been. How unreceptive. How stubborn. And how hard it is on those around me.

Also, how unattractive it can be.

Here’s the thing: THIS IS ALL REAL. Like… When my boyfriend is in a sulky place, he’s not as attractive to me as when he’s in a confident place. That’s real. I’d never have the balls to tell him that… But he did tell me that. In a kind and loving way.


I’ve been manipulating my therapist and my family and loved ones into handling me with kid gloves. I don’t need that. I need a good being-called-on-my-shit every now and then.

That was another thing boyfriend said. I’d legitimately written an instruction manual on how to handle me when in a suicidal place. (Yes. It’s true.) He read it and implemented it for a day… And then tonight was like, “I want to listen to it, but it doesn’t feel authentic to me. What I want to say to you is, snap the fuck out of it and take your dog on a walk.

And listen, I know there are some days where someone saying that to me may not help.

But you know what will NEVER help? Me training everyone around me to walk on egg shells and pat me on the back while I sulk.

Everyone handles their darkness differently. And each episode is different, too. Some people need the gentle TLC. I, for one, need a fiery Leo to call me on my shit every now and then.

So. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  1.  I can’t train someone on how to love me. It’s not my job to control and change another person’s approach to caring for me. It’s my job to learn to be receptive to love the way they naturally share it. And, we’re either compatible or we’re not.

That’s a big one for me.

There’s a difference between communicating needs and being, y’know, controlling.

I love being controlling. It’s a sad character defect to get rid of.



2. In order to feel different, I have to take different actions. I am the only one who can help myself. I can have friends and loved ones calling me on my shit or offering guidance all day long… But *I* am the one who has to take it.




Oh. Wait. That knight is ME? Well, fiddle sticks.

3. I’m likely miserable because I do a bunch of shit I hate.

Boyfriend called me on this, too. “You’re SO mean to yourself.” He said to me. I was like, “WHAT? I eat all the right foods and do all the kind loving things.” And he’s like, “Yea but you HATE doing all that. You never do what you actually want to do.”

Which means the following is in my future:

A. Listen to Bruno Mars really loud in my car without being embarrassed or changing the song at a red light.
B. Eating pancakes. Real pancakes. With fake syrup.
C. Paint a painting of a hippo.

I HAVE WANTED TO DO THE THIRD ONE FOR A REALLY LONG TIME. And, for some reason, I’ve refused. Hippos are my favorite animal and, if someone else paid me to paint one, I’d be done with it already. But when it’s for me and for joy? CLEARLY NOT A PRIORITY.

So. That’s changing.

I’m going to go to sleep now. Because I have to work tomorrow. It’s not my dream job. And I don’t live in my dream house. But, when it comes down to it, I got myself here. And, somehow and someway, I’m right where I need to be.

I’m going to use this as a starting point.

OH! And for the month of March, at the recommendation of one of my other close friends, I’m going to practice saying yes. “If it’s free and sounds fun or different than what you normally do, say yes to it.”

Stay tuned…


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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.

3 thoughts on “Day 251 of 365: to feel different, I have to *be* different

  1. Hello Jen, I’m glad you are writing again. (This is first one I’ve read in a while). Life can be tough and, as for me, my past decisions are why I’m where I am! However, life can be so exciting and fun, and how we get ourselves into this good part is key and different for everyone. As for me, I need to consciously be aware of the good things in my life and the loyal family, friends, and others. Haha-and then get off my butt and move forward! Some of my personal challenges have been surgeries over the past several months but this too shall pass.

    Wishing you success in your challenges in this lifetime,


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