Check it out. We aren’t ending 2021 on that last post I wrote.
I didn’t mean to leave us there for so long, but, to be frank, my blog was the last of my concerns. It isn’t that I didn’t care, or don’t care, it’s that my life was stripped to the bare minimum. Stay alive. Don’t drink. Get through the day. Sorta.
And I had nothing to say. I said it all on the day I said I couldn’t seem to will my legs to move.
And because I was empty. I write from the inside, you know? Interests, curiosity, concern, joy, rage. What do you pull from when there’s nothing but blank space?
How do you weave a string of words into meaning when you can’t find any?
It all sounds rather dramatic unless you’ve been there. I felt I had been entirely hollowed out. It will be a long, long time before I understand what happened in this depression.
I have been writing. I’ve been writing long, wandering essays that may take shape someday, and I’ve been writing non-essays that probably have more hope. I’ve been writing in my journal, in notes on my phone. I’ve been reading. I’ve been praying. I’ve been wondering how it was that I felt like myself again though I know exactly when it was.
See? This is good news. I AM SO MUCH BETTER. Do you know how long that depression lasted? Almost two years. From September 2019 to July 2021. I know this because I keep a journal. And yes, because the end was really that clear. Really that defined.
I’m sharing this part because I seem to hear less about depression that lasts for a long time but does, eventually, go away, or shift into something new. Something tolerable. It’s almost like it becomes integrated. I am not talking about resigning oneself to meaninglessness and pain, but rather that the pain and meaninglessness seem to have done their job, and they leave.
There is an appropriate, enlightened way to talk about depression and what I just said is not it.
The idea that pain may have a purpose, that it’s doing something vital and unique to itself—as in, no other source could teach me what that pain taught me–that I may have, as a person, needed it—I can already hear the internet telling me I’m dangerous and toxic and misinformed.
Whoever decides the parameters of these conversations seems to have made clear that the only story we are supposed to tell is “Depression is a chemical illness and we need medication.” And it ends there.
The thing is, I agree with this statement. I knew it was true then and I know it now. And it didn’t bother me. What bothered me was that there didn’t seem to be anything past that.
The idea seems to be that we are supposed to accept the endless pursuit of new and better pills as the correct and awakened method for treating depression and expressed deviation from that is dangerous.
My problem was that the pills didn’t do much for me.
That’s not true. The medicine brought me from non-functional to Vaguely Functioning—and that, if you think about it, is a fucking big deal.
But those pills were my last frontier and last hope, so when my mood stayed as dark as a Dutch January I almost felt—worse? As in, final hope gone. Because where do you go after you’ve played your last hand?
Have I used enough cliches or shall I press on?
Yes, I could change pills. And we were talking about that. But the last time I had an intense clinical depression (when sober enough to differentiate that from regular old alcoholism), I got on Zoloft and was a new human. I went from just on the edge of “postpartum psychosis” to a job, regular exercise, moving houses, and a new life that felt satisfying and real.
The pills this time made me able to get dressed before noon sometimes and stop thinking that if I killed myself my children would be happier.
That’s a damn low bar.
The idea that my sole job in that condition was to find new and different and better pills, many of which I have already taken, many of which have already given me the worst withdrawals I’ve ever had—harder than cocaine, opiates, or alcohol (I’m looking at you, Effexor!)—with some of the most awful side effects including, but not limited to: hallucinations (my favorite was when snake scales slowly crawled up my boobs), gaining 70 pounds in 3 months, cold sweats, insomnia, memory loss, and the total inability to have sex—well, perhaps you can forgive me if LET’S LAUNCH DOWN A PSYCH MED ROAD was not my singular, most joyful approach.
Plus, my life’s circumstances were new and intense. I couldn’t imagine the depression wasn’t at least in part circumstantial: new country, pandemic, first time away from my home, family, friends. I knew I needed help. I knew it had passed the point of “I’ll just take more walks and eat better.” But I also never felt comfortable with “my brain just needs chemical balancing” as a solution.
While trying to figure out what to do with all of this, I started seeing an acupuncturist who is, now stay with me here, a healer. Yes, I said healer. An actual healer. Not one of these assholes who enjoys the sound of her own voice so much she’s convinced she’s a shaman–but like, one of those people who has an indescribable energy of seeing.
Welcome to the new Janelle. She says things like “healer” and “indescribable energy of seeing.” Whatever. I ate my encapsulated placenta. I’ve always been like this. You’ve probably just been in denial.
Anywho, he began telling me things I did not enjoy hearing but that resonated with me on a level that’s hard to describe. I would lie face down with needles in my butt while he said words, and tears would fall out of my eyes and drip through the little face hole.
Bit of an awkward awakening.
I’d tell you all the things he said but that’s a longer story and longer piece of writing because it’s very personal, and delicate, and because I don’t want you to think I am declaring that a person can be healed from clinical depression with well-placed needles and words. Or maybe they can? I don’t fucking know and I ain’t giving medical advice and I’m not your life coach. I am merely recounting my life here.
I will tell you that one of the things we found together was that I was standing between two worlds, unwilling to accept a new way of being, a new relationship to home, work, family, friends—and unwilling to let go of the old one. I was liminal as fuck.
Fighting. Resisting. Clinging. Very, very confused.
We talked about the soul needing to learn some shit as we move through life. I SAID SOUL AND I MEANT IT.
At the same time he’s doing his thing my therapist starts hitting me with “Janelle, if you want to get through this you have to actually feel things,” if you can imagine that shit.
You think you know a person then one day they’re telling you to stop numbing yourself with a cell phone addiction.
I like to write true things as jokes to avoid real emotion. Wait.
Let’s change the subject. GODDAMNIT.
So between needle guy talking about how some egos die harder than others, the Dutch therapist telling me to “actually feel things,” and my own restlessness, I was beginning to suspect that I, in fact, was going through some sort of bullshit growth I never asked for.
Then the therapist is giving me assignments like “The next time you’re feeling vulnerable and sad try to let Mac hug you for fifteen seconds without stiffening like a board.”
Have we rounded the fucking bend here?
The thing to do when feeling vulnerable is to signal to all loved ones in the vicinity that if they come any closer you’ll eat their face off with your bare hands.
I’m good at feelings.
Look, if I’m really fucked, I put my forehead against my dog’s forehead and cry, or tell him about it. This action was, in fact, what made me realize I have never in my life been able to accept comfort from a human being.
What kind of bullshit news is that? I regularly go to my dog for comfort, even physical comfort, and the thought of doing that with a human is incomprehensible. Apparently, though, some people accept hugs when they’re sad, or kind words, or back-patting, or some other weird demonstration of “support.”
I started wondering if this was the part of me that needed to die. (Ya fuckin think?)
Alright enough therapy hour. The point is I started searching with my whole self, as if my life depended on it, for what all this pain was about. I started asking a simple question, and I don’t even know who I was asking: What do you want me to learn from this?
I developed a rabid obsession with reading about depression and melancholy through the ages and through religions and histories: St. John of the Cross’s dark night of the soul, Jung’s alchemic processes of internal transformation, beginning with nigredo, the Greek mythology’s descent into the underworld. Shit, I even hit up Keats’s melancholy.
I wanted to learn what I needed to learn. I felt the world or universe or god was trying to teach me something and I could not find it. There’s a line in my book that says “I didn’t want the pain gone. I wanted it to mean something.”
What kind of new bottom is quoting yourself?
Whatever. Between that and soul growth there’s nothing left anyway.
I guess what I’m saying is I know that sometimes I have to suffer a whole lot before I can get someplace new. I’ve lived that once. Why did I think it wouldn’t happen in sobriety? Why did I think my Self wouldn’t need some serious changing? And why, perhaps most importantly, would I ever think that losing everything that made me feel connected, human, and safe (new country, hi), then finding myself cut off from the ability to create new connections, friends, home, delusions of safety (pandemic)—why did I not suspect this might take me down to the bones?
“I have a feeling you think this is going to pass on its own.” Damn that needle guy.
Check it out, once again: I don’t know what you need to do for your depression. What I knew, or at least suspected, what I felt deep in my blood, was that something was happening to me and I couldn’t just pill it away. I absolutely needed that medication. I am grateful for it and I think there’s a decent chance it saved my life. It definitely saved my sobriety (I was about five minutes from drinking, because it’s a slightly slower way for me to kill myself and everything I love).
But I KNEW this wasn’t going to pass without me doing something. I could feel myself stripped of everything that gave meaning to my life, and I couldn’t create new shit, and I couldn’t find anything in myself. To survive, I had to believe that what I was going through had some meaning, that if I could face it, and face it squarely, and integrate whatever truth existed deep in it, that I would find what I needed.
And the truth is, folks, the process I’m describing up there is in fact a very, very old process, but we sure as hell don’t talk about it. Someday I will talk about it. Someday when we have more time.
I don’t think I was off the plane in San Francisco for ten minutes before I felt that sprawling gray lift out of my body.
Maybe it was the warmth (read: Satan’s armpit) of California summer. Maybe it was my beloved state’s trees and mountains and crystal blue of the lakes. Maybe it was the smell of Tahoe pines. Maybe it was Bodega Bay fog.
Maybe it was seeing friends I love with whom nothing is forced. Who I’ve known for years. Who tell it to me straight. Who know it all, already.
Maybe it was being around my own culture and people even though I low-key hate them both. Americans don’t exactly, as a whole, make me swell with pride, as we ban books we don’t like and abortions we don’t like and sing our bullshit country songs of sequin patriotism while waving flags in the faces of hungry kids and wondering what the problem is.
But we are more, of course we are, and for better or worse, I am American.
Maybe it was the fact that people understood me and I didn’t have to work at it and I had a sense of humor again because there was no language barrier blocking sarcasm and understatement comprehension.
Maybe it was going home.
It was definitely going home.
I don’t think we’re aware of how many tiny moments of human connection are created through language and shared culture. Until they’re gone. I don’t think we understand what it feels like to sit effortlessly with a friend over coffee, until it’s mostly gone.
I am misunderstood in my daily life as often as I worry about being misunderstood. I find myself purposely refusing to have real conversations with people around me because it’s just too hard. It’s too much effort for too little return. We still aren’t going to know each other. We still aren’t going to connect. I will leave this conversation wondering how many times my humor didn’t translate.
And over my time here, compounded by lockdown after lockdown, my world got smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier until it was just me, on the couch, wondering if there was ever a person in the meat sack of my body, writing to you about depression.
But I see now that it had to get small, to get me down to the bones. To get me relying on nothing because nothing is there. To get me stripped down to the person who can’t receive a single hug when she’s afraid and heartbroken. To get me to let go of the lifetime of defense, rage, and self-delusion that had me convinced I could go it alone.
It doesn’t work, ya know. It doesn’t work.
I’m not fixed. But I’m closer to a freer, truer self than I’ve ever been.I don’t know why the depression lifted out of my body when I went to California. It felt like I suddenly remembered who I was. “Oh, right,” my whole self seemed to say, “I’m a person. I have a home and friends and a sense of humor and roots way down into the ground.”
I felt a lightness for the first time in years. An energy. A silliness. And a looming dread that the second I went back to the Netherlands it would all go away again.
But it didn’t. By the end of my month in California, I wanted to return. I missed it. I missed our little life here. My kids started saying, “I want to go home,” which was really something.
I remember riding my bike in the sun after returning and noticing that the same lightness existed. I remember a sense of gratitude so deep it gave me chills. I remember feeling like I will never understand how it feels that some things are one day removed from me, not beaten to death, not talked away with a therapist, not diluted with a pill.
I needed it all to get well. I needed the pills and I needed the needles and needle-guy truth and I needed the therapist’s terrible ideas about normal human connection and goddamn I definitely needed the miracle that is my dog.
In a way, I came back to California and felt the arms of old friends and family and the trees and ground give me that fucking hug my therapist insisted I learn to accept.
I didn’t see it coming. I’m not sure what will come next. But I see again, I get what I need, and I am just happy to be here. DAMNIT.
Happy fucking New Year, friends. Here we are. Here we are.
Caris MacdonaldFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 14:10
hi Janelle, happy new year to you from melbourne australia- i’ve missed you! i really have missed your voice and your words- i’m glad you made it through the dark times. I read your post, every word, like i was thirsty… so much resonation and identification, thankyou:)
Take care, go gently sweetheart
Angela HFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 14:23
Hi Janelle. Welcome back.,Seeing this post today made me smile. I’d check this blog once in a while these past few months, wondering how you are. Reading your thoughts is like suddenly hearing from a good friend you’ve been thinking about. It’s good to read that you have felt progress and a lightness in the journey back to yourself. I’m learning that our bodies hold wisdom far beyond what we are taught to pay attention to and that wisdom can tell us so much. I’m on my own journey with that and it’s a daily struggle, and sometimes it’s a vow just to get through each day moment by moment. Wishing you a year ahead full of the beauty and grace of reconnecting both within and without. Thank you for being here.
ElaineFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 14:47
WayneFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 14:48
Thank you for sharing this. I’m in the midst of something similar – it comes and goes.
Well, 2022 will be different.
AubrieSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 8:32
I was thinking about you and our other friend as I read this, because Janelle and her early pandemic generosity brought us together. I’ll be in touch, Wayne.
And, Janelle, thanks for forcing me to feel something with your words, even if for only a moment, and even if only to reflect on the parts of my life that I actively resist feeling…time to take a look at those.
MarisaFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 14:54
This is fabulous and I love you! Happy New Year!!
TauriFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 14:55
So happy to read your vulnerable, funny, & profound words again.
It really hit me about hugs from humans. I always resist. I put my hand out to fend off empathy when I am heartbroken.
Glad your on the other side of total darkness. You are worth everything.
I’m not on the other side of mine. Yet. But this makes me feel less alone.
EmilyFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 15:01
Thank you. ♥️
AmyFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 15:28
Welcome back, Janelle.
CH DesrosiersFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 15:34
Once again, Janelle, I recognize my life in your words. Im finally feeling better after a 2 year long deep depression. I tried so many pills. Ive been hospitalized 4 times in the past year. Ive tried some near experimental treatment that FINALLY WORKED. (Repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation)
During all that time the only thing i could feel was : i refuse it to be meaningless. All that pain. I refuse it to be meaningless. It has to have a purpose. Damn. The hallucinations. The 40 pounds extra. Not recognizing my own body.
And yes, i found myself becoming more authentic, more true to myself then ever. Its no fucking faire tale. But I found something i really really want to do. I left my job and now in this pandemic shit im trying to make it happen. Like some animals lose their old skin, i felt that labour, that painful labour. I feel more naked, but its all good. Yeah, its all good.
Happy new year, Janelle.
JennyFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 15:45
Wow wow wow! A lot of this resonates. So glad to read your words again. I always get something out of it. Happiest of New Years Janelle!
VanessaFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 15:54
So wonderful to hear your gifted voice again. Mike and I still talk about meeting you and Mac at that cafe in Haarlem a few years back because we hate most people – and you both were so warm and funny and kind. Mac said as we were saying good-byes “my wife writes, you should read her stuff” or something similarly sweet and humble. So glad he did.
Best to you and yours in the new year.
ErinFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 16:04
Again and again you write the words I need to hear at the right time. Thank you for that. This pandemic has been grinding on and I think we moms forget the enormity of dealing with it all. There’s been some research on magic mushrooms as a remedy/therapy for depression instead of pharmaceuticals. I’m terrified to go on antidepressants and am trying my hardest to deal with my depression without them. As a sober person would you ever consider mushrooms? I haven’t done them since I was a teenager but it might be worth a try. Keep on writing! It’s so nice to read your words again! Happy New Year!
Nieves RathbunFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 16:18
Once again Janelle. Yes! I heart you.
Thank you for putting it into words. You could save a life with this shit.
Bernie GuralFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 16:24
Happy New Year! The world is much better with you than without. I’m so glad that you stuck around.
Nieves RathbunFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 16:30
Also, you do look so happy and radiant in that picture.
Dr. Deborah E. KatzFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 16:33
MeganFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 16:43
I have been off Facebook for a while now and have thought I have missed your updates. I’m so glad you are doing better, feels less alone out there!
RainFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 17:12
And there you are Janelle.
I can feel so much of what you share – I have experienced various phases since the start of the pandemic and I haven’t quite made it out of my low yet. I feel like I’m trying to figure out who I am.
It takes me back to when I went to your book reading in Vancouver BC and you shared (my interpretation of your message) your key to sobriety was within you.
As I read your post, I see the same to be true that your strength to heal is within you. Which is a reminder it is within me too, I just needed the reminder.
Kristin SheridanFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 17:13
I’ve been worried about you. Very glad to see you back. Kind of feel like ‘whew!’
Becky LongFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 17:14
This is so amazing—thank you for sharing this.
You do look incredibly happy and beautiful in the picture! You can’t fake that. Happy New Year, Janelle
JanetFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 17:15
You are an amazing human. Thank you for your honesty and beautiful writing. Happy New Year!
Beth BenjaminFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 17:27
I didn’t realize I missed you. This is beautiful, and so is the photo. Happy New Year.
Nikki_mommaFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 17:40
Wow… your post today has all the feels. I’m glad you are feeling the sunlight again. I’m proud of you for making this through without alcohol. I too have struggled as of late when my mother passed away just 6 weeks after a cancer diagnosis. To say our relationship was complicated would be an understatement… especially as I’m adopted, she is the mother who “chose” to raise me and she lives 15 hours away.
Being there holding her hand as she left this realm with my son and my aunt and uncles bedside was a surreal experience. I’m and ICU nurse ( so you know covid has been up close and personal for me) and I’ve witnessed literally hundreds of deaths in my career. But man when it’s your loved one in the bed… after I came home to Canada I was literally a broken soul and didn’t know what to do with all my feelings. I’ve struggled with a lot of anxiety and sometimes depression since I was a teen. I wasn’t quite non functioning (been there, done that and it’s the darkest abyss), but I was enough not myself to realize I was sinking and needed help asap to avoid the hell I remember from a earlier episode. Anyway… I spoke with a therapist and for the very first time in my life this therapist said wow there is alot going on here and we talked about some of my childhood trauma with my mother ( who raised me), he said it’s ok to feel conflicted. It’s ok to feel both angry that you won’t get closure and yet sad that she is gone. He validated that I had a right to feel what I felt in regards to old hurts… He recommended a book about grief and I devoured it and ended up writing my now Dead mother a letter. It took several days and many emotions but I got it all out. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the hurt and the love. In doing so it released me… and I felt myself again being and wanting to be part of this world despite the current pandemic and politics of oF course. I felt and gave forgiveness, I found peace. As you know, writing can be so therapeutic and having a good therapist that connects with you is literally life saving. All this… sorry it’s so wordy, to say thank you for sharing your struggles; talking about depression and anxiety openly will diminish the stigma around it. I know it and I live it and I see it in my work daily. You are stronger and braver than you know Janelle. Peace, love and health for the New Year. Pills are only part of the solution… CBT, Mindfulness And being really honest with ourselves I find is another major component of recovery and it’s damn hard work and you are doing it.
Gail BakerFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 17:41
Grateful for the truth you tell and the way you tell it. All Ways…..
Michelle MillerFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 17:56
I love your words, they help me understand my sons depression and addictions. Its hard feeling all the worry and pain along with him. I try to let him figure things out, knowing we love him, but there is a limit to what we want to live with. Its amazing to see his progress, his happiness, and feel relief, get back to some sort of normal, always alert for signs. Keep writing your insights, we love them, love you. We are all one.
Dorothy GaleFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 19:00
Thank you for writing this. I’ve been through a depression that put me into a fortnight of psychosis and nearly killed me. And I’ve been accused of “giving dangerous advice” when I said that what I needed to do to get back on my feet from that was fix my fucked up life. So I hear you loud and clear.
I’m sitting with the irony of you not wanting to be vulnerable with the humans in your life, and yet pouring it out onto the page and letting us all read it. I wish I had the courage to do the same, without hiding behind internet anonymity. Maybe this year… ha!
Cynthia JacquierFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 21:00
Thank you for sharing you. Thank you for caring for you. Thank you for sharing it with us! I hope that 2022 brings you ever closer to the lightness you deserve.
Lynne TripathiFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 21:55
I always come back to the words of my favorite song:
“If I knew the way, I would take you home.”
I don’t know about Happy New Year, for me it means something different.
But, I do wish for peace of mind and goodwill for ALL.
Take the hugs, these are the days to remember.
Love you so.
Kathy SokolFriday, 31 December, 2021 at 23:13
Oh Janelle, I’ve been thinking of you all week.
Kelly McGillSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 3:25
I don’t know how you do it. Write such heart-wrenching, raw – and relatable – accounts of the toughest experiences and manage to make me laugh out loud at the same time. You are a gifted storyteller. I was excited to see that you had posted to your blog, but sad to learn that you went through such a dark time again. The way you describe it all…I know your words have helped someone. Probably a lot of people, actually. May the sprawling gray never return.
Evelyn ZourasSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 7:35
OMG! so good. Happy New Year to you and thank you for sharing.
MichaelaSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 8:00
Oh, it’s good to have you back!!
TaraSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 8:40
I love this post so much. Soooo much.
StephanieSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 9:06
I feel another book coming on and I’ll read the hell out of that one, too. Sending you and yours love and light xoxo
AnneSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 10:01
Some time in the last year I stumbled onto a mantra that helps me with my social anxiety: “There are people at home who love you”. Just leaving the house leaves me feeling unmoored sometimes but if I can get what’s out of sight back into mind, it helps immensely.
TaraSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 10:11
So, so happy you’re feeling better. And thanks for letting us know. I’ve thought of your last post often and worried for you. Happy, happy New Year. Take good care.
Emily HendersonSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 10:16
BSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 10:33
I feel like you’ve written what I couldn’t. I started therapy in 2020 and thought it would fix the issue (can’t sleep). It felt like it brought up MORE issues I didn’t know about. Then it feels like too many issues to deal with. I don’t like feelings, thank you very much. At some point they all come out at once-surprise. Wtf.
Ashley CampbellSaturday, 1 January, 2022 at 17:41
So glad to hear from you! I was just thinking about you very recently and hoped you were doing okay! My husband has been also fighting the darkness, and he also read your previous and this blog. Lots of things resonated with him, and as always I appreciated your tone and words 🙂
Maddy WalshSunday, 2 January, 2022 at 6:05
Janelle, you are my favorite kind of warrior. Thank you. I love you. Happy fucking new year, sister. You made it. We made it.
ArielaSunday, 2 January, 2022 at 22:34
These words of yours, that potent mix of searing honesty and raw hilarity, these words landed right on the mark.
Thanks for being you and letting it be known. Your youness in all your gritty glory does more for humanity than you might imagine.
Happy fucking new year, Janelle.
Renegade Mothering FanMonday, 3 January, 2022 at 6:51
Hm, Jeanelle, have you checked if your psychiatrist has a CPTSD qualification? This “let your feelings out” method is known to retraumatize and does nothing for the CPTSD symptoms you are describing (It was invented before CPTSD was known and pretty much does the opposite of what would be considered a cure). Modern methods eliminate the pain, flashbacks, and depression you described in about 6 months of doing about 30 minutes of exercises daily, without medication. If you have these flashbacks for more than 6 months and “letting out emotion” isn’t cutting it, and you are serious about being a pain- and depression-free, there are real treatments for it. If you are interested I send you links to scientific videos and the exercises. It’s free and you can do the exercises on your own, but requires people to want to become healthy and to commit to actually doing the exercises. There are people that claim they want to be healthy but have CPTSD damage too far into the narcissistic spectrum so that they loop endlessly between blaming others and weekly re-experiencing childhood emotions to get supply through self-pity. People stuck in these loops can’t be cured. If you think you are not one of them, there can be a way out for you which people trained in CPTSD can show you.
FarrellMonday, 3 January, 2022 at 10:41
So good to hear from you
I’m glad you are here
Beautifully written post
I too have struggled with the withdraw symptoms of Effexor and the like
I too believe that acupuncture is the most helpful thing I do for my mental health and I have a very large “mental health toolbox” curated over 30+ years of struggling with anxiety, depression and more. I’m glad you found it. I stopped going when the pandemic hit and just recently started going weekly again (around Thanksgiving) and I can feel a HUGE difference.
ReneeMonday, 3 January, 2022 at 20:43
Welcome home Janelle and Happy New Year to you! I’ve missed you along with a few thousand others. I’m glad you are finding your mojo back and feel good enough to share with us again. I hope this feeling hangs around for a long time for my own selfish reason! Bless you for sharing this. Now we can all pray for your healing as well. Again, welcome back
MarissaTuesday, 4 January, 2022 at 7:51
Thanks Janelle. Sending love. And these 3 things:
-Brene Brown talks some about how we are meant to use negative emotions in Atlas of the Heart. You may enjoy it.
-On the topic of switching medication, I did so recently after actually getting a different diagnosis – ADHD instead of GAD (huh?). A low dose of Ritalin has lifted my mood far more than lexapro ever did. Just an idea for you if you’ve ever contemplated the signs and symptoms of ADHD for yourself.
-What do I google to find a truth-telling needle healer in the Midwestern U.S.??
Roxanna SmithTuesday, 4 January, 2022 at 11:44
Beautiful softening. Looks good on you.
AlisonWednesday, 5 January, 2022 at 21:26
Oof, “numbing yourself with a cell phone addiction” hit pretty close to home. Although god knows we’re basically ALL doing that these days, aren’t we?
You look so alive in that photo. Welcome back. May you be back for a long, long time.
ReneeSaturday, 22 January, 2022 at 18:11
There you are! I was at a similar point some time ago and your blog was pivotal for me and my plight. May you continue to be well and thrive in your rebirth. Shalom!
Alana FloresMonday, 31 January, 2022 at 13:12
Once again ya got me crying on the sidewalk at lunchtime like the true human I always am.
Erika JeanWednesday, 2 March, 2022 at 9:01
I am waaay late in reading this, but… God’s timing, right? I feel all of this so clearly and needed to read it in this moment, so thank you – as always – for writing it. The tears are streaming, and it feels like healing. You and your writing are so special, Janelle, and I will be forever grateful. I’m so glad the darkness has lifted and you’re feeling balanced again. You DO look genuinely happy in that photo. Your smile radiates the gratitude I know you have for your life. Much love to you and your family. Oh – and FUCK Effexor and its horrendous withdrawal. 🙂