Seeing Myself in Someone Else

While I’ve been trying to keep up with a steady flow of Advance Reader Copies that I’ve agreed to review lately, I have also been diving into the past to read the old ones that fell through the cracks. The latest is Jenny Lawson’s Broken (In the Best Possible Way) that was published in April of 2021 (yes, I am just that far behind).

If you’re unfamiliar with Jenny Lawson, she tends to write about her battles with depression and autoimmune diseases. However, she writes in such an off-the-wall way that you find yourself laughing . . . and then, sometimes, crying.

After laughing about one of her embarrassing situations, she wrote about being so depressed that she couldn’t answer her emails or do any of those things that many people find so easy to do. I was going to type normal, but that’s really not the case, is it? I’m not sure that normal exists. As she was talking about this seeming mental paralysis, I felt like she was writing about me.

For any of you who’ve followed this blog for a long time, you may have noticed that I dropped off in participation. The give and take that is necessary when participating in fiction or poetry prompts. Or even just acknowledging a comment. Suddenly everything felt overwhelming and the more overwhelming it felt, the more I just couldn’t face it. Daily posts stopped. I began to wonder why I should bother. Maybe I should give up my blog. But. I loved blogging. Or was it: I used to love, love, love blogging and writing and being part of this environment.

I didn’t give it up but was frequently phoning it in, as they say. At New Year’s I decided to be better, but there are some things you can’t easily power through and so there have been hiccups. My writing is not at my fingertips the way it was. And I miss it. Somehow the idea of creating characters and situations seems so distant to me. There are so many people doing it; what makes me think that it’s even necessary or wanted for me to do it too? So much self-doubt.

The thing about reading Jenny Lawson’s battle with opening and facing her emails was that I realized I wasn’t as alone in this feeling as I thought I was. I wasn’t unique. Or a bad person. Or any of the other things I was thinking about myself at some of my lowest points. I was just a person who was in a hole and trying to find a way out. While I’m not totally out, I am so much better than I was. When you wake in the morning and want to get out of bed regardless of whether it’s sunny or raining, windy or stifling hot, you know you’re on a better path.

4 thoughts on “Seeing Myself in Someone Else

    1. Thank you, Ally. I have always been such an upbeat person that to find myself on the opposite end was/is disconcerting. I am, however, in a far better place and feeling better. Hopefully it will continue. ๐Ÿ’›

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