Last week, Jenny Lawson recounted her struggle with anxiety and compulsive behavior on her popular blog The Bloggess. The post immediately went viral, with readers admitting their own struggles and sharing the post on facebook and twitter. I have read the post countless times. If it were a newspaper (remember those?) it would be worn and faded by now.
So many parts of this post speak to me. Speak about me. Many parts could have been said by me.
“When depression sufferers fight, recover and go into remission we seldom even know, simply because so many suffer in the dark…ashamed to admit something they see as a personal weakness…afraid that people will worry, and more afraid that they won’t. We find ourselves unable to do anything but cling to the couch and force ourselves to breathe.”
This is sometimes so unbearably true. Although I don’t self harm, I do suffer from depression.
I sometimes face serious, crippling bouts of depression. I hate it. But I am not ashamed of it. I do not choose depression. No one does.
Blogging can be a lonely job. We are behind our computers for hours on end and our conversations are in the form of 140 characters, quick chats and comments on posts.
The blogosphere is a community. We are fused together by words, conferences, friendships, gigs, forums and so much more. Many of us find strength, comfort, companionship and friendship in these online communities. Jenny is an important part of that community.
The outpouring of support, understanding and love for Jenny has been amazing to watch. Inspirational to read.
Every time someone like Jenny speaks out, depression gets more real.
“Regardless, today I feel proud. I survived. And I celebrate every one of you reading this. I celebrate the fact that you’ve fought your battle and continue to win. I celebrate the fact that you may not understand the battle, but you pick up the baton dropped by someone you love until they can carry it again. I celebrate the fact that each time we go through this, we get a little stronger. We learn new tricks on the battlefield. We learn them in terrible ways, but we use them. We don’t struggle in vain.”
We are proud of you Jenny. Many of us are fighting with you.