Anxiety. Depression. I’ve had those two as my BFFs for as long as I can remember. It’s who I am. What makes me, well, me. They aren’t fun friends to have. Certainly not when I was in middle school and had no idea what I was feeling was valid and real. Many said, “She’ll grow out of it.” “It’s a phase.” “It’s just puberty/hormones.” or, my personal fave, “Stop being so dramatic.”
By High School the social anxiety was waging a war with the extrovert inside of me. Cheerleading and Poms/Dance were my focus. A great way to get energy out! Until, well, you have to perform in front of the entire school, peers, opposing teams, kids you know, kids you don’t, parents, teachers… So then I quit.
My anxiety and depression were so bad I was hospitalized, a few times. I went through some really hard times after that and it’s too much drama for one post, so I’ll just say …
“a lot of very bad shit happened and it was not fun”
But then I moved to a new city. A new state even! I met new people and could essentially “start over.” And I did.
Many times the anxiety creeps back. The depression settles in for a nice long stay. Sometimes I can get over it on my own and other times not. A lot of times I need medication. Xanax is my bae. My BFF. My ride or die (quite literally). What works even better for my growing panic attacks is now legal in many states, but my kids may read this someday so, um… uh… yeah.
It’s very isolating living in this brain of mine, so when an author, blogger, friend just “gets” you and respects you and SEES you, it’s noteworthy. Blog post worthy even. To me, Jenny Lawson is the voice I’m often too afraid to be.
She’s written a few books now, all instant best sellers. She’s open, honest, hilarious and very, very brave. I can only dream to be able to put my thoughts into words the way she can. I’d say it’s effortless, but being one with such massive anxiety attacks myself, I know she works harder than anyone to be able to share her story and thoughts.
Her latest book, “You Are Here” is another hit. Part coloring book, part essays, part quotes, part raw emotions. I ordered it because I order all of her books. Thumbed through and thought “Another great one Jenny! Good job!” and then it hit me. One page. One drawing. Three Words. “I See You.” I felt like I was staring back at myself. It’s my face. But obviously it’s not. Jenny and I have only met a handful of times. We aren’t like, “text each other random pics every day” kind of friends. Or even really acquaintances. Just two people mildly associated by blogging and mutual friends, maybe.
But here, right here in her latest book, she had drawn me. What I look like in the mirror. What I see every day. What I wish for every day is written amongst the locks of hair.
“One of the most important human needs is to be seen, acknowledged, and remembered. I see you. I see you and you are beautiful.”
I see you too Jenny. And I appreciate you being the voice that so many people don’t have the courage to be.
There are so many more hidden gems and facets to this book, more than I can even begin to touch on. Some funny, some haunting, some that perfectly combine the two. Do yourself a favor and just buy it already. If you don’t already own it.
disclosure: affiliate links included to help pay for my xanax. thoughts, opinions and typos are mine.