I’ve been feeling very small lately. That strange sort of feeling of invisibility. One that teeters between a safe sort of hiding and a dangerous feeling of insignificance. It came out in my art this week…like an accidental therapy.
This is what I love most about Substack - it allows everyone to make their own ragged and strange things that don't quite look like anyone else's. And I'm so glad you're now here too, making your own (which I'm enjoying very much).
I reckon we're all here to make a mess, and to find ourselves in it, and in doing so, connect with each other a little better, not just using our similarities, but also our differences. That's what I hope, anyway.
That’s the magic of art. It tells you things about yourself without telling you.
Thank you for choosing to stay on this side of the strange. I can empathize with this so much. And it’s so worth those efforts. I enjoy having your kind of strangeness in the world I exist in.
I am also disappearing inside of myself. I'm not ready to heed the warning cry yet, and your art is such an enormous support to me today. Thank you.
i had an 'interesting' childhood myself & deal with anxiety & depression & ocd, among other things ;) dissociation saved me, i had my own mental snowcave i'd retreat to, a safe cold sparkling darkness that feels like nature driving me to hibernate to survive trauma.. i still love my old snowcave.. just know you are not alone in feeling alone.. lots of us weirdos are out here too, routing for you.. take care!
If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have started ketamine two years ago and learned that life can be different. To me, it's worth all the trouble.
I feel this. I feel this so incredibly deep in my soul. Lately, I feel like I live my life shrinking and growing based on the amount of air in a room. Like a goldfish who will grow only as big as the water around it will allow. I find myself holding my breath as if my intercostals might creak and give away my location....even though I'm sitting safely in my own livingroom, in my own house, with people who I love.
I see you. I hear you. You're not invisbile to me.
Jenny, I love all of your writing and work. I was stuck in a Ketamine loop for several years while trying to figure out the next combination of everything that would get me to the next level of everything. It turned out to be #TMS for me. In case you haven't tried it. It changed my life a billion percent. It gave me a life.
Art allows my mind and body to tell me what they need in a way that feels safe. This project of yours is making a difference in lives, including yours & that's such a wonderful thing to see, even in these first few weeks. There is always light in the darkness - friends who wave their cell phone flashlights at you from across the yard, letting you know they are therefor you, and the bits of light you kindle for yourself (fairy lights - so many fairy lights live in my house during fall/winter. It's very twinkly here at night) - they hold space and let you know all will be well.
Oh I understand this so well. I wrote a little about it this week. If you’re looking for an absurd smile, though, you can try my Surprise Tacky Elvis Vow Renewal in My Yard. I can almost guarantee it’s my own singular brand of strange...though my husband is still married to me so I guess we’re two of a kind.
Hope is the silent letter of our hearts, upholding the language of who we are. The small voice whispering the secret of water pouring over our desert parts. Hope is a seed sown in the damp and in the dark.
You are loved by so many, and we are here to pull you out or prop you up or send you spoons or just be here with you in time and space.
Recognizing sooner the difference between pulling back and pulling inward is worth noting. Much like chronic substance abuse, chronic (& often treatment-resistant) depression is/are about limiting the length of harm. I’m glad you are going back for some help now and not having months of “extra” suffering occur. Best of luck. Your village is still here for you.
I feel this so much -especially the second piece of art. It's a little scary - but seeing your art really helped me feel LESS alone. I love that you're not afraid to venture into the weird and strange and share it with the world.
I came down with Covid last week so it's been a week without art (and the isolation isn't helping), but I've been doing something similar with Lynda Barry's Making Comics book and exercises and I realized I am really missing the drawing. Seeing yours reminds me that I SHOULD just draw out my feelings.
You do what you do for yourself. (Have you tried TMS? We haven't ventured there yet but I have a couple friends for whom it has been life changing and less side-effecty than ketamine.)
Jenny ❤️ I really appreciate you sharing this. Like, REALLY, REALLY. A huge part of why I love you and support your work is because of this kind of real, unvarnished sharing. I’ve spent the past year too anxious to leave the house/too depressed and burned out to get out of bed for a variety of reasons. I’m taking the proper steps getting help and getting better. But in the meantime, it’s meant the world to me just knowing I’m not alone, I guess? Not that I would wish this on anyone, of course. And I’m so sorry you’re going through it (and others are!) as well. But if we’re all a little bit broken, it feels good to be a little bit broken together (but not so together I actually have to shower. IYKYK) Take good care of yourself. Thanks for letting us all in. And whoever crocheted Succession people? Could I please order a Kendall and a Logan, maybe? (I’m a journalist, and the Logan would be an excellent gift for our executive editor!)
Sending good vibes.