An Open Letter to The Bloggess About Mental illness

Dear Bloggess,

First, it feels a little weird to address you as The Bloggess when your name is really Jenny Lawson, but I cannot call you Jenny because that is too familiar for a gal from Kentucky and I cannot call you Ms. Lawson because that is too formal a way to talk to someone whose life I know so much about and whom I have seen in Shark Jammies.

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I love your writing. It is awesome and funny and compelling and heartbreaking all at the same time and I love it with a great strong love. It also means the world to me that you are broken and  yet make your mental illness and physical pain a source of humor to entertain others.

I, too, am crazy as a bedbug. I have Asperger’s syndrome, which makes me weird as all hell in the first place, but also comes with a medium drink and a salad bar of other mental ailments, including but not limited to depression, OCD, ADHD, and anxiety disorder. It means when my depressed and anxious brain starts torturing me with the eye-bursting terror that something bad might happen to my husband and daughters, my OCD pops up to mock me for my inability to control for all variables that would guarantee the safety of my beloved family, while my Asperger’s whispers that logically there is nothing so special about me that I should be spared disasters that strike other (probably better) people. My panic attacks are a fokking delight. They make me yearn for the “good old days” in high school and college when depression would just tell me I was a worthless, hideous she-beast no one would ever love … because that was easy peasy to deal with compared to the fear of losing my husband or kids.

My shrink has recently added some more meds to the handful I already take to dial back the panic attacks, but more meds always make me feel weak and needy because of those asinine article about the fact “Americans are all so dependent on anti-depressants; it is a Big Pharma conspiracy”. For someone who is all about resisting corporate overlords, those articles make me feel like I am colluding with my oppressor.

Lately my ADHD has gotten bad enough that it is effecting my ability to parent so now I need a pill for that shit too. I feel like a pill-popping weakling.  

That’s why your blog and your books are so important to me. I read about your need for multiple meds, and realize you aren’t weak at all; you are just taking your MEDICINE. Then I am able to think that maybe I should cut myself some slack about needing pharmaceutical help. Your writing reminds me I am not alone, that things are not nearly so bad as my depression suggests, and when my gut turns to icy goo with the panic that something bad might happen to my husband or my precious daughters I can hold onto the fact those Doom-Feelings are not unique to me. They are not prophesy and prognostication. They are mental illness and some of the best people I know are mentally ill as well.

Moreover, the fact you are so magnificent and funny, and bring so much glorious oddity into the lives of the people who love you, reminds me that I am not necessarily an onerous burden to be endured by my family but may actually give them as much happiness as I do difficulties caused by my nuttiness. Most importantly, the amazing life you have built with Victor and Hailey and your hilarious perspective about the world around you reminds me that my daughter with anxiety disorder can have a fulfilling and fascinating and HAPPY future as well, even if I have bequeathed my crap genetics to her.

Best of all, there are times when your writing made me laugh until I cried. When I read about the Great Turkey Shit-off I actually laughed so hard I sprained my vaginia. It’s not just any book that can make me laugh until my Hooha breaks. And that kind of mirth helps the depression more than anything else, up to and including the medical marijuana that staves off panic attacks without giving me a buzz.

In short, thank you. Thank you for writing your blog and your books.

The Bloggess

Sincerely — Kyra Cornelius Kramer

PS — I am a Pisces whose totem animal is the squirrel. Thus, I am one of the aqua squirrels you have been seeking! This is more PROOF of the existence of aqua squirrels!

aqua squirrel

2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to The Bloggess About Mental illness

  1. Kyra, you also are funny and informative. I am awed by your productivity. We all need to take a chill pill about mental illness. Like most modern people, we find that pills can help if we can get control of whether to take them.

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