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11.05.2013

WHERE I'M AT IN MY HEAD, PART TWO

A gift from my husband.

I had the best intentions of returning here yesterday for an update on my workday, but . . . I fell asleep. And that's okay. That happens.

(It was also okay, because I fell asleep during a marathon of QI and thusly dreamed that Stephen Fry was my friend, so we got to hang out for a few hours in my head. That was excellent.)

I wanted the update to be a simple this-is-what-I-did-today—a public reminder for myself, a "See? Look what you accomplished even with your brain nattering away at you."—so that's what I'll do now. Keep this simple and quick.

After posting yesterday, I . . . 

Fell asleep.

Yeah. This is a bit of a thing in my life. But writing that post was exhausting, so. This nap was planned. I woke up when Jarrod popped by to deliver the above container of delicious (and funny) mac-and-cheese.

I say it often, but my husband? He's a really, really nice guy. The best guy.

After he left, I spent a few hours working on a project that I owed a friend. And I finished it. And I emailed it away, and that made me feel all puffed up and helpful and good inside. Then I took a phone call from another friend, and then I replied to some heart-swelling texts, and then—yes!—I opened up Isla.

Lately, I've been piddling around in a pretty tight section, so I put a (temporary) stop to that and forced myself into the two chapters that require the most work. This wasn't easy—in fact, this is the very thing I'd been avoiding for a week—but I had juuuuuust enough strength to do it.

Opening up to others always makes me stronger.

So . . . I did it. I worked on the Hardest Part. I didn't make it far, but that doesn't even matter. Because stepping into it is the actual hardest part of the Hardest Part. It'll be less difficult today. And even less difficult tomorrow.

Yesterday ended up being a good day. I never made it into the shower, but I did make it out of bed. And I got some work done.

That's not nothing.

Thank you, everyone, for your comments and tweets and messages and emails. I feel supported and loved. And I hope those of you who shared similar stories with me feel less alone. I'm going to reply to as many of your messages as I can this morning, and then I'll disappear back into my manuscript. It's gonna be okay.

We're all gonna be okay.

One final note: Yesterday, I briefly mentioned Marc Maron as one of the people who has helped me through this sloggy morass. I want to talk about Marc and his podcast a lot more here, because I have STRONG POSITIVE FEELINGS about Marc and his podcast, but I don't have the time to do that today. For now, if you aren't familiar with him—and you're a creative, anxiety-prone, depressive type like myself—I'd like to point you toward this incredibly well-written article that explains why he's the best interviewer working today.

Marc isn't for everybody. I mean, the name of his podcast is WTF and that F comes out a lot when he speaks. So I know that automatically rules out a few of you.

But listening to Marc and his guests speak with such an astounding level of honesty has helped me more than anything else in the last year. His voice has been such a presence in my house that my husband cheerfully and routinely asks me, "What's your friend Marc up to today?"

His work feels that close to my heart.

So check out the article, and if you'd like to try his podcast, my suggestion would be to start not with the latest upload but with one where he's interviewing someone you already admire. That'll be an easier place to jump in. He can sound a bit abrasive at first, but soon you'll learn that's exactly his charm.

22 comments:

  1. "Because stepping into it is the actual hardest part of the Hardest Part. "

    This is so true! We have a tendency to build things up and make them bigger and harder than they are, and the thinking about it is so much worse than actually doing. I'm glad your husband is awesome and writes cute notes on your food :) I will check those podcasts out later. Maybe late at night, when I'm trying NaNoWriMo and thinking I suck. :) <3

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    1. I love NaNo! Good luck this year! Remember that *all* first drafts suck. You are in EXCELLENT company. ;-)

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  2. We love you, Stephanie! <3

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  3. Speaking of Marc Maron, and podcasts that help us out of our darkest moments, have you ever listened to Pete Holmes' "You Made It Weird" podcast? He's a huge fan of Maron's, and has definitely cribbed a bit of his style, and while he's also an acquired taste, some of those episodes have definitely dragged me out of my worst moments.

    In case you're looking for someplace to dive in, my absolute very favorite ep is #40, "Patrick Walsh". Other good ones to note are: ep 58, "Ron Funches", ep 67, "Jerrod Carmichael" & ep 101 "Jess St. Clair"**.

    **I can't remember if my fondness for this episode is because of its merit as interesting/uplifting/wonderful or because I'm just so fond of Jess St. Clair in general, but I've listened to it a bunch of times, and she continues to be the greatest.

    If you do listen, I hope this podcast helps you. It has certainly helped me.

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    1. I was just listening to Pete on an old episode of WTF yesterday. Ha! I'm a huuuuuge podcast addict. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. Glad you're doing well! Thanks for the honesty and the advice. *hugs*

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    1. Thank you for the support. *hugs*

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  5. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie. I'm so happy to hear you're feeling better and I'm sending you good vibes! Also, "sloggy morass" -- that's great. I know that well. And I'm downloading a few episodes of WTF now to try out on my walk to school, so, we'll see!

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    1. I hope it works for you! He's an acquired taste. ;-)

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  6. "Yesterday ended up being a good day. I never made it into the shower, but I did make it out of bed. And I got some work done."

    I hope you have more good days than bad. It can get better.

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  7. Stay strong. I'm really glad you wrote that last post. You said it better than anyone.

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  8. I'm sure your newest book will be fantastic. You're a lovely writer and storyteller. Glad things are getting better for you. You deserve it because you're awesome. xoxox

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  9. Thanks for coming back for an update. Yay for working on the Hardest Part. We're so proud of you! Love the note from your husband on the container. He's a keeper, that one. :)

    Diana

    P.S. Showers are sometimes overrated. :P

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  10. Good for you! You are an amazing person and an amazing writer! Thank you for sharing your personal story - it has helped so many know they are not alone. <3 to you & Jarrod!

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  11. I´m glad to read that you are feeling better. Just wanting to tell you that today I have started reading "Anna and the french kiss". I´m spanish and I live in Madrid, so sorry for my mistakes in english ;o). I was longing to start reading your books, as I have heard very good references!!! and also because I follow your blog, so it´s like kowing you a little bit <3
    Hugs

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  12. Checking out that guy as you suggested. And mac & cheese... I firmly believe that carbs are a happy-making food.

    When ISLA comes out, I'm going to love it even more because I know that you're pouring your heart and soul into it.

    Sending you love....

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  13. I don't know exactly what to say about these two posts except:Yes. This. I *get* this. And I'm rooting for you. Hope you can feel it.

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  14. Thank you for sharing all of these things, Stephanie. We all now it's not easy, specially when nowadays letting someone see that vulnerable side of you is considered weakness or asking for pity. Well, I know I'm not the only one, but as a fellow depression-sufferer, I know how strong admitting all of these things make you. Like, super-hero strong.
    I'm nowhere close to an influencing person as you are (you know you are girl! Have you SEEN or HEARD how many fans you have? I count for ten because I'm literally in love with both Anna and Lola. Can't even tell anymore how many times I've read them. I think I've memorized them already) and I know it's important to maintain some kind of status or just simply drawing the line between work and private. But hearing you admit those things... I felt like I was reading myself.
    And that's important too, to remind us (dumb people who often forget) that you're just as humans as any of us. That you're hurt, and you need time to heal even if it might mean losing something for it.
    But us, hard core fans, will stand by you as long as you need it.

    My own worst enemy is myself, too. I work really hard for something and when I can't get it or feel like I'm getting it I just give up. I start feeling all anxious and sad and scared. I freeze.
    Right now, I reached a point in my life when I want to change. I'm working very hard to change, and as soon as I feel I'm changing I reverse back to the old me. It's frustrating, and that frustration makes me do more wrong things. I also fight with the voice in my head that tells me nothing will change even if I win. That I'll be as lonely, as miserable as now. And that brings me down.
    But I'm fighting that voice everyday as you are. And I didn't get out of bed today, but tomorrow I will. Baby steps until we can run, right?

    Love, your fan, Valeria

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    1. And sorry if my english is kind of off, my first language is Spanish, so there may be a lot of mistakes, sorry!

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  15. Stephanie,

    Thank you for sharing about your depression. I've struggled with this all my life. Over the summer, I experienced a loss that has made things pretty tough for my husband and me. Our baby was stillborn.

    Anyway, I'm so glad that you are doing better. I love your books so much, it doesn't matter how long I have to wait before I read the next one. It will be worth the wait! I can so relate to the feelings of self-doubt that run through your mind when you feel that no matter what you do...it's just not good enough. Every day is a battle. Oddly enough, the lyrics to Tupac's "Dear Mama" popped into my head. Go figure. Anyway, he says at one point, "It's a struggle everyday/Gotta roll on." And that is true, we just have to keep on going. It's not easy, but what other choice do we have?

    Please know that people care about you and wish you and your family all of life's blessings. You are an incredibly talented writer. I just wanted to pop in and give you this message. I never post to blogs, but I just felt like I wanted to reach out. I am a writer too, so when I saw that someone as awesome as you struggles with depression and doubt, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Take care!

    Kim

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