Tears of a Clown

15 Nov

NaNoWriNO Day 15

Topic: Third Life Crisis


This topic wasn’t suggested, but I thought I’d give myself a pass and write about it anyway. It’s something happening in my life, and is something I really need to get off my chest. Additionally, this is my blog and I’m a tyrant.

The truth is, I’ve been in some strange downward spiral over the last few months. Maybe it’s more of a sadness black hole I’m being sucked into. Whatever it is, I want so badly to get off this train to crazy town already.

It’s not one thing plaguing me. Some people can identify that it’s their job or relationship or financial situation. Mine is…everything. I suffer from anxiety, and have a history of depression. It’s mostly under control thanks to coping mechanisms I’ve acquired over the years, but it occasionally creeps up on me. It feels like a ton of bricks crashing down on me, and then having a steamroller come by and run my ass over.

Sometimes I lay awake at night worrying about everything. I’m sure I’m going to get laid-off at work. I’m sure my parents are disappointed in me. I’m sure I didn’t pay all of my bills on time. I’m sure I didn’t lock the front door. I once got out of bed at 4 in the morning and brushed my teeth twice because I had eaten candy earlier in the night, and was convinced my teeth would fall out overnight if I didn’t. Anxiety is the mistress you wish would stop calling your house.

Then there’s the depression. Some days a cloud of malaise hangs over me, but it’s still manageable. I have a beer, or crawl into my sweats and watch reality television until it’s time for bed. Other times I wake up nearly in tears, and have to force myself to get out of bed.

Most people are really surprised to learn this about me. I’ve been told several times, “You’re the happiest person I know. What’s your secret?” My secret is that I’m a fucking wreck on the inside.

Eventually the fog lifts, and I poke my head out. Lather, rinse, repeat.

One of the worst things about these afflictions is the extreme guilt and embarrassment you feel as a result. You’ve let people see you at your worst, and you wonder if you could have done more to be better for them. Forgiving yourself is the hardest part of it all.

I’m choosing to forgive myself for this 12 rounds in the ring with my mind. I’m a good person, and I don’t deserve to punish myself the way that I do. One of the techniques I’ve used to center myself is to think about all of the good qualities I have. It’s a reminder that I am a sum of all of my parts.

Here are five things I love about who I am:

  1. I’m generous. I would give you the shirt off of my back if you needed it, and would go broke helping a friend. I donate money to good causes, and volunteer when and where I can. I send presents to loved ones for no other reason than to make them smile. My heart is open in this way, and I invite all deserving people in.
  2. I’m accepting. I talk all kinds of shit on this blog about people or things I don’t like, but it’s mostly for humor’s sake. In reality, I’m totally supportive of people doing whatever makes them happy as long as it isn’t hurting anyone. I’ve learned to love people for the things they are, and the things they are not.
  3. I’m trustworthy. I am a keeper of many secrets, some more considerable than others. I take people telling me things in confidence very seriously, and a violation of a person’s faith in me would be an egregious error. There are some secrets that are really only important to the person sharing, but there are others I’d be willing to die for.
  4. I blaze my own trail. I’ve never been conventional in the way I do anything, and I live my life for myself. Sometimes this makes life really hard, but the reward is that once I reach my goals, they’re the goals I wanted. After I got Freshly Pressed, I wrote to my parents to let them know. One of the things my dad wrote back was, “[I] admire that you’re doing your thing in your own time.” I admire that about me too.
  5. I’m funny. My childhood was nothing less than a disaster, but out of that carnage came the ability to laugh at life. I think laughter is one of the greatest things you can give another person, and is a way of sharing a part of yourself while still having fun. I hope that I bring the ha-has on this blog.

I want each of you reading this to do what I’ve done above, and post five things you love about yourself in the comments section below. You don’t need to have inner turmoil, nor do you need to worry about coming across as an egomaniac. This is about reminding ourselves that there is someone very special who lives inside the exterior we show to the outside world.

One day I want to be able to look back on this post and be proud of myself for it. Proud that I wrote it. Proud that I shared it. More than anything, proud that I did those things with people like you.


Thanks to Jen at The Rollergiraffe for giving me the courage to write this post. She wrote this post which inspired me to write this one. She’s a great writer, and a funny lady so please check her out.

NaNoWriNO Day 14

NaNoWriNO Day 16

165 Responses to “Tears of a Clown”

  1. Swati 01/20/2014 at 10:36 pm #

    There is something about your blog that makes a connection. I didn’t hit the follow button till now because I wanted to discover the element of connection, first. But now I think I don’t care. 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 01/20/2014 at 11:17 pm #

      Swati, that’s a huge compliment! The reason I wanted to be a writer was to make that connection with others, and I’m happy you felt it.

  2. mytwistedroad 11/11/2013 at 7:06 pm #

    You are brave and strong. Way to put this out there. We live in a society that ranks people day in and out. It’s time to break out of those things and just be happy with who we are!

    My five:
    1. Hard worker. I work my ass off even though it’s not always appreciated.
    2. I care too much.
    3. I’ll do almost anything for my friends. Let’s face it. I’m not going to jail for you, but will help plan something if you promise to get me an alibi. 🙂
    4. I’m honest. Ladies, don’t ask me how you look in your dress if you need a pick me up.
    5. I’d like to believe that I have a big impact in the world.


    • Jen and Tonic 11/12/2013 at 12:39 am #

      I can completely relate to #1, but I sometimes think the reward is in the work itself. It teaches self-discipline, and if you really want something one day, you’ll be able to go after it.

      I really love #5. Small things can make big impacts.

  3. Claudia Bette 05/14/2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I lay awake at night thinking just those same things. And I have recently become obsessed with whether I locked the front door or not. I’m sure midnight tooth brushing is next.

    I was going to tell you that I really can’t find 5 things I like about me, but I don’t want to be a party pooper so I will try to think of at least 5.
    1) I’m adventuresome.
    2) I like to laugh
    3) I’m fun
    4) I could probably out drink the best of them
    5) I’m passionate

    • Jen and Tonic 05/16/2013 at 12:38 pm #

      Thanks for participating in this even though the post was from awhile back. I hope anyone who stumbles upon this challenges themselves to come up with 5 things.

      I like your list, and am especially intrigued by #4. Have you thought about coming to the blogger meetup? 😉


  4. train-whistle 12/14/2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Thank you for reminding me that I count. Sometimes I forget that.
    1. I take my writing seriously and try to do it daily.
    2. I love and support my family.
    3. I take care of and embrace elders.
    4. I’m emotional, and it’s OK.
    5. I’m a good friend who listens.

    • train-whistle 12/14/2012 at 3:59 pm #

      ps: love the name of your blog!

    • Jen and Tonic 12/14/2012 at 6:44 pm #

      You absolutely do count. We all need to remind ourselves that we’re important too.

      And thanks for the compliment on my blog name 🙂

  5. Adam S 11/25/2012 at 6:35 pm #

    I’ve dealt with A&D for a long time. Man, what a struggle some days. It’s exactly as you describe. Sometimes waking up in the morning feels like unearthing myself from a grave. And despite as horrible as I feel some days, I’m still here. I guess it’s for a reason. Great post. Thanks for reminding me to remind myself…

    1.) I’m sensitive toward other people’s feelings.
    2.) I’m receptive and observant of the world around me.
    3.) I’m thoughtful.
    4.) I care about doing things well, and always put my best foot forward.
    5.) I have a sense of humor. Without it, I’d never make it back from the dark place…

    Thanks again.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/28/2012 at 12:49 pm #

      YES! We are all here for a reason, aren’t we? I think about that a lot when I get like that. My “purpose” if you will. Even this brief interaction between us is meaningful in some way.

      Thanks for posting your list! And I totally agree with #5.

  6. Lyssapants 11/19/2012 at 11:05 am #

    I am proud that I am: hardworking, dedicated, passionate, opinionated, goofy, I am self-aware.
    Thanks for writing this!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/19/2012 at 4:14 pm #

      If your halloween costumes are any indication, you are absolutely all of those things! Plus, you’re a kickass writer and a funny, funny lady.

  7. Patty Durgan 11/18/2012 at 8:17 pm #

    I feel compelled to comment on your post. This is particularly significant for two reason:
    1) I seriously struggle to produce both written and spoken words
    2) I typically try to keep my life private

    I agree with the traits you love about yourself. You possess all of them and so much more. We all are a sum of our past experiences; both good and bad. You wouldn’t be the person you are today without the pain of the past.

    I focus most of my time on negative thoughts about myself so I decided to take a break and list the positives.

    1) My greatest source of pride is my relationship with my husband. He makes me feel loved when I feel unlovable.

    2) I’m happy that I did the best that I could raising my kids. If I had to do it all over again, I would change so many things but I hope they look back and know I want the best for them.

    3) I always try to be honest, fair, thoughtful, grateful, accepting, etc.; however, if someone responds by being a jerk, I will quit making any effort with that person.

    4) I can totally relate to other people’s pain and suffering and want to take it all away but most people wouldn’t know this as I hide behind a mask of aloofness. Feeling deeply but not able to act in a way that would be a source of comfort to others leaves me in a perplexing place.

    5) I’m content being seen as somewhat odd and prefer that over spending too much time and effort trying to behave in a manner that social norms would dictate. I do try to fit in a wee bit.

    Despite all the negatives I feel about myself (and there are many), I’m mostly a very happy person.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/19/2012 at 3:55 pm #

      Hey Patty! Thanks for commenting. I know it’s not something you normally do.

      I loved your answers! You’re such a wonderful person, and I’m very lucky to have gotten the opportunity to get to know you the last 3+ years. You should be proud all of those things, especially #5! Who else would I bond about miniatures with?!

      Thanks again for always supporting my blogging endeavors. Means a lot to me.

  8. GiggsMcGill Jill 11/17/2012 at 9:04 pm #

    I respect you so much for having the courage to write this, and having people face the good things about themselves! (The answers that people have written to you are WONDERFUL!) You sound a lot like my mom, in terms of people always asking her how she’s the happiest person they’ve ever met – but she really just has big ups and downs. I think I’ll share this with her and make her say 5 things she loves about herself! (Because as it was said, it’s good for people to do that!)

    Ok, my 5 things:
    1) I love that I respect my parents and my brother, and this has allowed us to be close as a family. Friends as well as family.
    2) I love that I have a travelling spirit – that I want to have new experiences and see new places, meet new people.
    3) I love that I’m happy with how I look. I’m not seeking to change anything.
    4) I love that I don’t regret my choices in life. That I get over the bad and learn from it (like break-ups).
    5) I love that I’m easy to talk to. That people feel comfortable seeking me out and talking to me, therefore helping them feel better.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2012 at 2:33 am #

      Aren’t the responses amazing? There are some great peeps in the Blogosphere.

      Your list just made me like you a billion times more than I did before. I seriously want to be you when I grow up.

      Please always stay this amazing. The world needs more yous.

      • GiggsMcGill Jill 11/19/2012 at 12:50 pm #

        Aw! *blushing!!* You’ll turn a girl’s head with praise like that! ^.^

  9. writerwendyreid 11/17/2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I remember when I first learned these things about you and I was really surprised…although I’m not sure why. I wear a mask 80% of the time. I loved your list but cannot write one for myself. Most days I don’t even like myself.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2012 at 2:32 am #

      I hope one day you’re able to write one for yourself. My hope for you is that you see yourself the way the rest of us see you: smart, funny, caring, talented and a COOL chick.

  10. Bill Friday 11/16/2012 at 11:25 pm #

    This is probably the hardest request I have ever had to honor, mostly because I hate telling people things about me that I have difficulty even accepting myself. But because you asked… and because you’re YOU… here goes.

    (1) I’m frighteningly “empathic”. Not “empathetic” (as I often don’t give a shit about people), I mean that I know shit about people as soon as I meet them… and that includes the internet. The good news in all that is, if I don’t give a shit about you, I will never use it on you (because I don’t give a shit). The bad news in all this is, if I care about you, you get it all from me. What the hell else are freakishly sensitive friends for… right?

    (2) I love baseball. I know that might seem terribly out of place here, but what I mean by that is, if you truly love baseball, it makes you philosophical about life… because baseball is a mirror for life. How else could anyone sit through an entire 20 inning game without getting pissed off.

    (3) I’m great in a crisis. Absolutely unflappable. Now if I should ever spill coffee in front of you, you will see that the other side of the “great in a crisis coin” is, it can turn even the strongest man in to a pissy-fit-spitting little girl in 2 seconds flat.

    (4) I’ve been told I’m a sexual superhero. And while I can nether confirm nor deny those claims (because they are not my own), I share them here now, because… if it’s true… it’s got to go in ANYBODY’S top 5.

    (5) I write a mean piece of sensational fiction. Which means everything, or nothing, of what I just wrote could be true. Just sayin.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2012 at 2:31 am #

      I love that I know the truth about this list.

      One thing you left off the list is that you’re a damn good friend. The best, really. You know how to make a person feel like anything is possible, and that the shitty gets better. You’ve been a bright spot in my life for years.

      Thank you for being you. You’re always 100%.

  11. Soul Walker 11/16/2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Without trying to sound like I’m looking for sympathy… I have never thought about this… and I can’t think of a single thing that I could honestly say I love about myself… that seems really significant… not that I have any idea what to do with that information, but…

    Thanks for giving me something to think about. Cheers.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2012 at 2:29 am #

      I hope you’ve given this some thought, or will in the future. I think we all deserve to know the goodness that lives inside of us. It’s so easy for it to get lost in the noise of daily life.

      • Soul Walker 11/18/2012 at 8:19 am #

        Oh, I have… but lets not confuse ourselves. There are “good things” that “live inside of me,” but I am looking for things to love about myself… that’s not the same thing. My ass looks amazing in tights (for instance)… but that isn’t something I love about myself.

        • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2012 at 1:36 pm #

          You’re absolutely right. I hope you’re able to do both one day.


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