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courage, depression

The Balls Out Truth About Depression.

August 13, 2014
Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

By Amy Ferris.

This is what i know this morning

post coffee

pre wine

yesterday my friend asked me, did you ever try it? yes, i said, yes, i tried suicide.

obviously, this was all around the news of robin williams & his death.

yes, i said… i was young, much younger, and so sad, i was so miserable & so unhappy & i felt all alone in the world.

i felt like nobody knew what it was like, this damp darkness. everything was pitch black. there was no color anywhere. it was dark & lonely, and the best way i can describe how i felt at that time in my life was like being in the middle of a forest, and it’s eerily dark, and you don’t know which way to turn and so you take baby steps. teeny steps because you don’t know where you are, and you can’t see anything, and you don’t know how to find your way out, and you reach out for something to touch, but it’s not there.

you fall down, and you don’t know how to get up, so you start by getting up on your knees, and then slowly, very slowly, you straighten up… and start to walk through the darkness and you’re not sure you’re gonna make it out, but you silently hope & wish & pray that you do. and i said to her – my friend – you know that saying, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, well, the truth is, there is no tunnel. no tunnel in the pitch blackness. forget about finding the light at the end… you can’t even find the fucking tunnel.

so, yes…i tried suicide.

the pills, the stomach pumped. and all that follows. but i was lucky. fortunate. blessed, whatever you wanna call it, because at 19 someone wanted to save me, help me, hold me.

and then i became a buddhist, and then i battled my demons & unhappiness & self-hatred every single day. well, not everyday. some days they got the best of me & i could barely move. but i fought like a motherfucker.

and some days i won, and some days they won. and some days it was a match. and some days i wanted to die, and some days i wanted to not only live, but live with passion & find beauty in my life and find love. and then what i found out, i found out that you gotta save your own life. because the person holding your hand, they can get really tired. they hold on so long & so tight that their arm aches. and that’s when i had my epiphany, my breakfast at epiphany moment, my ah-fucking-ha moment – if you really wanna save yourself, you gotta be willing to throw someone else a line, grab onto someone else and save them, help them, hold them. you gotta be willing to see another person’s suffering & pain and look them in the eye and say, i know how you feel.

i. know. how. you. feel. i have your back. i’m gonna hold you and i’m gonna hold you tight.

and the truth is, the balls-out truth is this: those of us who suffer from bouts of depression, who don’t believe we’re good enough, who can barely make it out of bed some days, who struggle with self-esteem and the whole concept of self-love… when we use our own pain & suffering so that we can understand another persons heart… it doesn’t eliminate our pain, or make it vanish, or go pouffff – but, it does make it bigger then ourselves, it makes it worth the struggle.

i look at the folks i know – some very personally, some on the periphery – who have gone through hell & back a million times, and they use their life every day to inspire, encourage, awaken the good & greatness in others because they know what it was like to be flat out broken, broken into little pieces.

pre-order Simplereminders new book (which Jen Pastiloff is in) by clicking above poster.

pre-order Simplereminders new book (which Jen Pastiloff is in) by clicking above poster.

so, yes, i tried it.

and i’m awfully glad that i didn’t succeed at it.

i’m glad, wholly motherfucker glad, that i was a failure at that attempt.

because i get to rise up every single day and work through my life-stuff, face my own demons, and strut my stuff, and then i get to tell each of you that you are fucking awesome, you are magic & glitter & all that’s extraordinary in the world. because the truth is we are, even in our darkest moments, even in our saddest moments, even in our most broken moments – we have magic in us, we have glitter & sparkles; we are goddesses & gods, buddhas, kings & queens.

and we are amazing beyond belief.

we are.

so go on, strut your gorgeous stuff today knowing – absolutely fucking knowing – that you are not alone.

this i know for sure.

this i’d bet my life on.

Amy Ferris: Author. Writer. Girl. blog: https://www.marryinggeorgeclooney.com Book: Dancing at The Shame Prom, sharing the stories that kept us small – Anthology, Seal Press (2012) co-edited with Hollye Dexter Book: Marrying George Clooney, Confessions From A Midlife Crisis, Seal Press (2010)

Amy Ferris: Author. Writer. Girl.
blog: https://www.marryinggeorgeclooney.com
Book: Dancing at The Shame Prom, sharing the stories that kept us small – Anthology, Seal Press (2012) co-edited with Hollye Dexter
Book: Marrying George Clooney, Confessions From A Midlife Crisis, Seal Press (2010). Connect with Amy on Facebook here.

Jennifer Pastiloff, Beauty Hunter, is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, among others. Jen’s leading one of her signature retreats to Ojai, Calif. over New Years. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health, Tuscany. She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 30-Feb 1 in Ojai (2 spots left.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

*Jen is deeply inspired by Amy Ferris. Daily. They share a brain. This is what Jen knows. Post coffee (many coffees) and pre-wine 🙂

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  • Reply 534mu5 August 13, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Amy Ferris is unafraid to voice the difficult topics, and this is another remarkable opening of her soul to her reader.

  • Reply CaroG87 August 13, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you. Thank you, Thank you. How many more ways can I say it? Spot on. Completely spot on.

  • Reply Mari August 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Phenomenal blog Thank you! My husband wrote about depression today. Your post is beautifully written and a great piece for those who may be reading… trying to decide what to do! Great work!

  • Reply Amy Ferris August 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    thank you thank you thank you… oh, thank you for your gorgeous comments. thank you.

  • Reply Charlene August 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Amen! Love this post!

  • Reply Ilonka Michelle O'Neil August 13, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Amy Ferris, you are such a brave, bright beautiful light, and I’m so glad you were unsuccessful all those years ago. Keep strutting. Love.

  • Reply Open Heart Surgery for the Soul | August 13, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    […] Read what writer, Amy Ferris, has to say about suicide and depression. There’s an open raw truth to how she writes. CLICK THE TITLE: The Balls Out Truth About Depression.  […]

  • Reply theculturedsass August 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Reblogged this on theculturedsass.

  • Reply Gina mj August 13, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Thank you for your raw and real words. I can feel what you speak off. It is dark and grey and colorless void of life I remember feeling that. Barely able to draw air in and out bc it was such an effort. I have experienced that lowest of lows praying begging God to please to take me. Praying for an artery in my brain rupture. My heart to fall into a fatal rhythm. It could happen. Thinking and focusing so hard thinking I could make it happen. But it never happen I never shed so many tears. Hours. And never feeling better. No relief. No relief music could help if I could allow my mind to let go and relax. But it get to be like I’m comfortable in this place is don’t want to leave. But day. I wake up inspired. I buy some stuff go a little wild and life is good for that moment.

    • Reply patty August 14, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      this beautiful post is beautiful, and so identifiable with us who suffer from depression. I am not manic depressive, and don’t need medication. My greatest chance is my ability to know the process of what happens, and most times, i’m able to see it. Knowing it can be short, or at times strive into great depths of darkness and not knowing when it will end, days sometimes. It is the unknowing of not letting those around you in, because we know how silent the disease can be. We can be in a physical world, but yet there is the other side. We who know the greatest and understand others who commit suicide in depression, and see people who have no knowledge what is happening to them.

      Then yes, on top are the demons that we battle, and days when we’ve won. Days and weeks when we are the winners, only to know, to love the good when it’s there!

      Thanks for sharing, I feel like you’ve read my heart. And that is uplifting. I wanna post your poem in my private space. Thanks

  • Reply sara August 14, 2014 at 3:28 am

    I love your breakfast at epiphany moment – a life saving one indeed xo

  • Reply jgroeber August 14, 2014 at 6:42 am

    That a post about your singular heart-breaking experience can wrap its arms around the world, sprinkle us all with glitter and lift us all up, no matter where we are, well, that is amazing. You are amazing. Here, you are the light. Beautiful.

  • Reply amy ferris August 14, 2014 at 9:17 am

    thank you all from my heart. thank you all xoxox

  • Reply Jennifer August 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Today I am most thankful for Facebook – because without it – I might never have read this little piece of brilliance.

    • Reply amy ferris August 15, 2014 at 7:32 am

      thank you Jennifer, thank you so much… xoxoxox

  • Reply Sherri August 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    This was heart breaking to read. I have been the person whose hand has been offered and held to the point of exhaustion. Just last night my (ex) bf was texting me yet another cry for help, saying he didn’t want this life any more and that no one thinks he matters, etc. I told him I love him repeatedly and that he is valuable and matters to a lot of people, and I somehow knew he wouldn’t do it. (He didn’t.) This is a repeat behavior for him. He has sought help in the past for alcoholism and drug addiction but still struggles with it daily, along with depression and anxiety. Then he turned it around on me accusing me of not caring because, “I lead you to believe I’m going to off myself, and you can’t be bothered to rush over here?” I know this is a real issue, and I am so sorry for everyone suffering from it, but my question is, what are we, as the loved ones supposed to do in these situations? I specifically told him what you said in your post about him needing to save himself, instead of him looking to me to save him repeatedly. Fortunately, he is the type of person who has, in the past, reached out to others in need of comfort, or “saving” and it has bolstered him up considerably, but after the outreach, he falls right back down.
    I recently have begun on a spiritual journey which is doing absolute wonders for me, and I wish more than anything that he would also look into this for himself, but he is of the nature that scoffs at such things and makes fun of others for doing it – you’ve heard it all before. If there is any one thing that he could read or listen to that would resonate with someone of his thinking, I would make sure that he gets it somehow – I would send it anonymously – even though he would most likely see through it, but it doesn’t matter, what matters is that he receive the information. So, any suggestions at all would be so very welcome. I know this has to be something that he wants for himself – I know that I can’t change him or “make him see the light,” or any such thing.
    Thank you so much

  • Reply Can We Embrace the Complexity of Mental Health? | Ever Upward August 15, 2014 at 6:34 am

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  • Reply Ingrid Oliphant August 15, 2014 at 8:53 am


  • Reply jenna August 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    in the battle right now. they haven’t yet found the right combo of meds, and each day is a huge struggle just to get through. entering day treatment at hospital tomorrow. i haven’t been able to explain the living hell that is severe depression to my friends and family, as loving as they are. i will send them this. thank you thank you. i need to hold onto hope that i can get better.

  • Reply amy ferris August 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    jenna! you will get better, you have to. you just have to. hold onto that hope and if you need a hand, email me: asferris@aol.com. i’ll grab you. all my love.

    • Reply JenPastiloff August 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks, Amy!!!

      • Reply jenna August 17, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        amy, that is amazing, you are amazing. I just sent you an email. I’m debating whether to post my story on my website. i need courage.

  • Reply Vedura September 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Been there, but it was different for me. I felt like I was at the bottom of a well, so deep, that I couldn’t see any light at the top. It was dark and dank with stones holding the earth back. Therapy was like climbing up those stones toward the top, knuckles bleeding, holding on, for fear of falling back down. Eventually, I reached the top and climbed out. My life since then has been a fierce fight to never fall into that well again. I don’t even want to go near the edge.
    If any situation or person starts pushing me in that direction, I leave them behind. My mental health is the most important matter in my life.
    I cannot say that I am glad that I survived my suicide attempt, because then I would be peacefully dead. I wouldn’t have had to endure so much pain and loneliness, matters that still shadow me in life.
    I can say that reaching out to help others is of immeasurable value. Only we, the ones who have fallen so deep into pain and depression can begin to understand a similar pain in another. Yet, we are each unique in our struggle.
    I too have a book coming out soon about a suicidal girl’s struggle. She’s bright, pretty, everything on the outside that says ‘yes.’ But inside she hurts.
    We all need to share. Robin Williams gave us the gift of showing the world that money and fame cannot conquer chronic depression. It’s a crippling disease.
    RIP, Robin

  • Reply Barbara potter January 9, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Amy love this. You always manage to put everything in just the right words along with a little F Bomb here and there for color. Thanks for letting us know you are part of the club. That club that many of us belong to in this world. The one where we fell down thst black hole, fell deep and hard, and dug our way up, to emerge, and as you say, to ” shine and sprinkle our glitter and stardust everywhere”. Much love to you.

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