Sep 192013
 

tree

I suck at yoga. Like really bad. Even though I suck at it, a few times a week I show up at a fancy studio down the street that smells like incense. The first time I walked in the door and smelled the incense, I knew I’d stay. I’m a sucker for incense, because it reminds me of God. I burn it in my home all the time and this drives Craig crazy. The reason he doesn’t like incense is because it does not remind Craig of God, it reminds Craig of trying to cover up the smell of pot in his college dorm room. I know Craig well enough to understand that when he smells the incense, he doesn’t become agitated because he feels ashamed of his past, he becomes agitated because he just really, really misses pot terribly and wishes he had some exactly now. Whenever I think about Craig using incense to cover up his college pot, I feel amazed that Craig was such an over-achieving pothead. Like, he cared about covering up the pot smell. Wow. So quaint. My friends and I actually used the smell of pot to distract the Bosses Of Us from much worse things we were doing. Pot smoke was like, our potpourri. Pot was really the least of our problems. It was honestly, one of our most responsible activities. Like, if anyone knocked on our door we’d yell, “NOTHING TO SEE HERE! JUST SMOKING POT!” Anyway, we’re just different. Craig has always been really responsible and I’m proud he’s my husband.

Back to yoga. My studio has a lobby that is quite small – so it gets a little awkward if you stay seated in that lobby just “smelling the incense.” They really want you to take a class. It’s important to them. So I do. Because I like the ladies at the front desk and want to make them happy– but mostly because somehow, yoga is the only thing that makes me lose my mind. I love my soul but I struggle with my mind daily, hourly, minute-ly. I just want it to stop. No matter how well my soul understands that All Is Well- my mind doesn’t get it. It just refuses to accept the All Is Well memo. My mind spends all day trying to scare me and nursing grudges and replaying bad memories and generally trying it’s damndest to keep me angry and jealous and paranoid. If there’s nothing to be upset about, it makes stuff up. It has pretend arguments that will never, ever happen with people we don’t like but will never meet. It wastes all of our energy. It just runs and runs and gets us nowhere like a pop-eyed hamster on a wheel after forty eight Red Bulls.

But sometimes in yoga or meditation – I notice that there has arisen a little SPACE between all my crazy thoughts. It’s not like my Insane Hamster Mind has stopped- it’s still bug eyed and panting and screeching at me – but somehow I become able to notice that I’m actually not the hamster at all. I am, like, ABOVE the hamster- watching it run itself ragged, feeling detached and a little amused and wholly unaffected by it. I am separate from it. Apart, in a safe space. Just for a few seconds. Maybe for these few seconds I am actually occupying my soul instead of my mind. I am seeing out from my soul. And this is the closest I’ve gotten to heaven: Losing my mind.

Since I am who I am, people often say to me in response to this thing I’ve said or done or written or that thing I’ve said or done or written- “G, have you lost your mind?” And I always say, “Not yet. But I’m trying.” I think that losing your Insane Hamster Mind is heaven. And this is why people who just can’t find a way to lose their minds kill themselves. They just needed a little heaven and they couldn’t find it here because they never discovered the right meds or their version of yoga that would just Make it Stop for a minute.

Whenever I hear someone say that they are shocked we lose so many people to suicide, I always secretly think how shocked I am that we don’t lose MORE people to suicide. People like me are desperate for a little heaven. People need a little break, a little peace from their minds. We “mentally ill” – our minds are on overdrive, all the time. And so we don’t really need a piece of your mind – we just need some peace from our own minds. Some relief. We have to teach people like me to find their little slice of heaven here, so they don’t have to leave us forever to find it. Stay here. Stay with us. There are ways. There are ways to find your heaven, your peace HERE. With us. We need you.

But for those of you who’ve lost loved ones –  if someone you love gave up on finding peace here – if  they DID leave us to find it –  then I believe with every iota of my being that they have found their forever heaven. That they have Lost Their Minds and so they can finally know with all of their being that All Is Well. That the memo has arrived.

This is getting long. I didn’t plan to write any of that. More on yoga and losing your mind tomorrow.

Love,
G

P.S. This conversation happened yesterday when I got back from my Mind Doctor:

Craig: So, what did your new therapist diagnose you with?
Me: “Adjustment disorder”
Craig: Huh. What are you having a hard time adjusting to?
Me: I think life on this Earth.

 

P.P.S. We’re also in the September issue of  Woman’s Day today, talking about how I apply what I learned about shame in recovery to Tardy Passes!



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  204 Responses to “Losing My Mind”

  1. Hey, i know this is like writing on a bathroom wall inside a ladies stall, but we are here to help one another, right? There are only a few days left of this competition and i am a BIG OLE dreamer for miracles. Your vote gets our school FREE $$$ from target. We actually get $1 for your little click. Anyone can do it and it would make an incredible difference to my school! Thanks in advance!!! https://apps.facebook.com/givewithtarget/school/48556

    • And sometimes I get so caught up in helping and spreading the word and if only I could reach 10,000 people all at once that I forget my manners. Sorry, friends. Long time monkey here. Yoga…pot…um, yea. Not for me…but I do love incense! And I got in trouble in college for burning it (I didn’t even know what it meant!). We need more innocent incense burning in the world…maybe just more innocence.

  2. carolyn, please see your doctor about the meds if you continue to growl and snap at your baby. depression often shows up as anger and frustration. I take them and anti anxiety combo, plus a good spiritual program and no more growling and snapping or slamming doors, slapping, screaming, crying, sulking or sobing or suicide thoughts. just gives me enough of an edge to choose my reaction. namaste

  3. Oh God Glennon, I am sitting here crying and wishing I had read this days ago, yet realising it really is The Perfect Time. I just wrote a post about my own mental and emotional storm which I have weathered and am still weathering actually, and this! While I read this, I Lost My Mind, and I cannot tell you how thankful I am to you for that. So much love xoxoxo

  4. There’s so much I would love to say because it’s in my nature to be a problem solver, but I won’t. I realistically know that I can’t solve everyone’s problems, however, what I CAN do is emphatically agree with what everyone has said about the positive effects of Yoga on the body and mind and even the soul. You will feel it deep down in your very being. I used to shrug off Yoga at the gym as “just some fancy form of stretching”. Ha! How wrong I was! It was so NOT easy but the challenge kept me going back for more. Eventually my body learned to move & reach beyond what it was accustomed to. I became strong, flexible and internally restructured, mentally and emotionally. I walked out of that yoga session with a glowing secret ball of living energy that I could feel and others may have been able to see in me. Maybe they could see it in my smile?

    I admit I haven’t practiced it in a long time but this post has lit my yoga fuse. Thank you, Glennon!

  5. Hi Glennon and fellow anxious minds,

    If your overactive mind – leads to overactive breathing and heart pounding – read “Hope and Healing for your Nerves” by Dr. Claire Weekes. It has given me acceptance in place of fear and I am living much more fully these days.

    Come to Vancouver, BC.
    xo Meaghan

  6. What you said exactly describes how I think and feel. It really moves me. Thank you for always being so honest and brave in telling the truth.

  7. Crazy timing on this post…Just found out today that the doctor who helped save my life committed suicide. I’m pissed because I too want a break from my mind so badly, but would never have the courage to go to heaven to find peace when there are people here that still need me. The most important people being my two kids, one who is 18 and is already trying to find peace in his mind, and I am trying every day to help him find it when I can’t seem to find mine. Thank you G for writing this, thankful that you chose to not write about yoga on this day.

  8. I so agree. When I am at my depressed worst, all I want is a little piece from my mind. This week my doctor confronted my weight loss and being underweight and all I could do was say that I am obsessive. The truth is that I just could not handle thinking another thing that is broken.

    Running is one good respite for me. I like Yoga, but I find myself feeling competitive which defeats the whole purpose.

  9. I enjoyed this post so much. I, too, am in constant need of actually losing my mind so that I can be more present and relaxed. It doesn’t take that much for my mind to get out of control, such that I sometimes spend more time attempting to tame it than letting it be. It’s comforting, in that strange way, to read about your attempts to lose your mind in order to remain sane :)

  10. So true. I am most in need of losing my mind. That is the only time my body relaxes. All the rest of the time (all the time) I am this mess of tension because my mind will not stop for one second.

    Some times my mind gets weird and sad and negative and overflowing with self doubt. This typically goes on a few days before I notice and try to feel better, but sometimes it goes on a couple weeks or ,ore because I am so busy running from here to there, I don’t notice.

    When I lose my mind, I see things. I met a nice woman at a yoga class who also happened to be a beautiful painter. She told me that the mind is an ocean, and only when it becomes still are we able to see into it.
    I have really had some awesome experiences with this, in exercise but especially yoga.
    Xoxo

  11. This has been one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read.

  12. This is a poem that I wrote when I was going through my yoga teacher training. Your post reminded me so much of my aha experience and the resulting poem:

    The space between breaths.
    The stillness after one thought ends but before another thought begins.
    The quiet moment as the wave is pulled out to sea before crashing back onto shore.
    Punctuation: two spaces after the period. Then a capital letter.

    My thoughts run together without punctuation without a pause
    a jumble of a run on sentence causing
    my heart to race my words to tumble out
    my anxiety to rise.

    Except when I can remember to breathe.
    To focus not on
    The thought itself
    The feeling itself
    The sensation itself
    The breath itself
    but the space in between.

    The serenity of a still body of water
    a deep blue expansive sky.
    Clouds float by then pass
    ripples in the calm water expand out then disappear.

    So often I feel like the cloud or the ripple
    victim to the pebble of circumstance tossed into the water
    forgetting that it always expands out
    softening
    only to disappear.

    Except when I can remember to breathe.
    To anchor myself to the wide expanse of sky that exists within me.
    To allow the clouds to come and go like so many breaths or waves
    The never ending pulse of moments following each other with
    stillness, quiet, serenity
    in between.

    This is where true peace lies
    The space in between.

  13. I’m so glad that I found you. You put into words exactly what is going on in my manic mind. All this time I thought I was the only soul on the planet to feel and think this way. My Pastor says we are all put on this Earth for a purpose and I wonder what my “purpose” is. One day when life starts to make sense I might figure that out – in the here and now I am weeding my way through the weirdness!

  14. Love yoga.
    Love losing my mind. The first time I had a “yoga experience” – one where I really felt like I was “one” with the universe/God, simultaneously no one’s mother/friend/daughter/sister, but just me at my barest essence, I compared it to what I imagine must feel like a person’s first heroine high (tongue and cheek ;) ). I have been chasing that high ever since. Luckily, it is so much better for me than heroine.
    Love you. :)

  15. I teach yoga and I cannot wait to share this with my class! Thank you! Ps: I may leave out the part abt pot! However, it was one of my favorite parts!!

  16. Hi Glennon–I have been a fan for a long time now, but in kind of a “from a distance/facebooky” way where periodically I come to Momastery and binge read, and in the process I always feel like I reconnect with what matters in life. I laugh, I cry, then I get back to my To Do list. I just signed up under “connect” for the first time, but didn’t check any of the boxes, because honestly, I can’t take even one more thing right now. Life’s full. In a good way. Mostly. But I had to say, in the Spirit of Sharing and Connecting…I just discovered Mary Lambert, and while it’s possible I’m the last person on the planet to do so, just in case there’s one more person out there who missed the NPR spot tonight and VMA awards…you have to check out her website: marylambertsings.com. Couldn’t help sharing. Procrastination may have had a wee bit to do with it.
    And that’s all for tonight. I still have to get myself to think about what I’m going to do with my classes tomorrow.

  17. You say this so well- losing one’s mind seems to be what a lot of us women need. When people ask me what I wish for- it’s not to be happy like everyone says- I wish to feel AT PEACE. A good analogy I read once- if women’s minds looked like the bottom “tray” on our computers- that would be like having 1,000 windows open all at the same time, all the time…. yup, that’s me!

  18. Glennon,

    The first paragraph of this post is so damn funny I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

    Thank’s for keeping it real!

    Rebecca

  19. I went to a yoga class last week. I’ve been told by so many people lately that yoga would be therapeutic. I thought to myself, “what can be bad about a sport for which I can be barefoot?”

    What I learned is that yoga is not for lazy people. Thus, it was kinda difficult for me because I don’t like to work hard. Now please don’t get me wrong – I am a hard worker. I just don’t like it. I felt great for the first five minutes of the class – soft, soothing music, dim lights, lying on a soft mat on my back wiggling my toes while breathing in the smell of the scented candles.

    Then the real work began. Enough with the stretching, it was time to get serious. Suddenly, I was no longer relaxed. I was sweating. While in something called Sphinx position, you have to look down at your hands, which are supporting the majority of your weight, and all I could think was how badly I needed a manicure. I was unfocused and definitely unrelaxed. Yoga seemed like a variety of moves through what sounded to me like a three-ring circus: the camel position, the cobra, the downward dog. We moved from cow position to cat position, back to cow, and back to cat. I realized I’m really more of a cow than I am a cat, feeling completely ungraceful and heavy. If there was a “bull in a china cabinet pose”, I’d be really good at that one. The best part about yoga so far? I was told that I could relax my stomach muscles – finally, I had found a place where I didn’t have to “suck it in”. But when we flipped to our backs for another animal pose I can’t recall, the tag in my pants was digging into my lower back and I couldn’t concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing. I was thinking of how looooong an hour class seemed to be lasting, and how I couldn’t wait to be done with this torturous exercise. The soft music had taken on a droning foghorn effect and just because the volume was low doesn’t mean it wasn’t suddenly incredibly annoying. I was worried about what position she would require next – could I do it? Would I tumble over mid-”Warrior” and humiliate myself? I kept praying she’d command us to assume “child’s pose” (my favorite so far) just so I could get a little break.

    The instructor had a soft, soothing voice and throughout the class, she reminded us to “just breathe”, to stretch ourselves farther “little by little, inch by inch”. Funny, she sounded just like my therapist telling me to proceed through my life “day by day, little by little, one step at a time”. My therapist is always reminding me to “just breathe”, and to stretch myself a little bit farther every day. The instructor also kept telling us to “open your heart”. Well, that’s one thing I certainly wasn’t going to do. I’d opened my heart plenty this year, and it’s gotten me nowhere. And it hurts. Forget about it.

    Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, the instructor had us lie on our backs with our legs straight up in the air. I’m thinking, “I can do this. This isn’t so bad”. That is, until she came around and placed 10lb sandbags on the bottoms of our feet, which were now pointing up toward the ceiling. Things had started to get easier, and an uncomfortable weight is suddenly added to my already-heavy burden. Yoga hurts. This class was starting to mimic my life.

    I started off my recent life thinking things wouldn’t be so bad, that I can get through this. It starts off slowly and calmly. And then I’m forced into a number of uncomfortable positions, carrying around a heavy weight and having a hard time taking slow, deep breaths. I’m completely unwilling to open my heart, and nervous that I won’t be able to handle what comes next. My inability to be flexible is holding me back. I am trying to proceed “little by little, inch by inch”. I’m trying to remember to “just breathe”. I’m set off by small annoyances like a scratchy tag and bad music. And then there’s the pain. Much like my first experience with yoga, I find that life hurts.

    But at the end of the class, we did something called “shavasana” (which, incidentally, means “death pose”). We all laid on our backs and stretched out our arms and legs, and were instructed to simply “relax”. We were told to let all of our worries fall away from our minds, to relax each muscle from toe to finger, one by one. To let each bone in our spines sink into the floor, one at a time. The instructor spoke softly, and led us in slow, relaxed breathing. For the first time, I felt like I could take a full, deep breath. My eyes closed and I was suddenly less annoyed by the foghorn music. My body was cooling off and I felt very relaxed. It was magical. I felt calm.

    I didn’t want to get up. But when I did, the instructor provided us with a closing blessing:

    “May you find peace above you, peace below you, and peace throughout your body and soul. Namaste”. It was lovely.

    For the record, I’ll be back at yoga this week.

    Namaste.

    http://crazyaboutbipolar.wordpress.com

  20. Dear Glennon,

    I found your work just days ago when a friend posted your Love Flash Mob on facebook and it showed up in my newsfeed. I’ve been going through a challenging time personally, as I finish up a PhD program that took me 8 years to get through, only to realize that I don’t really want anything to do with the academic career that this degree sets me up for. I bought your (fantastically titled) book on amazon kindle, and I haven’t been able to put it down since. I want to say THANK YOU for writing the way you do, for being so real, for sharing yourself and your life. I’ve never written a “fan letter” before, but I feel compelled to tell you that you have touched my heart at a very important time in my life. You have given me hope and comfort that it’s okay to go through life being totally yourself. How freeing it is to think about stopping this act of cramming myself into a box that doesn’t fit. Thank you.

  21. I can sympathize! When I started reading about your constantly running mind, I wondered if you (or any other commenters) have read any Eckhart Tolle. His books “The power of now” and “A new Earth” deal with trying to quiet your inner dialog to find that peace, right here, right now — like the space that you experience in yoga sometimes. His books can appeal to people of any religion in my opinion. Check him out, and keep up with all the great and insightful posts, G!

  22. So I am a fellow therapy-goer, and I have found it to be one of the best things I can do for myself. The other best thing I finally did was go to my doctor and ask for a little more help and am now on medication for my depression and anxiety (more anxiety with periods of depression). So the hamster wheel thing? I get that. I am not so good at the mindfulness and the quieting of my thoughts. Even in yoga, in the past, I have thought more about my grocery list, what I am going to wear tomorrow, what is on TV tonight, maybe I want a cookie, what’s the meaning of life, did I remember to pay the phone bill, etc., instead of being in the moment with my breath. I am planning to go back to yoga soon (last time I took yoga, I was in maybe a level too hard for me because it was challenging yoga, which I find less quieting, so this time I am going to go straight beginner so the goal is not something like a handstand or some other ridiculous thing for me), and I am hoping that maybe I will be able to lose my mind a little better this time.

    Anyway, as always, thanks for giving voice to this stuff and reminding me that there are people (other than my therapist) out there who GET IT. And for giving me the opportunity to share with everyone else that I GET IT TOO. XO

  23. Glennon,

    I’m not sure I’ve ever commented and this really had nothing to do with this post, BUT I came across a different person’s blog post that is floating around my fb news feed, I have no idea who she is, and I thought, “Glennon would love to know what this lady did.” Sorry to post it here, I didn’t know how else to get it to you.

    http://www.prodigalmagazine.com/she-yelled-and-called-me-names/

    have a good day!

  24. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. You Made Me Cry (And That Doesn’t Happen Often) Because I Swear You Read My Hamster Wheel Mind, And Typed What You Found There. Weird But The Feeling I Can Describe It Best With Is Relief. Btw Sorry About The Capitalized Words, My Phone Has A Crazy Mind Too.

  25. G, thanks so very much for this. As a grieving mother, I think nothing can help. But, then I get a tidbit like your post and am so grateful for a new perspective. No, it doesn’t make everything okay- just provides a new light on the situation. That is a blessing.

  26. My friend Christy shares your blog all the time and I read it.. today you really touched me because I just lost a childhood friend to suicide. Thank you so much for putting it all into perspective for me. And I’m a Christian and I sure hope you are right that he finally found his peace in Heaven. I wish he could have found it here on earth…. God bless you.

  27. Love this, thank you. I am doing much better now, but the memory of feeling paralyzed and teetering on the edge a black hole is never far from my mind.

  28. Loved this today. And also this

    http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/09/the-real-truth-about-really-having-it-all/

    Thank you for your words and your truth, Glennpn. Your honesty, and vulnerability are simply beautiful.

  29. Reading this blog is a vacation from my unself. I experience so much freedom and peace from Glennon’s authenticity and openness, and I carry that into my motherhood and womanhood, and for that I am so thankful. I used to feel like everyone else had it all together and I had to fake it, and the Older I get, the more I realize that nobody has it all together and the more free I feel to have peace that I don’t, and to talk about it a lot so that others feel freedom and peace just as they are too. Thanks for leading the reloveution, G.

  30. Fabulous G! I like to lose my mind everyday. =) and then when it finds me, I try and lose it again. =)
    Love your thought process! Keep em comin!

  31. Thank you.

    AMEN!

  32. Whenever I hear someone say that they are shocked we lose so many people to suicide, I always secretly think how shocked I am that we don’t lose MORE people to suicide. People like me are desperate for a little heaven. People need a little break, a little peace from their minds. We “mentally ill” – our minds are on overdrive, all the time. And so we don’t really need a piece of your mind – we just need some peace from our own minds……. Stay here. Stay with us. There are ways. There are ways to find your heaven, your peace HERE. With us.
    We need you. ”
    Peace amidst the pieces is a place that keeps the crazy at bay long enough to process the stuff at hand…
    and I am where you are from..the land of the overachieving ,people pleasing ,make a happy face
    land
    that isn’t
    and I am now able to “come clean” and say
    It’s a sucky place to be …that land of ..”I’m fine ‘ but really not(give me a drink please)
    I like being this->
    Me plus God and HIS WORD which is a lamp to my feet and a light to my Path !!1

  33. Struggling to find my heaven here. Thank you for this. It is a solid reminder that it is possible and I can do it.

  34. Still trying to find my little piece of heaven. Still trying. Still hoping…

  35. Loved this, G. I wrote about when I “lost my mind” after my son’s birth on my blog today because it’s his birthday and whenever his birthday rolls around I am taken back to the memories of his first few weeks. I missed out on a week of his life because I had to be hospitalized to be brought back to reality and Thank God my husband knew exactly what do to and the doctors treated me with the right medications to put a stop to the psychosis I was wrestling.

    I began writing openly about living with mental illness a few months ago because I was inspired by people like Brene Brown and Cheryl Strayed and you who’ve taught me that it’s healing to show your imperfections to the world. And it helps other people.

    Which is why I’m producing a show in May called This Is My Brave (www.thisismybrave.com) which will be debuting in the DC metro area. It’s all about people standing up to tell their stories about living with mental illness in an effort to shed light on a subject which is too often kept in the dark corners of our internal closets. I strongly believe that the more people open up about mental illness, the more lives we will save.

    As always, thank you so much Glennon for writing what’s in your heart.

  36. G, this is one of the most connecting-with blogs of yours for me, which is saying a lot. For some reason, I always thought mine was a gerbil on a wheel, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t tell one from the other, so maybe it’s been a hamster this whole time. I have been waking up with Insane Hamster Mind every day lately, something I know I need to take (back) to my health care providers.

    Here’s the thing: not only do I totally get this, but my brain also (again, sadly on the increase), due in large part to A.D.D., also operates like a pinball machine. Hamster mind is my nearly constant companion. It’s when the silver balls start flying one direction until they hit something and go in another direction and hit something else and go in another direction — you get the idea — that life comes to a standstill.

    And that’s my big shame. All of you who say you are hiding behind busy-ness and activities and husbands and kids and whatever…I almost wish I could do that. My pinball machine brain brings life nearly to a halt, as I can’t figure out what to do next. (Doing the “next right thing” only works occasionally for me.) Everyone KNOWS there’s something wrong with me. Probably a lot of somethings.

    As I sit here in the den, I have bills to pay in front of me, identity theft paperwork stacked up to the side and spilling off the desk, dresses that need to be tried on and returned (yes, both, they sent me the wrong size, so I have to try them on again to see which fits better, and then I have to decide whether or not to keep one or both of the ones I was considering, because my husband has this important work thing coming up in November — well, really, there’a an important one coming up next week, too, but I probably cant make that because it’s now a stand up event rather than a dinner but with my foot pain, I probably can’t stand the whole time, but I haven’t tried on the shoes I got from Kohl’s yet so maybe I should do that, and if I think that I could stand in one pair of those, then I have one week to find a top to go with the black skirt that I think fits…)

    Trust me, that all goes through my brain a lot faster than I can type it or you can read it. The A.D.D. won’t let me filter anything out, and between that and the anxiety about not doing something until I’m sure it’s going to be RIGHT, I am paralyzed. I’d love to think that no one could see how screwed up I am, but they can and they do. They all do.

    I spend days spinning my wheels, trying to get things done but only sometimes accomplishing much. (In an attempt to be somewhat fair to myself, the pain and fatigue and sensory overload of fibromyalgia don’t help any of this either.)

    The times when the hamster has decided to play pinball for a little too long…those are the bad days. I rarely think of suicide, but I do think of packing up and leaving. Don’t know where I’d go; can’t earn a living. But surely there must be a better life than inflicting this on my family.

    Once I hit “submit comment,” I am going to go hide.

    • I get this!! Decisions are paralyzing for me… and I frequently am unable to focus long enough to make a great one. I’m totally still a mess on the inside many-a-day, but someone recently said to me: Perfection Prevents Progress. I just say it to myself a few times to break the incessant buzz in my brain… it helps me stop for a second because my soul knows it’s true.

      Also, your family is incomplete without you. You are integral to them learning about living a truthy life. I am scared many days of my mess… but I do try to remind myself that I love my family and they know it… I don’t expect them to think I’m perfect, I expect us to love each other ALL THE TIME… failures, mess, anxiety, ADD, ALL of it. That is a good day.

    • Please don’t run and hide! You were really brave to put it all out there. That’s what it’s about. I’m glad you shared Your Truth. You’re helping others share theirs. That’s a true Monkee!

    • I’ve so been there with needing to get it out and then running and hiding. Please know that just your sharing of your experience of life you have helped others to know they are not alone. <3 I've never replied here before, but I couldn't read what you wrote without sending you virtual ((((((HUGS))))))) and love!

      And I SO love the "Perfect Prevents Progress" Denise! I have to remember that for the times I just can't make a decision, which has been most of my life.

  37. We talk a lot in recovery about how our mind is not our friend. I recently heard this one in a meeting: “If my mind didn’t need me for transportation, I’d be dead.” So funny. Love ya, G!

  38. I couldn’t have described my own mind better myself. I have panic disorder and people have been telling me for years to try yoga. I’ve always been convinced that not only could I not turn my mind off for that long, there’s no way I could stay focused for more than 5 minutes. Maybe I’ll find a yoga studio near me and just show up and see what happens next. Or maybe I’ll just take a nap :)
    Tracie

  39. This is beautiful G, thank you. Sometimes you articulate things JUST.RIGHT. In a way that I have never seen before. You have a gift G, thank you for sharing it with all of us. xoxoxo

  40. I CANNOT turn off my brain. Ever. And I try. Sigh, I really, really try. And seriously, last night while getting intimate with the Mr. I went and lost my mind and forgot that it isn’t appropriate to spew out all of my thoughts about laundry, and what we need to do this weekend, and are the kids warm enough or did they kick their blankets off again, and honey did you run the dishwasher….right smack dab in the middle of-well you know ;) I mean for me it’s normal to think about all of that stuff while doing the deed, but this time I actually blurted it out! My husband gets me; he knows this about me! We still manage to make it work and have fun ;) , but surely, I can’t be the only one????

  41. I understand this so much. I also understand that “mental illness” often comes with great gifts the world needs…like vulnerability, open communication, honesty, innocence, natural questioning and thinking outside the box… Like your blog!:) For our family I prefer the term neurodiverse. Because while different brain wirings come with their fair share of struggles and MASSIVE adjustments to life on earth ( we often feel we belong on a different planet altogether!) This misplaced identity also serves as encouragement to others to find themselves, their faith, their love and their reasons…And Nuerodiverse individuals, after they have found aids to help themselves (meds, cognitive therapy, yoga, personality awareness, living outside the current cultural expectations ect) offer gifts and positives that the world needs. That WE need. Some of our greatest works of art, our greatest music, our pieces of earthly splendour, the science we need ect. come from the “mentally ill” or the Nuerodiverse. From ADD brains, to depressed brains to autistic brains and all the Nuerodiversity worth celebrating…Einstein, Steve Jobs, Mozart, Van Gogh…the list goes on. But sometimes these dear hearts and progressive minds can not handle the simplicity and violence of the world…and more heart ripping pain follows. Thank you for writing about it with dignity and compassion.

    • Neurodiverse! I should be making notes regarding some of the great terms that have come up here.

    • Oh my goodness! I just read my comment and it sounded like I was implying that your blog or you was mentally ill…which is not what I meant at all. I don’t really know how to redeem that…But you are honest about your struggles and how you think outside the box and I honestly often include you in my list of Neurodiverse people simply because I can relate even though I am on the autism scale and you are not. Please forgive me if I insulted you:)

      • Plus I think it’s compliment to be termed “mentally ill” because of the great gifts it gives the world, admits struggles. I just translate it to mentally ill. Oh I am digging a hole…social graces is not always my strong point:)

      • I thought your comment was beautifully written and though I can’t speak for Glennon…I imagine that she wouldn’t be insulted by it! Thank you for your insight!

      • It’s all good, KMarie. We neurodiverse people tend to understand the language – or at least the intent – of other neurodiversites. ;-)

    • I LOVED this comment! Loved loved!

      I am not anxious- I am hyper- aware.
      I am not depressed- I’m just a little Meltoncholy.
      I am not napping – I’ m taking a sacred rest.
      And I am not mentally ill- I am nuerodiverse!!!!

    • Kmarie, you are wonderful, just the way you are! We have quite a bit of neuro-diversity in our family, too! It keeps things interesting :).

      • Phew;) checked back in here after feeling quite silly about leaving comments explaining my comments. Thank you cindy, glennon, merideth,tara, marblek and kate for the humour, encouragement and ” seeing” my good intentions after all my attempts to explain;) lol;) this community is fantastic at acceptance;) may tomorrow bring you all the same beautiful curtesy of acceptance , kind humour and encouragement in some form;)

  42. I lost my brother-in-law to suicide on Saturday. He left behind two grown beautiful children, and a brand new granddaughter. He had tried two other times in their lifetimes that I know about. he was an alcoholic and he had undiagnosed mental illness. He didn’t want help, because in his eyes, alcohol helped everything. My heart and mind are a mess from this. My anxiety is through the roof and I can’t stop crying. I just have to believe that since he tried so often, he is in a better place now free from pain. But I am also so mad at him for leaving. There is no good way to feel now. It all just sucks. Sorry, I’m in a bad place, bug reading the comments helped.

    • No, there is no good way to feel right now. You are exactly right. Holding space for you in my heart during this tragic, infuriating, confusing, unspeakably sorrowful time.

    • Holding space, Susie.

    • Oh, Susie…so very, very sorry for all who loved this man. It’s going to hurt, a lot, and mad is okay. It’s normal. People who have been through this are probably those who could give you the best support now. I will pray that you and your family find a person or people who can literally hold your hands. God bless you.

    • I am deeply sorry for your loss.

    • I’m so sorry for your terrible loss. I haven’t lost a family member to suicide, but I feel like I lose my sister to her awful, narcissistic choices. I used to live with a constant feeling of anger and it was really hurt and disappointment as a result of her behavior and the fact that she refuses to see a therapist. My new mantra is as follows: She has one life to live and SHE gets to live it–or not. I can’t fix this, nor is it my fault. I am responsible for ME. I’m sorry your brother-in-law chose to end his life on earth. I hope you can find comfort in knowing that to be absent from the body is to be present with God–the one who knows and loves him most and best.

    • Thank you friends. I realized two things. You shouldn’t type while crying and then continue to do so while on your phone. I am praying for peace for my family, and for my beautiful niece and nephew, who at 18 and 20, being next of kin had to sign for release of their father’s body. He left no note, no phone call, just left them to deal with the mess he left behind.

      My wish for people who are suffering is just to reach out and tell one person. Just one person in this big world to hold your hand and get you some help. Someone who will hold your worries for you for awhile to give you a break. Someone who can be strong when you feel like you cannot. Someone to lean on, to cry for you because you can’t cry anymore. Someone to just be…

      • So sorry, again. How awful for his children, for all of you. Please come back and talk to us on the Momastery FB page whenever you like.

  43. LOVE that you linked the Woman’s Day article!! I LOVED it.. a friend knows I like you ( she does too!) but clipped it out of her magazine and gave it to me two weeks ago. Best part. . . I gave it to my attendance secretary the other day and just smiled!

  44. Glennon, that was amazing!!! I had to the-read several parts multiple times because my mind was demanding I focus on the kid pulling my hair, the heat of this room, the moody spouse not speaking to me, and the YMCA pool schedule, but I loved it!!!

  45. It’s funny, I think I feel the opposite — I think my mind might save me, if I could just listen to it. My mind tells me that I am a worthwhile, even wonderful, person. But some deep dark corner of me cannot accept that and makes me want to erase those positive words I just wrote because they are so pathetically untrue. My natural way of interacting with the world is to apologize for my existence.

    And my mind understands that my 2-year-old can be trying and I should just stay calm, but some beast in me gets furious and just hisses and growls at her. Because, of course my subconscious says, I’m worthless and a terrible mother — if I were better than my daughter would behave better and I would never lose my temper.

    If only my mind could interpose itself between external stimulus and my response, I could be a much better person.

    Maybe it’s just a different way of describing the same thing.

    • Have you checked with your doctor about this? You might have a neuro-chemical imbalance that could benefit from intervention. Not diagnosing, just offering a suggestion.

      • Hmm, I guess I’ve always been certain that the problem is just low self-esteem, from the way I grew up. But I’ll think about it. I did struggle with depression for a while and take meds, but I recovered and don’t need them any more.

  46. G, you’re marvelous.
    I love incense, especially frankincense. It’s used in the Orthodox churches and it immediately takes me away from everything, gives me a piece of heaven.

    Actually, you might enjoy the incense there. I think the most peaceful service is Vespers, usually 30 minutes on Saturday nights. It’s a rare bit of peace.

  47. I do this on my bike. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I just listen to the wind whistling past my ears, but the action of riding makes me be fully present in my body, which somehow turns my mind off. Though it does look out for things like cars or lawnmowers that occasionally try to run me over.

    Thanks as ever for this. “Insane Hamster Mind” is totally going in my favorite sayings mental folder.

  48. Glennon:
    My uncle died a year ago, after a long struggle with alcohol and drug abuse He was the closest thing I had to a father, and my heart breaks when I think about him to much because I couldn’t save him. My love wasn’t enough.

    SO thank you so much for this post. I needed it today. My mind tries to make me feel worthless, and anxious and sad even though I genuinely have a wonderful place here on Earth. But that is also problematic because I feel like a freak when I try to explain how I feel on the inside sometimes. I feel ungrateful. ANYWAY, running has been my saving sanity. I don’t real love it, or like it really, but it keeps me sane, and confident, and happy.

    Thanks for making this big world feel less lonely.
    Cearley Fontenot

    • Cearley,

      I understand how you feel as my sister (who was also my best friend) suicided leaving my husband of two months and me her two children aged 12&13 to raise.

      I also felt horrible for a long time because I did not ‘save’ her. And then I realized after many years that it was not my *job* to ‘save’ her. Only she could have “saved” herself and she could/would not.

      I hope you find a way to let go of the guilt. It truly will eat you alive.

      Hugs,

      Kristi

  49. So good. So good. I wish everyone could read this.

  50. To life on earth. You crack me up.

  51. I have anxiety issues but I’ve been “letting go” more and more here lately. Opening up more (my heart and my beliefs in ME) and trying hard not to worry too much. Deep breathing helps too as I find I literally stop breathing, know what I mean? Maybe too shallow breathing. Anyway ~~ Yes. I think we all lose our minds now and again. I just slooooow down and say NO more and that helps me — for now — until another crisis; big or small. Que sera, sera.

    I keep wanting to try Yoga. But xanax keeps me a bit sane for now! Uh, I HATE incense. The smell literally makes me sick. I don’t know why. My daughter would burn many different kinds/scents and none of them appealed to me and it is banned from the house. My oldest brother used it BITD to cover his pot smell! Maybe it has something to do with that. It angered my parents so much and there was so much discord then and I was like, 6 years old. So, I HATE incense. Sorry. I like scented candles though!

    • Thank you! Hate incense, too. AND scented candles. No, scented candles hate me. They can have a lovely fragrance, but except for about .1 percent of them, they give serious grief to my eyes, nose, throat, sinuses, and sometimes lungs. Plug-in “air fresheners” nearly kill me. My comfort room is definitely artificial-fragarance-free. Someone baking bread nearby — that would be good.

    • I’m so with you on the anxiety meds, breathing too shallow, and feeling ill when smelling incense.
      Curious about essential oil aromatics for relaxation. Have y’all tried them?

      • I too, can’t tolerate perfumes, scented candles or incense…. They give me migraines. But, interestingly enough, I have just started with essential oils. So far, there is only one that I can’t handle, but the others I’ve not had issue with. Maybe because they are in the purest state and not synthetically created.

  52. I always find myself taking a deep breath after reading your stuff. A deep breath with a hand over my heart. I may never make it to a yoga class, but at least I had a couple moments pause to read something that makes me take a cleansing breath. Much <3 from another hamster mind.

  53. Oh, Glennon, I wish you were here in my living room right now! Because then I could look you in the eye and tell you why you DON’T SUCK at yoga. Nobody sucks at yoga. That’s like saying I suck at praying. Because yoga is basically one big prayer session with God. Everything you do on your mat opens you up, so you can be available to Him. It doesn’t bother Him that you don’t look like the girl on the cover of Yoga Journal, so why even acknowledge the idea that you suck? The poses are just shapes…they don’t MEAN anything. From now on, reject the voices that tell you that you aren’t good enough–they aren’t founded in truth. Tell yourself that you are an awesome yogini, because you are! If you were here right now, I would also teach you how to lose your mind more frequently. Without a class. I wrote about that yesterday…that we don’t need anyone or anything to do yoga. God gave us the tools we need to lose our mind all the time, we just have to sharpen them. Check out mycrazyhealthylife.com. I am writing about yoga everyday this month, and I hope that it will resonate enough with you, that you will walk into your next class owning your awesomeness. : )

  54. So I’m gonna have to share this because I think that is the perfect description of my mind and I have not been able to find the right words for it. Describing the physical symptoms is easy its like having the flu all the time but thank you for describing the mind for me.

  55. “everybody has a secret world inside of them. all of the people of the world, i mean everybody. no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. not just one world. hundreds of them. thousands maybe.” – neil gaiman (the sandman)

    meaning we all have a some form of adjustment disorder, no? just depends which world we wake up to inside ourselves… sometimes we lose our sense of equilibrium in a good way or in a bad way.

    one of the great challenges of our time is understanding our mental illness. so we can help those who aren’t able to take the reigns of control (lack of a better term??) and step out of their minds. those who feel that the force of their minds is stronger and almost outside of themselves. so much so that it overcomes them, grinds them to some point of merciless (self) destruction (suicide and homicide).

    • Thank you for the reminder of this Neil Gaiman quote. It reminds me to pray to see all the thousands of worlds in me and before me, always.

      Thank you.

  56. I have always been afraid to tell people I’m thinking the same thing… why WOULDN’T a Christian want to kill themselves? Some days this life just sucks and Heaven just sounds so HEAVENLY!

  57. All I can say is Amen! Boy you hit my problems right on the head. Glad to know I’m not the only one. I wake up every morning and fight the voices in my head just to get out of bed. I’m sure a lot of people look at me and think I live a charmed life. If they only knew.

  58. amen

  59. Your post describes how I used to feel…until my late 30s, when I had an epiphany that made it stop. Maybe describing it will help someone. My father openly disliked me–he thought I was hyper/annoying and not as pretty as my sister, who he adored. He committed suicide when I was 15, so he never saw me blossom into a beautiful young woman who was a collegiate cheerleader and accomplished print and television journalist. Nor did he see me marry a professional football player turned accomplished lawyer. And, he never met our gorgeous, smart daughter. So, after a lifetime of feeling ugly and annoying, I went to a wise psychologist in my late 30s. I told him my story, and in ONE sentence, he fixed me: “So, you are telling me that the ENTIRE world has accepted you as beautiful, talented, charming, etc., but you are going to give ALL the weight to ONE man’s opinion, a man who was so weak that he killed himself? I think you should instead believe everyone else.” And that was what I needed. I am NOT kidding when I tell you that that sentence stopped the hamster thing you are talking about. I hope this helps someone.

  60. So glad I found this warm community! I’m a regular alphabet soup of initials: on the one hand, I’ve got “good” initials, like MRS. and PHD … and those I don’t mention on my social-media pages, like C-PTSD and DDNOS. My daily practice for today is: I am more than my initials.

    I don’t know if it’s o.k. to mention another writer (and please delete if not), but there is a wonderful Zen teacher named Cheri Huber who has beautiful things to say about shame and anxiety and what she calls “the voices” inside our heads. She suggests we approach the voices as we would any suffering being — with awareness and compassion. To paraphrase Cheri, we can be curious about what the voices say, but we don’t necessarily believe them … and much less ask them to run the show.

    To speak to Glennon’s metaphor, if we approach the Hamster as just that — a *hamster*, a little creature hopped up on its little worry-wheel, rather than as a huge Hairy Monster we’re trying to desperately stuff back into the closet, we can learn a lot about when we first met the hamster, how s/he learned to run like that … even to understand how the hamster is trying his or her little furry darndest to help (“it’s not safe to be real! it’s not safe to rest! it’s not safe to ask for help!”)

    I know my hamster popped up as a way to keep me safe from scary things and hurtful people. And I think sometimes it’s easier to run with him on his little worry-wheel than to pause and pet him on his little worried head. Sometimes he is running away too — from the scary, from the sad.

    Gentleness to all who venture here.

    • “I know my hamster popped up as a way to keep me safe from scary things and hurtful people. And I think sometimes it’s easier to run with him on his little worry-wheel than to pause and pet him on his little worried head. Sometimes he is running away too — from the scary, from the sad.”

      Thought-provoking. Thanks for the word picture. :-)

  61. I should really try Yoga… too bad I can’t get past the anxiety I have of my chubby butt in tight pants unable to do the thing. Anxiety and food are friends that hold hands in my corner of crazy town. I’m tired of trying to explain it to someone… from my judge-y mother to my “huh?” husband. I put my mask on and go about life quietly talking myself off the ledge built of fear. On the days when I’m brave enough to be authentic, I feel a tiny slice of freedom… on the days my hamster wheel stops spinning for 5 minutes, I feel joy. Freedom & Joy… both God things.

    • Try out a yoga video in the privacy of your own home. You can wear whatever you want and not be judged. Sweats work just fine! Libraries usual have many yoga videos. Then you can be comfortable with some of the poses if you do decide to go to a class.

      • Great in theory, but what if besides not wanting to be seen/not fitting in yoga pants, what if pain prevents this?

        • have you tried doing adaptive yoga? I did a class with my 2 girls and it was a lot of sitting in chairs and doing the poses, which was a lot more gentle than standing. Still peaceful, unless you have a two year old sitting on you, LOL.

    • Denise,
      I think I was meant to read this today. You sound like me! I don’t mind going to my gym and working out, but I HATE the part where I see myself in the mirrors, fluff and all. I just recently found a yoga class that turns down the lights. Not pitch black, but dark enough where everyone looks the same. The instructor has a soft spot light on her. I swear I can feel the tension disappear when the lights go off. I feel like it makes us all equals. There is soft music and lovely moments when, if I’m lucky, I “lose my mind”. :)

      I wish we could be brave and go to yoga together. Did I mention that I stink at yoga? I am NOT flexible at all, my balance is blah, but I think we all need to come to a point in our lives where we say “SCREW IT”. If yoga is something you want to do then, do it! Don’t be scared and worried about what others are thinking. Do you care what the other people are wearing or look like? Do you care if they can hold a tree pose or downward dog? I know it’s easier said then done, but I try and focus the fact I am helping myself get a little stronger each day. I am what matters and You matter.

      • It’s not all about the yoga pants themselves, friends. It’s about how anxiety lies to me… and how those lies seep into my perceived self-worth and affect my confidence. For me anxiety is not just the voice inside that I can’t seem to turn off, it also changes how I feel able to interact with the world.

        I appreciate the reminder from Teresa that I matter… whether I choose to pursue caring for myself via yoga or another path, the simple reminder that “I matter” is a good one. I’m definitely seeking a few sweet moments of losing my mind… preferably without the toddlers on top of me. (Like seriously, why does someone always have to be touching me??!) ;)

  62. ACIM Lesson Four today~these thoughts do not mean anything. Leave the meaningless thoughts outside yourself and find the meaningful within.

    Starting over with ACIM. After 11 months out of a year’s worth of lessons, started again at day one. Thank God for busted systems that let me take the course over! And, TY for Monkees with hampster minds.

  63. I was diagnosed in 2009 with PTSD, anxiety, depression… you name it, due to a history of sexual and physical abuse. I can totally relate to the feeling of wanting to Lose Your Mind, even just briefly, to stop the incessant chatter inside and be still. I used to find that place so easily as a child, but the older I get, the more difficult it becomes. Some days are easier than others. I am going to University because I believe that if I shift my focus, stop recycling those same pathways in my mind, I will heal myself. I have no proof of this, only faith, and for now that’s enough. I believe it’s working. Little by little, I feel my soul expand again, to fill my body and then some…
    Little by little, I find moments of peace.
    I cried when I read this post because it feels so amazing to be understood. You have a gift for making every one of us feel okay, feel seen, known, loved, heard… Thank you, G.

  64. I can so relate to the anxious, hampster-wheel-on-red-bull thoughts. Something that has worked wonders for me is a practice called centering prayer. It is a way of silencing our own thoughts and creating the space for the Spirit of God who is at our center to commune with God. Or, rather, to allow us to be aware of that communication which is already and continually happening.

    The idea is that we take a “passive” attitude to our thoughts: We don’t try to silence them, or to judge them, we just observe them passing by, like clouds in the sky, acknowledge them, and let them go. There is no “good” or “successful” — or “bad” or “unsuccessful” prayer time in this paradigm; as Father Keating says, “The only way to fail in prayer is to not show up.”

    I had been doing centering prayer for a while when my migraine doctor suggested I try biofeedback. I was surprised to find that it was basically the same thing! The only difference, beside the fact that religious terminology is not used, is that they hook you up to various sensors to monitor your body’s response to the meditation. In this way you teach yourself to control your body’s “autonomic nervous system” so that it doesn’t respond so often with “fight or flight” impulses. There is actually something called the “relaxation response” that you can teach your body through meditation.

    All of which to say, I highly recommend both centering prayer and biofeedback!

  65. I’m right along side ya there G
    head down chin up works for me,
    find what makes you happy it a real down to earth way…
    and do it…
    no drugs or drinkin g involved..
    some people may think I’m crazy,well that’s ok
    cause thats there problem not mine..
    Just trying to do the best I can
    and maybe, just maybe
    help someone along the
    way
    carry on fellow warrior….. see ya onthe top of the
    mountain,is whre i’m headed.. West Virginiy is what i say..
    it’s ALL Good…

  66. “I just want it to stop. No matter how well my soul understands that All Is Well- my mind doesn’t get it. It just refuses to accept the All Is Well memo.”

    This is it…this is what it is like inside my head…I have never been able to articulate it myself. How do we get our minds to accept the memo for more than a minute at a time?

  67. G – I have been reading your blog for a while now and love love love you! I always wanted to comment but never have..until NOW…now I HAVE TO!! I teach Therapeutic Yoga (what’s that? Isn’t all yoga Therapeutic you’re saying to yourself – I know and yes it is, for the most part) But I started my company Yoga Be~Well after 14 years working in the field of Human Services working with children and families seeing sometimes the worst of the worst and the most heartbreaking stories. For my own “sanity” I began practicing yoga in my 20′s now 20 years later I found it is my life calling to bring the gift of Yoga to others who could not or would not seek it out themselves!! I provide a mobile yoga service, teaching 1:1 or in small groups within peoples homes or wherever! I also teach at mental health and substance abuse residential programs and most recently working with cancer patients. Because like you I believe to the bottom of my soul that if we all could just sit with ourselves and allow some space we could seperate from that constant chattering of our “monkey minds” we could see that we are not our minds or our bodies (that we sometimes either love, hate, abuse or most often deny) We are beyond all of that and we are ALL CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER! Just the simple act of turning inwards breathing and allowing ourselves to be still… be still…to really be still and see the absolute beauty of life that we were given, to cherish it, ALL OF IT -even the ugly stuff! And to know that connection to ourselves and the connection to one another. As you have always said -WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER. And we do, we really do. I thank you so much for this post for speaking to what yoga can really do for one’s soul. It’s not about twisting into a pretzel it’s about the simple joy of going within ourselves to find the space and know our own beauty and learn to love ourselves, accept ourselves, and yes to lose our “Monkee Minds”

  68. I call it my “incessant internal monologue”. The vices try to shut it up. Usually fails.

  69. Well- since this past January I have been back in therapy. Since May, I came really “clean” with my therapist. Knowing that if I didn’t stop talking in secret codes or being too ashamed to put all of me in that office I would continue to spin my wheels and wanting out of not really my life- but definitely my mind, permanently. After an accidental alcohol overdose in December and waking up the next day to have my loved ones give me a playback- I thought, “Well, I probably shouldn’t drink anymore.” And I stopped. But I didn’t stop using my anorexia to be my buffer against the world. Parts of me still hold on to that bc I’m so afraid to let it go. It’s been on a pedestal between my husband and I for 22 years. And I’m a mother of two. Running and racing around being and doing everything they could ever want out of me. Trying to prove I’m a good mom despite my struggle. To my kids, I’m the “absolute BEST MOM EVER!!” I don’t broadcast my struggle- I don’t reach out for help with my insane thoughts to other moms bc in their eyes- I’ve got it all together! I show up all the time. I’m great at showing up. I love showing up- and in the quiet of my days I fall apart while cleaning or doing laundry or in between errands. My best friends are songs on a playlist entitled “You Got This”. I sit in church with my precious children and husband and beg not to be seen as I truly am- and pray in “sorries” that my walk of faith is messy and awkward and that I’m certainly his in-the-middle-of-all-his-children wild stubborn child who despite my external beauty is a mess inside with a fragmented heart and a tethered mind. For months I have attempted to reach out- be my true honest self. I’ve been too afraid. Too ashamed. Yadda yadda. And then I read the intro to your blog. And then I read more blogs and two days ago bought Carry On Warrior and started reading it. Your words and honesty are like coming up for breath. I feel as though much of it is clips and excerpts from my own life. I’ve said “thank you” a million times in my head and out loud while reading. So, thank you Glennon. Finding peace in my own mind is such a constant struggle for me- thanks for putting it out there. I don’t really want to die- I’m just desperate for a break from my own head!
    Much love and peace to you- ro

    • I’m living this with you. So many of us are. Glad you are in therapy. It helps. (((((HUGS))))) from one brave warrior to another. We can do brave things.

      • Thanks! Hugs are sometimes the greatest nourishment when I am starving. I’d like to feel like a warrior- honestly though I feel quite terrified. (((Hugs))))

    • Rosemary – I actually had that day on Tuesday – really! I came home from work completely overwhelmed by ALL THAT IS, and I honestly thought, “How seriously have you ever considered not sticking around?” I’m such a chicken, I can’t even say “suicide” to myself. I needed a break from my head. Sometimes it just takes too much effort with two kids, a job, a husband, and a head that won’t stay clear. There are demons in there, and every so often I have to kick them out. I hope I continue to have the strength to keep kicking them out. I hope you do, too.
      And, I thank G every day for her honest blog. It has saved my sanity many times over. SO happy I’m not the only one out there struggling, but SO sorry everyone is struggling. Hang in there, and we’ll try to be ourselves, okay?

    • Wow– Rosemary, thank you for your honesty. It helps all of us heal. Knowing that I am not alone is huge for me. I read the book this summer and absolutely LOVED it. I wanted to call G up and say thank you for writing such truth and love. I pray for healing for you and know that you are loved!

  70. I completely understand this! Never thought of Losing My Mind as a good thing before, just as something funny to say. Once I get home today I think I’ll see if I can find a way to lose mine, a little slice of heaven and stopping the hamster wheel sounds awesome!

  71. I am always so moved by these kind of honest posts…anyone who knew me then or now wouldn’t believe it but I remember many times as a teen thinking about killing myself…then spent my early 20s with an alcoholic and sometimes abusive boyfriend which sure didn’t help. so close I came to not turning the steering wheel at that sharp corner by my house…luckily my faith and probably a little guilt about what it would do to my parents always kept me on the safe side of many potentially dangerous situations. but I spent many years thinking I must have just been a drama queen or blaming myself for taking it all so seriously. But life is serious. My kids wonder why I cry in Church sometimes but with all of the peace and quiet and time with my own head there it is so hard to ignore the brutiful and sometimes it just overcomes me. Not necessarily in a bad way but in a releasing way. Maybe I will try Yoga too. Thank you as always Glennon for helping us see the gifts in our personal challenges and for knowing we are not alone. And I will be sure to show my husband bc he laughs when I tell him about all the arguments I have with him and some others in my head ;)

  72. I lost a cousin to suicide in 2007. He had been living with bipolar disorder for years. I always said that just because his illness was not an “obvious” one like cancer or something along those lines, it didn’t mean he was suffering any less. As tragic as it was to lose him and as heartbroken I was and still am for those he left behind, I know he felt it was his only choice. It was the only way he could silence the noise in his mind. This paragraph is EXACTLY how I feel…

    “But if they DID leave us to find it, then I believe with every iota of my being that they have found their forever heaven. That they have Lost Their Minds and so they can finally know with all of their being that All Is Well. That the memo has arrived.”

    • When I finally told my husband how I was feeling I said “I am dying. Literally. It’s like I have cancer or some deadly disease, but I don’t. But I’m telling you that I. AM. DYING. If I don’t do something, I am going to die.” This is real stuff, and it’s hard to explain because you can’t give it a name. If we stay, and we share and we help others we are brave. You are brave Tiffany. Thank you for sharing.

  73. Hi G,
    I don’t know how to share this but it’s weighing on me and since writing that made me feel like I might cry I know I have to type this.
    I found myself cringing a little inside worried that someone might read this and the “forever heaven” stuff and consider leaving. It’s probably just me and my “worrying too much” mind but I just need to say to anyone struggling.

    PLEASE don’t go. There is SO much good here and there are people to help you. There is always a way. Hang On…
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/gethelp/yourself.aspx

    Sorry G – I don’t want to mess up the wonderful peaceful vibe here but I’m scared for someone out there somewhere I don’t even know…now the tears…now a prayer. Please God, help them.

    • Thanks so much for posting your comment — I am concerned along these lines too. I LOVED this post until that paragraph.

    • Kerry S. , thank you for this. That line scared me too. I have a friend whose only child committed suicide last year and it is devastating. We need to do a better job as a society to help those suffering so they don’t reach for “forever heaven”.

    • Thank you, there is always someone willing to listen.

    • Hi Friend. I heard you, and I tried to make things clearer in the post.

      Love,
      G

      • G. Thank you for rewriting that paragraph. I know the last thing you meant to convey is that forever heaven is a good option for those still with us who are struggling. WE DO NEED ALL OF YOU!

      • Yes, Thank You G.
        I KNEW what you meant but something just hit me this morning – not even sure where those strong emotions came from exactly. Your words, this place, have a way of opening me up.
        It’s not always comfortable but I know it’s always good – I call it “heart yoga”.

        Love to all the hurting hearts out there. <3

  74. Glennon, I can really relate to this post. I can NOT turn it off and it is ruining my life. I have been through a horrible 3 years and I just can’t make my mind understand that I need some peace. I need it desperately and would do almost anything to get it. I used to think I had problems … kids, husband, money issues, work, household, friends, family, etc … listen to me Monkees … take it all in stride … it can always be much worse … husband have affair, divorce, friends abandon you, worse money problems going in to debt so far that you have no hope of getting out … and the sad thing is that it can be even worse than that. Just laugh when you feel that you don’t have anything left for the kids or your husband … sit down, say a prayer and move forward. LOVE your family and your role in it. PLEASE.

  75. It is very comforting to nod in agreement the entire time you’re reading something. I hate that damn hamster, but he sticks around. You have a great gift, Glennon. Thanks for sharing it with us and the world.

  76. SUZI- you are not alone love! Super brave mamas make appointments for psychiatrists when they need them! Bravo!!

  77. Yes yes. Sometimes I just want to Turn It Off. I once told my therapist that I needed to find a way to remove my actual head and rinse it out. Or at least press the ‘mute’ button for a while.
    Still, noisy minds can harvest vibrant words, and words heal.

    Love as always
    Rachel x

  78. Thank you!

  79. When you look at me you see the perfect mom speeding from her important job in her fancy office to pick up kids and take them to activities or attend a meeting or take a dinner to church or a friend in need. You see the perfect wife who has devoted over half of her life to a man who doesn’t deserve her devotion. You see the big house with the white wrap around porch, the four vehicles parked out front, the designer clothes, the fresh flowers arranged on the table. You see the six of us sitting together in a pew at church on Sunday with the littlest looking so cute in her Matilda Jane swing skirt and the oldest who is the pageant title holder. It’s only because of this place, this place full of honest people who from the outside look just like me, that I have finally been able to reveal to people the ragged, screaming woman inside that has been managing to hold this all together. The woman who runs around inside of me all day every day keeping everything going. The one who hasn’t had a shower in who knows how long, the one that is skin and bones because she couldn’t tell you the last time she had a meal, the one who has had the same pajamas on for weeks, the one who hasn’t brushed her teeth or hair or shaved her legs…she’s to busy keeping all the plates spinning and throwing duct tape on everything that is just about to bust loose. That woman and I are going to yoga tonight, and Monday we are going to the physiatrist for the very first time. I’m scared to admit that I’m standing on the ledge, but she’s going to hold my hand and I think it will be alright. Thank you G for being real and thank you to all who comment, making me realize that I’m not the only one, and that I don’t have to be perfect anymore.

    • AND THERE IT IS!!!! THERE IT IS, SISTER!!!!!! F YOU, Shame!!!! TAKE THAT!!!! This woman is COMMMMING OUT. SHE’S COMING OUT.

      AND the truth shall set you free, friend. Thank you for practicing here. It’s good, holy work you just did.

      I love you and sorry about the F You, Shame part I just got really fired up because: YES!!!!

    • My thoughts and prayers are with you today, dear Suzi. You are most definitely not alone.

      Blessings.

    • Suzi you are absolutely not alone. In fact, you’re in very good company.
      Much love, brave sister soldier x

    • Suzi, We’re holding your hand too sister. YOU CAN DO THIS!

    • You are brave and wonderful, even if you don’t believe it yet.

    • You are very brave, Suzi, and not alone. Much love to you.

    • Suzi, you are so not alone! Thanks for being brave and sharing! Every time I try to have my act together and be perfect, my brain explodes and my heart dies a little. I find that when I openly SUCK at life, God shows up BIG TIME and real life happens for me, and the people with whom I’m authentic. I’m praying for you. PS, for 20 yrs I encouraged tons of women to go to counseling…then I finally went myself! AWE-SOME! I hope it encourages your heart! #killingmonsters #freedom

    • Loving vibes sent your way, fellow woman traveler!

    • good luck Suzi! carry on!

    • I’ve been suffering from depression and the hamster talk most of my life. As a mom of 3 boys, working full time out of my home, I now know I can’t possibly juggle it all. I’ve stopped trying and it’s not so bad when a plate or two fall! My kids get to see I’m human. I’ve found that if I own my true feelings and share with my women friends, I learn that most of them are feeling just like me on the inside. That sets all of us free to be real with each other and stop the hamster from talking to all of us! Owning my depression has lessened its severity and frequency. I’m now helping a friend, Jenn Marshall of bipolarmomlife.com produce a show in the Washington, D.C. area to shine a light on mental illness – http://thisismybrave.com/ Please think about auditioning to share your voice, or attending to hear others and show your support. It’s blogs like Momastery and Jenn’s that will help us all feel like who we are is okay.

    • Hooray for you, Suzi! This is one of the biggest braves there is to do, and you can do it. We are all here for you, especially those of us who have already crossed the official “I need help” line. It will. get. better.

    • Carry on, BRAVE Suzi!! You’ve got this. First step- mastered! Sending love, light and prayers to you. Enjoy your ups tonight!! Hugs

  80. Perfect, as always. Shared parts of it with my 69 year old husband and he loved it as much as I did. I’m so thankful for young, insightful, breathtakingly honest writers, such as yourself! You are a delight.

  81. Good golly, Miss Molly, I get this. I actually had to stop going to yoga for a while after my crisis because it made me cry uncontrollably. Before, it felt like a needed separation from my ever-present and ever-busy brain, but in the middle of the crisis, something about breathing and breathing and being in my body felt like too too much. I would weep uncontrollably through every class, and I felt terrible for the people around me. My teacher said I must be doing something right if yoga was helping me access and release those emotions. It wore me out though! I’m tiptoeing my way back in, now that I cry at other times with regularity. I think I can handle yoga again, and I think it might help me moderate all the selfy-ness and all the Jen-ness that wears me out on a daily basis. Also, incense makes me feel calm and pulled together for some reason. Like I just shopped at Whole Foods and drank a green smoothie–even though I actually just had a Coke from Sonic.

  82. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. My incredibly intelligent and artistic 15 year old daughter struggles daily with anxiety issues. We work together on this and we are getting her the help she needs but it is so wonderful to have what I know is her similar experience described so eloquently by you. I feel by giving us a glimpse into your head and heart space you have given me the gift of seeing a bit more clearly into my daughter’s mind.

    • Oh sweet Michelle, I’m glad.
      I have anxiety “issues” too, But whenever anyone mentions that, I want to say: OR….MAYBE YOU HAVE A NOT PAYING ATTENTION ISSUE. BECAUSE THERE IS ACTUALLY A WHOLE LOT TO BE ANXIOUS ABOUT, PEOPLE.

      But I don’t say that. I just take a deep breath and smile. Love to you and your baby. Thank God she found art. That’s the place for us – that’s the place.

      • Yes! That’s it! They aren’t paying enough attention! You tell ‘em, G. I may even take this to show my counselor this afternoon.

  83. Bravo. In this light, I’m finally learning to not feel guilty that what I try to do for a living is add humor and feel good factor. It doesn’t save lives (in the doctor sense) but maybe it helps someone ‘lose their mind’ for a minute so someone can catch their breath. Thanks for today’s post!

  84. Amen sister! My mind is killing me today and yes I get the suicide comment. Any little peace/piece of heaven would be good today from my mind.

    I HATE this when it happens – I don’t understand itn – it gets in the way of the day.

    If anything it feels good to know I’m not alone today, right now, right this second.

    Namaste,
    ~v

  85. Oh my gosh, yes. Yes yes yes. I often call yoga my Vacation From My Head. And in some ways that feels very lucky because I get to go on vacation almost every day. Thankfully there is no good or bad at yoga, although I do love watching those closer to the “master” level than I am. It is really beautiful. But then I think of this woman who has lost so much in her life, yet still can go stand in front of a mirror and move around intentionally and unplug her mind and sometimes even rise to her higher self and dang, run-on sentence, that is pretty beautiful too.

    Yoga is great for Earth adjustment issues. I am living proof.

  86. Dude, I’m so with you.

  87. G, please tell me where you got that picture of the tree with the butterflies. I love it! I want to try it for my soon-to-be daughter’s room. It will probably end up like a Pinterest Fail, but I have to try.

    P.S. Gorgeous post! I feel the same way about incense as Craig, but the same way about yoga as you. :o)

    • That’s my dining room. :) We don’t “dine,” So there’s nothing in our dining room except for this little quiet spot and some books and pillows and candles.
      I got the tree decal and butterflies at Target for $20. My little bansai i got at a nursery and i love it so much. His name is Chi. Those three candles are Father, Son, Holy Spirit or sometimes Mother, Daughter, Holy Spirit, or sometimes Past , Present, Future, or sometimes Chase, Tish, and Amma or sometimes Faith, Hope, and Love. I pray for you guys there all the time.
      I’m actually going to stop writing because really, you’ve probably had enough of my weird for one day.

      • I’m very impressed! It looks like such a peaceful spot. I will probably leave out the candles and a plant like Chi because: flame + poisonous plants + infants = BAD, but I’m so happy to hear this is a Target project. Really, is there anything that Target can’t fix? I hope my end result is as zen as yours. Have a wonderfully weird day. :o)

      • I love your weird (and no that’s not a typo – I meant “your” not “you’re”. Your weird and my weird could totally hang out.

    • I’m not G, but you can find vinyl trees all over etsy in custom sizes and colors. I’ve seen the 3-D butterflies at places like Target and Hobby Lobby. Or you can google 3-D butterfly wall decor / 3-D butterfly wall art.

  88. I’m familiar with that hamster, the little bugger. I actively argue with mine, which amuses everyone around me at the time. At least I choose to believe it’s amusing to them. I have been known to yell “STOP! Just give it a rest for a minute” to him and my kids or husband are like, “What? I’m just standing here.” Oops, said that out loud. “Not you, honey, just the hamster. Carry on.”

  89. That was my first diagnosis, too! Adjustment disorder, aren’t we always trying to adjust to something? Otherwise we’d have “watching the world go by” disorder. Oh, wait, that’s me on Lexipro. Anyhoo…I feel ya sister! Much love and hugs, Michelle

  90. “If there’s nothing to be upset about, it makes stuff up. It has pretend arguments that will never, ever happen with people we don’t like but will never meet.”

    Uh huh. Me too. All the time. And arguments that I should have had with people I actually interface with, and all the things I would love to say to people about love and shame and humility but never will because my love isn’t big enough and my shame is 8 sizes too large.

    Phew. So glad it’s not just me.

  91. i thoroughly understand the desire to escape from my mind and believe that those moments are truly heaven!

  92. I’m in LOVE with yoga! Luh-uv! Which is why I’ve probably felt like the friggin’ hamster lately because I haven’t carved out the time to love myself that way in a while. I love this, “We “mentally ill” – our minds are on overdrive, all the time. And so we don’t really need a piece of your mind – we just need some peace from our own minds. Some relief.” My counselor says I am a “highly cognitive thinker…” I think that’s sweet and all, making my brain sound brilliant…the reality is, when I STOP, let my heart and mind go, spend time reading God’s word, meditating on His awesomeness, and contorting my body in ways I never knew I could do, it’s there I’m able to adjust, or at least peacefully exist, in this life on earth. Thanks for this encouragement this morning! xoxox

  93. I’m not the only one having impassioned arguments in my mind with people I dislike but will never meet! You have no idea how comforting that is.

  94. yep. Most days, I so want to lose my mind. <3 you!

  95. Ah, yes, adjustment to life on earth can be a struggle. I found a scrap of paper in my mom’s handwriting, “Life is a very strange place.”

    Love to all the Monkees today!

  96. I’ve been watching/feeling the hamster race all week. It’s been hard, incredibly hard, and I need a break. I feel like watching the hopped-up hamster is draining my soul. It’s all swirling down into a void, like water going down a drain. Fighting furiously to not fall into it. It’s hard. Damn hard. Good to know, though, that I’m not alone in it. <3

  97. Sometimes when I get like this, all I can tell people is that I just feel like I need a vacation from myself. Usually I get confused looks but I have a feeling you know what I mean.

    • Yes. Yoga, meditation, a book in the bathtub, sitting on the beach by myself, deep, deep breaths these are all mini-vacations from myself. And I need them throughout the day.

      Actually- i think they are TUNING IN to my highest self. They are vacations FROM my un-self.

      • “Vacations from my un-self”. That is so profound to me, I can’t even put in into words. Thank you for validating that the soul could be different from the mind {as is mine}. And I love the idea of taking a vacation from my un-self. I think my soul & I need some time alone.

  98. Hamster hopped up on red bull. Yes, totally that’s me. All.the.time. If I stop moving the anxiety starts to seep in. So I just keep moving. It’s exhausting. When I’m close to hitting the wall I come here. This is my yoga. The only one I have time for. I sit & breathe & read & re-read the essays & then get up & start moving again. Life is exhausting but worth the small moments of amazing.

  99. And THIS is exactly why I’m going to a shrink this morning. Because the lifelong depression exacerbated by the PTSD from stage 4 ongoing cancer, weekly chemo, contentious divorce from a pathological and running the endless carpool have culminated in my utter exhaustion. And you’d think my hamster-wheel mind would STOP ALREADY But no, it doesn’t. Music helps, meditation helps, yoga is good, but I get get get why addictions kick our asses. It’s easier/impossible to drink up/shoot up/shop up than it is to sit still and feel like we’ll be eaten alive by our endless thoughts.

    St. Anne says we tune in too often to KFKD radio. I call it my spin cycle when I’m being my nicer self. When I’m being real, I call it the endless mind-fuck. One of my friends calls it “letting someone else move furniture around in your head.” Still, naming it doesn’t bring deliverance. One day at a time. Love you, girl.

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