Amy Gets An "F"
The Wednesday Advice Smackdown

How To Feel

Before I begin, let me take a moment to say a big huge slobbery THANK YOU to everyone who has left nice comments or sent me email or poured their heart out or shared their story or made funny faces or distracted me with shiny objects or let me vent all over their inbox or just "been there" for me over the last week. THANK. YOU. Without you and the ability to translate my freak-outs into words on this site, I am sure I would be even worse. And that's a scary-ass fucking thought. So thank you. (Yes, YOU.)

And to the raging asshats who did the complete opposite and said mean things? STFU. I don't share everything on this site, so you don't know the fucking HALF of what I'm struggling with and how dare you diagnose what "my problem" is based on two or three euphimistic posts. In the words of a very wise woman: Shut up and then shut up some more, asshole.

Also, get your roots done.

Whee. That felt nice.

Speaking of feelings (FEEEEEELINGS), I think it's time that I officially announced that this site has drunk the Garden State/Zach Braff Kool-Aid and is damn happy about it. I saw the film a couple weeks ago, and it was already whipping up Big Fat Greek Wedding-type hysteria and I had to sit in the very first row of the theater because we dared to arrive during the opening credits.

And that's how I know my love for Zach Braff is real and meant to be, because his nose looked HUGE from the first row. And yet my love goes on for him. Him and his giant-ass nose.

(He also made me the most kick-ass mix CD ever. Just for me, for my very own. He had Sarcomical send it to me though, just so the paparazzi wouldn't find out about our perfect love and bother me. Thanks Zach. And thanks Melissa, Zach and I owe you one.)

If you haven't seen the film, you really should. I'm sure I'm not the only person who will tell you that. Not everyone loves it -- it's your typical low-budget indie where not a lot happens over a vague timeline riddled with plot holes and all the characters talk a lot. This is true. But it's also a lovely little film about an overmedicated generation who have been raised not to feel anything except focus and control over our emotions. The main character was incorrectly put on medication in his childhood and goes off them cold turkey after his mother's funeral.

Certainly not my story. Lord no. Medicate me to the gills, doc, please. Up that dosage, bitch.

But the struggle is to keep feeling. Anything. Zoloft is advertised with a cute little cartoon blob who is all frowny and sad and then with a little pill he's happy and bouncy with all the other blobs. Birds sing and bunnies hop and la la la. Everyone who's got the blues or the mean reds thinks that maybe a couple months on Zoloft will perk them up.  Feeling shy? Paxil!  Hey guys! Wellbutrin will make you happy and not take away your erection!

And these drugs do help people. I've been on Effexor, Zoloft, Lexapro, Klonopin and Trileptal, with varying degrees of success (and failure) on each. Right now I'm banking on Wellbutrin and Risperdal to be my ticket back to real life.

But these drugs can hurt. The side effects will boggle and scramble your mind. You shake, you oversleep, you tick and you drink gallons of water. You throw up when you start a new one and you throw up when you go off it. Your brain buzzes and zaps as the synapses adjust. Your head hurts and your vision blurs.

You can go numb, both physically and emotionally. I don't want that. It's okay to feel stuff. Not every emotion is going to lead to panic or despair. Sometimes being sad or scared is just part of life, though. Where's the line?

Garden State articulated this message well. (Better than all mah booshit ramblin' here, anyway.) And while I'm not advocating that we all go confront our vertigo by screaming into a gaping chasm in the rain while balanced precariously on construction equipment, I am constantly reminding myself how to feel things. How not to curl under the covers and drool and stare and pop pills each time an emotion sweeps over me.

Gee, Amy, you've taken an awful long time to get to the damn point here.

I know, I know, I'm sorry. I meant to write a short introdution to a list of 10 Things It Is Okay That I Am Feeling and got carried away.

Oh my God, there's still a whole list?


Damn, you're self-absorbed and also boring now.

So I've been told.

I'm not reading you anymore! Wah. Write about being drunk again!

Shut up before I bitchslap you, peasant. Go get me a soda.



10 Things It Is Okay That I Am Feeling

1. It is okay to be sad that the dry cleaners could not get the red pen stain out of my favorite blue sweater.

2. It is okay to cry when your wonderful husband makes you coffee in the morning because you are so tired all the time and he wants you to not crash the car on the way to work, and because it's about YOU and not so much about him loving his car that much.

3. It is okay to be hurt when people say mean things.

4. It is also okay to call them names if it helps you not obsess on the mean things.

5. It is okay to eat candy for dinner.

6. It is okay to bury your face in your cat's fat belly and think that heaven is not made of clouds, but of warm furry cat bellies.

7. It is okay if THIS all but breaks your heart with the love and the squee.

8. It is okay to want to watch hours and hours of cartoons.

9. It is okay to giggle hysterically over seeing THIS on your morning commute.

10. It is okay to love a man, a cat and a wee dog more than your own life and to find all your happiness in the moments when you're all piled together on the couch, eating candy for dinner and watching cartoons.



I hope you find what you need. Ceiba picture definitely involved a lot of squee over here. You seem pretty strong from what you write and you did go to Penn State. You will be ok, I am sure.


Hugs to you Amalah :-)


My stupid work computer wouldn't let me on your blog, so I didn't get to tell you to feel better. I'm glad you are doing a little better, and hope you told the fuckers that were mean to you exactly where to go. Your dog is so cute, he will obviously be the first canine president,as no one will be able to resist his wee-ness. Be happy and keep going over your list, I've had lists of my own and reading them really helped.


Yay for Amalah :)


The people that were mean to you? I need names. Right now. Because I am going to kick all of their asses. I'm serious! It might take a week or two to fit into my schedule, but asses will be kicked! Bastards.

And it's certainly ok to love Garden State...I loved it as well. Though not in a I'm-going-to-build-a-shrine-to-Zach-Braff kind of way. Ok, I'm lying. I'm totally building a shrine at my desk right now.


Ceiba? Serious squee.

Love and cat bellies to you, doll.


Squee is good. As is puppy-piling with the ones you love. :)

bond girl

:-) Smooches and hugs to you.


Glad you're doing better. I'm sure the candy for dinner and the adorable Ceiba helped.


The bunnies and I are glad you are feeling better:)


Sounds like you're finding pleasure in the little things, and isn't that what it's all about? You should totally eat candy for dinner whenever you want.

type a

on my couch? with toddler, monty, sadie and asa (?)? makes everything okay - even when toddler's squishing us all.

it's the small things, really.

and i'm totally going door to door with kerry for the ass kickings. bitches.


I’m with Kerry. I’ve got a hankerin’ for some spankerin’. You tell me who these people are and I will track them down a la Jay and Silent Bob with a sockfull of quarters.

Seriously, what kind of asstoad reads your heartbreaking descriptions of panic and depression only to think, “You know Amy needs right now? Criticism and amateur diagnosis. And perhaps a smattering of character assassination.” Having been there with my husband, I know how difficult it is to get the pharmaceutical mix right. And I applaud your bravery to discuss your feelings in a public forum.

I hope things are on the upswing for you and that the smile returns again. (And I don’t say that because I’m anxiously awaiting another brilliant post on Snarkywood. I really mean it.)


Yay! Amalah feeling better today!

I hate mean people. BOOOO! That's what happens when you open yourself up. You open it up to good and bad. But good totally whoops bad's ass!

Did you see? Did you see? I gots myself a new baby too!!! Wheeeeee! (*ahem* she likes to bite - bah!)


No ass-kickings necessary, loavers. We shall ignore the Haters, and focus on how much we do need each other's love and support. Ain't the Internet weird and grand? It's as crazy as we humans are sometimes.


Cartoons rule.

Glad I don't have to tow portapotties for a living. Or clean 'em.


Cat bellies are the BEST for taking naps on the couch with. They make awesome warm purry pillows that everyone should have.


yes, my is ok to feel. :) and your puppy is DAMN adorable. my mom raises/breeds mini doberman's and they are my most favorite cuddle puppies ever!

just take it one day at a time. do what you need to do to make you happy. :)


It IS ok to love your husband and your dog so much (that's my case anyway, no cat) that you feel all happy and goopy inside. I have found myself crying over how beautiful and cute my wonderful puppy is and can't imagine how I will behave once I finally have a baby (another infertile over here). Enjoy the new pup and continue to love the cat and all my thoughts are with you (oh, and you can love your husband too).

A faithful, but usually silent reader,



You definitely sound like you're on an upswing, thanks to the help of all your loved ones and pets and lists. Keep on truckin', ya hear? You're doing great. Am sending happy vibes your way.


The 11th thing it's okay to feel: It's okay to feel like you can share this kind of stuff with your readers, even if a few ass-sucking dickweeds try to ruin it by getting all up in your shit about it. All y'all armchair psychiatrists? GFY! Keep it to yourselves, nimrods.

The rest of us loave you, Amy. You just keep right on doing what you're doing as long as it helps you. And by the way, I think my 4-year-old would heartily approve of your list. And that's a good thing...I'm firmly convinced that little kids have the Meaning of Life figured out -- all of us do, at that age. Then we somehow lose it as we get older.


I'm glad things seem to be working out for you. Yes, cat bellies seem to be a better treatment than all the lorazapam in the world. Keep your spirits up

Take Care

feisty girl

Cat bellies are the best. Like warm hay and love. Have you ever been hypnotized? I have, to help with my anxiety. Swear to GOD, when the doctor told me to go to completely happy place, I thought of smelling my kitty's belly.


The only fix for the mean reds is a trip to Tiffany's. Maybe, while you're there, you can get Zach some gold caps for his teeth, which are MUCH larger than his nose.


There are so many TinkerToy Freuds on the internet that it amazes me - the entire blog-writing NATION should be HEALED of ALL DISCORD and STRIFE, the way these people seem to know what is best for the blogging brain.

They love me, too, and God bless them; but I agree with you - fuck them in the ear.

Glad to hear you're feeling better. :)


glad you're feeling better, Madame Queen. We love you and want you to feel good and not tired and vomity and especially want to kick mean commenters in the teeth. Even if they did come back to apologize.


Happiness is definitely a warm, furry cat belly!

Fraulein N

Gawd, who are these assholes who were mean to you? Gah. Buncha bastards. Anyway, hope you're feeling better.


First comment (I think...), but reader forever.
I'm a dad, two daughters, a bulldog, hottie wife/best freind, mortgage, blah blah.
Sometimes, though, the darkness goes on for months. I think Lincoln called it "the Hypo." For me? What helps?
And Maker's Mark. heh.

No chits.

Laura B

Dearest Amalah, Even when you're struggling to keep your head above water, we will read you and loave you. And your pets. And your husband, but not in a creepy, stalkerish way. And as much as we loave you, you are not obligated to entertain us so bring on the crazy when you feel the need.


I can only wish you happiness and hope that all works out for the best in the end.


Hey man, not ALL of the JLB is grooving on teh Garden State KoolAid. Some of us (who may or may not have been called wise in this entry) think that movie sort of sucked.

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