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The Darkly Funny Book I Can’t Stop Thinking About

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I just finished a book that made my head explode. It. Was. So. Good…

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason.

The premise: When Martha was 17, a bomb went off in her brain. For decades after, she suffers through bouts of depression or rage that can hit her at any time. She knows something is wrong with her but she doesn’t know what it is. Still, her hilarious sister, Ingrid, and adoring husband, Patrick, stand by her. Until she turns 40 and blows everything up.

The novel was promoted in Australia as “humorous and heartwrenching, for those who loved Fleabag and Normal People” — it has a similar funny, dark, honest sensibility that makes you root for its complicated characters.

Here are a few excerpts, so you can get a sense. First, a bedtime routine with her husband:

Even when he put the journal away, he kept rubbing my back. Sometimes for the whole of Newsnight, sometimes after he would turn off the light. That was when I felt the most loved.

One night, I rolled over in the dark and asked if he had any feeling left in his thumb. I said, “How can you do that for so long?”

He said, “I’m hoping it turns sexual.”

I told him that was a shame. “I’m hoping it turns into me being asleep.”

Patrick said, “May the best man win.”

And an excerpt about her depression:

Patrick called, I cried on the phone. He said his plane was leaving in an hour, he would be back so soon.

I asked him to stay on the phone and talk to me and I could just listen. I told him I was very scared.

“Of what?”

“Me.”


As someone who struggles with mental illness (of the anxiety/depression variety), I found myself nodding along to many insights. Sorrow and Bliss is now on my short list of favorite books (including Olive Kitteridge and An American Marriage). I’d be really curious to hear what you think.

sorrow and bliss by meg mason

(My only grumble is that the cover feels misleading. It makes it look lighter, maybe less literary. But don’t let it put you off!)

P.S. We’ve rounded up many of our recommended books here!

(Top photo by Marc Bordons/Stocksy.)

  1. L says...

    Thank you so much for this recommendation, it touched so many bruises on my heart. I can’t stop thinking about it and am secretly glad to have read a library copy so that I can buy one for myself and underline as I re-read it. Such a heartbreakingly true account of life’s peaks and valleys. Not since Mr Darcy has a simple declaration of love been so devastatingly poignant. “‘Utterly,’ he said. ‘I loved you utterly.’”…. Just. Perfect.

  2. I just finished this on your recommendation. I’ve never suffered from depression, but I can’t help but imagine that this is exactly the voice of someone who does. It felt so incredibly authentic and true, raw, real and so deeply funny. At times, I felt weird laughing, but I guess that’s what it is: one moment you’re up and then the next you’re down and that’s life. My favorite part of this book that I noted down was this: “Everything is broken and messed up and completely fine. That is what life is. It’s only the ratios that change. Usually on their own. As soon as you think that’s it, it’s going to be like this foreever, they change again.”

  3. jaime says...

    Me too. I don’t want to put it away!

  4. Jo says...

    I read this based on your recommendation and it instantly rocketed into my top five books of all time. The relationship between the narrator and her mother felt more true and understandable to me than any relationship I’ve ever seen on the page. It’s a gift to feel so seen, and when I closed the book my first thought was, “I’m so thankful for writers for putting up with the insane emotional labor of writing so we can all feel this way.”

    THANK YOU!

  5. Abby says...

    I just finished this while nursing my newborn baby…sobbing and laughing. If someone doesn’t make this into a tv series, like in the next 5 minutes, I will utterly die.

  6. Emily says...

    I just finished this book and I loved it so much. I feel sorry for the next book I start because it’s just not going to compare.

  7. K says...

    I picked up this book thanks to your rec, am 75% through it, and LOVE IT so much. The characters are realistically flawed people who I can’t help but love and who are treated tenderly by the author.

    I’m recommending it to all my friends and hoping my husband will read it next because I feel like it will give him a glimpse inside my head.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so glad to hear that!!

  8. M says...

    Thank you for recommending this book! I absolutely loved it. And can we talk about Winsome? Something about that character just broke my heart <3

  9. Robin L says...

    Just finished this and LOVED. Thank you for the recommendation!!

  10. Catie Cummings-Morris says...

    I bought this book after seeing Ann Patchett rave about it on the Parnassus IG. I loved it so much I tracked down some of the author’s favorite books to read. Brother of the More Famous Jack was a hidden gem for me, and has quite a similar feel to Sorrow and Bliss. Highly recommend!

    • Catie Cummings-Morris says...

      I should say, CW for infant loss and triggering language.

    • Sarah says...

      I finished reading it yesterday, thanks to Ann Patchett’s review. I LOVED the Dutch House, but BOTMFJ is my favourite book since 20 years. So I feel like I just found out that 2 people I love, from completely different circles, know one another and I had no idea. But… of course!!

  11. Sara says...

    I loved it. And then I went and read everything else she has written, and loved it as well. I feel a kindred connection to her writing.

  12. Debra says...

    I loved this book. It has remained on my bedside table weeks after finishing it, it just makes me happy to see it there.
    This is a book to press into everyone’s hands. It made me think of Laurie Colwin. With pathos.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I have left it on my bedside table too!

  13. S says...

    I absolutely loved this book – the dry sense of humor balanced by such gorgeous sweet moments made this a near perfect read. Her father, her mother..so tender.

  14. Kat says...

    The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett – such a lovely and simple book that had me crying happy tears at the end.

  15. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! Sorry– the all caps is aggressive, but that’s how much. It’s wonderful when people you love, love the books you love. AND the author and editor (who’s a friend) are so fabulous and lovely. And that makes it extra great. I second Joanna– you will be utterly charmed by this book for so many reasons.

  16. Rita says...

    I think you can only enjoy this book if you didn’t experience similar things yourself. To me, it’s painful to read about neglected children and hurt parents bringing up hurt kids. And humor doesn’t help, I know all too well a great sense of humor develops as a coping mechanism and to me it’s just one more sign of what this person went through to survive.

    • Mart says...

      Agree!

  17. Laura says...

    I also loved this book and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I returned it to the library and walked to the bookstore to buy my own copy. It’s so funny and so smart.

  18. Megan says...

    Based on your list of favorites, I think you will also love Writers and Lovers by Lily King! One of my favorites, and you and I usually have the same taste in books. :)

    • Ellen says...

      I loved writers & lovers too! Yes. Highly recommended.

  19. Kate says...

    Darn, now I really want a sweater tank like the one in the picture..

    • Lisa H. says...

      Me toooooo!

  20. Julie says...

    I just love your blog! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used these suggestions whether it’s a tv show, book or some other tip. I always feel like I just connected with a friend which is extra valuable these days! You write beautifully. And I also deal w/ anxiety + depression, thank you for being so open about your experience. It truly helps.❤️

  21. Erica says...

    I LOVED this book!

  22. Janie says...

    Joanna, I am SO pleased to see one of my favourite books featured here today! Meg Mason is a brilliant writer and to me her writing contains everything I love in a contemporary novel – flawed yet loveable characters, and a perfect dance between the humour and sadness that everyday life delivers. Please seek out her earlier novel ‘You be Mother’ too, it is equally tragic, hilarious and beautifully observed. Both standout books to me. As an Antipodean I love the way Mason can segue between Australia and Europe, making both places so familiar.

  23. Amy Dieschbourg says...

    This Blog Gives Me Life!!!!!!!

  24. Kate says...

    Thanks for these recommendations! Sounds intriguing, and I love dark humor!

  25. A Reader says...

    I bought this book based on the comments to your last post on recommended readings. I have struggled with mental illness since high school (and probably before), so 30 plus years. This book gutted me and opened my eyes. My husband is very similar to the character in the book — I cried for two days after as it gave me a birds eye view into what it is like to be the spouse of someone with mental illness. The writer is brilliant and I cannot recommend this book enough.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Love this. Sending you the biggest hug. xo

  26. Laura says...

    I guess I’m in the minority–I found it supremely intelligent, well-written, and witty, but overwhelmingly sad. It’s that genre of watching people self-destruct that I find just really painful to watch/read (just as I do when I see people do it in real life). It was a great book, just not for me right now.

    • Elliesee says...

      A Little Life, I am looking at you

    • Rue says...

      Okay I’m always wary of books like this for this exact reason! I have PTSD and I’m sensitive to the difference between characters illuminating the experience of mental health challenges versus kind of reveling in the struggle, if that makes sense. I have triggers around non-consent and other types of danger, and I find those circumstances often get used to almost highlight or emphasize things for the characters, which is really a no go for me. I rely on a few trusted literary friends to vet books for me. I understand others may really appreciate the parts of these books that don’t work for me, and to each her own! But books like Normal People, or their film/tv adaptations, are just never going to be enjoyable for me, and that’s okay.

  27. Jessica says...

    Lol! I’m an expat Aussie and just last night was googling to try and find a good Australian book / author. This post could not have been more timely :)

    • Brianna says...

      Jessica, not that you asked for a random stranger’s opinion, but I’m a librarian and so can’t help myself. Have you read Melina Marchetta novels? Some of her best work–The Piper’s Son, On the Jellicoe Road–are actually YA novels but they’re so extraordinarily good, even if you usually reject YA they’re worth a read. Just thinking about them is making me want to read them again.

    • Jessica says...

      Hi Brianna. Always happy for recommendations. I actually don’t mind a bit of YA, so I will definitely see if I can get hold of some Melina Marchetta novels.
      Thank you :)

    • Brianna Glenn says...

      Oooh, hooray!! I’m so glad you’re giving her a try–I think you’re in for a treat! :)

  28. Emma says...

    This book was wonderful – made me laugh and cry alternatively throughout!

  29. Jessica Camerata says...

    oooh adding this to my Goodreads list. And now wishing ther were more seasons of Fleabag!

    xo Jessica

    • Cynthia Miller says...

      Try “This Way Up.” It’s similar to Fleabag, but not quite. I really enjoy it.
      I also found a list of shows TV Guide compares to Fleabag and some of them look interesting.

  30. Anna says...

    Delighted to see an Australian book recommendation on here! Can confirm this book is wonderful. Highly recommend.

  31. Ceridwen says...

    I loved this book!!!

  32. Annie says...

    The Snow and The Works on the Northern Line by Ruth Thomas. I found myself listening to this on bbc a few months ago and really enjoyed it. The narrator is funny and believable and the story itself is realistic without being dull.

  33. Marna says...

    Yes yes!! Great book. The cover for Australian edition was perhaps more representative. If you are looking for another great Aust novel “A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous thing” by Jessie Tu is breathtakingly good

  34. Lena says...

    Kind of tangential but: did the contents of your shopping page disappear or is it just me? Miss those recs!

  35. Kat says...

    I opened CoJ today in the middle of a slow meeting that suddenly picked up as the page loaded, so I only caught a glimpse of the post title. I spent all day thinking Joanna had called this post “The Darkly Funny Book I Want To Marry” and was like hmmm I wonder how Alex feels about that ;) Looking forward to reading this most eligible book!

  36. Melinda says...

    So pleased to see this wonderful novel getting the props it deserves! I absolutely loved it. FWIW, Meg Mason’s earlier memoir about motherhood, ‘Say it again in a nice voice’, is the best I’ve read in the genre. Hilarious, clear-eyed, unforgettable.

  37. Nadya Dayani says...

    i looooooooved it!!!

  38. K says...

    Can’t wait to read this! I loved escaping into the realistic unreal world of Normal People & Conversations with Friends, which feels like a dark thing to say, but what can I say.

  39. Bobby says...

    Joanna, c
    ould you please, please write about your experience with medication if you’re willing to share? Currently struggling with/considering switching meds

    • Sadie says...

      General comment for switching meds because this is what I wish someone told me!

      When switching meds go low and slow. Start with a low dose and make sure you create space where you can have some slow days while your making the switch. If you have a friend or partner try to schedule time for someone to take care of you. Ask you therapist to give you a call 2 or 3 days after your planned switch.

      Second, record how you feel everyday. The more information your doctor has the more helpful they will be. Often sitting down and trying to explain how you’ve felt for a week or a month can feel too big.
      Sending love to anyone who feels the clouds in close <3

  40. Susan says...

    This. Was. Amazing!!!

  41. Kc says...

    In search of a book to help me feel my feelings. I don’t want heavy disturbing subjects like rape or murder or abuse. Something kind, touching, help me cry.
    I’m under a ton of stress for the last 3 yrs and I think my brain survival mode has made me numb or unable to focus on feeling. Or I am just so accustomed to having to hold it all in for my family, patients, employees…
    Recommendations appreciated

    • Abesha1 says...

      84 Charing Cross Road

    • Madeleine says...

      The one book that will consistently make me cry is a super short one I read as a kid, Edward’s Eyes by Patricia MacLachlan. I haven’t read it for years, so I don’t know if it will hit the same for adults, but it was the sweetest ever of kids books. And sometimes, a little children’s book is just what you need.

    • S says...

      I hear you and am in a similar boat. Your description is so spot on. I found Burnout by the Nagoski sisters helpful. Also lots of Brene Brown, especially the Gifts of Imperfection. Not yet ready for the direct emotionality of fiction/novels but these books helped me to feel a little more human, which is a good start. My very best wishes to you.

    • Joanne says...

      Anxious People (a novel by Fredrik Backman)

    • mimi says...

      Or watch the movie Mr. Church. I recently rewatched it and I cried alot, which is what I wanted to happen. So very touching and caring movie.

    • Anni says...

      The Chicken Sisters
      Cooking for Picasso
      The year of saying yes – Hannah Doyle
      The Switch – Beth O’Leary

    • Alice says...

      The Flat Share by Beth O Leary could be good? Or How Do You Like Me Now by Holly Bourne?

    • Alex says...

      The House in the Cerulean Sea! It’s well-written, touching, and just downright delightful.

    • Claire says...

      Our Souls at Night.

    • Agnès says...

      84 Charing Cross Road is a good recommendation, I loved it; I had forgotten about it… I would recommend Circé, by Madeline Miller; I’ve read it several times in the last months; for me, there is a right balance of fiction and the struggles of a (magical) woman we can relate to, she’s such a force. It gave me energy.

    • LG says...

      Dinner with Edward. Heartwarming, kind and uplifting.

    • • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
      • Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
      • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
      • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
      • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (or anything by Anne Lamott)

      I hope that helps, KC :) hugs

    • Kate says...

      Outline by Rachel Cusk. It’s a simple premise but such an intelligent book. You will travel around Athens while the main character teaches a writing workshop and meets friends for dinner and swimming, and the conversations they get into are interesting and thought-provoking. If you want to get caught up in a hero’s journey storyline, this is not it. But if you want to stare off into the distance every few pages while you absorb the poignancy of what you just read, this is the one.

    • destiny says...

      Oh wow I totally understand this. For years crying has been nearly impossible for me because I’m so overwhelmed by life on earth as we know it in this era. I practice all the things: acceptance, allowing, action, aaand etc, but an uplifting heartfelt cry is something I need to orchestrate using creative tools like a great story, etc. Thanks for the reminder and for any tips people leave below!

    • MCM says...

      I would recommend Emma by Jane Austen. You might know the story, but if not, it’s about a fierce young woman loving her friends in sometimes a too meddlesome way. Her perspective and observations make you want to look around more. And her own love story is sweet.

      Also, Pride and Prejudice also by Austen or Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

      I often find the returning to books that I enjoyed as a child or young adult bring me peace and awaken a child like wonder that I cling to.

      Sending a hug into the universe,
      Marie

    • I find the book Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (and its follow-up, Home) to be incredibly soothing and emotionally resonant.

      Also, over the winter I re-read Judy Blume’s “In the Unlikely Event” and found it soothing as I was grieving a ton about the pandemic (things were very, very bad here in LA over the winter). It is about her town in the 1950s when 3 plane crashed happened in quick succession, but she really doesn’t dwell on the crashes, but on the responses of the characters. It helped me to see how other people have dealt with difficult times and been able to move through it.

      Another suggestion is to read some middle grade books! I’m working on my first novel, which is in the middle grade genre, so I’ve been reading a lot in that genre too. It’s nice to read a less complicated but still profound perspective on life. I enjoyed A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus (again, very soothing, and this one is also very cozy).

    • LK says...

      I would suggest an author: Anne Lamott. She will talk about her struggles with addiction, family, and finding faith (she talks about religion in a way I find very comfortable and non-pushy) in a way that is warm, comforting, and so personal. She’s so understanding. xoxo

  42. Sarah says...

    I am so excited for this! Thank you for sharing! I am always looking for books like Sally Rooney’s. Just ordered my copy :)

  43. AN says...

    Joanna, not sure if you follow the Glennon Doyle of it all, but Ep. 1 of her new podcast shed so much insightful light on the anxiety/depression experience, especially the anxiety part. It was really helpful for me, as the partner of someone whose every day is this reality.

  44. gilli treiman says...

    Thank you for this! I’m going to listen to the Audible version on a long drive coming up, which has a delightful British narrator!

  45. Abi says...

    Thank you for this! Have you read any Matt Haig? He is a beautiful story teller with the wisdom he has developed over years of living with significant depression and anxiety at the core of ever word. His latest, The Midnight Library, beautifully explores life and regrets with tenderness and humour through the eyes of his main character. His books are smart, comforting, and do not shy away from what is hard. They have saved lives. I cannot recommend him enough x

    • Denise says...

      I adored The Midnight Library! One of my fellow book club members enrolled back in college after reading it. How powerful is that?!

    • Rebecca says...

      I recently finished midnight library and I totally agree. A truly life affirming book. It made me feel so much better about life and just generally miss positive about the future. I think it’s a great balm after the times we have all been through. And @Denise, that is incredible!

  46. Sarah says...

    Oh my gosh that quote about the back rubbing made me laugh out loud. I love reading about things that feel like they could have happened to me (like that) and also things that feel genuine but that I could not imagine happening to me. Those intimate conversations happening between couples in their rooms at night are of the greatest interest to me!! One of the great joys of reading to be let into that!

    Also, my book-doesn’t-match-the-cover beef is with This Is How It Always Is, which I really really loved, but the blue cover with the stars just misses the mark so disappointingly much.

  47. Francesca says...

    The Australian cover is not much better😔

  48. Stella says...

    OMG maybe this is exactly what I need! I have a hard time getting into books and I just posted on r/SuggestMeABook asking for a book like Normal People (I also love fleabag). This feels like a sign!!!

  49. Alexis says...

    I love these book recommendations. I love this blog. I love the normalization of normal feelings and psychological states that social media might try and tell people are not normal. I love humor as a defense mechanism. Ordered this and excited to read. I have loved reading since childhood, the immersive aspects, the narrative arcs, the ability to see truths you might not be ready to see or hear in Actual Life (just me?). I didn’t read much in 2020, too hard to concentrate, too much Other Stuff that bubbled up and demanded my attention- but I missed the reading. This year I’ve returned to reading for pleasure. Playground with the kids with a book, late night on the kindle (revenge bedtime procrastination with SciFi or Romance). ETCETERA. It’s been a delight. A balm. A distraction, a guide. And just, you know, nice.

    • Quinn says...

      Can relate! I’ve been seeking out books from the library that I just really enjoy and can get lost in, particularly after my husband and kids fall asleep. I read recently that there is a word in China for carving out time for leisure at the end of the day, even when you know you should be sleeping – I like ‘revenge procrastination’ too though. ;) If you’re looking for recommendations, I just devoured “The Idea of You”.

    • Denise says...

      I recently listened to “Nothing To See Here” and it was a delight! I’m sure it’s just as good to actually read. It was one of those stories that I missed being a part of when it was done.

  50. Kamina says...

    I’ve just reserved it at my local library!

    This is my hack: whenever I hear or read a book recommendation and I think I’d like it, I jump online and see if it’s available at my city library. I put a reserve request on it and the library notifies me when it’s ready to collect. This might be days, weeks or months later, and often I get a collection notification with no recollection of the book! But when I go to pick it up, it’s like a lovely gift from my past self. This way I always have a steady supply of books curated by the opinions of humans I trust on the internet!

    • Karen says...

      I do the same! For both physical and digital formats. “Sorrow and Bliss” will be the present to me in about 20 weeks 😅

      My only problem is that when books are way down the line, I completely forget who gave me the recommendation!

    • Katy says...

      I do the same thing! Highly recommend.

      It is the best until 4 novels that you have been waiting months for arrive the same week!

    • Raquel says...

      I do the exact same thing, Kamina! I have a trip scheduled and I am secretly hoping this book will be ready for me to pick it up by then.

    • Trish says...

      I do this too!

    • Heather says...

      Kamina,
      I do this too!!!!

    • Nicola says...

      I am the same! It’s like the best kind of online shopping and then the books come through just when I least expect it. Currently reading Transcendent Kingdom by Ya Gyaasi which I am loving. How good are libraries :)

    • Kelly says...

      I do the same thing! Our library site also has an option to create “lists” of books, so I often put books I’d like to read on a list so that when I’m ready for a new read I can choose one. I also like to read the reviews on Goodreads when I’m having a difficult time choosing.

    • Kamina says...

      Ahhhh I love that so many people have the same strategy! Feeling totally connected and seen! Yay for CoJ readers!

    • jan says...

      yes, that’s what the library reservation systems is for.

    • Marisa says...

      Me too! Currently reading “Crying in H Mart” thanks to this blog- really excellent!

    • Agnes says...

      Literally just did this with some of the reccs on here, and then read your comment, haha!! I just finished Ruth Reichl’s ‘My Kitchen Year,’ taken out from the library. Its a cookbook but so much more. She’s such a good writer that I got 2 more of her books to read and have now bought the cookbook as there were sooo many recipes in it that I plan to make!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ooh, thank you for the link!

  51. Emma says...

    Yes! This book is so good. I read it once and am reading it again.

    I love Peregrine in it also – I skimmed by him the first read and those scenes with him are so sharp. The joke about quaaludes and pesto! The ABC poems!

    And the scene with the little girls and their wet tights. Oh my heart.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!! Peregrine!! here are a few of his parts:

      He said he did not trust anyone who hadn’t had a nervous breakdown – at least one – and was sorry his own was thirty years ago and, so conventionally, following a divorce.

      AND

      Peregrine put his palms on the table. He said Paris, Martha. ‘Please go to Paris… Because when suffering is unavoidable, the only thing one gets to choose is the backdrop. Crying one’s eyes out beside the Seine is a different thing to crying one’s eyes out while traipsing around Hammersmith …I’m not being whimsical, Martha. Short another, beauty is a reason to live.’

    • destiny says...

      The Paris quote is truth: when I was suicidal after living in cold (socially and environmentally) wet Seattle for 5 years, I quit everything and packed up for Hawaii. I figured I would prefer to die on a sunny beach then in a wet city. Needless to say the beauty and many other factors saved me from myself and now I am, probably permanently, healthy and happy. It does make a difference where one lives. It helps anyway.

  52. Beth says...

    I loved this book as well – the narrator at times was a hard person to love, and yet you couldn’t help doing so. The book also talks about how liberating finding a diagnosis was for her. Also without giving away spoilers it explores the relationship between mother and daughter and what is means to be a mother. It’s two thumbs up from me.

  53. Ash says...

    Dear Jo, I’m looking forward to reading this. Thank you again for being so open about your experiences with mental ill health. I find I’m able to talk about my own experiences of anxiety and depression fairly easily with those close with me, however I still haven’t reached a level of comfort and acceptance within myself. It’s more helpful than I can express to have such openness in this way on your blog.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, I’m so glad, ash. thank you so much for writing. yes, I have generalized anxiety and have had three major depressions in my life. I don’t always talk about them publicly while they’re happening, but when I’m feeling better, I’m happy to share. so many people struggle and I agree that it’s definitely comforting to know you’re not alone.

      I also really loved this show, if you’re feeling in the mood:
      https://cupofjo.com/2019/09/this-way-up-tv-show/

    • Leis says...

      Joanna, I would love to hear more about your experience with depression as someone who is currently depressed. It was much easier in a way when I was in my 20s single and childless. I know you’ve written on the topic before but how did you manage with two kids( I also have two little ones and struggle) also loved “this way up “and wonder related to Sharon’s sisters character and how she sinks into her depression so visibly like I tend to- how do you in those times manage your life- your job, Toby, Anton … even with a therapist I feel on my own in it and misunderstood so I keep quiet and only my husband knows. I don’t have the energy to explain or describe or hear others thoughts on the matter if that makes sense.