to be honest: i have been in a lot of pain recently. when i was growing up, i would sometimes ask my father why things were so difficult for us — why bad things kept happening, no matter how hard we tried to be good — and he would always say that God was throwing us curveballs. i feel that God has been throwing me curveballs recently. it’s kind of funny to imagine it that way — like maybe He just got bored and wanted to play baseball again.
ah! i loved your comment on not knowing what to do in the time between feeling pain and finally being able to produce something meaningful out of it. that alongside discussions of the female experience being the embodiment of pain and suffering always remind me of Lucy Dacus' The Shell. I constantly revisit the Historian album but especially this song for its line: "you don't have to be sad to make something worth hearing." I can never tell if my best art comes from times when i'm really sad or really happy, but revisiting this song makes me feel like the answer doesn't quite matter.
i am simultaneously excited and horrorstruck to find out others experience the Big Sad for a moment at a party
Rayne, I am so sorry to hear you’re going through a difficult time. Your writing brings me comfort. I lost my mom three and a half years ago, I feel like what brought me the most comfort was accepting that everything I was feeling was normal and one day in the future, the grief I’m carrying would feel lighter. And once I accepted that, I could let myself fully grieve and feel all my feelings, because I knew it wouldn’t be this painful forever. Also this book: Embers by Richard Wagamese. Also, I taught one of your essays to my grade 12 English class and they loved it.
i am in love with the fact that everyone is sharing music/reading/movie and show recommendations. since i am a huge music whore i will be making a playlist full of everyone's suggestions so i can listen to them all. my songs recs are 21 by nolune and tangerine by nolune. tangerine specifially. i think my brain died the first time i listened to it. it's so calming and also terrifyingly honest. the way she sings is so full of pain and nostalgia and also a peaceful contentment with the way her life has gone. like. all this shit has happened and is still happening and i am ok with it. which is kind of how i feel rn.
i too am in love with on self respect by joan didion, thank you for the reminder to reread <3 i also find susan sontags words always resonate with me, but i haven’t read illness as metaphor & i look forward to doing so
i personally went through my most recent, and maybe most intense period of suffering a couple months ago, after a break up. the few pieces of media that got me through were the book “when things fall apart” by pema chödrön, i found it deeply comforting to guide me through my heartache, but it really is helpful for any kind of loss, grief or moment in life when things feel like they are falling apart. it was recommended to me in an episode of binchtopia by julia
Recommend going to California by zeppelin for moments in time like this. “Tellin myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems”
you are so real for the greatest (and for tpwhitb as much as it pains me to admit). lately i've found comfort in my summer playlist, my friends n juggling with my academic situation while pretending its not that serious (it is!), and now ofc this essay. i hope you suffer less these days n i'm so excited for all the upcoming projects you mentioned! thank for you for the new post n never apologize for not being "fun" or "deep" in some posts, its great to have some lighter content to switch it up too ♡
I’ve learned very recently that sharing your pain with others can actually really help because we’re social creatures 🖤 so I appreciate it
I’ve been feeling this way too, as far as being in pain goes. It’s like I have all these feelings and nowhere for them to go so they’re just sitting there rotting inside me. It’s tiring, and worse, it’s completely distracting. However, I’ve been working on feeling my emotions instead of shoving them down, so that means I’ve accepted that this is how I’ll be feeling for the time being. There are five song that I keep going back to as I feel this way; Hi-Lo (Hollow) by Bishop Briggs, Lonely Blue by King Krule, Love Sick by Bob Dylan, Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers, and Wilt by Sloppy Jane. I believe that there is a reason for everything and that one day I will understand what that reason is, and that belief has kept me upright. I hope you find comfort and rest soon:) Also Sloppy Jane may actually be the most internet princess coded band in existence. I propose we make party anthem our theme song!
I’ve found that Julia Jacklin’s Pre-pleasure album helps me elucidate those periods of intense emotional pain. Sending you comfort and strength to make it through these times 🤎
When I go through periods like this I tend to have certain songs that I can’t sleep without playing on loop - Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival and Leave Me Be by Yellerkin are definitely in the rotation. Wishing you peace and comfort ❤️
I just realized that I'm starting to sound like my grandma when I write. Either way I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart which is filled with such love for you and your writing. Being 19 is one of the best and worst experiences of my life thus far but it's beginning to make more sense and be less scary when I read your articles. Sending my best your way!
1: Coming Back to Me by Leith Ross, Rake (Greenpoint version) by Sufjan Stevens, Coming Clean by Searows, and Bleed Confusion by The Paper Kites have been in a pain rotation for me. There’s just a strange sort of understanding that comes from them.
2: Maniac (2018) with Jonah Hill and Emma Stone on Netflix is also a beautifully written show that reminds me a little of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (mainly in the dreamlike sequences sense). It’s only ten 40-ish min episodes, and is a good wallow show that you can watch multiple times without getting sick of it.
Thank you for all you do and for the list! Your writing has a way of mirroring all the things I’ve been thinking but have been unable to say. I hope the days are kind to you.
When I've gone through intense periods of pain, the only media that I really listen to is the album in utero by nirvana. Ik it's kind of an angst pick but it's just a very cathartic listen for me. I'll also listen to some johnny cash; the mercy seat, the man comes around, and god's gonna cut you down are some I can think of rn.
You don't need to apologize for not being as fun or whatever this essay, we r here to read your thoughts not watch ur performance you know? I hope you catch a break from whatever you've been going through
im so grateful u could share these comforts with us!! :)
!!TW SA!! my best comfort media is a little weird-- i cant say i recommend it for anyone else, but it worked for me. Her Body And Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado is this collection of visceral feminist body horror. after i was raped it was super cathartic and healing to read. i felt so seen! i actually bought that book like two days after it happened-- i was wandering around dc bookstores with my friend trying to pretend like i felt like a person and not a rotten log on the forest floor. i flipped this random book to a random page and the first thing i read was a reference to my hometown (which is hundreds of miles away from dc). i guess it was a sign! reading through this horror really allowed me to process my own horrible experiences.
Pleasure Activism by adrienne marie brown is really joyful and helpful as well :) i wish everyone who is an activist at all could read this guide! it’s so much better (imo) than the usual political strategy of “doesnt this suck? look at this terrible event. feel bad about it!!”
I loved Ghost World so much as a teenager, I informally changed my name to Enid. All Dan Clowes' stuff is great. I hope the dark times ease up for you soon.