Thanks everybody for the support.  It means quite a bit to me and it helps to hear people say they care.  You guys are swell.

I got a nap at work today for an hour and am really starting to feel like I could sleep.  This is a good thing.

I’ve withdrawn from speaking at Dragon*Con.  I’m really sorry.  I know some of you were looking forward to hanging out.  But right now I need rest.  Derek Colanduno, who runs the Skeptrack, was very understanding and even said we can try again next year.

My plan right now is to go home after work and try to sleep.  I’m carrying a pretty hefty sleep debt and I know my personality: I tend to short circuit when I haven’t had enough sleep.  If, after sleeping, I’m still feeling trapped, hopeless, and all those things that precipitate really bad problems, you have my word I’ll go check myself into a hospital.

My insurance covers 100% of a hospitalization after a $1500 deductible.  Sucks to look at dropping that much money, but I trust those close to me and all of them are telling me to admit myself.  Will consider the tip jar if I can get my conscience to shut up about it long enough to make the thing.

In the meantime, leave pictures of courage wolf to cheer me up.  :)

My birthday is this week.  Happy birthday me, right?

MENTAL ILLNESS: Today's session.
MENTAL ILLNESS: I see affection as a competition.
MENTAL ILLNESS: Time to go be a lab rat.
MENTAL ILLNESS: Today's session.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • kirikasena

    Seriously, if it comes down to it, do the tip jar thing (I’d set one up for you right now, if I was well known enough to be trusted ;P). Hopefully it won’t be necessary, but if it is, you should only be concerned about taking care of yourself. If we want to chip in some money to help, we should be allowed to do so. We all care about you, and we like doing stuff like this. :)

    Don’t stress about Dragon*Con, that can wait until next year. I hope you feel better soon. *hugs*

    • http://www.facebook.com/fran.welte franwelte


    • Daniel Schealler


  • neatospiderplant

    I already told JT about this, but I’ll put it out here as a suggestion/challenge to others that would be interested in donating.

    If a tip jar gets set up, I will send equal amounts to the “Keep JT healthy” fund and to Campquest. To be clear, I’m not halving what I would have donated to Campquest. I’m just sort of matching myself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fran.welte franwelte

      It’s a win-win for all of us.

    • IslandBrewer

      An alternative, I was thinking, would be to go into a Catholic church, take a pic of my hand dangling a few $20s over a collection plate, and threaten “Set up a tip jar by the end of the day or this money goes to pedophile apologists!”

      • IslandBrewer

        Awww, that’s an empty threat. I’d never follow through.

      • neatospiderplant

        See, I was thinking if no tip jar got set up, that I would either not donate to campquest at all, or donate to PZ’s side of the challenge, but I don’t think JT would mind too much if money got donated to campquest even if it was through PZ’s collection. I think it would be more effective to threaten to not donate to Campquest at all, but I know it would be an empty threat and in the process, make me look like I’m willing to hurt Campquest collection efforts if I don’t get my way. So I’ve decided to not add an “or else” at the moment, but the collection plate idea is pretty good.

  • piegasm

    If you do end up admitting yourself, don’t forget to ask the hospital about payment plans. Most are pretty understanding; they know how expensive hospital bills are.

    I’m glad to hear you’re a little feeling better. I will hum lullabies in your general direction…r not…whichever will help you sleep better once you get home. :)

    • piegasm

      “a little feeling better”?

      feeling a little better*

      also, or*

  • TaylorMaid

    I don’t know you and will probably never meet you in person, but via your blog have come to care about your welfare. I wish you lots of peaceful sleep.

  • Orion3T


    I don’t know you either, other than from your blog and your speech on YouTube about mental health. Which, by the way, was excellent. I’m fortunate not to have had such problems myself, but my wife has suffered with OCD for many years (now mostly under control since she got the appropriate help) so do I have some understanding of how difficult they can be to deal with.

    Anyway, what I wanted to say was that no matter how low you feel about yourself, the absolute fact of the matter is that you are loved and admired for the work you have done. Whether you feel it or not, the fact of the matter is you are special to many people. I may not be from the US but the good work you are doing is obvious even from where I live, half way around the world.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you feel better soon. :)

  • Catwhisperer

    Here’s another insignificant stranger from the other side of the world sending virtual hugs (and I don’t. do. hugging!)

    Get well, people need you.

  • badgersdaughter

    Honey, it’s not shameful to ask your friends for help. The shame is on the system that let you down. Please don’t hesitate to ask. Please listen to those who want you to be well and happy and are aching to do something to help you get there.

  • Loqi

    Whatever it takes to keep you healthy, JT. I’d be more than happy to pitch in. Or even cover the whole bill, if necessary.

  • (e)m

    Stay safe JT. Just remember that many people who you may never meet, myself included, care about you. You have helped me deal with my own depression. I can’t afford a therapist, so I know the situation you are in. Never forget how many people you have touched with your work.

  • michaelyn

    I’m not above using my WWJTD blogging powers to post a Chip-In widget in a post if it comes to that.

    You know JT appreciates all this support you all provide him, but I truly appreciate it as well.

    • neatospiderplant

      Ooh! Do it!

    • http://chronosynclasticinfundibulum.wordpress.com/ salo

      +1 to this idea. I will certainly contribute (in addition to Camp Quest of course!) We all want JT to get better, for his own sake and also for the sake of everything he does and everyone he impacts.

      • xandrasings

        Do this thing! Do it now!

        • xandrasings

          I just replied to the wrong post. Was meant for michaelyn! Forgive me, I am very enthusiastic, but working from a tiiiny screen. Anyway, I like this plan :p

        • michaelyn

          We don’t need it yet. JT is safe at home, but thank you for the enthusiasm! :]

    • J*

      Go chick!

      I can understand why he’d be against it; I wouldn’t want to ask either, but anyone who gives clearly wants to. His health is as noble a cause as any. More even. He’s done more good for his various causes than the $15 I’ve thrown them (add some 0′s behind that and it’s still true.)

      I’m beyond impressed that he would admit himself if it came to that. That requires a strength that I don’t have adequate adjectives to describe.

  • jaranath

    Not much to add besides my general support and admiration. Would very much like the opportunity to help defray any expenses.

  • BCat70

    Take care of yourself JT-

    Oddly I’m in much the same boat, same issue, same symptoms, right down to having my birthday this week as well.

    Keep an eye on your self, and try to have a happy birthday. I’ll raise a glass to us both.

  • http://bigthink.com/blogs/daylight-atheism Adam Lee

    We’ve got your back, JT. If you need medical help, get it! There are more than enough of us out there who’ll gladly help pay whatever it costs for you to be healthy, me included.

  • otrame

    I know all of this is true, but all the same I still feel the stigma

    I know. I have made it a rule to speak of my depression as a mental illness for many years because, though I know intellectually that it is nothing to be ashamed of, but I also have to fight the sense of shame. It is very common. It is also bullshit. Brains are incredibly complex and the chemicals that make them work are in a complex and constantly changing dance, so it is only natural that sometimes those chemicals get out of balance.

    When my ex-mother-in-law complained of depression, I told her about my own depression and that she should see a doctor, that medication could make her feel so much better. She said, “I think those drugs are a crutch.” (Yeah, she was a real sweetie pie) I said, “Yeah, they are. But if your leg is broken, don’t you think it is stupid not to use a crutch?”

    JT, you already know all the advice I can give you. Listen to your friends and family. If you need time off to spend some downtime in the hospital DO IT. We understand. We do not think the less of you. In fact, being honest about how you are feeling makes us proud of you.

    You’ll feel much better soon. You know that is true. Just don’t let yourself forget it.

  • NightRaith

    I hope you’re feeling well soon!

  • FedUp(OrJustFed)

    JT, first of all, yes, *Happy Birthday* (throw it in the face of your depression, if it feels better than way)

    I’ve been in a similar place, and it’s indescribably bad…but as you’ve said, you’ve got good people who care for you around you, and there’s support (if damned expensive) to help you past this bout.

    Best wishes for a speedy passage through the storm!

  • F

    Sweet dreams, man.

  • Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven