I love you, keep going. - ⚡️Kristen Kalp

I love you, keep going.

Last week, I recorded this podcast episode to encourage you to keep going through the dumpster fire-y parts of life.  I published the episode and within hours the Capital Riot started.  For the record: I denounce the January 6th insurrection, as well as Donald Trump, Donald Trump’s remaining followers, and white supremacy in all its forms.  Here’s hoping this podcast episode is a bit of balm for your soul.  (Here are hundreds more episodes of the That’s What She Said podcast.)

We’re in class and she half mumbles: “I think I have hysteria.”

This lovely human clearly believes she’s handling this pandemic FAR worse than anyone else on earth. And because she’s handling everything SO poorly, there must be something wrong with her. And when something is wrong in America, a diagnosis is in order.

My sense is that this is common among the peeps I work with, since being a deeply feeling human is generally mocked, discouraged, or ignored. So, for the record:

You do not have hysteria.

For hundreds of years, women have been diagnosed with hysteria for symptoms as wide-ranging as having emotions, seizures, fainting, living at the edge of town, refusing to marry, infertility, anxiety, pain, deafness, and the inability to speak. Hysterical women were ‘treated’ with a wide range of techniques: amulets, exorcisms, orgasms, torture, interrogations, and executions are the stand-outs over the centuries.

If you identify as female in this lifetime, you carry this pathological heritage in your bones. We are actively cultivated as girls to be quiet, content, and small. The smaller the needs you have, the more likely adults are to like you. (Take it from the quietest, silentest, shrinking-est girl child that ever walked the earth: adults LOVE THAT SHIT.)

Eventually, we enter adulthood afraid to be too loud, too needy, or too emotional.

The only trouble is, hysteria was a sham.

“Social deviances, such as deciding not to wed, are no longer considered symptoms of psychological disorders such as hysteria. … During the 20th century, as psychiatry advanced in the West, anxiety and depression diagnoses began to replace hysteria diagnoses in Western countries.” [source]

So basically, hysteria was a bum diagnosis that helped to consolidate power into the hands of the patriarchy, and its popularity among doctors has decreased significantly since the mid 1900’s.

If you think you’re too sensitive and that 2020 has been freaking you out too much; if your asshole brain has been telling you need to ‘stop crying and get your shit together;’ if your mental and emotional bandwidth are no longer what they were in The Before…

You do not have hysteria.

You are not ‘broken.’

You are not feeling ‘too much.’

You are not lost.

You are not useless.

You don’t need to ‘get your shit together.’

That’s asshole brain reacting to a perfectly horrific year in a way that blames and shames you. (Classic asshole brain!)

It’s perfectly reasonable to be upset by a global pandemic that upends the world economy and that has killed more than 1 in 1000 Americans. That’s over 365,000 deaths at the time of writing. Further, the politicization of wearing masks and the debate about the existence of Covid-19 itself is deeply troubling. You’ve witnessed an all-out assault on public safety practices and on science as a whole.

You are surviving a slaughter of the American people led by its sitting President.

It’s normal to be freaked out by that reality.

Further! It’s normal to experience depression and/or anxiety when your ability to interact with other humans has been ripped away. We have all experienced tremendous loss since the pandemic hit, and we’ve done it largely alone. Where there would normally be gatherings and get-togethers — particularly to mourn and grieve the loss of life — we have another day of pandemic to endure in relative isolation. We are, as Brene Brown says, hardwired for connection. Without connection, we experience real pain. Not made-up or imaginary pain. Real. Pain.

You’re not ‘crazy’ because your brain isn’t functioning like it did in 2019.

You’re not doing it wrong because you’re asking questions like

What is a life?

and Why am I here?

and What is my work?

and How will I survive another year of this shit?

You don’t need to be treated for a nervous condition because your views of life, of society, of the human race, of politics, and systemic oppression have shifted in the past year.

If you’re disoriented and don’t know what’s true.

If you feel like you used to know things and now nothing is for certain.

If you’ve never been this tired and you know there are many months to go.

If the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t nearly bright enough or close enough to matter at this moment.

If your nervous system regularly shifts into freakout and panic mode.


Of course.


I’m with you.

There’s The Really Hard Thing that’s happening: Covid-19 continues to mutate and circulate around the earth.

And then there’s beating yourself up for the ways you’re failing to handle The Really Hard Thing that’s happening.

It’s okay to feel lots of things right now.

It’s also okay to be a little numb.

Since the pandemic started, I’ve seen more of my own shadow and malice and hatred than I knew existed. I’ve gone to darker places than ever before, and I’ve also been tempted to give up on everyone and everything in all of existence. Multiple times a day, but particularly when I check in on what the remaining Trump supporters are up to right now.

If full and specific disclosure helps (WARNING: VULNERABILITY AHEAD), I’ve cried so hard I thought my organs were going to leak out my eyeballs.

I’ve considered walking into the street and yelling “Fuuuckkkkk!!!” at the top of my lungs every single day, just to break up the silence and make sure my voice still exists.

I’ve been hideously mean and angry and stomped around demanding to be left alone, then been done with being alone a few minutes later.

I have been moody, I have been frail.

I have freaked out.

I’ve given up on figuring anything out and smoked weed. So much weed. (Here’s The Cannabis Episode if you’re curious!)

I’ve spent hours brainstorming ways to humiliate and shame Donald Trump for his crimes against humanity.

Those feelings are normal human emotional reactions to chaos, fear, uncertainty, grief, dread, ennui, isolation, and genocide.

You do not have hysteria.

You are a human being

having profound reactions

to circumstances

that have shattered

the way the world operates.


We are all human beings

having profound reactions

to circumstances

that have shattered

the way the world operates.

Where you can laugh, laugh.

Where you need to grieve, grieve.

But please, don’t box yourself into a tiny corner in which your only option is to smile silently and endure.

You don’t have hysteria. You’re not broken. You’re not crazy. And you’re not alone.

I love you, keep going.

USEFUL THINGS ALERT!  A few things I’ve made that might help you handle those big feelings:

How to Breathe Through Panic with Josh Solar — this podcast episode will walk you through DEAD SIMPLE ways to root into your body when you’re experiencing intense feelings of any kind. Josh is a reiki master, breathwork practitioner, and musician, and you’ll meet him if you ever attend a Together breathwork class.

If you need a simple way to release unfelt emotions and process all the yuck that lives within you — nonverbally! — breathwork can help. YUP you can still sign up for monthly breathwork with Together! It’s $22 a month through August, and includes a library of past classes, secret podcast episodes by yours truly, and live breathwork classes each month!

Here’s what peeps had to say about breathwork:

Thank you, for offering up breathwork. It’s a tool I have loved having access to, that has surely helped me beyond what I can consciously recognize, and I am laughing even now at the fact that yes, somehow, with a global pandemic and all the injustice happening in this country and the dissolution of my marriage (the practical part, if not the legal part) and the whiplash of my employment situation (steady-ish, now)… somehow, I have arrived at such a loved and loving space. My sincerest gratitude. — Kerilee H.

I am a hard analyser and often get analysis paralysis and perfectionism issues. Dissociating from my body is normal. YOUR CLASS ALLOWED ME TO GET BACK INTO MY BODY and out of my head. — Noelle W.

The day I did my first breathwork session with you, was the first day in my life I felt that I broke through to real, fresh, tangible air. — Marissa H.

If you’re like, “Yah but I want to try that shit out before I buy anything,” head to breathehealrepeat.com and grab the free breathwork class. It’s simple, and you’ll feel lighter by the end of our time together, guaranteed!

Try breathing through panic.

Try breathwork for free.

Try breathwork in community for 2021.

No matter what: I love you, keep going.

And happy 2021!

P.S. No really — give breathwork a try now!  Here’s your free breathwork class, Lighter.