Depression Part Two

I remember being endlessly entertained by the adventures of my toys. Some days they died repeated, violent deaths, other days they traveled to space or discussed my swim lessons and how I absolutely should be allowed in the deep end of the pool, especially since I was such a talented doggy-paddler.


I didn't understand why it was fun for me, it just was.


But as I grew older, it became harder and harder to access that expansive imaginary space that made my toys fun. I remember looking at them and feeling sort of frustrated and confused that things weren't the same.


I played out all the same story lines that had been fun before, but the meaning had disappeared. Horse's Big Space Adventure transformed into holding a plastic horse in the air, hoping it would somehow be enjoyable for me. Prehistoric Crazy-Bus Death Ride was just smashing a toy bus full of dinosaurs into the wall while feeling sort of bored and unfulfilled.  I could no longer connect to my toys in a way that allowed me to participate in the experience.


Depression feels almost exactly like that, except about everything.

At first, though, the invulnerability that accompanied the detachment was exhilarating. At least as exhilarating as something can be without involving real emotions.


The beginning of my depression had been nothing but feelings, so the emotional deadening that followed was a welcome relief.  I had always wanted to not give a fuck about anything. I viewed feelings as a weakness — annoying obstacles on my quest for total power over myself. And I finally didn't have to feel them anymore.

But my experiences slowly flattened and blended together until it became obvious that there's a huge difference between not giving a fuck and not being able to give a fuck. Cognitively, you might know that different things are happening to you, but they don't feel very different.


Which leads to horrible, soul-decaying boredom.



I tried to get out more, but most fun activities just left me existentially confused or frustrated with my inability to enjoy them.


Months oozed by, and I gradually came to accept that maybe enjoyment was not a thing I got to feel anymore. I didn't want anyone to know, though. I was still sort of uncomfortable about how bored and detached I felt around other people, and I was still holding out hope that the whole thing would spontaneously work itself out. As long as I could manage to not alienate anyone, everything might be okay!

However, I could no longer rely on genuine emotion to generate facial expressions, and when you have to spend every social interaction consciously manipulating your face into shapes that are only approximately the right ones, alienating people is inevitable.


Everyone noticed.


It's weird for people who still have feelings to be around depressed people. They try to help you have feelings again so things can go back to normal, and it's frustrating for them when that doesn't happen. From their perspective, it seems like there has got to be some untapped source of happiness within you that you've simply lost track of, and if you could just see how beautiful things are...


At first, I'd try to explain that it's not really negativity or sadness anymore, it's more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can't feel anything about anything — even the things you love, even fun things — and you're horribly bored and lonely, but since you've lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you're stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is.


But people want to help. So they try harder to make you feel hopeful and positive about the situation. You explain it again, hoping they'll try a less hope-centric approach, but re-explaining your total inability to experience joy inevitably sounds kind of negative; like maybe you WANT to be depressed. The positivity starts coming out in a spray — a giant, desperate happiness sprinkler pointed directly at your face. And it keeps going like that until you're having this weird argument where you're trying to convince the person that you are far too hopeless for hope just so they'll give up on their optimism crusade and let you go back to feeling bored and lonely by yourself.


And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something — it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing. You can't fill it up. You can't cover it. It's just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.

It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.


The problem might not even have a solution. But you aren't necessarily looking for solutions. You're maybe just looking for someone to say "sorry about how dead your fish are" or "wow, those are super dead. I still like you, though."


I started spending more time alone.


Perhaps it was because I lacked the emotional depth necessary to panic, or maybe my predicament didn't feel dramatic enough to make me suspicious, but I somehow managed to convince myself that everything was still under my control right up until I noticed myself wishing that nothing loved me so I wouldn't feel obligated to keep existing.


It's a strange moment when you realize that you don't want to be alive anymore. If I had feelings, I'm sure I would have felt surprised. I have spent the vast majority of my life actively attempting to survive. Ever since my most distant single-celled ancestor squiggled into existence, there has been an unbroken chain of things that wanted to stick around.


Yet there I was, casually wishing that I could stop existing in the same way you'd want to leave an empty room or mute an unbearably repetitive noise.


That wasn't the worst part, though. The worst part was deciding to keep going.


When I say that deciding to not kill myself was the worst part, I should clarify that I don't mean it in a retrospective sense. From where I am now, it seems like a solid enough decision. But at the time, it felt like I had been dragging myself through the most miserable, endless wasteland, and — far in the distance — I had seen the promising glimmer of a slightly less miserable wasteland. And for just a moment, I thought maybe I'd be able to stop and rest. But as soon as I arrived at the border of the less miserable wasteland, I found out that I'd have to turn around and walk back the other way.


Soon afterward, I discovered that there's no tactful or comfortable way to inform other people that you might be suicidal. And there's definitely no way to ask for help casually.


I didn't want it to be a big deal. However, it's an alarming subject. Trying to be nonchalant about it just makes it weird for everyone.


I was also extremely ill-prepared for the position of comforting people. The things that seemed reassuring at the time weren't necessarily comforting for others.


I had so very few feelings, and everyone else had so many, and it felt like they were having all of them in front of me at once. I didn't really know what to do, so I agreed to see a doctor so that everyone would stop having all of their feelings at me.


The next few weeks were a haze of talking to relentlessly hopeful people about my feelings that didn't exist so I could be prescribed medication that might help me have them again.


And every direction was bullshit for a really long time, especially up. The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don't like can be overwhelming. And the longer it takes to feel different, the more it starts to seem like everything might actually be hopeless bullshit.


My feelings did start to return eventually. But not all of them came back, and they didn't arrive symmetrically.

I had not been able to care for a very long time, and when I finally started being able to care about things again, I HATED them. But hatred is technically a feeling, and my brain latched onto it like a child learning a new word.


Hating everything made all the positivity and hope feel even more unpalatable. The syrupy, over-simplified optimism started to feel almost offensive.


Thankfully, I rediscovered crying just before I got sick of hating things.  I call this emotion "crying" and not "sadness" because that's all it really was. Just crying for the sake of crying. My brain had partially learned how to be sad again, but it took the feeling out for a joy ride before it had learned how to use the brakes or steer.


At some point during this phase, I was crying on the kitchen floor for no reason. As was common practice during bouts of floor-crying, I was staring straight ahead at nothing in particular and feeling sort of weird about myself. Then, through the film of tears and nothingness, I spotted a tiny, shriveled piece of corn under the refrigerator.


I don't claim to know why this happened, but when I saw the piece of corn, something snapped. And then that thing twisted through a few permutations of logic that I don't understand, and produced the most confusing bout of uncontrollable, debilitating laughter that I have ever experienced.


I had absolutely no idea what was going on.


My brain had apparently been storing every unfelt scrap of happiness from the last nineteen months, and it had impulsively decided to unleash all of it at once in what would appear to be an act of vengeance.


That piece of corn is the funniest thing I have ever seen, and I cannot explain to anyone why it's funny. I don't even know why. If someone ever asks me "what was the exact moment where things started to feel slightly less shitty?" instead of telling a nice, heartwarming story about the support of the people who loved and believed in me, I'm going to have to tell them about the piece of corn. And then I'm going to have to try to explain that no, really, it was funny. Because, see, the way the corn was sitting on the floor... it was so alone... and it was just sitting there! And no matter how I explain it, I'll get the same, confused look. So maybe I'll try to show them the piece of corn - to see if they get it. They won't. Things will get even weirder.


Anyway, I wanted to end this on a hopeful, positive note, but, seeing as how my sense of hope and positivity is still shrouded in a thick layer of feeling like hope and positivity are bullshit, I'll just say this: Nobody can guarantee that it's going to be okay, but — and I don't know if this will be comforting to anyone else — the possibility exists that there's a piece of corn on a floor somewhere that will make you just as confused about why you are laughing as you have ever been about why you are depressed. And even if everything still seems like hopeless bullshit, maybe it's just pointless bullshit or weird bullshit or possibly not even bullshit.


I don't know. 

But when you're concerned that the miserable, boring wasteland in front of you might stretch all the way into forever, not knowing feels strangely hope-like. 






5,000 comments:

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Anonymous said...

I have a friend who went through something similar. I think. She never really talked to me about it. We've talked about suicide in a "I went there but I won't go there again." sort of way. I can relate to some of the emotions (or lack of) you've expressed in your post, but I have not been near that level of depression for a few years. My friend is currently on anti-depressants and she says they're helping her. I'm really proud of her for trying to get better, even when she didn't think feeling better was possible.
I'm amazed at your journey I hope you continue to choose to live. Because that's something I do understand. Choosing to live, choosing not to commit suicide is a choice. It's one I've had to make, and one my friend has had to make. Even you. But it's a choice you have to continue to make over and over again. Some days it's really really hard. There are days where all I can do is say "Just wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better, you won't feel this way tomorrow." For the most part this is true. The next morning I wake up and for a few hours at least, I don't feel the same way I did as I cried myself to sleep. But eventually an empty listless feeling will creep over me. For the rest of the day I'll feel very similar to the way you described. Nothingness. At night, I go back to the depression and crying. It's a very maniacal up and down type of roller coaster ride.
Because of a complicated family history involving my grandmother becoming homicidal on antidepressants, that option is not available to me.
I continue to keep going though. Like I said some days are hard, some days are easy. I just have to choose to keep going.
Easier said than done sometimes. But that's why you, this blog post and my friend are so inspiring. Thank you for showing me there's something else besides the nothing and the depression. Maybe that something is weird bullshit, but even bullshit is something.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy you're back!

Amphitrite said...

You don't have to explain to ANYONE about the corn. It is 100% owned by you and that is all.

Anonymous said...

<3 I cannot tell you how happy I was to see you post again. <3

Amy said...

Thank you for writing that. This will be many depressed people's "piece of corn."

Jess said...

Thank you, Allie. I feel a little less alone after reading this. Hugs across the internet.

Anonymous said...

I love you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you thank you so much for posting this. I get it. The fake expressions, the pointlessness of optimism, the utter idiocy of other people's helpfulness.. I get it all. I'm grateful that you found it in you to write this. Thank you.

chad said...

Should have known something was wrong since you had gone silent for so long. This seems to be a pattern I see with people lately and it reminds me how important it is to reach out to those who go silent and withdraw. In order to avoid tragedy we must ask pointed questions and be with them. Don't try to fix them or even idntify with them just be with them and reassure them they are loved and that you will be there for them.

chasa said...

This post should be required reading for anyone who has a friend or loved one dealing with depression. Thank you for sharing. You are still fucking hilarious, and I wish you the best as you make your way back from the wasteland.

Steph Mitchell said...

I think it set depends on the person. Some people need meds to help stabilize them, while other people need therapy. I work in the mental health field, and for some of my clients, I encourage both meds and therapy.

asha said...

Yes. Been there. You definitely nailed it. I love that piece of corn. And I love not knowing. Thanks. :)

Sprinkled Words (former Miss Milk) said...

Allie Brosh you are an incredible human being who has helped people suffering from depression, and people who want to understand people they love who are suffering, so much. Thank you. xx

Anonymous said...

Cheer up old bean. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. (Just kidding). Those fish are well dead and we love you all the same, maybe more. Keep going.

Anonymous said...

The corn totally makes sense to me. I've been through at this point 6? major depressive episodes and today I slept until 4 PM even though the plan was to wake up at 10:30 AM, go bike-riding, and "see some beauty in the world." I think I'll go take a shower now - you're "maybe this isn't all bullshit rainbow" was just what I needed. Also, I write a humor blog too - although it's been on hiatus. www.badjuju4u.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I'm in the "hate" phase. I actually think in my head, when I see things about "hope"..."FUCK HOPE! FUCK YOU HOPE! I HATE HOPE!" --so thank you, for helping me feel not-alone that others might also hate such positive things as "hope." That gives me hope.

KayseJean said...

Thank you. And *hug* . And, I'm glad you're back. Even just a little.

Ann aka ButDoctorIHatePink said...

I can't relate to depression, but having a terminal illness, I can totally relate to the denial those around you express. I laughed out loud at the dead fish analogy as that is exactly what happens when I tell people I have cancer and am going to die from it. They start looking for fish.

Good luck. You are one amazing, talented girl. I hope your feelings come back.

orv said...

My god, this hit so close to home. The numbness was my life most of the time for most of a decade, before I realized I could and should do something about it, and the thoughts of wanting to die came frequently. Like you, I was afraid to tell anyone for fear of freaking them out...I mean, it wasn't like I had a PLAN or anything, right?

After learning some cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques, and going through a frustrating period of searching for the right combination of medications, I'm finally at a point where most of the time, I'm okay. And just being okay feels amazing to me, because of where I know I came from. I still have my bouts of depression -- and probably always will -- but they're short, and manageable now.

Glad you hung in there. You deserve a medal just for keeping yourself alive through all that.

DrRobert said...

I didn't realize how bad I've got it until I read this. You are awesome, and this is fantastic. Thank you, thank you! I hope there's more shitty, dried up, abandoned corn in your future. Seriously, I get it.

crashi said...

<> You're not alone. Thank you for putting into words (and pictures) what I've felt. And Happy to see you again!

destroya21 said...

Good to have you back Allie. Maybe not ALL of you, but a bit of that silly yet serious side of you :D

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lot of folks are glad to hear from you -- I know, who cares right? But from yet another person who has been there, all I can say has worked are:
1. Drugs. Hopefully legal and prescription strength.
2. Faking it when #1 doesn't work until it starts working again.
It isn't much but it's worked well. I hope you find what works well for you.

Toasty said...

This sums up depression better than anything I've ever seen, and it made me laugh way more than anything else I've ever read about depression.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I've been through a couple fairly dire cycles of not feeling and not wanting to be alive anymore myself. I have gotten through them in the past, and gotten back to feeling positive things as well as hate/crying. I hope you do, too. And I've been struggling a bit right now, and this helps...so thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

For me it was a picture of a cartoon pig on a baby oil bottle. I still have it. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

You said that so well, Allie. Thank you.

Scott said...

OH MY GOD! I lost it laughing at the corn.

I once laughed for 45 minutes straight about this one french fry alone on my dad's plate at dinner... I wasn't coming out of depression, but I COMPLETELY understand why the piece of corn was so funny.

qgardens said...

So, so, so incredibly accurate. You are not alone in a sea of dead fish. Welcome back with the hilarious joy of one single withered kernel of corn.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're posting again <3 <3 <3 This was pretty much the 'conversation' I'd wanted but never could have. All of my fish are dead.

Diane said...

Allie... I posted earlier and said I'm glad you're back, write more, write often. That was selfish, and all about me, because you make me feel something like happy. Maybe you're not ready to be all the way back writing true, beautiful or hilarious things, often.

My already considerable adoration of you doubled with this post. So you take your time. We'll wait patiently. :) Take good care.

Anonymous said...

This happened to me, almost exactly, when I moved to a new city with my husband. And I'm still stuck in the middle of it, except my husband got tired and resentful of sad me and he left. And now it's just me, with my paralyzing sadness, in a city I hate, and I wish someone could help me.

phreep said...

That story was a bit... Corny.

(•_•)

( •_•)>⌐■-■

(⌐■_■)

YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Unlike many here, what you went through wasn't at all familiar to me. I'm the non-emoting kind of guy, probably a Vulcan, but you explained it fabulously. Some panels made me laugh, the whole thing made me hurt for you. You have a phenomenal talent. Most of us don't know you, but we kind of do, and you are dear to us. I don't know much about feelings and nothing about depression, but I think its that dumpy gray hoodie that's bringing you down. How you continue feeling and posting.

robn said...

Been there, understand the corn. That shit is hilarious :)

jonnyfilmboy said...

That'll do pig. That'll do.

Anonymous said...

It's so good to hear you're better, and I hope you'll continue getting better. And holy shit you have 4814 comments - seems like I wasn't the only one to keep you in my feed, hoping you'd return one day.

Mugoi Usagi said...

I'm a therapist and often work with depressed teens. The way you've explained your experience of depression has helped me connect a few dots and given me new understanding of what it can be like. Also, I couldn't help but laugh at your angry face drawing. It was amazing. I look forward to more stuff from you, no matter how long the space between your posts!

xifer said...

Allie forth ... Your capacity to make great, communicative art is undiminished!

Suzi McGowen said...

Depression is a lying bastard. It really is. Since I'm still in the land where everything is flat and grey, I just repeat "Depression is a lying bastard" to myself over and over. However, I'm hoping to find that dried out kernel of corn. I will be looking under the fridge as soon as I can muster enough energy to care if there is corn under the fridge. I'm glad you're finding your way out of this maze. I hope only good things for you.

CA said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I felt everything you've felt - like, I have that hoodie. And the staring into space or crying at nothing on the kitchen floor? I thought I invented it. I got through it, went back, got through it again... It was reassuring for me to know people had felt like I felt before.

Kate Morgan said...

Thanks for this post. My boyfriend sent it to me and I think it has helped him understand what's going on with me. Like the other day I saw frolicking dolphins and I couldn't care less. I mean, they were just frolicking in the wild and only a metre away but they could have been whiting or seaweed or gravel for all I cared. Hope I find my corn soon but I guess that's your point. It's the belief that hope exists that matters.

phreep said...

That story was sort of... CORNY.

(•_•)

( •_•)>⌐■-■

(⌐■_■)

YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

QK said...

I *almost* want to send this to my ex-husband and say, "See! This is what I was going through and you never cared enough to ask. I took anti-depressents for three years, and you didn't ask. All you said was that I had the emotional capability of a dead fish, and then you left. Well, I got better after you left, and eight years on I'm happier than I've ever been".

Anonymous said...

You have such an amazing way with words that I find myself saddened and horrified at how terrible things have been for you while I am simultaneously laughing so hard that I am in tears. You are absolutely, incredibly, talented and brave. I am so glad you share your unique perspective with us.

Anonymous said...

D - All of the above.

:D

Unknown said...

Welcome back, Allie! This is just fucking magnificent, funny, sad, and brilliant. Thank you!

senormedia said...

Clorn FTW.

Welcome back!

Korka said...

This is possibly the best thing ever written about depression. I have officially asked my husband to say "Sorry about how dead your fish are" instead of everything else when I feel like there is just a fog over a fog over a fog.
I laughed. I cried. I loved it.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back !

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. YOU ARE BRILLIANT.

ben thompson said...

I love those terminal laughter loops, there's not enough of them. Glad you're back Allie, missed you heaps <3

amanda june said...

i think my favorite thing about this post is the braveness it takes to share when you're still in the midst of everything still being pretty shitty.

then again, i guess lack of feelings can also take away the sense of risk, so that can be handy.

still, i'm glad you shared.

Anonymous said...

I missed your posts so much! Even if they don't continue, I'm glad that I got to have this one.

Helen said...

I don't know if it will ever get "better" for you. I do know that it can. I spent two years in that dark room. *hug*

Kevin said...

I just wanted to say thanks for that. Kinda made me cry and it's been a year or so now since I've had problems with my... whatever it was. But now I think I have a way I can describe it to people because everyone seems to want to help.

Brandi said...

I'm pretty fairly certain you just downloaded the contents of my brain for the past 10 years. You've explained the unexplainable.

Spinn said...

Thank you, Allie. And I kind of love you, even though I have absolutely no idea who you are. :-)

I hope our paths cross sometime in the future. Give me a shout if you are ever in Norway hunting polar bears (as we all are at some point during our lives..)

Spinn said...

Thank you, Allie. And I kind of love you, even though I have absolutely no idea who you are. :-)

I hope our paths cross sometime in the future. Give me a shout if you are ever in Norway hunting polar bears (as we all are at some point during our lives..)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

Carla said...

HOLY COW!! I now understand completely (as is possible) what is going on in my sister's head/heart. She has been bi-polar for 45 years. While I've suffered with my own depression, medication helped me. I never really understood her and thought she just needed a different medication.
Thank you so much for saying what she has been unable to say. Explaining what she has been unable to explain. Your post not only helps those who suffer like yourself, but those of us that love the sufferers.

Little Bits said...

I have struggled with depression for years and have often felt like NO ONE understood. But then I read your posts and it's all there, clear and honest and hilarious. Even the part about wanting to not exist - I went through that too! I looked at my hubby and kids like you looked at your dog...

Anyway, thank you. I'm currently trying to get off of my two high dose happy meds but I'm so afraid of all of my fish dying again. Maybe they will and maybe they won't but I would like to try.

If they do I will make a large poster of the rainbow at the end. It just might be my shriveled up corn.

The monsterdevilthings said...

its so strange (and kind of sad)
to see so many people relating to this experience (myself included).
Missed your posts Allie, be back, be awesome, be whoever you want to be.
There's something special in knowing that you aren't entirely alone in crawling that desert wasteland
(and the hope that there are rainbows and smiles at the end of it.) <3

The Opulent Trombone said...

I laugh/cried through this whole post, because it's hilarious and totally hits home. My girl-crush on you has just reached critical mass.

Creepy, right?
I know. I'm sorry.

The courage it must have taken you to post this is amazing. The fish metaphor hits the nail directly on the head.

Goddammit Allie, you are just bloody fucking fantastic. You have been missed immensely, and I'm so ecstatic that you're getting help!

I hope that very soon, you'll remember how to feel ecstatic too!

Snoozepossum said...

You are fucking godsdamed brilliant (cues Guinness Guys) BRILLIANT for writing/drawing/thinking both these posts. They should be required reading for anyone dealing with depression or who is dealing with anyone who is. Or I'll beat them up. With squishy, moldy vegetables. So there. (salutes)

Anonymous said...

Allie, the world is so happy you're back that you even have your own thread on Fark.com referring to this post. :)

My heartfelt joy at your return is included in my wish for your continued recovery. GIVE YOU ALL THE CORNS!

--Random Farker

Libby said...

I <3 you. And hold on, it's hard work and I don't know if the wasteland ever goes away entirely but you do get much quicker at finding the exit points.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I bet you'll never see this, but I've been there. I was so depressed for four years that I attempted suicide five times. I painted my parent's living room brilliant lime green because it was the only thing I could think to do besides kill myself, for some reason, so I did it.

You did a great job of showing people how it really is. Depression is fucking absurd. Sometimes all I did was hug my dog and breathe and remind myself that intellectually I knew it had to get better. It's sort of hilarious that I'm alive now.

Anyhow, I, and thousands of other people think you are amazing and you make us happy, even when you post about feeling shit-tastic.

I remember telling a doctor depression felt exactly like being handcuffed to someone who hates me. Thanks for being honest. You rule.

Cate said...

I want to personally thank that piece of corn for bringing you back. And you, for explaining so well what depression is like. That's not at all what I thought, and I'm so glad for that account.

Anonymous said...

beautifully put...as someone who has dealt with clinical depression for years, it is what I needed to hear right now. I hope that things get better for you; I enjoy looking through your old posts; they are full of witty observations and hysterical stories :)

Bob Joe said...

I am happy to see you posting again. You work is... Great seems too underwhelming... Awesome-fantabulous? That will work. :P

Well I guess that it's good to see a little bit of hope for corn out there. I have made my approach something like: Act nomrmal until you are normal. Except, when you can't be normal anymore, people don't like you. :( Even people who have heard what there is to hear about whatever it is that is wrong with you, and should totally understand you, don't like you. Then you lose your friends and other people who were close. yay. So yeah. I guess that I just have to accept, and dive into the nothing. Maybe that will accelerate the process of everything not meaning anything.

You hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Been rooting for you since your last post. Hang in there, Allie!

Anonymous said...

i've been teetering at the edge of the hole of nothingness for about a month now, and i've been in there before. i'm doing my best to find projects to engage me, and as long as i keep myself busy and occupied, i'm mostly all good. it's the downtime that's hard. thank you so much for this, it really reminded me of where i've been and where i'm hoping i don't return over the next few months. <3

Anonymous said...

Yay! my favorite comic is back! FLOOOORRRRNNN!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you. I'm in the middle of a particularly long and bad episode right now, and the parts about not being able to comfort people and getting the weepies while just drinking juice are pulled right from the last couple of months of my life. You are an incredible writer. You tackled and articulated (and illustrated!) a subject that seems completely inexplicable most of the time. Thank you for this!

Anonymous said...

wonderful..
true words

that corn was even more laughing at you, i suggest. it had no worries, no ways, no feelings before. suddenly and out of nowhere it became relevant. that seems to be the only way for all of us.

depression is a bad thing. but, sometimes, it can be a good thing (retrospective), because it forces often a deeper philosophic, antroposophic or artistic way of thinking. and by that I mean it can make you love again but in a deeper way than the average amount of feelings about nice cream and hate because of traffic etc.
its never over, the Q remains, but thats part of life, and when you have something to stand up for, even the matter itself, its worth it and it will give you feelings.

I had a depressive phase myself, and it was the beginning of "I cant do that". Now I study art, and I love working, love my life, love people and little things. f.e.

elel anchovy

Anonymous said...

I am gob-smacked at how incredibly well you communicate your thoughts into words. I FEEL what you are saying, even if you cannot. Thanks for showing me. :)

Unknown said...

I've been there crying on the kitchen floor, not knowing why I was crying, just there, hanging out crying. It sucked. My husband was all what's wrong? I could only say: my mouth felt like crying, I'm not sad. I've been there, and still sometimes I like to get teary eyed, cry, sob, whatever. I think we oscillate in emotions. High highs, low lows, and it's normal. Though, some Ativan and maybe some Adderall could help too. Thank you for your story and whistle that Month Python Life of Brian tune with me to remind ourselves that shit sucks, but "Always look on the bright side of life."

Annie Boyd said...

I went through this whole process in the matter of a few days after the birth of my first kid. It was exhausting.

My kid's face as she looked at my dad was my corn. And I took lots of pictures of it.

Thank you.

Wolfyhound said...

Thanks. Just... thanks. I hope I find my own corn soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you decided to keep on living. And that you created a post that is neither hopeless, nor bullshit. Welcome back. And thank you.

rufftie said...

well now when someone asks you about your story, your road to recovery, you can say "well i'll tell you but it's gonna sound a little corny."

Sandy said...

You have helped others. That's what it's all about. :-)
Thank you.

Ethan. said...

I'm glad to hear things from you again. Your pictures cracked me up and yeah, I cringed a little bit after I laughed, but then I was like, meh, and laughed a little bit more so that I didn't have the taste of cringe in my mouth. You are cool.

Katherine Ward said...

thank you thank you thank you! oh my gosh i've struggled with depression for years and oh my gosh this was so unbelievably relevant. like the face contortion thing, I never even thought to describe that or even realized that was directly connected to my depression and why I hated hanging with people while I was depressed. And seriously leave it to you to make me laugh about all of this; I love you!

Jason Folkers said...

Welcome back, ma'am. May your journey forward continue to be fruitful. ALL the fruit.

Maddie said...

Thank you for posting this. It's good to have you back.

I cried when I got to the part about wanting nothing to love you so it would be easy to stop existing with the accompanying picture of the simple dog. When I came close to suicide last year, the only thing that truly stopped me was my dog. The worst was a night that I almost drove into a wall on a freeway going 85 miles an hour; I only didn't because he was in the car. He saved my life, and it was that moment that spurred me to ask for help.

Now I have a steady stream of medication, therapy, good days, and bad days. The bad days are becoming fewer and less severe, but I know that I still have a long way to go. Your posts have given me ways to articulate to people what it feels like and help them understand. So thank you so very much for helping me find the words. I hope your journey continues to get better.

Mike "Kosher" Kroll said...

It's incredibly relieving and heart-warming to hear that you're making your way back. :D I'm so happy to hear that you are making your brain make you experience happiness, corn and all!

Welcome back!

<3

Heather said...

In case you decide to read through thousands of comments, I figure I'll add my own.

I am happy you are posting again and I hope that whatever you're doing keeps working for you.

I'm type 2 bipolar, so I can relate to your descriptions of what it's like to be depressed. On my lows, I remember hoping someone would just admit me to a mental institution so that I would have free reign to stop pretending to give a shit. I could stop trying to find the will to leave my bed, to interact with others, to try, period. The only feeling that I seemed to keep was guilt. I felt like I was a burden to those that knew me and that it would be easier if I just didn't exist. It's hard to explain to others that you're just tired of existing. I settled for telling people just the tired part. When anyone asked, "What's wrong?" I would respond, "Oh nothing, just tired." Worked for years! Because my mania would kick in, everyone would be relieved, and I could go on until it happened all over again. By the time I was finally medicated, once a month I would have two week + long episodes of depression, followed by feeling at least normal, then a week of mania before starting all over again. God, I was always so relieved when I could cry. Didn't matter why, just crying seemed to relieve the pressure of the not giving a shit.

Anyways, long comment that is long, I wish you the best of luck back to the world of the caring.

Tara Wilde said...

During a lie-on-the-floor-and-cry depression, I stepped on a ketchup packet and it shot all over the wall and my bookcase. It looked like a crime scene, and it struck me as the funniest thing ever. I laughed and laughed, even as I cleaned it up. Even now it makes me laugh.

sxt - Stephen Xavier Toth said...

Glad you found the depth of your brain's abilities before it was too late. Change is the only constant, sometimes the strangest things make it happen, they do not need to be explained either. Hope is the realization that change permeates and overcomes, or, sometimes corn under a fridge moves the universe along.

Thanks for the post, amazing as usual :)

jrronimo said...

Welcome back. It's good to see you writing again. :)

Craig Farrell said...

I have been on the road back myself the last few months. Almost everything you said makes me feel less alone. I don't know why but American Males like to feel like no one else would understand. Like it's good to be alone with your situation. Every time I find out someone else feels (or doesn't feel) the way I do. I feel (better).

Anonymous said...

I didn't think it could be put into words. I think you may have just saved my life.

Anonymous said...

I will turn and walk back through the wasteland. I've been at the not convicted enough to kill myself but not wanting to exist stage for a very long time- each day is a struggle, everything seems empty. I'm not alone, other people have felt this... and I can be okay. Thank you. From the deepest part of my existence.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! It it truly one of the best explanations of what it like for someone who is depressed. You have been missed and we all are hoping you can find your writing voice more and more. And also hoping that you are on the road to finding many more pieces of corn under the fridge to laugh hysterically over. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I really needed to hear somebody express it so succinctly. Just thanks, a shit ton.

Anonymous said...

I have a couple friends who are going through depression like this, and I think I has some pretty severe (although short-lived) depression a few years ago, and this is so perfectly worded and accurate.

WE STILL LIKE YOU EVEN WITH YOUR DEAD FISH.

I hope that corn will be funny for you forever.

liv said...

I wish you well on your road to recovery. It's obvious you're not quite in that place of happiness and rainbows just yet, but it looks like you're well on the way. Good luck!
(and thanks for posting and giving us an update...we were worried. <3)

Maiebird said...

Allie- I know everyone is saying how they identify, and I am going to echo that. I KNOW THESE FEELS! It was my depression filled stint at Bible College. I didn't have a piece of corn, I had a cake. And I threw that cake out of a 5th story window. And it made a frighteningly satisfying sound. I had an awesome suite mate who heard me cackling like an insane person. Without any questions, she came over to my room and proceeded to throw more things out of the window with me. I started to feel better from then on.

Tree Hugger said...

Sorry your fish were dead. Thanks for writing this.

CaraReiner said...

So so so so sooooo happy you are back Allie! Not gonna lie, I may or may not have spent a few hundred hours attempting to stalk/find you online over the last year just to make sure you were still alive. I have always loved everything you create and have read your posts dozens of times. Even though I appreciate the laughter you bring to my life x1000 I think that the things you wrote about here and in your last post are even more important. Sharing your "struggles" (that word barely covers what you have been going through) is not only limitlessly helpful for others who have experienced similar things, it is also PRICELESS, in the truest meaning of the word, for those of us who have not experienced it. Never before have I had anyone explain to me in such perfect and understandable metaphors what depression can feel like. And I'm a therapist!!!! Thank you again and again for making me laugh until I cry and now providing the world with a glimpse into your inner world. What you do is so much more valuable than you might know. WE LOVE YOU ALLIE!!!! (Even if your fish are dead.)

Anonymous said...

I too went through all these stages. Hang in there and don't decide to stop taking your meds thinking you're all better. It's not good.

The Opulent Trombone said...

BTW...the corn paperweight is a marvellous idea.

Anonymous said...

Allie, you are phenomenal and it's great to have you back. I think this blog is just like your shriveled piece of corn under the refrigerator. Absurd, unexpected, and far more meaningful than it has any right to be. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

imsogreat said...

Your bald honesty is awesome even when the feelings or lack thereof aren't. Thank you for posting this. I'm so glad to see something from you again.

Present Perfect said...

I'm so very glad you're back. I hope things only get better for you.

I totally understand this post from the perspective of the people around you. Dealing with a person suffering from clinical depression is about the most frustrating undertaking possible, and a large part of that is because those of us wanting to help don't actually understand what depression is. We (in the societal sense) think of depression as sadness, and therefore, telling someone to cheer up and look on the bright side, etc., ought to help them.

I really wish someone had told me it was detachment sooner. I might have saved some friendships along the way. It's only just recently that I've come to learn this about depression, and your post is a big step along my path to understanding.

So yes. I hope you're well, I hope you stick around for our sakes, but more importantly, I hope you take what time you need to get where you need to be. We'll be waiting. :)

hinckles said...

Missed you Allie. I'm sorry about your dead fish.

Ricki said...

All of my hugs go to you. This hit very close to home. And while I cannot verify whether or not I am full of bullshit, the fact that this all seems painfully familiar to me in the definite past-tense kind of way, I think I can say it can get better. Thanks for turning back and walking the other way. Thanks for writing this post. I've sort of just taken the approach of "the-time-in-my-life-which-must-not-be-named" up to this point, and I think this is helping me confront it rather than burying it under a rock, and I think that's good. Maybe.

May your piece of corn be with you.

Shannon Flannery said...

Thank you, Allie, for sharing this. Glad you're back, and glad you're getting back to feelings.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for silly little pieces of shriveled up corn! Maybe life really is as absurd as that piece of corn. Thank you so much for sharing.

And you didn't ask for it, but now I'll share with you.

My moment of clarity and road to recovery began when I was considering seeing my doctor. I was torn between going, or taking more immediate action.

I'd been so miserable, for so long, it was impossible to remember ever feeling any other way. It was a long, exhausting slog to get out of bed every day. And I was so tired of feeling that way, for days, weeks, years.

So I thought to myself, "I should go see the doctor, even if I have to wait a few days. We can try some treatment, and see if something works. And if we can't find anything that works, I can always kill myself later."

And I laughed at the absurdity of my thoughts - the very thoughts that would help keep me alive, when I wasn't leaning that direction.

That was when I finally realized that how I felt might not be within my control - but the actions I took still were. Every day is still a conscious decision to keep living, but these days it's easier.

Again, thank you for sharing.

It'sallaboutbeingHaley said...

Ok. I'm going to go look under my fridge now.

Josh said...

I absolutely admire the effort and honesty that went into this post. I started a blog almost a week ago on Tumblr now to try and level with my own depression and to express what it's like to others. Then it became about just continuing doing what I was doing because people came to me and told me that they could identify with what I was saying and it made them feel a little less alone. Sometimes it's a little more self deprecating than I like and sometimes I not sure it does it's job.

I can't help but feel like you did everything I was trying to do so much better. It's clear, it's well thought out, and it's illustrated. How fantastic is that?

Mimi said...

Long live the corn! I would laugh with you.

Anonymous said...

I missed your blog posts and I'm glad you're writing again! I know how you feel, and I admire you for deciding to keep going. It's not easy, and it may take a long time, but you'll never be in it alone. So may the Corn be with you, and thanks for the brilliant post!

Kat said...

Oh, Honey - glad you're back. Glad you found your corn.

Anonymous said...

I've suffered depression since I was a teenager, so over 25 years now. I don't think I've ever read anything about depression that described it as well as your blog post. Everything you wrote could have me many times. It still it is, ocassionally. I still have periods when that deep pit of emptiness sucks me in and I am lost in the void, wondering how long it will last... again. So many people don't get how it feels. On one hand, I hate knowing that you do, but on the other hand, I am glad there are others out there like me, like us.

Anonymous said...

I know this is probably just going to get lost in the enormous pile of comments building up here, but I would hate myself forever if I didn't say this anyway.

I am so genuinely happy that you are well (comparatively speaking; I know how long the road away from depression and thoughts of suicide is), and that you are posting again.

Your posts always gave me something to laugh at even when I was in the darkest pits of my depression. Even when I wanted to die, you made me laugh. So in a way, you helped me not want to kill myself, because you reminded me that I would miss some really good shit if I left the world early.

When I read your first depression post I was heartbroken because I knew that I wouldn't be able to help you the way you helped me. I'm glad that you got the help you needed and pushed through.

Welcome back :) And good luck with the rest of your fight!

Anonymous said...

Love.

Joles said...

Like many others, this post hit unbelievably close to home. I went through "the same" misery a few years ago. The suicidal part - totally! "I don't want to off myself, I just kind of want to lay in bed and have it magically absorb me into itself until I no longer exist." That, or I'd just vanish like StarTrek except I'd never reappear. Depression like this is, as you said, impossible to explain to someone who has never experienced its misery. Thank you for this. I hope you are able to continue fighting to find the meaning in your life.

Jennifer said...

So glad you're "back".

You've still got the truth trick. I remember once being viciously angry at a flowering cherry tree, because how dare it be so gorgeous under the circumstances.

You are beautiful and brave and wise and I love you as much as its possible to love a complete stranger on the internets.

Steve said...

I so totally love this! It hits home so much. Whatever else you do, thank you for explaining things in ways I never could. Now I'm sharing your work as widely as I can.

And the body language and facial expressions you get into your characters is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for articulating something I know so many people have struggled with in their lives - especially in terms of communicating the sentiment to others.

I hope that the corn has worked!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for articulating something I know so many people have struggled with in their lives - especially in terms of communicating the sentiment to others.

I hope that the corn has worked!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've never read anything that so accurately depicted what I've gone through with depression.

You've really created something amazing here. Thank you.

Heidi LaRae said...

Your epic spoonfulls of awesome have been missed!! Depression is terrible, and many have been through it, myself included. Sometimes, I just needed someone to say, "Just be okay with your sad. Let it happen." I tried to hard to fight it off, it just made it worse because I failed at getting it to go away.
But seeing your awesome doodles is like fresh air in my lungs again!! :D SO HAPPY YOU'RE BACK!!! *holds back impulse to hug computer*

Fachh said...

Stare into the void long enough and it stares back at you

Not knowing is sort of great ;)

Anonymous said...

In the midst of my own right now, and found myself laughing and crying at the same time about the corn.

James said...

I'm so glad you're back Allie!

Sarah Stankus said...

This corn thing. I get it. It was a dried black eyed pea under my bed for me. I don't know how it got there but it was there. Under my bed. One black eyed pea. It was there by itself under my bed and it was a dried pea. Fucking funniest thing that has ever happened, apparently.

But I'm pretty sure the weird thing on the floor is the turning-ish type point thingy for every depressed person. It think there must be some secret club or something though because no one ever talks about it...

Sarah said...

OMG I missed you.

Anonymous said...

My friend just sent me your comic about depression part 2. The subject line of her email said "I'm sorry about how dead your fish are."

I read the comic, then I read the subject line of her email again, and I wept.

Thank you for sharing your story, to help bridge the gap between Those Who Know and those who do not.

I'm so glad you feel well enough to share your story, and I hope your good health continues. Take rest when you need it. Coming out of the murk isn't necessarily a straight line. You may retrace steps and zig-zag a bit.

Much love.

Anonymous said...

I've had my corn kernel moment before. I cried a little bit halfway through this because of how relate-able it is; thank you for writing it, it's a good thing to think about. Your illustrations for this are particularly great.

Anonymous said...

Somewhere in my youth, someone or something made me think that suicide is not an option and never an option. So other than the suicide part (which is usually substituted by emptiness, loneliness, and nothingness), I can relate to this at every point.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I needed this.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Been there, it sucks,but it can get better.

larrychoiceman said...

I have no idea if writing this was helpful to _you_, but since you found your corn, maybe it didn't need to be. But this description was fucking legend. This is art. Legend fucking art.

Meg said...

Im so glad your feeling better and I love the way you explained everything in the post, its definetly making me think about things differently.

Anonymous said...

thank you.

Anonymous said...

Someone I love feels this way.. and despite all my (worried) encouragement and promises that this too shall pass... I fear that my earnest, heartfelt advice isn't cutting it.

But this, the shriveled little bit of corn--yes. I get it. That little unexpected glimpse into a new perspective. I get it. And just maybe, so will he.

Thank you. You know you have a bigger place in this world than you know.

Janice said...

As someone who used to have some pretty low lows, I get it. I so appreciate you taking the time to post. You make me laugh and feel so totally not alone in all the weirdness that is my life. We all got somethin' - ya know? You're a very talented chick.

Anonymous said...

We live in a challenging universe.
However, it is not made up of 100% bullshit.

Sanna said...

I cried. Happy cry sad cry. The person who entertains the sit out of us is sad. That makes me wanna cry. But you're back! And i hope we see you again. Ive always said that. Let me tell you again! I relate to you so well..its unbelievable!

Are you by any chance my long lost crazy sis from India? :P

I miss stupid. I miss alot. I miss crazy cute drawings. I miss the sense of humour.

Please please don't leave us again. You've made me come out or through the worst one year of my life. I wanna help you in the same way.

I think you neeeed a break! Come to India and i will be your host! :D

Love.
Byee.

Anonymous said...

We live in a challenging universe.
However, it is not made up of 100% bullshit.

bellaboop26 said...

Been there in that hole of darkness. My brain didn't have a corn to lead me out. I had a computer hard drive. It hit me that I needed to reboot every emotion, every fiber. & every cell of my existence - it all needed rebooting. You Will feel again, It's something we have to go through to reshape our way of thinking & living.

Raeann said...

Oh wow, this is so like several years ago, I started feeling like I was talking to people from behind a window or some kind of transparent wall, and the rest of the time I felt like I was inside a hole (and yeah, it was a relief, it was this curiously detached sensation, restful compared to what was before). It sounds weird, but that's the only way I can describe it. I couldn't even talk right, I spoke so slowly, it was like my brain couldn't make words any more so what would normally take 30 seconds to say took like 5 minutes, and my husband would get absolutely infuriated with me. I finally decided the most logical thing was for me to kill myself because clearly, I was causing my family misery, plus, I needed my husband to stop yelling at me, stop telling me to snap out of it. I remember, it wasn't exactly an emotional decision, it just seemed like the next logical step, like, oh, you know what I should probably do is kill myself. I had it all planned too, I had considered driving my car into the river, but I decided that would be too traumatic, so I figured a dose of sleepaway for myself (I worked as a vet tech at the time, so I had access, knew dosages, could get all the necessary equipment) but it was such a huge dosage, I knew I'd never get it all injected before I just passed out and didn't die. So, I was going to steal some Phenobarbitol from the safe, drive myself to the middle of nowhere and swig it down with something. I didn't want my family stumbling upon my dead body. I decided it would be better to just traumatize an emt or sheriff's or a fireman. So, finally, I decided that was no good because the doctors at my work would probably wind up losing their DEA licenses, so I somehow came to the conclusion that killing myself wasn't really an option, and I just dragged myself around until eventually things started seeming semi normal after a while. I still knew something was wrong, so I wound up going to a counselor for help with a new symptom, panic attacks, and when I told her my symptoms from all the past months, she said "Hey, guess what, you're depressed." So I got some Paxil and things were better for a while. I can't afford to go to a doctor right now, so I do the best I can, and I tell someone now when I find myself screaming at my kids but it feels like I'm just watching someone else scream. I'm sorry this was so long. Thank you for writing this post.

Laura Bionix, World Traveler and Esquire-to-be said...

You are such an amazing communicator--the way you tell stories about your life is absolutely amazing. Most people could not begin to express the depth of emotion that you're able to, and that goes from the most hilarious stories you've written on here but especially to these experiences. I try to write how I feel, but it always feels like a ghost of what I'm actually feeling and trying to say. When I read your writing, I feel like you're sharing your brain with me on direct link. Your talent just floors me, and I'm glad you're on the mend.

Matt said...

I work in the mental health field, specifically with kids, and me and all of my colleagues that have read this agree that we should share this with all of the clients we work with. One, to validate them. Two, to make them feel less alone. And three, to help them realize maybe everything isn't hopeless bullshit. You describe it all so well. Having been there and seeing it daily, I think you define depression the best I've ever seen.

Melissa Palausky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

the crying at all times hits home so hard, as does the re-emergence of emotions. I went through the exact same cycle, and I too have found myself laughing hysterically at something small (so small I don't even remember what it was). I'm glad you're feeling again, and I hope you keep taking steps forward.

Anonymous said...

Sorry your fiah are dead. This was amazing. Glad you are still here to tell us this story. <3

Anonymous said...

Thank you! You're one of my favourite artists. Thanks for this present to the internet. Thank you.

Owen Parachute said...

been there, done that, didn't die.

didn't use corn though.

if you wanna change your life, hit me up.

http://www.owenparachute.com

Unknown said...

This is the best description (definition? Profile?)of depression I've ever read. Really. This should be in a pamphlet for doctors and mental health professionals to hand out to depressed folks and (maybe more importantly) their families and friends.

I'm not even depressed and (this will sound weird) I feel so glad that I have confirmation that there are people that felt near-identically to how I did at my worst. It would have been nice to not feel so alone when I really needed to not feel so alone.

Thanks for the great post!

Anonymous said...

This is amazingly accurate. I've been depressed for a few years now with no real relief. I take the meds, and the doctors are all like "yay! now you're cured!" And I want to hit them. My depression is a shape-shifter, I'e gone through self-loathing, suicidal thoughts, depression-related eating disorders, nihilism, crying, panic-attacks, and more. Right now I'm in a phase of combined hatred and nihilism. I hate everyone and everything. All the time. I wear earplugs in public to avoid hearing the annoying laughing people. My roommate is a triathlete who does yoga every day and tells me how HAPPY it makes her. Such a pain. And NO ONE can understand the difference between being suicidal and just being tired of being alive... It seems to freak them out when I say I don't care about life, don't know why :P Anyway, don't know if there's a corn kernel out there for me. Kinda doubt it, but I kinda doubt a lot, so who knows. Thanks for understanding.

Anonymous said...

You probably won't see this because there's already another five thousand people in front of me, but reading this helps, a lot. I don't think there's anything to say that at least a thousand people haven't already said, so I'll leave it at that. Thank you for being you, and for helping me to be me. -T

Jenny, Dublin said...

I had no idea how many annoying things I unknowingly say to someone who's depressed. I haven't been there, I won't pretend I know what you're going through. I just wanted to say you were missed. A lot. And that I think you are amazing. (And yay for corn!)

JH said...

The whole time I read this I just kept thinking, "Yes! This is exactly how it is." Every illogical, awful part. The apathy, the disconnect, the meaninglessness.

Thank you. To see it explained so well was really amazing.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you wound up at that point where failing to make the right faces got you noticed, or when you didn't have the words to tell people that, it's not that you want to kill yourself but the only logical way to not exist is to be dead in a way that did not result in the noise. I hope that the interplay of emotional strange eventually sorts itself to the point where you for that same inexplicable reason you feel nothing go back to having meaning and find feeling nothing as difficult to remember as accurately recalling the sensation of pain. I am glad you are not dead, if that eventually means something.

Jen ZG said...

Yes, I know your story too well. Lived it myself and am so relieved that you have found your way out of it (or are finding it, at least). Good Luck to you - I am so happy to see you back here.

Ruza Foster said...

Well you said this was difficult to write, and I can see why... but thankyou for putting it out there, I know it's going to touch lots of people.

Karoline Fritz said...

Me too baby doll, every damned syllable! Been there been there been there and back again. Still going.
P.S. you're totally making the right face.
Also: Corn.

Anonymous said...

corn? all by itself under the fridge? LOL no, I totally get it.

Mikka said...

I'm glad to hear you're feeling better! Welcome back!

Cori said...

Allie,
We missed you. I missed you. I don't know you and probably will never get the chance to but reading this today made me feel hopeful. Holding onto the hope that "not-knowing is better then being sure life is shitty" is what has kept me functioning for the past 5 years of my life. I have been dealing with depression for a long time (longer then I realize, I think) and I have finally gotten past the terrible parts (I mean, not completely; I will never be completely past it) and dealt with the laughing at nothing and spiraling into the nothing laughter forever and I am feeling better now then I have in a long time. It's nice to know someone feels the same. I can't articulate so perfectly how I feel (like you do) and I want to send this post to so many people in my life so they can attempt to understand how it looks from my side when they tell me to "cheer up" or "smile more". The person before me in the comments says they "damn near cried because of how familiar this sounds" and believe me, Allie, I feel the same. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

sesasha said...

I get it. Thank you for saying it.

This will make no sense right now, but someday, it will and it will be better. Keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has slowly cycled from numb to absolute loathing of all things in life and back for the past 20+ years, THANK YOU. I have tried repeatedly to explain myself/my feelings/lack thereof to friends and family. It is Exactly like having someone offer to help look for dead fish that you are holding in your hands, trying to show them. BTW, still looking for the magic combo that will unlock the rest of those things other people call feelings on a reliable basis.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, damnit.

Anonymous said...

Saw a randome Reddit post that you were back, damn girl, so happy to hear your voice again! Your description of the depression experience is amazing, thank you for making some of us feel less alone and creepy.

Jen Mercer said...

Just adding my gladness to the list that you found the strength to post again. Here's hoping for more corn!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I will now refer to this every time I feel down and have some jackass telling me to shut up and be happy, like I can just flip a switch. 10+ years of depression for me and not being able to explain everything inside properly, and you have done it. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Depression is a legit illness just like cancer or flu or broken leg (although it's not technically an illness.) Point is - your brain is physically broken and doctors help restart it in the right way. Good to have you back!

courtly said...

Missed your words. It's so good to know you're still here.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, beautiful work, thanks,
Clarice Ege

Unknown said...

This is me, now. Thank you for putting into words what I haven't been able to.

Sincerely,

Merrie

L.Blaise Griffin said...

I have never read, or heard, anything that makes me feel like someone else gets it, as much as your writing does.

Thank you for that.

Fenris said...

Having been there, thank you for the fish metaphor. That's exactly how it feels for me too. On one hand, this is extremely bad because it means that this happens to a lot of people. On the other hand, it's extremely good because it means you can beat it. Slowly, but you can.
I've lived with anxiety and depression for quite literally longer than I can remember (I first saw a therapist when I was three years old because my parents didn't know how to handle my severe anxiety). The first time I felt like life had no meaning, I was 7 years old. For me, medication is the only thing that can make it better. When I'm on a dose that works, I an feel a full range of emotions and live life pretty normally. The fact that you've been depressed means that you should probably seek treatment from a professional psychiatrist or therapist, because it's possible to relapse, and they can give you the tools to prevent that. It may take multiple therapists to find one that works for you, and maybe behavioral therapy will be better than meds for you. But I strongly recommend you try something. Set up a support system now so that if it ever does happen again you can stop it before it gets bad.
Sending you hope for the best
-Fen

Anonymous said...

I cannot even tell you how perfectly this describes depression. It took me five years to realize it wasn't going away and I would have to actively do something about it. Thank you for having the courage to post this and good luck on your own journey!

Anonymous said...

Allie, you are awesome and I love you. Glad you found corn!

Anonymous said...

You totally still win the Internet. Missed you! Xoxo

Lucy Zemljic said...

This was perfect. I can't even form coherent sentences after reading this but what I can say is that I want to give you a hug, right now, and also wish we were best friends. You are a ridiculously talented, witty, hilarious person, and (having been where you are now), I just want to say, please never give up on that piece of corn or on yourself, we all need you (and possibly also wish we were bbf's with you) :)

toddr1977 said...

I am so glad you are back. This was amazing to me.

Alex Vance said...

god bless u. god is corn p.s.

Janie said...

I never comment on these type of things, but I will now. My daughter died from suicide. She tried many many times before she was "successful". She had good doctors and hospitals, loving family and friends. She also didn't know why she was depressed, but she was. Big Time. Many of the things you wrote about she experienced, too. She never found her piece of shriveled corn. I feel very happy for you that you did, although I don't know the significance of the corn any more than you do. I don't have any advice to give. I have never experienced depression myself. I CAN tell you that the survivors of suicide victims miss their loved ones so much. That's all, I guess. I am a fan of your blog and in the past few months when you have been gone, I have re-read some favorites. I'm glad you're back. Super glad about the corn.

Josh W said...

My corn moment was following a salmon for miles up the stream next to my house. I would often go deep into the forest outside my house in hopes of finding death. But following that salmon had given me so many feelings I have not been back to the empty. I hope everyone that feels deep depression finds their corn and salmon. Just remember that nobody knows what your key will be but you should keep looking

Momma said...

The corn makes perfect sense. You are awesome.

Emma Lee said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I'm at the point you were 19 months ago. You're my corn.

Martin of pines said...

Yeah, this pretty much sums up my experience with depression. It's the fucking pits. Glad you're starting to improve though, and glad you're back.

KevMar said...

It takes a lot of courage to speak so openly. What a great way to tell others that that are not alone. That someone understands even if the rest if us don't.

Lynndee said...

Yay Corn! I found your blog while you were on hiatus and I hope this means you're starting to feel like sharing again because I've read all your archives and you are hilarious! I kinda felt bad for laughing at this one, but having gone through my own dark period, I'm glad the funny can find me again. Thanks!

JBD said...

I felt like I was the only one. Thank you.

TrillionGrams said...

Hey I'm really glad you're not dead.

Geni said...

Sorry about how dead your fish are. I still like you, though.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing person, Allie. Thank you for posting this. It's really helped me :)

- Jessie said...

Wow. This is so absolutely spot on to what is going on in my own life (and has been since the end of January) that I can't even begin to tell you how it feels to read this. Maybe you are a future time traveling me writing about this moment in my life. You are so eerily accurate that I have desperately thrown myself to the kitchen floor in hopes that I would find a lone piece of corn beneath it.

Sadly today is not my corn day.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing person, Allie. Thank you for posting this. It's really helped me :)

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD. I have had that corn moment. Not with corn specifically. But I have done that, and I've never told anybody because like you said, it's weird and difficult to explain. This is a good post. Sorry you had to write it. And I'm glad you turned around and walked back the other way.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- said...

Thank god you're back. There are a lot of us out there that need your crazy to help make sense of our own. Thanks for being you, and keep it up. xxx

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