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:

1 – 200 of 5000   Newer›   Newest»
Lori Loo said...

Brilliant! So happy you're back.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to this so well it's scary. So glad that you're posting again - I hope the future picks up for you. Stay well.

PabloR13 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jericho said...

I really think you are me in a parallel universe, writing about the same things. I KNOW ALL THESE FEELS. I'm happy you're back. I missed your crazy.

Samantha said...

I can't tell you how happy I am to see you back!!! I give you so much credit for being able to talk about this and work through it - Go team Allie!! You are wonderful. That is all.

Lauren Ashton said...

I'm so happy that you're back Allie! You're website has helped me & my friends raise a smile in the worst of situations, it's our go to cheer up guide! Keep posting! L x

Anonymous said...

There are no words for how excellent your post is.

Fat Woman said...

Allie, I'm very glad that you wrote and shared it again. I hope that good things happen for you now.

T Janes said...

Allie: STILL the Best Fucking Person EVER!!!!!!!!!!

Kate said...

You are such a wonderful human being.

Lauren Ashton said...

*Your website! and I don't even know where the word guide sneaked in :(
Damn auto correct!

Anonymous said...

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Katie said...

Depression is awful, and I'm so sorry you've gone through all this. Best wishes, and I'm so glad you're back. The Internet is much better when you're on it.

RealityMonster said...

This is a much better explanation of depression than all the others I've heard before. I think I understand it a little better now. At the very least, I think I'll understand what stupid things NOT to do when confronted with a depressed person. Good luck! Thanks for this!

Andy B said...

Thank you for sharing this Allie :).

Chris said...

I'm so glad you shared this and I'm so, so, so glad that you're doing okay. I'm sure it's strange to read it - but I was worried about you. I'm sure a lot of us nameless, faceless people out here were.

I cried reading this. I've been there. I'll probably be there again. Thank you for being brave enough to share more of your journey with us.

Square-Peg Karen said...

Viva la corn - going looking for some now! Beyond great post, thank you for sharing this!!

Molly said...

Thanks for this. You said it better than I ever could. You should have your corn bit bronzed, and keep it in your pocket. Best of luck to you, thank you, and welcome back - I missedd you!

Anonymous said...

So happy you're posting again. I hope everything continues to not be hopeless bullshit!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This helps.

Tulip said...

You've described the feelings of impossible depression more accurately than anyone I've ever read ever. Especially the part about the people trying to help. I'm glad you found your corn.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Allie for posting this. This will help so many people...it's definitely helped me feel like I'm not alone!

Justin Oddablogga said...

Quite the ride you're taking us on these days ...

david said...

you've been missed

Susan said...

Thank you for writing this. This is a wonderful way to explain to me how I should not act around people who feel this way, and that support is not what people might expect.

Kyra said...

<3

Cristina said...

I'm so happy you're back, Ally. :) You're a wonderful person and I know this post is going to help so many people, just as much as I'm sure it helped you!

I hope you stick around because your openness and humour need to be shared with the world!

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE BACK!

that alone makes me strangely hope-like.

the world has missed you, even if you are still holding dead fish.

Anonymous said...

Awesome that you are posting again! :)

Lewis said...

<3<3<3

Anonymous said...

I regularly also experience the emotion of crying - when there are feelings that exist, but my mind can't figure out what the feeling should be or how to express it, so tears just have to do.

I'm happy you've made an update and hoping that you continue to stay in a place where you are open to sharing your stories (and struggles) with us.

Molly said...

Allie, this is so great. I'm glad you're back and I'm glad you're alive (even if there's days when you're sort of not glad you're alive). I get it. And I think this comic is going to help a lot of other people get it, too.

Onedrwomn said...

Thanks for posting this, we all are here for you. You do excellent work!

Anonymous said...

Nailed it. I think I've been waiting for a post like this for 20 years.

generalceles said...

I have been to all of these places and I'm sorry that you have to be there too. Things have mostly gotten better for me, though, so I think they can get better for you, but they'll probably suck more first. It sounds like you're taking the right steps and I'm glad to hear that.

And keep laughing at whatever you damn well please, corn or no.

Douglas said...

Welcome back!

You're not alone with your depression and lack of feelings. Not that helps too much, I know.

Leah said...

This all makes perfect sense to me. Welcome back.

Archana R said...

I relate to this far too much. I think I'm at the point now where I'm still numb about a lot of things that people care a lot about, but I've decided to focus the little feeling I have toward a few things and a few people, and that's making it easier.


...everything else is either disappointing or numbness.

I love you for posting this. Hang in there. <3

Queen Holly the Magnificent said...

This was, this was one of the best things I have ever read about depression. How nothing just comes and eats your life until it's not even real anymore.

Thank you. And I am glad you are back.

Laura said...

This was wonderful, I am so glad you're back. I was actually worried about you and convinced you were gone for good. This was awesome and expressed so well what depression really is. Thank you.

sami said...

Wishing you all the shrivelled corns in the world Allie :) welcome back!

Anonymous said...

So glad you are back Miss.

You hit the nail on the head with this post. Glad things are less bullshitty!

Melanie Davis said...

On behalf of the entire internets, we love you and are delighted that you are happier.

Anonymous said...

This had to be difficult to share. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is perfect. Glad you are back.

Robin Robinson said...

Thank you so much for sharing this (and the other) post about depression. It's hard to describe, emotions that other people haven't had, but somehow your drawings and words make sense in a way that very few other things do. I imagine it was very difficult to write, but it was so very worth it.

EJ said...

All I can say is, THANK GOD FOR INEXPLICABLY FUNNY CORN. Both for your sake and for mine. I have been in similar situations.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are posting again. The world is a better place with you in it. I'm so glad you are feeling better. Please don't ever leave again.

Anonymous said...

Allie, I cried. This is one of the most truthful pieces I've ever read about depression and how other people just DON'T UNDERSTAND. Even as someone who's suffered/ing through depression, you can't understand what someone else with depression feels like, because everyone's different. But I can understand the frustration of people not understanding. The absolute lack of feeling. The return of feeling - but just negative ones. Hatred. The frame of sitting in a coffee shop, glaring at two girls laughing - fuck, that is me.


Thank you for writing this. Thank you for being brave.

Wesley Peck said...

Yup. Definitely love you, Allie.

I'm glad you found corn. Also your depiction of evolution is amazing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Lots. Really.

Ali and Jo said...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Molly's onto something. I'd totally make a necklace out of your corn. I went through years of feeling like you described. Finally even my therapist was like, maybe you have some kind of underlying disease. Turns out I had low Vitamin D, low B12 and gluten intolerance. I went from bipolar medication to no medication and just supplements. I have to get shots of B12 because I guess my stomach can't process it. I never thought I'd feel better again and I haven't felt this good in years. I just mention it because it's worth a try.

Helen Tran said...

So happy to hear from you again, Allie. Your post made me laugh, cry... I pretty well spent the past year in the same state, until finally I found my own 'piece of corn'. Still there, but getting better.

And I hope things will get better for you too.

Rae said...

thanks so much for sharing your story. i'm hoping extra hard for youl

Lis Posca said...

Thank you for posting this and talking about depression, i had an almost year long bout of this that only FINALLY got resolved recently. The whole wanting to be dead thing but not kill yourself...yeah. TOTALLY get that. Also wishing i didn't have people caring for me so it would be easier to just die. it's a scary place to be, and even scarier when you KNOW it's scary, but don't feel anything. Good luck! It won't be all sunshine and lollipops, but there will be more shriveled kernels of corn along the way!

Peter said...

I'm glad you're back!

Sarah Ahiers said...

This:

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

Is utterly amazing. True story

elaine said...

Poor lamb. My husband died from depression. People love you, stay strong. xxx

Mitch said...

<3

Anonymous said...

Corn. Awesome. Whatever it takes.
Thank you for this--I kept checking to see if you'd posted something, and I was really worried (as were about a zillion other strangers). I hope you continue to find other bizarre things to laugh about in the days ahead.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Destiny said...

Allie, I'm sure this is meaningless bullshit but I have felt this way for a long time and when I started to come out of it, I feel...alien...like happiness is something completely foreign. Anyway, I am so glad that you posted this. It makes me feel like I'm not alone in feeling like a piece of shit. You are hilarious and speak the truth. Keep going and keep posting because people like us need to stick together.

Rebecca Hiles said...

I am so glad that you're back...

I've had corn moments in my depression.

I sincerely hope that your life is filled with joy, bacon, cake and feelings. <3

BijouxBaby said...

yeah, just yeah. I remember think that I wished my mother would die, so that I could die and she wouldn't be sad. About that point I decided that I probably should have thoughts like that and something must be wrong with me that maybe modern pharmaceuticals could help with. I'm glad you're still with us.

Anonymous said...

This post is scarily accurate about how I get sometimes. It is hard to feel that way for a short bouts of time, so I can't imagine how difficult/bullshit it feels to be that way for an extended period.

I hope you continue your re-entry into society smoothly.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing.

Val said...

I get this. I'm sure I'm not the only one who repeatedly "Yeah"-ed and shook her head while reading this either.

"Embrace the corn"? :)

xox♥

Seth Adam Smith said...

I'm commenting. Yeah. This is totally happening!

HKR said...

Welcome back, beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, I missed you!

Jessica said...

Allie. This was such a beautiful post. I've had all of these feelings before but not to this extent - and just seeing this, and reading it, something so /human/, it just overwhelmed me. I really hope things stay not-so-hopeless for you and things pick up eventually. <3 But hey. Weird bullshit is better than hopeless, right?

JSW said...

This is so spot on and fantastic and I'm really glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

Holy shit. I've been there. Except my corn was a disemboweled mouse. Sounds far more morbid than it actually was. Glad you're okay. You know how to reach me if you want someone to hear you and say "that sucks" instead of "Try looking at things differently"

Anonymous said...

Nothing quite like finding corn in your bullshit!

Koneko said...

You nailed it. best of wishes with your continued journey and thank you for illustrating this is a way that other people might understand.

From another member of the club no one wants to belong to.

Kathryn said...

Allie,

You are so incredibly talented. You have a gift for expressing subtleties in a way that few people can. I'm glad (an emotion!) you made the decision not to kill yourself--the world is a better place with your humor and perceptiveness. I hope things continue to get less bullshitty for you...just keep seeing that corn.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes my feeling shut down like that. I'm glad it's not just me.

*cyber bear hug!*

Lacrema said...

Thank you for posting this and working so hard on it. It describes what so many of us have experienced-- you are not alone.

Also, I am a WHOLE GALLON OF EXCITE that you gave the internet this present. YOU ROCK!

Emily Guy Birken said...

Thank you for telling this story. I'm glad you found the inexplicably funny corn kernel.

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you.

Jess said...

So very well put. Thank you.

Laura Teale said...

Man, I can totally relate. Glad your back though!

Sarah said...

"I don't necessarily want to KILL myself . . . I just want to become dead somehow."

This is exactly what my depression was like, and seeing this so well illustrated is comforting, somehow.

I hope you're doing much better now, and it goes without saying that we're all glad you're back.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO. Welcome back

Meg said...

Love you..Hugs...and corn

Anonymous said...

Glad you're feeling better! You will always have us fans as a supportive audience for your Microsoft paint pictures and funny words. Take care.

HannahK said...

We missed you so much! Thank you for this...it's wonderful and sad and kind of scary and perfect. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Anonymous said...

What a story.. Allie I wish you'd read Eckhart Tolle's story on depression and how it brought him to be... Not everyone connects with the same ideas, but maybe theres a chance it helps you too xx

dollhouse said...

It worries me a bit how much I relate to this. Glad you're back, though, Allie! Keep finding corn :)

angelica said...

This is beautiful, and exactly sums up my experiences with depression too. Thank you. I'm glad you're doing better!

Kim Van Stygeren said...

Keep talking.
Keep creating.
Use your art to express....whatever.
Try giving small parts of your life to the service of something you love.
Be cool.
<3

Justme said...

I'm 'good' (for) now but related to this on so many levels... perfect writing.. so good to see you back... super hugs (because they are super, trust me, I know)

April said...

Welcome back!!!!! We missed you!!!

Elpoo said...

You make this boring wasteland so so so much better and less boring. Keep finding corn.

Katy D. said...

This was incredibly brave. Welcome back. We missed you muchly.

Also, is it ok if I print out that last illustration and frame it and keep it on my desk at work?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for not dying. You are a real pal.

angelica said...

This is beautiful, and exactly sums up my experiences with depression too. Thank you. I'm glad you're doing better!

Noel Lynne Figart said...

I'm glad you were able to write/draw this and post it.

Here's hoping for more and useful pieces of corn.

Jena said...

Thank you for sharing this. And the corn. Especially the corn.
Glad you are on the upswing of things being less bullshit. I wish you a continued decrease in bullshittery. ;)

Jul said...

Thank you so, so, SO much for this. It is fantastic. And while it's totally NON-helpful to say this, I do feel compelled to say it: a whole crap-ton of people know what it's like to experience the black suck-hole of depression, and we are all rooting for you. We think you're awesome and hilarious and incredibly talented... and we know that life CAN eventually seem like more than just pointless bullshit. It's a hard slog - one which no quantity of stupid sunrise yoga will help - but you are worth it.

Molly said...

I am sooooooo happy you're back! Great articulation of how depression is a jerk. Love and sprinkles. :D

Erin Williams said...

May we all find our shriveled corn some day.

WhereItWas said...

Yes. That is exactly what my depression feels like. You said it well. Winston Churchill called it his "black dog." Giving it an identity lets you distance it, I guess.

So glad you are better!

John

Pru said...

Not only is your message amazing, but the art is so expressive as well. You are so talented. It is lovely to see something from you after all this time.

Lauren said...

Ah, as someone who has gone through this EXACT SAME THING (from the lack of feelings to the lying on the kitchen floor, crying about orange juice), I can't thank you enough for this. It was poignant, and hilarious, and helped me feel a little less alone. :)

Nate Gnau said...

I've been there. Glad to know I'm not the only one. Thanks, Allie.

Anonymous said...

i'm so grateful that you wrote this. it's always hard to articulate what's going on emotionally (i.e. nothing) to other people when you're depressed. your two posts do a better job than i ever could.

SO HAPPY you are active again. SO HAPPY you found that piece of corn. thank you.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back. Please take care.

SirXaph said...

Amazing, heartbreaking and true. I've been there.. still am.. you articulate it better than I ever could.
Thank you.

Jaffa said...

Missed you loads. Glad you're still with us. You know where we are.

Dinosaurs,

Jaffa

Caleb said...

Awesome! I can relate to that story, minus the corn. Well I can relate to the corn, but have never experienced cord-induced euphoria (cornphoria?).

Also, there's a big difference between "killing yourself" and "being dead somehow." Lazy people prefer the latter.

kimk said...

Yup.
Sorry you felt shitty. I hope you are on the upswing that you seem to be on, and that things do get better. I hope the corn is stronger than the nothing.
fweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Sophia said...

You totally nailed it.

Anonymous said...

Your new blog post is my piece of corn.

JackieG said...

You made me smile today. I told everyone I know that Allie is back and you made them all smile. Thank you.

Todd Kopriva said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Allie- you have an incredible gift for being able to put into words and pictures, things that not even the most prolific writers can. I am a teacher- and I use your blog endlessly to describe the human experience. You offer the world an honest, painful, gut-wrenching view of the gritty parts of life that most of us want to gloss over. I know that hearing praise isn't worth much right now- but know that we all love you, and are cheering for you- with giant bags of shriveled up corn.

viva allie!

Lillian said...

Me too! I've been there before and hope to never go there again. Let us hope the happy pills keep working. Thank you for posting this.

mgjack said...

OMG. it's me. except i have yet to discover the corn.

Solamente Dave said...

Look, I can only guess at what the past few (not so few?) months have been like for you. But, it sounds like things are changing for you - mostly for the better. I really hope that you'll keep getting better. Your blog is/was one of the best things I've ever read. If you can make it back - that's awesome. If not - you've put some great stuff out there. Whatever happens, I hope that you're healthy and happy.

B said...

SO happy you're back, and that you're feeling slightly less like everything's bullshit. I went through (still deal with) an anxiety "thing" with nearly the same process only I was COMPLETELY TERRIFIED OF EVERYTHING. Particularly life, and living. I feel you, I really do.

mgjack said...

OMG. it's me. except i have yet to discover the corn.

Unknown said...

Well I'm super glad you're still around and on the road towards... whatever is next.
Best wishes,
Kevin

Staciaann said...

One day, one emotion (or partial?), one thing at a time. Glad the corn gave you something. Who cares why/how? Thank you for the drawings and words - it means a lot (not alot) to many people and I hope the wasteland has an ending for you. One full of non spidery hair (ack) and ice cream ...or something. xo

Elizabeth Barone said...

Oh, I can relate. You're not alone, Allie. Hang in there. xo

Chloe said...

It is alarming how accurate this is. I sort of wish it sounded crazy.

I am glad you came through. It gets better! Just kidding. Kind of.

Shane said...

You are very brave, Allie Brosh. And still the best person on the internet. As both a psychologist in training and a person continually affected by the "fog," allow me to say you are not alone. I can't say how much better things get, but I can say you're dealing with it as perfectly as you are able. Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story with the hordes of the internet.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could get people to understand the feeling of not wanting to be alive anymore, but not having the energy (or not really caring enough) to try and make that happen. Maybe I'll try to point them here.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who wishes I had a fatal disease so I could have a way out.

Glad to have you back.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are back. Reading this was like reading chapters of my past. I totally get it.

Sarah said...

I have been where you are, though mine was different, yet the same. It sucks, especially with well meaning people that just had no clue. I am glad to know that you are finding your way back out and up. I have missed your blog terribly.
Thank you so much for being able to share your struggles with the rest of us!
Best wishes to you!

Deltaville Jamie said...

Thank you for posting this!

Jen said...

Depression sounds completely awful, like sci-fi movie awful, and I'm just really sorry it happened to you. Even if I haven't experienced it, I feel like reading this helped me understand it much better. I think I know better than to react to it the way you'd react to someone having a bad day, but you gave it the fullness of exactly how completely different it is from having a bad day. Thank you for writing it.

Anonymous said...

I need to show this to my husband; it explains depression better than I can. I'm sorry you have had such a tough year. Keep on looking for corn!!!

meredithblumoff said...

YES.

Anonymous said...

Hey Allie, nice to hear things are getting better! Look at how many people have commented already, you kick ass!

Anonymous said...

Very accurate depiction of depression.
The fish metaphor is exactly like I don't words but that is exactly how people treat depressed people and it's stupid and I'll be sending this around the way.

Kris said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. It helps to know that there are people who have felt equally as shitty as you, but have come out the other end feeling...slightly less shitty. Thank you Allie.

Laura Gonzo said...

I love you and your weirdness and the way you use English and most especially your brave as f*k f*king honesty. Rock on, Allie.

Laurel said...

Depression sucks. Period. It's not something you cause or some sort of personal failing. It's simply a symptom of a chemically imbalanced brain. There are meds for it, and I hope that you get the help that you need and deserve. My bastard brain is unbalanced (Thanks, brain, for sucking up all the serotonin as fast as you possibly can!). Thank god for SSRIs. I will never, ever give them up and go back to the bleak existence your post so beautifully describes. Love and hugs to you, Allie.

Keep said...

So happy to have you back! It's less pointless bullshit if you made me crack up laughing about your hatred...right?!

<3

Kath said...

Crying, laughing... I think I've covered all the emotional bases. I realize I'm just a stranger on the internet but this post means a lot to me, so thank you for creating it.

Amy Vernon said...

You expressed this journey so well and much more eloquently than I've ever been able to. Thank you.

Lori said...

First, thank you for the airplane primer.
Second, I love you corn!

Michele N. said...

Thank you for being so honest about what you have been going through. Depression is not an easy thing to talk about, and those who have never experienced it can't possibly understand. I have felt this way many times.. and while knowing others have been there too doesn't fully help, maybe it helps a little. You are loved and supported by this crazy internet community. Be patient with yourself. <3

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you for this. I will try really hard not to do that positivity-thing with a depressed person again. I get it now.

Also, bizarrely enough, I kind of get it about the corn. It is pretty absurd that this little shriveled up, not particularly valuable object should just sit there, persistently surviving on its own, without anyone necessarily noticing until you did. It's kind of its own ridiculous, sad, funny commentary on the nature of existence, in a weird way.

Anonymous said...

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY YOU"RE BACK NEVER LEAVE AGAIN NEVER STOP POSTING! LoL

Annette said...

Hugs, Allie.

Son_et_lumiere said...

"Why are you crying?" "I don't know, it's just something that is happening."

Been there, so been there. Every morning for weeks i'd wake up and just be like crying for no reason as I ate my cereal.

Anyway i'm glad you're back Allie.

Tae said...

I hope you find a lot more funny corn. I really do. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, you've helped me understand a little of what my sister goes through.

Mare-Jare said...

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. In all of my 15 years of depression including severe suicidal thoughts at times this is 10 times better than I could have explained. I also love the, "trying but failing to be helpful" girl. I think everyone who has tried to say helpful things looks like that girl.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to look for corn now.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best explanations I have read about how that place feels. It feels like nothing. But you are aware of it. I am very happy for you that you are creating again. Your feelings will never be the same, but maybe you will be able to appreciate the difference and appreciate having them at all?

ZTrooper said...

Thank you for writing this. Thank you for communicating it. Thank you. It seems a completely inadequate response, but there it is.. thank you, for being.

Amy Kennard said...

I just got to work. I couldn't get up today and face the world. For no really good reason. Thank you for making me not regret my decision today. I cannot begin to tell you how much I can relate to every word you wrote. I am going to go straight home today and hope to find my piece of corn.

Hunter said...

Your dead fish metaphor is so much better than the way I tried to explain my depression (and other issues) to my friends. And I, too, remember trying to explain to people that I didn't want to kill myself; I just wanted to stop living, but it didn't really matter. I'm still in a weird place with my meds, but things are better now. I'm really glad they're getting better for you, too.

TL;DR: I feel you, Allie, and I'm glad you found that piece of corn.

iceman said...

Yep, you DID make me laugh inappropriately, as you predicted might happen. (Sorry I laughed when your fish died...) You also made me think. HARD. About what it all means. Fortunately, I landed on the side opposite the wasteland, the side that still had green grass and hope. Thank you for your honesty, it means something to a lot of people.

Christy said...

Having experienced severe/suicidal depression, I have to say you've done an extraordinary job of explaining something that's ultimately indescribable. Glad you're feeling some better, and hope things continue to improve. You've really helped a lot of people, not only with your past delightful blogs, but specifically with this one. You'll never know the number of people whose lives you might have saved with this. Good luck getting better.

Anonymous said...

:)

Becoming Supermommy said...

That's what it's like. That's it exactly.

You know that scene in Neverending Story where the horse just dies because it's so hopeless and sad? Yeah, that. Only you don't die. You just stand there in the mud up to your chin and wait for something else to happen.

I've been through it. Actually tried killing myself. (Lesson learned- wrong mix of pills will damage your heart forever, but not kill you if you're laying in the right position.) And I'm actually crazy happy to be alive. I love my life. Not that that actually helps anybody else- and it took more than ten years, but there you have it.

All the feelings come back. Even the super shitty ones. Only then you'll be better prepared for them, and you will make them hilarious, and we will all laugh with you.

Thank you.

Tiffany said...

Welcome back, Allie. We've missed you something FIERCE! I don't know if this helps... but you DO help us, even in your most miserable moments... you're a source of awesomeness for me! <3

Nick Lambert said...

This was just...amazing. I'm not sure which is more amazing, this post, or that you're back, or that you're getting happier or healthier again....all of it is just good good good.

A couple of people really close to me have had or still have depression, and while I've had a pretty good idea of what this must feel like, you can never really know just by someone explaining.

Definitely showing this to all of them. Thank you so much.

Mallory said...

So glad to have you back! Depression sucks, it's hard and it lies. Platitudes won't help but I'm glad you reached out!

Anonymous said...

I have never read anything I related to as well as this. Everything, from the trying to explain to other people to the slightly scary laughter at corn. I laughed so much and so hard. Thank you. And good luck with the depression.

Anonymous said...

All of this. I've been there and it sucks hard. So glad you're through some of the darkness.

Arkay said...

Thank you for sharing all of this, and for coming back <3

Brianne Nurse said...

Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I work with youth and will be sure to share this with them. I will remember not to tell them to feed their dead fish too.

troy said...

Congratulations, on writing this and everything else. It's good to read you again.

Anonymous said...

first thing Leave your comment
I'm super creepy and totally capable of finding you

that made my day like your corn did

and those with a since of hummer will giggle at your corn too

Jennifer Elford said...

So so sooooo happy you're back.Thanks for this description of what depression feels like, it's so hard for people who've never felt it to understand.

Joyce Vincent said...

I am going to share the crap out of this. I think it will definitely help others.

Anamara Ritt Olson said...

Thank you so much for sharing your stories. Thank you for existing. And thank you shriveled piece of corn for helping.

Anonymous said...

wow, those were super dead. I still like you, though.

hope you get that kernel bronzed or something.

Demi said...

I can't even tell you how TRUE and REAL this all is...you wrote it about it with humor and rawness, and I totally related to all of it! I hate that you've been suffering. I was in a mental institution for depression and suicidal thoughts, and you summed up exactly what I went through. I did get better, but I still FIGHT these crazy thoughts all the time. It never really goes away, I just learn to control the crazy bitch (suicide and depression bitch) better. Great to read your blog again.

MandaLoolee said...

I wish for all the corn in the world for you, Allie! It's good to have you back!

Robert Headley said...

Welcome back. I missed your perspective. I am glad that you are objectively better.

C-Dub said...

As someone who deals with clinical depression myself, I totally understand. And I'm glad you're coming out of un-feeling-land, as bizarre as it feels to feel again. We love you just as you are. Thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Just knowing you're still on this earth made my day. Thank you for all the joy you have given me. If you never write or draw again just know that someone appreciated everything you did. I wish I could have sat in a dirty sweatshirt with you.

C

C Long said...

I totally get the corn......don't worry, we've all been there, and those of us that haven't may find their way there at some point and hopefully they'll have a piece of corn to help them start turning things around.

Jessica Jay said...

THANK YOU!!!!!! <3

Aerten said...

I grok too much. And I'm going to go home and look under my refrigerator for some shriveled corn. Or a pea. A pea would be okay, too.

Anonymous said...

Only my friend can know for sure, but I think this exactly explains her recent behavior. It's been upsetting to me, since I couldn't really understand it, and I can't say this really makes me understand IT, but it makes me understand her a bit more, I think.
Good luck with things!

Natalie said...

This post is going to be epic. What an amazing way to describe such a debilitating illness. Major props to you for this post. We love you.

Amber said...

LOVE that you're back. Glad you found the corn.

Heidi said...

Allie - please keep creating, keep writing, keep expressing all this crazy stuff, your experience. And take this to heart: you are not alone, you have so much life inside of you, even if you cannot feel it, you are alive, and you touch so many others. In a good way, not a creepy way.

This post is quite beautiful and personal. A journey that proves you are alive.

GreenTeaj said...

Thank you for this. Welcome back...

Ryan R said...

In a way, it kinda makes sense to find a piece of corn in the middle of bullshit...

reggi said...

you're my favorite person on the internet. you make me happy and sad at the same time, but it's a good kind of sadness, the kind where i know somebody else understands the horribleness of depression, which isn't awesome for you but it does make me feel less alone. thank you for existing, i'm glad you still do.

Ann M said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is so similar to how my depression went. People just don't understand. your pictures are so expressive of how it feels. I was that sweatshirt girl sliding off the couch.

My moment of realization was when I was sitting in a Wendy's drive through and thought "wonder what would happen if i drove into that brick wall." followed closely by "wow, i think i need some help."

Be aware that laughing is sometimes followed by speeding in a car. LOL I got 2 tickets in one week, the only ones I have ever had, after my meds started to make me feel better.

this must have been a rough post to write. But thank you so much for doing it, you will make a huge difference for so many people out there.

JenXer said...

Laughing only because I KNOW ALL THESE FEELS. So glad you're back.

Anonymous said...

I hope you put that corn in acrylic and make it into a paperweight!

... awful idea. Never mind.

What you write about I've had shades of between my parents' passing and my son's neurological issues. You know, when you find yourself in a bathroom stall at the store and not wanting to come out sounds like a good idea? Yeah. But I'm not going to pretend I have been there. I've been in the vicinity, though, and it's not a lot of fun.

So glad to have you back!

--Allie @ beggarsridinghorses

Heather said...

This sounds like my depression story. Scarily like my depression story. Like you read my mind or something.
And fair warning. The extremes in feelings may get worse before they get better. But the feelings do become normal again and you start to feel normal again.
But I had to go through the everything makes me cry all the time or everything is so hilarious that I can't stop laughing about the sun phase and it is weird. But your brain does stop being an ass at some point and starts playing nice again. :)
Thanks for being so upfront about depression because it is something that people don't understand unless they have been there and this may help clue them in more.

Sophie German said...

I am so glad you sought help, that is such a hard thing to do. When I felt like I didn't want to be here anymore, that the world would be better if I was not in it I spent a week inpatient. That was 5 years ago, sometimes it still really sucks but I just keep on keeping on.

I hope things get better for you, I am glad you are here.

Anonymous said...

Allie-- thank you, thank you, thank you! I've never seen a post that really gets at the heart of what depression in and then makes me bust a gut laughing. You are that little piece of corn for me today. Keep on being awesome.

~lannalee~ said...

<3 Love this! Glad you are posting again (and are feeling better.) That corn was hilarious!

Melinda said...

I hope that you find yourself feeling better and better every day. Your words here really hit home with me. I have never been able to describe the feeling of depression as well as you have here. Thank you for sharing your story.

Jennifer Beach said...

It is a start. And, honestly, from an outsider, you made that corn make sense. I am glad you are able to share this with us - even parts of life are total bullshit.

BS said...

I just damn near cried because of how familiar this sounds. And the fish metaphor is so brilliant, because EXACTLY. Welcome back!

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