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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Kathleen C. said...

So glad you're back and that you posted about this. I've dealt with depression since I was 9 and my sister took her life in 2009. It was the hardest thing our family has ever gone through. I'm happy that you found your piece of corn and that everything isn't hopeless bullshit for you anymore. Also, glad the doggie was there to love you through it. They're the best. :)

Dosaki said...

I missed you. That is all. :3

Anonymous said...

So happy you are back Allie! I love your posts and pictures. I also struggle with depression and totally identify with your post. You are not alone! Sending my hope and positivity your way :)

Shaezocha said...

One time, red ink made me hysterical. I've missed you.

Sidhe Demon said...

I <3 you, Allie. So glad you're getting better!

Geoffrey said...

You're incredible! I'm so glad that piece of corn helped you pull through.

Kirby said...

You are an amazing storyteller. I wish that you can find all the weirdly hilarious kernals of life you need to lead you back to joy.

Mita said...

I read most of this article with my hand over my mouth, in a weird cross between gross crying and cracking up like I always seem to do when reading one of your posts. Really glad you're back, I never gave up hope that you would post again. I guess you wouldn't really want to talk to some random chick on the Internet, but I really think you should talk to a therapist/counselor. It will take you time to find the right one and that part will suck, but i hope that it will actually really help you. Good luck with your recovery, and all the best,

Mita

Robin said...

I don't know if you'll read this, you'll have so many comments to go through - I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus: So glad to hear from you again, glad you are still here even if your fish are dead, glad you are still able to put into words and hysterical pictures what I have such a hard time explaining to people.

The part about seeming like you want to be depressed is so spot on I can't even begin to say thank you. This part: "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."

I am so sorry that you've had to go through it... and yet it's such a light sometimes, to see someone else understand so completely feelings that no one else seems to get.

I am forwarding your post to my old therapist immediately. She works with youth and kids and I always showed her your anxiety/depression related stuff because it explained me but I also felt like it was an AWESOME resource for a professional to have. I just thought you might like to think of your blog as a tool in the toolbelt of mental health professionals.

Okay, I have too many things to say. Thank you. And we will still love you if you don't post for another year and half... or if you don't post ever again. Or if you post one million times in the next hour. You're cool and I hope you feel the emotions you want to feel sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Allie, I'm so glad to see you're alive and...well, alive is good. I think a lot of people go through what you have been going through, myself included, and it's nice to hear it put so clearly and familiarly. It's a hard thing to talk about, and I respect the hell out of you for not being afraid to reflect on it. Stay strong!

Oh, also, this may sound like a really weird and possibly boring suggestion, but I totally recommend reading some stuff by Friedrich Nietzsche; perhaps The Genealogy of Morals. If you can get in to it, his philosophy is really refreshing in light of all the cynical thinkers in that field. (Ignore his misogyny, I swear it's pretty much the only thing he's stupid about).

gilbert wham said...

You're brilliant and funny, and I'm glad that (maybe) everything isn't bullshit Allie.

Wilian said...

I also laugh at corn sometimes.

Anonymous said...

i hope i find my piece of corn some day soon. i'm glad you found yours, allie.

shirley2allie said...

omigod! You've nailed it! I know people who won't ever get it (and would probably be even more confused by your explanation), but I know from experience exactly what you're talking about. As much as I hate to admit it - drugs can be very (as in, extremely) helpful. Welcome back and good luck!!!

Lacey said...

There have been times, in the months since your last post, that I thought about emailing you to see if you were ok. But I'm just a weird internet stranger, I don't know you, so I always talked myself out of it. Thank you for letting us all know that you're, well, not "ok" per se, but still here. And maybe slightly better. Thank you for talking about what you're going through. It helps so many people. I'm sorry that your brain sucks, and I hope eventually it replaces your old dead fish with really awesome exciting brilliant wonderfully alive fish, because really, you've had to go long enough with the dead ones!

Rebecca67 said...

Thank you for explaining the nothing like you did. Its the best description I've ever read, and it almost made me laugh and cry. I have been to the place where you are, and I have come most of the way back. You will too. Watch your symptoms like a hawk, and take your medication without fail, and remember that this is brain chemistry, not a funk that you can think your way out of by being "positive" or "strong". Read "The Chemistry of Joy" when you are able, it helped me.

Anonymous said...

Huzzah for corn!

The good thing that came out of my 'trying to become dead somehow' was that eventually, there was good stuff and cat stuff and dog stuff and people stuff and funny stuff afterward. So even in the flat fogs that came afterward when I considered it again, I was vaguely aware that there would indeed be an 'after'. Thank you for writing this.

Mom-Away-From-Mom said...

Dear Allie,
I cannot express in words how much I love your ability to capture all that is real and good in life in your blog. You will never be able to get rid of everybody that loves you, so you will have to stick with us while we all try to figure this thing out.
Love you more than you can comprehend,
Me and about 341,999 other people

solarsun said...

I know how this feels all to well. There was a time where melted pink ICE CREAM sent me rolling with laughter for over an hour.

I'm glad you're feeling again. May the corn be with you always :)

Anonymous said...

Frankly I'm just mad. I'm mad because I want to be the only person who feels nothing, and here you've gone and made feeling nothing the most popular thing on the internet. Now people who really don't have any problems will be all "I'm such a victim of my own emotions," and depression will just become this huge benign useless fad. Thanks, fart monkey.

Marietta said...

Perfect. You captured it. Thank you for this.

Caroline said...

Thank you so much! I relate very much to your story and your take definitely brought a big smile to my face.

Really amazing writing and cartoons <3

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Spot on. So spot on it had me bawling and laughing at the absurdity of what it was like. I remember very clearly the first time I'd really smiled in years and how goofy it felt. Thanks for creating such a beautiful thing.

Sandy Panagos said...

Wow. This totally captures it all. Thank you!

Scott said...

Hang in there Allie!

People you've never even met really want you to keep doing what you're doing. Play in the dirt in the shitty wasteland. Write your story and share it with people who might not have the eloquence you have to explain to themselves and their loved ones how they feel fighting depression.

Saille said...

yeah, this. The corn made me giggle uncontrollably while crying. maybe its sunspots or something. But yeah, Fuck. You nailed it.

Unknown said...

Well said! And welcome back!

Mattie Mitchell said...

I bet that was the funniest piece of corn the universe ever created. I wish I had gotten to see it. :-D

Anonymous said...

Well damn, didn't expect to feel bad for trying to be hopeful/comforting. Eek, sorry. :/

But seriously, thank you so much for writing this. Besides being incredibly glad to know that you're--well, not OK, per se, but still with us at any rate, and at least a tiny bit less shitty than before--I feel like I'm way more informed and can be much more helpful (or at least less unhelpful) to anyone I know who ever has depression. So thank you. You've just helped thousands of people to be more understanding and helpful to those around them. I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Whole internetz are rejoicing about your return. Like, at least 3 of them.

If it helps, we want to hear your weird bullshit even when if it is exactly that.

Get it.

Renée said...

Dude, I know exactly how you feel. I love this comic because I can relate so hard. SO HARD

and I have a lot of dried-up corn moments.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank you. That is all. Thank you.

Unknown said...

I am so glad you are back, and have been where you have been visiting as well. However, my shriveled corn was a pair of birds colliding over the street. I was in public and the resulting breakdown level laughter would have been horrendously embarrassing had I cared then. It is now in hindsight.

Gabrielle Yates AKA said...

I cried from remembering that feeling. For me it comes and goes. I cried for a hour at work once for no reason. As a bartender. You can imagine how great the tips were.

Anonymous said...

I don't typically comment on any public posts, but you are simply too magnificently fabulously incredible for silence. Everything you post is spectacular, funny, poignant, and it is so very easy to relate to everything you write. Dead fish and all, you are liked - IMMENSELY liked.

A Person said...

I've seen so many of my friend and family members go through this, never being able to do anything to help or even understand. This has given me a better idea of what depression is really like than any scholarly article ever did. (Hopefully I can stop being unintentionally jerk-like now.)

Thank you!

Unknown said...

YES. The dead fish analogy is spot-on. Depression is so hard to describe, and you did it in an easy to understand way. Next time I have someone ask me "what does depression feel like?" or "why are you depressed?" I will forward them to this post and the first depression post. Welcome back to the land of maybe-bullshit-forever-and-maybe-not. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This has helped me and my mother understand each other.

An Expat Mommy in Sweden said...

This is the greatest blog post I have ever read. Period.

Unknown said...

Oh, and thank you for this.

Haunshaul said...

Oh thank heavens you're back. I had to resort to making my own blog to entertain myself. And it's not working.

Do you still have the corn?

Jenn said...

Infinite laugh loops...my grandmother used to do this, and I do it too on occasion. Yours is the best explanation yet for why it happens. Also, the crying thing: I totally floor cry when the stress gets too bad, and the only thing I can do is sit on the floor and cry for a couple of hours. It's my pressure release valve or something, and I feel like an 18-month-old child who hasn't quite learned how to verbalize what is wrong and so all she can do is cry. lol

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I am depressed and at the end of my rope, and this post made me feel less alone and isolated. Glad you are sharing your art again, I hope to one day as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow more than 4000 comments so far!
Happy to see you back and giving us alot of laugher!

Stace said...

I know things aren't better and they aren't looking up, but I'm glad you got (some) your emotions back. Being in that super weird emotionless place is shitty.

<3333333333 Hope and positivity may or may not be back soon too!

Dark Griffon said...

That's one of the most scarily accurate depictions of depression, and the quiet And I Must Scream horror of it, that I've ever seen. It's awful, no two ways about it, and it's a struggle that in many ways is the loneliest one that a person can ever fight.

The line from Dune was "Fear is the little death." In the real world, the "little death" is exactly what depression is...and I'm glad that you overcame it. The world's a better place with you in it, no matter how hard that is to believe, or feel, or understand.

Anonymous said...

This post was beautiful. Thank you.(it also made me laugh, which is really your gift)

Sarah K. said...

I'm so happy you are posting again.. I've totally been there and I'm glad you are working through it. It's hard to explain to people that have never actually suffered depression. I've told people if I'm crying, I'm okay, it's when I stop crying that they need to worry about me. Thank you for bringing me so much laughter and happiness over the years from your blog. <3

Anonymous said...

Thank you Allie. I'm so glad you are back. I see 4,144 comments saying THANK YOU FOR ARTICULATING WHAT I FEEL. This is one more.

I really, really, really can't tell you how much it means for me that there is SOMEONE ELSE in the universe that understands, "I just want to be dead." does not mean "I am actively seeking out ways to kill myself."

I have my own piece of corn. It's a stupid rubber band ball, that I started with a blue rubber band that was sitting on the floor.

And two years later I have found some things that are not total bullshit. I actually care about things. And that is so scary and so wonderful all at once.

Please keep writing. You are not alone.

Courtney said...

I'm thrilled you're back. I know things wont be easy, but I know everyone here agrees with me in saying that we're all glad you're at least okay.

Your writing is brilliant. You summed all of this up perfectly. After everything that you've been through, maybe you needed something so out there like a piece of corn to bring you back.

We love you, Allie.

Courtney said...

I'm thrilled you're back. I know things wont be easy, but I know everyone here agrees with me in saying that we're all glad you're at least okay.

Your writing is brilliant. You summed all of this up perfectly. After everything that you've been through, maybe you needed something so out there like a piece of corn to bring you back.

We love you, Allie.

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so glad you're back Allie. You're the greatest person in the universe

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced that you and I are the same person. I'm in the dead fish phase right now and reading this has given me some much needed perspective. I've been trapped in this cycle for so long that you'd think it would be old hat by now. Oh well. You are so important. Thank you.

corawitherspoon said...

I hope you know how much you are loved by all kinds of people who will never know you but have been through the wasteland

J said...

I'm glad you're back and creating again. I've been dealing with depression for...well for most of my life. I get it. I get you. Thank you for sharing your art and story.

Anonymous said...

This is probably one of the more brilliant explanations of depression that I have ever read. I was nodding enthusiastically with every point you made. I went through some major depression about 10 years ago, that lasted for about 6 six years. I do not know why it appeared and I cannot tell you why it left either. But, for me, everything was not hopeless bullshit in the end. And I hope it isn't all hopeless bullshit for you in the end, either. :) I don't want to say a bunch of sappy, optimistic bullshit because I know it doesn't help. But I am glad your treatment is getting you somewhere. I hope you give it some more time and keep feeling hope-like.

Anonymous said...

This is probably one of the more brilliant explanations of depression that I have ever read. I was nodding enthusiastically with every point you made. I went through some major depression about 10 years ago, that lasted for about 6 six years. I do not know why it appeared and I cannot tell you why it left either. But, for me, everything was not hopeless bullshit in the end. And I hope it isn't all hopeless bullshit for you in the end, either. :) I don't want to say a bunch of sappy, optimistic bullshit because I know it doesn't help. But I am glad your treatment is getting you somewhere. I hope you give it some more time and keep feeling hope-like.

Amado said...

Yes, the corn doesn't make any sense that's the point, you let your guard down and it surprised you. I'm super depressed all the time and all that can snap me out of it is something that defies my expectations, like someone tripping and falling while trying to give me a happiness speech. The irony that I would never have witnessed such an absurd thing were I not depressed sort of tricks me into appreciating--even loving--just for a split second, the part of myself that I am most ambivalent about. Anyway hope this helps anyone who fishes it out of the billion other comments.

Anonymous said...

Do please let us know in the future if medicine (or something else) proves to be genuinely helpful. I'm currently of the opinion that depression is just something I have to endure for the rest of my life, but it would be nice to find out I'm wrong about that.

Ruby Smith said...

literally the most accurate representation of depression i have ever seen

Pants said...

You just described exactly how I felt during my worst bout of depression--I am using the dead fish metaphor from now on. I too had a "corn moment" that left me maniacally laughing on the floor--I'm just glad to know what it was after all this time.

Hope you continue to find more corn--preferably figuratively speaking :)

Elaine said...

For purely selfish reasons, I'm glad you updated. Otherwise, thank you for trying to explain what's up. I really like the angry on the couch image.
I related with the "crying" emotion, since I had that a while during finals (well, the upcoming deadline of a final paper for a class I had an Imcomplete in), so it's nice to know that just feeling like crying all the time for no particular reason isn't extremely unheard of.

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely struggling with the how-to-tell-someone-you're-suicidal-without-freaking-them-out thing far too much lately. I'm glad I can pass on the knock knock joke now. Thanks for the advice, and welcome back. We've missed you.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back and thanks for choosing to to stay amongst the living <3 <3 <3

Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D., Instructor said...

This was a good explanation even for a psychologist with 30 years clinical experience AND a couple of episodes of major depressive disorder under her own belt to read. I hope you don't mind -- I posted the links to it on my practice page on facebook for clients to read, and Tweeted it to. I'm glad you're feeling better, and sorry you've been going through that. I wish they would put this in a textbook.

LD in PDX said...

MISSED YOU SOOOOO MUCH! Viva la Nibet Maiz!

Kyra said...

Although I've never experienced this depth of depression, I have been in these places and mind states that you describe so well for years at a time. I hope that things do look up and you are able to find a way to manage this illness so that happiness doesn't sound like total bullshit anymore. So glad you are back!

Unknown said...

I rarely post comments on anything, but I feel the urge to exclaim over how many comments you've garnered in one day - and after being absent for two years. Years! Two years are like millenia in internet time!

In either case, hope you manage to maintain the feels. Cheers!

Schuch said...

nice to read again it

i thing youre dead :(

Welcome back!

Gaby sensei said...

The knock knock joke really made me laugh and it was a little uncomfortable. Welcome back. Please keep the corn, and tell it I say hi.

KristyInTheCorner said...

This was an amazing blog for me to find today. I feel like you took every word from my mouth. I was sent home Monday from the hospital after attempting suicide last week, and have had no idea how to explain myself to my friends and family. I am sharing this blog with them in hopes it does some explaining for me. THANK YOU. Kristy

DianeS said...

Are you me? Cause you sound like me. Except I've had depression for 59 years. (I was born with it.) Some people with depression just feel really, really sad and they say what I have isn't depression. (Fortunately, medical people don't say that.) But I have the same lack-of-feeling depression that you have. I have a whole team of doctors and counselors and friends who help me continue to feel, with good medicine that they will have to pry out of my cold, dead hands, because I really prefer feeling to not feeling. I hope that you are able to continue feeling and get to remember how to do it and everything. I'm on the same journey and I can tell you, it's worth the trip.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you found your corn.

ikkepagrasset said...

One of the worst things for me, when I was going through the thick of my depression, was knowing — knowing, for a goddamned FACT — that the people who were the least able to accept my emotional reality were the people who had been there themselves at some point. There's a curious amnesia that comes with recovering from depression, especially situational depression, and that's deeply, deeply unfair. The people who helped me the most were all the ones that could just empathize without judgement.

I wish you luck on the rest of your recovery — it's so hard, and the whole thing is totally stupid. But you can do it! And sharing your story is a public service, seriously. Tons of people just found a link they can send to their friends to explain why their relentless positivity isn't helpful at all, and is actually hurtful. Thank you for that!

Paul said...

The tone and taste of this article rang incredibly true for me. Suffering from minor bouts of depression myself, the way you were able to explain how depression felt to you is the closest description I've ever heard to compare my own experience to. I've never been able to really explain, even to myself, to my satisfaction, what being depressed felt like. Thanks for helping me find my own words in yours. This is the 1st post I've ever read on your site, and now it won't be the last. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Glad you have come back enough to post this story. I wish I had a revelation involving a kernel of corn. I just slowly started feeling better when I finally found the right medication.

I still have some dark times, but they don't last too long now.

Welcome back. Be gentle with yourself.

Edragon said...

Welcome back, you wonderful person. I missed reading these. I'm happy to hear that you managed to reanimate your fish slightly.

Anonymous said...

the accuracy of this post and how well i relate to this is scary, yet strangely relieving that i'm not the only one feeling these things. so glad you're back!

Anonymous said...

And this is why my house hasn't been cleaned in so long that I think I need to hire somebody for a weekend to help. I'm going to look under my fridge when I get home from work.

Daniel said...

“I stick my finger into existence and it smells of nothing.”
― Søren Kierkegaard.

Deb Lewis said...

I cried and I laughed. Depression is a horrible place and I am so very glad that you were able to document your experience with it like this Allie. That piece of corn was you, you know. It was your trigger to start to bring you back. A little tiny shriveled piece of corn... Yay for corn!! :D

Adele Kirby said...

How paradoxical that a post about depression can make thousands of people happy. You are AWESOME. Welcome back, hope you stay x

Anonymous said...

I love you.

Unknown said...

This is possibly one of the best blogs ever created. I have *a lot* of trouble understanding people who are depressed. I've had times in my life when I was really sad, but there was always a reason. One very specific reason or at the most two or three that I could always pinpoint with precision. Every day I'm utterly happy. I wake up happy, I dream happy, I brush my teeth happy, I'm hungry happy... I have so much happy that I wish I could cut chunks away and distribute it. Even when I'm stressed all I have to do is watch a movie, take a nap or think that I'm finally not living with my parents anymore. In fact, my list of things that would make me happy again in a matter of seconds is so long that I couldn't ever understand depression. I don't think I will ever quite 'get it', but this blog explains depression with a clarity that has eluded textbooks written by supposed professionals. Your sense of humor is unquestionably genius. Even to an overly joyous person like myself, these blog posts are our kennel corns. I find happiness in a LOT of things, but reading your blogs are on the level of "If I could show an alien the best of humanity, fuck Shakespeare and Michelangelo. Read Allie. She actually GETS what the human experience is really about."

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the dead fish, I still like you.

You wrote one of the best or perhaps the best ever post on depression. In a twisty way it's absolutely awesome. (twisty as depression and awesome in one sentence...)

/I hope you find those people who are just willing to sit with you and make tea and just be there...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Allie! I've spent 4 months in treatment for an eating disorder and depression and I'm so happy that I had the opportunity to do that. But I've never been able to explain it and make a meaning out of it like you've done here. It is incredible and comforting to know that there are other people experiencing the dead fish phenomena and tiny piece of corn moments that are so hard to describe and so hard to find help and understanding for. I so hope there's a comfort for you in creating the amazing art that you do and in doing so helping other people.

Love and best wishes,

Sarah. xx

Anonymous said...

Been there. Had this, combined with anxiety, for awhile. Welcome back, Allie. (hug)

jigglypuff said...

Thank you for sharing your corn. I have been waving my dead fish around for a while and that really wasn't getting me anywhere.

somethinginfinitelyinteresting said...

I didn't damn near cry, I outwardly sobbed at work reading this. Just like I did during Part 1. I haven't found my piece of corn yet, but I'll keep looking.

jigglypuff said...

Thank you for sharing your corn. I have been waving my dead fish around for a while and that really wasn't getting me anywhere.

maria esperanza georgia noel hale said...

Thank you.

jphillips said...

Is there a webby award for posts about depression?

Kelly said...

Oh, Allie. I am so glad to see you.

ekweisberg said...

thank you for this. welcome back. stay please.

Anonymous said...

I know how it feels not to feel... that void sensation of just floating. I also know what it feels like to forget simple little things like how to smile, how to react, what emotion should I be synthesizing? When I laugh now it sounds so alien and foreign, it's not how I remember laughing when I was a kid and it's weird. I only felt negativity - about EVERYTHING. I was driving in LA once and a motorcyclist pulled a bad maneuver and stacked. I had never felt such a sense of vindication and pure schadenfreude then I did at that moment. I hadn't realized that I started to just hate everything and everyone. It was all I was really capable of.

I never entertained suicide. Ironically, I didn't see the point of it to be honest. I am now on anti-depressants and again feel nothing. Or, as I prefer, neutral. I don't miss being happy so much as I am trying to remember what happiness really is/was. I am content, I guess, and balanced and productive, so that's good.

The moral of my story, if I even have one? You're not alone. I know that doesn't seem like much when you're standing at the bottom of the pit, but it is true. You have a purpose in this life and that is to share and make people laugh. To take us all on that long and winding road that is your life. You have people that love you and, hopefully, you have come to realize that you are a lovable and likeable person. I don't really know what else to say other than I have stood where you have, felt what you have and share your concerns, worries and fears. Perhaps it's selfish, but it makes me feel a little better knowing someone else feels the same way I did/do. Perhaps we should all be a little more selfish like that...

Thank you for sharing your darkness, those corners of the closets of your mind and heart. Perhaps by opening just enough to share you've allowed some light to creep in?

With warmest regards...

Adria said...

I missed you and your posts terribly.

My favorite little nugget of brilliance was the "Are you TAUNTING ME? Is this some weird game where you name all the things I can't do?" picture.

Welcome back.

Sue said...

Hi Allie!
Everybody's so happy to see you posting, and don't get me wrong, I am really happy to see a new post. However! I do know what it's like when people start expecting more and more when you only have so much to give at a time. If I heard, "I'm so glad to see you posting again" the whole -ing part of that sentence would stink of expectation and I'd start feeling like I owed people more posts, more explaining, more surprisingly symmetrical, artistically balanced arts.

You don't owe me anything, but you've given me a lot. It's more than I could have asked for, so I wont ask for more. I hope you do what makes you happy!

Skye said...

Oh shit, Ally. I really am sorry those fish were so dead. And I'm glad the corn was so freaking funny.

You certainly know how to communicate the incommunicable, that is a gift. Thank you for sharing your travel story. I hope that all you have left to do is sit through the holiday snaps slide show, and that the dragging of the body through the endless wastelands is at an end. x

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're still with us.

And I'm just so glad you're back.

Keep doing whatever it is that makes you feel the healthiest - always know that we'll be here, ready to rejoice with whatever it is you have to tell us.

There are those of us that have been periodically, just once in a while, navigating to this page and hitting refresh just in case. Just when we think about it, just because we like to, just because we were excited to say hello again whenever we got the chance.

And we're very happy to have that chance. Thank you for being with us.

And we're just so glad you're back.

Amberlynn said...

Thank you for putting in the effort to describe what going through depression is like for you. First, we need more people talking about it so that more people can actually kind-of understand and so that it becomes less stigmatized so that when people DO talk about it they aren't met with "let's go find your fish!"

I am glad so many people have been able to relate to your expressions of non-feeling. Maybe you'll feel like you're helping a lot of people and maybe that will feel good.

Just in case anyone else actually read comments I feel like I should add that this is not what three years of un-dealt-with depression was like for me. Maybe one day I'll be able to find words or metaphors to describe it, but I was not a standard "depression case," and it's probably why it took me so long to recognize that I even WAS depressed. In any case, figuring out that I couldn't do it on my own and getting help was the best thing I've done. Now, hopefully if it tries to creep back into my life I can recognize and fight it.

Good luck to you, Allie. It's a long journey - and there's not just one way out. Don't let yourself give up.

Anonymous said...

You are so fucking funny.

Thanks.

James Sitzer said...

Welcome back! I'm so glad you found your lonely corn. I've literally been there, crying on the floor for no reason and latching onto hatred and crying just because they were the closest things to emotions I could find. I hope it helps to know that you're not alone. Please keep going.

Tracey Duncan said...

sometimes hyperbole and a half is my tiny shriveled piece of corn under the fridge <3

Anonymous said...

I have never read something that could actually articulate how I felt. I think I might send this to all the people who could just never understand what I was going through. I'm learning the world isn't bullshit, and I'm glad to hear you are too.

And yeah, I would have laughed at that dumb little piece of corn too.

Jenn said...

Best thing I've read about depression. Though I've never experienced it, you helped me understand.

Thank you.

Gaby said...

Many people have said it already, but I am SO happy to see you posting again. You're quirky and funny and inspiring and to know you're here is very reassuring. I really do hope things continue to get better, even if it takes time. You deserve it!

Mak10z said...

I know these feelings all too well. I'm glad something worked for you. there are still days I look and see the vast void of Meh and wonder if these kinds of feeling (or lack there of) ever go away. I just keep on day to day, going to college, trying to lose weight, helping my wife do things and hugging my pup.

Bertie's Gf said...

Yay! The internet is so much more funner when you're on it. Here's to getting better...and corn.

Elyse Miller said...

Allie,

I just want you to know that your blog has been my piece of corn more than once. When I start to get depressed, your humor helps a lot. I have been to the place of no longer wanting to exist. I'm sorry you are going through that. Thank you for this post. We love you.

Tracey Duncan said...

sometimes hyperbole and a half is my tiny piece of shriveled up corn under the fridge <3

Unknown said...

I find myself in the unexpected position of agreeing with the simple dog. You are bruetful! I also agree that sunrises are completely pointless when you have less ability to give a fk than the average grubby grey hoody.
I'm sorry the last couple of years have been so awful inside your head, and I'm glad that things are now marginally less awful inside your head.

Gilberto said...

There you were, crying, sitting on the floor with a huge weight on your shoulders.
There it was, shrivelled, standing on the floor with a huge weight hovering over it.

Maybe the corn made you feel like you are not alone. You and the corn are the same. Right?

Or maybe you have some repressed memory about corn and happy times.


Anyway, this stuff happens (in fact, as you can see by the comments, it's fairly common).
We don't HAVE to feel stuff all the time; we don't HAVE to want to stay alive.

What I'm trying to say is, just don't let this become something bad that has happened/is happening to you; accept it as something that has happened/is happening. Like crying. It was what it was and is what it is.
And don't rely too much on giving it a name and making it a "thing". I think it's dangerous to define stuff like this, because it makes us redefine everything else around it to conform to this new definition. We might end up making too big a deal of things. We end up creating this monster that isn't easy to shake off.

It's not "depression"; it just is what it is. Let it be what it is. Let yourself be.



Or something.

Crazy Raven Productions said...

You explain this better than anyone has in the history of ever. Thank you. I hope you are doing well and feeling all the things again.

RusticStudio said...

welcome back!

i'm sorry you're going through this but i am proud of you for being brave enough to share your journey with the world with your wonderful sense of humor and creativity.

thank you!

Unknown said...

Sums up my last 25 years nicely. Especially mid teens to early thirties. Luckily I've found a few pieces of corn along the way. Thanks for making this. It's well done. Clayton

Meg said...

You just summed up, in one post, what I have been trying to explain to people for YEARS. And so, I have now shared this post.

I am so glad you're back. I've missed you. Creepy right?

GJonsie said...

You totally read my mind....it's so nice to know that none of us are alone in the bullshit wasteland called depression. Here's hoping it's not all bullshit forever! <3

Amy said...

After going through depression, medication etc. I swear it's all chemicals.

I don't believe it's any other thing. I mean it. If I have enough Vitamin D and I'm not constipated I'm fine.

People will say that there is attitude and that you can choose this and that but those people have a chemical makeup which makes them feel happy.

I swear that some people just get lucky and have the chemical makeup that makes them feel mostly happy or content and others get to feel horrible.

In any case, I love your drawings and writing.

Thank you

Unknown said...

This is an amazing piece. I wish that I had ad it to show people over the years that I have had the privilege of working with as a counsellor.

jedimeg said...

I've been reading your blog since the beginning and I know you'll probably never see this message, but I just wanted to let you know that I am planning on using this post to show my parents what depression feels like.

In other words, maybe you're my piece of shriveled, lonely corn.

Best wishes to you.

Lizzie Lowe said...

I have a fair few friends in your shoes, sometimes I think I think I might be falling into them myself...

And I've found that saying "I'm not going to say I understand because we both know that's bullshit, you know where I am if there's anything you need" is probably the most supportive thing I can say.

I guess it's my way of accepting where they are in their life and telling them I love them anyway.. I don't know. I just don't believe in lying to people (even myself) to make *me* feel better. Like I've done something.

No, I'll sit there doing nothing and feel shit about it, because that's what they want/need. Some one who will let them be down when they're down, and treat them like anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Allie,

So glad to have you posting again.

I equate depression to having a cold. Wait, hear me out a minute. When you have a cold, your nose is all stuffy so you can't taste anything. You could be eating chocolate covered awesomeness, or it may be slime covered whale dung, but you couldn't tell the difference. Everything tastes the same. There is no pleasure in it, or even disgust. It's just nothingness. But, you know what? It doesn't matter cuz you really didn't feel like eating anyway.

Keep working at it, sweetie.

Also, is that last drawing a T-shirt yet? Cuz I would totally buy that!

Anonymous said...

Yes... I totally agree with this post. Especially the hate part. The thing happened with me almost. Basically I broke out of depression by starting to hate things and then paradoxically I held onto that hatred because it seemed like a good idea to maintain atleast one emotion. I didnt go through a laughter phase though, I just felt joy for being able to be angry at things.

Heather said...

I won't throw optimism at you, but I'm glad you're back and I missed you and your blog in your absence. often wondered how you were and if you were ok, which sounds a little weird coming from a total stranger. I'm also glad you're still among the rest of us carbon-based units. I can't understand your personal fight with depression because I'm not you, but I have suffered from depression and it SUCKS. Darkest time of my life. Depression also lies worse than a politician caught in a shady motel room with a bunch of hookers and a kilo of cocaine. Don't listen to the crap it tells you. Life really isn't as shitty as depression tells you it is. Hell, the only thing that got me through the unemotional fog that's Depression was stupid Lolcat photos.

Nicole said...

So happy you've posted again and that you didn't kill yourself. Depression is a nasty thing and it's a big thing to talk about. Proud of you and the steps you're taking to heal yourself. Therapy is always helpful for me...and they don't throw that positive crap in your face...or mine doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for finally giving words to things I've experienced, but never been able to put into enough coherent sentences to form an explanation. My "piece of corn" moment was when I was having a floor-crying experience and decided that this was the opportune moment to star scribbling on my wall. When I looked up and realized that I had just drawn a bunch of blue scribbles on my wall, it seemed like the dumbest, funniest thing in the world. What fully grown person scribbles on their wall? At what point did I turn into an angry two year old? And why the hell was this so damn funny?

Unknown said...

You nailed it - right on. I was nodding away while reading. I don't think I've ever heard depression described better than you described it. No one can really understand unless they have been there. Thanks for your post, and hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I just didn't understand whether you are taking the depression medication or not

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! A cartoon drawing of a amphibious type creature somehow made it seem more human. Thanking you for your clarity in writing to put into words what I have only felt/unfelt.

Anonymous said...

I love you, and I'm so glad you found your piece of corn. Here's to existing :)

Erie said...

I realize this will probably get buried... oh well.

Thank you for writing this. You were right yesterday, the awkward parts made me laugh. The hate face, oh lordy.

I've been there- in fact, I still am. Your words about being suicidal but not really are better put than I could ever explain.

And I think I'm going to print out the part about the dead fish and show it to people. If I hear "But you're not alone! I love you!" ONE MORE TIME...

Thank you for taking the worst of my life and making it relatable.

Anonymous said...

I looked under my fridge and I certainly want laughing at the horror beneath. The Internet is happy you're still around, Allie.

Unknown said...

At the hate-spewing brain, I chuckled.
At the hooded angry glare over coffee, I guffawed.
At the juice on the floor, I teared up.
Knowing you're back and feeling a little better, I'm very happy.

I think this comic is gonna help a lot of people.

Jess said...

Right in the feels I forgot about...

I've been going through the same thing for several years, and I won't bother saying I know what you're going through. It's different for everyone. But I know that feeling of nothing-ness. Nothing matters, and I wonder if it's even worth going on. What's the point?

I had recently fallen back into nothingness after the death of my best friend. The one person I knew would always give a fuck about me, who was worth giving a fuck for even when I felt there was no point. And then I see this...

I think I must be traumatizing my dog now, who's currently staring at me as I laugh and cry hysterically. The last time I reacted to such an extreme to anything was when I got a two word text. "She's Gone".

I couldn't stop screaming, and when I did, I felt nothing. I didn't want to. Didn't care. She was gone, and nothing mattered anymore.

But then I read this and I'm laughing, and crying.

Your post is my shriveled corn. I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you. Thank you for sharing this, for the tiny, tiny glimmer of hope. For being brave enough to say, and share what many of us can't...

Most of all thank you for being my shriveled piece of corn, and I'm so glad you're back.

Andrew J. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have been struggling with depression for the past year. I could not believe how perfectly your description encapsulated my feelings. I was never able to put anything into words. Thank you so much for sharing this with the world.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Allie.

Jennifer Richardson said...

I needed to read this today. My brother is lying on the floor of his truck (sort of like your kitchen floor). And now I hope to understand him and his fish. Thanks for sharing and helping us understand.

Anonymous said...

Man, sorry thing's been so rough. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

From now on, anyone who questions me/comments about depression is getting directed to this. This description is more eloquent and accesible than I could ever attempt.

At my lowest, I could only explain how I didn't so much want to die, but rather did not want to be alive anymore. The numbness is excruciating. I never realised social interaction could be so exhausting until I had to mimic normal emotional reactions.

Thank you for sharing this.

RudePug said...

Absolutely brilliant.

DJ said...

This may not come out right, but let me try to make the words say what I want them to say. Allie, I love how your reality spills onto the page, and when there's a new post from you, my heart does a little dance (soft-shoe, like the kind that Shirley Temple did with Bojangles Robinson, if you must know).

But I say, be who you are, feel what you feel (or don't feel) -- it's all okay. And post only when the spirit moves you, as I assume it did here. Your brilliance is too good for us, your fans, to make you feel like you need to write something even when you don't want to. When it comes from the heart, from both the utter depths and the pinnacle of the emotional landscape -- as nearly all of your work does -- what you share with us is a very special thing indeed.

Keep on keepin' on, and thank you for making a connection with us.

KiTx said...

1) Your description of the not wanting to kill yourself, just to not be alive anymore is SO DEAD ON. No pun intended. I kind of like the pun that I've written it, though, so it stays.
2) I'm amazed the internets haven't broken today, because I've seen rejoicing of your return ALL OVER THE PLACE. Know that you have a ridiculously large posse backing you that will tell you any time you need it that it DOES really suck that the fish are dead, and we still like you regardless. That doesn't always help with getting through the depression, but hey, we'll sit on the couch with you quietly and we'll take Simple Dog on walks when that just seems insurmountable.

Anonymous said...

I related so much to this. Some dark times have taken a turn for the worse for me this week and I will probably be reading this post a bunch of times. Thank you, and continue to be well.

Anonymous said...

This resonates with me so much. I can't say I'm happy or glad for you - the only feeling it generates in me is familiarity. Kudos for being able to eloquently translate this state of being to the written word.

whatdodolphinsthink said...

This is one of the most eloquent and accurate descriptions of the depression i have suffered on and off with my entire life. i have hopefully just ended a long period of it myself (with appropriate support). I especially relate to a passive wish to not exist any more, not wanting anything to love you and trying to make your face express normal emotions whilst being totally consumed and distracted by the fact that its pretend and worried you will be found or come across as insincere, making people dislike you, which clearly will add to the problem but at the same time finding social interaction an incredible strain! Any way, I wasnt shocked, but then again you have just described portions of my life, and i expect others to find how i feel shocking. Glad youre getting past it, I hope it stays away for you and your fish get a bit less dead. although my fish constantly worry and are quite angry, they are less dead now. Take care x

JLeeBadger said...

Thank you for this post. It's unsettling yet comforting how you've described your individual experience in such a way that everyone can relate, no matter which couch they may be sitting on. I've been going through the exact same existential crisis (read: depression) over the past several months, so the timing of this post is perfect.

In the past, I'd been the guy who tried to forcefully inject happiness into a depressed friend's perspective, much like your friends who were also trying to "help." But after going through my own bouts of depression, I realize now that my method was wrong. I think your post will be very helpful in educating people on both sides of this common problem.

Sometimes all we can do is struggle on through a life that seems to be void of meaning, just so we might someday stumble across a kernel of corn that puts everything into perspective. This post was my corn for the day. Thank you. :)

Samantha said...

I am so happy to see you back. Thank you for this post, it helped me identify some things that I am not comfortable admitting about depression.

Also, on a hopefully less serious note, I have a term that I use at times that might help you when explaining to people about the corn story. "Cornfusing" It seems really appropriate because it combines the corn with the confusing part to become cornfusing, or also cornfused.

I now realize that this might confuse people more because then you would have to explain the term itself rather than just the corn.

Annie said...

ah dang, depression is some tough shit to deal with. I had the same dingdongdeal with my psychiatrist, telling me about how I was young and would get over it eventually; I also kept trying to make up methods of vaporizing out of existence, none of which were plausible.
I'm so glad you're back, Allie! Thanks for all the content you've been posting.

Trill said...

It's SO good to see you again! I'm gonna sorta steal this from you. From now on, when someone is feeling depressed, I'm going to say, "I hope you find your corn." Brilliant!

Natalia said...

I am so sorry your fish died, and I am SO happy you found your piece of corn. Wishing you as much love and hugs as is appropriate from a stranger from the internet XXXXX

Phernalia said...

I'm crying.

Take care of yourself and the corn.

kimberkit said...

Like I wrote, I missed you while you were gone; I am sorry your fish were dead for so long, and if they happen to be more like zombies than Jesus at the moment, well, perhaps you can come find me and eat my brains. I will share.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant writing!
Thank you for posting educational images I can give to others so they can start to understand!

I can relate to everything!

Taylor said...

You put how I feel into words EXACTLY. I never know how to explain whats happening with me when I get depressed and now I can just show this to people and say "See, look. I'm not the only one, you really can't help me. Go away."
So thank you. I laughed and got teary eyed reading this. Not so depressed now realizing there are others out there with the same struggles as me.

Andrea McGann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jayelle Anderson said...

I went through a ten year depression. It had a lot of ups and downs but it stated to subside last year when I realized that the reason I couldn't read this one book wasn't because I was stupid (I was in college when I was 16. They don't let stupid kids do that! Why did I even think that?) it was because I needed god damn glasses. I remembered that moment. It was weird like, "Oh."

I had settled on some shitty fate when in all reality, I could make my life amazing. And I did. I just needed glasses to see that. :p

Anonymous said...

The toys illustration and the fishes metaphor are superb.

It's not that I know or have capacity to imagine your feelings - or the lack of them - but you gave me the tools to, let's say lacking a better word, understand you. - Thank you.

Have a good life, friend. May you find more than the little Allie ever hoped for.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant.

I've suffered with depression for over 10 years and only recently began my road to "recovery" when I had one of those "I want to become dead" moments myself. For a long time all I really felt was anger and hate. I could still fake a smile but inside me was nothing but this boiling volcano of rage. My experience wasn't one of total numbness, but there were some days I couldn't even scrape together enough energy to be angry. I guess no two people experience "the nothing" in quite the same way.

Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fucking amazing! Keep going, you stuff is just brilliant!

Lynanne said...

I'm glad you're back. No pressure, but your posts got me through some dark nights. Granted, my fish weren't dead per se, but they were badly wounded and missing fins and other vital parts that made Nemo from Finding Nemo look like a champion swimmer.

I hope that doesn't make me sound selfish. I just wanted to highlight how important and valuable sentimentally you are to this person you don't know.

I hope the other comment-ers who say they relate are right and that your brain will quit being a douche and chill out soon!

Anonymous said...

I think this is the first time I actually understood what it feels like to be truly depressed. Kudos to the corn and its super-powers. made me laugh as well!

Anonymous said...

I 'm so happy you're back, and can identify with this post. Thank you for coming back, and thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, just amazing. I laughed, I cried. Thank you so much for sharing, you have no idea how much this meant to me. You are legendary.

Alanna said...

I am so very glad you are back <3 the dead fish and the crying...seriously...you're amazing! It has been 5 years since I finally saw the light from my depression...but I think the crying will always be here to stay.

And the corn is perfect, just the way it is. Mine was a piece of gum that an older gentleman shared with me on the bus. His last piece...he walked away saying "I hope your day gets better." I smiled like an idiot the whole way home...over a stick of gum.

Keep your chin up! The feelings will come back and you'll be proud as hell that you battled like a boss <3

Unknown said...

i have struggled with depression on and off for years, and the way you describe how people talk to you is exactly what i have experienced. no one else can understand what you go through and saying cliche words does not make it better. thank you for writing this.
i hope you continue to feel better and find some real happiness.

Anonymous said...

I struggled with depression for years after an accident led to a life altering illness. I shared this with a friend who is struggling with addiction and depression, and had never read your wonderful blog before, because I thought it might make him feel a little better reading something that articulated so well the feels.

He loved it. It made him feel less alone.

Glad to have you back. All the loves.

Chem Penguin said...

I freaking love you. Sucks to high hell that you're going through that period but man is it so good to have you put it so articulately (right now I'm in the Cry At Everything phase). I now have something to link to when people are being confused or frustrating :D

Anonymous said...

Hey Allie; yay for writing! Depression blows. The best thing I ever heard when I thought everything might be hopeless bullshit was (and I'm paraphrasing): "Do you really want to know whether everything is hopeless bullshit, or do you want to stop asking the question?" Blew my befuddled, overwrought mind. It didn't make anything better, really (medicine and some therapy sessions did that), but it was something to consider.

jenna mishell said...

thank you so much for doing this. everything you explained is how i have felt in the past, gotten over and doing a recycle and feeling everything like this again. and its comforting to know that even though i feel like this, and you think its never going to end, it will.. and other people know how you're feeling and what you are going through.

sister_rags said...

**BRILLIANT** Thank you, thank you.

Aileen said...

Welcome back, Allie, I've missed you! Thanks for posting, I'm sure it must have been hard. I loved the fish descriptions cause UM YES EXACTLY. Sending lots of love your way.

Unknown said...

Having been where you are, I cringe when I see people say things like "glad you are back!" I don't know whether you are "back" or not, and you probably don't know either. I would encourage you to give yourself time,space and grace. There is no pressure. You don't "owe" anybody anything, not even a blog. But this was a very beautiful post card from hell. Thanks for sharing. I do hope that the knowledge that you have touched and helped people will make the fog dissipate a bit.

Anonymous said...

Allie, this nameless face person that is me missed you, and I'm so glad you were able to get help. I think that people mainly have a Hollywood view of suicidal thoughts, making it hard to understand how a person sees no point in continuing to live, doesn't want to try to live. Good luck, I hope you find meds and a therapist as wonderful as I found. Or at least someone to see your dead fish too and help you bury them.

Anonymous said...

I want to see the corn alot.

Anonymous said...

For me it felt like being embedded in a damp hunk of concrete. Everything had a sickening yellow halo and smelled like mold. Thanks for the corn.

Unknown said...

thanks

Anonymous said...

In a way though it isn't the corn. I mean it is but...

I don't remember the moment I was able to feel good things again. I remember the moment I told my friends, "I need to get down off this roof and you need to come provide moral support while I tell my parents I'm suicidal." And then they did. Deciding you're going to tell other people your brain chemistry is broken and they need to help you not die is powerful, I guess.

Anonymous said...

You're truly gifted with words (and pictures). For a long time I couldn't explain what depression felt like for me. Eventually I just gave them the link to your website with adventures in depression.

But after I read that (and cried very hard and long, yeah not many writers can manage that) I was worried for you. It's weird because I don't know you. But I truly felt worried.

When I saw on my facebook that you posted something I was just so glad that you were alive!
Hubby didn't understand why I ran to him to tell him that, but even he knew who you were from the (many) times I talked about your blog.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm so glad you're alive.
Yes because I think you're a amazing writer, yes you're funny, witty and just so damn nice! But it's not all about that.

I'm just glad you're alive. I truly believe you're one of those people who make the world a better place just by being alive.

And after reading your Depression part two today I thought you should know that.

So weird because I'm basically thanking you that you chose to live. But I had to say it. Even if you never made another blog entry again, you already made your impact (I want to say on the world but that sounds a bit over the top, so let's go with something smaller) on me.

....

I feel like I should have a kickass ending to all this...I've got nothing.
.....

You're awesome!

Anonymous said...

That was really enjoyable buddy

Anonymous said...

Worth mentioning too that having friends who mean well and care and try to do the right thing, even if they fall terribly short of understanding how you feel, is sooo much better than not having caring friends or being around people who don't give a shit or who treat you like shit. It can sometimes mean the difference between a depressed person getting help vs. giving up or going through with suicide or hurting themselves or others. Glad you had some moral support Allie, even if they didn't know how to relate well. What you have posted here is so valuable, thank you.

Anonymous said...

When you laughed at the corn, you realized - whether you know it or not - that yes, it is all bullshit. The world "evens out" when you realize and accept that the corn's "situation" (being stuck under the fridge) was just as important to the corn, as your situation (not wanting to exist) was to you. You and the corn are the same. Made of the same building blocks of life and, at that moment, you realized your bleak existence was on par with the corn's bleak existence, and laughed at the absurdity of it all. It is funny.

In my very uneducated opinion, the world just seems to "even out" when you realize and accept that it's all BS. I'm not saying things get better. But your life can become tolerable. Maybe that's all we can hope for.

In any event, keep existing.

Emily Pryor said...

I think this is the first thing I've ever read about depression that truly describes it's feeling. This is so spot on, Allie. You really did it.

So happy to see a post from you again, and I hope you're back!

Sticking with you through your battle xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

"The liberal gluten-free agenda is turning our dogs lesbian!" Steven Cobert
Sometimes impossible things do happen...gluten issues start in the brain, can destroy mood. For me, GF is very hard to do, but loosing gluten gave me back my life. (end of proselytizing)

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for posting this! In a lot of ways, I'm looking for my corn right now, and the way you put things into words and pictures helped. Thank you for brightening both my day and my personal journey back to humanity.

Welcome back!

Felonia said...

That last image is my new desktop background. I'm so glad that you exist <3 This post is absolutely brilliant.

J.A.M. said...

Woo hoo! Glad to see some new work! xxJ

Amanda said...

Hi, Allie. I am so sorry you are going through this. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful, thank you, you explain the empty detached feeling so well, how depression is not just sadness, it's just..well, nothingness, and feels too insignificant to even tell anyone about. What helped me through was when I figured that Something(even if it felt like shit)for the short time our atoms hang together on this planet, is better than the Nothing we'll have when they fall apart, as they will all too soon.. so may as well hang around and make the most of the short time we have, cos it's all we got. Dunno if that will help anyone else but Thank you for your wonderful writing, it means a lot to a lot of people.

Unknown said...

My God, you're back! This post literally made my year. Thank you for returning to us. And these feels or rather un-feels are SO familiar to me. Fish metaphor... Next time anyone tries to give me bullshit advice about how to get over depression, I will explain about the fish.

EJ said...

Thank you. It's been impossible to explain to my friends and family what depression is like. This is better than I could ever have said it.

vioLyn said...

This is so good. Glad you're back!

la_flaca said...

THANK YOU. Just thank you for this - thank you, thank you, thank you.

Unknown said...

This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Thank you so much for sharing it. The corn really is exactly that funny.

Jo said...

I am your sister in dirty hoodie wearing.

I love your corn revelation, but can only mostly focus on how clean it is under your fridge. My piece of corn has surely mutated in the toxic sludge by now.

Love to you, sweet girl. xx

Anonymous said...

This is so very true. I often think that it's the depression trying to cling onto you in the manner of a very pessimistic parasite. Thanks for putting it better than I can. Welcome back!

trrish said...

Loved this. Bring on the corn. Keep writing.

Something_Nerdy said...

Welcome back! Glad to see you made it across the waste land and back agian.

Unknown said...

Yaaaaay!
I was soo happy to see you post again! It even made me forget how feverishly sick I am! XD
Your feels may still be dead, but your existence and your presence here inspire such intense feelings in so many others... maybe that's something.

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