Depression Part Two

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


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


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


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


Depression feels almost exactly like that, except about everything.

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


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

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


Which leads to horrible, soul-decaying boredom.



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


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

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


Everyone noticed.


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


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


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


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

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


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


I started spending more time alone.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


I had absolutely no idea what was going on.


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


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


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


I don't know. 

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






5,000 comments:

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Anonymous said...

This is so great, I'm glad a piece of corn made you laugh because it made me laugh also. Even if your fish are still dead that's okay I still really like you a lot.

Anonymous said...

You're wonderful. :c A friend of mine adores you, and when I saw and read this, I think I understood why.

Claire said...

You give so many people hope and strength, it's honestly a joy to see a post from you. You got a lotta love on here gal, here's hoping that dark cloud starts to dissipate in the coming weeks. x

Anonymous said...

So very glad to see you back. I will be sharing this post with loved ones and my psychiatrist.
I'm eagerly anticipating the availability of the 'maybe everything isn't hopeless bullshit' t-shirt.

Colleen said...

Corn=Funny. It just is. I can't say just how many times I've said the word CORN!! in a funny way and laughed my ass off. Cyoooorrrn! SO glad to see you sharing more.

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...

My depression and my feelings of having been suicidal finally, FINALLY have definition, illustration and reference. I can link to this article and say, "Just read this if you really want to understand." What a huge, huge relief. You're my heroine!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, you described so many things that I am going through and had no idea how to put into words.

Anonymous said...

It's strangely comforting to know how much I relate. I've not been able to accurately describe the why of the way I felt (for lack of a better term).
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I've been in the hole and been out of the hole...it's a cycle...but I'm glad you're moving forward. *hugs from Arizona*

Toia Healey said...

I feel like sending you a great big bag of corn. Can't tell you how happy I am to see you're back!! Look forward to your next posts. :0)

chris the cynic said...

I was afraid it'd be something like that. Which is why I didn't want to respond much to the earlier post, I didn't know if it was a time for congratulations or a time for, "Well, fuck." Seems to be somewhere between the two.

It's good to have you posting again, and yay for corn, but I wish things were better for you. I hope they get better for you.

-

The most popular post my blog, by far, doesn't have to do with any of the things that I normally do on my blog. And yet that's the post that resonated with enough different people that it's been passed on by various people to the point of leaving everything I normally post on in the dust.

I normally post and get a handful of people popping over when the post first goes live and then nothing much after that. This post was instead linked to and passed on and recommended and whatnot. Clearly it touched on something that actually mattered to people.

It's called, "Advice given to depressed people," and it is, as one might expect, about bad advice. Because that tends to be the kind of advice given to depressed people.

Well meaning people trying to be helpful have a habit of fucking things up even more than they already are when it comes to depression in my experience. Apparently it's not just my experience because the only explanation I have for the post's popularity is that other people have seen the same thing.

Also, there's a reason that for months I've been thinking about writing a post called, "You feel like you're helping, I feel like you're beating me with a stick." I'm not sure that people trying to hurt could do as much harm as those trying to help.

Part of it may be that if you're not a medical professional there's not a lot you can do to help. The big thing is not being an asshole but that should be on the ground rules for dealing with people, especially those you care about, anyway. Other than, if a depressed person is already dealing with the depression medically, basically the only thing someone can do is wait.

Changes can come nearly instantaneously, or they can take a fucking long time. For me it was ten years between being officially diagnosed and finding something that helped even a little. There's nothing anyone could have done to speed that up, sometimes things just aren't easy.

I think friends and family want to be proactive, rather than waiting, and that's when they fuck things up. They don't wait, they try to help, but their efforts are basically doomed. Trying to singlehandedly do away with someone's depression, the medical condition not the emotion*, when you don't have medicine on your side is like trying to fix a broken arm with laughter. Whatever positive effects laughter may or may not have on a person, it's not going to fix a broken arm. Tell the person that the reason the arm is still broken is that they're not laughing hard enough and you'll just piss them off.

-

* I blame the two having the same name for some of the fucking stupid things people will think will fix depression. Oddly they never confuse depression the medical condition with a dent in the ground, even though that has the same name too.

Jaz said...

This is beautiful and amazing, and I am so glad you're back. I can relate so well to this entire post. I'm not quite at the corn stage yet, but I have accepted that not everything is terrible, and some things are even good. My emotions now include anger, annoyance, tiredness, and the occasional happiness. I even go outside almost every day now. :) Anyway, I'm glad you're getting better. It sucks feeling like everything sucks, and it's great knowing that it doesn't.

Unknown said...

Glad your back. sorry the fish died

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

everinprogress said...

So, so glad you're back!! I love your humour and approach to ALL THE THINGS, every the really $hitty ones. Also, I am afraid to look under my fridge...

thebarlights said...

you'll probably never read this since there's like 4500 comments already, but i feel the need to tell you this.

In addition to echoing all of the statements about how happy i am that you're back and how meaningful (and on freaking point) this article is for a lot of us...

You also need to know how BRAVE you are. It's an incredibly brave thing to do to put yourself out there like this, and just thinking about it makes me all squirmy and i get this weird chokey feeling in my throat. i know it must have been hard to hit that post button, but you're amazing because you did. so i need to tell you again - YOU ARE SUPER BRAVE. (i just pictured you in a cape and it ruled)

Carol Furchner said...

I'm very glad you're back.

adri said...

Hey, heh, this totally made me feel somewhat better this afternoon, just recently found this blog through a couple of people.. turns out I remember you from oldchattingdays (I think, maybe, ehm) but anyway, I REALLY enjoyed this, thanks, will keep coming back for more posts and the many more I've missed that I'll get to read eventually. See u..

Anonymous said...

You have 4500 comments all saying a variant on "Thank you," but here's one more. I don't think I've ever seen what I'm experiencing expressed so clearly and hilariously.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry you're going through this. I want to thank you for posting this, because I wasn't feeling like I was told I was supposed to be feeling if I was depressed. I felt like I couldn't even get depression right, so screw trying to do anything to help.

I feel less alone now, and more able to get help. Thank you, so much, for posting.

mrcharly said...

This is truly beautiful and one of the finest pieces of art I have ever come across.
Every time the dark cloud is creeping over me, I shall think of your piece of corn.

Dorchid said...

Welcome back. We missed you.

Anonymous said...

Glad I read this. I have travelled that road, with a few scary detours on the way. Even if you have a yellow fin on your head, I love you.

Averil said...

God the brain can just do the WORST fucking things to us. Sometimes it feels like all the chemicals in my brain go into exactly the right places and I am enlightened and grateful for everything. And other days it's like "Oh, we're not going to take up any seratonin today? Sneaky hate spiral? Ok great idea brain. That feels awesome. Thanks."

So glad you went to the doctor. THANK YOU for posting this and talking about it because it helps to break down stigma. I am doing my PhD in adolescent mental health and it seems stigma is the number one thing that prevents people from seeking help. When really there's nothing to be ashamed of, it's just your brain being a jerk and it needs some help to do its job.

Thank you for putting so much joy into the world Allie. I hope you get to keep some for yourself this time. And thank goodness for dogs who think we are bruetiful and good. They see us so much more clearly than we see ourselves.

Dorchid said...

Welcome back. We missed you.

Kathykins said...

Thank you so much for posting this. You vocalized EVERYTHING I have been feeling for the past 8 months.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to get my husband to read this, you've explained these feelings and lack of feeling better than I could before. Maybe he'll understand a little better now. Thanks.

Ray said...

Thank you! You nailed that depression thing on the head. Glad you are back!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing , you definately arent alone in those thoughts - it's territory all too familiar.

I might still emotionally be a bit flat but the world has cake, beer, and I got some goldfish and named them after u-boats so it's not all bad.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit, this is so accurate... I loved every word of it. I went through my emotionless phase last year and keep having relapses. But I've had my corn phase. It was the cupcake dog. I saw this animated gif one day and literally started crying so hard I couldn't breathe and didn't know if I was laughing or crying anymore. I still don't understand why it was so funny to me in that moment, but there you have it. http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/002/927/1234461732452.gif

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry all your fish are dead. Hopefully these new fish will help.

queenmab said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I missed your drawings and thinkings SO much! I kept coming back to the site, hoping something would turn up. I know these feelings you speak of. I too have had quite a long run of dark and drab and icky feelings. Thanks for being awesome!

v said...

As someone who lived through a severe clinical depression, let me say that this is the most spot on description of that nightmare that I have ever read. I couldn't even laugh while reading this because, even though mine was years ago, this brought it all back immediately. I hope that things are getting less shitty and I hope that the meds help (they saved my life) and I hope that you are able to get all the feels back soon. Take care and hang in there!

Tommy said...

Holy moly! So sorry about your fish! I'm sad they're dead (I feel weird saying that without being like "it's a metaphor, I get it, I read the whole post" because I'd feel like a dick if you thought I just skimmed through the post and was like "oh no! her fish died! That's why she's been so upset"), but I'm really glad you're not dead. I was worried after your post a year and a half ago. I kept checking every month or so to see if you posted anything, and coincidentally, I checked just the other day again and saw nothing new. And then a facebook friend shared this post on his wall and I was like OMG! So yay for that. Yay for you. And yay for corn! We all love you and have missed you terribly.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely brilliant! And I've missed your posts. Welcome back.

The part about telling people that you need help and having to respond to their emotional reactions....been there, done that. Your description was so perfect that I wanted to hug you....and say thank you.

I may be taking a line from another campaign when I say this, but it does get better.

Derek Maher said...

Thank you so much. This is like a diary of the last few years for me. Let's hope we all find the corn......

Michelle Glauser said...

I wrote about that lack of feeling a few years ago, here: http://michelleglauser.blogspot.com/2009/11/anhedonia.html. It sucks, doesn't it?

I've been checking up on you for ages, and the experience you recounted rings so true with my own experience. I'm glad we've both made it out for now. Best wishes!

naomialj said...

I love you, in the least creepy possible way a stranger can love an internet personality. Or maybe the most creepy way. C'mon, don't fight it. This is kind of going off in a weird direction.

Anyway!
It's perfect that you posted this today. I met with a social worker today and I guess I'm committing to getting over my depression and anxiety now. It still feels like bullshit, but I guess I'm doin' it. So let's do this together. However bullshitty it may seem. Also, my fucking dog died. I'm pretty pissed off. Let us be pissed off together also.

I love you, man. We're gonna kick depression's ass, maybe. No, yes, we will. We'll do it. Bam.

I'm thrilled to hear about your progress! Keep us updated, you lovely being, you. You're awesome!

Becky said...

I HAVE MISSED YOU!!

I've never commented before but I wanted to say that I've been reading (and re-reading) your posts for a while now, and I enjoy them all SO MUCH--they often make me laugh until I cry.

I am VERY glad that you are back in whatever capacity you deem best for you.

We're all rooting for you!! :)

Spilling Ink said...

Yep, Allie, exactly like that.

Anonymous said...

Allie, this is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever read.

TenderGender said...

THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT :D :D :D

Mads said...

I'm cryingm bro, thanks, yeah. um.

I really hope I can find that piece of corn someday, Allie. I really do.

Jordan said...

Allie, we sure did miss you.
Also.... God, the bit about the goldfish was spot on.

gelfie68 said...

Welcome back. Now pass the corn.



Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Thank you for finding words and crappy, crappy MS PAINT pictures for this feeling. I effing love you even when I hate everything else.

minumi said...

I have spent the last half hour crying and half not yet calmed down. Thank you for posting.

FaithlessDisciple said...

As a bi polar (drop)bear, I can very definitely relate. My attempts at blogging and online college are both lying in the dust of my last depressive cycle. I haven't found my corn yet, I found a whole corn cob. Stupid manic scumbag brain is on the rise. Maybe I will get some shit done,maybe I won't be able to rein in my racing thoughts (bets on I want to fuck all the things, organise all the things. FUCK IS THAT CAR FOLLOWING ME? IT'S FOLLOWING ME FUCK) long enough to do anything useful

I'm just glad you're alive. I thought you might have dieded like I wanted to too.

Melissa said...

This post is my piece of corn. Thank you.

Comeonnow said...

Wow! Yeah. Like that.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You are more awesome than bacon.

peebo said...

Ask your doctor about Corn™.

Anonymous said...

THE CORN MADE ME LAUGH A LOT IM ACTUALLY STILL GIGGLING
P.S I LIKE YOUR BLOGMIC

Comeonnow said...

Hyperbole and a Half makes my world a better place.

Anonymous said...

Yep, yep. Been there, failed to feel that. Be strong.

Anonymous said...

I understand your "corn", I too have a "corn" and I know that just because other people don't understand it, doesn't mean that it isn't how it is.

Cheerish your piece of corn always.

Anonymous said...

I understand your "corn", I too have a "corn" and I know that just because other people don't understand it, doesn't mean that it isn't how it is.

Cheerish your piece of corn always.

Unknown said...

I relate to this so much, I cannot even say. Thank you. I almost feel better about hating everything now it's been explained by pictures.

W. A. Pettyjohn said...

The most apt description of depression I've ever read. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're still alive! Come visit Iowa, we have lots of corn. P.S. When you cry your body is getting rid of hormones in the tears, it's good for you.

Kerry said...

So happy you're posting stuff again! Thanks for your honesty in describing just how shitty and isolating and un-sexy depression is. Your dead fish metaphor is perfection.

MrIanRocks said...

Thanks for the post and welcome back. My parents noticed how depressed I was in January and threw me on tons of antidepressants. Unfortunately, I'm actually bipolar, which antidepressants make worse. I hit the state you talked about, except I was unable to feel love. I tried to hang myself with a belt. The hook broke, and the nail flew out of the wall and hit me in the back of the head. It was the funniest thing I had felt in months (years?) and I laughed/cried until my mom came home, found me, and took me to the ER. A week of meds later, I no longer had the ability to not feel love. Sorry for the rambley-ness. Depression Sucks.

-Ian

Kathy said...

Allie, so happy to see a post from you! We've been worried. You really hit the nail on the head with this, and the last, post. I would *LOVE* to see that as a PSA booklet in every doctors office, because knowing that someone out there understands and has felt that way too, and even gotten better or at least seen the almost hope, does help.

Anonymous said...

Allie, you are the best. I can't even describe how much I missed you. Welcome back .

Anonymous said...

Well you just summed up my life in one cartoon. I can relate... by now I might of angrily thrown a fish at someones face. The making strange faces in hopes to pacify someone was hilarious and dead on.

MissMaryB said...

Thank you for writing this. I cried and laughed like a crazy person through the whole thing because I have been there and felt like people were ignoring my "dead fish". I stay at home and have kids and I think they are the reason I am alive. I am sure they think I am a nutcase and they are currently looking at their "strange" mother who is bawling while commenting on a website. But I see your dead fish, depression sucks, and I am glad that it's starting to suck less.

Artemis said...

I'm so glad to see a new post! I've really been missing your stuff.

and thanks for the look at depression. It's hard to understand for people who haven't suffered through it, and it's nice to be able to learn about it.

Hopefully i'll get to see more of your stuff soon.

Unknown said...

awesome post. Totally recognize it, and cant figure out how you managed to make it funny. Hope it all events out for you soon.

S├Žunn said...

So happy you're back! Your comics reflect so perfectly on life. Glad you're feeling better!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I feel a little less lonely and I hope you feel a little more loved. Thank you so much for sharing.

The Yoker said...

Nailed it. And reading it, I didn't feel closer to anyone or you, nor did I feel like someone out there understood me. I felt the world is probably more pointless and empty, since this shows that everybody are basically alike, and therefore we're all programmed on an 4-bit computerboard and there's no creativity, no uniqueness and no real life to anyone. No opportunity to feel anything that's not programmed into your brain to feel. We're programmed to feel meaning, and meaning means nothing. We're programmed to feel, because feelings make food and I feel because those feelings make food so that a selfish gene can survive and we're cogs in a meaningless vacuum which runs on cogs of infinite meaning. But thanks so much, and I would like for you to feel better.

Tommy said...

I'm a film teacher that also happens to be a counselor. I have at least two kids in mind that this might really help out. When you're back to experiencing your full range of emotions, come back and read this: Your post, no matter how hard to write, is going to help some students who really need it. Thank you so so much.

Anonymous said...

I'm going through this hell now, in reverse: coming off meds. Knowing you're OK feels kinda like hope. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You're so brave for posting this Allie. I hope you find more pieces of corn in ridiculous places and eventually feel so full of strange happiness.

Unknown said...

I was actually depressed for about 3-4 years. It was a different kind of depression though called atypical depression (I think). In my case, I did have feelings sometimes, but most of the time I was either in a hopeless state like you, or very very deep sadness. Like you, I felt like it was completely hopeless and there was never going to be a way out, but you just have to believe that's not true. I know that may be hard to do sometimes, it's true.
you gotta remember: "and this too shall pass." You gotta find something to make you care. The worst part of depression is the apathy. it may take you a long time, but if you're really trying, one day you will realize you do care again. The best part is, once you learn how to care again, you keep the ability to not care. You can decide to not give a f***. well, about most things.

TehLinds said...

You are so on point with this post and I'm happy you are back!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're still here, Allie

Alison said...

As someone who suffered from severe depression, I want to thank you for describing it so accurately. You don't know how many times I've tried and I have never been able to describe it so well! I'd also like to thank you for making me laugh, several times, because most of the things I had experienced myself. (I totally get the corn, btw. I can't explain it, either, but I get it.)

Anyway, thank you. Now, whenever I need to explain to someone what depression is like, I will just direct them here. Then they can feel weird about laughing. I don't.

Lastly, I'm glad you're out of the pit.

Anonymous said...

Thank u so much. I echo others who have said that u give the most accurate description of depression I have ever read. It's brilliant and refreshing and reassuring. I hope u know what a difference u will make 2 the lives of many, which is evidenced by the number of posts here. Have u thought about publishing this or trying 2 get it into one of the papers?

Callist0 said...

I really don't know what to say but, never before i had read, seen, or listen something what can describe exactly how I feel, thank you for this post. Luck

Unknown said...

I was just thinking about you while getting a drink from the breakroom, I come back to my desk and refresh Fark...

(slow work day...)

I'm actually crying a little I'm so glad you're back and OK!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing this!

Do you have any advice for those of us who are made worse off by treatment? (i.e., those of us who have suicidal reactions to antidepressants. and receive no benefit and/or are agitated by talk therapies?)

Sebastian Tauchmann said...

Thank you - maybe, just maybe everything isn't hopeless bullshit.

Carolyn said...

I have never understood my sister's depression, and wanted to help, but couldn't. Finally, I feel as if I'm beginning to understand what she's been trying to explain all along. Thank you, allie, you are helping more people than you will ever know.

Sahar said...

Thank you for this post.

Unknown said...

Wow! This is amazingly spot on! I'm so glad you are still here to share this...you are awesome!

Inunah said...

Strange...I guess I have bouts of depression. What you described is perfectly me sometimes...

Simone said...

good to have you back.


Russell said...

The corn was insignificant. It meant nothing. It had no reason to be there, to exist. Yet you found it, or it found you. Why is that? If there is no cosmic reason for anything, shouldn't that corn have left you alone to cease to be on your own? Heck, shouldn't you have left it alone?
That corn should have been swept into the dustbin long ago to fulfill its destiny to be buried in a landfill. Yet it found its way to you.
I don't know what the hell this existence means, but if a tiny piece of corn can hang on to make a connection, there has to be something. Something you nor I nor that piece of corn yet understands.
I hope you frame that thing and make it a shrine. I will promise to make a pilgrimage to visit it and witness its powers.

Anonymous said...

I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT U MEAN BY THE CORN!!!!!! I CAN'T EXPLAIN IT TO ANYONE EITHER!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just had a sudden surprise-cry of joy/I-know-whacha-mean-girr when reading your last paragraph: "just as confused about why you are laughing as you have ever been about why you are depressed."

I don't know you, but to use the words of Latrice Royale; "what I do know of you, I love."

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that I have ever understood my own depression as well as I do right now. Ever since I started actually addressing it (and that includes the times I have accepted that I have been crippled by depression for as long as I can remember even the times that I thought forcing myself to smile alone in the car would release enough endorphins to help me dig my way out or when I would get horribly angry and defensive when the husband would suggest I may be depressed (I mean how dare he suggest such a thing, he just doesn't understand what its like to have a difficult baby, I'm tired and worn out not depressed) or when I finally realized that someone complimenting me actually made me feel nice rather than angry and question their sanity and therefore that forced me to tear myself apart from the inside out to put a balance back into the universe or when I realized that all of these times that I thought I was happy I was actually just so busy trying to appear happy or non empty that I just didn't notice how empty I was or every time I think I am doing better and then one day it hits me and I realize that I have been depressed for weeks yet again and the whole time I was too busy telling myself that I had it under control and that I needed to manage it some how for my children and the husband because they deserve better) ( I know that correct grammar and so forth gets your lady parts going, the husband is the same way, except exchange lady parts for man parts, but I am one long big ill constructed sentence and I think that my problems recalling what I did this morning beat down any attempt I have at remembering proper sentence structure, sorry bout that) I don't really remember exactly how this started and Phoebe (that's my phones name. Yes that's right. My phones name is Phoebe) is being finicky about letting me move to another spot in this and then letting me come back to the end again (oh, I see. She's mad about the grammar stuff too and getting her own version of revenge) but I have missed you. I want to be you (in the internet blogging sort of way not the wear your skin sort of way) but every time I think about it I think I will just be plagurizing you and the others I love to read and just don't (which is the way I have approached most things in life. Don't. Then you won't fail), although you are my favoritest, yes I know that's not a word, it can be a word once I add it into Phoebe's spell check log, because really isn't that how every word was ever invented, think about how much the being ( I was going to say guy, then I thought he could have stolen the idea from his wife or sister and got confused as to what term to use, then I remembered that I hate all that politically correct crap and wanted to rebel) was mocked who first insisting on using the word stick. You bring happiness to the world even when it stems from something so far beyond dark and disturbing that it has ceased to exist completely. When you find your shriveled corn nugget hold onto it for all its worth and one day you will get a chance to really actually completely feel happy again and even if that doesn't last for very long I believe that those moments no matter how far they have to come to meet you are worth all of the emptiness. At least that's what a little spark of me says when I randomly visualize my car careening over a cliff for no apparent reason and feel disturbingly disinterested in whether that would happen if I let go of the wheel. We love you.

MK said...

Depression sucks, I've had many friends and family suffer from it, experienced it a little myself. Glad to see a post from you again as me and my friends love your stuff! I wish you the best and may you find what you need!

Anonymous said...

I am crying because I loved someone who went through this and I feel like I finally understand what she was going through. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

My question to you is simply this: who is it that's feeling all of this? Who is it that's feeling bad vs. the who that is doing the berating? (depression pt. 1) And who is it that's feeling the irrational laughter of the corn? We all have internal voices but is it turtles all the way down?

Anonymous said...

Mine was a pea.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you found that corn.

Nan said...

Thank you so much for this post. I recently went through depression and so did one of my best friends. We both read your post and it made us laugh and cry. Thank you for sharing it with the world. I sent it to a friend that I feel still doesn't understand what I went through. ps: the fish metaphor is just right, SO RIGHT!

Bridget said...

Yay! My patience is rewarded by your return! The Universe feels more "Right" now!

Nan said...

Thank you so much for this post. I recently went through depression and so did one of my best friends. We both read your post and it made us laugh and cry. Thank you for sharing it with the world. I sent it to a friend that I feel still doesn't understand what I went through. ps: the fish metaphor is just right, SO RIGHT!

Nan said...

Thank you so much for this post. I recently went through depression and so did one of my best friends. We both read your post and it made us laugh and cry. Thank you for sharing it with the world. I sent it to a friend that I feel still doesn't understand what I went through. ps: the fish metaphor is just right, SO RIGHT!

Unknown said...

I am so sorry that you had to experience this too. I am so grateful that you posted an unvarnished depiction of what true depression feels like.

Joey said...

I have read all of your comics (sounds creepy, but hear me out) and there's always a little piece of the comics that I can relate to. I'm glad you're back, but I also know how it feels to not be able to feel real human emotion. I'm not going to say sorry, or that things will get better. But I hope they do for you.

kinnery said...

I'm so glad to hear from you again. Thank you so much for this post. I think the next time somebody asks me what it's like living with chronic depression, I will link them to this post, because it's all so accurate.

Except I've been clinically depressed for 12 years. And I'm only 20. And I still haven't found a piece of corn.

But I'll hold onto maybe-everything-isn't-hopeless-bullshit.

Also, for everyone out there who can relate to this topic, my friend writes a really amazing blog called Daisies and Bruises. It's about the art of living with depression. It's something I've found to be really helpful, so hopefully you'll find some help, or hope, or maybe-everything-isn't-hopeless-bullshitness in it too. You can find it here: daisiesandbruises.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this whole thing. I know exactly what you're talking about, but I thought--for some dumb reason--that it was just me. Knowing you've felt the same way I have been feeling and that it is getting better for you is really really uplifting and reassuring and makes me feel so much better. It's also an amazingly good way of describing depression to people who dont understand, and I'm going to show both parts to my boyfriend so that maybe he can get it a little better. Thank you so much and I'm really glad you're back :) You're a real inspiration to me

Haru Haru said...

This was so hilarious I cried several times, and I cried and my stomach hurt!! You've managed what I'm trying to do on my blog, being a bridge between those who are in it and those who don't understand. I'd love some feedback if you have the time! http://hharuharu.blogspot.no/

Shaun said...

Speaking as someone who finds shrivelled pieces of corn hilarious, I must say that you have perfectly captured what makes a shrivelled piece of corn hilarious.

Anonymous said...

A psychiatry resident thanks you for teaching me more about how to help people with depression. So sorry you have to go through this. Trying to make it better...one step, one bit of research at a time. One day...

Also, live your drawings and your old piece on the pain scale still puts me in tears it's so funny.

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This is equally heartwarming and heartwrenching, like the perfect amount of honey in my mustard. So many perfect analogies. The fish are very dead. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! No one else could have explained depression ANY BETTER than you have just done. Wow. Well, I'm glad things are looking up for you. Thanks for sharing about yourself & for coming back to us.

Charity Hardin said...

Oh, Allie. I am SO glad you're back.

Unknown said...

Definitely relate to you on this-- made me laugh quite a bit :) though for me this generally happens in shorter spurts but (thankfully) goes away every now and again making it much more tolerable. Pretty much every other facet is incredibly accurate.

That being said, i'm gonna be the annoying person who suggests something to help. But it isn't helpful in the conventional vacuous cinnamon buns and rainbows way of trying to cheer people up.

When the mood (or lack thereof) suits you, take a look at some translations of the Tao Te Jing, preferably one with some blurb of explanation (I'm a big fan of Dr. Wayne Dyer's audio version). I don't have the skill to explain it well, but generally the ideas in the verses have an enigmatic effect of mental stimulation (thinking about existence itself through paradoxes... whoa) as well as understanding what makes living worthwhile, while also understanding that the universe is... ultimately meaningless.

Taoism and zen buddhism aren't even really *meant* to help anyone. But they describe a state of existence that is so, and it paradoxically reinvigorates a sense of joy for me.

To anybody reading this, check out Wayne Dyer. And while you're at it, the late Alan Watts.

Unknown said...

You're the best thing on the internet. Love you. Glad to see you back.

Unknown said...

Honest, depressing, sad, refreshing. And beautiful.

(I think my piece of corn will be in a turd.)

Ash B. said...

The internet is complete again.



<3

Anonymous said...

Wow. How hauntingly familiar so much of that is.

Holly said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm crying at work, but I'm in a chair, not the floor, so it's a little bit of a step up. And the crying has an identifiable relationship to something that's happening, so that's great, too. I think I may be climbing out of my hole!

M.Yeager said...

I am glad you are back! I know that feeling of depression, I live it every day!

Anonymous said...

I love your humor. No one can make me laugh so hard I cry quite like you can. I'm so glad you are writing/drawing again. I went through post partum anxiety/depression from Nov 2011 through January 2013. My meds put me in the zombie-i-have-no-feeling mode. You hit the nail on the head with your description of depression and how people react to people with depression disorder. The corn!!! I totally get it. Thank you for putting this all out there, well done.

Anonymous said...

Got here via twitter. Fantastic. My corn moment involved a belt buckle, got everyone in the house see-sawing from laughing out loud to sheer fear..including me. It made no sense, still doesn't but after reading this almost does.

Nothing more to say but thank you and I wish you well :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

N said...

As someone who is (for the second time in my life) overwhelmingly depressed I can relate to quite a lot of this.

I can confirm that floor-crying is definitely a thing.

Talking to endless streams of doctors, psychiatric nurses, therapists, family members, etc, is a massive fucking unwanted ball ache.

Telling your family that you don't want to be alive any more and that considering how they would feel if you weren't alive isn't enough to make you feel like you still want to be alive is strange.

Having read this I can certainly say that it has made 15 minutes of the day go by. This is good because it means that in about 2 and half hours I can go back to sleep again and then after that I can try to stay asleep as long as possible again.

Then I can get up, not shower, not bother to eat anything and continue to try to pass the day. If I can be bothered to leave my room I'll probably go talk to my parents (my life has taken the awesome turn of not being capable of living by myself any more)so they feel like they're being helpful. Tomorrow is nice because I don't have to talk to anyone. On Saturday some one from the hospital is coming to talk to me about how I can improve my self esteem. I'm not hopeful.

Julie said...

I relate to this so much. Also, I need the picture of you in hate mode with your coffee on a mug, and so does my husband.

Anonymous said...

Hi allie :] So as a fellow person who deals with depression, if you ever get stuck back in that nothingness whole try checking out the philosophical view of existentialism. It 100% deals with the fact that absolutely nothing matters, at all, but the only way to fight it is to not give into the human condition aka death. I don't suggest reading up on it now because it is rather depressing but you know, if you get caught in that nothingness again.

So glad to see you back online btw! :] I think you made a mini boom in excitement on the internets.

Anonymous said...

Hi allie :] So as a fellow person who deals with depression, if you ever get stuck back in that nothingness whole try checking out the philosophical view of existentialism. It 100% deals with the fact that absolutely nothing matters, at all, but the only way to fight it is to not give into the human condition aka death. I don't suggest reading up on it now because it is rather depressing but you know, if you get caught in that nothingness again.

So glad to see you back online btw! :] I think you made a mini boom in excitement on the internets.

Mark Clarkson said...

I'm so happy to see you back. I promise you, I understand exactly what you're saying, and thanks for saying it all in a way I can show to people who don't get it.

Anonymous said...

This sounds so familiar. You've spoken my heart.

David on van island said...

On the nose, my despressionist peer. Thanks for expressing it your way and choosing to keep existing. Much stranger-love.

Alienate-o-tron seyz:
"shhhhhh it's okay, life is meaningless anyway"
Been there, been there. <3

Meg said...

This is exactly it. Thanks for being so open, honest, and brave. Reading your posts about depression and the comments from people with similar experiences has helped me feel a little less alone and broken. And thanks for the kick ass dead fish metaphor.

Anonymous said...

I TOTALLY SQUEE'D! Great to "see" you again. :D

Anonymous said...

I will never, never have to explain depression to anyone again. I will simply link them to this post.

If I could describe the experience with pictures and being funnier than I am, this would be what I would hope to come up with.

Thank you for coming back, and thank you for this. Bookmarked FOREVER.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaand this totally hits the nail on the head. Well, of course it does, because you've experienced it. But still.

So glad you're back - this blog made my 200-level History class not a complete waste of time. The Internet is a brighter, funnier place when you're here.

Anonymous said...

The best description of depression ever!

LaurB said...

I'm very happy you're back - as many, many people are.

I don't know you personally, but I'm proud you found your piece of corn under the refrigerator and resulting recovering solace. Some do not.

Madsci said...

Thank you. I was wondering if I was the only one.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back. Anything you feel or don't feel is okay. I'm a medical student and on my psychiatry rotation I thought of your posts a lot; you have an incredibly eloquent way of expressing emotions that so many people relate to. You are doing so much to make people more comfortable with mental illness in friends, family members, strangers, and ourselves, and that is a wonderful thing.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Ms. B. It's been a while. Yet another one of your thousands of anonymous fans has missed you.

I was in a place not too different from yours about a year ago and it wasn't until today that I realized just what had happened. (My piece of corn happened to have been a cartoon, but your story was 20% cooler.) I wouldn't have understood the moment of transition without reading that bit about the corn. Thank you for coming back.

sprite said...

I'm sorry that your fish are dead.

Sierra Mayer said...

Welcome back! I know how hard depression is. I went through it a little last year, but it was more stress related.
I was estatic to see that you were back. I've been waiting along with everyone else for this moment. Hopefully (heh heh...hope...) you will get all your emotions back soon.

Nancy said...

This was my life. Until last year, when I finally decided to seek help from a therapist and meds. Now I don't use either. And I'm on, what you can call, the 'right track'.

Thank you for explaining depression in a way that people (hopefully) understand. It's hard to try to explain to a person who's never been majorly depressed. They think things will get better. And you're absolutely right about the worst part. The worst part isn't the fact that you or I wanted to kill ourselves. The worst part is that you have to convince yourself each and every day that there's a point to living. It was horrible waking up every day, knowing that I would feel nothing and that there was no meaning to anything. Lying to yourself is the worst. Accepting nothing wasn't as bad. And what helped me get better was talking to someone who accepted my feelings. Someone who didn't tell me that things will get better.

And I don't even remember -- or even know for that matter -- what made me feel better. I know for sure it was my friends cracking a joke or I was watching a beautiful sunrise. It just happened. So I think you're better off than me. haha

Babbette said...

I am crying reading you because just knowing that you are out there feeling these things that I can never explain to anyone and trying very hard to make sense of this world, means I am not alone. I am not a single weird piece of shriveled up corn under someone's fridge. I am really in a sea of shriveled up pieces of corn and we are all trying. You should come out with a badge we can wear so when we see each other we can give each other a hug. And maybe say "Hey do you want to get a juice and talk or not but just sit with someone for a few minutes savoring the feeling of not being the weirdest person in the whole world for a couple of minutes". Thank you for saving my mind, my soul, and my ability to think about tomorrow without sobbing.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant. I can relate so well. Sounds like you were even more emotionally deaf than I was. I'm a teacher and would like to use this in class next time we happen to get ahead of schedule. Do you mind if I scrub out the swear words so as not to offend any of my little angels (and their helicopter parents)?

Johanna said...

Thank you. Thank you. You put into words what I haven't been able to in probably 30+ years dealing with depression. And you gave me insight that I didn't even understand in myself. You are really amazing. This is so what I need to explain things. Peace.

Sierra Mayer said...

Welcome back! I know how hard depression is. I went through it a little last year, but it was more stress related.
I was estatic to see that you were back. I've been waiting along with everyone else for this moment. Hopefully (heh heh...hope...) you will get all your emotions back soon.

Unknown said...

Welcome back commander

Nick said...

So far buddhism is working for me, It doesn't even require feels just understanding.
I wish I could hug you.

Anonymous said...

Allie, thanks for working so hard on this and sharing it with us! I loved the last drawing and it made me laugh, because I have been struggling with the same junk. Please keep doubting the wasteland never ends, as you brighten up all our wastelands!

Janet H said...

You totally nailed it with this one. People who haven't experienced depression just can't grasp how impossible it is to feel. I remember staring out the window at my mailbox and I just couldn't rally the energy to walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail. Other moms were loving the crap out of their kids and I was watching them like they were not-so-interesting insects. It was just a wet, grey woolen shroud that hung over me at all times. I faked it as best I could.

I am rooting for you girl. You are too brilliant and funny for all of us to live without. It is not all bullshit....a lot of it is but there are some awesome things too.

Dev said...

I think I sort of understand how what my old roommate was going through a year ago. And I now feel like a horrible human being because of it.

Anonymous said...

This is the best thing I have ever seen. I shared it with my friends.

Thank you so much.

volatile_hearts said...

I'm glad you're back. It's a long journey, one I'm still undergoing but it always helps to hear somebody else talk about it and know that they really understand what it was/is like.

But the way you phrased not wanting to live anymore... I went through the exact same thing. It was dramatic or flashy full of tears and anguish - just the feeling of I can't keep doing this anymore.

But the trying to explain it to loved ones, you actually said it perfectly in a slightly awkward way. No that trying to convince people that you don't want to kill yourself per se, you just don't want to live anymore is ever suave.

Thanks for posting this :) I look forward to the next installment.

Rachel said...

Here is another one of the bazillion comments telling you that you are awesome and we've missed you. But seriously, you're awesome and I've missed you.

I am sorry about the dead fish. When the fish are dead, as you know, there is really nothing anyone can say. But I am sorry your fish are dead, I still like you, AND...it is okay that the fish were dead. The fact that the fish died does not mean there is anything wrong with you, or that you are broken, or worthless, or any of that nonsense. Sometimes fish die. It's okay.

I can't promise you anything any more than you can promise us anything, and obviously I don't know you personally--but I do know you through your writing, which is often very personal. I know that you are intelligent, perceptive, and capable of finding humor in things that are horrible; in short, I know you're strong. So I have hope for you while you're trying to find it for yourself. I can't force it on you, and I don't want to, but I WILL keep it safe for you.

Take care of yourself, Allie. You're worth it.

pasha said...

When I was depressed, the only thing that came near to comforting me was telling myself that I was a sad person and I might be sad forever and ever and that my mission was to accept that. So I just said to myself, "your a sad person, and that's how it is, go on about your business as a sad person." Then, I felt a little tiny less sad.

Angie said...

This... This is so perfect.

Famousish said...

you just articulated so many things ive experienced in such a skillfully clear and concise way. you just made me wonder it it might not all be bullshit. thanks for a feeling that's something like hope

Anonymous said...

This honestly moved me in the way that a lot of great art does. Reflective, humorous, completely human. The internet has paused to pay attention to it. I can't imagine that anyone won't be able to relate to this.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of bullshit in life, but there's a lot that's not bullshit, too. I hope you find some of that. Lots of love, and welcome back.

Some random lady said...

By the time I saw the corn, I was crying. Then I started laughing.

You've communicated the corn.

Speaking as someone who's spent 30+ years battling these same problems...

It _can_ become not all bullshit anymore. But it takes a long time. It'll still be bullshit for a long, long, loooooong time.

Then one day you'll be sitting there, and you'll smile for no good reason. And it will be as weird as the corn. Maybe stranger.

I agree with 'bronze the corn', you'll want it. Hell, get any piece if you lost it and get it bronzed. You'll want it for that day in the future, so you can remember and laugh again (oddly, you will - I still laugh at M&Ms, for similar reasons).

Anonymous said...

Wow, big surprise, this post is as self absorbed and nauseating as the rest of what you write. I'm not surprised you got depressed, at all, because it's a selfish thing and you're an disgusting, self centered person.

Unknown said...

Sorry your fish died. I still like you. (I would put a smiley face here, but not sure I would get it right.)

-Alie Bear

Lydia said...

This is brilliant and powerful - just like you. Thank you for sharing with such pathos and humour and generosity what so many people with depression never know how to say. All the best of luck for nurturing some new fish. x

Laura Jean said...

You've been missed! I've read this comic 3 times already. I feel less alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're back, and I hope you'll feel hope or anything else soon! :)

Anonymous said...

I once laughed uncontrollably at how much some spinach artichoke dip tasted like pickles. I laughed for like 10 minutes straight. I couldn't explain it to anyone either...it just cracked me up. So I totally understand your corn-on-the-floor experience. Here's to more feels and funny randomness in the future!

Anonymous said...

I like lonely corn. It made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much what depression was like for me. Even the recovery was similar; I just realised that good stuff and bad stuff happens, and my expectations had been way too weighted towards good stuff happening.

Also, SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU BACK

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're back.

Unknown said...

I think the world is full of shriveled-up pieces of corn and they make me laugh hysterically, too. Not that it's ever been an actual shriveled up piece of corn in my case, but there have been similar things.

When things are at their worst, a good day is being able to get the mail out of the mail box. A good day during those times is feeling like each of my feet weighs 60 pounds, yet still somehow getting myself on the train and walking to my appointment with my therapist--through real and metaphorical wind, sleet, and snow--and afterwards spending an hour and a half in the bathroom lounge crying.

It took me a long time to be able to answer the question, 'but how do you feeeeeeel?'

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm so happy to see you post again. I was so worried about you after your first depression post and I missed you. May there be many more shrivelled corns for you. As many others, I've been in that place, too. I almost lost it when I saw the hate face, that was totally me for a long time. By now I got beyond the corn towards actually being able to love again. I'm wishing you all the best and look forward to more posts.

Scott said...

Wow!!!

I found your blog last weekend, and was both disappointed and sad to see that it had been defunct since 2011. The disappointment came from the fact that your posts were amusing and really resonated with me. The sadness came from the fact that your last post was about depression and what that likely implied about why you were no longer posting.

It's one year ago today that I went into hospital with a major episode of depression. Your return post hits the nail right on the head of what I was experiencing. Thank you for saying it, and illustrating it so well.

I don't want to clog up your comments with a whole lot about me. But, I do want to say thank you for doing what you do.

Anonymous said...

This brought tears to my eyes, you've managed to put into words something that I've felt for too long in my life and haven't been able to describe outside of my head, thank you!!
Glad you survived, RIP to those who weren't so lucky.

Unknown said...

EEEEEEEEEE - I love this........

Aaron said...

WB Allie. Sorry about all the dead fish.

Anonymous said...

*hugs* good job Allie, thanks for coming back

The Internet said...

Hi, Allie, I'm glad you're back!

Love,
The Internet

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love this!

Anonymous said...

Allie, I just wanted you to know, I get why the corn is so funny, and that I'm very glad you found it!

Aeryl

Louise Moony said...

I am dealing with this exact thing right now, and I have just reached the point of not wanting to exist anymore. (My doctors and friends are aware, and we're working on it.) This is the best, most accurate explanation of how insidious depression is and how it looks, to a depressed person, when other people react to us. Jesus, I want to mail this to everyone I know with THIS IS ME!!!! written on it in crayon.

I am so, so glad you're getting help, that things are changing for you. I wish you luck with the care and feeding of your depression.

Also, corn is fucking hilarious. Just saying.

Fluff said...

ALLIE!!! I'm so glad you're back! I'd been checking here every month to see if you'd started feeling better and were ready to post again, but to no avail. So happy to read your latest blog and and see that you may be getting back on track :) Keep posting, we love you xxx

Anonymous said...

thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most elegant and relateable narratives about depression that I've ever read. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

As someone who's been struggling with depression for years, this is one of the best descriptions of it that I've ever read. I don't want to wish you all the best or any platitude like that, because as you said that's bullshit, so let's just say that I hope there are more dumb little pieces of corn down the road.

Anonymous said...

A poem I wrote shortly after beginning antidepressants:

I wake up, and
the sun is shining and
the birds are singing.

Fucking Prozac.



(It did get better.)

This was utterly brilliant and I am so amazed that you were able to create it. I hope it's just the start for you.

Anonymous said...

i want to print this and give it to my dr. i couldnt have done this any better. thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am just so happy that you're alive. Also, very excited for the book, already have it pre-ordered.

Kai said...

...It's actually kind of...no, pretty damn painful how much I can identify with this. (Although I tend to look at it like this: Depression is a potato! And I'm trying to peel it WITH ANOTHER POTATO! And people go "Good lord woman what are you doing GET A PEELER" and then they hand me ANOTHER FRACKING POTATO. Quite apt, really.)

I'm very glad you found your corn, Allie. And if it means anything, that dumb little shriveled up piece of corn made me laugh like a hyena too.

Thank you for sharing the corn.

Jasry said...

I am glad you found the corn. So, so very glad. :-)

pantsofdeath said...

Thanks Allie, you describe depression so well, especially the inability of non depressed folk to understand. Hope you are back for good.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful -- and unique! It's like an elegant solution to a frustrating problem. Thanks.

Ashleigh said...

Thanks, Allie. I'm been going through something similar, and could completely relate to the bit about the dead fish and the suicide. I owe you a debt, because this post has helped my boyfriend better understand what my headspace is like (bless his heart, he needs funny pictures to understand things sometimes). All the best.

Unknown said...

If anything else, your self esteem has been restored with over 4000 comments in less than 24 hours.

As a side bar, you painted a great picture of what depression feels like. So many people don't understand anxiety or depression, as well as not wanting to live.

I'm a case worker and will share this with a couple of my clients. Thank you!

kmayhem said...

Thanks for explaining. Last year my husband was going through a rough depression... I thought I understood, but I think maybe- ummm not so much. Thank you. Oh and its super rad to have you back. We have missed you so!

ablecutegem said...

When I wanted to loose weight my mantra was: "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."
When I want to loose depression, I can't, but my mantra is: "Something great is waiting to be born."
Your post proves my depression mantra. It is great.

Launian said...

There's so much respect and admiration in me that I can't just express it with words, so I'll just say this: thank you for being a great role model. And giving some perspective on people's lives.

And, even tho this isn't over yet, congratulations for having the guts to go and seek help, and then actually get better. And, whatever comes next, remember you got at least one person waiting for you to give him more pieces of corn to laugh uncontrolably about, as you've done so many times. All the love, Allie.

Launian said...

There's so much respect and admiration in me that I can't just express it with words, so I'll just say this: thank you for being a great role model. And giving some perspective on people's lives.

And, even tho this isn't over yet, congratulations for having the guts to go and seek help, and then actually get better. And, whatever comes next, remember you got at least one person waiting for you to give him more pieces of corn to laugh uncontrolably about, as you've done so many times. All the love, Allie.

Rhys said...

I dunno. I thought the corn was funny, too, and I don't consider myself particularly depressed.

Your story made me feel a touch of empathy, however, and as I'm not very good at that, your story must be a good one.

Good luck with finding the corn in the bullshit.

Bryn said...

Depression is something I struggle with myself, so I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this piece. I've been in a similar boat myself and you've found a way to put into words and pictures some of the aspects of the condition that I've never been able to explain. I think I've had almost exactly the same experience like your "floorn" moment. New rule: I'm never sweeping under the fridge just in case I'm faced again with the existential chasm.

wordsurfer said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through this/are going through it and I'm so happy to have you back! I've loved your blog from the moment I first read it and I missed you.

isolefa said...

Heart you!

Miranda Hope said...

missed you~ so happy you're back xoxo <3

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