Thursday, May 16, 2013

Allie Brosh and having it all

You probably don't know who Allie Brosh is. I discovered her a few years ago, through her blog "Hyperbole and a Half." Here's a piece about her dog: Dog. I laugh at loud at her stories. They get me every time. I consider her a story-teller rather than a cartoonist. A while back, I heard she got a book deal, I was so happy for her. Shortly after this announcement, the blog postings more or less disappeared, but that wasn't a surprise. No doubt she was working on that book.

Except that wasn't the case. Allie Brosh was dealing with her depression. Or at least trying. She's posted again recently, and she tries to explain what was happening. It's heartbreaking and real and amazing. If you know someone who has struggled with depression, you must read about it: Depression.

When I read about it, I feel sad and helpless. I am the person who wants to fix things, and she explains how depression is so hard because you can't just "fix" it. I think about the people I know who struggle with depression (and the people who are struggling that I don't even know about), and I hate knowing that this is what they are going through. I hate that there is nothing I can say or do to help. I'm embarrassed to think that I am powerful enough to break through something like this, but I also hate that there are people I love that I couldn't break through to. We want to protect and help the people we love, and I hate seeing that I can't do that.

I think about someone like Allie Brosh. I don't know her, but I know she's talented. I know she has an amazing heart and that she's incredibly gifted. I know she's funny and sweet. And with all of this, she's struggling. How could this be? How does something like this happen? I want to shout that it simply isn't fair! It isn't right. If someone with so much talent and a book deal can be depressed, what about the rest of us? But that's kind of the point: there's no logic to it. It just happens, and you hope that you can deal with it, but there's no vaccine or magic or trick to keep it away.

I hope she's okay. I hope the people I know who struggle with depression are okay (better than okay) as well. I wish I could fix them, but all I can do is try to understand. I hope it's enough.

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