My parts of the internet are all talking a lot about [this post], which if you haven’t read, please do so. It is required reading for the rest of this post.
Not that you have to read my post.
Thousands of people are having “I cried” and “I so identify with that” reactions to her wonderful, insightful, honest post. That’s awesome. Being depressed feels alone, and knowing we’re not is good. I mostly laughed when I read it yesterday (today I cried a little). Like when you watch a movie and some tragedy is presented in a quasi-humorous fashion, laughing is an acknowledgement of your discomfort with the events even though it is inappropriate/incorrect from the standpoint of “what normal human empathy requires.”
I am justifying my reactions, explaining why I had them. That is how I interact with you, reader. That’s what normal people do, right? Smile in the right places. 😀
Two things stood out the most to me in the post. First, the lying on the floor of a room crying. God, lying on a floor, my old frenemy. When one finds oneself sitting on a floor weeping uncontrollably because everything is empty, and horribly clean, and the only thing one can feel or remember feeling or picture feeling ever again is vague-grey-bad, then it means there is something very wrong.
Last time I had that, I was on a cruise in Alaska with family. I couldn’t stop crying. I sat there for an unknowable amount of time, weeping, scaring my husband. I didn’t want to die, but I did want to be erased and not be there and not hurt anyone anymore with my stupid existing. Other than that, the cruise was lots of fun, but my memory of shouting at myself inside my head to shut up and put clothes on and go eat dinner without a blotchy face and for fuck’s sake act normal is just as vivid as my memory of biking to a glacier and taking chilly pictures of it.
I don’t tell that story about the Alaska cruise very often because I am deeply ashamed of it. I was ashamed when it was happening, that I wasn’t properly enjoying the vacation, and I still feel ashamed of it now, because it feels raw and gross, and writing about it feels like attention-seeking and is self-indulgent.*
Okay, here’s the second thing that stood out to me: the self-portraits. Oh. My. God. I’ve recently been interested in [Frida Kahlo], and her [gruesome depictions] of [self-perception] are what I was reminded of when I looked at the curled, cringing pink narrator. Where Frida is serenely bloody, Allie Brosh is dead-eyed and grumpy. I love them both.
They show me what it looks like to feel like they do, and that makes me feel like I can face looking at myself.
* Note for commenters: I know. Please don’t tell me not to feel ashamed, or that I don’t have to, or whatever. I’m just sharing, okay? Roll with it.