Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh, was my only read-a-thon book that wasn’t strictly a re-read. But I’m familiar with her blog, and I’d flipped through her book a bit before giving my mom a copy for Christmas, so I felt I could make an exception.
This time I read it cover to cover. Except… I skipped over her chapters on depression. I knew them from her blog, and I really didn’t feel like a sob fest in the middle of my read-a-thon. It would be a sob fest interrupted by bursts of laughter every few seconds, but still not what I wanted.
Instead, I went back the next day and read them. While sleep deprived. Because that obviously made it easier to keep my emotions in check.
She just nails it. Granted, not everyone experiences depression in exactly the same way. But even the parts of her story that don’t mirror my own are so honest, I can’t help but feel them. And in Part Two, when she talks about interacting with others who don’t really understand what depression is… it’s absolutely brilliant.
And I’ve read so many stories about the effect that comic has had, not just on people who struggle with depression, but on their friends and families too. Her words (and pictures!) have opened so many dialogs, it’s incredible.
These stories have to be told, because the more we share, the more others have the opportunity to understand. (“No, see, that solution is for a different problem than the one I have…”)
Maybe someday I’ll share some of my own experiences. But for now, if you haven’t yet, read Allie’s.
(And don’t feel like a terrible person if you laugh the whole way through. You might feel like you shouldn’t, but that’s all part of her brilliance.)