Tag Archives: Allie Brosh

Read All the Things! Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half Book

Even if you've read her blog, buy her book. Image: Touchstone

Even if you’ve read her blog, buy her book. Image: Touchstone

It’s not too often that you read something knowing how awesome it’ll be before you read it. But I knew that when I recently got the Hyperbole and a Half book by Allie Brosh that I’d love it. (I had pre-ordered it months earlier.) I’ve read Allie’s blog for years, and so I already knew most of what was in the book. But re-reading it, especially now that I’m with Rory, it was full of extra significance.

The physical book itself is a great format. It’s paperback, but the pages are very heavy, and the colors are vibrant, just like on her blog by the same name. The stories are all in a different order from on her blog, but probably arranged that way on purpose (or not—knowing Allie, you never know). The book jumps into action with a section on her childhood. She was an unusual kid, and she knows it. And anyone reading the book who hasn’t read her blog now knows it.

Dogs are a theme throughout, starting with that first story, as is—of course—depression. The past couple of years have found us mostly without anything new to read on Allie’s blog. She went through a significant bout of depression, including feeling suicidal. She wrote about it a bit a while back, and then more recently wrote a Part 2 to that first post. Both were amazing, and likely extremely triggering to people in a delicate frame of mind.

Now, I haven’t ever been suicidal, or significantly depressed for an extended period of time. But I have been depressed to the point—on more than one occasion—where I found no joy in life or the people I loved, didn’t enjoy the things I usually did, didn’t care about anything. My depression spanned weeks or months, rather than years, but I found that Allie was able to put into words many of the feelings I had felt at the time.

While the Hyperbole and a Half book is filled with real life challenges such as these, it’s also filled with hilarious, laugh your ass off, can’t stop crying you’re laughing so hard stories. “Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving” made me laugh almost continuously. Some of the stories in the book I hadn’t read, though I’m not sure if that’s because I somehow missed them on her blog, or if they were new. (I really should look that up, but fuck it. I’m too lazy.)

Hyperbole and a Half is a freaking fantastic book that I recommend to just about anyone, definitely not just those with mental illness. Allie is an amazing and funny creature, and you should support her and buy her book. Or if you’re feeling poor, just go read her blog. Also, follow her on Twitter.

P.S. I wrote about Allie on here before. Check out that post, too.

Non-Manic Frenzies

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter that I’m not manic. I’ve been dealing with it for so long, some of the behaviors are just, well, habits. It really sucks, because there’s nothing my meds can do to fix this stuff. It can only come with therapy, and behavioral awareness. It will take time, but I can do it. The real bitch of it is that sometimes, I make these super ambitious plans that are totally not realistic. It’s not that I’m manic, and I think I can actually finish them on time. It’s that I think I should have big goals, because I always have big goals. I then have to follow through on them. And, I’m kind of terrible at that part.

Image from memegenerator.net

Image from memegenerator.net

Right now, I’ve got sewing projects, embroidery projects, doll making projects, you name it. On top of that, I’ve scheduled a group cooking session, and I have dance lessons this afternoon. Oy. I keep myself busy! Oh, and did I mention, I have to have the sewing project done by Friday morning? Yeah, that’s not super likely to happen. So, my only choice is to sit back, take a deep breath, and re-prioritize. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

We will see what I get done this week. It may all work out. Then again, I just remembered that I have to pack for a trip this weekend. So yeah, that sewing project isn’t getting done. Oh well. Good thing I didn’t promise anyone that it would be done. Or, you know, that I was going to do it at all. /yay.

So, What I do about this is look into my own brain. I think about things like “are my thoughts racing?” or “Do I feel invincible?”. This lets me think critically about why I am doing something, and I can view the current project with a more critical eye. This allows me to consider more realistic options, and form realistic goals. Yes, it’s exhausting, but it’s totally worth it. We will see what I can get done this week. Maybe I will surprise myself. If I do, it will be because I have lowered my expectations for the week to more manageable levels.

Thanks for listening, dear reader. Carry on.

Allie Brosh and Depression

Image copyright Allie Brosh, but I thought it might be fair use because this is the image she shared when she shared today's post. Please don't sue.

Image copyright Allie Brosh, but I thought it might be fair use because this is the image she shared when she shared today’s post. Please don’t sue.

Years ago, I discovered the hilarious wonder that is Allie Brosh and her blog, Hyperbole and a Half. On a regular basis, I got to enjoy her brand of ridiculousness (“Clean ALL the things!”). I knew she battled depression, but she seemed to manage it at least to a level of being a functional adult. But then she disappeared. Not literally, but internet-wise. No more posts. She wasn’t commenting on other blogs. People who knew her only through the internet were worried and didn’t know how she was doing. She had posted a blog entry entitled “Adventures in Depression,” so most people knew she was spending her time trying to take care of herself rather than entertain the masses. But we still worried.

A year and a half later, yesterday, she resurfaced, posting a preliminary “hey I’m back” post called “Pre-Post Transition Post.” It was a heads up that she would have a longer post with more content today. Her sense of humor was in full force for this one (yay airplanes!), and I got very anxious to read today’s post, which was supposed to explain where she’s been.

Yup. Today’s post, “Depression Part Two,” explained it. She was exactly where I thought she was, coping with life, being depressed. I’ve been fortunate enough that my few bouts with depression were comparatively short lived (weeks or months). But Allie’s been dealing with a long, more dangerous round of it. Not just to the “I don’t care about anything” and “I don’t know how to have emotions anymore” points, but to the point of wanting to die.

This brought me back to the days before we checked Rory into the hospital earlier this year. Fortunately, he managed to communicate just enough to me to help get him to the hospital before he did anything. And I’m pretty sure it was very difficult for him to tell me (actually, I know it was, because he was much farther down that path than he had originally communicated to me—I learned in the hospital that he’d made several plans already, and he had shared more of his darker thoughts). But I’m very glad he did. It looks like Allie, too, managed to muster the courage to tell people, and to get herself to a doctor. And she is now finally at the point where she could put something together for her blog, for us, and I’m guessing mostly herself.

So many people out there live with depression every day. It’s a particularly difficult challenge because it’s hard or impossible for other people to do anything to help. But I’m glad she went to the doctor, and subsequently found her shriveled piece of corn.

Read Allie’s book, also called Hyperbole and a Half. It will make you laugh, cry, and nod sagely.