Sunday, September 30, 2012

Is Anyone Else Worried About Allie Brosch?

Who is that, you ask? And then, if you haven't read the title of this post, you're asking me, "Who is who, and what kind of opening sentence is that for a blog post? Please take more writing classes or I will be forced to start reading Lady Gaga tweets again, and I just can't go back to that place in my life, I can't!"

Ok, well first, calm down, we'll get through this together. All celebrity tweets are addictive, the most addictive of course is Steve Martin's. You can't help it. Steve Martin is the world's most brilliantly funny human. His last tweet was "Is the election this year or next year?" See! See! He's being silly because the election is SO obviously this year. And it's even funnier when I explain the joke.

But that's not why I'm writing tonight. I am writing because Allie Brosch, writer of Hyperbole And a Half has not posted anything for about a year and the last thing she wrote was about depression. This woman is so funny that it should be against the laws of perpetual entertainment for her to stop writing. And drawing. I love her drawings so much that, for a while, this was my Facebook profile picture:

I know that I've never posted a picture of myself here, but you'll have to trust me that this is exactly what I look like when I get the impulse to clean. My cleaning cycle happens in mad bursts where I run around with a broom, shaking my stick arms, with my googly eyes popping out. Allie might not have realized that she was drawing me, I'm sure that she thinks she was drawing herself, but I recognized it and I've kept up with her blog ever since to see how I'm doing.

I haven't had any update lately though. Maybe I should do some internet stalking - I mean, google research. (15 minutes later) Ok, I found her. Sorta. She answered a question on and the question was, "Does anybody know what's happening with Allie Brosch?" And she has, indeed, been suffering from depression, but that update was from six months ago. I've wondered from time to time when I read her stuff if she suffered from depression and insecurity. The first thing I'd think was, "How could she possibly feel bad about herself? She's got over 50,000 followers. How could she think she sucks when she's so talented and makes so many people laugh?" But I know that shameful feeling, the feeling of disliking yourself not because you are a bad person but just because you ARE, and it's so hard to shake. Nothing on the outside can cure it, it's all inside stuff and it can shade everything in your life if left untreated.

I just finished reading Bird By Bird, by Anne Lamott, and one of my favorite things that she about success as a writer was this, "the realtionship between getting published and mental health was summed up in one line of the movie Cool Runnings which is about the first Jamaican bobsled team. The coach is a four-hundred pound man who had won a gold metal  in Olympc bobsledding twenty years before but has been a complete loser ever since. The men on his team are desperate to win an Olympic medal, just as half the people in my [writing] classes are desperate to get published. But the coach says, 'If you're not enough before the gold metal, you won't be enough with it.' You may want to tape this to the wall near your desk.'"

I forget that just because a person is successful doesn't mean that they don't get insecure about themselves or their work, just like I do. I have 27 followers so if I don't write for a while, that means about a handful of poeple will be disappointed, whereas, the suffering of Allie Brosch has affected thousands of people, and caused me to internet stalk her to make she she's alright which I never NEVER do, unless I'm really worried about someone or unless they said that they were going to call me and they didn't or when it's Steve Martin and he's Tweeted something about going shoe shopping and I suspect that it might be the Payless near my house, then MAYBE I might do some web snooping but other than that I'm a typically well-adjusted non-obsessed person.

Hmm, reading back over this I don't sound all that considered about her as a person, just as someone's whose writing makes me laugh. It's ok, Allie! Take all the time you need to heal yourself! What you're dealing with is something that's not you're fault and is really REALLY hard to fight but you can do it! I'm ok, I've got backup, I can reread my Bloom County collection, and I can follow Ellen Degeneres for good measure...

But wait...Bloom County...That cartoonist hasn't come out with anything in years. Is anyone else worried about Berke Breathed?

ps- I also just found this which I thought was a good, both as an update on Allie Brosch and about depression.


A.J. said...

"Clean ALL the things!" - I like that! What am I saying? I LOVE that! It is my mantra in life. This may be you during your cleaning sprees, but this is me ALL THE TIME. I especially like the little dot of a fist pumping itself out of sheer determination. Here's to Allie Brosch - many prayers and much love to her.

Genevieve said...

Indeed, prayers and love to Allie, and to cleaning all the things.

Tom Harold said...

I love Allie! And I'm not at all surprised to hear this about her having read about her past issues with hyperactivity and the like. Just because things look good on the outside doesn't mean we fell the same on the inside. Love her comments about a person with no arms punching themselves until they grow back. Great analogy!

Genevieve said...

I know, I love that description of fighting depression. It's so frighteningly...descript. I can't think of words. Accurate! That's it! Accurate. Ok, I feel better about myself.

Christy said...

I haven't read the link you were nice enough to provide, but I assumed she was taking a hiatus from her blog to work on her book. Is she not doing that? I miss her too. I hope she's alright.

Megan said...

I have been worried about her since she posted about her depression. :(

Genevieve said...

Yeah, me too, Megan. Hopefully she's just really involved in her book.