After I made that last blog post, I realized that I didn’t give a single reason why it was important to depression comix. Unfortunately it’s too late to fix that post but I can talk about it in a second post.
There are two reasons. One, is that hopefully it helps one understand why in general, the comic is not terribly flattering of the non-depressed people in the comic. There have been people who have made this criticism, and I suspect that they are viewing it from the perspective that the comic is written by a depressed person with a real vendetta against people’s ignorance about the disease, painting them as cruel, flippant, and completely dense about how the disease cripples people. Specifically, the blonde turtlenecked character who appears in many of the comics (or as I like to call her, satellite character #1).
But the honest truth is, that character is me.
That woman is the me who got pissed off because my friend couldn’t meet me because she was depressed. The me that tends to be less than sympathetic when I talk to a depressed friend and they don’t seem to be willing to do anything to help their situation. The me that said all those cliches, the me that didn’t understand, and didn’t try too because I could only see things from my perspective.
So that’s what the Zoe story reminds me, that I can be a very shitty person. For me to draw it is to acknowledge this, and to show it as something that is not right and needs to be worked on.
The second reason is to remind me that depression comes in many forms, and that my own personal feelings aren’t representative of everyone. That’s one reason why so many different characters appear to make that point. My depression was different from Zoe’s. In my depression, I was scared to be alone with my own thoughts. In her’s, she had times where she needed to be because she could not find the will to be with other people. What I thought was best for her wasn’t, and I messed up because of my arrogance.
This is one reason why I am so adamant about leaving people who express their depression online alone. A lot of these people get called out, being told they don’t have depression or that they’re faking or romantcizing it. The thing is, we all have our ways of expressing how we feel, and it’s not our place to judge or tell others how they feel or what they should be doing. To me, this is no better than that final phone call where I told Zoe that she was wrong and I knew better. A lot of arrogance there and only sadly in retrospect do I see that.
Let everyone express themselves. Ours is not the Only True Correct Way to express our feelings.
Those two reasons are the main reasons this story is important to me. It received a lot of likes on Tumblr and Facebook and I am grateful, because it means it’s okay to open up a little more. Thank you for this.