Maybe Everything Isn’t Hopeless Bullshit

Hyperbole and a Half

If you don’t know Allie Brosh and her blog Hyperbole and a Half yet, take some minutes (or hours) and brace yourself. It was about two or three years ago that I came across Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts, Like Moving. To describe this story as very funny would be quite an understatement. I was actually hysterically laughing tears for a full fifteen minutes. The same with Wolves. Or any of the other tales, artistically illustrated with MS Paint, about Allie’s childhood, her dogs or her everyday life observations. Not surprisingly, Hyperbole and a Half was incredibly successful back then already (at this moment, she has almost 355.000 fans on Facebook alone as well as an internet meme to her name) and it seemed only logical when she announced that she was writing her first book in spring 2011.

But after the book announcement Allie fell silent for several months. The book wasn’t the (only) reason for that, though; eventually, the tellingly entitled post Adventures in Depression was published on the blog. The fans were worried, of course, but also relieved that Allie seemed to be doing better again. Except that the subsequent break was to take a lot longer than the first one: save for a short message (on Reddit) there wasn’t a sign of life by Allie for one and a half years.

That’s why fans were completely surprised and elated when Allie’s book Hyperbole and a Half unexpectedly appeared on Amazon last month – to be published this coming October. She’s still alive! And by now, there’s a new blog post as well: Depression Part Two. In it, she doesn’t just describe what has happened since the first part (and how she’s doing now – hint: see the picture above), but she also describes the debilitating disorder that is depression itself.
For me the remarkable aspect of Allie’s story isn’t so much that even very funny, laid-back people can become depressed, that it can happen to truly everyone (I mean, doh!), but rather that Allie’s depictions of her depression work so well despite her typically weird humor and her kid-like drawings – or maybe they work specifically because of that. Allie has the talent to describe things just how they are but without overly dramatizing them. It is what the issue depression needs to make an open, objective and at the same time sensitive approach to it possible.

But even though I admire her way of describing her depression, of course I hope for Allie to be completely out of the woods by now so that she can focus on her childhood memories and her dogs again.

Simple Dog


Images © Allie Brosh/Hyperbole and a Half

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