Writer Spotlight: Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half

Those of us who suffer from depression can never have too many allies in the psychological war. Sometimes, though, we also need pictures. Let’s face it, life is better with visual aids, especially when they involve well meaning but mentally challenged dogs and humans that remind me of sharks. If these visual aids can make me laugh out loud, then I think that’s:

Allie Brosh: 1
Depression: 0

Allie Brosh is the mastermind behind and illustrator of the blog Hyperbole and a Half. The blog resonated with so many people that at the end of 2013 she published a book entitled Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened. I’ve been doing some serious thinking, and I’ve decided that you need to purchase this book. Right now. Go buy it and read it so we can talk about it.

I’ll continue spotlighting her while you go do that, though. Allie Brosh, in addition to writing and illustrating stories about the simplicity and predictability of her dogs (universal themes for dog owners everywhere), writes about depression in the most hilarious honest way possible. When I read any of her posts about her depression I am so thankful that she is writing! I’m never thankful that any of us has to fight with this monster, but I am thankful that Allie Brosh is willing to write about her experience.

It doesn’t hurt that she illustrates her narratives with simple yet spot-on pictures.  For example, a picture of Allie Brosh’s depression:


So simple and and yet poignant.  These little illustrations are extensions of her story and expressions of a feeling we can all name and empathize with.

Also because I am a dog owner/lover, I love when she illustrates dog thoughts:


I can look at my own dogs at any given time and see them thinking these exact thoughts.  In fact, this picture is from the first Hyperbole and a Half blog post I ever read. This is the post that hooked me, back when I only knew she was hilarious, not that she was hilarious and wrote about depression. She’s my kinda gal.

The more of us there are, giving our respective depression and anxiety experiences a voice, the less power these diseases can have over us. The shame associated with our mental illness dies a little more every time we talk about it. Did you know that? So why wouldn’t we keep talking? Keep telling your stories, and drawing pictures of dogs and people that look like they have shark fins, Allie Brosh. We are listening and laughing/crying with you and supporting you from wherever we are!

So I assume you all have had enough time to buy the book now? Let me know when you’ve finished reading it so we can discuss it.


About Allison Anarchy

I write because I have to
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