Happy end of the summer, GoComicers! With the turn of the leaves, we can see the dwindling light at the end of the beach and BBQ tunnel, making way for the shorter, darker and somewhat dreaded days of winter.
With most proclaiming their love for the fall foliage, crisp air and spiced beer that accompany Autumn, there are those of us who find it difficult to function. The loss of daylight hours, coupled with the thought of the impending winter months can bring an already fragile psyche down into Oscar the Grouch-level dumps. Call it what you will: depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder... Laziness. It’s a real thing, happening to real (and now fake) people.
Allow me to ‘splain…
Usually, when I find myself slipping into that dark place of deep depression, I slide further beneath my covers, cry at the sun, howl at the moon and shake my fist at daytime TV. This could last for days, weeks or even months. However, the unfortunate reality is that I have work to do, deadlines to miss and dogs to pet. With that in mind, I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to cope, or at the very least, get through the day without blubbering over the latest TV commercial featuring celebrity puppies and/or stray puppies in need and/or celebrity puppies helping stray puppies in need.
This year, when the crippling anvil of depression hit, I remembered that old pearl of wisdom for the ever-struggling writer, “Write what you know.” Okay, well, I know I can’t find the motivation to brush my own teeth, bathe or get out of my pajamas. I know that I’m considering allowing my hair to grow for one year, just to see if I can fashion hair-cup holders for each side of my head. I know that I can’t remember why it’s important to eat…
So, with these irrational thoughts in full exercise, I decided to project through a week of THE ELDERBERRIES comic. The story unfolding this week is that Dusty Winter’s best friend, Boone, falls into a cycle of complete and total “meh”. While Boone tries to find the reason for his sudden lack of interest in all things human, Dusty and friends attempt to snap him out of it anyway they can, including pie.
Hopefully, the exercise helps ME climb out of my dark hole, while simultaneously providing good material for my paying job. I’ll let you know if it all works out next week.
*On a personal and serious note, clinical depression is a very real and sometimes dangerous thing. My own struggles with life and overcoming feelings of massive inertia, while hardly trivial, have not reached the depths of what some people can experience when deeply depressed. My success in keeping out the very dark depths can be attributed to a great circle of close friends, an understanding wife and a competent and helpful therapist. My reading and understanding of the causes and remedies for depression have helped in my awareness of what’s happening to me when I get depressed and how to deal with it, before it becomes overwhelming.
If you get depressed, or you have friends that seem to suffer from depression and it seems like there’s no hope, please seek proper treatment from a professional. I absolutely can’t stand feeling the way I feel when I’m depressed, but because I sought help, I now know there’s a way out and a way to feel better again.
Remember: The most important things in life involve laughter. And comics. Especially my comics.
Words, Harpoon Winter Warmer Ale and leaf peepers,