I got better

“Is everything okay?” Anne asked me. She sat at our counter, and I stood on the other side, next to the microwave, watching my bowl of soup slowly turn around inside it.”

“No, it’s not,” I said, “I’m having a terrible day, and I know it’s because my brain is fucked up and I know it’s going to eventually get better but right now I just want to fucking scream because I feel irritable and anxious and overwhelmed and I know that there’s no logical reason to feel any of these things, but I also know that it’s my fucked up broken brain and I can’t do anything about it so I feel helpless and angry.”

I am, as you can tell, the master of the run on sentence.

“I’m trying really hard not to blow up at you for something you didn’t do, or yell at the dogs for barking, or just freaking out at everything … but it is really fucking hard and I’m just sick of this shit.”

The microwave beeped and I reached in to take the soup out.

“OUCH GODDAMMIT MOTHER FUCKER SHIT COCK FUCK SHIT FUCK!” I shouted, which is “Wil’s having a bad depression day” for “This bowl is very hot and I should have used something to protect my hands before I touched it.”

I yanked my hands out of the microwave, and took several deep breaths. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m really struggling today.”

“It’s okay,” she said.

“It’s not okay, but I appreciate you being patient with me.” I thought about the years — at least a decade — we were together before I got help for my depression. I thought about all the years that Anne and our kids had to deal with me freaking out at stupid things for no rational reason. I felt guilty, like I always do, even though I know that it wasn’t my fault.

I got a hot pad, and took my soup out. I waited several minutes for it to cool off, and I ate it. It was delicious.

Anne went to bed a little earlier than I did, and Seamus was snuggled up next to her when I got into bed. I slept soundly through the night, and woke up to Marlowe’s little puppy face just a few inches from mine. I kind of love it that she gets it into her head between 930 and 10 every morning that it’s time for me to get out of bed, so I get to wake up to a happy puppy every morning.

I pet her little face, and took a sort of emotional inventory. I noticed that all my systems were running normally, and the Very Bad No Good Day of Depression had passed. I felt as close to normal as I can feel, which is probably about 97% of normal (but who really wants to be completely normal anyway? Normal is boring.)

I got out of bed, made some coffee and oatmeal, and started my day. A few hours later, I went to a very important meeting. I can’t talk about the meeting I had, but it’s for something I love, something I’m super excited and proud to be part of, and something I hope I can talk about soon. The meeting could not have gone better, and as I walked to my car after it was finished, I was grateful for the incredible creative team I’m working with, and excited for our future together.

So I got better, and that’s the reason I’m putting these words down right now. I have depression, but depression doesn’t have me. I have bad days, I have really terrible days, and I have MMMMMARRAAAHHH days, like I did yesterday. Those days suck, but they always pass, and knowing why they happen, even if I can’t control them, gives me a great deal of comfort on the truly awful days.

If you’d told me yesterday, when I was at the nadir of my MMMMMARRAAAHHH that I would spend significant time today sitting in a room with people I like, alternately laughing my ass off and marveling at how clever and creative they are, I probably would have told you to stop being mean to me, because there was no way I’d ever be happy again.

And yet.

Thank you, hundreds-of-thousands-of-people-I’ve-never-met, for being kind to me when I was having a really MMMMMARRAAAHHH day. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

247 thoughts on “I got better”

  1. I’ve been to write this to Wil for awhile.

    A few weeks ago, my husband gently suggested I get some help for my depression. I’ve been treated for it in the past, and in my head, I was “all better” since I was no longer planning my suicide or self-harming or getting drunk 3 nights a week.

    I set up an appointment with the local mental health nurse. We talked for an hour and everything spilled out to her. Stuff I had never told my husband, like how resentful I felt towards him and our 2 children sometimes, how I often wondered what would happen if I stopped existing, how lonely and isolated I was, how sometimes I start eating and I can’t stop. I cried like I haven’t in a long time. She listened; she didn’t judge, just called my doctor and set up an appointment for me get a prescription for medication.

    I was a couple days away from my doctor’s appointment and in a really dark place. I asked my husband to help me put the kids to bed and afterwards, would he maybe like to play Last Night on Earth? He agreed, we put the kids to bed, I put on a pot of tea and set up the board. After a little bit of rules confusion, we got going. I’m not going to say it made everything better, but playing that game with my husband nudged the door open enough to let the light in, at least for a few hours. We finished the game, then decided to play a game of Cthulhu Fluxx, then a second. After that game, I sat outside, breathing the cold Prairie air and decided that I would be all right.

    I’m on my third day of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. I’m not all better, but I have a little bit of hope.

    Thanks Wil. For Tabletop, for getting my husband and I playing games again, and for entries like these that remind me I’m not alone.

  2. Wil,

    I sit at my computer having read this powerful article my eyes filling up with tears.

    11 years ago when I was bumbling through high school as a wore-it-on-my-sleeve nerd (who had also yet to admit to himself he was a big ‘mo) I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II. It’s a crap condition let there be no doubt. First of all you get those dark days of hopelessness and worthlessness in the depression. But you also swing into the realms of OCD perfectionism, everyone’s best friend, insomniatic natural SUGAR high with the hypomania. But wait, there’s more! The worst part is that because it’s the more subtle of the two Bipolar Disorders, most people don’t notice it, and you can hide it from most of the world. The flip side of it is trying to show people that you really do have a condition that makes life that extra bit harder. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what I have, monitor how I feel, and plan how I’m going to get through the day. Entire weeks are wasted when I’m too low to leave the house. But I know the only thing that will bring an end to the crushing overwhelmingness of everyday life is time. I will eventually swing back up and be fine. Or in the case of hypomania, too fine. Overly fine. PERFECTLY FINE.

    And yet over the last year or so, there’s one thing that I have found solace in. Something I can use to distract myself from that monster wait to rear it’s ugly head once more. Can you guess it Wil? Yep, Board Games! Playing them 3, 4 times a week, buying them, opening up a new box and punching out all those chits from the sprues (it’s like crack Wil), organizing the contents for maximum set-up efficiency, teaching my new games to friends, watching them lose inevitably the first time but seeing them smack me down with amazing strategies each subsequent time, the pride of seeing them “get” and enjoy and love these games I introduced. Hundreds of hours of researching on BGG. Hundreds of hours of video reviews on YouTube, waiting anxiously every fortnight for a new episode of TableTop or else screaming at my computer screen like an irate monkey when you guys take an episode off. This is what gets me through my ups and downs. My weekly game nights are what keep me looking to the future and not to my often dark present. Everyone needs something to help them keep on keeping on, and I have many wonderful people in my life to remind me of that. But having a hobby to be so passionate about, to love, to share, that makes the hard days so much easier to bear.

    Thank you with all my heart for sharing your story. It’s good to know there’s someone out there I respect to share my MMMMMRRRRRAAAAAHHHHHHHs with.


  3. Must have been going around. I had a quick-fast dip downwards yesterday too. Fine today. I wonder if there is something equivalent to panic attacks for depressives?

  4. I was listening to a song by Vienna Teng the other day, while I was sitting on the couch trying to push myself into going up to bed. It was a song I only just found out about a week ago, and while I was listening to it, I heard a lyric I hadn’t noticed before. The lyric was this: “Somewhere, my lifeline/still hums and sings/in the midst of all I’ve thrown away.” And when I heard it, I thought to myself, “If there’s a better description of what it feels like to recover from depression, I haven’t heard it.” I nearly cried.

    I’ve been to that place. I’ve never felt like I was suicidal, but I remember around Easter, I had been depressed for such a long stretch of time that I felt like I had to either get better, or I was going to do something that would make it a lot worse. If you asked me how I pulled myself through, I couldn’t tell you even now. All I know is I have fewer bad days than good now, and maybe that’s just because things in my life are more stable. But that lyric- that’s exactly what it feels like for me. Discovering that somewhere in that darkness, despite depression wreaking havoc on me and my life, I was still alive underneath.

    The song is Vienna Teng’s “Good Night, New York,” if you want to listen to it.

  5. Some emotions just have to be ridden out, washed out in the busy everything going on around us. I take a deep breath, let is melt, knowing by age and experience that it is a single drop of rain only, and wait. At some point something awesome happens out on the periphery and you just grab hold of it, that something exciting and new, and you ride it out of that nasty feeling. You leave the yuck behind.

  6. Wil – Thank you so much for writing this all down, and sharing it with the rest of us. Your words sum up very simply what I have been experiencing off and on for a few years now, and just READING that there are good days, bad days, and REALLY bad days helps to remind me that I don’t have much control over when those happen to show up, but how great it really does feel when a good one does, and that I’m recognizing it. Here’s to more really good days than bad.

  7. I could have written this message. I haven’t come to term with my depression, even though I’ve suffered most of my life. My only saving grace is I’ve learned that it’s depression and I have to unfortunately ride the wave until I feel better, even though I’m overwhelmed. I suffer such shame on my not so happy days because my kids tiptoe around me and I want so badly to not upset them but in the throes of my anger, pain and depression, I just try to shut myself off. THanks for letting others know they aren’t alone in having these days.

  8. You’re words are inspiring to so many. Having anxiety and depression myself, it has led to a more agoraphobic way of life, but trying to get better. Thank you for being wonderful, as well as honest!! Im hopeful…

  9. Right there with you. Glad you’re feeling better.

    I get overwhelmed. It’s part of being an introvert with AD/HD. I get overstimulated and/or inundated with things I MUST DO and I just want to scream and run away and hide under a rock. This can go on for several days. The Adderall helps (Mmmm, amphetamines!) but there are days when I feel like, “Everyone else is living a normal life, they don’t get overwhelmed and overstimulated like me, they don’t have to plan out their errands so that they don’t have to leave the house on bad days, why must I be like this?” Having the above made my first encounter with depression just… yeah.

    But… that’s life. And I have no right to normalcy, no guarantee that I’ll be perfectly healthy and functional. That doesn’t make me any less of a person. It doesn’t make me a failure. We are all broken. We are all messed up. My friends and family are there for me, and I’m there for them. And THAT is something my life is supposed to have, THAT is something I need. And… I’m cool with that.

    Most days, anyway.

  10. I am suicidal.

    Actively suicidal, like seeing both a psychiatrist and counselor talking about it suicidal.

    I don’t say this proudly but as an antithesis of your version “It gets better” because it doesn’t. For some people, it doesn’t. Life just wears you down to the point where you just want to fade away into nothingness.

    And I know everyones version of “My life is shit” run the subjective gambit but whenever I see a new counselor (have been in counseling for over 20 years) they always exclaim “How have you NOT turned to drugs or alcohol?!?” or they cry. Seriously.

    Inevitably, they proclaim that “Look! You have perservered!” as if being a cockroach in life is something to be celebrated but no matter how you dress it up, I am still a cockroach.

    My cousin was 47 when he commit suicide 2 years ago and although I miss him, I can entirely empathize with his choice. Like euthanasia for those cockroaches of life.

    I am only 4 years away from my cousins’ point of termination and to be quite frank, I don’t know if I have another 4 years of “give” left in me. Why can’t suicide be seen as euthanasia for cockroaches of life?

    We don’t force our mortal bodies to persist when all other attempts have failed, why do we insist on torturing cockroaches of life with platitudes of “It gets better” instead of allowing a gentle release?

    Just thoughts….no disrespect intended.

    1. i can SO relate to this. and although i don’t think it would be better if you (Sanguines Dream on) killed yourself, i can relate to your pain. i feel like i am also living a wasted life. i also lost a loved one to suicide (my brother killed himself 24 years ago when he was 2 months from his 18th birthday). i have also contemplated and attempted suicide. i am faking it, putting on a “normal” face and wading through life. i wish it got better. but for some people it doesn’t. but i follow wil’s blog and twitter feed (and anne’s too) and live vicariously through them. they have each other. i have no one. but their love and their relationship and wil’s recovery gives me the teensiest little sliver of hope that things could maybe, possibly still be ok for me. (i’m 46, i’m pretty sure i’ll be alone for the rest of my life, but i wish that wasn’t the truth). no disrespect either, just sharing my thoughts.

    2. I was here to read Wil Wheaton’s blog but saw your reply and could not go through my day without reaching out to you. You are NOT a cockroach. God did not make people to be cockroaches. You are a human being – a beautiful creation, with talents and skills and experiences that no one else on the planet has. You are unique. Please do not throw your life away. All of us – those who are healthy or not – have to fight off that dark cloud sometimes. And sometimes we are successful and keep it at bay; and for some reason some people are just born with dark-cloud armour and don’t need to fight it off. Then there are some of us who don’t have the armour or enough armour. We need help to fight the dark cloud or else it consumes us. If you seriously want to get better, and I’m sure you do but don’t know how to imagine it – here is something you could try – just for one week. If that is too much, try it for one 24-hour period. If nothing changes after that time, then you can call me crazy and go back to the dark cloud. . Anyway, for one week, pretend you have an invisible friend. Pretend this friend has your back on everything you do. If someone knocks on your door or your phone rings – ask your friend to get it first. If you don’t have a phone or a door, or anyone around you, ask your invisible friend to just be with you – talk to you; listen to you. Tell this friend all your deepest and darkest secrets, your dreams, your nightmares. If you have a habit or an addiction you can’t control, ask your friend to help you stop. As you reach for a cigarette, beer, needle, whatever, ask your friend to put his hand over yours. Be serious about this and really believe this person is there. Try to picture the hand. It likely won’t stop you the first few times you try but keep doing it. I asked for a week. Think of it as an experiment.
      Now it really helps if the invisible friend has a name. I call mine Jesus. I guess you could call him Jack, or Jake, or Bob or anything you like. But the whole experiment works much better if you call him Jesus. Many people would frown on this or be offended because we are all supposed to be so fuckin’ politically correct all the time but hey – you don’t sound like someone who has time to read instructions. Your boat is sinking and I’m trying to send you a life-line. Quickly. So please, just do this for one week. Just a week. If you can’t handle a whole week, try it for one day – just one day at a time.

    3. I don’t know much about depression. I tend to find a way thru, no matter how down I get. I don’t know if I have clinical depression, but I doubt it.

      I don’t know about the efficacy of the various medications, or their side effects. I don’t know how well therapy works or doesn’t. So I am not going to speak about that.

      I will say that what works for me is organization. Make a plan. If you believe, if you KNOW that you are at the bottom of a crap hole in the universe, take stock and decide what would be a real improvement. It doesn’t have to be monumental – in fact, smaller steps are better. Decide on something that will be an improvement. Once you’ve done that, make your plan on how to get there.

      “Well, if it was that easy, I would have done it already, genius!”

      Not really. I’ve noticed that one of the worst aspects to depression (again, I’m not distinguishing between clinical and “normal” depression) is the way it turns action into assumed failure. The depressed version of my suggestion is to pick an unattainable goal and then feel even worse that it’s unattainable. Well done, there.

      Start with something small, and use each small achievement to help generate momentum to continue forward motion. YES it is tiring. NO it won’t cure depression. But it DOES provide you with an environment that can help.

      Good luck.

  11. Wil, thanks for your honesty and your openness with this. I’m quite sure you’ve saved lives every time you talk about this subject.

    That’s some real big damn hero shit right there. It’s not swooping in dramatically, it’s just giving someone that gentle reminder. And as you know, that’s often all it takes to get started out of the hole.

    Hope the new thing turns into a great new thing that’s really real.

  12. Thanks for sharing Wil. I am so glad your today is better. It is always good to know that I am not alone – that none of us are alone.

    You made my day better, and I appreciate that, and you.

  13. Thank you for posting this. I’m a year into being treated for my chronic life-long anxiety and depression problem… It’s really rough right now, so thank you for posting this and giving me a little bit of evidence that “better” is a thing that actually might exist.

  14. I’ve had depression as long as I can remember. These days I am coping and happier than I ever thought possible. Two things really impacted my ability to cope:
    1) Antidepressants. I got really lucky and after trying about 5, found one that really truly makes a difference with negligible side effects.
    2) Giving myself a break on bad days to use my waning energy to take care of myself (exercise, get enough sleep, finish essential work), and do the minimum to get by (cleaning, errands, showering can wait), without feeling guilty.

    My husband helps with #2, and will tell me when I seem really down, to take it easy. It really takes the pressure off, because there is an understanding that its temporary, and I am not compelled to feel guilty over what I’m not able to do.

  15. Thanks for sharing. So many people don’t talk about their depression because they’re ashamed, therefore we’re misunderstood and misjudged. I feel like not everyone gets to see the bright, happy, perky person inside if they meet me on the wrong day. Glad you’re having a good one!

  16. And in the middle of your dark hours, some part of you was putting the sensations down and keeping them so you could share with us and make our dark hours a little less lonely. That is why you are beloved by so many people who will never meet you. Thank you, Wil. Bless your Anne and my Barbara for their patience and love.

  17. Thank you for a very accurate description of how my life has been for me since childhood. Thanks to medication and therapy, I have more good days than bad, but I have more neutral days than good and bad combined. Unfortunately, it took me 50 years to get people to accept what I was saying as true and to allow me to get the help I needed.

  18. It always blows my mind when someone I don’t know describes my behaviors. Yay for therapy and patient spouses and family. And I look forward to hearing about what your secret meeting was about, because if it involves you, it’s gotta be cool. :)

  19. Thank you. I’m having a day kind of like that. Well, a series of several days really. It helps to be reminded that a better day tomorrow is a thing.

  20. OMG! He’s inside my brain. This is me to a “T”. At least, through people like him and my psychologist I know it’s not forever if I don’t let it be. I like his saying Ï have depression, depression doesn’t have me”. Consider it an adopted mantra from now on. Thank you Wil Wheaton!

  21. I have been there and am so glad for you that you have Anne to help you through. Some days suck. They’re shit. They’re worse than shit. And then days string together into weeks and you wonder if the sun will ever rise again. But finally it does, and you’re glad you are there to see it.

  22. As someone who has struggled with depression (and anxiety & stuff) for several years now, I can relate all too well. But what moves me most is how you share your experiences of it which, honestly, not enough people in the mainstream eye can seem to be able to describe it so that other people can “get it”, if you know what I mean. You even gave me insight into my partner’s particular traits when he struggles with his depression and this helped me, someone who has been caught up in this for well over a decade now, meds and breakdowns and all. I guess what I’m trying to say is, you’re awesome. And so is your partner. It can be so hard to live with what goes on inside your own head but to have someone in your life who loves you that can have the patience to stay with you through and at least try to understand or live with it too in the way they can, well, that means so much. I’ve learned that especially.

    Thank you for continuing to blog.

  23. I had a great day today, partially because of you. This evening I met a bunch of new people and played Betrayal at House on the Hill with some of them, thanks to TableTop.

  24. I read this post and Jenny Lawson’s “The Bloggess” on the same day. Both of you struggle with depression and your stories give other people hope, so thank you for sharing. If you’ve never read her blog, I think you would both relate to it and enjoy it. For what it’s worth, I don’t have depression, and even I have really bad days for no good reason.

  25. And here’s the reason why I have so much respect for you.
    I can relate to you so much, I know how it all feels, I know how bad it gets and I know how in the blink of an eye it’s all better or even much worse and everything goes wrong.
    I’m 15 and because of all of this anger, anxiety, self hate and not thinking that I have any self worth whatsoever I can’t even pursue things that I know I could if I could only change my entire appearance and personality, but at the moment I’m trying to look for another career to pursue, but everything I try I hate.
    When I was 6 I stood in front of my mother’s 5ft tall mirror and looked at myself for awhile, walked to the bed and just lay there staring at the ceiling because I looked so different from the girl imagined myself to look like. Even when I was a child I was never completely happy with myself, and it all got worse when I went to school everyday where I got bullied constantly and blackmailed by a bunch of evil little cretins who looked innocent enough not to get caught.
    Right now I am seeing a therapist, and she’s on the brink of giving up on me because I hate change and I just can’t seem to find any ‘goal’ that I want to achieve so now she’s cut back my appointments to 1 every 2 weeks. I’ve had a lot people give up on me in the past, how is this any different?
    My point is that it takes so long and it’s so hard, it really messes with you, and changes you. You need to take a few minutes a day just to stop what you’re doing and remember who YOU are, who the person covered behind this sheet of grief is… a brilliant human being with a talent with words, hobbies, talents, great family and friends who care so much about him and a bunch of other things that I and other readers of your blog don’t even know! And another thing, just ignore these dipshits who say they ‘hate’ you just because of a character you played on Star Trek, I don’t think they realise that you’re an actual person outside of your character. Keep blogging, I’m sure it helps and keep strong, people care about you.

    1. Hi Joan,
      I admit that I am not aware of everything that surrounds your situation, but from what you’ve said, it sounds like you need to look for a different therapist. I’ve had similar experiences with health care professionals, where I know they aren’t helping, but I would continue seeing them, figuring that I’d been seeing them for so long, it was too late to switch now. Then one day I dumped my acupuncturist. I’d been going to him for a couple of years. He was supposed to help me relax and sleep better, but for the last year and a half I was leaving his office angrier and more tense than when I’d arrived. Maybe it was because he so frequently wanted to argue about our differing religious beliefs, or over how he chooses to be vegan whereas I do not, or some other such thing. At any rate, I had continued to see him because he was recommended to me by a friend, and I didn’t want to hurt that friend’s feelings by quitting (silly, I know). But one day I decided to stop giving a fuck and just quit. And I felt free! It was so liberating, that a short time later I dumped my chiropractor, whom I had been going to for nearly fifteen years (during which time he couldn’t be bothered to remember that I couldn’t stand direct pressure on my mid-back, and didn’t stop talking long enough to even listen to my complaints). Next was my dentist, who insisted on bombarding my skull with X-rays every year because he’d rather look at an X-ray than a person’s teeth (and he was being paid by the insurance company to do so). I was on a roll! I took control of my own treatment and found new healthcare professionals based on my own research, not on the fact that a bunch of other people I knew were seeing them already. I found people who were right for me, and in less than a year (after years of being just stable), my health has actually started to improve. I’m in the process of changing my primary HCP (after twenty years of seeing the same one and feeling uncomfortable even bringing up the subject of my depression), and my current acupuncturist has recommended several therapists who specialize in alternative forms of therapy that I didn’t even know existed back when I gave up on therapists because the ones I saw weren’t helping.
      Anyway, my point is that if your therapist isn’t helping you (and is even starting to ignore you because her “one size fits all” approach doesn’t fit you), look for one who will. They’re out there. Just the simple act of taking back control and knowing you are the one in charge of your treatment can do wonders.

  26. I know you probably won’t read this as you have millions of fans and thousands of comments; but just in case this one gets through: I don’t know what your medical issue is or what you’ve tried so forgive me if you’ve already looked into this, but I know from experience that when your thyroid is out just a tiny little bit, it can cause depression – and those feelings you described. It may not be your “brain.” Wil, you have such a talent as a writer and actor and it is criminal that you should be prevented from being all you can be because of depression. Kudos to your wife and family for standing beside you. I’ll be praying for you. From an old gramma-trekkie fan in Canada.

  27. Perfectly put. I have those days too. Still. Maybe I always will. I hope not. I hope that they stop someday. Maybe the better word is wish. I wish they would go away, I have pretty much lost the hope. I wish for yours to go away, too. Thank you for describing the indescribable. And I wish for your big secret thing that you can’t talk about turns into a THING, and that we can hear about it and that is huge and successful and delightful.

  28. This is coincidental. I just posted about my depression last night. I don’t think non sufferers get it. The social stigma has gotten better. Many people would probably ask “What does Wil Wheaton have to be depressed about?” but it has nothing to do with having a reason. Depression has no reason. Depression doesn’t discriminate. Thanks for the post. Shows that anyone is prone to this disease.

  29. Yep. Thanks for not drinking it away. Thanks for sharing your come-back from the darkness. I shared with our kid today, how important it is to share their feelings, especially boys (like ours) who are bright and sensitive. Having adult’s stories showing coming back out the other side helps us all to see that there is and will be an end to the bad day, and the good days are worth it.
    Thanks for sharing. May many of us, and the many boys find their ability to wait.

  30. Thank you. Truly, thank you for writing this. Also, thank you for being there – for being creative or simply being in existence – even on days that are so awful it’s hard to look beyond them.

  31. Wow, I had no idea you suffer from depression. I was diagnosed at 17, and even 20 years later I still have bad days. It’s gotten pretty bad lately because I lost my job in July, it took 3 months for Unemployment to get back to me, and my father died from lung cancer in September, a month after he was diagnosed. Even while diligently taking medication and seeing my doctor, I have had enormous difficulty motivating myself to look for work. Pretty much the only thing that gets me to do it is knowing that I can lose Unemployment if I don’t. I know the bad days make it it hard to be positive, but I want you to know that this fan has a lot of good memories associated with you and STNG. One of my favorites is the crush I had on you and the fact that I was so famous for it at school that the other kids used to give me posters and articles about you that they found in those fan magazines for teenagers (Teen Beat, for example). Also, as a form of therapy during the past few months, I set up a side blog on tumblr that features anything that gives me an instant feeling of happiness. It’s mostly cute animals, but it also has images of beautiful scenery and inspirational quotes. Anything that helps ease the depression. Feel free to check it out and even submit a post if you wish. Thanks for all you do for the geek community, and know that you are and always have been loved.

  32. Thank you so much for posting this. I lived, like you, for over a decade with a very loving spouse who never understood why I was the way I was, but loving me anyway. I put him through hell without ever intending to, or really realizing how hard it was on him. It’s nice to hear it explained so clearly and descriptively.

  33. I am currently having a MMMMMARRAAAHHH day myself today.

    Much like you said, tomorrow will probably be better but today sucks.
    Though I am glad I stumbled on your entry, as it is helping me finish the day with a little more hope.

  34. I’m sitting at work right now, struggling through even the most simplest of tasks as my brain is being bombarded by so many frustration in my life. Frustrations that I feel like are betrayals, because I believe I shouldn’t have to feel frustrated about these things. For the first time in my life, I’m so completely lost I’ve just decided to sit down and be dumbfounded for a while. Day in and day out you try to live your life a certain way. You try to be the best person you can be while doing all of the things that an adult should do. Suddenly finding out that you’re completely failing in some of these areas is like a serious kick to the face, especially when you previously had no clue that you weren’t doing all that great. This post just made shit real for me. I’m not going to say that it’s all crystal clear. However, moving forward seems that much easier. You’re the man Wil. Thank you.

  35. I always like it when you post about this Wil. Not because of what you go through, but because it keeps reminding me that i am not alone when i comes to depression and it’s always nice to see others post about the same thing. It’s a horrible condition, which has pretty much isolated me from the world, and it really sucks. The few friends i have have backed off me and don’t even talk to me anymore after i tried to tell them that i have this condition. It really sucks. Only one friend i have still talks to me, and only because she has bi-polar and so understands what i’m going through. The sad thing is, i didn’t go mad at these people who were supposedly my friends, i just told them that i was suffering and it makes me miserable pretty much most of the time, yet they still backed off. Some friends…. Those of you who have wives and girlfriends and other friends at least, count yourselves lucky :)

    1. P.S – I wish you every happiness in the world Wil, and everyone on this board. You all deserve happiness.

  36. Wil – it’s like you’re inside my head, in a non-schizophrenic, non-demonic-possession way. I’m a 50ish-year-old man who has suffered with depression all my life, and reading your words gave me a great deal of comfort. Thankfully, like your Anne, I have a wonderfully supportive wife who I’ve also put through the ringer with this disease, and yet she has stuck with me and helped me see through the lies that depression tells me.

    You are a dose of daily sanity for my “fucked up broken brain.”

  37. Been there,done that. Manic Depressive cycles are a bear. It helps to always remember that they do cycle, and it does not emotionally rain forever.
    I have my version of Anne Wheaton to ground me when I belly out emotionally,but my comforting dog is two cats.

    It took me decades to hit where I had depression, but it did not have me, but I am grateful for the people who showed me grace during that grumpy time.

  38. Damn, this is like reading a page out of my own journal. It’s the bad days that leave you incapable of even remembering what it was like being happy that suck the most.

    I’m so glad you have such support and had such a great day after the MMMMMARRAAAHHH day. Thank you for being honest and unafraid in this world where mental/emotional illnesses are so stigmatized. You really rock.

  39. Thanks Wil! A reminder that I’m not crazy (at least not mostly) and, more importantly, not alone is invaluable. The fact that you can, and do, share your experiences is appreciated beyond measure.

  40. Thank you for posting this Wil.

    Currently I’m going through what has always been the worst week of the year since I was diagnosed with depression. My dad died suddenly 20 years ago on the 30th (which is tomorrow since I live in New Zealand), I was 12 when it happened and have always had a tough time from about the 25th onward.

    This year has been exceptionally difficult…aside from hitting the 20 year mark (which isn’t so easy) we are waiting to hear from my mum to see if her cancer came back. Needless to say, my anxiety is running amok, I feel like lashing out at everything or just want to hide away until October passes.

    I know this will pass…at least the logical part knows. The overpowering beastie in my brain is trying to convince me otherwise. Reading this definitely helped me not feel so crazy or alone.

  41. Everyday is one step forward, I hear the struggle… I know the struggle. I have been dealing with some out of my control situations in my life and I hear the little voice saying “just jump… do it all ready”. My heart knows better and my heart wins, everyday my wife walks in the door and smiles at me… I know it will be a better day.

    You are a person that feels and knows how to express… having great support in your life will make you whole. So take that step one step at a time, be well and strong… we are here!

  42. I have never heard such a great description for how sucky life can get for those of us who struggle with depression! You nailed it, my friend! And I, too, feel guilty about the ways I treated my family BEFORE I got help for this awful condition. Thankfully, I have a very patient husband and we have two daughters who understand my struggle. Psychotherapy and medication have been my best friends, but I still have those times when I feel life is not worth living. You remind me that those days always pass and my fantastic support system helps me deal with the bad days and I, too, will get better. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!! God bless you and your family!

  43. It’s so…heartening to read about other people’s experiences with anxiety and depression. It’s something I’ve struggled with myself for the past twenty years. Some days are good and some days are horrible, and sometimes the mood can turn on a dime. This is something that some people don’t understand, or they think that you should just ‘get over it’ and don’t you think that we would if it were that easy? So, it’s nice when you know there *are* other people out there that know what you’re going through (although, I wish none of us had to).

    I will admit that this has been one of the worst two years in my life, dealing with this illness. I’m sad to say that a lot of times I’ve let it get the better of me, and my life has been on a bit of downward spiral. But I know that there will come a day when I look back from a better place; it hasn’t won yet. Thanks for reminding me of that.

  44. I read your blogs a lot. A good portion of them are funny. Some are poignant. Some are filled with adorable pictures of Marlowe, Seamus, And the rest of the Wheaton clan Beastiary. But the thing that resonates so much with me is when you speak on depression. It took me a long time to admit I had something going on. It took me even longer to seek actual help, but I learned all about what was going on in my head. I learned to address the lies that I tell myself and the irrational fear and anger caused by the loathing ad self doubt when it flares up.

    Today depression kicked me in a different way. My son told me he didn’t know why he dreamed of being an engineer. That he was never good enough for it. He’s 13. I love him like the flowers love the sun and let him know that as much as humanly possible. I immediately heard the lies and self deprecation of depression. He told me he didn’t think he was smart enough(he’s a 4.0 student) and then the magic words hit. “I should have known better than to think of me that way. My dreams are too high” F@(% depression is all I have to say.

    Screw the lies and crap that bounces about in our heads. I let him know of my struggle. I let him know it was his brain working overtime to make him feel bad. That he had to celebrate what he is and what he can be and just to fight, and that I’ll always be on his side. That he’s not alone and that if we need to. we’ll get him help. Because it can be done. Depression will lose. Because he’s freaking awesome.

    More than a conqueror one might even say.

    I think i’ll let him know a little more about your struggle too, because its good to know that even though we may be weird. We’re definitely not alone :).

  45. Hi again.

    I hope Wil you don’t mind me adding my Facebook ID here, if anyone here would like to add me, i’d love to have some new people to talk to about general geeky stuff but if anyone just wants to rant about their depression or maybe we could compare notes, anything :) I’d be happy to talk to you

    jsy benj iboy (remove all spaces just so Google doesn’t get me :) )

  46. Wait are you sure you weren’t just living part of my life? not the meeting part but the GGRRAAAAHHHHH. Thanks for talking about it. We need people to talk about it to remove the stigma, it’s just like any other form of chronic illness. It made me feel a bit better to see someone, who to my eye has it all (of course that’s a very superficial eye), also suffer what I do. oops… i don’t want anyone to suffer but i guess it shows me that it can hit anyone. why that makes me feel better I don’t know exactly.

    This came out recently. Often when i’m having an episode I say ok i’m going to reboot my brain. and I take a nap. I had no idea that was pretty much what i was doing. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_141650.html

    thanks again.

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