Like most hilariously entertaining and creative people, I get sad like nobody’s business. This has been going on since I don’t know when. I have no problem stating that I’ll probably be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life, though lots of people have no problem telling me that they have issues with the meds I take (“It’s just so creepy!” or “Taking meds is just lazy” or “Why make yourself into a vegetable?”). I get debilitating anxiety attacks that make the simplest tasks (going to the bank, answering the phone, etc.) seem freaking impossible. I’m in a place in my life where I can manage my sads and my freakouts much of the time, but other times I’m totally helpless in the face of anxiety and depression.
I feel the need for literary comfort quite a bit, sometimes even dipping my reluctant toes into the cheezy, preposterous sea of Self Help literature. No offense (really) intended for people who have found solace in so-called hip self-help people like Gabrielle Bernstein or Gala Darling and her Radical Self-Love Revolution, but for me it’s all based in shopping and every day miracles (your green tea latte is NOT a miracle) and absolute shallow and insipid saccharine nonsense. I want to believe in a formula for happiness based on pink glitter empires and yoga classes and the perfect coral colored lipgloss, but I can’t. I’m not a skinny blonde rich girl. And I doubt it would make me happier to be one, anyway.
That’s why I’m so happy I found Adam Gnade’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin’ Sad. It made me cry on the Q train, but in a “Holy crap, somebody gets me and my specific brand of sad” kind of way. I don’t want to call it depression anymore. It’s a big motherfuckin’ sad and I’m going to kick its ass.
There’s amazing advice for bloggers on here: “Do not, under any circumstances, read the comments. “Anonymous” is not a real person. “Anonymous” is disappointment, weakness fighting back, and envy at its worst. The people who talk shit and complain and stick their nose in your business on the internet don’t hate you, they hate themselves” (p. 5). One of my favorite snippets reminded me of battling the library budget: “No matter how beat-up you feel, you are at your best when you’re fighting” (p. 4).
Buy a copy for yourself. Keep it in your bag or in your desk at work. Buy a mess of copies and gift it to friends who are having a hard time. It’s four bucks you won’t be sorry you’ve spent. Adam doesn’t say that everything’s going to be OK always. He tells you what you already know: life is painful and life is hard, but life is also “good and right and sweet.” I am so happy I have a copy of this. It’s my new security blanket.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid