Eric D. Snider

Eric D. Snider's Blog

Thank you for the nice things

My current bout with clinical depression has led to many comical experiences, and I will tell you about them soon, in the form of a special All-Crazy Edition of “Snide Remarks.” But while I have greatly improved over the last couple weeks, I’m still not back to 100 percent, and I’m still taking it easy.

In the meantime, I wanted to thank you all for the extraordinary outpouring of support and understanding that came after I wrote about this on Sept. 3. I was a little worried when I posted the item that it would seem like I was fishing for sympathy and compliments, when really I just wanted to share with you what was going on. (I also wanted to forestall e-mails from readers wondering why I had not yet reviewed “Halloween II” or whatever.) But the comments you posted — and e-mails and tweets you sent — were astonishingly kind and sincere. I can’t tell you how touched I was. A lot of readers over the years have said things in an attempt to make me cry, but this is the first time anyone has succeeded.

If you’re a writer who consistently gets paying gigs and has been around a while, you tend to assume that there are readers who love your work; why else would they keep reading you? But to actually hear from people saying that my reviews and columns have uplifted them or made them laugh or enlightened them — that what I’ve written has actually made a difference, however small, in their lives — truly brightened my spirits. You have no idea.

It was also heartening to hear from so many readers who said they’ve dealt with depression, too. (I love that a lot of other people have also been miserable! No, that’s not what I mean.) I’m glad the stigma associated with this is lifting, and that people aren’t as hesitant to talk about it as they used to be. Depression is awful enough without also feeling like it’s somehow your fault, or that suffering from it makes you a freak. Maybe it’s good that I’m immune to feelings of embarrassment, because I felt no reluctance whatsoever to talk about it openly. And if my talking about it is helpful to other people with the same illness, or to people who don’t know anything about it and need some educatin’, then hooray.

Like I said, I’m still recuperating, still getting back to normal, taking it one day at a time and doing as much (or as little) work as I’m able. Thank you again for your patience, your loyalty, and your kindness. I truly appreciate it.

22 Responses to “Thank you for the nice things”

  1. Christina D Says:

    Glad you’re feeling better! :) Hope you feel more better soon!

  2. Christy Says:

    I think depression is SO much more widespread than most of us realize – so I love it when very visible people like you discuss it openly. You’re making a difference.

  3. Stacy Says:

    “Iím glad the stigma associated with this is lifting, and that people arenít as hesitant to talk about it as they used to be.”

    To be fair, this is the internet, which strips people of their inhibitions better than any drug I know of. During my years on the web I’ve had not one but two different people confess to me that they have [done something ghastly]. I don’t think they would have told me this if we’d met in the grocery store instead.

    [Ghastly confessions] aside, I’m glad to read you’re feeling better! Take your time!

  4. JDay Says:

    ďIím glad the stigma associated with this is lifting, and that people arenít as hesitant to talk about it as they used to be.Ē

    The worst thing about the stigma associated with depression, at least for me, is that the depression blew it way out of proportion too, like depression was something that had to be hidden at all costs. I applaud your honesty and openness.

  5. Sarah Clark Says:

    I’ve also been an occasional sufferer and have heard everything from, “It’s your diet,” to, “There must be a spiritual problem.” I’m very glad to hear you’ve been given the kindness and acceptance that anyone suffering from depression deserves.

    I’m excited whenever I see new stuff, but do take your time. We’ll all be here. You’re like a close friend to my husband and me (you can take that comment any way you want…I prefer the most stalkerish), and we like nothing more than to read your stuff aloud to each other with frequent breaks for riotous laughter.

    I would tell you we have a secret nickname for you, but we’re not sure how we’d feel about a restraining order.

  6. Quinto Wallight Says:

    Eric, I really wish you the best. You are the funniest writer and I have to say that I love Sleepaway Camp more than anything and you cracked me up with your article. That’s the highest praise I’ve ever said to anyone.

  7. Joel Says:

    Eric, I think I’ve commented on just about one (1) article, but I’ve followed your site, in a non-creepy way of course, since August of 2007. (I too am a film critic. Just visit my site!!!! Right now. Go on. :P ) Obviously I love it or I would not have stuck with it. Your Thursdaily “Bad Movies” articles are not only freakishly hysterical, but they are some of the most sophisticated pieces of writing I’ve ever read, which is a big feat, since they are, you know, ramblings on and on about inane movies. But it’s some of the best rambling I’ve ever read and it always–ALWAYS–gets a laugh. It made me rent a few of the movies and watch them…and man, you must be brave. And don’t even get me started on the rest of the site. ;)

    I’m joyously glad that you’re doing better and I’m praying for you every day, Eric. Depression is not a pretty condition, for sure, but you do what I do when faced with some really hard times: attack it with humor. Laughter is medicine for the soul. Keep at it! :)

    Joel.

  8. Amy Says:

    Eric, I’ve never left you a comment, but I’ve been following you off and on since I started at BYU in 1994 and soon discovered the Garrens and Snide Remarks. I just wanted to thank you not only for your courage in talking so openly about your battle with depression, but also for your talent in putting your feelings, and many of ours, into words. Knowing that someone else has felt the way that you’ve felt certainly helps you to feel less alone and less abnormal, but you’ve taken it to another level for me–reading your descriptions of how surreal it is to not feel like yourself and not know how to fix that was like reading a diary entry about myself that I’ve never been able to write because I couldn’t find the right words. For me, having you talk about depression as a topic made me proud of you, but having the lasting gift of the words you used to describe it made me truly grateful to you. I hope that makes sense. I just hope you know that you are so much more than a brilliant satirist or an unforgettable comedic writer–you really have a gift for words, and you have used it, again, to bless the lives of many.

  9. Julia Says:

    I’m just so happy that you can realize it IS a one day at a time thing. It’s when I try to forecast and worry about the next six months that I fall deeper and deeper into the hole. You are going about it in a smart way and take the time you need. You’ll come back happier and healthier than ever.

    People will wait as long as it takes. My cousin is still in awe (and brags) that she once gave you a test at the testing center….and I’m secretly a little jealous!

  10. richrich Says:

    hang in there my friend- it seems like depression stalks(and i do mean stalks) many talented thinkers like us. that was a joke son. ive been reading your reviews since waaaaaaaaay back at the provo herald. i count on your reviews for my movie selections and enjoy your comments. proud of you for being open about your uhm (whatever you call it) you are a good caring funny man and you inspire me. get better. regards, rich

  11. Shane Says:

    Eric,

    You and I were freshman at BYU the same year. I have always thought that we had somewhat parallel lives because of that start. But perhaps my kinship to your own life (I had a car named Paco, for example) is because I have read every artlcle you have written and have sometimes even posted. We went to lunch together once and we shared several friends without being acquaintances ourselves. So I guess in a roundabout way I have always considered you a friend (or at the least, a kindred spirit).

    Just thought you should know that I went through a bout of depression once myself (medication induced, to be specific) for a long stretch of time. It pretty much sucked royal. I wanted to add my voice that your articles have made me laugh out loud, change my political position, affirm some of my own beliefs and values, and just made me (shucks) an overall better person. I wish I could write that last sentence without the shucks, because it truly is a sincere sentiment, but you understand that I need to de-gay it. (It’s like adding “man” to “I love you” when I say goodbye to my brothers).

  12. Steve Says:

    Heard you on NPR the other day. They were doing a story on how the word “retard” has become the newest taboo, non-PC derogatory (interesting story). You had reviewed a film that had clearly dubbed over the word whenever it was used in the movie. Their quoting you and your comments on the show were cool to hear especially being that you are someone I know about and whose articles I follow on a regular basis. As I listened to you talk on the radio you sounded healthy and happy. At the same time I reflected on your current crisis of sorts (as well as my own personal run-ins with depression) and was struck by the thought that you are likely more resilient than you give yourself credit. It sounds like you are starting to come out of it now (confirming my impressions about your resilience) and that is encouraging news. Get better soon. Good luck and good journey…

  13. Jane Says:

    Aw, Eric, you know we love ya (even though we don’t know you). We don’t have a secret nickname for you at my house, but you DO make a difference in our lives – I almost never see a movie without checking your opinion of it first, and my husband the B-movie fanatic loves Eric’s Bad Movies to distraction.

    I’m also a long-time enjoyer of Snide Remarks (since I was forwarded the Titanic column in the late 90s when it was being emailed around without proper attribution).

    Please keep taking good care of yourself and know that we’re thinking of you!

  14. Laurel Says:

    I read a greeting card recently that said, “Heal at your own pace.” Then on the inside it said, “Telling you to get well soon seemed too bossy.” Good luck.

  15. Sarah Says:

    Not to sound like a southerner, but….

    Take your time, darlin’, we’ll all be here when you’re ready.

  16. Ellen Kimball Says:

    Hi Eric,

    I haven’t seen you at any screenings recently but I’m heartened to read your blog to find out you’re moving into a better phase of your life.

    No answers to the challenges of life here… this has been one of the worst summers I’ve ever had. An unexpected diagnosis of a heart valve problem on August 10th sent me into a tail-spin. Now I’m going to undergo another heart test on Sept. 22nd to find out what the REAL deal is. Finally, I have to admit that I am not immortal, drat it! To underscore this, I have had to deal with almost constant pain which doctors seem unable to diagnose. It may be related to an injection I took about ten days before the pain began.

    There is a strange mood that has come over me since I turned 70 years old last May. It’s hard to describe, but it has an intensity I have never felt before. The give and take of all that seemed so important to me — has inexorably changed. Every day that I open my eyes seems like a jewel. I am winnowing down my possessions and streamlining my life. I am being open and loving to people whom I might have ignored before.

    This is my last act in life, as friends, acquaintances and celebrities left and right fall to death’s sting. I am still relatively healthy (docs don’t want to repair or replace the heart valve, at least not yet) and I might live out the rest of my life in without any real treatment at all.

    Finally, I am tackling the issue of being overweight, eating much better, even learning how to cook some simple dishes. I’m swimming several times a week at a local pool. When I can’t swim, I’ve been walking around our beautiful Portland neighborhood. I am spending less time at the computer. Luckily, all the movie reviewing I’m doing is as a volunteer — don’t get paid — so I’m trying to see fewer movies because that’s just means more time sitting on my ample rear and less time outside.

    To put a cherry on top of it. the doctors have given me a “GO” to head to Sydney, Australia with my husband on October 1. This is my birthday wish… now I hope I can fulfill it!

    Peace, love and happiness,

    Ellen Kimball
    “TWEET ME RIGHT!” http://www.twitter.com/Radio_Lady

  17. Andrea Says:

    You’ve been making me laugh and think about your topics for 11 years — I even have a copy of Snide Remarks with your bite-autograph in it. So, thanks! And we’ll look forward to hearing more funny stuff from you whenever. :-)

  18. Scott Says:

    At the risk of sounding like a public radio confessional… I’ve been free-loading on Eric’s talent for years. Yes, I read his columns and receive his emails and haven’t spent a dime. For YEARS! Well, I once bought a copy of his book – that soothes my conscience a wee little bit.

    Having experienced clinical depression in all of its impressive terror, I can say that one of the most terrifying parts of it is wondering if you’ll ever be well enough to work again. Or, will you spiral down into homelessness, alcoholism, vagrancy, rail-riding, and dumpster diving?

    On that cheery note, may I suggest that we each consider making a small (or large) contribution to the “snap out of it, Eric! fund”? I’m just kidding about the “snap out of it part.” That was consistently the worst advice I received from friends and family at the worst stage of my bouts with depression. “Uh, yeah, thanks, I’ll do that… as soon as I can stop thinking about killing myself.”

    Eric is too proud to ask for a handout (no… this is NOT Eric writing under a pseudonym) and I’m too stingy to give him one. But, I do owe a lot of back dues for all of the laughs, smiles, and zingers that Eric has provided over the years.

    “What can I do to help?” you ask. Funny you should ask. Head on over to Eric’s “buy stuff” page. To make a donation to ‘support the website’ (a euphemism for ‘pay for therapy and groceries’), click here: http://www.ericdsnider.com/donate.php

    Or, if you are morally opposed to straight donations (those of you who would never consider ‘donating’ to public radio without the remuneration of that collector coffee mug – we know your type!), you can actually BUY something:
    http://www.ericdsnider.com/shop.php

    Or, if you’re truly a stingy bastard, you can shop at Amazon.com through Eric’s page and he’ll get $0.025 (or something like that) for every purchase you make: find the link to Amazon.com under the “Buy Stuff” tab.

    Godspeed, Eric.

  19. Scott Says:

    Eric – I can’t imagine that I am the first person to suggest that we, your loyal subjects, should do something more than pay lip-service to your recovery. Although, ‘getting some lip’ was usually better than most prescription drugs I ever tried. Long live NiCMO (or it’s close cousin: CoMO).

    At any rate, don’t be a jackass and ‘moderate’ my previous post.

  20. Allison Says:

    Eric,
    I haven’t been to your site in a few weeks, so I was actually surprised to read about your leave of absence from the writing world. You haven’t let it show in print, that’s for certain. Thank you for your candor and for providing a chance for the rest of us to let you know we actually care. I hope every day finds you with a more pleasant outlook than the last.

  21. CW Says:

    Off-topic comment to Joel: I think “Thursdaily” is my favorite new word.

  22. gina Says:

    The dark side of such creative talent…

    Your sense of humor helps me with my own.

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