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.