Last night news trickled through on Twitter that Robin Williams had died, apparently from suicide. He’d had problems throughout his life with drink and drugs, and was battling depression.
News of his death hit me like a truck – I’m not one to get sentimental or attached to celebrities, but it suddenly became apparent what a void was left in the world.
But also, with all of the links to his best moments, and folk remembering their favourite films, a huge amount of people started talking about depression. It was quite something, to see my entire feed comprised of people saying “Get help!”, “Talk about it!” and such.
While it’s not that easy most of the time, at least people were talking. And folk, including me, started talking to each other about their experiences of depression. A Facebook friend this morning came out as having struggled with it for years, and I recognised the sense of a burden lifted. In 2012, I started on Citalopram, a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). I also started CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), and embarked on a journey to try and get control of my anxiety and depression.
I decided to use art to help me through it, and started a webcomic called ‘Suddenly Something Really Interesting’, or SSRI 🙂 It helped me to get stuff off my chest, but what really helped was the huge amount of people who got in touch to say that they felt the same. A huge number of whom were also creative people. I even did a series of Guest Posts, where cartoonists and comic creators I knew did a strip of their own, outlining their own experiences.
It was a really great thing, but like all things like this, came to a sputtering end once I started to “feel better”. And when the depression returned, I was in a different place, loaded down with work, and not in the mood to go back to SSRI.
While I’m not currently intending to start it up again (although I might do a couple of update strips), I wanted to share the comic with people who might not have seen it first time round.
It’s scrappy, it was designed so that I could bust the strips out as quickly as I had the idea, and while I’ve been tempted to go back and redraw them, I think they stand more for where I was at the time than as any kind of artistic statement.
So if you’re interested, ‘Suddenly Something Really Interesting’ has its own WordPress blog, a blog that has had over 16,000 views and 63 followers, all of whom I feel guilty about because my most recent posts have all been me trying to pimp my other work…
It’s here: http://suddenlysomethingreallyinteresting.com/
The best way to read it is to use the menu links at the top. They’re separated by year, and in ascending chronological order, so you can start at the beginning and work your way through until you get bored…
And if you’d like to, feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think.