Recently, I was caught up in a several-months-long bout of on-and-off depression (caused by nothing), and then a couple of weeks of pure awfulness. The good news is that I stumbled upon my own metaphorical, tiny, hilarious piece of miracle corn.
I’m alluding to, of course, the climax of Allie Brosh’s amazing Hyperbole and a Half piece, “Adventures in Depression” and “Depression Part Two.”
Her story was in my head throughout the whole experience I’m about to share with you, so I suggest that you stop and read her post(s) before reading on if you haven’t already!
For the sake of context, I’ll do my best to crappily summarize what I’m talking about.
As described by Allie, when you’re depressed, you go through an era of numbness, and you begin to think that you’ll never feel anything ever again, and that you have nothing to look forward to in your future.
Why do anything? What’s the point of working or showering or getting out of bed? It’s not like you’re going to get anything out of it.
But then, one day, you’ll find some random thing so funny—in Allie’s case -spoiler alert- it was a tiny piece of corn that was just sitting by itself under her fridge—that you’ll laugh until you cry. As everyone else wonders if you’ve finally lost it, you’ll know that you have finally found “it” again—it being the thing that makes waking up every day (or at least, most days :P) worth it.
I find comfort in the fact that even if nothing especially “good” ever happens to me again (although, I’m sure it will), it’s possible that something insignificant will strike me as so incredibly funny that I’ll laugh and cry and feel better.
Depression is not the point of this post—so please, release the obligation-to-worry that was building up inside you, or you’ll miss the point.
The point happens to be [dramatic pause] Marcel.
One random summer day, I clicked on a Petfinder link that my friend shared on Facebook. I ended up scrolling through all of the available animals just to pass the time.
Eventually, a certain picture caught my eye.
The picture was of a small black cat whose body—apart from his head and feet—had been completely shaved. And his name—was “Marcel.”
He looked so endearingly pathetic, like a Monsters Inc scarer who had emerged from a door with a sock on his back and suffered the consequences.
I can’t explain to you exactly what it was that triggered such a reaction, but as soon as my eyes focused upon this cat’s face, I LWACed so hard, I could barely continue sitting upright in my chair.
After a few moments, Jon found his way over to my desk to find out what the f was happening. I could barely speak, so I just pointed at the screen.
Jon was amused, but incredulous. He didn’t understand.
In case you’re feeling skeptical, I’ll try to explain.
In the moment that I saw that cat, my imagination filled in all the blank spaces surrounding his existence, and I could suddenly foresee a future I was actually interested in being a part of.
The future that I had in mind was not one in which I adopted Marcel and we joyfully lived out the rest of our days, but rather, one in which it was possible for me to experience joy—in particular, the joy that comes from laughing until you cry due to some random insignificant thing you happen to cross paths with.
Speaking of joy—
Marcel was adopted this week. My friend, who works at the Humane Society, said that he was adopted by a couple of college kids who were psyched that he can walk on a harness. She also added that “they did interrupt his afternoon sunbathing, which he did not appreciate.”