One of my biggest pet peeves generally surfaces whenever I feel really shitty. Invariably, when my depression rages, someone (sometimes even one of my kids) tries to remind me about how wonderful my life is and how crappy other people (frequently these “people” are on the other side of the planet living in squalor and/or civil war) have it as compared to me.
I’ve never understood that, “Your half-empty glass is better than their broken glass,” rationale. I mean, no one ever tries to cheer me up by saying, “You shouldn’t be sad because there are gazillionaires lying on yachts, never having to work an honest day in their lives, getting a tan that may result in skin cancer!” Why do we compare ourselves to the unfortunate people out there, but never to the success stories?
Well, John of Johnbalaya doesn’t compare himself to anyone. He just tells his stories. Stories about being HIV-positive. Stories about tragedy (and comedy… a lot of his posts are genuinely funny). Stories about living with depression.
I don’t feel better because John’s life is harder than my own. I don’t look at my own depression and think, “Well, fuck all! At least I’m not John ‘Balaya’!” No, I read about John’s travails and successes because he’s authentically real. He makes me laugh. He makes me cry. Mostly, he just makes me feel. Profoundly.
And if you suffer from depression, you know all-too-well just how damn hard it is to feel anything some days. It’s not misery loves company by any means. It’s more about relating to a person who is not resigned to being alone in his misery. He’s out there. He’s getting out there. Even when his days are interminable, he doesn’t lie around waiting for his depression to lift. Or his disease to be cured. He sees his life as being something of worth, so he shares his life with us. He writes: musings, reflections, poetry. He takes pictures. He’s prolific.
And he’s a Very Inspiring Blogger. Check him out.