Team Pick: Hyperbole and a Half is Backish!

Kristen’s Team Pick

Do you have a folder of seemingly defunct blogs and webcomics? They haven’t updated in days months years, but you just can’t bring yourself to call it quits. “NO! I can’t de-bookmark you just yet! I have faith in your ability to pick up a pen/pencil/crudely-handled mouse!” But normally your one-sided negotiations don’t work, because you’re screaming at your screen instead of them, and for all you know they’ve gone on to have a kid/a well paying job/a life.

All of the Waiting via Allie Brosh

All of the Waiting via Allie Brosh

Luckily being a bookmark packrat works out sometimes, because guess who’s back(ish)?

Allie of Hyperbole and a Half semi-announced her return yesterday and made it real today!

She’s been on hiatus since 2011, attributing much of her disappearance to the kick-you-in-the-heart, can’t-even-pet-the-cute-puppies, squash-all-your-dreams juggernaut that is Depression.

Depression-induced laundry furniture Via Allie Brosh and the Copyright Monster

In her most recent update, she explains what the fuck happened in the only raw, “flinch-y and uncomfortable” way she can.

The beginning of my depression had been nothing but feelings, so the emotional deadening that followed was a welcome relief. I had always wanted to not give a fuck about anything. I viewed feelings as a weakness — annoying obstacles on my quest for total power over myself. And I finally didn’t have to feel them anymore.

But my experiences slowly flattened and blended together until it became obvious that there’s a huge difference between not giving a fuck and not being able to give a fuck. Cognitively, you might know that different things are happening to you, but they don’t feel very different.

Months oozed by, and I gradually came to accept that maybe enjoyment was not a thing I got to feel anymore. I didn’t want anyone to know, though. I was still sort of uncomfortable about how bored and detached I felt around other people, and I was still holding out hope that the whole thing would spontaneously work itself out. As long as I could manage to not alienate anyone, everything might be okay!

However, I could no longer rely on genuine emotion to generate facial expressions, and when you have to spend every social interaction consciously manipulating your face into shapes that are only approximately the right ones, alienating people is inevitable.

But eventually a singular piece of corn breaks through it all.

It’s not!

Even though she hasn’t committed to a regularly updated schedule,  two posts in a year is a good enough start. Hopefully she’ll continue letting us into her world and find that weird bit of happinesss again so she can go back to teaching us how to deal with awkward situations, figuring out why dogs do those things they do, inadvertently creating memes and commiserating over the existence of eight-legged assholes. And if seeing your RSS feed flash with new posts twice in a quarter isn’t enough, her book Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened is still set to drop October 29th. Just in time to celebrate with Bruce!

Damn fucking straight Allie!

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Hailing from Vancouver, Kristen's still trying to figure out how to survive Montreal's Real Legitimate Canadian Winter. So far she's discovered that warm socks, giant toques and Tabby kittens all play a role in her survival. Her ultimate goal is to rank higher than KStew in the "Kristen + Autostraddle" Google Search competition.

Kristen has written 139 articles for us.


  1. Ecstatic that she’s back and that she’s okay. Already preordered the book!

    Obvious side note, depression sucks.

    • I will get on that ASAP. It’s fucking awesome that she can open up to that many people about it. I like to think that we can change the conversation with paint generated images.

  2. Yay Allie! Welcome back!

    It was a really intense, truthful way of describing the suck that is depression. Her honesty (and bravery) is truly something to behold! Really great read!

  3. I love her. I might have screamed a little bit when I saw her update yesterday. And I’m super excited about the book.

  4. I was getting pretty worried about her, because I’ve been there. (Sometimes I worry that I still am there.) I’m glad she decided to stick with us.

    • Yes, and it seems extra intense to go through that in such a semi-public way! To disappear from the internet and know that there are going to be a bunch of people out there wondering and worrying about your silence. I’ve always liked a lot of her stuff and her general style, but the two depression posts are what made me feel that this is not just a very talented, funny person on the internet but . . . an artist with depth and staying power, I guess. It seems like there’s a lot at stake, in her continuing to do this thing.

  5. It was so great to see her on twitter and the two posts. Just a couple weeks ago, me and some friends were talking about her posts and hoping she was okay.

  6. She could never post again and I would be fine with it as long as I knew she was ok. It helps just knowing that she is out there in the world being her weird, wonderful self.

  7. OMFG THIS MAKES MY YEAR! well not really, but my week at least.
    It’s sorta funny because the other day I was buying a “Party” size bag of peanut butter m&ms and a bunch of horror movies and the guy at the register asked me if I was having a party, which i wasn’t, and I started giggling because Allie Brosh moment, yeah! and now she’s back! (tw for the next bit: chronic depression, suicide)
    Her first post on depression came out right when I was being diagnosed with chronic depression/going though a really nasty time in my life, and it helped me come to terms with things so much. It probably saved my life, actually, because it was the first real depression narrative that I could relate to, and the idea that I wasn’t the only one who had suffered like this made me feel a little bit less like a total freak. But I am so glad that she is back and all right and writing more brilliant and beautiful stuff!
    Also, relearning emotions is so HARD, you guys.

  8. holy shit her book drops on my birthday. DEAR GIRLFRIEND THAT IS WHAT I WANT KTHX LOVE YOU

  9. The grimacing with a coffee face gave me the first hysterical laugh with tears that I’ve had since 2012. I adore her for this.

    I am so glad she has fought her way back.

  10. Her line where she says, “I wished nothing loved me so I didn’t have to feel obligated to continue existing” (or something along those lines) really stuck with me, as that’s exactly what my girlfriend said she felt like when she was suicidal.

    I’m so glad she’s back, and I’m so glad she’s able to express her depression in her humorous way, and I’m SO RELIEVED SHE’S OKAY.

  11. Wow, WOW. I’ve been writing for years and years and years (to no avail) trying to pinpoint some of those feelings.

  12. Whenever I see a spider, I am instantly reminded of her 1st depression post – I can do anything! Maybe I’ll even touch a SPIDER! It has come to symbolize overcoming my fears (deeper than insects) and her post resonates since I went through a year of something similar. I’m also closer to believing that happiness may not be bullshit and life can be really good regardless of the shit I’ve dealt/am dealing with.

  13. I still find it weird to read something on the internet the resonates so much with my own experience…especially:

    “The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don’t like can be overwhelming. And the longer it takes to feel different, the more it starts to seem like everything might actually be hopeless bullshit.”

    Anywho, I wish Allie all the best and I am so glad she is back/wrote those posts on depression.

  14. I saw all the outtakes on Tumblr last night and got really confused for a second, thinking, “I don’t think I’ve seen that picture before… or that rainbow… whut” and then I clicked and then I was happy and then I got really excited because BOOK!

  15. This is so great! I loved Hyperbole and a Half, and I was scared to death when it stopped updating after she made the post about severe depression.

    Depression is a hideous monster. Mine is being treated (with partial success). It responds to some actual (past and recurring) experiences of mine and sometimes is just a though process. It makes some people want to help me and other people want to avoid me (both perfectly understandably).

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