I’ve lived with clinical depression for over a decade now, and throughout that time I had to find my own way to understand the illness, as well as my own way of working through it, taking life day-by-day.
With the help of Nick Sousanis, I was able to compile my experience into a reiterative comic book. Following the lead of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and Ellen Forney’s Marbles, I sought to put onto the page how I understood depression and how I’ve dealt with it.
Unfortunately, the original comic, hand drawn in a pocket-sized sketchbook and passed around the university, has all but disintegrated. But I was able to recreate and expand when I drew the comic digitally. Until now, I’ve only been able to share the comic with my close friends and family, from the screen of my phone. But now, for the first time, it’s available to the world, on the glorious printed page. Two versions are available, the hand drawn version, or the final “cleaned up” version with three extra chapters.
Remember: everyone’s experience with mental illness is different. Surviving Happiness is about my personal experience and, while there may be some overlap with the experiences of others, it isn’t meant to be a definitive guide to mental illness.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please seek professional help. It is an illness, and should be treated like any other.