Allie Brosh · 371 pages
Rating: (140.8K votes)
“Most people can motivate themselves to do things simply by knowing that those things need to be done. But not me. For me, motivation is this horrible, scary game where I try to make myself do something while I actively avoid doing it. If I win, I have to do something I don't want to do. And if I lose, I'm one step closer to ruining my entire life. And I never know whether I'm going to win or lose until the last second.”
“I've always wanted not to give a fuck. While crying helplessly into my pillow for no good reason, I would often fantasize that maybe someday I could be one of those stoic badasses whose emotions are mostly comprised of rock music and not being afraid of things.”
“The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don’t like can be overwhelming.”
“To reiterate, no matter how much pepper you eat, it won’t undo the ludicrous amount of salt you ate before it.”
“Procrastination has become its own solution - a tool I can use to push myself so close to disaster that I become terrified and flee toward success. A more troubling matter is the day-to-day activities that don't have massive consequences when I neglect to do them.”
“And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something - it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing.”
“Nobody can guarantee that it's going to be okay, but - and I don't know if this will be comforting to anyone else - the possibility exists that there's a piece of corn on a floor somewhere that will make you just as confused about why you were laughing as you have ever been about why you are depressed.”
“On a fundamental level, I am someone who would throw sand at children.”
“No one could tell me not to eat an entire cake—not my mom, not Santa, not God—no one. It was my cake and everyone else could go fuck themselves.”
“Reality should follow through on what I think it is going to do.”
“I had tasted cake and there was no going back. My tiny body had morphed into a writhing mass of pure tenacity encased in a layer of desperation. I would eat all of the cake or I would evaporate from the sheer power of my desire to eat it.”
“Fear and shame are the backbone of my self-control. They are my source of inspiration, my insurance against becoming entirely unacceptable. They help me do the right thing. And I am terrified of what I would be without them. Because I suspect that, left to my own devices, I would completely lose control of my life. I'm still hoping that perhaps someday I'll learn how to use willpower like a real person, but until that very unlikely day, I will confidently battle toward adequacy, wielding my crude skill set of fear and shame.”
“The longer I procrastinate on returning phone calls and emails, the more guilty I feel about it. The guilt I feel causes me to avoid the issue further, which only leads to more guilt and more procrastination. It gets to the point where I don’t email someone for fear of reminding them that they emailed me and thus giving them a reason to be disappointed in me.”
“And finally - FINALLY - after a lifetime of feelings and anxiety and more feelings, I didn't have any feelings left. I had spent my last feeling being disappointed that I couldn't rent Jumanji.”
“Тo me, the future doesn’t seem real. It’s just this magical place where I can put my responsibilities so that I don’t have to be scared while hurtling toward failure at eight hundred miles per hour.”
“At first, I’d try to explain that it’s not really negativity or sadness anymore, it’s more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can’t feel anything about anything—even the things you love, even fun things—and you’re horribly bored and lonely, but since you’ve lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you’re stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is.”
“For me, motivation is this horrible, scary game where I try to make myself do something while I actively avoid doing it.”
“I cope with it the best way I know - by being completely unreasonable and trying to force everything else in the world to obey me and do all the nonsensical things I want.”
“Fortunately, it turns out that being scared of yourself is a somewhat effective motivational technique.”
“But as I grew older, it became harder and harder to access that expansive imaginary space that made my toys fun. I remember looking at them and feeling sort of frustrated and confused that things weren’t the same.”
“Dear other iterations of my past self, Thank you for not being so goddamn weird that I felt I had to address you personally in a letter from the future. I commend you.”
“I prepare for my new life as an adult like some people prepare for the apocalypse. The first day or two of my plans usually goes okay.”
“I have a subconscious list of rules for how reality should work. I did not develop these rules on purpose, and most of them don’t make sense – which is disturbing when you consider that they are an attempt to govern the behavior of reality – but they exist, and they play a large role in determining how I react to the things that happen to me. Large enough that a majority of the feelings I feel are simply a reaction to reality not complying with my arbitrary set of rules. Reality doesn’t give a shit about my rules, and this upsets me.”
“But trying to use willpower to overcome the apathetic sort of sadness that accompanies depression is like a person with no arms trying to punch themselves until their hands grow back. A fundamental component of the plan is missing and it isn’t going to work.”
“How am I supposed to like myself if all these shitty things keep happening because I do them???”
“Being a good person is a very important part of my identity, but being a genuinely good person is time-consuming and complicated.”
“If you were sitting quietly on your couch, waiting for your girlfriend to come back inside so you could finish watching your movie, and while you were waiting, someone called you up and said “I’ll give you a million dollars if you can guess what’s going to happen next,” you absolutely would not guess “I am going to be brutally and unexpectedly attacked by a goose in my own home.” Even if you had a hundred guesses, you would not guess that.”
“Unfortunately, the source of my shittiness is the fact that I’m shitty. I just am. It is not possible for me to not be that way. I can prevent myself from being actively shitty. I can do things that a not-shitty person would do. But the shittiness is always going to be there, just beneath the surface, straining to get out.”
“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.”
“I don't like when I can't control what reality is doing. Which is unfortunate because reality works independently of the things I want, and I have only a limited number of ways to influence it, none of which are guaranteed to work. I still want to keep tabs on reality, though. Just in case it tries to do anything sneaky. It makes me feel like I'm contributing. The illusion of control makes the helplessness seem more palatable. And when that illusion is taken away, I panic.”
“Ogni oggetto in noi suol trasformarsi secondo le immagini ch’esso evoca e aggruppa, per così dire, attorno a sé. Certo un oggetto può piacere anche per se stesso, per la diversità delle sensazioni gradevoli che ci suscita in una percezione armoniosa; ma ben più spesso il piacere che un oggetto ci procura non si trova nell’oggetto per sé medesimo. La fantasia lo abbellisce cingendolo e quasi irraggiandolo d’immagini care. Né noi lo percepiamo più qual esso è, ma così, quasi animato dalle immagini che suscita in noi o che le nostre abitudini vi associano. Nell’oggetto, insomma, noi amiamo quel che vi mettiamo di noi, l’accordo, l’armonia che stabiliamo tra esso e noi, l’anima che esso acquista per noi soltanto e che è formata dai nostri ricordi.”
“It is my great hope someday, to see science and decision makers rediscover what the ancients have always known. Namely that our highest currency is respect.”
“The dancers finished thier set, and one immediately strolled over to our table and straddled Ranger.
Want a private party?" she asked.
Not tonight," Ranger said. He handed her a twenty, and she left.
What about the cat-feeding theory?" I asked him.
Out the window.”
“He was sentimental about women. It infuriated him that any man, let alone a minister, could behave so selfishly on his honeymoon.”
“He wondered what the years had done to his face as he traced the effects on hers. Eyes the same blue-lit green, but where mischievous joy once danced, now he saw sadness, deep as the ocean. Her cheeks were thinner. There was something else too: the arrogant pride of a princess seemed to be extinct. Yet the indefinable, untamed quality of her spirit remained. Yes, it was Torina.”
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