For those dealing with depression, life can sometimes feel like a lonely and dark road. Well, here is something that might help. Patton Oswalt gave advice about depression on Twitter Tuesday in a simple, yet meaningful way, that will hopefully help anyone who's having a hard time. Next to an image of a street in Paris, France, he wrote:
If you can, make your depression look like this street. Bleak and rainy but there’s music and art and even comedy hiding in its lonely cafes and you can use those to escape.
The comedian definitely has a way with words. In just two sentences, he's managed to get across what depression can be like for some people. Those struggling with their mental health can feel dreary similar to how rain makes a beautiful street in Paris look.
But the A.P. Bio star hopes anyone dealing with depression can find light in the darkest of times. Even though you may not feel like you can pull yourself out of a depressed state, there are people and things to help you, if you need it. Music, art, or comedy might not make you feel 100 percent better or take away the pain you're feeling, but being able to find joy, beauty, and laughter during hard times might make you feel lighter during what can be such a hard journey.
His post has hit home for many of his followers. Some are thanking him for his wise words and others are praising him for raising awareness about depression. Here's how many are reacting:
So Many Thanks
It's So Relatable
His Words Are Life Savers
He Raises Awareness The Right Way
Before his first wife, Michelle McNamara, died unexpectedly in her sleep at just 46 in 2016, Oswalt has been dealing with depression — and he's been extremely open about his battle. In October 2016, he told The New York Times about what it's like suffering from depression and how it's been far worse since losing his wife.
"Depression is more seductive," he said. "Its tool is: 'Wouldn’t it be way more comfortable to stay inside and not deal with people?' Grief is an attack on life. It's not a seducer. It’s an ambush or worse. It stands right out there and says: 'The minute you try something, I’m waiting for you.'"
Living with grief and depression has taken a toll on Oswalt. So much so, he credits his 8-year-old daughter, Alice, with McNamara, for not allowing his depression to win. For the September/October 2017 issue of Playboy, he admitted, "I’m forever glad that I have Alice. If I hadn’t had a daughter and my wife died, we wouldn’t be talking right now. I’m not saying I would be dead, but I would be a shut-in alcoholic."
He also said, "A night when I’ve had maybe one scotch with some friends, I’ll say, 'That’s it. I’ve got to take her to school tomorrow.' If there were no reason to wake up, I would be morbidly obese. I’d be rewatching movies I’ve seen a million times, and I would have wallowed and sealed myself off in a falsely comforting bath of despair."
Since losing McNamara out of the blue, Oswalt has learned a lot about what it's like to get to the point where you feel as if you can't move or have zero energy to live your life. It's important for him to teach others that you don't know what people are feeling, so always try to keep that in mind when interacting with others. One of the ways he does this is by sharing lengthy posts on Facebook about grief and depression. They are beyond relatable and helpful.
For example, in November 2014, he spoke directly to those who also deal with depression, particularly Seasonal Affective Disorder. "To all my fellow depressives, getting hit hard by the suddenly shorter, colder days? I'm with you. I'm on an unshakeable schedule when it comes to Seasonal Activated Depression (SAD -- aww. Nice acronym. But wouldn't Feeling Under-Cheerful, Killing The Happy Inside Syndrome be more accurate?)".
He then said, "Please don't forget, these next few months, until the spring kicks in and we can all start skateboarding on the serotonin rainbow of summer — you CAN get through this."
Similar to his most recent tweet about depression, Oswalt offered advice on how to escape whatever is going on inside your head. He wrote, "One way is to go regularly help someone else. In a big or small way. Talk to someone regularly, or bring someone food or just your company. One selfish benefit of charity is it gives you a free vacation from inside your own head. Don't worry — all that gorgeous nonsense & noise you've got rattling around inside your skull will politely wait until you come back."
Depression is far from easy, but when you have someone like Oswalt giving guidance and explaining what it's like, it can really help. And most importantly, if you take anything from what Oswalt has said, remember taking care of yourself is top priority.