depression comix #285

The impostor syndrome is not just about work, it also applies to relationships as well. It makes it harder to start and maintain them because you are always going to be questioning the validity of being together with someone.  It’s difficult to approach someone because you think you’re not good enough for that person anyways so why bother. If a relationship does happen, you’re never going to feel safe in it ever. When the relationship falls apart, it justifies your feelings of worthlessness and makes it even harder the next time around.

I’ve been through this cycle several times in my life and it really disrupts one’s ability to connect to someone. It’s easy to mistake for false humility but it is an honest feeling that you can never ever measure up. When depression tells you you deserve nothing, you tend to just nod your head in agreement.

I wrote this strip several times, and I used different characters each time. Finally, I settled on these two characters. I’m always expecting backlash, so I tried to craft the dialogue to be gender neutral towards the crush – I felt that this would make the character more relatable. Obviously this was a stupid and misguided thing to do and I’m ashamed of myself for choosing that route. I went back and changed the dialogue so that it’s clear the crush is also a guy, and if people can’t relate to the love troubles of a gay guy that’s their problem, not mine. So I have to remind myself not to worry about the bigots and a concentrate on drawing a strip that embraces everybody.

Link to the comic on depressioncomix.com is here.

2 comments

    Relationship problems are pretty universal, but I do appreciate that this is a gay character though. Thank you.

    foghome | 1 year ago Reply

    Even when a relationship stands the test of time, the imposter syndrome doesn’t go away and leaves you unable to enjoy what you have. Earlier this week was my 19th anniversary, and I can’t understand why my wife hasn’t left already. When she tries to encourage me by reminding me of my good qualities, it feels like she is talking about someone else. It even affects our son. I will see him doing something that I can see myself in and I want to make him stop. The thought of him being like me is literally painful. I find myself frequently regretting not killing myself before getting married to spare them the hell of knowing me. Now that I have made a real downer of a comment, I will try being positive.I really liked the artistic work on this strip. The two characters look just enough alike to emphasize that they are brother and sister. I also liked the background work, it looks like they are walking through a nice park somewhere. The same park where they were walking in #256. Finally, I think you made the right decision on the dialogue. The depressed character #14 was shown as being gay back in #165 and several subsequent strips. That said, nobody uses gender neutral language in casual conversations with friends or family, especially when talking about a relationship. A gender neutral dialogue would have sounded awkward and called more attention to the character for those of us who have read the previous strips. The way you wrote it feels like a more natural conversation. Thank you for all the time and thought you put into this strip. Your dedication to it shows in the consistently high quality for the artwork and the writing.

    FML | 1 year ago Reply

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