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I’ve Got Too Many Teeth

Maybe I’ve talked about this before, maybe I haven’t, but when I was a little girl, I had an enormous oral surgery. I must’ve been in elementary school, maybe 9 or 10 years old, and they had to do surgery because as it turned out, I had too many teeth in my head. The teeth that were supposed to be replacing my baby teeth couldn’t come in because I had too many baby teeth and they weren’t coming out, or something along those lines. Listen, I was knocked out for the surgery and I’m not a fuckin’ doctor so don’t ask me about specifics. I just remember it happening, alright.

Anyway, my point is, I have a hole in my tooth. It’s in the back side of my lower right jaw. It came from eating something, and while it doesn’t really hurt except once a month or so, I recognize I should get it looked at at some point, when I have money, so, in other words, never. It doesn’t really bother me, like I said, and I often run my tongue over the hole for fun. I think a good reason it happened was because I almost exclusively, throughout my life, had chewed with the right side of my jaw. I also used to chew a lot of ice when I was a teenager. I don’t have any explanation, okay. Sorry. Anyway, I believe the tooth was just eventually worn down and cracked.

So, why am I telling you this horribly weird factoid about my oral hygiene?

Because this hole in my tooth simply acts as yet another form of imperfection. It’s not even one people can see, but it’s something that I know is wrong with me, and my imperfections are keeping me alive because I’m working on fixing them. The way I see it, if I’m going to kill myself, I’m going to do it only once I’m perfect, thanks to being a perfectionist, but because perfection isn’t actually attainable, I’ll stay alive as long as I can trying to make myself as close to “perfect” as I can be. It keeps me going, because of my absolute need to be as perfect as possible. If I’m going to be a corpse at some point, I’m going to be the most goddamned beautiful corpse there is. Is this a healthy coping method? Of course not, but then again, has any of the shit I’ve told you here been?

A few nights ago, when I was feeling particularly bad, I got it into my head that I didn’t want my hands anymore. That I would actually function better if I no longer had hands. I would never do anything to myself like, oh, cut off my hands, but for some reason that became a thought I became attached to suddenly for an entire night. Why? Who the fuck knows. I just know that the following morning, I felt fine and thought it was ridiculous that I actually clung to that concept. I’ve read about Body Integrity Identity Disorder before, but this isn’t a thing I usually think about, so I definitely don’t have that by any means. I just know that for a little bit one evening, I thought I’d be better off without hands. Am I actively now looking for ways to make myself worse so I can find things to fix about myself?

Who knows. All I know is that sometimes my tooth hurts and I hate existing.

For a good while, I kept my teeth from that surgery in a small, plastic cup in a blue liquid that they gave me at the hospital. I probably still have it somewhere. Sometimes, for show and tell, I would bring it in and show it off, because that’s the kind of kid I was. Sometimes I’d even pretend they weren’t my teeth, and were just somebody else’s teeth that I’d found like this, because, again, that’s the kind of kid I was. I am obsessed with imperfection, because it’s my imperfections that keep me striving to better myself. How about that. The most unhealthy parts of me are forcing me to fix myself and be healthier.

Take from that what you want.

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality”, or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to my PayPal or support my work at Patreon, where you’ll get access to patron only content and new content early, all for as cheap as a buck a month! Thanks for reading!

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Wear My Art On My Sleeve

When I was a little girl, I helped my step grandma complete a puzzle one summer.

I don’t recall it perfectly, just that it was some stupid, soothing almost Thomas Kinkadesque picture of a stream or some shit like that, and when we were done, she had it glued together and framed, and gave it to me. It hung in my bedroom for many years, but only in the last few years have I realized I don’t know where it’s gone. Perhaps my stepfather took it when my parents divorced, I mean it did come from his mother so that would make sense I suppose, but I had a hand in that too. A part of that is mine. There’s so much that’s just gone now, so little left for me to hang onto, that I cling to anything I’ve had a hand in, which is why I defend my art so vehemently. Even if I myself am not good enough, I know with full force that my work is good enough. The problem is, a lot of art is so introspective, something that will make people think and analyze themselves and question things, but nobody wants to do that. Everyone is too happy being spoonfed what to think, what opinions to have, and then being told they came up with said thoughts and opinions in the first place, so they can feel clever.

I want this to be made perfectly clear. I am not saying I deserve anything, any praise, recognition or what have you. My work might, who knows, but me as a person? God no. I don’t deserve to be famous or popular simply for making something people like. People like my artwork, that’s a separate entity from me. I just want to be able to do it, to live comfortably enough doing it, and to have people enjoy it. I just want to make others happy, feel connected to something, to make them…not…feel like me. I am so unhappy, that I work actively to make those around me feel good, so they never have to feel as low as I’ve felt, or do feel. I want to make them better. I want to make them what I’m not. What I can’t be. Look at how unhappy artists are. Sylvia Plath put her head in an oven, Van Gogh lopped his ear off. I’m not saying I am anywhere as good as these people, because heaven knows I am not, but I don’t want anyone to feel as bad as I do.

So many people tell me to give up, that maybe I should delegate my art to being a “hobby”, saying it doesn’t “provide for me”. No. I would rather starve than fail at the one thing I was put here to do. I haven’t been doing this for 90% of my life to have it be boiled down to a fucking “hobby”. So many people hate their jobs, and keep the things they’d love to do instead as their careers as their “hobbies” simply because it doesn’t “provide” for them, but where’s the fucking logic in that. If I’m already this unhappy doing the thing I love, the thing I was put here to do, why the fuck would I ever do something that’d make me even unhappier, with less time for the thing I love to do? Perhaps if my parents had wanted me, if my family had loved me, if I had been fulfilled in that sort of way, I could say “Okay, well, this is just a fun thing to do on the side”, but the way I see it, when the only thing I’m here to do isn’t good enough, then there’s no reason for me to be here at all.

Art…it’s all that I have. It’s been my entire life. An escape from the ever ongoing existential dread that is my existence. Movies, books, television, music, comics, painting, drawing, video games. Art in all its glorious outcomes, it has been my friend. I came home everyday, from a school where students endlessly harassed me and teachers were of no help, to parents who yelled at me for not being better and made no effort to really know me or help me, who told me I’d never be good enough. I came home to that, every single fucking day, and having art, any kind of art, any medium at all, be my only escape…

…I have to give back to it, for all that it’s given me.

Hey. I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, then maybe you’d like these other things I made, like my webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, my writing over at Medium or my podcast, “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality”. If you really like what I do and really want to support me, you can either donate directly to the PayPal or help out at my Patreon. Thank you so much for reading, it means the world to me.

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Happy Comic #4

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Still here, still angry about upbeat comics.

Hey, I’m Maggie. If you liked this thing I made, you might like other things I make, like my depressing webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to the PayPal helping my girlfriend and I survive the year by paying rent and buying groceries, anything given will be greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!

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If You’re Sick & You Know It, Clap Your Hands

I’m not really sure how to handle this. I’m not used to recovery.

When you’ve spent your entire life being traumatized, terrified, and abused…you sort of become used to it. And, if it’s the only thing you feel regularly, then it’s not only something you become used to it, but it becomes normalized. It’s just how you feel. But, 2017, despite all of the horribleness that’s filled it (and let’s be totally transparent here, it’s been 97% horribleness, this year’s sucked eggs), has probably been the best year for progress on my mental health. It’s kind of amazing, because you’d think everything I’ve gone through this year, all of it being rather traumatic and miserable and in some cases literally abusive, would’ve had a negative effect on my mental health, and yet…

…yet I’ve managed to pull myself back up every time and keep on trudging along, continuing to find myself actually thinking I’m better than those who hurt me than thinking I deserved what they did to me because something is clearly wrong with me. I’m no longer actively calling myself the victim all of the time, and that’s…that’s a really weird, unfamiliar feeling to have, especially for someone who’s been a victim for the majority of her life. But now I see myself less a victim and more a survivor. I’m no longer just accepting that I was hurt and that that’s who I am (though, in no way am I saying that people who feel this way should feel bad for it taking them longer to get better), now I’m saying, “Well, I got really hurt and used and yes that’s a major part of my identity, but I am more than that too. I’m going to be okay.”

I’m going to be okay.

Never in my life did I ever imagine myself actually saying these words to myself. It doesn’t get better, don’t ever buy that bullshit line, but it does become moderately tolerable. Recovery is a scary word for me, especially because for so much time, I even denied I was sick or hurt. When told I had depression by multiple doctors, I denied it. I told them it wasn’t depression. I have denied being sick for so many years, until I finally realized there’s nothing wrong with being sick, nothing shameful about it, and it’s just another facet of my personality. What was shameful was denying it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a sick person, mental or physical wise. What’s wrong is that we make people ashamed of their sickness.

I am in recovery. I am recovering. I am recovering from a whole hell of a lot, but I’m still here. That’s not to say I’m fixed. Recovery doesn’t end, that’s the thing. There’s no end point, where suddenly I’m magically all better and I’m no longer in recovery. I will be recovering until the day that I die, that’s just how it works. Recovering from a multitude of things, always and forever, and that’s good, because starting to recognize that I’m ready to recover means I’ve moved past everything that hurt me. I’m still depressed. I still get sad thinking about the trauma I’ve endured, but I’m ready now. I’m ready. I’m alive, and I’m sick and I’m recovering.

That’s the nice thing about being a work in progress. You’re never out of things to fix.

Hi, I’m Maggie. If you liked this post, you might like some of my other work, like my depressing webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to the PayPal and help my girlfriend and I get groceries and pay our rent. Anything is greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!

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Happy Comic

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These came about because I was sick of seeing wholly upbeat, positive comics that basically give the message “Only think positive”. To me, that seems like such a bad way to cope with the world. By ignoring your sadness, the negative, you’re only half of a person. You need to embrace them both, and thus “Happy Comic” was born out of spite. So, if you ever felt like my work was too dark and depressing, boy do I have a new comic strip to you!