I've been hesitant to bring this up because I didn't want it to be 'that kind of post' and I've always been very uncomfortable drawing attention to myself, but I think it's time I did. As over-dramatic as it sounds, ponies really and truly did help save my life.
I guess I have to tell you who I am in order to explain that. My name is Eddie Perkins (atomicpanda.com) and for over a decade now I've suffered from debilitating depression. The pills I've been proscribed over the years, the ones I could afford, depression has left me nearly penniless and often have to borrow money from family to pay rent (this is all very embarrassing to talk about) haven't worked. I don't really expect them to. I'm fairly sure my depression is largely linked to something about myself that I can't change and prefer not to share here.
Anyway, before the depression really got hold I was doing OK in the comics industry. In fact, I was this close to having my first script approved for the D.C.'s Powerpuff Girls comic. Many of my friends like Abby Denson and Sean Carolan and Jen Keating (at the time) worked on it and various other D.C. kids books and the editor liked my stuff.
And then depression destroyed everything. Fell into a horrible slump where I barely drew or wrote anything. I got in to World of Warcraft. It was fun for a little bit but most of the five years I played it it was just a way to past the time. I was basically killing myself slowly. All I was doing was trying to make each day go by as fast as I could. I was alive but not living. Hopeless.
I had been a fan of Lauren Faust's Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls for years. I happened across her and her creation at a San Diego ComicCon years ago. I was hooked. Drug my friend Elin Winkler, head of Radio Comics, over and she loved it too. I bought some stuff with my limited funds (not many things for guys, of course. Sadly, I've had to sell some of it, like the postcard set to pay rent) and we both even got sketches from Lauren. I followed her work on her DA page and when ponies started showing up there I was one of the first guys to say, ' you know what, those are incredibly cute and I don't mind anyone knowing how much I like 'em.'
About that time my depression got worse and I moved back to CA to be closer to family. I didn't really keep in touch with friends. Things just kinda spiraled out of control. I was aware that Lauren was making a My Little Pony show and I was glad for her. But, i kept forgetting about it. I can't afford cable after all. I saw a big picture of Twilight at last year's (I think it was) ComicCon. It was a big ad for The Hub. I thought it was very cute. But, then I forgot about it again until I saw a tweet from Brianne Drouhard http://twitter.com/#!/potatofarmgirl
that simply said "http://mlp.wikia.com/wiki/Derpy_Hooves"
I followed it and was introduced to Derpy Hooves. From there, I found the show on YouTube.
And from there, and for the past few months, my life has turned around significantly. There's something so infectiously joyful about the series. It just makes me smile. You all know what I mean or many of you wouldn't be here. It was better than any antidepressant. I can't put my finger on it. I do know that I'd tear up with almost every episode and have a smile on my face for days afterward. I don't really know why ponies, unlike so many shows and movies I enjoy, had this affect on me.
Obviously, I'm not cured or out of the woods yet. I still have bad days, depression-wise and I'm still barely scraping by financially (don't even want to think about how screwed I am this month with two yearly bills due on top of rent), but I'm inspired again. I'm working on art and writing again. I feel like I'm living now. My subscription to WoW ran out not long after I found ponies because I couldn't afford the $15 that month and I haven't looked back. I miss my friends but not the game. I've lost about twenty pounds (my RBD 20% Cooler in 10 seconds flat shirt ran smaller than I thought it would). Things just keep looking up.
Ponies didn't save my life alone, of course. I'm lucky that I have a family that never gave up on me. I'm lucky that I have friends who have helped me out with moral support and some money here and there. But, for some reason it took ponies to sort of pull it all together and get me going again.
Now I want to give something back. To Lauren and everyone who worked on the show, all I can give is my heartfelt thanks. I know you don't know me and I know it wasn't your intention, but every one of you helped save my life. Thank you all.
To the pony community, well, I did do a Pinkie Pie painting for one sad Brony but for the whole community, well, we have a long wait until season two don't we? I have a plan. It depends on how much time I can afford to set aside for it each week, if any, but in a couple weeks I hope to have an on-going, hopefully weekly, MLP comic. I'm just going to pretend that depression didn't ruin my life for so long and that I'm doing that Powerpuff Girls comic I missed out on. It'll be rough. I'm out of practice... I'll have more info when and if to project moves along.
Anyway, thanks for reading this and thanks for ponies.