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Maria Bamford made a hilarious video for Above Average’s Storytime series about her time in the psych ward. Of course Maria plays all the (speaking) characters as she takes us down the mental health rabbit hole.

She’s lampooning her experiences in 2011 during a really bad time in her life when she had three different psych hospitalizations. She was devastated over the accidental death of her beloved dog Blossom, and although she’s been receiving mental health treatment since she was an early teen, she found herself in a darker place than she’s ever been. “I could not find any comfort at all — just nothing, and for months,” she told the New York Times last year. “I felt terrible, and my brain felt terrible. In the past, I’d always been able to be like, ‘Oh, I’ll write in my journal or read my self-help book, or I’ll call people and get out of this mood.’ But it wasn’t a mood. It was like, ‘Yeah, I’m gone.’”

When suicide began to look more and more like the next “logical” step she should take, she decided to check herself into the hospital. Since then, she’s used that difficult time as fodder for her transcendent comedy, as well as earnest discussions about mental health.

“Hey! and if you ever feel like every moment is unbearable or your brain is going off like an untethered jackhammer or if you keep thinking the Guatemalan housekeeper at the bus stop is an FBI operative, call the Coast Guard (911). You don’t have to be alone and feel unsafe. Wrap a blanket burrito around your meats and cheeses and put a feedbag of microwave popcorn around your neck and have someone tugboat you to Lost at Sea Hospital because you are Lost at Sea. I’ve been three times and it was a bummer, but the good part is I am alive. It might take a while (for me, about a year), but just stay alive and you have a chance of feeling good again.” – from Ask Me About My New God

Highlights for me:

– “If you thought you felt bad before going to the psych ward, come on in! It’s even worse.”

– Being Googled during therapy.

– “It’s not a sign of mania to spend irrational amounts of money, as long as it’s spent ‘in-house.'”

– The way the intake nurse says “graham crackers.”

Maria also has a new Netflix series in the works called Lady Dynamite that’s loosely based on her life. There’s no airdate yet, but it started shooting June 1.


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