“You do not have to be happy 24/7.”
Travis
ATC client for one year
Travis (left) with his counselor Abby (right)

Travis talks with his counselor Abby about his comic book, Father MidKnight

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Travis: The whole void is supposed to represent the negative aspects of humanity. Because everybody tells us to embrace the positive virtues of humanity and ignore the negative quirks of humanity. And it’s like, you can’t have one without the other. And another thing. Let me just say this as a service announcement: it is okay to be sad. You do not have to be happy 24/7.

Abby: Preach

Travis: If you don’t see those damn Facebook quotes, like “It’s okay! Just be happy! Smile through it!” No, don’t just smile through it! If you want to cry dawg, motherfucking cry! That’s okay. Please please please.

Abby: Do you mind if I step in for a second? I think you just touched upon one of my favorite parts of working with you is that you just went from your writing to talking about some very real human shit, right? Like about how people are happy and sad and good and bad and being able to see people for the whole thing they are. And I think that awareness of yourself and everyone—and I’ve said it before—is what makes you such a good writer and create such dynamic characters. It’s really cool! And so, I just want to make sure that you see that connection; that you’re a great writer because of that ability to see people.

Travis: If you could see me, I’m probably blushing right now. Thank you. That makes me feel good. I never think that’s a really positive skill to have, I don’t know. I have bipolar disorder and it’s really bad and it’s either sink or swim with the disorder this severe. And so I’m definitely a fighter so I never really chose to sink and the only way to swim was to get to know yourself. 23 years later, here I am! Ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing. I’m walking here—I’m sorry New York. [Laughter]