December 22, 2014 § Leave a comment
I have this TV show that I watch constantly, and it’s slipped into my daily schedule to watch 2-3 episodes of it. And when I don’t watch it, I keep on thinking about it and it’s just basically taken over my life. For some reason I keep on feeling really down and confused and I just really don’t know what to do with my life.
Oh Supremeoven (is this a AHS: Coven reference or do you just really like baking?), I hear you. I’ve had a few shows aim to take over my life. LOST. The Good Wife. Battlestar Galactica. I’d say that Glee was the one that really hit the hardest though. I made a lot of amazing friends and found a lot of amazing clothes, but the amount of time I spent rewatching season 1 was, let’s say, problematic.
I think we get sucked into television shows at vulnerable times in our lives. Right before I started obsessing, I went through a bad breakup. The day after it happened, I packed up my car, gave away all my furniture to the lovely Latino family next door, and drove the 800 miles home to restart my life. And this wonderfully dumb TV show was waiting for me on the other end. Sure it got me through the rough patch, but at what cost?
One of my therapist mentors shared these very wise words with me once, and I want to pass them along to you. “The infant’s always there, but that doesn’t mean she has to steer.” What that means is that in each of us, there’s a mature side, and an immature side. The immature side of us is the part that wants to be taken care of, to be nurtured and loved unconditionally at all times. When we consistently use an obsession to get us through the day, we’re letting the infant steer. And this will inevitably make us feel depressed and feed our addiction.
Sitting with the uncomfortableness of not knowing what you’re going to do with your life is letting the adult steer. It means saying, “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I’m gonna be brave and try something different.” Supreme, a TV show can entertain you, distract you, and inspire you. But it can’t take care of you. Only you can do that. That might look like talking to a counselor, replacing unhealthy habits with healthy ones, or taking the time to write down your values, dreams, and goals for life. It doesn’t look like watching your favorite episode for the 27th time.
So be kind to yourself! You’re in the driver’s seat, and only you can decide where you’d like to go next.