So, much like the rest of the American population, I’m totally guilty of binge-watching shows on Netflix for days at a time. LOST, Breaking Bad, Dexter, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black… and yes, even Grey’s Anatomy. You name it, I’ll develop an obsessive addiction and watch that sucker clear to the finale. Because of this phenomenon, I’ve challenged myself to break up the monotony with TED Talks. If you’ve not heard of these awesome lectures, you should really check ’em out! My personal favorite is a talk done in 2010 by Video Game Designer Jane McGonigal. Her talk was so inspiring, it moved me to tears.
Watch It Here
What I appreciate even more is that these talks are not only like getting a college lecture for free, but they also deal with hot topics like mental illness. It’s a pretty cool concept. TED hosts conventions and lecture series to bring together scholars to share their knowledge on various topics. I feel a little bit better about binge-watching several TED talks where I learn something new than I do if I spent the entire afternoon watching Arrested Development.
Please watch this show if you have never seen it! Photo credit goes to FOX.
Anyway, all this television talk to say that at times, TV is a nice distraction from everyday life and especially everyday life with a mental illness. I can honestly say I try my best not to watch too much but in the age of Netflix, that certainly proves to be difficult. The struggle is real, y’all. My dad is a Graphic Designer and my sister and I grew up in front of the TV, much like many of our fellow ’80s babies. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention how much I believe shows relate to my life from time to time. For example, Lena Dunham clearly creeped my diary to write the script of girls. I’m convinced. (I know, ::collective eye roll::)
One of my very favorite shows, that was only on for 3 seasons, is United States of Tara, written by none other than Diablo Cody (writer of Juno). The show features a mother of 2 who struggles in her family, marriage, and day-to-day life with Multiple Personality Disorder. In my opinion the show was done very tastefully and made for the audience to truly better understand the disorder. I caught all 3 seasons on Netflix and recommend that you do the same. Although, I should mention that sometimes I take shows a bit too seriously and was convinced after watching USoT that I too could go off my medication… good for self-discovery and identifying triggers but not so good for the brain and the loved ones you surround yourself with. The show chronicles the various personalities of Tara that arise as she chooses to go off her medication and find her true self and also shows the detrimental effects on her support system and more importantly, herself. Of course, I can relate all too easily. But, to put a positive spin here, I want to mention support systems.
To kick off the blog, I introduced the world to my amazing dog. He is a primary in my support system. That little fella literally does get me out of bed. Secondary in my support system are my incredible boyfriend John, my awesome DIY-obsessed sister, Jamie, my beautiful best friend and nurse, Sarah, and of course none other than my Mom and Dad. They have been with me through thick and thin. My mom has truly become my best friend through this journey and also my biggest ally. When I was first diagnosed Bipolar, there was mostly sadness, confusion, and ultimately rejection. Once I came around and accepted reality, my family, friends, and boyfriend were right there by my side to learn and grow with me.
What shows do you watch to pass the time? Who are the key players in your support system?
Peace & Love,