TV F B B

Somebody Else’s Life

Sometimes, it feels easier to immerse yourself in somebody else’s life, and to become invested in somebody else’s dreams, than it is to face the overwhelming emptiness of your own.

 

Sometimes, it feels easier to immerse yourself in somebody else’s life, and to become invested in somebody else’s dreams, than it is to face the overwhelming emptiness of your own.

I love watching television; I always have. When I first came to the United States, watching television was how I learned to speak English, and the closed captions were how I later developed my vocabulary. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that TV isn’t educational! All that said, at the lowest point in my life, I spent hours a day watching television. I was severely depressed, and although not suicidal, I just had no real interest in my life, present or future. I binge-watched shows and movies that I’d already seen, and had a Netflix queue ranked by expiration date; I had to make sure that I watched everything before they “left” Netflix.

I threw my mind and emotions into every frame, every episode, and every character. I felt disoriented and out of place whenever I would finally decide to shut off the television and get some sleep. I was so disconnected from the emptiness of my real life and constantly on the run from my own feelings, but I was totally immersed in the lives of people who were nothing more than someone’s brainchild being portrayed by a paid actor with a real life of their own. The resistance to confronting my most uncomfortable feelings and fear of taking accountability for how my actions and inaction had created the life that I was living led me down a rabbit hole of pure fantasy. As I child, I had used books as my escape, devouring at least four a week. When that required too much energy, I moved on to television. But the root was the same: I was afraid of facing myself.

If you’re currently struggling with feeling “stuck,” feeling as if you’ve been living life on auto-pilot for the last one, five, or even ten years, I must ask: What are you running away from?

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