In recent months I’ve been forced to realise that I’m overly attached to fictional angst. It’s why I read so much Drarry, and adore the Tenth Doctor on such an intense scale. The hurt and pain felt by those characters gives them so much depth, and makes them so…real. It doesn’t matter if they’re The Boy Who Lived, or The Last Of The Time Lords, they are sometimes overrun by their emotions and they’re not perfect, and it makes them so much more loveable.
I have felt pain in my life. A lot of it could probably be classed as First World Pain, but it still hurt me, and it built up and up until I developed an addiction to self harm, and after four years, sought help and found myself on anti-depressants before my eighteenth birthday. I was what you could pretty accurately describe ‘a wreck’, and when you’re that low, you feel so alone. And it was at the height of my pain that I sought comfort in fiction. I fell headfirst into stories where there wasn’t a happily ever after, or there was, but it came after a long and bumpy road. I loved when Prince Charming saved the broken girl from herself, and even more when he was battling his own demons too. I loved these stories because they made me feel like I wasn’t alone. They made me feel like even the most amazing people can be full of hurt. It wasn’t just me, and that felt good.
I loved it when Ten let his anger and absolute despair show; I rejoiced! If someone like him could be so messed up, I felt less horrible about feeling the same way.
Eventually though, and this is why I’ve written most of the post in past tense, I realised I had to take serious steps to recovery, and that part of these steps would be to cut out all Triggers. I had to come to terms with the fact that a lot of my favourite fics and episodes of Doctor Who, amongst other things, were hindering my healing. Their pain made me feel better about my pain, and in turn question why I wanted to stop it at all. It was a horrible realisation, but I wasn’t going to let my demons win.
I’ve now been in recovery eight months, give or take a few relapses, and in that time I realised that hiding in fictional angst was doing me as much harm as the things that left physical scars. They encouraged me to think about and normalise my pain, and that is the biggest No-No on the road to recovery. In those eight months, I also began to dabble in religion again, and I found a verse that is so much more inspiring and comforting than any fic or tv show ever could be:
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV)
I started my recovery before I resubmitted my life to God, so I’m not going to say that it was initially because of Him. What I will say, however, is that my continued recovery and ability to withstand the temptation I feel Every. Single. Day is all up to Him. Unlike The Doctor who only lives on my tv screen, or Harry and Draco who live in books and fics, the pain suffered by Jesus actually helps me to get over mine, and for that, I will be forever thankful.
I don’t know what my purpose in writing this post was, but I just finished watching the final two episodes of DW Season Two and felt the need to write…something. I am feeling more and more called to share my story and not be ashamed of what I have dealt, and am continuing to deal, with. That might mean different things on different days, but today it involved admitting to myself as much as to all of you, that my pop-culture addiction is often not as benign as I would like to believe. I’m doing a lot of self examination lately, and I challenge you to join me on my quest to self discovery and acceptance.
Frangipani Princess xoxo