My Mad Fat Depressive Episode

My Mad Fat Depressive Episode

A television series may have taught me more than therapy.

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Spoilers ahead!

Similarly to many others, I recently visited home for Thanksgiving break. Personally, I didn't eat any turkey, but I did find a new series to binge that would completely destroy and save my life all at once. "My Mad Fat Diary" is the series I so desperately needed when I was younger, but I'm glad I found it as a college student instead.

Growing up, I was far from a beauty queen. I always thought I was overweight and had some major self-confidence issues. I also struggle with my own variety of mental health problems.

"My Mad Fat Diary" is a short British television series set in 1996 Lincolnshire. There are only three seasons and 16 episodes. The show depicts an overweight teenager named Rae Earl leaving a mental hospital and going on to tackle friendships, boyfriends, sex, self-esteem, and more. In the first season, Rae is on her way home to face her life again when she runs into her best mate, who she hasn't seen since she went away and has no idea she's been ill.

Her best mate, Chloe, eventually invites Rae out to a pub to meet a gang of new friends. It is there she meets her soon-to-be love interest, Finn Nelson, who she despises at first. Throughout the first season, Rae struggles to fit in with a new group of friends who don't know she's been mentally ill. She also struggles to identify and process her feelings for Finn, and she does it all while struggling to find healthy ways to cope.

In season two, we finally see Rae and Finn living out all our relationship goals to the fullest, but sadly, it's short-lived. Rae struggles a lot with her confidence. She worries what people may think of her next to the guy so clearly out of her league. Things escalate when she and Finn decide to have sex, but she is unable to get past her insecurities long enough to undress before him. This is what ends the relationship at the very beginning of the season.

Rae spends the rest of it on what I like to think of as her journey of self-discovery. She begins to accept therapy, loses her virginity, adjusts to her new family, and even finds her way back to Finn.

The third and final season of "My Mad Fat Diary" is only three episodes. Rae has to accept the end of her therapy, choose between a life with Finn and a life at University, and mend her friendship with her best mate. It's a bittersweet ending to a story that brought me on an emotional roller coaster unlike any other.

Sure, this may all seem pretty melodramatic, and in some ways it is, but Rae Earl is the type of character almost anyone can relate to. Rae associates many of her faults with being overweight. She struggles to believe she is deserving of many things but mostly struggles to believe she deserves love.

The show isn't perfect. There were no trigger warnings where they were needed, and there weren't always happy endings. What the show does do is bring you along a journey to learn how to save and love yourself, and for that, I'll never forget it.

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An Open Letter To The Person Who Can't Do It Anymore

"Strength grows in the moments when you think you can't go on, but you keep going anyway."
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Hey you, yeah you! You’re the person who everyone sees as having their life together. Everyone comes to you with all their problems and tells you how you give the best advice. But no one ever seems to care about how you are doing. Even when they ask the cliche line “How are you?” You respond with “I’m alright” or “I’m okay” and they don’t respond anymore or just ignore your response and start talking about something else. You’re the person who puts everyone else’s happiness before your own, and you question why because when does anyone ever do that for you. And sometimes you feel like you just can’t do it anymore.

When I say can’t do it anymore, I’m not talking about being suicidal, I’m talking about feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally dead, to the point where you can just lay in bed for hours staring at the ceiling not realizing the time that has gone by. You have no motivation to do anything. Then you eventually just isolate yourself from everyone, even your closest friends. It’s not the feeling that you can’t do it anymore that gets you, it’s all the other stuff that comes with it. It’s the feeling of being left out, lonely, uncared for, overwhelmed, and so much more. But most of all you feel lost. Sometimes you just cry, and the worst part about it, you don't know why, you're jsut sad. Sure you have friends and family you can go to, but you question whether they even care about you at times. You try so hard to help and please everyone but no matter what you do, it never seems to be good enough for anyone. Sometimes you just can't get it right, or at least it seems that way. Which is okay because you realize everyone makes mistakes, but yours just seems to be huge ones that affect friendships or life choices rather than small ones that don't have any affect on you. Or it seems that way. On top of everything though, you just feel like something is missing, but you have no idea what it could be.

Every day is hard for you to get up out of bed, let alone to put on a smile and act like everything in your life is perfect, but it’s not, it feels like everything is crashing down on you all at once. And the worst part, it just seems like everything keeps getting worse and worse and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But there is, as hard as it is to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

You just have to keep going. Keep faking that smile, helping others, and doing your everyday best. Keep fighting. You may feel like you’re dying, but it will be okay. Have something to fight for. Whether it’s your future, your goals, your friends, family members, pets, or whatever it might be. Keep being the good person you are towards others because eventually someone will notice and appreciate your kindness, you will see the light, and not only wonder why you felt that way before, but you will feel full and have everything you have ever dreamed of. Even though you feel physical, mentally, and emotionally dead now, just remember there is more to life than this feeling and eventually, you will see the light, sometimes when you at least expect it.

Sincerely,

The person who has been there more than once

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To The Friend Who Truly Understood My Depression And Anxiety

Thank you for everything you do.

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Dear friend,

When I started having issues with my anxiety and depression, everyone seemed to pull away. They all wanted space from me, they all said I was changing and I needed to get better. I know I needed to get better, but everyone pushing me didn't make me feel any better or more supported. It made me feel as if I was some sort of problem or issue, and as if I was too broken and damaged to be viewed as normal. They all made me out to be a bad person. But you, you never did.

When I started struggling, you made me feel supported. You voiced your feelings in a way that made me feel as if I was supported and as if you had been through what I was dealing with too. You made me feel heard and understood.

When I started medication for my mental health, you checked in on my reactions to the meds every day. You made sure to keep up with me and keep updated on how I was doing. Since day one, you have made your love and support for me abundantly clear. You have listened to me rant and rave about everything and anything I can possibly rant and rave about. Every decision I have made to help myself and my mental health, you have supported, even from afar.

You have always had such a handle on the best way to be here for me and the best way to unconditionally support me. You validated my feelings while simultaneously telling me they were wrong. You encouraged me getting the help I needed without making me feel as if I was an issue or as if I was a problem.

You've always been one of my biggest supporters, my biggest role models, and best friends. You truly understand my struggles and never cease to amaze me with your unending support.

Thank you for everything you do, and thank you for being you.

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