Friday, January 30, 2015

Netflix Therapy

Ok, this post is going to sound silly. But I write it because it's true for me and because I know so many of us do it. Do what, you ask? Use Netflix to help us process the emotional stress of life.

These last few weeks I have devoured Gilmore Girls. A sitcom of a mother/daughter duo who basically engage in witty banter for 40 minutes about family, education, social class, pop culture and politics (2000-2007). At first I indulged because it reminded me of when my college roommate Elin and I would would watch the episodes (you know, marathon style) when we finished all our end of term exams. It was our way to destress, laugh and have fun.

I kept watching because the show made me laugh and I started connecting with the characters in the story line. Then, it dawned on me (...I know, that this show served a purpose for me. Watching these two women engage in their relationships was allowing me to consider the relationships that were causing me stress. I could laugh at their issues because they were just enough like mine that they were real and just enough different that it didn't hurt...too much.

When I realized I was crying in an episode, I really got it. Oh man, I'm carrying some stress and pain of social structures, abusive relationships and unrealized dreams. I'm feeling this disappointment deeply. I want reconciliation, but I'm not quite there yet. I could ride the emotional roller coaster with these characters I grew to like and it helped me remember that the seasons don't last forever. The storyline always continues...well, until it ends.

[Netflix] shows can let us into the storyline where we realize (at a slant of course) our own emotional issues and stress. They play on our emotions by taking us along the real life ebb and flow of pain.

I'm not saying Netflix is the way to process your emotions. I still prefer professional therapy, good colleagues, exercise and rest....BUT, sometimes it's just what I need to gently engage and process.

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