Next up in my series of “how I combat depression” posts…
This is why I’m white and nerdy.
Well, I’m white because of genetic predisposition. I’m nerdy because that’s how my parents raised me.
But I’ve chosen to remain actively nerdy because of the blessings it has brought to my life.
Yes, being a geek is like a religion to me.
First of all, let’s get straight that I have a LOT of fandoms. You’ve probably noticed some in my blog before. But today I want to highlight specifically four that help me overcome different aspects of depression, and regain positive mindsets in different areas.
- The Hunger Games: Hope How many blog posts have I already written about The Hunger Games? More than I want to count. But here’s the condensed version of my immense feelings about this series: In the face of colossal oppression, having everything that was ever dear or important killed, destroyed, or hijacked, and being unable to understand or trust your own mind, Katniss perseveres by holding on to one thing – hope. Hope that she instills in an entire nation. Hope that no matter what happens, you can heal. You can find something good in this world. Yes, Katniss loses faith. She loses optimism. She loses her sanity. But she never loses hope. It is the rod in her soul that she clings to when she has literally nothing else. Whenever I feel like I’ve lost my reason for being, like life is meaningless and myself worthless among it, I turn to the Hunger Games for comfort. There is nothing that inspires me more than this journey of loss and healing. When my life is full of darkness, Katniss and Peeta are my home.
- The Lord of the Rings: Faith This wonderful world created by Tolkien has SO MANY beautiful lessons to apply to daily life, but the one I regularly turn to is the sheer grit, the clenching strength to press forward even when you don’t know how to get to the end, how to overcome the enemy, or how things will even turn out. Aragorn, Gandalf, Frodo, and especially Sam, they simply believed they would conquer, and so they kept moving until they did. Does that not light your bones on fire? Does that not compel you to shove your way through the brambles and briars life has thrown in your path? Does that not inject your heart with the courage of men, hobbits, elves, dwarves, and wizards combined? It can’t be just me. And what could you possibly need more when you’re depressed than a shot of faith straight into your bloodstream – a belief to hold on to, that if you just take one more step, you’ll make it through Mordor? If we all had such faith, what could we do in this world?
- Harry Potter: Love Harry Potter is also rife with life lessons, but I think the world would agree with me when I say the primary one is love – and perhaps that everything else you can get out of Harry Potter is rooted in love. Harry himself embodies altruism again and again throughout the series. But my absolute favorite thing about Harry Potter is that it explores every kind of loving relationship, and proves at every turn that no one can or should get through life alone. We need love of every kind to buoy us, to propel us and enlighten us, to bolster us into the people we need to be to complete our purpose in life. When you’re depressed, it’s easy to get in the mindset that being alone is endless, that you’re meant to be that way and it’s easier to just accept it, or that only a certain type of love can heal you. But that’s all wrong – any and every type of love can heal you – that of a friend, a teacher, a parent, a guardian, a stranger who has seen one hint of goodness in you and admires you for it. And you’re never alone, even when you think you are. Somewhere, out of the billions of people on earth, I promise there is someone whose heart echoes yours. And that can become the stepping stone out of your darkness and into the light.
- Doctor Who: Optimism The Doctor himself says it: “I am and always will be the optimist, the hoper of far-flung hopes, and the dreamer of improbable dreams.” The Doctor’s zeal for living is infectious, as he takes women (and sometimes men) from their ordinary, tedious lives and thrusts them into adventure and danger, opening their eyes to all the wonderful, impossible and beautiful pieces of the universe, elevating them to a place of strength and gratitude, peace and generosity. The Doctor never quells his curiosity, and approaches life with an ever-flowing fountain of love from his two hearts, accepting and teaching and healing the lives of everyone he contacts (except those that he ends up killing…but that is always because they refuse to change and it’s relatively rare). The Doctor is a most extraordinary man. You can’t help but love him. Because he teaches you to love yourself, no matter what imperfections you think infect your life. In the Doctor’s eyes, everyone has worth. And nothing is more valuable than that when you’re depressed. The Doctor believes in goodness, and he believes in you.
If you have any of these fandoms, know that my heart is with yours and you are not alone. If you don’t share them…try them. 😉 If you don’t want to, figure out the things that you love that other people do, and realize that you can come back to that thing endlessly and you’ll never be alone, because thousands of others are loving the thing that you are. That’s what being a geek/nerd is all about anyway…loving something and sharing it with others.