It is a truth universally acknowledged that the year 2020 has sucked majorly. The past nine months have tested even the strongest of us, and for those who have mental health issues **raises hand**, the suckage has just increased with every new batch of COVID cases.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably been existing solely for bingeing new shows, to make up for our current lack of social lives. Most recently, I binged the entirety of Rachel Bloom’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (no, really, I finished the series in like a week), and you know what? That show really, really hit different because of everything that’s gone down in 2020.
So, here’s what Crazy Ex-Girlfriend taught me (and just three of many reasons why you should binge it too):
You Can Choose Your Family
If you’ve never seen the show: it follows Rebecca, a successful New York lawyer, who quits her job and moves to…West Covina (which is conveniently where her ex-boyfriend is living). Really, it’s a story about a woman discovering herself…and causing lots of mayhem (and laughs) along the way.
One of the most important things that Rebecca learns throughout the course of the show is that she can choose the family she wants to surround herself with. She begins the show alone, and by the end, she has a warm and loving chosen family (okay, they are also kind of dysfunctional, but what family isn’t???)
I don’t think Rebecca (or Rachel Bloom) could predict the insanity that is 2020, but I DO think that she would remind us that just because you’re related to someone by blood doesn’t mean you need to keep them in a place of control in your life. Surround yourself with people who support and inspire you, because THEY are your real family (and will be more likely to get you out of jail…)
It’s OK To Not Know What You Want
A recurring theme in the show is the main characters realizing that they don’t actually know what they want…and then they try to figure it out. Most noticeable is Rebecca, of course, but the one that really spoke to me was Rebecca’s best friend, Paula, who decides to return to school to complete her law degree in her mid-40s after raising two kids.
There’s this insane expectation that we should know what we want and how to get it by the time we’ve finished university, but…I am in my 30s and I have no clue what I want. Like Paula, I know that I am not satisfied with the career I currently have, and I’ve got to put in the time to figure out what the hell I want to do next.
Self-Love Is SO Important
Arguably, the biggest focus of the show is Rebecca’s struggle with mental health, and accepting the help she needs in order to live a full and healthy life. Learning to love herself goes hand-in-hand with her mental health journey, and by the end of the series, Rebecca knows who she is and has a support team (both professional, medical, and personal) that helps her to achieve her goals.
Earlier this year, I made the decision to take medication for my anxiety. Luckily, this was a few weeks before the pandemic started, so by the time COVID panic took hold of the world, I had the medicinal support I needed to cope with the huge changes that 2020 wrought on us. As I watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I felt more confident than ever with my decision, and I came to the conclusion that taking that step was a huge act of self-love.
And in 2020, that’s the most important kind of love there is.
There’s still a few weeks left in 2020, but you know what? You’ve survived. As you start your work week—whether you are an essential worker or stuck at home—please remember to give yourself the care you need.