Was it good for you?
I always end up experiencing cult status tv moments years after the fact. Just before Christmas, I started watching breaking bad with my partner. To begin with, it was a captivating and enjoyable pastime.
However, as time progressed, the once pleasurable series became something that I dreaded at best and loathed entirely at worst. I’m not alone, in How Do We Know We're Doing It Right? And Other Thoughts On Modern Life, Pandora Sykes quotes Zachary Snider who found similar experiences with the series. “I was noticeably more anxious and paranoid after binge-watching consecutive episodes of [breaking bad]”. So it’s not just me who found exposure to Walter White to be a bad thing.
It took me a little while to realise, but I was experiencing similar feelings after prolonged exposure to Walter White. I was more anxious, my mood was lower and I felt like shit. This, dear reader, is not entertaining.
Sadly, my willpower is stronger than I know, and coupled with my fear of leaving things unfinished - lead me to continue through episode after episode - which made me feel like a split bin liner full of cold tea bags.
In a recent therapy session, I explored my fear of making decisions - it stems from childhood memories of making the wrong decisions, and the emphasis of not changing my mind often by adults around me. This no doubt is helped by a serious dedication to the church of indecision - well at least I think I’m dedicated, I’m not so sure - so making and changing my mind can take WEEKS.
It took my partner to say it’s okay to stop watching it - as they’d also noticed my low mood - for me to finally walk away from Walter White’s miserable rein of anxiety filled TV. It made me think about decisions and the things we hold as knowledge or truth.
It is abundantly clear to me that we don’t have to have the same opinion or mindset continuously. For me, it feels like I have some unlearning to give myself permission for smaller things. On a bigger scale of unlearning things we were taught, or reexamining our stance on politics/social issues this is a no brainer! Changing our opinion as we know more and learn is VITAL!! It is also healthy and part of the human process of evolution.
After such a profound moment pouring forth from my head, it seems silly that this was originally about telly. However, it’s good to explore these feelings as we have them when we feel them!
So take this as a sign, it’s good to change your mind, and it’s healthy to move away from things that no longer fulfil you. Happiness is and always should be a priority!
If you’re wondering, we packed Walter in for Peaky Blinders, and we haven’t looked back!
Shot by Rachel Pechey