Yes, as silly as it sounds it’s true.
I have only just started reading Fanfiction this year and I think it is amazing. There are so many talented writers out there, telling amazing stories with the characters and themes we all love. So how did this help with my anxiety you ask? Well it all started at the turning of the new year.
For some unexplained reason, when I woke up on New Years Day this year I felt strange, different even (no it was not alcohol-related, as I had like two Vodkas to “celebrate” the night before. I am not really a big drinker) like a switch had flipped inside my head, inside my whole body. I just started thinking differently, like from a different perspective. It was an intriguing feeling, one I had never felt before. With this feeling, this new perspective on life, I started to read Fanfiction (Skins Fanfiction more specifically). I had always wondered about reading Fanfiction, but to be honest I thought it was a bit stupid. Like why would you ruin a good story. With this new outlook on life I thought well why not give it a go, what’s the worst that could happen (aside from becoming addicted to it!)
I picked Skins Fanfiction to begin with as I really loved the characters in the TV Series (2nd generation). I had only come across the series last year and really enjoyed it. I stopped watching it about halfway through the 6th season as it lost its appeal (but I think that was more the 3rd generation characters more than anything. I guess I didn’t really grow to love them). I wish I had come across the series when it was first released. It sort of spoke to me and made me understand a few things about myself. But anyway how did this help with my anxiety?
Well like alot of movies and series, I usually learn from the messages the writers/directors/actors are trying to get across, well that is when its a good story with characters you can understand or even relate to. Skins helped me understand a bit about my anxiety as its a pretty large theme of the series (apart from the entertaining parts like sex, drugs and alcohol lol). When I saw Skins: Fire I was devastated with the story of Naomi, Emily and Effy. I thought too much of the story was squeezed into a short timeline, and it didn’t end up a happy ending. Now what a minute, I know life doesn’t always have a happy ending. It’s not all sunshine, rainbows and puppies, but that is besides the point. The story upset me and I turned to Fanfiction to make me feel better.
When I started reading different stories about my favourite characters, I started to find parts of myself again. I used to read a long time ago, but over the years I never made time for it. Now it’s hard to have a day without reading (Fanfiction or not). It sparked emotions in me. It made me laugh, and cry. It made me enjoy something again (especially something not food related). I felt connected to other people in their writing. I think it has made me smarter in a different way. It also gave me the confidence to start writing this blog.
I think when you find something that helps you emotionally, it can help you reduce the feelings of anxiety and help you move forward. I am not saying that I am cured, I am saying that its helped me in a way that nothing else has. I think the themes and characters made me accept the things I cannot change about myself and learn to start loving myself again. Self love is hard for me. The things I love about myself are few and far between. But I am working on that. I think the hardest thing for me has been not being happy for almost half of my life, that is a long time to not being truly happy (or in a state of happiness). If reading fictional stories from amateur writers helps, then shoot me (please don’t shoot me).
My advice to anyone out there suffering from some form of anxiety and stuck in a rut for too long, try and find something different that makes you happy. Find something off the beaten track and let the euphoria ignite in your veins and put life back into your heart, and more importantly in your head. Your mind is a beautiful thing, even if it is shadowed by the darkness of anxiety. What happens in your head makes you…you. And you know what? YOU ARE AWESOME !
The Girl in the Green Shoes