Truth be told, I’ve kind of given up on the show This is Us, though there are some characters that I am still very truly, madly, and deeply in love with (Randall, Kate, and Toby). And there are some relationships that are a bit more complicated, though they occupy a special place in my heart, too (Kevin).
I’ve been trudging through the new season. Bryan and I watch about a week or two behind, but it’s not something I look forward to the way I did the first few seasons when story lines were still unfolding and the audience collectively wanted to solve some of the bigger mysteries together. Once we did, the show seemed to lose a bit of its spark (in my opinion, anyway) and too many new people were brought on board with other complicated backstories, and well… it lost me.
Until the episode I saw recently that brought on a really important discussion on mental health disorders. Randall, who has long suffered with anxiety, learned that his daughter Tess had a panic attack at school, and I thought the show did a really remarkable job of touching on some sensitive topics that no one really speaks to—the issue of mental health among men, but also what it actually feels like to have debilitating anxiety.
In the episode, Randall rebukes his wife’s attempt to see a therapist. Watching this scene made me cringe, because I understand that weird feeling of hopelessness and not wanting to seek outside help for something we feel we should be able to control ourselves. But I also get that this issue is exacerbated for men who’ve long been told to “tough it up” and “deal with it.” It’s not that easy to flip a switch on anxiety, and sometimes the panic bubbles over until it manifests itself in really ugly and very unpredictable ways.
The other scene that really struck a nerve was Randall’s father telling Randall’s wife Beth that he himself also struggled with anxiety as a child and that it was something he never wanted to pass along to his kids. When episodes of panic would occur, his mother filled a glass with seltzer and told him to sit and watch the bubbles until they began to settle.
Fast forward, Randall finds himself saying the same thing to his wife in the kitchen, that he feels awful for passing along this—his worst trait—onto his daughter. Beth pulls Randall and Tess into the kitchen and pours each a glass of seltzer, telling them that when the anxiety hits they just have to wait it out, until finally all the bubbles settle.
Lately, I’ve been dealing with some of my own panic and trying to suppress the emotions. Which never brings me anywhere good or productive, but anxiety isn’t an emotion we like to sit with, is it? We’d prefer it to go far, far away so we can continue living our lives peacefully. Anyway, the point is it’s never that simple, and my door is always open if you need someone to talk to.
Also, I apologize that I’ve kind of gone MIA from the blog world. Every now and then I like to take a break, though this last one was unexpected for me as well. What have I missed?? HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! What are you dressing up as? Or dressing your children/dogs as?