Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Cats, the Nostalgia Critic, and the BBC Saved My Life

As I detailed in my first entry of By the Seat of Your Pants, after my attempted suicide and the painful breakup that followed (yeah, like I needed a reason to want to stay alive), depression had a stronger grip than ever on me.  I would never leave my room, not even to shower.  My diet consisted of a cup of soup a day, maybe a bag of microwaveable rice, and that was it.  Other than that, I never ate (it's one of the reasons why I'm so skinny now).  I slept most of the day, and would cry for the rest of it.  But if I wasn't sleeping or crying, I was on the Internet.  I spent most of my time on YouTube, trying to look up comedic or cute videos in a desperate attempt to learn how to laugh and smile again.  And honestly, looking back, it worked.  Cats, the Nostalgia Critic, and the BBC essentially saved my life.

I've always loved cats.  Dogs are cute (I love my dogs Blue and Taco to death), but I've definitely always been a cat person.  I don't know what it is about them that makes me love them so.  Maybe it's the different colors that they can come in.  Or maybe it's their adorable faces, or their mischievous nature.  Maybe it's a combination of the three.  Whatever it is, I've always been fond of cats.  As depression held on tight, since I could not cuddle with my kittens at home, I would do the next best thing: watch them.  Talking cats, walking cats, you name it.  If it involved cats, I saw it.  As I watched the kittens play, talk, sleep, tumble, and act as cute kittens would act, I began to once again appreciate the little things in life.

For those of you who have never heard of the Nostalgia Critic, I would just like to say one thing: "Where have you been?"  The Internet sensation is known for not only dishing out harsh criticism of films in comedic form, but actually providing thoughtful insight into film.  During that time, I never even would crack a smile.  But then one day, when I was on YouTube, I saw a review for Quest for Camelot in my recommendations (I've always been somewhat of a film nut).  As I watched it, I began to smile and laugh for the first time in what felt like an eternity.  When the review ended, I was still laughing.  I typed in Nostalgia Critic in the search bar, and was bombarded with pages upon pages of videos of his reviews.  Some of the titles I recognized, and others I didn't.  Regardless, I sat there, watching him tear apart films and laughing my ass off for every minute of it.  In short, the Nostalgia Critic helped to teach me how to laugh again.

There was another comedy act that helped me learn to laugh and appreciate life again.  There is a comedy sketch show in the UK called Horrible Histories.  I'm not sure if it's still on the air or not, but most of the clips I had seen were on YouTube (by this time, my TV in my room had stopped working, and Morehead State doesn't get BBC anyway).  The lighter humor of the show helped to contrast the harsher, darker humor of the Nostalgia Critic (which isn't bad, mind you).  I also got to learn new things about history, so I didn't feel as bad that I was unable to go to class.  The show helped me to gain back my love of learning by presenting it in a way that could make me pay attention (when I get depressed, I'm not focused).

Now I know what some of you may be thinking: "What about the people that helped you?"  Well, let me tell you something.  When you're depressed, you want no contact with any person whatsoever.  You are consumed by a crippling sadness, fighting feelings of unworthiness.  You want to just die, that way everyone can be rid of you.  During that time, I wanted no contact with anyone.  I just wanted to be alone.  I thought that humans were just evil monsters.  And yes, to be perfectly honest, I was afraid that every human would turn out to be just like my ex: cold, unfeeling, and unfaithful.  But there's a certain community one gains through the Internet.  I mean, look at you all, my beautiful readers.  You come from places all over the world, places I could only dream of visiting.  And yet, we all come together to read and share ideas.  That's one of the beautiful things about social media, and the Internet itself.  The Internet was my first taste of communication since my attempted suicide and the breakup that followed.  The closeness of the Internet users helped me to believe in the goodness of humanity once again.

And so, to the Nostalgia Critic, the crew at Channel Awesome, the people involved with Horrible Histories, and to cat lovers anywhere, I just want to say thank you for teaching me this lesson.  I know that the probability of any of you reading this is slim to none, but still.  Thank you.

Love and Coffee cups,

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