I used to write about mental health more. I’m sorry I haven’t been talking about it more for the past few months, but life got busy and I did what I could. In any way, I am back with all my blog posts about it and I couldn’t pass next to Suicide Prevention Month.
For those who do not know, I have been suicidal. I have only been depression free for ten months and I know how lonely someone can feel. Last year I wrote about five books which made me feel less alone, so I thought I could do something similar this year.
Without further ado, here are five characters who made me feel less alone.
❥ In a novel: Julian Blackthorn
I met Julian at the very beginning of 2017. I had bought Lady Midnight when it came out but I had to catch up with another Shadowhunters novel before being able to read this one. I remember how bad I was feeling at that time. I actually even wrote a blog post about it back in 2018. But I met Jules, and it made a difference.
Julian is either adored or hated by people who read about him. Truth be told, he is a morally grey character and he is… extreme. But I always felt close to him, I always felt as if I get him. Obviously, I couldn’t understand his sacrifices and his own struggles. But there was something about the darkness inside of him, this awful place mixed with the impossibility of letting go because people counted on you… this I related to.
Jules became my only book boyfriend ever since, and it never ever changed. He made me feel better. Reading about him falling in love with his childhood best friend made me feel as if I was in love, when I was just an asexual/demisexual girl still hoping to find someone one day. People often find it funny I re-read this book so many times or that I have so many tabs in my first copy… but truly, this book saved me. And that’s mostly because of Julian.
❥ In a comic book: Peter Parker
I have always loved Spider-Man. I grew up watching the different movies on TV and falling in love with every single Peter Parker who ever existed. And it all got more intense when the movie Spider-Man: Homecoming came out.
I cannot say a lot about why I related so much about this particular Peter Parker because it’s extremely personal and private, but this movie showed me a part of myself I never thought of before… the one where I invented someone else and I would have rather been her than myself. It introduced me to Tom Holland, who I have been obsessed with ever since, and mostly pushed me to read more about Peter Parker. That’s when I started my comic book collection.
I truly see myself in him, and maybe it’s weird and self centered to see yourself in a superhero, but I feel as if I can understand some of his struggles. No matter what, he helped me. Reading about him, rewatching his movies… He helped me a lot.
❥ In a movie: Donna Sheridan
I met Donna Sheridan quite late. For whatever reasons my mother never showed us Mamma Mia and I wasn’t curious enough to watch it by myself. I finally did with my sister one night in 2018, a little while before its sequel was coming out, which is what made me feel less alone.
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again came out a month after I lost my grandmother, a month after my heart broke in a million pieces and I thought I could never survive it. I was in London with one of my best friends and we decided to go watch it, because we wanted to and also because I wanted something to change my mind. Little did I knew Donna was dead in this one, and we were being told about her past through Lily James, an actress I have always loved.
Seeing Lily playing Donna made me feel everything. I cried a lot watching this movie for obvious reasons, but I also laughed a lot and felt myself again. It made me want to go out and to take risks. It made me want to get better. If I hadn’t my studies waiting for me, I would have left the country to travel alone. It truly made me want to do more with my life and to kill my depression, to make my grandma proud and so on.
I have rewatched those movies a billion times ever since, and they always make me feel better. More importantly, Donna makes me feel better. There’s not a day I don’t think about her. She’s the reason I am less frightened by the world today, and it means a lot.
❥ In a tv show: Rebecca Bunch
I believe I have discovered Crazy Ex-Girlfriend back in 2016. It wasn’t that well known and I was curious because I listened to one of the songs and it made me laugh way too much.
You have to watch until season 2 to get why this show is linked to mental health. Season 1 is pure comedy and makes you believe everything crazy happening is due to its genre, when in reality every character suffer from something and was hiding it. It’s not a “hey look it’s actually an hospital” kind of show, it’s way more subtle and nuanced than that, and it’s amazing.
Rebecca is amazing. Season 4 Rebecca brought me so much. She made me understand that I deserve love, even if I screwed up in the past, even when I feel broken because of my mental illnesses. She made me understand I have to forgive myself and to believe in me.
If there’s one show I’d highly recommend to anyone, it’s this one. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better afterwards.
❥ In a musical: Evan Hansen
And finally… I have so many characters who made me feel less alone in musicals, including some from Beetlejuice and Waitress and Heathers. But Evan is special.
I met him back in 2016 because Ben Platt was starring in it and I adored him. I am always looking for new musicals to listen to, so I gave it a shot. Next thing I knew, I was sobbing on You Will Be Found in my bed late at night.
It’s not only because it talks about depression. It was because it talks about inventing yourself a life and preferring it to reality, no matter if it hurts others. It’s something I went through and did. It’s also why I relate to Peter Parker, the personal reason, because there was a time in my life when I invented someone else and I would have rather be her than being myself. Words Fail spoke to me like no other songs ever did before. I talked about it once on the blog, so I’ll link the blog post here again in case anyone is curious.
Hearing Ben Platt saying those things broke me and then put me back into pieces. It made me feel heard. It made me feel seen. I felt as if I could forgive myself for that weird and dark part of my life. I know what I’m saying probably doesn’t make any sense, but that was it for me. Evan made me feel so, so much better about who I truly was.
And that’s all!
Wherever you are, I hope that you know that you matter. You are loved. You make a huge difference in this world. Thank you for existing. I cannot imagine your struggles, but I know your strength and bravery. I am proud of you.
Who are some characters you love more than anything?