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Depression film club. Tuesday August 12, 2014

I have danced with depression for most of my life, but have somehow always been able to make my excuses and exit the dance floor before its grip became too strong.

This year however, at the age of 34, something changed. To put it mildly everything changed all at once, leaving my life resembling a twister spinning erratically and relentlessly. I waited for the natural calm to restore order. But for the first time, it was nowhere to be seen. The panic attacks started and my local Starbucks staff eyed me warily as I burst into tears yet again while sipping my vanilla latte.

Desperate for the despair and panic to stop I found solace in the little pockets of escape that watching my favourite films gave me. Little did I realise that the eclectic group of films would serve as a wonderful metaphor for my then mindset, giving me comfort, relief and a glimmer of positivity for the future.

So sit back, draw the curtains and take what you will from the first instalment of the depression film club.

Drop Dead Fred

Starring one of my favourite comics of all time, the late Rik Mayall, Drop Dead Fred is the story of Lizzie, who returns to her overbearing mother following the end of her marriage to the smarmy and equally controlling Charles.

From her dowdy clothes and Alice bands Lizzie looks like a lost child, until the return of her childhood imaginary friend, Drop Dead Fred.

Fred is loud, fun and rebellious (and no one else can see him). It becomes clear that these were qualities Lizzie also possessed as a child until her mother stifled her through fear and manipulation.

After many ridiculous scenarios including breakages, a house boat disaster and dog poo, Fred releases Lizzie from her mental child-hood prison, enabling her to stand alone as a confident, independent woman.

One of the final scenes of this film shows Lizzie enter a dream like state where she finally releases her childhood self who is shackled to her bed with sellotape. The perfect metaphor for self acceptance and letting go of the past.

Summary - When life comes crashing around you, it can mean the eventual start of a new life armed with skills and strengths that can only be found by fully experiencing and facing your pain (and maybe smashing a few things).

A Moodscope member.

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kassi Martin Tue, Aug 12th 2014 @ 8:49am

Hi Teresa, thanks for sharing your blog post. I really enjoyed reading it and hope you write more - and more suggested films!
I'm big on creative expression and often watch a film knowing it will grab my inner world, gently shake me up and bring me back out when needed. Music has the same impact on me. I choose particular songs knowing it eill express what I need and usually lift me in moments. My favourite creative tool is art. I find creating from impulse is most effective for me. A direct route back to my self. I will get a copy of Drop Dead Fred. Thanks again. Kassi

Anonymous Tue, Aug 12th 2014 @ 9:35am

Hi Kassi - I'm really glad you enjoyed the post. I couldn't agree more, I find that film and music make a great therapist and of course some of the most inspiring art is channeled via melancholy!
I have lots more films I hope to write blogs for - thanks again.

Steve Tue, Aug 12th 2014 @ 10:13am

Good post Teresa, do write about more films :)

Anonymous Tue, Aug 12th 2014 @ 12:29pm

I had a similar dream recently, - OK. well, may be not similar, but dreams are a kind of film in your head, aren't they?
In this dream my beloved tom cat who died in 1998, he was sewn with his behind to a kind of pedestal, and the seam had come loose. So I tried to glue him onto the plinth,and while I applied the glue I woke up, realizing that I was doing something terribly wrong. You can't glue on a free ranging cat. You have to let him go. Let go. Let go. That's what I need to do.

Tere Tue, Aug 12th 2014 @ 1:32pm

I so understand your last paragraph -- what I get from it is two things: one my mother always used to say: G-d doesn't give you more than you can handle (with the following: I wish he didn't trust me so much!) and the other: that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So many times I've heard people tell my how strong I am and so many times I think to myself, if you only knew. I don't WANT to be this strong, I wanted to have a more normal life than that which I had. I didn't want an ex to steal my kids and hide them from me for almost 8 years. I didn't want the battles I had to fight to get them back. But now that's over, I have my kids (all adults now and safe from treachery) and can enjoy my grands. But if people only knew . . .

Di Murphey Tue, Aug 12th 2014 @ 2:16pm

Dearest Teresa ~
It is remarkable that you have the ability to see the strengths you've gained from your struggles. I love the Depression Film Club ~ it makes me giggle so hard my abs hurt. Thank you, for the laughter and the challenging thoughts you share. More, please.
Warmest regards,
Di Murphey
Moodscope Member

Anonymous Thu, Aug 14th 2014 @ 6:02am

Talking " smashing a few things " At the hospital - where I was accommodated once, they provided a room with a shelf-full of 'old ' crockery, so that when stressed
we could chuck plates etc. into a stone sink in there.

Anonymous Sat, Aug 16th 2014 @ 9:22pm

I love the idea of the Film Club and I'm going to have to watch Drop Dead Fred again. Hopefully it's available via Netflix...

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