Girls

6 Mar

Does anyone out there watch Girls on HBO? I do, even though I’m not quite sure why I watch it.  None of the main characters are really likable and I can’t really relate to any of them.  Or maybe I can relate them to them but I don’t want to admit that these people with these horribly selfish tendencies are anything like me.

Last night was it was revealed that the main character, Hannah, has OCD.  Before this episode, she had never shown any symptoms.  A lot of the reviews I’m reading seem to think this came out of the blue.  I don’t know if it did.  I’m not alone because people have been picking apart earlier episodes to show that it didn’t come out of the blue and that it was foreshadowed.  But that’s not even what I mean.  I mean that no one really knows what is going on in a person’s life.  When you’re feeling good about the world and confident and you’re on your meds and everything seems to be going okay, you don’t show the anxious part of you.  I don’t have OCD.  So I can’t really speak for people with OCD but as someone who has struggled with anxiety, I can relate.  When you’re doing well, everyone sees this person that is confident and going on with their lives and doesn’t show the craziness that is going on inside their heads.  For a little while, all those thoughts quiet down and you can almost convince yourself that you don’t have a problem.  That you don’t have a little monster that lives inside you.

And then something happens.  Something stressful. Something awful.  Something like you lose your baby.  You realize you’re stuck going back to a job you hate.  You realize everything you had planned for your life is not happening.  And even though it hadn’t been happening for the longest time, it definitely isn’t happening now. And it’s even worse than you thought it could be.  And all those thoughts come back.  These horrible things start to happen again.  And even though I don’t have OCD, I can see how a stressful time can bring those feelings on.  It certainly brought my feelings of anxiety on. That’s what happened to Hannah.  She was okay and she was projecting this version of herself where she is awesome and in control.  Until the stress hit and she started to let those thoughts creep in.  Totally realistic.

There was a scene where Hannah goes into the bathroom while out with her parents.  She looks in the mirror and tells herself “You are fine and good” eight times and then tells herself “You are good and fine” eight times.  I have been there. Again, I have anxiety. I don’t have OCD.  But I have stood there in a public bathroom staring into a mirror telling myself over and over again, “You are okay. You are going to be okay.”

And that’s hard.  That’s hard to stand there in a public bathroom where anyone could walk in and have to tell yourself over and over that you are going to be okay.   You have to repeat it because if someone doesn’t tell you (even if it’s just your own reflection in the  mirror), you may collapse in a heap and just never get up again.  That’s how insurmountable it all feels.

This is something that people without anxiety or obsessive thoughts can’t understand.  They just think it should be so easy to pick yourself up. Dust yourself off.  Move on to the next.  It should be that easy.  In a perfect world, I would kill for it to be that easy.  I would kill to go into work without anxiety.  I would kill to have be able to sleep peacefully because I believe everything is going to be okay and that horrible things aren’t around the corner. That would be my ideal world.  If I could, I would move on from these thoughts, in a heartbeat.  I wish I could convince myself that everything is going to turn out like it’s supposed to and I am going to be fine and good.  I am going to be good and fine.

Medicine helps.  It takes the edge off.  Still, these thoughts are always in the background.  They are the little monster that lives inside you.  You don’t take your meds for a few days because you’re feeling good, or because they make you tired, or because you ran out and didn’t have time to go CVS.  Because you’re stupid and an idiot,  you forget you go through this every time you stop taking them.  After going off them for even a few days, you remember why you’re on medicine and why you can’t live an unmedicated life.  You feel awful and have these horrible thoughts that to the outside world seem to come out of nowhere.  You go from being a normal person to that girl that bursts into tears in the middle of a work day because she can’t find where she saved the Excel file she needs.

So yeah, the reveal of her having OCD and no one knowing it?  Totally realistic.

This was written a few days ago.  I’m on my meds.  I’m feeling okay.  This is not a cry for help.  Just thoughts that were swirling in my mind after reading a bunch of reviews about that episode.

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14 Responses to “Girls”

  1. Ladyblogalot March 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    have nailed it. And it’s awesome that they didn’t have her in there washing her hands 57 times, which is how most OCD is portrayed, but actually doing something that sufferers do pretty much every day. My numbers are four and eight, I use these for my repetitive behaviours so i feel I can relate even more, lucky me… and not many people would know about my compulsions because they don’t always present, and because a lot of it happens in my head there’s nothing to really see or pick up on before the big reveal. It’s just like when Sean Connery was voted as the actor with the worst Scottish accent… well done, armchair critics, he friggin’ *is* Scottish, not acting Scottish. Reality just happens to be a lot more different to how we think things should be. Glad you are feeling well again, lady.

    • Anna March 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      I agree. I mean, I do know some people that do the hand washing thing but for the most part the compulsions and obsessive thoughts that people have can be hidden. For example if you have OCD things with driving which is very common, not many people drive in a car with you so they might never see that kind of stuff. You’re right – reality is a lot different than people imagine.

  2. Kathy March 7, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Huge Girls fan. The OCD did come out of the blue but as viewers we don’t know what goes on in her thoughts, only her image she is projecting. You could say the fact her parents were supporting her for so long foreshadowed the fact that she had issues. They seemed to be very concerned and watching for symptoms. Love the show.

    • Anna March 7, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

      Apparently when she and Marnie had that huge fight last season, Marnie brings it up then. I completely forgot about it til I read it in a comments section of a review.

  3. Brooke March 7, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    I love the show (although I no longer have HBO so didn’t get to see the last episode, alas). I also am not sure how I relate to the main characters–I want to be Marnie, but I think I’m more of a Hannah for sure. Anyway, stress absolutely reveals the best and worst of us, and it is so very hard to face the day when grief and anxiety make you feel so incredibly vulnerable. I’m not sure I would have understood that before, but I completely get it now.

    • Anna March 7, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

      I want to be a Marnie, except not nearly as stuck up. But I fear I’m really more of a Shoshana. Hopefully not quite so vapid, though.

  4. allmyprettyones March 7, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    I like the show, too… I’m not to the OCD episode yet, but I’m thinking now of the episode when she tells her boyfriend “but I’m REALLY sad, I’m sadder than most people” as he’s crossing the street (or something like that).
    I like to think I’m more like a Jessa… but I’m preobably more like a Marnie.

    • Anna March 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      Ha, yes I remember that. I cannot relate to Jessa at all. I’m so not as free spirited. I need a plan!

  5. chon March 9, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    I haven’t seen the girls. We don’t have it yet in oz so not to sure what it’s about. I know about those thoughts though. Just because you are acting normal doesn’t mean you ate. No one realty knows what’s going on. Glad you’re ok – thanks for the disclaimer x

    • Anna March 11, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      No problem. After I finished writing it, I was thinking people might thinking I’m going off the deep end. 🙂

      • chon March 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

        nah, I always think you are crazy 😉

        • Anna March 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

          Well then you’re always right! 🙂

  6. Robin March 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I watch that show but haven’t seen that episode yet. I feel the same way, I don’t like anyone on there, I get sick of seeing Hannah naked every episode and tired of watching them all make bad decisions…but still, I watch it.

    And of course, I second everything you said about anxiety. I hate it. I hate that people think its “all in your head” and that you truly want to be stuck on the floor panicking instead of going to a movie like a normal person. I can’t stand that I have no idea if I’ll ever be unmedicated again. And I’m scared of the person I would be if I wasn’t.

    • Anna March 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

      Sorry for the spoiler. Although I think it was pretty obvious from the beginning of the episode what is going on with her.

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