If you are not living, working and/or watching television in Canada, you may not have heard of Being Erica. More’s the pity.
When it was on television, I didn’t watch it. It felt “young” so I figured it wasn’t for me. Oh, how wrong I was!
Well, where to begin?
Erica Strange’s world is about to get decidedly strange, indeed. An allergic reaction sends her to the hospital where she meets a therapist, Dr. Tom. He says he’s there for her to talk to, if needed, and leaves his card. Normal, shmormal. Except, wait… kinda odd that a therapist would drop by to check in on a “typical” near-death allergic reaction… but hey, it’s television.
Erica is released from hospital into her mother’s protective arms… and family drama ensues.
Let me stop right here and say… the acting is wonderful. The network dubbed this show “dramady” (is that right? You know, comedy and drama). It felt mostly dramatic to me. Not cheesy, sudsy drama, though. Both the family and Erica’s response to what happened to her felt realistic and triggered all sorts of feels (both positive and negative).
You’ve probably figured out that Erica realizes she needs to talk. Enter Dr. Tom’s card… and Dr. Tom himself. There’s a whole story about how she gets there. I don’t want to spoil the fun, so I’ll just say… find it. Watch it. Er, anyway…
“Any regrets?” he asks.
“I gotta million of ’em,” she says, though not exactly like that. Okay, okay… that’s how I’d say it. But she had a lot.
He asks her to write them down… and so she does.
Then, he sends her back and forth in time to revisit and, if possible, correct what she did to create the regret.
As you might imagine, things do not go as planned. Erica finds, as we all do, that try as we might, life presents what it’s gonna present, no matter what you do. What is that misquoted thing that people say? Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
I started watching it during an especially difficult time of my life, known as 2014. Ugh.
(My ex-husband died, my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, I left my dream job with the humane society and then our beloved 15-year old cat died.)
Regret and shame was eating me up inside. I was depressed in a way I hadn’t been since my son’s suicide attempt, several years before. I tried to find new work, but couldn’t. My anxiety peaked and I was having near-daily panic and/or vertigo.
I slept and ate… a lot. For about five months, I was barely functioning.
The reason I’m sharing this on my self-help blog is not only because it deeply touched me… but because it led me to make changes that mattered.
I made my own list. I tried to relive the moments in my journal, speaking for my side and the other. I cried. I wailed. I crumpled.
Then I stood up. And I walked forward… to get help for myself. Figuratively and literally.
There are a few television shows that have done this for me. This is one… and I believe the most important, which is why I’m talking about it before the others.
Being Erica helped me get where I needed to go. I’d say that’s a self-help win!
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The therapeutic power of the fine arts!
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