Saturday, March 14, 2015

How a movie helped get me out of a sneaky depression spiral

So, I meant to post last Friday and I didn't and I meant to post the next part of the 'prison' topic that I am working on, and I'm not.

You see I'm shaking off what seems to have been a sudden onset of I-don't-care-but-staying-in-bed-seems-like-a-perfectly-valid-use-of-ALL-my-spare-time, I don't like calling it that, it's too long, I like things to be pithy, and I would give it an expressive and descriptive name, but that would take effort I don't feel like expending.

I don't know why I feel this way recently, and I don't know why in the last day or two I feel like I'm shaking it off. It's no doubt a few (well, probably more than a few) little things that have chain reacted into me feeling the way I do, but I just can't figure what caused it to start or what caused it to stop, so I'm going to talk about a movie I saw in the midst of it all that helped.

Now, I normally wouldn't have dragged myself to see a movie in the week I was feeling crap, but, I had been wanting to see it for ages and I'd asked someone to come with me, it was quite a nerdy movie and had I not made plans to see it with someone, I'd probably not have gone to see it and that would have been a great shame, because it was awesome and I'd have missed out on something that has consumed my thoughts since I watched it.

We're going to talk about Chappie, if you've not seen this, go, like, now, it's got robots, it asks the audience questions and there was one scene that I had to get the Kleenex out for because it was very emotional to have to process. If you have seen the movie it's the bit where the protagonist is wandering the streets of Johannesburg all alone and what happens on his way home.

I struggle to connect with certain topics and situations, in fact, most of the movies that have come out in recent years I've just not bothered watching, I mean, I've still not see the first avengers movie yet, I'm sure I'll like that movie, but Olympus Has Fallen just seemed like "Die Hard: This time it's political" and I just fail to enjoy most action movies, favouring a much richer character driven story.

And, the interesting thing is that I didn't watch the movie and enjoy it, I knew I was going to enjoy the movie going into it, and it was two very subtle things that when discovered through the context of the movies plot were wonderfully executed.

What were these two things that are mentioned once and are seen in every scene with the character with no further attention?


You see, the character has two labels on his body, wonderfully accurate labels that I certainly wore myself and didn't notice the significance of the placement of the labels until a week later. Without wanting to spoil the story, before Chappie was 'born', he was labelled. He had things declared about him that he had no way to defend against or no say in. His fate had already been summed up in two words.

You see, Chappie was 'born' with a label on his chest (arguably where his 'heart' is) that read 'Crush' and another on his forehead that stated simply 'Reject'.

This little hero walks around for the duration of the movie with labels on him telling others exactly what people who had no way to know who he was, or what he could become thought of him.

He is a reject and doesn't deserve a chance. He is damaged, crush him down, he's not worth anything.

Does anyone ever feel like that sometimes? Does anyone feel rejected or crushed?

I do, I feel it a lot, my personality is, as I have been told, on several occasions, an acquired taste. I have purposely been rejected by many people due to what goes on up in my head, the way I think, the things I think. The fundamental essence of who I am has, and no doubt will be in the future, be rejected. Likewise, I feel like my heart has been crushed, a lot, it's hard not to be crushed when people actively choose to walk away from friendships and relationships because of who you are rather than anything you've done. It is quite crushing.

Yet, our protagonist seems totally oblivious to these labels.

He just wants to paint, to be read to (he is nothing much but a child, mentally), to be held by his mother and be loved by his father, he wants to be approved of and live his life as he so chooses.

Don't we all want that?

It's easy to live with labels, ugly, dumb, useless, fat, reject, worthless, etc. Somewhere along the way some of us appear to have interpreted them as facts, rather than just a word someone, somewhere, at some point spoke over us. We were never obligated to agree with these labels or live as if they were true.

When I stop to think about it, maybe I do know why I've been feeling kinda low and unwilling to venture anywhere it's socially awkward to wear a dressing gown, maybe it's labels that are bothering me, maybe once in a while one, or a few come back to mind and they get me down and they shouldn't.

I like Jeremiah 29:11, I hate over using it though and for the power of the verse to become familiar or to loose its meaning, but in the message it's translated like this:

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you a future you hope for."

I don't hope for any of the labels that were applied to me, in fact I outright hope they're not true, and if that's what I hope for and that's what God wants to do, give me hope. Then what power do labels hold?

Like Chappie I should understand that I can see them, but at no point was I told that I had to believe them.

Til next time.