This morning I woke up with some really random thoughts circling in my head that probably began their life when I was hospitalized last year for a mental health relapse. I find myself thinking and hoping that one of the guys who was in the hospital with me is doing okay now. I remember him because he was about my age at 44 years old and watched cartoons and animated programs all the time. He was a friendly enough sort and he had almost a child-like innocence about him. I used to watch cartoons all the time right up until I turned about 26 and then gave them up. I gave them up principally because they made me very sad as I was reminded of the childhood that I wished I had had. Sitting in the room with him and watching the cartoons made me very sad as I felt I had grown up and there was not anything to show for it.
I cannot even watch the same Tom and Jerry reruns because there is something in the music that fills me with an all-consuming melancholy. Sitting in the room with this guy and a Tom and Jerry episode comes on, I just want to break down in tears. I truly wish I understood why. Maybe it could be partly the way the staff were treating him as it seemed like everyone was really hard on him and it brought back memories of when I was in school and bullied by teachers. Yet I remained in the room with him because nobody else would spend any time with him. Part of me realized that I could just as easily been looking at a mirror image of myself when I was younger.
We watched Sponge Bob Squarepants and some other shows here and there. I had to admit that I kind of liked Sponge Bob because the show can be appreciated from the standpoint of all ages. There is a cleverly disguised adult humor sub-context to the characters so adults and kids alike can get a chuckle. But sitting there in that room, I was reminded of what a difficult childhood I had. I had bullies for teachers, a bully for a father, and a mother too afraid to fight back. I found myself imagining that my compatriot probably did not have it so easy himself. He told me that cartoons helped him to relax which was about the extent of his ability to reason why he watched them.
It truly is not easy suffering from Bipolar Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Autism. It is not easy suffering from any kind of mental illness whatsoever. I wanted to sit there and watch cartoons with my fellow patient to let him know that there isn’t anything wrong or broken about enjoying animation: animation is not just for kids. It was tough on the both of us being hospitalized through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. 2020 was the worst year of my life and it ended badly. While this year has not been easy so far, it’s been better and I am slowly getting to the root of some of my issues. They say recovery can take years for some people.