My Own Silver Lining

We went to see Silver Linings Playbook yesterday. With Bradley Cooper and the incomparable Jennifer Lawrence (mad girl crush on her, hooboy). If you’re not aware, the movie centers around Pat, who has bipolar disorder. He has just been released from a mental hospital for an “incident” in which he beat the shit out of the history teacher that was sleeping with his wife. An incident that led to the diagnosis of his condition. A condition that he had been living with, without even knowing it. He is trying to put his life back together. He meets Tiffany, who is also a big mess, and together…well, together it seems like maybe things could be just a little less messy.

I loved the movie. I thought it was a really honest look at people who live with mental illnesses, and how it affects their lives, and the lives of those who love them. It was heartbreaking and uplifting, and really hilarious.

But the best part about it, for me, was that, by the end, I really felt like maybe everything would be okay. Like maybe I could live my whole life with depression, and it didn’t have to defeat me. That I could be a person with depression, and still be a happy, fulfilled person, with many wonderful things in my life. That it didn’t have to beat me. That maybe I could have my own silver lining.

I cried as we left the theatre. I cried because I saw so much of myself in the characters in the movie, and in their lives. I cried because there are so many things that I want to do with my life, and I have so often let depression get in the way. I have laid down and let it run over me. It takes incredible strength to fight depression. To fight any mental illness at all. It is a daily battle, but we gotta fight. We have to stand up and fight and say, “This is my life, and I will not let you take it from me.”

Maybe I will never be free of depression. Maybe I will carry it with me forever. But that could be okay. That doesn’t mean that I have to be unhappy forever. It doesn’t mean that I have to be broken forever. Maybe I can rise above it, maybe I can control it. Maybe I can get some sort of silver lining too.

See the movie. Not only is it terribly entertaining, it’s also really important for people to see portrayals like this of mental illness. Because while people were laughing at things that were not funny, it’s really important to see how people with illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder are still just people trying to live their lives.

I left the movie theatre feeling sad and hopeful and brimming with ideas. I hope to write something as moving and TRUE as that movie someday.

That would really show depression who’s boss, hey?

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Jessica can most often be found with her nose in a book, or writing her newest short story/screenplay/novel, but she also has a passion for travel, child-care & development, psychology, feminism (and other forms of equality), and making the world a better place in general. Email Me