A few weeks back I realized that I had become increasingly morbid. My thoughts would often turn suddenly dark. I’d be out on a run, and if I came to a bridge, I imagined falling off into the water below. Someone at work said they smelled gas, and I immediately assumed there was a gas leak and that an explosion would soon follow. When I was getting my tattoo, I was worried that my eye would get poked out. (That’s a really weird one b/c the tattoo is not near my eye.)
I think it is some form of PTSD, minus the P and the T. Whatever it is, it’s definitely deployment related. To fix this, I decided that I need to cut morbid things out of my life as much as possible. That means:
1. Changing the channel when morbid news stories come on. When Stephen first deployed, other military spouses suggested that I not watch the news, but I like being informed. I find comfort in seeing my newscasters. I don’t even mind the war coverage (for the most part). What I don’t like, is the constant reporting on people dying and killing or almost dying or almost killing. Too dark, especially in the morning. I still watch the news, but I make myself change the channel the instant it gets heavy.
2. No more watching Law and Order. I heart L&O. So much, in fact, that I could watch episode after episode for hours even though I’ve seen all the episodes. It was really hard at first, but now I’ve found other (less morbid) shows to replace it.
3. Avoid scary or dark movies. This one is easy because I HATE scary movies. I even avoid the scary movie commercials.
These are easy steps that I’ve taken, but sometimes avoiding the morbid is hard. Sometimes I’m watching something seemingly not morbid at all, and the show or movie suddenly goes way dark. For instance, I’ve become obsessed with the show Brothers & Sisters. At the end of an episode that I watched recently (where everyone was happy and things were fine!) there was a huge car crash. Every single character was injured, bloody, crying/stunned, and Rob Lowe ended up with a spike in his head. Not exactly what I look for in a show about family drama.
I’ve had noticeable improvement in the dark thoughts department, so it’s worth it to me to make the effort even if I can’t always avoid morbid stuff.
Do you watch scary/dark/morbid tv shows/movies? Do you watch the news? Do you think it’s dark or do you think I’m being too sensitive.*