Insomnia and TV Families

Life over the past year has been hectic, and the past few months have been no exception. My mom has been in and out of the hospital, again. She was able to stay in a local hospital, because it wasn't transplant related, but it was still a hospital visit. I also take her to get her blood work done every Monday, so that the transplant team can monitor her levels and watch for rejection.

I've also hit some milestones with therapy, and find myself again potentially at the end of my therapy visits for now. In addition to feeling like a different person mentally, I'm also adjusting to my smaller body. All of these things cause anxiety, and some nights, I end up wide awake. I tend to watch TV instead of writing or doing anything creative, because that only feeds into my insomnia. The last time I wrote at night, I was still up at 7am, and had to be at work a few hours after that. That was fine when I was young, but I'm over 40 and don't bounce back like I used to.

I've had some form of insomnia my entire life. When I was little, my mom said that I was always awake at night, and to get me to sleep, her and my dad would have to put me in the car and drive me around. When I got older, it became more of a depression-based thing. When I was a teenager, I would stay up all night sometimes, usually watching movies or reruns of Kids in the Hall. I would also go through periods of weird TV obsessions. Sometimes it was infomercials. Sometimes it was home shopping channels. I got really hooked into the teen programming on a local religious affiliate, because as a teen myself, I didn't understand how teens could be into anything other than sex, drugs, and rock and roll, even though I was only into one of those three things myself.

Lately, I've been hooked on shows that center around families. My husband also pointed out that I have an affinity for shows about terrible people from California. I burned through four seasons of Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce in a month. I found myself hating Abby, not only for how out of touch her character was, but also because she was a fucking asshole to herself and everyone around her, but she still kept coming out on top. Maybe because she's surrounded by assholes? All of her girlfriends on the show were unlikable assholes, with the exception of Barbara, but I think that's just because she's played by Retta, and Donna Meagle is forever my role model. Even the kids on Girlfriends' Guide are assholes. It's staggering.

I also binged Transparent on Amazon Prime and loved it. The Pfefferman family is over the top dysfunctional, and I found comfort in that, because so is mine. I also love Gaby Hoffman and Katherine Hahn (another Parks and Rec alum!), and will watch anything they're in.

I've been sleepless most of this week, so I found myself in familiar territory: on the couch alone around 2am. My husband and cat are snoozing away while my brain is fully lit up, like a pinball machine with unlimited plays. I have one more episode of Euphoria. It's a visually beautiful show, but it's depressing, so I've been putting off the last episode. Instead, I opted to get caught up on one of my favorite hate watches: This is Us.

I used to like This is Us. The first season was fine; it reminded me of Parenthood, another NBC show about a family that I mostly enjoyed. But This is Us makes me fucking crazy. Is it a show? Is it a daydream? Is it just NBC fucking with me?  I don't know. The family seems to wander in all of the same circles, that usually end up leading back to Ghost Dad, and some saccharine sweet memory of the past. They are all self-centered and constantly doing stupid shit to themselves and others (which really, is how most people really are, especially in families). Unfortunately, with some shows, I feel obligated to keep up with them, even if I hate them. Sometimes, it pays off. Like, I hate watched Girls, but really enjoyed the last season, and how the show ended.

I jumped in towards the end of the recent season, because I don't need to watch all of the flashbacks. Kate and Toby had a kid, and as always, Kate's mom comes to town and is overbearing. Randall and his wife are fighting, and Randall not only gives one of his speeches, he also gets one of them from his adopted daughter (who I forgot was even still on the show). Kevin is still a self-centered trainwreck, hoping his girlfriend will change her mind about having kids (she doesn't, and ends up leaving him, which GOOD FOR HER, HE'S THE WORST). We see Ghost Dad a couple times. The flashback to him taking the kids to the hospital in the middle of the night to see their mom because they "don't do too good without her" just made me want to throw my TV out of the window. I can't stand Ghost Dad, but that's probably more of a me thing than anything else.

Hopefully I'll get some sleep this evening. If not, I'll have to find a new show with terrible people to watch.


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