Being Erica and why it’s important for being Martin
Quotes. They exist around us everywhere. History and the significance of their respective quoter in their field is what adds to their weight. Whether this is a wartime quote from Winston Churchill,
“Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”
Something more philosophical such as Plato
“The life which is unexamined is not worth living”
Or even something more contemporary
“Oops.. I did it again”
Never before have I felt the sense of urgency and the relevance of these words to modern life than when watching a show as profound as Being Erica.
Let me provide you with a bit of background about me. I am an openly gay man with mental health difficulties and social issues, which I have never been free of. How or why I developed these difficulties are not important so much to you the reader, however they have plagued my development through childhood, adolescence and into early adulthood.
During the most difficult years of my life, I approached health services to try and help, however with a target driven culture and the expense of mental health services, I felt I was brushed under a rug and dismissed as soon as I had walked through the door. This did not help with my issues and when help was forthcoming the advice was either “Ignore the feelings” or “Think differently”…. Neither of which is helpful advice for an anxiety sufferer.
What did however, was a TV show. Being Erica. I followed this show through all of its 4 seasons and I was instantly hooked. Never before have I had the wisdom of so many philosophers, leaders, artists, theorists, writers, story tellers at my disposal and never before have I felt those words create such an impact.
The focus of Being Erica as a show is never on ‘what has your life been and when and why did it go so wrong’, but more on ‘If you can learn from your past mistakes, you can control the present and in turn, this can change your future’. This is evident in the ever changing obstacles faced by Erica in the show and how steps backwards are addressed in exactly the same way. This is what made the show so unbelievably special for me. Rather than ignore feelings and ignore yourself, Erica was constantly confronting herself, with powerful dialogue such as “What if I don’t want to feel what I’m feeling!”. With a small cast of very tightly knit characters, intertwining stories and every day issues, this show really got me caring about the choices they made and helped me question my own decisions in life and whether they were right for me.
I am now 28 and whilst age and time has certainly played its part in helping me deal with and come to terms, this show has helped me in immeasurable ways. I continue to turn to episodes during difficult times in my life when I need some direction, on what the important factors should be as it is very easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when the issues are so subjective. I have my difficulties and they will always be a part of me and play a huge part in how I react and decide everything in the future, but just to summarise:
Am I sorted as a person? No.
Do I ever expect to be? No.
Do I still have my bad days? Of course.
Am I a more developed and well rounded individual than I used to be? Yes.
Do I feel positive about my future? Yes.
Am I making conscious decisions for myself and others around me? Yes, absolutely
For this reason my utmost thanks go out to Nicole Taylor, Jana Sinyor, Aaron Martin, Erin Karpluk, Michael Riley and the rest of the Being Erica team for their contribution not only to entertainment, but also to my life. I will be eternally grateful.