How “Friends” Helped Ease My Sadness

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I can admit it – I am a TV addict.

I have been ever since I was a little girl. My parents had given me a little black and white TV for my birthday. It sat on my dresser in my orange and yellow bedroom, and I would have to get up to change the channel by turning the dial. It had six channels – 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, and 13.

I remember lying in my bed and watching my TV every night. I knew what day it was by the shows that were on.

On Sundays, I needed to be finished with my weekend homework so that I could catch All in the Family and The Jeffersons. I looked forward to a full night on Tuesdays with Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Three’s Company, and Too Close for Comfort. Thursday nights I absolutely could not miss Knots Landing – I was obsessed with Nicolette Sheridan’s character, Paige. I babysat on Saturday nights and, after the kids went to bed, I sat in front of the TV to see The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

When I was home sick from school, I would happily stay in bed to watch The Price is Right, $100,000 Pyramid, Let’s Make a Deal, All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital.

I grew up with a loving family and plenty of friends. Life was busy, but I always looked forward to my downtime to watch TV.

I am now an adult with two teenage daughters. I am still in love with TV and I am sorry to say that I have passed down my addiction to my girls. But there is a huge difference between the way I watched TV while growing up and the way they do now. They do not need to wait for their favorite shows to run on a particular night and time. With Netflix and DVR, they can watch whatever they want, whenever they want. I will often find them binge-watching a series, sometimes for hours at a time.

My girls and I do share a love of some TV. One favorite show that we have in common is “Friends”.

All three of us are a little obsessed with the 90’s sitcom. Lucky for us, we can find it on some network at almost any time of day. Although I watched it during its original run, my daughters now know and love it just as much as I do. Sometimes we recite the lines just to make each other laugh.

A few years back, I was going through a particularly hard time. During this time, we were hit by a huge snowstorm and were stuck in the house for a couple of days. I was ok with that, I did not feel like doing too much anyway. A day or two lying around the house actually sounded pretty good to this TV addict.

During those days, my girls each started binge-watching new shows that they had never seen before.  As I was considering doing this myself, I noticed that there was a Friends marathon running. I put it on and plopped myself down on the couch. I watched my favorite show almost absentmindedly while, at the same time, found myself smiling at the familiar jokes.

After a few hours, I found that Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey and Chandler were putting me in a better mood.

I then made the move to get off my couch and do something productive. I started to clean out closets and drawers throughout my house while Friends continued to play in the background.

After the storm had passed, I found myself feeling slightly better. 48 hours with a little solitude and my favorite show seemed to ease my sadness a little.

I had seen every one of those Friends episodes a million times before that day of the storm. The familiarity of those episodes was a comfort to me during that hard time. I didn’t need to make the effort to pay attention and I didn’t have to think too hard. The voices of my favorite characters made me laugh just a little, which slowly helped bring me slightly out of my sad mood.

Yes, I am a TV addict.

It is not the worst thing in the world to be addicted to. In a way, it comforted me during a difficult time……with a little help from my favorite Friends.


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1 Comment

  1. I think whatever it is you find comfort in, unless it’s harmful to you is a good thing. I admire your strength & willingness to share your life’s lessons throughout such heartache. It does help those of us that are in the beginning of this healing journey.

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