Watching the Midseason Finale of ‘A Million Little Things’ With Suicidal Thoughts
Editor’s note: this article contains spoilers for the season two midseason finale of “A Million Little Things.”
If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
I will never forget the weeks that led up to the series premiere of the TV show “A Million Little Things” last year. ABC hyped that show up more than I’ve ever seen them hype up anything. Every commercial showed previews of the premiere. And, as someone who has attempted suicide and who has struggled with depression and anxiety for years, I was extremely intrigued. All I could do was hope it lived up to the hype.
And it did.
I’ll never forget watching that premiere on the couch with my roommate and just sobbing. I had never seen a show depict mental illness so well. I had never seen a show handle depression and suicide as well as they did. Even from just the first episode, I knew every TV show that talked about suicide needed to take notes from this one.
And so, I became a huge fan of the show. Watched every week, and cried pretty much every week. And then came the season two midseason finale that premiered Thursday … and there are not words to describe how seen and understood I felt watching it. There is a scene with two characters, PJ and Rome, on top of a building as PJ’s suicidal thoughts escalate and Rome calmly talks with him. The words exchanged hit so deep.
As PJ talked about not fitting in with his family, specifically his dad, he said:
“For so long it didn’t make sense, we’re so different. I blamed myself for not being like him.”
Anyone who knows me knows my mother and I do not see eye to eye on a lot. I love her and she has done so much for me, for which I am forever grateful, but our relationship is rocky. My mother and I are so different. And, up until just a few months ago, I spent my entire life blaming myself for not being the daughter she wanted or needed. Most of my friends are very close with their parents, and this moment in the show made me feel less alone so much.
As they continued talking, PJ talked about how he felt like he had finally found a family in this new group of friends:
“I got to know them. And I liked them. And they liked me. And now I’m more alone than ever … I finally felt like I had a family. I don’t have that anymore.”
It has been a long fight for me to try to find where I fit in and feel loved, supported and comfortable. Over the years, I kinda found my chosen family. But even then, there have been people who I have truly considered family who have left, who have moved on with their lives. And I don’t blame them … but it still hurts. And during those times, I feel more alone than ever.
Rome responded to PJ, saying:
“Family’s the people who raise you. The people who love you.”
From youth group leaders, to roommates, to friends I’ve had since elementary school, to camp friends, to teachers, to leaders and role models — these people are who I call family, and I am so thankful to have them. My friends and I did a Friendsgiving on Friday, and sitting around that table looking at them all, I wanted to cry. They are family.
However, as touching as Rome’s response was, PJ was still overwhelmed and everything became too much as he said:
“For as far back as I can remember, there’s been this weight and didn’t know why. I thought I finally figured out the reason. I finally figured out why I feel this way … God, no matter what I do. It’s never going to go away.”
Cue all the tears.
The most frustrating part of my depression has always been not having a reason why. It makes me feel invalid, weak and like there is something fundamentally wrong with me. Eight years later, I am just now starting to gain the tiniest bit of insight into my “why.” But I still don’t really have a reason. More than that, I know what it’s like to feel like nothing will ever change. I know what it’s like to feel like it’s never going to go away. Every word PJ said, I have literally said myself to people in my life.
After PJ got on the edge of the rooftop and Rome joined him, Rome said:
“A year ago I was right where you are … Yes man, there are some dark days. But there’s also tomorrow. And I’m here for you. We are all here for you. I will not lose you. I will not lose you.”
And again, cue all the tears.
I’ve been there. And watching this episode, I thought about where I was a year ago. My mother and I had the biggest fight of our lives, I wrote her a letter that ended up being a suicide note, my grandmother passed away and I fell into the deepest self-destructive spiral of my life (which is saying something, because I’ve had quite a few). But I think about where I am now. And God knows it’s not near where I want to be, but there are no words to describe how much a year did. Finally finding a good therapist, finally putting the work in, finally prioritizing my health for the first time in my entire life. It’s been such a journey.
I am here because of the people who tell me tomorrow will come and it will be better. I am here because of the people who have supported and stood by me for years. I am here because of the people who haven’t given up on me. I am here because of the people who have told me they will see me tomorrow because they will not lose me. I am here because of the people who fought for me and held hope for me when I couldn’t. I am here because of people like Rome.
This show is beautiful. It is the best depiction of depression I have ever seen in the media. It tackles depression and suicide perfectly. This show is forcing conversations that need to happen. This show is doing it right. And we could all take a page out of their book.
If you’re struggling, please know you are not alone. If you don’t fit into your family or even if you haven’t found your chosen family yet, they exist. They’re out there. You will feel supported and accepted and comfortable again. You will. If you don’t have a reason for your depression, it’s OK. You’re still enough. The sun will rise. Tomorrow will come. And I’ll be right here with you. We’re gonna get there. I promise.
Image via YouTube