How Parks And Rec Saved My Sanity

You know that one TV show you never get tired of? You put it on at night when you fall asleep, or as background noise when you fold clothes? For me, it’s Parks and Rec. No matter how many times I watch Ben and Leslie get married, or Ann moves away, I always cry. Ron running away from Tammy 1 makes me laugh every time.

Parks and Rec will always have a special place in my heart. After the shooting, I had trouble falling asleep. My mind would race, and I would watch TV to distract myself. But I couldn’t watch anything violent. I have PTSD, and the sound of gunfire drove me to panic attacks. I realized then how many crime shows I watched. I was at a loss. My mind was consumed with the incident and it seemed like there was no relief.

Luckily, those of us who were affected by this tragedy spent almost every night together. We didn’t feel safe alone, and needed the comfort of others who knew what we were going through. We would pile blankets and pillows in the living room, like young children making forts during a sleepover.

One of those nights, my friend introduced me to Parks and Rec. We were debating on what to watch, and I admitted I couldn’t handle violent TV shows.

“That’s ok,” she replied. “I have the perfect show.”

Thus began my ongoing obsession with Ben, Leslie, Ann, April, Ron, and Andy.

You may think I’m a bit dramatic. But I can honestly tell you that the only thing that gave me more relief was my counseling sessions.

That was four years ago. To date, I have watched Parks and Rec six or seven times, and I will never get tired of it. I was thinking about how crazy that was when I came across an article from Popsugar on the subject of rewatching shows. What it said made a lot of sense:

It takes no mental effort to watch because I’ve seen it so many times.

To be able to turn off thoughts for a half hour or an hour is like heaven for people with anxiety. Four years ago, I was exhausted twenty-four-seven because I could never fully relax. This show gave me time to relax and save me from my own brain.

Rewatching a show creates nostalgia

Parks and Rec makes me feel safe every time I watch it because it made me feel safe during the scariest time in my life. Plain and simple.

The characters become more relatable.

When you connect with a show, it’s like having friends that go through the same problems. Granted no one in Parks and Rec got shot in malice (Ron did get shot by Tom, but that was an accident), it gave me time to focus on other problems that weren’t so overwhelming, like finding Ann a date for Valentine’s Day.

It’s always so interesting how something so simple can bring so much comfort. For you it might be a candle scent, or a blanket, or a stuffed animal you’ve had your whole life. For me, it is a TV show, filled with witty writing and lovable characters.

If, for some miraculous reason, any of the Parks and Rec cast is reading this, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

4 thoughts on “How Parks And Rec Saved My Sanity

  1. Katherine Johnson May 23, 2019 — 1:54 am

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. First, I read them all and am replying as a collective whole.

    I’m 27 and for as long as I can remember inner workings of my head have resembled most of what you’ve described. Maybe I just learned I have anxiety. I can’t say it’s served me wrong, but I can’t say it’s been the healthiest route.
    I admire and applaud you in your efforts to make progress. I haven’t met many that will actually take the steps to bettering themselves internally, that’s really hard stuff. Like super hard stuff actually.

    Just wanted to say good job, dude.


    1. Wow. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I’ve been going through so many things these past few months, and this blog fell off the wagon in terms of priorities. But your comment has inspired me to keep working at it. You’ve made me understand how therapeutic this is. For that, I thank you.

      I hope you find inner peace soon. It’s worth it.


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