Andrew: A Story About Cinema Therapy


I wrote a guest blog for @RachelintheOC that’s currently up on her site. It’s about how I’ve always used movies to help me deal with tough times, and the side effect this coping mechanism has had on me. I talk about where expectation and reality split. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to writing a memoir, and far more personal than most of what I usually post here (if you can believe that).

Check it out, share it, and tell me what you think.

3 thoughts on “Andrew: A Story About Cinema Therapy”

  1. Although I said on Twitter I had no words, I do now feel compelled, having re-read the post, to respond to this on two levels.

    1) I can only imagine how hard this was for you to write. To go back to something which must have been so painful and which I have no doubt at the time would have felt so surreal and like an out of body experience must have taken some doing as well as taken a lot of bravery. I have cried reading this and it didn’t happen to me so I can only imagine how you felt writing it. I am in awe of anyone who can write about such painful episodes in their life like this and you have done it in such a striking way that I am certain anyone reading it will not fail to be touched and remember it. I hope it sparks people into realising how fragile we are as humans especially when it comes to the mind. As I intimated earlier, it was a post which resonated so personally with me when I remember back to my brother’s time in psychiatric care the same year. All I remember feeling was so much pain at how bewildered he must have felt and your portrayal of what goes on in hospitals was so true to what I witnessed, it was like stepping back ten years and experiencing those places again.

    2) The style you wrote this in I find just magnificent. I think the fact you use film dialogue and character as a screen so it were, demonstrates perfectly how when the mind is broken, we hide behind something familiar and of comfort. Something we can control. The references were real, pertinent and just amazing in how you blended them seamlessly into your memoir. Part of your reality.

    I’d say I enjoyed the post but I am not sure enjoy is the right word. Certainly it has brought about an emotional reaction in me and deeper understanding of certain issues. But also as a writer an awe inspiring style which grabbed my attention.(I think as an aside it also brings your New Year blog post into sharp focus and clarity.)

    Thank you for sharing Drew. I hope it gets many more views. It’s a brave one. Peace and love.

    1. How do I thank you for such a flattering, thought out response? You really hit all the nails on the head. I’m glad you read it. You’re right “enjoy” probably isn’t the right word.

      It was difficult to write, which is why I decided to limit the time frame to ten years ago, and not put it into any context of where I am today. I didn’t want it to be 20K.

      Cinema therapy still plays a big role in my recovery process. This is why I spend so much time complaining about the deficit of inspiration in Hollywood. These days I try to write the stories I want to see, because there isn’t a movie for them yet. I still have to take great care to prevent my fiction from devolving into a memoir.

      Thank you for everything you share on your blog, and thank you so much for reading.

      1. I only say what I see and what I feel. You are a compelling writer and your blogs are always so thought provoking. A rarity. I know only too well the process of recovery is long, possibly a forever process. But you seem to have the right tools to do so. I really do take my hat off to people like you who are inspiring despite past or even present difficulties.

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