Anime has been a common coping mechanism since it’s inception to combat loneliness and beat boredom. Many even go as far as to argue that anime helps them beat depression and the humdrum of everyday life. While that is true for a handful of people, it actually has a negative effect. Wait, don’t take my words for granted as I’m no researcher. All I’m saying is I’ve been in that position where I used anime as coping mechanism to escape from everything.
It was my only support, it helped me move forward but it didn’t help me improve. There’s a difference between eating to live and living to eat. My day day started at 10 or 11 in the morning, eating breakfast or should I say brunch by 11 and then taking a shower in the afternoon. I would waste another 4 hours as I’m hungover after last night’s anime marathon. It was an infinite loop. I’d watch anime till 3am, wake up at 11, lose the will to work for the rest of the day and it went for weeks.
I hated this life, no matter how I tried to control things, it wouldn’t work out. This is just one aspect of the story.
The second part of the story can be traced back to the effect anime had on me as a person. There was something about every protagonist that I could compare with, even if my story didn’t fit in line with main character, I’d somehow frame my problems to fit the story and imagine myself as the main character. It was easy to identify myself with characters as at the end of the day we are humans and we are more or less bound to have similar traits. So it sucked real bad. When I was able to relate to things, I felt safe and relieved as it wasn’t just me, more people experienced these things. So I never got out of my comfort zone and found counterfeiting opinions for every argument.
This went on for a long time, when I say long time, it’s in years. I got to the point, where everything went down the drain. I hated myself, I hated everyone, all my friends were getting married, going out, having fun and what not? and here I was sulking in front of the computer. Anime no longer gave meaning to my life. It sucked but I still watched it out of habit.
The biggest problem was my sleeping pattern. I couldn’t sleep, my sleeping hygiene was completely fucked. No matter how much I tried to control it, I couldn’t sleep before 1 am. So, I decided to forego for the good, I gave up anime for almost an year. Sounds easy, but it ain’t considering the fact that I had plenty of facebook pages, forums, groups, blog and what not.
For a whole year, I went through the process of recovery. I had to abandon everything anime, movies, facebook, instagram and every single thing which I had abused over the years. If I didn’t I’d be triggered, and something or the other would eventually lead me back to my same old lifestyle.
It took more than year to be honest to get over everything. I still do watch anime but I limit it to once in a month or twice.