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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Markers of Progress

“Just tell me how I got this far, just tell me why you’re here and who you are. ‘Cause every time I look, you’re never there and every time I sleep, you’re always there. ‘Cause you’re everywhere to me and when I close my eyes, it’s you I see. You’re everything I know that makes me believe I’m not alone, I’m not alone… I sense it now, the water’s getting deep, I try to wash the pain away from me… And when I catch my breath, it’s you I breathe.” – lyrics from “Everywhere” by Michelle Branch.
It was the middle of August 2018 when I heard the song “All You Wanted” by Michelle Branch over the radio on my drive home from a family therapy appointment. There was something about that song that struck me in that moment as fitting to explain Thor and Loki’s relationship in the Thor and Avengers films (the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in particular). In my spare time, I like to write Loki-centered Avengers fan fiction that I post up online on two main fan-fiction websites. So, I wrote myself a story exploring the depths of Thor’s early childhood relationship with Loki and one of his untimely deaths. I covered a lot of ground about grieving and the process of that, the concept of legacies and meaning, the difficulties that death poses to both man and demigod and I thought it was a nice single story that I could plop out into existence just because.
But then when I had long since finished writing that story, I heard “Everywhere” again by Michelle Branch and the idea of a prequel popped into my mind. The first story, “Somebody Who Cares”, dealt with the end of a grieving process whereas this prequel, “It’s You, I Breathe” would be based in the very beginnings of that process. I imagine that Thor will be seeing reminders of his brother Loki around in the world while battling with the what if’s of what could have changed the story from ending the way that it did.
I’ve decided to talk about this source of artistic inspiration and expression because it’s really, really important for us to find these little golden coins of reasons to stay alive for and changing our relationships to items in our lives. I’d like to discuss the continued ways in which my recovery has been explored and how I was successfully able to avert a crisis in the middle of November.
Initially I had only ever heard these songs by Michelle Branch as echoes of my childhood. Then at one particular square inch of time, I was able to take in that information from a whole new perspective. I related to it differently from Point Z than Point B. This concept is similar to the meaning and understanding I can find in reading a novel at one portion of my life, say when I was 15, versus another period of my life, at 25, and coming away from that experience with different thoughts than I would have had previously. Or, when it comes to treatment, I can begin to track my Internet activities in August only to come to accept for myself that I have an unhealthy relationship with it in November (whereas before I would have denied it). The way in which I relate to the world and the way I believe and perceive the way the world interacts with me is an ever-evolving relationship. This is the type of principle that makes triggers so unique to each individual. Triggers can be anything, and some days may make us more vulnerable to them than others.
But because I had built a positive relationship with this song to my artistic explorations, I could tap back into those pleasant activities when I was deeply struggling with all the feelings of a crisis. It was the first time in a long time that I had caught myself before the crisis (Emotion Mind) took over and I was 100 percent safe. I was able to identify that talking over the phone with someone would help me and I needed some sense of direction to move forward. The person I spoke to on the phone gave me enough reminders of my currently stable self that while I had urges, I didn’t want to act on them.
So, I didn’t.
I coped, I used opposite action, I rewarded myself, I recognized the factors that make my life worth living, and I gave myself credit for the work I’ve been doing over the last nine months and made it through the turbulence to get to the pretty view of the horizon. I’m not where I once was and if I come by there again, which may happen, I won’t leave it the same way as I once would have.
And that, my friends, is progress.