How storytelling improved my life

My Problem

The problem was that I did not feel right about the whole thing and I would still write the same stories and be attracted to the same when I devoured stories. Ideas about the same thing would still flock to me and it would conflict with what I would consciously think. Ideals seemed like something for children and I was after all a more evolved being.

Character analysis

There is a common thing in storytelling that the hero, or protagonist if you want to be technical, needs to delve all the way into hell before he makes it back to the surface. A good example of this is the arch of Dr. Strange in the 2016, where he goes into psychological spiral and is in a mental abyss, losing all that he has known before he finds a new way to climb out of hell through the mastery of his new powers. This hell is like with most people having a breakdown, not literal one, but a figurative one. It is pretty much how I felt at my lowest.

Heroes and Villains

I would re-watch old films like Still Crazy (1999), maybe the first thing that might strike you as a heroic film, but there is something to the idea of a band getting a second chance, grasping that chance and getting past old conflicts that makes it very heroic. I also started re-reading books I had not thought about in years, simple hero’s journey stories, and I would absorb the stories to find what it was that made the characters enduring.

Just Entertainment?

I often hear the argument that it is just fiction and that it is just for entertainment, so why care so much about what stories we tell each other. As shown in the paragraphs above, I do not believe in this. Propagandists throughout history have known the fact that stories have enormous power for a long time and you can see now in Hollywood and similar institutions that some view storytelling as a way of social engineering and telling new truths.

Be a Hero

After my breakdown two years ago, I started to do things I had never done before, challenging myself for the first time in many years. I started doing yoga, not just to help my physical condition, but also to help my mind become more centered. I also started to get back to things I used to love doing, like hanging out with friends, talking about ideas and taking walks in the woods.

Why Stories Matter

Just like language, stories are the glue that keeps our culture together, along with other factors, but we are a storytelling species. It helps us make sense of things and it provides us with road maps that will help us navigate in the future, so when the stories no longer match up with what we are telling each other, we can become chaotic and that is what I believed happened to me.

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