I recently discovered Tubi has a bunch of old retro cartoons from my childhood on its streaming service. This has left me wandering down a nostalgia trip of late as I revisit shows I had long forgotten. I suffered a pretty traumatic event this week for my and my girlfriends relationship. Because of that I have found myself watching old cartoons from my youth as a sort of comfort entertainment.
Obviously I am not a psychiatrist nor therapist of any kind. To be honest I don’t even know if it is good for my mental health to be watching things from that far back in my life. What I do know is nostalgia is a powerful drug, one that I can absolutely use a strong dosages of right about now.
I don’t want to discuss the friendship that ended. It’s complicated and frankly I am still processing everything that went down. What I am doing is trying to stop crying from the pain it inflicted upon me. Thus I turned to Tubi.
The first show I found myself revisiting was Scooby Doo Where Are You? This was a show before my time quite honestly. My Scooby Doo was A Pup Named Scooby Doo. Fortunately for my childhood psyche this show did exist in reruns on Saturday and Sunday mornings as well as weekdays in syndication from time to time. I watched the first episode where the Scooby Gang encounters the famous Black Knight.
Truth be told I am a big fan of Scooby Doo as a series. I enjoy the concept and characters quite a bit. However, being further honest I have never watched very many of his shows. There is a simple reason for this. I was born in 1982. After Pup went off the air he was basically out of sight, out of mind throughout my teen years. In fact my next encounter with him would be the live action feature film released in 2002, when I was a full 20 years of age.
Moving on the second show I watched was an episode of Super Mario Bros. 3. This was a cartoon I remember obsessing over in my childhood. I had a Nintendo Entertainment System starting when I was six years old. I formed an instant bond with the character and the imaginative world he encountered in his video games. The main reason I enjoyed SMB3’s cartoon more than it’s predecessor, the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, was because it felt slightly more faithful to the source material. Last night I had an epiphany though.
The episode I watched was one I had no memory of watching previously. I stopped and asked myself should I be watching episodes I don’t remember? Since the purpose of the comfort food is familiarity it felt like I should be watching a favorite of mine. Trouble is I couldn’t recall any specific details from a single episode in my memory. This led me to the epiphany.
I realized when I was a kid I was excited to see a new episode I hadn’t before. I was obsessed with the characters so getting to see more of their world meant more joy for me. Due to living with three sisters of varying ages older and younger than myself the battle for the television remote did not always go in my favor. Thus I didn’t get to watch many episodes growing up. I was often outnumbered. I decided to satiate my kid self and indulge in the episode I had no recollection of rather than seek out one I thought I might vaguely recall.
The next cartoon on my list was an episode of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero. I watched the Season 3 post movie episode which was a part one of a five part story arc. I realized I didn’t have the emotional stamina to watch more than a single episode of any cartoon so I left on a cliffhanger to return at a later time. I didn’t care much for G.I. Joe as a kid. It was mostly that show that came on after Transformers. I mostly watched it just to maintain control over the TV remote as previously mentioned.
Finally I decided to dust off a show I thought I imagined. I needed a strong dose of nostalgia this time. I decided to watch the pilot episode of the animated show C.O.P.S. It’s a futuristic TV series about a group of superhero cops. It wasn’t what I remembered the show being. To be fair I hardly have nothing more than what amounts to a fever dreams worth of memories of the show in the first place. I was at the end of my rope during this episode. I feel asleep watching it. This was exactly what I needed as the whole purpose of me watching these retro cartoons in the first place was to induce sleep while putting my mind at ease.
I wish I could say it worked. I barely awoke an hour later due to the storm. AS a result I made a midnight run to McDonalds to continue the mental health self care by ordering myself a Quarter Pounder with Cheese value meal. I returned home to get a couple more hours of sleep before the storm woke me up once more. This time I decided to write about my experiences with Tubi and the resulting interrupted slumber I am now longing to restore.
Sometimes nostalgia can be a blessing. When we are hurting taking a trip down memory lane can often bring fond memories to the forefront of our minds, thus allowing our hearts to heal from whatever ails us. However when our hearts are as broken as mine currently is nostalgia feels more like alcohol, a painful escape with negative consequences more than self medication.
Needless to say my sleep was largely disrupted because the events of the weeks traumatic experience replayed in my head as I tried to drift into dream land. I am struggling with a mixture of guilt, worry and anguish over losing a friend with a mere touch of relief she is no longer in my life causing me harm. Ending a toxic relationship can also be a double edged sword much like nostalgia. It feels good, at first, as the pain subsides and you catch your breath. Then once reality sinks in all the energy you spent on the relationship that is gone which you can never get back begins to haunt you. The kind deeds you did to help someone unwilling to seek help brings up feelings of regret not doing more while also feeling regret for possibly doing too much. In the end I am going to need a few more days to recover from this one.
I am a broken person to begin with. Going through the experience of a further broken individual trauma dump on me then threaten to end her life while blaming me has shaken me to my core. I will recover in time but for now I am going to be watching a whole lot of cartoons, drinking a ton of Kool Aid and eating a bunch of sugary cereal as I try every tool I have in my toolbox to mend my broken heart.