Originally published in November 2013
In 2012, I hit rock bottom. I was only starting to recover from the death of my father (who had passed away from cancer), when my mother was also diagnosed with the Big C. The mere concept that I would eventually lose two parents to cancer was paralyzing. I simply didn’t know what to do with myself.
Professionally, I had just begun my first job after a year of unemployment. I began working as a copywriter in an advertising agency where I found myself creating stories for brands I had zero attachment to. Between my unsatisfying job and the sadness that was my mother’s cancer, every aspect of my life began to suffocate me. So I got proactive, and decided to combine my two lifelong passions: television and writing.
TV has been my escape for as long as I can remember. When I immerse myself in a show that I love, everything but the story and the characters fade away for 40 glorious minutes. So one particularly busy afternoon at work, I chose to clear my head by starting up a little blog: Nad’s Reviews. I’d always been fascinated by reading in-depth analysis of my favorite shows, so I promised myself that I would write down a few lines after every episode of TV that I watched. And trust me, I watched a lot of shows.
So there I was, writing about things I actually cared about and using the writing skills that I had been carefully honing my entire life – it was beautiful. In fact, it gave me reason to wake up in the morning. I’d go to work, finish my deadlines, and reward myself upon my return by watching, and more importantly by writing, about my favorite shows. I began by writing an average of three lines per episode, and soon enough, I began producing fully-fledged essays (currently 2000 and counting). What storylines worked? Which didn’t? What dialogue stood out, and what masterful twist did I absolutely not see coming? I cherished every bit of it.
Later that year, my mother’s illness intensified. Weekly chemo visits piled up and we soon found ourselves living in the hospital for what soon became the most traumatic period of my life. But through it all, I kept writing. The blog gave me something to focus on.
A few months later, my mother passed away after an incredibly brave three-year battle with cancer. Still, I never stopped writing. In the year following my mother’s passing, I dedicated even more of my time to Nad’s Reviews. What began as an outlet for my sadness grew remarkably fast. People actually looked forward to reading what I had to say about their latest television obsessions. Their enthusiasm pushed me forward, and reinvigorated my spirit. Writing filled a void in my life.
Grieving and coming to terms with my mother’s passing was, and is still not, easy. My shows and my words (which shifted to Instagram a few months ago because well, you know) continue to offer me a silent escape from life’s anxieties. I have my family, my loving wife, my supportive circle of friends, the coolest job, and an online community that’s just as passionate about TV as I am. Take that rock bottom.