This Supernatural journey has been drawn out, a hiccup, a bit of a misadventure. But I have loved this ride and will always be along for the journey.
At 1.30pm PST/21.30 GMT Supernatural fans around the world were given some big news– Season 15 would be the final season of the show. For many, the tears have kept flowing long past the viewing of the emotional video posted by Jared Padalecki on Twitter. (I couldn’t watch it to the end because I got all choked up). I watched it again to see if sleeping on it made it less raw. Nope.
This post was started a few months back and was prompted when a friend asked: ‘Why are you so hung up on Supernatural? It’s just a show.’ Which was followed by a comment from a different friend, ‘It’s full of nonsense, and you are smarter than that’. Lost a few followers on personal twitter that day! I wanted to do a much larger post but with the announcement last night, it feels like the right time. (This is the short version).
I’m not crying, you are crying. Your face is crying! Yep.
Supernatural Season 1 premiered in the UK on 22 January 2006. I had just submitted my PhD thesis and my brain and body were done. I was lost, tired, exhausted, and unsure what I was doing or who I was. (It was like grieving, those who have been in this position will know how it feels). Having been part of the fandom of the X-Files, this show peaked my interest from the beginning: monsters, urban legends, classic music, quirky, sarcastic humour and two leading cast members that were not only nice to look at, but gave us Sam and Dean Winchester.
This little show gave me exactly what I needed to keep my spirits up when I needed a boost after a very long, PhD journey. I have never forgotten this and always associate Supernatural with the post-PhD period.
By the time the Season 2 aired (Feb 2007) I was living away from my home for 6 months in a temporary job, and had become pregnant. I can remember watching 2.06 No Exit and feeling so alone and trapped in my own body (and still get this feeling when I re-watch it—every damn time). Season 2 became this blur of raw emotions (2.16 Roadkill and 2.17 Heart especially) whilst at the same time, it was a relief from having to deal with what was really happening: my body was changing and so was my identity. By the time Season 3 rolled around (Oct 2007) I was exhausted and wasn’t even sure who I was anymore. But Supernatural was always in the background, always something to look forward to. My son’s early years were touched with the show, just a little.
Sometime around 2008 or 2009, someone said to me that I was not a ‘real’ fan if I didn’t go to conventions or obsess over every detail of the show. This literally floored me. This person made me feel that I wasn’t valid enough. I didn’t have the right password or secret decoder ring. Supernatural was not for someone like me. (What ever that means)? I had experienced this before in other fandoms, but this was something different. So, I just walked away from Supernatural – I was hurt. Really hurt. I cannot tell you why I felt this way. It sounds completely irrational but I can tell you, mental illness makes you think some pretty irrational thoughts!
Fast forward to March 2017: Supporting a son with Autism, working full time in an environment that was unhealthy and not very forgiving, I had a nervous breakdown from stress and exhaustion. I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and had already been diagnosed with depression after the birth of my son in 2007. By August 2018, I had spent a year just muddling through and trying to find a way out of a very dark place. I hated myself – for who I was and who I wasn’t.
A friend sent me a copy the book of Family Don’t End with Blood, created by the cast and fans of Supernatural and edited by Lynn Zubernis. This friend told me to read Kim Rhodes’ and Jared Padalecki’s chapter, in particular. Well, I read the whole book. It wasn’t even about Supernatural. It was about feeling less alone. I could relate to Jared’s experience and I didn’t feel alone in my anxiety anymore. Suddenly, I felt this urge to go back to Supernatural. (To be honest, I never thought I would go back, but I did). And boy did it kick me in gut with all the feels. I started to read up on Supernatural, follow folks on social media to see what was happening. Always at a distance because I never got over what that person said years ago. I researched the hell out of Supernatural (thank you to the Supernatural Wiki) and really began to fall in love with this little show all over again.
From Christmas 2018 I binged watched Supernatural – all 13 Seasons of it. And then I did it again, and again. I started to understand why it stayed with me all those years ago. It brought up memories –some good, some bad—but I was okay. Really okay! Supernatural gave me a piece of my sanity back. It has given me courage in the darkness. I has given me purpose and feelings of self-worth. I am researching and writing again and it’s a good thing. I get to contribute to the fandom just a little and I feel good! Sam and Dean were fighting real monsters but I felt like they were fighting mine, too. So #ThankYouSupernatural and the Winchesters for helping me fight those monsters.
The SPN Family far and wide has taught me that fandom means family and you guys are something else. Really something else. I have made some new friends and feel supported in ways I cannot describe. We are part of something bigger. Am I sad Season 15 is the end? Not really. Why? Because Supernatural has given me these amazing stories and characters that will live on. Bittersweet, hell yes. But remember we are all Winchesters no matter what the future brings.