Have you ever watched a great series and follow through the show’s progress only to realize that it has an unhappy, inconclusive ending? The characters you came to love either dies or end up being the worse villain they could possibly be, and the characters you pair or “shipped” don’t end up together because of various reasons. There isn’t any epilogue to disclose the story or whatsoever. It just gave you a distressing and bitter experience. Wouldn’t that make you feel sad and unsatisfied? Then suddenly you realize this feeling of emptiness and numbness – the void – making you feel like you don’t want to do anything for a while because you want to wallow in it for a moment, or for a longer time.
It might sound silly or immature reacting this way about a show or a fictional story when you didn’t even experience the story’s problems first hand. Personally, I’ve felt this way after watching Netflix’s Devilman Crybaby series, and it left me feeling unfulfilled. It was bold and beautiful, and I wanted more of it, but it had to end tragically. A day passed, and I still felt empty from the show, and something inside me wanted to do something about it. I tried to distract myself by focusing on my academics and other tasks for my organization, but I still felt unsatisfied. I tried watching other shows and reading some chapters from a novel, but I still felt empty.
One night I finally admitted to myself that I am still not over the series and just let me do my thing, which was drawing. And so I drew the characters in a better situation because I wanted a good ending, and it did help me feel happy. So I kept drawing, until my hand felt tired. I wasn’t sure if I was drawing to de-stress myself from daily tasks, or just simply trying to fill in the void that the series left me with. I felt productive too somehow since I’ve found an outlet that worked for me. I shared some of my ‘artworks’ online and I’m glad to know somewhere from the internet felt the same way and told me that what I drew helped them cope with their feelings from the series as well.
If feeling empty from a show is one thing, there are probably a ton of ways for others to feel the void as well. It might be because someone is not satisfied with their life, have broken up with their significant other, lost a loved one or failed a majors test. The list goes on. To try and overcome this hollow feeling, some of us would either ignore it or attempt to “fill it in” with things that usually give instant pleasure—binge-watching, gaming, consuming substances, browsing social media, among other things.
Truly it might work for a while, but it is only temporary. Eventually, one would get sucked in the vortex in their own void after the instant gratifications recedes. While others may have tried to cope in better non-vice ways, but they still feel that something is lacking. Probably it might not be the best puzzle piece or cork to fill in your “hole”. But at least you’re trying.
Acknowledging the fact that one is upset with something is actually the first step in feeling better, and it’s because you want to fix it. What is important to do next is to either seek help from someone you can relate to, or at least someone who knows how to deal with these matters—like a therapist or psychologist. But if you think you are capable enough to deal with your own inner struggles, consider spending more time with yourself. Delve into your mind deeper and dig in your inner desires, doubts, and dreams. Do an activity you like, or try something you might be comfortable doing, such as meditating or writing. This part might be frustrating, but knowing yourself better can help you realize your strengths and weaknesses, and help you know how to deal with future struggles.
And if you still have the void inside you, try asking yourself why you still feel it. Am I being too sensitive or over reactive? What am I trying to get at? Am I just making this an excuse for something? Am I doing what is best for me? And as you lay out your own questions, try answering it as well. Don’t pressure yourself too much though and take your time. You’re in the process of healing yourself anyway.
The process of filling your void might take a long time, but keep in mind that you’ll eventually fill it in with something worthy. Be patient with yourself, and probably watch a feel good film.