Honestly, I think I realised part of why I love The Magicians so much. It gave me a casual representation that I didn’t know I needed. Here I am, someone who is very sick and I won’t get better. Here I am as someone with chronic depression and anxiety.
I mean, obviously there’s Quentin who deals with the chronic depression and anxiety, but beyond that there’s Gretchen, Here’s the thing: I walk with a cane and I used to absolutely hate it. I used to feel humiliated by the noise I made when I walked, by being seen with a cane at 24. I hated it. I used to sit down and cry for hours after going out because I felt like people were staring at me, judging me and my cane and my chronic illness. I hated how awkwardly I walked and how everything was so much more difficult because of the vast amounts of pain.
Then I got into this ridiculous series. I know it doesn’t focus around Gretchen and she’s a minor character. And somehow that makes it better. There’s something amazing about someone having a casual disability and they absolutely own it. There’s something empowering about it.
“She wasn’t embarrassed about her leg. She told anybody who would listen that that’s where her power came from, and if she had it surgically corrected she wouldn’t be able to do magic anymore.”
I mean, you have no idea how much that meant to me. I think about it a lot. Anytime I start to get embarrassed by my disability I think about that and act like my disability is where my power comes from. And somehow that makes it better. I’ve felt so much better about using my cane when I think about that. I don’t see disability represented like this often and it’s just so empowering to me.
I have an idea of who I wish I were, and that obscures my understanding of who I actually am. Sometimes I pretend even to myself to enjoy activities that I don’t really enjoy, such as shopping, or to be interested in subjects that don’t much interest me, such as foreign policy. And worse, I ignore my true desires and interests.