It was never meant to be like this. I didn’t intend for it to mean anything. But it did. And to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. But today’s Valentine’s Day and so I’m going to go on a limb today with this blog post. If you’ve been following me since my relaunch in December 2017, you may be able to guess what’s coming.
I’ll be honest. I never cared for Valentine’s Day because I always found the pressure surrounding this day absolutely ridiculous. Why do we need to be in a romantic relationship to feel love? I use to love the idea of love but I guess you can get burned only so many times before you decide that love without strings does not exist. Then I stumbled onto Supernatural and its fandom.
I’m sure you can tell from my social media and previous posts that I can’t stop gushing about it. But it’s been the only love I’ve fully experienced these past few months. Of course, that’s not to say that I haven’t felt love from those around me because I have. I just never expected to feel love from a group of complete strangers. Never. So for me, that means something special and I truly believe that ’embracing your fandom’ is life changing.
It’s strange how important to me fandom has become. In such a short amount of time too. So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m writing a love letter to the fandom that helped me survive last year and encouraged me to always keep fighting. I invited a few of my fandom friends to join me in expressing their love for their chosen fandoms.
You’ve been around for a long time, it’s a wonder that I never fell in love with you earlier. Perhaps my love for you now wouldn’t be so strong if I did. I suppose it really doesn’t matter because here we are. And I want to thank you. Words can not express the love I feel for you.
All of the feelings, all of the pain. Everything just hurt so much and I couldn’t tell anyone. Because no one would understand. So I tried to escape by binge-watching you on Netflix. I always knew you existed and being bedridden for two weeks, well, I didn’t really have much else to do.
I never expected that I would fall so passionately in love with Sam and Dean and their story. Even though their lives were marked by tragedy and death and mine was picture perfect in comparison, I found myself confusedly drawn to them.
As I continued watching, I realized that Supernatural was literally taking all of my inner demons and childhood experiences and transforming them into a fantasy thriller. I found myself wanting more. So I did something I never thought I would ever do. I hopped on Facebook and Twitter to try and find fellow Supernatural fans. Quickly, I learned about Jared’s “Always Keep Fighting” Campaign and I came upon Lynn’s “Family Don’t End With Blood” book.
Without going too much into detail, August 2017 was awful and I struggled to clear that fog that suddenly decided to take resident in my mind. I spent a lot of time lurking in Supernatural Facebook groups and even though I was staying invisible, I felt comforted knowing that I wasn’t really going as crazy as I thought I was.
I managed to convince my friend to join me in attending Supernatural DC. The amount of love and support I felt while there was just overwhelming. When I got home though, I found myself with a bad case of post-con depression and I couldn’t help but think “no not again”.
The level of support and love that poured out from everyone was amazing. I thought for sure I would be attacked for being ‘selfish’ or ‘victimizing’. But I wasn’t. Actually, quite the opposite.
Reading the comments I finally felt understood. I felt loved. People didn’t look at me with judgment. They didn’t try to convince me that things would get better. No, they simply said, “it’s ok, I know how you feel’. They accepted my words and they acknowledged how I felt. Sure, I am probably crazy. But nobody said that. Nor did they make me feel like I was.
But the love didn’t come just from Supernatural fans. I witnessed the cast’s love for all of us as well. I saw first hand how much they cared for us and how they would go out of their way to give back.
— Shannon K (@simplyxshannon_) February 9, 2018
I know that like all things Supernatural will eventually end and I only wish I had gotten into it sooner. I could’ve definitely used this SPN love in high school. But maybe I wouldn’t really have truly appreciated it. Doesn’t matter I suppose.
I guess what I’m trying to say is Thank You Supernatural!! Thank you for caring so much about us. Thank you for working so hard to give us such an amazing show. And thank you to all of the people that I’ve met in these four short months. I may not know your story. I may not even know your name. But knowing that you are fighting right alongside me has really helped me to keep on fighting.
Happy Valentine’s my #SPNFamily!!
I love you. Always keep fighting. Because you are worth it.
LETTERS FROM OTHER FANS
Ariana Murphy – @arianaspn61497
Love for this fandom has meant good friends online and in real life. They kept me here and supported me when I was in the darkest depths of depression. The actors’ love is inspiring. They reach out and give themselves without reserve and AKF gave me a chance to realize that I can fight depression. The love of the show started because the show helped me let out feelings and relate to the characters.I started just loving the show, but once I found the fandom and family here, my love deepened and grew. Thanks for letting me express this!
The Diva Librarian – @DivaLibrarian
It’s a long story, but the
#SPNFamiIy fandom, the actors, & the show pulled me out of a severe depression. It helped me find my passion for life again. I went to my first con last year & discovered that people who don’t even know me will have my back if I need them.
Sheila Joy – In Search of Sheila
I love TV shows because they help me “escape” especially since I have a 9-5 and a side hustle. Sometimes it can be hard to unplug and just be, so watching my fav shows helps with that! I also love getting super emotionally invested in certain characters haha.
Meghan – @MeghanTFreeman
My love for Supernatural came from Beta-ing a friend’s many fanfiction stories. Some of which were Supernatural, and some that weren’t. I had only heard of the show because my aunt and cousin were fans. I didn’t pay much attention though because I never enjoyed horror/suspense/thriller type shows and movies. But my friend, who’s been a fan from the beginning, told me it wasn’t so much horror as the bond of two brothers and the struggles between good, evil, and the grey areas that they encompass. So I looked up the show and was enthralled. Picking up a Season 10 DVD, I looked into the show.
Since that time in September 2017, I have every season and have watched many episodes twice. About December, I came across the
#SPNfamily. I tried to be a part of a fandom family before but always felt too old and out of place. But almost right away, I felt included by the SPN family. I quickly found another Canadian fan and we talked. She told me about conventions and I soon found Alana and her youtube channel. I also found the #AKF #TWLOHA campaign she was running and felt an instant connection to donate and support.
It was with the encouragement from Lynn’s book “Family Don’t End With Blood” and the stories from cast and fans about facing their fears and dealing with anxiety that I decided to seek help and go to counseling. I told my counselor about the support from those I met online through this show. She was quite surprised and yet very happy I had found this support. So rather than making a club or bar my final exposure goal, my counselor said that an SPN convention (although financially this may still be a problem) would be a much better goal for me.
I cannot say how supportive the actors have also been online. Even the characters are inspirations. So much so that I’ve created collages to represent my love for them creatively. I have never met any of my online friends or any of the actors/crew of the show but I dearly love the acceptance and kindness they have shown me. Twice Alana gave me a shoutout in her videos and I can’t tell you how just being acknowledged makes me feel special. This truly is a family
I am happy to have found it. I can’t tell Emma how grateful I am because she introduced me to it. This family also gave me the confidence to resign from a job I was struggling in and get into a job program that I am now really enjoying. I’ve been incredibly inspired by the non-profits and charities that the
#SPNfamily help out and I hope to continue supporting in many more ways. Maybe I will even work towards working in a non-profit field that can support children, mental health initiatives, and kindness in our world.
This show has given me back my life in so many ways that I didn’t even know was possible. The kindness and love of everyone I have interacted with is immeasurable. I love you all and hope that we can continue to impact the world in numerous and lasting ways for years to come.
#WaywardSisters #LoveAlways #KindnessForever!
Leah Wood @leahwood1488
I have been watching this show since the beginning. I have also struggled with depression since I was 15 and am now 30. But in 2014 I hit rock bottom. I was 3 months pregnant and had just been left by my physically abusive boyfriend, who I had been with for 5 years. He wasn’t always that way. It had only come out a few months before I got pregnant but I always believed it was my fault so I stayed.
We were trying for a baby and I had suffered a lot of miscarriages and was told it most likely would not happen for me. But then in October 2013, I found out I was pregnant and crossed my heart that this would be the child to survive. 2 months later, during a particularly bad argument, I was shoved and fell and broke my shoulder. I covered it with being clumsy. Shortly after he left me. I was broke, alone, pregnant, and homeless. I moved into a motel while my pregnancy progressed.
No one could get through to me. I was down the black hole of despair. Except one thing. This amazing show about two brothers who against all odds overcame every evil and nightmare imaginable including their own. And they did it together, no matter how bad things got. I found a place of peace. A place I could forget my worries and how scared I was for myself and my baby.
Gradually the months ticked by and I knew this baby was going to be my whole world. But I still wouldn’t talk about how bad things were for me. I didn’t see anyone except my Dr and occasionally my mum. But I felt something in this show that gave me happiness and calm. I had my daughter in July 2014 and struggled badly with postnatal depression.
Then in 2015, Jared came out that he also struggled with depression and that it wasn’t anything to be ashamed of or that you were failing in any way. Jared was the light in my tunnel except for my daughter. Then the AKF campaign came out in 2016 and it spoke to me on such a deep level that I started to fight back. I started seeing doctors about my problems and trying to talk to friends but that always went sour.
Then I discovered this beautiful fandom. They accepted me and treated me like family the minute I opened the door. Never judging, just being there for me when I needed, and I returned the favour by being there for as many struggling families as I possibly could. I learned the true meaning behind those infamous words “Family Don’t End In Blood”.
This show and these actors and especially this fandom bought me back to life. I still struggle and my ex is still emotionally abusive to me but now I fight back. I don’t just put up with it and I don’t blame myself because it’s not my fault. At least now he sees his daughter, tho not as frequently as she would like but just because he is my ex doesn’t mean he is hers.
It’s now 4 years later and while I still have my dark days, it’s not so terrible. I have made friends for life in this wonderful family. They’ve been there for me more than anyone I actually know. They have taught me that I matter and I’m not alone. I’m studying to be a teacher and my daughter and I now live on our own in a rented unit. She even has her own room and while money isn’t great I make sure she never suffers.
I truly believe without the people of this family and show and all the love and support they give without even questioning, I would still be trying to find the light in the dark. I still watch and rewatch the show religiously and love everything about these beautiful actors because they aren’t just actors.
They are family. And for that I thank each and every single one of you. You’re all my family and I love each and every one of you. Happy Valentine’s Day!