Every once in while, there comes a TV show that can literally change your perspective on the world. My Mad Fat Diary just may be one of those shows. Rae Earl is a broken girl: struggling with hiding her mental illness, wanting to lose her virginity, falling in love, trying to fit into a ‘gang,’ getting along with her mother, and dealing with her lack of self-esteem – all the while tracking every bit of her life in a diary given to her by her therapist after she gets out of the hospital for trying to kill herself. In doing all of this, she realizes that she is mildly self-absorbed and every single person around her is having very deep struggles of their own. After you watch this show, you will question so many decisions in your life and try to find the root of how you got where you are now.
1. “I don’t want to be fucked up anymore.” — Rae
Rae very much reminds me that we all accept the love we think we deserve. While Finn is a great guy that loves her and has no problem showing it, she goes for Liam because he is just like her, because it’s easy and no one will judge them for being the overweight mental case couple together. But in the end, she lets go of Liam because he enables her self-hate and their pity parties were down right depressing. No one wants to be fucked up, but sometimes it’s the easiest way to be, and that’s the heartbreaking part of it all.
2. “You can spend the rest of your life being afraid of people rejecting you. You have to start by not rejecting yourself. You don’t deserve it.” — Rae
Rae threw herself into some very awkward social situations in order to gain acceptance and friendships from others for superficial reasons. But she constantly second guessed herself and cut herself down until her confidence was at zero. Once she was able to see herself as someone worth anyone’s time, she was able to see that no one was actually rejecting her, but that she was alienating herself. So if you are scared of that cool group of kids, go talk to them — they are really just as scared of life as you are.
3. “When you’ve lived in someone’s shadow for a long time, you kind of get used to it.” — Rae
Rae came to the realization that her popular, beautiful and outgoing best mate was actually very much like her: broken on the inside. For all those years that she felt like she was living behind Chloe’s shadow, Chloe was feeling the exact same way. Never settle for thinking you are second best, we all have something grand to offer and we all struggle in different ways.
4. “You would be surprised what lengths people will go to not face what’s real and painful inside them.” — Kester
Tix was Rae’s best mate when they were in the hospital together. The episode that delved into her story was heartbreaking, especially considering the outcome, but you really get to see the psyche of someone suffering as badly as she was. Her illness had nothing to do with her wanting to be thin, but her having control of what happened to her body.
5. “It’s cool having a couple that is in madly in love around you. It shows you that it does exist.” — Rae
I was ecstatic when Rae and Finn became a couple and equally as devastated when they broke up. But there was always that love in the air that gave you hope that a love like that could exist — for you, for your friends, or for your family. It’s a TV fantasy that is so relatable that they remind you of your best friends down the street. I found it funny that Rae looked to Izzy and Chop’s relationship for inspiration when she had someone so madly in love with her right there. She didn’t feel deserving of that love until she was accepting of herself.
6. “Everyone’s crazy. Everyone has to struggle and fight. They just haven’t realized it yet. At least you have.” — Finn
Oh, Finn Nelson.
7. “From now on, people can either accept you for who you are, or they can fuck off.” — Kester
Don’t ever keep anyone in your life that makes you feel less than human. It will never be worth it.
8. “There are times when I can’t stop speaking, when a million words leave my mouth in a matter of seconds… a million words that mean nothing… but when I want to find some words that mean everything, I just can’t speak. Like: I miss you. Like: I love you. Like: My world is falling apart and I need you by my side.” — Rae
I was screaming at the television screen in this scene because I wanted nothing more but for Rae to just tell Finn to come back home. She never did. Say what you mean when you want to say it, before the moment has passed and it is too late. Don’t live in the what ifs anymore and go for it. All you will lose is a moment in time and maybe a tiny bit of dignity but hey, it will be worth it.
9. “You are perfect and you can be strong.” — Kester
I wished this conversation between Rae and her therapist had come earlier in the series — it would have saved her so much turmoil, but I do believe it came at the time that she needed it the most. You can nearly see the moment where she actually believed she was perfect and strong. Looking in the mirror and giving your self-positive affirmations can work wonders, try it!
10. “You can’t fix other people until you’ve fixed yourself.” — Kester
Rae spent the entire show trying to fix other people while constantly putting herself down. She was pushing Archie to come out of the closet, she was trying to help Danny Two Hats find friends, and she was trying to change Chloe in so many ways — all while not even knowing the root of her friends’ struggles. In a sense, she was only making thing worse because her idea of self-worth was so skewed. But once she worked on herself she was able to see that not everyone around her was as happy as she thought they were. Take your blinders off for a second and really step back and realize that everyone is very different. Living with compassion doesn’t always mean fixing other people, but rather just being there when they need you most.
11. “When I look around, I see that everyone’s the protagonist of their own story. And the thing about stories is that not all of them have a happy ending. But some do.” — Rae
Hold out for that happy ending. No, make that happy ending happen for yourself, because it can, and it will if you make it happen.