Ok, I think you need to hear the story behind this. It’s not really a fic—more of a humorous tutorial. The story is I wrote this only about an hour after watching the Reichenbach Fall for the first time, and my feels were a mess. A mess I tell you. So I wrote this on a fandom high, stuck it in the Notes section of my iPad, and forgot about it. That is, till a few days ago when I was looking through my Notes. I had fun reading it over again and so I thought that my fellow fangirls might like to read it too. And so, with that, I present…
Surviving the Feels
A Tutorial by Marie Raymond
“Nerd life is just so much better than regular life.” – John Green
As fangirls, we all know the familiar feel of the Aftershock. There is no avoiding this. If you are a fangirl then you may rest assured in the fact that the Aftershock will become a familiar feel to you. Will it get easier?
It will sting fresh each time. You will cry. You will scream. You will find your throat imitating a dying elephant. Your abs will cramp from contorting in pain and will hurt all the more the next day. You will experience an incredibly strong compulsion to hug, or in some cases punch, a fictional character. For during the Aftershock these people are not characters, nor are they fictional. They are very, very real.
You, my reader, now have only one question.
Why? If the Aftershock is so painful, why voluntarily put yourself through this agony again and again?
It is because you like it. Somewhere inside you there lives a tiny piece of you that likes feeling this way. This tiny but significant portion of you can exhibit itself in different ways, depending on the fangirl.
It may trigger immediately. You will find yourself crying and making inhuman noises with your throat, but through the pain you will be laughing. Your feels will be conflicted. You will feel sad, angry, and hurt. But you will also feel happy, because this, this is practically what you live for. Will it make the feels less potent? Of course not. There is no escaping the Aftershock.
It may trigger after. You will find yourself crying and making inhuman noises with your throat, and you will not laugh. You will feel sad, angry, and hurt. And you will not feel happy at all. Instead, the happiness comes after. After the initial stages of the Aftershock, you will realize how fun that was. Will it make the feels less potent? Of course not. There is no escaping the Aftershock.
So how do I curb it?
Foolish mortal. There is no curbing the Aftershock.
However, once the Aftershock has passed and you are left with raw feels, there are different forms of medication you can try. Different things work for different fangirls, so not everything I list here will be right for you. But of course, you should try them anyway.
What some fangirls do is contact a friend. This can be any form of contact, be it a phone call, an email, a chat, a text, or best of all, an irl meeting. Fangirl together. Make the meetings regular. Call them FGA.
If you don’t have a friend you can contact, then what some fangirls do is take out their feels in fanart and/or fanfic. They may create their own, or they may simply scroll through pre-made ones on the Internet, devouring every scrap that falls into their path. No matter your preferred medication, all of us have attempted this form of self-medication at least once. Many are prescribed this in addition to another form of medication.
Another form some fangirls choose to utilize involves a bit of pre-planning. Make a collection of all your favorite fanarts, fanfics, and fanvids. Not the ones that give you painful feels; this is a list only for the ones that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. DO NOT include any mention of the fandom that is currently giving you feels. Take this list and go through the whole thing. Read it, watch it, look at it. Bask in the light of your OTPs. This is a good form of medication if you have many other happily tied off fandoms.
There is one last form of medication. This technique does not work for every fangirl, as it does require some self-discipline and some writing background. But for myself at least, I often find it to be the most effective.
What you do is blame it on the writer and on the actors. Blame it on the script. Analyze your feels as you might analyze a piece of literature. Think “What did *author* do right here? How did s/he get millions of people to the point of feels?” Don’t settle for simply describing the event itself. Describe the parts as if you were creating a character sketch of each character involved. Dissect the feels objectively and do not think on it from a subjective viewpoint.
But this is only part of that final technique. While attempting this, your posture should be rigid and your breathing should come from your diaphragm. Your eyes will be dry and you will be devoid of emotion. You grammar will become formal. Once mastered, this technique can prove to be the most effective. Build a wall to block out the feels.
So, once you find the medication that works best for you, will your feels be forever banished?
Of course not.
There will be lapses. No form of medication is flawless, and there will be slip-ups back to your original state of Aftershock. They will be painful and it can sometimes take up to 3 days for them to fully dissipate.
And you will love every second.
And therein lies the reason that fangirls are often called crazy. We voluntarily throw ourselves into emotional chaos and spend months, sometimes even years, struggling to recover. So are we insane?
Of course we are. Prolonged exposure to feels has driven us insane.
Life without feels? Boring. Do not attempt.
There are ordinary people out there who call themselves normal. They will sometimes look down on you for your insanity. They will say that you are weird and they are normal. They will call themselves normal as though that were a good thing.
Aren’t ordinary people adorable?