5 Takeaways From Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's eleven o'clock number

The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend finale premiered six months ago and I’m still reeling from it. The show follows lawyer Rebecca Bunch from coast to coast on a romantic musical adventure to find true happiness.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Take On Mental Health

At the end of the series, the audience finally gets to see Rebecca being someone who truly makes herself happy, rather than being with someone who makes her truly happy.

Rebecca Bunch celebrates her move to West Covina musically in the pilot episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Credit: CW, 2015

Throughout the series, I have related to Rebecca’s love for love itself. I think it’s one of the best things we can do, but it can’t solve certain deeply rooted childhood traumas. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has a lot to say about mental health and trauma recovery. These are the top five takeaways that have resonated with me.

5. Taking Medication Does Not Make You Weak

Rebecca’s hesitation to accept medication from her doctors is a problem I understand well. It’s hard to find the right medications at the right dose, and misdiagnoses can complicate the process further. I went through a similar experience when I was in high school.

Rebecca Bunch, main character of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, dances with others taking daily anti-depressants.
Credit: CW, 2019

I felt so defeated, and not much else. I shared Rebecca’s fear of becoming a “zombie” again for a long time because my condition was misinterpreted and misdiagnosed. Thankfully, I have made leaps and bounds of progress because of a combination of therapy and medication. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend shows Rebecca finally able to overcome a major roadblock by accepting medication.

4. Happiness Is Found Within

Rebecca’s journey to find her passion for music and performing is what drives the series. Over the course of four seasons, we see her try (and fail) to find happiness in external sources, like Greg, Josh, and Nathaniel. From the very beginning, she comes alive when she is performing.

Rebecca  finally reveals her decision on Valentine's Day a year further into her recovery.
Credit: CW, 2019

Rebecca learns, eventually, that happiness, fulfillment, and self-esteem must come from herself, or it will always be unstable.

3. But Remember, It’s Okay To Rely On A Support System

No one can go through life all alone. Yes, independence and self-reliance are important, but we can’t do it all on our own. In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Rebecca’s friends are wonderful people who are gladly willing to support her emotionally; she only has to find a balance between relying on them too much and relying on them too little.

Rebecca, Valencia, and Heather celebrate female friendship with a song about their plan to take over the world.
Credit: CW, 2016

2. The Role Of The Chosen Family

Rebecca’s friends in West Covina come to be her chosen family. They love and care about her so much, as she does for them. They can give her the support she so needed as a child but never got from her parents, while also figuring out who she is.

The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend finale, Rebecca is surrounded by her chosen family, all the people she loves most.
Credit: CW, 2019

1. Recovery Is Not Linear

It’s a lesson I learn again and again with every setback or relapse. Through each season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, we see Rebecca rise and fall, learn and re-learn. The most human thing about her is that she makes the same mistakes more than once. This is a reminder that recovery from mental illness and trauma is not a straight shot. There are sure to be pitfalls and setbacks, but that is okay.

It doesn’t mean we’re not making progress, and it certainly doesn’t mean we’re not trying. The recovery process involves a lot of self-accountability and a lot of self-forgiveness. We have to recognize and own our actions, while also allowing ourselves to grow.

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