Grey’s Anatomy’s season premier is coming in a few weeks and I can’t wait.
I’ve been on this ride since Season 2—The episode where Meredith puts her hand in a body cavity with a bomb in it. My Mom had just died and I was alone in the house that night and that ridiculous episode where Meredith felt like she was going to die and then she found herself holding a bomb made sense to me. I was hooked and I haven’t stopped being hooked.
I’ve watched most of the episodes multiple times. During my husband’s deployments and work-up trips, it’s the first thing I pull out to fall asleep to. When I had a back injury and was in more pain that I’d ever been in in my life and I couldn’t sleep and I spent a lot of time just lying on my living room floor, I treated my insomnia by watching the whole series through twice (to be fair there were 8 fewer seasons at that point).
People tell me that they stopped watching Grey’s because it’s too unrealistic. Active Shooters in the hospital, major characters getting cancer, plane crashes, car crashes taking out a lead character. Drama, drama, drama with the bottom falling out every time you turn around.
It’s always something with this show.
And then of course there was the Post-it wedding, and my personal favorite the house blue-print outlined in candles in a field…
I’ve thought for a long time about why I keep watching. I don’t tolerate tricks pulled by show-writers without a lot to balance it out.
And here I am… 14 Seasons Later. As many years devoted to this show as devoted to my marriage, and I can’t stop watching.
The thing is… I think the constant bottom falling out, the “Are you kidding me with another major incident in the hospital?!” It might actually be why I keep watching.
Because for 14 years, it’s felt true.
I haven’t survived a plane crash, putting my hand in a body cavity with a bomb it, and an active shooter in the hospital.
But I have survived 6 going on 7 deployments, my mother’s cancer and death, my own rare cancer discovered during a pregnancy, a chronic disease diagnosis, back pain that made me want to die, mental health challenges for myself and others I love, and more.
It’s always something with this show.
For the last 14 years I have been recovering from something, enduring something, making the best of something. The story lines feel far-fetched, but when I’m honest the story lines in my own life have felt pretty far-fetched more often than I expected. That, “You just have to laugh at the absurdity of it all!” feeling is one I’ve felt more times that I can count.
Two rare diseases one of which took me to the opposite coast for care. That felt like an honest to goodness episode of Grey’s Anatomy all on it’s own.
The whole bottom falling out of the world, or at least the top floor of our house when severe water damage happened right before my husband left on his sixth deployment? That was absurdity in the highest degree.
Listening to characters piecing things back together after absurdity strikes again and again and again… Watching them do it with quirks and imperfections. Yelling at the screen because they are doing it wrong. The fact that they don’t get it right all the time.
That all feels pretty stinking familiar too.
But Grey’s Anatomy isn’t just about the crisis events. It’s also about love. It’s about finding the man of your dreams and fighting for him and him fighting for you. It’s about friendship and family that forms in the absence of family. It’s about finding your person—my person is named Becca, not Christina—and standing by them, and them by you as the bottom falls out over and over and over.
It doesn’t feel absurd. It doesn’t feel ridiculous. It feels really true. And watching it has given me something to hold onto and words to make sense of the senseless over and over again.
So here comes Season 14, and who knows what absurdity is going to crop up. I’m guaranteed to want to throw things at the TV or to yell at Mere and Alex and whoever a handful of times at least. I might even declare that I’m never watching it again.
But I will. As long as it’s on, I suspect. Not because it’s absurd and over the top and not at all like life.
Because it helps me make sense of mine.