• Kristina Cherep

Off Balance


So I’m not really sure if the This Is Us writers intended to make Randall and his life so reflective of anxiety. I mean I’m sure they did because they are the best kind of writers. In this past episode, it was all about Randall which I knew I would love because he’s my favorite... for many reasons. I basically want to be Randall when I grow up!

Any-who, when Randall was in high school he mentioned that he sometimes feels off balance and he can’t really explain why. He mentions that he feels like everything is going to be a little bit more complicated for him. He's not sure why he feels this way. This just screams anxiety to me!

The stem of anxiety comes from fear of the worse case scenario happening to you all the time. You're not really sure why you think these bad things are going to happen to you, but your gut reaction is that something bad is going to happen to you. In fact, when something does go right or something isn't as complicated as you thought, it feels kind of weird!

What Jack, his father, does next was unpredictable, but necessary to allow Randall to not feel so alone with the feelings he has. Jack brings him to a memorial and mentions how he felt off balance when he came back from the Vietnam War. He felt out of place and everything seemed more complicated for him. However, he said then after time he felt balanced, but then unbalanced and it's kind of how the cycle of life works for him. Always trying to catch your balance.

I'm not entirely sure if Jack was implying he suffered/suffers from PTSD and/or anxiety or if just coming back from war was a hard transition in general. However, for Randall to hear that his dad feels off balance too sometimes is key. It made Randall feel less of an outsider in the way that he feels because even his dad, who is white, feels this way too sometimes, but for different reasons.

Later in the episode, when Randall has to say bye to his foster daughter, Deja is when his anxiety is brought up. Indirectly again. Deja reminded Randall when he told her how he feels split inside sometimes. Possibly meaning his negative thoughts trying to control his regular thoughts. She then reassured him that just because she was excited to go back to her real home didn't mean that she didn't enjoy living with Randall and his family. This was reassuring him that his possible negative thoughts were wrong. It was coming straight from the source too!

Part of anxiety, at least mine, is assuming what others are thinking of you and then believing it. Also, all the assumptions are negative... of course! For Deja to disprove his possible negative thoughts, worries and feelings when she was leaving probably brought his anxiety down a little bit. It allowed his wandering and obsessive thoughts to slow down. It allowed him to be present. Outside of his negative thoughts.

In this episode, Randall's adopted father showed Randall that he wasn't alone in his anxious thoughts. In this episode, Randall's foster daughter showed Randall that she understands what he may be thinking about her leaving and she comforts him by proving those thoughts wrong.