I've been watching the TV show Heels, which, on the surface, is about independent professional wrestling. When I watched the show, I started thinking that under the surface, it is a show about how people struggle with the different aspects of themselves and how unconscious desires often get in the way of our conscious plans.

One of the characters is a wrestler who is in recovery. There is this fantastic scene where he is running an AA meeting at the arena where the wrestling matches occur. The ring is empty, and off to its side, there is a circle of chairs full of people taking part in the AA meeting. (The choice to film this scene, where people are battling addiction, in this place where battles are performed is such a good choice! This sort of attention to detail is one of the things that makes the show so good.)

The scene starts out with the camera going around the people in the circle. We hear the wrestler speaking, he says,

I still struggle with the realization that I have to intergrate the damage of the mistakes of my former life —the drinking life— the things I said and did, with the good guy [I am now], without hating myself. [...] My tendency is to misremember my mistakes, or make like they weren’t as impactful, because they don’t fit the current mode of me being a good dude. The thing is, if I forget them, diminish them, If I don’t use them as fertilizer for a better me, I’m liable to revert to the same terrible impulses, and get the same terrible outcomes.

The idea that mistakes, the shit we do, can be fertilizer for something if we don't defend ourselves from them.

What a wonderful idea, eh?

Subscribe to [S][J][P]

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.