How ‘Supernatural’ Saved My Life

March 22, 2019 is the day the stars of the popular television series Supernatural announced that the show was finally coming to an end after its upcoming fifteenth season. At this point in my life, I honestly had not watched Supernatural for about three seasons. Years prior, Supernatural and the SPN Family was my entire life: I ran a Tumblr fan account dedicated to the show, I binged convention videos on my phone in between studying for the SATs, I knew every line from the pilot episode by heart. My fondest memory to this day is going to one of their conventions in Burbank, California and getting a chance to meet the cast I had looked up to for so long, a group of individuals who brought joy to so many people. 

Image of Supernatural convention banner. The banner reads "Creation Entertainments Salute to Supernatural November 22-24, 2013 Burbank, CA." In the banner is Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins
Supernatural Convention banner. Photo by: Alysha Prasad. Pictured (L-R): Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins

As time passed, I am saddened to say that I began to move on. I kept up watching every week for quite some time; watching the season finale of their eighth season live and seeing the crazy reactions online is still something I treasure being a part of. But at some point, I forgot to watch one week, and eventually it kept slipping my mind. Once I was very behind, I was too overwhelmed to catch up. We all know how it goes: life got busy when I moved to college, and quite simply, I developed interests in other shows and films that I became preoccupied with in my spare time. However, when I was scrolling casually through Instagram on March 22nd, I saw that Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins had uploaded a video that broke the news. I almost scrolled by Ackles’ post without watching the video, but then the caption caught my eye, “one more round for the Winchester brothers.” It can’t be over, I thought to myself, but sure enough, it was true.

Image of Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki taken from a video.
via @jensenackles on Instagram – Pictured (L-R): Misha Collins, Jensen Ackles, and Jared Padalecki

“This family is not going anywhere even though the show will come to an end,” said Collins in the video. Fans of the show all knew that Supernatural would eventually end, even if it seemed like it never would, as it continued on well over its originally planned five-season run. In fact, at some frustrating points during the show, I was wishing it would end just to save these beloved characters from more inevitable pain. All things must come to an end, but it’s different to get confirmation of the date it actually will. When I saw the news online, I almost felt guilty. This show I have loved for so many years, the show that has gotten me through some of the darkest times in my life, was coming to an end and I hadn’t even watched it in so long. I realized at that moment that I had to catch up, I needed to watch the series finale live with all the other fans. And I did it, I caught up with the seasons I missed, and it felt like I never left the Winchester brothers (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) or Castiel (Misha Collins) behind. We even got a new character, Jack (Alexander Calvert), who has quickly become one of my favorites. Through the good and the bad in each season, I was reminded of why this show means so much to me, and to so many other people. It feels appropriate to get all of my feelings out about this impending finale in the only way I know possible: to write about it.

Image of Jack, Sam Winchester and Dean Winchester standing next to each other in a room.
Supernatural — “The Big Empty” — Image Number: SN1304b_0462b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Alexander Calvert as Jack, Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved.

I found Supernatural when I was about 15 years old, initially drawn to it for its horror aspect, especially because its first season is definitely the creepiest of all before it transformed into plots that became larger than life. I was intrigued by the concept: two brothers travelling across the United States hunting things that go bump in the night. Quickly, I saw that underneath all the supernatural lore, classic rock and flannel shirts, it was really just a show about family. 

That time in my life was when I was at my lowest point. I was struggling with my depression in silence. I was suicidal, I was hurting myself and I didn’t know where to turn. My family and friends were not aware at the time because I thought I had to protect the people I love from the pain I was feeling. The only thing that brought me comfort, in a time where I did not get it anywhere else, was watching Supernatural every day. As I saw Sam, Dean and Cas go through hell (sometimes, literally) and back, I thought to myself, “if they can do it, if they can continue to fight for their lives despite all that they’ve been through, maybe I can too.” 

To this day, I am still dealing with my depression and anxiety, but I am happy to say that after many years of suffering alone, I finally got professional help starting last year. Not only has Supernatural as a show helped me get to this point, but I firmly believe that being open with your mental health is so important, which is something I learned from Jared Padalecki, who has been vocal over the years about his own battle with depression. He even launched the campaign #AlwaysKeepFighting in March 2015 to support mental health charities. 

“For people who deal with mental illness, depression, addiction or suicidal thoughts, every day can bring about new struggles. Every hour and every minute can seem to bring insurmountable odds of happiness. I hope that the simple message of ‘always keep fighting’ can help to bolster somebody through a tough time,” said Padalecki. Well, it definitely helped me. I will always equate Supernatural, as well as the cast, as being something that helped save my life, despite the fact that it is certainly not a perfect show by any means, and as I have gotten older, I have realized all of the valid issues with the show.

I used to think it was silly, to feel that a television show saved my life, but after many years, I have learned that this just is not true. In times of darkness, everyone needs something to hold onto. I am grateful that Supernatural was this outlet for me. I am anxiously awaiting the final episode. It feels as if I am saying goodbye to an old friend, it feels bittersweet and it hurts in a way that I’ve found hard to describe even now. Maybe I’ll never be able to fully articulate all of the feelings this impending finale has brought out on me. I am sad to know that soon there will be no more new episodes, no more new adventures for the Winchester brothers, but I breathe easy knowing that the happiness the series has brought into my life will continue, even beyond my lifetime. The series may be ending, but the impact it had on my life and the lives of others will last long after its finale. Supernatural holds a special place in my heart, and it always will, because it gave me the strength and the hope that I needed to carry on. Supernatural will be over soon, but as we all know, “endings are hard, but then again…nothing ever really ends, does it?”

Image of young Sam Winchester and Dean Winchester holding sparklers in a field at night.
Supernatural — “The Dark Side of the Moon” — Pictured (L-R): Colin Ford as Young Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester — Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW © 2010 LLC All Rights Reserved.