Okay, this might be my biggest, nerdiest post ever. I LOVE Marvel movies. And the most recent one – Avengers: Endgame – gave me so many mental health lessons that I just HAD to share!
This post has been on my mind since the night I saw the movie, but I wanted to wait a bit to post this since I didn’t want to spoil it for too many people too soon. Haha!
Before I go into this, though, I want to make sure that I give a quick disclaimer. If you still haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame and you still WANT to, STOP READING THIS, lol!
If you don’t care about the movie and you just want to know what happens, read this.
But seriously, this will have SO many major spoilers and I don’t want to be the one that ruins it for you. So leave now while you still have a chance (and that will probably be the only time ever that I’ll deter you from my content. So read some other ones here.)
Up until about mid 2016, I was not at all into Marvel movies or anything. It was the *one level* of nerdiness that I was not going to reach, lol.
But then I started dating my boyfriend, Alex, who was the only person I had ever met that had the ability to change my mind about that! He got me to watch them all from the very beginning and I fell in love.
When the Infinity War trailer came out, I was SO. EXCITED. I could have exploded. I went and saw it at like 10pm on the eve of an 8am final…does that say it enough?
Seeing the Movie
The year I spent waiting for Endgame was filled to the brim with excitement, nervousness and hope. When I finally saw it, I believe that it literally changed my life. (I’ve been saying that so many times to people and yet, they don’t believe me? Lol.)
After I saw Avengers: Endgame, I knew that it was good on so many levels. The production was incredible, the plot was A-freaking-plus, but what hit me the most was the emotional power of the film.
I mean…obviously, the loss of the characters and everything really got to me (I cried like 4 times) but the emotional development of each character really got me thinking about so many things.
So much happened for each character from the start of the franchise in 2008 and I think that Endgame brought each of their stories totally full circle. It just blew my damn mind how awesome it was.
There were 80 million thousand lessons that I took from the movie, but there’s 4 mental health lessons that I specifically want to share with you.
*By the way, these lessons do NOT include anything about Thor. I feel like his journey through the movie needs an entire post in and of itself. So that will be for another time! These 4 mental health lessons come from other aspects of the movie.*
Mental Health Lesson #1
Sometimes healing takes much longer than you want it to or than you think it will.
In the very beginning, you see that the Avengers go to fight Thanos and get the Stones back. They find that he destroyed the Stones and they kill him.
But that all happens within like….20 minutes. So you’re sitting there thinking, “Um what?! What the h*ll is the plot of this movie?!”
Then it goes forward 5 years. Five years that they had no answers, no plan to fix the snap and five years spent trying to move on without half the population.
Steve Rogers and Natasha really haven’t moved on, though, as much as they’re trying to pretend they have. But I think that they use that fact as a catalyst to keep fighting and come up with a plan.
Then Scott Lang shows up and they come up with the “time heist” plan (which I think is a very funny term, lol.)
At that point, the 5 years was worth it because they finally figured out a solution and they jumped on it. They came out on top and won against Thanos, and also brought everyone back from the snap.
To me, that was so profound to watch because for the last 10+ years, we’ve been watching these characters win battle after battle. Infinity War showed us that they lost BIG time. It takes them MUCH longer to win the battle over the Stones!
The same type of thing applies to your mental health. There’s a lot of things that cause a downfall with your mental health, and those things can sometimes take longer to heal from than you might expect.
Sometimes, you might set yourself a “timeline” for how quickly you heal, but it should come on your own time. No matter how long that takes.
For example, when I lost my brother to suicide (hear more about that here), I had a long grief period. It took me a good 7 or 8 years before I was really able to move on. But that’s okay!
No matter what you’re going through, it shouldn’t be set to a certain time period. Your mental health should heal at its own pace – whatever that means.
Mental Health Lesson #2
It’s okay to change your mind about what you want and what will make you happy.
When the movie goes forward 5 years, you see that Tony Stark finally settled down with Pepper and they had their daughter. You see him living the simplest life he’s ever had, but he seems happy!
Then, the rest of the Avengers gang show up to his cabin to ask for his help. He denies them. He said he doesn’t want to risk his now amazing family, and he walks away.
Then you see him checking out the idea of the “time machine” almost just out of curiosity, and he suddenly comes up with the perfect solution! He’s totally shocked (and says “shit” in front of his daughter, which was super funny, lol.)
You can tell that he starts to have this fight within himself of “do I or don’t I.” Should he just throw the little device he made out into the lake, or give it to his old team and put up a final fight against Thanos? Does he help the Avengers or keep his family 100% safe?
He ends up changing his mind, and goes back to the Avengers to help. He knew a part of him would never be able to rest if he threw the device away.
That was a really interesting thing to witness as a viewer because Tony Stark has always been someone that acts selfishly and without changing his mind.
Personally, I’ve gotten plenty of negative feedback in my life for changing what I wanted to go after and what would make me happy. You’t think that wouldn’t happen, but it does! And I know that I’m not the only one.
Here’s the thing: people change. And with that, what people want in their lives change. And I think that experience gets even more heightened when you have a mental illness.
With anxiety or depression, you end up trying to go after what will make you happy so that you can change those negative feelings around. That’s a whole process in and of itself.
But if you find that what will make you feel joyful changes, it can be stressful if there’s a lot of external and internal factors that make you feel like it’s not okay.
But I am telling you right now: it’s perfectly okay to change your mind about what you want, especially when you have a mental illness! Your mental health evolves and changes as you do, so it’s totally fine!
Mental Health Lesson #3
No matter how many times you win, you might lose…and that’s when you learn to pick yourself back up.
The plot where I took this lesson from kinda ties into the first lesson. Like I had said earlier – the Avengers lost! For the first time ever! They got so used to winning all of their battles and then they lost the biggest fight of their entire lives.
At the start of the movie, you can tell that it’s hard for them to figure out how they come back from that. They’re scrambling for answers and for something to give them hope.
They had to come back eventually, though. And that’s not because they are the Avengers and Marvel always figures it out. But because everyone always has to come back, somehow. No one stays down forever.
I think a huge struggle people have is that they get hit with sudden anxiety and depression, but they have no idea how to start coming back from that.
It’s okay to feel like that for a certain amount of time. It’s natural. A part of the growth process is sitting in the negative emotions you have.
But the other thing about it is that you also have to believe that you WILL get better and you won’t stay stuck in those bad feelings for the rest of your life.
Nothing lasts forever, folks. That’s a fact of life, and that includes negative things. It’s super easy to think otherwise because positive thinking takes a lot more work than negative thinking, and humans are lazy. We try and steer clear of the hard work. (Should be the other way around, though, right? #rulesoftheuniverse)
A part of working through negative feelings, though, is growing from it and evolving into the next version of who you are.
Anxiety and depression don’t knock you down so hard that you have to stay down forever. I mean – I’m a big believer that you have to choose happiness. Choosing joy means being able to pick yourself up out of negative, less-than-ideal situations.
It’s not a perfect journey, of course. It’s not easy! It could take a long time (back to lesson #1, there!) But it’s worth it.
Mental Health Lesson #4
There’s a ton of power and strength within yourself, AND there’s power and strength in who you surround yourself with.
At the end of the movie during the final battle scene (which was epic as HELL, by the way) you see Captain America fighting Thanos alone. He ends up getting super injured, and I don’t know about you, but I was very concerned that that was going to be his end, lol.
He’s basically crawling up to keep fighting after Thanos knocks him down (bless him) and then all of a sudden Thanos’s whole freaking army shows up!
I think you can see a thought kinda cut across his face where Cap is like, “I probably can’t finish all these nasty things off by myself, but I’m gonna die trying.”
That’s a really powerful moment there in and of itself. Right when he’s about to go for this totally impossible task, the rest of the Avengers show up. (They got re-snapped by Hulk a bit earlier.) I would say the Avengers, and like every other super-anything that existed on Earth came to fight, haha!
When they do, you can see a wave of simultaneous relief and joy hit Cap’s face. They’re not alone anymore after 5 years! They did it! Seeing everyone again rejuvenated Captain America enough to keep fighting. After that, they all go to fight Thanos’s army and the rest is history.
I think this scene teaches such a powerful mental health lesson. It’s super easy to try and fight your illness all on your own, but it’s not the best idea. (I know that from experience!)
I mean – yes – you could try and fight it all on your own, but it’s probably going to take you 10x longer than if you had other people in your circle. And honestly, doing it alone might not even work in the end.
First and foremost, I want to say that I’m not at all degrading the strength you have within you to want to fight anxiety or depression. It says a TON about you!
But there’s even more power there when you decide to not go that journey alone. No matter what, the people you surround yourself with will be a game changer in how you manage your mental illnesses.
I used to try and manage my illnesses by myself, and it was very tough. I avoided talking to any of my family or friends about my problems for years, and I avoided going to therapy for 8 years. (For a while, I went in 6th grade, but I didn’t go back until I was a sophomore in college.)
Once I changed that, though, I could literally feel things start to shift in my mind and in my heart.
Don’t get me wrong – I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy process, and I was still really scared of doing it. It’s a hard thing! But what got me through it was feeling that shift in my emotions in a way that I literally never had before.
The people you surround yourself with and involve in your mental health journey will have a huge impact. Find the people in your life that will stand by your side no matter what you tell them, or what you’re going through and who you feel comfortable opening up to.
When you have more people fighting your mental illness along with you, it changes the game. The power you have against will multiply.
It’s not an easy process and it can definitely be scary, but it’s always worth it! Always remember the power you have within yourself, but also don’t forget the power you have in the community of people you have around you.
There you have it – 4 mental health lessons from Avengers: Endgame!
I’m really glad that I got to share some of the more nerdy side of me with this post, and I hope that it resonated with you!
Did YOU learn anything else from Avengers: Endgame? Tell me down below!