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Lessons from the latest episode – Still Breathing

15 April 2020
Life keeps on offering chances to learn, no matter where you are or how old you get.

It is safe to say that not only are our characters learning tough lessons, but they are dishing it out too. And there were many of those in the latest episode. Here's but a few.

Disclaimer: there are some expletives in the quotes.

The lesson:
Suicide is never really an option, no matter how depressed you feel or dire the situation is. This came to fore when Tegan contemplated taking an overdose, but Matthew talked her out of it.

Matthew: "Pills are messy, they take too long. There’s too many outs. You start questioning whether you made the right choice."
Tegan: "I can’t do this."
Matthew: "I know."
[He closes each pill bottle.]
Matthew: "If it was me, I’d choose water. Swim until I was too deep and just keep on swimming till I stop breathing. Well, you could help me."
Tegan: "I don’t even know you."
Matthew: "But you knew who my dad was. Help me find my mum. Who knows, maybe we’ll find something that will help us both."

The lesson:
When it is appropriate to stand up for yourself. Danny spoke to his eldest son, Heath after he hit his little brother, Noah.

Danny: "Hey, I want to talk to you. Come."
Heath: "Is it about the incident?"
Danny: "It is about the incident. You see there, what do you see?"
Heath: "I see my little brother."
Danny: "You’re the big brother."
Heath: "I know. I said sorry but I didn’t mean to hit him. I will never hit someone again."
Danny: "No, no, no, no I didn’t say that. What I am saying is that it is not cool to be the first person to hit. I mean if someone hits you first, boy, then you sort them out and you make sure they never hit you again, okay?"
Heath: "Really?"
Danny: "Um."
Heath: "Mum said if someone hits you, you walk away."
Danny: [chuckles] "Your mum has never been bullied by a bully, that’s why. If someone tried to clap your mum, she will knock them out. Just not your brother, okay? That’s your best friend in the whole world, ever."

The lesson:
Surrounding yourself with positivity. When T-Boss and Danny had an argument, T-Boss said he needed people in his life who lift him up.

T-Boss: "I need people in my life who build me up, man, not people who break me down."
Danny: "You’re doing a good job all on your own, buddy."
T-Boss: [walks away]
Danny: "I love you T-Boss, that’s all you need to know."

The lesson:
Be who you truly are, not what society expects you to be. This came about when Ntombi shared her sexuality struggles as she and Lucille chatted outside the courthouse on the steps.

Ntombi: "My sob story? Nah, I am more than that. I am more than people forcing me to have sex with men to un-gay me. I am more than my family disowning me because they think I got the devil in me, praying over me, washing me in rivers, I am more than that. I think what they managed to do was awaken me. They showed me what my purpose it. You know, through all that trauma, it made me understand why I am here, to make sure that other people don’t do to people what happened to me."
Lucille: "You’re amazing. You are f***ing amazing. I am going to fight this war with you."

The lesson:
Don't compare your life with others, or where you think it should be. Everyone is fighting their own battles. We saw this when Abi was comparing her life to everyone else's but Stephen gave her much-needed perspective.

Abi: "You want to know what I have been through? With all the poking and the prodding and the injections and the pills and the looks of disappointment? I want a baby, I want a family so tell me why, why is this my life? Why am I here? Everybody else, they’re happy, they have their shit together, they’re living the f***ing dream."
Stephen: "Really?"
Abi: "What is wrong with you?"
Stephen: "Do you think that they’re happy? Do you think they’ve got it easier than you?"
Abi: "Go to hell."
Stephen: "Abi, here’s the reality. Lucille wants nothing more than to be with you. Jess is so overwhelmed by her own life she can barely think. Danny is petrified of everything, they’ve got no money. T-Boss has a wife living a complete different life from him. Him and Danny are fighting so badly, they’re not even speaking to each other. Candice, she’s lonely. She got all the money in the world and nothing else. She’s never even been in love. And me, my own mother doesn’t want me staying with her. She’s shacked up with Mervin – "
Abi: "Marvin."
Stephen: "Marvin, thank you. They’ve turned my room into some shrine to some steakhouse. There’s nowhere for me to stay. And I am in love with somebody I can’t be with."

So we’ve all failed. The lives we said we were going to have, you got the closest.

The story of family, love, and heartbreak continues next Thursday at 20:00 on #MNet101. Follow the conversation with #StillBreathingSA on Twitter (@MNet), Instagram (@mnettv), and Facebook (@MNet).