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OWLS: The Nonexistent Role of “Self-Care” in White Christmas


This month’s OWLS topic is “Self-Care.”

In favor of positivity and good mental health, we will be exploring the importance of self-care. Sometimes, we are lost in our thoughts and emotions that it can cause a negative impact on our lifestyle and our relationships. For this month’s topic, the OWLS bloggers will be exploring the mental health of pop culture characters and how their mental health affects their environments. We will explore the dangers of mental health illnesses and how it might lead to self-destruction and/or how one has the power to overcome their demons. In addition, we will share our personal stories and struggles about mental health and discuss positive ways in handling mental health issues.

Now, Rai wrote a lovely post on My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness which you can check out here.

As for me, when I created this prompt, I already had a specific show that I wanted to talk about which is the South Korean drama called White Christmas (2011).

Warning: Spoilers!

(Via Wikipedia)

White Christmas is about a group of elite and highly intelligent students who spend their winter break at their high school rather than with their families. Unfortunately, these students are trapped due to a snowstorm and during that time, the students let in a complete stranger, who was in a “car accident,” into their school. The students found out that this “psychologist” is a serial killer and they are unable to get help due to the fact that their school is located in the deep mountains of Gangwon,  far away from society and civilization.

The “psychologist,” Kim Yo-han or Doctor Kim does a “social experiment” to answer the following question: are monsters created or are they born evil? Now Kim Yo-han (Kim Sang-kyung) doesn’t necessarily kill any of the students but rather he plays mind games with them: it is his way of “helping” them heal from past scars. One particular student he “helps” is Yoon Soo (Lee Soo-hyuk), a quiet rich kid who is in a rock band and has issues with his parents. Yoon Soo has no interest in being an honor student nor getting into to an elite college, instead, he focuses on his music. Yet when the opportunity came to prove his musical worth to his parents during a school festival, his spotlight was taken away by the troublemaker kid, Kang Mi-reu (Kim Woo-bin). Aside from the issues with his parents, Yoon Soo also suffers from seeing things, particularly a little boy with a blue birthmark on his face. Yoon Soo ends up having to take depression medicine but he also secretly self-medicates on other drugs.

In order to help him, Kim Yo-han allows Yoon Soo to talk about his problems through hypnotism. At the end of the show, rather than recuperating at a hospital, Yoon Soo is at his parents’ house. Kim Yo-han decides to check up on Yoon Soo by calling him. Doctor Kim does another hypnosis on Yoon Soo and we soon learn that the little boy with the blue birthmark was actually the son of Yoon Soo’s caretaker. In fact, Yoon Soo believed that the little boy with the blue birthmark’s mother was actually his real mother because Yoon Soo hinted that his mother knew how to make delicious pancakes. We soon discover that the mother he was referring to was the little boy with the blue birthmark’s mother and not his own. Yoon Soo’s real mother didn’t really show any love to her son and was jealous of the affection that Yoon Soo gave to the other lady.

After the truth of Yoon Soo’s trauma was revealed, Yoon Soo decides to commit suicide. Although Doctor Kim was actually a serial killer, he is still a doctor and in some sense, he really did try to help these students with their problems even though he had ill intentions. In fact, he didn’t harm any of the students but rather he brought the students’ traumatic issues and inner demons to light and let “human nature” run its course. Doctor Kim didn’t kill Yoon Soo but his phone call triggered Yoon Soo to confront the imaginary boy he sees. Yoon Soo realizes that he wanted to be the son of his caretaker and after acknowledging that hidden truth, he shoots himself in the head.

Yoon Soo’s backstory is tragic. His depression is the result of the lack of love and affection from his own birth parents. His way of coping with this depression is through self-medicating on drugs and music. Yet in the end, he succumbed to his depression and commits suicide. Although in some way, Yoon Soo was able to talk about his problems with a crooked psychologist, it didn’t really matter because Yoon Soo already had the intentions of dying since he was forced to reenter a toxic environment. He had to live with his loveless parents and so rather than dealing with them,  he decided to escape them by the means of suicide.

From Yoon Soo’s story, you can see that sometimes there is no solution to one’s problems and that one can only find solitude and peace through death. Although we like to think that dying isn’t the right answer, there are moments when we have to stop and reflect on why someone would do such a thing and try to understand their situation, but for most of the time, we don’t have a clear answer as to why someone would commit suicide. It is in these moments that we should “just be.” In other words, we shouldn’t wallow in regret or sadness nor celebrate the life that the person had and the impact he or she had made on others, but rather just take in the moment for what it is.

I don’t think suicide is the answer and rather than going down that route a person should try to reach out to someone and get the help they need.  I do think, though, that sometimes the universe has an unfair way of screwing people over. Yet if you believe in reincarnation like I do, I believe that the next life would bring much more of a blessing to a person that committed suicide.

Sometimes living isn’t all that glamorous and maybe dying shouldn’t be seen as a tragedy but a beautiful moment of freedom. – Lyn

And that’s it for the September’s OWLS topic, “Self-Care.” Check out next month’s theme, “Grotesque.”

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9 thoughts on “OWLS: The Nonexistent Role of “Self-Care” in White Christmas Leave a comment

  1. Wow, this was such a powerful post: Well done! 😊
    I think it’s really hard to judge someone who commits suicide. One can never tell exactly what is going on in someone’s mind to make him/her go over that final edge. However I always think it’s the hardest on the people that are left behind, wondering what they might have been able to do differently to save that loved one.
    I had heard of this Korean Drama before over on Kay’s blog, but I haven’t been able to see it yet, because at the time it wasn’t available for me. It’s one I definitely still want to see though 😊

    Liked by 3 people

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