Do you know what it feels like to love something so much it hurts? Like your whole life revolves around this one thing and it’s eating you up slowly but surely? Have you ever cried over loving something because you can’t even control yourself anymore?
I have a confession to make. And I know this will raise a lot of eyebrows.
Probably you read my post about how much I love Super Junior. If you haven’t, that’s fine. In that post, I could only talk about how positively loving SJ had an effect in my life, but in truth, it wasn’t that way.
See, I was obsessed with Super Junior in a way some die-hards can probably relate to.
It didn’t begin that way. At first, I didn’t like Super Junior at all. I found it silly that they had 13 members. I thought the idea of it was incredibly laughable. In fact, I didn’t really like KPOP at all. But then they entered my life just. Like. That.
You can say I was doomed the moment I started listening to their songs.
There was something about Super Junior. It could be their incredible sense of humor or their catchy tunes. It could be that each and every single member had a story to tell, and you just had to find out what they had in store for you. I could be that they loved their fans so much that you couldn’t help but reciprocate back.
I don’t really know anymore. Honestly, I don’t regret loving Super Junior. It wasn’t their fault that I hurt myself in the process.
It’s been more than half a year since I decided to stop being an ELF. And looking back, it feels a little surreal.
I swore that I’ll stick around for them until the end of my days. I said that all I could feel for them was “love”. I cried for these boys. When they cry, I cry. When they laugh, I laugh. When they hurt, I hurt. I hurt so much.
The enlistment of Heechul only magnified whatever hurt I was feeling. I knew I was already beyond my limit. I couldn’t live a day without Super Junior. Sometimes even my studies were affected. I’d rather watch their variety shows and read posts about them than study. And that said a lot about my priorities. I’m a nursing student, so studying should have been my priority. But this “love” I felt prevented me from doing so. What is love? It’s supposed to bring out the best in you. Sure, I was happy to be an ELF. But did it bring out the best in me? Certainly not. If anything, I knew I could’ve done better in school if I weren’t an ELF.
When Ms. Happee Sy (of Pulp Productions, the one who did SS2 and SS3 in the Manila) announced that there wouldn’t be an SS4 in Manila, I was broken. I felt like they shattered all my dreams. I was relying so much in them because I needed to see Super Junior. It was painful knowing that they would shower so much love to other ELFs (something that I thought I needed, I craved that love) but I wouldn’t be able to feel it. Watching the fancams was simply torture. But since I was obsessed, I didn’t care if it hurt. I had to see everything about Super Junior, even if it meant me staying up late at night (I had classes at 7 in the morning) or not even sleeping at all. It was all about Super Junior. I lived for them.
Probably what brought me to the edge and slapped me in the face was the moment Siwon tweeted that he’d be in Manila for New Years. Along with him was Eunhyuk and Kyuhyun. It was shocking. In fact, I can only recall how much I felt like dying the moment I read his tweet (click here for my fanaccount). The worst part was that I wasn’t able to see them. It would’ve been fine because I’ve already seen them before.
But what ruined it all for me was that my friends, my fellow ELFs, who started talking about how awesome the whole experience of seeing them upclose was. It was a high for them, I’m sure. And I was happy for them. But every single word they said and their excited eyes only made it worse for me. I was jealous, and I withdrew from their talks because I hated the fact that all they could talk about was their experience. They didn’t seem to care that it was hurting me. I never spoke about how much it did, because I didn’t want to ruin it for them. If I were there, I would’ve felt the same thing, I thought. But still, I was hurting. I loved Super Junior. I did. Every single member was precious to me. It didn’t matter if it were just one member or 15 of them. The fact that I wasn’t able to see them because I couldn’t (the circumstances didn’t let me), broke my heart into pieces. And hearing it being said everyday since then pushed me to realize how stupid I’ve been.
Then suddenly I decided that it was time I stopped. It was a difficult decision for me, but I knew that I had to do it. I said, it didn’t have to be that I would stop being a fan completely. I just had to cleanse myself and so I did. Eventually, during that so-called “cleanse”, I realized that I didn’t need Super Junior that much in my life. Slowly, I removed them. It all began with unfollowing them on Twitter to erasing all my pictures and videos of them from my gadgets. In the end, I stopped being a fan. I don’t know when I did, but all I know is that one day I was an ELF, then the next day, it was like whatever they did stopped fazing me. After a month or two, Super Junior became nothing but a KPOP group to me. The title “ELF” was gone from my system.
Maybe if that faithful day didn’t happen, I would still be an ELF today. I don’t know. God moves in mysterious ways. I’m a devout Catholic, but for almost 2 years I worshipped someone else than He. Because of that, He did what he does. So even if that day didn’t happen, I’m sure that He wouldn’t allow me to stray too far from his path. May it be days after or years after, He would’ve stopped me from being an ELF. And I thank Him a lot for that. For making me realize how bad loving Super Junior was for me.
Truthfully, I have a lot more experiences of how much SJ hurt me. They made me happy, more happy than sad, for sure. So I never hated Super Junior after that. Slowly, I started realizing how much I defended them from their mistakes and why other people simply disliked this member or the whole group. They made a lot of mistakes, but I looked at them with so much affection I failed to see how wrong they were. But still, despite that I have nothing but respect for the group. They’re amazing. And they continue to be amazing.
So now, I opened my eyes to other fandoms, and now I’m in a different one. I’m officially an Inspirit. But that’s a different story. :)
(OH MY FEELS FOR THIS MACRO. SIWON I STILL LOVE YOU LOL)
Now I’m not saying it’s bad to be a fan of Super Junior or any other group, for that matter. But sometimes you have to see that obsession is a lot different from love. If you’re obsessed with a group, it’s time to move on to different things.
Think of how much time you’re wasting looking up pictures of your bias, and how much more you can do outside the house. You could learn a new sport or take up a new hobby and develop yourself. Rather than facing the computer and gaining pounds, you can go out and make friends. Virtual friends (or online friends) are great, but nothing beats a conversation with a person face to face.
So how do you know you’re obsessed with a KPOP group?
10 signs and symptoms you’re obsessed with a KPOP group:
1. You spend majority of your time on the net looking up that group
2. All you can seem to talk about is that group (or your bias) and talking about other topics bore you
3. You have more than 500 pictures of this group
4. You feel like you need to buy everything that this group puts out (albums, posters, stickers etc.) even if it means saving your allowance and not buying food
5. You feel like you love this group more than yourself
6. You have cried for this group in more than 5 occasions because of some random reason (a member is sick or members are fighting)
7. You cry because you feel like they’re taking over your life but you can’t do anything about it
8. You stay up ‘til the wee hours just watching their variety shows
9. You don’t study for a test or exam… yet you know every single thing about this group and the members and what they’re doing or what their schedule is
10. You’re reading this blog post and are relating to what I’m saying
If you think you’re obsessed. Stop. It might be hard at first, but it’s not impossible. Remember those days before you became a fan? You weren’t born a (insert fandom name here), but a rational human being who can make choices.
STEPS ON HOW TO BREAK UP WITH A KPOP GROUP
(or any other international fandom like the Beliebers or Directioners)
STEP ONE: REFLECT
Do they affect your life in a positive or negative way? In my case, it was mostly negative. My grades dropped and my social life revolved mostly school and fandom. But if they serve as a positive inspiration for you and make your life better, then why stop being a fan? Sometimes it’s nice to be a fan of something, especially if it makes you a better person.
STEP TWO: CLEANSE
Once you’ve made yourself reflected and realized how negative being a fan of this group is affecting your life (in any way whatsoever), it’s time to cleanse. This is the most important part of the whole thing. The moment you start cleansing is the first step to breaking up. My cleansing time was 2 weeks. I began with unfollowing them on Twitter (since Twitter was my main platform for online communication), then I started deleting pictures and videos. Remove bits of them from your life one by one. Maybe if you spend a lot of time at home, you can start by removing their posters or clearing your shelves of any fandom paraphernalia you own (like lightsticks or ballers etc.). You don’t need to throw them away, mind you. But keep them out of sight, so you aren’t tempted to look at them all the time.
STEP THREE: HEAL
As with any breakup, there’s always that one person who’ll be more affected than the other. In this case, it’ll be you since the group wouldn’t know you stopped being a fan in the first place (unless like you have a contact with them or know them personally lol). So as you erase them from your system, you heal. You might cry or feel like you still need them in your life. You might be tempted to look them up on the net, or watch their variety shows again. Don’t. Then you’ll have to cleanse all over again and it’ll be more difficult to let go. Just like in a break up. One has to move on to better things. Keep yourself busy. If you can’t ignore them because you still go on sites like Allkpop, then go back to step two and add KPOP to the list of things you need to cleanse yourself off.
STEP FOUR: MOVE ON
You don’t have to stop being a KPOP fan. I never did stop. I moved on to a different group, but I swore I wouldn’t allow myself to be like what I was when I was an ELF. It’s not a crime to love a group. You don’t have to feel guilty or bad when you start taking interest in some other group. In fact, I highly recommend it. Again, relating it to a break up, you should go out and “date” again. The fact that you’ve already passed that phase of obsession, you’ll be less likely (but not impossibly) to fall into the same mistake again.
STEP FIVE: DON’T BE BITTER
Nothing’s worse than a bitter ex. Just because you didn’t have the best experience, you’d start bashing the group. Antis are bitches. You can start putting out your albums, listen to their music and videos and if you want, you can even put up your posters again. Why not? Some posters cost a ton of money after all. But I discourage variety shows. After all, most people start becoming fans when they get to know their idols.
So now you know my story. It’s a bit embarrassing, admitting this. Because in an outsider’s point of view, it looks silly and juvenile. Not many people will understand what you’re going through, especially if they aren’t experiencing what you’re experiencing. It may not be the case for most KPOP fans, but you’re definitely not alone. If you feel the need to talk to someone about this, you can always contact me here, and I’ll be sure to reply to you or maybe if needed, give some advice. You don’t have to go through this alone. :)
If you’re a brave soul, you can even share your story in the comment box below so that others can relate to your story as well. :D