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How The Last of Us Helped Me Through My Breakup

The last of us

How The Last of Us Helped Me Through My Breakup

I lay there in bed, covered in chips and four seasons into The X-Files. No energy to move, nothing invigorated me and I’d succumb to a whirlpool of self-pity.

Breakups suck.

We were young and she’d cheated on me. This was the first and definitely not the last time I felt like this. There’s something about your first true heartbreak that really hits you. By the time most of us have truly experienced it, we’re unfamiliar to loss. For some, this is a true indication of what emotional pain can feel like and an eye-opener for what lies ahead on the path of life.

All of this sounds terribly self-indulgent and bubbling with teenage angst, but I want you to come on this emotional rollercoaster with me, okay?

You’re probably wondering where does The Last of Us come into this? It was the last thing I was expecting too, trust me.

This all happened right around the release of The Last of Us – the flagship title that was set to see the PlayStation 3 life cycle into the horizon. It was a game surrounded in hype and that I’d been excited for since its initial reveal. I’d completely forgot it was coming out until a knock on the door from the postman.

It had arrived.

As soon as the game finished installing, I had no urge to play it. How could this game possibly make me feel better? I can barely muster the energy to get out of bed, let alone immerse myself into a game. But I needed to get out of this rut, so I pushed myself forward.

Thirty minutes later, I was in tears as the emotional opening sequence of The Last of Us hit me like a bus.

Spoilers for The Last of Us to follow.

Our main protagonist, Joel, lay there, clutching the body of his now-dead daughter in his hands, taken away with no warning.

It’s obvious that the death of a child and a breakup are completely different, no one will argue that. But what Joel and I were both experiencing was something that resonated with me throughout the whole experience – loss.

The last of us, breakup, break-up

In the early hours of The Last of Us, Joel is cold, reserved and detached from anyone else around him. The loss of his daughter has burdened on him over the years, causing an impenetrable emotional barrier with no entry. 

Through the initial post-breakup, my room was my shelter.

A place in which I could be alone and consistently question the time I’d invested into this girl who I’d wholeheartedly loved. Unfortunately for Joel, there is no hole for him to shut himself away. The world of The Last of Us is a barren wasteland filled with the repugnant remains of humanity, creatures and emotional demons that torment him.

Then comes Ellie.

Ellie is a means of passage for Joel as he comes to terms with the reality of his situation. The Last of Us is my gateway to move on.

“You are not my daughter,” Joel tells Ellie, in The Last of Us’ best and most emotional moment. The two have clashed consistently through their time together till this point and Joel is refusing to let his guard down.

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