So I recently had a car accident where by I fainted at the wheel and crashed into the central reservation on the motorway. Don’t panic, I’m ok and no-one was hurt. I was lucky enough to have been stuck in traffic (I never thought I’d ever say that) and so I was only going about 25mph when I crashed. My car is pretty dead but who cares now that I have temporarily lost my right to drive on the roads as a result of me being redeemed medically unfit to drive. Woop woop! I guess I’ve saved myself some money on the car repairs! Every cloud and all that… It was a pretty big wake up call for me. I have spent so long pretending I’m fine. Putting on this mask of health but in actual fact, sometimes you just seriously need to accept your limits! So does excepting your limits mean you’re giving up? It’s a weird little question really. I’ve always been one to value determination and passion above all really. If you are determined to do something, you’ll do it no matter what. I mean just look at that Kenyan lady who recently collapsed 50 meters from the end of a marathon in Austin Texas and literally crawled to the finish line declining any help in order to not be disqualified.
Her passion and determination got her to her finish line but at what consequence to her health? I am by all means not suggesting she isn’t inspiring but is the lesson of “You carry on no matter what” really what we want to be living by? I like the ‘carry on’ part, it’s just the ‘no matter what’ part I have a tad bit of an issue with.
I have grown up being on the stage. If it wasn’t dancing, it was acting, if it wasn’t acting it was singing and if it wasn’t any of those things it was rigging the lights. Now you may be wondering where I’m going with this as it’s a complete change in topic but stay with me, it does have relevance. I have, since before I can remember, been told “THE SHOW MUST GO ON”. It doesn’t matter what happens when you’re on stage you carry on, improvise even but don’t draw attention to the fact that things haven’t gone to plan.
I do remember a time actually when I tried to do this during a performance but epically failed. I was doing a performance on crime and punishment in the 16th Century at ‘The Tudor Museum’ I used to work at, teaching history through drama (before TSW ruined that for me. Sad times. It was my dream job). I was moving ‘The Stocks and pillories’ to the back of the stage and accidently slipped and sliced the top of my finger open on a sharp bit of metal. There was blood pouring out everywhere but I thought, act cool, stay calm and find the quickest excuse to leave the stage and grab a fellow colleague to take over. As I went to do this however, I went seriously light headed but I couldn’t possibly just go light headed, oh no I had to go and faint, but I couldn’t possibly just faint I had to go and fall off the stage, but I couldn’t possibly just have fallen off the stage, I had to go and wack my head off the original 16th century cobble stones and knock myself clean out. I came around to my audience gasping, a black eye and paramedics trying to usher me into an ambulance insisting I go to A&E straight away. So there I found myself lying on a hospital bed dressed in full on Tudor attire awaiting a pair of free hands to help me get out of my enormous dress and four under layers that included a huge bum pad! I mean, if that’s not awkward I don’t know what is! 0__0
Anyhow, back on topic… Where was I? Ahhh yes, accepting your limits. Ever since I started suffering from depression and TSW I have lived life as though it is a performance, and no matter how you feel ‘THE SHOW MUST GO ON’. Act like there’s nothing wrong, hide your pains, your illness and get on with life but after my car accident it made me realise that pretending everything is ok isn’t the answer. Acknowledging the fact that your temporarily the under study and not the performer for a while is all part of getting better. Maybe just admitting that there are certain things you can’t do, whether that be work anymore, or go out anymore, or even drive anymore isn’t a sign of giving up at all and maybe it’s a sign of moving forward. Some may see it as weakness but I know now that it takes ultimate strength to admit you’re not quite as independent as you used to be and I think all you people out there who have already accepted they aren’t quite as ‘capable’ as they used to be are extremely brave and my ultimate inspiration.
To play a character is easy, but it takes true courage and skill to stop the performance and be your true self. So it’s official, from this moment onwards I’m going to slow down and take it easy, concentrate on getting better and rock the hell out of being a young INCAPABLE woman. 😀 I guess being looked after isn’t all that bad. Everyone loves being brought a cup of Yorkshire tea in bed when their ill right? 🙂 Be strong, be you.