As I sit on a train in Newcastle, waiting to return to Northampton to pack my bags and head back to Australia, I ponder the benefit of the Captain Krankypants talks. Personally they make no money for me, in fact they cost me money to do – what with travel, accommodation, food, etc. It is only with the support of friends and supporters that I am able to do this. It is their positivity that keeps me going and encourages me to get out and do what I do.
It is also the looks on the faces of audience members as they recognise symptoms I am describing – then the enthusiasm they have to come and speak with me at half time or at the end – to tell me how much they could recognise themselves in things I said during the talk. And then to hear comments later saying how I have changed people’s lives, how someone has suddenly started opening up and talking about how they feel and how family and friends now see what their loved ones are experiencing and understand why they behave the way they do.
The positivity, love and appreciation that has flooded me during this UK tour has overwhelmed me a bit. I never saw myself in such a role – maybe a role model for some, a guiding light perhaps, or even a beacon in the distance at which to aim. I feel enthused to continue and to help others find their way out of their depression and to manage the PTSD – I want to encourage people to accept their situation and move forward positively into a planned and organised future… and I want to continue on my road to recovery by talking about this stuff and helping to remove the stigma that still exists in society.
How it will evolve – well I have some plans for the future that will see the introduction of a bigger show focussed on stigma removal while still continuing with the talks to maintain connection with those with the conditions and keeping me real. The expanded show is already written and planned, I just need to spend time putting together all the media and AV components. I am positive it will work but, once again, it comes down to funding. Maybe it is finally time for me to try this crowd funding thing and see what we can drum up…
So, while we are talking about positivity, I need to thank all those people around me who have helped with getting these talks happening – it doesn’t happen on its own. Each of these people has helped me with their positive attitude, their desire to help others and their desire to support me in my quest. Once again I will not name them individually because if I forget one person, it would be unfair and, even if unintentional, will upset that person. Believe me, I know what it is like to be forgotten when thanks are given out. So thank you all, every one of you, here in the UK and in Australia (where I will be again on Thursday). And there is some very exciting news coming up on that front as well – I just need to be certain I can release it.
Even in this, though, there is a lesson for people with these conditions… surrounding yourself with positivity. We all know someone who seems to be an ‘enthusiasm drain’ or an ’emotional leach’ – the person who can stop a party just by walking in the room. Hopefully it is someone else so you can avoid them but if it is you then you might need to adjust your image in front of people.
We all want to be accepted and loved by our friends and families. We want to be popular and appreciated but sometimes it just doesn’t seem to work. No matter what we try, we always seem to stuff it up or cause a negative reaction – which then either makes us retreat back into our shells or try even harder to be accepted. So what is the trick…
There isn’t one, all you have to do is be yourself. Sometimes you might want to look at how you interact with others and adjust the approach a little, other times it might be worth walking away and finding acceptance elsewhere. I see four reasons why an individual can be not accepted by a group.
- Trying too hard – sometimes we try so hard to be accepted by the ‘in crowd’ that we annoy them. Like a young enthusiastic puppy we prance around, nothing is too hard and we are keen, oh so keen, to be seen as a valuable asset. My Tip – stop trying to be accepted, be yourself and let others see you fro the real person you are. You can still be enthusiastic and keen to help but temper it a little. Stop chasing the popularity and let it come to you – if the ‘in crowd’ aren’t accepting you then maybe move away and allow your doors to open to others who might want you in their group or their circle of friends.
- Constantly negative – we are seen as constantly whining about something. The news is all bad, the food is cold, I don’t like the game anymore, there’s so many adverts on TV, the weather is too hot/cold, I wish it would rain, I wish the rain would stop… and so it goes on. My Tip – stop looking at the negativity in everything, try to see the positive elements. Bring happiness and positivity to the group and you will generally receive it back. If need be ignore any discussion involving negativity or avoid becoming involved in, and being seen as, whining about things all the time.
- Seen as untrustworthy and disloyal – in order to try to gain acceptance you belittle others, gossip, blame others or just make others look bad to the group. My Tip – do not ever talk about other people or what they may have (or may not have) done – especially if they are not there to defend themselves. While it can be exciting to see the faces on members of the group as you tell them the news that so and so did such and such, this behaviour is remembered and the group members subconsciously realise that you cannot be trusted with secrets or to be a confidante of individuals within the group. Also, if it is information about other group members or family you can be pretty sure that it will get back to the person concerned, which will have additional ramifications.
- Poor personal hygiene – if you don’t wash or keep yourself relatively tidy, if you exude bodily smells or if you burp and fart loudly and constantly, generally people will find this offensive – unless you are trying to join a group where these things are required. My Tip – have a wash, comb your hair, brush your teeth and stop eating beans and cabbage.
Well this has been a bit of a novel, I apologise for that – in summary: think positive, speak positively, surround yourself with positive people and be positive about your future.