Here I am again – at the “typewriter” jotting down some words in order to stop the brain from going off doing its own thing. I awoke just after three this morning and did that nature thing that old people need to do in the middle of the night – then had a drink to replenish the fluids. As I was still so tired after the last week with little sleep I thought I would ‘tough it out’ and go back to sleep after a little thinking.
Alas, it wasn’t to be… an hour later I was still lying there with so much going through my head. The mind was racing again and, despite the tiredness, it was time to get up and write again – I can go to sleep later if need be.
So what has been on my mind this early morning? Many, many things it seems, I shall try to organise them into an understandable structure. This will be a little different than previous posts as these will be my inner thoughts not experiences.
Personal Help For Others
Over the past week or so, some of you guys have been contacting me directly for advice on how I handle particular things regarding the conditions I have. I find this most flattering that people actually want my advice and I am happy to respond and build that link between us – but it is important to remember that I am not a trained mental health professional. I have done a few courses recently and I did major in educational psychology at university many years ago but I am far from being an expert. I am just a guy who is living an experience and sharing it with you in an attempt to purge my brain but also let you know you are not alone in the world with your thoughts and suffering. I also hope you can look at what I have done to help myself and maybe use some of that to help yourself.
Commercial Versus Charity
The age old question of money or love – while artists can suffer for their art, should condition carriers suffer for their suffering? I love helping people, I love educating people, I love entertaining people and I have done this the majority of my life – Yes, I have digressed a few times into information technology or corporate sales but even these were disguised attempts to help people by either restructuring how technical support is provided or allowing them to buy a way to improve how they do business.
However, the majority of my helping, educating and entertaining exercises do not make me money so I need to approach life in a more commercial manner while still being helpful – I need to provide the help and ‘voice’ my experiences but we all need money to survive and, at the moment, I am not earning anything – even the live shows are costing me money to do.
So many options arise to capitalise on this venture but i fear alienating the very people i want to help by doing so. I understand that by doing the occasional free show for schools or other cash strapped agencies is important, I have to start to toughen up and not fall into the trap of, “Oh by doing my free show it will give you good exposure” . The fact is, it generally wont – exposure and awareness comes from the mass media.
Desire to Entertain while Educating
There are so many people out there talking about all sorts of stuff who are as boring as batshit. They have interesting stories and experiences to share, or they have a lot of technical information to explain and they are experts in their fields – but they are boring on how they deliver the content. Powerpoint slide after Powerpoint slide, fact after fact, droning on and on – and they get paid good money for doing it.
I need to be careful not to fall into the trap of becoming a droner, the shows need to be kept upbeat, honest and entertaining. Telling the true story, warts and all. I feel there is an opportunity for three different types of show, with varying levels of entertainment factor. I shall work on these over the coming weeks.
Restructure the Talks
I believe that information distribution needs to be entertaining as well as informative – people will remain attentive up to the limits of their attention span then their minds will drift away. So many presentations I have been to by professional conference organisers just don’t seem to understand the basics of human attention span – in order to make sure my talks don’t fall into the same trap I need to restructure them to be tighter and shorter. The first two shows have been a touch too long in both parts. And, incidentally, that is why there is a break in the show – to allow a reset of attention span.
The comedian Ruby Wax has been brought to my attention. She has been doing live shows around mental health for a few years now – I caught some of her stuff yesterday on Youtube and was surprised how similar her stories are to mine. But of course, my stories are also similar to yours because the conditions we have affect us all in much the same way. But it was nice to see the confirmation that I am not just making all this stuff up.
If anyone has any connection with Ms Wax, I would love to get to chat to her about what we do.
Getting the Word Out
While it has been a lovely Christmas period for me – busy, then restful, then busy again – the shut down of most businesses for nearly a month has really stalled the momentum of getting the word out about the Captain Krankypants talks. With that stall in momentum comes a fall in enthusiasm – that’s another symptom of one of my conditions. If I can’t see progress and improvement then things are failing. So I need to ask you all to please share these blogs with anyone you think might benefit from them – spread the word, spread the love and spread the desire to help.
Time for a Cuppa
Well that was some of the thoughts from the “Middle of the night thinking session” but just remember, if it all starts to get you down, the pressure is building and the thoughts are racing, get up and move to a different room, or location and take the time to have a cup of tea or coffee and recover your mind. And that is just what I am going to do now…