Has anyone ever seen the film I Robot starring Will Smith? It’s based on a story by Isaac Asimov. Smith plays his typical action man role with misbehaving robots added. The ultimate premise of the tale is how does one keep humanity safe – not from sci-fi’s ubiquitous invading aliens, no not even killer robots which someone has to program – but from itself? There is a line in the film where a scientist says to Will Smith’s character, Do you ever have a normal day? He replies: I did once.
That is how it feels to be a mental health sufferer. If you have a normal day you remember it. I shall remember November 18th for that reason because I got three quarters of the way through it before thinking. Why don’t I feel ill, exhausted, depressed, agitated, fed up, sick? Perm any one from five thousand, you know how it is.
I’m hoping I can keep this up, this whatever passes for the new normality. Not because I have to save humanity from awry robots, but just so as I can be and do the things I normally want to be and do without it being quite so much effort.
I am writing again which is good news, going out more, protesting about iniquitous politicians and am generally much busier than I was, in a good way of course. Still it’s necessary to watch the business thing (or ‘busy-ness’ thing) because that can lead back down to the vortex. But so can sitting about doing nothing I guess. The trick is as always to find a balance. Sometimes I work 24/7 to save myself from staring down the black hole.
When I get very busy I can feel my brain speeding up telling me now this needs doing, now this, now this, now this!! I start to panic at the overwhelming amount of stuff that I need to get done – and without Will Smith or robotic assistance, there is sadly only me to do it. This is not helped by the internet and constant online-ness of everything but I do not think that has been the cause. I have always tried to outrun father time, but he just shakes his head sadly behind my shoulder.
The fragility of being a mere human being. I’ve been told that this kind of thinking is a result of lack of confidence – that people who lack confidence in themselves feel that nothing they achieve could ever be enough so they drive on and on and wear themselves to a raveling. Well I’m no psych person but it sounds logical to me and certainly reflects my life tendencies. The fear inside, the need for an unattainable perfection. Setting small daily goals helps because it’s valuable to concentrate on what has been achieved rather that thinking of the distance still to run.
But this is how I see it. I’ve been given my brain and if it works or if it doesn’t work it’s mine to cope with. But also it’s mine to use to the best of my ability. I read somewhere that the average human being (that’s pretty much most of us except for Stephen Hawking RIP and a few others) uses only around 30% of his/her potential brain power. Imagine that! Only one-third. We’ve still got two-thirds to go guys – and there’s a planet to save.