Between a laugh and a tear

Well it would seem I’m slowing climbing out from whatever rock it was that landed on me.

For those not in the know, I had what the Doctor termed an ’emotional breakdown’ and what I termed ‘falling apart’ about 6 weeks ago. I ended up in hospital for chest pain and stayed there a few days while I was physically checked out. That was all cleared and my body was sent home. This was just a manifestastion of stress really and my body’s way of telling me I had to slow down fast!

The Doc ordered no work for a couple weeks which turned into four. It didn’t bother me, I had lost all interest anyway…in just about everything…and just about overnight.

I cleared decks by re-routing emails and getting other associates to keep eye on the servers at work. And set about doing nothing. This isn’t usually something I’m used to..or like. But this time…well I just couldn’t care any longer.

I ended up spending my days with my head switched off in Second Life (SL). And it was my answer in this period, my therapy. I needed something that didn’t take any analytical brain power and yet could occupy me enough just to relax. I found a whole new side of me, a side that had been buried under that rock I talked of for 25 years. I knew from outset that the word ‘expression’ was a key, but didn’t know what that meant. SL gave me a new way of expression and of freedom from the constraints that come with my disability and those constraints I’d built myself as a way of either escape or coping.

Slowly over time as my body healed and my brain slowed down, I was able to have time for feeling to return, for issues to bubble up and stare at in the face and realisation to surface.

It’s all a bit freaky, hippy and messy – but needed…and good. Not that it feels it at the time…or even now.

So, how am I now? Well, John Mellencamp puts it best:

Between a laugh and a tear
Smile in the mirror as you walk by
Between a laugh and a tear
And thats as good as it can get for us
And there aint no reason to stop tryin

Typing isn’t the easiest thing for me and one reason I have the podcast is as a way of expression that doesn’t take so much time and physical effort. So I’m going to talk a bit more from time to time on there about it.

So now, things are going to have to change – if nothing changes nothing changes and we end up getting the same results we always do. Cutting back on work as much as my finances will allow will be part of it. Changing the way I do things and finding new things to do that are diferent things will also be a part. Maybe even finding some work that doesn’t require so much of me, or at least so much of the same thing, so I can pay the mortgage yet live, might be a part of it.

All part of what Jackson Browne sings as being “caught between the longing for love and the struggle for the legal tender“.


19 thoughts on “Between a laugh and a tear

  1. Looking forward to chatting on Thursday!
    As with the Horizontal HQ sessions with yer busted shoulder, you still manage to run rings around me!!


  2. powerful post dude. Glad to hear you are starting to come out of your funk and fascinated to hear about the role that SL played! You are on the cutting edge of virtual psychotherapy. There is a whole new field of self help emerging that you might find yourself the guru of. Even when you’re having "down time" you’re actually re-inventing an entire industry! Well done old chap.

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  4. Here is a blog that I always keep an eye on. I have a feeling Dave is not trying to change the world. The World is capable of doing that on its own, Dave is changing himself and helping people around him… I think that makes sence.. I put my support behind him. Good luck Dave.


  5. Phil, that makes greatsense. It is also a liberating way of seeingit. Liberatig in that I am then freed from the pressure that expectations of changing the world bring with it.

    Thanks for the refreshing view point. A good friend also picked up on this, warning me to not take on what wasn’t mine.


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  7. Uncle Nick. Good observation. I tell ya, the depth and scope of the human interactions that will be lived out (NOT played out) in virtual environments will be huge in future. There’s already big glimpses available as pointers in SL now.

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  9. Oh big Dave you’ve just killed me with this. You see, your inspiration I have always held in high esteem. I point as many people as I can towards you and always refer to you as a true battler/leader. The reason I say you killed me is becasue I don’t want you to loose the fight. We need you, as much as you need us mate. If it helps at all one technique I am using at the moment is "not making my highs too high, or my lows too low." Just enjoy the journey for what it is, i.e. shit sometimes but good mostly!

    Chin up mate.

  10. Thanks Hugo. Your support means a great deal to me. I find that it’s mostly just a build up over a long, long time without appropriatre outlets is the killer. Even though I was enjoying everything my body just called a stop work meeting. I’m ‘hastening slowly’ now…just doin what I can and finding other outlets. Thanks again mate. Dave

  11. Hey, Dave–It was fun talking in SL last week. I read some of both your blogs, and now I get your references to burnout. Keep on rockin. Takver

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