Fear & Loathing in las duvets…

 

I’m not really one for this ‘man flu’ rubbish to be honest… My mentality for the common cold, sniffles, sneezes and all that follow the definitive UK illness, is that it’s down to your mentality as an individual…

Those who take days off with a light cold are likely those that you don’t want to be left on a desert island with and I’m definitely not one of those.

I grew up in a household, with mum as a teacher, where you needed some pretty healthy theatrics to get a day at home, following which, at the age of 18 I went to train to become and actor where we were up and about from 7am-6pm; and if we pulled the sick card there, there was ‘no mercy’ and you were treated like satan’s first born. The show must go on. However, when you’re training generics you needn’t worry, as there are plenty more to stand in and they’ll merrily tread on the others.

That said, maintaining a positive mental state if you’re really ill, regardless of disorder or no, is not an easy one, so I’ve tried to piece together some semblance of what might make the difference.

As I’ve currently just been really ill (definitely not the man flu variety, a comment which is getting pretty boring now) I’ve been in a lot of pain, finding it difficult to move; not aided by the fact that lying down or trying to rest, further creates issues as it does if you’re generally a lazy bugger…

I’ve also had a pretty nasty raw chesty cough which feels somewhat like someone’s popped a wire brush down your neck and dragged it back and forth several times…

So my core ingredients, Berocca, legendary in my eyes, generally covers your bases in terms of what you need day to day, 2 tablets in 1 pint of water once a day is a good starting point… Then chicken stock, I have found that it’s hard to eat solids during the early stages of this type of things so chicken stock is a good way to start your body getting what it needs until you start to feel more naturally inclined to more substantial nutrition; I later add rice which again you can basically drink and then chicken…

Now, that’s enough of that, this isn’t Delia Smiths blog!

The main issue outside all the mother hen remedies is the mental! Now, I use Berocca rather than tablets or medication, because this helps to stimulate my energy levels even when feeling really beaten, but the biggest issue I think I face when ill, is that anxiety surrounding all the people I’m letting down, it literally feels like you jump from hero to complete failure in one foul swoop…

I look at my responsibilities, all the people I promised to email back, the new emails coming in and the ensuing backlog. I feel guilty in the designation of workload, when my staff and colleagues have their own cross to bear day to day and I don’t want to ‘half arse’ the responses and commitments I have in process.

I find myself questioning everything I’ve built… How am I benefitting the world by making & supplying clothing? Sure I want to focus on ethical and sustainable manufacturing, but will I actually make a big difference? Am I wasting my time? Should I be doing something more useful to humanity? Probably…

Is the fact that I run a business purely driven out of my own greed, my own want for status? No… just a want to build something sustainable…

Is there something in me that craves more of the world than money?

Yes…

I’ve always been a fast thinker, if there’s a sport that involves adrenaline then I will pick it up fast, whether that be motorbikes, quads, skis and beyond I can turn my hand to anything that requires will and focus. I don’t feel fear in the same way as I believe most do, I get over accentuated levels of adrenaline and this adrenaline is what throws most people off guard, or makes them freeze in a bad scenario, not here…

I saved two lives the day after qualifying as a rescue diver preventing these junior divers being lost in currents surrounding the Cambodian coast; I’ve stood under landslide zones in Morocco, clearing the road of rubble to get traffic flow going while others sat in their vehicles still in the midst of further slides, too afraid to leave the cars; I managed to escape being knocked off a cliff by a taxi driving the wrong way round a blind corner on a one way road in Croatia with only inchs in terms of margin for error and I had a fully grown adult tiger bound into the road literally 2-3 metres in front of my motorbike in India, (not in a wildlife enclosure might I add, in the wild) where I managed to stay on the bike; but in every instance my head was clear, I was lucid, I was scared, but I had such a powerful yearning to preserve life that I felt focussed and channelled in those moments. Some of the most valuable of my life…

(The above may sound like embellishments but I can assure you they’re reality, my partner is the quickest to call ‘bullshit’ when I’m blowing my own trumpet and she was on the boat when I saved the divers, in our vehicle in Morocco, on the back of the quad bike in Croatia and on the motorbike behind me in India as we were travelling on bikes alone together.)

The biggest issue in our ether is our own self-worth… I will always endeavour to do the best I can at whatever I do, that’s just me as an individual, but if someone offered to buy my company tomorrow and free me from the hamster wheel and the bullshit politics you have to put up with to maintain it, then what would I do…? I think I’d probably take a step back and find a way to help people, to spend my day to day saving lives instead of questioning mine… I made the mistake of investing everything into what now has me trapped, if you’re at that point where you decide to go one way or the other, do get in touch and chat to me.

The rescue diver, mountain rescue, the ski patrol, those under paid, unsung heroes are the guys who get to look at people in the eye and know the true value in their lives… The US Search & Rescue motto is ‘So Others May Live’ and I think that sounds just about right when you consider how little time we have on this earth…

Now, please don’t sue me for false advertising, I also thought this post was going to be about what’s up when you’re ill, I guess this just goes to show that maybe our weaknesses might just offer that little bit of clarity…

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