“Shadowdancing” is the 21st episode of the Third season of the science-fiction television series Babylon 5.
Doctor Franklin has been on ‘Walkabout’ trying to find himself again. Gravely injured, he hallucinates, having a conversation with a meaner version who accuses him of always running away, never taking responsibility and giving up. This motivates him to crawl to a lift, determined to live and start afresh. Later he shares his realisation with Sheridan-
“I think now I can do better. That was the problem, the stims made me do more, but what I needed was to do better.”
“I ran away. And I realised that I always defined myself in terms of what I wasn’t. Always what I wasn’t. But when you do that, you miss the moments, and the moments are all we’ve got. When I thought I was going to die, even after everything that’s happened, I realised that I didn’t want to let go. I was willing to do it all again, and this time I could appreciate the moments. I can’t go back, but I can appreciate what I have right now and define myself by what I am, instead of what I’m not.”
“And what are you?”
“Alive, everything else is negotiable.”
—Dr. Franklin and Captain Sheridan
Sometimes you need a different perspective in order to see things more clearly. Sometimes you lose sight of what’s important, or get so crushed by circumstances it feels hard to breathe. I know I’ve been struggling to return to some semblance of normality since I was sick, and it has been a struggle.
Lethargy, being anxious, fed up, depressed and disappointed are things that have weighed on me quite a bit over the past few weeks, ever since I had a week off work with flu/chest infection whatever the hell it was that put me bed for a week. While it’s been a stressful time trying to get back to ‘normal’ and get over it, it’s been very difficult. I even went without shaving and began growing a goatee then a beard for the first time ever. Still unsure whether that was just laziness, or trying something new, but the hazy shade of winter I’ve had going through my head has been unprecedented. I think that what I might mean by that is that I’ve been unsure of myself, I took a big hit to my confidence and I’ve been all over the place, not concentrating, being irritable, moody and Mr misery guts on a night out in Miserytown.
So what’s changed?
Well, I’ve been challenged in several ways the past week. A Storyteller was in School talking to the kids about finding stories in everyday things. I happened to have a Pirate figure and filed the thought away, then pondered on it and got home to find my Nephew’s toys strewn all over the floor, including a beat up Pirate ship, so fixed it, then over next few days devised a story about A Pirate who could bake and wanted to be good, so Pirateez was a complete surprise, devised, written out, photographed and even filmed in less than a week, and that’s all six episodes leading up until Easter. The short film version was a total disappointment, I got sooo mortified I felt like I’d wasted an entire day, but was able to use what I photographed instead. Then I got a new profile for a new role as a Page Moderator/contributor to The Fledgling Arts Collective, an amazing group that I’ve been on the fringe of for a long time, but they needed volunteers, so I stepped up, which was a blast. That was from a giant high on a Saturday all the way down to rock solid bottom on Sunday, which was also crappy because of certain other factors. So I got depressed.
I began going through my old Speech Therapy file, something I’ve alluded to but not really gotten into details about. For about 8 years I had what was eventually called Laryngeal Dysphonia, it took a while and a number of visits to various Hospitals/Specialists and exercises/treatments to get there. Leaving Uni and my Mother’s death were two big contributing factors. Since I was discharged two years ago, I seem to have coped well, it’s only lately I’ve been facing my fear of a relapse and my voice going again that’s been another factor, as coughing, sneezing and nearly choking a few times made me panic about it.
My friend Laura’s blog about her struggles and thoughts on the things that she has been through also made me think. She mentions how she felt misdiagnosed and how that coloured how she was treated. I certainly know that had I been given antibiotics three weeks ago, my recovery would have been a heck of lot quicker, and I wouldn’t have gone through a number of side effects, such as the shakes and a few dizzy spells I’ve been having. I guess I’ve been lacking motivation, I haven’t been on a hike in several weeks, a couple of walks in the park, but nothing challenging or exciting.
I think it’s been a case of Terminal Boredom, lacking interest or concentration. I read a book about Depression, but while I could say I’ve been mildly depressed at several points, last Sunday being the worst, doing something creative, new and exciting has saved me from wallowing in misery. I have even began reading again and swotting up on craft activities (spiders made out of eggboxes and pipecleaners- yay!)
My latest story was going to be about a team of superheroes consisting of a sheep, a chicken, a cow and a horse, but the less said about that the better! Pirateez and Tiglet’s stories, as well as my poetry challenges to myself have kept me going and am looking forward to going on a hike soon, not sure where yet, but there are a few candidates. The quote from Babylon 5 above came about from thinking you need to go through a dark place every now and again in order to appreciate the lighter days. Maybe this is the turning point, I’m determined to stay positive, to slay the Boredom Dragon and the Depressing Demon whenever they rear their ugly heads. (hmm, wonder if there’s a poem in that??) Be like Tigger and bounce back no matter what!
So gonna appreciate the moments, do better, seize the moments, because you never know if they’ll come back again.
Amen to that!