THE BLOG

Acting After Illness #5 Resilience

22/11/2016 12:43 | Updated 26 November 2016

Andy Murray is currently ranked number one in the world in the mens tennis singles.

Resilience.

To treat the AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) in my head I underwent stereotactic radio-surgery at The National Centre of Radio Surgery in Sheffield.

Like all surgeries this involved a pre assessment. I was seen by various specialist nurses, neuro-radiographers and a neuro-surgeon, Mr Bhattacharyya.

Had I done anything to cause this situation I found myself in?

Mr Bhattacharyya told me it was all simply bad luck.

Bad luck that I was born with the abnormality. And bad luck that it had bled because statistically that's what can happen.

I am grateful that it did not kill me.

And that is the KEY to resilience. If the situation you find yourself in doesn't kill you then you have the opportunity to build resilience.

A few months after leaving hospital I started going to the gym. Overweight and withdrawn, I walked for 10 minutes on the treadmill and I went home.

A few days later I realised that the gym, nor the treadmill, had hurt me nor had they killed me. And so, I went back and walked for another 10 minutes.

And back. And back. And back.

Every time I visited the gym I built a little more resilience.

Bit, by bit, by bit.

Going to the gym and building resilience has not only helped me to lose the weight I put on while I was in hospital but it has also strengthened my mind and my resolve.

Exercising and working alongside the neuro-psychologist (Dr Mark Draper), at St Pancras Hospital, I took a look at the situation I found myself in and how I was reacting to it.

If I changed the way I thought about the situation and events I was experiencing I'd add more resilience to my resilience bank.

As I have written before, it's not the situation you find yourself in but how you react that will give you opportunities for more positive outcomes and build resilience.

If you spend your time thinking about situations and events you have no control over, or on
made up stories in your head, or on other people's stories that are not your business, you will make yourself feel lost, helpless, powerless and cynical.

You will spend all the resilience you have in the bank. You won't take action and you won't change your outcomes for the better.

Building resilience is changing my life.

Resilience has made me more committed to my life, my goals and I have good reasons to get out of bed in the morning.

Resilience is needed to work as an actor.

I am putting on Sweeties, an opportunity for myself and other actors to perform in a theatre with an audience.

It is my hope that the actors who are performing will be inspired to go out and create their own acting opportunities.

Sweeties is their springboard to build and show resilience.

I am planning two plays for 2017 and I hope that TV and film opportunities will come my way too.

Thanks to resilience I feel more empowered and more confident and I have a more positive image of the future and a more positive outlook.

David will be appearing in Sweeties on the 28th of November at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden.

David can be reached via his agent Sam Brown at Brown and Mills. London.

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