THE BLOG

Acting After Illness #8 Limbo

28/03/2017 16:33 BST | Updated 29/03/2017 13:25 BST
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Last month I didn't post a blog.

Sadly, my father passed away after a short illness.

Seeing my Dad attached to a life support machine somewhere between this life and whatever comes next made me think about being in limbo.

Limbo, a place of transition?.

Limbo, a place where we get stuck?

Dante describes limbo as a region on the edge of hell in his epic poem The Devine Comedy.

I don't know.

Since having a brain haemorrhage and subsequent radiosurgery on my AVM in January 2015 I have been living in a state of limbo - a 4% chance of the abnormality, deep in my brain, bleeding again until I am told otherwise by the neurosurgeons.

My most recent MRI scan, last month, gave my neurosurgeon, Francis Johnston, enough confidence to order up an angiogram which will show whether the abnormality is still "alive" or that nature has done her work and sealed off the AVM and so the chances of a re-bleed are zero releasing me from this limbo I find myself in.

I am not alone in my own states of limbo.

We all live in various states of limbo all of the time.

Limbo creates thunderous storms in our minds. Loud "What ifs" clatter about inside our heads. What if this happens? What if that happens?

Limbo feeds on our reactions and our thoughts to the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in.

The bigger the reaction the bigger limbo becomes.

Being in states of limbo can be debilitating, paralyzing, and the destroyer of our confidence.

Limbo can deny us a way forward, to seek growth and to uncover opportunities to make a better us and a better someone else.

I have learnt from my own illness, and through my recovery, that you can rid yourself from states of limbo by getting to work and moving yourself forward.

Work doesn't mean a job and a pay cheque.

Work means doing your best, and better, making the most of your day and your time.

Work is cleaning up after the kids, taking the dog for a walk, going to the gym, talking to your neighbour, giving your time to a stranger in the street, finding forgiveness.

There is always work to be done.

By doing your best work, and better than best, you can and will create new opportunities and new experiences that can and will move you forward and away from these states of limbo and the negativity we can all find ourselves in.

This is shared wisdom.

James Altucher, writes "Every day try to get a tiny bit better in physical health, emotional health, creativity, and spirituality. 1% a day compounds to 3800% per year. It's amazing what this means...."

Senica, the Roman Stoic, wrote "It's not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it."

My dad would of agreed with Altucher and Senica. By doing a little bit more everyday you create a movement forward and with that will come a better you along with new and better opportunities for you and for others which enriches your life and the life of others.

An actor can find himself in limbo too when it comes to communicating a script.

In an actors training you learn of various methods to keep you moving forward through the text, word by word, moment by moment.

One of these methods is known as actioning the text. The purpose, to keep the story alive and moving forward to avoid a dull and lifeless performance - a performance stuck in limbo.

This is the work for an actor, discovering ways to tell the story, to drive the story you are telling forward.

And, that's what we are doing with our own work. We are driving our own stories, our own lives, forward.

For my Dad, he had reached the end of his life and the life support machine was turned off.

This action released him, my mum, my sister and me from that state of limbo we found ourselves in.

We are now slowly doing the work, I have talked about, to move ourselves forward and out of the bereaved state of limbo we now find ourselves in.

This work may take time, possibly a long time, but I know this, it is what my Dad would of wanted each of us to do.

My Dad hated people sitting around in limbo when there is much work to be done.

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