Acting After Illness #4 Hope

17/10/2016 13:11 | Updated 5 days ago

When my family first came looking for me in St Georges hospital, I can't imagine how they must of felt.

Scared? Confused?

Little did they know, they also came with hope. Hoping that I was OK, hoping that the doctors and nurses were doing their very best, hoping for good news. For such a small four letter word hope actually means an awful lot.

I think hope is a better word than optimistic. Hope has what optimistic hasn't. Optimistic says "it will be alright", but Hope, carves a pathway, a plan, a way out and a way forward. Hope is active.

My treatment, stereo tactic radio surgery, which is used to treat abnormalities and tumours of the brain, delivered a highly targeted dose of radiation to the AVM in my brain. Nature then takes its course over a number of years, scaring and obliterating the abnormality so that it will not bleed again.

This is hope in action, a plan, leading to a way out and a positive outcome.

While in hospital, thanks to my sister, I also received hope in bucket loads from visitors. Rachel made sure that there was always someone coming to see me. Even if they didn't know it, everyone of my visitors brought hope with them.

Hope motivated me to learn about and improve the situation I found myself in. Hope brings with it opportunities too.

I hear that athletes have higher levels of hope than non-athletes. They want to be the very best that they can be. They want positive outcomes and with hope, they work on strategies and opportunities to reach their goals and dreams.

To work as an actor is difficult but is not impossible because, as with athletes, there is hope.

I have a great app on my phone, an RSS reader. I use this to get updates in production news from the BBC, Broadcast, Variety and Screen websites. When I find something in production or filming I send an email or I call them. I call these emails and calls "experiments". I try to do 3 or 4 experiments a day. My experiments cause ripples.

Matt Damon talks about the ripple effect in an interview on the BBC iplayer.

Ripples are hope in action.

Like athletes, it's important to celebrate your accomplishments and milestones on the way to desired outcomes too.

Acknowledging your small wins and victories moves you faster towards your desired outcome. Self-pity and stigmatisation will make sure that you are left behind.

Last weekend marked two years since I walked into the Royal Free Hospital asking to see a doctor. I celebrated with a roast chicken dinner made by my neighbour, Alison.

Life is difficult and we all may face many challenging events and obstacles. Having goals to see us through is not enough. You need hope too.

Hope allows you to approach a goal with a mindset and strategy that will increase your chances of success.

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