Voice-Overs of the Mind

Heroes have journey’s of discovery in their tales. Much as we do in real life. Sometimes I imagine I am performing to an audience of millions, who watch my life unfold as I turn and wink to the camera, letting them know I am in on this particular play. Perhaps I’ll sigh and utter one of my catchphrases.

Eric Roberts, Ben Stiller, Andy Dick, Janeane Garofalo, Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann, Jack Black, George Segal, Diane Baker in The Cable Guy 1996

Your life needs catchphrases. You can’t think that an audience is watching your every move and you don’t have a catchphrase. That would be mad, I mean really!

The Truman Show could be real life, how does any one of us know? Truman didn’t, and he had a global audience watching his every mannerism, every tic, every utterance. 

Perhaps somewhere out there in the other world there is an action figure line of all the people I know in life. Maybe there is a poster of us on someone’s wall; perhaps a duvet set. 

This may sound crazy but this is a reality of an overactive imagination which then creates storylines and thoughts from other people which then begins a journey into a spiral of negativity. This is where anxiety lurks. This is why some people don’t ask ‘how you’re doing’ or ‘what do you think of’… something, because they already know; they’ve already decided. This is why some people don’t do anything, because they already know what everyone is going to think about it; what the outcome will be…

These people are FUTURE-PREDICTORS!! 

I used to be one of them. I now remind myself to stay in the present. 

The dangers of anxiety are that it stops you in your tracks from doing anything. It is panic; depression; reason to do nothing; fear of failure and the unknown. If you have an audience in your head that you are trying to please, you are not going to please them because ultimately they are owned by you. You create the reaction and the outcome. You are the fear that you are carrying and you have a choice what you do with it. 

You know what screwed up Disney’s Star Wars? The merchandise, there was no-one to relate to and the old heroes were passed off as grumpy shits whose life had flipped by. They alienated the audience. Don’t alienate your audience. Put them on your side. 

You are the central character to your story and as such you should trust in your ability as the hero. Many of us put others first, and while that is very noble and lovely it is also wrong. You’re no good to anyone if you don’t look after yourself. If you fall because of burnout or exhaustion then how are you going to be any use in the narrative? You’ll be like Jack Bauer in 24 who has a period of sickness and has to miss eight episodes because he’s in the toilet. 

You are Jack Bauer; you are Luke Skywalker. Forget the gender, these are symbols of a hero who is the core part of the story and without whom there is no story. This is you, and you are important. Don’t alienate your audience, you have fans, make them believe in you, then turn that belief into confidence and success. There must be some out there who actually do believe in you in real life and give you compliments; do you hear them, or do you only listen to the voice in your head that tells you otherwise? 

Do any of you have a voice-over going on in your mind as you go about  your day? I hope it’s not just me. Sometimes I have Harrison Ford, sometimes it is a sitcom audience laughing. Sometimes Jim Carrey pops up and says something weird that perfectly sums up the situation. 

I often think of my life in script form. You know when I enter a shop and the words say:

INT. MIND CHARITY SHOP. DAY. he enters slowly at first, unsure of the layout and wanting to get his bearings without looking like he is wanting to get his bearings. He knows this shop, but is disturbed by the block of women and pushchairs fumbling over blouses just inside the entrance. He dances around them, spying the books in the corner and eager to get out of their way and back into his safety. 

Maybe this is nonsense, maybe this aids me. I know that I have to be careful when I’m out in the real world. How many of you enjoyed wearing a mask because it meant no-one could see you talking to yourself as you walked? I did. I still wear a mask for that reason really, even while all around me masks are being discarded in favour of freedom.

Freedom is in my head. Freedom is to silence the audience or get them onside. Like in a WWE match. 

If you don’t think like that then maybe I have sown a seed. Speaking of which, here is Tears for Fears with their 1989 hit song that remains one of my all-time favourites.

I created a world of my own where I was convinced that the people in my life that I love were a figment of my imagination.

Imaginations are powerful and extraordinary. Once I had sown that seed in my mind that the person I lived with and loved, the person who was at work conveniently, did not exist, then I very quickly thought it was the truth. In my worst moments of illness, when I was being treated for being ill for being emotional, I was at home all day wandering around rooms wondering if my partner was real. There was no trace, memories were memories and could be fiction. Was she real or had I created a character? 

So I started to leave evidence of existence. Things like the mug of coffee which should have been washed up, the plate for toast. It would hang there all day as a reminder to me that I was not alone, life was real, I was part of something. 

The slow road to recovery was beginning. 

Love is the answer to everything. I know that sounds weird and probably trite and most definitely not powerful enough. If you think love is not powerful enough then you don’t understand love. Because it starts with you. Love you, be kind to you, rewind back to you and the flow comes from you. Life begins with you, it is drawn to you and all success is because of you. That’s your reality. Trust in your gifts, search your imagination to discover your dreams and set out on a path to making it all real. Love, faith and trust are your most powerful items, and you have them, they’re free!

Love, faith and trust sold separately. Suitable for ages 3 and up. Collect them all. 

Published by zacthrav

writer - performer and general lover...that doesn't mean I love generals...of movies and pop culture. Tackling Mental Health using my super powers.

2 thoughts on “Voice-Overs of the Mind

  1. I often use an escape into narrative as relief from anxiety, too. (I wrote my first ever blog post about how I use it as a technique to tackle social anxiety – it’s here, if you’d like to see: https://www.lovemyanxiousbrain.com/mindfulness-for-anxiety-inner-child/ ) But I agree with you that it can cause us trouble when we get too lost in our internal narratives.

    You said “If you have an audience in your head that you are trying to please, you are not going to please them because ultimately they are owned by you. You create the reaction and the outcome. You are the fear that you are carrying and you have a choice what you do with it.”

    This is true! When we have a rich imagination, it can be a blessing or a curse; it’s up to us to steer our minds towards narratives that empower us.

    Liked by 1 person

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