It's funny...

We’ve been waiting for permission to put out our chat with Robbie on the site and I (Clarke) have been utterly beside myself.

I am really excited because I know it’s a wonderful piece, the honesty from a man so celestial in his fame and profile is humbling, as is the fact that he trusts us enough to share it with us, such a privilege.

What has been escalating to the point of distraction this last week, however, was frustration.

Every morning (and then probably twelvety seven times through the day) I would tell Carrie “right, I’m putting Part 1 up”, only to be admonished for the childish impatience that I was displaying

“Clarkie (only Carrie and my Mum call me Clarkie, it’s so dear to me that it immediately disarms me) you can’t put this out there until they say so. They have trusted us and we have to repay that trust. It will happen exactly when it is supposed to”

This last comment is one of my life mantras. I truly believe that everything happens at the right time and, either, for a specific reason or with the possibility of growth and learning because of it.

Having it used against me takes me down a notch.

Then I digest the first comment.

It is so true.

Actually, it’s fundamental to maintaining a good friendship and a solid relationship.

We trust the other person with or thoughts and feelings, with our truths and our vulnerabilities.

We trust that they won’t disclose our confidences to other people and, most importantly, that they won’t try to take advantage of us by manipulating these vulnerabilities.

When we talk about adverse mental health and wellbeing, this trust becomes even more important.

No matter what the relationship is between the two people sharing, colleagues, friends, partners or other, one is entrusting the other with something so personal that it would never otherwise be known had they not voiced it.

We need to make sure that whoever is listening has the confidence and competence to not only hear what is being said, but to know exactly what to do with that information, exactly where to guide the person in order to support them in the right way.

Anyhow, back to Robbie.

We got the green light to show the film last night and, almost immediately, my heightened emotions fell away.

So much so that I haven’t even put the film up 12 hours later. I’m actually writing this first.

What is that?

How can something feel so overwhelmingly necessary one minute, and then become just something on my ‘to do’ list the next?

And then I realised that it wasn’t just my excitement at the piece that was fuelling my thoughts, it was the fact that I was being restrained by something else, someone else, beyond my control.

Because someone else said that I can’t do it yet, it became categorically imperative that I do it RIGHT NOW!

I can see the the pattern throughout my life.

Tell me I can’t and I’ll show you I can

Tell me I won’t and I’ll show you I will

It’s a brilliant trait to have when you are facing adversity or obstacles in life.

However, when you apply it EVERY time someone tells you “no”, it can also become some kind of self-destructive rebellious streak.

I have lived an impulsive life

I have lived an obsessive life

Without regulation it has led to a dramatic and nearly tragic life.

For 3 years I have worked hard at managing my thoughts and actions.

I’ve been learning to respond and not react.

The progress I’ve made is astounding, life changing in fact.

And still, there are times when I have to listen to that trusted person.

I have to hear that restraint can be a good thing, sometimes a necessary thing, in order to preserve trust and manage outcomes.

Just like lockdown.

There is a part of me that impulsively wants to rage against the machine, confound the exile imposed upon us by these “others”.

But there are people who are trusting me to follow the rules.

My family, my community, our NHS, our frontline services.

All trusting me to respond in a way that protects their health, protects our health

And so I put my golf clubs in the garage

I virtually attend the meeting in London

I wish my son “Happy Birthday” by FaceTime, on the day he becomes a teenager

And I wait until permitted to put our film up

Restraints that once would never have been possible for me, are now my considered responses to situations, with a little help from my loved and trusted x

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