If you were to put it in superhero parlance, for me depression is akin to attaching the lariat of coolness to my mind’s bathers, snapping on the scissor-cut sock mask of awesomeness; and then sitting on the bathroom floor for a week because in my heart of hearts, I know that Metropolis, or Gotham, or the world outside the door, is better off without some fucking idiot in a stupid red bed sheet messing things up.
I think we have, in the main, forgotten that a cape - that stalwart accessory of the superhero upper echelons - is inevitably just a bedsheet dyed a cool colour, and possibly bedazzled with a few funky sequins. The true cape? That's inside our hearts, our souls, and our hind-brain's knowledge of what is right, or wrong, behaviour for self and society.
Yesterday I was incredibly humbled (and pretty chuffed) to be named Team Fox Australia and Shake It Up's Hero of the Week. There are two reasons I mention this; one, I am supremely egotistical (actually, it's so you go to the website and donate lots of money) - and two - it made me think a lot last night. Admittedly my thinking was slightly blurry as I was having a bit of a bad evening, and therefore muscle relaxants were involved... but still. I won't be the first to write with some mind altering substances under my belt.
So last night's thinking.
I am a complete geek. And a big kid. I recognise this. I embrace it. I happily admit to liking Lego, Dr Who, Matchbox cars, have heinous taste in music and movies, love any techno gadgetry I can find... and oh yes.
I have a thing for superheroes. And Asterix, but that's possibly a different discussion. Perhaps one could even count Dr Who as a superhero, but again, big, big discussion and it makes me think of David Tennant and I get off topic.
Sigh. Where was I? Oh yes, superheroes.
I have never understood, I admit, how Diana Prince just had to undo her hair and turn around really fast to become Wonder Woman. Maybe the dudes were distracted by her golden lasso? Smirk. It's like Clark Kent - a pair of black rimmed glasses is a truly craptacular way to hide your secret identity. Yes, people are a bit on the thicky side sometimes, but seriously...
Batman on the other hand - how the hell would you know who was under that rubber blankie? Kudos to you Bruce Wayne on actually wearing something which could be considered under the definition of an actual 'disguise'.
What is fantastic - and fascinating - to me about superheroes in general though is not just their super powers. It's the whole 'put the public good before myself' mentality. It's something we all aspire to and the reason we love the Justice League et al is because these men and women go out and do what we can only dream of. Who wouldn't want an invisible jet to fly around and fight crime in? I'd certainly like to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - usually when there's really bad traffic admittedly - and as for the Bat Cave... oh yes. Yes, yes, yes.
Superheroes are the side of ourselves which most people only think about showing, before rolling over and hitting snooze. It's much easier to do imaginary good when you're warm and comfy under the doona than it is to get up and cracking and actively volunteer to help people out.
I am as guilty of this as the next person (unless the next person happened to be Batman. And I wouldn't know it was him, BECAUSE HE WEARS A PROPER DISGUISE). But I am attempting to change this. Yes, it is mostly through self-interest, but so what? I have Parkinson's. I want a cure. So I am getting off my butt and doing as much as I can to help raise money to find out what the hell is wrong with my brain.
And the reason this is a gratitude post?
Because so many of the people I care about support me not only with moral fortitude, but they are actively trying to raise awareness and cash too. How can I not be grateful to these everyday superheroes?
Without sounding preachy, if you care about a cause, don't just talk about it.
Get up, get dressed, put those underpants on the outside of your tights and get ready to be faster than a locomotive. Because everyone has superhero potential.
You just need to learn to fly.
Or own a Tardis. Oh David Tennant...