When I started working for Duran Duran in 1993 I had such bad agoraphobia that I could barely leave the house to buy groceries.
I literally pushed myself so hard to go on their Worldwide tour that I had no choice except to learn to deal with people.
The first show I remember working on was at The New York Academy. In itself this was weird, as I was diagnosed as having “panic attacks with agoraphobia” three years earlier some fifteen miles away in Hackensack, New Jersey – where I had lived.
Panic attacks happen when the brain releases massive amounts of epinephrine into an anxiety sufferer’s system in response to a perceived threat. Standing on stage checking over Nick’s keyboards in front of several thousand people was a pretty good starting point for someone who normally sat in a room on his own in front of a computer.
The effect on me was feeling huge waves of completely irrational non-reality and paranoia. I was really light headed and the thought I was going to wet my trousers!
I spent two nights hanging off the back of the stage in complete terror thinking ‘if those keyboards pack up I am going to have to go and fix them in front of all those people’.
The crowd surged into life on one side of the stage, buzzing and alive.
A cheerful, outgoing, competitive in a friendly sort of way, and completely confident Simon Le Bon bounced into view like A.A.Milne’s ‘tigger’ and I, using the exact same set of neuro-chemistry, experienced the most intensely frightening, upsetting and uncomfortable experience of my entire life.
I had no idea I was autistic, or that everything I was doing in life was triggering a complete overload of my senses.
In terms of panic attacks, I was doing all the right things. I was confronting fear using a method called flooding, known to be the fastest route to curing anxiety. It wasn’t working!
While flooding didn’t work for me and I continue to have huge inexplicable adrenal rushes right up to this day, the strangest part is, the most relaxing thing I can do in life fifteen years on, is sit in an airport and wait to board a plane.
Massive crowds of people barely bother me now either, there are no facial expressions to keep up with, there is no one-on-one communication to contend with.
It’s really down to perception at the end of the day.
The crowd were there to see the band and lost in the moment, in ecstasy, were engulfed in the atmosphere.
The band were about to receive the energy of love from several thousand people.
And I, was lost… Inwardly focused, over-thinking and analysing.
“What if… what if”…
I have been wrestling with a few things (hopefully now resolved) which have been stopping me from publishing my book and realised this morning that every thought I have is crucial.
One well known ‘Law Of Attraction’ book was given to a channel by a group of transcendent beings called ‘Abraham Hicks’.
Buried deep in my memory, I recall that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe all transcendent beings to be demons, unclean spirits that have been thrown into Tartarus, where they have power over and influence the minds of the living by posing as spirits.
I am sure other Christian faiths have similar beliefs too.
I realised regardless of what people choose to believe, Jehovah’s Witnesses are just another part of my reality. There is no physical evidence to support anything they claim at present, yet I actually have evidence to support the way my perception works. My perception of the World dictates my reality.
And who are they anyway? Do they actually have the answers? They are just another set of human beings with a belief system. It’s not the truth!
Is there actually a religion that answers life’s questions without presenting the answers as the truth? If there is, I would love to hear about it.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses were founded in the late 1800s by Charles Taze Russell when Scéances were extremely popular, perhaps he had a bad experience? Perhaps he got advice from his dead mother in Scéance that he didn’t like?
My book has no religious affiliation and the above argument actually has no real bearing on the content at all, it’s just that a thought that popped into my head while driving one day, “The Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to be a problem”!
Today I realised this perception of the situation is not going to help me find common ground between the ‘Law Of Attraction’ and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. If I believe there is a problem, I will be looking for evidence to support, or be trying to refute that belief.
And strange that they should call on me. I already know the Jehovah’s Witnesses who visited me agreed with the principle of the ‘Law Of Attraction’ even found a quote from their Bible that supported it. So what am I attracting!
I have other problems too (you don’t say).
I set a date to publish my book over two weeks ago. I decided whatever I had after thirteen days I would publish. Following in the footsteps of other Internet marketing gurus, I was out to make money and fast.
On reading the book back however, the idea no longer sat well with me. I decided I wanted to give value and have been tinkering with the ‘ands’ and ‘theirs’ to make it more comprehensible ever since.
I’ll come full circle on this now.
I have been thinking about my past (in particular my experiences working with Duran Duran).
I was thinking about Nick Rhodes and his rather unpredictable time keeping and a phrase popped into my head:
“Better to be late and of value, than on time and inconsequential, or early and unprepared”.
With that thought…
I’ll see you on the other side of the looking glass,