marlon brando

Mind After Modesty: Putting My Dreams to Bed

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And so we reach that point in my story where I do my best Marlon Brando.

‘I could’ve been a contender,’ I snarl. ‘I could’ve been somebody.’

Yeah, right. Like Brando’s character, Terry, I was acting on orders from above when I threw the big fight. Orders from the ghost in my machine: Bipolar Disorder (Type II).

My mind made me do it.

For most of my life I’ve felt like I’m special, a success story just waiting to happen.

If you read this blog you’ll know what I mean. Him, a contender, you’ll say. He’s nothing but a shadow-boxer sparring with himself in a far-off corner of his head.

And you’d be right. My writing, marker of my worthiness, declares me unworthy. Delusions of grandeur are all part of the bipolar experience.

For what, then, should I strive?

A modest existence, I think, is within my reach. A little paid work, a dash of labour at home and hearth, and a smidgen of intellectual and artistic activity. It’s the kind of life many only dream of having.

As for my dreams, I’ll put them to bed.