BPD, The NHS and The Olympic Spirit.
A Londoner, living in the North of England with my husband and two young children. I am a 30-something Freelance Writer and lead a busy, busy life. Oh, and I also have Borderline Personality Disorder.
On Twitter as @sjmyles.
On Jottify: http://jottify.com/writer/smyles/
Those that have read my blog before will know that I have BPD, and struggle with emotional dysregulation. When I experience an emotion, it is extreme. So when historic, national events occur, I’m a sitting duck.
Yes, I’m completely caught up in Olympic Fever. The Olympic Spirit has me by the throat. I sobbed my way through the Opening Ceremony, wept with pride when Team GB arrived in the Olympic Stadium, and wailed like an infant when Sir Steve Redgrave literally passed the torch onto the next generation. And now I’m spellbound by our Olympians. Riding the emotional rollercoaster of every event – willing them onto the medal podium, and devastated if they don’t quite get there.
But my surrendering to the excitement of this event has made me aware of particular attitudes – my paranoia notwithstanding. Many people seem to begrudge The Games because our country is a mess of problems. There’s almost a sense, when declaring yourself an unabashed supporter of London 2012, that you are a hypocrite or are committing some kind of betrayal – how can you fight the good fight and support this costly and frivolous burden to the nation at the same time? Surely, we should all put on our angry faces and rush around, concentrating on all the more important things we have to deal with.
Spending money on the Olympics when the economy is floundering has greatly offended many people. They don’t expect to see any benefit for the future from that investment, or ‘legacy’ to local communities. My feeling is that it is the job of the people to make sure that legacy happens. Complacency allows all kinds of wrongdoing to pass unchecked. London 2012 is an opportunity to be seized and acted upon.
I have always been wary of those that would seek to “Divide and Conquer.” The question is, do we allow ourselves to succumb to division and conflict, or do we strive for unity and peace? The fastest way to progress and find agreement is effective communication, and the fastest way to that is working together. The whole point of the event is that, regardless of what is going on in the world, global citizens who are the very best in their field come together to show the world what is possible. We are a species forever divided by borders, cultural differences, gender differences, religious differences, wars, human rights abuses, crimes against humanity, economics and politics. But with every Olympics, we come together for a common purpose. Without that, the whole thing falls apart at the seams.
Yes, we are fighting for our public services, the sick, the poor and the disenfranchised. Yes, it is exhausting being constantly at odds with your own government. We may get sick of fighting, but when the alternative is to just roll over and let them win, that’s no real choice at all. So we fight – because that is how this country has worked for hundreds of years. That’s how things get done. It is absolutely true that there is nothing more patriotic than defending your country and its people against the deeds of its own government.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t support the Olympics, because the Olympics is not for “them”, it is for us. Yes, there are big sponsors dictating the marketing aspects of the event, but they have nothing to do with the spirit or ethos. Rather than feeling as if I’m being hoodwinked and distracted from the “real” problems facing our nation by a sinister and sneaky government, the London 2012 Olympics has galvanised me – reinvigorating my flagging determination. The incredible Opening Ceremony showcased everything that is relevant and important to the people of Great Britain, as opposed to The Bullingdon Club set and their elitist cronies. It showed a billion people around the globe (using the BBC, no less) that this is Great Britain – our history, what we have survived and the problems we’re facing today. Our NHS, for example, coming under attack from menacing, shadowy entities, and being saved by rational forces for good for the benefit of future generations.
The farmers, the miners, the industrialists, the ship-builders, the Suffragetes, the war heroes, the creatives, the technical minds. These are the people that built our country. Real people. We may congratulate ourselves on making great strides, but those strides are in the shadow of giants.
And then there are the Olympians – every one of whom has an incredible story to tell of their journey to London 2012. These are the people of Great Britain who have come together to represent our nation on the global stage. Is this a nation worth showcasing? Worth protecting for future generations? Worth cheering for? Worth fighting for? Worth moving faster, reaching higher, going further for? Yes, it is. Because the fact remains that even with its problems, flaws and internal struggles, Great Britain is a place of which I am extremely proud.