Despite being Aussies, our household is in the grip of NFL fever at the moment. My husband, who spent part of his childhood in St Louis, Missouri, has passed his love of the sport on to our three kids.
Even our four year old daughter – who is as girly as they come – can recognise all 32 teams in the NFL, by the logos on their helmets.
This week, while watching Sunday night football (which for us in on a Monday), my six-year-old son explained what the ‘end zone’ was to me.
Basically – for those of us from Australia – this is where the team needs to get the ball to score a touchdown.
Notice the key word here: team.
Unlike Aussie Rules Football, NFL teams have a LOT of players. Each of the 53 players has a distinct role and responsibilities – linebacker, quarterback, wide receiver and so on.
At the heart of each team is the coach – responsible for designing ‘plays’ (strategies to help the team get the ball to the ‘end zone’). Players work hard to memorise huge folders full of different ‘plays’ before they are called out. If they don’t, they risk not only embarrassment but serious injury.
Watching the Panthers vs Patriots this week, my mind drifted and I started to think of myself (as someone with bipolar disorder) as a quarterback and my support network as my team.
At the helm is my psychiatrist – acting like my coach and working to map out ‘plays’ or an action plan that will see me get into the ‘end zone’ (a.k.a stay well).
As quarterback, I’m usually in control of what happens around me – giving directions and communicating well with my team.
However, in the event I become unwell, I need to rely on my teammates to rally around me, and my coach to step in and call a ‘time out’ (possibly in the form of increased medication or a hospital stay).
Although it might cause initial angst, no player would begrudge his coach for putting him on the bench if he was injured.
Unlike us tough Aussies – who play with only a mouthguard – no quarterback would go out on the field without his helmet and padding. So too, I don’t go without my daily preventative medication, that protects my most precious asset (my brain) and keeps my bipolar disorder in check.
So there you have it…. the MOST unsporty woman on the face of the earth has just written a blog comparing herself to a quarterback. I can’t wait to see my husband’s face when he reads this!
Are you surrounded by a good team? Do you follow the strategies or action plan set out by your psychiatrist? I’d love to read your comments!