Doctors have never been able to work out what's wrong with me. When I'm tested, the "usual" seizure triggers don't cause my brain to react. A well known seizure trigger is being photosensitive; light or flashing light causing a fit. For as long as I've known, I've never been photosensitive. In my teenage / university years I would party in strobe lighting and I've never had to turn off a tv show due to flashing lights. So several years ago, I thought nothing of popping on a pair of special glasses and looking at a 3D TV. My reaction to it was... interesting. It didn't feel right. Nothing happened as a consequence, but my seizure senses were well and truly set off.
This has meant that 3D has pretty much passed me by. I watch everything in normal 2D and I've been fine with that. But recently, I've been starting to feel as if I may have been missing out. I've heard that 3D has been getting better and better; that now it's less about making the audience think something is going to hit them and more about adding the depth and vibrancy that is lost when committing to a 2D screen. But at the back of my mind I've always had that niggling feeling; could my brain sit through 2 hours of 3D if one little encounter had made me feel so strange?
On my birthday Mad Max: Fury Road was released. I was desperate to see it, so R kindly offered to arrange going to see it as a birthday treat. We could go and see it exactly when we wanted and where we wanted, but there was a catch. It was in IMAX 3D. So not just 3D but super-surround-3D. I wanted to see it so much, but that was quite a risk, so I had some thinking to do.
I've been lucky enough that despite my brain keeping secret what's wrong with it, it's kindly always let me know when it's going to throw a seizure my way and, usually, I'm able to fend it off with sleep as soon as physically possible. I know that feeling. It's utterly unmistakable. The world goes very very quiet. Things seem to slow down. I become hyper-focussed on everything around me. I struggle to understand the familiar. When that feeling strikes my instincts are reliable enough to get me somewhere safe. I trust my body to know what to do to keep me as safe as possible. So, I thought, if I put myself in this situation I would most likely be able to escape it. Plus, R would be there and he's always looked after me.
It was a risk. Some people may say it was irresponsible. But conquering anxiety around doing things other people count as normal is a large point of feeling that I am normal too. I may take a lot longer, and take to things with way more caution, but I always try.
So, the Sunday after my birthday, off I went to see Mad Max in IMAX 3D. I sat there, rather anxiously gripping my slushie drink and my pick n mix. The Jurassic World trailer came on. It was in 3D and I won't lie, I felt a little panicky. It felt weird. I didn't know what my eyes were trying to do. I didn't know if my brain would be able to interpret what I was seeing. I was having to think to see. The advert ended and 2D returned. I began to think that this idea was a massive mistake. But I was determined; I just needed to relax and let my brain figure out how to take it in. Mad Max started.
It was bloody amazing.
It was so amazing, I forgot to eat my pick n mix. Within a minute of it starting I wasn't even noticing my brain or my eyes anymore and when the film was over it suddenly hit me; everything was fine. I was fine. My strange brain had stuck with it and it had learned 3D. I've had no after effect, no seizures attacking a few days later, no periods of staring into space. Nothing. Every day has just been a normal day.
I'm happy to say, I've conquered my fear of 3D.