After the nonsense of yesterday, where I aborted a journey due to a panic attack, today has, so far, proved to be somewhat different.
I had to return to the same place, at a lot later time, to perform a mental health presentation to a group of volunteers who use our premises for another project. The question is, why would I do something so anxiety provoking as public speaking after suffering a panic attack on a bus? I must be mad, I know, but sometimes getting back on the horse is preferable to staying off it, so to speak.
It went extremely well. I was in my element. The subject matter I know about and the audience were very engaging and willing to contribute and partake in our activities. I felt no nervousness, no panic and no anxiety about standing there for nearly 90 minutes. Just felt a sense of inner calm.
But I did add a caveat to the assembled throng. Mainly, if the yesterday and today were reversed, I wouldn’t have stood up and spoke. It went amazingly well and the presentation was well received. But that won’t stop me being self critical and thinking “I’m not good enough to do this”. It’s those self critical demons that threaten to destroy me on certain days.
It helped that the line manager was there to assist me. I’m learning all the time about how to perform these presentations. But I get by. I do what’s required, and if people enjoy what I do, then that brings a real sense of enjoyment and fulfilment. 30 years ago, I wouldn’t have envisaged doing public speaking. It’s something I’ve had to learn and develop new skills.
A very good day thus far….