Ice Breaker

Today I gave my first speech at Toastmasters. I was so nervous. I did ok. I even won a ribbon for speaker of the day. I was so excited. I called my boyfriend, my daughter, and then my mother. <G>

This may not sound like something dealing with mental health recovery, but it is. Let me tell you why.

One of my dx is agoraphobia. For me to join Toastmasters is a big step. I have been slowly joining different organizations in the last year. I have been slowly going different places where there were crowds – all by myself.

Sometimes I would come close to a panic attack. Most of the time I would be able to talk myself through the experience. I have come a long way.

In February I joined Toastmasters for my career. I am a writer. I want to give speeches as part of my career. To do that, I had some issues to get over. BIG TIME. I have.

Today was the first step. Actually, the first step came about a year ago when I went to a retreat by myself.

Now, I can go different places without panic attacks without someone else beside me. I used to couldn’t even go outside without panic attacks. I couldn’t pay for my gas. Or go grocery shopping without almost passing out in fear.

Yes, I have come a long way.

So today’s little ribbon for best speaker was a ribbon for mental health recovery for me. It was a first speech. I have a long way to go in the program. I have a lot to learn. But, I look back to where I used to be sometimes. I have already traveled miles of progress.

And if I can do it, so can you. It is one small step at a time. One outing at a time. I remember when I first started going places by myself without my son there as a safety net. It was nerve wracking. But I did it. Now I go lots of places by myself.

I have a cheering section waiting for me after each victory. My mental health team, my son, and my boyfriend. I have been tremendously blessed.

God is good. Sometimes He doesn’t take away the storm, He leads you through the storm. On the other side, is a beautiful rainbow.