Last night I gave a speech to the community in Burlington. I shared my experience with mental health, as I have done before, but I was more emotional than I had been in the past. When I present in front of family, my story evokes more emotions inside me, but something was different this time. My dad and boyfriend were sitting in the front row, and I stared at them as I said my speech. I hadn’t stared at them in the past, at least not for nearly as long, and I had to take a couple pauses to prevent myself from crying.
I’m so thankful that I got the opportunity to share my mental health experience once again. It’s absolutely terrifying going into it, with an upset stomach, shaky legs, and fears of messing up, but the outcome is so incredibly worth it. When people come up to me afterward thanking me for sharing my story or telling me how it resonated with them, it makes my day. And week. And month. And more so.
All I want to do by sharing my story, whether it be by the spoken or written word, is to make a difference. To have people get something out of it. To understand something they didn’t before, or finally feel like they are not alone.
I hope I made a difference last night, which it looks like I did, and I aspire to continue to do so.