Have I ever mentioned that I'm an introvert who happens to be terrified of public speaking? Have I ever mentioned that I am a writer partly because I just don't know how to go about peopling, especially in public?
On Valentine's night, I did the most terrifying thing I've ever done. I stood up on a stage and told a painful, true story to 400 strangers. After the show I couldn't even curl into a ball and will myself invisible. I had to gasp PEOPLE IN PUBLIC. I expected to just stand around awkwardly for an hour, but I was amazed and humbled that so many people took the time to talk to me. To thank me for sharing my story. To tell me how brave and strong I am. I had people hug me and tell me I helped them see that it's okay to cut toxic or abusive people from their lives, too. Of all the things I didn't expect to happen after the show, perhaps the biggest surprise was simply that my story resonated with people and I helped them.
I'm proud of myself. I pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone, climbing a mountain without shoes seemed like a safer idea. I thought about giving up a thousand times. I worried myself so sick, I thought I was going to vomit at least twice a day the week before the performance. But the thing about me is I'm stubborn as hell. Another thing about me is that I rarely allow myself to give up, even when I'm terrified.
Please be warned, the story I share features drugs and abuse. It wasn't an easy story to share, and it's not an easy story to watch. So please, self-care first. Don't watch if you think you might be triggered by it.