A smooth sea, never made a skillful sailor
A gentle reminder...
Tonight, I feel the immediate urge to start penning some of my thoughts and feelings to a blog. I know some of what I experience will resonate with many out there, hopefully to those tinkering on the thought of speaking up.
As I sat down tonight in a Restaurant on my second night here in Hollywood, my first American holiday I realise already I've had a few wake up calls, little reminders and moments that help ground me.
Travelling in a country foreign to myself, all alone, sitting in restaurants, not capable of a quick call to your supports, not being able to see and hear from the ones that mean the most, there is a side of this glamorous travel/work scenario while living with mental illness that I and many others might easily of underestimated.
This thought of feeling out of place, worried about everything and everyone around me in a place unknown to me, not having the usual friends and support around me to make me laugh or distract me, everything I do here is on me and my techniques I've developed over 8 years to manage these episodes.
I woke this morning to a message, a confirmation of an amazing opportunity in Dallas & Oklahoma, speaking alongside our incredible friend and partnering advocate Stef Caminiti of the Inner Ninja Foundation, but also the honour of kicking proceedings off prior to Kevin Hines taking the microphone. A dream come true for me.
Even with that incredible news, I get a massive overbearing rush of anxiety, panic attack material. The chest is tight, hot sweats, shaking, little bouts of rattle jaw. This is a common occurrence, to me the second most daunting thing in the world Is public speaking, the most, telling your own personal story of suicide, loss of friends and a journey that has caused my family and friends huge amounts of hurt. But when I depart that stage and put the microphone down, there is no better feeling and buzz in my life, to know that your doing your part. My story isn't any better than the next person but every individual has a journey and these help bring hope and acceptance to people experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.
One thing is guaranteed, that will never change. While I continue to learn, gain understanding and manage my feelings and thoughts I have a huge compassion and gratitude for what I have experienced, I consider myself very lucky and grateful, this journey has been so worthwhile. Days like today, anxiety can continue to throw its everything at me, because my message and journey is far too important to someone out there to be confined to my 4 walls back in St Kilda, Australia.
Being here is out of my comfort zone, but out of the comfort zone will bring the best things in life, This trip will teach me so much about myself, but also educate me so I can spread that among as many people as I can. As hard as today might of seemed at the time, in its waves I survive it.
Tomorrow we will wake, RISE up, start fresh and be grateful for the life and opportunities I have in front of me. A great chance to grow and be a better person.
"Be mindful of those with a Mindfull"