I went to a mental health presentation by Ross Szabo tonight that was really inspiring.
Ross Szabo is the CEO of Human Power Project and also author of “Behind Happy Faces”. He’s a mental health advocate and has travelled all over to spread the message of awareness and empower others to learn healthy coping skills to improve their mental health. He’s an amazing speaker and tonight, my school had invited him to talk about mental health and its impact on college students.
Initially, I wasn’t able to attend as my husband and I were supposed to have gone out of town to celebrate his birthday but because I have been pretty ill for the past couple of days, we were unable to go. So, I was able attend the talk after all. (I’m bummed that my husband didn’t get the birthday celebration he deserves and despite him saying, “Oh it’s just another day. No big deal. I never get a birthday celebration anyway”, I still feel really bad for him)
Anyway, Ross spoke about the traumas in his life and shared his story about struggling with bipolar disorder with anger and psychotic outbursts. He also shared coping skills that could be used in our day to day life.
One of the things he said was that when you share your story, others will too. That really stuck with me because I realize how much truth there is in that. It was because I saw some stories on The Mighty that I realized that I could share mine too.
So, that said, I can’t wait to share my story tomorrow at my campus.
I was invited to a coffee house session and given 20 minutes to talk about me, my experience with mental illness and my artwork related to that. I’m nervous but at the same time, inspired and excited.
I don’t know what the crowd will be like. Or even if there will be a crowd. I don’t know how my speech will turn out – I haven’t actually written anything down or practiced anything. I figured I’d wing it – I have a bunch of ideas written down on a card but I’m usually pretty good at articulating myself at a moment’s notice. I just need to make sure I don’t use “um” too much. I don’t know how the night will be.
My social anxiety wants to keep me home but I can’t allow it to run my life the way it has for the past 29 years. It’s time I take over and start to live.
It’s time I start to inspire not only others, but also myself. It’s time I stop hating myself and learn to live. It took me all these years to finally realize that.
I may not be able to make my changes quickly but like what my post yesterday has said, at least now I realize what I need to do.