It always goes this way before I speak. I feel a rumble inside. I’m scared. I’m worried that I might not say all that needs to be said. I worry that I might leave out an important aspect of my story.
I’m afraid I won’t be impactful. I’m afraid I won’t be invited back and worse, I have that old, childhood fear of being laughed at. I’m afraid of all these things and more but it’s too late not. There’s no turning back and showtime is about to begin.
The other night at roughly about 4:00 in the morning, I woke and ran downstairs to vomit. This is my nerves. I know it is.
This is a result of my thinking due to a combination of my fears, experiences, and feelings. But in cases like this, I welcome these thoughts. I welcome my fears.
I use them to expose me. I use them so that when I present, I can show myself in an honest light.
I want them to see my pain. I want them to see my lies both internally and externally. I want the audience to know about me; and if I want them to know, then I have to tell them everything, which is why I move around when I speak to make sure everybody will see me for who I am.
I want them to see my pain. I want them to feel my insecurities. I want them to realize that it is okay to be perfectly imperfect, that our differences are not so different, and that yes, we all have scars and variations of personality; however, we are each in our own right, beautiful and absolutely powerful in our own special way.
I shout because I was bullied. I shout because I was sick. I shout because I have this thing in me.
Yes, I call it this thing.
I say I have this thing in me which constantly argues like a voice in my head. I have this thing in me that sabotages and self-destructs every now and again. I have this things in me that only speaks in the languages of doubt.
The panic comes in full force the moment before I am announced. I have been told I look angry. It was said that my face is too intense, that I might appear frightening. Well, to this I say good.
By all means, please let me be frightening. Please let me scare away the fears and insecurity. Please let my rage scream so the bullies can hear me. Let me be heard so that the depression among us will run in fear.
This is why I do not run from my sicknesses. Instead, I embrace them. I expose them. I expose my sense of awkwardness. I expose it all and I do not stop, quit, or give in until I know that I have exposed all of me until I am raw, vulnerable, and openly exposed.
I do not stand and pose or act like I am tough or strong or harder than anyone else. Instead, I stand and expose every ounce of my weaknesses because this is what creates change. This creates a relatable energy. This is also where the impact begins.
I am me.
One ear is shaped differently from the other. One of my eyes is shaped slightly different. I do not like the sound of my own voice. I do not like my body language and when facing the audience, the sum of my fears hits me like a blast from a shotgun in the chest.
All I can say is this hurts. It hurts but in my efforts to create wellness and expose the truth about mental illness, I expose this pain and essentially, I allow the crowd to see me bleed so they will know its okay to be human.
I search myself to show the commonality or fearful secrets, which we all have. I tell about my insecure pasts. I expose my discomforts about who I was. I tell about the unfortunate things, which happened that were beyond my control.
Yesterday, I was invited to participate in an event held at Marjorie R. Post Community Park. This was gathered by a newly elected Assemblyman, Mike LiPetri.
I was given the chance to speak in front of those who chose to attend a wing fest called Words with Wings. This event was held to call our community together.
This was held to bond together and show support for those in need of treatment. We supported those who have been bullied and those who have lost to the disease of addiction.
I met a woman that burried her son to an overdose. I met a young man that lost his best friend to heroin. I met a little girl, beautiful as ever, and with special needs but bullied nonetheless.
This hurts me. All I can say is this hurts me. But I do not run from this pain. No, I let them see it. I do not hide my tears. Instead, I cry them out loud to let them feel it.
Afterwards, after the exposure and after the pain, the fear, and after the truth comes out; after my plea for help and after my plea for unity and support; after I leave it all out and I interact with the crowd, I find a spot to be alone. And when I do, I weep.
I weep because I know there is hope. I weep because I am grateful for being included and equally grateful to pay back for at least one of my sins. I weep because I know there is promise but mainly, I weep because I realize in my case, it was only me holding me back.
I aim to expose the inaccuracies of emotional thought. I aim to expose the insanity of our thinking and how our ideas make no sense at all, but yet, we sometimes give in to our own nonsense. However, now that this is exposed, I know there is a choice to be better.
Sometimes, we trip ourselves. Sometimes, we fall over our own invisible fears. Sometimes we pause instead of move forward because we are awaiting some kind of violation; we are waiting for something to be wrong.
But I do not hide this fear. Instead, I expose it with hopes that my fears will lose to the truth of sunlight. I expose this because in spite of my worst fears, I made it through to another day.
I am not a guru nor do I want to be. I am called a motivational speaker but I’m not sure I want to be that either.
Instead, I want to inspire the same way I have been inspired. I want to create change. I to pay back for what I have taken. I want the weak to realize their strengths and the tired to learn about their energy. Moreover, I want to see people get well because in the worst of my times, I swore I would never be able to live through the moment.
I lives in a way that the sum of my fears and doubts led me to believe that I am worthless and weak. I believed that I would not, could not and will not ever make it. But this just isn’t so. I did make it and so can anyone (if they choose to.)
I believe in the soul’s right to improve. I believe in the soul’s right to heal and be free. However, sometimes, regardless to what we believe, it seems like we are caged somehow. Meanwhile, all we want to do is to see the cage door can open and finally, we can spread our wings to fly.
Maybe this won’t reach everyone.
But at least it will reach someone.
I know it will.