Friday, May 31, 2019.
The inaugural Worth Living Mental Health Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
It was a day centred around hope, healing, health, and happiness.
There were speakers (Keith Anderson, the founder of Worth Living; Ashely Quackenbush (DJ Scratchly Q); Ben Meisner; Kim Bolton Lamontagne; Shannon Leleivre; and a panel discussion).
There was a wellness room, and therapy dogs!
I was also lined up to speak.
Work and life were so busy leading up to the conference that I really had no time to worry about my presentation.
The closer it got, the more nervous I became.
When I stepped up to the podium, I forgot my presentation.
I had not prepared slides, as I was speaking on the challenges of my mental illness.
My legs began to shake. I started talking. I had no idea what I was saying.
I began to get nauseous. I felt light-headed.
OMG I was going to faint.
I had to stop.
I apologized to the crowd. Someone handed me a glass of water.
I forgot what I was speaking about.
The room had my back. They lifted me up when I thought I had failed miserably.
I took questions. I had some meaningful conversations.
I finished my presentation.
People approached me throughout the day, we spoke about many things, and I was touched by the compassion in that room.
The whole day was filled with open and raw conversation.
It was a room full of people looking to understand mental illness. A room full of people looking to change conversations around mental health.
It was a day that changed so many things for me.
A day that made a difference in my life.
I am looking forward to next year. To hear more, to share more, and continue the conversation around mental health awareness.