Clear and concise
An Introverted Chatterbox!
Now this title may sound like a contradiction however those who know me, know it’s true.
Socially I can be shy and find small talk almost painful and yet get me talking about mental health and I find confidence from my lived experience.
Labelled a chatterbox as a child I am surprised at how long it has taken me to realise what I could do with my years of lived experience of mental health issues. The first step in sharing came in the form of this website. I realised I could create blogs that others may relate to and find comfort from. Totally new to the world of having my own website I wrote and shared blogs and attempted to create audio versions. I bought the gear but had no idea and realise to this day I need to tidy up those recordings.
The first time I was asked to share my story in particular my experience of anxiety was to an online group that empowered women to be the best version of themselves. Truth be told I was very nervous. I couldn’t believe that I was going to do it. Was I mad?
The talk was well received and technology behaved itself, thank goodness!
Almost 2 years later I was approached by the local library to share some of my story as part of the Mental Health Arts Festival. I agreed immediately. To bring more awareness to the community has become a goal of mine so I set to writing my next talk. The content covered various diagnoses, recovery and a short section about my book.
This would be the first time I had delivered a talk face to face with my audience. Having heard that some talks had had no one turn up I was terrified this would be my fate too. It wasn’t I did have a small but perfectly formed group to talk to.
Just a few months later I was asked to speak at a Suicide Prevention and Awareness Workshop at my place of work. Held by the council, this workshop was aimed at a more corporate audience. Attended by teachers, local fire brigade and business owners, this was a far larger audience considering the locality.
The lady leading the workshop was had a great rapport with the attendees and I almost forgot what I was there to do.
Guess what? I didn’t faint, runaway or embarrass myself in any way. I’ll admit I am not a seasoned speaker who knows their material by heart. I had decided to fully script my talk so that nerves and brain fog didn’t send me off track. Sharing emotive situations can be uncomfortable but I was there as a voice of those who can’t speak up. I felt hugely privileged. At the end I answered questions to the best of my ability and was thanked and applauded.
As I have already said, I can talk about my previous issues. I can share my experiences and I want to be the voice that educates and ends the needless stigma around mental health difficulties.
If you are interested in my story, from 'Hell to Hope', please contact me at