I took a huge leap and last minute decided to take the training to become an instructor for the Youth Mental Health First Aid class, because a spot had become available. It's a perfect fit for an advocate like me, right? I tried doing this years ago, but had to back out a few days before: it fell during one of the times when Jordan, Kayla and I were all going down the emotional toilets. There was no way I could have been in class for a full week.
Fast forward to this week. Our family is doing much better, so why not take the class now? I spent the past two full days of the training surrounded by women most who have done 200 other power point presentations in their current jobs. I have done 0. They were all so accomplished with their titles, traveling to get there... I drove ten minutes and was still stressed. Just sitting in the class and worrying about participating (which I did do, a bit) was hard enough for me. I took a take home test for over two hours, which was not fun, but I did well, and then I was expected to do a 30 minute presentation on the third and last day, covering a section of the content. Easy, right?
Not when by the end of the second day I was having trouble understanding anything I was reading while trying to prepare for my presentation. I was a mess and right then and there I knew there was no way I could give the presentation. Some of my section was material that technically I should have been comfortable with: Encourage Appropriate Professional Help. Um, hello?? We lived through it. But the power point slides, the activities, the "stick to the notes", the possible questions, the memorization of the facts and statistics, ... there was no way I could prepare for all of it in one night. No way. And if I couldn't handle one half hour section, what the heck would make me think I could (or would want to) teach the entire 8 hour course? No freakin way.
So I cried when I got home, didn't know what else to do, so I ran for a short time and then cried again. I cried to Adam and of course he said all the right things, and then I emailed the woman who invited me to the training, and backed out. (Again). I was as honest and as respectful as I could have been, because it really is a great class. Adam said my letter was sweet.
So today (since I had already taken the day off) I stayed home with our puppies to regroup and pick up the pieces of my ego and my lost identity. I pictured everyone wondering where I was, pictured them giving their presentations, wondered what they were saying about me, and I'm still hoping for an empathetic email back. Not one of my best days. And I volunteered for this.
People from my past, was I always like this? Because I don't think I was. I'm not even all that comfortable going out to eat with other couples. I think I used to enjoy things like this, but maybe I always felt uncomfortable? Did all that we went though (this entire blog) traumatize me, change me? Because after hearing some of the stories from others in the class, our family had a walk through the tulips. Maybe I know too much, I'm too educated now. Sitting through a class talking about panic attacks didn't seem to help with my anxiety. I wonder if the younger me would have powered through. I used to be pretty tough. When mental health issues run in your family, it's hard not to project.
I told Adam that the two things I am most proud of are our kids and our marriage. I guess that's something.
So that's it. My rant is over. Selfishly, writing this was cathartic and sharing what I had written yesterday in my journal, could quite possibly have gotten me committed. ;)
And the journey continues...
Lisa from Us Too