Today, I am going to my first speech tournament for college speech team. However my anxiety and PTSD are going crazy trying to keep me from leaving. What if I look stupid in front of everyone?
Although I have spoken in Toastmasters, being in front of peers is a whole different story. Memories of being mocked and teased are echoing through my head. Perhaps doing this was a bad idea.
However, I am going to go out there and do my best. My speech is persuasive and about EDNOS or eating disorders not otherwise specified. This topic is still hard for me because it is an issue. Even today, I feel fat, ugly, and worthless which makes me want to restrict. These feelings make me wonder if I have any right to educate others on this illness.
And yet, I think that I am doing the right thing. Am I fully recovered? No, but I am willing to show the world that I am stronger because of my struggle. Even if no one I speak to struggles with eating disorders, I hope to touch their lives. That is the whole reason that I joined speech team in the first place! I want to be a bright light both with my writing and words.
So, despite my fears and trepidation, I will be giving my speech today. Maybe I will stumble over my words, look stupid, or be teased. But that will not take away from the courage of this presentation and the passion in my heart for helping others. No one can take that away from me – not the judges, fellow contestants, my classmates, or even my eating disorder and anxiety. The only person who can do that is myself and today, I will build myself up instead of tearing myself down. Today is a day for celebrating my recovery and the progress toward a hopeful future that I am continuing to make. That is an award enough for me.