I have come to realize that if you write a book people will eventually want you to speak about it. While I am fine with speaking one on one, speaking in front of a large group makes me very nervous. The first time I ever spoke about my heart surgeries in front of a group of people was when I was seventeen. My youth pastor asked me to speak in front of my youth group and give my testimony. I was terrified. It was the first time I had ever opened up about my two heart surgeries I had had by that point. I had tried for a long time to just not talk about my surgeries because I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. They happened. I was fine now. End of story…so I thought. So on a Wednesday night in the youth group, I got up and told my whole story. I remember thinking to myself, “Well there’s no hiding it now!” Thankfully, I got a great response that night from my peers and youth leaders. I also felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders because there was no more hiding.
After my last surgery when I was 24 years old I found myself reverting back to bottling up all my emotions and not wanting to talk about the trauma I had experienced. My perspective changed about five years ago. Five years ago my cousin got really sick and had to go into the hospital. It was while she was in the hospital that I realized for the first time I had a “skill” that most people didn’t possess. I had spent so much time in the hospital that I had a bunch of advice to share with her and her family about being an advocate for herself and being a part of her own healthcare team. I also shared advice about how to survive and thrive in the hospital. It was during this time I realized I needed to share this information with more people.
I decided to write a book. I have been working on it consistently for two years now. I am starting to build my platform to really encourage people to be health care advocates for themselves and their loved ones. As I said before I have realized that when you write a book about yourself people like to hear you talk so I have joined a Toastmasters club at my work. I am hoping to improve my public speaking skills, as well as practice some of my speech material so that I can be a more effective speaker when I am asked to speak about my book and life.
More importantly, I learned that it was important to talk about your trials. I have chosen a more public setting, but you don’t have to. Call a friend, visit a support group, make an appointment with a therapist, or anywhere that you feel comfortable to talk about what you are going through. Keeping emotions bottled up inside helps no one. Dealing with your struggles and finding someone to support you through them is something we all need. Eventually, you will meet someone who is going through the same thing you are going through now and you will be able to be a support for them.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)