Um, I’m speaking about fat/body acceptance in a class at the University of Georgia. Just the words make me want to weep. Speaking in front of a group is…oh my god. Panic attack bad. But it blows my mind that someone would include my writing in their syllabus and then ask me to come in and discuss it. It’ll be a Q&A type deal, which is way less scary but still.
I can’t do public speaking. Can’t. The terror is unbelievable. I’ve dropped classes that had a public speaking requirement. I’ve intentionally taken lower grades because I just couldn’t do it. To give you an idea of how bad it is… It took me a year to be able to talk in staff meetings. I would shake and turn red and stumble over words. The best part? THERE WERE FOUR OF US!
My immediate reaction was, no. No no no no. But I’ve been talking so much about fear and shame and not letting them take over my life as I have in the past. So I said yes. Because public speaking makes me want to die. Old Heidi would say no. Immediately. But I’m trying to do the things I don’t do. And this is something I need to face. So if I shake and turn red and stumble and forget what the hell I’m saying mid-sentence…it’s okay. Because I did it. Even if I’m awful at it, I still faced a fear. My biggest fear. And I’ll have survived.