Saturday, September 19, 2009

My 1st Day of Learning to Present for NAMI In Our Own Voices.

Oh my goodness, I have had a long day and am emotionally drained. I still have the energy to blog (and as a side note, feed myself), of course!:)

NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness (which is the correct meaning of that acronym) has a program called In Our Own Voices, where mental health consumers (the new accepted way to call people who have mental illnesses) learn to tell their unique story to a variety of audiences, starting with one surrounded by other mental health consumers.

The presentations are done two presenters per audience - in other words, we learn to tell our story with another person with us. I have an awesome co-presenter - just an amazing person!

The presentations are broken down into parts. So far, we have learned Introduction, Dark Days, and Acceptance. Dark Days was certainly hard for me, because I didn't want to be a 'cryer' (one who cries). I told some pretty dark stuff and held it together just fine. We actually get up in front of everybody and do this. It is pretty amazing.

Acceptance wasn't so easy either, because I don't know how much I honestly really do accept my illness, although I freely post here, and for several years!, about it. So I guess I do certainly to a point. But I don't think I am one of those people who embraces themselves or their illness, although there are actually some who expressed that and it was really beautiful. I could see that I have a ways to go.

Thank you so much for the sweet words from my blog friends.:) I certainly do need prayers to get through today (and tomorrow!). I woke up praying about this.

It really is a lot of work. The thinking of what to say, and the content and the listening to other's stories - it is frankly tiring. So I am going to rest for a while, and I'll be back at it tomorrow.