Last week, I was privileged to be a part of a group that put together a pretty cool event. 217 Recovery put on a free spaghetti dinner that was followed by a few people delving into their recovery story. It all seemed to come together really well, and I'm pretty sure some people had a good time or maybe heard something they liked or could relate to. Everyone at 217 contributed to the overall success of our first iteration of this dinner and hopefully, we have plenty more to come.
For the speaking portion of the show, we kicked off with four short stories from Corey, Kendra, Lenny, and myself. The four of us took a story-telling... class? It was two full days of working on a three-minute story that had a significant role in our recovery. So, Corey had the idea that we should tell those stories at this dinner.
And, that's what I'm here to talk about. I can't remember if the first thing I saw about the dinner was the flyer or the video, but when I saw it, I realized I was a part of it for the first time. I was going to be talking to a crowd... by myself... about myself... Definitely not a thing I'm used to. Definitely not a thing I ever imagined myself doing. But, it is something I would like to be able to do.
Leading up to the event, I knew I'd be nervous. It wasn't like a speech that was prepared and I could just read it and bolt. I planned on using the time right before the show to center myself and get mentally prepared for what I was going to have to do. But, God stepped in and I ended up having a good conversation with someone for at least a half-hour beforehand which ate up all the prep time I had left myself. Well, looking back on it, I'm pretty sure it was a blessing in disguise. I didn't have time to get really nervous either. It was just time to do it.
So, I did it. I sweated a lot. My head was probably pretty shiny in those lights. I noticed it was hard for me to look at the audience most of the time but every now and then, the mood of the story brought my eyes down to connect with the crowd. But the rest of the time I was looking above everyone.
I could pick apart the whole thing, and usually, that's what I would have done in the past, but really I just feel like it was a great start to something I'd like to continue to do in the future. The people who have given me a review of my performance have all seemed to have a positive reaction to what I said and did, and that's good enough for me. I can build on that. I've heard you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable and that's something I feel like I wouldn't have ever been able to do without the process of recovery. The way I used to do things didn't work for me so why not switch it up? It felt good to step out of what I'm used to (hiding in the back) and experience something for the first time that I always thought I'd never be able to do. I'm curious about what my next experience will be.