present… present

Driving yourself crazy over something… and then after the event passes, you wonder why the hell you made yourself so fucking miserable.

I think 95% of my depression and anxiety that last few weeks came directly from myself.  That in itself is depressing.  That’s the power of the mind folks!

I had been sitting around making myself sick over the class.  And all the delays made it worse of course, because I had time to sit around and dwell on it for about 4x longer than I should have.  And okay… I guess I needed to work through those emotions.  Anxiety is a very odd thing.  It just convinces you that you are absolutely incapable of doing the thing in which you are afraid to do.  And then you feel depressed, depressed because you listened to the voice that told you you can’t and you just feel helpless and stuck.

Finally this past weekend I just realized it was going to happen no matter what.  I think the weirdest part was that because I have been running away from anything that involves public presentations for so long that I couldn’t even visualize myself in that role.  That’s really hard when you can’t even imagine doing something.  I also had to come to terms with Monday I was giving a presentation in my painting class as well, which oddly enough wasn’t bothering me as much as the com class.  I think just b/c of my history with that class… it made it 100x worse.  But I also had to just rationalize the fact that I’m never going to get a com class this perfect again to get over this issue… it only meets 1x a week and has like 12 people in it tops?  I mean that’s beyond perfect.  12 is about my limit that I can handle for standing up and speaking in front of right now.

So for the com speech, I had practiced the speech a hundred zillion times at home… in the car… wherever.  Sunday night I decided to go in to see if the room was empty, which it was… so I helped myself to room, shut the door, plugged in my PowerPoint and practiced a few times in the room with my PowerPoint which helped immensely.  It’s kind of funny b/c last semester I gave a group presentation in that room and it seemed so big and daunting and it was filled with so many people uggh but I had to stand up there this time and look and realized okay this room really isn’t that big.  And since I could see myself standing up there, actually speaking and stuff I now could visualize myself actually doing it.

Monday the presentation I had to give wasn’t so scary to me I don’t think because it was more relaxed… we sit in a circle, class is all women and everybody is ridiculously nice even on days when you know somebody is harboring bitchy thoughts lol  I was nervous but it was nothing like the other class.  I had put together a PowerPoint and actually had consumed most of the material I was using just in the prior few days and had known absolutely none of it before so you think this would be the one to be nervous about, but um no I guess not.

My PowerPoint malfunctioned, it worked but in some slides some of the text was completely off the page etc so that threw me off for a moment but it was just like okay, most of them I already memorized from reading it over and over from various sources.  I ended up talking A LOT about stuff I didn’t even have notes on.  It was kind of crazy how much I remember and talked about.  I felt a bit nervous and heard my voice shake often but I just kept going instead of paying it any mind and getting frazzled.  I brought my water up with me and when my mouth got dry stopped and took a drink.  I still talked too fast but it’s a work in progress.  I got a huge round of applause for that presentation. One of the people that were supposed to go that evening too said she didn’t want to go after mine because mine had just been too good.  It was just like really…. no way lol

I should note that before this presentation I did some meditation before leaving for class.  I actually meditated with some binaural beats music that was supposed to stimulate delta waves in the brain.  I don’t put a ton of stock into them actually doing anything but they do seem to relax the mind.  I kind of felt like my whole body was buzzing in a good way for a while afterwards but anyways… I did some meditation and felt really chill before I left for class.  My zen did get upset a little bit before I got to class but there was a delay with the projector so we got to do some painting before presentations this day.  Soothing.   On the way to class I also decided I just wasn’t going to worry/think about the presentation any longer.  I was prepared, worrying about it was just living in a future that did not yet exist.

So Tuesday was the “dreaded” one.  I woke up pretty early that morning, I wanted to feel alive and awake to undertake this.  I wanted so badly to do some meditation like I had done the previous  day but I guess it was just too early in the morning, I kept falling asleep.  Apparently it can be too early for meditation, ha.  I went against my judgement of wearing a fab outfit and went instead of a cozy one.  Hoodie and jeans might not be presentation worthy but something about being in cozy  comfy clothes helps me relax, even if they don’t look the best.  This was part of my strategy.  Again, don’t think about it.. don’t dwell on it.. you are as prepared as you can possibly be, just be in the present moment and everything will take care of itself.  When I felt a little fear rising up despite this I just tried to visualize hugging it close to me, like it was a small child that needed to be soothed.  Running from it… either physically or mentally has not worked… lets try a new approach of embracing it then.  I stopped at Kroger on the way to class to get a couple bottles of water, my new security blanket as well… because getting dry mouth in the middle of speaking freaks me out okay.

Got to class, prof sent an email that she was going to be 10 minutes late.  She comes in and goes over the itinerary for class then it’s speech time.  There was actually me and another woman who had to do ours since we missed the previous week they were doing them so I just go up and offered to do mine first.  I felt intimidated looking back at everyone (although honestly?  Like 2 or 3 people didn’t even come to class that day so there was only like 8 or 9 people plus the professor there that day) but just started talking and went through my PowerPoint and what had felt like forever practicing was over in no time.  I still had the issue of talking too fast… and I think I read off the PowerPoint a little too much.  And at one point I really wanted a fucking drink of my water I had brought up with me but couldn’t find a place to pause that felt appropriate so I just reminded myself the water was indeed there if it were a life or death situation.  And my voice still shook some but I did it.  I tried to make eye contact with people around the room when I could… I found that most of them were just staring blankly at my PowerPoint  not unlike any other class I had been in when somebody, including the prof, is giving a presentation with a  PowerPoint… don’t stare at speaker… stare at PowerPoint.  Note to self.. use PowerPoint as much as possible lol

But there it was, it was over and I survived and in the end… after the experience of both Monday & Tuesday… I felt pretty damned great that I had confronted these things.  I was left with the overwhelming feeling that my instincts were right, it is about embracing what you fear and no longer running away from it.

Granted I have at least a couple presentations left to give in the next couple months before this is all over and I’m sure I’ll be nervous before those as well but I think the absolute worst is over now.  Also the realization that I’m not totally terrible at doing it.  That’s helpful to have too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: