So what’s the message I’m trying to convey…

I’m preparing to give a presentation next week. I was hired to talk about living with PTSD. When I asked for what specific talking points they wanted me to cover they gave me three: How I became aware that I had PTSD, How I decided to write books about it, and How I’ve moved forward in my life with the PTSD.

This is a great jumping off point, and I’m glad they had some specific ideas of what they would like the audience to hear. As I began to prepare for the talk, outlining what I wanted to say, I sat back and asked myself, what message am I really trying to convey?

I am clear about why I write and speak. I’m passionate about bringing awareness to, and to help end the stigma of living with a mental illness. But that seemed like the broad stroke message to me. I’m trying to figure out, what’s the message within that broad stroke.

I’m not an expert on PTSD. I have it, I live with it, I pay attention to it, but I don’t know the latest research. So with that in my mind, what do I want the audience to think about as they are driving home from the presentation.

As I find myself getting involved in more opportunities where I’m in a position of speaking my truth, writing openly and honestly about living with PTSD, and trying to live a more authentic life, I’m struck by the notion that I need to control the volume that I want for my voice, and how I want to represent myself within the ever-growing community of mental health public speakers.

I have had a huge learning curve and learned a lot since I emerged from the shadows. I know what I will and won’t do as far as speaking engagements, book signings, writing opportunities, and advocacy work. I let myself use the past two years as a learning experience and rarely turned anything or anyone down. I’ve been very fortunate in the opportunities that have come my way, and I’m grateful for the enormous support I’ve received.

I’m comfortable with the volume of my voice right now. I don’t aspire to be the biggest voice in the world of mental health support/advocacy. I do, however, feel that my low, steady volume is what suits me the best. I’m a believer that a ripple is what affects the change. I want to continue to be a ripple.

I have one week to prepare for my presentation. They have hired me for two hours, and I believe I will speak for a total of 1.5 hours, leaving plenty of time for questions at the end.

I believe ultimately my message is, “When you know that someone has a mental illness and they are open to it, ask questions. Have a curiosity for knowledge and people’s experiences. Most importantly lets, keep the conversation going.”

 

 

 

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43 thoughts on “So what’s the message I’m trying to convey…

  1. Thanks for replying me. This reply means alot to me.

    Such an awesome way of replying someone.
    Thanks. Again.

    You welcome dear friend.

    You can also check on my blog for the recent post and say your own views and contribution on it.
    I did a good post about “”” LET IT GO”””

    HAPPY SUNDAY

    #PATRICKSTORIES
    Peace ✌and Love ❤

    Like

  2. Thanks    for accepting and following my blog.

    I’m available to read your post at my convenient time.

    You have such an interesting topic I will love to read in
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    I still remain  the simple blogger…..

    #PATRICKSTORIES
    Peace ✌and Love ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow thank you so much! This morning was I really motivated and felt some confidence with working on the presentation. I took a long break and feel like I came to the same place you are at. Its peoples stories thats most valuable. I think about all the connections we make on WP and the community we have formed. Its definitely because we can relate to each other, and keep each other shored up to continue to thrive. Thank you for your insight. It brings me a huge amount of peace and confidence ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh E, I’ve missed you 😊…”Every survivor voice seems to hold up the broken mirror from a different angle which allows us, slowly over time, to see ourselves and each other as whole again.” Brilliantly written. Thank you so much for your feedback and wonderful support. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I definitely want to echo what many have said before me. You say that you’re not an expert in PTSD, but you are an expert in your own experience with it and that has real value. As someone living with mental illness, the research is interesting enough, but I learn so much more from hearing people’s stories. You turn those statistics and symptoms into something tangible that people can comprehend and reflect on. It’s wonderful (and so brave!) that you are doing this, I wish you all the luck, though I suspect you do not need luck and are going to do fabulously.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alexis thanks for sharing your process here. I’m kind of on a similar path and wrestling with those questions. If it matters I’ve read and learned most from your honesty and sense of humor. Every survivor voice seems to hold up the broken mirror from a different angle which allows us, slowly over time, to see ourselves and each other as whole again. Just do that and let go of worrying about whether or not ‘they got it’. You have a powerful story and a strong voice! Yell. Whisper. Either way: speak. Let us know how it goes. Positive energy headed your way. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  7. People can read books of research or find information online. You have a personal experience that you can share to help them truly understand PTSD. I love the ultimate message you are trying to communicate and I think this will have value for anyone who wants to develop empathy or awareness of mental illness. I admire your courage to share your story. Hope it goes well!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank You so much Suzanne. I love the visual of people listening with an open heart. Im going to try and seek them out as Im presenting. I think that will help keep me in the moment and grounded. Thank you! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  9. That sounds like a great opportunity! People being able to put a “face” and story to a label can really go a long way in decreasing stigma and helping to develop empathy. One thing that comes to mind for me in your takeaway for your participants is that each time we share our own story from an authentic place, we create more space for others to feel comfortable and confident in speaking their truth. Those who are listening with an open heart also play a vital role.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I really think you are going to do amazing! It is an amazing thing to help eliminate the nasty stigmas on mental illness. In my opinion, there is no room for negative judgments and I refuse to allow it in my own life!! You are brilliant and you are making a difference!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. We will have to keep each other posted. Concert of Hope. That sounds incredible. I’m so excited on how much reach your voice is having these days. I would love to hear you speak sometime. Thank you for your support, its amazing that we both survived and now look, we are out of the shadows. Yay! Now thats Hope! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks Niki, its nice to meet you too. Im glad we connected through whatsmyblogabout. Im going to visit your blog now and follow you. I agree, that we’re all in this together. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Oh wow! This is great feedback, thank you! I like the idea of including what some traits of complex trauma survivors may have. It gives a broader perspective. Thank You! ❤️💐

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I think that’s a great message. Things like the latest research people can look up online, but truly sparking openness and curiosity needs to come from an in-person connection.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I’m preparing what I want to say when I speak at an upcoming Concert of Hope event. I think the title gives me my answer. I was asked to tell my story. I don’t want to spend too much time on my trauma experiences. I want to focus on my healing journey and the challenges I’ve overcome. I want to leave people with a message that comforts, inspires, and empowers. But I also want to help educate those who don’t know what it’s like to live life as a trauma survivor with PTSD. I haven’t heard back from the event coordinator in regards to length of time to speak, so it’s difficult to know what to write. I decided to get it all down on paper, then I can cut back later. Thank you for sharing your voice and your incredibly important message with the world!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. The ripple is a good metaphor. It’s gentle, and it sounds like your spirit is a gentle one, too. Some people won’t be reached any other way. Your story, exactly the way you want to tell it, is important and needed. I found your blog by way of whatsmyblogabout btw. I live with something similar (agoraphobia/panic disorder). Your last paragraph is exactly how I feel about it too. Ask me anything. We’re all in this together. Nice to meet you Alexis Rose. Best of luck with your speech. ♥.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I think the biggest learning curve for me lately is in realizing that I do wear my PTSD on my sleeve, even if I know how to slip away when I’m triggered so people don’t figure it out. If I were listening back when I was first diagnosed, it would have helped me – and definitely those around me – to hear a little about some of the “personality traits” (e.g. indecisiveness, excessive people pleasing, trusting people too soon or not at all, being a “drama queen”) that can come along with especially complex drama. Not every person with PTSD shows all – or any – if those traits necessarily, but some will only ever show they are triggered by an increase in those. That “awkward” person might have anxiety or PTSD, and maybe knowing that would help an audience be more empathetic? Idk. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately, but I have a jerk boss who needs to be set straight on a lot more than just the *subtleties* of the trauma response. Anything you told him would probably be new info (That he’d still ignore…)

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I think as far as the latest research goes, you are it. You are a walking, breathing research unit, and your research can be whatever you make it.

    As a matter of interest, I would encourage you to look at you/your project this way: PTSD is an after-effect. Rehashing how it got there does few people any good. Most are aware of the conditions that gave them PTSD. As for me, I’d like to see more people focus on how they move on from those past events, not just cope (though that is a stage in the process), but actually overcome. If you’ve got that, you’ve got firepower, …and something worth hearing.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. How about not knowing what not to expect and simply, after the presentation. Ask your audience. How to have an open heart and where to start that flower of every pain. Then you can hear everyone ‘s input and you listen. There you will see the common thread of what lies of mental health.

    Liked by 2 people

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