I went to my first Family-to-Family mental health class over the weekend. There were 20 people present on a very cold and foggy morning at 10:00am.
The class went great, although I had the unpleasant task to--as everyone else had to do--interview and be interviewed by someone in the class, then read our interview of the person to the rest of the class. I always hate those kinds of meet-and-greet, ice-breaker things. I have only one phobia in my life--just one--and that's public speaking. As a matter of fact, if this class didn't have anything to do with my work career, I would not have taken the class! I was very nervous but survived; I thought I would but it's very difficult facing one's fears.
It never ceases to amaze me how so many people assume that everyone has no problem with public speaking. Just because the teacher can easily and comfortably stand in front of a group of people doesn't mean we all can do that with the same ease. Public speaking is the #1 fear in the world, but yet many people take it for granted that it's not the case. Or maybe they do know and just don't care how terrified some people will feel. And what's this "fake it until you make it" bullcrap? Believe me, I can't fake it! They know! They know!...Sigh...I know a great way to conquer one's fears is to just do it (so they say), so maybe it can only get better.
We were assigned homework on our first day; we are to read several short stories on people with mental illness, which is included in a large packet given to us. The packet is so large, I put mine in a loose-leaf, 3-ring binder. So much information--I love it!
The mental health group meeting was also this past weekend. It went very well. There were about 8 who attended with several new people there. So once again another meet-and-greet session, but this time we just had to introduce our own selves. I was less nervous. I felt more comfortable with that situation as that was my 3rd time at the group's meeting and with much less people than at the class.
The group meeting is only once a month but it's ongoing, whereas the class is once a week but just for 3 months.
I see my birthday is on a class day.
Guess who'll be absent that day?
By the way, all is well again with the local animal sanctuary. YAY! But I still plan on going full speed ahead with my own non-profit animal ministry, and it's coming along quite well.