It's been a long time coming. Okay, about six months, but it's felt like a near eternity. I don't get excited/nervous for too many things anymore, but for tonight's event I am.
I first made reference to what tonight is back in April when I wondered what, exactly, being a champion meant. Well, tonight is the Missouri Department of Mental Health Foundation's Champion of Mental Health banquet where I will receive the honor of being named a "champion of mental health."
I'm still sort of confused as to what I've done to gain that honor. I mean, I didn't set out on my journey with any sort of plan to become a "champion." And to be honest, often times I'm frustrated that I am not doing enough. Then I get even more frustrated trying to figure out what more I can do and I realize I'm doing all that I can.
Tonight is going to be difficult for me. There's going to be a video about each champion (there are three of us) and I'm going to hear what those who were interviewed had to say about me as well as the segments of when I was interviewed. Both are going to be highly difficult because I don't like hearing what people think of me and I TRULY hate hearing my own voice. Both are going to happen and then I go up, receive the award, and give a short speech which I do have written and I might upload that speech if there's video, and if not just the written words, this evening after the banquet.
The minutes are going to tick by slowly today with each minute a reflection. I think back to six years ago and the stagnant life I had; hope wasn't in the vocabulary and each day was just another block of 24 hours that passed without cause, reason, or celebration. Slowly the tides shifted and slowly I found my way and slowly I have built up my speaking resume and have slowly made this blog into a heavily read thing. I think back to nine years ago and the feeling of sheer hopelessness after my diagnosis and I never, never NEVER would have thought I would do 1% of the things I've done. Tonight, I may be the honor receiving the honor but don't let that blind you to the fact that this, really, should be about all those around me that never gave up hope and to all those around me that gave me the support to be who I am now.