You Got This!
This was the expression from everyone when I expressed nervousness about presenting my story verbally for the first time. It’s your journey, what’s to be nervous about? They would say.
This was a first time conference for all with some uncertainty of how many were attending. I practiced more than a dozen times. I exercised that morning to get oxygen to my brain, ate a protein-rich breakfast, and took the added nutrients that help with calmness. Then I stopped for a Starbucks chai tea latte on the way. Being a trained HR professional I arrived early, set up my book table and had time to settle myself.
I don’t generally suffer social anxiety and that day was no different. I talked with many of the staff and guests as they arrived. That is until Dr. William Walsh walked over to my table. He didn’t introduce himself but I recognized him. Suddenly, I had a loss of words and didn’t introduce myself either. Dr. Walsh is one of the main pioneers of targeted nutrient therapy treatment. He is the reason I can smile again. If not for his research and studies I may still be suffering from pharmaceutical drugs. I’m not talking about just freezing in front of him. I’m talking about awkwardly standing in silence not knowing what to say to this man I respect so much. He looked at my book and said, “copper” then took my card and told his assistant to look into putting my book on their website. I stood in awe and didn’t even give him a book. Ugh!!! I should have known that would happen. My daughter makes fun of how I get star struck when I see famous people in public.
Fortunately, I was the first presenter and called up to the front. Taking a deep breath I was ready until I was handed the mic. Having never used one before I had to quickly figure out where to hold it so my voice didn’t echo. Then I started to talk about my journey with unknowingly living with copper toxicity. When I reached the part about my attempted suicide I heard a gasp from the audience. This caused me to become slightly emotional. I’m told that authentic response is what makes a good motivational speaker. It appears I did okay. Being real resulted in many thanks for sharing my story. I also kept with my original goal of delivering hope and received comments they felt inspired.
Wait a minute!
I spoke about how nutrient therapy has made my symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD and fatigue nearly non-existent. Then what was that earlier situation when I was unable to talk to Dr. Walsh. Well, my depression is indeed gone and my OCD is totally under control. But during stressful circumstances, I still will have some anxiety and even fatigue show up. The reason being stress causes a chemical reaction with copper and converts dopamine to norepinephrine. That more norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) chemically produced from dopamine causes anxiety or revving the nervous system. Then because copper is central to cellular energy production it can also deplete stored energy. My adrenaline started to come down and I felt a gradual decrease in mood.
What I did right during my presentation is to turn that energy from anxiety to excitement instead. This allowed me to let go of the fear of public speaking. What I did wrong is to forget about self-care for the rest of the day.
What a long day…
It was back to back presentations. Each one was interesting and informative. But it was non-stop five hours. When we got to the final QA with the speakers I was drained. I could feel I was not as alert. The one question I did answer was not with confidence. By the time dinner came, I was exhausted. I did my best to participate but I was so worn down mentally with a lack of focus. As I sat eating my dinner listening to a guest I became ultra-focused on her conversation. Then the room closed off around me. I missed the fun that was happening with raffle prizes. Plus I missed another opportunity to speak or take a photo with Dr. Walsh and his lovely wife. My energy resumed enough to talk briefly with another guest and sign a book. But I missed a photo op with her as well because I was still feeling tired.
Having copper dysregulation I know better that self-care is vital to maintain balance. But it had been a long time since I attended a conference. I guess I didn’t remember how fully packed they can be. In my book, I write about how my life is a work in progress because of life changes, stressful situations and my desire to stretch myself. Stretching is how we grow and have a fulfilled life but not at the expense of self-care. So I’m still learning and next time I know to take breaks, use my deep breathing techniques to center myself and eat something in between to sustain my energy.
Speaking of energy, my empath/sensitive tendencies also interfered with my day. Being in large groups can be very draining as an empath. I physically absorb the energies of those around me. The self-care I use to combat this is usually a day of relaxation. Some alone time to restore my energy always helps. I’m also working on how to be more aware at the moment. It was a challenging day that drained me.
So….For my fellow copper overload individuals on nutrient therapy remember stress is always going to be a challenge. However, it does not mean that any of the symptoms are returning permanently or unmanageable. The nutrients help keep things balanced to a point. Then it is up to you to reduce and handle the stressful situation. My stress management reminder is not to worry about missing hearing a presentation. It is better to step away and protect my health. Incorporating stress-reducing techniques is what has helped me to continually move forward. Having had burnout/adrenal fatigue it is particularly critical for me to minimize my stress and to a certain degree excitement. But we don’t always have control.
The week leading up to the conference was hectic with personal commitments I couldn’t change. The evening before the conference was my daughter’s birthday with a celebration dinner followed by cake. Sugars are a zinc inhibitor. Zinc is an important mineral for the adrenal glands. Low zinc can lower the ability to handle stress leading to anxiety and exhaustion. Hmm—maybe should have also passed on the morning Starbucks chai tea latte. I tested my limits but learned what I need to do to adjust accordingly for future events. Keeping it real and sharing these moments will hopefully help others cope. It’s all about finding your balance.
The next day I replayed the day in my head. I thought about how I felt drained and missed opportunities. Having a history of OCD I know to let it go and be gentle on myself. Keeping it present in my mind is not going to change anything. One of the best techniques that have worked for me not to ruminate is hearing comforting stories where someone else has messed up. I’m serious! It is so easy to think that others have it all together and beat ourselves up. But the reality is everyone has moments. Identifying that I’m not the only one who has “Ugh!” moments puts things into perspective. This allows me to use the situation as a tool to be stronger the next time. And there is always a next time. What I found by searching online is that many famous people have stage fright. Most helpful was watching a youtube video of embarrassing moments of celebrities meeting their celebrity crushes. Some not only froze like me and were speechless but some cried. It’s amazing how human interaction is altered by our chemical energy.
I’m looking forward to the next speaking engagement because I do have this!