I have battled with my mind (you can read about that here if you haven’t already) and its little quirks all my life. It’s on only relatively recently though that I’ve learnt to manage these quirks.
It was two meetings yesterday that showed me how far I’ve come!
The first was a meeting of the local Dairy Advancement Group.
For various reasons this group had lost its way but thankfully enough people could see the value of such a group to make an effort to refocus the intent and call a planning meeting.
I’ve been part of the industry for six years but have only just started going to these meetings.
I haven’t gone in the past for a lot of reasons. The meetings tended to clash with places I needed to be for kids. Or we had farm work to do. Or I just wasn’t informed the meetings were on.
But the big one was I didn’t believe I belonged or deserved to be there.
What forced my hand was a good friend who has worked tirelessly to encourage youth into the industry was having a crisis of confidence herself and I went to support her.
So I went to my second meeting yesterday.
I went again to support my friend, but realised I had ideas and insights to offer.
I listened and sat on what I had to offer and really fought with myself….
Do I open my mouth and offer my thoughts?
Am I worthy of such an input into the future of this group considering I didn’t have a past with it?
Would I be taken seriously?
I have applied for a job with our state body. As I listened to some of the political side I started to really panic, telling myself I had no idea and what did I think I was doing applying for this job and I wouldn’t cope and what if what if what if….
Then the convenor asked for my input. That nearly brought me completely undone!
By this stage I was hoping what I call the duck effect was working.
What’s the duck effect? On the surface, calm, floating peacefully. Underneath, paddling like a crazy!
My heart was pounding, headed toward my throat. I could feel the shaking and struggled to control it. I was starting to get the cold sweats. The occasional blurry vision (for want of a better term) thing occurred. My hearing, at times, sounded like I was in a tunnel.
I have spent the last three years building an internal support system for panic attacks. Thankfully.
I call it CTFD therapy.
Calm The Fuck Down!
I managed to get CTFD to kick in, though I spent the entire meeting being that duck.
Towards the end of the meeting they were talking about building our ‘brand’, not just locally but world wide. The convenor, who knows my social media experience, kept looking a me and then kept dropping my name into the conversation as the person who could build our brand on social media.
Big responsibility in my mind. Huge in fact.
CTFD kicked in again.
I decided I would challenge this crisis I was having.
I put my hand up and told the meeting I have the skills and the experience to make this work if you want it. The convenor backed me up.
I was still that duck, but was excited. Not only had I lived (a serious question I ask myself when this happens because I do feel like I might die), I have a new project to sink my teeth into. Its not going to be an easy project. I need to drag old school people into a global life.
But I’m really looking forward to it!
After a stressful six hours you’d think home would be where I needed to be. It was. But hubby and I had been invited to a meet and greet for the new combined version of our stock and land management bodies, the Local Land Services. As it turned out, hubby couldn’t go.
I’d met the lady organising the meet and greet at the recent Dairy Research Symposium. She mentioned they were having this meet and greet and asked for my email address so she could invite me when dates and venues were confirmed.
I assumed a lot of farmers would be invited.
I walked up to the venue, where there’s a large window looking into the bar, and saw suits. Lots of suits. And women dressed very business like.
But I lifted my head, put my shoulders back, and became that duck again!
Oh boy! Talk about fish out of water!
I was, though, pleasantly surprised how many of the suits I knew. And how some of them were actually interested in my opinion.
Again with the big responsibility.
Again with the panic attack trying to take hold.
Again CTFD kicked in.
Again I became the duck.
Three years ago I wouldn’t have walked into the room.
After sleeping on it and therefore calming right down, I can see clearly how far I’ve come.
I am proud. Very proud!