Sharing My Story, Aloud, in Public!

I've been asked to share my story at my AA home group on Monday. Wow! I didn't even know that someone with 11 months of sobriety was welcome to speak. I suppose I thought it would be a few more years before anyone would think I had some experience, strength and hope to offer. I feel really honored and excited to have been given this opportunity but I'm also pretty nervous.

Public speaking doesn't come easily to most people -especially when it involves taking center stage by yourself for a half hour of story telling without a script. I know the story well, it is my life after all, but standing in front of a crowd tends to make my mind go blank. Even in casual one-on-one conversations I can get flustered and stumble over my words if it isn't someone I know well. I have never, in all my years of attending speaker meetings, seen someone get up to speak with a sheet of notes. I wonder why that is. Would it seem too formal or less sincere if I came to the podium prepared with a list of points to remember?

I spent the past week mulling over what I want to say. It's been a worthwhile exercise condensing my childhood, addiction, and recovery journey to the experiences and insights that have most greatly influenced who I am today. What a strange trip it has been. Despite all the heartache and misery I've come to the conclusion that given the opportunity I wouldn't change a thing. And that says a lot!

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