I love a good book signing of course, but even more than that I love to speak about my journey and my experiences with chronic illness and anxiety in ways that encourage people.
Last week, I was given the amazing opportunity to do both and speak at Life Line Johannesburg, and I was thrilled, humbled and honoured to speak to their counsellors.
For those of you haven’t heard of Lifeline, they are a nonprofit organisation across the world who provide round-the-clock telephone and scheduled face-to-face counselling sessions, for free, to anyone in need of help
These men and women donate their time and expertise to be just a phone call away from anyone in the public. They are known for their suicide prevention calls but they take calls on any urgent matter that any person may have.
I am sure that you can imagine that when a person phones in, they are more likely than not, to be in extreme distress. Their anxiety, one way or another, is on super-drive. Most aren’t ringing about anxiety, they are phoning because of a specific issue, but they are also extremely anxious.
It was a huge privilege to be invited to speak to some of their local counsellors about my Book.
But anyone who has been involved in the chronic illness world, even if for just a short time, will know that many of us experience isolation, rejection, loneliness, pain, trauma, abuse (the list is almost endless) way more than the rest of the population. So as a somewhat visibly disabled person (I walk slowly and with a crutch), I was able to incorporate that into my talk. It felt like a small win for my community, to be able to discuss the links between physical illness (especially long term) and anxiety and the various ways in which the lines between them can be quite blurred.
There were so many great questions and the two hours just flew by. It was a great environment to share my journey and hopefully, I planted enough seeds that as these brave men and women continue their great work, they will be able to help even more, especially those who phone in and also happen to have a long term illness, a mental illness, or a debilitating illness.
We taped the whole thing so that I could share it and then all the footage was lost (yes, I am trying very hard not to be angry LOL). But we plan on doing it again and also starting some kind of public Q&A where I can share with the public 🙂
Thank you to Lifeline for the opportunity, and for this great endorsement! I was honoured 🙂
To book a talk with me and discuss my schedule you can contact me on JPeaSmith@KingsRoadChronicles.com
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