My husband John and I had a great session with the therapist last night. I went to a writers conference on Saturday in San Francisco and had the opportunity to get feedback on my memoir pitch. I also pitched my memoir to a few agents, editors and publishers. I came back with a new plan to move forward with writing and publishing my memoir. We discussed how my day went on Saturday, mainly in terms of my ability to converse naturally with other people, as well as smile, introduce myself and ask questions. It was wonderful! I was exhausted by the end of the day, but during the time I was there, I talked to a great number of women and learned some of their incredible stories.
I really made a very conscious effort to speak up, express myself, engage with my conversation partner, smile and talk. Of course I was nervous, but I focused on talking and smiling rather than wondering what everyone else was thinking about me. I find that the more I think, the more self-conscious I become and the less I attempt to socialize and converse with others. Instead, I stayed on my feet most of the time and initiated conversations with other women while I was waiting in line to pitch my memoir. I smiled as much as I could and I kept my thoughts positive the entire time I was there. The fact that the conference was at a seafood restaurant on the 2nd floor of Pier 39 with a view of the harbor made it all that much more of a wonderful experience!
At therapy last night, we talk more about my personality traits and how I am an introvert, as opposed to my husband who is very much an extrovert. For introverts, it takes more effort to socialize and talk to other people. Talking takes more energy and doesn’t come naturally. Also, dealing with the symptoms of my illness over the past ten years didn’t help matters either, in terms of reaching out and taking to other people. It’s really a struggle sometimes, even just to say hello to the cashier at the grocery store – but I’m working on it! The therapist asked me why I have this fear of talking to strangers and to other people in general, but it’s very difficult to explain. I get intimidated easily, I don’t have much self-confidence, and I’m very shy and self-conscious. All this I’ve had to overcome in order to break out of my shell. It’s definitely worth it! It just takes a lot of practice.