I have finally launched my business, maiLIFE. I’m so proud that this idea that I came up with has actually become a tangible thing! maiLIFE is a word that I came up with when I was unwell from bipolar disorder. I was severely manic (long story) but it stuck. It’s a full circle moment to turn insanity into sanity.. Into reality. It’s so rewarding to share my experiences in a way that I can help people and impact their lives. It means my pain was not for nothing.
I’m a Self-empowerment & Mental Health Advocacy Speaker. Some people assume I’m completely comfortable on stage because of the way I present myself. They assume stage fright is not an issue for me. The reality is I have terrible performance anxiety. Why do I continue to do public speaking?
In the beginning, my goal was to help one person. I thought, if my experiences could help just one person, it will all be worth it. Part way into my first year of sharing my story, the social worker I worked for pulled me aside after speaking to a high school audience. She told me that there was a 17 year old girl that left part way through my speech in tears. I felt awful to think that maybe something I said might have triggered her. The social worker stopped me and explained it was not what I thought. It turns out that that 17 year old girl, after leaving the auditorium, went straight into the guidance office. She said “Maisha’s story is my story”. She told them that she had been suicidal since the age of 12, and that she had planned to attempt suicide later that week. She had a suicide note in her locker. From there her family was informed. She had never disclosed this to anyone in her life. She was admitted to the hospital and got help.
So there it was, I’d helped one person. I was so proud of myself. But that’s not the end of the story. About a year later I asked the social worker what ever happened to the 17 year old girl. She said she wasn’t sure. I was a little disappointed until she said she wasn’t sure which person I was referring to! She told me there were many teenagers who came up and disclosed things related to mental health after I spoke.
Wow! If that was a sign that I was moving in the right direction I don’t know what is. There have also been family members of people with mental illness who have told me that seeing me do well gives them hope that their loved one will thrive. So any performance anxiety that I have to deal with is irrelevant. It’s not about me!
Have a wonderful day.
Peace & Blessings,