BBC Ouch!

A little while ago, I responded to an open submission for stories about relationships and disabilities. Before I knew it, I was asked to appear on a radio broadcast/podcast. Then, shortly before recording, the event was upgraded to a "lights, cameras, action!" affair.

On the day, I had a massive panic attack. I kept forgetting my lines due to nerves. With an hour to go, I wore out the pavement in front of the venue. When I felt I could no longer bear it, I decided I would go inside, apologise to the producers for any inconvenience and explain that I was going home.

As if fate were intervening my sister arrived, hugged me, and bought me a pint. Her pride and enthusiasm overwhelmed me: I couldn't let her down. Shortly after, my partner arrived. The opportunity to escape dissolved.

I'm not a performer, I'm a writer. In the words of one of my tutors: "Writers write because they can't speak." That has always felt true of me. Somewhere along the way, I have lost the confidence with which I used to conduct even simple conversations, turning instead to a keyboard to express myself.

Never let anyone tell you that you're incapable of something – least of all yourself. Had I listened to my many critics over the years, or the voices in my head that delight in degrading me daily, I would be silent, invisible and perhaps even dead.


How my mental health meltdown led to love
John, who has depression, tells #BBCOuchStories that a chance argument over an audition led him to finding the "light in his life"
Posted by BBC Ouch on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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