I Hope I Don't Panic While Delivering a TEDx Talk About PanicPerhaps you’ve noticed my lack of posts during this past week.

And even if you didn’t, now you’re aware of it. Because I mentioned it.

Here’s why I’ve been so quiet: I’ve been busy preparing to speak at TEDx Williamsport, an independently-organized TED event in my town. (If you haven’t heard of TED, go here and watch a few talks.)

Yes, that’s right — this panicky lady is going to stand on a stage and talk to people.

About her anxiety.

Believe it or not, this is a sort of a first for me. Does that sound strange? I mean, I’ve recorded anxiety-related videos for my blog, and I’ve lead online and telephone support group discussions in which I shared my panic-littered personal history. And I share my stumblings and my successes with you, weekly, via my blog.

But…in real life? Not so much. I can’t remember a time when I got up and spoke to a group of Real Live People about what it’s like to have a panic attack.

It’s happening tomorrow.


Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll share my story with an audience of strangers. The theme for this year’s TEDx Williamsport event? Breaking through.

I will be re-framing the process of breaking down as one of breaking through.

I plan to talk about all of the horrible panic attacks I had at my old call center job. I’m going to talk about animals and how they deal with an environment that does not support them. I’m going to talk about intrinsic motivation.

Silly corporate “motivational artwork” is also on my list, and so is Erlang C, the mathematical equation used to schedule customer service representatives for time on the phones. Both of these elements, in essence, triggered my at-work panic attacks.

And I’m going to talk about how my body & mind finally convinced me to GTFO.

Once tomorrow is over, I’ll resume my usual posting schedule. (And, of course, if TED ever posts the video of my talk, I will share it with you.)

But until then, keep your fingers crossed for me. While an on-stage panic attack would be a fabulous demonstration of what panic disorder is really like, I’d prefer to just give a good speech about it, really.


Creative Commons License photo credit: www.guigo.eu