Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Power of My Own Voice

I strutted on stage in my 2.5 inch patent leather nude pumps like a professional.  Even though I was fairly confident that I would either slip, trip, or at the very least stumble while walking the twenty-five odd feet to the lectern, I surprisingly made it in one piece.  And, I looked good!

The audience listened to me.  They fell silent at the sound of my voice as I felt the energy of hundreds of pairs of eyes focused on my words.  They watched my face while I shared my story of depression and motherhood.  And, no one judged me.

I was no longer a faceless writer telling a story of pregnancy and medication.  I was a real mother- authentic and exposed.  By speaking my story, I was given the opportunity to force the audience to hear it with the passion and vulnerability that it took for me to write it.  They could feel my pain and experience the internal struggles that I faced while deciding to choose drugs, not for me, but for my family. Through strength of my spoken word, they knew that I am a good mother, not so different from them.

I was not alone, writing silently in my local coffee shop.  Listening in the seats sat nearly twenty of my closest friends and family, some of the same people who were there for me during the rainiest days of my depression.  The same people who helped me to find the ability to get better.  When parts of my essay became to hard to read, I closed my eyes and saw their faces encouraging me to keep talking.

And, backstage sat twelve other women, and one man, who also felt this magnetic pull of the audience.  They, too, knew what it was to have your words dance naked in an auditorium filled with strangers.  They understood the contradicting emotions playing tag with my heart.  They gave me the strength to not trip.

We were the voices of motherhood, and this year, we all listened to the mothers.

Read the recaps from my fellow mothers (and father):
Kirsten Patel and Kim Thompson-Steele
Melissa Arca
Rhea St. Julien
Andre Salvage
Joy McGillivray Latimer
Estelle Pagnoux Hayes


  1. This gave me shivers. You were stunning in your blue dress with that gorgeous hair, and your words resonated deeply with the audience and for me in particular. So, so glad to have had you with us. x

  2. Of all of us, you were the bravest. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  3. Ah, words dancing naked in the auditorium. So good. You said it all so well, so beautifully. Great recap and great reading last week, friend.

  4. You are just an incredible human. Thank you for this piece, and the one you read last week. Xoxo, Rhea

  5. The epitome of letting yourself be vulnerable for the world to see. And we are all better for it. So honored to have been a part of this, with you, and the rest of this amazing crew. I too love the words "words dancing naked in the auditorium"...thank you.

  6. Very nicely done. Hello world here I am. Funny, I've been reading your Huffington Post pieces for awhile. Imagine my surprise to meet you in person. What a treat.

  7. I spoke with many audience members who were so deeply touched by your bravery in telling your story. Nude, patent leather pumps just sealed the deal.

  8. Your piece was so moving, so unexpected, and so raw...I had many friends and family members in the audience, and they were so touched by your openess and honesty. You are truly a beautiful person and I was honored to share that stage with you.