Last week I had a little breakthrough in my recovery and I want to share that experience with you, and the reason why it was and has been significant to me. Plus the majority of this blog has been me sharing my experiences with the world, so I thought this needed it’s own post. Last Saturday the 10th June, I decided not to go to Oz Comic Con and instead I went and met Christian O’Connell, who is a radio presenter.
However, I feel like this needs a little bit more context. If you had seen my recent blog post Mental Breakdown and Recovery you would know what I have been going through lately. I have always loved, it brings me joy and a sense of peace, but in my darkest moments that was impossible. I had completely disassociated with the world and as I began my recovery journey I started to feel that love and joy return, it helps me to keep a sense of peace in my mind and body. A big part of my recovery has been listening to the radio and especially The Christian O’Connell Show in the mornings, when I’m in the truck.
Live on The Christian O’Connell Show
Not only did I get to meet Christian on Saturday, but earlier in the week on the Wednesday I had called in for their ‘Knock on Wednesday’ segment. Yes me, the person who has had a phobia of phones forever, rang a radio station and went live on air. It wasn’t until after it was all over I questioned myself and then I spent the rest of the day regretting it. After I work I went and listened to the recorded podcast and realised that it wasn’t too bad.
To hear me on the radio, skip to 11:16 on the below podcast:
During their Friday show, Christian mentioned that he would be working at a little shop on the Saturday and for anyone to stop by if they wanted. It took a lot to convince myself to actually get out of the house and do this, but it was on of the best decision I could have made. It ended up being a real breakthrough in my recovery, even though I didn’t realise this until after I left.
When I first arrived I was very nervous and felt very sheepish as I walked into the store, but both Christian and his wife Sarah were absolutely lovely and sweet, I felt very comfortable in their presence. I introduced myself and explained that we had spoken earlier in the week, we talked about my job as well as my injury and recovery. As always I was very open with them and I spoke about my struggles with mental health as well, they were both amazingly kind and understanding. Internally I felt almost a sense of peace at the whole experience.
The most significant moment of this experience was when Christian went to sign his book for me, I mentioned that my nickname was Smiley and he commented that it was the perfect nickname for me. At the time it made me smile and giggle, but what I realised afterwards was that I have not felt like ‘Smiley’ in a really long time. I feel that Smiley is who I am at my core, and sometimes in the darkness it gets lost, so this special moment made me realise that my soul is healing and finding it’s way to being me again.
It’s nice to be able to open up and talk openly to people about mental health, especially to someone who you have never met before and who has a much higher standing than yourself (meaning he is famous and I am not) but you can both relate and understand each other. He asked what my plans were for the rest of the weekend, I explained that I’m only really just getting back into socialising so keeping things simple which he understood.
Sarah asked if I would like a photo with Christian, so I took the opportunity and I love the photo. Not only because Christian was kind enough to pose for a photo with me, but also because I look happy. It the first time in a while I’ve taken and looked at a photo of myself and saw myself.
We did have a great little chat about conventions I mentioned how I have almost 20 years experience going or working events, but that I had decided to come and meet him rather than go to Oz Comic Con. I mentioned travelling to England for events and how I was a huge Red Dwarf fan, Christian too is a fan and of course he knows the actors, we had a laugh as I recalled the time I saw them in England.
Time to Go
When others started entering the store I automatically moved myself out of the way, the convention staff member in me kicked in and I let them have their moments. Internally I wanted to just stay and talk to them for as long as I could, I guess that had a lot to do with the socialising aspect. You go to all the effort to get yourself up and out there and then it all goes by so quickly and you just want to savour it as much as possible.
Christian and Sarah were amazing and I’ll remember this moment and it’s significance for a long time. As I went to leave, Christian told me that I should be proud of myself, for calling into the show and for everything else. I said that I am, but that it also takes time for me to process it, after all it took my six months to feel proud of myself for buying a house.
I was very appreciative of this experience, and I know this post is more about the significance of the experience rather than than just meeting Christian. I just wanted to share the reason why I have become such a huge fan and how much it has helped in my recovery. Which in turn has lead to why this experience was so significant for me.
Listening to the radio has made me feel myself, for the first time in a really long time. When something effects you in such a profound way, it’s hard to really show your appreciation. I feel embarrassed at how deeply I have fallen into an obsession for this show, but that’s just how I show my appreciation.
Please check out Gold 104.3 and The Christian O’Connell Show, they’ve helped me a lot the last few months and it’s like having company even when you’re all alone.