Thank you for making a joke out of my overreaction when you picked me to ask a question. A dear friend pointed out afterward that it was funny that my hand being in the air was a therapy exercise and was not meant to actually be selected. When you two asked what I thought was going to happen, I didn’t have a good answer. Maybe, I thought I would be brave and not have to actually go through with making good on my bravado. Thank you for being patient with me and helping me laugh at myself.
Thank you for putting up with more profanity than anyone should have had to hear so close to their face. A person like you is probably not expecting to have someone say “What the fuck?” when they are less than a foot from your face. Your hand on my face was a little scene out of my own personal hell. Your right hand on my shoulder was a reminder I could turn away and leave whenever I needed to.
Thank you for letting me hug you so tightly. My body reacted before my brain kicked into gear. I could (almost) handle you repeating “You’re okay. You’re doing so well. I’m so proud of you,” but when you added in “I know how it is,” you broke me a little bit. It hurts my heart that other people have to know what it is to be betrayed by the chemicals in their body. To know what it is like to have “fight or flight” kick in when there’s no threat whatsoever.
Thank you for letting me run away.
Thank you for being so kind to me later in the day when you had no reason to listen to me speak. Your sense of humor is a delight. In those few seconds you gave me a chance to laugh at myself.
Thank you for being a safe place. Thank you for taking care of yourself and being brave enough to share that journey. Thank you for your kindness and love even when it’s easy for others to feel unworthy. Thank you for knowing that you are not the problem for people like me. You are a safe place to test out our new coping skills. You are a training ground for bravery.
This was my last convention and I’ll never see you again. Thank you for giving me memories to carry with me.