There was a time I was in college.
There shouldn’t be any surprises when it comes to my post-secondary education. I also never finished college. I have no problem in admitting that I never made it through one year, or one semester. At the time I never considered that I was a ‘school person’. Sometimes I still think that I’m not one to take instruction from anybody (I can be stubborn that way). Then I look back on my time in the late nineties when I attended college for Art Fundamentals and see that I was partial right, and way way wrong.
FAST FORWARD TO 2017
One day while on set at Georgina Life (the television show I host on Rogers TV) I met with some of the amazing people at the South Shore Toastmasters club and they were riveting me to my seat as they spoke about finding confidence in yourself by finding your voice. A public speaking club which helps you develop better social and public skills and aides in your ability to be present in public speaking.
I recalled my memories of how in college; there was a seminar class, where I would have to spend the entire semester creating and building a subject and then presenting and hour long seminar about my topic.
I went to the first class, and no class past that. I dropped out of college.
Public speaking was frightening.
Even high school presentations I had my issues. Even to this day I still get extremely nervous at the idea of doing it. It’s all something that followed me from those days as a teenager and those days as an undiagnosed celiac.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008 and I was well into being the person I was meant to be and It was hard to change a lot of who I was. The diet was fairly easy. Switching from gluten rich foods to an all, 100% gluten-free diet was easier than I though, and now in 2017 it’s second nature.
NOW, I see that my fear of public speaking was partially because of my undiagnosed celiac and wasn’t always a figment of my imagination. I see that those times I buckled under the pressure of someone watching me talk was because the toll gluten was doing to my insides and ultimately affecting my mental state. Of course this revelation took almost two decades to figure out, but if I was diagnosed with celiac disease at an earlier age, I could have finished college and become the visual artist I intended to be or finished college and became a world renowned motivational speaker.
But I didn’t.
Here’s what happened.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 27 and then almost nine years later I became the host of a television show (speaking to the possibility of more that 10,000 people live) and a lot of my fear disappeared. Not before I was diagnosed with celiac and straighten out my shit. But, because I am now eating gluten-free I can maybe function the way I was meant too and not someone in constant pain due to the improper foods. Now, because I was diagnosed with a disease that is so invisible, I wasn’t diagnosed until I reached the pinnacle of my sickness.
My story isn’t new. But it can help someone to see what the potential of celiac can do.
Not only have I gone on to speak LIVE on a television show. I’ve also spoken about my celiac journey for the GLUTEN FREE GARAGE, GLUTEN FREE WELLNESS EVENT and the GEORGINA HOME & LIFESTYLE SHOW. All public speaking forums and all ways to motivate others that just because I was once terribly frightened by public speaking, a little bit of diagnosis and bravery can go a long way. Remembering that I still get butterflies and sweaty and gross when I have to go and speak publicly, but now it’s not crippling and now I recognize the possible reasons why.
If you suspect celiac disease GET CHECKED.
If your medical practitioner won’t check you of it. FIND ONE THAT WILL.
If being diagnosed with celiac disease and eating 100% gluten-free ends up corrections those things that were always written off as ‘shy’ or ‘mousy’, then why not take a stab at getting properly diagnosed?
It can’t hurt.
It can’t hurt you or your future.