So here’s a funny and embarrassing story. I gave a talk at a TedX conference, and if you watch the video, I look… not my best. And the talk was on mental health, too. (Bonus!)
Unlike the other speakers who applied, I was asked to do it. I had 4 weeks to prepare my speech – You have to write the speech, time it to 18 minutes, and then submit it for review and re-write it a few times. And I should mention that this was my first time ever speaking like this – I had given some lectures/classes at hair schools, but speaking in a packed theatre? With three huge cameras floating around me? @%&# no!
So guess what happened in the time I had to prepare? I was in an accident and smashed my head open. I mean REALLY smashed it open. I got a compound skull fracture across the whole top of my head – air got into my skull and brain. That’s not a good thing. o.O
All pictures of my bashed in head are censored – click to see the full picture.
I didn’t lose consciousness when it happened, I remember lying on my side on the pavement after falling two stories onto my head. I was lying on my side, I felt something wet on the top of my head and reached up to feel it, and put my fingers into my head. Into my head. I could feel it – it was like reaching into an open container, not like a dent. Freaky!
I was of course taking pictures in the ambulance, and posting them on Instagram.
The first ambulance took me to the first hospital, where they did a CT scan and went “OH SHIT”. It’s a little freaky when they do the scan, and suddenly wheel you back to trauma really fast, pull the curtain, and pull the doctor aside to talk in whispers.
The hospital I was at didn’t have a neurosurgery wing, so they shoved me back in the ambulance and we drove for an hour to a bigger hospital. It was a bumpy ride, like riding in a 20 year old pickup with no suspension.
About 36 hours later I arrive in the trauma unit at the big hospital, stay overnight, and get my own suite in neurosurgery. With a walk in shower. (That I can’t use because I’m confined to my bed)
I had no idea there were suites in hospitals! Who are they reserved for? How bad did this mean I was?
I stayed there for 6 days in total. Long, weird days. My girlfriend at the time had driven down and found a place to stay there. It’s really weird, but somehow being in an accident like that makes you incredibly emotional. I felt fine (well…), normal emotionally, then as soon as she came in I started crying like a baby because I was so happy to see her. Seriously. Like a baby.
So after 6 days, I’m released with a trough of hair shaved right through the top of my head, a lot of stitches and orders not to do anything strenuous, and to lie in bed for eternity until the sun explodes.
I get home… to find my roommate had moved out while I was gone. The house is empty. He didn’t pay his half of the rent for that month, and the place is trashed, with needles and shit everywhere. I have to clean the house the day after I got home, freaking out about what I’m gonna do about the rent, talking to the landlord about his house being trashed, etc…
It talks a few days to do that. Time passes, I start to feel human again, hoping I can go back to work soon. Then I have to start writing my TedX speech. The conference is a little over a week away!! #%@$!!
I couldn’t get my hair cut before the conference and I still looked like shit. I had to do it looking like an escaped mental patient – and I was talking about mental health. Great!
I get to the conference eventually. It’s cute, they made the TedX sign look cartoonish, the theatre is all dressed up. The city put on it’s first ever TedX event.
I think my speech went well, but I can’t watch the video of it because I cringe at seeing myself. And I looked right at a camera halfway through >.<
I have both social anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia. (In addition to the bipolar I mention in the talk)
How I did that talk, I have no clue. How I got the talk written, I have no clue. Since then, I’ve had all sorts of crazy stuff happen in my life. I was asked to give the keynote speech at an event at the University of California, San Francisco, by a prof there. WHAT. THE ACTUAL. FUCK. How does this happen. I am not bragging, I know how unqualified and undeserving I am of that!
I had to politely turn them down because I would feel like such a con artist.
Anyway, if you want to check out my TedX talk, here ya go. Please excuse the fact I look insane, short, and chubby.