This week, I’ve been working on a presentation for work. I used to do presentations a lot before my stroke. I’ve presented at national conferences before. I’ve had clients ask specifically for me to present before. Since the stroke, I’ve shied away from doing presentations. Self doubt crept in, and was loud.

“They’ll hear me slur and wonder if I’m drunk.”

“What if my aphasia kicks in and I forget what I’m going to say?”

“What if I get confused?”

For the last year, I’ve been doing more presentations. At my review for my job, my manager said I’m often given the higher level client presentations because they know I’m clear and concise. Unfortunately for me, I have to do a lot of work on these presentations for me to be clear and concise. So, despite my good review and positive feedback, the self doubt is still loud.

My presentation this week has been extremely difficult for me to put together. It doesn’t help that I’ve been sick, and been in status migrainous during this time. Tomorrow is my last day to work on it and I hope I can finish it. Every day, I’ve worked on it, I’ve had this nagging intrusive thought, “if I had my old brain, this would be easier for me.”

I’m sure it’s true, but it’s not helpful to have this thought over and over. I don’t have my old brain. I have my new, busted brain to work with.

I don’t think the presentation will be awful. It’s mostly complete. I just need to review it for editing purposes.

I wanted to do these presentations to challenge myself. Because I didn’t think I could. But, I’ve done them before. This one is harder because it’s under a new manager. She picked the topic and it’s not one that I’m interested in or that familiar with. I did learn a fair amount putting it together. I just hope when I go to give it, the disconnect between my brain and my mouth isn’t apparent.

I always take a beta blocker before presenting because my voice shakes due to anxiety and palpitations.

I used to be so good at this. I’m so frustrated by it now.