Talking About the M-Word

Talking About the M-Word

I spent most of Saturday afternoon at BritMums Live DREADING having to get up and read a post out at the Blogger’s Keynote.

I knew this would happen.  I do not get nervous walking into a room full of strangers and making conversation with the person standing next to me.  I hardly ever fret about what I am going to wear.  I can arrange to meet a friend in a pub and be quite happy waiting at the bar by myself with a glass of Prosecco.  I am also happy to eat in a restaurant alone.  Don’t bat an eyelid, in fact.

But, ask me to stand up on a stage and speak to a room full of strangers and my stomach will turn somersaults.  My hands will feel clammy and I will literally tie myself up in knots worrying about it until it is all over.  I am not a natural performer and I feel very self-conscious when all eyes are on me.

Then I remembered that was how I had felt right before I hit publish on the post that I would be reading. It is how I felt moments before my first date with my husband, every time I have had to make a presentation at work, and whenever I have been called upon to make an impromptu toast at a friend’s birthday.

Speaking out loud makes me nervous.  This is probably one of the reasons why I enjoy blogging so much.

But I cannot hide behind a laptop screen forever, so last year I made the decision to stop letting fear make my decisions for me.  I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and raise my game.

So even though I was terrified at the thought of public speaking; especially about such an emotional, intensely personal experience, I said I’d do it.  I knew if I could just get through it, I would feel amazing afterwards.

I started off shaky.  My throat felt dry and my voice cracked.  I looked around the room and honestly, I couldn’t see a blooming thing, so I just took a deep breath and went for it the way I had been rehearsing all week. After a few paragraphs I relaxed, took my time, and felt the nerves start to slip away.

Before I knew it, it was over.  I thought I’d feel relieved, but I surprised myself with how calm I felt.

I was not prepared for the overwhelming response I got from people.  Nor for the emotion in the room.  The people on their feet.  It took my breath away.

As soon as I stepped off the stage, I burst into tears and into the arms of my lovely friends HPMcQ and Franglaise Mummy.

Thank you to everyone who tweeted, hugged me, commented on the post and shared their own story with me. You made every chewed nail, nervous loo break, wave of nausea and sweaty palm worthwhile.

And, then some.


‘We need to talk about the M-word’


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  1. June 24, 2014 / 7:44 PM

    It was an incredibly brave thing to do. And you were so strong. The whole room was hanging off your every word, and I could feel the heartache coming from every single person – I’m sure many who had been through something similar. Lots of love xxx

    • Grenglish
      June 24, 2014 / 8:09 PM

      thank you my love, it all went so quickly x

  2. Maria Bateson.
    June 24, 2014 / 7:50 PM

    Well done you!

    • Grenglish
      June 24, 2014 / 8:10 PM

      Thanks, was shaking like a leaf!

  3. June 24, 2014 / 8:30 PM

    You were wonderful! I love you :o). Ps. Will check for your order of my little book and get it all sorted out asap. X

  4. June 24, 2014 / 10:20 PM

    You were and are so amazing. To have gone through it, to have written about it, to have stood up and talked about it. Sorry I wasn’t much support while you were talking, I was reliving my own experience with your every word, so was pretty much in bits. But it was cathartic. Well done you, I know what this took. Very much raising your game this year xx

  5. June 25, 2014 / 9:50 AM

    You did astonishingly well to get through your post. I’m glad you were able to speak, as it is an important post that should be heard. Lots of love xx

  6. June 25, 2014 / 8:42 PM

    you stood tall, you held that beautiful head of yours high and read the most heart breaking post out to a room full friends and strangers. i’m so proud of you x love you dearly x

  7. June 26, 2014 / 12:44 PM

    Well done! Wish I had been there to see it xxx

  8. June 26, 2014 / 8:39 PM

    You were just awesome, i never even would have guessed you were nervous as you read it so well. It meant such a lot to many people in that room, including me and my lost little girl xxx

  9. June 27, 2014 / 8:02 PM

    Your keynote speech had me in tears, tears for the girl I lost and could, was told shouldnt, talk about. It did me a power of good and have the strength to talk about her openly now rather than just in my head. Thank you Lisa

  10. July 3, 2014 / 11:19 PM

    I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing your post. I was on my feet because I relived my own experience and it was a relief, after 9 years and with a now 3 year old son, to hear someone say it was ok that I wasn’t ok.

    • Grenglish
      August 10, 2014 / 8:31 AM

      Thank you for your lovely comment. Don’t think it ever really leaves you completely x

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