I was invited to go and speak at a chapel service at a prestigious girls’ boarding school on Sunday and I found myself saying yes, although I think it was probably one of the contributing factors of the migraine that pretty much blew Saturday night out of the water. I was once a girl who had to go to chapel, and I know the den of lions it is for a visiting speaker. Even worse, my husband had spoken there two weeks ago and from what I understand from the chaplain had all 450 pupils eating out of his hand from his first joke. He is funny. And good looking. So I do get it. But hard to follow.
I was speaking about faith and depression, and I was more nervous than I’ve been doing anything for ages. Their pale, spotty faces looked back at me with total blankness, and I focussed my attention on a smiley teacher halfway up on the left, desperately heading for the conclusion like a pirate on a plank. When they filed out at the end no one said hello or even looked at me except one parent and the headmistress.
The really great thing about it was that I survived! Teenage girls just can’t get to me in the same way they could when I was one. And I know that behind some of those blank expressions is some misery, that perhaps will have been a tiny bit comforted by what I said- that makes it worth it.
Have you done anything that scared you and come out alive lately?