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“Please welcome our guest speaker, a woman who has gained success as an artist. She’s a remarkable woman with a remarkable story to tell, please welcome onto the stage Tina Kennard.”
Tina slowly walked onto the stage, tonight she was dressed in a black fitted shirt, a white and purple vest with white dress pants, her sleeves rolled up. She looked out onto the room and found Bette’s eyes. Bette was sat with Kit, Shane, Carman, Helena, Dylan, Alice, Tasha and Jenny. The group all clapped and cheered loudly as she made it onto the stage.
Tina had spent hours working on her speech, working on what she wanted to say. She wanted it to be perfect. Tonight was very important to her. she hadn’t even let Bette read her speech.
The cheering died down and Tina took out her speech, putting it in front of her.
“I’ve lived with mental health issues all my life. It’s only in recent years that I’ve learnt more about it but looking back and from learning the signs I’ve found that I’ve had it a long time. I don’t do well in massive groups of people. My wife and our friends love to have breakfast together, but once there is more than one conversation happening I cannot keep up. My brain can’t deal with the noise. I know It’s not noise. It’s usually Alice with her latest bit of gossip or Helena and Kit trying to work out how to get more of a footfall into our favourite coffee shop. I know these conversations are happening but I cannot keep up with it.
“When I was young I was a loner. I had one friend, Claire. I don’t think about her much now because she did some awful things before she died. But for a long time she was my rock to the world. an anchor. When my parents died suddenly in a car accident I found myself thrust into adulthood but I didn’t want to be a lawyer, which I was at college studying law. I wanted to be an artist. My parents early passing meant that I could build a house on some land away from the world and paint. I managed to not interact that much with the outside world. The problem was the voice in my head.