Busy bee!

So I was having a really crappy today and yesterday. I spiked my opiate tolerance by using a LOT of Dilaudids, and man did I ever come down sideways when I started to use less. I mean, I was dopesick even before I tried to go to sleep last night, and waking up this morning was just pure hell. I had to wait 7 hours until I could finally get better. God DAMN that sucks.

But this week is super busy for me. I’m waiting on a cheque from Ottawa U, because I did a ‘guest lecture’ there last Tuesday. It was really awesome, I got to speak to a class of graduate med students in their last term before they start doing field placements. We talked about primary health care for street-involved and at-risk youth. It was a really productive presentation, I thought; they didn’t even have many questions to ask because we covered it all in our presentation. So I talked for 45 minutes to the English class, and then hustled over to the French class to speak to them with a translator. It was amazing! I was so comfortable, and in control, and REALLY on my game. I feel like I did a really good job!

And YSB’s annual forum, this year called Building Bridges, is this Thursday. There’s so much preparation going on, the office is just whirring. I’m giving a 5-minute panel speech on the issues faced by transitional-aged youth in the mental health sector, and how we can better support them, not only in transition but in general. It’s really hard because 3 years ago when I took this job, I was scared to talk for 7 minutes! It felt like such a long time, and I was never really that good of a public speaker, and I’d get nervous and stutter. But now, having spoken at a few different forums and conferences etc, where I’ve been expected to speak for upwards of 30 minutes, I’m finding that I’m really good at doing it now! Especially when I prepare well, I can really hold a crowd captivated. My problem now is trying to speak for ONLY 5 minutes! I know it sounds ridiculous but after talking for hours, you can really get in-depth into your subject. That’s why I’m really looking forward to lecturing Tara Lyons’ class this summer — I think I get to speak for between 1-3 hours, on my favourite topic — drug policy! But for my panel speech this week I can barely brush the surface of the topic in five minutes and I feel like I can’t cut it down enough without losing important content. My boss knew I was going to have this problem because I have a rep now as being the guy who talks on and on and on and on and on… so they put me last in case the other panelists don’t use up all their time. (They’ve had to do that every year since I went over by like 10 minutes the first year)

So anyone who wants to book me to speak is more than welcome to inquire — I have a pretty awesome resume now for public speaking and it’s only going to get bigger as I get more in demand. I’m actually excited because my name is starting to circulate in harm reduction circles, meaning that I’m going to be asked to speak at more and more events nationwide, including the CSSDP conference, OHRDP (hopefully), and tons of other stuff.

I’ll keep you all posted! I’d love to upload a video but it’ll be hard to hide my identity if I do that…