Megan Again: Is This How Beyonce Feels?
By Megan Wirts
Why do I put myself into situations that make me uncomfortable and scare the crap out of me? This is a question I was asking myself right after I got a phone call from FOX 17, a local news station based in Grand Rapids, saying that they want to interview me. Well, actually I was frantically asking myself, “WHAT HAVE I DONE!?!?” and hyperventilating a little.
After three deep cleansing breaths, I calmed down enough to call my husband and tell him that a news crew was coming to our house in three days to interview me about my experience with...
...dystonia, the neurological movement disorder that I have, and he better be ready to deep clean the house and bring me chocolate and a bottle of wine because, WHAT HAVE I DONE!?!?!?!
Well, here is what I did. A couple of weeks ago, was contacted by a volunteer for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. He told me about a campaign called $5 Cure 4 Dystonia that was happening for Rare Disease Day on February 28th and a website 5dollarcure.com that was being designed for the occasion. He asked if I would be willing to help spread the word and help with fundraising efforts. Thinking I would just share a link on my Facebook and write a column about it, I was more than happy to help. He also asked if I would try to get a news story done. I said that I could try, but didn’t know the first thing about getting that done.
Fast forward almost two weeks later, I suddenly felt like taking on the world. It could have been the sun shining for the first time in months, my new haircut, the massive amounts of caffeine I had consumed or the red lipstick I put on that morning that made me feel like a fierce lady, I don’t really know. But that feeling pushed me out of my comfort zone and it wasn’t even an hour after I sent an e-mail to all the local news stations that a reporter was on the phone with me scheduling an interview.
I was extremely excited for the first 2.5 seconds after I got off the phone with her, and then I fell into an overthinking spiral of anxiety! Now, this come as a surprise to some of you, but I can be a little bit dramatic. If you have been reading my column, you probably already know this. Soon after I realized that an actual news crew was coming to my home in just three days, I started to freak out just a tiny little bit. (Okay, maybe more than tiny.)
Even though I keep a relatively clean home, (I mean, I’ve seen cleaner houses but I’ve seen dirtier ones too), I looked around and was horrified. HOW COULD I LET A NEWS CREW IN HERE THIS HOUSE IS A DISASTER! As soon as my kids came home from school and my husband was home from work, I became that mother. You know that mom, she’s the mom that turns into a lunatic picking up everything and anything that isn’t nailed to the floor and throwing it into closets or straight into the trash when they have company coming over or they are hosting a party. True story, I once threw away the title to our car doing this. We eventually dug through a few bags of garbage and found it covered in ketchup.
After I returned to my less stark raving mad self, my husband and I stood in our kitchen for a good 20 minutes discussing whether we should wash all the cupboards or just a few of the cupboards and get them all at the same level of filth. That’s a serious marriage thing, people. You both have to be okay with the same level of filth if you are going to have a happy life. It’s true.
After the house was sufficiently cleaned and I tried on every outfit in my closet, I was ready for my close up. When the news crew showed up to my door, I told them that I was little nervous and I would probably make an inappropriate joke or two and could they please just edit that stuff out. The reporter made me feel at ease and everything seemed to be going remarkably well, then they asked me what I liked to do around the house so they could get some shots of me doing stuff.
My mind went blank. BLANK! I said, “I mostly just lay down on the couch and watch Netflix.” Followed by lots of nervous laughter. Finally, I told them that I liked to bake cookies and we went into the kitchen to film me in my natural habitat. As soon as I took the flour out of my pantry I immediately forgot how to make cookies. HOW COULD I FORGET HOW TO MAKE COOKIES!? I make cookies all the time! I just made chocolate chip cookies two days ago! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!!! Panic, panic, panic.
Then, the reported mentioned my lipstick and that’s when I said, “I love makeup!”. I’ll put on lipstick, yes, I can do that, I thought. Phew. Crisis averted. However, as soon as I started putting it on and the camera was on me all I could think of was, “What if he zooms in and every one can see that I have a mustache!
OMG! I HAVE A MUSTACHE AND NOW I AM GOING TO DIE! WHAT HAVE I DONE!”
So, again I started to crack jokes and ramble on about who knows what. I am happy to report that I did not say one swear word the entire time. This is a huge feat for me. I tend to drop an F bomb when I’m nervous and any other time that I am speaking. It’s either that or I go old timey and say things like, “jeepers” and “son of a biscuit with butter”. Either way it’s embarrassing, so I was thrilled to have accomplished that.
Then the interview was over and I honestly had a fantastic time during it despite my nerves and brief moments of panic. I felt like I had handled myself as best I as I could. Until I was left alone to overanalyze every word I had said, because that’s how I approach my life. I went from being happy about how I did and excited about having my story shared while bringing much needed awareness to dystonia to being petrified of looking like a fool in front of thousands of people. No big deal.
As much as I was afraid of being embarrassed or saying the wrong thing I am so happy that I put myself out there because I have realized that only good things are going to come from this. When the story aired, I let out a huge sigh of relief. I didn’t look like a fool or a sad pathetic woman with a disability like I was fearing I would. I looked happy. That is part of what I wanted to share. I wanted to show that even though I do get sad sometimes and my life is not exactly as I had planned, it is still good and I am still a normal person who wants to live her best life. I also didn’t see a single hair on my upper lip and I didn’t get any lipstick on my teeth! Bonus!
Through this I have been connected to people as nearby the next town over to as far away as New Zealand that have dystonia as well. I received so many messages from people saying, “Me too!” and “Thank you!”, and so many more kind things that were more than I deserve. People are saying the word dystonia and donating money to help fund research to find better treatments and hopefully a cure. This has been an incredibly humbling experience and I will continue to do things that make me uncomfortable and scare the crap out of me.
Plus, I’m pretty sure I’m famous now. Is this how Beyonce feels?
If you would like to help with the $5 Cure 4 Dystonia campaign go to 5dollarcure.com and donate to the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation to help find a cure. $5 could make a huge impact on finding a cure for dystonia.
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