Success Stories » June's Story
I was painfully shy from my earliest days. Being the second youngest of twelve children, my shyness was accommodated, and my family formed a protective shield around me. It was never seen as an affliction, rather as an endearing quality! It was only when I was married and trying to look after my own young family, that the full impact of the problem became apparent. I was too shy to travel by public transport, too shy to shop, (except in large supermarkets, where I could be guaranteed anonymity,) too shy to go to hairdressers, dentists, join any kind of social group, too shy to live! Things became unbearable when my husband's career 'took off', necessitating attending many corporate functions and entertaining at a very high level. I lived in dread of the next social commitment, and went to great extremes to avoid them. I became very inventive in my excuses, but I felt things were closing in on me, and I feared that I would end up a recluse.
Fr.Cathal Price came in to my life at this point, and explained about this wonderful self-help group called Recovery. He offered to take me along to the Recovery meetings in Melrose House. I thought it was a very interesting concept, and I knew of many people it could help but I could see no connection between the Method and myself. Fr Price called for me regularly and brought me to the meetings. I enjoyed the outing, but began to feel like a fraud. Here were people really suffering and I had never even been hospitalised, never had to go on medication, attend a therapist, so how could I justify being there, taking up space. It took me a year to understand how much I needed to use the Method.
My big breakthrough came when the new curate asked me to read at Mass. He was badly stuck. I was horrified and told him I would if I could, but I simply could not do that kind of thing. I assured him I would die if I even attempted such a feat! When he had left the house I began to think of all the Recovery spotting I had heard, all the wonderful stories I had witnessed of people coming to grips with their fears, and changing their life patterns. Could I do it? I rang him and told him I had changed my mind. I really knew what the slogan 'practice the will to bear discomfort' meant that evening and the next morning! But I kept the command to the muscles and could not believe I did it! I was so delighted, I rang my family in Waterford and they could not believe it either!
That was over 30 years ago. Since then I have become a group leader, appeared on TV, radio, addressed a full congregation in Church on more than one occasion, and people think I haven't a nerve in my body! I thank Gerry Burgess, who encouraged the first tottering steps of my journey toward spontaneity. I also will be forever grateful to Fr. Price for introducing me to the Method that changed my life.