This morning I went to a meeting with a few other women from the Indies in Las Vegas group on Facebook. There are thousands of groups out there and I can honestly say I am a member of more then two hundred between hobbies, support and educational desires but I am truly active with a few dozen. This group formed recently and I wanted to check it out because it is made up of people close to me that were going through the same trials and experiences that I am. I have seen a couple of posts by members talking about getting together for drinks or dinner but for one reason or another I was unable to attend. This morning was different, I am off today so I had the availability to go.
When I arrived at Starbucks I was later than I had planned to be and I knew from online comments that at least one person had already arrived. I get severe anxiety in attending these types of meetings as a symptom of my PTSD and so I sat in my car shaking from nerves while simultaneously thinking of excuses as to why I couldn't show up and then just drive away. After fifteen minutes of arguing with myself I got out of my car with my computer bag and walked inside. I had decided that if I was unable to talk to these women I could at least try to get some writing work done.
I saw them sitting at a table as I entered but I made a beeline for the counter to get some coffee instead of going right over to them. As I was waiting I watched a third member join the group and decided to announce myself, online. I went to the chat on Facebook where we had all posted our interest in attending and simply said I had arrived. I must have stood out like a sore thumb because they picked me out right away but said I and made me feel welcome. From the moment I sat down the conversation was inclusive and helpful.
We all shared stories, both writing related and not, discussing what had ben going on recently and different aspects of our work. We quickly discovered that we had all been at a signing together a few months back but for the most part didn't know each other. I had been sitting next to two of them and across the aisle from the third but I had no clue who they were or that they were Las Vegans like me. It was so wonderful to talk about all the things we have been going through, cry about bad reviews and share victories together that I forgot all about my previous apprehensions. It was like a little author support group and something I truly needed. After struggling recently I can honestly say they helped put the wind back in my sails and restored my confidence to keep pushing on, thank you ladies!