This article by Markham Heid has been published on the Medium website. It begins:
“Nothing burns itself into memory quite like public humiliation. Even now, 20 years later, I can vividly recall the embarrassment I felt the day I tried — and epically failed — to play the guitar in front of my high-school classmates.
It was my junior year. A couple of friends and I were giving a presentation to our Western Civ class, and my part included playing the intro to Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away” — a riff I’d mastered and had played countless times at home. But performing it in a quiet classroom, watched by my teacher and two dozen peers, proved too much for me. My hands trembled and my fingers seized up. I “played” some unrecognizable mush and turned fire-hydrant red.
I still think about that day every time I have to appear in front of an audience, which fortunately isn’t often. I’ve improved with practice, but public speaking still makes me sweat and messes with my sleep. It wasn’t until recently that I learned, to my surprise, that I may have a mental illness …”
You can read more from here.