Podcasts have been a godsend for me.There came a point where “radio” became mush. Some music sounds the same, probably because the “artists” have the same songwriters and producers and tech guy altering their voices.
I frequently listen to a few select podcasts, but one of them really stands out to me — The Mental Illness Happy Hour. I love this podcast so much that I’m dedicating a single post to it.
Why do I love it? One word: Real. That word is thrown around so much and means nothing (e.g., “Real Housewives of XYZ County,” “The Real World”). In this podcast, the host Paul Gilmartin (I remember him from Star Search; you may remember him from TBS’ Dinner & a Movie) and his guest discuss real issues — anxiety, depression, molestation, etc.
Every guest (some of my favorite celebrity guests have been Teresa Strasser, Adam Carolla and Phil Hendrie) has a different story. I have gone through so many emotions when listening to this podcast. I laugh, but I mostly want to cry. I feel compassion. I feel disgusted that horrible things happen to good people by bad people.
One of my favorite episodes featured Ronnie Schiller. I completely felt moved to tears by her story. Click on her name and download her episode. Just listen to it… but be warned, it’s graphic, depressing as hell, but uplifting.
As someone who has suffered from anxiety attacks and depressed feelings, and has always felt socially awkward (I’m quite the introvert), this podcast makes me feel that all my “abnormalities” are not unusual at all. I am not alone.
The episodes include a “Fear Off,” a round robin of Paul and his guest spout off their fears. Every time I mentally play along, spouting off my fears. I have to say them mentally because the superstitious part of me feels that if I say them out loud, they will come true. Some are inevitable, but I’d rather have some things occur later rather than sooner.
Bottom Line: Do 2 things: 1) Listen to the podcast (download it from iTunes or go to the Mental Illness Happy Hour web site). 2) Donate – Keep this podcast going!