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Go To Podcast. Jack Kornfield. Eckhart Tolle. It was an important time to be more mindful, something that she admittedly struggles to maintain. There was no revelation for Jen, but hopefully the space that she experienced will be something that she can carry with her into a new chapter in her life. She has decided to explore a career in paid ministry. One question we raised was how frequently we would release episodes. We kicked around a number of possibilities. We discussed how much time we could invest. We looked at podcasts dealing with similar subjects and having similar budgets none.
With these priorities in mind, we settled on a magical number of every other week, with the option to take a planned break as needed. To date, we have released 12 episodes in just 5 months. We even took a hiatus in July for travel, family, and work commitments. While learning the ropes, early episodes took up to 8 hours to edit. This was put a great strain on sustaining the schedule.
Behind the Scenes
I wanted to help more, but had panic attacks just sitting down to help edit. Technique became smoother. I developed a system of logging and rating that helped Eric with technical editing. We put more interviews in the bank we could draw from. Before long we were in a groove.
With the success of two unedited episodes, we are positioned stronger than ever. Confident in our quality. Eager to schedule interviews with more local leaders and national experts. We look forward to continuing with the show schedule and bringing you mostly edited interviews and some unedited episodes with the two of us when inevitably crunched for time. I am a man of faith who has attempted suicide. As such, I feel a unique responsibility to share my story.
I want to stress that this is my own story. Not the story of Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Robin Williams. Still, maybe my story will contribute to a better understanding of how someone like me could choose death over life. First, my own story. In high school, I was a star athlete and a stellar student.
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All I seemed to be in the eyes of others was vanity. Sheer vanity. Therapy was not a preferred course of treatment in the early 80s. Frat parties were. So instead of psychotropics, I imbibed copious amounts of beer. Whenever I began to feel the angst of meaninglessness, I would drink something to make me laugh at the foolishness of life or smoke something that unveiled the creative connectivity of the universe.
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Fast forward to when I became a husband. A pastor. A father. I was suddenly thrust into roles with no script. I was terrified. I turned to a therapist. Then a psychiatrist. I started taking psychotropics which did neither good nor harm. At first.
Then we found one that picked me up. And kept me up. Night and day. Day and night.
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Over hours of brain-racing, vision-seeing, voice-hearing, roller coaster riding mania. Later, they would call this medication-induced psychosis. In spite of this episode, my faith remained firm. I just had to re-exam it. The inspiration I received was not divine revelation. All these things were part of my experience, but my core identity was that I was a child of God.
A child who, like other children, had special blessings and unique challenges to make it through life. By the grace of God, I remained in pastoral ministry for another dozen years after my psychotic episode. These were fruitful years and I found myself with the opportunity to advance in my ministerial career. I was thrilled by the prospect and poured myself wholeheartedly into the task. I sacrificed my family and my mental health in an effort to be the Savior I had lost sight of. But I felt no despair. Maybe I buried it, like everything else, under a pile of papers on my desk or stacks of half-consumed coffee cups around the office.
One Saturday night, as I was walking home, I began to feel queasy. I thought I had the flu. So I called someone to preach for me the next day. I wrote a book on it Delight in Disorder in an effort to reach others who may be struggling with similar circumstances. So, what have I learned? And, what can we do to best create a climate where suicide is less common than every 15 minutes? Here are three modest proposals:.
These three things may seem beyond the reach of any one individual. And, they are. We will need foster a healing community that provides help for the hurting. At the same time, we can each do our part. Before I started writing this, I shared a Facebook update that I would be addressing the subject as a person of faith who has attempted suicide. This simple act took less than 5 minutes of her time. And it took place on what is often a poorly misused social media. The point is, however, she was alert to a potential risk and reached out. Described in episode 7…. I thought I would wait for inspiration.
You have to go after it with a club. Singer Mariah Carey. Even Prince Harry. Mental health struggles are shared by the homeless immigrant and the Hollywood idol. When famous persons talk about their anxiety, their depression, their mania, does it serve to reduce stigma or does it increase the demanding expectations on those with severe mental illness? The benefit of high achievers opening up about their emotional struggles is that we can be reassured that we are not alone, that we are not any less a human being for having a mental health diagnosis.
The danger is that we berate ourselves for not being more like them. As a writer, I have a plethora of role models who exhibited inordinate disordered behaviors. Still, I do find comfort we are following the voice of a related muse.