Rising Strong: Mental Health & Resilience

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Podcast by Lisa K. Boehm

Rising Strong: Mental Health & Resilience

Author and coach Lisa K. Boehm empowers those facing mental health struggles, their supporters, and anyone who loves to hear inspirational stories of overcoming adversity. Explore hope, mindset, and the power of community. Gain resilience, inner strength, and courage through expert insights and guest experiences. Receive actionable advice and resource recommendations for your well-being journey.

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28 November 2023

Chris Beaudry - Humboldt Broncos Coach on Overcoming Trauma

This episode features the incredible story of Chris Beaudry, who shares his transformative journey from trauma to healing. Growing up with an addict mother, Chris experienced uncertainty, abuse, and the constant fear of abandonment.

As he navigated life, he turned to anger and addiction as coping mechanisms. However, with a deep commitment to his own well-being, Chris embarked on a path of self-discovery and healing. Through therapy, spirituality, and embodiment practices, and yoga, he found his way to forward after witnessing the aftermath of the crash site of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in 2018.

Today, Chris is a public speaker who uses his experiences to inspire and connect with others, emphasizing the importance of embracing our pain as a catalyst for growth.


Learn more about Chris:
instagram: @chrisbeaudry9 

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Host/Lisa: On April 6, 2018, a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team was struck by a semi, killing 16 people. In this episode, Chris Beaudry, who was driving behind the bus, joins me in a conversation about his experience and his healing. Chris is now a speaker who shares stories from his life to help others.

My name is Lisa. This is rising strong mental health and resilience. This podcast came about because I believe in the healing power of stories. They teach us and they connect us. Please be warned that some details might be disturbing to some listeners.

Today I have Chris Beaudry with me who is sharing his experiences with pain and his journey forward. Welcome to the show, Chris.

Thank you. Glad to be here.

So you have been through a lot, starting with your childhood. Tell us about your life at home when you were growing up. When I was a kid, I really thought that I had a great childhood. And part of the reason too that I thought that was my parents told me how good it was. And that being said, there were aspects that were really good. But growing up with a mum who is an addict had a lot of difficulties. There was always that background uncertainty of like, is mom going to be there when I get home? How many more days until we get beat again? What's going to be the thing that sets her off this time? And when my dad, who worked away, even when he was home, it's like, okay, how many more days till we have the sleepless night where we just hear them screaming till 11:00 or we hear mum screaming and dad just sitting at the table quietly,

wow, that must have been really hard. We all grow up in these little silos and as kids, we think that what we're experiencing is normal. When did you get to a point where you thought most kids aren't experiencing this kind of thing?

My thirty s. Oh, really? Well, yeah, I assumed everyone was spanked. I thought everyone would hide it, be like, oh, I got a little slap on the hand and I thought they were just sugar coating things, being like, oh, no, you were taken out to the barn and had Your *** totally kicked, weren't you? Or your mom broke wooden spoons over your ***. And when I realized that that wasn't normal and that's not how everyone is raised, I started to question all of the scenarios in life. It's like, oh, your sister didn't get left at school, your mom didn't run away. When you guys are in the bathtub, those things don't happen to everyone.

So that must have scarred you a little bit.

Yeah, the whole abandonment thing has been probably one of the main themes that I've worked with in my life, through addictions, through healing. It still has funny ways of showing up. It's like part of the way that I tried to heal that as a kid was to try to be special, try to be better than everyone else. And if I was really good or really special, maybe mom wouldn't run away, maybe dad would stay home from work, he wouldn't go to Africa for work. And I was just at my mentors last week and we were talking about just the mind and how it works and I kind of chuckled. And I'm like, my mind really sneakily still wants me to be special and I've still got to stay on top of that every day.

It's interesting how our coping mechanisms, they're always at work and I think our traumas, our grief, our tragedies, they stick with us. In the beginning of my book, I talk about carrying the suitcase. In my situation, it's grief, but I think we all have this bag of junk that we carry around with us. And some days it's heavier than others. I think it's always there. And sometimes it creeps to the surface a little bit more. In your teens and your 20s, you're trying to silence these feelings and also battling unworthiness, which I'm finding really interesting here in this conversation because you're just telling me how you're trying to be so special and yet you felt so unworthy. Why did you feel this way and how did you handle those feelings?

Well, I think they go hand in hand. And these patterns I find adapt and change throughout early childhood. And I was trying to be special to make Mum stay. I was trying to be special to make dad stay. And when I couldn't be special enough, I couldn't do enough because dad would still go to work and mom would still have those meltdowns and hit us or lock herself in her room for the whole evening. It's like, well, it can't be them because they're the adults. And now, granted, this is five, six, seven year old me talking right now. It couldn't be the adults because that's where safety comes from, that's where food comes from, that's where structure comes from. So it has to be me. And if I can't be special enough, then I must be a loser, I must be no good. And I was really young, really young the first time I contemplated suicide, because I was like, I must be worthless, I must be no good. If Mum does this to me, if dad leaves for three, four weeks at a time and is only home for two to three days. He's leaving because I'm no good. And it sounds horrible, but there's also a beautiful aspect to that, is that I created that my parents didn't. Those horrible things that happened to me weren't my choosing, but that belief was. And because I chose that belief, that means that I'm the one that gets to free myself from it. Today, it's not up to my mom or dad. It's up to me.

That is powerful, Chris, very powerful. So then you're battling between making yourself feel special and feeling unworthy. Your mental health sounds like it's not doing well if you've contemplated suicide at this point. How did this lead into drinking?

Well, early on now, before I touched a drink, I used to say this all the time, four or five years ago when I was public speaking, that I knew I was an addict before I was an addict. And that's changed a bit. Nowadays I think that everyone's addicted, and we're all addicted to the mind and just our thinking processes, that how we use the mind to escape, or we use the mind to grasp or create and keeps us from feeling what's happening right now. And for me, at seven or eight years old, I was an addict to anger, because I knew inside what was happening internally was horrible. YoU felt so gross and afraid. But when I would play video games and lose and freak out, throw the remote, kick the Super Nintendo in the basement in Calgary, what happens when you have those big meltdowns? Our brain does something, releases some endorphins. You get that moment. And it was at eight years old. I was like, wow. When I freak out, I get this moment of peace, this moment of clarity. How can I push this? How can I push the limits with this, where it's okay to do this so I can get those moments? And I found I could do that in sports, I could do that in ball. If we lost a game, I was allowed to throw a little tantrum. I wasn't too actually that upset about it, but it would give me that release, that quick hit. And of course, at times you'd get in trouble for it. You get in a fight at school, but it didn't matter. It didn't matter because I got that 20 minutes of release. And that followed me into when we moved to Saskatchewan. And the first time I got drunk, I was running down the railroad tracks, Naicam, Saskatchewan with a friend, and I looked at him and I said, we've got to do this more often. And I don't think he understood why I said that. For me, I particularly didn't like the feeling of being drunk. But I knew after that first two drinks, I was like this story that I'm not safe, that I'm going to be abandoned, that I'm no good. That story is gone. Wow. And you know what? At a young age, alcohol worked for me. It did until it didn't. And that's what I didn't know, is that it wasn't going to continue to work. So that's when I mixed in alcohol and anger started to fight, and they worked until they didn't. And then it was drugs, which worked. But every time that window where they work got shorter and shorter and shorter. So then it was alcohol and drugs, then alcohol, drugs, and anger, and then it was just chaos. Then I was living back where I was at five, six and seven.

Again, I'm curious, was anger the common thread through all of this?

Yeah. And even in sobriety, it was probably the hardest one to brEak, because if I had to explore the anger, I would have to look what was beneath that, which was sadness. And what are good little boys not supposed to feel. They're allowed to be angry. Can't be sad, though.

But would you say that the expression of your angry feelings maybe was learned from your early childhood?

 Yeah. I love talking about anger because I think when anger functions, like, in its purest form, it's clarity. It shows us what we're okay with and what we're not okay with. It's subtle and clear. It doesn't hurt me, it doesn't hurt you. But we're not really taught that. We're taught a type of anger that doesn't function well. It hurts me. It hurts you, it's muddied, it's big, it's not subtle. It's clouded. And that's what I was taught. And when you're told that that's okay, men, boys, they're allowed to feel angry. They're allowed to feel this. Well, then you're able to form whatever kind of belief around it you want. And for me, that was, there's nothing wrong with this. There's nothing wrong with fighting people. There's nothing wrong with going to the rider game and punching someone on the way out, that those things are normal behavior when that's absolutely abnormal. And I've seen that at home. I've seen, like, when Mum throws a chair at you for spilling milk, or when you turn the AC on in the car in the winter, when you get home, you get beat with a wooden spoon. You start to think that type of stuff is normal.

Wow. I think that anger can actually be used in a healthy way. For example, when we lost our daughter in a car accident, I used my anger to push the city to erect lights around the dark part of the road where she died. Now, when I say anger, it was not yelling and screaming anger. It was the anger that I felt inside for her death. So I think that we can use anger for good, but we have to be a little bit more in tune with our emotions in order to do that. Do you agree?

100%. I think that you need to be skillful with all your emotions. I like the word functioning. I used to call it healthy and unhealthy, but again, I find that you could be on a slippery slope where people can self shame. Oh, my God. I'm using unhealthy anger. Anger to me again, I understand it when I work with it now. It is one of my greatest tools for showing me how to set boundaries. This is what I'm okay with. This is what I'm not okay with. And now I don't express those boundaries in a way I used to. I mean, in the past, it'd be like, you better listen to me. Instead, it's a grounded place in me that's quiet and calm. That's just very short and simple. I'm not okay with what's happening here. This is what I'm okay with, and I think it's a great tool for conversation.

Absolutely. When did you realize you needed help, whether it was with your addiction or with your anger? And how did you go about getting that help?

I think I was still in high school. I knew I was on a slippery slope then, and it wasn't long after I got out of high school. I tried quitting drinking once at 20 or 21. I started to go and see different individuals to help me with my anger. The way I was thinking, my mom, at that point, kind of right around when I graduated, was going through a bit of a healing process herself, and she would talk about all these different concepts and ideas and the different healers she would go and see. She went more of a deeper spiritual route. And me being a male, 19, in the early 2000s, was like, mom, get the heck out of here with that hippie garbage. But again, it's what planted the seeds early on, and it stayed there. And when I decided to finally quit drinking just about ten years ago after a month in AA, it was like a rocket was lit underneath me. All of that stuff came back that Mum had told me for five, six, seven years. It was like that whole concept about, oh, I'm the one responsible for my thoughts, oh, I'm the one responsible for my feelings. All that stuff just came back instantly. It was like, oh, so it really doesn't matter who I work with. In the end, I'm going to still have to look at myself.

So true. So would you say that you have done more work on your own or are you still seeking assistance from professionals?

I don't want to confuse anyone here because I do think there's a valuable, extremely valuable aspect of healing that's found in relationship. Gabor says this all the time. Our trauma happened in relationship and we'll find healing in relationship. And I think that we can, through relationship, find areas that make us feel safe, make us feel comfortable, make us feel accepted. And early on, while some of those traumas, while some of those wounds are so fresh that we can't see past them, that I would say a level of a relationship be that with the therapist, a mentor, a meditation teacher, a shaman, whatever route you want to go, that that's extremely valuable and important until you have the capacity to start to sit with your own stuff, which I find is kind of where I'm at now, where I still see my homeopath and I still see my mentor probably once a month. But 90% of what I'm bringing to them now is more theorizing. It's a back and forth conversation where most of my self work is probably done in the sauna in the morning while everyone's asleep, I'll go in there and I'll sit with the difficult sensations that are happening in my body and be like, okay, let's get into this. Let's see what's happening here.

So a real evolution has taken place is what I'm hearing.


 I searched for that healer, that saint, that guru that's going to tap you on the forehead and take all the pain away. Oh man, did I try. But then when I seen, okay, that's me, like 35 year old me, 38 year old me, 39 year old me. Today is the Only one that's going to save five, six, seven year old me. It was like, oh, so even the person I'm sitting across from, they can only save themselves also.

And that is something that we all have to learn. And some of us learn it at 35, some of us learn it at 45, some of us learn it earlier on. But I think that that is the first step on everyone's journey. It's all up to me. And then number two is, I believe that this is possible and I can do it.

I think a big part after that, too, that is extremely difficult, especially nowadays, is the level of responsibility that comes with that. We could say it this way, that you're creating your own world, you're creating your reality. I find just simplify that to be like the only one that can think my thoughts is me. And my thoughts have a direct relationship to what's happening inside my body. How I'm perceiving the world right now has a direct relationship to what's happening inside my body. And I'm responsible for that.

So powerful. So let's fast forward a little bit to April 6, 2018. I know it's a day I will never forget. I will never forget where I was when I first heard the news. You were driving behind the Humboldt Broncos team bus. You saw things that day that no one should ever have to see. You even helped at the scene identifying players, coaches and staff. Can you take us back to that day?

Absolutely. I remember I was probably seven, eight minutes behind the team. And the last text I got from anyone would have been, for those that are familiar with Saskatchewan, would have been between Kippabiska and Tisdale. And then when I got to Tisdale, I got a call from Nipwin's assistant coach asking if I had heard from, said no, no. A few minutes ago. I did, but I'll try and get in touch with Mark. And then I tried calling Mark. No answer. No answer. And so then I called my wife and I said, honey, I heard that from Nipwin's assistant. The team was in a bus crash. I can't get a hold of Mark, but I said, don't panic. I'm sure it's like a flat tire or they hit a moose and tHey're probably offloading the equipment and just waiting on half tons or something to get everyone to the game. It'll be a late game. I'll be home late. No worries. And her and I didn't talk again until I pulled up to the scene, and when I got there, it was initially like make believe. And I probably would have completely lost my mind without the shock, because the first thought that came to me when I seen the accident was, why do we have so many hockey bags? I could see all these green sod packages, which were similar to our bag colors. I'm like, why do we have so many bags? And I could see the ambulances and fire trucks and police and other people start to show up. And even when someone would call my dad, my wife, a parent, I would tell them what I was seeing, but it was from this deep, disassociated state, and my mind just kept going, why do we have so many hockey bags? And I know that that was just a protective mechanism my body and mind were doing to keep me from absolutely losing it. They put me in the fire chief's half done, just far enough away from the scene that I couldn't tell who anyone was. But I could see enough of what I understood, what was happening. And then shortly after that, I seen our chaplain show up, and I walked out to his vehicle, and a police officer asked us to go to the hospital. And it was during this time, when we were driving, that a wonderful pattern of mine, that abandonment pattern, showed up where I had learned from my mom. I started to text Rochelle and hide everything that has to do with hockey at home. I don't want to be this person. I don't want to be Chris beaudry. I can't do this. I don't want to do this. It was one of the. Not the first time, but the largest point in my life where I seen, like, oh, these sensations are so big and so difficult. I just want to run from them. But when I got to the hospital, I couldn't run. I was asked to start identifying people, start recreating possible seating plans and things like that. But in the back of my mind, it was still escape, Escape, escape. I'll get out of here soon enough. And that was the same as when I was taken to the church and shown the list of the people who they knew had passed away. And it was like telling myself, this isn't real. This is make believe. Just escape. And that mindset stayed until the coroner called me. And the first time he called me, I actually hung up on him. But he called again at five in the morning and said, Chris, we need you to be in Saskatoon at noon today to identify the rest of the bodies. You're the only person left on earth that knows everyone here at the time. It wasn't difficult because it was the only thing to do. When the coroner told me that, I felt like, I have a job now. This is what I can do to be a coach now. And one of the biggest things I always used to say why I coached, was I coached to help boys be men of integrity and empathy who will lead, be responsible and change the world for good. And that was one of my biggest coaching beliefs. And I was like, okay, where's integrity? Where's responsibility? Here you're asked to do something. Let's be a coach now. Let's go. And so I did. I went in and I did that. And until I left, it didn't seem difficult while I was going through it, until my mind had a chance to start creating something about it after. And I created a lot of stories about what happened in the morgue, about it being the worst moment of my life. And anytime I would think of it, I'd end up on the floor shaking and how it was this horrible, horrible thing. And then I created a story about service, how I went in there to say that this is Jacob and this is Darcy and this is Logan and this is Brody. So that a mum didn't go in there and say, this isn't. And that story of service actually helped me for about a year and a half till I could actually look at what happened, because that story kept me away from just the tremendous pain that I was feeling of walking through a building, looking at, at that time, 14 people that I loved, that they were gone. In reality, that's what I did. ThAt's what happened. But I had to create enough stories till I had the capacity to sit with that. And it took you about a year to be able to sit with it or longer. The first time I sat with it was about a year. And it's been a continual thing that shows up on and off. I see it as a gift now when it shows up, even though it's some of the most difficult, I don't know if difficult is the right word. It's a large emotion that has lots of tears with it. And to me, that's not wrong. It's not bad. I'm not manly for not. For feeling that way. It's just what's here.

Absolutely. Grief is a tough one, and I think grief has got many, many emotions wrapped up in it. And I think every time that grief shows up, it can actually feel and look different for everybody. And I think that's sometimes where the confusion comes into play with grief. Have you found that your ability to cope with your grief has changed over time.

Yeah. I think that grief has become such a different thing. I used to think it would only had to do with death. Where to me, I think grief is no more or less than a change in a familiar pattern. And so, in a sense, we're grieving every day, and a lot of times we're just escaping that grief. Like if both of us were on our way to work this morning and in traffic, we met a train. That's a small, tiny level of grief. And normally, how do we deal with that? Oh, my God, I'm going to be late. Oh, jeez. No. Instead of just seeing, what does that feel like to be with that level of anxiousness? Or is that a moment to actually just check in and see what's happening to the little bit larger griefs where. And we're not going to big yet, but just that you burn supper or you're late for the kids sports game, or you don't have enough money for this month's bills, that those are changes in familiar patterns. And then we can go to the big ones. The losses in life, the divorces, the loss of a job, the loss of an identity, that all of those are grief.

You're right. I had never used those words. But I think that we grieve a lot of things in life. As you said, it could be loss of job, loss of pet, loss of relationship. There's thousands of them.

I would say that we could kind of do two things. One, can we just drop the label grief? Because that just in itself, it puts people on their heels sometimes when, if we drop the label, it invites us in to a little bit easier thing to work with.

Do you think, though, that anything could have prepared you for that day? Or anything could have prepared me for the day that I lost my daughter? I can only speak for myself, and I don't know that anything would have.

No, and I don't think there's anything that should. I think the only thing we can prepare for is to be with what we're currently feeling, be with what's actually happening, instead of following those stories. Because again, if I didn't follow all the stories I had created through the humble crash, I would have had a lot easier life the first two and a half, three years. Interesting. So how have things changed for you in these past years? I'm finally able to look at myself and my life and see what actually I want. I can act from the place that I want to, that I can look at my life and go. You know what? I want to public speak more than I want to farm. And I can have those difficult conversations. I can sit down with dad, who doesn't really understand a lot of what I'm talking about, and I don't need to teach him about it. I don't need to make him understand. I can just say, dad, this is what's important to me now, and this is what I'm going to do. And I can let him be sad. I don't need to fix him or save him. Then isn't that a powerful realization to come to? All we can do is be present for other people. And it's not our responsibility to, as you say, fix them, change them, or carry their load. We can't carry anyone's load, anyone's grief, anyone's pain, except our own. That was a huge part in my own journey as well.

Absolutely. I mean, one of the most unloving, uncompassionate things we can do is say, you need to. Like, that's. That'd be me saying to you, Lisa, you're not the Lisa I need in my life. You're not the Lisa that fits my mold of perfection. So turn yourself into that so my world's better. Like, how unloving is that? We do that to our loved ones almost every day. Honey, can you work on this? If you just did this a little different or a little better? If we're on top of ourselves, we'll see where that's coming from.

You're right. It comes from us, right?


So, as you mentioned, you do a lot of public speaking now, and you've even started your own grief sharing group. How is this helping you on your healing journey?

The public speaking aspect, I absolutely adore. Because not only do I get to go out, I mean, I've been all over North America speaking, but to get in front of such different groups of people, everyone relates to my story on some level. And I even invite them to be like, don't listen to my story. Listen to your story and my words. And then after we have such great conversations like this, and it's like, if I can go and share whatever's happened to me and it's the catalyst for someone then opening up and saying, Chris, this is the first time I've told anyone this. I've heard that hundreds of times now. And I love it because I know I'm not going to be the last person. And to me, that starts a cycle of healing because they're going to share their story, and that's going to inspire someone else to share their story, and on and on we go.

You are so right. When someone gets up and shares their story about a certain topic and it's raw and it's real, that's what you remember, that's what you go home with. And I think that's the power, Chris, of you sharing your story on the big stage. Everybody is going to remember your story, and either they're going to remember it in a way that they think, man, if that guy can go through all of that stuff and be doing well and chasing his dreams, that gives me hope. Or they tell their own story and that has power for the next person. And that's actually how this podcast came to be. I think everybody has a story that is so worth sharing and that we can all take strength and growth from everyone else's stories.

How long have you been public speaking now? Five years. Just over five years now. Awesome. Yeah, it was strange. My high school asked me like seven weeks after the accident, after the humble accident, to come talk at awards night on how I got to where I was. And I was like, I have no idea what you're wanting me to do. Well, I found out really early too, that that was going to be part of what was healing for me. And it was shortly after that when the grief group started and I seen again, I'd been in AA for four years pretty much to the day. And when I was going to AA, I was like, this ain't working. Because I could tell what I was sharing at AA had zero to do with addictions, and it was freaking people out, making them uncomfortable. And I was like, I got to sit around people that understand what's happening, just like I did when I quit drinking. And it works for me. It doesn't mean that it works for everyone. It doesn't have to work for everyone, but it worked for me. And there's a power to that when you share something with another person. And to me, that's magic.

Now, you've talked about a lot of things that have been helpful for you, and I really love the fact that you've dug deep into the spiritual side of things. That's definitely helped me on my journey as well. But what have you found to be the most helpful thing for managing your mental health? Your stress, your PTSD, your trauma? You got a lot going on, Chris. I can only imagine that your brain kept replaying the accident over and over again. So really, what has helped you most embodiment?

And I'll give you a short story here on why embodiment's been so important. So, last winter, my daughter ended up in the hospital. She had a small lump on her jaw, and it wouldn't seem to go away. And when we got there, they told us it was cancer. It ended up being a deep jawbone infection. And all through the time, I'm Mr. Mental health, going all over the road talking about it. This had me locked in such a PTSD state all summer that I would lose two to three days at a time. I have no memory of it. I would get up, I would just go outside and work blindly and come home and just sit in a shock, looking at her being like, my baby's going to die. And the one thing that I was afraid to go in and feel is what it was like in the hospital when they told me, we think your daughter's going to die.  Until I did that, until I worked up the courage to just feel what I could for a minute, scream, cry, almost throw up, and then again next week, feel a little more, feel a little more. Did I come out of that haze? And to me, there are no answers that aren't found outside of our pain. The only place we're finding answers is in the pain. Embodiment, to me, is at the top of the list.

And by embodiment, you mean lean into your pain?

Lean into whatever is happening inside your body, not in the mind. It is a practice, and I have to work on it. Just like exercising and anything else, it's a practice. And when life throws life at you, that, to me, is my biggest job to like, okay, how can I be here with what's happening? Like, even for my daughter, with Sophie, she didn't need a dad who was all freaked out and PTSD, thinking, oh, my God, she's going to die. She's going to die. While she was trying to heal, she needed someone who could just look at her and be there and say, what do you need right now? Instead of me being the one filled with all these needs and making her feel worse, probably by feeling that way.

So, clearly, mindfulness is just a huge part of who you are now. And I'm assuming that because of your coaching background, that physical fitness is a big part of your life as well, and being out on the farm, moving your body.

When I was a coach, I would say not as much. I mean, I've been doing yoga for 15 years now. I was actually in a bus accident with the senior hockey team in 2011, and I got compartment syndrome on my right leg. And so after that, I don't want to be limping at 40. I don't want to be in a wheelchair at 60. So I've started doing yoga every day since then. I won't go outside on the farm until I'm done because I know otherwise I'll be in pain at the end of the day. And so just that aspect has been extremely beneficial. Yoga can be whatever you want. It can be a spiritual practice, it can be a health practice. It can be a way to relax. It can be a way to go enjoy some time with friends. You can make it whatever you want. Just know what your goals are with it.

So I'm sure there's lots of folks listening here that would love to follow up on what you're doing out in the world, Chris, because it's absolutely fantastic. You have a brand new website, so if you could tell us what your website is and where people can find you on social media, that would be great.

Yeah, my website is Crbwellness CA and you can find me on Instagram and Twitter at Chrisbodry nine. My wife is a wonderful, wonderful human who manages 90% of my social media. Because I'm not a big fan of social media, I find my little dopamine addicted brain can get sucked into wormholes. I don't enjoy, so I don't keep the apps on my phone. So if you reach out through there though, she'll pass messages on to me and I'll get back to you. Fantastic.

And actually, that's a great tip about social media. I don't know that it's all that great for our mental health, and turning off notifications at the minimum can actually benefit us greatly. Chris, it has been an absolute pleasure having you on. And as we were talking here, I thought of about three other things that we could probably talk about on another episode at some point in time. But thank you so much for your time today. I know that our listeners are going to get a lot out of it.

You're welcome. It was fun.

Thank you for listening to another episode of Rising Strong mental health and Resilience. Be well and stay resilient, my friends. We'll catch you next time.

Oh, and one more thing. If you're like me and you find it helpful to write things out, you will love the Oprah approved promptly journals, especially the peace of Mind Journal. I've been using these for years now. You can check them out at calmingJournals. By the way, when you purchase a promptly journal, you will be supporting this podcast. So thank you so much. 



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21 November 2023

3 Ways to Cope with Anxiety & Overwhelm

Overwhelm and anxiety can stem from various sources, such as work responsibilities, relationship stress, traumatic experiences, and more. It's crucial to accept and identify these feelings rather than ignore or deny them.

By acknowledging our overwhelm and anxiety, we can reduce feelings of shame or guilt and begin to take control. Focusing on what we can control is another important step. Instead of fixating on uncontrollable factors, we can redirect our attention and prioritize the things within our power.

Additionally, taking breaks and engaging in activities we enjoy can help alleviate stress and create space for relaxation. Finally, seeking professional help is highly recommended for those who continue to struggle with overwhelm and anxiety. These strategies offer a roadmap for managing and reducing these overwhelming feelings.



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Host/Lisa: You are you wondering how to deal with feeling overwhelmed or anxious? Then you'll want to tune in to today's episode.

Feeling overwhelmed, unfortunately, is part of today's society. We're overwhelmed with the incredibly long list of to do's every single day, running kids to activities, making sure that there's groceries in the fridge, checking on our parents. The list is endless.

So today I want to dive into some practical things that we can do to reduce those feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. If you find yourself asking, how can I stop the hamster wheel? Then trust me, you're not alone.

In a 2020 American Psychological association study, 60% of participants reported feeling overwhelmed by the number of issues that the world is currently facing. Now remember that this was in the middle of the pandemic, so things have changed. But we have got issues going on all over the world. We've got wars, we've got famines. Life is stressful, especially when we turn on the news. And stress doesn't discriminate. It impacts everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or location.

So here's a friendly reminder. Though it's not always easy, it is possible to learn skills for coping with overwhelm and anxiety.

So let me share a story with you. Imagine waking up with your heart beating so hard and so fast, and you feel so nauseous and you're scared out of your mind. So you go to the bathroom and your body is not acting normally. You go back to the bedroom and you shake your husband awake because you're certain that you're going to die. Your back is on fire. But then your husband rolls over and mutters something like, panic attack. And imagine thinking, no, I'm certain I'm going to die. This is definitely an emergency. This isn't in my head.

Or like another time when you drop your preschooler off and then you have to drive yourself to the emergency because your heart is beating so fast and so out of control. I remember laying on the examination table and being checked out very thoroughly, wearing a heart monitor, watching my heart beat across the screen. And I remember my heart rate being clocked at over 200 beats a minute. I remember when I was a competitive rower many, many moons ago and training really hard several times a day and not being able to achieve heart rates like that.

I thought for sure there was something wrong with me. I went for all the follow up. I did all the things only to learn that I suffered from anxiety. This, my friends, is what panic attacks look like.

So what causes this anxiety or this overwhelm? There are so many causes of stress and overwhelm, some of which include work responsibilities, relationship stressors, traumatic experiences, financial worries, political issues, environmental warnings, and health concerns.

Each person has different stress level thresholds, and nobody handles stress the same as you do. We're all different. What overwhelms One person may not bother the next person, but it's still important to try out different coping mechanisms to see what works for you. Because here's what I've learned. If you have even one panic attack, chances are you're going to have more until you get it under control.

And the only way to get it under control is to start learning some of these healthy coping mechanisms. So it's kind of a vicious cycle. You really need to get on top of it.

So, based on my own experience and what I've learned, I've outlined three simple things that we can all do when our anxiety and overwhelm are starting to take us under.

Number one, accept your feelings and more importantly, identify them. I think when we can identify them and say, oh, yeah, I'm having a panic attack, that that gives us a little bit of power. Because when we feel like things are happening out of our control and we don't know what the heck's going on, that is really frightening. Ignoring or denying your overwhelm and anxiety isn't going to help. It'll just bubble under the surface until you have no choice but to see it and to deal with it. Instead, acknowledge the fact that you feel overwhelmed and anxious and try and acknowledge any negative thoughts. I used to beat myself up in the middle of a panic attack. I would call myself stupid and lame. What's wrong with you? Get a hold of yourself. Quit being such a dummy and a sissy. Don't do that. You're not helping the situation. Try not to judge yourself for what you're feeling. Being nonjudgmental and accepting your feelings will help reduce any feelings of shame or guilt, because you shouldn't have those. You shouldn't have those. Don't feel guilty for being a human and having feelings.

Number two, focus on what you can control. Now, I know this seems obvious, but in the middle of a panic attack, sometimes we forget. It's easy to focus on all the things that are out of our control. We mentioned them before. Politics, wars, maybe our health, maybe our loved ones health, and so many other things. But doing so has the potential to increase our anxiety. But what about the things that we do have control over? The next time you worry about something that's out of your hands, attempt to redirect your attention to something that is within your power. Now, I know this might be easier said than done, but the practice of letting go of the uncontrollable can be worth your while. Let me tell you about my experience. What I started doing was I would literally ask myself every day, what is life or death that I must do today? I. E. Is the world going to end? Will anybody die if I don't get these particular things done? And 99.99% of the time there was nothing that was life or death on my list. Then I would ask, what is the next highest priority? And this would be things like feeding the kids, making sure that we had clean clothes, making sure that there were groceries in the fridge. So I really tried to prioritize what really needed to be done. Just because I had a list of 15 things did not mean I had to do them all. But it took conscious thinking. Making a point of thinking, is this life or death? Is this really important? Could this other thing be moved to another list altogether? 


 And number three, take breaks and do what you enjoy. We live in a society that doesn't exactly prioritize rest or self care. Most of us work a full day, get home, eat dinner, shower, do chores, and get ready for bed. Then we repeat that process the next day and the next until we get a slice of relaxation on the weekend. That is, if we're not busy playing catch up from the week before. Intentionally setting time aside to take breaks can reduce the amount of stress and overwhelm you feel from feeling on all the time. Even a 15 minutes stretch break during the workday or a trip to your favorite place to watch the sunset can really help. And for heaven's sakes, plan some fun into your schedule. If you're like me, I love to strike things off my to do list. So the longer my to do list is, the more I get to strike things off of it. I have a bad habit sometimes of sneaking into my home office in the evening just to do a few things and end up working for at least an hour, if not more. Don't do what I do. I must stop this. It's not healthy. Instead, take this time to have a coffee with a friend, do yoga, bake a cake, play sports, do something that brings you joy.

And I also have a bonus tip for you. Speak with a therapist. If you've tried all these coping mechanisms and you're still feeling overwhelmed, you probably need some extra help. And there's no shame in that. I went for help. Just sitting down with someone in a nonjudgmental space and speaking my anxieties out loud. It made me feel the ridiculousness of the amount of expectation I was putting on myself. I wanted to be super mom. I wanted to be the best wife. And I put that on me. Nobody else put that on me except myself. And I'm not saying that that's what you're trying to do. But when I sought professional help, it helped me on so many different levels. It didn't just help with the expectations I was putting on myself. It helped me ask for help. It helped me involve the kids in what needed to be done around the house and so on and so forth. So it gave me a lot of other tools. So things that we would talk about, and I feel silly actually telling you this, but we would discuss, did the garage really need to be cleaned out and Marie condoed before the snow fell? Did I really need to have a freezer full of just in case meals? No, I didn't. None of this was life and death. All of this was bonus, bonus, bonus. Like if it gets done? If it ever gets done, great. But does any of it need to be done? No. What I needed to do was stop putting things on my darn to do list. And I needed to start blocking out me time. And I needed to learn how to relax. I'm still working on that one, by the way.

So what are your next steps? Stress affects all of us differently. Sometimes it comes in from personal sources like relationships or work, and other times it comes from other things, like politics or social justice.

So let's summarize the three things that you can do to help you reduce feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. One, accept your feelings, identify them. Two, focus on what you can control. Three, take breaks and do something you enjoy. And four, our bonus tip. Seek help.

I really hope that this episode has been helpful for you, and I hope that you can start scheduling some more me time as well. Thanks for listening. Be well and stay resilient.

If you're loving this show, I want to hear your feedback take a screenshot showing your five star rating and that you're subscribed to us on Apple Podcast or are following us on Spotify. Then head over to the Rising Strong podcast Facebook page, hit the message button and send it my way. It you'll be entered to win some rising strong swag. I will draw one name at the end of each month. Good luck and thanks for listening.



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14 November 2023

Ty Strawford - What to Say When Someone is Struggling

In this episode, mental health advocate Ty Strawford shares valuable insights on how to support loved ones who may be suffering from mental health issues and offers advice on what to say when someone is struggling.

Ty's own journey began after surviving a suicide attempt, which led him to a profound moment of clarity and a desire to help others. Through his organization, Invisible Mental Health and the the We See You event, Ty has become an inspiration for mental health awareness and resilience. He emphasizes the power of community in breaking the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly for men, who often face societal pressure to suppress their emotions.

Ty believes that open conversations and support networks are crucial for fostering understanding and acceptance. He also highlights the need for improved mental health resources in workplaces and schools. Ty's story serves as a testament to the transformative impact of speaking up and uniting in the face of mental health challenges.

Learn more about Ty or follow him on social media: 
Invisible Instagram - 
CBC Invisible Interview - 
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Host/Lisa: Perhaps you've wondered how you can support your loved ones who may be suffering with mental health, or what to say when someone is struggling. In this episode, we will be hearing from Ty Strawford, who will answer these questions and more. Ty is a mental health advocate who has turned to helping those who struggle with mental health after he survived an attempt on his own life. My name is Lisa and this is rising strong mental health and resilience. I've been a health coach since 2012 and have faced my own mental health struggles. My goal is simple, help you be well and stay resilient. Make sure to follow and subscribe so you don't miss a single episode. Welcome to Rising Strong, Ty.

Ty: Hey, thanks for having me.

Host/Lisa: So, just for our listeners, about two months ago, I met you at an event that you hosted, and I was blown away for a number of reasons. One, you're 21 years old, Ty. I know plenty of 30, 40 and 50 year olds who couldn't put something like this together. And two, over half of your speakers and performers were male, and a good portion of your audience that night was men. What you are doing for mental health is nothing short of incredible. And I know I said this just a few seconds before, but you're 21 years old and you're the owner of Invisible Mental Health and co creator of the we see you event. That is quite an accomplishment for anyone. Can you tell us more about how all of this came to be?

Ty: I have dealt with mental health issues for a really big chunk of my life. About a year ago in September, I made an attempt on my life, and I was in the hospital, and I had a moment of clarity. I was thinking, like, okay, my life almost just ended. I could have lost everything, right? And I was just kind of thinking, like, I kind of want my life to mean something. And I just kind of was thinking, like, I didn't want anyone to have to feel how I had been feeling. So that was pretty much the start of everything.

Host/Lisa:  when you say moment of clarity, I'm really curious about that. Did you know right then and there that you wanted to help other people?

Ty: Yes. That was the first thing that I kind of started thinking about after just the whole big realization of just what I could have lost.

Host/Lisa: That's incredible. So, before I asked you to come on the podcast, I did my own research, and I listened to your awesome interview on CBC and some other blogs that you had written and such, and it really became clear to me that you focus on the power of community. Can you tell us more about that and why you believe it's so important?

Ty: I think it's really important, and I feel like it's really powerful for people to see, like, a community of people who are open to sharing what they're going through, are wanting to talk about it, especially for men. Like you were saying before, I was really happy to have a lot of men out there because that's like the big chunk of the population who are just in that stigma of, oh, just like, man up, don't talk about it. You don't need to talk about it. Deal with it on your own. So I think it's good to see, have people see all these people come together that are willing to talk about it.

Host/Lisa: I agree. I think we've gotten to a point where we see more women stepping forward, sharing their stories, being vulnerable and so on. But it seems to be a lot harder for men. Why do you think mental health is so unseen and so invisible when you.

Ty: Compare it to physical illnesses. Say, like, you broke your arm, like you're walking down the street, you walk into work, everyone sees that you have a broken arm, and they're all willing to help because they can see right away that you're struggling with your arm. Right. But you can't see mental health issues, and people are really good at masking those kinds of things. Like myself, I used to mask all of my mental health issues for the most part, or at least masking most of it.

Host/Lisa: You had an excellent point, though, and I realize that it's a silly question because we can't see mental health. I mean, I have been carrying my own mental health secrets for 23 years, and I think we become experts at sayinG, I'm fine, I'm okay, just having a bad day and not really being honest because we can't see it like a broken arm. So I think that's an excellent answer. I'm really curious, though, I think. How did you mask your mental health struggles?

Ty: I would just put on a happy face, put on lots of the time I'd be at home, I'd be in my room. I'd just be really obsessed. I could just be crying in my room. And then it's like, okay, supper time. All right, wipe the tears away, put on a happy face, have family supper, and, yeah, like you were saying before, just a whole lot of saying, yeah, I'm good, I'm good, I'm good.

Host/Lisa: Did you ever feel that there was a time when your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, somebody asked you, hey, are you really okay that you really felt like maybe you could tell somebody.

Ty: I've never really been too comfortable talking about that stuff with my family in person. I mean, I've definitely had that happen with closer friends and maybe over text just because it's a lot easier, but, yeah, not normally with family.

Host/Lisa: And why do you think that is?

Ty: I don't want to be getting nagged about it, be thinking about it more, bothering people.

Host/Lisa: Were you ever worried about being a burden to your family? Even though I think realistically that would never be an issue, but I think when we're in the middle of struggling with our mental health, we don't always think clearly. Were you ever afraid of being a burden on your family?

Ty: 100%. That was a big chunk of the reason why I didn't want to talk about it a lot, because there's always been situations where I've needed something done differently because of my mental state. And I'll just think about it and be like, oh, they're probably going to get bummed out a little bit from what I have to say and what I need.

Host/Lisa: Do you think that our society, there's a lot of pressure on being happy and all of that kind of stuff?

Ty: 100%, especially through social media, like Instagram specifically, just because of what social media is? It's really just like a highlight reel. We had one of Our first speakers talk about this at our very first event. Like what you see on Instagram, it's like, oh, they're just taking the absolute best pictures, the best moments of their life, and they're putting that on display for everyone to see. And everything you're seeing is just like, happy, happy. Everyone's happy, happy, happy. Their new car, their vacation. And so it's really easy to fall into that pit of, oh, why am I not happy? I need to be happy. All these other people are happy. No one else is sad. Like I'm sad right now. But in reality, it's obviously a lot more people are sad than happy or dealing with mental health issues that don't show it on social media.

Host/Lisa: Absolutely. And that brings up, actually, another question that I want to ask you, because you do speak about this very topic, and that's about the pros and the cons of social media and mental health.

Ty: Well, I think it's kind of like in life, there's always a positive and a negative of everything. And I think it's just more like a matter of being able to focus on the positives of social media. And yes, there are the negatives of the comparisons, as I think that's the biggest issue. But there's also so many positives, like, you're able to connect with everybody. You're able to connect with anybody. All over the world, I talk to so many friends that I've made just online, other places of the world, I talk to them. If I need someone to talk to things like that, it's really all just about how you look at things.

Host/Lisa: With that, for sure, do you find yourself distancing yourself from certain situations or certain accounts on social media because they're really not serving you well, or are you searching out certain things and filling up your feed that way?

Ty: I would say, like, in the past, I have removed things from what I would see in my feed, like TikTok specifically. I remember not too sure when, but there was a certain time where I would see a bunch of negative things on TikTok. And there's, like, an option where you can basically say you're not interested in this type of video. And I would normally do that a lot so that eventually the things I were seeing were a lot more positive, and all the negative things I was seeing were not showing up as much or at all.

Host/Lisa: That's a really smart thing. And I think that on most social media platforms, there is some kind of option to do that in some way, shape, or form. Even the people in our lives, and we love them, and they're our friends or our family or what have you. But some people we can mute, we can kind of create our social media so that it suits our needs. And sometimes I think we just need to be cognizant of that and to follow the things and the people that are going to fill our bucket rather than deplete it.

Ty: Like a big thing is, I was just thinking about this. You are the creator of your environment. Things around you are your environment, but you are able to perceive those things, and you are able to choose your environment so much.

Host/Lisa: Well, really choose wisely. Right? Like, whether it's people, whether it's social media, we know perceive them the way we want to see them, or we can just choose what we surround ourselves with. I can't remember who said this. I always say it's Oprah, and I might even have that wrong. But somebody, some big influencer, said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So if we want to be happier or if we want to be around people that are helping us on our mental health journey, then we've got to choose those people wisely, too. And that kind of rolls into all aspects of our life.

Ty: Yeah, 100%.

Host/Lisa: Your mom has been a big part of your journey. What can you tell parents who might be listening how they can best check in with their kids?

Ty: I would say probably the most important thing is asking what they need and not just assuming. For at least me personally, I've found that I'm a lot more comfortable having that communicated through. Just like texting and some other things you might need. Could be space. Like, you might need space. You might need to not talk about it. It really just depends on the person. And I think it's important to just ask and just get a better understanding of what they need personally, because it's not the same for everybody.

Host/Lisa: That's an excellent point. And the other thing I think is that it's really easy when somebody asks you, how are you doing to put that mask on and say, I'm fine. But a question like, what do you need? You can't just say, I'm fine. You've got to think about something and you've got to answer back. And I feel like any answer to that question is going to be closer to the reality of what you're feeling. I think as parents, my hands in the air right now. I think sometimes we do assume we know what our kids need, or we try to direct them in the direction that we would need to take if we were in their shoes. And oftentimes as parents, we don't know. Right? We don't know. So I think that that is a really excellent thing to ask. What do you need? If you suspect that your child or your friend or your neighbor or your coworker is really struggling, what are some other questions that we can ask to help them even beyond what do you need?

Ty: I'd say, like, just asking to spend time together. I think it's just a very simple thing that you can do. Just like, being around the people that you care about is really healing in a lot of ways. And for me personally, that's what helps me a lot of the time is just going downstairs, watching a show with my dad, watching a show with the family, sitting upstairs, talking with the family, going hang out with a friend, just things like that. Really helpful.

Host/Lisa: So not even necessarily talking about what's going on inside, but just feeling connected. Is that correct?

Ty: Yeah. And it also serves as a nice little distraction from, say, what you're thinking about. You're able to change your environment, you're less in your head and you're more in the moment with these people you're with. Yeah. Generally, just like anything where you're changing your environment, whatever that is, just to get out of your head, really, just putting yourself in any different type of situation. Sometimes I'll just go for a drive, just go hang out with a friend. I'll go for a walk, bike ride, or if it's nighttime and I can't leave, it's like, oh, I'll play a game on my phone, I'll call a friend, I'll work on this design, something like that. Just anything where your mind is getting busy.

Host/Lisa: So it sounds like you've done a lot of work and you've really done a lot of self discovery to figure out what works for you. And mindfulness, being in the moment, I really, really like that. And being aware of how you're feeling at the same time. And, oh, I'm feeling this way. I really need to get out of my head. I'm going to go find something to do. I'm going to connect with somebody. So for those who may be at their lowest point, what advice can you give them?

Ty: I would say just the biggest thing is make sure that you're not suffering in silence. Communicate what you need in however way you can. If you're just putting on a mask, people aren't going to be able to help you and you're not going to be able to get support and get the help you need. I'm sure you can do a lot of self care, but lots of times when you're in that very low state, those are the people that you need to push you in the right directions to get out of that state.

Host/Lisa: If you could go back in time to about a year ago, your lowest point, what would you say to yourself?

Ty: Let your feelings out. Talk about it, don't hide it. Yeah, that was what led to everything. It's just not talking about it, not being open.

Host/Lisa: And my guess is feeling very alone at the same time, eh?

Ty: Yeah, very alone. Nobody on the planet knew what I was going through. Even my closest friends, my closest friends knew that I was struggling, but none of them knew. My family didn't know, nobody did.

Host/Lisa: Now that you have started being a little bit more open about it and creating these events, I bet you have lots of people that you know that have said, hey, I'm struggling too.

Ty: Yeah, I talk to lots of people all the time that just need somebody to talk to, whether that's friends or random people online, to be honest, every once in a while. But I don't know. I'm always more than happy to help anybody that needs someone to talk to.

Host Lisa: What would you like to see changed about mental health? Clearly, we have lots of work to do in our society, but where would you like to see that begin?

Ty: More talking about it, just the more the better. For understanding sake, specifically. Yeah. Especially for the workforce, because I feel like a lot of people's mental health are really damaged by the fact that they can't take time off work or they don't think it's okay to do to take time off work for their mental health, even though I know there are laws in place where you are able to take time off work. But I just feel like that's frowned upon a lot, too.

Host/Lisa: I agree. I think that we have a long ways to go in that area, and I think this circles right back to that very first thing that we talked about, that it's invisible, right? If somebody has crutches and they come into work and they've broken their leg and, oh, my gosh, let me get a chair. Let me get a stool for you. What do you need? How can we make your work day easier for you? But you don't see that even if people are open about their mental health, and frankly, there's still a very large stigma around that as well. So I absolutely agree that we need to make some big steps forward in that area. So tell us how your work with invisible mental health and the WECU event, how is that helping you?

Ty: It's helped me find purpose, and that purpose is helping people. So it's really a good feeling to know that what I'm doing has a meaning beyond myself and it is having a positive impact.

Host/Lisa: I think it's well documented that when we're hurting, helping is so cathartic. So Cathartic. And I don't think that there are many other words to really sum that up, but clearly doing this work is helping you.

Ty: Yeah.

Host/Lisa: So we've talked a little bit about this, but talking about mental health is so important beyond the work that you do, beyond things like my podcast. How do you think that we can create more conversation around mental health? Do you think we could even start in the schools?

Ty: I think in schools would be really good. I know there's a bit of that now, but I feel like that's really important, too, to have that be in schools more, because that's what's going to stick with people growing up like a newer generation of kids that are going to school and learning more about mental health and how to deal with it. That's setting up society to be way more open to talking about it and just everything in general with mental health.

Host/Lisa: Now, I know just from friends and so on that are teachers, that there are some programs, there are some speakers, there are things going on in the schools. Do you have any suggestions for other things that we could do?

Ty: I think it would be good to let kids know. In schools especially, it's okay to not be feeling okay in the sense that if they need to leave and if they need to go to a safe space or get out of the room, that's okay. Because I was talking at a girl's mental health group about, I think, two weeks ago now, and that was something they were actually asking me, is they were struggling because they at times needed to leave the room, but they didn't think that that was going to be okay. And they didn't want to get in trouble for asking even to leave the room because of their mental health. It's important to let them know that they can leave if they need to. And it's okay to talk about those issues with your teacher if it's something that's impacting you.

Host/Lisa: I think that there's lots of areas for growth, and creating a safe place would be a really good idea as well.

Ty: Yeah, 100% like what you were saying. I agree with the mentorship thing for sure. I was actually trying more just like brainstorming something along those lines just for everybody in general, just to have. The general idea was just having people sign up that are willing to just talk with people. They don't have to be professionals. It doesn't have to be anything super serious like that, but just people that are willing to talk with people that need it. And those people can sign up and be those people that are available for people to just talk to if they need someone too.

Host/Lisa: Like a peer support group, really?

Ty: Yeah, something like that.

Host/Lisa: Yeah, that would be really great to see that started in the schools. So the other half of this podcast is resilience. And when I created this podcast, not only did I want to interview inspiring people like you, but also I always want to end these interviews in a way that will really inspire our listeners. So I'd really like to know what resilience means to you and how you think you've become more resilient.

Ty: I think a big part of that is just thinking really big picture, because with myself specifically, I've found that people like, when you're struggling with anxiety and depression, it's really easy to fall into the pit of thinking, oh, I'm going to feel like this forever. This thing that sucks. Right now is going to be sucking forever. I'm going to be feeling like this forever. And now whenever situations come up where there's a lot of negative emotions, hard times, I just always remind myself that there are better days ahead. Life is so long. It's short, but it is very long. There are so many years ahead. And I guarantee this little thing that's really bringing me down right now isn't going to be bringing me down nearly as much or even at all in say even just like a year or a few months or even a month. It really helps me to just be aware of that.

Host/Lisa: Do you think it helps you to reflect back on the last year or so and say, man, I made it through that, I did that and I figured it out? Do you think that going through it and coming out the other side, so to speak, gives you a sense of strength and maybe some confidence as well?

Ty: Yeah, 100%.

Host/Lisa: I feel like every time you get through a really bad patch, you kind of learn how to get through the next really bad patch, if that makes sense, because you think, okay, I've done this before. I remember the Last time I was here. These are the tools I've got in my tool belt now, or these are the things that help me. And I think that somehow gives us a bit of confidence that we can get through it again.

Ty: Yeah, 100%.

Host/Lisa: So I've mentioned some of the things that you do. What's the best place for people to contact you with questions or places to follow you on social media?

Ty: If you have any mental health related questions, like just invisible mental health on Instagram and Facebook, or if you want to personally contact me, just Ty Strawford on Instagram would be good. Either or works.

Host/Lisa: And just for our listeners today, be well and stay resilient. Thank you so much, Ty. I really appreciate your time and I know that your story will inspire so many people. Oh, and one more thing.

If you're like me and you find it helpful to write things out, you will love the Oprah approved promptly journals, especially the peace of Mind Journal. I've been using these for years now. You can check them out at Bitly CalmingJournals. That's bit ly calmingJournals, by the way, when you purchase a promptly journal, you will be supporting this podcast. So thank you so much. 






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07 November 2023

The Power of Hope

In this episode we explore stories that are a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Each one of these stories shares the commonality of adversity, courage, resilience, and hope. Never underestimate the power of hope to carry you through any storm you may be facing.




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31 October 2023

Jacques Delorme - Controlling Negative Thoughts

In this episode, Lisa interviews Jacques Delorme, a guest who shares his mindset shift that changed his life after experiencing serious trauma. They discuss ways to handle negative thoughts and the importance of resilience in facing challenges.

Jacques recounts the tragic accident he was involved in and how he dealt with the aftermath. He talks about the initial shock, seeking professional help, and the impact of physical exercise on his mental health.

Jacques emphasizes the importance of taking care of oneself and shares his morning routine for mindset improvement. He also talks about writing his book, sharing his story via speaking engagements, and his mission to help others through their own struggles.

 Through his inspiring story, Jacques reminds listeners that they have the power to overcome and grow stronger in the face of adversity.


Jacques Delorme's bio:

Jacques Delorme is a Professional Life Coach and public speaker who uses his personal experience from a fatal car accident that ended the life of a cyclist to help others in their own personal struggles. Jacques’ desire is to guide people on how to stop past emotional trauma from affecting the present and future planning towards a better life.





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25 October 2023

Lisa, Her Journey & This Podcast

In this very first episode I want to introduce myself and tell you how this podcast came to be. While I am an advocate for anyone who is hurting, I haven't always shared my truth about my own mental health. I have become an expert at wearing the mask that says "I'm fine". My journey began over 23 years ago. Let me tell you a little bit about it.


Lisa Boehm: Wow. Episode one. Here we are! Welcome to Rising strong mental health and resilience. I'm your host, Lisa Boehm, and today I want to share a little piece of my story. This episode is all about unveiling the why behind this podcast and why I'm so deeply committed to the world of mental health.

My journey through mental health struggles began after the birth of my son. Depression knocked at the door, and I found myself trying to navigate the heavy fog it cast upon my life.

Then the world of anxiety came crashing in when my children were small and our lives were filled with the beautiful chaos that parenthood often brings. The anxiety was relentless. There were moments that I landed in the emergency room, my heart racing at a staggering 200 plus beats per minute. I wasn't even able to achieve those kinds of numbers when I was a competitive athlete. There were nights when I feared sleep, convinced that if I closed my eyes and fell asleep, I would die. If you've experienced panic attacks, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I

 was determined to take control of my mental health. I worked with my physician, embraced regular exercise, focused on a healthy and nutritious diet. I tried medication, I began journaling, and I even cut my hours back at work to reduce my feelings of overwhelm. I did everything in my power to maintain my well being, and for a while, it seemed to work. I even became a health and wellness coach, focusing on healthy habits and mindset for those people who were struggling. Life was good.

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the unthinkable happened. My beautiful daughter's life was tragically cut short in a car accident, and the shockwaves of her loss shook me to the core. I watched my family unravel in all kinds of ways.

There was a time in my life when suicidal ideation was a constant companion and no one else knew about it. I became a master at saying, I'm fine. You see, in grief and in mental health, we all experience it differently, and we cope and manage differently, too.

Now, some of you might be wondering, why are you doing a podcast about mental health and not about grief? After all, I've written a book about child loss, and I actively support grieving mothers.

The answer is simple I see mental health struggles all around me. I grapple with my own mental health battles, and so do members of my family, people in my friend circle and coworkers. In my eyes, grief is intertwined with mental health, and I hope that those who are struggling with loss will also find solace here.

I yearned to create a space where I could normalize conversations about mental health. As I mentioned in the trailer, I'm profoundly fascinated by individuals who persevere after adversity, and I firmly believe in the power of stories.

In my book Journey to Healing, I wrote stories touch us. They teach us and they help us understand. They are the way we connect emotionally and they help us gain insight and find strength. Stories help us understand things, they can help us change our minds and encourage us to take action. Stories bring people together, they connect us. And stories are universal. We can usually find common ground with other people when we share stories.

My hope for this podcast is that the information, stories, and experiences shared here will offer you valuable strategies to help navigate the challenging and often stigmatized journey of mental health.

Mental health is a topic that deserves to be in the spotlight, and I'm committed to creating a community that openly discusses and supports mental well being. So join me every week as we explore the resilience of the human spirit and unveil the stories that help us rise strong.

Thank you for tuning in and let's embark on this journey together.

Rising strong mental health and resilience is available every Tuesday on Apple Podcasts, google Podcasts, spotify and wherever you find your Podcasts. Remember, together we can conquer the darkest of days.




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