Sarah Underwood and Lea Zikmund

Recorded December 8, 2019 Archived December 8, 2019 38:41 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby019476


Sarah Underwood (33) talks with StoryCorps facilitator Lea Zikmund (23) about her relationship and journey with mental illness.

Subject Log / Time Code

LZ asks SU what she would like to discuss.
SU discuss her mental health journey.
LZ asks SU if she feels misunderstood.
SU talks about the online community she found.
LZ and SU talk about self-care.
LZ asks SU how she learned to discuss her mental health experience so freely.
SU describes her upbringing.
SU describes her chosen family/circle of friends.
SU discusses motherhood.
SU discusses how her mental illness affects her mothering.
SU discusses her desires for mental illness to be humanized in the media.
SU answers LZ's question about how she would like to be remembered.


  • Sarah Underwood
  • Lea Zikmund

Recording Location

Yuma Art Center


StoryCorps uses Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Natural Language API to provide machine-generated transcripts. Transcripts have not been checked for accuracy and may contain errors. Learn more about our FAQs through our Help Center or do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

00:05 Hello, I am Sarah Underwood. I am 33 years old. Today's date is Sunday, December 8th, 2019. We are in some Sunny both not so Sunny Yuma Arizona and my interview partner is Leah. I just met you today, but it was a pleasure to meet you. I'm 23 years old. Today's date is Sunday, December 8th, 2019, and we're in Yuma, Arizona. My interview partner is Sarah Underwood, and we just met and hopefully you'll be my new friend today.

00:43 So since we just met I have a lot of things that I want to ask you about it. Why don't you tell me a little bit about maybe what you want to talk about. Today is me. Well, it's been in my head a lot that I kind of wanted to talk about mental illness and my relationship with that and how I see that in society how it affects my life things like that. Cool. Can I ask you when you first became aware of mental illness? I think it's kind of I think if you mean like a ride and personally or is like a social concept, so I guess either whichever one you don't answer I think

01:28 To be completely honest, I don't think I've ever known reality of my own life where I wasn't mentally ill. Like I've always known it was one of those things. I wish I had a really hard time making friends. I was always very socially awkward. I would stress out about stuff and other people wouldn't be stressing out about it. And I kind of be running around my hair on fire. Like how are you guys not freaked out right now?

01:49 Stuff like that. It's just, you know after while you noticed like you're limping and everyone else isn't and so I just always kind of known that something was off with me mental illness with something you discussed in my family. My mother is profoundly mentally ill but we don't have a relationship. So even though there wasn't until almost there wasn't something we never talked about it was over something that was really introduced to me. So it was kind of I didn't really start understanding the mechanics of it and stuff until I was a lot older but yeah, I like I think I've pretty much since I was born. I've always been something a little squeaky wheel with me that I've noticed myself and so at what point did you

02:34 Feel like you needed to do something about it. It was after the loss of my daughter when I was a little backstory. I was going through a divorce and it was a pretty contentious divorce. It was the beginning of it and I found out I was pregnant and I was like, oh no, okay. Here we go. So it's navigating divorce and all that stuff. And then I ended up at 36 weeks. We had a nuchal cord issue and she was stillborn and it was during that time just with the stress in the pressure of everything. I just wasn't I just knew something was wrong and it was the grief on top of everything else in my my anxiety and stuff was just getting to the point where it was. I was being robotic and I wasn't functioning properly. I was getting things done, but I just knew like this is not good and so kind of an in part with that but also in part of I wanted to make sure that I could keep proper custom.

03:34 My kids and stuff like that. I said you weren't just for the betterment of everything. I'm just going to go to the doctor. I'm going to talk to them. I'm going to say to them. This is what's going on. Maybe try to get some grief counseling what have you and that was when I talked to believe she's a clinician and she actually formally diagnosed me at that point. And do you want to talk about your diagnosis? My formal diagnosis is I have depression and OCD with complicated anxiety. She also said that I'm symptomatic for PTSD as well. Would you care to explain what that is for people who might not understand what all those things can certainly certainly it's the best way that I can explain it at least as far as the OCD and anxiety. It's if you can imagine you have a head full of bees and I know that sounds really weird and that's very confusing but that's literally what it is. It's always noisy and there is always motion. There's always something there's always a thought. It's my OCD and my anxiety work they feed off of each other.

04:34 So I'll get very stressed out about something and then my obsessive compulsive will just make me think about it and think about it and think about it think about it to the point where it's two days later after something has happened in my brain is still going about it and thinking about every worst-case end-of-the-world scenario that can come from that and stuff like that. The depression is a lot different than depression is more. I just start thinking poorly about everything. It's everything goes a little bit gray. It's thankfully I'm not I haven't experienced in any real way any sort of self harm ideation or anything like that, but it's just it's kind of like having a weighted blanket and it's not in a comforting way cuz I know some people. Be like, oh, it's you know, it's not it's just this darling just wait did the settlers on to you and when you're having that and also having anxiety, it's this weird.

05:30 Going a million miles an hour, but also going nowhere at the exact same time and they feed off of each other. But the same time they're also very they don't and so there's a lot of ways that I took causes a lot to put it that way. Yeah. It's it's like a head full of bees going a million miles an hour going nowhere at the same time as it's that's the best way I can describe it. I think now that makes a lot of sense as soon as you said had full of these I was like, yeah, that's a really good way of putting it into words. I've had my own ways of trying to put it into terms. That makes sense, but

06:09 Do you feel misunderstood? I think a lot of the times yeah, because people don't don't don't think that I'm OCD and when I say they'll think that I'm OCD, like don't don't don't get this impression of me will see my behavior the see my attitude whatever in and they'll say oval I already know what that's like because I've seen it on TV or I've seen it on the news thing that said that and it's like people get this impression and they they judge you based on their perception of what it is and they don't really have a reality because they don't live with that or they don't know anybody that has it. So when I mean people people people with depression, everybody has depression, you know, like whatever the thing but so people know I was sad one time. I know what that's like no you do it. It's not the same thing or do I get anxious sometime just try not being anxious like a white. I've been anxious. I know what that's like no, you don't like you're anxious in my anxious or differently. You're anxious makes you go when you're leaving the grocery store.

07:09 Anxious keeps me up till 4 in the morning thinking about did I put my debit card back in my wallet, even though I've checked it for times like so I think people they see it as more of a comical thing or they see you must not really have it because you're not over here washing her hands 20 times like there's a it's just the perception. I guess that the people think that they know what it is and they don't or they don't understand it fully and so it makes them have these ideas of how it should present. Will you can't be really depressed cuz you're smiling right now will be yeah, but you take a backhoe to dig down a little bit. There's a whole lot ugly. So it's

07:47 Yeah, what do you wish that people would say to you or ask you about what you're experiencing I would die. Wish they would just ask honestly just ask one question, you know, if you're curious about something or if you think something and you might be wrong, you know what to ask me. I'm very very open with it. I don't the way that I see it as if I'm open about my experiences. I know that you know is we had mentioned that everybody's on a spectrum right? Everybody has something going on with him. So I kind of feel like if I'm open about my experiences then it'll help people's not feel so weird about theirs and so it's just yet if you have questions asked me like don't assume things weird has ever keep you up at night. Yes. Tell me what that's like its ugly head full of me make it like it's a weird thing cuz it's not to me.

08:47 I'm very open about it. I'll talk about it. So it's anything that anybody has if you want to know I'm pretty much an open book and I definitely I hear that a lot from people saying that they want to share their experiences with other people feel less alone and what they're experiencing. I'm curious if you've had experiences like that recently where you shared what you were going through that kind of created an Avenue for other people to share. I'm definitely definitely on there was for about 2 years or so. I was an online DJ and I had its now-defunct May rest in peace radio. Kol, but I was on there and I was very open about my experiences and cuz I know a lot of people in the community and I was based on the kingdom of loathing. You probably never heard of that. No one ever has you want to share what it is? What's an online role-playing game text-based and there's a whole Scandal there. So now he won't give it any more pressed but the whole community that was built around that we became like a family and the radio Community became like family in

09:47 It was very open about it was very open about my beliefs religious political everything else. But I was also very open about struggling with mental illness because I had gone through this huge thing with the loss of my daughter and my divorce and all these are life changes that were happening. So if I'm going to be honest and open about that, I'm going to be open and honest about my mental health as well. And so yeah, I buy would have these conversations where I wouldn't play music I would just talk for 2 hours and I would say this is what it's like, you know, this is why it bothers me when I see this on the news or you know oldest school shooter must have been crazy with Aunt penis like that. You know, what I would have these and up conversations about it kind of by myself but people will be chatting and then the texting on and I would be talking to them about it and there's some people that did reach out to me privately and they said, you know, you pushed me to get help like I'm going to go talk to somebody this isn't weird. You know, I'm not or you know, I hate when I reach out to you and talk to you about it sure, you know because ultimately, you know, we're all in this together as a community and us as a society and it's like, you know if they're people

10:47 Feel like I don't have someone to reach out to that's how you get people that kill themselves. So, you know, I worry they drive across a bridge cuz I have an episode or something. You know what I mean? So those of us that are on a little bit more stable footing I think need to kind of advocate for that and that's what I tried to do because I feel like sometimes when people are really really forthcoming about what they're experiencing they are obviously more of a safe space for other people, but then like at what point does it become a burden to that person and when do you take care of yourself? So like have you dealt with that of you found a way to separate not really to be honest. I am terrible at self-care. I have been accused of something, so I complex a couple times. Will you take care of everyone else? You never take care of yourself? Yeah pretty much as it's I'm a work-in-progress honestly, and I'm trying to figure out how to do that because you know, I'm I know that I can't, you know lift any ships of

11:47 Thinking myself sort of thing. And I'm not good at that. I'm learning. It's a learning process is what is self care when you are doing it. What does it look like because I also feel like this is such a conversation now about like the commodification of self-care and the way that we treated and I like what you're for real ways of caring for yourself are I think it's it's really important and I think you phrased it correctly in the commodification. It's it's this. Oh, well, I woke up and I felt sad so I wouldn't had a coffee and didn't do my laundry. Like it's not it's not like I think self care is is it's important in that you have to do something that pulls you out of that space. So if it means getting your nails done because you had a really bad week at work and you're just out of spoons and you have to to do something nice for yourself do it for me. It's I go when I lay in the grass Park, sometimes I get out I'd go in

12:47 Coffee here. I turn my phone off and I say I'm not talking to anybody that I don't want to talk to you right now. You know, your guys have stuff is important, but I got to do me for a little bit and I just go have coffee like I go to North and then I have coffee because I like the vibe and go someplace where I'm comfortable or its summons. This is laying in bed and watching YouTube videos of

13:06 I don't know serial killers or whatever it is that I've been to it that point cuz I love abnormal psychology. So yeah, I mean, it's just it's doing something that isn't a negative to anyone else but also helps you feel like you're in a better place if that makes sense. And I think that can mean anything to anybody. I mean, it's some people withdrawing some people what's going on spending lots of money as long as you can pay your rent. I mean as long as you're not taking it from someone else's bank account, you know, that would be the harmful part. But yeah, I'm not for me. It's just doing something where I'm by myself or spending time with somebody even self care for me can be spending time with a friend of mine who I can connect with and we are very similar and it's just

13:53 What is going to hang outside your house and we're just going to talk about whatever it is. We're to talk about and even that can be because it's the the sense of community of just not being alone. If that's what I feel like I need it's just I don't deal in right now. I won't have a conversation with somebody who doesn't stress me out because energy doesn't fit me because people can be energy vampires. A lot of that makes sense and other people's energy if it conflicts with mine. It really can pull me down and I can really bother me and it just drains me. So yeah being around people who have similar energy to me that definitely helps to how do you identify like, how do you know when you're drained from being with someone?

14:35 It's

14:38 How do I even it's more it's a it's a physical thing. Honestly, like it's just I get this feeling of just like tightness a little bit kind of like if you're going to have to explain it like when you're if you're in an elevator and it's not moving fast enough. Does that make sense? We are just like I'm in the sink Lowe's in space with these three other people in this elevator and I just want to get out of here like it's kind of like that a little bit where it's maybe we're sitting in your backyard their offenses and it's an open backyard, but you just your energy know I need to get out of here because you're pushing in on me. That's kind of what it feels like and it's just like your energy pushing on me pushing my energy down and I have to get out of here. It's that sort of thing or if I just start noticing that

15:22 My

15:24 Whatever is my component of my depression is like if I start having like how you're there, so you're that in my head then I'm like, okay, they're their division of my reserves. I got to get out of here because if I I know that I'm very sent him a text if I start getting more tired. I might other stuff starts being more symptomatic if that makes sense. So that's what it's like, I noticed my other stuff starting to happen. I'm like, okay now I have texted back. This is too much because if I get to a certain point then I'm just going to be too low to be able to function and I don't want to deal with that. I don't know if any of that make sense. It's honestly that makes a lot of sense and I'm realizing like how verbose you are with talking about how you understand your own mental illness and it seems like this is not your first time understanding as I know. You said it's been a lifelong thing. But like, where did you get the vocabulary to talk about what you're experiencing and like how have you learned to speak about what you're going through? Well, I had a

16:24 I came up pretty tour. We we didn't have a lot of money and it was kind of a rough. You know, we we just were really poor and so I never really had the chance to have medical health in or mental health treatments or anything like that and then that being poor kind of continued into adulthood. And so I knew that there was something kind of wrong and I I know I did a lot of research on my own to kind of see what was you know, what could this be in? Everybody loves me to WebMD some self. It was kind of that the like mental stuff and so I'm just so you know someone I got the diagnosis is oh, yeah. Okay, but I knew that there was one of two options I can either try to get on medicine which because I'm poor if I get a better job, I might lose insurance. I might not be able to get medication or I can try to do the other thing, which is just trying to get myself up. I hate the term but by my bootstraps, you know and try to kind of keep myself or learn how to keep myself. Okay, because what if I can't get medicine

17:24 One and then that is a whole other thing and you have to come off of medication that's psychotropic. And then maybe you're suicidal and I don't want any of that. Like I would rather just try to be able to learn coping mechanisms and look at myself that way in case all of that's not there. I still have the ability to hold up my own foundation. And so yeah, I might have just been a lot of research. I I also didn't have a lot of company when I was coming up either. Like I didn't have a lot of friends and stuff like that. So I just sat around reading and just learning and writing and all that kind of stuff. So I just tell its knowledge and I'm interested in abnormal psychology so that kind of tied into it as well and I've done a lot of research and involving that and how that relates to me and stuff like that. So yeah. I just I've I've seen it as a as a as a benefit to become educated about it and

18:20 And that kind of have always enjoyed speaking and stuff. So it's kind of like well if that can I go to part with I like if I if I can learn something and I know something and I can help someone with it. Then I'll go and learn more because then I can help more people with it. If that makes sense. So kind of it's all kind of fed into its own and where were you raised? Can you tell me about your family? Yes. So The Story Goes that my mom that my dad in the laundromat like over by where I went to elementary school. My family had moved here. My dad said the family had moved here from Illinois.

19:01 They were here, but I was like 30-ish but my mom in a laundromat of all places they were together for a couple years. They had me she kind of had a lot of stuff going on with her mentally. There was a lot of a significantly mentally ill there was a lot of cheat actually better than in a facility for a while and then she did a runner and she took me and my dad went and got me and brought me back here and that was pretty much like I've lived here my whole life with my dad being a single parent with my grandparents. May they rest in peace. But yeah, that was it. I mean to have an uncle in town, but we are really close. So I don't have a cousin. We're really not close a lot of history there. But yeah, so it's just kind of been me and my dad and my grandparents my mom lives in Michigan, but we don't talk it was

19:51 The only way and I use a lot of metaphors and stuff. But that's kind of the only way not to talk. Learn it. Honestly for my dad. He talks like a farmer will you know, sometimes if you have a problem with your giddyup you just have to put a new battery in your truck. That's the kind of person right at us and I learned that from him. So I apologize for that. But yeah, I mean I tight.

20:15 I just kind of didn't.

20:18 I kind of lost my train of thought that at first but that's my family. Like we don't have a lot of clothes people and stuff. And so I make my family for what it's worth. I pull in people cuz I don't have any siblings or anything. So tell me about your chosen family.

20:35 They are very dear to me. I it's funny cuz I know that she's going to listen to this and she's going to go when she hears. I have a friend Megan and over over the last couple months. She's become like a best friend. She couldn't be here today, unfortunately cuz

20:56 Anxiety issues and stuff. But yeah, she's looking like a best friend. I see her like a sister, you know, we're very much on the same wavelength and we get each other and we have the same weird interest like what what weird interest do you share serial killer isn't true crime and just a couple animals and they're cute and I like animals, but I refuse to have any spray liver have like seven dogs sound like no, but yeah, and we've known each other since we met when we were freshmen sin French class that you might have just a couple blocks that way that way.

21:41 I would say she's probably my best friend. Like I said, she's going to laugh at your ass. But and then I have some people I consider sisters and this girl Vivian that I met 2009 the same year. I got married. I met her she was in Tucson, but we are we're very close and we have a lot of ways that were different but whenever she needs something she knows I'm there and we

22:11 If a really weird way we communicate but it's good and I've got my friend Johnny. I've known her the same amount of time as the other person who is supposed to be here about 15 years and we've gone through hell and back with each other and we've went through so much and yeah, it's like that's my little my little circle of family. That's really great that you've been able to cultivate that for yourself for sure for sure. I'm curious what you think your friends would say if I asked them to describe you.

22:45 Aside from a complete mess. No, I don't know honestly, I'm not really sure. I I mean I kind of know I know what I know what Vivid say they would say. She's a Survivor and I am the most reluctant Survivor, but you'll ever meet I don't I don't like calling myself that but I know that's probably how she would describe me cuz when I was going through the whole situation with my daughter and everything, she told me how much time she's like. I don't know how you're alive right now. She's like I would have his end of it. I would have driven my car off a bridge. I don't know how you put up with that everything. You've gone through. I don't know. Why didn't you?

23:20 I don't know. I guess I know why now because you know, I wouldn't I wouldn't want to do that to my kids cuz I do have two daughters in mixed company. I speak about them very very little just cuz the internet and stuff but I wouldn't I've seen how when other people I know have lost parents to drug addiction or you know, self-harm or whatever, you know, any any kind of thing. It's kind of traumatic. I've seen how it affects them and I can't imagine a world in which I be okay doing that to my kids because that's minutes is going to break them forever. And once I'm gone, I don't have to deal with it anymore. But that's something that I'm going to leave with them and I can't see myself damaging them in that way because that's going to carry them until they died and I just

24:14 Do no harm, you know, I don't I don't see myself wanting to hurt my kids and I kind of way that I would be comfortable any reality doing that and then on top of it the other people around me to you know, I have my support system and they would probably the first reaction would be very angry but the second reaction would be you know, all the thoughts of why didn't you talk to me like what what is it? What did I not do and I don't to put that down anybody, you know when it comes down to it, you know, I mean, I've had a bad days and I've thought about it sometimes you know, I had to complete Clarity of had a plan once you know, and I didn't go through with it because it was just you know, what?

24:50 Whatever it is. I've gone through bad stuff and it's like if I can go through that stuff than me losing my job. The biggest thing that's ever happened to me. Like I buried my child. Do you know what I mean? Like if I've gone through like some of the worst the worst and if I can get through that then this is just another thing. It's another rock in the road and I'll get over it. It's hard sometimes but it is what it is.

25:15 I know you are cognizant of protecting your children's privacy, but I'm curious if you want to talk at all about your kids or being a mom.

25:24 My kids are incredible to put it. Mildly. They are so much like me. It's it's it's it's my older one is specially she has got an attitude with her. She just turned 13 this year when I'm in August and August technically last year now, but she's thirteen full attitude and she has ADHD. So she's off the walls all the time and energy and its she's got a brilliant mind and she's hitting that teenage phase of the skids of well. I'm going to be defiant and I might have a strong personality. But you know what the way I see it is I'm going to have to Foster that with her because it could be really rough now, but that's going to end up making her really fiercely independent later and that's going to be really important and I can see you're doing really good things to really big things as long as she keeps herself focused everything. She's got a good future ahead of her as long as she takes the lesson.

26:24 But I'm giving my general lesson of my life because if not, you know, she can

26:32 Chicken go down a way. That's that's not going to be real great. So I got to keep an eye on her and stuff. She's a great kid. Just she's going to need a little bit of extra TLC and attention and then there's my youngest who's 9 and she's a firecracker. She's they have her in dance right now and she's just all over the place dancing and kicking and flipping in doing crab walks, and it's just my joints hurt when I see her doing it, but she's just this like I said, she's a firecracker. She's just got this energy like you could feel her before she walks into the room kind of thing and

27:08 She's got that but she's also really pretty and so it's like I'm going to have to keep an eye on her as well as you know, and kind of you know. Don't try to get things cuz you're pretty cuz she's already got that like she knows like how to get stuff out of her dad like oh but Daddy Yoshi trolls are here in about her big blue eyes kind of hanging out if it's like we have to keep her in line. But yeah, she's going to do great things too. And she's right. She's brilliant. She's so smart. And yeah, they're great kids what's been

27:43 The most challenging part of being a mother

27:46 I think

27:48 That's what a lot a lot. It's been challenging. I would have to say trying to trying to navigate all of the stuff that I've been going through and also try to make sure that there's a little blow back as possible on the kids because kids need stability, you know, they need they need you to be 20% Even if you're not, you know, and I think that's been the most difficult for me is like I'm literally on the inside just caving in but I have to keep a smile or or the very least, you know, even if they know cuz the kids aren't dumb they know something's going on and you know, even you know, just being able to push through that stuff and then being able to bring 50% if you can't bring a hundred but always bring 50% cuz they need a consistency. Even if you're just like I'm dying inside right now. It doesn't matter at least being 40%

28:41 And being open and honest with them I think is is is something it's difficult to because I think as a parent you want to say. Oh, no, everything's fine. And no we're not having money trouble. We're not having this. Oh, everything's great. I'm feeling so fine. But you're lying. Your kids may do that and your kids know you're lying to them because they can see on your face, but you're just something is wrong with you and they know and so I think finding the balance of being honest and open about that to an end and letting them know cuz it might make it turn 13. She's going to be hitting the point where you know, maybe she's going to come up with something. I don't know I would like, you know, maybe she has depression or something and it's like, you know being able to be open and honest about it for me also means that she can be open and honest about it. And so that's the thing is

29:29 You know learning to navigate that Gap to of being able to be open with your experience, but also not put it on them if that makes sense. I'm not sure if that makes sense. It doesn't I was going to ask you like what kind of conversations you do have with your kids as they've gotten older about mental illness. I pretty much told them they can come and talk to me. Like if anything happens I do, you know if they if they are feeling a certain way or whatever but you know there have been times when you know, it's just it's difficult. It is difficult to even get out of bed and stuff and it's like, you know, do I say will come here and I'll explain it to you like yeah. I like I'm just having a really bad day right now and I'm in I'm in the pit. That's a phrase I use a lot is in the pit. 5-minute pit. We're going to just come into bed, and we're going to watch movies for a little bit until I'm feeling better or stuff like that.

30:20 And if you know kind of how the environment where if they need to talk about it we can talk about it and just kind of a kind of I put it back on them. So it's like if you have any questions you come talk to me and if they ask me any questions like oval what is this mean or did you go to the doctor about it and say I went to doctor about in this is what they said, you know, what have you or you know, just being able to to leave it open? So I want to push it on them because I'm like all your mom's depressed in this in this listening to put it but it might make Concepts that are a little bit bigger for them to understand. So it's a matter of just kind of putting the ball in their Court saying if you're curious you want to know something talk to me and then we have a conversation that turns into something else based on that have they asked you a questions that you don't know how to answer that. You aren't ready to answer I think so. Yeah, I think so. Yeah, there's there's been some time to wear because some stuff has happened in my older kids life and she's kind of asked me.

31:17 You know what? You know, what it what is this going to mean for me while I don't know like I don't know like night and I told her I said, you know, everybody's experience is different and the way that you handled something is going to be different than the way that I handle it. If you have depression your depression three different than mine. That's just how it is. So being able to tell them, you know, what if they have something later with us going to look like I don't know and I told him I don't know. I'm not I'm not a doctor so it's I'll be able to hear but I don't I don't know like how that could manifest her. What there may be nothing at all. I don't know. But yeah, I don't know if I answered that correctly, but it sounds to me like an awareness of just that there are unknowns and you're going to be as honest as possible and

32:05 Not maybe bombard them with hangout. They aren't ready for so as a traveling to you. You can kind of answer then let them know. Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

32:17 Is there are there other things that you want to share today?

32:22 But I just I think.

32:25 How do I phrase I think it's really important that when people see stuff in the news cuz his son is going to my head a lot with the shootings. We've had if people see stuff in the news. I need to really aware of how they're consuming it and how is f impacting their internal dialogue because I know that especially recently with all these shootings and stuff like that. You don't like I said, I'm very open about my mental illness and I said to people, you know, I mentally ill are you know, it's come up in conversation or whatever and you can just be like a tonal shift on their face of oh, oh, okay, and they just kind of like side-eye you and they look at you a little bit differently and you can just see the way that they see you change the perception is different. And so I think you know that something that people need me really aware of is how how they let with a c affect their inner dialogue of you know, it just because I'm as mentally ill doesn't necessarily mean there is some drilling monster, you know where people and some of us are are really struggling with something and some of us are okay and we're managing but

33:26 You know, we need to be really careful. We're not all just limping people into this big box of crazy. You know, it's just it's not I don't know. What's it's not okay and it really bothers me a lot. When I see that when there is a snare have pushed a lot of of like a whether they're crazy. So they did with all of course, they wouldn't shut up at school because they're crazy. Like can you not paint us all with that brush that would be great. If you would not do that, you know that kind of thing, but I think it's it's it's a bigger part of just the way that Society sees people that are mentally ill and it's an attitude needs to change and people aren't going to change that attitude if they don't see a problem or if they don't recognize that they're doing it. So yeah, love you my thing just be aware of how you're thinking be aware of how you're acting be aware of how you're allowing the media that comes into your brain to impact you in the thoughts that you're having an old just be very cognizant of it because if not, you know, you were your mind.

34:23 Remind A New Perspective will change and you won't realize that and then someday you'll see somebody that's a homeless person talking to themselves in the street and you'll go ill instead of that's a person that needs help.

34:36 Yeah, I don't know. I think it's a big societal thing the way that Society views people are mentally ill and you know, what the wheat they they don't see us has one of those like how I mentioned earlier. Am I just someone else I said we went from the older days of dr. Jekyll and mr. Hyde this drooling monster to being fetishized. So used to be all this is a scary person you stay away from them their old Jim there muttering talking to themselves and now it's because I was Dexter and oh, he's so sexy because he goes out and gets revenge on since like it's not sexy like it's this the difference between you think this girl with blonde hair and blue eyes in a wheelchair is really hot or you think she's hot because she's in a wheelchair if that makes sense, like don't fetishize us because we're we're having something different with us, you know, or like don't just just for people you don't need to be like, you know, if I don't know if that makes is correct or what have you heard if it's the polite thing to say, but

35:36 Yeah, I get what you're saying kind of like media has overcompensated but in a way that's made it like glorifying people with mental illness and not always showing the very worst parts of it like

35:54 It's in my opinion. It's not always the way that it's portrayed a lot of times to the ugliest in the hardest moments are like the nothingness and what's when there's nothing happening are when you know the inner dialogue that you can really portray as well and so kind of frustrating to see that and you want to be represented and you want to see your struggles and experience with other people and 5-9 but in a way that's not gross and I can make a comment like if you if you feel one hundred percent comfortable making me like a sex object or making me like sexy or fetishize because of my mental illness. I'm going to tell you right now, I'm going to 0% bad about making you feel good weird and gross about feeling that way because I've got that like how crazy chicks are hot? No, no, no, no, no, no, no don't ever come at me like that cuz I'll make you feel weird about it.

36:54 I didn't give every right to do that. It's just that's been my personal experience. It's like always going to tell me more about that like dude really like you don't want to hear about my impressive book collection, cuz I think that's more interesting like I don't know, but we have a couple minutes left and I'm curious if you would want to answer.

37:18 How do you how do you want people to describe you or know who you are? I want people to see that.

37:26 Even while things are difficult. I'm able to get by in the skin of my teeth, you know, and it's not some heroic gesture. It's not it's not some. You know, I'm some big Survivor. I'm just getting by and that doesn't make me any better or any worse than anybody else. It just makes me a person and I think that's something that's really important to me. Just see me as a normal person. I don't need you to think I'm some great person. Who does this all your surviving in spite of your mutt? No, just don't I'm a normal person. I like the mountain goats. Like I like his true crime novels like I'm not some big bad. But yeah, that's just I'm a person just treat me like a person talk to me like one person. Don't make it weird.

38:13 But yeah, that's

38:15 Puppy. Thanks for being a person willing to share everything that you shared today. For sure. For sure. No more about who you are. I appreciate the opportunity was very good.