Episode #79: Suffering In Silence, Panic Attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & Why It’s Good To Run Out Of Drugs, With Erik & Marc, Hosts – From Survivor To Thriver Podcast

INTRODUCTION:

 

Co-hosts Erik DaRosa and Marc Fernandes are upending the front-end of mental health conversations. Each week, they tackle different mental health topics through honest and relatable “kitchen table” conversations with real people who are helping to shatter mental health stigmas and find their voices. We aim to normalize discussions around mental health topics and remind our audience they are not alone, there is strength in community and “it’s perfectly ok to not always be ok.”

 

Our podcast is more than just a podcast. It is a 𝗠𝗢𝗩𝗘𝗠𝗘𝗡𝗧 aimed at shattering all mental health stigmas! Each week we tackle different mental health topics through honest and relatable “kitchen table” conversations with real people who are helping to normalize mental health discussions and find their own voices. Podcast is conversation based; no set list of questions.

 

From Erik: 

 

I have long imagined a world where we can all speak openly and honestly about our mental health journeys without fear of judgment or reprisal. Our show is for folks who are suffering, often in silence, to know that they are not alone in their struggles, that help is available in many different forms and that there are brave spaces, such as ours, where they can both hear stories of others and share their own.  

 

For as long as I can remember, I have been “okay” according to society’s definition. Yet, I’ve experienced everything from the fear of sleeping as a young child, to the onset of terrifying obsessive thoughts as an adolescent, to the ever-worsening panic attacks and paralyzing anxiety throughout my high school and college years. This all culminated in two debilitating dissociative episodes as an adult. To this day, I have no recollection of two lost weekends – the first in summer 2004 and the second in fall 2006. My most recent episode occurred in October of 2021 and resulted in a renewed healing journey consisting of both Western and Eastern treatment modalities. 
For some reason, I did everything to hide my “not okay-ness” from the world. After years of therapy and a highly effective regime of medications, there were still times that I chose the path of least resistance, the same path that far too many people choose: to suffer in silence. For decades I outwardly displayed a facade, that of a usually smiling, highly functioning, type-A successful overachiever. I had, subconsciously or not, chosen to accept society’s stigma rather than embrace my own vulnerability.

Stigma says we shouldn’t talk openly about these things. I say we should! Stigma also says we shouldn’t stand high upon the mountain top, vulnerable and transparent, for the entire world to see. I say we must!

Together, let’s work to break the stigma of mental illness and remind one another that it’s perfectly okay to not always be okay.  Collectively, and with a bit of patience, we’ll get through this, I promise.

 

 

INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):

 

·      Suffering In Silence

·      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

·      Anxiety

·      Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Non-Military)

·      Catholic Bullshit

·      Panic Attacks

·      Healing Team

·      Therapy

·      Chosen Family

·      Music

 

CONNECT WITH ERIK & MARC:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erik.darosa.7

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skisherpa/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erikdarosa/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@fromsurvivortothriver

 

 

CONNECT WITH DE’VANNON:

 

Website: https://www.SexDrugsAndJesus.com

Website: https://www.DownUnderApparel.com

YouTube: https://bit.ly/3daTqCM

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SexDrugsAndJesus/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sexdrugsandjesuspodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TabooTopix

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/devannon

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.es/SexDrugsAndJesus/_saved/

Email: DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com

 

 

DE’VANNON’S RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

·      Pray Away Documentary (NETFLIX)

https://www.netflix.com/title/81040370

TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_CqGVfxEs

 

·      OverviewBible (Jeffrey Kranz)

https://overviewbible.com

https://www.youtube.com/c/OverviewBible

 

·      Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed (Documentary)

https://press.discoveryplus.com/lifestyle/discovery-announces-key-participants-featured-in-upcoming-expose-of-the-hillsong-church-controversy-hillsong-a-megachurch-exposed/

 

·      Leaving Hillsong Podcast With Tanya Levin

https://leavinghillsong.podbean.com

 

 

·      Upwork: https://www.upwork.com

·      FreeUp: https://freeup.net

 

VETERAN’S SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

 

·      Disabled American Veterans (DAV): https://www.dav.org

·      American Legion: https://www.legion.org

 

·      What The World Needs Now (Dionne Warwick): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfHAs9cdTqg

 

INTERESTED IN PODCASTING OR BEING A GUEST?:

 

·      PodMatch is awesome! This application streamlines the process of finding guests for your show and also helps you find shows to be a guest on. The PodMatch Community is a part of this and that is where you can ask questions and get help from an entire network of people so that you save both money and time on your podcasting journey.

https://podmatch.com/signup/devannon

 

 

TRANSCRIPT:

 

Erik & Marc Part 2

[00:00:00]

You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to! And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right at the end of the day. My name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world as we dig into topics that are too risqué for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your life.

There is nothing off the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.

De’Vannon: Eric Osa and Mark Fernandez, the host of the Survivor, the Thriver podcast, are back with me again, y’all, and I am always super duper excited to have a three-way with these two hot tater tots right here. Now in this episode, mark and Eric are gonna give us a deeper dish on their mental health challenges.

Eric gives us a phenomenal explanation of panic attacks, and Mark takes us through [00:01:00] a very vulnerable story about negative self-talk. Eric and Mark explained to us what chosen family and healing teams are, and they give us their take on some current events. Please listen to this episode and share it with somebody you love.

Hello of you beautiful bitches out there in the world. Welcome back to the Sex Drugs in Jesus podcasts. I have with me my favorite two people to have a threeway with Eric and Mark Fernandez of the from Survivor to Thriver podcast. And now you’ve seen them before and we talked about all kinds of fill, knowledge, wisdom, and everything in fucking between.

And today, as you can see, I’ve grown a beard. Mark has lost his virginity all over again. And going back to being a little Catholic school boy, getting his catechism, you do look a right, right for the raping by a priest today, mark, I must say, 

Marc: oh, hallelujah, [00:02:00] hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, 

Erik: hallelujah. Mark 

Marc: was an altar boy.

I wasn’t alter boy, I was never raped by a priest. There was unfortunately a lot of that that happened in my hometown. One of the worst offenders in the Catholic church. Father Porter spent a very long and awful amount of time abusing many children and was covered up for close to 30 years. So I don’t know if we wanna talk about that though.

Let’s talk about things that are more fun than 

De’Vannon: that. Like today we’re gonna be talking about Eric OSA’s mental health shit, as he would call it. And, and we talking about Mark shit too, which does have to do a lot with the Catholic priest. I don’t believe this new Pope. And he’s this announcement he’s made about how he is gonna write all these wrongs about these author boys getting fucked in their mouths and their little fussies and everything like that.

I don’t, I don’t [00:03:00] believe anything of the Vatican says anyways, because they’re full of shit. But you, how the fuck are you going to fix? That problem within the Catholic Church wait for more people to get raped and then suddenly send him to jail. I mean, and I’m not gonna 

Marc: argue with you cuz I, I don’t think he can right the wrongs.

But I think, and look, I’m not trying to give him too much credit. I, I’m, I’m on, I’m on, I am on, I am on record of my issues with the Catholic church. But the thing I will say is at least the Pope is actually acknowledging it. Like, you know, we’ve got thousands of years of this abuse that has literally been.

So at least the fact that he’s like, yeah, some shit went down. I mean, you know, the first step to knowing you have a problem is admitting it. Right? So I, I don’t, you know, I’m not ready to throw him an absolution party, but at least they’re doing that really, truly. And I, the van and, and I mean this honestly, I’m not trying to like have an argument about it or like push him into that, but it is such a huge fucking step for him to be like, yeah, some shit went [00:04:00] down.

Because before this, no one was saying that they were writing checks and trying to sweep it under the rug. Man. That’s all it’s been. That’s all it’s been. I tell me I could, I could feel your attitude go. Mm-hmm. . 

De’Vannon: I’ve said what I needed to say this with this, okay. 

Marc: Gne knowledge. I just have some hope. This much 

Erik: gne knowledge is the last podcast.

We now have a king new. Look, 

Marc: we can acknowledge it. And the best part about it is I just said acknowledge is all we gotta do. No, my favorite thing I and Onion, I hope 

Erik: Harry’s on a plane flying. Hope Harry’s on a plane. Never going back to never to go back to London again. That was 

Marc: him. It’s probably, but my favorite part of that though, it was an onion article I saw, which was a picture of king Charles ii.

And it just said the headline was brilliant. It just said 73 year old man finally gets first job . I thought that was fucking [00:05:00] brilliant. The shady 

De’Vannon: of it all. I 

Marc: love it. The shady. But you know what’s even shader? Do you know the stories of King Charles one and King Charles two, first of his name? I do. And there was a whole, they’re ugly.

They’re ugly. Eric, tell us about the ugliness. There was a whole thing 

Erik: about whether or not he was even gonna take Charles, right? Because he had three names that he could have, that he could have chosen from. So, 

Marc: so King Charles one, how did he meet his end? I’ll let you tell the story. They beheaded that son of a bitch off of his hand, off of his head.

And then King Charles II ran away because he was about to get the throne and he just watched his dad France. The France, ran away to France. And then what got him there? I know he died too, and it was ugly, but what was it? Was it like cholera or something? Like something did him in Yeah, 

Erik: he, I think he died from typical middle-aged not middle-aged like our age, but middle ages plague, renaissance plagues and shit.

Syphilis, locusts and yeah, syphilis. 

De’Vannon: Well, I don’t know. This [00:06:00] would’ve helped him. I’ll have my plague bearer earring. Oh, very nice. What? This is . 

Erik: But yeah, so if I was, if I was Harry duke of. Is he Duke of Sussex now? 

Marc: I would, and he sucks. I would immediately Zeti bar, right? Yeah. 

Erik: Prince, prince of Wales.

So I would immediately get on a plane and I would never come back to London again. Just like how I broke with with certain members of my family. I think it’s time for, it’s time for him to acknowledge a, a real clean split from his family. And what he’s doing on the mental health front is amazing. Yes.

And so I, I applaud him for him for that. And he was here actually like three or four weeks ago. 

Marc: He was, he was batting the polo ball. 

Erik: He was, he was playing here playing polo. So so if you’re listening, Harry make your new life in California and stay there and keep doing all the good you’re doing.

De’Vannon: Yeah. If you’re listening, Harry, I wanna know if the [00:07:00] curtains match the drapes. Ooh,

That’s what I want from that man. Fuck. I mean, policy. Great. I wanna suck bread dick. 

Erik: By the way, every time I look at this screen, it’s like, it’s like looking at Lando, RISI, . 

Marc: Oh, you do, you do you do some Yeah. To to the, to the new one. To the young. To the young. Yeah. Why am I forgetting? Is that the Israel name?

All I could think of is this alter ego. What is the actress’s name? 

De’Vannon: Like delicious, sexy, chocolate 

Marc: Man. He is gorgeous, but all I’m, all I’m thinking about is his alter ego that he does all the dance videos of, and I can’t remember his actual name. Help me out here. People. I’ve never seen 

Erik: any of the new ones.

I’ve only seen the original three. Oh. But let’s, let’s, let’s, we’ve hijacked this, not, it’ll, let’s take, 

Marc: let him take a show back. It’ll 

De’Vannon: come back to you. So, Let’s lead in with your mental health issues here. So [00:08:00]you mentioned you returned from a trip recently. What’s on the forefront of your mind regarding your very cultural history?

At mental health? We have everything from OCD to PTSD to a fear of sleeping and everything. What do you want to say? 

Erik: So, yeah, it’s a, it’s a like a menagerie of of mental illnesses and 

De’Vannon: an orgy of mental health 

Erik: issues. , yes, except an orgy is much more enjoyable than dealing with interest. 

Marc: Depends on who’s there.

Depends on who, 

Erik: but yeah, as you said, I, I just got back, I was in Louisville. I got, actually, I, you’ll be proud of me, mark. I received applause when I said Louisville and I had been practicing it for about a week, so I would say correctly. So I wouldn’t sound like the, 

Marc: you’ve gotten so much better. The 

Erik: east coast that I was, that’s close.

And, and so I was speaking at the Walden School, which is a private school Markiel. [00:09:00] You, you remember Julian Haley Rose. And so Hailey is a teacher at that school and introduced me to Bunch of the administrators and, and the principal of the high school. And so they invited me to come speak to the parents on Thursday night about the importance of having mental health conversations with, with their children.

And, and I helped coach them a bit and, and how to go about that. And then I spoke to the high school on Friday and yeah, so what’s front and center around my mind is this whole idea about, you know, you’re not alone and, you know, there’s, there’s no need any longer for any of us to have to suffer in silence.

And that’s really what I was speaking to the kids about. And it all came. Kind of full circle to my own personal story and, and you had mentioned yes, ocd, so obsessive compulsive disorder, where for me, the obsessive side was intrusive thoughts. And we can go into more detail about what those are [00:10:00] and how those manifest as, as, as the show goes on.

And the com and the compulsive side which for me was, you know, doing everything in threes. So for instance, making sure every time I left the house I would’ve to check the doorknob, make sure the door was locked. I would pull on it three times. It would make me feel safe, secure, in control. And if I did it a fourth time, I would have to start that ritual all over again.

And we can certainly go into that more that along with anxiety, which I, you know, going back to when I was seven is really the first time I can remember. Kind of having the manifestations of both the, the mental illness side of anxiety, but also the physical side and, and you mentioned fear of sleeping and, and inability to sleep.

And that was all a function of my anxiety at the time and what was happening in my head [00:11:00]around the intrusive thoughts. And then, yeah, just recently just less than a year ago, I was finally diagnosed with ptsd. So post-traumatic stress disorder for your audience members and my. PTSD relates to childhood emotional trauma.

There’s lots and lots of different ways that PTSD can be, can be classified. I think a lot of us think of PTSD as, you know, traditional people in the military. And I know for me, when I first heard ptsd, not only was I super excited to finally know that we could kind of put a, put a name and a, and a frame around something that I had which also helped me understand all of the symptoms that I was exhibiting.

But I also immediately thought, Hey, wait a minute. I, I wasn’t in, you know, in Seal team six, like a couple of friends of, of Mark, mark and I, and you know, I’ve never [00:12:00] fought in a war. And, but as I’ve investigated it with my therapist and my energy healer and, and done a lot of the work over the, the past year, I’ve realized that.

PTSD really just means, you know, post is after, you know, traumatic is suffering some sort of a trauma. And so after that trauma, stress happens it can be significant. And the disorder part is when your brain sort of gets disorganized. And, and so clearly for me having grown up with, you know, the situa in the situation that I did it’s.

No surprise that there’s PTSD there. And then there’s also a secondary component of that. And, and I know Mark can also share in this as well, living in New York City on nine 11 you know, I was there, mark was there our wives were there. And I never realized how much that the nine 11 incident and sort of the [00:13:00] days and weeks following changed the course of my life for the remainder of, of my 10 years in New York City.

And then just how it impacted me on so many different levels and, and really heightened my anxiety and just kind of threw me into a, a state of, of kind of constant unease, if you will. So that’s kind of the 30,000 foot level. And I’ll, I’ll I’ll throw it back to you and we can go down any kind of road on that that you want.

De’Vannon: Thank you for that breakdown. Mark. I want you to be thinking about so this conversation here is gonna be like dark and deep. I want you to think about a, a light song. You can play us on one of your guitars behind you. When we close out the show. I want, I want to close the show with you, strumming us a little Diddy, if you will.

So just be thinking about it and 

Marc: I can make it, I can make Eric request. Yeah, I’m gonna request 

Erik: and he has to play whatever I [00:14:00] request. 

Marc: Oh shit. Shit. . That’s dangerous. You just, you just did it. 

Erik: I’ll be nice. I’ll be 

Marc: nice. I I’ll I’ll mute in tune so I’m ready when that comes up. That’s right. I’ll be nice.

Well, and it’s interesting cause, you know, listening to Eric, you know, sort of filter out his journey. It, it’s one of the things I am also a trauma denier, , I, it’s a new term of like you know, Since, since it is called sex. I like that. So, and Jesus, look, we all play that game, right? Like, who’s got the bigger dick?

You know, who’s the sexiest, who’s this? And then in the mental health world, we all minimize trauma. We’re like, you know, Eric, even Eric, even while explaining his own diagnosis, kind of did it in a short thing of being like, well, I’ve never been in a war, so why would I have ptsd? And I’ll never forget, you know, talking to my therapist and this last bout of talk therapy and you know, she was like, oh, in New York, when were you in New York?

And I put the years out and she was like, [00:15:00] oh, so you were there for nine 11? And I very just sort of like off the cuff, I’m like, oh yeah, my future wife worked in Tower two, you know, but we were lucky ones. I feel like I have a lot of survivors guilt. And she just went, stop. What did you just say? And I, and I was like, yeah, I mean, we went through some shit, but, you know and then, you know, to dig a little deeper, I spent a month.

Actually volunteering down at the site feeding and working with the, at that point, you know, we still called them rescue and workers, but it was really just a salvage and, and a, and a body recovery sense at that point, and lost two colleagues on one of the flights. And many people that my wife and I worked with were unfortunately tragically touched by it.

So, yeah, it’s, it’s this thing where, you know, We and, and I, I feel like guys do it more than girls to be a little sexist about it, but we just minimize it. We’re like, how, you know, how sick do I deserve to [00:16:00] be? It wasn’t that bad. And the fact of the matter is we don’t get to understand or measure how our brains react.

And that’s one of the most important things. I think of what Eric brought up about this idea of disorder is it isn’t, it isn’t necessarily the trauma that causes the problem. It’s how your brain then gets rewired and how it reacts to other situations, which it essentially reacts like the trauma is either happening or it’s trying to protect you from it.

Right? There’s kind of two ways that disorder shows up and pretty much anybody who’s had, and just about all of us have, if you’ve had something that hard in your life where you know you’ve been disrupted in such a way, There’s a chance you’ll develop PTSD and you don’t necessarily develop it like at the time, right?

You don’t like come home from war and it happens right away. Some, sometimes PTSD doesn’t show up till 4, 5, 6, 10 years later, depending on circumstances, other things. So it is it could be a slippery thing to sort of diagnose and it can show up, right? People could be like, oh, you have anxiety, but [00:17:00] they may not know that it’s actually caused by that.

So it is, it is one of those things 

De’Vannon: I feel that way about. Disasters like hurricanes and things like that. Like we have Fiona, you know, Terry Port, absolutely. Puerto Rico right now. And like, well, we’ve had Hurricane Katrina, you know, and stuff like that where you see all the dead bodies just bobbing away down the street, you know, you know, floating in the water.

And so in my head I go, okay, what, what is the, how do you deal with the mental health, you know, for all these other things. And I, and I hate the fact that PTSD is so associated with the military, but the way it was described to me, you know, as a military veteran, for us, PTSD was a, a, a reasonable fear of a loss of life for limb.

Mm-hmm. , you know, you know, something like that. You know, regardless, regardless of how anybody from the outside looks at it, if you had that fear, then it’s PTSD for you. And it doesn’t matter what it is. And it, and it is not just for people in the military. [00:18:00] Eric, what, what I, what I want you to do, Because you, you mentioned before that you have like panic attacks or, and things like that that happen now.

If there’s something else you wanted to say on the ptsd, go ahead and say that first. But but I want you to do this to describe for me like the worst panic attack that you ever had in great detail. 

Erik: Sure. I’m thinking through, because there was one that I had, which was very, very recent in October of, of last year, but I’m, I, I’m gonna go back to right before I started to see a therapist.

So I was 33 years old, Amy and I had been way, actually, there’s, there’s an even better one than that. So I was in my office, this was in 2006 and it led to [00:19:00] my second dissociate of episode. So I was sitting in my office feeling really good earlier that day, and it was, it was leading up to a, a three day weekend.

It was September. So it was labor Day Weekend. It was a Friday, and I was gonna go meet Amy at her office as I, as I did and she and I were gonna go home and have a fun weekend and suddenly I’m in my, I’m in my office and I can feel myself start to sweat and suddenly I have a thought in my head, which was kind of a terrifying thought.

I don’t think that the actual thought is important, but it was a terrifying thought. And I just remember trying to push that thought away. And [00:20:00] the more I would try to push that thought away, the more it would start to spiral in my head. And so that was, that’s the intrusive thought piece of O C D.

And as that was happening, I was sweating. I, I could literally feel my vision start to close in. I was losing concentration. I still knew I was in my office. I didn’t, I didn’t know why it was happening. I remember thinking to myself, I can’t believe this is happening again. I thought we’ve been, I thought this was done.

I thought it was treated. I thought I had, I had finished with this. And, and I remember now vivid, kind of visibly shaking. And my body just starting to feel [00:21:00] really unsettled and having a thought at the same time in my head of, I can’t let anybody see this. And so I was battling to put up the facade on one hand while at the, on the other side I was, I was now in what you would call a true like, fight or flight response.

Like my amygdala is, you know, fully in charge of my brain. It’s now, it’s taken over my body. I’m in a complete state of panic. And all I can remember thinking is if I don’t get out of my office now and get to Amy’s office, which was three or four blocks away, I don’t know how I’m gonna get out of here this weekend.

And I somehow get up. Took the elevator, walked down sixth Avenue, I got to her office, and as I got [00:22:00] there, just tears began streaming. And, and for me, panic attacks have always resulted in that type of a response, right? So there’s always that, the, the panic and the fight or the flight and the build of, of anxiety.

And then suddenly the tears started flowing. And I remember saying to her, I need to get into a conference room because I need to call Dr. K. This was my therapist in New York at the time, and I called him and I, I told him what I was going through. I hadn’t seen him in about two years. I, I had been off medication.

But I just remember sitting there like shaking and, and thinking, I don’t, I don’t know if I’m gonna survive this. I don’t. Know if I’m gonna be able to get through this again. And, and he talked to me and, [00:23:00] you know, there was a little bit of crisis intervention on the phone and, and he said, I can, you know, I can see you first thing on Monday morning, do you think you can get through the weekend?

And, and I, I think I said something like, I’m not, I’m not sure, but Amy’s around. And so I got home and I actually, I’ve talked about this before. When I come out of a panic attack like that, I typically then go into a state of euphoria. And so as we get on the subway, I started to suddenly feel my spirits lift.

And it was as though my body had just been shot up with a bunch of dopamine and serotonin and all those feel good chemicals. And, and I thought, oh wow, like, This one’s pretty short-lived. Things are gonna be good. And then I got home and two or three hours later, the obsessive thought loop went into [00:24:00] overdrive.

And the anxiety and the fear and the panic led to an inability for me to get, get off of the couch. And three days later, I came to, I had had my second full blown, we’ll call it now, they call them psychotic breaks. Di socio episodes used to call ’em nervous breakdowns. Where essentially I had gone into such a state of panic and anxiety that’s very similar to doing a control alt delete on the computer where you completely reboot your computer.

My brain was in the process of being rebooted. To protect itself and to protect me. And I didn’t sleep much that weekend. I, I was sweating, I was anxious. I was, you [00:25:00] know, I remember Amy said I was talking, but I don’t remember anything I said. I don’t remember, I don’t remember anything from that weekend.

All I remember is not eating, not sleeping, being so frightened that some type of harm was gonna come to me or to somebody that I loved. And it must have been around five o’clock on that Monday of the long weekend. And Amy called a friend of ours who’s a therapist and said, I’m not sure what what to do.

Eric’s therapist is gonna see him tomorrow. And I remember her saying My apartment’s unlocked. There’s Klonopin in the drawer. My therapist had been talking about that being a potential a potential drug that we would use to, to help with my anxiety. And [00:26:00] so Amy drove us in over to her apartment, and I remember I took the Klonopin as she prescribed it.

And, and within 15 or 20 minutes, all I could think about was food. All I wanted to do was eat. I was so hungry. And I kind of, again, went into this state of euphoria. It’s really hard to describe. And I, and I, I know people that have suffered with bipolar can experience sort of like the, the manias and the, and the depressive episodes.

But, but for me, it was suddenly like this fog had lifted. I ate a tremendous amount of food and I fell asleep. And Amy could not wake me like, She was shaking me. And it was the first time that I had had kind of a restful night’s sleep in, in probably five or six days. And, and that set off really what was my, [00:27:00] my mental health journey back in 2006.

And, and I think back on it now and you know, it still gives me kind of the chills. I can still vividly just remember kind of where I was on that Friday afternoon and then Monday, 6:00 PM kind of, we went to a Boston market cuz that was the only thing I was craving at the time. And and here I am you know, speaking about it and I’ve had one other since and, but, but nothing really comes close to to, to that experience.

De’Vannon: So, so two questions, Amy. Is this like a wife, girlfriend? Therapist. Wife. 

Erik: Okay. Wife, 

De’Vannon: yes. And then also, when these panic attacks happens, would you say you feel like you’re being possessed or 

Erik: not? No, I don’t think, like, I don’t feel like I’m being possessed. I feel, I feel as though I’m back. [00:28:00] And, and Mark, mark actually heard me on the phone a couple of times in December of this past year when I went through my, my last one.

And so he may be able to describe it from that side as well. But I, I feel as though I’m kind of that seven year old kid again. I feel extremely fearful. I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust anyone around me that, if that makes sense. And, you know, I, I have the ability to convince myself of all of these horrible thoughts.

And it can be anything from the, the, the fear that I’m going to harm a loved one, which is, I mean, you wanna talk about things that are so far out of character, and, and that’s typically what happens with intrusive thoughts. They, there are things that are so far out of, out of your own personal character [00:29:00] to, you know, that I’m gonna die.

And, and I’ve, I’ve had situations where I have convinced myself that I am going to die and where I will lie in bed and just, just think, you know, how much time do I have left? You know, just, just literally being convinced. My mind has now convinced me. 

De’Vannon: Okay. Then Mark, tell me, like, since Eric said you, you’ve heard some of these episodes before, how did it sound to you?

Marc: It doesn’t, it’s, it’s interesting cuz it’s, it’s the person, but you can tell it they’re not all there, for lack of a better term. Right? Like, they’re, like, the way that Eric describes it is like having those like younger fears. There is, there is a sense of that. Like, you can tell from the sound of their voice and the things that they’re describing that they can’t, they can’t make sense of what’s [00:30:00] actually happening right there.

Because I feel like at this point it’s not fully dissociative. Like there are associations happening where the person is able to tell you like where they are and what is going on. And so I feel like there’s this small amount of understanding that like, hey, like. My anxiety and, and these intrusive thoughts and this sort of spiral isn’t necessarily a reaction to something that is going on, but the chemistry of it and how the person is feeling is so real and it’s so terrifying.

And, but it, it, it’s difficult for them to put it into words or to even describe what they’re afraid of. Right. Like what’s gonna happen. All, everything, all the terrible things, something’s gonna happen. You know, to his wife, Amy, to him, I’m never gonna make it home. I’m never gonna see, like, and, and it’s not one thought, it’s all of them.

And they just kind of like, am watching Eric . No. So I must be doing a good job. It is. And they kind of pile on each other and, and I, it’s like, it’s like a kaleidoscope really. It’s like a ka Yeah, it is. [00:31:00] And I’ve never had a dissociate episode, but I have had anxiety attack and panic attacks. And the thing that I find.

The most disturbing about it when I’m in it and, and, and also hearing Eric go through it is the fixations, like those move fast, but the level of fear and the absolute like just panic, that doesn’t change. That stays at like a 10 even though the situation’s changed. Does that make sense? Cause it’s like you’re thinking about this happening to you or to someone else or this other situation, and the panic stays right at the top of the list, but what you’re fixated on actually continually changes and, and, and comes in and out and can compound and then break apart again.

It’s insane. And 

Erik: you describe it really well, mark. And the other thing that I think then get that I notice what happens is all of those things are in overdrive, but it feels to me like time stands still [00:32:00] and it feels like, you know, a a i an hour is like the longest and I find myself clock watching a lot when I, when I’ve been in these episodes and just thinking like, oh my gosh, it’s gotta be like 10 hours have passed and I’ll look and it’s been five minutes.

Because, you know, my brain is in an n like physical body is in. Overdrive that, you know, things are just happening, as you said, so incredibly rapidly and it’s almost like a little viewfinder when you, when we were kids, it’s just like slides that are just furiously passing in front of me and I’m trying to push them away.

And another one comes in and I try to push that one away. And then, you know, I look at the clock and it’s like, is this day ever going to end? Like, is, is this feeling ever going to end? Like, [00:33:00] how, how much longer am I going to have to, to, and, and you know, I’m gonna use the first word of our podcast. How much longer am I gonna have to survive this?

Cuz that is really, I think at the, at the, at the crux, that’s what it is. It’s really being in survival. And living in survival mode. 

Marc: And it’s interesting too, cuz I, I’ve suffered a lot more from depression than I have from panic or anxiety. And there’s a time element in that as well. And look, we know time is relative.

No matter how often you watch the clock, it’s how it feels, right? And I, there is a huge time element to it of, of, you know, my worst oppressive episodes are those, like, you know, up all night trying to decide whether or not you actually want to do the day tomorrow when the day happens. And then the clock crawl, but then it can speed up too.

Like [00:34:00] all of a sudden you close your eyes and then you, maybe you sleep for a bit and it feels like a full night and it wasn’t, it was an hour or vice versa. Like, it, it, you. And, and we know so little about this. Like that’s the thing, like we’re, we’re literally at the dawn of truly understanding neurology and how our brains work.

Which to me is sort of frightening, you know, that we’re essentially this giant meat computer that we are essentially beholden to, and we have very little understanding of how it operates us and our body. And especially when you think about how memory works, our understanding and feeling of time our emotions, how we create attachment how we process trauma.

Like these things we’re really just starting to begin to understand, you know, it was not, you know, Freud and young were not thousands of years. You know, they were what, 120, [00:35:00] you know, yesterday? Yeah, yeah. 

Erik: Yesterday in like the 

Marc: global, well we talked about geologic time. It was, it was a second to go, but you know, in human history.

Yeah. It’s like yesterday, right. And even at that point, they thought, and it’s interesting cause some of it’s come full circle, a lot of those doctors were like, oh, these aren’t mental ailments, they’re physical ailments. And now we’re actually, we’ve sort of come full circle and we’re trying to be like, Hey, they’re all related.

Like many of our mental ailments can cause physical manifestations and vice versa and, and the interplay of them. And but yeah, it is. It’s, and the craziest thing about listening to Eric tell this story in such detail too is it’s something we talk a a lot about on the podcast is how similar, right? No stories are the same, but you hear these sort of threads and it’s, it, you know, the, the pain, the anguish, the, the fixation, you know, the, the, the mental anguish and suffering.

It, it, it often, it shows up almost that [00:36:00] exact same way for just about everyone who has this affliction and it, you know, and, and Eric honestly was really lucky that Amy is who Amy is and was proactive and was there with him the whole time to make sure nothing bad happened and then when it didn’t seem like he was gonna improve, you know, had the lifeline and could push and then, you know, has been his second biggest advocate out for himself in his healing journey.

De’Vannon: Speaking of healing, I have a question for both of y’all. So because, so there is a point where we, we have these issues and we don’t have therapists, and then we do so, and Eric, I want you to go first. What? Cause I want you to also tell me what a healing team is. Cause I think that has to do with therapy.

So tell me the difference. And I am trying to sell therapy here. You know, I’m not getting any commissions, but, and there’s all kinds of therapy now. You don’t have to go sit in a traditional office and let [00:37:00] some basic bitch look at you. If you don’t know them, fuck the whore. You don’t ever, well, not literally fuck the who, but I mean, you could.

Marc: That’s a whole other thing. 

De’Vannon: Fuck that. You don’t have to tell her shit if you don’t want to. You know, there’s psychedelic therapies, there’s all kinds of therapies now. But what is the difference between trying to deal with all of this shit before you had help versus now that you do have help? And what is a healing 

Erik: team?

Sure. So you know, one, I’m a huge proponent of therapy, like huge. So, and, and yeah, and like, like you said, there’s all sorts of, there’s all sorts of therapies out there and no one type of therapy works for every person. Maybe there’s a mix of different things. And so yeah, so when I think about my life before therapy, so I’m kind of [00:38:00] 30, you know, from, from seven years old to 33 years old is kind of what, what I remember.

I’m sure there were manifestations of it before I was seven, but I remember just living in a state of like heightened panic. It’s sort of like, almost like white noise. So it was like this kinda low grade. Anxiety that was always with me. And I was always trying to make sure that nobody could see it.

And so not only was I living with true mental illness, I was also trying to live a life that I wanted people to see, and it was exhausting. Anybody who’s ever, you know, in your audience who has ever suffered with anxiety or O c d or, or schizophrenia or, or, you know, any of the, the different diagnoses out there, it [00:39:00] can, it, it can be very exhausting, tiring in and of itself.

Throw on top of that, this facade that I tried to hold up through middle school and high school and college and, and grad school and, and work and. Physically, I was just exhausted and my physical health was pretty shitty. Mark knows this. It, it’s, it’s always shocking when I, when I show people photos.

So to give, give your audience an idea, you know, I’m coming off of the end of melt bike season now, so I’m what, five nine, but a hundred fifty, a hundred fifty five pounds at the height of my living this facade and, and being mentally unhealthy, but also physically unhealthy in New York I was pushing, you know, 200 and almost 205 pounds.

I was eating food was a comfort for me. So just large [00:40:00] quantities of food and and so it, it manifested itself both, you know, with the mental illness issues, but also physically my body was starting to break down life with therapy. I, you know, I’m, I’m still in therapy now. I’ve added, I’ve added energy healing to that and reiki and mindfulness and meditation and, and all of the crazy stuff that, you know, we’ve talked about that I do outside skiing and, and mountain biking and a little bit of surfing and, and if you include lying bear ass naked on a, on a Hawaiian beach as an activity, then we can add that to my activity list as well.

And just being in the sun. But life, life after. And I’d be interested in, in some ways the van and because as I sit here and think about it, it’s a completely different topic, but in, in many ways, I feel like when I [00:41:00] finally started to tell someone about what was happening mentally, I can only envision that it’s like somebody coming.

For the first time, right? You have this tremendous secret that you’ve been holding onto for a very, very, very, very long time. And when I finally revealed that secret, it was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. And suddenly I found, not only was I willing to talk to my therapist about it, but now I was willing to talk to my friends about it.

And then I got to a point where I was like, I don’t give a fuck. Who knows about it? Like I want everybody to know. And, and in a weird way, it also gave me a sense of comfort and security because now, and we’re getting into the healing teams now, I knew that other people around me knew it was going on.

And so I almost felt like I had like a bunch of people who were there to also protect me. And, and we talk about chosen family, right? In the [00:42:00] LGBTQ community a lot and, and healing teams are in essence the same thing when it comes to, to mental health. And anybody can create a healing. You know, my healing team, it’s my wife, it’s Mark, it’s my therapist, it’s my energy healer, and some, some very close friends.

And essentially those are people who know the really, really, really deep, dark secrets of like what I, what I live with and know what my triggers are, know how to identify the external signs. So even if I, if I’m feeling things internally and I’m not in a place where I’m even aware of it or ready to speak from the outside, they can start to see that and kind of help guide me and be like, Hey, you need, maybe you should talk to Kathleen who’s our therapist.

Or, you know what maybe, you know, you should dial back you know, on, on all the exercise you’re doing. You’re, you’re [00:43:00] overdoing it overstressing, right? So, Anybody can create a healing team. It’s trusted people who you know, are not gonna judge you, who are there because they love you and they wanna help you li you know, live with it and, and be able to move through these really difficult times.

Oh, the squad. The squad. 

Marc: Yeah. It’s like a squad . Yeah. You can call it whatever you want. Whatever you want. . 

Erik: Whatever you want. 

De’Vannon: All right. Break it down for the 

Marc: plastics. 

Erik: We, there was a whole discussion around mean girls when I was, when I was at Louisville and yeah. We talking about the plastics in Regina George.

So, yeah, the plastics in a way were their own little squad. An evil squad, but a squad, none. 

De’Vannon: I can tell the weather by my tits too. And so . 

Marc: Well 

Erik: that’s a unique, I was gonna say that’s a unique trait, . 

De’Vannon: So Mark, tell us about [00:44:00] how you feel like your life is different before therapy and after therapy. And and also, so 

Marc: my story is so much different.

I’m sorry. Finish your question 

De’Vannon: then I also wanna know like, when, when you’ve had these depressive episodes for you, did it feel like you were being possessed or taken over by like a, a dark force or not?

Marc: It doesn’t feel like not being possessed. So here’s the deal, like, I don’t know. I’ve never been possessed, I guess so, but for me it often feels like the word I would use is a veil. Like everything is just muted. Like I don’t, and you know, everyone thinks of depression as like, oh, you’re just really sad.

And for me it’s, I would actually describe it as flat. Like I actually don’t feel terribly sad, but I also don’t feel terribly happy. I don’t feel much at all. It’s kind of, for [00:45:00] me, I, you know, I’m obviously a very out there excitable, boisterous person and it just, it goes to gray. Everything just kind of doesn’t, and the hardest thing for me is it usually starts with questioning my own self worth and a sense of self-esteem.

And I just don’t think it, it’s worth anything. I don’t think I’m worth anything. I don’t think the effort or doing the things are worth anything. And, and I was gonna say, and, and that’s why, you know, I don’t, I won’t say that it isn’t like being possessed cuz there is this sense of. It, it like comes in, you know, like, it, it just, it comes over me.

And, you know, I’m really lucky. My, my wife’s name is also Amy, which is one of our, Eric and I’s long running jokes. And she’s one of the few people who can actually kind of see it on the periphery. I’m pretty good at like, you know, getting through life, doing what I have to do, but she’s very good at being like, you’re, are you all [00:46:00] right?

Do you need something? Do you need, you know, and, and she’s usually pretty good. She’s like, do you need to go for a walk? Play your guitar? Like, just something that, you know, generally will kind of wake the brain back up. And for me it was sort of an odd road would because my first button therapy, I was put in therapy.

I was seven years old and I was I was a handful, for lack of a better term. My parents did not know what to do with me. And for any of you out there who have kids now, like I’m, I now have a confirmed adult ADHD diagnosis. But ADHD wasn’t something that they diagnosed kids with in 1983. And so my first bout in therapy, I literally ended up at a hospital and was meeting with a panel of doctors.

And my devious ass thought this was some bullshit and I wasn’t weird or special and didn’t need this kind of treatment. So I was honestly [00:47:00] often combative and verbally abusive and would lie and try to trick my therapists and actually did trick them often. Like they would go into the room and be like, so he said, this is happening.

And my mom would be like, that’s not happening. Why do you believe him? And they’re like, he’s very convincing. And she’s like, we know . We’re aware we live with him. That’s part of the problem. And luckily, I mean, luckily or unluckily, you know, one of the things they realized was that I, I had a very accelerated understanding of self and self-worth and maturity for that age.

They tested me incessantly. I did so many, I think I did every psychological exam, like later in life you’re like working at some job and they give you one of those like. You know, disc tests or one of these like personality things. And I would have these like weird flashbacks and be like, oh yeah, I’ve done something like this before, except I was seven , you know?

And [00:48:00] I don’t even remember the number, but my IQ was like, you know, at the top of the curve and they basically told my parents, you know, I was healthy. But that I I should almost call my mom to get it, like word for word. But I had trouble with emotional management and anger management and would, you know, couldn’t regulate, couldn’t self-regulate emotions like, you know, the highest of, highest lowest of lows.

But they didn’t think I, I was bipolar. They did, you know, they did think I was dealing with lots of depression, self-worth. I wasn’t. Socially I wasn’t getting along with, or really making friends with kids my age because they weren’t interested in or wanted to talk about the things that I wanted to do.

So I just ignored them and thought they were all idiots and didn’t want to hang out with them. So it was this really weird dichotomy and life hasn’t changed that much. Eric’s laughing cause he , he’s like, oh, mark hasn’t changed that much. 

Erik: That part of like, that part of you is 

Marc: the same . [00:49:00] And then luckily my mom found a really great family counselor that we met with.

And she did a lot of work with me on, she would use games and different things and then helped me understand my reactions and then basically taught me to self-regulate and then not my second time in therapy, which was during college, but then my third time in therapy, which was just a few years ago.

My therapist and I untangled that actually a lot of my behaviors in things have all been built as coping mechanisms. Some of how I would deal with other people the relationships that I would grab onto that I felt safe in were all coping mechanisms that were dealt essentially with dealing with early child childhood trauma and trust issues and and being adhd.

And it, it didn’t . The interesting thing is it didn’t like, , my last bond therapy didn’t [00:50:00] like hugely revolutionize like how I felt or felt, but it really validated and, and like, it gave me more power, I think, to be like, no, no, no, this doesn’t feel good. This is why, and if I keep doing this, I’m gonna end up here.

So I like, that’s not gonna work for me. Especially when it came to regulating my emotions, especially when it dealt with anger, frustration, which that’s the stuff that leads me towards anxiety and panic. And then from a depression standpoint, and I’m still not great at this we all aren’t great at self talk, right?

We’re, we’re all pretty pretty good at cutting ourselves down. And there’s actually been studies that. Biologically we are, there’s a biological imperative for negative self-talk because when we focus on ourselves versus focusing on the group at large it’s not a good thing. We should be focusing on our, you know, our tribe, our family.

That’s how we all survive. You know, one, one human alone in the wilderness doesn’t do that good of a job. You need people, not a person. And [00:51:00] so there’s actually a biological imperative for us not to spend a ton of time thinking about ourselves. So there, you know, some of the studies now are wondering if that’s why when we do get into this self-talk circle that a lot of it is negative.

And so it’s been very difficult and I’m still working on kind of shifting. And one of the things, my , two other things, Kathleen and Callahan, our therapist would push me to is one thing is, you know, stop saying something to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone you cared about. Was like one of my number one kind of pushes and the number two was, and, and this one is even stranger.

When you’re having those really negative self thoughts, Can you imagine anyone, even if they don’t like you thinking or saying that about, you can, like, can you verify? Is there any context to that? And you know, empirically, like 99.9% of the time, no is the answer because we’re so self-critical and I [00:52:00] am certainly the worst of it.

And, and, you know, giving yourself that permission to be kind to yourself and be caring and loving and, and cut yourself a little slack is just not something, and, and, and this isn’t against my parents, my upbringing or anything, but I wasn’t brought up in an environment at our generation, my age, where I grew up economically and physically, where like that there, there wasn’t time for that , you know, like you, you had to put up a shut up, take care of yourself, you know?

From a very early age part of it, you know, being abandoned by my biological father and, and some of those things, like, I was just convinced that self-reliance was the only thing. So I just pushed that to its failure essentially. But really happy. Go ahead man. No finish. I was just, but I’m really happy to be able to talk about that now and not with no guilt, no judgment.

I don’t know if you can even hear that in [00:53:00] my voice. It’s just kind of like, matter of fact, this is what I do. This is why I do it, and this is, you know, and, and it’s not, you know, I could tell you, even when I say it out loud, sometimes I’ll, it feels like a lie. Like, it’s not my fault. It’s, you know, it’s, there’s nothing wrong with me.

And even when I say it, I’m like, there’s that voice in the background. It’s like, are you sure? But I’m gonna keep saying it cuz it’s true. 

De’Vannon: What I have a thank you for sharing that. I have a note in here about like a suicide. Did you have like a suicide attempt? So 

Marc: I’ve never had an attempt. I’ve had multiple suicidal ideations and, and there is a very strong and important difference because I’ve never, I’ve never had a plan.

And, but how my suicidal ideation shows up is it’s really kind of awful to even say it out loud, but I just imagine like how many of my loved ones life might be better without me and how difficult of a person I can be and, and how [00:54:00] much the, the thoughts and the absolute pain that I live with in my head sometimes.

Like, like would it just all go away? And so it’s not, you know, I’ve never, I’ve never gone as far as planning. But I do sometimes have these crazy recurring thoughts about like, driving my car off a cliff or, you know, these like, Weird, like little flashes, but the, the really hard ones come for like, me planning, like, you know, how great my wife’s life would be without me.

You know? Like she wouldn’t have to worry about this or do that, or, you know, she wouldn’t have to put up with this kind of shit I pull or things like that. Then if anyone out there is thinking like that, I just want you to know like, a, it’s real, and b, that is a slippery slope. Like, don’t think like, oh, just cause I’ve never planned to commit suicide.

It’s probably okay. It’s not, you shouldn’t be imagining a world without you. It’s not good for you anyway, and it, it’s not far off from you making a plan. [00:55:00]

De’Vannon: So how do you overcome those kind of thoughts? And, and after he answered that, Eric, have you ever had those kind of thoughts 

Marc: for me? That’s where the healing team comes in.

Mm-hmm. , you, you contextualize or compare. Right? Because I could tell you you know, my wife, I, it’d be funny to ask her this. I do wonder sometimes if my wife doesn’t actually listen to the podcast because it’s hard enough for her to handle or deal with some of the things that I deal with and that she kind of has to shake me out of that.

I don’t think she probably wants to revisit that on a weekly basis like we do. And I’ve never actually asked that, but I think the reflection of understanding how loved I am and how important of a role that I serve in other people’s life and that I would just be leaving a giant hole in their [00:56:00] lives is the first step.

The second step is learning that you are important enough to live for yourself. And that sounds very. Normal. I hope to most of the people out there listening, congratulations you, you’re not depressed. You don’t have a suicide ideation at this time, but it doesn’t mean you won’t. Right. Because I’ve, I’ve had periods where I don’t, and then I have periods where I do.

And for me, a lot of times it’s, it’s overwhelm. It starts with overwhelm. Like I feel like I can’t think my way or work my way out of a box that I’m in, and I get overwhelmed by being a caregiver, taking care of the people I care about, and then I’ve already feel like I’m letting them down, which makes me feel like I’m letting myself down.

And you can probably see how that kind of just leads to that.

Erik: Yeah. To take your question, Davanon, not in the [00:57:00] way that Mark talks about it, but in the height of some of my. Panic attacks and, and, you know, heightened O c D and anxiety where, you know, the intrusive thoughts are really terrifying and scary. I do, I have had thoughts where I’m like, you know what, if this, if this gets really bad you know, I, I can stop it from happening cuz I can reach into the cabinet right there and I can swallow that whole bottle of, of Klonopin and that’ll be the end of it.

And then, but I won’t actively think about it or, or hope for it or or plan for it. The one that was really strange for me was this past November was you know, I, I had gone through a really difficult time with lots of things happening and you know, I was [00:58:00] back in. O c d and and anxiety and, and I just, I, I didn’t feel like there was a way out.

And I just remember I was out on a walk with one of my friends cause I was trying to at least get out and do some things that, you know, I enjoyed. And Mark, mark wouldn’t know the spot exactly, but I was I was out walking on Tom Lake Trail, which was kind of frozen over at the time. And right before we got there, we were kind of in base village here in sel, mass.

I remember looking up and I was, I was looking up at some of the higher places on the mountain that I love to ski. And this weird voice in my head was like, you’re not gonna be here to see it. This. You’re not, you’re not gonna be around to, to see it. And I couldn’t figure out where that voice was coming from, why it was there.

[00:59:00] And you know, I, I was talking to my therapist about it and and, and subsequently right here, the PTSD diagnosis you know, came in. But that, that was probably kind of the closest realization that, that I ever had of thinking like, yeah, I, I, I may not, I may not be around in, in another couple weeks.

And it, and it kind of, it dissipated and you know, I’ve never had any kind of thought like that again. But it’s, it’s interesting how Mark, mark and I talk about this a lot. You know, if you, if we were looking at a bookshelf, right? Mark’s on one side you. Kind of depression, right? It’s the, the worrying about, you know, everything in the past and there’s the anxiety, which is kind of the future.

And he and I have, have had other similar things kind of in the middle, but [01:00:00] just because you are diagnosed with one or the other does not necessarily mean that you can’t have manifestations of some other pieces and parts. Like I could have some of the depressive 

Marc: stuff. Well, I mean, a perfect example is, you know, what set me into my last my last bout in talk therapy was essentially a panic attack.

I had it right in front of someone and it was. A crisis, a conscious is what I would say. Like, my mind was just, I couldn’t, I couldn’t operate anymore. It was all filled up. You know, if you think about this idea that Erica brought up about like holding up the masks and, you know doing it, and I’ll never forget, like sitting down with my therapist and just being like, yeah, it was just weird.

You know, I usually have all the answers, but all of a sudden I couldn’t, couldn’t find them. And she was like, yeah, you were panicked. You were in a full flight or flight. And I was like, no, I’m depressed. And she’s like, Jesus, would you just listen? [01:01:00] And I’m like, yeah, sure, okay. Well then say something that makes sense.

And she’s like, do you feel depressed right now? Look at you. She’s like, I could tell your heart rate’s up. She’s like, you’re sweating. She’s like, that’s not depression. She’s like, now I’m not saying this isn’t being caused by your depression. And so it is this like weird interplay and, you know, and for me, I’ve not even really joking, but I’ve always described it as like an existential crisis.

Cause for me, I’m like, you know, where, where does my worth come from? What, what, what, where does the meaning come from? And I’ve always thought that the answer would be within that I would somehow find that answer have even written song lyrics about that, now that I think about it. But the fact of the matter is, is that meaning, and, and, and that, you know, it comes from everywhere.

It comes from within without, with other people, you know, and, and being able to understand that. . It doesn’t, it doesn’t always work that way for me in my brain. It, I have to remind myself [01:02:00] that that worth doesn’t, like I didn’t just land on this planet to like achieve or do something that would somehow prove myself worth.

Like, it comes from literally having a conversation with two beautiful men discussing like how we’re gonna get through this when these kinds of things happen to us. And, you know, being there happen for us and, and, and for us. Right. Right. And, you know, being there for the people I care about, however I am that day, whatever version of myself, even if isn’t my best, it’s better than not.

Right. And, and that’s, I, it’s even hard for me to say it like I, you know, I’m not fully there. I never will be. I don’t think. 

Erik: And I’m just gonna reiterate something, mark said for your audience that any version of yourself is better than no version of yourself. So anybody out there who’s thinking as Mark was describing, you know, my family will be better [01:03:00] off without me, my friends, I’m a burden.

You know, I, I just can’t seem to be myself. It’s perfectly okay. I’m gonna, I’m gonna add lib a little bit on my saying. It’s perfectly okay to not always be yourself, but be some version of yourself. 

De’Vannon: I love it. I love it. So Eric, what, what song is Mark gonna play? . Right? So isn’t that right for him?

The plate just yet? That’s gonna be about 

Marc: five minutes. Well, he just wants me to prepare, so we just gotta prepare. 

Erik: So I saw this artist, mark knows who it is. I saw this artist about three weeks ago in Denver, and it’s somebody who lives on the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii and whose music I love and Mark and I play a lot of his stuff together.

But it’s gonna be the [01:04:00] first Jack Johnson song that Mark actually taught me how to play. And it’s gonna be Rodeo Clowns. 

Marc: Oh, I totally thought you were gonna make me play a pirate. Looks at 40 by myself. No , 

Erik: no 

Marc: rodeo clowns. See, I, I’ll tell you right now. 

Erik: Jack Johnson. They’ve all played it separately and together.

Marc: I will, I will do my best and Eric will laugh. There is one section of the lyrics that I always screw up, so we’ll see if I can, if I can actually get it right. , 

De’Vannon: feel free to remix it. Chop it, screw it. You don’t have to do the whole thing all 

Erik: the way through. It’s only four. It’s only four chords. You remember the chords, mark?

Marc: Oh, I know the cords. Okay, so you according to the easy part for me.

De’Vannon: So I’ve appreciated y’all’s candid candidacy. I guess we getting too close to the midterm. Don’t say candidacy, but candid. 

Erik: I am never money for fucking political office. Fuck all of them. 535 useless [01:05:00] people in Washington, 

Marc: DC . I sh I, I don’t know. I, I’ve considered it a couple. 

De’Vannon: And but you certainly can’t hurt anything.

Marc: can’t plug it up anywhere that it’s already plugged up. And 

Erik: you know what? There’s no, there’s no skeleton. They’re gonna dig either out of either one of our closets that isn’t already out there. 

De’Vannon: That’s true. Oh yeah. I take my skeletons out to the bar all the time. , you know what I mean? 

Marc: some of my best friends in my skin.

I was gonna say, many of them are my best friends. They’ve made

De’Vannon: great hate. They don’t have any room to judge and I’ll try. That’s 

Marc: right. You were there too, motherfucker. Right. 

Erik: a little too bony for me, as Mark knows. I’m an as, I’m an ask guy, so 

Marc: Yeah. Oh, it’s so true. So 

De’Vannon: ums true. So thank you for sharing about your your healing journey and everything like.

I’m a proponent of alternative medicines, be it hypnotherapy. I’m on a new psychedelic journey, which when I have you [01:06:00] back on for the third time, and I’m gonna have to, cuz I still have more things on my bullet points, , that I haven’t gotten to. I look forward to having you back on. And then we can talk about my MDMA experience.

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Experience and my new beard coloring experience. I’m headed to Portland baby and I’m returning Not the same. 

Erik: Are they ready though? Are they, are they really ready for you in Portland? 

Marc: They have no choice. No, but I just 

Erik: wanna know, I’ve 

De’Vannon: been, I’ve been just once before and I’m gonna tell you that city I never thought I’d say this is too wild for me.

Like, wait. 

Erik: Say that again. I don’t believe this. 

Marc: No, that 

De’Vannon: city is too while for me and at least, okay. At least like the gay division because there’s, there’s so much

Erik: the division, 

Marc: the gay division, 

De’Vannon: like it me, me, me as [01:07:00] I’m, if this person who I am now, yes. If I would’ve been in my mid to late twenties when I was a drug dealer, no, I would’ve fit in fine. But there’s far too much for, from me. Just like narcotics, just like running around freely. Cause everything is illegal there.

It’s just like thrown at you, you like, you like. So you might go somewhere to like have a little bit of this or a little bit of that and then everybody starts showing up with everything else they have. Then everybody else, they know a new dealer who’s also on the way. And before you’re done, you have. 15 people with all this bags of dope laying around, things like that.

And it’s just too much, you know, 

Marc: you know, it was, I saw that 

Erik: big grin on Mark’s face 

Marc: when you said, I just, I’m just reminding myself of my early partying days where like, I would, you know, sometimes it is important that the drugs run out. Cause if the drugs don’t run out, that’s what shit gets really weird.

And I can tell Devana knows what I mean. , 

De’Vannon: yes, bitch. Like the drugs did not [01:08:00] run out.

Marc: And mom, if you’re listening right now, I’m sorry, but you know, you know, you know that shit down. And, and it is like, I, you know, and I, and I, and look, and I’ll tell you I haven’t, I haven’t actually used psychotropics as part of my own supervised mental health journey. But I definitely, I could definitely tell you that I remember points in my life, especially.

Right in college or just after college, which is, you know, some of the most fucked up times in your life. Chemically, like, you know, as a guy, our brains are just finally finish developing, you know, your working jobs. You’re starting to sort out what you are. And I can tell you, especially, I’m thinking specifically of a of a long, long mushroom trip in the desert in my early twenties.

And coming back from that with a very different understanding of self, meaning [01:09:00] I was a lot less attached. You know, like people talk about ego and these things and like, you know, we, we, I think sometimes part of what can send us into a very, and this is gonna sound even stranger, but could send us into a very hard part, especially if you’re someone who fixates, whether it’s anxiety or depression.

You get so attached to yourself and who you are and what’s important. I think sometimes it’s important to take a slides sham to that shit and be like, Do you have clean water? ? Do you have some food? Do you have some people that love you? Then you’re fine. You know? And, and I think we need to know that sometimes.

De’Vannon: Amen. And a fucking men to, oh, that , that’s my takeaway from this is it’s important that the drugs run out. . 

Marc: I mean, for me, that’s certainly how my, like for me it’s like, okay, we’re out. Okay, I’m gonna walk out of the desert now and go 

video1400108677: back. 

Erik: I have no problem if that’s what you wanna name this episode today.

in honor of Mark. [01:10:00]

Marc: Sometimes the drug shouldn’t run out. I mean, they should. It’s important the drugs run out. there’s a great Ben Harper song called, you know, the Drugs That Don’t Work. And it’s like, yeah, they worked for a little while, but then they don’t, and that’s when they should run out.

De’Vannon: All right, mark. Is it my turn? Serenade us, if you will. 

Marc: Yes. My guitar is in the 

Erik: other room, so I get to sit back and 

Marc: I’m actually, and I’m actually, this is Eric’s guitar. I, that is my guitar that he’s playing. So that was what was on the shelf. Can you guys hear that pretty well? Mm-hmm.

sweeping the floor. Opened up the doors. Yeah. Turn on the lights. Getting ready for tonight. Nobody’s romantic cuz it’s too early for dancing. But here comes the mi. Bright lights flash into cover up your lack of submitted people. So many reasons. For many reason to buy another round. Drink it down. Just nu none of [01:11:00] the town with the big man, man and man better than the other man.

He got the plan with the million dollar give what? No one 

Erik: understands if to become a 

Marc: bigger man. The bright lights keep flashing button the clowns here you them 

Erik: down, you, 

Marc: your clowns. Here them.

I’m just gonna let it go out.

There you go. . That’s just the first couple verses I decided you didn’t need to hear the whole thing unless you really want. 

De’Vannon: No, that’s super cute. I thank you so much for playing that. I love that chord. It almost sounds like they could have led right in the hotel.

Marc: What?[01:12:00]

Very jazz. Yeah. You could play it in nights too.

But yeah, no, and it makes me happy. It actually, you know what, there is one more, there’s one more verse I’m gonna play for you cause it’s important. Are 

Erik: you in the, are you plugged into the amp? Nope. Oh, there’s like massive feedback from the guitar.

De’Vannon: Yeah. Heard. Love it. Now it is. Yeah. From your voice and your voice too.

Everything’s 

Marc: changed while I was singing or just when I stopped. I, I wonder if it changed the settings. Both. 

Erik: Huh? 

Marc: Yeah. Well if this comes to worse, I can always do like a quick native recording of it and send it to you. Devana. Okay. 

Erik: Mark’s voice changer in the podcast. He finally went through puberty at 46

Marc: It’s actually asking me to set up professional audio and audio settings, so I must’ve It must be too loud or it freaked 

De’Vannon: it out. You saying something, so, [01:13:00] yeah. Oh, well, we’ll just go ahead and have our last words then. You’re Your last words to the world, Eric, and then Mark. And you can do a little, like strong while Eric is talking.

That’ll be Yeah. 

Erik: Yeah. Do a little there you go. So soothing. Right, right. . So I just want to say to you know, your audience and, and everybody who’s listening out there, just remember, you’re not alone. There’s hope, there’s help and there is a way through. And from this day forward, none of us could have to suffer alone or in

Marc: silence.

Remember, if you can listen to the music, it’ll set you free. Right? And I don’t mean just the music, I mean the sound of your voice, the sound of your lover’s voice, the sound of your parent, sister, brother, whoever it is. Key in be present because in the present [01:14:00] moment we can always be happy with ourselves.

The moment that happened a moment before and the moment that hasn’t happened yet, it’s really fine. It’s really difficult to find happiness enjoying those. But the one right now, not one you can find it in 

De’Vannon: and as My favorite song by Dave, cause start all over again would say, as long as you, then you can start all over again.

If your hearts beating, you can start all over. Goodbye. Sorrow. You can start all over again. Hello to Ma. You can start 

Erik: all 

Marc: over. Well said, sir. You’ve unleashed. 

Erik: Yeah, you’ve unleashed. A hidden talent here of the vans 

Marc: Mark. 

De’Vannon: Oh honey, my mouth is good for more than deep rowing. Dicks , [01:15:00] but I, but I will say it’s easier to hit that G sharp after I’ve sucked on a good long bone.

It just stretches me out there

So thank you all for coming again onto the Sex Drugs and Jesus podcast. The name of their show is Survivor to Thriver, and all their links will go in the showy notes, as it always does, and they will be back on again. And we’re gonna talk more about some Catholic puckery and we’re gonna talk more about Eric and if it’s great.

So we’ll talk to you all soon. Love to you and peace to you and be safe in all you do.

Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to the Sex Drugs and Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and [01:16:00] resources at SexDrugsAndJesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.

My name is De’Vannon, and it’s been wonderful being your host today. And just remember that everything is gonna be all right.

 

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