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Talking with Joy

Humble Rising Joy Part 1 Transcript

[00:00:00] Arivee: We all deserve to have fulfilling careers and lives. We deserve to experience joy and peace, and freedom and all of those things that make us feel truly alive.

[00:00:20] It takes a lot of courage. For us to take the reins in our lives and take action that honors the deepest parts of ourselves in this current season of life, it takes a lot of courage to lean into growing and to lean into learning, and to know when it's time to make a change. I am Arivee. I'm a first generation Latina mom of free and life and high performance coach to women just like you.

[00:00:50] And this podcast is for all of us looking to grow and learn and explore what a joyful and fulfilling life and [00:01:00] career can look like and how to start living into that life right now. We're going to go deep and we're going to honor our truth in this podcast. And the best thing is we're gonna do it together.

[00:01:13] So welcome to the Humble Rising Podcast.

[00:01:23] Joy: Making the connection between doing something that you like is really important, and then balancing up against your mental health and your emotional health. The two go together for me, so I just thought I have to do things from this point onwards that I know it's not easy for everyone to find a job that they love or do things that they love, but I think we owe it to ourselves to try and move towards that point.

[00:01:45] Arivee: Today’s conversation is all about navigating stress and burnout, and it's great for those of you who are feeling overwhelmed, who want to talk through identity shifts that you've had. [00:02:00] And who want to hear from someone like Joy, who I will introduce in a moment who is a therapist, specifically a stress management therapist and certified coach.

[00:02:12] So Joy Langley is a certified coach, stress management therapist based in the UK and she's the author of a book called Navigating Stress that was released about two years ago in 2020. Joy's view: We all need to recognize the things in life that stress us out. Then commit to changing negative emotional patterns, behaviors, and thinking habits.

[00:02:38] Her huge mission is to alleviate human suffering, and she does that by helping people get back to what makes them happy, what makes them feel joy through transformational therapy. Joy has shared that the maternal side of her family has a history of poor mental health. Joy [00:03:00] experienced herself anxiety and depression when she was in her twenties.

[00:03:05] And then in 2018, tragically her 23 year old son committed suicide, which was the day after Joy's birthday, after he was living with bipolar depression for longer than he could. Joy's also had more than her fair share of close family bereavements. So mental and emotional wellbeing are a non-negotiable way of life for her.

[00:03:33] Joy says that no one should be asked to sacrifice health. If you're burnt out, no one should be asked to sacrifice health relationships or their peace of mind and their sanity because of the rules of their industry or their profession. And in this conversation with joy, we talk about her background, her family, her story, and the history of mental illness.

[00:03:56] We delve into how to navigate stress, manage it, how [00:04:00] to move through stress, and how to really navigate burnout, especially for high achievers, especially for you overachiever listening. Right? And should we talk about how our thoughts can lie to us? And how they also create our reality and what we can do about that and what it means to be who you are.

[00:04:21] We talk a lot about identity and how we move through these different phases of life. This is a really rich conversation. I am not even doing it justice by just describing it in the way that I just have. I'm really not doing the conversation justice because there are so many things that joy and I touch upon and our conversation flows in a way where you will feel like you are part of it.

[00:04:47] I try to ask questions that I thought you may have for her and I was really curious in this conversation as well, cuz I was. And I do wanna say, before I take you to the conversation with Joy, I [00:05:00] do want to share that in this episode we do discuss suicide, depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. If you have children nearby, please consider wearing headphones.

[00:05:11] If you're not in a mental and emotional space to listen to this conversation due to the discussion topic for any reason, please consider that. Consider skipping it. Your wellbeing is our priority. Without further ado, here is my conversation with Joy, and this is part one, not both parts. It's part one of a part two conversation, so here it is.

[00:05:35] Joy, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for being here. I'm so excited for our conversation.

[00:05:41] Joy: Hi Arivee. I have been waiting to to talk to you for months, so I'm glad I've got to the front of the queue.

[00:05:47] Arivee: Yes, that's right. I know we've been going back and forth. Joy, I would love for the audience to know more about you, so share with us your story and how you got to where you are.[00:06:00]

[00:06:00] Joy: Yeah, for sure. I'm a stress management coach and also a therapist. And um, I've kind of combined the two skills more recently to work with business owners, helping them to, I call it “up”. Keep their psychological health in place so they can have a stronger business because people seem to have forgotten the connection between a strong mind and a strong family and a strong business.

[00:06:23] So that's where I am now, but I wasn't always in that field. I started out as a young, I suppose teenager, wanting to change the world. Wanting to find a cure for cancer. All these, you know, you have all these admirable things when you're a teen. And then I went to university and did a very boring degree in chemistry and business.

[00:06:43] And I thought, how the hell did I get here? So I came out with my degree, didn't know what I wanted to do as a job, and just fell into all of these sort of dead end jobs, I suppose, which depressed me. So depression was something which I'd seen happen with my. Quite badly. I'm not a fan of Christmases [00:07:00] because every Christmas it felt like four.

[00:07:02] From the age of 12 onwards, mum just got sick, so I hated Christmases. And in my twenties when I started getting depressed, I recognized it. I thought, I recognized what this is, but I didn't think it would happen to me. So depression then was part of me having jobs that I hated. Eventually I found something that I loved and I ended up working in the music business and that was fun.

[00:07:26] And when I left that, I was self-employed with my partner. We ran a small record label and we met lots of really top artists. And I met Beyonce, can you believe it? Every day when she, when she was with Destiny's Child.

[00:07:38] Arivee: Joy, wait. Because the audience knows my obsession with Beyonce, and that's amazing!!

[00:07:45] That's amazing. Okay. Yes. Queen B, right? And so…

[00:07:49] Joy: I'm gonna say Arivee, you have met her, one person removed. So they always say what's it must be four degrees of separation now, isn't it? It's probably even less so. So I officially say [00:08:00] Ariba. You have met Beyonce too. Okay. So the music business was fun, didn't make any money.

[00:08:08] And then I was with my partner and, uh, we were splitting up at, towards the end of that whole period. So then I thought, what am I gonna do with my life? And I'd realized I'd loved interviewing artists, and I thought, what job can I do when I can talk to people? And there were these courses coming up around, you know, introduction to therapy and counseling.

[00:08:25] I thought I'll do a bit of that for a bit. And they kept saying, oh, come back and do some more. Do some more. And the training ended up being four. And that's how I fell into, I suppose, doing the therapy work. But I also wanted to find out about myself, Ariba, cuz there's so many points in life that you end up losing yourself and becoming a mom is one of them.

[00:08:44] Be quite honest. But I certainly lost myself after the end of my relationship. It was 15 years and I thought, wow, how do I get to be? And, uh, you know, have a child. And now I'm splitting up with this person. I'm thinking that can't be sensible, but it, it wasn't gonna be [00:09:00] a sustainable relationship anymore.

[00:09:02] And I thought, I want different things from life. So I thought I have to make a break. So I did. And the therapy thing was what got me on the road to where I am now really. So it's, you know, I did, did that for a good seven years with college students and then self-employment 2012 onwards. I haven't looked back.

[00:09:20] It did exactly what I wanted it to, which was to provide an income for me where nobody could lay me off my job or make me redundant. Ave. That was the whole thing. I don't wanna be in a job where someone can suddenly say, joy, sorry, we have to get rid of some people, and you are one of them. I thought, no, it's not gonna happen to me ever again.

[00:09:40] Been through that. So that was really kind of my pathway through, through life. It's never knowing what I wanted to do at rebate, which was a really, sounds really stupid, but I know there, there are lots of people out there that still feel that way and I just assumed I'd fall into things. I'd fall into a job that I liked, but it never really happened.

[00:09:58] What happened was, I fell [00:10:00] into jobs that I hated and I got depressed. So that wasn't clever, but I realized when I did a job that I liked, depression was never a part of my picture. So when I was in the music business, you know, self-employed with my, my partner, I never got depressed. Once I thought way, this is interesting.

[00:10:17] So making the connection between doing something that you like is really important and then balancing up against your mental health and your emotional health. The two go together for me. So I just thought I have to do things from this point onwards that I like and that's what I've done. I've been fortunate ave, to be able to do that.

[00:10:36] I know it's not easy for everyone to find a job that they love or do things that they love, but I think we owe it to ourselves to try and move towards that point. In your

[00:10:44] Arivee: journey, when did it become crystal clear to you that, okay, I have to balance doing something I love with my mental and emotional health, and this is it?

[00:10:55] Is it when you became self-employed again in 2012 with your business?

[00:11:00] Joy: I was about 25, 26 I think. Cause I kept on recurring and I kept on thinking, okay, I'll just stay a little bit longer in this job and then I'll find another one. So my way to get over the fact that I didn't like what I was doing was, oh well I'll just find another job.

[00:11:15] And so I did. And because you want to make your CV look really good, you, you have to stay there for about, you gotta make it look good on paper. So a year, so I got got into these jobs and after. A couple of weeks I realized I didn't wanna be there and I thought, I can't just leave after a couple of weeks.

[00:11:30] But I tell you something, Riva, I would say to my younger self, don't worry, leave nothing is worth your mental health and, and, you know, stringing it out for a year. Leave, get yourself together, find something else. But no, you don't have the luxury of that when you're trying to, you know, find some rent and buy some food.

[00:11:49] So you just keep going. But no, it was definitely then, Becoming self-employed. I haven't had that kind of depression. I've had more, um, frustration. It's been [00:12:00] frustration for me. Why haven't I got further? Why am I not making more money? Why haven't I got more clients? It's those kinds of questions that you keep asking yourself and you keep thinking, I've been doing this for long enough.

[00:12:09] I've been following all the courses. I've been speaking to the right mentors. Why isn't it happening? So it was frustration, I think I felt, and I never, I don't think I got to the point of burnout. But I'm an over worker. I'm an overachiever, I'm a worker, Alex. So I think I probably have, cuz I've gotten really tired and even though I do all this therapy stuff, if you'd come to me and said, Joel, I just feel really tired and can't stop working and I'm going to bed.

[00:12:36] And then I'm wake up in the middle of the night and then I'm starting all over again and I, I don't know, it feels like a merry-go-round. I'd say, do you know what ave you need to take a. That is what I would say to you. So I knew I probably was experiencing what could be classified as burnout.

[00:12:52] Not to the degree that some people do, because I wasn't prepared to drive myself into the ground. Anyway.

[00:12:58] Arivee: Mm-hmm. And [00:13:00] so many people do drive themselves into the ground. I know that one of your specialties or your, you know, your big specialty is trust management. How do you help people start to think about where they're at and how to move through stress

[00:13:13] and navigate it?

[00:13:14] Joy: Absolutely. Well, I'll shamelessly plug my book here, Arivee. I've got a book called Navigating Stress. Okay. So I was headhunted during 2020-21 when that whole pandemic thing was blowing up. That was a surprise to me. But I did end up writing a book. So for me it's Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone will accept that and the chemicals enter your body.

[00:13:37] The adrenaline and the cortisol are very much needed if you really are in danger. So we can't knock it. But the fact that we live in a world where there are too many things that are demanding our attention and that seem very, very important and they're not, but just piling up means that we're facing more stresses than we probably ever have, and they just seem to be increas.

[00:13:57] And even more recently with changes in [00:14:00] ai, and I'm looking at that now. I'm thinking, oh, I have to get good at that too. That's another thing I've got to be good at all of a sudden. So there's a lot of outside forces. Which pile up, which if you are in a good place, you can cope with them. But if you're not in a good place, it's just another, I was gonna say another nail in your coffin, but it feels like a nail in the coffin, doesn't it?

[00:14:21] Because you just one more thing that you just don't need and you can't cope with. So stuff happens. We do become resilient through, um, challenges ave because human beings are pretty smart. So we kind of, um, flex a bit and then we grow a bit like muscle. So I'm not an exercise person. Ariba, you look as though you might be okay, but you know, feeling the burn and stretching the muscles, you know, the muscles tear and then they repair and they're the repairs stronger.

[00:14:49] So that much I do know about muscles and the mind will become stronger too, but I don't think we should be putting. That much stress on ourselves, and I think employers shouldn't be putting that much [00:15:00] stress on people, but it's there. But ultimately it's our responsibility to look after our health or rebate, not our employers, is that it's not their responsibility.

[00:15:09] So burnout for me, when I have clients, I say, you didn't just get here like yesterday, did you? You've been in the middle of this for a while and you've been watching it and not knowing how to stop it and you've kept going. So there will come a point when the body will sort itself out and I think, I think our bodies are pretty smart ends un unfortunately, sometimes in like nervous breakdowns.

[00:15:33] So the mental part of us, or it's gonna be physical breakdown, you know, your immune system, or you just get sick or you get ulcers or whatever the body can do, I suppose to stop. And make you rest. I think it's a pretty smart body. Mm-hmm. But you know, for me, that's part of stress. It's normal. We shouldn't ignore it when we have too much on our plate, but we are very much capable of dealing with stress and we need it.

[00:15:59] To, [00:16:00] um, make us do things to make us reach higher, to motivate us. So there's a balance there. And I think just recognizing when, if I were talking to someone, I would tend to have an assessment sheet in front of me and I'd be looking at nine questions ave around depression and seven questions around anxiety.

[00:16:17] Just to see where you are at on it. And I'd be taking readings every single week. And you'd be self-rating on a, like a scale of, um, one to four basically. Um, where are you on it? No stress. Zero lots. Four. You're kind of like doing that all of the time. Every week and I know that my clients get better and the therapy clients that I've had, they definitely get better and they can see the figures changing.

[00:16:37] The figures come down and it's a beautiful thing to watch, but things around eating habits too much. Eating too much. Not eating at all. Sleeping. Sleeping badly, sleeping too much, basically. Also being a unable to concentrate. I remember that was my biggest sign of depression was that I just couldn't concentrate and I just couldn't work it out.

[00:16:56] I could be reading the same sentence over and [00:17:00] over again. Ave, it was, it was so stressful because I couldn't even watch Televis. You know, because you have to pay attention to the plot and you just can't keep up with the plot. So concentration is a huge one. But also just irritability, people get quite grumpy.

[00:17:15] They also stop doing the things that they love. So a loss of interest in the things that you are doing. So things you used to love, you just can't be bothered anymore. So there's lots of signs and I think people outside of Can see it happening to us.

[00:17:29] Arivee: Joy, you know this cuz you were in that audio room with me and Shana where we were talking about this and my moment was a basically a, a breakdown.

[00:17:38] And when you were saying that your body, your body will tell you, And my body was telling me long before that, but I was trying to quote unquote work through it. At that point. I had experience, what you are talking about right now, couldn't concentrate. I would read the same thing over and over and over.

[00:17:58] I'd be in a spiral for [00:18:00] hours where that was not the case before. And I think what is. Particularly relevant, especially for our audience, joy is what you said is like you're an overachiever. And a lot of us are, and a lot of us work really hard and a lot of us get the message that just be resilient and push through and you can do this because you've been doing it and, and look at where you come from and.

[00:18:20] And there's this feeling of like, no, but I can do it. I can work through it. Even though your body is giving you all these signs that maybe it's time to take a step back. But for me it was very hard to accept the need to rest.

[00:18:35] Joy: The need to rest is an interesting one as well, because in my, my family, we kind of weren't allowed to rest.

[00:18:42] You know, we were had to be out of bed by a certain time. I remember my mom, if we attempted to beyond like nine o'clock, you know, she'd be there saying, what's wrong with you? Are you not Well? blah, blah, blah. And we think, oh God, you can't even. You know, just have an extra hour, please, mom, give us a break [00:19:00]

[00:19:00] So it's good and it's bad. It's work ethic. It's, it's, they're coming from a place where they've worked hard. I can't knock it. This whole thing about us as human beings ave, is how do we acquire all of these, uh, rules and these regulations and, and these, this guide for life? Where do we acquire it from?

[00:19:18] Because I always think when we're born, we're kind of like a fresh ball of Play-Doh. Do you have Play-Doh in the usa? Or

[00:19:24] Arivee: just um, oh my. Do we have Play-Doh Joy? My Children, they love Play-Doh, right? Yes. Yes. Okay.

[00:19:28] Joy: So imagine we're just this lovely fresh round ball of Play-Doh, lovely and smooth. And then I think as you go through life, people come and make their, like their imprint on it.

[00:19:37] They put their thumb on it and then they put their fingers. And before, you know, you might got to the age of four and it's all a bit like manky and like got finger, finger dabs in it. So you started out. But now you've acquired everybody else's things like joy. You know, sit up straight, joy, you know, write properly.

[00:19:53] Joy, don't, you know, lull around at the table. Joy, do this. So all these rules are beginning to [00:20:00] like just flood you. And they're, they're actually other people's beliefs and other people's ideas about life. But we don't know that as children, we're just learning all of these rules. They just happen to be somebody else's rules.

[00:20:12] So for me, the one thing that struck me, you know, when I was doing all this therapy stuff was that it's, it's like secondhand rules. It's somebody else's rules I'm living, leading my life. But actually, Ava brought, brought me up and it's actually all Ava's rules that I'm leading right now and I haven't even tweaked.

[00:20:28] And I used to wonder when will the real Joy Langley stand up? So I just didn't know, who am I, you. I'm not me. I'm a, I'm a mixture of every other person that I've met, but who exactly is joy Identity.

[00:20:42] Arivee: And does an identity evolve over time? Joy, like right, we were talking about motherhood and you can lose yourself there.

[00:20:49] There's a grief there too, cuz you recognize I'm losing part of my identity. Yes, we're evolving and yes, you have this amazing thing as a child. You have that and that's incredible, [00:21:00] but you still are. Person, you were a person before you had a child. You were a person before you got married or you had a partner.

[00:21:08] And this question of like when will the real you stand up? It's almost like I think of it as when will the real you stand up in this season of life that you're in, cuz you're evolving.

[00:21:19] Joy: I think the real, the real you, you're right about evolving as well, Areva. Cause we're changing through every, every stage of our life.

[00:21:27] And especially from your teens into your twenties, thirties, forties, fifties. You know, I'm, uh, in my sixties, dare I say it, but I'm at that end of, of the game. I know I've changed over time, but I do remember this young teenager, she was the Joy Langley. She. Have anyone to answer to. She kind of vaguely knew who she was, even though she was copying the trends of the time and her friends, but she felt as though she had an identity, and I remember becoming a mom.

[00:21:56] I'm losing my identity and being called a mum [00:22:00] by almost everybody that I met. So I thought, I'm no longer Joy Langley. I'm just a mum. And I used to resent going down to the schools and hanging out with the other mums. I was a bit snobby, I suppose. You know, British people said I was a bit of a snob ave.

[00:22:16] You know, I don't want to hang out with the other mothers. I'm not like them at all. You know, it's one of those things that it was me kind of not wanting to get too en me. In this mummy. And this mummy identity, because I've used to call myself a caregiver or a caretaker, you know, which isn't my way of distancing myself from my son.

[00:22:37] And I kind of stopped doing that when he was about three or four, which seems like a very long time. But up until that point, When you have a little child, you're just so worried about them dying. It's top of your mind. They're sleeping in their little cots and you're making sure their chest is going up and down.

[00:22:53] Yes. You know, you just have to check, don't you? If you can't see it, you have to get a little bit clo close and you poke them a bit and they, oh, [00:23:00] they're all alive. Great, great, great. So, but your job is to keep them alive. Yes. So I think children are a wonderful gift, and if you have them at the time of life, when you.

[00:23:10] Time and energy to give to them. They really enhance your life. But if you have children at the wrong stage of your life, when you think they're a nuisance and they're getting in the way, then I think that's really unfair on the child. Mm-hmm. But I had my son at a time, I was 34, 35, more than ready to take on board the responsibilities of another adult and looking forward to it, really looking forward to.

[00:23:32] Yes. So, uh, but losing your identity, trying to find out who you are, not just a mum, not just a working for somebody else, not just a wife or a partner. Who are you? And it's your responsibility to work out what that is. Interesting. I, I just think that that person was the teenage me, and I think I used to just hold that person in mind.

[00:23:53] She was free, she was single. She did what she wanted to. That's it. Great. Now you're in your thirties or your forties [00:24:00] and you're not so free. You're not so single. So life has changed.

[00:24:05] Arivee: Yes, that's true.

[00:24:07] Joy: Not so free. Not

[00:24:08] Arivee: so single. You know, joy, it's interesting because when, even when I think of my life and how much it's changed with now having three little ones, eight, five, and two, I don't grieve my previous life's style or life.

[00:24:22] Right. But I sometimes I have the thought of, oh, when I was just working and that's all I had to do was work and have fun and go travel, it was just so much easier. But then I think of, but I don't, I didn't have, oh, And here's my daughter who is coming in to say hello. You say, hi, Maya. Hi. You're on a pod.

[00:24:43] Hi, sweetheart. Hello. You're on a, you're on a podcast. Can you say hi?

[00:24:47] Joy: Hi. Hi darling. Oh, she says hi, can you I'm from, I'm from the uk. Does she know about

[00:24:53] Arivee: uk? Hello? British Joy said she's from the uk from, she's

[00:24:56] Joy: from the uk. I'm not from America.

[00:24:57] I'm

[00:24:58] Arivee: British. She's British. You know [00:25:00] that, um, mommy used to go to London a lot for.

[00:25:02] Do you remember? Yeah. And you, you were very little though. You were maybe two. So like, can I finish my podcast? I'll be, I'll be done soon. Okay. Love you.

[00:25:13] Joy: Well that was much, you haven't done that very well. You haven't done that very well. Lovely. Thank you, joy. Thank you. And that's the best way to do it, isn't it?

[00:25:20] The attention. The best way. Yeah. Best way to do

[00:25:22] Arivee: it. Exactly. Engage and then say, Hey, and I love you.

[00:25:25] Joy: I'll be with you in a couple of minutes, blah, blah, blah. Now you can tell grandma, their grandma, you're supposed to be doing your job.

[00:25:31] Arivee: Keep, I know with all three of them. With all three, but with

[00:25:36] Joy: three, one of them can sneak away, as you can see.

[00:25:39] A rebate,

[00:25:39] Arivee: and they always do. Whenever I hear that pitter patter, I hear that pitter patter. I'm like, oh, who's coming?

[00:25:45] Joy: You know it, you know it, you know it. But yeah, find finding your identity, um, working out who you are, allowing yourself to evolve and to grow and to mature. I, I, I sometimes just think we are like an amalgamation of everything [00:26:00] that we've done.

[00:26:00] So like making a cake, a reve, you know, all the ingredients go together to make that beautiful cake called a reve, or called joke joy. And. Yeah, it is actually all of our life experiences. So children become part of that, or partners become part of that. Jobs become part of that. Becoming self-employed and running your business becomes part of that.

[00:26:20] It's how you embrace all of those elements and still somehow feel that you know who you are. Yes. It's only a sense, you just need to have a sense that I know who I am as opposed to the other one, which I had all my life. It felt, I don't know who I am. How

[00:26:35] Arivee: do you work with even your client's joy? Like even if they are clients of yours who say, you know what, I don't know who I am.

[00:26:43] Where do you start with them? What do you start having them think

[00:26:46] Joy: through? I would want people to look at some of their, it seems like daft, doesn't it? But the likes and dislikes. What do you like? So if. If you were playing a game with your children, you could, you could say rightio, you could say, we got jam, we got Maade.

[00:26:59] [00:27:00] We got Maite. We got Vegemite over here in the us, isn't it? You know? What do you like? Oh, I like Vegemite. Yeah. Great. Okay. What do you like? Do you like brown bread? White bread? Because what you have to get someone back to realizing is that they. Do have certain likes because you lose, you lose the things that you like, don't you?

[00:27:17] So beyond the, then looking at all the things that you like, then your characteristics. So who are you the basics. Tall, short, you know, fat thin. What are you, you have to be able to look at your characteristics and say, this is basically who I am. Then what about your abilities and your, your skills and uh, your kind of traits?

[00:27:34] What about those? You're a kind person. You're a creative person. You're a sporty person because you have to remember, It's almost like describing somebody else. It'd be like having a, a drawing that children have, they have that outline of a human being, don't they? Mm-hmm. Nothing on it. Just the outline.

[00:27:51] And it's for you to put your name above it and begin to start adding things back in cuz you're almost merging. The ideas on that paper with [00:28:00] yourself again saying, oh, goodness me, I used to like, I used to love dancing. Be quite honest, Ava, I really did, and I love fashion designing as a child as well, and I love being, making up inventions and stuff like that, that, that was me.

[00:28:11] I, I just thought I'd forgotten all about that. I love reading, you know, I'm really hate cooking. No good at cooking, even put down, I'm not a fan of cooking, but I like food, so it's almost a list. Ingredients that you could, if, if I handed that sheep to you, Ave, you could just read it and think, oh, I know who Joy.

[00:28:30] I know. Oh, she doesn't like that. Oh, she likes that. Oh, she does that. Oh, that's quite amazing. It's like an identity kit, isn't it? Mm-hmm. And you're rebuilding it again. Mm-hmm. And I always talk about, um, there's a show, I don't know, you're probably far too young Ave. The $6 million Man was a show American.

[00:28:47] Oh yeah, I know. Anyway, okay. I'm, anyway, shaking my head now. I'll give you an outline of it. Okay. This guy basically. Had an accident and then he had to be rebuilt. So they rebuilt him and gave him all [00:29:00] these mechanical, you know, strengths and every, everything else. But they had to rebuilt him. He didn't know his identity and they had to give him certain memories back and everything else.

[00:29:09] So it's rebuilding of someone and I think we stopped looking at who we are because we're so busy just in life, just getting through life, getting through life every day. And you know, we talked about the way that life can speed up and we try to slow it down when we're feeling. And actually it's really hard to slow it down and so you keep going.

[00:29:28] So I don't knock anyone for getting into that position where they are extremely burnt out, but I would like them to realize at some point they do have to stop and not allow it to go to the wall. Going to the wall to me is like, I was also, I've been very, very fearful of having poor mental health or relay because of my family.

[00:29:49] And on my mom's side, an awful lot of mental, poor mental health. I've got a schizophrenia, I've got bipolar. I've got a lot of things happening on my mom's side, you know, even suicide. [00:30:00] My mom never spoke about anything. She's a very, very private person, but we kind of just had little inklings of it. And in the West, Indian culture, mental health is not spoken about.

[00:30:10] Poor mental health is not spoken about for sure. They just have little, little snippets about, oh, don't do that. Or You'll go crazy, or Don't stop doing that. You wanna get mad. And we had, we had an idea that this thing about going mad was, was not clever. So when you begin to feel unwell and you could feel yourself, your brain not working, you know that something's going wrong.

[00:30:29] And so I would have my parents like voice in my head sometimes thinking, you know, this is a bad thing. Oh, I don't want to go there. I don't wanna become unwell. I don't want, and you just say, I'm not that person. But obviously time is marching on, the stress is building up. Life is falling apart. You're feeling less capable and simple things like crying.

[00:30:48] You might be crying more. I'd like look in the mirror at myself, ak and I just saw this hollowness in my eyes and I'd say That's not you. And my sister, my younger sister, she's [00:31:00] so astute. She's so on the case. She'd say. She'd say There's something wrong with you. I think the eyes there definitely are the window to the.

[00:31:07] Ave when I'm happy I'm like this big lighthouse. It's like, ooh. It's like fireworks. And when I'm sad, it's just a sad place to look into. Mm. So I know I, I watch people and I can see when they're in good places and bad places. And my main mission in Life Ave is uh, I say it's a grand idea, but it's to alleviate human suffering.

[00:31:29] On that grand level because I don't want anyone to go to those dark places. And, and I've mentioned to you around my son who unfortunately, you know, took his life. So I know that wherever he was in his head, it was sad and it was lonely and he was by himself. And I feel really guilty about that. So I, I don't want anyone to go to those places.

[00:31:49] It's not a healthy place to. Simple as that. And if you can recognize that and you have a team of people around you, just family and friends who notice things about you and you [00:32:00] listen to them when they say it, you know that joy, you're not coming out much anymore. Every time we invite you out, you say, oh no, not tonight.

[00:32:07] We haven't seen you for a couple of weeks. Joy, where have you been? Or, we rang you a few times, and you didn't even answer the phone. So these are the signs that other people can see. Withdrawal from society and the with in the isolation. Those are very clear signs to me that something's going on for someone.

[00:32:24] But the truth is you never know where anyone is. And there is lots of reports in the news where people appear to be okay on the surface, and then suddenly you read something terrible in the news about them. You think, how come I didn't know. Because people do keep things to themselves. So just be kind to people.

[00:32:41] Ask them questions, you know, notice when they might be a little bit off, you know, and invite them out. Try and get 'em to talk about stuff. But I know that it's such a dark place to go. When you start contemplating your life that you don't really let people in, you don't share how bad it is, [00:33:00] and, and they're assigned.

[00:33:01] Sometimes when someone's making that decision to not be here anymore, refa, they can suddenly get very happy. So that would throw anybody off, wouldn't it? Oh, they're in a good space and I really felt my son was in a good space on that sad day when I went off to visit my, my father in, in London, I really thought he was in a good space and I thought, yeah, I've gotta give him some space now.

[00:33:22] I've been looking after him for a while, you know, give him some space. But looking back on it, I'm thinking I shouldn't have gone, I should have done what I was doing like a mum. You know, I, we spoke about children following you everywhere and being everywhere I was the other way round. With him like almost a hundred percent of the time it felt trying to get him through that diagnosis.

[00:33:41] Cause he'd been diagnosed with bipolar and, and that's not the end of the world. And people can live with it. But I think, um, the circumstances before leading up to it and then being in that place and not having a job and losing his girlfriend and if we're talking about things piling up and things appearing to go wrong, then [00:34:00] there was a lot of things that had gone wrong for him.

[00:34:01] And, uh, the whole thing with his mental health stuff Ave, is, is not. It's not what happens to you in life, that's the problem. It's how you interpret it, how you, what you make it mean. Mm. So, and, and that part you can never work out how I, what was he, what was, how did he, what was he thinking? But that's where I am with stuff Ave.

[00:34:22] You know, I feel like a very bad therapist for having allowed my son to slip through my fingers, but, You know, he didn't share everything with me, and I think I did the best that I could, and I got him the help that he needed from other therapists as well, because I knew that he won't listen to his mom, get him someone else to talk to.

[00:34:42] You know, but, so mental health is a big thing for me. You know, on a personal level, my family lineage, you know, and then my son, and I'm thinking, ooh, but I'm still a reasonably happy person. My name is Joy. It's been given joy for a reason. It's this, you know, I'm a believer in, in the creator, God. [00:35:00]

[00:35:01] I'm, a believer in something bigger than me. And I'm thinking you don't just get given a name by mistake. So I kind of grow into my name despite the fact that bad things can happen to somebody called joy. That's life. That's just it. It doesn't stop me from being, having a very positive outlook on life and just dealing with life as it comes.

[00:35:22] I think that's my approach to life.

[00:35:49] Arivee: Thank you so much for listening. I hope that something in this conversation resonated with. It made you think differently about something. Perhaps you adopted a different perspective [00:36:00] on something, and I'm really hopeful that this conversation was one that you needed to hear. For whatever reason. Stay tuned for part two because it's coming next week.

[00:36:10] See you then.


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