- Episode 29: Let’s Have a Chat
Episode 29: Let’s Have a Chat The return to Philadelphia was as expected: hectic, crazy but exciting. I’m sticking with Plan A and reposting Episode 17: The Tangled Path to Communication, with a special introduction. It’s appropriate. And, I found, necessary. I’ll be answering the same questions many, many times. I don’t mind, but it would really help if you read the damn book. Or listened to the podcast. The answers to many questions can be summed up as, “That’s episode 14. That’s 7. Hell, that’s episode 1.” Like I said, I understand you not understanding. For many, it […]
- Episode 28: Rectifying a Disservice Done to Those with Bipolar Disorder
This is a repeat of Episode 5 with a special introduction.
I’m a mess right now, traveling cross country. I had started a new episode but it did not get done. While driving, though, and thoughts tugging at me, I realized I wanted to repost Episode 5, The Mental Health Triangle with the special introduction.
As I evolve, the podcast evolves. Episodes 5 and 17 come up the most in my thoughts and new scripts, so with everything going on, I thought I would get them reposted as I travel and then get set up somewhere.
- The Problem with Absolutes
Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me. I’m your host, Christopher Gajewski. Let’s unmask mental illness! Yep, still in Tijuana as I write this. Welcome to a special Saturday edition of the podcast as I will be on the road during my normal uploading day and time. My last podcast had me thinking about things, breaking down the subtle signs of depression. A column that I just wrote, “Lessons Learned from a Bar Fight,” was a mixture of the podcast and reactions to posts I am seeing. That led me to Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting. All […]
- Episode 26: Breaking Down Reactions
I delve deeper into some columns that I wrote this past week to try and untangle depression from my life.
Dedicated Regina and Vivian, the first who asked the question that set me on the path to the answer and the second who provided a billboard to the answer.
I use Writer’s Block as an example. I realized that my life had unknowingly become writer’s block and show how the depression infiltrated every facet of my life. I know now and can begin the path to healing.
Freedom is still a journey ahead of me, healing, but I am taking the steps I need to take.
- Episode 25: The Non-Episode Episode, in Three Parts
This wasn’t supposed to be an episode but it became one. I do tend to ramble.
I discuss the book that is now available at your favorite bookseller, a name change to the podcast, support for the podcast, my first column for the website and my first article for the website.
I am doing what I meant to do in 1997 but got sidetracked by the depression among other things.
Better late than never.
- Episode 24: Understanding Depression and Suicide
In my last episode, The Space Between Breaths, I mentioned tWitch, but I stayed away from the topic. What can I add to the conversation? As I say in my podcast, I am not a mental health care professional with letters at the end of my name. I am just a guy who has been there. What the hell do I know?
An article/post got me typing. It featured a smiling picture of tWitch and was, “I Still Don’t Think We Understand Depression.”
I read the questions and advice the post posed and realized that I do have something to add, that I may even be able to make an impact. No, I am not a mental health professional, but I am a guy who has been there. I understand what I do know about depression, and I understand what I don’t know about depression. Most importantly, I am learning what I need to learn about depression.
- Episode 23: The Space Between Breaths
I wasn’t planning on doing another episode this year as I was supposed to be on my way to or settling in Rochester, Minnesota, but I am still stranded in Tijuana. As I was sitting here, waiting, a title popped into my mind. Things typically start with that. Things are a bit scattered with everything packed, but I’m going to try and plow my way through and maybe make some sense.
The space between breaths brought a memory of a stupid little kid. Everybody told me I couldn’t breathe under water, but how do you know if you don’t try?
We really don’t know anything until we try. Until we start talking. Until we start listening. Until we understand. A lot of the time, and the most difficult thing I think, is knowing what we don’t know.
- Episode 22: Are We Okay?
I follow the Real Depression Project on Instagram. It is sometimes hard reading their posts. They are educating me on things I needed to know decades ago. They are also educating loved ones of people struggling and even helping to validate many of the feelings I have inside of me.
As I have mentioned, depression, anxiety and PTSD are not what many people think, the caricatures we come across in everyday life. They can be, but most often are not.
- Episode 21: The Holiday
Beginning at Thanksgiving is an especially rough time for me. And for many. The holidays create a unique kind of conflict. I think it has to do with the nature of the holidays combined with Newton’s Third Law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Tis the season of joy! Of family and friends, of giving. It amplifies the depression to an equal extent. I don’t understand why and the hell if I know what to do about it.
- Episode 19: The Wall?
This episode is the natural progression of the previous episodes. I am at the wall, clinical depression, slumped against it. Maybe setting up camp with a sleeping bag and my coffee maker. Not depression, clinical depression. There’s a difference. And I can’t figure out a way to get beyond it. Never have.
I’ve been able to ignore the wall for years at a time. Maybe even a decade? But get beyond it? Nope. I know there is no cure for clinical depression, no magical pill. I could spend years in therapy, read all the books, do all of the treatments, and the wall will still be there. Or will it?
- Episode 18: Finding a Way Home
In this episode, I decided to go way, way back in time. Last week, I spoke about that scrawny six-year-old with skinned knees and a bad haircut. Let’s go back and meet him. He stutters a lot but is a friendly kid who talks too much in school and is probably too intelligent for his own good. He is a child of trauma.
- Episode 17: The Tangled Path to Communication
In this episode, it got complicated. I started writing the transcript and then fell down a rabbit hole. If you have ever seen someone finish a bottle of tequila and then try walking home, that’s kind of what it was like. Aye, I made it home, sobered up, and then retraced my steps to find a more direct route.
- Episode 16: The Non Comedy Routine
I made a movie! Instead of getting naked about mental health, some things came together and I simply got naked. This is my story.
- Episode 15: The Anatomy of a Slide
Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me. I’m your host, Christopher Gajewski. Let’s get naked about mental health! In this episode…a friend gave me a much-needed kick in the butt. I was sinking into the depression again without even realizing it. I caught it in time. It is much like those big slides at amusement parks. They start with the slight decline and then you hit the steep part. Instead of a “weeeeeee!” though, it is…well, not so fun. I was still in that slight decline. Before getting into the episode, the important stuff: I just want to […]
- Episode 14: Blind Squirrels, Shiny Things and Boundaries
A fractured ankle vs Depression: they are really the same thing, but the perception of the two are vastly different.
- Episode 13: Make a Right at Philly
Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me. I’m your host, Christopher Gajewski. Let’s get naked about mental health! In this episode, I had something different planned. Much different. Then, a post I read on LinkedIn, well, pissed me off. I know Big Willy, via The Legend of Bagger Vance, you have to look on it with soft eyes. I tried, and did eventually, but the SW Philly boy came out as well. As a Philly boy yourself, you should understand. So, I get into my response, teletherapy, health care professionals, and just talking. Before getting into the episode, […]
- Episode 12: Something About Hope
In this episode, I’ll be getting away from the depressing stuff. I think I did my part for Suicide Awareness Month, but I am going to move away from it a bit and talk about something that caught up to me a little while ago: hope.
- Episode 11: Why is Water Wet
In this episode, I’ll be continuing with the “Suicide Prevention Month” theme. I’ve gone to the extreme where I almost committed suicide, took everybody to the other side of suicide, those left behind, and now I want to discuss the gentler side of suicide. Yes, there is a gentler side. Michelangelo will also be making another cameo appearance.
- Episode 10: From Beyond the Doorstep
In this episode…I’m going even further off the reservation. In honor of Suicide Awareness Month, let’s discuss the other side, the people left behind.
Since I started talking about my experiences with suicide, people have asked me about loved ones who committed or tried to commit suicide. They wanted to know, or needed to know, how I got past my suicidal period, how I am still here when their loved ones are not.
- Episode 9: I’m Okay, Just Fine
Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me. I’m your host, Christopher Gajewski. Let’s get naked about mental health! In this episode…I’m going off script, off the reservation. I had other things planned but the suicidal thoughts are back so I thought I would talk about them. At this point, I wish I had the money to talk to a professional. http://www.betterhelp.com
, but it is tough balancing needs and dwindling savings. It is one of my triggers. And I have been triggered. They say, and I agree, that money can’t buy happiness. I always joke that it sure does […]
- Episode 8: Broken Things Revisited
Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me. I’m your host, Christopher Gajewski. Let’s get naked about mental health! In this episode…well, crap. Coming up with titles are difficult for me. Unless they pop into my head from some random point in space, I struggle. I had one for my new book! And now I have to come up with a new title. I don’t want to talk about it. But I will. I’ll also be getting into pearls, authentic selves, and I’ll even have a cameo by Michelangelo. Before getting into the episode: the important stuff. I just […]
- Episode 7: The Crazy Therapist
In this episode, I’ll discuss the craziest advice I was ever given by a therapist. And how it worked. There was a bright shiny thing that was begging me to look at and go down a tangent, but I managed to stay on track, with a few twists and turns. There is also something about mirrors.
- Episode 6: Triggers, Stuttering and Coping
In this episode, I’ll be discussing triggers, a particular incident, and how my mental health journey had many parallels to my journey as a person who stutters. I wish I had learned a few lessons from myself but that is not my way. I typically see the writing on the wall but …oh look, a shiny thing!
- Episode 5: The Mental Health Triangle
In this episode, I’ll be discussing an idea I had regarding mental health treatment: The Mental Health Triangle. It is going to invariably lead to where I screwed up. It is based upon a conversation I had with a friend at a business conference, and he explained a book he read a long time ago. We can’t remember or find the book so I have still have a reward offered to anybody who can find it.
- Episode 4: Deeper into Aloha
In this episode, I’ll be stepping back in time to discuss aloha, a state of being, the warped perception of memory & time that depression brings, and I’ll even bring Rob Thomas into the equation, the lead singer for Matchbox 20–though I like his solo work better. Not him personally–I’ve never met him, though I heard he is a nice guy. Bilbo Baggins will even be along.
- Episode 3: A Lie of Omission
I lied in my previous episode after promising to be authentic. It was a lie of omission, but a lie is still a lie, so I wanted to rectify it, come clean.
I mentioned that I hide my secret world. I explained that I do this for various reasons, but I omitted the main reason: fear.
- Episode 2: Into the Deep
I talked about the doorstep to suicide in my previous episode. I need to set up camp here to write the book. Maybe just off the doorstep a little ways. I forget the altered reality, but, to explain it and write my book, I need to remember. I need to dive into that pool and allow the demon to grasp my ankle and pull me down.
- Episode 1: Diving In
The Coffee Chronicles Episode 1 Introduction Welcome to the first official podcast for The Coffee Chronicles. Thank you for joining me. The Coffee Chronicles is old, older than podcasts. I started writing columns a few decades ago and publishing them on my website. The website has evolved over the years but all the content for this podcast is derived from there. I have recently switched the focus of my website. It was focused on the book I was working but is now focused on an idea I had a long time ago, Friends of Gina, or Gentler Insanities Anonymous. […]