Transcription: Could I Be A Voice For Those Still Suffering? Pt. 5

Lori: [00:00:06] Windhorse is our innate ability to uplift ourselves and our environment by giving rise to a positive energy that is both relaxed and disciplined. Since 1981, Windhorse Community Services has integrated this understanding with modern conventional therapies, meditation and contemplative traditions in the development of at home whole person mental health recovery. Windhorse Journal is dedicated to the mission of communicating decades of clinical and personal experience to professionals, educators, students and anyone seeking recovery options. Please join the Dialouge. [00:00:45][38.9]

Elysa: [00:00:53] Welcome to Windhorse journal entry 79. Could I be a voice for those still suffering? This is the final episode in a five part series with a former Windhorse client and her team. They discuss the Windhorse principle that recovery is possible no matter how confused a client has become and the trust and basic goodness that they held throughout this journey together. We hope you enjoy. [00:01:15][21.7]

Chuck: [00:01:21] Welcome everyone to the Windhorse Journal. I’m your host, Chuck Knapp. And I’m so pleased and honored to be presenting today’s podcast, the conversation with a former team about the completely remarkable recovery journey they shared. We’re joined today by our dear friend and former client Julia and by Janneli Chapin and Jack, who were her primary team members. So over the course of our discussions that we’ve had now for some months, I think this is our fifth recording session. We’ve generally organized around four principles that underlie Windhorse work. First being that people are fundamentally sane, we experience ourselves and think of our people as being fundamentally sane. We’re inseparable from our environments. Recovery is being a path of discovering and synchronizing with one’s intrinsic sanity and health. And the last point is around recovery. And that recovery is completely possible, no matter how confused the mind has become. And Julia, when we had discussed this in a planning meeting, you found that to be a particularly rich cluster of topics. And so just looking at the principle that recovery is possible, no matter how confused that might become, I love to hear what you all think about that, what you don’t like to discuss. [00:02:50][89.0]

Janneli: [00:02:53] Well, the first thing that I think of when you bring that up, Chuck, is that that is the guiding principle of this Windhorse work is really trusting in a client’s basic goodness or sanity and ability to recover from any kind of extreme state of mind. And that kind of confidence is not pathologizing the client, but really seeing those pinpoints of energy or places where in basic attendance, for instance, we notice where the health or the sanity is residing, and we try to just kind of create space for that more or even enhance it or bring it out. So that’s what I think of when you talk about that or ask about that. [00:03:44][50.4]

Jack: [00:03:45] I think about that as a clinician, somebody in the work, if you didn’t believe their recovery was possible, maybe they’d look at the ad in the in the negative. If you didn’t believe in that, then you’d have to sort people into people who are in charge. And then it’s a funny thing because then there would be some people you would completely give up and there would be a sense of like, Oh yeah, they belong in that category or this category. So I think like very practically, I’m just I’m interested in just the practical application. Is it I have to hold that valuable and believe it and know it? Even if the person I’m working with doesn’t believe it or the family I’m working with doesn’t believe it. I have I have to hold that in order to keep my own kind of confidence up. And Jack, you said something in there, too, and channeling you as well, that this isn’t just hypothetical, this is actually born in experience as well. You’ve you’ve seen this you’ve experienced it for sure. Yeah. Maybe to personalize it to working with you. Julia is I think initially when I met you, I didn’t know who you are and the person that I know who has now I didn’t have that experience yet. And I think I had to have some faith and belief that. You know, you were you were in a really hard place when I first met you. And I had to have some faith and belief that that it was that your recovery path was there and waiting to be stepped on. I didn’t I don’t think I yet experienced you as traveling the path, although probably in retrospect you were. But but I think it took me a while I came, it’s so long ago, but I would say it took me a month or two. Before, like who you are started to emerge for me. And I started to. Here about the full dimension of who you were. But it took a while. I think even even before I experienced that, I had faith that you could have this recovery process. You know, so. [00:05:56][130.7]

Julia: [00:05:58] You know, I think that. When you say recovery is possible, that’s very abstract. If we cut recovery for me was possible because of certain circumstances that existed. Had those circumstances not existed, recovery would not have happened. Whether they were theoretically possible or not is a moot point. They would not have happened if certain things were not available to me. I think that maybe theoretically, yes, I could have recovered. Obviously, that’s true because I think for the most part, I did recover. But that was only because of. Relationships that I had that provided things to me that allowed that recovery to happen. And I think when you talk about. Recovery being possible for people. I think you have to expand that view and assume that people are going to have things available to them that everybody does not have. Maybe under ideal circumstances, most people can recover, but most people don’t have what I had available to me. And I think that’s a really important thing to take into consideration. [00:07:35][97.4]

Janneli: [00:07:37] I think another thing that’s important to consider is what does recovery mean to each person? Because what recovery might mean to you, Julia, would be very different than another client. You know, at Windhorse, I remember one client when I asked him what recovery was for him. He said, It’ll mean when the pizza man can come and deliver a pizza, and I don’t think it’s poisonous. So for him, that was his kind of recovery. You know, so if we think about it in conventional ways, like, oh, you get a job and you have relationships or you go back to school, those might be conventional ways to think about recovery. But then each person, I think, makes their own meaning around what recovery means to them. Well, I think that that’s a moving target. You know, had you asked me at the beginning of my recovery journey what recovery might mean for me? I would have. Said something really different from what I would say now. Right. Right. I might have said, well, if I could ever drive a car again that would be amazing. Mhm. Right. You know that, that continues to evolve as I continue to get better. Right. So maybe that guy with his goals for recovery would. Would change. Right. Right. Continue to make progress. Yeah. Yeah. And be very individual. Right. Yeah. You know. [00:09:15][98.4]

Jack: [00:09:15] Even it seems like. Like the pizza. You know, the feeling the pizzas poison is like a metaphor for his whole life. Like, if that metaphor of it expand into his whole life, that that would be quite an amazing recovery thing. You know, so as a metaphor, right? [00:09:31][15.7]

Janneli: [00:09:31] Mm hmm. But I can remember Julia saying for you, sometimes you doubted whether things were going to happen, good things were going to happen for you. And I remember saying things like, well, I’m just going to hold that for you in my heart that that you can move through this difficult situation. I’m thinking about the divorce in particular, you know, and I felt like sometimes I just said, okay, it might not seem like this is going to work or happen for you, but I’m going to hold that until, you know, you also can feel it. [00:10:05][33.6]

Julia: [00:10:06] I was thinking about that question before we started this meeting earlier, you know, the path of recovery. And I think it started out with this huge crisis happening and everything that. That occurred around that, you know, the fear and the fright and the losing power and the losing of everything ending up in a hospital all of a sudden being highly medicated and just everything in my life changing. Losing my family, losing my friends, my job, my life as I had known it. And then trying to make some sense out of all of that. That was the beginning then, trying to kind of level out and begin a path back. So it’s it’s such a long journey, but it begins with trying to accept where you are, where I was, and get over the terrible feeling of being so frightened and being so alone. [00:11:26][80.6]

Jack: [00:11:27] Julia I Like that. Accept that seems like a really important word to me, because what about when an obstacle to recovery is when you have this really one has a really solid picture of what that means. Like if you had said recovery meant that you your marriage would be repaired and that was that was just a non-negotiable that that had to be. That would have been a problem. I think part of recovery is accepting life and the conditions of life. And there’s a lot of people I’ve encountered that that’s what they really. Have a hell of a time. Except you like. You know, I won’t accept life on that terms. It’s got to be the picture I have of life. That can be a tremendous obstacle. You were able to. You’ll like. Keep embracing the life conditions in front of you. Why not? It wasn’t easy, but that was part of your strength was you’re able to keep engaging with the world as it presented itself right now. And that seems to be an important part of this. [00:12:33][65.2]

Julia: [00:12:34] It took me a while to get to that point. I mean, I was I didn’t I found myself in a hospital getting shock treatment. I mean, I just was amazed that I was even alive. You know, being tied down to tables all the time. You know, I couldn’t even wrap my head around the fact that who I was, you know, I just felt so incredibly terrified and alone. And I think everything was taken away from me, including my clothes. Everything was taken away from me. I had no one that was even allowed to visit me or wanted to visit me. And it’s. It’s like your trip down to the very basics of just being a person, not even a person. And it’s terrifying until you can start feeling like you have some power over your life again. And that took a long time. I didn’t really think about my narrow to anything. I didn’t even think about that. That was so far from my thoughts because I couldn’t even think that far outside of where I was or what was happening to me. People go through different experiences that I was just living in a state of terror. Not knowing what was going to happen to me, what I was going to do it to myself or what other people are going to do to me. Very scary. I remember what you said generally about power. I had no power over anything. You know, people did whatever they wanted to me. It’s very scary until you get some control back over your self. It’s hard to think about recovery. [00:14:34][120.8]

Jack: [00:14:39] Julia recovery implies from something. And what would you say? Recovering from what? [00:14:47][8.3]

Julia: [00:14:49] You know, that’s something I’ve been thinking about as well. I have been told over the years that. I am bipolar or I am. An OCD or I am this or that. And I think that after a while, you know, I started to feel that that was who I am or what I am. And it was hard to separate that from I’m a person with bipolar disorder or I’m a person that has OCD. You know, I’m not bipolar. I’m a person that has bipolar disorder. And that’s a very different thing than being a bipolar or, you know, it’s it’s just you start to I started to think of myself as. Not being a person, but being a disease or being an illness. And that’s how I was looked at. That’s how I was described by people in the medical community, certainly. And I started to think of myself as being a disease. And it’s hard to think of recovering when you are a disease and not having a disease, but being a disease. So that’s a very important thing, I think, to realize that you’re not a disease, you have an illness, but if you have it, you can treat it, can get it under control, you can deal with it. But if you are it, then that’s a very different that’s really different. [00:16:42][112.7]

Jack: [00:16:43] It goes like if the clinicians you worked with. Didn’t believe in basic goodness. If they if the clinicians do believe whether there is people who are irredeemable and then there are people who who have a possibility to recover. If if the clinicians think in those two categories. Then I’m thinking they they that’s the ultimate label, right? Is like, oh, that’s a yeah, it’s a bipolar person who’s unredeemable. Like, then, you know, how could you, how could you even find yourself, you know, if the person you’re working with doesn’t have some. Basic sense of basic goodness for holding you in themselves in that regard, you know. [00:17:26][42.3]

Julia: [00:17:26] Right. That’s right. And for me, it brings it back to something I’ve talked about over and over again, the importance of relationships and relationships. You know, I’ve had critical relationships with all of you, especially with you, Jack, and generally and with Dr. Brain, who I certainly would not have recovered without, but also with other certain other people who carried me through. And I wouldn’t have recovered without them. My my friend Joan, who’s been with me all of my life since I was seven and we talked. All the time in the hospital. Just always was always there for me. And just being so supportive and just being there, talking about things I wouldn’t have been able to talk to other people about. She was just always there for me. Any time of day or night. She was there and and the other relationships that that happened, that was just like this incredible thing with my sister. You know, I grew up with a sister two years older than me, who I never had any relationship with. My sister went in one direction and I went in a different direction. And we were separated because of the politics of my family. And we were kids we had no control over. And so we had nothing to do with each other growing up. And I realize, you know, listening back to the first one of the first podcasts, I listened to it over again and I talked about that I had a sister and I never said one word about her and I said, Wow, that’s amazing. She was not part of my life. And. She wasn’t. We had no relationship growing up, subsided kind of with my mother and I started with my father and we had nothing to do with each other, even though we were two years apart in age. And then as we got older and I developed this horrible, terrible illness, she was there for me. She was there for me in every possible way. She she was there for me and providing things that I would never have survived without. She found Windhorse. So she was responsible for Windhorse providing Windhorse and she found Dr. Green and provided she paid him. Basically is what happened. But more than that, she called me all the time. We talked on the phone all the time. This was a person that I had nothing to do with most of my life. We just talk together. I trust her. She became she became my sister. When we became adults, she just gave to me. I didn’t give anything to her. I had nothing to give. And she just gave to me. She. Gave to me and she provided all kinds of things and herself. And I knew I could trust her. And. And now I’m finally at the point in my life where I can be a sister to her. And that’s one of the great feeling of having reached this point in my life that we have conversations where I offer her advice and we just go back and forth as sisters. You know, we talk about things. We talk about books. We’re just things that sisters do. We went to a spa together. I am so incredibly grateful for that because I finally feel like I can be a sister to and and accept things from her. And it’s an equal relationship. And it’s the most amazing thing to me. Best that has developed. That’s one of the gifts of this illness that has developed for me. And it’s just continuing to improve our relationship is just continue to be stronger and stronger over the years. And I’m just. So incredibly happy about that. She’s been amazing. I just really love her so much. And that’s been one of the gifts of this illness. So I guess if there can be good things that come out of it and there are other good things that have come out of it as well, that that that’s been one of the most amazing things that has happened. [00:22:36][310.1]

Jack: [00:22:37] That’s really great to hear you say. And I. I remember. Part of the path was you. Being really mad at her at times and railing. On her. And that it’s it’s great to hear you’ve come to this point with her. [00:22:55][17.3]

Julia: [00:22:55] It has been an incredible experience for me. I think that that’s been one of the most profound experiences for me. And I realize that she she loves me and. It took it took this crazy, horrible nightmare for. Needed to develop my relationship with my sister. So that’s been a gift. I’ve had two people, my sister and my friend Joan, who have been there nonstop for me. I couldn’t have made it without them. [00:23:41][45.3]

Chuck: [00:23:41] Julia, I like how you take us back to the very beginning of the conversation where the term recovery as possible sounds pretty abstract and. Yes, and, and that with conditions like certainty, with certain conditions being present. Yeah. That makes sense. And relationships. So your sister, your friend channeling Jack. Dr. Green, you know, there’s the relationships have been such a huge part of this. I guess I just wanted a name that you just pulled. Pulled back. You really explained your first kind of objection to the abstract ness of that. [00:24:17][35.6]

Julia: [00:24:18] Well, I just you know, I wanted to to say that I don’t know that everyone is lucky enough to have a Jack and Jan in their lives or a doctor, brain or family that really supports them. [00:24:32][14.2]

Chuck: [00:24:33] Yeah. [00:24:33][0.0]

Julia: [00:24:33] I don’t know that that’s true for everyone. I don’t know that, you know, everyone doesn’t just have some therapist that prescribes medicine for them once a month. You know, I don’t think that everyone is that lucky and I wish people could have that. And I don’t know how to make that possible, but I know that I have been incredibly lucky and I am very appreciative of that. But I think that, yes, people can recover. I believe that wholeheartedly if given the right circumstances. And I think that’s key. [00:25:20][46.2]

Jack: [00:25:21] It’s not a promise that people will know. [00:25:24][3.3]

Julia: [00:25:25] No, it’s not a promise. [00:25:25][0.4]

Jack: [00:25:26] But it’s a possibility. [00:25:27][1.2]

Julia: [00:25:28] It’s a possibility. [00:25:28][0.3]

Jack: [00:25:30] yeah [00:25:30][0.0]

Julia: [00:25:31] Yeah. I think you also have to want to recover. Yeah, for a long time, I don’t think I wanted to recover. You know, I really think I wanted to die for a long time, although I’m not sure I really did. Or I would’ve. I think if I wanted to die with my kids, you know, they were they were at a very tender age when they kind of lost me. And I did very painful things that they lived through. They lived through having the police come and put me in handcuffs. And I mean, they witnessed some very terrible things. They were young. And I was overwhelmed with guilt over what they experienced. And I’m you know, I know that their father carried them through and being a really good father. And he helped them through those terrible times. But they kept me going. My my guilt and wanting to make up for that, you can’t make up for it. But I wanted to come back and to be a mother again. And, you know, now I, I have a really close relationship with them. And I have seven grandchildren. And I feel like I’ve been given another shot. And I’m really close with my grandchildren. And I, I feel like I’m like I’m just being given another chance and I can’t make up for what happened. You know, and I feel really bad about so many things. I try not to get too overwhelmed with thinking about it. At least I can. Try to move forward. So I’m very I’m very lucky. [00:27:33][121.7]

Chuck: [00:27:34] Julia, you just spoke to a couple of things in terms of you can have the conditions that are that are favorable to a path to recovery process path, but engaging them is a different issue. And you one of the things we’ve talked about is you have a lot of strength. You know, your urges toward health, your, you know, Windhorse in terms of a of a very strong kind of energy and life force, you that you’re very strong that way. And so you are able to go toward the luck in your life, actually, which is interesting to me because in conversations we had with Joanne Greenberg in our podcasts with her, she talked about luck also and how that played such a big part in her recovery. And one of the things that struck me that as well as luck is present in a lot of ways for for a lot of people, but not everybody is knows what to do with it and wants to go toward it or can go toward it. You obviously have. [00:28:42][68.7]

Julia: [00:28:43] Yes. Dr. Green came along at a time when I was battered around, not physically, although I felt that way in the hospital with AZT and, you know, being tied down to tables and all kinds of horrible things. And he was the kindest, gentlest soul I had ever known. That was incredible luck. But it was more than than luck. He was he was just like this big, tall tower of love. I don’t know how else to describe him. He was he was just this gentle person who I just I just appreciated him so much because he was so opposite from everything I had. Been experiencing in the hospital before. Everything was so rough and negative and hostile feeling. And then along comes this wonderful kind man. Not that it was just hard not to love him and just appreciate him. And. So much. So yes, that was really luck. Along with love. He was just the most incredible person. [00:30:27][103.1]

Chuck: [00:30:28] I guess what I’m hearing, Julia and like him for, for example, is that he knew how to somehow be with you, too. I mean, it was his general nature to be approachable and and safe for you, but it’s a really big deal, it sounds like, in a relationship when a person, especially when they’re as vulnerable as you were, when you’re as lost as you were, it’s really a big deal to know how to show up with a person in that way, so that if you happen to be in Dr. Green’s position, if you happen to be a piece of possible luck or somebody, that you actually help them take advantage of it. [00:31:06][38.5]

Julia: [00:31:09] Yes. I think he he did everything he could to show me that he was going to be there for me in spite of everything that I did to make him prove it. [00:31:24][14.7]

Chuck: [00:31:24] Yeah. [00:31:24][0.0]

Julia: [00:31:27] Because I couldn’t believe that. He would stick around. Didn’t believe that he would know. Nobody cared. So I. I was so afraid that that he wouldn’t either. But he did. [00:31:45][17.4]

Jack: [00:31:46] Why do you say that? I think. You know, you’re so grateful. Now it’ll be. I don’t want people listening to this to think that. That was always your town because you could use referred to it as like you tested him. Like he didn’t just accept it in the way you accept it. Now it’s kind of resolve. There’s a sense of resolve and simplicity and. And, like, really a lot of. Honoring in respect of a man in the time he persevered. When you are really angry and hurt and you’ve demonstrated it a lot, like you said, you you are like you tested him. [00:32:28][41.8]

Julia: [00:32:28] I remember that. I think that it’s amazing to me that he didn’t just say I’m really sorry that I won’t be able to continue seeing you. It would have been perfectly understandable had he done that. [00:32:44][16.1]

Jack: [00:32:45] And sometimes psychiatrists do that. Definitely. [00:32:47][2.0]

Julia: [00:32:48] Absolutely. [00:32:48][0.0]

Jack: [00:32:49] I’ve been there. One psychiatrist. Say that when they’re done. [00:32:52][3.6]

Julia: [00:32:53] And it would have been perfectly understandable had he done that. I, I was awful to him. I agree. I was terrible. I brought razor blades to his office. I mean, I did terrible, terrible things. I called him around the clock at home. I mean, I just. I was horrible. [00:33:19][25.3]

Jack: [00:33:20] And I think I think he it goes back to this basic goodness that I guess the point I keep making of the clinician’s stance is I don’t think he ever lost. Track of your basic goodness. And I think even when there were these these prickly displays from you he. He was never he never thought that that was who you were. You know, he always I think my impression is he could always see through that and he always knew how much he meant to you. In spite of this kind of flurry of of energy that was kind of pushing. [00:33:55][34.6]

Julia: [00:33:56] I always brought him food, you know, how angry I was. [00:33:59][3.6]

Jack: [00:34:00] And he always ate it, right? [00:34:01][1.0]

Julia: [00:34:01] He always I, I always brought food. I even went and got pancakes and pancake breakfast. So I always brought food and all kinds of crafts. And I mean, I never went there empty handed. And I think that showed him. I didn’t do it to show him how much I cared about him. I did it because I just cared about him and I wanted to feed him. I don’t know what that whole thing was, but he wanted to talk about it. I never would talk about it, but. But he never forced me to talk about anything. And I was really happy about that too. And it doesn’t really matter. I was just happy that he would accept whatever it was, and most of the time he ate everything and seemed to really enjoy it. And I decorated his whole office with all kinds of crafts from Asia. [00:35:05][64.1]

Jack: [00:35:06] He had a really beautiful office. [00:35:07][1.2]

Julia: [00:35:09] Yeah. [00:35:09][0.0]

Jack: [00:35:10] Yeah. Let me ask you another question here about going back to that place you were in. Julia, when you felt so lost and powerless and everything had been taken away from you. And I’m sure part of you and I know we talked about this, some knew how much you’ve lost. You knew where you’d been in your life. You knew how much you’ve lost. Do you ever remember being afraid of recovery at that point? Like of chancing going forward and trying to go back through what it would take to get back to your life. [00:35:44][33.9]

Julia: [00:35:48] I don’t think that I, I thought about that in those in those ways, I started to really see myself as being incredibly disabled, and I started to see myself as being who I was at that time. That’s who I saw myself first. And I never saw myself as really recovering. I truly never thought I could ever drive again. I never thought I would ever get better. I really never did. I, I just there are certain things that I remember that stayed with me. I hear people just in general complain about how much work they had and how tired they were after a day of work and complaining about their jobs and whatever. And I just remember so vividly being so jealous that I just wish I could be complaining about having a lot of work to do and that I had a job to complain about and that I could be back in that normal kind of life because I had nothing to do. And I would sit and do nothing all day. And and I wish so much that I could be in that normal kind of existence of being overworked and not have time to, you know, whatever, to go to the library or take a walk or go to the gym. And I was so envious of that. And I never thought that would happen again. It took such a long, long, long time for that. [00:37:33][105.7]

Jack: [00:37:34] So you were longing for it. You weren’t afraid of it, but you were longing for it. And it sounds like the people around you were probably holding more of a sense of awesome the possibility perhaps of your recovery happening than maybe you were. [00:37:47][12.5]

Julia: [00:37:47] I think maybe some people were. I don’t really know how. I don’t know how some people felt. I don’t know. I mean, I lost contact with most people. I lost almost all of my friends, everyone except for my two sisters. And so. [00:38:07][20.2]

Jack: [00:38:11] So the people who made I think actually who I was thinking of when I thought about people holding out that that view that that. Of the possibility of the recovery was probably generally Jack and Dr. GREENE. [00:38:23][12.4]

Julia: [00:38:25] Yes. And I don’t really know what Jack and generally thought about my long term recovery. We never really talked about that. I don’t know what they believed. [00:38:39][13.6]

Jack: [00:38:40] But yeah, I thought about it either. I think I thought of the next thing. Like when you were start talking about that, I thought about the next thing is I think you could drive and like you had all these fears and your ex-husband had put some fearful curses on you about driving and remember thinking she can probably drive. We drove out north of Boulder into some dirt road and you drove and thought, I’m not sure I ever I don’t know if I thought of like the long range. I didn’t know how, in a way, recovery, because it’s a path. It’s like, well, how far can the person walk the path in this life? I think I don’t know that I kept to some abstract distance in my vision. It was more like, Well, this isn’t the end. She can definitely do. You can do more than this. You can. I always had the confidence she could do the next he could take he could do the next stretch of the path. [00:39:35][55.0]

Julia: [00:39:37] I remember at one point asking Dr. GREENE why he had agreed to see me as a patient and did he think that I could recover because so many people had refused to see me? A psychiatrist had refused to see me when I was discharged from the hospital. And he said that he felt that his. Could help me. And he felt that I could get better. He really believed that. [00:40:09][32.8]

Janneli: [00:40:10] I think he really did believe that to his bones. And I also remember and I might not be remembering this quite accurately, so you can let me know. But it seemed like for me there was a point, a shift in the work and the healing. When Dr. GREENE said something like, If I knew what it would have taken to get you to this place, I may not have taken it on. And that point of honesty, as painful as that might have been, I felt like he had really assessed your strength and that you were at a place where you could hear that honesty and you I think you got upset with that. But you also it just seemed like a turning point of something about the honesty of where you were and how strong you were to be able to hear that and to also know that he loved you and and really appreciated the work that you did. And that wasn’t what he was saying. You know, it had nothing to do with his care for you, but more like seeing the path that you are on. And the honesty is an important piece of that path that he could come into the relationship in an honest way. [00:41:28][78.1]

Julia: [00:41:30] He took on probably way more than he anticipated. I don’t know that anybody. Would have taken that on being able to look into the future. That was a hell of a job that he took on. [00:41:49][19.0]

Chuck: [00:41:50] So that was like maybe two years in? [00:41:53][3.1]

Janneli: [00:41:53] Maybe about two years, yeah. [00:41:55][1.6]

Chuck: [00:41:56] So that was a really rugged time. It’s interesting that he had enough trust to be that honest with you. The point that’s that’s really cool that he did that. Felt and felt he could do that. That kind of surprised you, Julia, at this point to hear that? [00:42:14][17.9]

Janneli: [00:42:16] You know, the first thing that comes to my mind is that when I started to see him, he was a real analyst’s type. And he just wanted to me to talk and to write. I wasn’t a talker. I didn’t, you know. So I think over the years, he learned to talk, right? He learned to kind of relate to me because I didn’t I didn’t talk very much at all. And so I think we developed a very honest relationship with each other. And so, yes, I think he might have said that to me. I think we developed an honest relationship. With each other. He wasn’t able to just kind of sit back and, you know, close his eyes and, you know, do the psycho analysis. Then we talked a lot after I started talking and I asked him a lot of questions all the time. And so I might have asked him something about that. Yeah, it seems like you were a fiery member. You were asking him to be more genuine with you about his feelings about things. And yeah, you were kind of relentless about it, I think. I think I did ask him a lot of questions like that. Yeah. Which is different. It’s a different stance than the analyst usually takes. Yeah, I agree. I think that he learned a lot by working with you and of course, vice versa. [00:43:59][103.6]

Chuck: [00:44:00] We talked about that in earlier discussion. Essentially that being on a path like this changes us as the professionals involved. We talked about that as mutual recovery, but we unfortunately don’t have Dr. GREENE here to talk about. [00:44:16][15.2]

Janneli: [00:44:17] It for himself. [00:44:17][0.3]

Chuck: [00:44:18] He learned a lot from you. Yeah, I think the the there’s a lot more recovery that I think is well known because of stigma. I mean, over the years that Windhorse, for instance, there have been a lot of people who have had some kind of recovery path, but they never talked about it because they didn’t want to. They didn’t feel like outing themselves. I think the world is, you know, according to worldwide statistics as I know them, it’s something between like 40 and 60% of people who get some kind of a heavy diagnosis end up in some kind of a recovery process. So they’re back in life. They’re not drowning in it anymore. But I think it’s not as well known. [00:45:00][41.8]

Janneli: [00:45:01] I have experienced a lot of stigma and I would like to talk about that. So I think that that’s really important. Yeah, I have no solutions, but I think it’s something really important to talk about. You mentioned something about going back to who you were before. For me, I don’t think that happened. I don’t know that. I don’t know what happens for other people, but I don’t think I became a different person. I just I think I became a stronger person. I think I’m still the same person that I was. But I don’t think we go backwards. I think we incorporate whatever happens. I incorporated the things that happened to me and move forward. I know it made me a lot more compassionate towards other people. [00:46:00][59.2]

Chuck: [00:46:01] How much would you say acceptance is is part of your ability to to maintain as much, you know, just kind of stability and happiness as you have? [00:46:11][9.8]

Julia: [00:46:12] I’m far more accepting. And the term that you use self-love that I have that far more now than I ever did in my life, was always much more. Critical of myself. I’m much more accepting of my limitations now, and it’s okay. I can deal with them. I can deal with needing to take medicine. I can deal with the fact that I’m who I am. And I’ve had some really difficult experiences and I’m lucky that I came out. I almost didn’t. I almost didn’t survive it. And I’m really happy that I did. [00:46:55][43.5]

Chuck: [00:46:56] Acceptance brings to mind non-acceptance and which is a kind of stigma. And we can have stigma toward ourselves, just ourselves. And there’s a lot of external stigma, particularly when it comes to mental health issues. [00:47:16][19.7]

Julia: [00:47:18] Stigma continues to affect me. I have cuts all over my arms, all over my body. But people don’t see my body. People see my arms and I will long sleeved shirts. Most of my adult life. And no matter how hot the weather was, I would never wear short sleeved shirts. And that was something I worked on with Dr. GREENE forever. And I could not wear anything short sleeve because I was afraid people would ask me about the cuts. And they did all. And I never knew what to say. And I would. If someone ever asked me out, I would just make up some crazy story that I went through a glass window or something, and I just knew that they knew that I was lying. And so it always was incredibly hard for me to just. Except the fact that. I had cut myself, you know, and not really care what other people thought. You know, I couldn’t accept myself. And and now I wear short sleeves all the time when people ask me things. I just, you know, I still don’t tell them that I cut myself. I still say I had an accident when I was a child or something. I still haven’t gotten to the point where I can tell people, but I’m not sure that I need to tell people. I don’t know that it’s any of their business and I don’t feel obligated to tell them. But I also. I’m okay with it. I don’t need to justify it to anybody. And I’m perfectly fine with not feeling like I have to explain it to anyone. Took a long time. Stigma is a big thing. I think that one of the reasons I’m trying to do this, whenever I watch a TV program and they talk about somebody that’s bipolar or something, it’s always a really terribly negative thing they did. They they portray people as being very negative. You know, that that that person is very, very negative and does very negative things. And mental illness is made into this very negative X, you know, thing. And so. I think that if people knew that, you know, a person with bipolar disorder or whatever is a person, you know, I might have bipolar disorder, but I’m still a teacher. I’m still, you know, a grandmother. You know, most of the time I’m fine. I don’t hurt people. I don’t do terrible things. I think that this things that a lot of people believe are just not true. And maybe it’s because. I don’t know. And maybe if more people. Could talk about things, the stigmas would be lessened. But it’s hard, you know, I’m having a hard time doing it because I’m afraid. Of what? My friends will think. [00:50:47][209.0]

Chuck: [00:50:48] To be in this conversation, for instance? [00:50:50][1.5]

Julia: [00:50:51] No, for this conversation to go public. For my my friends don’t know anything about me. I have not told the people I work with or worked with. You know, I just don’t talk about my past. I just don’t feel comfortable telling people I don’t know. If I should. Maybe it’s a good thing to talk about it because it will help them to understand things more. I just am at the point where it’s easy for me to do, but I’m really trying. It’s hard. I guess that’s what what the what I’m trying to say is it’s it’s hard. It’s really hard. I remember I once told a guy, I think you guys know this story that I was dating who asked me about the cuts that I had on me. And he said, Is there a knife under your pillow? You know, I was devastated. He was joking, but he probably really wasn’t joking. [00:52:03][71.6]

Janneli: [00:52:05] Yeah. I think that story for me points to, you know, the fear that arises in people when they don’t they don’t understand that someone in a vulnerable state may be experiencing being put in a marginalized position. And I think mental illness, people who haven’t experienced it yet are afraid often. And so that comment about the knife under the pillow is just that that kind of reflection of fear that. And bias, you know, some kind of bias that’s going on in. In any marginalized group, there’s this oppression and then there’s this internalized oppression where we we take it on as if, you know, it’s it’s something wrong with us. But it’s really just not understanding that that. People who are experiencing just extreme states. You’re just as human as all the rest. Most of the time, not even dangerous. But we with our fear. We. We want to. Put people in those categories. [00:53:20][75.7]

Chuck: [00:53:22] You don’t overwrite it. You have to recognize that there is stigma and you make your choices. And I think that’s that’s really wise how much you disclose your identity. And. Yeah. [00:53:37][15.5]

Julia: [00:53:39] Yeah. [00:53:39][0.0]

Chuck: [00:53:43] And it takes a lot of courage to do what you’ve been doing here. Julia I have no doubt as we’ve been doing these conversations. And so I really appreciate you stepping into this like you have been like you are. Yeah. Through through these conversations. We don’t see each other very often at all anymore. Julia. And now. And we. We used to. And. But now, you know, this gives me kind of a refresher. And, like, you continue to recover. You know, you’re. You’re cured. I can just hear your. Your gathering confidence. And, you know that you’ve. You didn’t stop your path when you and I stopped working together a lot. And you’ve continued on. And I’m really glad to see that. And that’s great. [00:54:40][57.7]

Julia: [00:54:41] You know, I think a path. I mean, that word says it all. It is a life is a path. And we just keep moving along that that path. And, yeah, I. I hope I continue to grow and gain in every possible way. You know, its ups and downs, but I think its ups and downs for everybody, not just me. I think we all have ups and downs, but I think it’s it’s all within now for me, within the realm of of what’s okay. I’m not worried about doing something terrible. I’m not worried about overdosing or taking pills or it doesn’t even cross my mind. To be afraid of that anymore. So that in itself is tells me so much about where I am. You know, things come up and I feel like I have the tools to deal with them. And so I hope I continue along that path. I hope you all do. I hope we all do. If that’s a productive life. I’m happy that I got back to being able to to do that. [00:56:07][85.4]

Chuck: [00:56:07] You just said something really significant about PATH and that everyone has the opportunity to be on a path. Not everyone is engaging it wholeheartedly. I think in my experience of people, I think. I think some of the in our earlier conversation tonight about confidence in your ability to recover. So Jack, in general, you both said we were thinking about that so much, but at the same time, what I know of. You both. And and I think people who are actively engaged in their own path, there’s a lot of curiosity and openness about what like we as we’re experiencing. And that extends to someone else, as opposed to thinking that you’re some static object and and something a constellation of problems is simply needs to be fixed. You’re a fluid human being, too, and your sanity is to be invited forward just like ours can. And that creates an atmosphere, I think, of invitation for for one’s sanity. I think also. So the point about stigma, I mean, I, I have my own stigma of my own self that I don’t feel comfortable revealing certain things to certain people. They don’t want to know it anyway. But at the same time, there’s a continuum of stigma and there’s a very, very heavy end of it. General, you talked about all manner of kind of othering and and people in positions that that are more and more prone to being othered. It’s pervasive. But the world of mental health is really, really heavy with stigma. And I appreciate your courage to come out and talk just this openly. Julia Very much so. We’re coming to the end of our recording time together. I’ve really enjoyed my time doing this. I’ve been very inspired by all of your contributions. Dr. Green shows his quiet presence. Julia knew how you showed up and really kept this conversation in a grounded, immediate, wakeful way, as opposed to kind of getting off into abstractions and things that I know I can do sometimes. You’ve really kept this very present, which. Was likewise the path we shared together back a long time ago. You kept us really present. It was great. Not always easy. And when we started this, you, Julia, said part of the inspiration for you to do this was you were hoping that your story would be helpful for someone. I’ve kept that in mind as we’ve gone through this. I can’t imagine if anybody. Is really trying to learn about this territory, what you’ve been through. But Jen but other other kinds of struggles as well. Just good life struggles. There’s so much to be learned and gained and helped with throughout this conversation. So I just really want to thank you. Thank you all. [00:59:26][198.5]

Janneli: [00:59:28] Thank you too Chuck for holding this whole piece and tracking things through and bringing in really pertinent questions and. Helping us to think this through as well. [00:59:41][12.9]

Jack: [00:59:44] It’s been great to be part of this and it’s great to connect with. All three of you again. And there’s some kind of illusion that I think it has. It’s been dispelled some, but that you haven’t been. You’re some kind of you’re kind of interviewing us some things in this process, Chuck. But you were absolutely involved in this. You’ve always been a part of this team. It’s not like you’re an outside interviewer, even though you’re playing that role very nicely. I appreciate it your host as well. But, you know, you’re one of you’re very involved as well. [01:00:23][39.1]

Janneli: [01:00:24] For me, this has been an incredible experience. I have known I knew all of you at a very different time in my life and a very painful, difficult, hard time in my life. And to come back and have this kind of contact with all of you now is I don’t even know how to describe what this is like for me. It’s it’s joyful. It’s it’s wonderful in so many ways and in so many ways it’s been it’s been painful bringing back a lot of memories of things. But it’s also been so amazing to spend time with you. And now I’m going to go through withdrawal again. And I miss you all so much again. And I want to echo what you said about sugar, because for me, you have been an integral part of it all. Whenever I couldn’t reach Jack or gently, I had you on speed dial. You knew came through instantly. You always answered your phone, and you always call me right back. And you came over sometimes, and you were always there. So for me, you are very much a part of this Windhorse team, very much a part of what helped me be where I am today. And so this has been kind of like a whirlwind of my getting better. Reviewing everything from the beginning. And here we are at the end. And I love you all so much. [01:02:27][122.8]

Jack: [01:02:27] I think for anyone listening to this, whether they have gone through a process like you have Julia, whether they’re in a position like the three of us as professionals, this is a really remarkable situation. We’ve just we’ve just gone through where we were there, the whole path of working together, stopping and then coming back and reviewing our process together. This is really, really unusual. And I trust that people will will see this and benefit from it. [01:02:56][29.3]

Janneli: [01:02:57] And I really hope so. It’s very unique. But what we did coming back years later and talking about. [01:03:08][11.5]

Chuck: [01:03:09] It, this kind of of a discussion, what we’ve been through can help people to understand, to be at least curious and create the invitation that recovery is possible. It really is. We know that there’s a lot of people who have gone through some kinds of processes, not as yours was extreme. And this was an unusual thing we’ve done here, but to just help people understand that that’s possible, to be curious about and invited. [01:03:38][29.4]

Julia: [01:03:42] And I think that can give so much hope to somebody. I, I would think that they can get through something. And it is possible, you know. [01:03:55][12.9]

Elysa: [01:04:10] Thank you for listening to the final episode of this five part series. We hope that these recordings can be a voice for those still suffering and send our deep gratitude to Julia and her team for their willingness to share. Stay tuned for next month’s episode. The first of a series that dives into all of the roles that make up a Windhorse team, beginning with basic attention. [01:04:32][21.6]

Lori: [01:04:55] Windhorse Journal is a publication of Windhorse Community Services supporting recovery from mental health challenges at home and in the community since 1981. [01:04:55][0.0]