Introspection-aholics™ Podcast 008: Jennifer Kaufman, Writer and Podcaster

The Introspection-aholics™ Podcast is a bi-weekly mental health and self awareness podcast focused on helping women thrive in their life by showing up for their wellness!

Featuring interviews with real people who suffer with mental illnesses and those support them as well as discussions on general wellness, self care and current mental health talk.
Pulling from my own experiences with depression, anxiety and postpartum depression, I’m your host Kendra Kantor and I’m ready get real on these hard topics to help YOU re-define, re-align and discover who you really WANT to be.

Introspection-aholics Podcast 008: Jennifer Kaufman

Jennifer is Owner, Community Developer and Content Creator of A Delightful Life, she’s a Writer, thinker, podcaster and mom, looking for delight in the everyday.

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3:04ish : I totally wanted to be Jem from the show in the 80’s.
3:55ish : I was talking about a conference about pursing your dreams and passion and I asked what about those who are just moms? Those who don’t want to be big, famous musicians. John said, “You don’t have to make it big, you just have to make it matter.”

6:52ish : I have a genetic predisposition so I’ve seen things manifest in family members and so I was around it and I was a nurse.
7:08ish : I knew and I could say, it’s just like any other illness and it’s okay to get help. I could say those things but I didn’t realize that for myself until adulthood.
7:28ish : I struggled with an eating disorder in high school and I didn’t recognize it as a mental illness at that point.
7:35ish : I liked being in control.
8:00ish : It manifested as self loathing, I didn’t recognize it as a mental illness at the time.
8:24ish : I just kept making excuse after excuse that whatever I was going through, wasn’t a big deal.

9:35ish : In college…i tried to make myself purge, but I was a wimp and in my eyes I was unsuccessful. So I went in this downward spiral because I felt like I couldn’t even have a good eating disorder anymore. Which sounds so crazy.
9:52ish : I couldn’t do the thing that had defined me.

10:20ish : After I had my daughters, life was pretty typical for me. I would go through spells where I would listen to play lists that encouraged me to have destructive habits. The thinspiration thing was a big part of my life.
10:52ish : I didn’t have an identity anymore. My identity had been wrapped up before in being able to control these things.
11:11ish : People would have never suspected that I was struggling so much
11:35ish : After I had my son in 2012, I was definitely dealing with postpartum depression. It was something different than quick to anger or quick to try.

11:54ish : It was not being able to get out of bed for hours. I had a baby who was crying in the crib and I knew he’s safe so I just let him go because I can’t make myself get out of bed.
12:27ish : There was a period of a month or a little more…that if I could get myself out of bed it was because these three little people depended on me. When I wasn’t with them, I wanted to drive my car into a wall.
13:01ish : I looked for pills I could take, just to make myself not feel so bad.
13:12ish : Sometimes a mental illness has a trigger, maybe you loose a loved one or something but other times, there isn’t any good reason [for depression]. It’s so easy to dismiss it, and say I can’t ask for help for this, my life looks good what am I even going to say what is wrong?
13:30ish : I remember going in my basement and I was hiding from my family. I was sobbing, I couldn’t breath. Eventually my husband came down and I couldn’t piece together what was wrong, how much I didn’t want to live even though I had so much to live for.
14:47ish : I had advocated to others about it being okay to go on medication and go to therapy but to me…it was giving up.
15:24ish : I went on medication and I felt normal for the first time in my life. I had never known what I was like to experience something that was frustrating but just be frustrated. To have a bad day and not want to hurt myself or cry uncontrollably.
16:09ish : I gave up on this idea that I had to do everything on my own.

17:08ish : I don’t think people realize how beneficial [therapy] is but how hard it is.
17:31ish : Shifting my mindset of taking care of myself…was huge.

18:36ish : I knew I had to change the way I thought of myself and how I took care of myself.
18:51ish : The biggest thing for me was to share my story and hear other women say, yes me too!
19:26ish : It gives people the courage to admit what they are going through and know that it’s okay.

19:56ish : I tried to come off of meditation and it just doesn’t work for me. I need the medication to stay balanced and that’s okay.

21:44ish : It’s hard to actually take the step among the people you know [to talk about your mental health].

23:00ish : [I have bad days] monthly when women are supposed to have bad days!

23:55ish : I don’t feel like my life is falling apart.
24:01ish : Even the lows, are not nearly as low as they were.

25:27ish : I recognize already in my kids, behaviors that are healthy and those that are not.

25:46ish : One of my twins is my twin. She looks like me, she acts like me. She is very cautious about things and it’s easy for me to recognize that…she is wired to trend more anxious.

26:29ish : We have worked with her in saying, you can feel sad. We talk to our kids about how having the feelings is fine, it’s how we react in those times that we monitor. You don’t get in trouble for being angry, you get in trouble for hitting your sister.

27:10ish : I have a normal life, but my kids are in therapy – blog post from Jennifer

27:30ish : I wasn’t looking for a diagnosis for them, I just didn’t know hot to talk through it with them and so we go to [therapy] together.

29:48ish : I know I worry about if everything I do will ruin my kids. You hear…if you do this you’ll ruin your kid. Or if you do the opposite you’ll ruin your kid.
30:04ish : to be aware to the words we choose is really important.

30:35ish : being an introspection-aholic could trap me in a place of worry about who I am and what I’m doing. At a different time in my life, it could have. But now, it serves a great purpose.
31:20ish : I’ve learned that how being aware of how you are feeling starts this whole cycle of then being more aware and compassionate how others are feeling and being more assertive when you need to stand up for yourself.

34:11ish : There are all these plates that we are spinning and it would be much easier to ignore ourselves and keep doing and giving and plugging through. But it’s not sustainable.

To the mom friend who is depressed…34:48ish : I would give her a big hug.
35:15ish : I would make sure to empathize and make sure to explain that what she is feeling is normal and okay. It’s not her fault and there’s no guilt to be involved.
35:36ish : And then I would continue to follow up and make sure she’s getting some sort of help. I don’t know that I would back down for a while, I would want to make sure to hold her accountable.

Get in touch with Jennifer on her website and twitter.

If you enjoyed the show, leave a review on itunes.

Want to chat with other introspection-aholics™ ? Sign up here to gain access to my private group The Introspection-aholics™ Anonymous, for women who are ready to start thriving by focusing on self care and improving their mental health. Re-define, re-align and discover who you really WANT to be in Introspection-aholics™ Anonymous group.

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