Episode 1 – Why your mental health matters

Episode 1 - Why your mental health matters

Meet Louise and Andy. They’re two people just like you who have asked the question: “Who am I?”

Ever wondered why you think you’re not good enough? Maybe you’ve felt like a castaway on the island of depression or come up against a big life change or some speed bumps in your relationships.

More than just a podcast about depression and anxiety, Reframe Of Mind is a mental health podcast from Australia that deals with toxic positivity and explores tools for mental health offered by scientific and mental health professionals and people who have found their own way out of some dark places.

Using science, along with an exploration of critical thinking and lived experiences to support the journey, Reframe Of Mind explores the age-old question of “who am I” but also dives below the platitudes to help us truly back ourselves.

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, please seek individual professional help.

The following services may be able to offer some support: Mental Health Helplines

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Along with Louise and Andy, in this episode you will hear from all 31 guests who appear throughout the series:

Transcript

Louise 

We acknowledge the Yuggera and Kaurna nations as traditional custodians of the land on which we work, live, and learn, and their continuing connection with the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their elders past and present. 

Andy 

All content related to this program is for general informational purposes only and contain stories and discussion around mental health that may be disturbing to some listeners. If you’re concerned about yourself or someone you know, please seek professional and individual advice and support. More details are contained in our show notes. 

Angsty’s Voiceover host   

Welcome to the annual existential angst awards, otherwise known as the Angsty’s, your host tonight, last year’s all-round winner sweeping all categories, Depression. 

Depression   

Thanks for having me. I didn’t deserve to be here. Yeah. So, I’m just going to get on with it. So, you don’t have to look at me all night. Firstly, a couple of honourable mentions to a couple of nominees who couldn’t be with us tonight. Panic, had to leave the building early but put up a good fight beforehand. And Avoidance had other things to do so couldn’t be with this. 

 

Angsty’s Voiceover host  

And memoriam sponsored by all bottled up they can see that professionals use 

 

Depression  

it’s been a big year and we’ve lost a lot of good emotions along the way. Please take a moment as we remember joy, happiness, enthusiasm, flow, contentment, motivation, hope and optimism. 

Angsty’s Voiceover host  

Nominees for this year’s angsty brought to you by panacea, the magic pill we’ve all been looking for 

Depression    

Runners up for this year’s Angsty’s are Imposter syndrome, for feeling like you’re never good enough, no matter who praises you. Failure. I’ve seen plenty of that. Grief for turning our world upside down and making you question everything about life. And the winner of this year’s Angsty’s: Toxic positivity 

Angsty’s Voiceover host  

For its 50th year in the anxieties, for the first-time win, toxic positivity started off as a thought you could choose to feel better that rose to fame by covering up all emotions it deemed as too negative just for the hell of it. In its 50th year for Andy, and 40th for Louise, toxic positivity will now accept their award. 

Toxic Positivity   

Oh my god, this is amazing. Good vibes only. I look where I got me Hashtag blessed. I just want to show gratitude to myself for just building that bridge. Getting over it. We all have mountains to climb. Just make sure you enjoy the view along the way. I always think on the bright side. And I tell myself that I am doing our much better than many, many others. Yeah, never give up. And remember, there’s always somebody worse off than you. Everything happens for a reason. 

 

Andy   

Any of this sounding familiar because it 

 

Louise  

was familiar to us. And we really wanted to find a way to reframe our mind to just be happy. I’m Louise Poole. 

Andy   

And I’m Andy Le Roy, and this is Reframe of Mind. 

Louise  

The series that cuts through the platitudes and gets to the core of living authentically challenging our assumptions and improving mental health with the guidance of good science, philosophy and learning from other people’s lived experiences. 

 

Andy    

When we started making this series, we wanted to make something to help us find that ongoing connection to happiness that we’re told is just waiting for is right around the corner. 

Louise   

But along the way, we discovered that happiness, if you’re not careful, can turn into just another carrot on a stick that you keep on chasing. 

 

Lisa Tamati   

Now I’m suddenly confronted, you know, I’ve been up until that point, this you know, selfish goal orientated athlete, Mum was always supporting me, and you know, looking out for me, and then this situation happened. And I was just like, no, that’s not happening. And so, at that point, I had to stop training and running, obviously put all my energies and focus into her rehabilitation. 

 

Nathan Parker  

I already felt at that point that I’d lost that childhood dream twice the end of the day, when the chips are down, I couldn’t walk away from flying without working out what was possible.  

 

Louise   

So, this is probably not the self-help podcast that you’re expecting.  

 

Andy   

We’re never going to tell you that all you need to do is meditate your feelings away because that’s not what any of our guests told us either. 

 

Teisha Rose    

You know, like there’s such a sense of helplessness when you’re stuck in a body that you can’t move or when you’re in hospital alone at night to sketch of what your future will be and just edit absolute loss as to how you can possibly move forward and whether you’ll ever get better. 

 

Derrick McMannus   

I started speaking out loud to myself and saying, Derrick, don’t give up. Derek keep on fighting. As my vision was closing down. There were two rifle shots from outside the house. And when I heard those two rifle shots. It was absolute confirmation for me that my mates from Star group are on their way to get me and things were going to be alright, there is still something possible, something good, that’s going to possibly come out of this, that went through my mind at that time 

 

Louise   

how you feel is valid. And you feel that way for a reason. 

 

Daniel Flynn   

My biggest personal struggle as an individual or a leader was battling. Well, actually, what a wonderful psychologist who sat across the room from me helped me unpack, which was a fear of rejection. So, I was so afraid of people rejecting me and I kind of packaged it up as like a fear of failure. I didn’t want to fail. 

 

Lisa Alexander   

Yeah, look, it is what it is. I’m not going to, you know, cry about it. It’s something that I need to recognize and understand and try not to get, you know, too, too dark about as well. Or better. But yeah, you’re right, you can hear it in my voice. It’s still emotional. 

 

Andy   

Until we look deeper into why we think and act the way we do, we won’t know who we truly are. 

 

Louise   

And good vibes only will only go so far into how we feel.  

 

Nevo Zisin   

That’s what I’m really here to do is to speak to a 16-year-old man and to show them that they are loved, and they are worthy. And they have a future, and they deserve to exist, and they don’t have to justify themselves to everyone. And I get that in my work a lot. I work with a lot of young people, and I have a lot of teenagers who, you know, will message me on Instagram and say, seeing you on my feed every day helps me feel like I can get to adulthood. 

 

Andrew Griffiths   

And so, do you think that that her leaving you with this old lady was an act of neglect? Or was it an act of love? 

 

Andy   

What this podcast does is go beyond the platitudes blending medical science with psychology, 

 

Louise   

philosophy and lived experiences. Together with our own personal stories, Lisa Salzman 

 

Lisa Saulsman  

and mind was built to find the bad stuff that’s our minds design is to look for threat to look for the negative to look at what might go wrong to protect ourselves mirror and 

 

Muireanne Irish  

This is a huge topic in terms of cognitive neuroscience of memory is whether memory and imagination are actually the same thing. There was a discovery just over 10 years ago now that when people are remembering events from their past, and when they’re envisaging events that might happen in the future, the same core brain regions and same core network activates 

 

Andy   

Our hope is that you will find some tools that are meaningful for you, and will help you to empower yourself to live authentically, 

 

Louise  

Because the only person who can empower you, is you selling gold, 

 

Sally Goldner   

I didn’t feel I’ve valued myself for the first 29 and a half years of my life up until 27, April 1995, which was the first time I ever heard the word transgender. And at that point I realized was I thought I’ve gone a long way down by fighting this thing. I wonder what would have happened if I went with it. 

 

Lucy Bloom  

I always fantasize about the best-case scenario, because I have just as much control over that. So, I actually just find that a good way to stop myself getting anxious. 

 

Andy  

There are a lot of great tools already available on one thing we’ve found is that sometimes they just don’t seem to work. 

 

Louise  

Or if they do, they work for a short period without any real long-lasting effect.  

 

Kimberley Norris  

You know, suddenly, I feel really selfish. And I feel really petty because it, it’s now not enough. And it’s because think about how you got there, you worked for it, you practiced things, you took positive risks. So, it’s not actually the outcome that brought the reward. It was the process. And we can create that process ourselves throughout our lives. 

 

Maree Teeson  

We often have this sense that it’s just that you don’t have enough willpower, that if you had enough willpower, if you weren’t strong enough, you pulled your socks up, then you solved the problems. And it just isn’t that simple. It’s not that it’s impossible. But it isn’t a simple case of just put your socks up. 

 

Andy   

We wanted to present a range of professional opinions and lived experiences to learn from others and help you do the same. But we came to a realization along the way, 

 

Louise  

the best way to learn, verify and demonstrate the effectiveness of these concepts was going to mean that we had to try these things on ourselves, 

 

Andy   

because it would seem a little bit odd to make a series about living authentically, if we weren’t prepared to apply what we were discussing to our own stories and experiences.  

 

Dinesh Palipana  

I made a promise to myself that I would come back a better person than I ever was. 

 

Hugh Kearns  

Then the imposter syndrome sort of keeps cropping up all the time. Most people feel like this. You know, when you look at the surveys and the research at least 70% of people. 

 

Jane Madden  

Mental health is everyone’s business. And I think it doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or in corporate, perhaps in a leadership role. I think the COVID crisis has just brought a new awareness and encouraged even more conversations about mental health in Australia. 

 

Louise  

Sometimes it feels like life is happening to us. Like we’re living in autopilot. 

 

Andy   

Then all of a sudden, we’re faced with loss or conflict or some other uncomfortable situation that we’d rather not be in. 

 

Madhavi Nawana Parker 

Sometimes people don’t deserve forgiveness, but we deserve to forgive them so we can let go of it. 

 

Brando Yelavich 

Ah, you know, there was paddling down a river and the dam got opened at the top and I got totally destroyed and thrown out of my wrath and pushed to the very bottom I reached a point down under the water where I just stopped trying to get back to the surface, I came to terms with the fact this was the end. 

 

Andy 

Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough looking for and finding all the evidence you need to support that in the comments, behaviours and attitudes of people around you 

 

Suzanne Mercier  

It’s the persistent belief that we’re not good enough, then we also might have a critical inner voice that comes along with that probably the biggest thing is that we will tend to give more credence to somebody externally, then we will try our own judgement. 

 

Dr Happy, Tim Smith   

It’s okay not to be okay. Sadness, and grief and anxiety and frustration and even even anger is a normal human emotion. We all experienced them. And they’re usually good reasons for experiencing them. 

 

Louise  

Ever bottled something up for so long that it just blurts out one day, 

 

Andy  

maybe in a fit of rage against someone you love and would never dream of hurting. But there you are. And you can’t take any of what you said back. 

 

Annie Harvey    

I think it’s really critical that people know how close they are to what we call falling off the cliff. Because once you fall off, once you’re burnt out, it takes a really long time to heal. It’s not like bouncing back as we like to call it after a couple of weeks, it can take six months or even up to two years to actually heal from that. 

 

Alex Maritz  

We’re in such a fluid, and such a lifestyle and disrupted world that you’ve actually got no choice, but you have to change. Before people didn’t have multiple careers. Now, you don’t often meet a mature aged person that hasn’t had three or four different careers, different kinds of jobs, in and out of jobs. You don’t get jobs for life, not even in the big corporate companies. 

 

Louise 

Have you ever faced that question? Who am I? And not being able to give yourself an answer much past your job title? 

 

Andy  

Or your family position? Or maybe some other surface explanation of what you like glossing over the question altogether?  

 

Louise  

Who are you? 

 

Joe Forgas 

We are biased and influenced by society, we are profoundly social creatures. And almost everything we think and know comes from somebody else. 

 

Chris Helder 

The bottom line is people are sick and tired of being told to be positive, because bad things do happen. Bad things have happened. Bad things have happened all of us. And when people come up to you and just say, hey, come on, be positive about it. You really want to just punch him in the mouth. 

 

Andy 

What’s important to you, without thinking about it in the context of the groups you belong to? 

 

Louise   

What do you value? Stuck? You’re not alone. 

 

Andy  

We’re often labelled as self-indulgent for even trying to express what’s important to us, right? 

 

Jacinta Carboon  

You don’t ask you don’t get you have to put yourself out and you have to do it like they don’t someone doesn’t know that. You want this. If you don’t let them know. 

 

Cienan Muir  

We need these platforms; I want to produce this platform. So young people, generations in front of me can not only have this platform, but also thrive from this platform. My dream is to benefit in seven generations in front of me. 

 

Louise  

Nobody cares, right? Except we should. 

 

Andy   

Because it’s valid. And we deserve to be heard.  

 

Nellie Thomas 

I had a couple of miscarriages when we were trying to have children. And it wasn’t until I started telling people that I’d had a miscarriage that I realized how common it was, you know, so many women I knew and had miscarriages that I didn’t know about. And I think mental health is the same openness begets openness. 

 

Louise 

After we spoke to all of these people, we realized that we have far more in common with each other than we do differences. 

 

Andy 

And it’s the intersection of our stories that can help us to see our common ground. 

 

Bill Thompson 

There’s a really interesting connection between music and beliefs. Music is a lot like language in the sense that it unfolds over time. It implies meaning without actually presenting that meaning in an explicit way. And so, anything that’s accompanying that music, I think we take seriously selling gold. 

 

Sally Goldner   

Let’s bust them binaries to use a favourite saying, we do have similarities, we need food, we’d prefer shelter, we need to sleep, those sorts of things, a very basic level, but then it’s about how we value difference rather than see it in a negative light. And it takes some effort to do that to really keep ourselves as balanced as we can in the face of that. 

 

Louise  

As we grow and evolve, we shape our minds, but those minds are far from fixed objects if we choose for that to be the case. 

 

Andy  

So where do we start? 

 

Daphne Kapetas   

I’m not going to allow anybody to make me hate them. Mum would say that to me to this ancient Greek saying, that say when somebody hates you or they love you, what you don’t want is for them to feel sorry for you. 

 

Suzanne Mercier  

I just have a way of looking at things. I think that puts it into a different perspective. I can immediately reframe something and see the positive 

 

Andrew Griffiths  

I’ve got to reframe situations. Rather than keep telling that old broken story about my mother abandoned me this happened, you know, she’s the cause of all my problems.  

 

Lucy Bloom  

I get to reframe my whole life. I see that as an opportunity, I have some time to grieve it, but then you can only move forward and carry on. 

 

Leeanne Carey  

Reframe the mind. It’s about adapting and learning. Neuroplasticity of the brain is the mechanism or the phenomenon that supports that adaptation and learning. And if we engage in the tasks, and we believe in this, and we’ve got a little bit of that know how to do it, then we can achieve that change with both the discovery and the knowledge. 

 

Louise 

We initially planned for 10 episodes but reframe of mind has turned into a 42-part series. Thanks to the generosity of our guests in sharing their stories and insights. 

 

Andy 

All of the guests are Australian or New Zealand experts from diverse walks of life across various spectrums. 

 

Louise 

This series reaches across gender, ethnicity, sexuality, as well as physical and mental diversity, we set out with the intention to include as many diverse voices as we possibly can, 

 

Andy 

some voices he wouldn’t normally get to hear speaking at length, if at all, all of our guests had so much more to offer than our preconceived notions of them. 

 

Louise 

Even though this is the first episode you’re hearing. It’s the last one we wrote. So, spoiler alert, we know exactly how this journey ends up for us. And as uncomfortable, risky and uncertain, it has been along the way. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done.  

 

So, who are we?  

 

Well, if you recognize my voice, it’s because I was on Brisbane radio for eight years. Or you might have heard me at Darwin or Newcastle or one of the other cities or towns I broadcast from, and I worked in media since I was 14 years old.  

 

Andy  

Well, that’s a long time.  

 

Louise 

Being a radio announcer is all i ever wanted to do. Friday nights, local community station. I was at school. My first interview, Savage Garden. 

 

Andy   

Get out really?  

 

Louise 

Yeah. Before they were big. With Darren Hayes in the car, I think on the way to his first gig somewhere. And I want you had just dropped as a single and literally nobody besides the community stations, were playing it at that stage.  

 

Andy  

Oh, get out. Really?  

 

Louise 

Yeah, I still have it on tape somewhere. Maybe one day we’ll get ourselves a cassette player. 

 

Andy  

I’m sure I’ve got one floating around here somewhere. 

 

Louise  

But my point is, I always wanted to be a radio announcer and worked my ass off to work my way up in commercial radio to broadcast from my home city of Brisbane. And, you know, achieved a lot of accolades. Like Best Newcomer in the country at the commercial radio awards, numerous number one radio surveys in Australia’s third largest market, Brisbane, 

 

Andy  

You got your own string of Angsty’s by the sound of it 

 

Louise 

I’ve won many Angsty’s over my time. 

 

Andy 

Well, me, I’ve had an eclectic career, part of which was in radio, but you know, I know, that was exciting, but mostly falling into leadership positions in like a range of industries. So, on a personal side, I never married, okay, I never had children, although the connection to my family I’d consider has always been quite close. So, when both of my brother’s kids were young, I felt like an integral part of the family things were fairly cohesive. And, you know, there’s a place for me within that. 

 

Louise  

You missing a major part of this story, though, I think, Andy?  

 

Andy 

I think I forgot to mention that I’m gay. I should probably get that out of the way at some point though, because it’s a fact that usually requires some explaining at some point in the conversation, where people will ask you for your kids, or if you’ve got a wife.  

 

Louise 

We’ve had a business consultant that’s been helping us that many times has asked me how Andy’s wife is. 

 

Andy 

She even married us on a couple of occasions.  

 

Louise 

I think she thought that the partner in business partner meant oohh la la 

 

Andy 

Well, I mean, you can imagine how they will get for me as well when I worked in aged care. Because, you know, in some scenarios I would need throughout life to hop straight back into the closet. And there was another job I can remember I had where I went in on the first day and the team leader getting started. He said, do you have kids and I said no. And she looked a bit shocked. And she said, why not? I said, because I’ve never had a boyfriend with a uterus. 

 

Louise 

That’s a very nice way of saying it, isn’t it? 

 

Andy 

Oh, yeah, it’s just a bit of a comedic way to wake people up without kind of hitting them over the head with their own assumptions. So, you know, I think along the way, we just kind of realized that people are different, they don’t always fit neatly into our own model of the world. So, you know, I never really felt that I’d had a work identity as such like you have with radio because even though I’ve always wanted to work in a creative type of role, I’ve always learned to take on other people’s concerns like a mortgage, or you know, statements like you really should have something to fall back on. You know, I’ve worked my whole career making the best fallback option I could and kind of feel like I’ve denied myself the chance to develop into the creative type of work that I always wanted. 

 

Louise  

Well, I haven’t had kids. I’m 40 now and I put all my effort into my career, 

 

Andy   

which from an outsider’s point of view was going amazingly well, right? 

 

Louise  

There, I was topping the Brisbane radio ratings and COVID hit, which, you know, changed a lot for a lot of people.  

 

Andy  

Well, have you got a couple of hours? 

 

Louise 

18 plus months? Yeah. But COVID made me re-evaluate what was actually important because I saw a lot of change happening within the world. And things weren’t changing for me. And I felt like I needed change to I don’t know how much of it actually ties to COVID. But it certainly was a catalyst. And it did cause a chain reaction of events that show me that I wasn’t valued for my creativity. And I felt like I wasn’t valuable. And something that pushed me to stand up for what I perceived my value to be, 

 

Andy 

yeah, which isn’t easy to do. Because once you’ve been working on something for so long, sometimes you need that value to come from other places. And sometimes they’re places from yourself, 

 

Louise  

well, I already knew I wasn’t living authentically for a long time. And I think I, I reached that breaking point where I just couldn’t do it anymore. Everything else in the world was changing. And things just look like they were going to get worse for me if I stayed the same. So long story short, I got here, when my contract renewal came up last time, my previous employer and I did not agree on my value. And the job ended along with a link to an identity I’d held for eight plus years. And an industry that I’d been involved in since I was 14 years old. That was a job that I once described as my dream. And that industry was something that I took on accidentally, I suppose as my identity  

 

Andy  

for whole 26 years of your life. It’s a long time. It is a 

 

long time. And you know, I think 2020 had obviously incredible impact in a lot of ways to other people. But I guess if I skip back to 2020, myself, I had just taken on a leadership role within a bank. And if you think about what I was saying a bit earlier about one of the creative roles is probably the most diametrically opposite type of role you could have to the stuff that I wanted to do. So COVID hit and all of that aside, you know, the biggest thing that happened for me in 2020, amongst all of that was my dad passed away. Yeah. Which was clearly for me, because I was close to my dad or loved my dad. There’s a lot of people do. And it was just one of the extra things in 2020. That really helps to, I guess, hammer a rusty nail into what was flapping about about mental health at the time. 

 

Louise  

Yeah. Wouldn’t I have helped as well that you were stuck behind a border? Because your dad was in New South Wales? 

 

Andy  

Yeah, that’s right. So, Dad was in New South Wales. So I was here in Adelaide, and I got news that he was sick, and not likely to last long. So, I travelled across to Sydney, I was fortunate enough to be there to see him before he went. But most of the pandemic, my partner couldn’t come with me for support, because we didn’t know at the time how long it was going to last. And then he ended up going quite quickly. And then the funeral arrangements happened. It’s all a blur. Like when that sort of thing happens. You’re in shock. You’re starting to grieve; all of these chemical processes are happening within your brain to protect you. But there’s nothing that replaces the support of your partner, when you’re in that kind of situation. And COVID meant that he couldn’t be there for me, because we were interstate, there were restrictions. There were things that needed to be done when we were returning all sorts of stuff. So there came a point within all of that all of that Ness, all of that horrible, horrible feeling stuff that I had to do something which was really difficult and say to my family, look, I need to go back to Adelaide because I have to pay the mortgage, I have to work. There was a big part of it. And of course, you know, I have to admit my mental health was terrible at the time as well. 

 

Louise  

And what would a podcast about helping fix our mental health be without us deep diving into some of our mental health issues Andy? 

 

Andy  

too right. 

 

Louise  

So, I suppose where we both sit in 2020 with mental health if I rewind to a little bit before the leaving of that job for me, those previous years, I’d been suffering clinical depression and anxiety that I’ve come to realize now that I’ve lived with my whole life undiagnosed, and I finally got diagnosed just before I left in the probably six months before I started a medication.  

 

Andy  

So how would that manifest for you? What sort of things were going on that? 

 

Louise  

Well, I was having frequent anxiety attacks, so I did used to be a music director as well as a radio announcer, so I used to go to a lot of concerts. I love going to concerts live music was just chefs kiss beautiful, but sometimes I’d have an anxiety attack at a concert if things were too loud if it was too hot. If it was too crowded, I’d have a lot of anxiety attacks on the way to work. We used to not have an elevator at a one before we moved addresses and I’d walk up the stairs to go to the studio, have an anxiety attack by the time I got up there.  

 

Andy  

Wow.  

 

Louise   

The thing is I recognize now, from my now that we’re recording this as our first episode, but it’s at the end journey that I’ve had a lot of depressive periods in my life that go back to when I was really young. And when I say depressive, I mean with suicidal ideation. So somehow, I was able to pick myself up and push through them. But honestly, I think that anxiety and that need to prove my worthiness, as my psychologist would say, possibly to my dead father has been something that’s driven me a lot. 

 

Andy   

So, does it feel like that there were just triggers that were causing this to happen or weird things happening around you to trigger things from what turns out to be earlier in life? 

 

Louise  

A bit of both? I think. I mean, here I am a successful number one morning announcer in Brisbane, my listen to my voice listen to my voice Andy jumpscares. I once heard someone tell me never to swear with this voice because it doesn’t sound right. And I say fuck them. But I got this beautiful rosy voice. I mean, entertaining people. I’m trying to make them feel joyful and uplifted. But I was wearing a mask. Not a COVID mask. Yeah, as a spiritual metaphysical, metaphoric mask, 

 

Andy  

not like the masked singer. 

 

Louise   

No, I wasn’t wearing one of those masks. 

 

I was coming home and locking myself in my house. I was arguing with my partner. I was spending the whole weekend crying on the couch or just lying down, half dissociating. I’d even prepare deflection anecdotes for Monday morning. So, when people asked me how my weekend was, I’d have something ready because I was a skilled interviewer. So go on asked me how my weekend was. 

 

Andy 

Hey, Lou, happy Monday. How’s your weekend?  

 

Louise  

Yeah, really good. Did you see that new series The Witcher Oh, my God? 

 

Andy  

Yes. So good. We actually binge the whole lot. And I think I think I’m able to sleep after all that, anyway. Oh, look, you want a coffee? Just going to head down the cafe. 

 

Louise  

Yeah. Yeah. Like that, like, have a line ready. This is how an interviewer does it if you want to deflect anybody not that I’m suggesting this because this is exactly what we’re trying to and constructing this. But this is what we want to unload. unlearn this, that if you have something ready you can people love to talk about themselves. Andy? 

 

Andy 

Don’t I know it? Because I think in some ways, I’ve probably used some of those same techniques myself at parties. Yeah. When people start a conversation, and then I say, so what do you do, and then hand the mic over for the next half an hour. It’s great. It’s great. It takes the pressure off, 

 

Louise 

you can hide, you can hide, and you can make people think you’re such a good listener. They do. And they think that you You’re really great at conversation, but they’ve generated it all on their own. 

 

Andy 

Yeah, I can relate to how you feel many years ago. Now. It’s actually been said to me, since a former partner of mine once said to me, why are you such a different person when you’re with your family? You’re a completely different person when you’re around them compared to when you’re around to me or with our friends. And at the time, I just thought I was being crazy. I thought no, I’m not. I’m just me. But the more time wore on, and the more I started to really observe myself, I’d realized I was wearing masks. I was actually being a different person in different places with different people. 

 

Louise 

It’s hard not to wear those masks, isn’t it? Yeah, it is. 

 

Andy 

Especially around people that you that you love so much. And also, number one don’t want to upset but also number two that you really want the respect of 

 

Louise 

at this time when you’re in Sydney and your dads just passed away and you feel like you’re wearing a mask around your family. Was there anybody that you had around you where you didn’t have to wear a mask? 

 

Andy  

Oh yeah, yeah, my sisters from other misters I’ve got three really close girlfriends you know girlfriend boyfriends’ girlfriends. 

 

But my three really treasured sisters I call them because they are that to me. I’ve known one of them since she was born. And that was when I was three months old. You know? So, we’ve had a good history together and know each other really well. They were there for me. And you know there were there in ways that sometimes my own family couldn’t be and again, you know, as I said they were going through grief as well so we shouldn’t have to feel like that we can be everything to everybody. So, you know, it was really wonderful to have the support of those three women there with me while I was there and they were looking out for me they were there making choices, okay, 

 

Louise   

really strikes me something you said before, about having to return to work to pay the mortgage. Like I know that we make that you know, money motivated because we have no choice but to make the money to survive. 

 

Andy 

Well also, you know, in Australia and I know that in this isn’t just particular to Australia, but when somebody passes away, you get bereavement leave, but their bereavement leave is the equivalent of about two days. Yeah. 

 

Louise  

Yeah. So, I got, I think I got two days off when my dad died and the rest I took his personal leaves, it came out of my sick days. 

 

Andy  

Yeah. And I’ve always thought that that was really harsh, because nobody, a lot of people don’t even enter the initial stages of grief, get out of shock. In the first two days, that’s just the organizing.  

 

Louise 

It’s just the organizing, just finding things to put in the coffin to weight 

 

Andy  

down chatting to the Undertaker, it’s making all the arrangements is doing all of those things that you have to do. Because when we die, we become a bunch of admin tasks. 

 

Louise 

That’s gonna be the quote of the episode. Andy, when we die, we become a bunch of admin tasks. 

 

Andy 

Yeah, we do. And it’s really sad. It is really sad. Amongst all of those admin tasks, you’ve got people who have lost someone who’s really important to them.  

 

Louise 

Think about grief. I think grief is grief, whether we’re talking about people who are deceased or losing jobs. And I know some people might think that sounds flippant, but grief is grief, whatever affects you. Absolutely no, at the end of my story, with the end of my journey in the tribe of media COVID caused all these things where the industry was cutting jobs, cutting costs, everyone was starting to take on more work for literally less money pay cuts happening due to the uncertain new landscape, while people like me were taking voluntary pay cuts, like we saw the harsh alternative around us as well as other content creators in the industry were being made redundant due to the impact of the pandemic, I saw so many friends lose jobs, and how they so many 

 

Andy 

stories, yeah, across all industries, in all, all walks of life, suddenly, what people thought was quite secure, suddenly became up for grabs, 

 

Louise 

and going through the grief of losing that part of who they were, as well. 

 

Andy   

When you think about it, you know, it’s not flipping to consider that you had spent 26 years of your life with his partner. Yeah, it’s been 26 years of your life, like a relationship, giving all of yourself to this entity, in this case of career, that suddenly wasn’t there anymore. Of course, you’re going to grieve over there.  

 

Louise 

Yeah. And this period of time before I left there, you know, I, I saw colleagues being made redundant. I watched concessions being made for others to work from home for safety at reduced hours because of the pay cut. But I was still required to work from a studio in the city and put in a day of annual leave once a fortnight that I still had to come in on and work on if I wanted to be paid my pre COVID amount of money. Yeah, I didn’t feel valued, Andy, 

 

Andy 

well, you wouldn’t say if you’re kind of saying his days annual leave, I’m claiming, and I’ll see a Friday anyway, because I need to be paid. That probably doesn’t feel too good. You know, like, I know that everybody’s making concessions as a result of this pandemic. And you know, and people will say, in toxic positivity is ways that, you know, well, some people got worse off, you got a job and all that kind of stuff. But there were also some pretty awful things happening out there with people and to people because of the pandemic as well. And you can’t overlook that. We’re looking at each of our stories here. There’s definitely a theme of grief there. I mean, that’s why when we first started talking about this project, you know, we were talking about doing a podcast about grief, because we both had experienced loss. One insight also, you had not too far in the distant past lost your own father. 

 

Louise 

Yeah, that was, I think about three years ago or so. And I do think that’s a different story than your loss. Because as the series is going to show, we weren’t always close. And there’s a lot of other stuff in there with that, that you felt differently about your dad than I felt about mine. Um, but you’re right, grief manifests in all sorts of ways. 

 

Andy 

Yeah, I mean, to this day, there are still people within my family that I don’t talk to, which I find quite sad. But also, in some ways, sometimes we need space to figure out who we are and what that relationship means as well. 

 

Louise 

So, I think now we’ve brought everybody down on a series where we told them that we were going to lift them up. How about a turning point? Why, why did we decide to do this? Well, why did you want to take on this change? Because this series isn’t just about making a series, it’s about changing all these preconceived notions of ourselves. 

 

Andy 

When we first started talking about this, I was, I was working at the bank still, I kind of had a sneaking suspicion that things weren’t gonna kind of pan out the way I initially thought nine months earlier, and I thought, you know, I actually really want to be at a place in my life where I want to be in charge, I want to actually not be at somebody else’s effects, if that makes sense. So, if you can, okay, so this is this is quite a bold thing that I decided to do to prove the point myself, but I was on a month-by-month extension of the contract. And I thought, well, you know what I would much rather say thanks for the time, the job has been great. I really enjoyed working with you. But let’s call the end of this month, the end of this month, and then come and start a business with you knowing all of the uncertainties that come with that. But to me, those uncertainties are mine to control whereas the uncertainty I had with me we’re gonna have a job next month was really not up to 

 

Louise 

  1. And you know what, I think that’s pretty close to how I felt because when that contract renewal came up, and I didn’t feel valued, I, you know, stated the value I thought that I was worth, they didn’t agree, and I wouldn’t compromise and so ended my radio career poof, oh, we can’t say that anymore. Any course we can. Okay, you can. That was the end. I mean, it’s kind of an act of self-empowerment, because it’s like, oh, I’m worth more than this. But then why there was both the right thing to do and pretty, pretty terrifying. I didn’t know what I was going to do next, I had nothing lined up those six months between when I left that job, and we started this business while you were still at the bank, you know, my depression and anxiety got worse, not better. To have my cats died. That was, that was sad. I talk about dead things. In this episode, I agree more for my dead cats and my dead father, that’s for sure. But my goodness, I would never wish a dead pet on anybody, let alone to within the space of a month. But at that time, I couldn’t leave my yard. The anxiety attacks were pretty bad. I couldn’t go to places in Brisbane that I associated with my old workplace or my old routines, 

 

Andy  

I remember conversations were having and you had difficulty thinking about going past that front gate, without a word of a lie or a joke. 

 

Louise 

It sounds like we’re making it up. But I have a I have a gate at the front of the house like across the front. And it’s you know, got a lock on it. And I couldn’t leave the yard past the gate,  

 

Andy 

I would give you a little activities and challenges 

 

Louise 

and I just get Uber Eats and then they pass it over. But sometimes I would get past the gate. And I’d start to drive away that I used to go to go to work, and that not of anxiety would just start rising in my chest and constricting. And even, I would just start to have that feeling that that anxiety attack was gonna happen, just driving those paths. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Without that identity of a career, even though I was hiding behind it. 

 

Andy 

I think also from my perspective, as well, when you talk about identity, I kind of I’m observer, and I am a deep thinker. And I started to see myself behaving in ways that I didn’t like I actually started to see patterns of that type of behaviour across different areas within the relationships I have. So, for me a was wanting to actually pull back. And you know, somebody suggested to me have a bloody good look at myself. Because take a good look at yourself. Yeah, exactly. Because I’ve always kind of felt that I do that anyway. And I think that I’ve actually been on a pretty good growth path. If I do say so myself. 20 odd years. But there is always room for improvement. And there’s always something else that inevitably pops up you think, ah, I didn’t catch that, you know, around the time of dad’s passing. I caught it. Yeah. And I didn’t like it. So, I decided that I couldn’t be a part of that anymore. And if that meant not being able to have some people in my life for however long then I had to do that for myself, because I didn’t want to hurt them. I didn’t want to go on hurting them with any of those behaviours myself. And I was damned if that was gonna let them hurt me in the same way. 

 

Louise 

You and I first worked together in Darwin, about 20? How long ago 14 years ago.  

 

Andy 

It was from January 2009. Until July 2010. 

 

Louise 

I was content director of the commercial stations in Darwin. And Andy was my assistant Content Director. 

 

Andy 

I was and I called myself Mimi, because I sit at my desk because Ms. Poole often had unwelcome visitors and I had to be her gatekeeper. Just like The Drew Carey Show, 

 

Louise  

I appreciate everybody that you get kicked out of my office, even with the fake call app after I left that last job, and I was wondering what I should do in between my moments of depression and anxiety. I guess I had a good moment when I called Andy and said, what are you doing? Want to make a podcast? Oh, 

 

Andy 

yeah, that sounds fun. Even though he probably worked at the aged care call centre here and there I was. I was tech support for an internet company for a while. I made what I say I’ve had an eclectic career, I’m not lying. I’ve, I’ve been places. I’ve seen some things. 

 

Louise 

So, the very first incarnation of this series, which we were discussing long before you left the bank, and long before we decided to form welcome change media, which is our business. It was a 10-episode series. And the topics were things like, what if no one wants to hear what I’ve made? And why do I crave change? And why do I matter? And that’s because they were things we were feeling at the time. 

 

Andy 

Yeah, I was looking at that recently myself that list and I thought it was curious how we, the episode we named as reframe your mind was episode number seven out of 10. So, to actually get an entire 42-part series out of that concept alone, I think, is kind of indicative of the journey that we’ve been on. 

 

Louise 

Yeah, because the idea just kept getting bigger and bigger, became a business idea. Shiny Object Syndrome after I was already six months without a job. And six months at home, afraid to go beyond my gate. Yeah. And in joined my madness, and said, oh, let’s do this business full time. So, the new incarnation of reframe of mind is that story along the way, from the moment that we start the business to now, the first episode that we’ve recorded last, 

 

Andy 

when we actually started out, we actually made a pact 

 

Louise 

go all in absolutely prepared to share our own vulnerabilities along the way, just as others were prepared to share this with us. 

 

Andy 

And we did hear some really great stories along the way. I think they really did inspire us to think okay, well, if they’re brave enough to share their stories with us, then it’s only fair that we share our story with you. And it’s not a salacious hatchet job on anyone related to our journeys. If you’re after gossip, you’re in the wrong place. Because I suppose in the true, self-indulgent sense of the word, it’s all about us. You know, this is, this is our perspective on our experience through these things that were happening around us. You know, we said earlier that sometimes it feels like life’s on autopilot. Well, guess what, this is a snapshot of us in autopilot going, oh, my God, oh, my god, we’re gonna do now. And it’s, it’s basically almost account all of our emotional responses of our learning and growth along the way, 

 

Louise 

it’s not always a comfortable journey, either. But this is authentic, and we hope you get something out of it, too. It was never our intention, actually, to put our story into this series. But because of the conversations and the growth and the work that we’ve put in, well, we’re standing in a place where it sharing our vulnerability is powerful. It doesn’t just happen. It took us a lot of work to get to this point. Yeah, 

 

Andy 

sometimes this sort of thing can turn into trauma porn, you know. And that’s not something that we ever wanted to create. And we never ever wanted to give the impression that is a quick fix to everything, either. Because it just wouldn’t do justice to the people that we’ve spoken to, or the work they’ve put in and the long difficult conversations, we’ve both had to get to where we are today, where we actually feel comfortable sharing our darkest moments, knowing that you still might not like it or even care. 

 

Louise 

We haven’t come into this as a narcissistic feature. Or to say, this trauma is the best thing that’s happened to me because God would be far better if these things hadn’t happened to us and didn’t happen to anybody else. 

 

Andy 

But they did. And they do. And we’re happy to share that arc of our journey with you. Not as we originally intended to, but because there came a point in writing this series where it wouldn’t have felt right to do it any other way.  

 

Louise 

That brings us to the end of our first episode of reframe of mind, which is more like a prologue actually than an episode. Right, Andy? 

 

Andy 

Yeah, we’ve been talking about how the series morphed over time was quite different to how we initially intended, and we joke about it or being about us, but it’s not really, it’s a lot of stories from a lot of great people. And next time, you’ll get to meet one of those great people with their story. 

 

Louise 

The 2021 Queensland Australian of the Year Dinesh Palipana shares his story about becoming Queensland’s first quadriplegic medical graduate. 

 

Dinesh Palipana  

In our lives, we had so many people having an opinion about what we should do. But at the end of the day, when you look back at life, there’s only one person who you can hold to account and that’s you. 

 

Andy 

If you’re concerned about yourself or someone you know, please seek professional advice and support you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 Or at beyondblue.org.au. Or you can contact lifeline on 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au.  

 

We’d like to thank today’s guests for sharing their personal stories and insights. And for more information on any of the subjects, guests or references used in this episode. Please see our show notes or reframeofmind.com.au 

 

Reframe of Mind is a Welcome Change Media Production.