In this episode, CAN+DID hosts Rikki Harris and Will Voss talk with Bill Fondren, who has Bipolar 2 Disorder, along with symptoms of anxiety, ADD, and OCD. Fondren is 52 years old, was diagnosed with BP2 at age 33, and believes that it first started affecting him when he was 18. But at age 18, Fondren says he couldn't articulate what he was experiencing. So, he just toughed it out. Fondren says he felt awful much of the time, but never became addicted to alcohol or drugs. He drank occasionally, but self-medicating was not an issue.
Fondren was formally diagnosed in 2002 at a psych hospital/treatment center called The Meadows in Wickenburg, AZ. His experience at The Meadows changed the trajectory of his life. Fondren says he finally had a semi-firm grip on what was going on. Things haven't been perfect since his diagnosis, as he has continued to learn more about how his diagnosis affects him. But Fondren is able to tread water because he says he has a strong self-awareness, and his wife is quick to point things out to him.
Fondren and his wife Mimi have lived in Nashville since late 1995. He has worked in radio off and on as a DJ, traffic reporter, and interview host. Currently, Fondren is doing voice-over work and writing a memoir on his mental health experiences. Today, he gets CAN+DID.
CAN+DID is a podcast of TN Voices about mental health, featuring stories of people who have overcome mental health challenges, as well as those who have helped people overcome mental health challenges. This podcast is about authenticity. And it's intended to give a voice to those who are passionate about mental well being. We hope that by sharing stories, listeners understand mental health and just how important it is in our day to day lives, and they will help us reduce stigma. We want you to know that so many who have struggled with mental health CAN and DID overcome their challenges. And if you are struggling, you can too. I'm your host, Rikki Harris, CEO of TN Voices. And with me as my favorite co host, Will Ross, COO of TN Voices. Welcome to our podcast. Let's get candid! The Tennessee voices annual Green Ribbon gala, currently known as the Tennessee voices online edutainment value added show will be held Tuesday, November 16 2021. Starting at 7pm on Facebook Live, the event will focus on the idea of languishing, which is defined as suffering from being forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation and failure to make progress or be successful. languishing is a common feeling that many Tennesseans are encountering, even now, as we hopefully move out of this long COVID season, seeking to find greater normalcy and move forward. Looking to the start of a better year in 2022. Tennesseans need help hope and practical tools to help them move forward from languishing to flourishing. Tennessee voices will provide a 15 to 20 minute educational show that will address these issues and solicit funds to continue supporting the mental health needs of all Tennesseans. Mark your calendars again. That's Tuesday, November 16 2021. Starting at 7pm on Facebook Live, we're thrilled to have you join us. We appreciate you joining us today bill on the candid Podcast. I am your host Ricky Harris. I'm the CEO at Tennessee voices and my co host I'm a favorite co host will boss the CEO here at Tennessee voices and we have with us bill Fondren bill, tell us about yourself. Well, my wife and I have lived here in the Nashville area since the end of 95. I've worked in radio off and on since then, more recently working on a memoir with a collaborative writer about my experiences with bipolar two disorder. So that's kind of been a big part of my story, I try not to let it define me. But at the same time, I don't want to minimize the impact. So this is why you're a perfect guest for this podcast. Because what we wanted to do with this week, we just imagined a place where people could speak freely about their journey through mental health struggles, and speak to others who may be having struggles and tell them how they made it through. Maybe they're on the other side, maybe they're in the middle, but they're working their way through that journey and what's working for them. So we learn from each other. And you're very open about your background, your diagnosis, and we are super excited to kind of hear your journey today. So I'm going to be quiet and I want to hear from you. Just wherever you want to start. Okay, I'm, I'm 52 years old now, I was diagnosed when I was 33. But I think when the symptoms first kicked in was probably around 18 or 19 years old when I was at college, a major stressful event can do that can trigger the bipolar disorder. And it's typical for the late teens, early 20s. Although not exclusive, people could do get diagnosed much earlier or much later. But I went to William and Mary up in Virginia in struggled and I felt like Why can I not function like everyone else. It wasn't just a matter of struggling academically it was just struggling socially struggling in every way. And I couldn't understand it. I thought maybe because I didn't have a direction after school that I wasn't as focused as some people, things like that. But I couldn't explain it went out to Vail, Colorado for a couple winters is a ski bomb after that. And it was nice, but I noticed something was different. When we have extended cloud cover, I couldn't put a finger on it. But it was Seasonal Affective stuff, which is typical for folks with a mood disorder, and not necessarily with a mood disorder. From their back to Memphis where I grew up, worked on a master's in communication at the University of Memphis, got good grades there. So I knew I wasn't stupid. I just struggled at William and Mary, because of the, all the other things going on, and not understanding what was going on. But I met my wife, Mimi, when I was working at a radio station in Memphis, we dated for a couple of years, and from there, went out to Colorado briefly and then ended up in Nashville at the end of 95. And I got involved in radio slowly but surely here, it took a while to break into the scene. But I worked at WP ln the public radio station, some work at lightning 100, then traffic reporting from multiple stations. But the first go around with the radio, something was just not clicking. And I was struggling to hold down jobs and keep them for a period of time, I would get burned out, I would get bored, I would quit something would go wrong every time I'd find a reason to get out of there. And my wife was talking to someone who she knew who had dated a guy with bipolar two disorder, and she passed it on that sounds like that's what I was dealing with. Of course, at that time, late 90s or so I didn't want to hear it wasn't open to the possibility of anything like that one bit. And a few more years went by, and then we ran into a brick wall financially and had to sell a house that we were living in. And part of it was because of my professional struggles. I make no bones about that. I'm not going to kid you. And that's when I had bottomed out in the summer of 2002. And went into a suicidal depression. Never made an attempt, but made some gestures towards suicide. And from there just had a rough fall of 2002. I just wasn't sure what was going to happen with us having to sell the house. So we had several pets. But I ended up at that point, talking to a friend of mine who had been to the meadows, which is a treatment center, psych hospital, you name it out in wickenburg, Arizona, and he said it really helped him with his depression in his alcoholism. I did not have an addiction, thankfully, but I had enough going on that I felt pretty miserable. And I ended up talking to my dad in early December, I want to say if 2002. And he said why don't you go to that place your friend went, it was like a light bulb went off. So I hopped the plane in mid December 2002 to Phoenix and then get picked up at the airport and take into the meadows, five week treatment center, psych hospital, you name it kind of a jack of all trades place. They deal with all sorts of addictions, eating disorders, codependency, bipolar, depression, you name it. And it was a great experience. The first few weeks, I felt awful still. But once I got the correct diagnosis early in the program, they were able to start tweaking medications with me and start figuring out what worked, since they did not have have to strip off an addiction on top of that. So that's where the tide started to turn and the trajectory of trajectory of my life started to change. That, first of all, I'm just absorbing your story. And there's some very close parallels to the story of one of my siblings. So I was like having some moments there remembering that to those late teen years, and how tough that was for a sibling. So I feel for you and that part because it's hard enough to be 18 1920 and figuring out what you want to do with your life. But then know not knowing this underlying thing is happening with you. Who That's hard. It was when I got the diagnosis, the official diagnosis, I was relieved. I mean any any element of shame or stigma, it wasn't there for me, and it hasn't been because it was just nice to know that. I can't say all of my struggles were not my fault. But a large portion of my struggles were not my fault. I mean, sure, I can still blame some of it even at age 52 on my personality, immaturity, and just a part of being human. And that's just the way it's gonna be. But a lot can be credited. I hate to use that word but credits into the bipolar disorder blamed on the bipolar disorder type two. And since then, I've been dealing with symptoms related to attention deficit disorder, and OCD in terms of obsessive thinking and gartley it there's a lot of things that overlap. Without question, anxiety. That's a big part of it to yours. Saying something to me that is similar to something a staff member said to me just yesterday, when we were talking about the concept of a languishing, feeling. And she said to me, gosh, I was thinking there was something else more serious going on with me, maybe something physical going on with me. Because I had this languishing feeling, but you described it, and it sort of took all the relief, it took the burden off, and I feel relieved, just because you, you labeled it and identified and said, Yes, that is me. That's what it is. What is that? Because there are people who would say labeling could be a bad thing. But then I've heard you say it today. I heard her say it yesterday. I've heard it before, like, finally getting that label somehow brought relief to be. Yeah, I would say that was what it did for me tremendously. I know plenty of people, like you say, who don't want to be caught up in labels and words, but in conventional reality, if you will, we use words to communicate things. And it's a lot easier to tell somebody I have bipolar two disorder with some anxiety and add symptoms and OCD symptoms, then mystics spell it all out. And think most people have an idea of what goes along with those labels. And it's just a way of communicating what you're experiencing. And I think that's important. I mean, like I said earlier, I don't want to let it define me. But at the same time, I don't want to minimize it either. Because it is something all these things are things that have impacted my life and those around me, in many ways. I would love to know more about what you've done since going to that treatment center to take care of yourself. What are the things that work for you? You probably tried some things that didn't, too. Absolutely. You know, first and foremost, I'm going to start with that treatment center the meadows, one of the best things about it was that I went somewhere that was out of my ordinary environment. Arizona was totally removed from Middle Tennessee, I had never been to Arizona before. I saw the purple mountains in the evening, I saw cactus, I saw more stars than I ever knew existed when I looked up at the sky, and just being in a different environment, I think was good for me to focus helped me focus on myself. I mean, I know there's some good places right in this region in this state to go to, but I think for myself getting out of my own element was was very important. From there, they sent me to life Healing Center for four and a half weeks or four weeks, actually, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And that was a, what would you call it an aftercare center. They do have some people who come there for treatment and whatnot. But it's more people coming there after they've been somewhere else to kind of get reactivated to like before you head home. And that was a good experience to the counselor that was there. I've reconnected with him recently, he's written a few books. And that was a, it was a wonderful experience here to two beautiful places in Arizona and New Mexico got home after being away for nine and a half weeks or so. And it was a little disorienting to hit to hit the real world again. I had neighbors saying things I hadn't seen you for a while now, in a way. Yeah, and I just didn't get into it with them right then. But now I wouldn't care. And even shortly after that, I wouldn't care either. Because it was such a positive experience overall. And like I said, it all changed the trajectory of my life tremendously. But since then, I have worked with the psychiatrists consistently. I am on meds still, for various things that bipolar two and everything else I've mentioned. And it's interesting, I don't know if you all are familiar with Daniel, Ayman who has, who's a big, big in brain health scene. And he has clinics across the country. I did some brain scans a few years ago. And one of his things is you know many things that can be treated without meds. But he said I think he said bipolar disorder. And schizophrenia are two things that are still best treated with medication at this point, and that's coming from from somebody who's really focused on trying to find alternative ways to help with these things. But I jumped into one job that didn't feel very good and ended up back in radio after a little bit, doing traffic reporting in 2003 and stayed with that for a few years. My wife has really been helpful Mimi has really been helpful and helping me to see when things are going awry. She's quickly pointed out and you know, it's there's a part of me that thinks back to that time that lady said to her that she wondered if I was dealing with bipolar two, and I didn't want to hear I was gonna like, shoot, I wish I'd listened. I wish I'd taken a look at it then might have saved us some heartache, but everything's manifested Well, since I've, I exercise consistently. I make sure I do some exercise, it's fairly aggressive, because that just helps burn some of the stress and some of the anxiety away. Just getting good sleep, I used to stay up and watch hockey or football games or soccer games late at night, because I didn't want to miss the end of them. Now, I'm just kind of like when I get tired, forget it. I'll find out the score tomorrow morning. It's just too important to get consistent sleep. With this, it's one thing I've been told by multiple sources, multiple mental health professionals. And I find that if I do stay up real late one night, I feel it for a few days, it does, I don't recover right away. So I have to pay attention to that I still don't know how I did a radio gig one time that had me up till midnight, two or three nights a week. That was just I'm just not a night owl anyway, I mean, if I'm up at four or 430, and I'm at the YMCA and they open at 5am I, I'm happy with that, you know, I'm fine with that. But the exercise has been big working with the psychiatrist has been big diet, trying to pay attention to things that can be helpful or not, I did do a gut check test with my primary care person so I can see what your I was sensitive to, and know what to avoid. That was that's been helpful. And like I say, the amund Clinic getting the brain scans a few years ago. That was that was a big, big transition moment too because I could then see your the areas of my brain that we're functioning as they should in the areas that we're not in where I might have had some trauma from from playing soccer years ago and heading the soccer ball for nine years. slamming my head on the ground on the snow when I went skiing a few times without a helmet on of course it helmets not gonna protect your brain anyway, it's gonna sling around in your skull when you hit your head, whether you have a helmet on or not. So that was enlightening and has given me some direction and some ideas as well. But I have a sunlamp a light box, whatever you want to call it. From I got the brain MD one and it has blue light or white light has four settings has a timer on it. So very convenient. But more than anything, too, I just try to be open with the people. I'm around about what's going on. Recently I encountered up a homeless person who was coming up to ask for money. He said, Hey, how's it going? I said not good. I'm having a crappy day. And he goes, Oh, no worries, you have a good one. I wasn't trying to get him to leave or not bother me. But my point was Yeah, that's where I was. You know, just let it rip. We'll be right back after this mental health report for NewsChannel five Nashville, shining a light on mental health illness. Tennessee voices just launched their new podcast it's called candid NewsChannel fives Sina slim shows us how they're using this platform to break down mental health stigmas. During a pandemic that is encouraging people to social distance, it can feel lonely, it's what inspired Tennessee voices to launch their new podcast, the CO hosts want listeners to know it's okay to not be okay and to ask for help. And it is a podcast of Tennessee voices about mental health. Each episode will share the stories of those who have struggled with mental health, but that they can and did overcome their challenges. CEO and co host Ricky Harris shared her experience on the first episode so others know there's nothing to be ashamed of. One of the things that I really struggled with after having my child was postpartum depression. It was the first time that I really didn't know what to do with my own mental health. I mean I have a lot of coping skills and I had a lot of education and training in the area, and I needed help September's National Suicide Prevention Month. According to the Tennessee suicide prevention network, Tennessee suicide rate is the highest it has been in five years. Harris says the podcast is just another way to expand resources to those that need it, especially in rural counties. seana slim NewsChannel five. Thank you, Sina. If you want to give the podcast a listen, it is available on all major platforms like Spotify and amazon music. Welcome back and wanted to come back to you. I had heard that quote earlier this week. The reason we use the term you know a light bulb went off is because the invention of light bulb was such a great idea. And you stated earlier that a family member told you you know what? Maybe going and check it out. This facility would be helpful for you would be a good thing for you. He said, you know, the light bulb went off, and I realized, you know what, maybe this is right. You, you also stated that you felt relief when you found out about your diagnosis exactly what this was. But we talk also about people fearing being labeled. thinking, you know, where you started, and those younger years and how things began to progress and the amount of supports that you mentioned that you have currently in place, things that you've learned that have worked for you? How would you encourage someone who is at the beginning stage, like they're experiencing these symptoms, and they got some concerns, but there's so much fear in wanting to be labeled, and also a fear of going into a treatment facility. And that will mean you know, even just being overnight, but something even as simple as walking into an office trying to seek therapy, how would you encourage someone to access that light bulb to know that this is a really good idea, this is something that could help you long term? Well, I will start by saying that I did not take full advantage of the therapy at William and Mary, when I was in college, the Counseling Center was so strategically placed by the sorority houses that it really encouraged us fraternity guys to get counseling help when we needed it. So and I say that, obviously, with tons of sarcasm, but you know, it, I've got friends who are struggling with, with all sorts of things, and especially guys dealing with depression, and it manifests is anger, whether it's internal, internalized anger, or external anger, and they will not get help because they don't think they need it. And I, I have never felt shame about going to the counselor or a therapist, except when it was right next door to the sorority houses, and college. It just was something that was kind of normal, in my family life and in the people who were really close to us growing up. So I never felt any shame. And when I felt really bad, I thought I had nothing to lose to I mean, why not try it. But I would encourage people to one thing would be to look up online, the best therapist I've ever worked with, I found her online, I had been referred to therapists over the years, and they've been right. But the best fit for me was when I just looked somebody up online, randomly, not even with a referral. And, and I was just looking for somebody in my area who dealt with what I needed help with. And I didn't care if it was a man or a woman. I didn't care who it was. I didn't care what anything about what they were like, I just cared could they help me in the areas that I needed help? And could they be relatable. And I think that's one thing, it's helpful with a therapist, find somebody who is relatable. Sometimes there are therapists who kind of give the air the atmosphere that they're there to save you or they're there to know it all and whatnot. And I'd rather be with somebody who's going to get in the muck with me in and can relate to some degree. And I don't expect the therapists to disclose everything about their life, of course, but enough that we can connect, and I can see that they relate in there with me. But that's a hard question How to, because when you're on the go, it's like, it's like the suicide hotline. It's like when somebody is feeling suicidal, they're not necessarily going to think to call the hotline. You know, they're not in that state of mind. I know that when I was suicidal, feeling those ideations? I didn't, I didn't wouldn't even thought to reach out for help. You know, but I understand the reason people are encouraged to do that. That makes total sense. And I say that it's a difficult question to answer, I just want to tell you simply by sharing your story, you have helped a lot of people that are listening. Listen, yeah, I hope so. But first thing I would say to do is just you got to be honest with yourself, that something's going on, and that you can't define it yourself. You can't explain it yourself. You can't figure it out yourself. And if you can get to that point, then maybe you can take the next step. Yeah, and that just occurred to me that for people listening, it would be nice to kind of talk about the symptoms of bipolar two, just so we can kind of help people understand. I want to read through what I know to be, you know, most of the symptoms, but after I do that, I think it'd be really cool bill, if you could kind of tell people what that looked like in your life, because I think I'm going to read these symptoms and they're going to sound like things we've all experienced probably in the last 18 months, honestly, but that but that those symptoms are what causes us to behave in ways that then become destructive to our selves. So feelings of overwhelming sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, trouble sleeping at night or even staying awake during the day or even, you know, just not sleeping at all. feeling worthless or really guilty like you're You don't deserve things work family and social life struggles. So just struggles in your relationships, not feeling, you know, the energy to participate socially, feeling sometimes euphoric, extremely revved up, or really irritable, without a lot of explanation for the feeling, there's there's no nothing that got you there, you're just there. feeling really alone, feeling isolated, even though there's people all around you. So those are just kind of some of the common things that that people might describe as symptoms of bipolar two, what does that look like in real life? For me, when I'm hypomanic, it is more irritability, agitation, anger, it can be positive, it can be euphoric. But more often than not, the hypomania side of things is not super pleasant. And my wife can tell me can tell when I'm there and a hypomanic state is defined as lasting at least four days, but it can last weeks months. And with bipolar two, I do not go to the full blown psychotic mania, like a bipolar type one person would I just go to mild to moderate mania, which doesn't sound bad, but it can feel just like I say, irritable, agitated, that's how I feel. When I dip into depression, however, that's another story. I can't go to full blown rock bottom depression, and stay there. But I've only been to that point that one time before I went to the treatment centers. More often than not, I'm in a mild to moderate depression. And that lasts for days, weeks or months. And that's why the therapists I worked with back in the day really had no idea that I was dealing with bipolar two, because I would be in these extended periods of depression that just like looked like depression. They never saw the hypomanic side. Because I'd be depressed for so long. But when I get depressed, I can get immobilized. Without question, I get out of bed, I still take a shower, I'll still, you know, shave, if I feel like it, or brush my teeth daily, and all that and eat and exercise. But just the way I feel, I feel stuck. The first thing I remember about the bipolar two diagnosis, though, was the difference between the type one and type two. And that type one is more rapid cycling, and it goes to full blown mania and full blown depression kind of quickly, back and forth. Whereas type two, like I say, the extended periods at one stage or the other tend to be the norm. It's interesting that more women tend to get diagnosed with Type two. But I think they're finding more and more guys as well. Yeah, you mentioned it a couple times about your wife maybe being very important in managing it just kind of being that person on the outside saying, I'm seeing something coming and maybe you haven't felt it yet or realized it yet. What other relationships or what what things in the community are important parts of you, just managing and being in a good place regularly. Well, Mimi, and I have a bunch of cats. We foster cats for national Cat Rescue, and we've got a bunch of our own. I joke that one day we're going to be on an episode of hoarders, not because of knickknacks or newspapers we keep all around just because of the numbers of cats. But they they are a bright spot, except when they're missing the litter box. But we are involved in a church, Christ Church Cathedral, downtown Episcopal Cathedral, just some great programs there that have gotten me immersed with folks, socially and otherwise. I play electric bass, although I've not jammed with anybody for a while since the pandemic need to get back out and find some folks to play with. What else Hmm, I keep in touch with my family consistently. My sister in Seattle, my parents in the Memphis area. We talk fairly regularly. And then you know I don't have a ton of friends that I get with on a regular basis around town but I've got a few that are on the same wavelength that we can really connect and I get with them or at least keep in touch with them pretty consistently. So it's it's a mixed bag. Try to find a few different things and always open to new things as well. I have to ask you a question. So something I have observed over the years, as I've watched my sibling struggle with, you know, all of this is managing relationships. So there was a while there were that was really hard. And as he grew in his ability to manage his diagnosis and understand what work that definitely I see, I see, it got a lot better. But social, you know, life is such a huge part of who we are as humans. And I imagine it's easy to turn that off and say, managing these relationships are hard when I have the struggle, but you sound like you know that you need that you know, you need community, you know, you need social. So you're putting in a lot of effort to take care of yourself, so that you can have those relationships so that they are successful relationships. Am I getting that right? I would say that's accurate. And it's my wife, Mimi often says that I'm an a social extrovert. It's kind of funny. A few years ago, actually my 30 year high school reunion in Germantown, Maine, he couldn't go with me and a couple of old girlfriends or husbands couldn't go. So we all went to the event together. And one of them described the two girls, as extroverts. And then she looked at me and said, You're a reluctant extrovert. And I was like, yeah, goodness, said it better myself. But you know that the tendency when I don't feel good, is to withdraw. And over the years, I've heard people say, Oh, so and so doesn't want to come out and be with anybody, because I just want to sit home and be miserable. It's not that people want to sit home and be miserable. It's because they're feeling miserable. They don't want to get out and possibly embarrass themselves or say something hurtful to somebody or just ruin everybody else's night, because they're feeling miserable. Forget that they're protecting, you're protecting them in a way. But pulling back. That's interesting. We'll be right back after this short break. tn voices is now hiring qualified applicants to build positions all across the state, you can be part of a growing team that puts the mental health of Tennesseans first and thrive in a compassionate work environment to apply to join our team log on to tn voices.org slash employment. Welcome back. You know, Bill, did not know that you went to Germantown has a car you bill is home, alright. Big rivals there. Or they went out there. But I think about community, I think about those small towns that we grew up in, and you talk a lot about me, me, and it seems like she is a great support has been a great support to you. I think about those that haven't experienced it, but they have been indirectly affected by someone with the diagnosis and such. What can we do to really make sure that there is more support? You know, how can one know how to support someone that that's experiencing the signs and symptoms, or they've been recently diagnosed? What can they do to be able to be the best support on their journey? Certainly listen. Without question, though, just hear, but really listen and see what might be behind the words that you can pick up on Pay attention to body language. And when somebody even has an inkling that they're struggling, or says something even remotely close to wanting to hurt themselves, yet, don't take it as a joke. Don't take it as a joke at all. Even even if it is, it's not really to be taken that way, because you don't know what's going on in someone else's head. If they verbalize that, there's a pretty good chance they're thinking about it, and then they may even have a plan. But I certainly like I said, listening is key just being there being non judgmental, because I've had some people I know over the years who just thought I was an angry person and, you know, said forget you. And I knew inside that I wasn't at the core and angry person. But I couldn't articulate what was going on until I got the diagnosis. So what I hear people talk about, you know, we don't want to hang around with toxic people. You don't want to do that. It's like Well, some people, there may be some toxic people out there maybe. But more often than not what you think is toxic toxicity is probably somebody struggling with something they're not aware of. And to give some grace, give some patience, be patient and understanding. And I understand at some point the boundary may have to be established. You know Those things that's part of life that may have to happen but give people the benefit of the doubt when you don't know everything about what's going on. That's, that's really important. I am going to recap a couple of things that you've kind of talked about regarding self care, because this is an important priority in the life of our organization is helping people understand more deeply, what self carrier what self care is. And one of the ways that I talk about it is taking care of your the four parts of yourself, which is your biological, psychological, social, and spiritual part. So you've hit all of those, you've told us about how you manage your relationships and your community, and what's important, you've talked about your involvement and your church. So hitting on that spiritual piece, you've talked about sleep, diet, exercise, the biological piece, and then medication management and therapy and in the past treatment for your mental health, and so you're kind of, you're kind of painting a really strong picture, model picture for someone to understand why it's so important to take care of yourself and how, because they're, as you've described, there's many facets to be addressed within your life and it's not just go to therapy, and you'll probably be better or just take medicine and that'll fix it. It's really prioritizing your own health that not only makes you better but makes you a better person, to your spouse to your friends to the people around you and to your community at large. And so I really just, I'm recapping and only to say I appreciate that you laid out something in all four of those categories which is something we talk to our staff about all the time and prioritizing you know, your your mental health is your self care it's beyond just, you know, some therapy or some medication it's a it's a big picture issue. And the part you talked about with nutrition and sleep we're all different and so learning yourself enough to know can I survive on six hours or am on a eight hour kind of person? What does my body need and what makes me at my best and I love that so I wanted to just wrap up with all of us kind of going around and answering this question were the top two best decisions you ever made for yourself? I know I'll give you all a second because there's probably there's probably several okay I'll marrying meanie without question and as far as taking care of myself was just going to those treatment centers. And another thing that that helped me understand too is just the pulse of behaviors that can come from bipolar disorder that I didn't attribute to that the type two you know people can get involved in risky behaviors and whatnot that's never been an issue for me thank goodness but I still splurge on books and CDs and things like that I know it's 2021 and I'm still buying CDs but yeah the way I see it is those things at least it's not heroin at least is not you know crack or something I'm splurge on something it's pretty harmless in most places you can find us desks now for two and three and four bucks so yeah, the treatment centers in meanie top two things. Well, I would say for me is creating a self care plan. Now following those four categories and making sure that that was intentional and being you know, creating SMART goals around how I wanted to improve mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. That's been a true help in my personal and professional growth. And you know, I would say the other thing was switching majors in college I started off as a chemistry major wanting to go pre med and I know it became more stressful trying to pass calculus but my heart was in psychology and it led me to where I am now. So just falling behind that was the best decision I could have made awesome. Yeah, know I was thinking about this too as y'all were talking. I think for me, it's number one is just committing my life to the Lord and His will and purpose for me because I definitely always feel like I'm right where he intended me to be and that feels really good to live out your purpose. The second one, I am going to be sappy like you bill and say it was marrying my spouse because there is so Something about being what the person that just cheerlead you on supports you wants the best for you sees in you, things you don't see in yourself. That's a, that's a huge if you get that, right, it's a lifetime of, you know, having a support like you never imagined by your side and that I recognize that that is, that's a lot of work on the part of our spouse to commit to being a good partner. So, taking on all of my dreams and goals, and you know, my drive, I'm sure it's not not easy. So I am, I'm with you. But maybe we're we'll just we'll just call this a spouse, gratefulness moment. But anyway, well, any last words for our podcast listeners, before we wrap up,