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July 18th, 2014
Episode 209 of 769 episodes
"The things that hurt you the most are going to be the things that ultimately bring you the most insight." -Paul Gilmartin HATE CLOTHES SHOPPING? NEVER SHOP AGAIN, JUST VISIT BOMBFELLAND SUPPORT THE SHOW Mental illness. It’s definitely a taboo topic in most circles, even if we are personally impacted by it in some way. And yet that very avoidance is what is most detrimental to anyone directly or indirectly experiencing it. Joining us to share his firsthand experience of mental illness and our culture’s reaction to it is Paul Gilmartin. You may recognize Paul as a comedian and former TV star of the TBS show “Dinner And A Movie”. In this episode of The Art of Charm, he tells us about his life as an alcoholic, including his suicidal tendencies in the past, as well as how he’s utilizing his own story and others’ to help the world see why mental illness is something we need to talk about. More About This Show: As incredible as it may sound, Paul’s alcoholism began at the tender age of 14. And it continued until he got help in his 40s. The reason he sought any kind of treatment or support was because he often found himself considering suicide. He saw no reason to live because he truly believed he just wasn’t someone who could enjoy life, no matter how great his life looked from the outside. Understanding he had a real problem, Paul went to a psychiatrist who told him he had an alcohol problem. Paul didn’t want to believe him, it would mean giving up alcohol which was the only thing that colored his grey world. But Paul eventually sought treatment and began attending support groups. He’s been sober ever since. Like many people recovering from a mental illness, Paul was on medication. In 2011, he went off his meds because he thought he didn’t need them anymore. He was meditating, going to support groups and had done a lot of internal, inner personal work. Within five months, the “gloom” had returned. But Paul didn’t realize it was his depression that had returned; he just thought his life was awful and he should end it all because it was never going to get any better. He didn’t want to tolerate decades and decades of the emptiness he felt so why not commit suicide? But there was a moment when he knew something was truly wrong with him: while in his support group, someone was sharing about having relapsed. This person said, “I was in my van and slit my veins open, blood was spurting out everywhere. I looked up at the sky and said I am ready to come home Father.” When Paul heard this person, he thought "I'm kind of jealous, I wish I had it in me to take that kind of step." The finer details of this show include: Where do we start to begin healing the trauma we’ve experienced? How can we authentically connect with one another on this topic? Why didn’t Paul do a comedic podcast? How did he come up with the title of his show? Self-reflecting vs. self-obsessing: what's the difference? And so much more! After that moment, Paul went back on his medication and within three days he felt much better again. But because of that experience, he realized other people needed to know how insidious and shape-shifting mental illnesses can be. He had had plenty of treatment, therapies and support in his life - and yet depression reared its ugly head again and he didn’t even recognize it. How could someone who never had those things ever spot the reappearance of their illness? This realization coupled with Paul’s desire to do a podcast led him to create The Mental Health Happy Hour. It originally began as a show that highlighted stories from creative types who had been dealing with some type of mental illness in their lives. But as listeners chimed in with their own shares, Paul began including them. Today both types of people are on his show as well as his third guest: his listeners’ anonymous survey results about their deepest, darkest fears. And clearly he’s doing something right because he has the critical acclaim and the listenership to prove it! In 2011, his show was one of the Top 10 podcasts of the year and in 2012 his show was awarded the People’s Choice Award. And he gets tons and tons of downloads with every show. In fact, his show and The Art of Charm are consistently vying for the top spot in iTunes self-help category! He’s got a great thing going with his podcast and it’s because he took an area of his life that was incredibly painful, examined it and found opportunity in the situation. It was terrific to have Paul on the show; I think it’s incredibly important to put a human face on subjects like mental illness and I appreciate all Paul is doing with his show for that very reason. Resources from this episode: Paul's web site Paulon Twitter The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast New Earth, Eckhart Tolle Rainn, support for anyone ever abused You'll also like: -The Art of Charm Toolbox -Best of The Art of Charm Podcast HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! If you dug this episode,please subscribe in iTunes and write us a review!This is what helps us stand out from all the fluff out there. Ways to subscribe to The Art of Charm Click here to subscribe via iTunes Click here to subscribe via RSS You can also subscribe via Stitcher FEEDBACK + PROMOTION Hit us up with your comments and guest suggestions. We read EVERYTHING. Download the FREEAoC app for iPhone Email [email protected] Give us a call at 888.413.7177 Stay Charming!