One thing on my mind this week: no matter what things or identities we surround ourselves with in life, we cannot control our future. Or the events that spring up out of the blue and grab us unawares. Be it a mental health condition, a relationship struggle, a loss or the global pandemic of Covid-19 we are adjusting to.
Of Mountains and Minds is sending a huge dose of love to all listeners. It's easy to get trapped in a loop of anxiety and media but remember we can all stay present, accept what is and what we can't change, and spend as much time outdoors as we can, reminding ourselves how beautiful the world is. Hoping you and all your loved ones stay well, mentally and physically.
As we talked about in episode 40 with the amazing Ashley Smith, there are still some mental health conditions that create fear in people, that we are cautious to talk about. Schizophrenia is one of these conditions. Ashley introduced me to Bethany Yeiser.
Bethany is a writer, speaker and passionate activist in the movement to raise more awareness of schizophrenia, and the realities of this condition. Bethany grew up an academic child in a middle-class household, a scholarship winner and a top violinist who loved learning, travelling and music. Yet she still developed the condition; a medical reality that was hidden from her consciousness. It led to years of homelessness, institutionalisation and prison.
Bethany was told she was permanently and totally disabled, until finding the right medication. She was able to re-connect with her family, access effective treatment and build a new normal. She has not relapsed since. Bethany is living proof that this misunderstood condition is not a life sentence and is not always triggered by experimenting with mind-altering drugs.
Bethany tells us about what happened to her, how she managed to rebuild a future and the myths around the condition that we all need to be aware of.
What her daily reality of schizophrenia and homelessness was like
Her work in running the CURESZ Foundation and its priorities
The need to raise awareness of schizophrenia as a medical brain disorder
Hope for recovery; schizophrenia does not have to be a lifelong disability
Her experience of treatment experimentation and under-utilised medications
The stigmas related to schizophrenia most in need of awareness
Thankfully Bethany is talking about all of this, shining a light on her experience of schizophrenia and the struggles of others out there. Her words project hope to sufferers and supporters that recovery and a healthy life are both real possibilities. The more we talk about these human experiences, the more we understand them and accept all of our differences.
Please show Bethany a big dose of love on social if you enjoy this conversation and why not share it in a tweet or story with the folks in your own community. You never know, the issues we talk about here may strike a chord with many, especially in the running community.
A quick note: due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the podcast is losing some of its critical support on Patreon. If you listen regularly and can consider $5 a month to help it continue, please do it soon so we can move ahead to the next series...
Check out the episode from this Friday at 8am UK in the usual places: