Some humans I know made a pretty cool podcast, and I made a doodle of episode #5! If you are interested in psychology and exploring what it means to be human- and enjoy both with a lot of giggling and a smidge of profanity, check out Personhood on Apple Podcasts or @thisispersonhood
I’m three and a half weeks in to my 10-week solo trip to South America. Although I’m experiencing something I’ve dreamed of experiencing for a long time, and finding so much creative inspiration on the road, it’s lonely- at times achingly lonely- and home to a lot of anxiety as I migrate from unfamiliar to unfamiliar. One way I care for myself is by intentionally caring for the relationships back home- reaching out and connecting when someone’s on my mind, and scheduling video calls with both friends and my own therapist back in Seattle. One of the surprising companions I have had on my journey is a podcast launched by some fellow alumni from The Seattle school. (It should be noted that this is my first time using the phrase “fellow alumni,” given that my final class was barely one month ago)
I have my standard podcasts and an entire collection of what I call “aspirational podcasts” downloaded at the ready- Apsirstional podcast are those podcasts I’d theoretically like to listen to but are of a genre that I rarely want to hear when I’m in the podcasting-listening mindset. Personhood is a podcast I downloaded a few days before leaving Seattle, and have been enjoying since. Personhood, the podcast of Michael Louderback and Ashley Knight, manages to address visceral topics like loneliness and “shoulds,” with a playful vibe that makes it easy to listen to even when I’m not in the headspace for heady discussions. In contrast to scripted information-based podcats, Ashley and Michael spend most episodes letting us hang out with them as they discuss life, vulnerability, and the challenges of podcasting from a boat.
(P.S. I was not contracted to doodle this piece, but, in the absence of lectures to doodle, decided to create a visual of this media I’m enjoying to keep my skills fresh on the road!)
In Episode 5, Ashley and Michael tackle the topic of Anxiety. This doodle covers a rough outline of the episode:
1. Anxiety is an unbearable fear in the present projected into the future
2. Rollo May said that “Anxiety is a fog that cloaks feelings” and continued on to say that it usually cloaked anger and hostility. Ashley and Michael debate this point, from their perspectives, in this episode.
3. Are people today more anxious? Or has the lessening of stigma around this mental health symptom resulted in more openness to name the experience of anxiety?
4. Anxiety creates the illusion of control- usually through the management of desire (hint: that’s bad).
5. Everyone experiences anxiety, in this episode Michel and Ashley discuss how anxiety manifests in people who might report they “don’t really have anxiety”
6. Coping well with anxiety means finding ways to hold our anxiety and care for our anxious selves. Ashley and Michael share some ways they’ve learned to provide this kind of care for themselves.
7. When we take our own pain seriously and engage it proactively we begin to teach ourselves that we can be trusted to care for ourselves when our anxiety is high- which lessens anxiety in the long run.
Recovery means being honest and naming our fear, not just the feeling of “anxiety” – but the desire and vulnerability underlying the anxiety. It also means getting proactive care (like psychotherapy, medication, or other therapies) and giving attention to how you can get the long term care you need to be able to care for your anxiety.