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Coach Mike: In the Midst of a Pandemic, Stories of Hope and Resilience

03/31/20

Full Transcript

(Z-61055V) CM1011 COACH MIKE PODCAST: SUPPORT GROUP

 

(START OF PODCAST)

 

COACH MIKE BAYER: In response to everything that has gone on with coronavirus, COVID-19, I launched my first support group and it’s a work in progress. We’re now onto our fourth group which, we’re actually changing it to “empowerment group” because what we found is a lot of people participating actually had a lot of strength, a lot of wisdom, a lot of courage and brilliance that they were offering to the group and what you’re about to listen to, and I’m going to narrate parts of it, is an experience in which we cover the topic “resilience” and we did this over Zoom. Well, instead of me explaining it a little more let me have you listen to how we start this off.

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM MEETING)

MIKE: What I wanna cover in this group and I know you all received an email, is the word “resilience” um, because any of us, and I know you, have been through moments in your life in which you got to the other end of it and getting through that makes you resilient. So I thought it would be helpful to first give you the definition of “resilience” which is “the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity or the like; buoyancy.” And we received emails from different people, uh, who have stories about how they’ve been resilient…

(END OF EXCERPT)

MIKE: One of the emails that I received, and anyone can do this, you go to CoachMikeBayer.com/group to be a part of this support group and part of the process for this group is I asked different people to share with me, uh, how they had experienced resilience in their own life. And right when I saw Lindsey Becker’s story I thought, “I need to have her speak first to put things really into perspective because she is overcome a lot.”

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM CHAT)

MIKE: Tell us your story about, of you being resilient.

LINDSEY BECKER: Okay, well I have a couple of different things going on in my life. Um, I’m a wheelchair user and I’m also a new cancer survivor. Um, and so that’s kind of why I wanted to share my story is they are two very, very different things that I’ve been through and I’ve learned a lot from both. And um, yeah it’s, it’s just one of those things that a lot of people want to view “wheelchair” like it’s the worst thing in the world, but when you hear “cancer” it changes your life. You know, I was born with a disability and I don’t know anything other than the life that I’ve lived as someone with a disability. And so, through the resilience part of this I, I just…I struggled with resilience in the beginning. I didn’t know what to do with my circumstances when I was diagnosed and um, I started writing. And started just looking for um, a platform, a way to share my message and share my story and kind of work through it too at the same time. And um, so I actually went and completed a goal that I had for a really long time and I was crowned Miss Wheelchair Tennessee 2018 and um, just got to meet more people through that experience and hear their stories and connect and I realized how important those resources are and so kind of being on the other side now and knowing what I’ve been through and how hard it was for me, I just, I wanna give back to other people. Um, so that’s kind of where I’m at.

MIKE: And um, what, how are you currently feeling with everything going on, like, what are your fears? Um, and how are you managing your stress right now?

LINDSEY: Um, well, just kind of like I did with cancer, um, I’m staying busy—as busy as I can—at home. Um, you know, for me it was a little different because having a disability I’m a little bit more susceptible to getting sick, so I’m having to be a little bit more, um, precautious on that and um, you know, just taking it one day at a time. Checking to keep my focus on positivity and um, things I’m really passionate about like writing and my YouTube channel and things like that, so staying busy mostly.

MIKE: Got it. So mainly just uh, focusing on your work and writing and um, kind of moving out of stress and anxiety and moving it into solutions around, uh, how to best improve your life.

LINDSEY: Exactly.

MIKE: All right. Well I think based off of that, what I’d like—does everyone have a piece of paper and pen—uh, throw your pens in the air if you happen to have them there and we’re gonna do a uh, exercise to kick it off.

(END OF EXCERPT)

MIKE: By the way I’m embarrassed by myself for actually saying that right there. (LAUGHS) And the, the reality is I, I had no idea what to expect from this group and I’d never spoken to Lindsey Becker before and…I all of a sudden was deciding that people should do exercises and if you’re listening to this—here is an exercise that is really helpful that you can apply to your life so if you wanna pause this and write this down and do this in your own life—go for it because you’re gonna feel better by the end of it.

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM MEETING)

MIKE: I’d like you to look back at your life and write out a moment in your life where the odds were stacked against you, it was extremely stressful, you had feelings of despair and somehow you took that situation and turned it into something that has bettered your life today. And we’ve all had ’em—part of my story is I, you know, had a lot of emotional issues and got very addicted to drugs and um, went through treatment and fought and did terrible in school and had dyslexia and learning disabilities and, you know, turned, getting sober and into becoming a counselor and working and helping folks with addiction issues and somehow writing a book and writing another book and, and all of a sudden we created a new story in our brains and we’re like, “Oh my God, I really didn’t think I’d be capable of doing that.” And it doesn’t need to be an enormous event, it’s just something you look back and you go, “I’m proud” like, “I’m proud that I got through that and I’m proud that it has shaped me for who I am today.” So who, who, who’s open to sharing a story about their own resilience? Um, why don’t you raise your hand…and, hey, I see you there, Troy.

(END OF EXCERPT)

MIKE: So, I had no idea who would be showing up for this group and I didn’t think I would be having any friends who were coming on and not because they loved me, it just wasn’t that I was texting friendships in my life to come on this support group. But in this moment, I saw a dear friend of mine who had gone through incredibly challenging times over the last few months. I had married him and his partner Colby four months prior, or less than six months prior. They deeply loved each other and loved each other so much. They both would come over to my house when I would throw these uh, kind of, eccentric self-help workshops. They were always huge supporters of me and, and me of them and I’ll, I’ll just let Troy kind of tell you what’s going on in his life.

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM MEETING)

MIKE: Troy, do you think you can share a little bit of, of what’s going on in your life?

TROY: I can do that, yeah. Why not?

MIKE: Love you, man.

TROY: I love you, too. Um, yeah, today’s actually the month anniversary, my husband passed away, uh, a month ago. Uh, he was 36, we had just been married for four months and uh, yeah so I’m in the process of making sense of what happened, what my life is now. Um, you know, we think uh, it was uh, probably alcohol related and he fell asleep without his CPAP mask on so, still waiting to hear back what’s, what actually was the complete cause but um, so in the midst of all this I kind of look at it as I have three ways to go about all of this and one way is to lay in bed and feel sorry for myself and watch, you know, really depressing movies and television, um, another thing is I could drink and I know I’d be dead within a week, 100%. Um, he was the love of my life and, um, I wasn’t prepared to lose him—no one’s every prepared—but um, so the only thing that I found that keeps me going, um…is trying to honor him and make sense of it by honoring my husband; making sure that all of our dreams continue to come true. And get up every morning and meditate and go for a hike if I can and just try to honor my, my husband that that’s become my purpose. And the experience has given me a lot more empathy I think. Uh, ’cause you never know what somebody else is going through and, you know, I’m spending probably the roughest time of my life in, in quarantine and thank God we have our two dogs because I have to keep them okay. I might be going a little bit more crazy if I wasn’t, but uh, that’s my story right now. You know, I’m, I drank that next day and I’m, today I’m 30 days sober, I think. Uh, or, it was a month ago, uh so, yeah, I can’t go down the path of, that takes me into darkness. I have go towards the light and I have to honor Colby so…that’s my story.

MIKE: Thank you, Troy. I love you.

TROY: I love you, too.

(END OF EXCERPT)

MIKE: You know, it really touched my heart, uh, I was crying, uh, for probably the next 10 minutes. I was there the next day a month ago supporting Troy in his apartment. And Troy is one of those guys who you want great things to happen for who’s an amazing producer. Uh, works on a lot of different shows, great friend and, you know, what it showed me was here’s a guy who now is 30 days sober and is not using the death of his partner and also what is going on with the world with COVID-19 to take the power away from him living a better life and he’s flipped it around to where now he has purpose to actually stay sober, because that is what Colby would want.

(MUSIC PLAYS)

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM MEETING)

MIKE: Who wants to share next and provide some hope with how you’re feeling today and, and what you’ve gone through and um, I know we’ve had some people…um, is Ellis, Ella in Iceland there or? Elle in Iceland?

ELLE: Hi, uh, just want to start with saying that English is not my first language so excuse my English. So, uh, talking about resilience uh, when I was young, uh, I became pregnant and I gave birth to a very paralyzed, or handicapped, daughter. Um, I was only 18 years old and no father around (LAUGHS) but uh, my mother died just within one year before, uh, she was one years old, my daughter, and I had no support from my father and I only had younger sisters. My father said to me once um, “You’re going to have to give her away, you cannot be her mother. So you’re going to have to give her away.” And I decided then that I would show him, with all the power in me that I would be fantastic mom and I that I would overcome these obstacles that were on our way in our future life. So I’ve done that—I’m really, really proud of her today and I’m proud of me for what she is and how we comprehended all those things. This is, this is, made me a better person in so many ways. For example, I learned how to be patient. I had been a really impatient teenager and adult and this has taught me to be patient, this has taught me to listen to people, give them time, and listen, I mean, really listen. And just being a better person. I think, I hope, I hope so.

MIKE: Thank you for sharing your story. I know no one was asked to share this story and I kind of just threw this on everyone and that’s part of what makes things authentic is uh, you know, kind of the universe decides where things go and I really…

ELLE: Yeah.

MIKE: …appreciate your honesty and your perseverance, you know, um, to be that mom that didn’t give up, you know?

ELLE: Never.

(END OF EXCERPT)

MIKE: You know, and I think that’s so much about what life is about—it’s just about not giving up and not allowing or giving power to circumstances or things to prevent us from living the life we really want and we do need to pivot and sometimes it’s events like this that teach us to be more patient or teach us to be more compassionate and notice that a lot of these stories don’t have a lot to do with COVID-19.

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM MEETING)

MIKE: So who else has a story, if you wanna raise your hand of resilience in your own life and we can call on you. Um, okay Susan let’s give you a…

SUSAN: Okay. Well, I went through five years of infertility when my husband and I first got married and very difficult and really all I wanted was to be a mom and um, so after realizing that we weren’t going to be able to have a child, I went down the path of adoption and we were going to Ukraine and um, at one point my cousin called me and her daughter was pregnant and not able to keep the child and they wanted us to have that. And you know, it, it’s like a call you never dream of getting when you can’t have a baby—it’s actually get to be there in the birth. So we actually never went to Ukraine and 13 years later I have a beautiful daughter who is just my universe. Um, a little challenging this week ’cause she can’t be with her friends. And we have some other things happen in our lives that have been very difficult including, I was um, raped at one point and honestly if I didn’t have her, I probably wouldn’t have made it through any of it. So she’s, she’s pretty important.

MIKE: And how did you get through it? What tools did you use to, to get through that?

SUSAN: Um…just being the best mom for her I could be. And you know, really working on myself so that, you know, she, she, she’s a file-she has a fiery little temper and um, ya know, pushes my buttons so I really had to work on that. Um, but she’s just brilliant and, you know, of course everyone thinks their own child is the most import-the most perfect thing but um, you know, I’ve also worked through with therapy, talk therapy, a lot of that. Um, and, you know I, I still struggle with my weight pretty significantly and I’ve struggled with it my whole life so that’s kind of my, the thing that I hang onto that I’m trying to work through, but isolating and eating are my two downfalls which, you know, I’m having to come out of my room during this time of isolation.

MIKE: So uh, where, where do you think this could be an opportunity for you with um, being in isolation for you to be able to work on that?

SUSAN: Well, I think that um, I have to spend more, I wanna spend more time with her and, you know, we made soap yesterday and just forcing myself out. I am still working full-time. I’m one of the lucky people whose company allows us to work from home.

MIKE: What do you do?

SUSAN: Um, I’m in training and development—I lead a team of instructional designers.

MIKE: Oh, okay.

SUSAN: So I’m pretty used to working remotely because half my team lives in other states than I do. They keep me going, I keep them going and um, but you know, it’s just showing up more and not allowing myself to, you know, go in my room and watch TV and be by myself. So…

MIKE: And, and you, and you bring up a really good point around um, you know, for a lot of people in isolation because we’re not m-it’s hard enough to take care of our, our health and the food we intake when we have access to everything it’s really hard. And then when we go through stressful times, it gets really tough, especially when we’re isolated.

SUSAN: Mm hmm.

MIKE: I think what’d be great is if there’s anyone out there who’s developed a solution for kind of a health and wellness strategy during this period of time that’s really working in their life if you can raise your hand, uh, we’ll have someone call on you. So Lee Spitzer…

LEE SPITZER: I was hit by a car the first of nine times in 1985. I had traumatic brain injury, and I was, I came close to dying, I think. And um, it took a long time to recover—140 days almost in the hospital. And um, some years later I got a driver’s license but I choose not to drive ’cause I can’t see anything the left of straight on, so I don’t wanna hit somebody and put them through the hell I was put through, essentially. And um, somewhere down the lines I kind of was feeling lonely in my life and I, I took, I discovered in college that you could pick up a phone and a pizza arrives at your door.

MIKE: Hmm.

LEE: And I um, I was a, I gained 40 pounds the first year of college and I ballooned up a couple years later, up to 309 pounds and then I, a friend of mine was in Weight Watchers and she asked me to come with her one time and I’ve been doing it for 3,805 days—I lost 125 pounds.

MIKE: Wow.

LEE: And um, that’s the thing that’s keeping me going during this time. I happen to be as single as humanly possible, and I’m unemployed and I’m used to not being alone in the world but just living alone kind of has prepared me for isolation so I’m used to spending time by myself. What I do that keeps me going now is I use the three pillars of Weight Watchers, which are food, mindset and activity. So every day I get myself out and go for a walk. I’m eating mostly healthy things and I keep myself happy by doing things that I was doing before we were in lockdown and it’s continuing doing the same things to keep my life going.

MIKE: That’s great. So it sounds like the structure of a food plan is what’s been really helpful for your life.

LEE: Oh yeah, most definitely.

MIKE: And um…

LEE: Learning that, learning that a container is not a serving was the greatest thing I ever learned in my life.

MIKE: Tell—explain what that means.

LEE: Well, I used to buy, like, chips or, for instance, or cookies and I’d, you know, you have a bag, you—and you can’t see my hands—but an entire bag and you think, “Oh, that’s one container, I should eat them all” ’cause that means empty is done. But on the container it says “Serves 12 people.” So I was, I was eating, you know, enough for 10 people in a day sometimes.

MIKE: Got it. So having it be really manageable and portioned out has made your life a hell of a lot easier.

LEE: Very much so.

MIKE: I love it.

LEE: I’m a new person since, really since I joined Weight Watchers, I’m the same weight I was at age 45 as I was at age 18.

MIKE: I’m—and I love it, too, because like, you know, sometimes these diet programs, they’ll get like, bashed and, and you’ll hear about them, I love that you are, sounds like it’s really saved your life in a lot of ways…

LEE: Oh, socially, too. I go to meetings four times a week. Right now we’re not having meetings because it’s, on Zoom we’re doing meetings…

MIKE: Yeah.

LEE: …but I go to meetings because when they’re in person four times a week, gives me something social to do—Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday every week.

MIKE: Love it. Well thank you Coach Lee Spitzer on the health and fitness…

LEE: Thank you.

MIKE: …uh, you know, I really appreciate it, and um…

LEE: And when does my royalty check come in?

MIKE: (LAUGHS) Well…I’ll uh, I’ll explore that for you, Lee…

LEE: (LAUGHS)

MIKE: …I think Weight Watchers, I think Weight Watchers should be giving you a royalty check. I mean, you should be in commercials…

LEE: Tell me about it.

MIKE: …if you ask me.

LEE: Tell me about it I’ve…

MIKE: I know.

LEE: …applied two times.

(END OF EXCERPT)

MIKE: I love this Lee Spitzer. I mean honestly hearing his story about a guy who’s home right now who’s committed to his health, who’s been on Weight Watchers for a long time and is not allowing it to, to be an excuse to fall back into old behavior and it’s so refreshing to get a solution. I mean, a lot of these different diets will get a bad rap. You hear more about that than the people that are raving about it and I just think it’s really encouraging and inspiring that somebody has figured out a solution.

(MUSIC PLAYS)

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM MEETING)

MIKE: So what I wanna do now is I wanna do another exercise, so if you have your pen and paper ready, so throw your pens in the air. All right, so the next thing is—what is your current fear with everything going on in the world today and what is helping you with your anxiety and stress? So what are the solutions that you’ve implemented in your life and what are the fears that are going on in your life today? And um, so I’ll just share with you, um, just answering some of that—I think for me my greatest fear is, for other people. It’s not necessarily for myself. Um, I’m not, you know, could be that I’m already in recovering so I’ve already feel like I’ve taken a beatin’ in my life so to speak in a lot of ways but I just get more concerned for other people and how to create solutions and that’s what causes me some anxiety and stress, hence why I created this group which uh, provides a solution so that I feel like I’m still able to help other people uh, with their anxiety and stress. I also, uh, selfishly I’ve been cleaning an area I haven’t gotten to in several years, kind of that drawer that fills up with junk which I find a lot of fun, uh, to have purpose to clean up. And I’ve done more reading and uh, just more outreach in general that’s positive to other people. Um, who’s joining us? I see you Lori…

LORI: Hey there.

MIKE: How are ya?

LORI: I’m good, how are you?

MIKE: I’m good. So what is your current fear with everything going on in the world today and how is it helping you manage your stress and anxiety?

LORI: Well actually, pretty much said exactly what I’m scared and that’s other people. I don’t, I, my mo-my mother live with me and she’s got heart disease and I just, I get freaked out about me bringing germs to her but I, I’m not scared for myself—it’s other people.

MIKE: Got it, and what are you doing with uh, your stress around that? What are you—how’s, what’s helping you cope with that with your mom?

LORI: Um, well, I, every day I, when I wake up before I get out of bed I think of all the things that I’m grateful for. Um, grounding yourself is really good before you get out of bed and just, I plant my feet to the floor and just kind of think about how my day’s gonna be and I just, I just go with it. And, I try not to have fear with anything I do but I take precaution with um, using a lot of hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes wherever I go. I just wash everything down. I just, it’s kind of like being in fear of germs and I never was that way…but now I’m more that way than I ever have been.

MIKE: Got it. So it’s trying to create a safe environment at home.

LORI: Yeah, that’s what I try to do.

MIKE: Okay.

LORI: I can’t believe all the stories that I’ve heard so far and how I feel like I am connected to each person. Like “I was in a car accident and have a traumatic brain injury” “I was paralyzed,” you know, there’s just so much, we’re all interconnected and it’s just wild how much we all have in common, but we don’t know it.

MIKE: Hmm. Well thank, thank you Lori and I um, yeah we’re all connected and we’re all on this and I wanna make sure I get to everyone who kind of agreed to be speaking who is approved um, Sarah Bro-Brodinger uh, in Wisconsin.

SARAH BRODINGER: Hello!

MIKE: Hello!

SARAH: How are you?

MIKE: Good!

SARAH: I’m a little bit nervous so I’m gonna be resilient through this, just sayin’.

MIKE: (LAUGHS)

SARAH: (LAUGHS) I grew up in an Amish home and it was a home where there was every kind of abuse you can imagine. And I always said growing up, you know, “I’m gonna run away from home when I’m 18” because they wouldn’t let you run away before that, you know? Um, I know I had some stepbrothers that did but the cops got called and they got hauled back home and stuff. And so when I was 18 I decided to leave home, I had $10 to my name and I decided that I was gonna do what I needed to do to get through. You know, I had some people, you know, call me and talk to me and tell me, you know, that this is—I’m going to hell, this is the wrong decision…

MIKE: And where, where, where—let me just ask you this question—so you grew up Amish and explain to everybody what that means…

(END OF EXCERPT)

MIKE: Sorry if I’m creating some redundancy for you but I’m, I have not had a lot of Amish friends in my life and I don’t know a whole lot about that culture. I’ve seen it on television, I’m sure I could read about it quite a bit but I’m uh, naïve, or unknowing, when it comes to what the culture is actually like and curious how that culture itself helped experience what’s going on with the world in a different type of way.

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM MEETING)

SARAH: In the Amish they have their, they have their own, I don’t, I guess I don’t know how to really explain it other than they have their own community, they have their own beliefs, you gotta dress a certain way, you can’t, have no electricity, no hot running water, no indoor plumbing. I mean, I grew up on a farm so we had to do everything with horses. They don’t live in like, modern technology, you know? Um, that type of stuff. I don’t know, does that explain it?

MIKE: Yeah, and the type of abuse that was going on was every kind?

SARAH: Yeah, every, every abuse. Well, see my, my dad passed away when I was three and my mom had nine children at the time and then she got married to, the only way you can get remarried in the Amish community is if your partner passes away.

MIKE: Ugh! That’s awful…

SARAH: And, so my mom got remarried to my stepdad, um, which he had 11 kids, she had nine and then after that they had four more girls. So it made it very tough because there were stepsiblings. It wasn’t just biological siblings anymore and that’s where a lot of the abuse started was when the two families got married together and, we all were under one roof so there was 24 of us total and stuff and the oldest one was like eight, uh, 16 at the time, so…

MIKE: And so you were like, “At 18 years old, I’m gonna get out of here…”

SARAH: Yeah, at 18. I was, I was towards the middle of the group. There was like, I have five brothers, between brothers and stepbrothers and uh, five sisters, younger than me. So I was…

MIKE: And did you…

SARAH: …about in the middle.

MIKE: …did you get out at 18 years old?

SARAH: I did, yeah. At 18, yeah.

MIKE: And where did you—where’d you go? What did you do?

SARAH: Um, I went over to a family that I knew that was in the same community as I was in the Amish, except for they had left as well, and they already had told me that they would already give me a place to stay if I wanted a place to stay; I could come over there and so I went over there and I had no clue, it was like a culture shock. I had no clue what I was supposed to do—never been taught how to find a job, never had been taught how to do any of that. And so I had to, you know, they obviously helped me somewhat but I had to figure a lot of it out on my own. I had $10 to my name, that’s all I had because all your money that you worked for goes to your parents. Like, it doesn’t matter, you know, until you’re 21 unless you get married before that, but in the Amish community that’s what they do—the kids have to turn their money over to the parents until they’re 21, so…

MIKE: Got it. So you, you really had to re-it was like a rebirth of who you were in a whole new world around how to function and be and like who are you now. And do, and so that, that situation, getting to the other side of it has taught you what about yourself?

SARAH: Um, it has, well number one—I have always thought that I was just a bad person because I was a very angry child; a very angry person growing up. And I always thought I was just a bad person. I thought that I didn’t belong. I, you know, and I went through a lot of depression growing up and stuff. And, but after leaving I saw how people started accepting me for who I was and not, uh, seeing me for who I thought I was, you know? And started, they got me to believe in myself, you know? So that was the thing for me was really, you know, it was to believe in myself and be okay with who I am. I’m not an angry person; it was just the situation I was in that made me angry, you know? I always thought that I had to fight for myself because when I was younger, um, when the abuse started shortly before the family got married together I did say something to my mom and my stepdad about it and they never did anything about it. So with that, I was angry because I had to fight my way through life; that’s what I thought, you know? And so, it was just interesting, it’s interesting to me to look back and see what, how I changed so quickly. Like, as soon as I had left I wasn’t angry anymore, and I couldn’t understand, like, why? Like, you know, I thought I was always this awful person and now I’m, like, WOW…

MIKE: Mmm.

SARAH: …like, I’m not that person, you know? And it was just so cool. It was so cool to see the difference, you know? To see how, how those people in my life after I left had made, helped me be who I am, today, you know?

MIKE: Yeah. Take-taking…taking the difficulty and pain and trauma and turning it into becoming more resilient and a better version of who you truly are.

SARAH: Yep, yep. Yeah.

MIKE: And so do you have any fears with what’s going on right now and how are you dealing with that, those fears?

SARAH: Um, fears with going on right now, I’m not too concerned about the whole virus thing. I’m not so concerned about that as far as for myself-wise. I live by myself and I don’t, I don’t really have any fears about that. As far as other people spreading it and just not being caution-you know, cautious. Like, still being out and about is more so here in Wisconsin than they should be I think, um, because there are cases here and there’s one actually in my town. So it’s kind of crazy. But um, I think my biggest fear would be being by myself if there was an actual shutdown to where you can’t leave your home so much. Um, I think that would be the biggest fear, would be being by myself and just dying alone, you know?

MIKE: Mmm.

SARAH: If there was something to happen, something crazy or whatever. Um, but as far as what I do for that, you know, like, I do cooking, I do, you know, I have my coloring books, my activity books that I do, you know, and uh, I don’t know, breathing exercises, meditation and different things like that that has really helped me a lot, you know, ’cause even after leaving I’ve been through a lot of struggle myself, even. You know, I was in therapy and I’ve been, I’ve, you know, I’ve had suicidal, attempts and stuff like that. So those, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how to continue through that and I’ve learned actual things to do to distract yourself, you know?

MIKE: Yeah.

SARAH: Coloring, the walks, you know, calling a friend. You know, it doesn’t hurt to call a friend and say, “Hey, I’m struggling right now” or, like the text line or, you know the, you know there’s a lot of things that people can reach out to, it’s just the idea of having that, somebody there to say, “Hey, I’m willing to be there for you,” you know? Sometimes I feel, I know a lot of people can feel like they can’t reach out. Well, if they can’t reach out, do you have somebody that you can let know, “Hey, I’m struggling, do you mind reaching out to me every once in a while?” You know, bring…

MIKE: Yeah, so I’m with ya. So I think it’s really about staying connected and reaching out to other people, lettin’ ’em know you’re struggling or just checking in and seeing how they’re doing and um, I wanna make we just get to the other names on the list. Um, who’s joining us? Deborah?

DEBORAH: Yes?

MIKE: All right! We got Deborah. Where are you Deborah?

DEBORAH: I’m in Redwood City, California.

MIKE: Nice! And um, what do you have to share with the group?

DEBORAH: Well, it’s just that I’ve been home for like a, a week now and um, I also live with my son and he’s uh, 26, so we’re um, definitely having some anxiety here. And we’re, we’re trying our best to um, support each other from a distance, six feet apart, and make sure that each, we are okay. And I also have two other children that I am worried about because they are not living with me. And so that’s my greatest concern is hoping that they’re okay and doing the right thing because as a mother, it’s hard to not worry about your children, it doesn’t matter how old they are you just wonderin’ if you taught ’em all the right things to do and what, what they should be doing and what they should not be doing if they’re not around. So, I, that’s just my, one of my greatest concerns.

MIKE: And how many of the mothers—raise your hand, mothers—if you worry about your kids during this period of time? All right, seems like that’s pretty, pretty common. And what, what are you, how are you dealing with that, um, that worry? What’s that like?

DEBORAH: Um, I’m doing a lot of cleaning and I also call them, you know, almost daily. I try not to be a bugger, you know? So I just um, I text ’em a lot and making sure they’re prevention, using prevention, and just making sure that I tell them the, you know, make sure they contact me and see how I’m doing because I also, um, I also am in recovery and I definitely, um, have my coping skills, my tools because it’s been, um, since 1999 in October I got into a program and now I’m clean and sober so I never relapse and under, um, circumstances like this it’s really hard to just uh, develop things to do without like, picking up a drink or doing some marijuana or something. So, I’m very, you know, strong in my recovery but, you know that little bird talks to you so you know, you just gotta tell, tell it, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it”…

MIKE: Right.

DEBORAH: …you know, “Don’t touch it.” So yeah, I’m just trying to be an inspiration for my kids and my family because everybody is really worried about not catching anything.

MIKE: Yeah. I think it’s, it’s uh, when Mom stays strong, the family stays strong.

DEBORAH: Yeah.

MIKE: And um, it’s, you know, and, well for any mom who’s worried about their kids, the best thing they can do is always take care of themselves ’cause as, as we all know as children who have mothers, we’re always like, “I hope my mom’s all right” right? Like, we…

DEBORAH: Right. My daughter…

MIKE: …everyone cares about their mom.

DEBORAH: Yeah, my daughter calls me more now and I’m like, “Why is she calling me? She don’t usually call me like every three days.” It just freaks me out to pick up the phone, “Mom, how you doing?” And I’m like, I, it really makes a difference to, uh, have open communication with your family and friends because you know that you all feel together in this even though you’re alone and isolated but you all feel like together and that’s what I do, I reach out to people and my family and my friends and I text message. And also use this social media, looking at positive inspirational materials is very important because if see something that’s not, I kind of like avoid it and don’t, you know, be bothered with it because at a time like this. If you’re looking at something that’s really scary or something that can trick your mind out, it’s like, you know, you can amplify your anxiety as you have it. So that’s an important thing for me is to stay away from bad, negative social media and things that, that might make me, uh, my anxiety get really big.

MIKE: Yeah. Yeah it’s um, it’s, anxiety gets fueled by different things and so does fear, right? And then it, it starts to affect our thinking and then our thinking starts to look at how we are going to keep ourselves safe and then it starts to get magnified and the paranoia starts to settle in and it can really start to take on a life of its own. Especially when we’re in isolation and essentially, like you’re saying, how we’re feeding or nurturing our souls with information and, because we even pick up other people’s emotions even when we watch television…

DEBORAH: Yes. Like with my son, he gets really, I say, “Go do some music. Go produce some music. Go, uh, exercise” you know, he get really amped up, you know, like this. And I say, “What is wrong with you? Calm down” you know? But he, I have to watch him, because he’s young, you know? And I won’t let him go out and he’s like pissed because he can’t go outside and he’s really in agreement with me because he’s scared, too.

MIKE: Mmm.

DEBORAH: So, you know, the anxiety kind of like goes up and down, you know, ’round the household, but…

MIKE: Yeah.

DEBORAH: …we just have to support each other.

MIKE: Yeah. Well thank you Deborah for, for saying hello and um…

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MIKE: So I’m about to give you a meditation that just came from the moment and my spirit of wanting to be of service and help you feel as great as you can feel through all this. So when I’m doing this meditation I want you to know I’m also speaking to you. So if you wanna get into a quiet space and you wanna repeat after me, feel free to.

(EXCERPT FROM ZOOM MEETING)

MIKE: And I figured I could lead us out with maybe just a little meditation if we’re all down for it. Raise your hand if you’re up for a meditation. Okay so we’ll do a, we’ll do a quick one. Um, so just get comfortable and um, it’ll just kind of lead us out and I just want you to repeat after me. Um, so just take some deep breaths, breathe in (INHALES)…and out (EXHALES)…deeper breath in (INHALES)…and out (EXHALES). I want you to repeat after me… “I am capable. I am able. I am enough. I am strong. I am resilient. I can handle this. I’m not alone. And I know people love me. And I deserve to have a great life. And I will have this.” Thank you guys—sending you lots of love. ’Til the next time we do one of these, Namaste. Nama-slay. Stay in touch. And uh, we’ll be connected and I’ll let you guys know the next steps. Thank you for, for participating with this being our first one and hopefully you got some value out of it to better enhance your life.

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MIKE: So I know this is a different style of podcast that I did hear and I’m curious what you have to say. So let me know in the comments of the podcast and make sure to rate it and subscribe and I look forward to you joining some of these other support groups we’re doing that are free. You can go to CoachMikeBayer.com/group and all you do is give me your email and we let you know when these are happenin’ and hopefully I will be talking to you very soon.

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