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Issue #39: I Get You, I've Got You 💞

via @priscilladupreez

From Melia:

One of our listeners, after hearing the Thriving with ADHD episode of Semi-Together, brought up a question that I’ve been thinking about ever since. As she heard me talk about the gifts of ADHD that offset the challenges, she wondered, “Is there any upside to anxiety and depression?” Like me, she deals with both and can feel demoralized by them. 

My heart went out to her, because sometimes it just feels so unfair to be wired this way. And this year, even those who aren’t managing a diagnosed mood disorder may be struggling more than usual.

The answer that kept coming to mind, the superpower that anxiety and depression can gift us with, is empathy. 

The ability to sit in the darkness with people who are hurting and say, “I get you. I’ve got you,” is an incredible gift. That quiet acceptance, that willingness to simply be beside someone who is suffering, may quite literally save their life. 

When I’m feeling depressed, the last thing I want to do is be around other people, because I feel like such a downer and a drag. But isolation only makes it worse; what I actually need is to be seen, loved, and accepted just as I am. Without being compounded by shame, the difficult emotions can process and pass. 

Dr. Michelle Frank said that having ADHD herself allows her to be a “wounded healer,” drawing on her own ADHD challenges to help others manage their own. I feel deeply grateful to those who have transformed their trauma into meaningful art or service to others, and I hope to do the same in my writing and podcasting. 

A few wounded healers who have moved me to tears lately:

On Armchair Expert, with Dax Shepherd: 

Sara Bareilles channeling loneliness and anger into empowering anthems like “Brave” and “Armor” 

Jewel helping young people who have difficult childhoods like hers with family assistance and social-emotional learning

On You and Me Both, with Hillary Clinton: 

Audra McDonald surviving her suicide attempt in college and drawing from a full range of emotion in her music and theater performances

Jason Kander dropping out of the Kansas City mayoral race to seek treatment for PTSD and depression, and now leading an organization that provides support services to fellow veterans

Even on The Bachelorette this week, contestants shared how drug addiction and bulimia led them to careers helping others with recovery and wellness.

While there aren’t many of us who would choose to deal with debilitating emotions like anxiety and depression, they open up a well of compassion that can help heal others’ wounds. The most empathetic healers are the ones who’ve suffered those wounds, too, and whose loving presence can be a life-changing balm for others. That's a pretty powerful upside. 💕

🎙 Latest Episode: Building Atomic Habits, with Brown Girls Read

We interviewed Daman Tiwana and Khyati Thakur, the hosts of the excellent podcast, Brown Girls Read, about our shared love for the book Atomic Habits. It was so fun chatting with like-minded book (and cocktail) lovers about which of our habit changes have lasted.

👉 Steal This Tip (via Atomic Habits): Try habit stacking.          

Build new habits by pairing them with existing habits. With habit stacking, you “identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top.”

This approach works especially well when one habit is something you look forward to. For example, listen to audiobooks or podcasts while cooking dinner or taking a walk, or watch your favorite TV show while running on a treadmill or stretching.

😄 Things We Text Each Other

via @willmcphail4, @reddit & netflixisajoke

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On Our Screens & In Our Ears  📺  🎧

From Melia: 

From Gill: 

On Our Plates & In Our Glasses  🍽 🍹

From Melia: 

  • Black Manhattan
    It was a couple of Christmases ago that Gill and Brian introduced Darren and me to the magic of Black Manhattans. It was our first time trying walnut liqueur, and along with vermouth, whiskey, and bitters, it made for a warming and nutty winter cocktail. While I couldn’t find Italian nocino here in Jackson, Nux Alpina is the Austrian version. Here’s a Black Manhattan recipe (scroll to the bottom, where you’ll also find the delightfully named Floor Length Kilt). Orange bitters can replace orange peel, and walnut bitters add even more depth to the drink.

From Gill: 

  • Easiest Bean Dip
    Growing up, one of my besties lived around the corner. Snacks were very important to both of us (still are), and her mom would sometimes make us this delicious dip when we played at her house. I think it was just canned chili warmed up and mixed with cream cheese, and it was THE BEST.

    I've recently started making my own version as an emergency snack or quick lunch. Heat up a can of chili (with beans only or meat and beans), baked beans, black beans, etc., and stir in a big ol' dollop of cream cheese. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce as desired, and serve with tortilla chips.

If you like the Semi-Together podcast, why not share the pod with a friend who would enjoy it? You can also become a patron here.  

Until next time! 


Melia & Gill 😘😘

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