remission Archives - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #055: Perspective

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #055: Perspective

On this week’s episode, we discuss how important perspective is to live a positive life. Doug has been realizing how the little positive things in life make a big difference if you stop to appreciate them. Focusing on the positives, no matter how small, helps push out the negatives.

Doug also brings up whether he should ask his brother and sister why they did not visit him during his brain surgery in 2012. During that time, he was estranged from his family, partially due to a lack of understanding on their part about the disease, and partially because of how deep a depression he was going through then. With Doug’s newly found positive perspective, and his family coming around to what mental illness is all about, he feels it might be the right time to find out what was going through their minds during that time, with no judgment on his part. They are different people now who are part of Doug’s support system, and the past is “water under the bridge”. He plans to talk about it with them soon.

Quick note: This episode opens with a short guitar jam that Doug put together with his new Fender rig. It’s simply Doug letting loose and experimenting, which shows how far he’s come lately. Here’s to hope in 2018!

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Unhinged Episode #054: Open Your Presence

by Ed 3 Comments
Unhinged Episode #054: Open Your Presence

In our first episode of 2018, we start with a short and fun guitar jam, which highlights the mood for the new year. Doug is feeling much better, and after receiving the love and generosity from some of our friends and listeners, he’s entering the new year on a wave of positivity.

The bulk of this episode was recorded on January 2nd, which happened to be my birthday. Doug contacted me and said he had some things to say that should be recorded for the show, so I went ahead and recorded our conversation. For Christmas, I got Doug a Fender Squier guitar and a Fender amp. His acoustic guitar, though a beautiful instrument, was not totally filling his void for musical expression, and his last electric guitar had to be sold last year for financial reasons (plus it ended up not being the guitar he thought it would be anyway). In any case, getting a Fender back in his hands was enough to trigger a positive psychological change.

We mostly talk about music and guitars in this episode, but the underlying tone is one of hope. Doug talks about self-care and how to try to stay positive by surrounding yourself with a strong support system.

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Unhinged Addendum to #053: Meeting Your Monster

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Addendum to #053: Meeting Your Monster

Our last episode, Episode #53: Hey Brother, was a powerful one for Doug. His mood was pretty low when we started recording, but by the end of the show, his mood had improved greatly, especially after a conversation he had with his sister Laurie. After hearing that episode back, he got to hear what he sounds like when his mood is very low, and meeting his monster directly led to a breakthrough.

In this addendum to that episode, we wanted to end the year with a positive note about what we have learned about psychology, neurology, and how each plays a part in your mental well-being. Everything Doug said in episode #53 was coming from a place of cognitive distortion. This is the monster that blocks out the reasoning parts of the brain and is a relentless beast of negativity.

Confronting that monster from a different, more positive perspective made Doug realize how closed-minded and stubborn that beast can be. Seeing how his mood improved so quickly after social interactions also brings to light how looking outside of yourself in trying times can help bring back positivity and hope.

This is a short 20 minute discussion that tries to make sense of all this, and, more importantly, gives us much renewed hope for a more positive and happy 2018!

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Unhinged Episode #053: Hey Brother

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #053: Hey Brother

We’re back for our final show of 2017 (we’ll be back in January). This episode is a little bit different since the bulk of it is an actual recording of our typical pre-show planning discussion. Doug had mentioned in the past that we should probably start recording these talks, and this week that’s just what I did. Since that conversation got pretty personal and fairly deep, we decided to just play it as the main topic of this week’s show.

What follows below is a timeline of how the episode is structured. We start with a song clip and a discussion of the past two weeks. The full pre-show discussion starts nearly 19 minutes in.

0:00 – 00:57
Clip of original song “Hey Brother”

00:58 – 01:20
Unhinged Intro

01:21 – 18:55
We explain a bit about why we were absent for the last two weeks. Doug talks a bit about his struggles this holiday season so far, and we briefly chat about traumatic brain injuries in sports and the death of a UFC fighter.

18:56 – 01:07:02
Recording of pre-show discussion. This is the meat of this episode where Doug and I talk freely, usually to prepare the show for the day, but this time we discussed Doug’s slight downturn in mood in the last two weeks. He starts the conversation in a pretty low state, upset about his lot in life and feeling insecure about his future. We go back and forth for a while on feelings, distortion, and socialization. The conversation gets interrupted by a call from Doug’s sister. We ended our pre-show discussion after Doug talked to Laurie, and at that point recorded the opening to the this show.

01:07:03 – 01:08:25
I explain how Doug’s mood had shifted noticeably after our discussion and his interaction with his sister. The social interaction had improved his general state greatly. This is good data.

The next day (Monday), Doug and I talked again and his turnaround was even more pronounced. He even admitted how he felt better after hearing his sister’s voice the day before.

UPDATE:
We just posted an addendum to this episode! Check it out!

Holiday Gifts

 

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Unhinged Episode #052: Undun

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #052: Undun

We start this episode with some interesting documentary suggestions and more discussions about curcumin, the wonder supplement. But more importantly, we welcome another special guest this week. In Episode #37, we talked to Doug’s nephew Mitchell Drew. This week we welcome Mitchell’s mother, and Doug’s sister, Laurie Drew.

Listeners will know that Doug has recently started the healing process with his family. Laurie is a big part of that and she explains how it all went down. An open line of communication is the key to a healthy and loving family relationship, and now that the line has been opened, the healing can begin.

Laurie also gives us good insight into how Doug and his siblings grew up and how each dealt with their own challenges. We also discuss how this disease can take a toll on friends and family, especially back when much less was known about mental illness. Now it’s about awareness and education. The more people know about it, the better equipped they become to interact with sufferers in non-damaging ways.

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Unhinged Episode #050: We Are Finding Who We Are

by Ed 3 Comments
Unhinged Episode #050: We Are Finding Who We Are

For our 50th episode, we start off with a clip of us singing the King’s X song “We Are Finding Who We Are”. In a way, it’s very relevant to what our show is all about. We look to the unknown future, with pain we have yet to experience, but know is coming. Those challenges can be overcome with the help of others. No mountain is too big to climb if you do it together.

This is evident in the mere fact that we are on our 50th episode. It’s a milestone that took us nearly a year and half, with many ups and downs, including a 5 month hiatus. But we keep coming back to record another episode. Why? Because we’ve heard from some of our listeners that our show has made them feel like they’re not alone, that somehow we have provided just a little bit of comfort to a suffering mind. That gives us purpose, which is validating to both of us, but especially to Doug, who can turn his lifelong battle into something positive for other sufferers.

This is a journey for both of us… an exploration of our fears, wants, and needs. We don’t have the answers, but we’re discovering them along the way. We are finding who we are.

Forever is a mountain we’ve yet to climb
Tears are a part of what is yet to leave behind
Strength in numbers, all you need is two
Everyone’s a winner, while still so many lose

The volume of emotion erupting in our souls
A quiet revelation quickly takes a hold
Patience is a virtue, but she won’t always wait
Dissension is the tension, it’s what we’ve learned to hate

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Unhinged Episode #047: Steppin’ Into The Twilight Zone

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #047: Steppin’ Into The Twilight Zone

It was a long day of recording when we did this episode. But the reason is because we were having too much fun putting together a little song clip for the show’s intro. What song? Hint: see the title of this episode 🙂 After 8 hours of fooling around on guitar and trying to make remote music recording work (latency is not your friend), we finally got to talking.

The good news is that spirits are still high and Doug is still on the positive side of things. Of course, he is still concerned about relapsing, and treads lightly to try to avoid known triggers. The even better news is that the healing process between Doug and his family has started! He had two very good talks with his brother and sister, and the newly opened lines of communication promise to be the bridge that reunites them fully. Hooray for family!

We also discuss the importance of refocusing one’s energies into the right channels. By changing negative patterns into actions that advance the good in one’s life, normalcy can slowly creep its way back. It takes work and is not easy, but it is a powerful tool in the arsenal of anyone with a mental illness.

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Unhinged Episode #046: I Just Want To Celebrate

by Ed 4 Comments
Unhinged Episode #046: I Just Want To Celebrate

This week, we first discuss how Doug’s mental state has improved and what he has been doing personally to make sure he can stay in a good place. This includes proper diet and supplements that help replenish the brain of important nutrients. His donated guitar has also helped bring music back into his life.

Yes, we return to the topic of music and music therapy as we each go on to list our top 10 favorite songs of all time. We go through each one and explain what it means to us, why it’s on our list, and how it makes us feel. With Doug’s great knowledge of musical artists and rock history, he even goes into some details about each artist, many of which had to deal with their own mental issues or dependencies.

We learn that many songs we discuss are rooted in past experiences, which is why we love to listen to them when times are good, but also why they can sometimes be hard to listen to when our mood is down.

Doug’s Top 10 Songs:
  1. Matte Kudesai by King Crimson
  2. Let Go The Line by Max Webster
  3. Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  4. Fantasy by Earth, Wind & Fire
  5. Time by Pink Floyd
  6. After the Love Has Gone by Earth, Wind & Fire
  7. Hammer to Fall by Queen
  8. Europa by Santana
  9. Woman of the World by Michael Hedges
  10. Still of the Night by Whitesnake
Ed’s Top 10 Songs:
  1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part I-V) by Pink Floyd
  2. Pride & Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughan
  3. Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin
  4. 5:15 by The Who
  5. I Just Want To Celebrate by Rare Earth
  6. Aguas de Marco by Elis Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim
  7. With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker
  8. 25 Or 6 To 4 by Chicago
  9. Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  10. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
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Unhinged Episode #044: Precious Moments of Levity

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #044: Precious Moments of Levity

This week we take a break from the heavy and serious topics and just have a lighthearted conversation. We recorded this podcast while connected to each other through video conferencing, so to us it felt more like we were both in one room just chatting. I think this made this show feel more conversational. Maybe in the future we’ll be able to record our videos as well and have a visual version of the show 🙂

We do discuss Doug’s DBS check up and how he’s feeling generally. He’s been up and down currently, so it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster for him. He was up during this show. We continue discussing the possibility of Doug doing voice acting work just to try to make ends meet. He has recorded his first sample for a demo reel we’re putting together, and we play it on the show. It’s a start!

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Unhinged Episode #043: Take a Minute

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #043: Take a Minute

This episode was recorded on September 10th, 2017, also known as the 15th Annual World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme is “Take a minute, change a life.” We discuss what this means and just how being there to listen to someone who is crying for help can quite literally save their life.

Doug also discusses how his use of Adderall, and how the use of most mood drugs, can cause the body to deplete itself of key nutrients. Supplements such as CoQ10, magnesium, and some fatty acids like Omega-3’s, can greatly benefit anyone who is on mood stabilizers. Unfortunately, these tend to be a bit expensive, and becomes difficult for anyone who’s on disability to afford.

Speaking of income, to help Doug’s financial situation, we have started to work on building a voice acting portfolio for Doug to start helping himself. I have always believed in Doug’s talent, not only musically, but in his unique voice characterizations. He can do accents, read narrations, and has great comedic timing. His only problem is that his brain makes it very difficult for him to put together a cohesive plan to get things done. His lack of confidence in making decisions holds him back. After discussing it with him, we plan to work together to tackle this project in baby steps that I help define. One step at a time, we will get there, and he will succeed!

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