In this episode, Valeska Waldron from the Small Steps Membership talks about family life, and her journey dealing with anxiety – those thoughts that start out small, and then snowball into a space of perfectionism and self-doubt. She talks about some of the strategies she’s used, and the small steps she’s taken to help her deal with this – including changing her approach to food.
You can find out more about the Small Steps Membership here: http://smallstepsliving.com/ssl/
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Lisa: Hey everyone, another episode of the podcast, and another special person for you to meet. I am loving doing this Small Stepper series with you, and do you know why? I put a big callout in my Small Steps membership, and said, ‘Hey, does anyone want to share their stories?’ And pretty much every single person has said, ‘Oh, I don’t know what’s special about me, but sure, yeah, let’s chat. I don’t know how I could help other people.’
And the lovely lady you’re about to meet said exactly the same thing, but she’s actually got a few really great things to share with you, that I know are going to resonate. And I know you’re going to walk away with a few more small steps under your arm. So, please welcome the beautiful Valeska Waldron. Welcome to the podcast.
Valeska: Thanks Lisa.
Lisa: You’re calling in from where, exactly?
Valeska: In a suburb of Paradise, in South Australia.
Lisa: I mean, that’s pretty crazy. ‘I live in Paradise.’
Valeska: So, it’s pretty awesome!
Lisa: Today we’re going to just talk a little bit about your background, and I guess, when you started to get interested in wholefoods. But also, I’d like to ask you a little bit-, because you grew up in quite a remote area, how you feel like that might have impacted your upbringing. And this whole aspect of being an over-thinker, which is an actual diagnosed thing, which I never knew, and I would love to dive deep on that with you.
But first of all, can you just give us a little bit of a run-down of your upbringing? Because, I mean, I haven’t met that many people from as, is it isolated, or is it just mega-rural areas that you grew up in? So, could you just paint a picture of what that was like?
Valeska: Sure. I grew up on a farm, so I was a farmer’s daughter, and we lived 5km out of a town of twenty people, who lived in the actual town. The rest of the community, I guess, was spread out over farms, but it could be 30-40km away, and we all would, sort of, come into the town for school and sports.
So, I guess, ‘Really rural’ is a good description, as well as isolated.
Lisa: Like, how could that even be defined as a town, is my question. Like, more than that amount of people live on my street!
Valeska: So, there was a school in the town, a shop, which was also the local pub and the local post office, and also a bowling club, a golf club, a football club, a tennis club. So, I guess that’s how you’re bringing it into a town.
Lisa: It brings everyone from the remote areas together? All the farms?
Valeska: Yes, that’s right.
Lisa: Okay. So, did you have brothers and sisters?
Valeska: Yes, I’ve got an older brother, and an older sister. So, pretty much two years apart. So, I was the youngest, and went to the local school that, when I started going there, or probably a bit more into primary school, there ended up only being 80 students from Reception to Year 10.
Valeska: So, in that respect, pretty isolating as far as making friends, and being able to choose your friends. So, I actually found that really challenging. I don’t have lots of positive memories of school, as far as the social aspect goes. I really struggled with that.
I was a bit of a victim of some bullying, I suppose. Wore glasses since I was three, so the ‘four eyes’, ‘fatty’, even though I wasn’t probably classed as fat, but ‘fatty’. ‘Big Val’ became my-, which, so, now, no-one’s allowed to call me ‘Val’.
Yes, so, a few things like that. It really, I guess, dented my self-esteem, even though outwardly I probably appeared confident in a lot of respects.
Lisa: Did you have to do work on the farm? Was it a busy childhood?
Valeska: It was busy in the fact that my dad was flat out, he wasn’t around a lot. And we helped out a bit, chasing sheep on the motorbike, or feeding the chooks. Sometimes, as we got older, and could learn to drive-, I started learning at eight, on a rid-on lawnmower.
And then, I guess, didn’t drive vehicles until I was a little bit older, but helping move machinery when he was harvesting or seeding. So, moving the tractor from paddock to paddock. So, he had 11,000 acres. It seems like a lot, but the yield wasn’t great, because that’s the type of land that it was, if that makes sense? So, you didn’t get high yield. So, yes and no.
Lisa: I’ve got some cousins, you know, through marrying Nick, who were brought up in the country. I remember a lot of friends, when I was living in Melbourne, in my twenties, from Tasmania. I remember at Uni, a lot of country kids coming, and they would live on campus, or they would live in the most awesome shared houses.
I always had this feeling, like, if you grew up in a city, everything was just there. Whereas if you grew up in the country, you just wanted to get to the city, or you wanted to go exploring, and go travelling, and there’s always this bigger life happening on the outside. Is that, kind of, what it felt like to you, when you were growing up?
Valeska: I think so, particularly for me. I didn’t love it, I guess, probably for the social aspect. I’d say I’m quite a ‘people person’, and I probably struggled with that. So, I did go on a student exchange, after Year 11, I went to the States for six months, and that sparked off a love for travelling, for me, and I’ve travelled quite a bit since then, as well.
Lisa: Quite a bit? You have done a lot of travelling!
Valeska: Yes, so I went on a working holiday visa to the UK in ’99, 2000. Came back, and then I, sort of, did a bit of extra travelling, saw other countries while I was there, but then came back. And in 2007, I went to Canada on a working holiday visa, and travelled quite a bit, to the States, back to Europe, in that time. And met my husband in Canada, he’s from England. Then we lived in Ireland for a while, before he moved to Australia with me.
Lisa: So cool. I’ve lived in Ireland, too. Loved it, loved it!
Valeska: We did love it, except for we were smack bang in the middle of recession, so had trouble getting work. But the country’s beautiful.
Lisa: That’s bad. Yes, I was with an ex-boyfriend, and we lived in Dublin. My dad’s Irish, so I always had this, kind of, want, to just go over there, experience what life was like. And we had a ball. I got quite large, because I was just drinking all the time, doing no exercise, pretty much. But we saved a lot of Euro, and then travelled around Europe. It was really good. And also, to just get to know my relatives, and stuff.
So, okay. You had a very isolated upbringing, then you, kind of, spread your wings. You found your confidence, all of that. But then you met your husband, and now you’ve got two beautiful children?
Valeska: Yes. I’ve got two little girls. I’ve got Delilah, four, and Hazel, who’s two.
Lisa: Just love those names! I love them so much. So, I asked you a few different questions (TC: 00:10:00) before we started this, and you said it was basically like a meat and three veg kind of upbringing. Which, in some ways, I just think, without access to all of the craziness of going to shops all the time, and all of that kind of thing, would be so nice.
Valeska: Yes, in a way.
Lisa: Well, I know it must have felt a little bit, maybe, boring, at times. But I think, as a mum now, to do a big shop, or to know that whatever you’re harvesting on your own land, you use, and then you swap with other people, and whatever. Like, that’s just the way it should really be.
But, what happened? Like, when you were travelling, how were you eating? And then, once you fell pregnant with your daughter, what changed for you?
Valeska: Okay. I guess, actually, I probably didn’t mention this at all previously, but I’ve gone through the Weight Watchers thing. Not that I actually joined, but I used the concept, which sort of taught me a little bit about what’s healthy, and what’s not, to a degree.
I realise some of it’s, like, on the artificial sweeteners, and low fat, low fat everything. So, that was my lifestyle, sort of, before. Except for travelling, obviously there’s a bit more of the eating out. Is still tried to keep to a point. I cooked a bit for myself, especially in Canada, just to save money. But it’s definitely what’s available, and what’s there, and eating out a lot, so you don’t have a lot of choice, I suppose, over healthy eating.
But then, coming back, I probably cooked for myself, quite a bit, for a long time. But when I fell pregnant, I just became very aware of what I was putting into my body, because I wasn’t just feeding myself, I was feeding somebody else, as well.
And came across the book ‘Feeding the Bump’ but Lisa Neal, and in that book, she has recipes, and talks about what nutrients are in those recipes, and how they benefit your baby, and also you, as a pregnant woman. So, that really started my mind, I guess, off on the track that what you put into your body really nourishes you, and can nourish your baby, I suppose.
Then from there, once my daughter was born, and started solids, I was very aware of trying to start her off on the right foot, with vegetables, and fruit, and not too much sweet stuff, to try and lay that good foundation.
Lisa: Isn’t it so amazing? I remember, for me. I don’t know if you’re the same? But if I looked on the backs of packets of things, it was like, fat content was what I was looking for, like grams of fat, for a long time. I wasn’t even really looking at the ingredients lists.
Valeska: No. I was looking at sugar, especially with a baby.
Lisa: Yes, sugar. But once you, kind of, do that headspace shift, where instead of thinking about food to just fill you up, or food that’s low in fat, but food to actually nourish you. And that all of these different foods that nature provides have all of these different amazing qualities that help our bodies grow and thrive in different ways. That then, you just can’t see it the same again? Like, once you’ve, kind of, gone there in your head?
Valeska: I agree.
Lisa: I think it’s, kind of, sad that we didn’t have that growing up.
Valeska: Yes. I didn’t have that education, for sure.
Lisa: Yes, and now, I feel like, you know, there’s a whole movement of mums of kids our age. Our kids are similar age, and older, obviously, there are women who have been doing this for years, and talking about it for years. But I feel like there’s now a real groundswell of women who are like, ‘Oh man, I just want to do this properly. I don’t know, particularly, how to do that.’
Especially if I followed things like Weight Watchers, or now we see the different kinds of theories about food. You know, we see a lot of Paleo options, and we think, ‘Okay, well, that’s the way to eat.’ Or we see, even, vegetarians, who have loads of reasons why we shouldn’t be eating meat. And it can just get so confusing, when really, when it comes down to it, it’s actually a big re-education process for us to just start cooking from scratch again.
Valeska: Yes, it can be pretty overwhelming. There’s a lot of information out there. Differing information.
Lisa: So, how did you get started on that? How did you, sort of, navigate the world of feeding your kids?
Valeska: Well, I guess it was last year. So, I had a bit of help, actually, with a lactation consultant midwife, who helped me with the initial solids feeding. So, who knows whether it was done the right way, with purees, and all of that stuff, but that’s how I did it, and slowly introduce foods.
But then, from there, last year, I came across Jessica Donovan. She did a free webinar, and just something spoke to me from that. The Natural Super Kids e-course.
Lisa: She’s a legend, yes.
Valeska: So, I did that, and that was great, but I found myself becoming very overwhelmed with it. That I had to do it all the time, and that it had to be done a certain way. So, I found that I was getting a bit stressed out by it. So, that’s when I came across your group, somehow. I actually can’t remember exactly how! Probably through Facebook.
Lisa: Yes, because you hadn’t gone through Small Steps to Wholefoods? You joined the membership fresh, in December, when I opened it up for the first time to the public.
Valeska: Yes. So, I did a webinar of yours, and then that resonated as well, about doing it in small steps, I think. Had a conversation with my husband, and decided to join from there. It’s been great, I think. It’s just a bit more of a real life approach.
Lisa: I think the thing is, and this is what I struggle with too, is the whole idea that once you know better, you do better. And I totally agree with that, but it’s more like you have the opportunity to do better, once you know better. It doesn’t necessarily equate to changing your life around to do all the things that now you feel you have to do. And it just drives the whole food anxiety thing through the roof.
Valeska: Yes, absolutely.
Lisa: I mean, I feel it too, and that’s why I kept on thinking, ‘Oh man, if I want to help people eat more whole foods, I’ve just got to keep telling them that I don’t do this perfectly, and that it’s okay for it to take time.’
It’s like we’re apprentices again, on a whole new job, and that job is consistent. I mean, how many times a day are we feeding our families? All the time. There’s just a new meal around every single freaking corner.
I find it really hard to maintain perfection. Obviously, I’ve been doing this for a few years, and I’ve got some good shortcuts and stuff, but I think unless we give ourselves permission to have this take time, then we’re just going to see it as some sort of new diet, that then we fall off the wagon, and we give up because it’s all too hard.
Valeska: I think, like you say, if you can’t do it for a week, or it’s not as good as it has been, you can then, when your life slows down, or whatever reason, you just start slowly bringing it back up again. And it’s taken me a very long time, I’d say, to learn that that’s okay.
Lisa: So, tell us a little bit about your struggles, then, with anxiety, or depression? And this whole over-thinking thing.
Valeska: Yes, sure. So, I was diagnosed with depression a couple of times when I was younger, and I think that was due to struggling with coming back from overseas, and being homesick another time. So, that probably triggered it. But more recently, having my children, I found I really struggled from birth to eight months. Like, extremely struggled.
The first time around, I had a bit of help, like I said, from that lactation consultant midwife, and she actually held my hand the whole time. She was texting me, we were texting nearly every day. She was a phenomenal support. We became friends from that. So, it would have been a different experience for me, I think, if I didn’t have that.
Then when Hazel was born, a similar struggle, but around, I think, it was three months, I found myself getting extremely wound up and anxious about sleep. Sleep was my obsession with both of them.
Particularly one day, I remember a friend offered to take Delilah for a few hours. So, she went out, (TC: 00:20:00) and the whole time, I was sort of jittery, and up, and looking out the window around the time she was due back, and thinking, ‘What am I going to do if she’s back and Hazel needs resettling? How am I going to manage this?’
It just didn’t feel right, it wasn’t right, how I was feeling. So, somebody said, ‘It sounds like anxiety. Perhaps you’d better, you know, do the Beyond Blue quiz. See your GP.’ Because I was pretty upset, because I knew something wasn’t right.
So from there, went to a psychologist, who has diagnosed me with over-thinking, and it is an actual condition. It’s part of OCD, so it’s not saying I have OCD. I have that component of OCD. And from there, it leads to anxiety. So, over-thinking leads to anxiety.
So, that’s what I’ve been diagnosed with, and it took me a long time to start coming round to the idea of taking medication. I tried really hard to just work on strategies, and things to make it better. And when Hazel was eight months, it did become a bit better. I guess my cycle started again, so that actually happened with both girls, that it just got a little bit easier. I was a little bit calmer. So, mine is a bit hormone-related, as well, but it was still there.
So, the psychologist talked to me about medication, on and off, not pushing me at all. But I finally agreed that I would like to try it. Hazel had stopped breastfeeding, and I didn’t want to do it while I was breastfeeding. So, I did start medication, and even though it might be subtle, the difference has been significant, on me and my family.
Lisa: You know, we just have to give ourselves permission to do what feels right, sometimes, don’t we?
Valeska: And give it a try. Like, I could have come off of it, so that was my reasoning, that I’ll give it a go, and if I want, I’ll come off of it. But the difference has been significant enough for me to not, at this point in time.
Lisa: So, what have you noticed? You just don’t go down that rabbit hole? You don’t have the, sort of, panic attacks and anxiety?
Lisa: Yes, right.
Valeska: So before, I guess, one thing was constantly wanting the approval of others. And I think that stems a bit from my childhood, but the other thing that has become apparent to me is I actually had this all my life. So, looking back now, I’m like, ‘Oh, yes, that makes sense now.’
So, the psychologist said mine is a chemical imbalance. Some people’s isn’t, like, it’s environmental, etc. So, mine’s probably a bit genetic, a bit environmental, but also, genetic, as in there’s a chemical imbalance. So, I guess when you look at it like that, I’m just trying to balance out that chemical.
Lisa: I mean, I think that there are probably lots of women, and men, who would put themselves in the category of an over-thinker. You know, I think, I can move through things quickly, I don’t necessarily need to hold onto things. Whereas Nick will totally go down the rabbit hole. And sometimes, it’s really hard, when you’re like, ‘No, you’ve just gone too far with this thought. Come back.’
I mean, for the women who might be going, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s me,’ what were some of the strategies that you worked on, before you went down the medication route? And I’m sure you still call on, because there would be that tendency to go there, I’m sure. So, what are some of the strategies?
Valeska: So, actually, I’ll just back up a little bit. Just some of the things were, obviously, like you say, down the rabbit hole. So, it’s the rumination of things, and the thoughts, like, going over, and over, and over.
Perfectionism. Everything has to be perfect, that also relates to the wholefoods. So, I’m able to let that go a little bit now. Yes, the approval of others. It is, I think, just, also, worrying about things that haven’t happened yet. You know, the, ‘What if?’ scenario. That’s when, then, the rumination starts over that.
Like, it’s something that hasn’t even happened yet, but my mind’s spiralling out of control about, ‘What if that happens, how do I deal with that situation?’ Then, coming up with strategies to deal with the situation that hasn’t even happened, and might not happen.
Valeska: I just wanted to lay that first, before I then talk about strategies.
Lisa: It’s good, because it’s also, like, well, we all tend to over-think sometimes. There are things that we all get a bit obsessed about, or worry about, and I think when you become a parent, it just goes next level.
But, I guess, hearing you explain it like that makes me see, like, you weren’t in control of it. There was an impact on your life, and your health, because this imbalance didn’t let you stop, right? So, that’s when you know it’s a problem.
Valeska: Yes. And so an element of it would be normal, for sure, if you want to call it normal. So, there can be over-thinkers, but it’s not a problem, or it doesn’t get to the extent that it needs medication, or anything like that.
But some of the strategies. I think it’s recognising your thoughts, so when it’s happening, recognising that it’s happening, and then being able to go, ‘Okay, I’m recognising this is happening, that’s okay, and there’s not a need, now, to keep thinking about it.’ If that makes sense? So, it’s recognising it, accepting it, and then, sort of, just being okay. ‘Okay, I’m having that thought. That’s okay, and it doesn’t need to go any further.’
Lisa: Yes. Well, it makes total sense. It’s seeing the thought for it being a thought, and not attached to you. And once you’ve recognised it, it doesn’t have as much power. Because, yes, then you are in control of it, because you’re seeing it for what it is.
Valeska: Yes. And a lot of the time, I could tell that what I was thinking was not real, or ‘silly.’ You know, I’d say to my husband, ‘I feel so stupid,’ or so silly, because I’m having these thoughts, and I know that they are, but I keep going over, and over, and over it. So, it’s having that ability to, I guess, accept the thought, but then know that it’s not a healthy thought, or whatever, and so you can stop it.
Oh, we worked on so much. What else is there? That’s probably the big one, actually. And with friendships, friendships were a big thing. I used to worry about friendships a lot. So now, I can be okay with where some friendships are at. So, with friends, are they either (a) not getting in touch with me as much, or they didn’t tell me this.
That was a real problem for me. Facebook wasn’t good for me, in that way, because I could see them comment on other friends’ posts, but never get in touch, or comment on mine. So, it was a real struggle in that. And it’s now being able to go-, not always doing this, but it’s okay to go, ‘Okay, that’s where my friendship with that person, or those people, are at, and that’s okay.’
I don’t have to be good friends with everybody. And realising that friendships move on, and creating new friendships. Does that, kind of, make sense? So it’s, sort of, the ability now to recognise that, accept that, that not all friendships are the same, and that’s okay. Let’s say I’m happy seeing them a couple of times a year, or, not pouring that energy into it.
By that, I mean, energy even into worrying about it, or thinking about it. Doing now, I’ve learnt, I’m going to do what I feel is right by me. As in, my actions, or my contact with people. I mean, I hope that some of them, I guess, get back to me, and do the same thing, but if they don’t I know that I’ve still done what is right by me.
Lisa: Yes. I mean, isn’t that a strong position to be in? When you start to see yourself as your own entity. When you start to make decisions that serve you, instead of serving everybody else around you? But it can be scary, especially, you know, with that need for fitting in, or for friendships validating who you are.
Valeska: Reassurance, I think.
Lisa: Yes. A friend once said to me that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I’ve always felt that really calming, that they’ll come in for a reason, like, there’s something that they need to teach you, or they’re there, and you absolutely can see that there was a reason that they came into your life. But they don’t have to stick around, like, it’s just, that’s it.
Then there are people who come into your life for a season. And it might be the season of travelling, it might be the season of high school, it might be the season of when your kids are in primary school. Whatever it is, but there’s a season.
Then there are people who come into your life for a lifetime, and they just, kind of, stick. And there are only very, very few of them. So, it’s, sort of, always allowed me to think, ‘You know what? It’s okay for me to be moving into this circle,’ or, ‘It’s okay. (TC: 00:30:00) It makes me feel sad that I don’t see that person very often,’ or whatever.
But, like, it’s reason, season, lifetime. And, you know, those lifetime people are the ones that you just cherish, and they won’t go away. Even if, you know, there’s just no two ways about it. And it doesn’t matter how often you speak to them, that’s just it.
But I know we go through so many different changes in our lives, and I’ve found, now, especially with starting school for my eldest, and Kindy, and those things, it just gets busy. And it becomes about seeing who your kids want to see. You just, sort of, encourage the friendships with the mums that you like, too.
I mean, I think that that’s all such fabulous stuff to share, because I love normalising what can often feel abnormal for people. You know, you can feel really isolated in these things. Like, you calling yourself ‘silly’ because something’s going on that you’re not in control of, and you wish wasn’t happening.
But all it took was, maybe, doing that quiz, reaching out to friends, verbalising what it is that you’re going through, for someone else to say, ‘Hang on, you know, it doesn’t have to be like this. Maybe there’s something going on.’ And I think about that with physical health, as well. I think so many of us are just used to certain things, a certain rash on our face, or a certain pain in our body, or whatever it is. Or, always the belly fat, or whatever it is, and often this is just our bodies giving us clues that something’s not quite right.
Like, there’s something underlying going on there, that you can just do a little bit of digging, and then go, ‘Wow, that has just unlocked this whole reason for things being the way that they are for me.’ You know, our bodies are smart. They want to be feeling healthy and well, and normal.
Like, it’s meant to be that, and if it’s not, sometimes it takes a little courage to think, ‘Okay, it’s time to talk to someone.’ Or, ‘Okay, it’s time to make a change.’ And I think getting there before things get really, really, bad, is the key.
Valeska: It’s really important, for sure. I actually knew I hadn’t, sort of, felt normal for a long time. I received professional help previously, for things, as well. But I think you’re right, the fact that I probably didn’t feel normal, it means that there was something going on. Does that make sense? Like, mentally?
Valeska: If I, sort of, sensed the fact that I didn’t feel like everybody else, or normal, that even indicates that you’ve got a mental health illness, I think. Because what is normal, for starters? But yes, the fact that you need some help, talking that through.
Lisa: Yes. I just think it’s so important, and I’m so grateful to you for sharing this, because I think it’s going to resonate with a lot of people. So, to finish up, in terms of food, and making the changes. Because you were a new Small Stepper, so you hadn’t been through the eight-week program.
You just came into the membership, and you’re such an amazing contributor to that Facebook group. I really value everything that you share, and it’s such an encouraging space. It’s, like, my favourite place to hang out, pretty much. But I feel like through what you’ve been through, you really, also, just took on that Small Steps message.
It obviously was what helps you to keep moving through your wholefoods journey, no matter where you’re at. You know, we spoke before we went live, and you were like, ‘Well, you know, it’s not perfect.’ I’m like, ‘No-one is. That’s cool, we’re all cool with that.’ But it’s certainly, like, you’re on the path now, and your girls will have a different understanding compared to, maybe, some of their friends, by seeing you prepare meals whenever you can.
But if you had a small step that you wanted to offer someone else, when it comes to changing habits around food, what would you say would be your small step?
Valeska: Okay. My small step? I think, just choose something. So, just choose one thing to start with. So, whether it’s preparing food from scratch, or it’s preparing snacks from scratch, like, baking. Just choose one thing, and start doing that. Because I think once you start doing that consistently, then you can introduce something else.
I think, overall, everything’s about consistency. You are what you do most consistently. I think that was Jessica Donovan’s thing, actually. So, I think that’s actually really true. So, just do one thing, and then you can introduce, and maybe, you can start finding space for another thing.
If you start doing everything straight away, you’re going to get overwhelmed. Like you say, you might quit, and just not worry. Yes, and I have those moments, sometimes. And I’m just like, ‘Okay, whatever. Let’s just do that, and then I’ll start again.’
Lisa: Yes. I totally agree with you, and I think that what has made the biggest difference, for me, is to just always think. Like, I always think, ‘I’m just going to go back to breakfast. I’m just going to go back to breakfast, and just focus on breakfast, and we’ll find our way through.’ You know, it just brings me back to basics.
If I can improve one thing, let’s just go back to breakfast. What new recipes are around? What haven’t I tried? What would the kids eat? And just experiment there. Starting your day well does change the tone, for sure.
But, you know, I’m with Jess all the way. I really love the work that she does, and even although she’s a naturopath, and we got her in for an interview in the membership, to talk about kids’ health and stuff. Because she also gets that it’s hard, that it can be really difficult. But I love learning from people like her. They just know their stuff, don’t they?
Valeska: Yes. Yes, they do.
Lisa: Well, I thank you. I love that small step, start with one thing. Thank you for sharing about your journey, with where you’ve been over the past, well, your whole life, really. And then how you’ve started to take action towards improving your life, and through dealing with your mental health.
It’s so refreshing to hear someone talking really openly and honestly about it. And I think that there also can be a tendency to sometimes look down on medication, that we have to find the natural ways. We’ve got to do this, maybe it’s my gut health, maybe it’s this.
But at the end of the day, we all need to give ourselves permission to go down the path that feels right for us, and to do the things. You know, sometimes, especially when you’re in that state, it’s impossible to make the changes that you might need to make anyway.
Valeska: That’s right.
Lisa: As someone with a father who has depression, and will always be on medication, and, you know, he does volunteer work with Beyond Blue. Because he wants to talk, he wants to get the message out there to workplaces, that there are men, you know, in their sixties, or in their fifties, you know, however old they are.
There are a lot of people suffering in silence with this stuff, and it can be really hard to rock up to a sales meeting when you’re having a panic attack, or, you know, all of that sort of thing. He’s trying to get the word out as well, and reduce the stigma, and I found it really hard when he went on the drugs, because I just kept thinking, ‘What? This can’t be real. Like, why is this happening to my dad? I don’t get it.’
Actually, maybe I should do a podcast episode with Dad, because it’s a big thing to decide to do, but it was the absolute only option, for him. He’s tried, you know, going off them, and then that leads to all sorts of issues. You know, as a family, we kind of made peace that if Dad was, you know, diabetic, or something, he would be taking his insulin to balance out the chemical imbalance, or whatever it is.
So, this is the same kind of thing, for him, he’s the same as you. And I think we have to be able to talk about it, and support people who are taking action. And you did that, so well done.
Lisa: Now, you go back to being in your puffer vest, which I very jealously saw. I’m like, ‘Man, it’s 30 degrees here again today in Brisbane. I thought the weather was cooling down!’ Thank you for sharing. I appreciate you, and look forward to chatting again soon.
Valeska: Sounds great. Thanks, Lisa.