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Your Anxiety Toolkit - Anxiety & OCD Strategies for Everyday

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Dec 9, 2022

SUMMARY: 

In this podcast, Micah Howe addressed his expereince with intensive OCD treatment and the 6 most important turning points of OCD Recovery

  1. Compulsions keep OCD going, 
  2. I can control my reaction to OCD

  3. Worrying is a false sense of control and is not productive

  4. Anxiety does not mean something needs solving

  5. Find an OCD community

  6. Self-compassion helps manage uncertainty

Micah also addressed how to know you are ready for intensive ocd treatment and how he managed his OCD grief. 



Links To Things I Talk About:

https://www.instagram.com/mentalhealthmhe/

ERP School: https://www.cbtschool.com/erp-school-lp

Episode Sponsor:
This episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit is brought to you by CBTschool.com. CBTschool.com is a psychoeducation platform that provides courses and other online courses and resources for people with anxiety, OCD, and Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors. Go to cbtschool.com to learn more.

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This is Your Anxiety Toolkit - Episode 314.

Welcome back, everybody. Today, we are talking about the major turning points of OCD recovery. This episode is literally how I want to end the year, although we do have more podcasts coming this year before we finish up 2022. But literally, this is like mic drop after mic drop after mic drop. I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing this week’s guest. I’m so honored to share with you this interview with Micah Howe. He’s an OCD advocate and is one of the most inspirational people I know. I just have so much respect and adoration for him. And this episode is literally a bomb. I just can’t, I can’t shout it from the rooftop loud enough.

I’m going to keep this intro very short because I really just want you to hear exactly what he’s saying. And really what we’re talking about here is some ideological shifts that he had, going through intensive treatment and treatment in general, specifically for OCD. But if you don’t have OCD, this is still going to be a powerful punch for your recovery because the tools that he shares that he realized on the end of his recovery are ones that anybody could apply to their recovery. So, let’s just do it. 

Before we move on, let’s quickly do the review of the week. This one is from Tristramshandy1378, and they said:

“I stumbled across your podcast recently. I have been through therapy with Anxiety and panic and I have a high-stress job that I love, but I needed to continue my journey to recovery and be reminded of all the skills that are available to help me along the way. Your online courses for OCD and your amazing podcast reminded me the most important part of the process is to love myself, before, during, and after my episodes of intense anxiety and that every day is a beautiful day to do hard things.”

Oh my gosh, Tristramshandy, this is just so exactly my mission and my model. And so, I’m so grateful for you for leaving a review. 

It sounds like actually Tristramshandy’s review of the week should actually be the “I did a hard thing,” but we have an “I did a hard thing” as well. This one is from Anonymous and they said:

“Hello, Kimberley. Very glad to have this resource. I did a hard thing. I started using public transportation much more often. It helps a lot with agoraphobia. I also significantly decreased media consumption, and that helped me learn to live with my thoughts and generally slowing down to process the information.”

So, thank you so much for Anonymous for sharing that. 

To be honest with you guys, the review of the week and the “I did a hard thing” and this entire episode is like three different “I did a hard thing” segment, so I’ve just so overjoyed that we’re all here doing the hard thing, bringing in the end of the year. This episode is going to be such an amazing resource for you. So, let’s get over to the interview.

314 The 6 most important turning points of OCD Recovery (with Micah Howe) Your anxiety toolkit

Introduction To Micah Howe

Kimberley: Thank you so much for being here, Micah. I am actually so excited to hear this story. So, welcome.

Micah: Yeah, thanks so much. Glad to be here.

Kimberley: Yeah. So, you and I had talked before we came on to record about how you are going, wanting to tell the story about your intensive OCD treatment specifically around OCD. And this is the topic that I find so interesting and something that I actually really am so excited to hear your story. So, would you be able to tell us just in brief what the backstory of your recovery looks like and get us up to date in terms of where you were, what you experienced, as much as you’re willing to share?

Intensive Treatment For Ocd 

Micah: Yeah. So, what had me in intensive treatment – I grew up in rural Iowa and so resources for OCD, particularly evidence-based treatments like ERP, particularly several years ago when I was first starting to show really debilitating symptoms, those sorts of resources were really hard to come by. And so, it took me a long time to find good help. And then once I did find good help, my OCD had gone on unrestrained for so long that I needed a really intensive setting. And so, my OCD started becoming quite debilitating around the age of 18 or 19. The college transition was really hard for me. But by the age of 25, even doing some outpatient therapy, it just wasn’t really putting much of a dent in what I was dealing with. And so, I ended up in a partial hospitalization setting where we were putting full-time job hours into exposures every week. And that’s what it took for me to begin to see breakthrough.

Kimberley: Right. So, what was it like? What were you experiencing? Because I’m sure there are people who are going through treatment who may be feeling similarly. You are doing outpatient once-a-week therapy, were you?

Micah: Yeah. 

How To Know You Are Ready For Intensive Ocd Treatment

Kimberley: And how did or was it you who knew you were ready for in treatment or was it the clinician who advised you to take that next step?

Micah: For the longest time, I had so much stigma about going to a “mental hospital.” Really, I didn’t know what to expect, and just naturally as people, we’re afraid of the unknown. And so, I was pretty resistant. But eventually, a clinician that I was working with really had said, “If you want to get to these goals you’re talking about in any reasonable amount of time, I really think I should recommend that you go to a higher level of care.” And so, that really opened me to this idea of seeking a higher level of care. It was the combination of a clinician recommending it and also my just experience of realizing, this once a week, I mean, we’re very well-intentioned here, but I’m just not getting very far.

Kimberley: And I think so many people are there and the stigma holds them back. There is a lot of stigma attached. Besides that conversation, was there any other shifts you had to make to get your foot in that door, or it was an easy decision once you explained it?

Micah: I hate to say it, but unfortunately, it’s all too common in the world of OCD recovery. But I was another one of those people that I went kicking and screaming. I had to hit rock bottom. It was helpful for a clinician to tell me, “I really think this would be beneficial to you.” It was eye-opening for me to realize, gosh, I’m coming back here every week and I’m just not getting very far. But I think what really pushed me the rest of the way was this very sobering realization that this OCD is going to continue to take as much of my life as I allow it to. If I continue to just do a level of therapy that, at least for me personally, is not getting me where I want to go – if I just continue doing that, hoping that something is going to change, experience was teaching me that OCD is not just going to back off if I don’t do anything different. So, I think that idea of hitting rock bottom, of being tired of chasing the same goals month after month that I wasn’t getting any closer to, that really pushed me to say, “Okay, I’m more afraid of losing my life and opportunities than I am of whatever stigma I might have to shoulder adding to my life’s resume that I spent time in a mental hospital.”

Micah’ Intensive Ocd Treatment Story

Kimberley: Yeah. You had to weigh the pros and the cons and all directions were leading you in that direction. That’s cool. That’s so cool that you were able to do that, make that shift in your mind and make that decision. So, okay, you’re in the door in intensive. Was it what you expected? Tell me about what you expected and how it was different.

Micah: Yeah. And it’s that question that I really appreciate because, for anybody listening that might be considering another level of care that is intimidated, I mean, that’s right where I was. I mean, I didn’t know what to expect. And when I got there, I’ll never forget the biggest thing that really was surprising to me is how calm and inviting and not scary it was. I met a lot of people there and I was like, “Wow, these people are just as genuine as I am. We’re all just trying to get better here.” And I also think, I thought there was going to be-- the other thing that really stuck out to me was I thought there was going to be this really significant talk therapy element. I thought we’re going to-- all these things that I couldn’t figure out in outpatient, these treatment teams at these intensive centers, they’re going to have the answers that my outpatient therapist didn’t have. And it’s actually like, no, they don’t have the answers. They’re actually more encouraging than my outpatient therapist that I live without the answers. 

And so, we’re not really talking through the things that concern me. We’re instead doing this evidence-based really rigorous exposure therapy where I’m not talking about my feelings and my past as much as I’m talking about how I reacted to something they asked me to challenge myself to do that day. And so, just the way they went about helping me get better was so different than the path I thought we were going to go down.

Kimberley: Yeah. Isn’t that interesting? Would you say-- and this is sometimes how I explain it to some clients, but you should actually give me feedback here. I’m as much learning from you as any. Sometimes we say intensive treatment isn’t different, it’s just more. It’s more frequent. It’s more of what you’re doing in session, and that’s a good thing. Was it that for you? Was it just more of what you were doing? Or was there some fundamental differences in the structure of the sessions? How was it different for you?

Micah: Again, yeah. I mean, obviously, I’m not a therapist or a medical doctor, anything. Everything I say on the episode is just from my limited personal experience as a sufferer. But I would say in my experience, when I was doing outpatient therapy, only meeting with a clinician once a week, only doing so many exposures a week, I guess this idea of tolerating uncertainty, I understood it, but I don’t think I bought in as deeply as I bought in when I was in intensive treatment because now, instead of we only have 50 minutes to talk through everything, now my treatment team is like, we’ve got two hours if you need it. And so, we’ve got two and a half hours if you need it. And so, if I was hung up on an exposure that I didn’t want to do, it wasn’t a situation of, “Ah, we’ll get to that next week.” It was like, “We can wait. What’s the issue? What’s getting in the way?” And so, I couldn’t just run out at the end of 50 minutes like I would in an outpatient context. We were there full-time to deal with fears and help me gradually be willing to engage in exposures, that in an outpatient context, I didn’t have to push myself that hard. And it was much harder than outpatient for me, but it also caused progress so much faster because when I ran into a bump, it was like, we’re either going to try to work through it now, or we will be right here tomorrow to keep working on it. And so, there was a consistency that created breakthrough that once a week just wasn’t doing. 

Kimberley: Right. See, that’s so interesting, the mindset shift for you that you had. So, okay, I’ve got lots of questions, but I also want to know, you have come with four main points that I want to make sure you’ve got plenty of time. So, I’ve probably got questions there as well because I always have too many questions.

Micah: Oh, no, that’s great.

The 6 Most Important Turning Points Of OCD Recovery

Kimberley: You had said there were four ideological shifts you had to make during intensive treatment, and I want to highlight those because they’re brilliant. So, would you be kind to share that with us?

Micah: Yeah. Do you want me to just start with the first one or did you want me to list--

Kimberley: Yeah, just lay them on.

  1. Anxiety Does Not Mean Something Needs Solving

Micah: There were so many, but for the sake of time, I think when I think about some of those paradigm shifts, some of those ideological shifts that really created a lot of breakthrough for me, the first thing that comes to mind is my treatment team challenging me to accept the notion that anxiety was tolerable and that it was an ordinary part of the human experience. When I started out in treatment, I saw anxiety as a signal that I was doing something wrong in my life, a signal that there was a problem that needed solving. And OCD didn’t exactly know what that problem was, but it had rituals to offer me in the meantime. And so, I just felt like anxiety, it is a catalyst, it is an impetus, it is a sign that something is awry and I’m supposed to be doing something. 

The last thing I thought was, like my treatment team encouraging me, “Micah, what if anxiety is just part of being a person? And what if it doesn’t necessarily mean that life is asking you to do anything to make it go away? And what if your life was actually better tolerating the distress that anxiety created rather than being a fugitive from it your whole life?” And I had never considered that in part because I again thought that it was extraordinary, but also, I had never considered the idea that anxiety could just be tolerated. It was so unique and novel to me because I just saw anxiety as anxiety is something I hate, anxiety is something I find unbearable, and either my life is miserable because it has anxiety in it, or I’m able to live the life I want because I’ve completely eliminated anxiety from my experience. And to be offered something in the middle, that that wasn’t black and white, that was so just revolutionary for me to say, “What if I can’t ever get away from this thing called anxiety? But also, what if I never come to love it either? What if I just live my life just lukewarm to this emotion? Just allowing it to be in my life?” And that was something that prior to my treatment team encouraging me to think that way. There was just nothing in my natural instinct that thought about just letting anxiety be around without reacting to it.

Kimberley: Yeah. So cool. Isn’t that so cool? Okay. So, what’s the next one?

  1. Compulsions Keep OCD

Micah: So, the next shift that was extremely meaningful to me – when I was in intensive treatment, we did a lot of ERP, we did some ACT principles, some behavioral activation because I also deal with comorbid depression and hoarding disorder, and we also did a fair amount of thought challenging. And the thought challenging was particularly insightful for me in that as I started to break down some of my rituals, I really had to come face to face with the fact that my rituals were creating very much the antithesis of what my OCD told me those rituals existed to accomplish. Compulsions keep OCD going.

So, for example, scrupulosity was a big issue for me. And my OCD was telling me all of these things you are doing, all of these repeating things you are doing, this is to make you feel closer to God. This is so that you will be more engaged with your faith. This is so that you will be a better Christian. And yet, as I started breaking these things down, I was like, I have never felt so disconnected from my faith as when these rituals have become such a significant part of my experience. And even with my hoarding, it had an effect. I was collecting all of these things to relieve anxiety. And the notion was you’re collecting these things so that when the day comes that you need them, you’ll have them. And yet, the effect was that I had so many things accumulated that when the day came that I thought, oh, that thing would be really great. I couldn’t even find the thing in my mess of things. And so, in reality, there wasn’t much of a difference between not having any of these things and having a basement so full of things that I couldn’t find the things I wanted anyway. 

And so, that thought challenging and really analyzing why am I doing this and what is the difference between how I feel about these rituals versus the reality they’re actually creating in my life? And I was able to see that I am giving up long-term progress towards the person I want to become in exchange for short-term relief of anxiety. And that took me a long time to acknowledge, but once I saw it, it helped me break away from the rituals a little bit easier. 

OCD Grief

Kimberley: I know, isn’t that so true? Is that we feel in the moment the ritual is helping. It’s like, this is a part of the solution. And that’s a big awakening when you’re like, it’s not a part of the solution. At least not the long-term one. That’s that. Was there any OCD grief? Was that a relief or was there some grieving you had to do about that?

Micah: Yeah, I think there was some grieving only in the sense that when you spend all this time doing these things and you’re believing your OCD that these are helping me, these are getting me closer to the person I want to be, there is some grieving in recognizing that there’s a lot of emotional reasoning involved in why I’m doing these things. They make me feel like I’m getting closer to the person that I want to be. But it’s really an illusion because people who are close to God, I don’t associate those people as being people who repeat their prayers so many times because they’re terrified. I associate those people as being people who enjoy the discipline of prayer, who enjoy being in religious services. And so, it was a very odd experience to have to come face to face with the reality that these rituals are making me feel a certain way, but when I look at the results I’m getting over the long term, I’m actually getting farther away from the person I’m wanting to be.

Kimberley: Right. It’s gold, isn’t it? And I’ve seen that recognition and realization in my clients and it’s a tough one, but it’s an important one. Did that come in pretty quick in your intensive treatment or did that take time?

Micah: I think in the first maybe week or two of intensive treatment, I just had my clinicians, because I was resistant to ERP at first. And so, there were a lot of nuggets being dropped that I was just like, “Whoa, I have not thought about that in my whole OCD journey.” So, I would say the real change happened several weeks into intensive treatment, but definitely that first week or two, I was encouraged to think about these rituals and uncertainty and all these different elements involved in recovery from OCD very differently than I ever had before. I mean, I remember one of my first conversations with a therapist at treatment just asking me to think about what do you think a committed Christian is like, what do you think their life looks like? And I had never thought about that before and I realized that doesn’t look anything like my life. And that was really eye-opening for me to be like, I don’t associate being close to God with doing all these things out of fear. I associate it with actually finding meaning in these things. And so, I just had to separate that, just because these things make me feel a certain way.

Another one was, I was so afraid of getting brain cancer and so I did all sorts of Google searching. And I was really challenged to think through, do you think about a healthy person as being someone that’s on Google all the time? Is that what health looks like to you? And of course, the obvious answer was no, but I just had never been encouraged to think that far previously.

Kimberley: Yeah. I’m loving everything you’re saying, so I’m just wondering like, keep going, keep going. What’s number three?

  1. I Can Control My Reaction To OCD

Micah: So, the third thing was, if there was anything that I underestimated when I came into intensive treatment, it was my own capacity for change. When I came into intensive treatment, there was a lot of hopelessness, and it was rooted in this idea. My thoughts trouble me deeply. My emotions bother me deeply. I can’t control either of those. And then on top of that, my life circumstances bother me. And although I might be able to change those, I can’t really change them quickly. And so, what hope is there for this getting better? 

The blind spot I had coming into treatment was this idea that even though it’s hard, and even though it doesn’t feel this way often, I do hold the keys to the behaviors that I choose. And my treatment team really worked hard to say, “Micah, it’s a losing battle to try to fight thoughts and emotions that you can’t direct. But what if we focus on the things that you do have some ability to influence, even if it’s hard to do?” 

And so, my life just really began to change, hope began to flood in when I began to buy into this idea that I’m not in control of many of the things I would like to be in control of, but I do have influence over my behavior. And because I’m so caught up in my rituals, I’m really not tapping into that potential at all when I’m coming into treatment. And so, once they started to say, “Micah, we’re not going to sit here and talk you out of your thoughts,” but they exposed me to ERP and concepts like neuroplasticity and this idea that what if we can’t change your life, but we can improve your brain’s ability to react to your life with more helpful behaviors? And I was just blown away because I had just never thought about it. I just thought, well, if we can’t change my thoughts, we can’t change my life. And they flipped that on its head and said, “Well, what if we just tolerate the distress of your thoughts and start living the way you want to live and see what happens?” And I didn’t even know that there was a relationship between cognition and behavior that allowed progress to be created that way. It was unbelievable.

Kimberley: There are all these light bulb moments. All I want to keep asking you, I keep feeling like myself going like, you were receptive to this? You were obviously eventually receptive to this, or did you fight them on this? I’m thinking about my clients and now the people listening, I know they may have been hearing these same things, whether it’s through this podcast or through their therapists, is like OCD has a strong opinion about these concepts too, I’m sure. Was OCD throwing a massive tantrum?

Micah: Yeah, no, for sure. I don’t want to make it sound like I just walked in and they said these things and I was hopping down the lane just like, “Oh, perfect.” It wasn’t that at all. There was a tremendous amount of resistance, but I think that that resistance was weakened faster, both because we were talking every single day for hours at a time and also because, by the time I reached intensive treatment, it was like, if I’m not willing to try these concepts, if I decide I don’t like this and I’m going to check myself out of this place, what am I going to go back to? Where am I going? If I’m not willing to try this, what’s the next thing? And I knew it was just going to be back to more rituals, not getting anywhere. And so, I was open. 

And there were also specific exposures that I’ll never forget. And I don’t think my behavioral specialists necessarily knew the depth of impact some of these exposures would have on me. They knew it would help, but some of them were like, “Wow, that was an unbelievable exposure.” One of them was, they had me watch YouTube videos of people who were explaining their experience of being diagnosed with terminal illnesses. And so, they’re dying and they’re on YouTube and they’re telling their story. And if I could find them of brain cancer, I did brain cancer. But if it was ALS, whatever, they just find a terminal disease, find someone who’s describing what it was like and watch those videos as an imaginative script. And I’ll never forget watching those videos and seeing even people dying of terminal illnesses had moments of laughter and smiles. And I thought to myself, they didn’t get there by sulking in their thoughts. I just realized, when these people know they’re dying, somehow, they decided: I’m going to do things that matter to me even when my brain is probably telling me, “Your life is over. What’s the point?” It just so inspired my confidence that, wow, I do not understand at an anatomical or at a metaphysical level what is involved in living life the way I thought I did. 

I had to be open to this idea that there is a way to choose behaviors, that my thoughts are not exactly supportive, and get places even when I don’t necessarily feel like getting to those places. And I didn’t realize I could just challenge my thoughts by choosing behaviors that mattered to me, even if it scared me to do it. And some of those exposures just really stuck with me in that sense.

Kimberley: I love that. And it is true, isn’t it? You’re doing an exposure to purposely simulate the fear and sometimes there’s a lesson in it. There’s a message-- not a message, but just a lesson. So, that is incredible. And thank you so much for sharing that exposure example because that’s some hard stuff you’re doing. That wasn’t easy.

  1. Worrying Is A False Sense Of Control And Is Not Productive

Micah: No, no. It wasn’t. And I think that was also part of the treatment that really was hard for me but has helped me grow so much, is just this idea that that worry doesn’t have any utility to it. My OCD convinced me for so long that by worrying about things, we’re doing something. And it was this magical thinking in a sense that something in the cosmos is happening because I’m here worrying. And really just being able to acknowledge, “Micah, your worrying is not doing anything productive. Your OCD can make you feel all day long, like the energy expenditure.” Well, there’s so much energy expenditure in my worrying. It has to be accomplishing something. Instead of just acknowledging it, it actually doesn’t have to be accomplishing anything and it isn’t. And as blunt and hard as that was to accept, it did help me when they started to offer me this acceptance piece of like, it sucks, but they really encourage me, my treatment team, that Micah, you do have to accept that you are a limited being and that there are answers that your OCD would love to have. And no amount of fretting about it is going to get you those answers. But it is going to chew up your life. It is going to take away opportunities. It is going to keep you out of the present moment. 

And I think-- sorry, I’ll just add two more things real quick, but I think the one thing was this idea. When I first came into treatment and they started offering mindfulness and we did a little bit of yoga, I really didn’t buy that when I got started. I just thought this is not me. But by the time I left treatment, I just found mindfulness for OCD to be the most helpful practice because the reason I didn’t like mindfulness at first is because I thought it was cheesy. But once I really started to buy into what my treatment team was saying, I really recognized at a very brutal level, mindfulness is just recognizing the world for what it actually is, even if I don’t like it. That what I really have as a guarantee is this moment, this breath, this blinking of my eyes. And that’s really all I know for sure. And as terrifying as that statement once was for me, I became much more pro-mindfulness as I became comfortable with accepting that reality about the world.

  1. Find An OCD Community

And then the last thing I would say as far as paradigm shifts that really was so impactful for me in intensive treatment was just this idea that uncertainty is a burden that is best shouldered authentically with other people. And what I mean by that is group therapy just meant the world to me when I was in intensive treatment. I grew up in rural Iowa where there’s a lot of stigma and talking about what I was dealing with was really hard. And so, to finally-- instead of just bury all this stuff and pretend that the world is not as uncertain as it really is and just try to get through, it was just so unbelievable to just finally be in a circle of people and we are all just admitting we are terrified of this thing called uncertainty. And I’m terrified of uncertainty related to my health. And you are terrified of uncertainty related to religion, and you are terrified of it related to whether or not you hit somebody on the way here to treatment today or whatever. And to just openly voice our fear of uncertainty. I can’t even explain it, but it just created a human bond to be able to be honest with each other in that way that I never experienced just trying to bury these things and pretend that uncertainty wasn’t as scary as it really was. 

  1. Self-Compassion Helps Manage Uncertainty

And I think the other thing it did is it introduced me to self-compassion in a way that I hadn’t really acknowledged before. There’s something unbelievable about, when I talk about how much uncertainty scares me, it’s so hard for me to feel empathy for myself. But as soon as I see another person across the room say it scares them, all of a sudden, it’s like, where’s all this empathy I have for them? When they say it affects them and, “oh, I had to drop out of college because I couldn’t deal with this and I’m scared of this and that,” when I have the same story, I don’t feel much compassion for myself, but when I see someone else have that story, here’s all this compassion. And I walked away from that thinking like, whatever it is that makes me so sympathetic to someone else’s struggles with these things, I need to find more of that for myself.

Kimberley: Is that something that was the switch that went on or is that something you go in and out of being able to do that self-compassion piece?

Micah: I think, if I’m being honest, it really is an in-and-out thing for me. And I think it is related to the camaraderie of other sufferers. Whenever I’m at the conference, gosh, I am like at my all-time annual self-compassion highest because it’s just like, “Ah, yeah.” I remember we’re all a community and it’s like high school musical all over again. We’re all in this together. But when I get back to Iowa and I’m not regularly rubbing shoulders with sufferers, I start comparing myself to non-sufferers a lot, and all of a sudden, this desire to be compassionate towards myself lessons. So, it’s something I have to work on continually to remember that I’m dealing with something that is not easy and a lot of people aren’t dealing with. And it’s just, I work very hard to try to remember the feelings that well up inside of me when I hear somebody that’s not me share their struggle and their recovery and do my best to be like, okay, whatever it is that wells up in me when it’s somebody else, I need to work hard to feel the same way about my own journey. But it’s definitely a process.

Kimberley: Oh my gosh, you’re on fire. These messages are so incredible. And I think it’s exactly like what people need to hear. It’s the pep talk they need. I want to be respectful of your time. Is there anything you want to say about your journey that you think would be helpful or that would be great for you to share?

Micah: Yeah. I think the only other thing I would say, and I say this quite often, but I just think in my journey, I think early on in my journey and especially when I was coming to intensive treatment, I wanted everything to happen fast. I wanted a quick fix. I was hurting so badly that I wanted things to get better so quickly. And I think one of the things that has become a mantra for me personally in my recovery is that my recovery was definitely not immediate, but it has been and continues to be substantial. And I think that’s a truth about my recovery that I’ve really tried to hang onto. Because I’m very much this person that I don’t want to just-- when people are looking for hope in my story, I don’t ever want to just say something that’s hopeful if it isn’t entirely true. And so, the thing I tried to say, at least I can’t say what will be appropriate for someone else’s recovery, but my recovery, it has not been as fast as I wanted it to be. I think it’s so important to be transparent with people and say, I have suffered with this disorder far longer than I ever would’ve wanted to, but my life has become and is continuing to become far more than I once thought it was going to become. And so, there is that bittersweet hope in that, I think, is the most honest and encouraging thing I can say about my experience.

Kimberley: You’re such a shining bright light. Thank you for sharing that. I feel it. I’ve got goosebumps. I love when I get to interview people, I get goosebumps the whole time. I’m so grateful for you sharing all of these wisdoms that you’ve shared, and that’s what they are. They’re just such deep wisdom. Can we hear where people can hear more about you, learn about you? How can people get your stuff?

Micah: Yeah. Right now, I don’t have a ton going. I hope to have more going in the near future. But if people want to reach out to me on Instagram, they can find me at @mentalhealthmhe.

Kimberley: Okay. So amazing. I’ll make sure to link that in the show notes. Micah, it has been such a pleasure. Thank you for sharing all these amazing things. Thank you. Thank you.

Micah: Thank you so much for having me on. This was a wonderful conversation.

Kimberley: Oh, it makes me so happy. Thank you.

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