And Then Everything Changed
The Toll of Mental Illness and Finding A Path Forward featuring Debbie Lechtman

The Toll of Mental Illness and Finding A Path Forward featuring Debbie Lechtman

September 22, 2020

September is National Suicide Prevention Month and Debbie Lechtman, an Israeli and Costa Rican writer and jeweler based out of Los Angeles, is using her platform to bring awareness to mental health. 

 

Debbie was always interested in jewelry but didn’t make it her full-time work until 2018 when she finally began to feel healthy again after her body had been weakened by gastroparesis. But as soon as she was regaining physical strength her lifelong battle with depression began to spiral out of control. For years she tried to keep her personal life out of her art but in early 2019, Debbie realized she couldn’t continue treating her mental health and her artistic life as two separate entities. 

 

She had grown up without mental health support or resources, without a family dialogue around mental illness, but as her jewelry business grew and her stress increased Debbie knew she had to confront her depression head-on. Now, she uses her social media platform to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention. In recent years she’s also incorporated her Jewish identity into her work and promotes Jewish education and the fight against antisemitism. 

 

For Debbie burying her background and her experience is no longer an option. On this episode she joins Ronit to talk about remaining true to herself and to her mission and how she will continue to shed light on mental health and Judaism and fight for what’s right.

Connect with Debbie:

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All Bodies Are Good Bodies featuring Rachel Coleman

All Bodies Are Good Bodies featuring Rachel Coleman

September 15, 2020

Rachel Coleman is on a mission to help women break free from the social constructs surrounding body image and diet culture. Even as a teenager she found herself fascinated with how people, especially women, internalized the messages of diet culture and the ways they took it out on their bodies; she witnessed her mother and grandmother constantly body shame themselves and disparage the way they looked and knew she didn’t ever want to fall into the same patterns. 

 

Rachel took her passion to help women become free from this negative messaging and now holds over 15 years of experience in treating Eating Disorders. She is also the co-host of the podcast Mom Genes, where she aims to bring awareness to diet culture and help people stop blaming their bodies so they can make the most of the unique genes they naturally possess.

 

Rachel’s mission is to educate as many people as possible to take the important first steps to self-love by embracing the body they have and find peace with who they are. 

Connect with Rachel:

Website

Podcast

Instagram

Facebook

Podcast Instagram

 

Resources:

Associated for Size Diversity and Health

 

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Breaking the Cycle of Abuse featuring Vanity Dawson

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse featuring Vanity Dawson

September 8, 2020

For most of her life, Vanity Dawson faced what felt like a never-ending cycle of abuse. Her mother was cruel and her stepfather began molesting her at the age of ten. In an effort to protect her siblings Vanity endured his abuse for years but by the time she was 14 she could no longer survive at home. The only way to save herself, she decided, was to run away, and she did, multiple times.

 

She soon wound up in foster care and when she aged out of the system she found herself in yet another abusive household where she was nearly killed. It wasn’t until Vanity enlisted in the Military that she began to see a different future for herself. She realized her purpose in helping others and became a victim advocate for others who have been sexually assaulted. 

 

Today Vanity is the founder of Take My Hand LLC and Delicate Flowers Inc, where she works to guide foster care youth, help women heal from trauma, and train people on sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention. In this episode, she joins Ronit to talk about the dark moments of her childhood and young adulthood that helped make her the resilient woman and fearless mother she is today. 

Connect with Vanity:

Website

Life After Trauma

Personal Instagram

Delicate Flowers Inc. Instagram

Take My Hand LLC Instagram

 

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It’s Okay Not to Be Okay featuring Simi Krishnan

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay featuring Simi Krishnan

September 1, 2020

An accomplished woman who seemingly had all the boxes of her life checked, Simi Krishnan could not have predicted how her world would irrevocably change just after she immigrated to the US. While experiencing the culture shock of leaving her UK home, her beloved father passed away and she had to fight the consulate to fly back with her daughter and be at her mourning mother’s side

 

Once there, Simi got the news she had cervical cancer. She pushed on, compartmentalizing her grief and soon recovered from her surgery and cancer-free, got pregnant. But her pregnancy was fraught with pain and complications, and after her son’s premature birth she lost him, too.

 

Beset with this new heartache, Simi drew her family close and went inward to heal. She came to the realization that she would never be completely whole again but that too was part of living. In this episode Simi shares her story and how she has learned to take care of herself and her family in a way that honors what they’ve gone through and what they feel and how their new life nurtures them.

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When Your Child Has An Eating Disorder featuring Colleen Rosenblum

When Your Child Has An Eating Disorder featuring Colleen Rosenblum

August 25, 2020

Colleen Rosenblum never suspected her teenage daughter had been battling a severe eating disorder from the early age of 12. She ate meals with the family and did well academically. But then, one day when Colleen was trying to talk with her on the way home from school her daughter screamed out, “Mom, can’t you see I’m starving myself?!” and their family’s life irrevocably changed. 

 

Colleen scrambled to find the help and resources she needed and began a years-long battle against the unrelenting disease that nearly claimed her child. She discovered that when people learn your family is grappling with an eating disorder you become almost contagious and she ultimately lost some friends because of it. She learned that eating disorders are tenacious, affect the whole family, and leave a permanent mark. 

 

After years of treatment and hard work her daughter who is now in her twenties and recovered has given Colleen permission to share their story. In this episode Colleen shares how she navigated these difficult years, the guilt she feels that never completely goes away, what signs to watch out for in loved ones struggling with eating disorders, and how her daughter is now thriving. 

 

Connect with Colleen:

Website

Podcast Episodes

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

LinkedIn

Youtube

 

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Hollywood Park featuring Mikel Jollett

Hollywood Park featuring Mikel Jollett

August 18, 2020

Mikel Jollett, frontman of the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event and author of the new memoir, Hollywood Park, spent his early years with his brother in an orphanage at the Synanon cult not knowing he had a mother and father of his own. Then, one day his birth mother returned to take them away from Synanon and give them a home. Unfortunately, this new arrangement created a further level of harm for the brothers and they suffered emotional abuse and deprivation at her hands. Over the next few years they would endure poverty, isolation, and constant uncertainty about their future and safety. The only bright spot was their father, a recovering heroin addict who became part of their life when he got out of prison and whose new wife Bonnie became the mother they had always needed. ⁣

In this episode, Mikel joins Ronit to talk about early trauma and it’s lasting legacy, the search for family, and who we invent to survive; how for years though he tried to undo the abuse and absence of his childhood he wasn’t able to make lasting changes until he faced his fears head-on. Hollywood Park is his memoir and also The Airborne Toxic Event’s new album, the story of how Mikel not only survived but became the person he was meant to be.⁣


Connect with Mikel:⁣
Hollywood Parkway: A Memoir⁣
Website⁣
Twitter⁣
Instagram (Mikel’s)⁣
Instagram (Celadon, his publisher)⁣

Connect With Ronit:⁣
For more about this episode click here!⁣
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Facebook⁣

The Blessing of Burnout and Other Unexpected Gifts featuring Ana Tajder

The Blessing of Burnout and Other Unexpected Gifts featuring Ana Tajder

August 11, 2020

When bombs reached her home in Zagreb, Croatia in 1991, Ana Tajder, the daughter of actress/artist Jagoda Kaloper and architect Radovan Tajder, fled to Vienna to escape the war and soon made Vienna her home. 

 

Though her parents were artists Ana rejected a life of creativity, choosing instead to pursue her MBA. But after nearly a dozen years working in marketing and advertising and for the UN, she began to experience depression, anxiety, and an overwhelming sense of burnout.  While home nursing herself through the flu one day she began to write and all at once rediscovered a passion she had forgotten. Soon after her first novel From Barbie to Vibrator  was published in Croatia in 2008 and Austria in 2009. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Austrian State Grant for Literature for her second novel Titoland

 

In this episode Ana who is now a journalist and author, a podcaster and mother, shares her story of the painful scoliosis surgery she endured as a teenager, losing her home and country to war, and how she created a life for herself she wouldn’t trade for anything. Though she witnessed her husband battle cancer and lost her mother to lung cancer, Ana feels blessed and grateful for where she is today. She believes the ultimate goal in life is to find the one thing you’re meant to do and she wouldn’t change hers for anything, regardless of the experiences she’s gone through.

Connect with Ana:

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Podcast

Instagram

Podcast Instagram

 

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Reimagining Grief featuring Lisa Keefauver

Reimagining Grief featuring Lisa Keefauver

August 4, 2020

In 2011, Lisa Keefauver’s husband passed away, leaving her a single mother to their 7-year old daughter. Just a few years later, Lisa sat by her close friend’s side as he succumbed to complications from Muscular Dystrophy. After these back-to-back losses Lisa, who has spent nearly 2 decades as a clinical social worker and narrative therapist, was inspired to gain a better understanding of how grief works and how she could support herself, her daughter, and others during their times of loss.⁣
 ⁣
As the founder & CEO of Reimagining Grief and host of the podcast, Grief is a Sneaky B*tch, she has taken her experience overcoming deep personal loss and made it her mission to provide guidance to others when it comes to bereavement. In this episode, she unveils the common misconceptions about grief-- a topic so often misunderstood and ignored in our culture and communities yet something every person will experience in their lifetime, explains why the Stages of Grief model may not be helpful for healing, and takes a closer look at how we can show up for ourselves and for loved ones in these challenging times.  ⁣


Connect with Lisa:⁣
Website⁣
Facebook⁣
Instagram⁣
Twitter⁣
Pinterest⁣
Grief is a Sneaky B*tch Podcast⁣
Stopped By For A Cup Of Coffee Article⁣
Dive in and Breathe Deep Article⁣

Connect With Ronit:⁣
For more about this episode click here!⁣
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Facebook⁣

Your Blue is Not My Blue featuring Aspen Matis

Your Blue is Not My Blue featuring Aspen Matis

July 28, 2020

Aspen Matis and her husband Justin had only been married three years when he went missing. On a cold November morning, he kissed Aspen goodbye and left to attend the funeral of a close friend but never came back.⁣

She and Justin had met walking from Mexico to Canada when she was thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, using the 2,650-mile journey to help her reclaim her body and spirit after being raped* freshman year of college**.⁣

Aspen's first memoir Girl in the Woods is the story of that experience and her recovery which she wrote to heal and help spread awareness of the prevalence of campus assault. Her new memoir Your Blue is Not My Blue-A Missing Person Memoir is the story of how in searching for her husband she discovered a deeper purpose.⁣

In this episode, Aspen shares what she's learned about happiness, the role creativity and writing have played in recognizing her place in the world, and how she's moved from a feeling of powerlessness to strength.  ⁣

*Rape is the only violent felony that is almost never prosecuted. Only 3% of rape cases end in conviction⁣
**Between one in four and one in five female students will be raped during their undergraduate educations.⁣

Connect with Aspen:⁣
Website⁣
Rape Abuse & Incest National Network⁣

Connect With Ronit:⁣
For more about this episode click here!⁣
Instagram⁣
Facebook⁣

From Downward Spiral to the Other Side featuring Ashlee Brown

From Downward Spiral to the Other Side featuring Ashlee Brown

July 21, 2020

Just before she went off to college Ashlee's younger brother died in an ATV accident. With her soon-to-be-divorced parents grieving and her own uncertainty about how to cope with loss, she decided to leave for freshman year. Struggling once she was there, she dropped out and found work to help make her way while she figured out her future.⁣

Within the next year, her mother would die by suicide and Ashlee spiraled into alcohol abuse and drug use. Unable to cope with her grief, Ashlee spent several years without hope and in a self-destructive cycle. But then like a light had turned on inside her, she decided that she didn't want to lose her girlfriend, she didn't want to stay trapped in a pattern of self-destruction, and she was ready to move on and build the life she wished for.⁣

She rekindled her love of writing, enrolled back in school, made the President's List, and believes words are the most therapeutic a person has. In this episode, Ashlee talks about her losses and difficult years, her losses, and how she climbed her way out of her downward spiral.⁣


Connect with Ashlee:⁣
Website⁣
Instagram⁣

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