Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars Podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
Where we share personal experiences so we can learn from each other. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:09):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:10):
I've been in recovery for 15 years and am the author of Discovering My Scars, my memoir about what's done in the darkness eventually comes to light.
Beth Demme (00:16):
I'm a lawyer-turned-pastor who's all about self-awareness and emotional health because I know what it's like to have neither of those things.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:23):
Beth and I have been friends for years, have gone through a recovery program together, and when I wanted to start a podcast, she was the only name that came to mind as co-host.
Beth Demme (00:29):
I didn't hesitate to say yes because I've learned a lot from sharing personal experiences with Steph over the years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:35):
We value honest conversations and we hope you do too.
Beth Demme (00:37):
On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation about building a mental health toolkit.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:42):
Then we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with questions for reflection where we'll invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life.
Beth Demme (00:49):
Steph, what is a mental health toolkit? What do we mean when we say that?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:54):
Well, as we were talking about this episode, I was thinking like, I feel like I have this written down. Like I have spent time and energy on this.
Beth Demme (01:01):
You have thought about this.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:01):
And I have, I have written it in many places, but then I realize maybe the most important place I wrote it that is in print and is not being erased is my book. I realized as we were talking. Let me just read you a little line from, a couple lines from the book and it will give you an idea.
Beth Demme (01:20):
So this is from Discovering My Scars.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:23):
"Besides all the recovery work I've done, I have replaced my unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy ones. I have a healthy toolkit now. When I'm depressed or in a low place, I write, I talk to my sponsor or a friend. I take a walk, my favorite place being the woods. I build a Lego set. I create art. I complete a small house project." Those are the things I wrote back in my book. I have added some more to those things. I now enjoy building miniatures so I will build a miniature. I no longer have a sponsor so I'll x that one off.
Beth Demme (01:56):
You have an ex-sponsor and it's not like, I mean, that's what it's called in the recovery community. You have an ex-sponsor, right?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:01):
Yeah. But I still will talk to friends. I'll write all of those things and just kind of take time away from my normal to regroup and breathe fresh air again.
Beth Demme (02:19):
How did you decide that those things would be in your toolkit?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:24):
It was things that I was just already doing and not realizing that I was doing those to help me when I wasn't in my mentally right state. I just realized I was doing those things. When I did those things, I felt better. Actually, with my sponsor years ago, I actually spent time writing that, like literally writing down what to do. Kind of like if a hurricane is coming, we as Floridians, we get our hurricane supplies ready, we prepare for that event. That's exactly what I did with my mental health is when I'm having a low day, when I'm depressed, what do I need to do to take care of that? That's why I have my healthy toolkit. That's why I took the time to actually write them down. Because it seems so painfully simple.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:14):
I mean, those are very simple things that are written down. It's not like it's a complex list, but when I'm depressed, I'm not in my right head space to even remember those things. That's my thing that I can turn to and look and say, okay, let me go to the woods. Let me go to the woods right now. I don't even necessarily look at the list anymore because for me, having written something down really makes it stick in my head. By the fact that I've written them down, I don't have to look at them now, because now they're in my head. You know?
Beth Demme (03:44):
Right, right, right.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:45):
I kind of already know what I need to do to help me get in the right head space.
Beth Demme (03:50):
That makes sense to me, the whole idea of preparation, because there's that cliche about how if you fail to prepare, then you are preparing to fail. It makes sense that knowing in advance what some strategies are or what some healthy coping mechanisms are that that can help avoid the unhealthy coping mechanisms because you have this go-to list of things that when you are in a good head space, you've decided, oh, these are the healthy things that I can do instead of just defaulting to the unhealthy stuff.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:22):
How about you? Do you have a list written or in your head?
Beth Demme (04:25):
I have a list in my head. Probably after this episode, as part of the questions for reflection, I will write it down. I think that that's going to be one of our questions for reflection. I really love to float in the pool. I love to float in the pool because it's beautiful and because our pool is in a screen room over it, and so I'm outside without really being outside. Like your mom says, I don't want nature too close. Yeah. Totally relate to that. But I don't take my phone with me in the pool. It's like I'm really away from screens. I'm really away from those kinds of distractions and I can just exist. That really helps me clear my head. Definitely prayer would be on my healthy toolkit. I do spend a lot of time in prayer. I think that this is pretty typical even for people who aren't really church people. When things aren't going well, a lot of people turn to prayer, and that's true for me too.
Beth Demme (05:28):
When things are rough, I definitely spend more time in prayer. Recently had a really good friend whose teenage daughter got a really terrible diagnosis. I have spent a lot of time in prayer because I am angry that things like leukemia exist. It's like, that's a healthy response for me rather than ignoring it or pretending like I don't have feelings about it or eating a candy bar. Whatever the unhealthy coping mechanism might be. Floating in the pool, prayer, spending time with people who are not only healthy, emotionally healthy, but who are encouraging. That is in my toolkit too. Especially when it's not COVID times, to be able to meet somebody for coffee or meet somebody for brunch, that really helps me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:27):
Well, that made me think of another one when you were talking about being in the pool. Another thing I do is get off social media. When I'm already feeling bad about myself, I remind myself to, okay, don't go on social media.
Beth Demme (06:41):
Then do you have to do that post where you're like, okay, for my mental health I am taking a fast from social media.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:49):
Just FYI, I take many fasts from social media, you just don't know it because I don't post about it. Yeah, it's a tricky thing, too, social media. I'm not saying, we've talked about social media before and I'm not going to get into it, but I think there is a time and a place for it. I think it's an important connection, but in a healthy way. That's something I have to constantly work on is doing it in a healthy way. That's something that I try to just like, okay, I'm not going to look at social media for the rest of the day kind of thing. That really helps.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:25):
It's interesting because you said, you just mentioned going with friends over eating a candy bar, which made me think that you saw one as a healthy tool and one as an unhealthy tool. What are unhealthy coping mechanisms? How do you know the difference between one that's healthy and one that's not?
Beth Demme (07:45):
Yeah, I think sometimes we don't know. I mean, especially in the moment. That's why the toolkit is such a valuable idea, because in the moment, you might not be able to distinguish what's healthy and unhealthy.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:55):
Is it the same for everyone? Something that's healthy versus unhealthy?
Beth Demme (07:59):
I mean, I would think there are probably some that are universally unhealthy. I would say-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:06):
Beth Demme (08:07):
Right. Well, I was really thinking-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:08):
Beth Demme (08:09):
I was thinking of NSSI. I think that that probably is universally accepted as an unhealthy coping mechanism.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:15):
I think she found one. Okay. Just to remind you, NSSI is non-suicidal self injury, which is a tool that I coped with for many, many years. An unhealthy tool. It's something that's always going to be with me, something that's kind of an unhealthy coping for me. We talked about it recently. We'll put a link to that episode in the description if you want to hear some more details about that. I would agree with you. I think that is universally unhealthy. That's a tough one because now, yes. I think, I don't know. See, like now I'm kind of thinking, so if you are really in crisis, would it be healthier to engage in NSSI than die from suicide? Because one is going to result in you not being here anymore, and one is going to help you get through that moment. Unhealthy, yes. But would that be healthier than-
Beth Demme (09:18):
Yeah, I think I would do the comparison the other way to know whether it's healthy or unhealthy. Is there something even unhealthier? Yes. But is it healthy? No. I mean, the things that are on the toolkit, like you mentioned, would be-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:31):
Yeah, it wouldn't be something-
Beth Demme (09:31):
Would be a healthier-
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:32):
It wouldn't be something someone would put on their healthy toolkit.
Beth Demme (09:34):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:35):
Yeah. I think that would be the, yeah. Would this universally be accepted on a healthy toolkit as NSSI?
Beth Demme (09:42):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:43):
I'd agree with that.
Beth Demme (09:44):
One thing that I think I would tend to say would be universally helpful but probably isn't is the idea of talking to a counselor, a licensed mental health counselor, a therapist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist. That is something that I think everyone can benefit from, but those generalizations usually don't quite bear out.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:05):
Yeah. Well, I didn't have that on my healthy toolkit because it a hundred percent is something that I do. But the thing for me is it has to be scheduled, when I see my counselor. These are things I do like in the moment when it's happening right now and I can't necessarily call my psychologist and be like, I need you right now. I think that's why it's not on my list, but I a hundred percent agree. That's why I actually have every month I have a standing appointment with my psychologist. Even if I'm not in a crisis state of any sense, it's always just a good check-in for me. I would agree. I think it's universally great thing to have, but I don't think it is universally seen that way.
Beth Demme (10:50):
Right, right, right.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:51):
That's okay. Everyone comes in their own time. I understand. I'm watching a TV show right now where they are not enjoying having a counselor and the concept of that. I'm like, oh, okay, well, you'll get there. It's fine. You're trying.
Beth Demme (11:05):
Do you want to say what TV show it is?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:07):
Ted Lasso on Apple TV Plus.
Beth Demme (11:11):
Most of the people are on board with the psychologist. Ted is resistant.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:18):
Ted is very resistant.
Beth Demme (11:19):
I don't want to spoil anything for you, but keep watching.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:21):
I have. I've watched all the ones I can so far. No, he does open up, but it's like pulling teeth for him to open up. It's rightfully so as you can learn more. Yeah. I do think it's an interesting look at counseling.
Beth Demme (11:37):
I get what you're saying too about how the toolkit needs to have things in it that you can just reach in and pull out so that it's right in that moment and you don't have to think about it. You don't have to make a phone call to schedule with somebody, but in that moment when you need a healthy coping mechanism, you have something that you can go to. That makes a lot of sense that you would have a variety of tools in your toolkit. Some that were immediately accessible. Some that you might have to schedule.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:04):
Yeah. Sometimes taking a drive is something that is good for me.
Beth Demme (12:08):
Yes. That's true. I love driving. Well, I love riding. I love driving too, but I like to go for long rides too.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:14):
Yeah. Just to clear your head.
Beth Demme (12:17):
Journaling from time to time. Journaling or writing, that's been a strategy that I've used at different times. Sometimes I get kind of regimented about it and then it's not so helpful because it's like, this is on my to-do list. I must journal today. Then it's no fun and my heart isn't open to it. My mind isn't open to it, and so it's not as productive as it could be. But in a moment where I was like, I need a coping mechanism, I would definitely want to have journaling in my toolkit because it is helpful. It has been helpful for me in the past.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:51):
Do you think food is a universally unhealthy coping mechanism?
Beth Demme (12:57):
I don't want to say that because there are times when, especially a shared meal is a really beautiful experience and really helps me get into a better head space. I don't want to villainize food, but I know there are times when I have been an emotional eater. In those moments, I was not using food well.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:24):
Well, it makes me think of, we talked about sin few episodes ago and your answer to what sin is, is anything that separates you from God is sin.
Beth Demme (13:33):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:33):
That's something very personal. Only you know what that is. We can't tell you what that is. No one can tell you what that is. You have to decide. It makes me think that food, whether it's healthy or unhealthy for you, that is personal.
Beth Demme (13:52):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:53):
Maybe somebody that has struggled with a food disorder, maybe eating is a healthy tool for them because that is something that they are nourishing their body. I do think that would be a tough one to universally say like, this is unhealthy. I mean, I know that I emotionally eat at times, but I feel like I have a good, I don't feel like it goes to an extreme level. But it wouldn't be on my list. I wouldn't put it on list like eat some chips, you'll be good.
Beth Demme (14:30):
Well, what if they're from Zaxby's? Is that on your list?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:33):
They don't have chips anymore.
Beth Demme (14:34):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:34):
It's very upsetting. I went the other day. I was like, where are the chips?
Beth Demme (14:40):
How do you know when you need to turn to your toolkit?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:44):
Well, I'm going to give you an analogy for that, because I think it'll really, really hit the spot here.
Beth Demme (14:50):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:52):
When I was 15 and learning to drive a car, my mom had a stick shift van. That's what she taught me to drive on. The way that she taught me to drive a stick shift was, "Okay, there's the clutch. Push on that. Okay, and then you just go." "What do you mean?" "Just feel it. You feel it. Just feel it." "What?" "You just feel it."
Beth Demme (15:19):
You just have to find that point where the clutch is coming out and the gas is going in. You got to find that place where they meet.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:25):
You just feel it, Beth. You just feel it.
Beth Demme (15:26):
You just feel it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:28):
I think that is what I'm going to tell you because I don't have... Also, I never learned to drive a stick shift.
Beth Demme (15:35):
With instruction like that, I don't know how you didn't.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:40):
Maybe I'm playing the mom card here, which was very unhelpful when learning to drive a stick shift van, but I think you just know. You just have to feel it, you know when, and maybe you don't know now. Maybe you learn to read the signs. That's something that I had to spend a lot of time understanding myself. Knowing the signs, knowing when I can feel now when I'm starting to get depressed or when everything is piling up and when I need to take a break. I don't always take the break. I'm always a work in progress. I don't always get it right, but I can tell when things are coming and piling on. I think it's something that you have to recognize those signals in yourself. Maybe that's something that you start writing down. That's something that I did would like journal every day. I don't anymore, but I would journal every day how I feel and things like that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:45):
I think that's how you start to figure out when the list needs to come out. Maybe it's a daily thing. Maybe it's a daily thing at a certain time. I've gone through periods of my life where I've had like a set time to meditate. This is the time I'm going to do this. I'm actually back in this, every now and then I remind myself to stretch in the morning because I have bad neck and shoulders. I'm back in the schedule where every morning my alarm goes off and I, not my morning alarm, I have a reminder on my phone.
Beth Demme (17:18):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:19):
To stretch is something so simple, but when I stretch in the morning, that helps me and my body feel ready for the day. Something as simple as that as putting a reminder in your phone really does wonders for me.
Beth Demme (17:32):
It's like you're telling yourself to take the time. Like, okay, I'm going to take the time to do this. Even if it's just a few minutes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:39):
That helps my mind and body be in the right space. How about you? How do you know when you need to pull out your kit and you need to regroup?
Beth Demme (17:48):
I think you're exactly right. That through self-awareness, through really working on being emotionally healthy and really understanding like who I am and how I feel when I'm emotionally healthy and how I feel when I'm not. I know when I'm not. I can see it in my behaviors too. If I'm outwardly expressing more anger, then I'm not in an emotionally healthy place, right. If I go to the grocery store and every single person not wearing a mask, if I just get angry about it, then I know, you know what, okay. This is about me now, about me more than about them. I think you're right, that you just, by knowing yourself, you know when you need to turn to your toolkit. I think sometimes too, it develops into a healthy yearning almost. Like, I really want to sit down and write today. I really long to have some set aside time in prayer. Whatever it would be in your toolkit would be something that you would kind of miss. I would know then that, yeah, I need to turn to that now.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:59):
Yeah. That's when I know I've gone too long is when I get angry at something, because I have a pretty short temper. When I do lose my temper, that's when I'm like, okay, I waited too long and I got to the bad place. But when I'm in that state, there's nothing I can, it's like, okay, I'm here. I can process that I'm here but I can't apologize for being here. It just is and I've gone too far. One of my healthy coping mechanisms is watching TV, kind of escaping reality into another reality. But that can also be an unhealthy if I spend too much time doing it and I escape too long. Do you have anything like that that's kind of borderline?
Beth Demme (19:43):
I think I walk the line with that with my phone, because it's really easy for me to be on my phone for a million different reasons. I'm playing a game or I'm on social media or I'm online shopping or I'm checking my email, and that can be a form of escaping from actually interacting with people and with my life. I have to check right now and see. I think I walk that line with my phone. I think there have been seasons too when I've done it with TV because there have been times... This hasn't happened in a long time. It actually shifted for some reason during the pandemic. Maybe because more people were home, like in my home for longer periods of time. I have this memory of there being a couple of times like on a Saturday maybe where I wouldn't do anything except just kind of binge watch all day and then I don't feel good by Saturday night.
Beth Demme (20:47):
I think that helped me learn too. That seemed like a good idea. I'm going to take today off and I'm just going to watch movies that are made from Jane Austen novels or whatever thing that I could rationalize to say, this is going to be so good. And then by the end of the day, I'm like, oh wow, I'm never getting that day back and I don't like how I spent it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:10):
Yeah. I know that I watched too much TV when I dream about the show. That's how I know that oh that was too much. Okay. Too late. I don't know. I didn't know until now. But yeah, I agree. There is a good amount. Like yesterday I watched a decent amount of TV. I would watch an episode, take a break, and do clean around the house and things that I've been needing to do that I don't want to do. And so it was like a little reward system. That was actually like, I felt like really productive yesterday. I think it's that balance, the balance with it.
Beth Demme (21:46):
Right. I'm going to sound like an old lady, but it used to be different when we would watch TV because there would be commercials. I'm like, oh there's a commercial. I'm going to get up now and I'm going to go to the bathroom, or I'm going to go check the mail, or I'm going to do whatever. Now it's like, there are no commercials. Netflix is automatically going to roll into the next episode for me and I don't ever have to move. I can just sit here.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:09):
I have it turned off on Netflix actually. When they brought that feature, you can turn it off where it doesn't automatically go to the next one. I turned that off. It's annoying, but it's more helpful than annoying. Because there's times where I'm like, oh I got to go push a button. But then there's times where I'm like, oh, it has stopped. I shall put it away.
Beth Demme (22:26):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:27):
But I agree. Yeah, that was tough. I don't have it turned on on other services, but I think I watch probably Netflix the most in a cycle like that. Because Apple TV Plus, it plays the next one, but it hasn't seemed as hard for me to stop like it was with Netflix. Another thing that I've noticed about myself during the pandemic was obviously I'm an introvert and I like to be by myself. But sometimes when I'm around a lot of people, I need to take time by myself, which is something healthy for me. But during the pandemic, we haven't really. I've just been home and I have all the excuse in the world to be home and not to be with people. Actually within the last like month or two I've realized, okay, I actually need to figure out how to be with people in a safe way and actually intentionally do that. I also want to do more stuff outdoors. I want to do more hiking and kayaking. I've intentionally found people to do those activities with, so I'm with a person and I'm doing the thing I like. It's like, whoa.
Beth Demme (23:33):
And you're outside so it's pandemic safe.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:35):
All the things. I actually went hiking with a friend that lives a couple hours away. We went hiking together and it just was so nice. It was like, I got to spend time driving down there, which was nice, like a whole different thing because I don't drive that much. It was just like the whole experience was really good and good for my mental health. Good to see a friend I hadn't seen for a really long time. Actually, we went to college together. That's something that I had actually having to make time for now is to be with people and to set aside time that previously didn't really seem like something I had to really think about, it just kind of happened.
Beth Demme (24:13):
As we've been talking, I've been going back and forth in my own mind about whether or not I would put reading on my mental health toolkit list. I'm not sure.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:26):
I think it depends on the book.
Beth Demme (24:28):
That is a really good point. Because some books are not good, have not been good for my mental health. Maybe it's the idea of reading. Maybe that's just like TV, like it's a form of escapism.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:40):
I think it's personal because I don't read a ton, but I've been reading more since we've done the podcast because we've actually had a lot of authors on. I find that as a good, healthy thing for me for reading, although it takes me a lot of time and it's a lot of effort, but I do it. But as I've been reading more, I've realized like, oh this could easily be an unhealthy thing for people that read all the time because it's very similar to overwatching TV is it's escapism. Especially, every couple years I reread Harry Potter, the series, and I'm literally like in a whole 'nother world for how many books, or how many hours it takes. Sometimes, yeah, I kind of almost detach from my own reality because I'm so engrossed in this whole 'nother world.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:27):
I think it depends. I think it's one of those where you'll have to know for yourself where that line is. I really don't listen to a lot of audiobooks, but I listened to our last episode that we had Katie on who wrote Sealed, about being formally Mormon. I listened to that on the audiobook and that was enjoyable. She read it. She did the whole audio for it and it was great. I really enjoyed that. Actually now, I listen to a lot when I was hiking and kayaking. Now when I'm like hiking or kayaking, it reminds me of parts from the book. It's like a cool association. I think I want to listen to more audiobooks like that. I think that's kind of cool.
Beth Demme (26:07):
You could listen to podcasts, too.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:09):
Beth Demme (26:09):
This new genre of thing that you [crosstalk 00:26:11].
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:11):
No, I have done that. I've done that for years, but that was like my first audiobook. Audiobook is a commitment.
Beth Demme (26:17):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:18):
Those are a commitment. Those are way more of a commitment than a podcast. That's why I was like, because I did listen to plenty of podcasts.
Beth Demme (26:24):
That's how I used to pick my Audible books actually, my audiobooks that I would listen to, because I was like it's the same amount of money no matter how long this book is. Give me the longest books you got. I found some pretty great books that way, but you know, I've listened to books that are 40, 50 hours long.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:40):
Beth Demme (26:41):
It's a lot of time.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:42):
Wow. Beth, why are we even talking about this today? The mental health toolkit.
Beth Demme (26:48):
I think we have a couple reasons to talk about it. One is that it's important to us. It's important to us that people talk, feel comfortable talking about their mental health, and that you and I are each individually comfortable talking about our mental health. Actually, October is mental health awareness month maybe, or it's just the month in which mental health awareness day happens.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:11):
Yeah. I know October 10th is actually world mental health day. Basically October is the month that we need to, well, every day we need to be celebrating, talking about I think our mental health. I guess this was started back in '92 to help break the social stigma around mental health. I am glad that's a thing. There are a lot of days that are world days out there.
Beth Demme (27:37):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (27:38):
I think sometimes it becomes white noise, but I'm glad that there is a mental health day, month, all of that. Because to me, I mean, mental health is just as important as physical health. If we're not on top of both of those.
Beth Demme (27:54):
Yeah, that was actually one of our first episodes was talking about physical health versus mental health and how it's really socially acceptable to prioritize your physical health. We make a big deal about that. We really honor that and really lift that up as like an ideal, but we don't do the same with taking mental health seriously. We need to. We need to be taking our mental health seriously.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:18):
You know what? That's a should, Beth. We should.
Beth Demme (28:20):
Beth Demme (28:26):
We have so much fun making this podcast. We've heard from some of you that you're wondering what is the best way to support us. We've decided to expand the podcast experience using buymeacoffee.com. You can go there and buy us a cup of coffee or for Steph, a cup of tea. Or you can actually become a monthly supporter, and that will give you access to PDFs of the questions for reflection as well as pictures, outtakes, polls and more.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:51):
The kinds of things that we would put on social media if we had a social media channel, but we actually don't for the podcast because we decided from the beginning that we didn't want to add to more white noise in your life. One of the great things about Buy Me a Coffee is that you'll be able to actually get an email when we post new content. You can go straight there and you don't have to deal with ads or being bombarded with other content. You see exactly the content you're looking for without a bunch of distractions. We plan to post probably once or twice a week and we're excited to get your feedback as members on our Buy Me a Coffee page, which we are lovingly calling our BMAC page.
Beth Demme (29:24):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:24):
BMAC. So you'll be able to find a link in our description to find out more and to sign up.
Beth Demme (29:35):
Speaking of a toolkit, right? You want to know what to do in a situation. That's the idea of the mental health toolkit is. You're in a situation and you want to have this set of things you can go to. But sometimes things happen that are completely one offs. Right? Completely unpredictable. I'm going to put a link to this in the show notes. Recently at an airport baggage carousel, there was a block of chicken that went around as if it were a suitcase. It just went around and around and around.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:08):
That's really gross. Thank you for that visual.
Beth Demme (30:10):
I mean, just picture it, you guys.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:12):
It's like multiple chickens.
Beth Demme (30:16):
Featherless chickens like you would maybe see in the grocery store.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:21):
Beth Demme (30:21):
Anyway, it's raw, it's raw chicken. It's frozen. It's never been cooked. It's just going around and around and around like it's a suitcase. TSA, they called it a personal fowl. Get it, like fowl, like F-O-W-L, like a bird. Anyway, their theory is that the chicken was inside of a cooler and that the cooler lid popped off and that the chicken fell out. And so it just came around and around and around on this carousel. But sometimes things happen that you just can't predict. I mean, who could have predicted that there would be a whole block of chicken on a baggage carousel.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:56):
What happened with it? Did someone claim it?
Beth Demme (30:59):
Not only did no one claim it, but apparently no one standing at the baggage carousel really thought that it was all that strange, because apparently they were just standing there and like, huh, look at the chicken go.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:08):
No one thought that was a health code violation? There's raw chicken just hanging out here.
Beth Demme (31:15):
Yeah. Everybody was like, okay, I'll take my luggage with a side of salmonella.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:18):
Oh my gosh.
Beth Demme (31:18):
No. It just went around and around. That's my slice of life for you today is that sometimes things are unpredictable. My evidence for that is a block of frozen chicken.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:32):
You read an excerpt from your book today. Why don't you remind us of how we can get our hands on a copy of it?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:39):
Oh yeah. My book is called Discovering My Scars. It is available all the places that books are available. Also on my website, you can get a signed copy if you'd like. It is also available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.
Beth Demme (31:58):
As read by the author.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:59):
Yes. I read it in the audiobook form. As I was just talking about, I've actually now listen to one and they're pretty cool and nifty. I've been told that about my book, but I didn't actually listen. Well, I've listened to it because I edited it, but not like in the woods, in a fun way. Your book, Beth, you want to tell us about that?
Beth Demme (32:20):
My book is called the Holy Bible. Yeah, it's a collection of 66 books.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:24):
Did you just diss my book? I feel like that was a dig on my book.
Beth Demme (32:30):
Not at all.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:30):
Sorry guys, this is not the holy bible.
Beth Demme (32:33):
By the way, you wrote your book and I didn't write the Bible. I didn't even write one word in the Bible.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:40):
But it's your favorite book, would you say? It's your favorite book?
Beth Demme (32:42):
What I say is my favorite book? It's probably my favorite book.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:45):
You love the Bible.
Beth Demme (32:45):
I love the Bible. I read it every day.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:47):
Is that cliché for that to be your favorite book?
Beth Demme (32:49):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:50):
Yeah, I think so. And being a pastor.
Beth Demme (32:52):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:53):
Oh, that's a huge-
Beth Demme (32:53):
It's really like on the nose. It's on brand.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:55):
Yeah. Well, that's good. On brand. At the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between. Or you can find a PDF on our Buy Me a Coffee page.
Beth Demme (33:10):
Number one. What are some things that you prepare for in your life? Number two. Do you think you need to make your mental health a bigger priority or do you want to? Why or why not? Number three. What are some of your unhealthy coping mechanisms? Number four. Take time now to create or add to your mental health toolkit.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:34):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars Podcast. Thank you for joining us.