E55: I'm Struggling.
Our previous episodes about Celebrate Recovery (E14: Invisible Scars, What We Discover in Recovery (with Lori K.)) and NSSI (E36: Self-Injury, An Honest Conversation)
Questions for Reflection
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 (00:00):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
Where we have honest conversations about things that make us different. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:09):
And I'm Beth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:10):
I've been in recovery for 14 years and am the author of Discovering My Scars, my memoir about my mental health struggles, experiences, and faith.
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 (00:22):
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 honest conversations with Steph over the years.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:35):
We value honest conversations and we hope you do too.
Beth Demme (00:37):
That's why we do this, and why we want you to be part of what we're discussing today. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, I'm Struggling.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:48):
Then we'll share a slice of life, and the show will close with questions for reflection, where we will invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life.
Beth Demme (00:56):
There's just a lot going on in the world, and so I don't know, do you resonate with that? I'm struggling, does that feel true to you?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:07):
I've just recently, I've just felt like I'm really struggling because everything has become so political. The pandemic has become so political, something that has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with human life and protecting Americans, humans, and the simple things that we can do to protect our fellow humans has become political, and has become a statement. If you do this, or you don't do that, and it's just really weighing on me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:40):
The other day I was, there's an event, an outdoor event with multiple people potentially are going to be there, and I sent it to a friend and I said, "Oh my gosh, this looks so cool." He's like, "Oh, that's awesome. We're going to go. Are you going?" I was like, "I don't know. I have to really think through my choices," something that I would normally be like, "Yes, of course," got to think through it because there's travel and there's a pandemic happening.
Beth Demme (02:04):
It would be a gathering of people. It would be a crowd of people.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:06):
Beth Demme (02:07):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:08):
Yes, it's great that it's outdoors, but there's just things I had to think about before I could jump and say yes, and he really downplayed it and was like, "COVID is not a huge deal. It's not killing a lot of people, it's not a huge deal." It just really took me aback, because I was like, my body was just in pain that someone that I care about would just be so flippant about it. We discussed, because I wasn't going to let that go. You're free to say what you want, but I'm also free to say what I want back, so we definitely discussed it. He definitely said he probably overreacted in one direction. He does wear a mask and things like that, but it just was unsettling to me to hear someone be so blatant like, "It's not a big deal. It's not killing a lot of people like they said it would."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (02:58):
There's so much to dig into that, but ultimately the feeling of there's so much divide. There's so many opinions when there shouldn't be, when it comes to something like this. It was hurtful to realize that I have people in my life that don't see eye to eye to me, and I'm okay with that. I feel like it's important to have different types of people surrounding us.
Beth Demme (03:29):
It's not just that we have different viewpoints. I think different political viewpoints, and different ideas about public health have always existed, but there's something about this particular season that feels to me heavier, more unpleasant, and I have less confidence that we're going to get through it. I feel what you're saying the pandemic, it's like we have COVID fatigue on the one hand, all of us are tired of hearing about it in the news, and we're tired of people dying. We're tired of people getting sick, and yet just being tired of it isn't going to make it go away.
Beth Demme (04:08):
Then it's hurtful and potentially dangerous in my mind, when people just want to outright minimize what's happening. It does intersect with politics because the decisions that politicians make directly impact how people are responding to the public health aspect of this.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:29):
Yeah, and it would be interesting if this wasn't an election year. If COVID hadn't happened on an election year, would we be where we are right now? I don't know, and it obviously doesn't matter because we are where we are, but I just have a feeling it wouldn't have become so political, since we're in the middle of a pandemic, that's obviously on everyone's mind, and we're in the middle of a election, a presidential election season, and they're coinciding and I feel like that's just adding to this so much more tension.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:00):
Yeah, so I've been like, lately I've just really been bummed, because I have people in my life that are seeing, are not taking the pandemic as serious as me, and I'm not advocating for anything, but I'm not someone that's sitting at home all day and saying, "Everyone needs to stop going out, and shut down the country." I'm not saying that. I think we need to figure out what this new normal looks like, and we've talked about this previously, freaking masks, that's all I'm going to say.
Beth Demme (05:33):
Well our last episode was about the masks we wear, and we meant that as a metaphor.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (05:37):
Yes, but we also mean it, wear your freaking masks.
Beth Demme (05:41):
Yeah, so when we say you should take off your mask, there we're talking about the front that you put up, that's not the real you, but if we're talking about COVID, we're both pro-mask. We both think that masks are appropriate and that they're useful tools.
Beth Demme (05:57):
My husband this week actually had, in one day he drove 800 miles. It was 400 miles each way so 800 miles round trip, because he wanted to go and pick something up for one of his Jeeps. It was only available, he had to go to Tennessee to get it. Anyway, while he was there, he was the only person wearing a mask. Someone actually said to him, "Oh, I can see that your glasses are fogging up, you don't have to wear the mask in here." He was like, "No, I'm good, thanks."
Beth Demme (06:24):
I know that they were probably just being friendly. I don't think that they were trying to trick him into getting COVID, or anything. That's not what I'm saying.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:31):
Oh yeah. Well it's a sign of, if you're wearing a mask, you don't trust the other person. I feel like that's what people are making it.
Beth Demme (06:38):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:38):
It's like, "No, I trust and value you so much that I'm going to wear a mask." To me, it's complete opposite. If I'm wearing a mask, it's because I value your life and I want to keep you safe.
Beth Demme (06:47):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (06:48):
I don't understand where that change happened.
Beth Demme (06:52):
The reality is, I could have COVID and be asymptomatic, and I would like to not be part of the spread of COVID, so I wear a mask when I go outside my house.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:02):
Beth Demme (07:03):
Well there's just this fatigue about it. There's this, there is this sense of things are not great right now because everything is a political issue, and maybe it is because the election is already underway, people are already voting. You've already voted, and so maybe it's unavoidable in some sense in an election year.
Beth Demme (07:23):
I remember, even in 2016, people talking about how hard the election season was on friendships and on families. I even, in my pastor circles, I remember people talking about how the generation that were the grandparents, were disengaging from the generation that were parents, because they were going to vote differently in the election, and no one, it was like neither generation could understand why the other generation was making the decision they were making, and I think that's because the people who were up for election in 2016 were especially polarizing figures.
Beth Demme (08:00):
Then, I think that has been played upon, and I think that it has escalated in the four years since that election, and so I think if I graphed it we'd be at a higher point now of division, and of how personally we all take our politics. It's heightened or escalated now, even beyond what it was in 2016.
Beth Demme (08:22):
Like you said, if we had not had a pandemic this year, I don't know if I would have seen it quite so clearly. I don't know.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:28):
Yeah, I feel like I'm struggling with knowing who is safe to truly be myself with, and to say how I really feel, and who I need to be guarded around. I do have more conservative friends now than I actually have had probably in past elections, which is really very crystal clear right now. It wasn't something, it wasn't a huge issue or talking point previously because we weren't in the middle of an election, but it's just become so loud and clear. It does start to just weigh on me, to know that when I spend time with X person, that they're going to be talking about the opposite viewpoint, and it's going to be a lot of energy for me to listen and engage respectfully, so I've been reflecting on it recently, and I feel like safety is a huge factor that I'm noticing lately.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (09:31):
The safety of keeping us safe from getting a virus that can have unknown effects. That's not my daily, it's not in my daily sphere to be terrified of COVID. I'm not going to say that I'm sitting in my house like, "Oh my gosh, it's coming for me." I'm not, not at all. I think I have a healthy respect for what I need to do, and what I need to not do, so there's that safety.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:02):
Then there's the safety of being able to talk and discuss, have a fair and balanced conversation with a friend. We've talked about this in previous episodes, that I have a psychologist that I see, probably about once a month, and I have continued to see her in person, with mask, a mask on. She's the only one in the office, so it's me and her. I've continued to see her, and that's something that I've gone back and forth, but that was something, I needed human interaction and that was where I thought that would be good to do.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:35):
In my last appointment with her though, she told me that she had COVID. She actually had COVID. She had gotten it from a ...
Beth Demme (10:40):
She had had it. She didn't have it when you were with her, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:42):
Correct, yes, but I didn't know. The whole conversation did not come completely out until towards the end. When she first told me she had COVID, I knew she didn't have it at that moment, but still my reaction was, "What the heck," and to run out. I did not run out, but that was my first reaction was like, "Get away!" We talked about it, but she got it from a patient right after my last appointment with her. We have an appointment, like I said, about once a month.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:10):
When I saw her this time, she had a negative test two weeks prior, but it still was like, made me feel very unsafe to know that this person that I'd been going to, she could have easily have gotten sick from a patient the day before my appointment with her, last time. It just was, it really put in perspective, my safety is, I don't feel safe.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:34):
I will probably continue to see her, especially since she has had COVID, so she should have some immunity for a couple months possibly, so it should be even safer, but it was just the harsh reality. I'm not feeling safe in this moment, so that was a little bit of a stressful appointment, but that was a couple weeks ago, so I did not get COVID from her because she didn't have COVID at the time, which is great to know.
Beth Demme (11:57):
Yeah, that's great, and you were both wearing masks, so that's helpful too.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:59):
On top of that, I've talked about seeing my psychologist. I've also talked about having a recovery sponsor. We've talked in the past about Celebrate Recovery, and I was in Celebrate Recovery. That's where we met, or where we really became close, and she's been my sponsor for seven years. A recovery sponsor is basically somebody that is helping you on your journey of recovery, is helping you in the bad times, in the good times, to keep working your program and not letting stuff fester and sit, and communicating.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:35):
For about a year, I've really been feeling like it was time to move on. It was time that I didn't need a sponsor anymore, which was a really scary feeling because the moment I feel I don't need a sponsor is probably the moment I need a sponsor, wait a minute. What's happening? Hold on.
Beth Demme (12:52):
She's been a really important part of your whole recovery process.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:56):
Beth Demme (12:57):
Even just on a personal level, having her in your life has been really important.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:01):
Exactly, so I'd never really told her I was feeling like it was that time and space, but recently, just in this world we're in, and this really polarizing world, I just got the push that we are going in opposite directions. We have different views on things, and we have different choices we make. I just really, for the last couple weeks, have been like, "I have to talk to her," and I really wanted to talk to her in person, but it did not work out, social distancing and all the stuff, you know. When I say in person, not in a little four by four room or anything, but anyway it didn't work out to do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:44):
Actually yesterday, I was just like, "I can't go on not talking to her about this anymore and how I feel," because I know from my recovery that you don't ghost somebody. You don't just ... When you're done, you don't just ignore them and move on. That's not healthy for anybody, but for the last few weeks I've really been feeling like it's time to not have her as my sponsor anymore, and not in a negative way like you're no good to me, nothing like that. It just was a feeling I had.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:15):
Yesterday, she was busy, but ultimately towards the end of the day, I was able to make a phone call with her, and really just laid it out there, it was a really tough conversation, but I ... She told me, these are the words, I don't like them, but she says, "I have fired my sponsor." That is the terminology she told me.
Beth Demme (14:36):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:38):
I was like, "I don't know what the term is." She's like, "The term is you fired your sponsor." I was like, "That feels really harsh," but that's what she said is the term, so I will say that's what she referred to. I also asked her permission if I could say on the podcast that I fired her, and she said, "Yes, you don't need my permission, but yes." That's something I also learned from recovery was, always ask permission if you're going to involve someone else in a story or sharing something about them.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:00):
Yeah, it's not even been 24 hours. I am sponsor free, which is ... I don't know what's going to happen and if I'm going to be getting another sponsor, if I need another sponsor, I don't know. That was just something that's been really, for the last couple weeks I've been keeping it in. It's something that I've been keeping in, and haven't really talked about with anybody, and wanted to talk to her weeks ago about it, like I said, but I wanted to talk to her in person, and yesterday it just came to a head, where I was just like, "It has to come out of me. It has to be now." I think it's part of the struggle was just having these unresolved things in my head, that I just needed to truly resolve.
Beth Demme (15:38):
I know that had to have been really difficult, and that sometimes it's hard to have important conversations with folks, and especially people that have really helped us, and people who we would never want to hurt their feelings, because they've been so valuable and important, and helpful and supportive. I will say you are, as I think about my friends, I think you have done a better job cultivating friendships with people who disagree, than anybody else I know.
Beth Demme (16:11):
You don't dismiss people the way that I might, and so you talk about feeling safe and about how the safety is a big thing right now, when we think about public health, and we think about who's it okay to talk politics with, and that kind of thing, but I think it's important that as much as we want to have a safe space, we also can be a safe space. Maybe that's part of why you're able to have people with diverse political opinions in your life. Maybe you're a safe space for them. That can be exhausting. It can be exhausting to be sitting in disagreement.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (16:49):
There's something else I wanted to mention, that I haven't told you before we recorded this podcast, because ...
Beth Demme (16:58):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:00):
There's shame associated, and there's ...
Beth Demme (17:02):
Okay, I'm trying to brace myself.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:05):
There's realizing that I have to admit it, and why not on the podcast?
Beth Demme (17:15):
You don't have to. You don't have to do it on the podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:17):
I know, I know, but I think it's important that we're humans, and that ... I don't want to be ashamed, and I don't want to be, and hide it. I don't want to have it nag at me, because that's ultimately what happened, was it's been weeks that I've been feeling like I have to resolve my sponsor, conflict within me, and I didn't. I didn't address it. I didn't talk about it, and that was eating away at me, and that was causing darkness that was overshadowing other things. Something we've talked about on the podcast is some of my unhealthy coping mechanisms, and one of those is non-suicidal self injury.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:03):
We've talked previously about when's the last time I engaged in it, and I couldn't remember. It's been years. It's honestly been years, and it's been a long time since I even thought about it, but I will say yesterday, when I was struggling and really wanting to talk to my sponsor, it came to my head. That was at the forefront. I also realize if I engage in this, I'm going to have to admit I did this. I'm not keeping, I can't keep this in. I can't, it's only going to become a spiral if I don't talk about it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:40):
I really struggled yesterday for a good part of the day, about that was going to be my release, and so I did engage in what I'm going to call self harm, because it was different than what I did previously, and it wasn't anything major, but it was something to help me feel, this is where the pain is. So today is day one.
Beth Demme (19:05):
One day at a time.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:06):
Beth Demme (19:06):
Yeah. How do you feel about saying that out loud?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:11):
My biggest thing that I kept thinking yesterday was, when we talked about our self injury episode, when we were planning our self injury episode, you were like, "I don't know if we need to do this episode," and I was like, "Why," and you were like, "I fear for you, that it's going to happen again." I was like, "Really, why are you so fearful?" You were like, "I just, I fear for you."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:37):
I didn't fear for myself. I didn't have any issue talking about it, and I also didn't think that ...I also know it's going to be a lifelong part of my life. It's going to be, have to constantly work through. I think since that time of us having that conversation, like before I wasn't really scared of engaging in it or anything. I still wasn't scared of engaging in it because I was almost like, I feel like I've been holding my breath since we had that conversation like, "Oh my gosh, Beth is going to be so upset if this happens again," and I think it was inevitable that it happened again, because I was holding onto this unattainable thing. I can't do this because of Beth. It wasn't a ...
Beth Demme (20:35):
Well, I'm not upset.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:36):
Beth Demme (20:36):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:37):
First of all, okay if you were upset, it's like, "Okay, well ..." I don't know?
Beth Demme (20:43):
The only reason I asked that question when we had the episode is because many years ago, I had said, "Hey, do you ... We have some girls in the youth group who are cutting. Will you come and talk to them?" You said, "Well actually, we should be careful with that because the girls who aren't cutting, it can be a trigger if they hear someone talking about it." The idea of it being a trigger was in my mind, and I was not wanting to trigger you, really.
Beth Demme (21:14):
I think part of what is surprising is that a big part of recovery is just owning your stuff. We have to each own our own stuff, so having engaged in an act of self harm, and having admitted it here, do you think you'll be able to take it one day at a time? I guess what I'm getting at is, I would like to be able to talk about it without adding even an ounce of shame.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:42):
Yes, I don't feel like I'm going to fall into my old habits. I know I'm not going to, because I've already done something that I never did before. The first sign of it, I admitted it. I brought it to light. It's no longer in the ... If I hadn't, if I was like, "Oh, that was just a one time thing. It's fine." I'll just bury it. That wouldn't be okay.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:12):
Am I afraid it's going to happen again? I'm not afraid that it's going to happen again. Same, and we've talked about this before, in my, I still have flashbacks to the mental hospital. Although, I haven't had one in a while, but I know that I'll probably have one again, but I'm prepared and I'm ready. I have my tools, and so I'm not afraid that because this incident happened yesterday that, "Oh my gosh, it's going to keep happening."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:36):
No, I'm not afraid of that, but I'm also not letting it cover me in shame, because there's no shame in admitting that I'm human.
Beth Demme (22:47):
You made a choice. You're admitting now that it wasn't healthy, we move on.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:54):
I was able to process why that was the choice I made. I know that I need to be more active in if something's bothering me, I have to admit it right away, and I have to take care of it right away, or these things will escalate like it did.
Beth Demme (23:14):
We're talking about how there's this general sense of struggle, election season, political divisions, public health crisis, all of this. Is the fact that it's this sort of big picture struggle, that's amorphous even? Do you think that made self harm more likely? As I understand it, the idea behind self harm is I want to see the source of the pain, right? I want to know why I'm feeling something, so do you think having these big, systemic challenges also fit into what happened yesterday?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:50):
Yes and no. I really do think the self harm was related to not being able to communicate with my sponsor, but if I had dealt with it a week ago, it wouldn't have gotten to that point. If I had been able to talk to her for a couple hours it wouldn't have been a big deal, but because yesterday everything compounded. Frustrated with unsafe people, and frustrated with conversations about people not caring about COVID, I think all of those things came together when I was already at the limit with not being able to have this conversation with her. Yes, it compounded, but ultimately I don't think it would have happened if I had talked to her a week prior, if I hadn't let it fester for so long.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:38):
Something I wanted to actually mention, one of the podcasts that we've talked about, that I like listening to, I haven't listened to in a while, but is the Armchair Expert, a podcast with Dax Shepherd.
Beth Demme (24:48):
Dax Shepherd, yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:49):
He recently had a podcast where he admitted that he has been abusing prescription, or narcotic, prescription drugs again. I guess that's something that he had been doing for awhile previously.
Beth Demme (25:04):
Yeah, he's really open about his addiction and his ...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:06):
Yeah, and he had been 16 years, he had been in recovery and hadn't touched a drink or drugs or whatever. He admitted it on the podcast, and I thought that was so brave and so important to do. I listened to it, but I didn't get all the facts. I don't know that he said all the facts, but it sounds like it's been a long time. It started with, "I'm going to do this. I'm going to take this, and I'm just going to take one extra, and it's fine. I'm going to take one extra, it's fine." Then it came to this issue where he has to address all this because it had gotten to a really bad place.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:46):
I guess for me it's like I don't want it to get to this, "Well, I'm just going to do this once, and then I'm going to do this once, and then I'm going to do ..." I don't want to get to that place. I want to be able to be right here and not let any of that, any of my mind, try to justify, "Okay, well this is fine, so this isn't really day one. I mean it's fine." No, it happened. I had the feelings, it happened. Moving on, day one, and I'm not trying to justify it to myself, but I'm also not trying to shame myself.
Beth Demme (26:15):
Maybe someone is listening who really needs to hear that, needs to hear that today can be day one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:21):
Tomorrow could be day one.
Beth Demme (26:22):
Tomorrow can be day one.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:23):
You can have more. Don't shame yourself.
Beth Demme (26:25):
There's no shame coming from us.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:28):
You heard it here folks. Beth is not shaming me.
Beth Demme (26:31):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:32):
I knew you wouldn't, but there's still, there's the knowing.
Beth Demme (26:35):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:35):
Also, I knew when I talked to my sponsor, she was going to be super great about everything. Honestly, she was super excited for me. She was excited that I was able to communicate my feelings and that I was able to fire her in a very succinct, I was ... I had really thought it through, prayed about it, and I knew what I wanted. She was so proud of me, as my sponsor, always has been.
Beth Demme (26:57):
Right, that's awesome.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:58):
I knew that. I knew it wasn't going to go badly. I knew she wasn't going to be like, "You don't want me to be your sponsor anymore? Fine!" She's been my sponsor for seven years. She's been super respectful. We have respect for each other so much, and that is why this was so important for me to have this conversation, because we've gone probably months without talking. There's times when we just don't talk. That's totally fine, we're just busy and that's fine. We don't, I don't need to communicate, but we had been weeks without talking, but I had something to say and that was really the problem. I had to say this. It as an hour long conversation and left on good terms.
Beth Demme (27:39):
Have I ever told you the story about the time that I fired my therapist/counselor person and it didn't go well? I had been seeing this counselor for a long time. I was coming up on, I think a year with her. I was starting to feel like I was at the end of, like I had accomplished what I needed to accomplish. I was feeling healthier, things were good. I was in a good place emotionally and she had really helped me work through a lot of my old stuff, and when I tried to communicate that to her, she started to cry.
Beth Demme (28:09):
She told me, "This is what you do, you run away when things get hard." I totally knew that's not what I was doing. Then a week later she called me back, and she was like, "I'm sorry. That was really unprofessional, and I would like for you to come back, so that we can just have a really healthy ending conversation." I said, "I think the healthiest thing for me is to not come back, but thanks for calling. Wish you the best."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:37):
That was your perspective of ...
Beth Demme (28:39):
I'm really glad that's not what happened when you had this conversation with your sponsor. I'm glad that she did not react that way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:45):
No, not at all. Yeah.
Beth Demme (28:46):
She is actually an emotionally healthy person.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:48):
Yes, yes. Also, I don't know if we've ... We've talked about this probably on the CR episode, but my sponsor, I say fired, but she was not being paid.
Beth Demme (28:58):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:59):
She's not a therapist, and she's basically somebody that is a little further along in the recovery than me, and has had more years of recovery. Someone that helps me on my journey. They don't, she didn't, she never told me what to do. She never, isn't a therapist. It's a different, it's a Christian recovery group is what Celebrate Recovery is.
Beth Demme (29:18):
Well and there are sponsors even in non-Christian groups, like AA, there are sponsors.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:21):
Beth Demme (29:22):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:22):
Exactly, so it's probably, I guess what an AA sponsor would be. I don't have any experience with that, but I assume it's the same concept.
Beth Demme (29:30):
Yeah, so maybe it's even worse that this was somebody I was paying, and she reacted with such an unhealthy reaction.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:36):
Yes, oh my gosh.
Beth Demme (29:38):
Do you think that you could, or would be someone's sponsor?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:42):
Do I think I could or would? I think I could be someone's sponsor, and I think I would be someone's sponsor.
Beth Demme (29:51):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:52):
If I was asked, yeah. Beth, I shared something that I engaged in that was not super healthy, but I shared it, and that was healthy, so I guess we'll bounce it back to you. Is there anything that you would want to share that you maybe feel you've been doing that's unhealthy, or something that you want to get out in the open? You don't have to share on the podcast. That's like what you said to me, so I thought I should throw that out there, because this is not something that you have to do anything. This is only whatever you want to do.
Beth Demme (30:28):
There aren't any unhealthy coping mechanisms that are coming to mind, but I do think that the sense of, that I resonate with the sense of struggle that's happening right now. It does feel like the world is a lot, and I am worried about what will the world look like at Thanksgiving? What will America look like at Thanksgiving? It does feel like a heavy moment.
Beth Demme (30:54):
We have so much fun making this podcast, and 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.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:09):
Beth Demme (31:10):
You can actually become a monthly supporter and that will give you access to PDFs of the Questions for Reflection, as well as picture, outtakes, polls and more.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:18):
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, so 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.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:41):
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 BEMAC page.
Beth Demme (31:51):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:52):
BMAC, so you'll be able to find a link in our description to find out more, and to sign up.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:02):
Speaking of some exclusive content, on our BMAC page, I was just thinking, we can share some of the podcast studio.
Beth Demme (32:11):
Oh that would be a great idea actually.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:12):
Beth Demme (32:12):
Because you've done a good job creating and cultivating this space, and making me feel like it's a special podcast space.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:20):
It's very special, Beth. It has multi-functions, one of them being our podcast pdf.
Beth Demme (32:25):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:26):
I think right now, I'm going to film, first of all I'm going to show you where our little MAC is right now.
Beth Demme (32:32):
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:33):
Then I'm going to show you, I'll show you our, the new high tech place we have to put our iPads, and I'm going to also show you my new automatic blinds, because I'm super excited about them.
Beth Demme (32:46):
There's a button.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:47):
There's a button, and the blinds just go up and down. It's amazing. Like we said, you check that out in the description below, and also another way to support us is you can give us a review on whatever our podcast platform you're on. If you're on iTunes, if you're in Apple podcast you go to the bottom, click the fifth star, done, rated, perfect. Also, tell a friend. Another great way, tell a friend about the podcast that you think would enjoy it.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:16):
At the end of each episode, we end with the Questions for Reflection. These are questions based on today's show. Beth will read them and leave a little pause at the end, between each, and you can pause the podcast to answer it to yourself, or there's a pdf on our Buy Me a Coffee page.
Beth Demme (33:30):
Number one, have you been struggling lately?
Beth Demme (33:35):
Number two, is there one thing that feels especially heavy in your life right now?
Beth Demme (33:41):
Number three, do you have friends or family in your life that are contributing to your struggle, reflect on that.
Beth Demme (33:49):
Number four, have you taken the time to think through coping mechanisms to help you during this time?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:59):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars podcast. Thanks for joining us.
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Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.
I'm a mom who laughs a lot, mainly at myself. #UMC Pastor, recent Seminary grad, public speaker, blogger, and sometimes lawyer. Learning to #LiveLoved.