January 21, 2019
Too many edibles. A missing sister. Paranoia. Depersonalization & derealization. This week’s caller had a tough 2018, but with therapy and treatment, she’s conquering one thing at a time.
147 — Crying Into My Boba
[00:00:58] CHRIS: Hello to all my Chuck Bass fans, it’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred.
[00:01:11] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun, and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:01:22] CHRIS: Hello everybody, welcome to Beautiful Anonymous. It’s your friend Chris Gethard here. I’m psyched. Psyched to do this episode. Psyched I get to hang out with you guys for an hour. Thanks for letting me into your lives, via your headphones, on this show that has changed my life for the better. Thank you so much for doing it, so psyched to talk to you. I can tell you last week’s episode, the Facebook group really responded so many people. There were a number… there were like half a dozen people from Finland who were like, I listen to the show. I did not know we had any Finnish fans. We had German fans checking in and it’s like obviously, the episode we had bounced around to multiple countries. It’s fun. People checking in from all over the world. And I want to say hey, Beautiful Anonymous Facebook group. Why don’t we. Let’s start a thread. Let’s start an international listener appreciation thread. Tell me where you’re from, where you’re listening to the show. I love it. Of course, any time that topic comes up. We had a bunch of people check in and say they, of course, live in Perth, Australia, the most remote metropolitan area in the world, which I’m so happy that we have a small fan base in Perth, Australia. All right. What else is there to talk about? Not much, you guys know. ChrisGeth.com if you want to see me in shows. Who cares about that? I don’t want to plug things too much. I want, I do want to tell you about this episode. It is one that has become increasingly rare for me. It’s focused a lot on mental health. As I’ve talked about on the show, I’ve become… it’s just been hard, I think, since Career Suicide for me to talk more about that publicly because it was so overwhelming. But I will tell you, this call I identified with this caller so much that so many of us, so many of us who have dealt with stuff in the world of mental health know that it’s… it can come on via things you don’t expect, maybe make one or two choices that lead to you getting overwhelmed. You make a mistake here and there and all of a sudden, you’ve got to rebuild in a big way. I understand that feeling so well and empathize so hard with this caller. There’s a lot of fascinating stuff about the caller’s family situation and who knows you… If you ever… if you’re ever in New York City and you’re hanging out on a roof, you see me in a dress? This episode will explain why. I’m fulfilling a promise to my new friend on the phone. So, yeah, this one is tough in many ways, but also, man, I just rarely have I had a mental health conversation where I feel so in line and in tune with understanding what the person is talking about. I thought it was really maybe valuable to put out there and I hope you enjoy it. [RINGS]
[00:03:56] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [BEEP]
[00:04:04] CALLER: Hello.
[00:04:05] CHRIS: Hi.
[00:04:06] CALLER: Hi, is this Chris?
[00:04:08] CHRIS: It is.
[00:04:09] CALLER: Oh, my God. I really, really was not expecting to get through today at all. I almost gave up.
[00:04:18] CHRIS: Well, look. All of it’s finally happening.
[00:04:23] CALLER: It’s finally happening! Oh my god. This is honestly making my year. 2018 has been such a cursed year for me and to have the opportunity to talk with you about it. It’s just a dream come true. How are you doing today?
[00:04:41] CHRIS: Well, first of all, let me say I’m sorry you had a cursed year. I’m sure we’ll hear more about that. But I would… how callous would I be if I just didn’t address that you just said that. I’m so sorry to hear that. As far as how I’m doing? I’m doing OK. I’m fighting off a cold, but I’m fine now.
[00:04:59] CALLER: Oh no.
[00:04:59] CHRIS: It’s OK. But I’m feeling very good about life and very excited about life right now. That’s how I’m doing.
[00:05:05] CALLER: That’s so good. You are so inspiring and like at my lowest points this year, it’s been you and your podcast that’s helped me get through this year. And it’s helped me feel like if all the people that you interview can get through the things that they’ve been through then I can definitely do the same.
[00:05:26] CHRIS: Well, I’m very happy to hear that. And I’m happy to help in any way. And that’s super nice. That’s super nice. I don’t take that lightly.
[00:05:34] CALLER: What? I’m so sorry. You actually got a little bit on my end. And I don’t know what you said.
[00:05:41] CHRIS: I was just thanking… I was just saying thank you. I gave you a very heartfelt response is what happened.
[00:05:47] CALLER: Oh, OK. Thank you, Chris. That means a lot to me.
[00:05:52] CHRIS: Now, you say… oh, I was just going to say that it sounds like you might be driving. Am I correct in that?
[00:05:58] CALLER: Yes, I am. Let me try plugging in my… I’m almost done driving, like 10 more minutes worth
[00:06:07] CHRIS: OK.
[00:06:10] CALLER: Then I will be free.
[00:06:11] CHRIS: That’s fine.
[00:06:11] CALLER: I really just can’t believe you guys picked me, so I was just expecting to have a normal, ordinary day.
[00:06:19] CHRIS: That’s OK. I just want to make sure you’re safe, like you got the hands-free. You get the hands-free system going? What do we got?
[00:06:25] CALLER: Yeah, yeah.
[00:06:26] CHRIS: Oh, good.
[00:06:27] CALLER: So, I’m good now.
[00:06:29] CHRIS: OK, ok. That’s good.
[00:06:30] CALLER: All right.
[00:06:31] CHRIS: So, what’s up?
[00:06:33] CALLER: I wanted to talk a lot about overcoming something that I don’t know has been talked about on the show before. About depersonalization and derealization. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that before.
[00:06:46] CHRIS: No, depersonalization and derealization?
[00:06:50] CALLER: Yes. So, it’s kind of like a feeling. It’s a symptom, I mean, and it happens after trauma or something traumatic. It’s really where you feel like you are having a constant state of out of body experience and everything kind of feels like you’re floating. Feels like you’re in dreamlike, in a dreamlike state. And I had like a near… And it wasn’t like an actual clinical near-death experience that I had earlier this year, but I went through two very traumatic things, one after the other. Which, there’s gonna be some people who make fun of what my traumatic experience was because for them, this is like nothing. But I’m someone who I don’t drink, and I don’t do anything. But one time I went to a party and I took way too many edibles. And I’ve never done that before. And it ended up being such a psychologically traumatic experience for me that I ended up getting symptoms of PTSD afterwards because I didn’t want to have that feeling again. And then a week after that, my sister went missing for the second time.
[00:08:11] CHRIS: Whoa.
[00:08:13] CALLER: And so those two events, one after the other, I kind of felt like my world was crashing and I ended up experiencing lots of existential fear. It was the worst year ever just because of having to go through that. And I gave up all my hobbies and everything because it made me want to stay like a hermit at my place, never wanting to leave my house. Yeah, so I went through that this year. And I’ve… it’s made me afraid of everything. Afraid of driving, afraid of planes, afraid of going to any sort of event. It’s made me very paranoid. But I will say that I’ve been going to therapy once every week, and it’s helped so freaking much.
[00:09:02] CHRIS: I’m glad to hear it’s helping, and that’s a… that’s a hell of a… that’s a hell of a year.
[00:09:07] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:09:09] CHRIS: Sounds like the bottom really fell out.
[00:09:12] CALLER: Yeah, I’ve spent this year just like… [connection distorts/breaks up]
[00:09:23] CHRIS: You’re breaking up, you’re breaking up. It’s doing that slow-motion, underwater thing. Oh no.
[00:09:35] CALLER: No? Honestly if you don’t want to talk it’s totally OK.
[00:09:38] CHRIS: No. I need to know what happened. I need to know everything that happened. We’re not cutting off now.
[00:09:44] CALLER: OK. Yeah.
[00:09:46] CHRIS: OK. We’re gonna dial you back,
[00:09:48] CALLER: OK Than-
[00:09:50] CHRIS: You hung up on her mid-word, Jared. Can we leave that part in where Jared callously hung up mid-word? We pause the clock. Gotta pause the old clock, right? I don’t know how to… oh, there… the pause button. I don’t know if people are going to be hearing this part or not. So, I’m just going to keep talking. God… damn… Jared O’Connell is so ice…
[00:10:13] CALLER: Hello?
[00:10:15] CHRIS: Hello?
[00:10:17] CALLER: Great… he’s gone now…
[00:10:18] CHRIS: Oh.
[00:10:23] CALLER: Hello.
[00:10:23] CHRIS: Hello?
[00:10:24] CALLER: Hi. Oh, my God, this is so much better. I can hear you much clearer now too.
[00:10:28] CHRIS: Yes, I can hear you so much clearer as well.
[00:10:30] CALLER: Yes. Good. You need me to start over at all?
[00:10:34] CHRIS: No, I think we got it. Let’s just pick up with that last thing.
[00:10:38] CALLER: OK, so this entire year, I have basically convinced myself that everything was dangerous and I had to live in a bubble and any events or things I wanted to go to or concerts… like rock concerts that I’ve been wanting to go to for all my life I would be like, no, I can’t go. If I go, something’s going to happen. I’m going to die. And there are so many instances where I was like, this is my last day alive. This is the last thing I’m going to experience. This is the last thing I’m seeing. And it was so overwhelming that I would… I bought this book on Amazon called I’m Dead, Now What? Filled out all of my death wishes, all of like the songs that I want to be remembered for, how I don’t want a funeral and I sent everything to my mom. I sent it to her by mail and by email because I want to make sure that she knew everything because I’m… I’m all alone where I live. I don’t have any family around me. So, I became very paranoid for who is going to take care of my dead body when since my family is not around. So, it became very awful. I was paranoid constantly, but I’ve been doing so much better now than I’ve been in therapy and doing EMDR treatment for PTSD to get over my phobias. Conquering one thing at a time really.
[00:12:04] CHRIS: OK, I have a lot of questions. So, let’s go one by one.
[00:12:08] CALLER: OK.
[00:12:08] CHRIS: OK. Hard…
[00:12:10] CALLER: Yes.
[00:12:10] CHRIS: Couple of hard questions first because I want to talk about all this. Talk about all this.
[00:12:13] CALLER: OK.
[00:12:14] CHRIS: OK. A hard question first. You said you kind of prepared for death and let your family know. I just want to, just so I’m clear was this, was this just because your paranoia had overtaken you and you assumed it was coming? Were you planning to end your life? I’m a little unclear on that.
[00:12:33] CALLER: No. OK, so it was not something that I wanted. It was something that I felt like was going to happen because of like, outside sources and also because of my sister running away and abandoning my family for the second… she left the country for the second time and completely cut off all contact with everyone. I felt like I was all that my parents had left and so then I had to stay alive because otherwise I was just scared that if I wasn’t alive then my parents would have nothing and–
[00:13:10] CHRIS: Right.
[00:13:10] CALLER: –just it was awful. So, I was like OK I need to basically live in a bubble so I can stay safe for them.
[00:13:18] CHRIS: Right, so… and that does lead to the second question I had, which was, so your sister left voluntarily and cut off communication, but… Because you when you had initially said she went missing, so it’s not… this is not… she is physically safe somewhere, she’s just… she has severed communication?
[00:13:40] CALLER: Correct. So, she went missing two years ago for about a day and a half. But that’s how long it takes to get to where she was going by a plane. And then once she finally talked to me, I found out where she was and everything. And, you know, I want her to be happy. My family, we all want her to be happy. We both… We all just wish it could have been communicated. Then she came back to where my parents lived, which is in the Midwest. Then she ended up leaving them again a year later to go back to the same place with these people in a different country. And I’m sure from what she had told me, which is very briefly and like very vague… She’s happy and she’s living her life, but it still sucks. And this is the first year where she’s forgot to wish me a happy birthday. And I sort of hoped that would have been an icebreaker for conversation this year. Like that’s how she’s doing.
[00:14:55] CHRIS: That’s scary stuff and clearly, I can just even tell from your language, that this is her story and you don’t want to share too many details.
[00:15:05] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:15:06] CHRIS: You said she left the country. You also said these people, like she she’s gone and joined up with some sort of group?
[00:15:13] CALLER: I think it’s a cult, so I just can’t really confirm that.
[00:15:16] CHRIS: Ooh, boy.
[00:15:19] CALLER: And, you know, like it’s fine, but it’s… so I’ve spent the last couple of months without even bothering with contacting her, especially after her not talking to me on my birthday, like at least not wishing me happy birthday. I just kind of expected that much. But last night, this sounds so stupid. But I was watching Frozen and just the sister relationship between Elsa and Anna just reminds me so much of like my sister running away to like isolation and just shutting her sister out. So, I sent my sister an email being like, Hey. I don’t. I’m not. I still care about you. I love you and I hope you’re doing well. But the reason I don’t message you is because I get nothing in return. And I can’t keep holding my breath anymore. So, I sent that so that I can breathe for the remainder of this year and not expect anything on Christmas or New Year’s.
[00:16:18] CHRIS: Right. Right. You’re bracing yourself for the holidays.
[00:16:21] CALLER: Yeah. It’s hard. I’m here by myself and I can’t get on a plane to visit my family because of my fucking… oops, sorry Sally, my PTSD so I’m like, you know, just trying my best to stay sane for the rest of this year.
[00:16:37] CHRIS: Yeah, that’s so, that’s… being on your own when you’re dealing with… dealing what you’re dealing with. It’s really hard, but the fact that your condition limits your ability to travel and get to people is, well, it just ties your hands in a way that’s really sad and scary. I get it. I get it.
[00:16:59] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:17:00] CHRIS: And I too. I don’t know how much you know about me. Because, you know, I’ve been very public and I talked about all my mental stuff on my, on the HBO special I did. But I dealt with, when things were at their worst for me, I dealt with a lot of paranoia as well. When things were at their scariest.
[00:17:16] CALLER: Oh, yeah? So, I can get through this then?
[00:17:20] CHRIS: I think so. I mean, I did.
[00:17:23] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:17:23] CHRIS: And who’s to say and you can never just say, well I did so you should, like. I think that attitude is problematic, but I can tell you at the very least you’re talking to. I, you know, the depression stuff everybody talks to me about all the time and the anxiety stuff, but when it really hit a pitch where I feel like… when I look back and realize that I was probably actually in some real trouble and some real day-to-day danger, it was when the paranoia had taken over.
[00:17:48] CALLER: Yeah, it’s debilitating.
[00:17:52] CHRIS: It really is even.
[00:17:54] CALLER: It’s awful.
[00:17:54] CHRIS: And I wonder if you have this experience to where I think one of the things that I couldn’t get across to people until I was dealing with, you know, trained professionals who had dealt with it before was there were a lot of times where logically I totally understood that things weren’t real, but it doesn’t change the fact that emotionally they were wrecking me. And that’s a real confusing thing.
[00:18:22] CALLER: Yeah, it is.
[00:18:25] CHRIS: Like for me, I always used to think like I was a dumb kid and got a couple of speeding tickets and had a car accident at one point. Not the one I talked about in my show, but point being I had all these points on my license and if I got any more points, I was gonna have my license suspended. And I went into this stretch where for about I would say a solid year, any time I drove at night, I would be completely convinced that the car behind me was a police car that was about to pull me over.
[00:18:55] CALLER: I can’t… I can’t relate to that specifically.
[00:19:01] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:19:01] CALLER: But I can understand driving anxiety because right now I have like a curfew for myself where I’m too afraid to drive at a certain hour because I’m so convinced that a drunk driver is going to kill me.
[00:19:15] CHRIS: Right.
[00:19:17] CALLER: It’s like it’s so debilitating when you can’t even do things that you need to do because of this paranoia.
[00:19:23] CHRIS: Yeah. I mean, I would say like that’s a… Really, you know that it feels like we had paranoias that were kind of cousins. This idea of, you know, you need to drive to function in your day to day life. You gotta… you gotta go do things. You gotta go shop for groceries. You’ve got to go, you know, live the infrastructure of your life but you have completely convinced yourself that something terrible is about to happen if you get behind the wheel of a car, that’s real. That’s not a small deal, you know. And then, of course, the first things to go are the non-essentials, but that’s seeing friends and going out and doing social things. And all of a sudden, you’re spending a lot of time at home because you’re so completely nervous and filled with dread, and that just becomes a cycle that builds. I’ve been there.
[00:20:15] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:20:16] CHRIS: I’ve been there.
[00:20:17] CALLER: Yeah. I want to bring up that my breaking point where I realized I needed therapy was in the summertime and I couldn’t even go to like the local Target to get my own groceries without being afraid of like something bad happening that I would text my friend and have him go to Target and bring me groceries because I couldn’t even do a simple task like that. And then another night we met up at a boba shop and I was having an existential breakdown because I’m gay so, I was freaking out that if I died, I was gonna go to hell. Even though I’ve never once, like I’ve never really been religious, but then suddenly all this panic set in where I was like, wow, like I am… like… if it does exist and if it is true that gays go to hell, that’s going to happen to me. So, I was freaking out. My friend met up with me at a boba bar. I had this existential breakdown in public. I was crying, hyperventilating, and this guy overhears me. And he comes up to me and he starts telling me how he’s going to pray for me. And that’s when I just was like, wow, damn, I… I need to get everything together. So, the next day that I found a therapist and–
[00:21:43] CHRIS: Yeah, that’s…
[00:21:45] CALLER: –yeah.
[00:21:46] CHRIS: I tell you, you are bringing back some feelings and some memories I have not felt in a long time, because I’ve been, I’ve been in a strikingly similar spot. Let me… I just want to clear… you were saying a boba bar, is that like the Japanese bubble tea? I want to clear that up.
[00:22:01] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:22:02] CHRIS: I got to say, I say this with no disrespect and with total compassion to your story. But to hear such an intense story and then you keep dropping the syllables boba throughout them is a weirdly dark laugh moment for me. And as a comedian, I have to point out… So, I’m losing my mind and I’m convinced I’m going to hell and I went down to the boba bar, wanted to get that…
[00:22:21] CALLER: I’m just crying, oh I’m just crying into my boba…
[00:22:25] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:22:27] [AD BREAK]
[00:25:47] CHRIS: So, I’m losing my mind and I’m convinced I’m going to hell and I went down to the boba bar, wanted to get that…
[00:25:50] CALLER: I’m just crying, oh I’m just crying into my boba…
[00:25:54] CHRIS: Yeah I ordered up the, you know, your standard milk tea with tapioca pearls and cried into it until a religious zealot told me he would pray for my soul. But that’s real life. That’s real life, isn’t it? Where you’re completely… where you hit rock bottom while you’re drinking Japanese boba tea. That’s real life.
[00:26:12] CALLER: Yeah that is!
[00:26:14] CHRIS: And that’s another thing that I think… I applaud, I tell you, I really applaud you for opening up about this stuff right here, because I think there… You said at the top of the call, I bet a lot of people are gonna make fun of me, and I want to tell you I bet they’re not. I bet they’re not because I’ve talked about this stuff publicly, had the same fear that everybody’s going to judge me. People are gonna roll their eyes at me. And I’ve been met with tons of people telling me that I got through to them. And you talking about that incident at the boba bar, I bet there’s people listening to this who have kids who have their own versions of some sort of, you know, mental illness or are dealing with some either temporary or permanent mental health issues and I bet there’s some people going, I don’t understand my kid, but I’m listening to this lady explain it and it’s helping with that. And so, don’t… Nobody’s gonna laugh at you. Nobody’s gonna laugh at you. At all. They’re gonna be appreciative.
[00:27:10] CALLER: I appreciate that. I really do appreciate that, a lot. And something that I’m really lucky for, is how much support I’ve been getting from my family, so like my mom and my dad. That’s really all I have is my mom and my dad, and my coworkers, my friends, I’ve been really open with everyone. And I’m OK with being an open book, which is why I’m OK calling and talking to you about this today, because I feel like it’s helpful and it’s relatable. And I’ve always been helped by the people who have been open about their own struggles.
[00:27:48] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:27:49] CALLER: We’re all in this together.
[00:27:51] CHRIS: Yeah, big time. And then that’s another thing I identify with so much like the memory that you’re bringing back is the way that you can be totally in a situation where you feel like you’re losing your grip and then something shocks you right back. Like I’ve had that experience like you too where, like you say, you’re sitting there and start obsessing over the fact that you might go to hell and you’re expressing it and it’s like probably panicky and it’s getting a little louder because you don’t even realize people are listening.
[00:28:21] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:28:22] CHRIS: And then all of a sudden somebody is like I’ll pray for your soul. And then you immediately are like, oh I need help. What the hell? OK. And where immediately you’re like, I just found my footing again and things are going too far. OK. If people are… it’s hitting a point where people are actively approaching me and offering prayer, this is… I’m going too big with this.
[00:28:44] CALLER: Well, Chris…?
[00:28:45] CHRIS: Yeah. Talk to me.
[00:28:46] CALLER: Chris, I ended up having a second time at that boba bar with another friend and I met up with her after I’d been going to therapy and I was telling her how successful it was and I was like kind of poking fun at the fact that I had an existential breakdown at a boba bar and how some guy was praying for me and I turn around and that same guy was at the table studying again. And his friend literally just asked him, what would Jesus do?
[00:29:12] CHRIS: Whoa.
[00:29:11] CALLER: And I said to my friend, we have to go, and I can never come back here because I was so embarrassed. So, I left that boba bar and I can never go to that boba bar again.
[00:29:21] CHRIS: [LAUGHING]
[00:29:23] CALLER: That guy that prayed for me? He studies there, apparently.
[00:29:26] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah. And like in the Joseph Campbell, you know, hero’s journey study of myth. I believe there’s this one step in that journey of like you have to go into a dark cave and face down your own soul, your own reality. It sounds like this boba bar is your version of that soul-cave where you have to face your deepest, innermost turmoil. And I want to… can I just say as well? Can I just say as well? I think there are people, and maybe even this guy who knows? There’re people who might offer up prayer and they have nothing, but good intentions and they do come from a religious background.
[00:30:02] CALLER: Absolutely.
[00:30:04] CHRIS: And we’re joking about it and you know, I’ve come to realize, too, for some people and I think especially in the past, my guess is that church was therapy for a lot of people. That going to confession with a priest was the closest–
[00:30:16] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:30:16] CHRIS: –some people felt to therapy and that and that can be a beautiful thing. But you and I are joking about it. And I can tell you and I are like-minded people and I want to be clear. I’m not making these jokes because I’m rolling my eyes at the idea of prayer because some people have good intentions, but it’s just…
[00:30:32] CALLER: Yeah and I would love to make that clear too.
[00:30:36] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:30:36] CALLER: Because I’m someone where I may not be religious, but if someone tells me like, God bless you, like instead of like… merry Christmas and God bless. I appreciate that because that’s them giving me their warmest wishes.
[00:30:50] CHRIS: Right.
[00:30:51] CALLER: And that’s what makes them a better person at the end of the day, like that’s how they feel happiest. I am someone who is accepting of everyone, whatever makes them a better person at the end of the day. And if they actually, like practice what they preach, it’s beautiful. I again, I think I’m mostly just laughing at the fact that I never imagined myself having an existential crisis at a boba bar and someone offering their prayers to me.
[00:31:16] CHRIS: Right.
[00:31:17] CALLER: I just never saw myself in those shoes before.
[00:31:19] CHRIS: Right , I similarly…I can picture it in my head and I know it’s not that this guy is ill-will or is doing something wrong, but it’s just that moment where you look up at someone and go, buddy, this is not… this is just not for me…this is not what I need right now. Now, if I can continue crying into my cute tea? Let’s just… and I get it. Can I ask you; do you feel like this was something that you were maybe prone to before the edible experience and that kind of sent it to a crisis point? Or do you think that those edibles really did kind of rewire things in a way that’s become this sort of albatross?
[00:32:04] CALLER: You know, I don’t… I don’t know. So, like, I don’t know if it is weird to, like, bring up, but it’s like if you’re a beginner, apparently, you’re only supposed to take like 3 milligrams… and this is all legal like I purchased it all legally here in California. You’re only supposed to take 3 milligrams if you’re a beginner. I didn’t know that, so when I cut it into the fourths, I took twenty-five milligrams and that was so bad that–
[00:32:29] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:32:30] CALLER: –my eyes went bloodshot. My tongue was so dry that it was like it turned white. And then my friends, they all went out for the night. I stayed in my hotel room and I had my favorite anime on, and I couldn’t understand anything that they were saying. It was… it was dubbed so it was in English, but I could no longer understand the English and I felt like a toddler. I felt like… Yeah, I just felt like I couldn’t understand anything anymore. And time was going by really, really slow and the only like bit of like hope I had for myself was the fact that nobody has died from marijuana.
[00:33:10] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:33:10] CALLER: So, I was like, OK, if I just sleep this off, I will be OK.
[00:33:13] CHRIS: Right.
[00:33:14] CALLER: So, I’m totally like… I think it’s totally fine for everyone else, but it’s I myself personally don’t ever want to alter my state of mind again because that was so traumatic that I just can’t handle it anymore.
[00:33:29] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:33:30] CALLER: And it’s just messed up. It just opened my eyes in a way that I don’t want to be opened anymore.
[00:33:37] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:33:38] CALLER: I just want to go back to living my ordinary life.
[00:33:39] CHRIS: Now how come so many of your traumatic things this year have involved Japanese culture? Boba tea… Anime…What are… There’s a phrase now for people, for Americans who are like obsessed about Japanese culture, but I don’t know it off the top–
[00:33:54] CALLER: Weeb?
[00:33:55] CHRIS: Yeah, what is it?
[00:33:56] CALLER: A weeb.
[00:33:57] CHRIS: Yeah. Do you identify as a weeb?
[00:34:00] CALLER: No, I have friends that are more weeb-ish than me.
[00:34:04] CHRIS: So, you’re not quite weeb-ish, but it’s just… just so happens that when you’re… when you’re dipping your toes into weeb territory, you have a complete mental collapse.
[00:34:15] CALLER: Yeah, I guess so.
[00:34:19] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:34:19] CALLER: But I don’t know. It’s just the stuff that I like, I guess.
[00:34:23] CHRIS: I hear ya. No, I’m just… I’m just having fun. I tell you, the first time I ever ate edibles, I never forgot this. I was a freshman in college and the kid who lived across the hall from me showed up and he had baked a big tray of weed brownies and none of us, no one on my fl–we were all college freshmen– no one had ever taken edibles before. This was also in 1998, when those edibles were a thing you like kind of heard about it. Oh, you can make pot brownies and when they showed up, it was like a big event. Now, I think that’s a pretty standard thing that’s out there. But we all ate them, we all ate one. And we were talking to the guy and nobody was feeling anything because, you know, you got to wait an hour, so it turns out. But we didn’t know that. And we all go to the guy who baked them and we’re like, what’s up with these? And he’s like, well, I don’t know. He’s like, all I know is that when you when you bake weed, it makes it less potent, so we probably all should eat more. So, all of us were college freshmen who had never eaten edibles before. I think I had maybe smoked weed twice in my life. And we all ate like four pot brownies each. And I’ll never forget later that night, we actually had a… you know, they have like the dorm meetings where we all got to go to the common area with the R.A. and the R.A. tells you about like rules and stuff that’s coming up. And there were like 20 of us who just like… our eyes were pointed in different directions. We were… people slumping off of chairs onto the floor. It looked like a scene Hunter S. Thompson would have wrote in a book…
[00:35:56] CALLER: Oh.
[00:35:57] CHRIS: …that no one would have believed and then that whole night I spent the rest of the night just throwing up spaghetti, which I would argue…
[00:36:02] CALLER: Oh no.
[00:36:03] CHRIS: …is the worst thing to throw up.
[00:36:05] CALLER: Yeah. There’s so much texture with that.
[00:36:08] CHRIS: Eeeee. I don’t want to think about it, ya weeb.
[00:36:12] CALLER: Yeah, we don’t need to think about it, but you reminded me of something my therapist was telling me because I’ve been very open with my therapist. I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to be, but she was telling me how she has actually had clients like me who have had like bad trips that have been traumatic. So, it’s been reassuring to not be alone with that.
[00:36:34] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:36:35] CALLER: She even told me that some of her like psychologist buddies have been to Disneyland on edibles and sat on a bench for six hours before crawling to get a churro.
[00:36:46] CHRIS: Wow. Churros are good.
[00:36:50] CALLER: Churros are good.
[00:36:51] CHRIS: Churros are very good. You get a little dipping sauce with the churro? Do you get some like melty chocolate goo and…Churros are good.
[00:36:57] CALLER: Yep, they have that.
[00:37:00] CHRIS: Now can I say to you, I know I’m joking around a lot while I’m also telling you I’ve been through it and I’ll tell you, I know how scary it is, but I do hope the fact that we can laugh about this lets you know that I have high hopes and a lot of confidence.
[00:37:12] CALLER: Thank you.
[00:37:13] CHRIS: You’re gonna pull through it.
[00:37:14] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:37:15] CHRIS: You’re gonna be OK.
[00:37:15] CALLER: Thank you.
[00:37:16] CHRIS: And I say that not dismissively, but encouragingly because I hate when people are like oh, you’ll get through it. It’s not that easy.
[00:37:21] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:37:22] CHRIS: But I’ve been there, and you sound like you…
[00:37:23] CALLER: No.
[00:37:25] CHRIS: …in the right direction.
[00:37:25] CALLER: It’s a good thing. Sorry if I keep interrupting.
[00:37:28] CHRIS: Oh no. It’s my… I’m over talking you. It’s my fault.
[00:37:31] CALLER: No, no, it’s OK. I was just going to say that it’s a good thing that we’re on the phone today as opposed to like six months ago when I was at rock bottom. It’s better to tell a success story than like I guess an in-progress-of success story.
[00:37:46] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:37:47] CALLER: Then to be on the phone like asking you for answers and for hope, like… like I feel a lot more confident in my journey now…
[00:37:56] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:37:56] CALLER: …than I did six months ago.
[00:37:58] CHRIS: Are you standing on a runway? That plane was loud.
[00:38:02] CALLER: That was actually a train that went by.
[00:38:04] CHRIS: Ooooh.
[00:38:05] CALLER: I’m parked in a parking lot.
[00:38:06] CHRIS: Oh, nice.
[00:38:07] CALLER: And a train just went by.
[00:38:08] CHRIS: That’s good. That makes me feel safer about you being in a car, but I don’t think you… Was this something that was an issue before the edibles and they just rocked you? Or did they bring it out you think, like did they cause it?
[00:38:19] CALLER: I’ve always had anxiety.
[00:38:22] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:38:23] CALLER: But it’s never been this crippling. I’ve never had anxiety that made me think about death like every single second of the day. And I still do. I still think about death every day. And at my worst, I had to sleep with the lights on. I had to sleep with the TV on, because when I’d wake up in the morning, I’d be panicking that I’d died.
[00:38:47] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:38:48] CALLER: And I still sort of get that feeling occasionally. It’s not as intense anymore and I can luckily sleep without the lights or TV on now, but it was really bad over the summertime. Where I had to have noise on constantly because I was scared, I was going to die in my sleep.
[00:39:05] CHRIS: Yeah, that’s wild. That’s wild. That’s where I think any rational person listens to it and goes, oh yeah, this is not a laughing matter. You are convinced–
[00:39:14] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:39:14] CHRIS: –every time you fall asleep that you’ve died? That’s… that’s a lot. That’s a lot.
[00:39:20] CALLER: Yeah, it could make even just like going to sleep difficult and driving, flying, everything. So, I’m just glad that I’m in a much better place and that the therapy is helping. I go every other week now.
[00:39:38] CHRIS: Nice.
[00:39:39] CALLER: Instead of every week.
[00:39:39] CHRIS: That’s always… that’s a nice… And I’m not someone who feels like… there’s some people have a goal of I’m going to stop going to therapy or I’m going to stop taking medication. I’m like, I don’t understand why that’s a goal, but it is nice when a therapist says, you know, I don’t think you need to be here every week. I think that’s such a nice step when it’s under the care of a professional.
[00:39:59] CALLER: Yes, absolutely and she’s great. And the way I found her was through this psychologist website, and I made sure to find someone that was LGBT friendly because on the website, it can like list if they’re like… they help people who are LGBT and that was like a huge thing for me because I didn’t want to feel like I was secretly judged for any of the things I would talk about.
[00:40:26] CHRIS: Right.
[00:40:27] CALLER: So, it’s been great having someone that I can click with because I’ve had a therapist before that I didn’t click with me and I get it. So, when friends tell me, oh, I don’t want to go to therapy. Like I the last therapist I went we didn’t click, or we didn’t mesh well. I’m like no, like find another. You will find your right match. They’re out there.
[00:40:48] CHRIS: Yeah, I’m going to say something weird, and I’m not saying this to make you feel bad in any way. And also, weird to plug my own thing. You haven’t watched my HBO special, have you?
[00:41:00] CALLER: I haven’t, no, but I did just get someone’s HBO log in recently for Game of Thrones.
[00:41:05] CHRIS: [LAUGHING] Yeah. Well-worth it. I like that you didn’t get it for my… Just act…No interest in me, but Game of Thrones? Fuck yeah. But I only bring…
[00:41:13] CALLER: [LAUGHING] Oh sorry, Chris.
[00:41:14] CHRIS: No, that’s OK. I watch it too, it’s a great show. But I bring it up not to plug my own shit, but if you do watch it someday and I don’t presume you will. I think you are going to—
[00:41:24] CALLER: I will.
[00:41:25] CHRIS: –start laughing hard at how similar you and I are with our stories. The paranoia and the drugs, the drugs triggering it sometimes.
[00:41:35] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:41:35] CHRIS: Having a shrink who you do not click with and how awful that can be and how you have to find someone is a good fit for you. You’re going to laugh really hard when you think about this conversation in the context of that.
[00:41:47] CALLER: You know, it’s a Friday night tonight. And I don’t do anything crazy on Friday nights because of because the paranoia. So, I will be in bed watching that.
[00:41:57] CHRIS: I don’t know if you should watch it in bed because if you contemplate death too much while you’re in bed, this might not be this special for bedtime. Maybe stick to Game of Thrones.
[00:42:05] CALLER: [LAUGHING] OK.
[00:42:05] CHRIS: It’s a happier… Game of Thrones is a more cheerful HBO product than my special.
[00:42:13] CALLER: [LAUGHING] Oh my god.
[00:42:13] CHRIS: My special makes Game of Thrones look like a happy-go-lucky, summer breeze comedy. I have a ques- I wonder, just because we have been through so much similar stuff, dealt with similar stuff. Do you ever feel like? Like I came to a point where I almost felt like, do you ever feel like the paranoia is like… weirdly like an organism that wants to stay alive? Do you know what I mean? I bring–
[00:42:39] CALLER: Yeah. Yes. Actually, you’re reminding me of a quote that one of my really good friends told me and she said, don’t become friends with your anxiety, like your anxiety and your paranoia. Like, don’t treat it like a friend, like if you… Not to say that you should ignore it, but don’t feed into it.
[00:42:59] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:43:00] CALLER: You have to do your best to sort of set it aside and not let it thrive.
[00:43:04] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:43:05] CALLER: And so, it helped when she told me that because I was like, yeah, I guess I have been treating it like it’s my companion. I need to not like think of it as a crutch. Not a crutch, but I don’t know. Just–
[00:43:17] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:43:18] CALLER: You can’t let it grow
[00:43:20] CHRIS: Because I think I think the thing that made me think of it is I had a very similar thing to you where it disrupted my sleep endlessly. I didn’t have the death thing, but I would have a constant fear that I had overslept and was late for something. And I’d wake up like every 10 minutes some night, in a panic that I’d missed my alarm. But then when you think about it, when you’re exhausted, it sets in even more. When you are physically exhausted, it becomes something that’s even less manageable. And similar to the driving thing, I wonder how many people who experience this stuff where it affects that type of thing, where it’s like, yeah and now it means that you can’t go out and see people and now it means that you can’t go out. And like we said, you couldn’t go to Target. I can’t go to the grocery store. I’m too scared. These are all things that make you feel like the paranoia is sort of the only thing you can trust. It’s fucked up.
[00:44:15] CALLER: Yeah, I mean, what’s even worse? There’s like so many layers to it. And it’s like because I live in California I started thinking about earthquakes a lot, out of nowhere after living here for eight years. I suddenly become afraid of earthquakes and I became so afraid of like the biggest earthquake happening that suddenly a tsunami was gonna happen.
[00:44:36] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:44:37] CALLER: I was just so convinced that the day that I decide to go to the beach is the day that something awful happens like that. It’s just I couldn’t even go to my favorite beach anymore because of that. But I’ve definitely overcome it because I’ve been there once. But it’s still hard. It’s still challenging. And I also had something else I was going to say, and then I forgot it. Oh, dang it. But it’s OK…
[00:45:00] CHRIS: You ever watch, you ever watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy?
[00:45:05] CALLER: It’s great to fall asleep to. I like it.
[00:45:08] CHRIS: [LAUGHING]
[00:45:08] CALLER: I like, no like I mean, like I always fall asleep right as Gandalf sets off the fireworks for the kids.
[00:45:15] CHRIS: That’s like–
[00:45:16] CALLER: I don’t know why…
[00:45:17] CHRIS: –eight minutes in.
[00:45:19] CALLER: I know!
[00:45:20] CHRIS: That’s eight minutes in to like a nine-hour experience.
[00:45:21] CALLER: It lulls me to sleep. It’s so good.
[00:45:22] CHRIS: It’s more if you count those Hobbit movies. Those Hobbit movies are underrated.
[00:45:27] CALLER: OK, so now you actually just reminded me of. This is perfect. This transitions perfectly into what I forgot I was going to say.
[00:45:35] CHRIS: OK.
[00:45:36] CALLER: So, because I am afraid of driving, I’m afraid to go anywhere for the holidays. So, I was considering having a Lord of the Rings marathon by myself.
[00:45:47] CHRIS: Now there’s out… I’m not going to spoil too much for ya, but anybody who’s watched The Two Towers will understand. I think that paranoia is like Grima Wormtongue. Like King Théoden has paranoia and anxiety and it’s Grima Wormtongue, it’s this thing that just whispers in your ear and you become convinced that it’s right. And that’s… I always… I feel, I feel like that you’re not going to like that part because you’re going to see what I’m saying. Anyway.
[00:46:13] CALLER: No, it’s OK. I can honestly. I can handle it. And I want to watch it. And I appreciate the heads-up. Sometimes I even think of my anxiety as like Gollum-
[00:46:24] CHRIS: Yes.
[00:46:25] CALLER: Where it’s like nobody likes you, you have no friends.
[00:46:27] CHRIS: Yes. I had the same experience when I really dove deep because that came out when I was in college, the first one, and I was really in the thick of my depression. I remember feeling like, oh, Gollum is an analogy for addiction and anxiety and paranoia. This whole idea of like you’re this fucked up little being, but you’re… you used to be someone else and this stuff has just taken over. And it’s sort of how you’re letting people see you and how you’re seeing yourself. I always felt like that.
[00:46:59] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:47:00] CHRIS: Hmm. Turns out Lord of the Rings is good. Turns out it’s a good thing with layers to it.
[00:47:08] [AD BREAK]
[00:49:14] CHRIS: Turns out Lord of the Rings is good. Turns out it’s a good thing with layers to it. Now, what’s EMDR treatment?
[00:49:25] CALLER: OK. So EMDR treatment is a form of… I think it’s eye movement reprocessing something? and it’s for people who struggle with PTSD. What they, what my therapist does is she puts these two vibrating devices in each hand, one per hand. And she has me lay down, close my eyes and as they’re vibrating one after the other, left-hand, right-hand, left-hand, right-hand, left-hand, right-hand she has me think about certain things and relive the experience. And she says, your fear itself won’t hurt you. The memories themselves, like you won’t be hurt, like just think about these. And what it does is actually reprocesses those memories to make them, I don’t know, make you a little bit more… less triggered by them, I guess.
[00:50:16] CHRIS: I have heard this.
[00:50:17] CALLER: …and apparently. Yeah. Most people get success after only eight sessions. And I can definitely agree that it’s been very helpful for me.
[00:50:27] CHRIS: Yeah, we either talked to… I might have talked about that with someone on the show before or someone in real life who’s done it, but I’ve heard about that. It sounded really interesting. I think it’s really interesting this side of mental health that people are exploring now where it’s not talk therapy, but actual…actual like, how would you say? Almost like physical therapy for the brain, like actual methodologies you—
[00:50:51] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:50:52] CHRIS: –go to to get certain muscles working certain ways.
[00:50:56] CALLER: Yeah. No, it’s very fascinating. I mean, the brain is a really interesting thing. And at my worst, over the summer, I really shouldn’t have even been doing so much research on my brain because it only made it worse. I bought this magazine at Whole Foods that literally said All About the Brain! And I was like I want to read this. And then I regretted it because it made me think too much. It’s kind of like going down the YouTube hole of trying to watch other people’s videos about near-death experiences. It was not good for me. So, I go down that hole because that’s when I found the fear-mongering videos about people who saw hell when they had near-death experiences.
[00:51:36] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:51:37] CALLER: So sometimes you just need to protect yourself and you have to like. Like on Twitter, I have muted words like death, dying, dead… stuff like that, because people use those words non-literally every single day, all day long. Like, oh, like, that’s so cute. I’m dying or I’m dead. And I didn’t realize how triggering it. It’s not triggering for me right now, but–
[00:51:59] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:52:00] CALLER: –like just hearing the word when I wasn’t expecting to hear it all the time, I was like, wow. So, I love the feature on Twitter where you can mute words to make your, you know, your timeline a lot better for you mentally. You’ve gotta protect your brain.
[00:52:14] CHRIS: I feel like for a lot of us with the issues you and I have, just muting… muting the word Twitter from our vocabulary, would help a lot. Not even just certain words from it.
[00:52:24] CALLER: [LAUGHING] Yeah, that’s true.
[00:52:27] CHRIS: If that… if Twitter… if Twitter was…[SIGHS] because I have to use them for work.
[00:52:30] CALLER: I wouldn’t, but Chris I wouldn’t be on this phone call if it weren’t for my Twitter notifications for you right now.
[00:52:35] CHRIS: Very true. Very true.
[00:52:38] CALLER: So, I was very lucky that I got that notification from Twitter.
[00:52:42] CHRIS: Then I’m happy we’re talking. And it’s doing, it’s helping me. It’s helping me.
[00:52:46] CALLER: Is it?
[00:52:48] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:52:49] CALLER: I’m flattered.
[00:52:50] CHRIS: Because I still… because I’ll tell ya this, the paranoia, I was actually put on a medication specifically for the paranoia. Pretty. Pretty. It’s just one milligram a day of an anti-psychotic called Risperdal. It’s pretty heavy-duty stuff. And it helped so much. It helped so much. And I was put on, they put me on it with the intention of putting me on it for a short period of time. But it bought me the breathing room to kind of get to the bottom of a lot of stuff and—
[00:53:18] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:53:19] CHRIS: Yeah, I was really, it was a good experience for me. But it’s you, you are bringing me back and making me realize the progress I’ve made with this stuff. And I thank you for it.
[00:53:31] CALLER: Good, yeah.
[00:53:31] CHRIS: And that was that was in 2002, was that the first time I saw a shrink? 2002? And I still deal with some stuff. And you were dealing with it heavy duty this summer, but I hope that our talk today helps you realize, like, yeah, your openness about it right now means you’re headed back in the right direction and many years, many years from now–
[00:53:53] CALLER: Yeah. No, I–
[00:53:54] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:53:55] CALLER: Yeah. I hope that one day I can look back on this call and see even more progress that has been made.
[00:54:01] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:54:03] CALLER: I keep track of my progress. It’s crazy because I journal and I, it’s so crazy. I was looking back at my own journal entries the other day to see how far I’ve come. And as soon as you open my journal, it says feel free to read or share if I’m no longer here.
[00:54:22] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:54:23] CALLER: I put a disclaimer thinking that like something bad is going to happen to me. And I wanted people to like see like my final words and thoughts. And like, I kept writing at the end of my journal entries, I’ll explain more tomorrow if tomorrow comes. Like saying things that were so like I had no hope for tomorrow because I was just so convinced that I would die in my sleep and so that was my final statement. It actually became kind of like OCD thing for me where I felt like if I couldn’t write in my journal that night, something would happen.
[00:54:54] CHRIS: Right.
[00:54:55] CALLER: And no one would know like my final thoughts. So, I’ve actually conditioned myself to go periods of time without journaling so that way I know, hey, that’s not connected. That’s not true. You can still live your life, but your life isn’t dependent upon you writing in a journal.
[00:55:09] CHRIS: Right, right.
[00:55:11] CALLER: So, it’s good to write in every now and then, but not to make it an obsessive thing.
[00:55:16] CHRIS: I still have just a couple vestiges of that in my life. I still deal with stuff. I was, I was super depressed last week, last week and—
[00:55:25] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:55:26] CHRIS: –many, many years into my treatment. It never totally goes away. I still… Mine is if any sort of cabinet door is open before I go to sleep, I am convinced that that is a very bad thing with very dire consequences. And logically, I know that’s not true, but I still walk around every night and I shut every drawer and every cabinet door, and I sneak it sometimes, too. I was at my brother-in-law’s house and hanging out there. I feel so dumb saying this because I managed to sneak…at my brother-in-law’s house and my… his wife was like cooking something or making tea or something and she left the cabinet door open. I just quietly walked over and closed someone else’s cabinet door and caught myself. And I’m like, yeah that’s still… still the last vestiges of me and my paranoia stuff. But it’s not the worst thing in the world.
[00:56:17] CALLER: Why are people keeping cabinet doors open?
[00:56:20] CHRIS: Listen, you and me, we would be fast friends. [LAUGHS] If you were able to get on a plane and travel to New York City and we could hang out? We’d be fast friends, but unfortunately, we can’t do that.
[00:56:29] CALLER: [LAUGHING] You know what?
[00:56:31] CHRIS: [LAUGHING] We can’t do that because you’re terrified.
[00:56:33] CALLER: No, we can’t. We can’, but my goal is to go back to New York City. I miss a lot. The thing that’s been keeping me sane lately, sorry I’m so all over the place, but I’ve been watching so much Gossip Girl lately. My goal is to go back to New York City and wear a fancy dress on top of a rooftop lounge overlooking the city because I just think that would be so damn cool. So, if you can do that and I can live vicariously through you, that would be amazing.
[00:56:57] CHRIS: So, you want me to put on a fancy dress and take a picture of myself at a rooftop lounge for your—
[00:57:01] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:57:04] CHRIS: –mental comfort?
[00:57:07] CALLER: I think you would enjoy it, too.
[00:57:10] CHRIS: Maybe. I’ve never… I don’t think I’ve ever worn a dress. Have I? Maybe for I think maybe once for a comedy sketch years ago, back when.
[00:57:18] CALLER: If you want to wear a suit, if you want to wear a suit that’s cool too. You and your wife just go on top of a rooftop lounge and take in the view and live your best Gossip Girl life.
[00:57:27] CHRIS: Best Gossip Girl life. I watched a couple episodes of the Gossip Girl. What was that guy’s name? Chuck Bass. Wasn’t he on Gossip Girl?
[00:57:35] CALLER: Yes.
[00:57:36] CHRIS: I think. [LAUGHS] I think in the very early days of Beautiful Anonymous, I once talked about my love of Chuck Bass. I think Chuck Bass is one of the greatest… That actor, to be given…. I love shows like that where they’re just full of joy and fun, but where they unabashedly are like, here’s this one character. Nothing well-rounded about it. He’s just a squirmy, evil prick. And his name is Chuck Bass. And we’re not going to give him–
[00:58:03] CALLER: Yep.
[00:58:04] CHRIS: –any redeeming qualities. Why bother? Let’s just have fun. And the actor clearly had so much fun just being like, yeah, I’ll just play a weasel named Chuck Bass and not worry about if he has any other qualities in his life. Good old Chuck Bass.
[00:58:18] CALLER: No. It’s just his name that’s it. [LAUGHS]
[00:58:20] CHRIS: Listen, if I’m ever on a rooftop lounge, I will take the picture, but I almost don’t want to because that’s your journey to walk and you got to get there. I don’t wanna. I don’t want to check–
[00:58:30] CALLER: True.
[00:58:30] CHRIS: –that box for you. That’s for you
[00:58:32] CALLER: Very true.
[00:58:34] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:58:37] CALLER: It’ll happen because I got to… I have more Broadway shows I need to see.
[00:58:40] CHRIS: Oh, yeah. You got time for all kinds of entertainment except my special. [LAUGHS]
[00:58:46] CALLER: [LAUGHING] Oh my god, stop.
[00:58:47] CHRIS: I am kidding. It’s just that we’re talking about this stuff. I’m just kidding.
[00:58:52] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:58:53] CHRIS: I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.
[00:58:56] CALLER: I do have your audio book, though.
[00:58:58] CHRIS: Ohhh that’s nice… so we don’t have to make it more about me. The jokes were just sitting there. I’m not trying to…
[00:59:05] CALLER: I know, but I just wanted to let you know that it’s the HBO thing.
[00:59:09] CHRIS: [LAUGHS]
[00:59:09] CALLER: I only just recently got the log-in so.
[00:59:12] CHRIS: I’m kidding. I’ll stop bringing it up. I’ll stop bringing up… Well, we have less than 10 minutes left. This one flew by.
[00:59:23] CALLER: Man. Wow. I don’t even know what else to say.
[00:59:27] CHRIS: Yeah, I’m just. I have to tell you. I know how hard it is, and I’ve been laughing and joking, but that’s only because I feel such comfort with the conversation and with you. But I also just—
[00:59:43] CALLER: Thank you.
[00:59:44] CHRIS: I just want to reiterate, it’s not a laughing matter. And—
[00:59:47] CALLER: Mmhmm.
[00:59:49] CHRIS: –and it’s, it’s… the impact this stuff can have on your life is profound. And just being able to hear you express this all in such a clear way and in a hopeful way, in a forward-thinking way? It gives me a lot of real warm feelings, because I think that’s one of the first steps. To be able to speak to it with some perspective and not be caught up in it.
[01:00:16] CALLER: Thank you. I really appreciate that a lot. And it’s, it’s really reassuring to know that if you’ve gotten through things, then I certainly can too. It’s not the end of the world, even though it feels like it’s crashing. It’s now time for me to bring up something, again, very weeb-ish–
[01:00:33] CHRIS: OK.
[01:00:35] CALLER: –in these last ten minutes if you don’t mind.
[01:00:37] CHRIS: Let’s weeb out. Let’s go ahead and weeb out.
[01:00:39] CALLER: So, do you know, are you familiar with? And I’m totally and I’m fine with this, but anyone that knows me, who is listening, I’m totally like outing myself right now. But do you know anything about Kingdom Hearts?
[01:00:52] CHRIS: Kingdom heart?
[01:00:55] CALLER: Kingdom Hearts. The video game. It combines Final Fantasy characters and Disney characters
[01:01:03] CHRIS: Oh. Like actual copy-righted characters meet up?
[01:01:07] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. So basically, it’s been 13 years since the last game. Well, I mean that there’s been more games that have been out in between, and they are very, very important to the story. But where the last game took off, it’s been 13 years. And a lot of my paranoia has been that I hope I can survive until at least that game comes out. And so that comes out on January 29th. So, I’m really holding onto hope that I get to play that game and that nothing bad will happen and I get to finally play the game I’ve been waiting 13 years to play. But they released like a small trailer for it the other day and I recorded my reaction crying as I watched it and heard it because it was so emotional for me that I didn’t think I was gonna live long enough to see that or to hear that. It just… it was very surreal. And so now I have hope that just in just 46 more days on my end then I can finally play that game. So, it’s just a goalpost of mine, it’s not like… My whole life doesn’t, isn’t revolved around the game, but it’s something that’s so important to me and my childhood that I’m really… it’s gonna be a really powerful moment when I can finally play that game.
[01:02:28] CHRIS: Yeah. And I don’t think there’s anything silly about that. I don’t.
[01:02:35] CALLER: Thank you.
[01:02:37] CHRIS: I know that feeling so well. I know that feeling so well of being totally depressed and being like—
[01:02:40] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:02:41] CHRIS: Yep, but there’s a new Star Wars movie in December, so I’m going to keep fighting. I think that that’s beautiful. I think that’s beautiful.
[01:02:45] CALLER: Yep. New Avengers movie. Just things to look forward to that give you hope.
[01:02:53] CHRIS: Yeah. I’m like.
[01:02:54] CALLER: I just need to stay alive so I can see things and play these games.
[01:02:58] CHRIS: Yeah. Where I’m like, I’ll be totally depressed, and I’ll be like man, the first Ant-Man was funny. Ant-Man and WASP looks good too, I guess I’ll pick myself up off the floor and try to be productive because there is a hope after all, in the form of Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas.
[01:03:11] CALLER: Was that Good?
[01:03:12] CHRIS: Oh, it was great, Evangeline Lilly–
[01:03:14] CALLER: Oh, good because I rented it on Amazon 30 days ago and I forgot to watch it within 30 days. I wanted to watch it last night and it expired. So, I need to. I’ll watch that after your special.
[01:03:29] CHRIS: No, watch it first, it’s better. Ant-Man’s better. It’s the most underrated Marvel movies. They’re straight-up funny Marvel movies. You’re gonna like them. You’re gonna like ‘em.
[01:03:36] CALLER: OK.
[01:03:38] CHRIS: But I would put my thing like sixth or seventh on the list. It’ll probably freak you out too much. Freak you out too much.
[01:03:46] CALLER: I’ll be OK knowing that you’re OK and that we had this conversation.
[01:03:50] CHRIS: I’ll be OK knowing that you’re OK. That’s how it works. We’ve got to team up. All of us.
[01:03:56] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:03:57] CHRIS: And even a. Even just theoretically, even just theoretically. Like you and I got to have this conversation. And that’s awesome. And that’s beautiful. But all that being said even when we’re not directly on the phone there’s millions and millions of people fighting through the same thing. And I can think of that—
[01:04:20] CALLER: Yeah
[01:04:21] CHRIS: –theoretically, even though I don’t know them all as individuals, and it’s inspiring to me, it’s really inspiring to me.
[01:04:28] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:04:29] CHRIS: And we have to give ourselves that freedom. We have to give ourselves that.
[01:04:32] CALLER: Absolutely.
[01:04:34] CHRIS: I just…
[01:04:34] CALLER: Preach!
[01:04:35] CHRIS: Yeah. No, I tell you, it’s not easy. And I just saw someone, a person I didn’t even know that well. Just a couple weeks ago, I saw. I taught her in an improv workshop when she was in college and I only met her that one day, but we were Facebook friends after that. And she, she lost the fight and I saw it and it rocked me. And it rocked me, you know?
[01:05:04] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:05:05] CHRIS: But then when you hear something like that, it reminds me, man, there’s so many… there’s so many people fighting this fight. And we have to be in it together. We have to be.
[01:05:15] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:05:17] CHRIS: Have to be.
[01:05:19] CALLER: Yeah, no, you’re right. And I’m so thankful for you and this community and what you’ve done for so many other people and what everyone else within the community has done for each other, it truly is beautiful. And I’m forever grateful for the community, for this podcast, for helping me through everything just listening to it and now finally being able to talk to you about it.
[01:05:41] CHRIS: Oh. I mean, I’m the luckiest guy in the world at this job. I know that. I know that. You wanna hear… You want to hear good paranoia related story since you’ve been talking about it so much? So last year, I don’t think I talked about this on the show. Did I talk about the diner thing, Jared? Does that ring a bell? I don’t know if I did. I was sitting in a diner by myself last year and this was when my TV show was still on the air and the podcast had blown up and I’d been… I’d been on this little hot streak, you know, and it’s nice. That’s nice. I keep it in perspective, that’ll go away. But I’m from Jersey. Diners mean a lot to people from Jersey. Like that’s… there’s diners everywhere in Jersey, it’s famous for it and it’s like, that’s like the feeling of home to me. If I’m in the city and I’m stressed out, I go eat in a diner. It relaxes me. And I was eating on the Upper West Side in a diner all by myself and I’m playing with my phone and all of a sudden, I get tagged in a picture on Facebook and I open it up. And it’s a picture of me eating in that diner at that moment and somebody has–
[01:06:44] CALLER: Oh my god.
[01:06:46] CHRIS: Yes, somebody has tagged me in it. And they are not the Beautiful Anonymous Facebook group, the one where all the Gethard Show fans hang out, those weirdos. Those weirdo Gethard Show fans. And he’s like, just saw Geth in the wild. Let’s guess what he’s eating. And I freaked out. I freaked out. And I los- I really lost it, I was like [makes crazy noise] and just had like a collapse. And I tell you, I went home, and I talked with my wife about it and she was like, come on Dude. You’ve worked really hard to. Now you’re going to complain? You’ve like, worked your ass off your whole life and complained about how hard it was. Now people recognize you and you’re getting a little fame, you’re gonna complain about that, too? My shrink also was like, come on, it’s nice that people recognize you. But I couldn’t get it out of my head. And I talked about it with my therapist a couple times and–
[01:07:33] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:07:34] CHRIS: Finally, she goes, you know what I just realized? She’s like, I’ve realized something about why you can’t get this out of your head. She goes, when you were in your early 20s and things were at their worst, paranoia was one of the…that was the biggest red flag for you that made you feel like you were the closest to actually losing your mind. And you asked to think people were following you and now someone’s actually taking clandestine photos of you and you’re feeling all these feelings that remind you of your early 20s, when you were thought you were actually permanently going to lose it. But she’s like, you got to realize the problem back then with those feelings wasn’t the feelings themselves. It was that it wasn’t real and now you got to get used to feeling those same exact feelings and understanding that it is real. Someone did take a secret picture of you. That’s valid to freak out about.
[01:08:31] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:08:32] CHRIS: But the feeling of freaking out is making you feel like you, like you felt when you were at your worst. And it’s bringing you back to that place.
[01:08:39] CALLER: Yeah, it triggered that for you.
[01:08:41] CHRIS: So, point being, it never goes away. Good luck.
[01:08:45] CALLER: It never goes away, but it gets easier to cope with.
[01:08:47] CHRIS: Yes.
[01:08:48] CALLER: If you learn and you get the right tools.
[01:08:50] CHRIS: And you learn to master it, not vise-versa. And I think you’ll continue to do that.
[01:08:54] CALLER: Yes.
[01:08:55] CHRIS: We got about 15 seconds left. I thank you for this call. And I hope you keep fighting the good fight and doing better and better. And I believe in you.
[01:09:05] CALLER: Thank you, Chris. Thank you, everyone.
[01:09:09] [PHONE RINGS]
[01:09:16] CHRIS: Caller, I mean it so much, I’m happy to hear that you are processing this stuff. The fact that you can speak to it so clearly gives me great, great hope and I think you’re going to get through this. I know it’s tough and I know you’re on your own. And please keep fighting the good fight because I think you’re headed in the right direction. Thank you for calling, sharing your story. Thank you to Jared O’Connell in the booth. Thank you to Harry Nelson, also in the booth. Thank you to Justin Linville, who’s not in the booth, but helps me in all ways with my life. Thank you to Shellshag for the music, you guys are the best. You want to know about me and when I’m going on the road and doing shows? ChrisGeth.com is where all my dates go up. Maybe I’ll meet you and say hi. And hey, if you like the show, here’s what you can do to help. You go on Apple podcasts; you rate, you review, you subscribe. Really does help. That’s all the business. We’ll see you next time on Beautiful Anonymous.[MUSIC TRANSITION]
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:10:24] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful Anonymous coming at you live from Team Coco House in New York City. Things get real. I will say that, you know, I have been very open about my own issues and I’ve had that conversation with my mom that your kid had with you in the same way, where I woke her up. And I know that that scared the shit out of my mom. And thank you for being a good mom and being ready for it and helping. And. [AUDIENCE CLAPS] Yes… Yeah.
[01:10:55] CALLER: You have no other choice. You love them. So.
[01:10:58] CHRIS: Yeah. That’s not easy. You just dropped that.
[01:11:02] CALLER: I know.
[01:11:04] CHRIS: While all this was happening, your son was a girl and at this point, that is not the case.
[01:11:08] CALLER: Well, you know what it is because I’ve become so comfortable with who he is now that I don’t second guess it at all.
[01:11:18] CHRIS: That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.