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Podcast: Good vs Bad Vulnerability and What’s The Difference?

 
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Podcast: Good vs Bad Vulnerability and What’s The Difference?

May 14, 2024

Today Gabe and Michelle continue openly discussing living with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, respectively, aiming to reduce stigma around mental health. Gabe expresses gratitude for the support that has allowed their podcast to continue, emphasizing the importance of vulnerability in their journeys and their work. Today’s guest, Sara Danner, shares her experiences with schizoaffective disorder, discussing the role of vulnerability in recovery, the challenges she faced with law enforcement and societal expectations, and how shifting her perspective on her illness helped her find a positive path forward.

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About the Hosts of A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

gabe howardGabe Howard is a professional speaker, writer, and activist living with bipolar and anxiety disorders. Diagnosed in 2003, he has made it his mission to put a human face on mental illness.

He’s the author of Mental Illness is an Asshole and Other Observations and a popular podcast host. Learn more at gabehoward.com.

michelle hammerMichelle Hammer is a mental health advocate and the founder of the mental health clothing and lifestyle brand Schizophrenic.NYC. She is known for her efforts to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, particularly schizophrenia. She is an NYC native featured in the WebMD documentary Voices, which was nominated for a Tribeca X Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. She has also been featured in media outlets such as ABC, NBC, and CBS. You can find Michelle’s newest Home and Living line at Home.Schizophrenic.NYC where she brings her artwork into practical home essentials.


Transcript for A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, And A Podcast: Good vs Bad Vulnerability and What’s The Difference?

Announcer: So, what did the bipolar say to the schizophrenic? You’re in the right place to find out. . .   

 

Gabe: Hey everyone, welcome to the podcast. I’m Gabe and I’m bipolar.

 

Michelle: And I’m Michelle and I’m schizophrenic.

 

Gabe: Michelle, we are here because people went to BSP.show/support and supported a season 4. Now, nobody is more shocked than me that people give a shit whether or not we’re on the air. But one person cared so so so so much. They supported us at the.

 

Michelle: How so much?

 

Gabe: At the how much, how much did they support us?

 

Michelle: How so much? How so much, Gabe?

 

Gabe: $4. They supported us. The $4. No, I’m just kidding. She spent $1,000. So one of the main reasons that we are here is because of people like our guest on the show who cared so much about us. They helped support for the people who were not in a position to contribute for the person, for the people I, I, I cannot, I cannot say enough nice things about our guest on the show. Michelle, do you want to introduce Sara for us?

 

Michelle: Sure I can totally do that. Let me get up.

 

Gabe: That’s. You’re so. Yeah, I can tell. You’re prepared.

 

Michelle: Let me get it. Let me get the text set up.

 

Gabe: She’s ready, guys.

 

Michelle: Let me get the

 

Gabe: Let me get it. Let me.

 

Michelle: It. Okay. Hold. Just, you. Just let me.

 

Gabe: Me get it. Let me get it. Uh, she’s a woman.

 

Michelle: Let

 

Gabe: She’s gonna be on the show.

 

Michelle: Let me. Where’s

 

Gabe: She’s, she’s here. I’m. I’m googling. I’m scrolling.

 

Michelle: Where’s my test at?

 

Gabe: I’m ready. Where’s my thing? I don’t know how to use a computer. I forgot we were podcasting today. My name is Michelle. I live with schizophrenia. Come on. I’m running out of banter here.

 

Michelle: Okay. All right.

 

Gabe: [Laughter]

 

Michelle: So our guest today our guest today is Sara Danner. She’s an ex-military spouse, single mother, working full time, former fifth grade teacher. I can’t even imagine that. And fiction writer living with schizoaffective disorder who is here today to talk about schizophrenia and vulnerability and what that looks like.

 

Gabe: That’s a big word for you, Michelle.

 

Michelle: I know, I know.

 

Gabe: That’s a, a multi-syllable. It’s like schizophrenia.

 

Michelle: Vulnerability. I know. You got to Google what that means because that’s just such a long word. So we’re gonna we’re gonna see what that looks like when someone in crisis and how being vulnerable is part of recovery.

 

Gabe: Sara, welcome to the podcast.

 

Sara: Thank you so much for having me on you guys. I’m so excited to be here. As you’ve known,  Michelle just introduced me. I have a lot of experience in my life dealing with my illness, and I’m so glad that I have made it this far. And without vulnerability, I wouldn’t have made it this far, to be honest.

 

Gabe: That’s really curious for us. Now, I’m not saying that Michelle and I don’t know what vulnerability means, but pretend that we don’t. When you say you wouldn’t have made it this far if you weren’t vulnerable. Can you break that down for Michelle and I in the audience?

 

Sara: Yeah. So I’ll just start from the beginning. When I got diagnosed when I got diagnosed, my husband left me because of the illness, and that’s the first time that I really experienced vulnerability in my life where I was like, wow, I’m vulnerable. I don’t have a support system. I, you know, don’t have anybody that’s looking out for me but myself. And then the vulnerability really played into that part, because I took that vulnerability that I felt and turned it into a positive by seeking out therapy, by seeking out psychiatrists that would help me, and just being open and talking to people about what’s going on with me, which prior to the diagnosis, I had never put myself in a vulnerable situation. So I was kind of like living in a cave the whole time. And then when I came out of the cave, I was like, wow, to be vulnerable really turns it around for me.

 

Michelle: I can understand that because I went to many different therapists and all that kind of stuff before I was officially diagnosed, like when I was younger, when I was forced to go to all these doctors and I wouldn’t say a word. But when I got older, when I realized that I do need some type of help, when I actually started talking and being vulnerable and saying what I actually felt, that’s when help can actually happen. When you actually don’t just bottle up everything, you actually express yourself, be vulnerable. That’s when change happens. That’s when help happens.

 

Sara: Yes.

 

Michelle: That’s what you need to do to move on, to move forward, to get better, and to start managing your illness, to somehow recover in some way.

 

Sara: Yeah. Exactly. I feel like in vulnerability, there’s two sides. There’s good vulnerability. Like, right now I’m super vulnerable. I’m on this podcast. I’ve never done anything like this before, and I’m freaking out. So it’s like a good vulnerability.

 

Gabe: You’re killing it, you’re killing it.

 

Sara: [Laughter] Yeah. But then there’s also like a bad vulnerability. Like for example so I had an experience where I stopped taking my medication and I went into a psychosis. And I went down to the Las Vegas Strip. It was crazy down there. So, like bits and pieces are blacked out. But I went down there and I was sitting in a chair eating pickles. Like it didn’t make sense at all. And the police came up to me and arrested me for walking in the street without walking in the sidewalk, which everybody down there does anyways. So, because of my psychosis, I was vulnerable to the police and they actually arrested me. And then once they arrested me, I was in there for about 12 hours. And I told them the whole time, we need to get me to a hospital, and they wouldn’t listen to me. And then they finally just let me go out on the street. And luckily there was an ambulance there. And this is where I’m talking about vulnerability comes in. I knew I needed help, I got to the ambulance and they took me to the hospital. But without being willing to be vulnerable, that takes away the ability to get help.

 

Michelle: I understand that, and I think it’s pretty interesting that eating pickles led to jail, but

 

Sara: [Laughter]

 

Michelle: The actually eating pickles led to you getting help. And I like that pickles were the catalyst here.

 

Sara: [Laughter] Right.

 

Gabe: I just like that Michelle said catalyst.

 

Sara: [Laughter]

 

Michelle: You know, you never know what a jar of pickles can really do for your life. And a jar of pickles can really help you be vulnerable and get help.

 

Gabe: [Laughter]

 

Sara: [Laughter]

 

Michelle: Pickles? Pickles can really do it. You know what I mean? If you’re ever having a tough time, eat some pickles and then you can get some help. That’s the takeaway from this episode. Pickles.

 

Gabe: I don’t think that’s the. Michelle, that’s not the takeaway from this episode. Stop misleading

 

Michelle: Oh.

 

Gabe: The listeners, Sara. Sara, hang on a second. I like how you described good vulnerability versus bad vulnerability. You said that when you were arrested and you didn’t understand why and needed help, you were vulnerable to law enforcement. But that wasn’t good vulnerability because you were you were in harm’s way. You weren’t getting the help that you needed. But when you were honest that you needed help. And when you left the precinct and you went up to an ambulance driver and said, I need help, that was a good vulnerability because you admitted that you needed help and that you got help. This is the first time I’ve ever heard a concept of good versus bad vulnerability. I always thought that vulnerable was just, well, vulnerable. Can you share more of that story? Because that’s extraordinarily intriguing.

 

Sara: Yeah. So Rewind. I was dating somebody who knew I had schizophrenia, and he kept telling me like, no, you can cure it. It can be cured. If you just do this and this and this, you’ll be cured. And I’m like, okay, whatever. So I went to stay over at his house for the summer because I had the summer off. And while I was there, he was just, I don’t know, trying to be helpful or something, but he got me, like, this patio. Okay, this is psychosis, guys. Okay. So he bought me this patio set because I love to write outside. So I was sitting outside and I was writing and then like, psychosis started to creep in, and I thought people were watching me from the, the houses that were all around him because you could see right in the backyard. And I had not taken my medicine in probably like a week. So I was really off track and vulnerable. I was vulnerable in a situation with a man, and I was vulnerable in a situation where I let myself stop taking my medicine and slip into psychosis. And so once I entered that psychosis and it was fully taken grasp my friend or boyfriend, whatever you want to call him, he was like, I don’t think this is right. So he took me home because I live with my parents. That’s my support system. That’s how it works. And

 

Michelle: Mm-hmm.

 

Sara: Once I got home with my parents since I was completely in psychosis, I was like, hi, dad. And he just said hi. And then I got in my car with a jar of pickles in this chair and just drove down to the strip, thinking that I was going to go down there to support a cause. I don’t even remember, but it was like I was going down there to just make, make a statement. And unfortunately, the statement was that you’re out of control and you’re not fitting in with society. So here you go. We’re going to put you in jail. When you get to that point, it’s like, why couldn’t the police recognize that I was in trouble? And in a past psychosis that I had, I was in California, and the California police have their own, like, mental health unit that they would send out. So instead of being the regular police, the mental health unit, police would come. So that’s what I thought was happening when I got arrested in Las Vegas. Instead I’m ending up in this jail cell. While I’m in that jail cell, I’m having audio hallucinations that the cops are talking about me, that everybody else in the jail is talking about me, you know? And then there is also this grandiosity that I always have in my psychosis where I think that I’m famous. So that was really hard thing, because I was thinking when I was in this jail that I was famous and all the, the whole entire world was going to know what’s going on with me. And that made me vulnerable.

 

Michelle: Sara, let me tell you, I have a cop story. I know you said you’re a fan of this podcast. You might know my cop story, but, I was an 18-year-old girl. People said I had hurt myself. A cop comes to the door. She grabbed the hood of my sweatshirt and slammed me on the ground. Threatens me with pepper spray, handcuffs me. She was giving me a panic attack.

 

Sara: Wow.

 

Gabe: Is this an example of that bad vulnerability that you were talking about, Sara?

 

Sara: Yes, yes, this is the perfect example of bad vulnerability. And, you know, I just Michelle has a story. I have a story. I don’t know if you have any cop stories, Gabe, but I’ve met a lot of mentally ill people. Not, not they didn’t have to be schizophrenic, but they’ve all had run ins with law enforcement. Instead of understanding, I’m dealing with a vulnerable person right here who’s having issues. You know, they just revert to what they’ve been trained to do, which is apprehend and punish.

 

Gabe: Sara and Michelle. I don’t have a law enforcement story in the same way that that that you two do. But you’re right. I hear these stories all the time. And not to fall down a rabbit hole or climb up on a soapbox, but one of the things that that worries me so much about a person living with bipolar disorder in society is that if my family calls 911 because I’m sick, law enforcement is who’s going to arrive. That’s just the way that it is. We can all accept that as fact. What worries me is not that it’s law enforcement is going to arrive, it’s that law enforcement is not required to have much training. So we put them in this position where they have to come and support me if I’m in crisis. But we haven’t given them the tools to do so. So and we are certainly much more vulnerable, bad vulnerability than they are. But they’re in a vulnerable spot, too. They’re being forced to handle a situation that they are ill equipped to handle, and nobody seems to care. So stories like yours, Sara, stories like Michelle’s, they happen over and over and over and over again. And whenever any reasonable person. And I’d like to point out that these reasonable people are people with schizophrenia, people with bipolar disorder, people with psychosis, the reasonable people are the whack jobs. I just I can’t say it any more plainly than that. The reasonable people are the mentally ill. People are like, hey, we don’t care that law enforcement is coming. We care that you won’t teach them how to help us. So

 

Michelle: Yes.

 

Gabe: That’s all kinds of bad vulnerability, right?

 

Michelle: The what the police officer said in my disciplinary meeting over the phone, she said this situation was unlike any crisis training she’d ever had before, so she had never been in a crisis situation before. She’d only had crisis training and I excuse me, but what kind of training did this woman go through to throw an 18-year-old girl on the floor? On the floor?

 

Sara: Yes. Yeah. In my opinion, there’s no reason for them

 

Michelle: During

 

Sara: To.

 

Michelle: A crisis

 

Sara: Yeah.

 

Michelle: Call, but it just makes no sense to me. Like, I just don’t understand where the crisis training is.

 

Sara: I don’t, because I don’t want to be like, oh, law enforcement is so evil. They’re so evil. But, I mean, in her situation, what was the reason for getting that violent? There’s no reason for that. When I think about my arrest, you know, when I was getting arrested, I was protesting. I was like, like trying to get, like, I could have probably gotten in trouble for trying to get away from them, but it’s. I don’t know how to say it. It’s like law enforcement is a double-edged sword. We need them to protect us, but we need them to be trained to protect us. So there’s no reason for a law enforcement person to put their hands on any mentally ill person. That’s just making us too vulnerable and not. And outside of a mental illness, like, what is really the point of them using physical force on anybody? That’s traumatic.

 

Michelle: They should be more understanding. They shouldn’t be as violent. They should be. If you’re a, if you’re a university police officer, you shouldn’t be treating the college students like they’re horrible criminals and tossing them on the floor, stepping on them, threatening them with pepper spray when they did nothing violent to you. All I did was turn around and take a step, and then all of a sudden I was treated like I was a violent person trying to fight this woman. Meanwhile, I was going into my room. Where would I could have could have escaped? There was no escape. It’s a door into a room. I wasn’t running away. There was nowhere to run. I was going into a room. And. But she treated me like I was trying to evade her in some way. All I said was, can we go into my room, turned around, took a step, and I’m getting my ass beat, beat by this woman because of that. It’s not like I ran away. I didn’t run out of the dorms. One entrance.

 

Gabe: So how do we shift this into the good vulnerability? Because I know that, Sara, the good vulnerability is where the magic happens.

 

Michelle: The good vulnerability comes when you decide to share your story with like a psychologist, a therapist, a psychiatrist, so then you can get better.

 

Sara: Yes.

 

Michelle: That is good vulnerability. What these police officers do is not good

 

Sara: No.

 

Michelle: Vulnerability. You can’t show vulnerability in front of them, apparently, or you’re gonna get in trouble.

 

Sara: Yeah, to talk about the positive vulnerability with. I wanna go back to my story about when I was in psychosis. The ambulance that I ran into to take me to the hospital, I was vulnerable to them because I was like, literally I need to be in the hospital. I need to get better. I’m sick. And that was a positive vulnerability with the ambulance. If I wouldn’t have sought that out, I would have just been walking aimlessly around Las Vegas. So it’s almost like we have an instinct to become vulnerable in positive and negative situations. And when we are vulnerable in positive situations, like Gabe said, that’s when we start creating things like, for example, being a fiction writer, I am so vulnerable. The book I wrote, when I first dropped it about a year and a half ago and my family read it, they were like all learning about schizophrenia, because even though I’ve been diagnosed for about five years there was a lot of isolating with myself. So my family and stuff, besides my mom and dad and my daughter were very distant when I dropped my book and my family read it and they saw how vulnerable I was in my book, things changed and they started to not see me as a sick person. They started to see me as a person that’s striving to not be a victim anymore.

 

Michelle: I think that’s great. That’s a great way to put it. And I feel, you know how you said that. I then can compare it to how I decided to tell everyone that I have schizophrenia with, like, my brand and just telling the world and telling every one of my friends and just coming out like just by putting it on like Facebook. And then there was like that inundation of all these messages, oh, I’m so proud of you. All this. And it was all these people that were like, I, you were not nice to me. I don’t like you. All these things, like, they didn’t say that. But when I got the messages, like so many people, I just didn’t reply to because they didn’t they, they didn’t accept me in the past. But like, now that I did this, you’re going to sell all these nice things to me. Like I didn’t even respond to a lot of those people, but I understand that I was being very vulnerable and maybe I should have responded because they were then, you know, being nice to me, but I, I still kind of just blew them off in some way. But I do feel that my family then respected me more and treated me not like a sick

 

Sara: Yeah.

 

Michelle: Person. You know, I feel people felt that I was embracing my illness rather than trying to hide it away. And I think that if you try to hide your illness from so many people your whole life, you’re just bottling it up and then you feel almost that shame. I think that’s where shame comes from, just bottling things up and not being vulnerable and feeling like you have a secret that you can’t share with anyone because then, oh no, if I share it, everyone’s going to hate me.

 

Sara: Yeah.

 

Gabe: So, Sara, there’s the good vulnerability. This is why you say that vulnerability is so important to your recovery. What Michelle just said that it reduces that shame. It lets people understand you. It garns you more respect. Garnet? Gamers? Garners? It garns you more respect? Garnishes? Gets you? Garners?

 

Sara: Garners, garners.

 

Michelle: Garners, garners.

 

Gabe: Garners you more respect. Garners?

 

Sara: Yeah.

 

Gabe: Jennifer Garner. It Jennifer Garner’s you more respect.

 

Sara: Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

 

Michelle: Mm-hmm.

 

Sara: And it’s funny because when I actually realized how vulnerable, just from research of the population and stuff like that. You know, like, you could be homeless. You could, you know, I don’t know, there’s a list of things that could happen to people with mental illness. But I think that once I started realizing that vulnerability is a tool, my perspective on my illness started to change because I was really thinking I was doomed for the rest of my life. But now I look at it as it, and I don’t want to say a gift because, you know, that’s kind of like, you know, going out there with the other people and saying that. But I have a I have been given a blessing. I guess in a way, it’s not a curse to me anymore.

 

Michelle: So how long did you teach fifth grade for?

 

Sara: I touched its grade for a year and a half.

 

Gabe: That was the weirdest segue ever.

 

Michelle: Well, I know, I just was curious. I’ve been curious to ask that.

 

Announcer: And speaking of slap dash segues, guess who! It’s me, your favorite producer, Lisa. I have to step out from behind the scenes at least once a season, and this time I’m here to thank everyone who made season 4 possible. We want to recognize Bonnie Landini, Jeff and Sue Hammer, Frances D. Thayer, Leigh Harris, Ross Milne, Gregory Zarian, Ariella “Ari” Kadosh, Kathleen McKeon, Judene Shelley, Elmer Earley, Carolynn Ponzoha, Dr. John Grohol, John Humphrey, Sara Danner, Lisa Kiner, and Marilyn Knight. Without their support, Gabe, Michelle, and I wouldn’t be here. If you want to get in on this and have me read your name in an upcoming episode, go to BSP.show/support.  And now, back to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast.

 

Michelle: No, I was just curious, like, how long did you teach fifth grade for?

 

Gabe: Be vulnerable. Teach fifth grade.

 

Sara: Yeah. Right. Okay. Let’s teach fifth grade math. That will show you true vulnerability.

 

Michelle: Yeah. So that’s what I was thinking, because I have friends that are teachers and it’s so hard. Teaching is so hard because not only are you teaching a subject, but you also have students that don’t like to listen or behave or, you know, just classroom management is almost so much more important than actually teaching. You have to do the classroom management to actually get anything taught to the students. So fifth grade, that’s not easy, you know, because those students, they’re not

 

Sara: Yeah.

 

Michelle: There to learn, they’re there to play. And then oh, maybe we’ll listen, you know. So

 

Sara: Yeah.

 

Michelle: I was just really curious that because like, teaching is not easy. So I don’t know I’m like, wow, wow.

 

Sara: Yeah. No. And that was that was a huge vulnerability for me too, because I, I was like, I worked so hard. And then I got my teaching job and then I had to realize that I’m going to fail. And that when I had failed at becoming a teacher, that vulnerability was negative and positive because I had to be real with myself. And I had to realize that, hey, this might not be my path, but I can find a new path by working through the things that I couldn’t do as a teacher. So now,

 

Michelle: Yeah.

 

Sara: When the job that I have now, you know, I’m my job that I have now is a blessing. It’s a low stress. That’s the one thing about teaching, too, is it is so high stress. And for me, stress and schizophrenia are a bomb because that is what exacerbates my symptoms.

 

Michelle: That’s completely understandable.

 

Gabe: You said that you had to admit that you were going to fail. Why did you think you were going to fail at teaching?

 

Sara: In my eyes, I failed because I wanted to be a teacher that taught for like 30 years and retired, but I could only do it a year and a half. And I was like, this is done. But the positive about that is I am still a teacher at my job. I train, you know, in other things that I do. I can still teach people. It’s just not in that box of the public school system.

 

Michelle: Teaching is not easy at all. And I commend you for even doing it for a year. I was never a teacher, but I had many different jobs and I failed at many of them. That’s why I had to start my own business and do all of that, because I couldn’t keep a job. So it’s kind of like you have to accept you worked so hard to get a certain degree to do this, to do that. And it’s just not working out. But, you know, sometimes you have to take those failures and turn them into something that you can do. Like, you know, I turned it into my business. And like you just said, you couldn’t teach the fifth grade, but you turned your teaching into the job you have now where you train people and things like that. So you might not be able to be a fifth-grade teacher, but you are still teaching in your current job. So you did take some of those attributes and brought it to your new job, which is beneficial. So sometimes things kind of come full circle in some instances.

 

Sara: Yeah, exactly.

 

Gabe: I know, Sara, that we’re coming to the end of our conversation, but I, I, I am still really fascinated this idea that vulnerability is not vulnerability is not vulnerability.

 

Sara: [Laughter]

 

Gabe: I, I have to ask, just what more can you teach us about this concept and I it it’s. It’s I obviously the listeners don’t have the advantage of the pre-interview. Right? They don’t have the advantage of the emails that we exchange, the conversations we had. But you really believe that this, that, that vulnerability was the difference for you, that because you were vulnerable, you have everything that that you want out of life and the ability to gain even more. This is I, I want to make sure the listeners understand how significant this is for you. And I want to give you the opportunity to teach the listeners all you can, because it is absolutely fascinated me. And listen, it takes a lot to fascinate me. I’m, I’m, I’m pretty pessimistic in, in the world. So I’m, I’m, I’m incredibly intrigued by this and I just, just I want to soak it up, teach me everything that you can about good versus bad vulnerability and why it’s so important.

 

Sara: If I was going to teach somebody vulnerability in the positive way, I would say, you know, when you’re about to do something brand new, something you’ve never done before. Maybe it’s going on a podcast, maybe it’s teaching fifth grade, maybe it’s going to college. You know, maybe it’s admitting, you know, you have a mental illness, that that power of vulnerability can propel you into any direction. But as long as you keep it positive and you have a good mindset, you know, when you’re teaching, they talk about mindset all the time. The good vulnerability is like when you’re going to start something new that you’ve never done before, like get a new job, or maybe go to the doctor and tell the doctor how you’re feeling. There’s like an energy you’ll feel right before you’re going to do something new. And that’s the good vulnerability that you can harness and use as momentum to move forward. And then you can also have the negative vulnerability where you are going to be in a situation like maybe with a person that you don’t get along with, or you could be in a situation with law enforcement. It’s usually vulnerability that’s negative is being caused by an outside situation. Like what we talked about with the police or even I’ve thought about it when I was in my psychosis and admitted to the hospital. There were times in there where I was vulnerable to the people in there. You know, when you’re in the psych ward, you don’t know who’s going to do what or anything like that. So you’re very vulnerable again, because there’s it’s dangerous in there sometimes.

 

Michelle: It can be dangerous.

 

Sara: Yeah. But would I like to do with my. When I feel vulnerable now is to challenge myself. So if I was in the psych ward and I was feeling vulnerable because it’s, you know, the situation, I would go to all the groups, I would go do the art, I would go do the chair yoga. They had I would go to all the, you know, therapy that they offered. Just to put myself in a situation where I could change and grow. And that’s what positive vulnerability does to us. It helps us change and grow in a more positive way. Now, negative vulnerability can also change things for you, but usually it’s going to be something that has a consequence. And it it’s not your fault usually. It’s just because that’s the way the world works.

 

Gabe: I’m super intrigued by this concept of it’s just the way the world works. I mean, isn’t that somewhat in our control? And I’m playing a little bit of devil’s advocate here, Sara, I want to be honest, but isn’t the way the world works? Don’t we have some influence over that? Can’t we make it work better?

 

Sara: Yeah. What you and Michelle do is super positive vulnerability. And you guys are working to change the world with your advocacy. I look up to you guys so much because yeah, there you guys are out there just ripping the Band-Aid off and showing the rawness of what it’s like to live with the mental illness and how stigma has to change. I mean, with Michelle’s brand? I mean, she sells pill boxes. She sells shirts that say, don’t I? I’m mentally ill, I don’t kill. She sells all these things that could possibly be making her vulnerable. And I’m sure they do make her vulnerable, but she keeps doing it because she wants to change. She wants to see change. And without vulnerability, we cannot see change.

 

Michelle: Absolutely.

 

Gabe: Oh, here, here, I love that. I think that is the ending line of the show, Sara. Sara, thank you. Thank you so much for being here. Listen, everybody listening. Because of folks like Sara, we have a season four. If you want us to have a season five, the ball is in your court. As Michelle and I are fond of saying, we will work for free, but we have to pay other people. Otherwise we’re just dicks. So go to BSP.show/support and support a season five. It is out there right now and you can still get the cool shirt and lots of other very cool things. Sara, thank you so much for being here.

 

Sara: Thank you for having me. I’ve had a blast.

 

Gabe: All right, everybody, thank you so much for tuning in. We just need a couple of favors. Wherever you downloaded this podcast, please follow or subscribe to the show because you don’t want to miss a thing and leave us a review and share the show. Tell everybody what we’re doing here, because sharing the show is how we’re going to grow. My name is Gabe Howard and I wrote the book, Mental Illness Is an Asshole and Other Observations,” which you can get on Amazon, but don’t. Don’t. Head over to gabehoward.com and buy it there, and I’ll sign it and throw in some free swag.

 

Michelle: And I’m Michel Hammer. You can find me at Schizophrenic.NYC, where for my mental health clothing and lifestyle brand. And you can find me all over the internet @schizophrenicnyc. Holla at me. I’m right here.

 

Gabe: All right. And we will see everybody next time on a bipolar, a schizophrenic and a podcast.

 

Sara: Vulnerability.

 

Announcer: You’ve been listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Previous episodes can be found on your favorite podcast player or by visiting 

ThisEmotionalLife.org/BSP. Have comments or show ideas? Hit up the show at BSP@ThisEmotionalLife.org. Gabe and Michelle are not medical professionals. This podcast is not a substitute for medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only. If you or a loved one needs help, please call, text or chat the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. That’s 988. Thank you for listening.

 

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