I Don't Know How You Do It

Hope and Healing: Beth Starck's Mission to Break Mental Health Stigmas

July 18, 2023 Jessica Fein Season 1 Episode 26
I Don't Know How You Do It
Hope and Healing: Beth Starck's Mission to Break Mental Health Stigmas
Show Notes Transcript

If you're feeling overwhelmed and isolated, constantly putting on a facade of strength for your family, but deep down struggling with your own mental health issues, then you're not alone.

Today's guest is Beth Starck, a remarkable woman whose resilience shines through her personal and professional journey. An advocate for mental health awareness, Beth is a single mother who has faced and overcome significant hurdles including bipolar disorder and postpartum depression. A clinical supervisor at a nonprofit organization, Beth holds a master's in social work and uses her personal experiences to support others battling mental health issues. Following her diagnosis and recovery from alcohol addiction, Beth uses her story to help dismantle the stigmas surrounding mental health within motherhood.

In this episode, you'll be able to:

  • Gain a deeper compassion for mothers grappling with mental health issues and learn what they wish others knew.
  • Hear a powerful story of recovery that inspires resilience.
  • Realize the healing power of sharing your true story openly.
  • Shed light on the stigmas around mental illness and learn why it's crucial to dismantle them.
  • Learn how you can help a friend who is struggling.

Learn more about Beth:

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Music credit: Limitless by Bells


Jessica Fein: Welcome. I'm Jessica Fein, and this is the “I don’t know how you do it” podcast where we talk to people whose lives seem unimaginable from the outside and dive into how they're able to do things that look undoable.

I'm so glad you're joining me on this journey and I hope you enjoy the conversation. 

Welcome back to the show. My guest today is Beth Stark, a single mom of an eight year old son. Beth recently earned her master's in social work and is a clinical supervisor for a nonprofit organization. She's also an advocate for mental health awareness and breaking stigmas for all people, especially mothers. 

On last week's episode, I spoke with David Ambroz, and one of the topics we explored was the idea of forgiveness. David talked a lot about [00:01:00] how he came to forgive his mother for what she'd done to him while he was growing up. And one thing he said was that if she had had cancer, there would be a ribbon and a walk for her disease.

But because she struggled with mental illness, there was nothing like that. And I thought about that a lot during my conversation with Beth, as she bravely shared her struggles with postpartum depression, which triggered a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a subsequent alcohol addiction. 

I do want to say now that if these topics are tough for you to hear about, you might consider skipping this week. Go back to an episode you may have missed along the way, or stay tuned for next week's show. 

What struck me the most about Beth is how she owns her story, how she speaks about it openly and is using it to help other people. So now, without further ado, I bring you Beth Stark. 

Welcome, Beth, I'm so happy to have you here today.

Beth Starck: Thank you so much for having me here today. This is so exciting.

Jessica Fein: Your story [00:02:00] is just such a testament to resilience and I'm really grateful for you for speaking so openly about what you've been through and for sharing your journey with us. 

Beth Starck: Thank you. Thank you so much. 

Jessica Fein: So take us back to what happened after the birth of your son.

Beth Starck: I was blessed to give birth to an amazing little boy on July 8th, 2015. My pregnancy was pretty standard, except looking back now and with the education I have now, I know that there were some issues with my pregnancy. So my first trimester, I was filled with anxiety, which I thought was normal because it was, you know, a big change and everything.

But it was definitely a different shift in anxiety. Trimester two, amazing, just this beautiful experience. I love the way my body was changing. I loved being pregnant. And then trimester three, I started to get these fears about my son. Before I found out I was pregnant, I had gone to Washington DC on a like mini vacation and I drank there and I was concerned that the alcohol had impacted [00:03:00] him and I started to get these behaviors where I was religiously looking things up online, like an hyper focused on it, like just a hyper focus on if he was going to be okay.

And I just was full of worry. My actual birth was amazing. It happened really quickly. I held him for the first time. It was the most amazing experience. And then seven weeks later, now in reflection, I can remember when the postpartum hit. We were driving down a road in Cape Cod and we were heading back to our house.

And I had this feeling that I didn't want my husband at the time to go back to work. I wanted him to stay home with me. I was worried about being home and it wasn't a fear of hurting my child. It was so internalized. I felt like I was a failure. I couldn't do it. Who would ever trust me with a baby and then also trying to present on the outside that everything was fine.

Everything was fine. Everything was amazing. I think I got caught up in this identity of presenting that I was fine and feeling inside that everything was spiraling around me. 

Jessica Fein: Had you ever had any feelings like this before or did this feel really foreign to you?

Beth Starck: [00:04:00] I'd always battled some sort of like mental health conditions.

So I'd started therapy in like 1997. I was like, meh, then did it again through the 2000s. My providers would think I had depression or anxiety. They'd give me medications. Nothing really seemed to click. At one point I worked with a clinician who believed I had bipolar.

I just didn't really engage in it and I didn't really know how to be truthful about how I was feeling inside because I was afraid of what the person would say or think about me instead of just being honest. 

Jessica Fein: Well, so let's go back to this seven week mark. So you're driving in the car and you have these feelings.

Did you tell your husband what was going on? 

Beth Starck: Oh no, no, no. 

Jessica Fein: Do you have a sister, a best friend, anybody, or did you keep this in? 

Beth Starck: All to myself. I went to a new mom's group and I was expecting other people to feel the same way and everyone was talking about breastfeeding issues and sleep issues and things that I felt were like very standard.

So I'd go to the group and [00:05:00] I'd sit there and I was like, this isn't me. This isn't what's going on. 

Jessica Fein: How did it play out after that seven-week mark?

Beth Starck: So unfortunately I turned to alcohol and I would use alcohol to cope with my feelings. And it became very aggressive and dangerous very quickly, very quickly.

And it's not an easy thing to say because there's a lot of shame that comes with that, especially being a mother. But, um, I didn't really know what else to do. And there were times throughout my whole entire life that when I was feeling low or I was feeling upset, I turned to alcohol because it was a way to stop my brain from thinking.

And I could just kind of numb it all out. 

Jessica Fein: Did your husband at that point say, Hey, what's going on? Did a friend say, Hey, what's going on? Or were you still keeping this all in? 

Beth Starck: I think it was such a confusing time where I get caught making bad decisions like hiding alcohol or, you know, taking off and just going somewhere by myself and coming back.

And I'd be under the influence. My husband was like, what are you doing? To his credit and his family credit, who's very involved. It was such a scary time. I feel tremendous. Appreciation for them and [00:06:00] gratitude for them because a lot of people had to step up when I wasn't able to step up to the expectations of being a new parent.

Looking back, I wish there was many things I had done differently. I know I got to the places I needed to be for a reason, but it was really sad. And I hurt a lot of people with my decisions. Especially my ex husband and my son. He lost time with his mom.

Jessica Fein: Well, I'll say again, and I'm sure I'll say yet again, that it's so brave of you now to be sharing it, and other people are feeling the same way.

So hearing about it, and hearing people who can speak openly about it, I'm sure it gives. People, a lot of strength. So then what happened?

Beth Starck: I would try to stop drinking, try to completely give it up. And it really wasn't working. And then in March of 2016, there was a big argument and my parents came to pick me up and I went to McLean's hospital.

And while I was there, I was served divorce papers. I will say that that was devastating, and I also was, I don't really believe tethered in reality that it was gonna actually happen, you know, I was there, I was on some medications that made me feel very relaxed, let's say, and I [00:07:00] came out and coming out of there, I'm presented with our marriage is ending, he had filed for a temporary full custody of her son, and And I completely just fell apart, just completely fell apart.

Throughout that summer, I spiraled, I did a suicide attempt, which brought me to a hospital in Boston. And I met with a big treatment team and they were like, you know, you have bipolar disorder, you can never drink again. I came out and I didn't take it seriously to be honest with you. Like I hate saying that I didn't though.

I couldn't believe I lost everything and it was so grand and I was flailing and fighting and angry and I was begging for my marriage back because to me, I was like, that's family. I have to be with my family throughout that summer. I. flails and I made a lot of errors and I wound up in another hospital in the fall.

And while I was there behind closed doors, unbeknownst to me, there was a decision made that I was going to go to treatment. So I went to 28 days at a rehab facility here in Massachusetts and it was great. I was like, okay, this is it. I, [00:08:00] I got this. Like I understood things. I came out, there was a plan in place for me to integrate getting more time with my son and he would be back six months into my recovery.

I drank, I came clean about it. And I went back into a hospital and when I came out, things were very, very different, very, very different. I was informed that there was going to be a much stricter parenting plan in place. And from that day forward, March 24th, 2017, I have taken it seriously every single day.

Jessica Fein: Well, let's just back up the train because, boy, did you just say a lot. So, you're meeting with a doctor who says, oh yeah, and you have bipolar, which it sounds like was just kind of, you know, said as an assumption. You shared with us a few moments ago that when somebody had suggested that years earlier, you were like, that's not happening.

So, when somebody brought this up again, and told you you had bipolar disorder, what was your response? 

Beth Starck: No way! I mean, because I hate to say this now, because I'm such an advocate for people like myself, people who live with bipolar disorder. I thought it's like what you Google, right? Like, [00:09:00] I'd be flying high or I'd be really low and I'd make really bad decisions all the time and, which, you know, I did at the time.

I wasn't making great decisions, but I just assumed it was this, and I hate to say this, like this completely stigmatized disorder. I was like, what's my life going to look like? What will this mean? Will I have a life? And I hate to say that because I live such a full life living with this disorder, but it intimidated me, scared me.

And I did not want to hear it. 

Jessica Fein: How did you then come to accept it? 

Beth Starck: So I would say just in flailing for that basically a full year essentially after that and being in and out of hospitalizations and putting people through a lot. of anguish and grief. My friends were like, what are you, what's going on with you?

Like, who did you become? You're not even the same person we know anymore. My family was devastated. So many people were so angry at me, rightfully so. And I think it was like going to treatment, making it those first six months. Feeling really good. Remembering that feeling, taking my medication, going to AA meetings, really being [00:10:00] dedicated to it.

And then when I had my setback and I got sober March 24th, 2017, it was like, okay, this is it. Like, this is how I'm going to live my life. And at that point I was on a really strong medication regimen that was working out. My brain was feeling different. I didn't have alcohol in my system, clouding my judgment without alcohol in my system.

My anxiety was completely abated over everyday stuff. Obviously my custody stuff was always a stressful situation. But I knew every single day if I made a right decision, I was doing the right thing moving forward to get to my goal, which was inevitably getting equal shared custody of my son.

Jessica Fein: You say, okay, enough. I'm going to do what it takes. You're feeling a different kind of clarity. What does doing what it takes look like when you've had so much stripped away from you and you have so much distrust and anger and all of that, when you say I'm going to do what it takes, what does that look like? 

Beth Starck: Oh my gosh, it looked like climbing in the pockets of friends I met through AA meetings.

I had a very strict calendar of what I needed to do weekly, and what meetings I had to [00:11:00] attend. It was therapy twice a week, psychiatry once a week. Working with a recovery coach, AA meetings five days a week, and slowly getting more time with my son. I wanted nothing more. It's probably very hard to hear my story and think that I ever did truly love my son.

I've loved my son this whole entire time. I just got very sick. And I don't think I even under understood the complexities of how sick I was until I became the Beth I've been growing into now. Because when you're in it, you can't see the forest or the trees. So when I finally was able to get that clarity, get involved heavily with treatment and set back, I was able to be like, okay, I'm not going to judge her as hard as I have been because she was sick.

What I am going to do is honor that and make the best I can from that story and continue on. All I want is my son.

Jessica Fein: When you say I'm not going to judge her, her is you. Giving yourself that grace is such a gift and so courageous. 

Beth Starck: It took time. It's something I learned because if I constantly live in that memory and that pain and the shame and the guilt of that, I couldn't have [00:12:00] possibly moved forward.

I don't know how I could have done that, but I think I kept landing at the right place at the right time. And something about seeing that forward movement and feeling better about myself and getting support and getting help and meeting people that were like, Beth, you were sick. You were sick. Your brain just did all of these things that kind of were out of your control.

I made really bad decisions and I always honor that. I'm always very honest. I was terrible, but I think being able to get on the path of moving forward with supports was really, really helpful to me.

Jessica Fein: So with all of those appointments that you just mentioned, you also have to support yourself. How does one do all the things one needs to do in order to achieve the goal?

AA five times a week, and the psychiatry appointments, and the therapy appointments, and the court appointments, and presumably, you are working. 

Beth Starck: Yes. So I lived at home with my parents, which is where I moved after my marriage ended. So I had that basic need met. I was home. I, my parents are there. I did work.

I worked two jobs. And also during this time on the parenting plan, I had supervised [00:13:00] visits with my son and I was restricted from driving with him alone. So my father actually would help me. I'm indebted to my father for the rest of my life. I knew the times I had my son were scheduled. They never changed.

And then I could work and go to my meetings and I worked for a company during the day and a restaurant at night that really kind of facilitated that with me and really helped me. 

Jessica Fein: I'm thinking there are only so many hours in the day. I don't know how you would fit it all in.

Beth Starck: It was intense. I actually sitting here now kind of like, how did you do that?

Every Sunday night, I had to send my calendar to my parenting coordinator and say, this is what happened. So it was really teaching me how to be scheduled, organized, getting everything in. And I was held accountable to everything that was laid out there. And I wanted to do that. And there was nothing I wanted to do more in this world.

Jessica Fein: So you found the ability to accept why you had done what you had done and to stop judging yourself. But you mentioned earlier that Everybody in your world was angry at you, and you said, rightly so, and said they don't recognize you anymore. What did it take for [00:14:00] the people in your life to open their arms back up to you?

Beth Starck: My immediate family was always there. It was not easy, but they were there. My former in laws, in time, They were gracious enough to let me make amends to them, and I did. And I was told, making the amends process, um, not everyone has to accept them. They accepted me, just so warmly and so graciously. I think it took a little bit of psychoeducation on everyone's part.

Once there were labels for what was going on, it made a little bit more sense. It wasn't just kind of like, Beth woke up one day and was like, forget it, I'm just gonna throw in the towel on my life. But there was diagnoses and labels and education, and even now, like in 2023, postpartum is still not talked about a ton.

Jessica Fein: Well, I'm so intrigued by that because, of course, it has become much more part of the discourse. I mean, we have Brooke Shields’s book on it, we have Chrissy Teigen talking about it, and by the way, mental health awareness has also grown as celebrities are speaking out more about it. And it feels like in that realm, there's much more understanding.

But I'm wondering [00:15:00] if having celebrities and having this focus on it, if that does impact regular old communities, does it make a difference or no? 

Beth Starck: I think it does because it's one thing to say, like I had postpartum and first of all, everyone thinks you want to kill your baby. It's just not bad. There's much more to the whole experience.

And a lot of women that I've connected with on like social media and stuff, it's an internal battle. It's this pain that you're not enough. You're a failure, but I do think celebrities, anyone talking about it has been helpful. And that's another thing that I use to help myself. I found people that were talking about it and open about it.

And I listened and I was blown away at their bravery and their honesty from the girl I was growing up to the woman I am today. They're totally different. Brave would have never been an adjective anyone used about me. And now I'd say some people consider me brave, because it's brave to sit and talk about this kind of stuff and open your heart and share your inner scaries.

I hope somebody will hear it and register with them and they'll know they're not as alone. Do you consider yourself brave? [00:16:00] Most of the time. I am my worst enemy to some degree. It's still a work in progress to think I'm good enough, I'm doing everything the right way. You know, I work on that, but I do think I'm brave.

I think that being a parent today and, you know, my son's in elementary school and I'm on social media and people hear my story and it's like, Hey, I'm still the mom at soccer practice though! 

Jessica Fein: Will you tell your son your story? 

Beth Starck: Ugh, yeah, eventually. What he gathers right now, like, he knows I take medication.

He knows mama's brain works differently than other people's. I think the worst part of it I'll ever have to tell him is that I tried to end my life. Because I'm so grateful it didn't happen. And I, I remind myself of that every day. I'm so grateful that it didn't happen. So I think that will be hard, and I'm hoping what that will be more is a conversation about mom's here to support you.

If you ever have those feelings, if you're ever feeling anything inside, like let's talk about it. Let me just be there for you. I grew up in a family that like Irish Catholic, nothing against my parents, but there wasn't a ton of talk about emotions and feelings. Where my house is [00:17:00] like feelings, emotions.

Let's talk about it. If he's feeling anxious, what can we do about it? How do we use our body to calm down? As much as I dislike a lot of things I've had to go through, I think it's made me a better person and it's helped me grow into the parent I always wanted to be. I just probably didn't know I could be.

Jessica Fein: How did you become brave? 

When I was going through all of my custody stuff and dealing with living with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, I had started Googling things on Instagram, like looking for any hashtags bipolar. And I came across one that was bipolar mom. And it was this woman, Jennifer Marshall, it turns out she had helped to start this organization called This Is My Brave.

And the organization uses the power of storytelling to allow people to take back their narrative on their story and share it publicly. So I wrote an essay, I worked at a daycare facility, and there were geese there. We'd look out the window and we'd see all these. He's giving birth to their goslings in the spring.

And it was great. It was like a science experiment. And I was still working there during my custody dispute. And I was able to take care of other people's children at the same time, I couldn't take care of mine. So it was all this pain and I just [00:18:00] shoved it down. One day I was leaving work and it was one goose all by herself.

And I knew it was the mom. And I just broke down. Everything came out. And it was such a cathartic moment where I let it all out in my car. I called one of my friends and I was like, this is, it's the hardest thing I'm ever doing. I don't know how I'm doing this. I'm falling apart. I got to stop telling everyone I'm fine.

So I wrote an essay about that experience and I was blessed enough to be able to share it. So I shared it at their 2019 show in Concord, New Hampshire. And I read it in front of 300 people. My family came and friends came and everyone surprised me. And it was this magical moment. But standing there looking out.

And sharing all of my horror and fears and telling the truth for the first time was the bravest thing I've ever done. And when I got down at the end, we went out to the vestibule and my former sister in law had come, just came over, gave me this big hug. And people were coming up to me and they're like, you could be my daughter.

My daughter's going through this, my, you know, and I was like, yes, connection. It's all happening here. And I took that and rode with it. And I was like, I'm [00:19:00] never going to stop sharing my story. If I get the opportunity to share it, I'm going to share it. And that essay got printed for the prologue of the guidebook for best practices for substance use from family court in Massachusetts.

And it was my parenting coordinator who asked me to do that. So that was like full circle amazing. Cause she didn't like me when we first met and it opened a door of bravery. For me that I'll always keep trying to move forward with. It was just, it was the most amazing experience. And it's kind of silly cause it's a goose, but he's narrow my spirit animal.

Cause they're always together. They're always in packs. When you see one alone, it's different. And I was like, that's me. I'm alone. And I wanted my family back. I wanted to go home and it wasn't happening. And I knew that. I had to take it from there, but it kicked off my advocacy, which has been amazing. And I'm so blessed that anyone wants to hear me speak or talk about anything, but it's been just freeing.

And it was the most amazing experience to stand there, honor it, take my narrative back, tell my story. Cause there's so many stories going around about me and they're probably all true, but I would like to tell it from my point of view, because I think when you hear [00:20:00] the bad stuff. About anyone, you actually don't think about the internal pain that they're in, and all the suffering that they're doing inside.

And I think that's kind of why I got into social work because there's a lot more to the person is inside that counts. It's my goal of being able to get to the position where I have the education in conjunction with my lived experience that I can really make an impact and help other mothers. 

Jessica Fein: So this is what you're going into start doing professionally.

I mean, let's just share, tell us about your master's. 

Beth Starck: In 2018, I decided to go back to school to finish my undergrad. And I did that with two jobs and, um, navigating, getting more custody of my son, which was successful and amazing. And I graduated with high honors and shocked every single person I know.

And then I was like, I love school. I want to keep going. So I applied to Simmons University here in Boston. I got into the shock of, again, myself and many others. And I just completed my MSW program with a certificate in groups and families. And I just really excited about my future being able to work and help moms.

Jessica Fein: Well, congratulations. 

Beth Starck: Thank you. Thank you. 

Jessica Fein: Where do you think that the resilience that you have shown and surprised yourself with, where do you think that came from? 

Beth Starck: I started to peel back the onion of the dislike I had of myself, this feeling that I wasn't good enough. I wasn't smart enough. I think I always held onto this feeling of that I was a failure and I just didn't match up to other people. I remember being at parties and you know, I feel like I was gossipy because I didn't want anyone to ask me what I did for work or where I went to school. Cause I was like, I just don't have that. And not that it matters, but I just remember always feeling really insecure about who I was.

And I think once I was able to put alcohol out of the picture and just really utilize my brain to focus on things, I just read everything. I listened to podcasts that were based on recovery and there were women in recovery. I read Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning and I was like, Oh my gosh, it's through suffering that we find the meaning of life.

Thank God I'm onto something. I would just listen to books. My car was a place of positivity. It was always something educational on my radio or a podcast where I felt like I didn't know these people, but I knew these people. I [00:22:00] made amazing friends through the AA program, and I spent time with them, and I realized I could have fun without alcohol.

I had a job at a restaurant, and I remember the first time I laughed was there. Someone told a joke and I laughed, and it was like crickets. Everyone's like, you laughed. I'm like, oh my god, I laughed. And then I started to notice that people wanted to be near me for me, and they liked me, and they liked my personality.

People would call me for advice, or ask me questions, and that had never happened before. And I think, slowly but surely, I became more confident in myself, and honestly, I was making decisions for the first time on my own. I was working towards getting my son back, and really kind of be seen as, for lack of a better word, like a grown up.

Jessica Fein: Well, I think that it's amazing because I think a lot of people go their whole lives without really being a grown up. So what did it feel like to go from someone who did feel that shame and you've spoken quite a bit about feeling shame and not being proud of your decisions and who you were to being someone who other people are calling for advice and looking at [00:23:00] with admiration?

What did that feel like? 

Beth Starck: Like imposter syndrome to some degree, uh, for sure. It felt nice. I have my oldest friend in the world and he has visited me every single place I've ever been and he's been with me this whole time in a conversation with him when he said, You're finally showing up for other people that clicked and hit something in my heart where I was like, Oh my God, I have not realized how much I have not shown up for people.

I like shown up. I've been in the building, but I haven't truly been there. And I think hearing that feedback made me realize that I was on the path to something much bigger than I anticipated. 

Jessica Fein: And it sounds like you were showing up for yourself in a different way. 

Beth Starck: For once, I, I held my head high.

I felt good about myself and I felt like I had quality stuff to talk about. I was informed more about things. I got really into the foundations of counseling and I was into theory and self actualization and I, you know, and I got into crystals. I embrace, like, I'm kind of a kook. I'm a different kind of chick and I like it.

Instead of trying to fit the mold I thought everyone expected me to be, I just kind of [00:24:00] rode the wave of growing into who I want to be.

Jessica Fein: I love that, and it sounds like you really explored, too, because you're going from Viktor Frankl to the crystals and taking the pieces that work for you. One thing that I feel like we just kind of, as people, tend to do is when somebody has made it to the other side of a really tough journey, there's a lot of interest in it, right?

How'd you do it? Why are you so resilient? You know, we're talking about this right now, and a lot of people are attracted to that in somebody, and they're there to express retroactive compassion. And one of the things that I wonder about is how can we show up more at the beginning of the journey? Right? I mean, it's one thing when somebody's made it to the end and we can all say, Oh my God, this is so great and look at you.

But what about people when they're not yet where you are? How can people show up more?

Beth Starck: That's a good question. I noticed myself now, a question I ask more is, how can I show up for you right now? What do you need right now? What can I do? I think in the beginning of my story, it was just so intense that I don't even know if somebody [00:25:00] asked me if they, how they could show up for me and what I would have answered.

I mean, I probably would have been like, fine, I'm fine. I'm fine. But I think just really trying to make ourselves available to people. When I see someone who's having a hard time right now, I, to the best of my ability, I try to stay in further contact with them and then make sure to follow up. You talked on Monday, they mentioned this, follow up Friday, cause maybe that didn't go so well this week or see if they can get coffee on Saturday.

Do something like that. Give space if needed, but really check in to make sure that they're okay and that they know I'm here for whatever they need.

Jessica Fein: What would you say to somebody who says, I can't do it? You know, we're talking here about this idea of, I don't know how you do it. And I'm sure that a lot of people say that to you now.

And I'm sure a lot of people say, I don't know how you did it. How do you answer them? How do you do it? 

Beth Starck: I work for an agency right now as a social worker, but I started as a peer specialist and a recovery coach. And part of the gift of doing that work is the caveat is you self disclose. So I would say if I was working with someone now, I can't give all the details cause that's too much, but I do like to identify with, I'm not where you are today.

I've been there before. Let me just give [00:26:00] you a little bit of what I did. What do you need to get done right now? And then I always try to tell people to have a little bit of hope and it may seem very silly and you might want to roll your eyes at me, but if you carry that little seed of hope, it can build off of that.

And then I like to remind people, even if you don't feel like there's good in you, what do you like about yourself? What can you build on? What things have you done well in your life? And they try to remind people that there's so much good in them and it's just may not be visual right now But it's in there I really try to instill in people strength strength strength Which can be annoying and I get it because I'm sure that I was annoyed when people do that to me But I just also say I've been there to some degree it looks different But I can relate to the pain and how do we process the pain?

I have an amazing therapist, and she helped me see the good in me. She helped me see the good in me. I didn't know I had any good in me. I really didn't. Like, I mean, if you, if anyone read the, what was written about me for Family Court, it doesn't look very pretty, but she was able to help me find what was good in me and instill in me, you have all of these things you can do. You can do them. [00:27:00] Believe in yourself. And one day at a time, one step at a time, I was able to do it.

Jessica Fein: Well, listen, I know that you're helping so many people and by speaking openly about this stuff, it helps other people be able to look within and to be able to share and speak more openly.

So thank you so much for sharing your story with us. My pleasure. Thank you. 

Jessica Fein: Okay, here are my takeaways from my conversation with Beth. Number one, we cannot move forward when we're living in shame and guilt. Number two, there is huge power in owning your narrative and sharing your story. 

Number three. When you have somebody in your life who's struggling, ask them, how can I show up for you right now?And follow up with them, do not disappear. And number four, carrying even a little seed of hope. gives you something to build from. 

I have tons of great episodes coming up. So if you aren't subscribed, take a second and do that now. So the shows will automatically download into your feed. And I'd be so grateful if you take a second to rate and review the show.

Thanks so much for listening. Talk to you next time.