Hi guys, welcome to threads podcast life on filter today tonight or whenever you’re listening is we’re interviewing Joe Reed, the author of broken like me. But before we talk to Joe and get an introduction for him Ben’s gonna tell everyone what threads podcast is about. And then we’ll do a little icebreaker.
Yeah, well, I am really excited to have Joe here. And we’ll get to that in a minute. But before we do, for those of you who might be tuning in, because of Joe, in his relationship to you just wanted to do a quick intro to what this forum is here. This is the threads podcast, we are all about having unfiltered conversations about things that matter. We talk about mental health, faith, and uncomfortable conversations as well. We want to create a space where it’s okay to talk about things that are difficult to talk about. It’s kind of the whole premise of what we do. And in my life, one of those people that embodies all of those things very well is sitting here in the room with us. And I’m so excited to have Joe here. So, Joe, thanks for being here. Yay. Glad to be here. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. I’m looking forward.
You’re going to talk about Jace. I thought that was the intro to Jason. I’m like Lucy tuck. Oh, no. It’s sort of threads. He’s like, I’m sitting in the room with this guy. And I’m like, that’s, that’s me, Chase.
Joe, yes, surprise, me. Surprise. Well, one of the things that we like to do before we get into the meat and potatoes of the episode is just have a brief check in, we each have different paths that we walk each day. Sometimes they’re stressful, sometimes they are peaceful, sometimes they are in between. So we just like to have a check in before we get started. This helps us kind of get a feel for where the three of us are at. And it also serves as a way for us to be unfiltered the whole point of this show. So I will go first, I am showing up today. feeling pretty positive about my physical health. I went and had a physical today and down some pounds, my blood pressure is going down. And it’s to the point where the doc says if I continue on this path, I won’t even need the blood pressure medication that I’ve been taking. So that was encouraging. Yeah. How long did he give you for the recheck? He wants to see me again in six months. Okay. So works for me. Very cool. Yeah, very cool. And then I went to therapy, and it was hard. And so kind of best of both worlds, I guess. Got the happy and the crappy all in one day.
What is that? Some sort of sandwich? Well, there used to be like a compliment sandwich where you’d be like, oh, give like a, like a positive and then some space to grow. And then another positive. Yeah. So you’re kind of like,
yeah, that’s the podcast was the positive. We’re just finishing up the sandwich. There you go. There you go. Here we go. I hope so.
How about you, Joe? I know when you first came in, it was kind of a rough day, but that’s where I’m assuming where we’re going with this as far as where you’re feeling right now.
Yeah, yeah, I’m feeling awful. I’m having a really, really bad day. But you know, it’s it’s it’s tough being a parent to a teenager or to a group of teenagers. And just the disconnect there, I missed the, the, the alone times that I get with them, the the loving times we get spend together doing things together, and they really don’t want anything to do with me. And yeah, it’s really hard. Especially. I’ve got a lot of time on my hands because I went part time with my, my job at FedEx, okay. So I can give them a lot more time to be focused on them. And I’ve, my kids are not doing well in school. They’re not in school, they’re not going to school. Okay, so that’s not good. No. And one of my children just got to the hospital, so and we put a lot of money for that. And we’re not seeing the fruit of that. So okay, it’s like oh, man.
Yeah, it’s it’s a challenge raising kids for sure. Yeah, they do turn they do come back. When they get older. My older son has the prodigal son has returned and now he’s asking dad about advice about buying a house and and those kinds of things so it does come back and that’s the best part because you know, you’re like those years those teenagers are rough for sure. Do you think you’re an idiot and they they just think they can rule the world and then you’re like, Oh, my dad does know a few things. He has bought a few houses in his lifetime so well hopefully this podcast we can turn it around and have a good you know, 45 minute chat about you know, your book and you and all that fun stuff. But as far as me coming in, I’m feeling okay. The humidity is gonna work outside as listeners know and last week was brutal. The humidity was just horrible. And today, in this week is going to be great. So that was a nice refreshing work day. I I mean, I saw the air and of course in the truck, but I didn’t sweat near as much as I did last week. I think I lost like 10 pounds. in water, wait, so nice. Oh, yeah, I’m feeling good. I’m excited about the interview tonight. It’s a Monday night record. And so yeah.
jumping in jumping right in, let’s get to work. Awesome. So I mentioned before that I’m sitting in a room with somebody who’s had a big impact on my mental health. It actually goes for both of these guys. I am very fortunate to have Jason who, even though he’s an asshole about it, sometimes use the full word. Sure did. Like we’re five minutes in and you, you. I know. He, but in the most loving of ways, back when I wasn’t doing well, mentally, I was really struggling. Jason was the person who’s like, Alright, you got to go back and take care of this, you’re not done, go back, get some help. Find a different therapist. I was like, fine. So after a lot of peer pressuring, I went, and it’s been great. And then around the time we started threads, I want to say it was when David T’s Mike came on the show. Somehow my path started crossing with Joe’s. And again, somebody who just took a real vested interest in my mental health, even though I never asked you to, even though I never wanted it. And to be quite frank, in the beginning stages when we first met, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know how to I didn’t know how to accept your friendship or your your check in so I was like, What do I do with this? So
you guys didn’t know each other before threads that was just kind of was like right when you guys just first started and I actually introduced David T’s ma to you. Yes, that’s how he got the full Joe explosion at Big B. Just one time I just boom, I was splattered all over the Joe. He’s pulling out of his hair in the shower that night. It was pretty, pretty insane. Oh, wow.
Yeah, we it was it was deep and we went for a walk at big BTL if I remember. Right. Yeah. So all good things that have come from my friendship with both of these guys. So to be in the same room is kind of a it’s a momentous time for me. So you need a moment. I don’t know maybe. But Joe, you have obviously just released your first book broken like me insiders toolkit for mending broken people. And I remember you talking about that, like three years ago, right? When we were at Big B, you’re like, I’m gonna write a book. And now we’re sitting down and I see it on the table like, this actually happened. I’ll give you the floor to kind of start and introduce yourself. I could tell people all about what I know of you. But I guess, just to start, what brought you to the point in your life where you decided to sit down and say, Hey, I’m gonna write a book about mental health.
Yeah, thanks. And and I want to just say that, like, although my day is awful, it’s really exciting to be here and to talk to you guys. And it’s definitely a plus side in my mid Yeah, I needed this. I even brought my support reindeer, I have a stuffed animal in my lap. And if anybody needs to hold it throughout the day, I’ll be sure to pass it on to you. Yeah. So in 2016, I was going through Grand Valley. And I was looking at going into business. And I wanted to talk to an organizational developer. So I was recommended to this guy, Dr. Andy Atwood, who used to work for the state of Michigan, doing some organizational development. So I went to him. And it’s like, I got all these ideas and things that I’m doing in my life, and things that I’m doing to help deal with some of the emotional battles and storms that I face. So he took all these ideas and wrote them down on a chalkboard. And, and I was like, Okay, what are we going to do? Now? I asked him if he would mentor me, you know, for free? And he’s like, no. And he’s like, Well, it looks like you’re just waiting for like one major event to push you in a specific direction. So I’m like, great, I gotta wait for something big to happen. Like, that’s never gonna happen. So I left there, and just forgot about it forgot about the conversation. I saved the email for whatever reason, in my email box and I, I got a call on January 25 2018, that my best friend had committed suicide. And as soon as I got that call, that conversation I had with Dr. Andy Atwood came like, crushing back and feeling that that big catalyst, that big moment, momentous event, this was it. Yeah. And like,
knew that I had to write a book. I just knew in that moment, like, that’s, that’s the direction I’m going. And the relationship I had with the gentleman that that passed away. You know, we were, you know, mutual supports for each other like, like when he went into the mental hospital, I was there sneaking him candy and contraband. When I was in the hospital, he was there sneaking in sweet tea and Oreos. Like we just we really knew each other really well. We understood each other struggles. So when he was gone, I felt like I was in a desert of of help, there was just nothing. Yeah. And I got really pissed off with the person I had been trying to pretend to have it all together, I tried to pretend to be something in the church, something in my faith, something in my family that I just, I just, I’m not. And that that anger, that frustration, the the, the the grief, allowed myself one month of just feeling whatever I wanted to feel, and just telling people about it. And then connected with a guy, a mentor friend who works at our daily bread, Clarkson Morgan, and he’s like, well, you can write a book, which is what direction I was gonna go, like, I gotta write a book I got a subject to talk about. And he’s like, you can write a book, or you can do something a little bit more significant, like have an impact on the community. It’s like, I think you should start a ministry like, heck, no, we had too many ministries, like, come on. We need better people to run the ministries we have already. Yeah. So I said, I’m gonna do a thing, I’ll do a thing, I’ll just start something and whoever can join it, whatever. But it’s like, I don’t want to call it a ministry. And it was, which is ended up being great, because broken people, which is in 43 countries, we have people, the majority of people have no connection to faith, or would never step foot in a church. And it’s an honor to, to be able to express my struggle with faith and my love for God and a community of people that just accept it. Because I’m accepting to them, we have this, we have this common bond. I call it broken people, because one of my lowest point, the way that I can best describe myself is broken. And I know for a lot of people that deal with a mental illness that can be kind of something to push you away.
Yeah, kind of contradictory, contradicting, you know, like, broken, you’re trying to, you’re trying to piece yourself together. But
yeah, it’s kind of insulting, it could be insulting. But what I knew when I, when I coined that phrase, broken people, which does come from an art piece, I did an Art Prize in 2016, too, but, but when I knew when I put that name out there, I knew that there going to be a specific group of people that would be able to connect with that, and they would want to join that. People that had a very similar feeling to it. And it’s not all about mental illness, either. There are people that feel broken, they have no mental illness or diagnosis. True. And, and in fact, one of the things we invite people to do and I know I’m getting off topic of the book is just anybody, anybody joins the group, it doesn’t you don’t have to feel broken. Like if you have a heart of encouragement, like, like, we’re just about building community and and breaking down walls and barriers where there’s been a lot, whether it be political, yeah, sexual, you know, whatever. I mean, church, religious, you know, all this stuff, the walls are just are pretty much gone. Because the judgment and the pride is God, I got too pissed off with pride. So and if you and I was, I was talking to somebody the other day, and I said that the pride is the mother of prejudice. And, and I was like, that’s, that’s where a lot of the problems come when you have division between groups of people is the prejudice that you have between them. So I’m gonna stop there is a question because I don’t remember what we’re talking about this. Yeah. So add, fix it. This guy won’t interrupt. So I am too polite to interrupt. I will. Please No,
but you were talking. The question was, tell us about what got you to where you are in You did very well answered it. You did it. You want a gold star? I do. Oh, thank you. Yes. So with that, you mentioned the group that’s in the 48 countries. Yeah. That’s the Facebook page. Is that right? Facebook page. That website? Yeah. And then kind of part of that is the group that you’re running in West Michigan here for Grand Rapids. Yes. Yeah. So how is that Ben?
Hi guys. Thank you so much for listening to threads podcasts if you could do me a favor. If you are a listener on Apple, or Apple podcast, can you give us a review we would really really appreciate it. Also, if you want to support the show, you can support us at buying me a coffee comm slash threads podcast. That’s buy me a coffee calm slash threads podcast. What this does is help us continue the mission of talking to people about mental health, faith and uncomfortable conversations being authentic in their life. This money that is if you guys buy us a coffee doesn’t go to actually buying us a coffee unless you insist also there’s a membership option where you can do $100 for the whole year and you get a community Facebook group that you could talk privately and confidentially with Ben and I about things are going on your life so if you go to buy me a coffee calm slash threads podcast you can do either that bias a one time coffee or join the thread thready membership there we go threading membership also we do have a newsletter if you go to threads podcast comm slash newsletter, click on put your newsletter, put your newsletter, put your email in there probably won’t spam no of course we will not spam Just the comings and goings of Ben, and Jason and threads and all that once a month, we’ll send out a newsletter. Okay, guys, thanks so much for listening back to the show.
I know you’ve had quite a variety of people in the in person group.
It’s been it’s been crazy. You know, it’s summertime here in West Michigan and usually our support groups go down and and broken people was the only in person peer support group that was meeting in West Michigan. For the last, I don’t know, six to nine months. Pine rest wasn’t doing it. And pine Redwood contacted me about sending people over, but they never did. And just having people I mean, it’s, it’s the group that I currently run is, is an extension of the church that I go to City Life Church. But, you know, we’re open to whoever wants to come. I mean, I just tell them if they’re gonna come, we’re gonna pray. We might read some scripture, but talk about whatever you want to talk about. Yeah, my two rules are if you need to cuss man, please get it out there. We’ll figure it out. We’ll just puke it out there. And we’ll dive through it. And then we have another group that starting in San Jose, California. Oh, really? Ah, July 1. Awesome. So that’s gonna be exciting. Getting that launched up.
Very cool. So you mentioned the teenagers and right there with you. Teenagers are hard. Yes.
We’re in their world. Well, other than my older son, we’re in the early stages of the teenage Yeah, we each have. We Stefan’s 15 Yep. Miracles, almost 13. Yep. And then I have a 13 year old girl too. So
it was miracles half birthday the other day. So she’s officially closer to 13 than she is 12 give her half a cake. Do we have cake? Have a cake? half half a cake? We did not have half a cake. But I did buy her a lemon meringue pie today. So I guess that counts.
But he’s kissing up for Father’s Day. Come in. Yeah, Monday. Yeah. I do have a 23 year old and a 21 year old daughter. They’re both daughters. Just four kids. Okay. And they’re actually doing really well.
Yeah. See, they do turn around. Hopefully it’s Yeah, they will turn they will turn around.
Yeah. Speaking of I’m having an add moment. But I think it’s worth noting, you mentioned your daughter’s Yes. Hannah is incredible. Like the gift she gave you with the calendar of people to pray for you each day. Yeah. Like, I got that email from her. And I was celebrating four years. Like, this is what fatherhood looks like. Yeah. So kudos to you on that add moment. I know that in light of Father’s Day, I thought it was worth mentioning. Yeah. So my question is kind of getting at your current experience now as a dad, and your experience in the family growing up. For me, listeners can go back to some of the stories I’ve told about my growing up years, so much was just never dealt with never circled back on. If I had an emotional breakdown, it was just kind of ignored and pushed aside. So my question for you, Joe, is given your current reality with your teens where it’s kind of all out there and it’s being dealt with? How does that compare to your childhood experience? growing up was mental health part of your story part of your family life? Kind of that direction?
So you’re asking if we were crazy, growing up as crazy as I am right now. And we were and in my family, and this is something that’s still on dealt with it with my parents. My I grew up in a home that was beyond like, dirty. It was we had fire marshals coming to our house and telling us constantly to pick it up or we’re gonna kick us out. Okay. It was a it was a townhouse. So we were renting from the apartment complex, and they would check on us, you know, every once in a while there. And it was a tough thing. And my mom, you know, struggled with some kind of mental illness. I don’t know she’s not going to get help. But yeah, and for me this this, this empathy monster that I have right now that has really just done its number on me through through my life and I’m just now China trying to get that bit in the mouth of it, you know, to try to kind of control a little bit. It was birthed out of out of the struggles that I had in the home and the beauty that I had there my home because my mom, you know what our home was filled with other than, like some of the things that my dog did and didn’t get cleaned up really well was my mom would buy a lot of stuff for people and stored in our home, like plastic ware or or dishes or records that are like boxes of books that she would want to give away. She had a heart to give and a heart disorder. without boundaries, and that’s, that’s the makings of a big a big problem and that, that really revealed itself in my life. And my dad was non confrontational, like he, you know, yeah, he didn’t want to have the difficult conversations with her, he’d rather tell us don’t get married when you get older. Then just to go to her and deal with that head on. Whereas right now, that’s something, you know, my wife is a pistol, she’s a fireball. And one of the things I’m doing in one of the things I’ve learned that I’ve kind of included in the book is just, you know, how do I how do I exist in that environment with a with a, with a, with a partner that has so much expression and so much opinion. And I am like a doormat, like, I just yeah, you can have your opinions. You know, I’ll just do whatever, you know. And as often as I say that, like, no get go along to get along. And I think I think it’s going to be doing something good for me, but it’s not it’s hurting me is crushing me and, and then I end up getting the point where I’m just, you know, you know, way, way down. And then I got to get, you know, extra extra help. But, you know, since I’ve been working with really good therapists in my last hospitalization, I’ve been given a really good tools to be able to do that, in a very understanding lifelike, she’s all about like me confronting her when we’re not in a confrontation. So it’s great six, yeah, confront me. But then when it comes to like, yesterday, when we get to go to church, and she needed me to get her shoes, and I told her No. Oh, yeah. time and a place for it. Yeah, that kind of stuff. Yeah. Well, she knows who she is like she appreciates it just not in the moment. Right.
Exactly. You talked about your therapist. Are you currently seeing one now? And how is that? How’s that going for you? Is? Is? Is it a positive move? Or is it like Ben has some where they’re great, and sometimes they’re rough? Are you you know, I know, I’m kind of in this weird holding pattern. Because of COVID. You know, we did the virtual and that was, as much as I thought I would love that. It was I did not love it at all. And I just, I’m back in person now. So where are you with that? I mean, obviously, you are pro therapy. So yeah, tell me a little bit about that.
Yeah. So it’s actually my previous therapist that really took me over the hump in terms of like, knowing how to be a social creature, that was the biggest, the biggest lesson I learned. And it’s this, this idea of called DBT, dialectical behavior therapy. heard that it’s very closely related to cognitive behavioral therapy. Okay. And it’s just really, it’s, it’s how to behave in social situations for dummies? Like, how do you handle conflict? How do you do all this stuff? Like, I don’t, I don’t have that common sense. And she, I mean, she gave me exactly what I, I’ve always wanted in therapy lessons and, you know, worksheets, and this is how you do it. This is, you know, you know, not really roleplay. But, you know, these are these acronyms that tell you how to act in specific situations, because I have no clue. I had to, I had to end that therapy relationship, though. Because my wife made me, which is kind of almost true. I was just kind of coming into understanding what empathy was at the time. And so I was like, I asked my therapist, I was like, Hey, I think I have this empathy thing, but I’m not sure. So at that time, I was practicing that people. Like, I go to church, and I’d be like, Hey, you know, can I can I tell you how I think you’re feeling? And it was, it was weird, but like, I didn’t give a damn. Like, I was just like, I need to figure this out. Like I you know, this is after my friend passed away. I just didn’t give a damn. And so I went to my therapist, and I was just like, Hey, can I try this on you? Well, I did. And she ended just breaking down and crying. At the after I got done talking to her. And so my wife’s like, yeah, you gotta, you gotta end that relationship. Yeah, she probably shouldn’t have let you do that. And I’m not saying I’m always right with it. Because I think empaths can be like, think they always have a right when they feel like they’re always right. Which isn’t the same thing. Yeah, and I’m aware of that. But, but I am especially attuned to, or aware of people’s feelings, like, at least that matters to me.
So you talk about empathy. So you didn’t have empathy or growing up like you, you just didn’t have that skill. I mean, are you I mean, like, my son is autistic, and he thankfully does have empathy, but a lot of autistic kids don’t have empathy. Yeah. So I’m just wondering if that’s something you have always dealt with or maybe you had trouble with that after your friend passed? Yeah, actually,
my wife is the one with Empathy bone in your body. But I, I’ve always had empathy to a very unhealthy degree. I just didn’t understand it. I didn’t know how to label and I didn’t know what to do with it. So I would get into a situation at my church where I would be doing doing doing, because God won’t give us more than we can handle, we think. Yeah, right. And then and then if you do more than you can handle, it’s not God’s fault. It’s not the church’s fault. Guess whose fault it is. It’s yours. Yeah, exactly. It’s in the book. Yeah. So, and I was carrying so much and thought because I see a need you treat the need, you know? And, and I just thought that that was what I would do. And I didn’t understand boundaries.
Okay, so you had empathy, but you didn’t get it. Now, you didn’t have the boundaries, you’re over over empathy. I
didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know what was going on in my head, you know, and that’s when that was my first trip to a psychiatric hospital, which was one of the funnier parts of the book.
Okay. Okay. Well, I appreciate you talking about that. I know that. I would say that I don’t have that problem. But I do have trouble saying no, sometimes into and I think that’s part of like, you just feel like you need to help and in those kinds of things.
So you mentioned nice, Nathan Beals. Yes, I wish I got to know him. I knew him through some other people at city life and other connections. just seems like an amazing guy. So I know, he had a pretty big impact on the book, who are some other people in your life that really influenced the book that now sits in front of us?
Yeah, so you know, going back to my therapist, Gail Johnson, you know, her teaching me these, you know, social skills for dummies kind of a thing in DBT. Like, that was really huge. And one of the things I don’t know, she encouraged me, I was really drugged up at the time. Like, they had me on so many medications, but not as bad as it was like that. We’re talking 2013 22,001 when I initially went in the psych hospital, it was insane. The amount of like, I can’t remember things, but so there’s a lot of things I don’t remember. But I remember taking all the information that Gail gave me, my therapist and like starting to do this process of utilization, which in my book, I, I call it why oh, you utilize like, how do you take this stuff and apply it to my life applied to life. So I adapted it, and I adapted all these things, just just to survive.
And honestly, that’s the hardest part of therapy is taking those and using in real world, like, a lot of my stuff happens when I blow up when I when I get angry. Yeah. And it’s like, in those moments, you’re like, you forget, you know, because everything is happening so quick. So that’s that I feel like that’s the toughest part is using those tools that you’ve learned, for sure.
And they’re, they’re amazing tools. And, and sorry, to me to do rail. It happens, Dr. Andy Atwood, you know, as far as like him, kind of sitting down with me, you know, he gave me an hour’s time and didn’t charge me anything just to kind of take all these pieces and put them on a whiteboard. Yeah, that was huge. And didn’t just tell me, Hey, you got to wait for an event. For sure, like my wife. You know, we are so different. And the transition we’ve gone through in our marriage to thinking we had specific roles we had to fill, understanding that we didn’t fit that mold well at all. And then getting to the place where we are where we just kind of throw away the mold. And we’re just, we’re just, we’re doing what we’re gifted at. And her being hard, and her being a tough person has really pushed me to grow. She hasn’t taken a lot of my whining in my my bullshit. And this is another thing that bester Nathan did, too. He, he would lay it out for me and say you’re being whiny, you know, and and i think that it that you alluded that with Jason that, you know, hey, you need more help. So, Melissa, just constantly being truthful with me being honest with me, and really creating a lot of friction in my life. So that can grow and become stronger. And then to to be there to encourage me on the flip side. That’s been huge. I definitely wouldn’t be here like crazy wouldn’t be here without her. And then Adam is who used to be passionate. Yeah, yep. Yeah, I went to high school with him in Detroit. Okay. And he, you know, I don’t know, we just kind of we’ve been friends for almost 30 years now. Wow. And, you know, his, his passion for unpopular things has has really impacted me. His friendship has for sure his love for people. And that’s been that’s been a big deal. I mean, I could there’s I think every person I come in contact with really rubs off on me in some significant way where I just I just, but but those are people I can think of right at the moment. Yeah, that’s fine. That’s awesome.
Yeah. Tell me a little bit about the book as far as like, what the goal the book was what, you know, what’s your target audience who, who could be helped from the book? Those kinds of things?
Yeah, so I worked with a group called self publishing school. And it’s Chandler bolt has this big organization. And so what they call like, Who’s my target audience, they refer to that as an avatar. Okay. And avatar is just somebody like, if you’re looking at an audience, and you’re speaking to the audience, that’s the one person in the audience that’s going to be crying and receiving that message with a lot of passion. Okay, so they wanted me to invent this person, like describe this person, and so that I could kind of formulate my book to that. And I couldn’t do that. Like, I’m a creative person. And I couldn’t find myself doing that. But But then I thought, well, I don’t have to invent somebody. I’ve got over 900 people in my, my group, my broken people group, like who in their fits that bill, you know, who. So there’s a lady in my group from New Jersey, her name is Dana Sullivan. She’s got she’s a single mom got a kid comes from a rough religious background. She’s not a Christian. And I was like, That’s the one. That’s the person I want to reach the single mom with, with a tough, you know, really tough religious background. And so I called her up and I interviewed her, I was like, tell me all about you. And so then as I wrote the book, like it had a huge impact on how I wrote the book, I went from writing the book to you people to like actually envisioning her receiving the book. So it’s, it’s, it’s you. That’s a really good idea. Yeah. So I was able to envision her. But the weird thing about this dude is, like, I got a call from a friend last week, where a 17 year old girl picks up the book before my friend got home, started reading it. And like she went crying to him at night. Just about the passion she some some topics that she read about. Yeah, how impactful that was? Like, I didn’t expect that, right? I’m a 45 year old man, like, I don’t know. But
well, I feel like that ideal woman is there’s tons of people that are like that you just honed in on her and yeah, writing it for her. That’s a really interesting concept and not trying to overthink of who you’re trying to rank for. So I knew
if I reached her that I would reach a million people. Yeah. And but it was never about the million people was really about reaching the one to one. Yeah,
yeah, that’s what kind of what we talked about too, is reaching people. And it doesn’t have to be a ton of people. But if one person reaches out and says, Man, this is impactful, it was worth it.
And that’s the goal. That’s the goal of broken people. Let’s go with my book scope. I just want to help that next person that feels broken like me. Yeah. One of my key verses in, in the US for broken people, I have a mental health Hero Award. It’s a national award that we issued to people get nominated, and that I send my award in the month and do a big hoo ha, about you know, trying to make, you know, and it’s you know, people that do little things like I think that they’re heroes unclaimed hero ism out there that’s not recognized. And I want to recognize that with this mental health Hero Award. So in this letter, I quote Matthew 2540, where it says, you know, you know, when did you do this for? For me? When did you help me? And Jesus said, when you did for the least of these, right, and and, you know, with Jesus, which is you always seem to be about the one. Yeah, and that’s, that’s how and when I got a call from my friend about his teenage girl. I’m just like, I’m done. I don’t have to sell another book. Like that’s, that was my goal right there. Yeah. And you know, my wife keep track. So like today, Amazon numbers and stuff like that, but I don’t care. You’ll go nuts. If you look at that. I don’t care man, which is trending high, though. Yeah. So number one new release for three weeks, two weeks now. And it was a number one bestseller for four days last week. So nice.
Yeah, that is something and that’s a pretty crowded segment genre. Yeah. Yes. genre. Thank
you. Yeah, the bipolar one took me by surprise, but number one in bipolar for four days and okay. And number one new release in bipolar for for two weeks. Amazing.
So in this book, it’s really a toolkit. It’s it’s things people can try. It’s very practical. What is one of those tools? Are you willing to spill the beans as a way to maybe encourage readers to pick up a copy?
Can I spell something else? I’m not a really big fan of being
Yeah, either. I mean, oh, eat him in a like a burrito but like, I’m not gonna cook them and just eat or just waste them by spilling them. Yeah, that’s
very wasteful. I’m sorry. Spill the turtles. Because I like him. Yeah, so I don’t I don’t care talking about I mean, there’s there’s three major tools in the book. There’s the what I call the mental health scale. Hmm, there’s I talked about journaling, I talk about friendship, okay. And those are like the three basic things that I have worked on for the last 15 years, I’ve really been significant to me. And the mental health scale is simply just, I feel like there is this disconnect between professionals and people that struggle with mental health disorders, to communicate. And I’ve created a universal mental health scale that I think makes sense. That’s stupid, easy to understand. And, you know, there’s seriously men, I went to this one hospital and they had a scale of one to 10. If you’re feeling great, you know, it’s 10. Feeling bad is one. So I call it a positive 10 scale. But then I went home, and I was googling mental health scales, and there was a positive one scale, like a one is good and 10 is bad, like, What the heck? And where’s, where’s the equator on this thing, right. And usually, there’s not a whole lot of room for feeling good. Like, it’s usually six or seven is good. And everything under six is, is is bad. So I’m like, that’s not fear for good feelings. Yeah, I want to be fair. So I went through it, I created this, the scale. And I highlight a couple of areas on the scale. And, again, I teach the reader to utilize my Oh, you utilize the scale for themselves. And I introduced something called a magic number. And a crisis number. Hmm, the crisis number is where on the scale that you yourself, know, you need to be hospitalized. But this is where you’re unsafe. And you need to get professional help quickly. So that you can communicate, you don’t have to go to your family and friends and say, I’m struggling, I’m having all these thoughts, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, it’s really simple. I’m at, for me, it’s a negative six, if I hit a negative six, my friends know, my wife knows, my pastor knows, my therapist knows Joe is going to hospital. But then what’s really cool about this is if I keep track of these numbers, I can begin to build averages and begin to understand things like seasonal depression, or days of the week, or things like that. And the averages work really, really well. The magic number is a positive six for me. And again, it’s it’s depends on who you are, and what your your strengths are. But that’s the period where like, if I’m feeling really, really great, and I think that I can start for podcasts, which I’m doing right now just getting competitive, you know, with you guys. Um, then I need to take a step back and say, am I feeling manic in my being irrational? And it’s just the flack and what what the potential potential problem with that is, you begin to become afraid that, Oh, I’m going to crash. But what I encourage the reader to do is enjoy those feelings, enjoy those, but then start to implement coping skills. So that if you do fall of that the Fall is slower, and less harmful to you and the people that you love. And I introduced a concept called coping ahead. And coping ahead is pre coping. It’s like, what do you do? If Yeah, so like, what if I do, and I come here, and I don’t know, Jason, and he’s a jerk, like, how am I going to act? And he has a really nice beard, by the way. Thank you jealous. So yeah, it’s coping is is a is a huge tool. So I was really challenged by a friend when I when I introduced that that magic number. Yeah. At first, I treated as bad as my friends like, well, can’t you be at a six or seven and be really great. And imagine like a 10 is like a spiritual orgasm. It’s fantastic. It’s the best that you could possibly feel. Yeah. And, and I didn’t actually explain the scale to you. But I think you can start to see a picture of zeros, the dividing line, if you’re feeling bad. If you’re feeling negative, then your numbers negative, correct. Zero to negative 10. And negative 10 is you’re in the act of doing something to yourself, yeah, you’re holding the gun or whatever, you know. We never want to get there but but there are things on the scale that you can do when you’re negative three, negative four, you see yourself moving down to actually move you literally in the right direction, your neck, a three and a two, whatever, what are some what are some of those things that you can do and again, coping ahead planning ahead, to be able to incrementally move you to the right side of the scale that’s all we’re trying to do is get you past that zero point.
And then once you’re over there that I talked about celebrating I don’t care if you had a point one plus point one celebrate it Yeah. And and even if you’re like I had a friend who was a negative five and she moved to a negative for that movement in the liberal right direction is worth celebrating. That is positive momentum. And even though it’s it’s you’re still not feeling well, you still have to celebrate. Yeah. I love what James says, Do Consider it pure joy, my friends, when you face trials of many kinds, like he’s saying, consider joy as an option when you’re struggling, as opposed to feeling guilty as opposed to beating the crap out of yourself, you know, yeah, or feeling tempted or for being you know, but you know, for whatever reason, joselyn Job’s late, or James was like James, you know, pretty connected with Jesus, too. They were brothers right? cuz I’ve got my trust somebody in the Bible, it’s gonna be James. And he’s like, yeah, I can just consider joy. So what I do with this is I had a friend that we were accountability partners for a pornography. So if he would be struggling and tell me I’m struggling, I’d be shooting off him fireworks congratulations for struggling consider joy, you know, celebrate this because if if you if you let guilt come in and take a take a hold of you, whenever you’re struggling with anything that just makes it all the more likely that you’re going to do that thing because you’re beating yourself up. There’s no reason to feel guilt. Yeah, for something, you know, I walk down the street, I’m attracted to a lady. And I beat myself up for that. Well, what does that more likely to cause me to do to do more stupid stuff? But if I celebrate the opportunity, I had to be more faithful to my wife. Geez, Louise. Yeah. Anybody ever said Geez, Louise, on your show before? Probably Oh,
I say that phrase. I don’t know if I’ve ever said it on the show. But I’ve definitely said that before. Okay. All right. It’s not out of my element to say that.
So as we start to wrap up, we each have one closing question. I’ll go first. You speak openly and honestly, basically, about everything. And that’s one of the things that I admire about you. It’s also one of the things that sometimes I’m like, Whoa, I wasn’t expecting that.
That’s one of the things that terrifies you. Yeah. That he cuz then who’s the introvert? I think that’s what really threw him off when you were like, I’m kind of like you though. Yeah, I kind of spill a lot quite a bit. And Ben has been part of that, too. But yeah, that has been. Yeah, yeah. And as
well, I’m an introvert too, but I’m very bad at it.
Nice. So where I’m going with that is, you’ve talked openly about your stays in mental hospitals. And that is something that’s pretty taboo. If people go to a mental hospital, it’s not typical, in my experience that they would talk. Talk about it as openly as you do. Yeah. So I guess my question in that is, was there a shift at some point where you’re like, you know what, I’m just gonna be open and honest about this. Or is that just something that came naturally to you?
was my friend dead? I was like, Huh, I’m like, I wouldn’t, why would I hide something? Why would I hide this? I mean, just as an example, I was elected governor, the last time I was in that mental hospital, all the patients in there got together and voted for me. So there’s a lot of I think everybody should spend some time in one of these places. It’s fantastic. And you know, I remember standing at the window looking out and I was locked up at Holland hospital was a fantastic facility. Six West shout out how in hospital would and I was looking out there, you know, the doctor came over. So you know what the difference between you and them out there is you’re in here getting help. And a lot of crazy stuff happens in the crazy, crazy house. But it’s a safe place. The last time I was in the hospital a safe place. The first time I was in the hospital was not a safe experience. You have to read the book about that one.
Yeah. Good tease there. Right. That was good. Appreciate that. There was an amputation. I’ll just say that. Oh, my Yeah. So one of the things I want to know, how did writing the book impact your mental health? Meaning? Did you learn something along the way about yourself as you wrote it? Or were you pretty confident as far as like, where you were at? And you knew everything you needed to know about this book? And you were just like, I got this? Or did you just learn something about yourself? I guess, as you wrote the book,
yeah, I learned a lot about myself, like I was learning to fall in love with myself. You know, one of the chapters in friendship was, it just starts off with if you want to be a good friend, you got to be a friend to yourself first,
which is hard. I mean, you gotta also like saying, you have to love yourself before you can love other people. I think I don’t know. I’m not a Bible scholar like you. But I believe it’s said there somewhere in the Bible. It’s pretty basic. Jesus says, to love your neighbor as yourself.
Okay. Yeah. And I use that as a premise for loving my neighbor. Like, that’s Jesus set a bar for how we should love other people. And that’s how you love yourself. You can’t really love other people. Yeah, if you’re not loving yourself. And I know that seems really weird. But it’s true. And I’ve really learned to like myself, like, you know, there’s a lot of things I do that it’s really quirky. And a lot of things that I like that are really weird I really am a big fan of right angles. So I look around the room and I’m like, right angles. Yeah, dope, and I love the color yellow. And, you know, accepting the beauty and the majesty of the things that are just around us every day, and seeing the awesomeness of it all. It’s just been really helpful for me. There are things that I see that I think I Don’t allow myself to appreciate because it’s weird. And I was judging myself and I was leaving on myself. But now I’m just like, yeah, like I have. I’m sitting here with a stuffed animal stuff reindeer, you know. And I like it. And I’m a 45-year-old guy. It’s It’s comforting, you know, just be yourself, like yourself, and you’ll be able to like people a whole lot better.
Okay. Well, that’s great. I appreciate the time. The book is broken, like me, like the seeing the title and the okay is read in the broken. So that’s super cool. We also know that book is not for resale, because there’s a sticker on that. Yeah, it’s my author’s copy. I don’t even have the book myself. Okay. Okay. So why don’t you tell us a little bit where, I mean, obviously, Amazon, you can get the book. But is there a website you want people to go to, or a Facebook page, or anything like that?
Yeah. So you can get a bunch of tools related to mental health at WWW dot broken, dash people.org. Red Line there. And then there’s a link to my book in there. There’s a landing page with like, a lot of, you know, people talking about how the books doing how people like it. There’s just tons and tons of feedback. Just It’s amazing. And there’s just a lot of tools in there. For both people that feel broken. I have two links on that first page. It just to make it stupid, simple. I feel broken, like yeah, check it out on the thing. Or I care about somebody that feels broken, you got two choices. And then there’s the book underneath. Now pick one, and then it takes you through this web of how broken do you feel? What is your feeling? Exactly? And what can you do about it? Or, you know, if you care about somebody? Well, what can you do about it to help them? And I’ll just put this, I’m not a web designer, I just thought about what would be helpful to me when on YouTube. It’s like, yeah, we’re gonna do it. And so I actually don’t remember there was a question there.
There was you kind of like, didn’t answer it, but then you wrapped you like, whatever you said, was awesome to finish on. So I was like, you know, I’m not going to re-enter the question. But that’s okay. It happens to me, too. I’m the worst. With like, I always ask them what was the question again, because I literally will forget it like two or three minutes insane brains over here.
Right, that? Yeah. Well, Joe, thank you for coming on. I know. You know, not having met Jason and being in a new place and going through the mental health issues that you’ve so bravely faced. Imagine it’s not the easiest thing to show up for a podcast, but I just give you props for being here, even though even on a rough day. Hopefully, this was a bright spot. Definitely was good. Awesome. All right. Thanks, Joe. Appreciate it.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai