I spent some time Inside of You

29 Aug

So… I am not a fan of podcasts. I know. You are wondering how that could be. But honestly, it’s the talking heads things… it bores me. Doesn’t matter the topic. It’s why I have trouble listening to talk radio/NPR. I need to be doing something. When I was forced to listen to audio recordings while studying, I did so while gardening (pulling weeds) or going for walks. Something. And yes, I know there are a lot of podcasts that you can watch on youtube etc, but it’s still boring. If I’m gonna watch something, I want it to be actiony or funny, or colorful or something! I can’t even stand watching talk shows anymore. Puts me right to sleep.

But recently, on my commute, I have gotten annoyed with my radio hosts. I typically listen to the Broadway channel on XM because there’s zero autotuning, there’s emotion in the voices, I happen to love musicals, and I can sing along and suck, and there’s no one there to judge me. But the self promotion of one host (plus his vocal habits- loudly sucking his saliva!) bother me and the other gets the song/show the are talking about wrong (talks about the next song being ABC, with some amusing story, plays XYZ). I needed a break. Usually that means I switch to whatever music is on my phone. My tunes, my artists, no autotuning… bliss. A few weeks ago, I decided to try something different.

I had recently downloaded several episodes of Michael Rosenbaum‘s podcast, Inside of You, wherein he interviews celebs. Pretty standard stuff. But he has interviewed some people whose work I enjoy- Tom Welling, Stephen Amell, James Gunn, to name a few- and I had heard that in the interviews he pulled out some home truths from each. Michael tends to call each episode a therapy session for himself. As I started to listen, I found myself having the same moments of insight or stopping to think about things in my own life.

Now those of you who’ve been around know this but I am a mental health professional. I take a lot of pride in my work. But I do like to listen to my peers and how they work with our clients in order to pick up different techniques. Or different questions that I might want to add to my toolbox. I am very blunt with my clients, which they appreciate- did I mention I work with prison inmates?- and generally, I have great sessions. But sometimes I feel like there’s a different direction I could take them in that might help.

Well, I think it would help me out a lot if I could make them listen to some of these episodes. Particularly when some of the male guests breakdown their mental health issues. Or breakdown. I work with men, and most of them came from families/situations where men did not have emotions. Of course, that leads to a lot of issues because how do you deal with anything if you aren’t allowed to feel? So Stephen Amell’s panic attack episode would be so powerful to share with them. “See? This tough guy that you watched in Arrow? He feels things. And those feelings kicked his ass.” Or James Gunn talking about happiness not being about reaching goals or having things but feeling fulfilled. That episode actually had me pausing it while I drove so I could have a little chat with myself, by the way. And in case you wondering, yes, I do feel fulfilled. There are things I would still like to do (travel, family, etc) but I love my job (weird, I know) and I though sometimes I feel burnt, I don’t want to do anything else. And I own my home. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine. And I am creating it to be the perfect place for me and in doing so, I feel fulfilled. It’s not satisfaction, it’s more than that. There’s a peace. I didn’t think this would be my life, but I don’t think anything else would suffice now. So that’s a little of the talk I had with myself and I came out of it at peace with myself. There’s still anxiety and depression- there’s still a lot of shit that I am dealing with- but the big picture, the whole puzzle, the… ME, I’m good with all that.

A few other topics that have resonated with me have been Michael and pretty much all the guests talking about their own anxieties and depression, and how they deal with them. Hearing some tried and true methods that either I do myself or I recommend. Hearing different methods that I want to look more into as possible recommendations for clients (especially things the male guests have said- not to say if something works for a woman it won’t work for a man, but as I am not male, it’s good to get that perspective when your clients are). Though dealing with anxiety by ‘taking a break and going to the beach’ isn’t exactly a workable solution for someone serving life in prison… Little things stand out to me, too. Nathan Fillion speaking about both acts of kindness and finding a balance. The latter being something I teach but still strive to do for myself. It’s easier said than done. The former being something this world needs more of. The other day I was listening to Erica Durance talk about postpartum depression. Powerful shit, if I may say so. I am not a mother, never been pregnant, so my knowledge of what happens with the hormones is purely theoretical. But after that ep I wanted to find all my girlfriends who are moms and hug them to pieces. I know people who have experienced PPD and were lucky to come out the other side. I think it is so strong of Erica to speak about because it is something that so many people still think is bullshit; to hear her words… I could feel it. I could picture having those thoughts. I wanted to hug the shit out of my own mom. For the record, I am unaware of my mother having PPD but just the possibility that bringing me and my brother into this world could’ve had her thinking/feeling like that terrified me and made me so grateful for everything. Brandon Routh (whom followers of this page know that I adore, for many reasons) spoke about the dark places he went to after Superman Returns didn’t provide return of his investment and lead to promised stardom. For the record, I like the places he did go and am not sure I would be able to say that if SR had propelled him further. I don’t think I would have an autographed photo in my office that has a positive, supportive message for the inmates I work with. And they love that Superman took a moment to think of them- it means the world to them. So speaking about being humbled and having to re-evaluate his priorities… I respect that man.

I do love when there are behind the scenes stories, too. It’s not all just mental health. Like… I had no clue that if Smallville was shooting Clark from the waist up, Tom Welling was in shorts and sandles. And now I can’t unknow this fact, so I know that my next rewatch will be full of giggles. Or how different it feels to be an actor on a show to being a guest star -though that makes sense because I know when I cover for a peer with their clients, I am much more reserved and “appropriate” (not that I am not appropriate all the time, I swear) then I am with my own guys. Additionally, as the podcast officially began pre-pandemic but then had to figure out how to navigate a pandemic, it has been interesting hearing people speak about that. Living in my bubble here, with work and family and not much else, hearing about how difficult industries and places have approached safety (and hearing people commenting about the selfishness of others refusing to be considerate and wear a mask/vaccinate) has provided different perspectives on this situation. Every day I deal with people (not just inmates) who refuse to test, to wear a mask, and even respect social distancing all because they feel like it’s all bullshit at this point. (I actually went into a long rant about that but I removed it because this isn’t the time or the place).

But it isn’t just about the guests and the topics that resonates and keeps me interested. It is Michael Rosenbaum himself. Now, I will admit he is an actor I enjoy. And I follow his social media- he appears to be a genuinely good guy. To me, that makes me like him more and want to be supportive as a fan. So yes, it was Michael himself that made me interested in his podcast. But there are a lot of celebs with podcasts (especially after the pandemic started…), what worked for me here? There is a real interest in the guests that you can hear in his voice (I assume you can see it too, but I listen in the car). There appears to be a authentic desire to understand what the guest is speaking about, but to also gain insight into himself via their perspective on life. The podcast is really a search for meaning and happiness. All of that blends seamlessly with a discussion about events, performances, gossip, behind the scenes, “an actor’s life”, etc. Additionally, he does a good job of effectively listening to each guest, reflecting back to them, and expressing himself with “I” statements, which is all about powerful communication. And that’s coming from someone who talks to people all day, professionally. I appreciate a good, effective communicator. There is a little talking over each other (by both parties) but that is part of how you know it is a real conversation…


I could sit here waxing poetic over this podcast all day, but I’m in the middle of a purge of things and a Batman: The Animated Series marathon, so I should wrap this up. Michael also has a podcast with Tom Welling re-watching Smallville from the beginning and I have that bookmarked to listen to in the future- I want to wait til there’s a full season to enjoy.

Can’t wait for my next work day commute!

(Oh… and before you ask, the hawking of wares or self promotion doesn’t bother me here. Yet. It might. But I can always fast forward through it, which I can’t when my live radio hosts do it.)

2 Responses to “I spent some time Inside of You”

  1. Barbara Kus September 5, 2022 at 12:12 pm #

    Lovely opinion piece, dear, and yes… I did have PPD

    • elizabeth ann September 5, 2022 at 7:56 pm #

      I would be interested in hearing your experience

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