Originally published at: https://ketowomanpodcast.com/carrie-brown-at-christmas-transcript/
This transcript is brought to you thanks to the hard work of Michelle Richter.
Welcome Carrie Brown, to a special pre- Christmas holidays podcast on Keto woman podcast. How are you doing today?
Hello Daisy. I'm doing great, I always have a great day when I talk to you.
Oh, that's nice. Me Too.
It's like talking to an old mate
Exactly, exactly. It's, it's very comforting isn't it?
Well I suppose for both of us, 'cause you are in France surrounded by French people speaking French and I'm surrounded by Americans, which I love, but still they’re Americans and so it's like, yeah, it's kind of a bit like coming home talking to you even though we're like across the other side of the pond from each other.
I know and I saw you post in your kitchen group the other day that, that you'd been talking to a friend in the UK for a while. So, you were talking particularly British after that. It does affect your accent doesn’t it, depending who you've been talking to.
Yes. Yes. I was, I was talking to England, and I can't remember who I was talking to now, which is really weird because it doesn't happen very often. But anyway, yeah, I talked to England for a really long time and it was awesome. I'm pretty sure that I sounded a lot more British at the end of it than I did when we started.
Yes, it does work like that. I tend to be a little bit of a chameleon with that and pick up bits and pieces depending, depending on the people you're talking to at the time.
After a couple of days I was calling the trash bin rubbish and you know, things like that.
Put it in the bin!
Yes. I, I notice a lot of your, a lot, a lot of your Americanisms now there are a lot of things in your general speak that are much more American than, than British. But that's, that's what happens I guess when it's, when you're living there and those are the words around you all the time, you just naturally start picking them up.
Well, I, I just think it's, it's how you get on because it's… so British people, we all grew up watching American TV, but Americans don't grow up watching British TV. So British people are much better at knowing how to do American than Americans are at knowing how to do British. And so, I, I found when I moved here, so if I want it to be understood and didn't have to explain myself every five minutes, I just used their phrases, their expressions, their words with my British accent, but with all of the American phrases and words, and that's kinda how it goes. So now I just use, yeah, I just use just so that I don't have to explain myself all the time. I got out and have to explain a hundred times over what rubbish is or what a bin is, or I know a lot of Americans know some of the core things, like they know that a hood is a bonnet and a trunk is the boot, but there's a lot, lot, lot more different words that the British use that they don't know. And I just found it easier to use their words and phrases and call it good.
It's very funny I say that. So that's one of those that little light bulb moments that I hadn't thought about what the reason was for why as Brits, we seem much better at those translations and of course that's what it is. Of course, it's TV as you're, as you're growing up, it's obvious. I'd never thought of it before, but that's why it is completely dependent on the television you watch. You know, I mean I can remember, yeah, growing up and watching obviously the American films and programs, but also picking up all the Australian lingo as well because of watching things like neighbours, you know, and that that is absolutely isn't it? How you, how you pick up those things and learn the translations and if you're not watching them, you don't know.
And there's a lot less. In Australia there's a lot more Australians who grow up on British TV, but not, not so much in America. So that's why we are better at being American than the Americans are at being British.
Absolutely. Now, yes. Now it all makes a lot more sense to me. Anyway. We are talking about the holidays.
Yay Holidays or whatever it is. We're supposed to call them now.
Exactly. It gets, I mean, you know, it's always going to be Christmas for me. Even though I'm, you know, I'm not religious and don't actually believe in the whole Christ behind Christmas thing personally, but it's just for me it's just a name for that time of year in the UK. I know particularly in America, it's a different holiday season. It really seems to start at Thanksgiving and, and sort of carry on from there. But there are, I mean there are so many different festivals that come into play this, time of year aren't there, and I think that's why just calling it holidays is probably a good way just to encompass everyone and everything
Yes, I think you're right that in America there's so many more different cultures here than in England, but also there's thanksgiving and that's the big holiday here, whereas in England everything revolves around Christmas, like we really only have one big I mean we have Easter but even that isn't anything like the scale that we do Christmas.
Christmas is the biggie isn't it, yeah.
And that's when we get, you know, everyone takes like 10 days off and you know the public holidays everywhere. And so, for me, like you, everything was about Christmas. Even though I didn't grow up in a religious family either, you know I grew up in a household where we went to church for weddings and funerals, for me it was all about Christmas because that's the big holiday. So, for me, I've just, you know, I spent my entire childhood saying Merry Christmas and now it's like, well now people, some people choose to be offended about that. And I'm like, it doesn't actually, it's just a nice greeting like really just like it's just a pleasantry, like I, you don't have to get bent out of shape about the fact that I said Merry Christmas and not happy holidays. However, having moved here I can see how it's more because there are so many more holidays here and you don't know what the person you're talking to celebrates or doesn't or whatever, that it is just easier to.. it feels more inclusive to say happy holidays rather than Merry Christmas but I do still trip up.
Like I had a blood draw yesterday and as I left I said to the lovely Gal who took my blood as I walked out the door, I said I mean this the nicest way possible but I hope I don't see you again, because you know, who wants to go for a blood draw, so I said in the nicest way possible I hope I don't have to see you again, but merry Christmas and I was just like Oh, I was supposed to say Happy holidays, oh whatever. The other thing is that in America the Americans get incredibly excited about every holiday. Like they decorate for every holiday Halloween's a huge thing. They redecorate the houses for every holiday. I mean everything and it's very, I have found it very, very difficult not to get sucked into that and I don't mean that in any bad way at all. In fact, I've started to actually look forward to the change, the, you know, every holiday they decorate their houses and they wear green on St Patrick's day and I've actually come to appreciate that and enjoy that. It's not really something I participate in, I don't wear green on St Patrick's day, but I love the enthusiasm and the excitement with which Americans embrace every holiday they possibly can. So happy holidays does seem more appropriate here.
And it's nice to spread it, have some different festivities around the year as well rather than having it all at one time of year. But I think, I think it's just when you grow up with something and it's a habit, it's so enshrined in like you say it, the words tumble out of your mouth without really thinking about them and I think, you know, a lot of things have changed in the last couple of years where we're actually having to address some of those things and some of those phrases and words that tumble out of our mouths automatically and we're having to start to think about how other people might react to those, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing but I also don't think it's a problem that it just takes us a while to have a transition from one to the other and have to keep reminding ourselves, like you were saying, Oh I meant to say happy holidays but merry Christmas tumbled out. I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it's nice to be aware that we're trying to change it to make sure that it's more inclusive and that we're not maybe offending someone by, by saying the wrong thing. I think that’s a good thing to be aware of that I think probably people are forgiving of us if it takes a little while to get used to it.
Yeah and I think there's a lot of people, there's this furore.. furorey... I don't know if it's reached France yet but there's some people who have gotten their panties in a wad about the song Baby It's cold outside, which was written in like whatever, 1940 something and like there's a bunch of people that are just getting really upset saying we shouldn't listen to it and he's talking about date rape and blah blah blah, blah., and the rest of America is going wait what? Like, have you heard the music that’s being written today, and you're okay with that, but you're not okay with this.. like what? But I think, and sometimes I'm like we got on with, like this stuff was never a problem, why is it a problem now. I think one of the things is that the world has got so much smaller because we do travel. It's like we're not like just in our little culture bubbles any more. We do have to start embracing other cultures and being more inclusive because we travel and the Internet has made the world so much smaller in that we can touch all these things now, whereas before we couldn't you know, we were in England and what was good for England was, was good. And we didn't think about the rest of the world because the rest of the world didn't touch us and we didn't touch them but then with the Internet and then travel, now all of a sudden it's like, well actually we can't be insular. We can't just sit here and think, well, you know, it's all about us. It's right and proper in my opinion, that we should start embracing the other people and the other cultures that we touch now by virtue of the Internet and travel. So, but I think that's why for you know, 60 years things like baby, it's cold outside weren't a problem. But now, you know, maybe we do have to look at things in different ways. Of course, no I don't think we should stop listening to it, but.
Well my perspective is on it. And there was, there was a post in my group about that and they were listing all the other things that should be banned because of that. And, and, and my first reaction was, was to laugh it off. And that post actually got flagged by somebody and I had a discussion with them about it and it opened my eyes as to how, okay, we're not, we're not necessarily saying this song has to be banned, but we're just having a conversation about actually this song that has been part of our culture. Think about the culture it was written in the people maybe who wrote it. And some of the words and some of the phrases that are in it are actually potentially triggering people and hurting people. And we are in a different environment now. And I, but I think it's just, it's not necessarily about saying what songs we should listen to, shouldn't listen to what should be banned, what shouldn't be banned. It's having those conversations, it’s like having the 'me too' conversations. It's like having the, the, the different gender, uh, conversations, the race conversations, all those things. It's about having the conversations. And actually for me, that what I always benefit from is just opening my eyes to different points of view and actually having those little light bulb moments. Gosh, yes. I'd not thought about that. My first instinct was to laugh, but here I am hearing from somebody who has actually felt really unpleasant when they read that post and it actually impacted them in a really negative way. So immediately that's going to, that's just going to alter my perception. I don't, you know, I think that's a good thing. It's just about learning and appreciating other people, isn't it?
Yes, I just think that's hard.
Yes, it is hard, very uncomfortable.
Some people would rather just carry on laughing and ridiculing because if they don't, they have to stop and think about, wait.. maybe that is impactful, and that takes work and we're humans and for the most part we don't like work so it's easier to you know, keep on keeping on with what you've done for your whole life or what you grew up with. But I do think and I think maybe because this is the fourth country I've lived in, I think I've had an advantage in I've been forced, right? I say that in air quotes because I chose to move those full time. So, but when I say, you know, having made the decision to move, then if you want to get on well and be successful, you have to integrate into the society you're in. And so, I've been exposed to a lot of different cultures and a lot of different views and now I can see why we should try not to be lazy and we should try to see it from the other person's point of view and maybe make a new decision, maybe not.. maybe stick with where we were, but at least be open to learning why different cultures do things a different way or how people that have had horrible experiences might come across some things. So, but you know, as humans we are lazy and it's easier not to do that because it's work I have just been exposed to having to do the work because if I wanted to survive in wherever I happened to be living, then that's what I had to do, so I'm kind of grateful for that. I've been forced into not being lazy, dammit.
Yes, exactly. And I think you're absolutely right and that was in a way that was, that was my first reaction when I had to start thinking about that post and what went with it. It was, you know, I don't have time for this or I don't want to go down into this quagmire.
Just get over it, why are you making a drama?
Yes, but the rest of me, the biggest part of me was, well, no, this is important and yeah, suck it up. You're going to have to feel uncomfortable for a while. But ultimately what comes out of it is that it's interesting learning about other people and, and how they feel and the benefit you get from going through that brief period of feeling uncomfortable, I think has so much value. And people who refuse to do that in my opinion are missing out,
I'm endlessly fascinated with why people do what they do. Why people think it doesn't mean that all necessary change my mind, but I love to see how someone sees something in a completely different way to me. I'm just endlessly fascinated with psychology and why people do and say what they do
For sure, and I love to have things that I think, or I thought that I believed quite strongly and challenged because sometimes it does get changed. That's how I started low carb and Keto actually from somebody challenging me and saying that I was talking a load of rubbish about carbs, which, which I was and it was somebody really challenging me but doing it in the kind of way that pulled me in and said, you know, go and look at the science and this is interesting and because I had respect for her as well. It was just really a fascinating journey finding out about what she was saying and probably trying to prove her wrong and prove myself right. Not being able to do so in the process and look what a different path, you know, that sent me off on, so I think sometimes people can radically change what you think.
This is not at all what we were supposed to be talking about.
No we've gone off on a bit of a ramble.
That's a brilliant segway into one part of what we're going to talk about I'm going to talk about which was understanding and embracing the fact that not everybody, feels merry and bright at Christmas or during the holidays, whatever we're going to land on calling it.
Yes because there is that expectation isn't there?
There absolutely is.
You know, happy holidays, bonnes fetes is here. Everyone's supposed to be happy and having fun and, and feeling festive and it's all, yeah, I hate it. Hate is a strong word. That's not true, but I don't enjoy the festive season that much, I find it very difficult
And there is a lot there's a lot of people who do not feel merry and bright and actually there's a lot more people who do not feel merry and bright around the holidays. Rates of suicide are up at the holidays, rates of reported depression or clinical depression are up during the holidays. So actually, there are less people being merry and bright than more and our little discussion that we hadn't planned on perfectly points out that it will be really useful. I mean, I hesitate to say that we have to, I do think we have to, we all have to make the choice to do it, but I think it will be incredibly helpful to mankind if people who do not suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts, it will be incredibly helpful if those folks could at least try and understand or, or embrace the fact that there's a lot of people that do struggle and how they can help it to not be such a difficult time for so many people. So, having the conversation about mental health at the holidays I think is incredibly important. Although anyone that knows me knows that mental health is my thing I think it's incredibly important and I think it's particularly important around this time of year.
So, I suppose, I think a good way maybe to approach this would be both sides would be how best to get through it as the person who's in the position of not feeling great at whatever level that is. And from the other side with friends and family and people who know that person or suspect that someone they know a loved one feels that way. How best to help them through that time. Like I say, I find it difficult and my way of dealing with that is generally just to sort of hide away and make particularly the day, Christmas Day, but the time around it just as sort of cosy and as nice as I can and, you know, cuddle my dogs and my cats and just try and do things that will make me feel relatively nice. I don't know. I don't really have a perfect strategy of getting through it. I'm not sure that there is one um, but you know a lot more about this and maybe thought more about it, I don't know what are your feelings from both those angles about how best to get through this in one piece
So, as a sufferer or an ex sufferer, Christmas, as we said at the beginning, Christmas has always been a huge thing for me and when I was a kid growing up, it was the best time of the year. I mean, it really was those two weeks over Christmas and New Year.
The excitement, right?
Oh, the excitement was incredible. It was the only time of year that my brother and I had chocolate biscuits, cookies. It was the only time of the year we had candy, sweets, chocolates, crisps you know, all of that like soda, like fizzy drinks. We never had that stuff during the year, we only ever had it . So, so, and not that food is everything but it was that two weeks was so different that it was this hugely exciting thing. And you know, in England, the build up to Christmas is huge and it's like, you know, we actually decorate our houses and you know, do fun different things.
Oh, exactly. And it starts, yeah, it starts at the beginning of December and my, my birthday's in the first week of December, so that's when the weekend there's my birthday, we'd get the tree and that would be decorated. And that for me that was, yeah, that's, that's the beginning of Christmas. That's when it all starts kicking off what it did and the excitement. Yeah.
So, it's a huge, huge thing and it's terribly exciting. And so that's what I grew up with. So historically Christmas was always good for me and then, you know, I got older and recreated that for myself, but then ( I lose track) 12/13 years ago I don't talk about this a lot, but I was married and I became unmarried 12 or 13 years ago and it wasn't so much, the loss of, cos' I'm an introvert, so being alone is not an issue for me. So, it wasn't loss of that, I think it was the loss of having someone to focus on or buying gifts for or I don't know what it was but when, and I have no family either, so I'm kind of in this bubble of just me. And so, 12 years ago what I decided that I was going to do was I decided that I sat down and thought about, you know, what are the things that I really, really love to do and my, favourite things are driving. I know I should have been a truck driver, I missed my calling.
Yes I know your epic road trips
So driving, going to see new places, exploring new places and landscape photography, and so I decided that every year I was going to like open up the map and put a pin in it and say, I've never been there, you know like I've never been to Yellowstone or I've never been to Yosemite or as I used to call it, I don't know, I've never been to death valley or I've never been wherever, I've never been to Taos, New Mexico and I would leave around the 18th or 19th. I'd pack up my forerunner and I would just go on this epic road trip. And um, and so I would literally leave before Christmas kind of started and, and I'd get back typically New Year’s Eve because like want to be home so that I was with my kitties for the fireworks ‘cause they were always terrified, so I always used to try and get home on New Year's Eve so I was there for that. So that's kind of 10 to 12/14 days.
I would be out like discovering new places, driving, shooting new landscapes, you know, I'd eat, what I wanted when I wanted, there was just like, and I would find the, I wouldn't even realize which day was Christmas Day. I, you know, I would, I kind of literally just miss it and, and for me that works really, really well. So, and there's no, it also takes away, 'cause I don't know about you, but for me, and I think for a lot of people, single people or people who have families but they're not really very connected with their families or their families are toxic and they don't really like to hang out with them, which is perfectly fine by the way. Um, I think it can be that being invited to someone else's holiday celebration or someone else's Christmas particularly is awesome. It's wonderful that people, you know, open their arms and their houses to have you come and join them for what a lot of people is a very special time of year, but for me, I often feel worse when I'm in a group of people than when I'm actually on my own, I actually feel lonelier kind of being a gooseberry. And I don't know if Americans know that term or not, but, but I feel whilst being a gooseberry on the kind of fringes of someone else's Christmas Day or Thanksgiving than I do if I was on my own. So, while I always get a load of invitations, I would, I'd like, you know, I'm road tripping. I'm going, you know, so what are you doing at Christmas? I'm not, I'm going to be in Taos New Mexico. And so it actually made it okay to turn down all these lovely invitations, which came from the best intentions and the best hearts of, you know, people that I love, but spending Christmas with another family I find harder than being on my own, so road tripping was my, was the way that I handled it, and so that meant that the holiday period between Christmas and New Year, once again became my favourite time of year because I was focused on going off and doing the things I love.
The other thing that I've done in the past is over Thanksgiving when I was working in corporate America, there was that 10 days over that Thanksgiving week, where Microsoft who would kind of shut down, no one was there. So, it was like, well I might as well just have 10 days because nobody is going to be there anyway and but what I used to do was that was my, that was a cookbook writing 10 days. I wouldn't write the whole book obviously, but that was when I would like do, I'd be creating recipes like crazy. Like I do five to seven recipes every day. So, I was, I had this massive project for that period of time and everything will be focused on that project. And so again, it took away the, you know the invites from people that you don't want to turn down because you love them and you don't want to make them feel bad. But I'm like you know, wow, I'm going to be, I'm working on a cookbook and I'm scheduled that day and thank you very much and I'm afraid I won't be able to, so it took that away. But it also kept the focus on something creative, which is I've always found incredibly good for stopping the emotional roller coaster. It keeps you focused on something, it keeps you busy. It's just there's so much good things. So those are two strategies that I have used over and over and over again that've been really successful either having a really big creative project over, for me it was Thanksgiving and it was writing cookbooks and um, over the, the Christmas slash New Year's time, it would be road tripping, opening up the map, I've never been there, I'm going to drive there and I'm going to shoot it with a camera and, and discover new places. And so those are two things I've done to completely eradicate the, the word terror came to mind, but I'm not sure that's the right word, but for people who struggle with depression or people that are alone, either because they are single and have no family or because the family, you know that situation is not good. That's the way I've dealt with those two ideas for how I dealt with the times very successfully and I kind of breeze through them without even realizing like, oh, oh, it's those, y'all supposed to eat Turkey today, you know, or whatever.
Oh, that's, that's fascinating. And it's brought a few things into place in my mind when we, we went from that earlier on, both sharing that and remembering that immense excitement that we used to feel as children at Christmas, and you know, I can remember knowing that I wasn't allowed to go into open stockings until whatever time my mother had set because it's seven o'clock in the morning or something, you know? And, and those were the days where there was, there was nothing you could do. Um, I think I had a tiny little radio that I turned on that I think the BBC might've come on at five o'clock in the morning, but before that there was nothing. So, it was, you know, maybe a book or something, but that, oh, having to wait because you were so excited and you wanted that day to start. And that overwhelming feeling of excitement and joy and anticipation and I think part of the problem, it's just sort of come home to me really, and it's obvious really is that we're trying to recreate that. That's our standard, that's our benchmark for what we think Christmas should be. And of course, attaining that level is nigh on impossible and I think to a certain extent it does get recreated by people who go on to be parents and have those young children themselves and then enjoy Christmas or that period of the year, the celebrations in that time. They enjoy it vicariously through those children and get that level of excitement again and experience it in a slightly different way and I've seen that participating last year I was, I was back in the United Kingdom with we thought and it, and it did turn out to be my stepfather's last Christmas, so it was, it was really important to be there, but I got to see the excitement of those young children and get some of that excitement of the day again and I, and I think, but I think the trouble is if, if you don't have that and like you were saying, it's very difficult. Some people can involve themselves in other people's Christmas and get enjoyment for that, but I feel the same as you do. I felt a bit like a gooseberry it and it just makes me think of what I don't have rather than I have in that moment, which is, which is not really helpful for anybody, but I tend to sit at home focusing on what I don't have and you know, waiting for that phone call to hear from my niece and nephews or those kinds of things. And so, it, but that's what it just dawned on me with you were saying about focus, it's changing your focus to something else and having that project or something else to do. Yes, putting something in place, this is what I'm going to do.
It's also planning and I think planning one, you can build the excitement if you know this thing is going to happen, but also it means that you don't inadvertently wake up and you're sitting there waiting for your niece and nephew to call or whatever your scenario is. If you have a plan when Christmas morning rolls around, you just, you've already got a plan. You've pre- decided what you're going to do. It could be as simple as you're going to get up and take yourself off to the wildly expensive buffet at the fancy pants hotel or the, you know, wherever it is, which is something you might never do, but you have a plan that you're going to go do that. So, you get up and get excited and you get dressed and you put your mascara on or whatever and you go and have the fancy pants, keto of course, breakfast buffet for $45 or whatever it is. So, I think planning is super, super important for folks who are either in a situation where they're alone at the holidays for whatever reason or people that struggle with being sad or depressed or even suicidal at the holidays. I think planning is really, really, really key. And as I say for me, having these big plans, having some creative projects to work on, having a schedule, it may sound dull, but trust me when I tell you that it's always worked out to be the absolute opposite of that because I've, you know, my Thanksgiving's up, got to the end of the week and I've produced this amazing thing or you know, I've got something to show for it. And, and I'd been so busy that I haven't really had time to think about what I don't have. And, and I've also been able to gracefully decline any invitations because I already had a commitment. The commitment was to myself, was, was still a commitment, you know a commitment to ourselves is as important as a commitment to someone else, um, so or going away and so those for me have been hugely successful. And I think planning is, is important. So, you know, start thinking now about what you're going to do.
And the other thing I'd really like to have people think about is don't be afraid to start your own traditions or develop your own family culture for how you deal with holidays. Because it might be that a lot of people in the family are secretly thinking the same thing because tradition and culture, and a family cultures can be so strong like nobody wants to do it, but everybody keeps doing it because they've always done it. And everybody's afraid to say, why do we not do this this year? Or why don't we do something else? Or you know, one part of an extended family is, is too nervous to say, you know what, we're not coming this year. And so, I would just encourage you all to think about or if you're in a family to sit with your family and go, you know, does this tradition actually work for us? Are we doing this because it's the best thing for us and are we doing this because we enjoy it, are we doing this because it's a positive thing. Or are we doing it purely out of traditional habit or culture? And don't be afraid to, to start a new culture or new tradition for your family, even if that's a family of one. You know, my tradition now, my culture is that over Christmas I road trip. And so actually last year I didn't road trip, but that was the first time I hadn't road tripped, Um, but that was because I randomly decided to move from Seattle to Connecticut, so I was busy getting the house ready for selling, the house ready to sell and packing and purging, and so I had this massive project all over Christmas, I don't even remember which day Christmas was, but I had this massive project. It wasn't road tripping for the first time, but I still had this massive project and that just kept me occupied and busy. And of course, I was excited about the move and I always find purging incredibly beneficial. I feel like my brain clears out when I clear out my environment.
Oh, and the weight lifted. Yeah. When I deal with, I'm dreadful for writing things on scraps of paper and I and I just collect them and then it just becomes this over flowing mass and it just stresses me out looking at it and when I do deal with it, it's like a weight lifted. And I love what you were saying about having a project and what you were saying two-fold in my mind it came in thinking about when you were saying is that you get that real sense of achievement and fulfillment for having completed that project that you set yourself. But also, I can see it being a great reminder because when we, when we start doing these new things and trying to form these new habits, it doesn't always work perfectly the first time. And it's something that takes a bit of practice, but I can really see how that's going to help for the following year, seeing those, so with you, the lovely landscape pictures from your road trip or all the new recipes that you created, that's going to be a really good motivation for helping you plan the following year, so I think that's, that's a, that's a great idea and I'm going to try that.
One of the reasons that I suggested you might want to look at whatever habits or traditions or cultures you and your family have because I remember when I was still in Corporate America and way back, way back when, before keto and low carb and all of that, on Thanksgiving what I used to do was I would go to rent box and get six movies, and I'd roast a Turkey on the Wednesday night, Thursday morning I'd make an enormous pile of Turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches, which is like my favourite food ever, and I'd make this enormous pile of sandwiches and I'd get my six movies and I'd get my six cats and we would literally spend all day on Thanksgiving, on the couch, eating Turkey sandwiches and watching movies, which for anyone who knows me knows that like I barely even know where my television is. Like I'm just not a TV watcher or a movie watcher. So, this was like an extraordinary day for me. But it was something that was really, that I did really look forward to and it wasn't traditional at all. It was Turkey sandwiches and movies. But for me that was really different. And to spend an entire day relaxing, just hanging out or watching movies on the couch was like such a delicious thing because I never, never did it. And so, and this was years back, before I started road trips and keto an all of that. But that was like that became my thanksgiving tradition was that was how I did Thanksgiving.
And the following week when we'd all go back to work and we'd all share, you know, hey, how was Thanksgiving and I would tell people what I did. Almost everybody as long as we were just one on one in my office or whatever, every single person would say, wow, that sounds great, I wish I'd done that and I'm like so what did you do? And they'd say, well you know we and I have this stream of people who would like secretly wishing that they had just hung out, you know, with their pets or their spouse and kids and a pile of sandwiches and a bunch of movies and just chill there all day. And so that's when I started thinking. So why don't you like, why like be brave be if it's not working for you. Hey, if you just doing it to keep other people happy or you're just doing it because it's tradition or like sit down with your family or with yourself and go, does this actually work for me because if it doesn't then I'm going to create something that does. So that's why I, I just would like to encourage you all to examine like why you do what you do and if it's actually working for you. And if it's not, don't be afraid of, like just making your own tradition up and as something that serves every member of your family. Like maybe you have some introverts and some extroverts and some, maybe you can, if you're in a family unit, maybe you can split yourselves in half and dad and you know, x number of kids like to go hiking. Just don't be afraid to figure out what works for you now and do that. And I think, I think you'll find that a lot more people will struggle a lot less if they do that.
Yes, it's a, it's a good point. And I can see even maybe taking turns, you know, if you have a family unit where you all want something completely different is maybe doing, doing it differently each year that and you might actually, well you will learn something about each other and might find, you know that you end up forging a tradition that the ends up, does end up suiting everyone. It's a fascinating idea to just potentially shake it up. Not if you don't, you know perhaps you, you absolutely all love the way it is and you love the traditional day and that's, and that's great but I think it's, yes, I think it's a really interesting idea just to, just to have that conversation because like you say, everyone might just be thinking we'd like to do something different. What about, I think we've kind of probably covered it really by just showing how people might be feeling this time of year, but is there anything, any tips you would give to people who do really enjoy this time of year are either come across someone they feel isn't and they might want to help them out or they have a friend or a relative that they know doesn't enjoy this time of year? What, what strategies would you offer them with how to help their loved one get through it?
So, I think people that don't struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts, I think that a lot of them find it really difficult because they don't know what to do with this, and I think part of that is that they're scared of doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing or being in over their heads and it's all so difficult in that if you don't understand the difference between a clinical depression and situational depression or someone that's just sad, then it can be very frustrating to have this miserable person kind of hanging around. So, I think the first thing I would like to encourage people that don't suffer is to just try and get an understanding that a clinical depression or suicidal thoughts. It's like having a broken leg. It's not something that we can, we can't just go, oh, I'm going to toss my, crutches away and walk because you know, I'm just going to get over my broken leg. You can't think this way out of a clinical depression any more that you can think yourself out of a broken leg. So, you know, or if you're diabetic, oh, I'm just not going to have, I'm just not going to have that diabetic coma. I'm just not going to do it or I'm just going to wake up, just wake up out of that coma. You know what I mean? It's just a lot of people ask us to do the impossible by snapping out of it or it's not something that we have control over, so I think it's super important if people would try and understand what it's like for people that struggle with clinical depression or suicidal thoughts, if they could just understand that it's not something that we have control over and then give us space.
And so, for me, when I wasn't you, I think everybody knows that my, my bipolar has now, I haven't had any symptoms of bipolar for over three years. So this is kind of in the past for me, but when I was there, it was, the thing that helped me most I think was having two or three close people who understood and who realized that when I was having a difficult time, I didn't actually necessarily need anything just to go and hang at their house, just like don't sit in the corner of their house, just to not be alone was incredibly helpful. But I think the mistake that a lot of people who don't suffer make is that they think they have to entertain you or, or try and cheer you up or try and do something and we actually don't need you to do anything. We just need someone to be there and not judge us. That's so, there were times where I would call my girlfriend or I would text her and I'd say I'm having a really difficult day. And obviously there were times she weren't able, but when she was able she would just like, okay, I'll be over. And she would show up like with, with Thai, coconut soup from the take out and a redbox movie in her pyjamas with a quilt and she'd just show up and we wouldn't talk about it. She was just there and we would just eat soup and then we'd go hang out on the couch and watch a movie. There was no, it was just her being there that was important. It wasn't that she had to, we didn't have to talk about it. She didn't have to try and get me and bring me out myself. She didn't have try and cheer me up, there was no pressure on her. She just had to be there and know that I was having a hard time and not put any pressure on me to change do anything, be anything, you know what I mean? She was just there. So, I think being there is just possibly the most useful, powerful thing that you could do for someone who's struggling and take off of yourself any need to try and fix us.
Yes, don't take responsibility for anything.
Don't take responsibility. And so, there were other times where I would like, I would text her and say, uh, can I just come and be at your house? And she'd go of course. And I'd show up and we wouldn't necessarily talk to each other. I would just clamber on the couch. Her kids would be watching whatever. I would just clamber on the couch in the corner and quietly and just be there. And that most of the time was all I needed. So, I think, you know, our friends and family can, because they love us and because they're trying to help, because they want to help us, but they, they think that they have to do these big enormous things to try and do that. And you really, in my experience don't, just being there for someone or just the other thing that I thought of the other day you was, I don't think, and this may sound a bit woo woo, it doesn't matter what you call it, whether you call it the universe or God or whatever you call that higher power. In my experience, if I get a thought about something, anything, if a person pops in my head, I don't think that's ever random. So, if I suddenly start thinking about someone I have trained myself, though I will, I might text to a heart emoticon or I might say, hey, I was just thinking about you or I might call them, or I might, but I've learned not to ignore random prompts about things. And I think that can be really, really helpful for people who are suicidal or depressed. But just knowing that someone is there, it doesn't have to be a big thing just, and I think so often we, we have these thoughts about people and we go, oh, she's busy, I won't call her now. And then we forget. Or oh, Um, I you know, we just brush it off. But I think that those prompts from wherever you think they come from, it doesn't really matter. I think they're really important, so I'd like to encourage people, everybody actually is if you get a thought like that about someone, just act on it and it doesn't have to be huge or big or take a lot of time. It takes literally three seconds to text an emoticon or to say, hey, I was just thinking about you, hope you're okay, love you Bye. That can be literally life changing, literally life changing.
I really, yes, I really agree with that. I've had such a big smile on my face when people have done that to me and yeah. Hey, I was just thinking about you or yeah something. Just to know that people do think about you sometimes and people care and, and just like you say just that, just that one Emoji or that one sentence or those few words it does, it really does make a big, big difference.
For someone who is swimming in a sea of depression or despair that they have no control over. So let me be clear about, I'm not talking about as terrible as is my puppy died or, or you know, whatever situational depression where there's a reason for being sad, I'm talking about clinical depression where there's actually, it makes no sense that you're depressed, you just are and as I say it's like having diabetes or a broken leg, there's nothing you can do about it. It can literally be that little insertion of someone in your life like a phone call or a text or just a thing saying hey, I was just thinking about you, can almost like pop us back to reality even if it's for a moment that might be all it takes to get us back from the ledge. And, and so I'd really like to encourage everyone to, if you, if you have a thought about someone, act on it. And the other thing, and I know there's memes all over the Internet about this and there's that old adage that, you know, be kind because you don't know what someone else is going through it really ,really ,really is true. There have been, I mean I, when I was before I figured out my bipolar and keto and all of that, I would show up at work and I would be suicidal but it's kind of, you can't let people at work know that because one, it's not fair and two that will, that's not a career enhancing move, and, and so, you know, nobody would know. And the emotional pressure of having to hide that all the time is absolutely staggering. I mean, the effort involved in having to put on a game face is absolutely huge. And so, I just, nobody knew, nobody at work had any idea how I was struggling inside. And so, it really is, I mean, I think particularly during the holidays when we're supposed to be merry and bright and, and so we do because we don't want to let side down and we don't want to be the Grinch and we don't want to be all that and so the pressure on us to be merry and bright is even greater, than normal. And at the same time there's a lot more people that are suffering silently. So that adage right now is that, you know, be kind because you don't know what someone's going through. It really, really, really is important. We are surrounded by people who are battling and I mean really battling for their lives and we have no idea, so be kind, always, always be kind because you really, really don't know what might be going on for that person. And, and just a little bit of kindness can make the hugest difference. It doesn't have to be this big magnanimous thing, it can be just a small little gesture can make the hugest difference to someone who's struggling with mental health issues.
It really, it really can. And we, we haven't spoken much about it well at all about it and we are coming to the end of the show now. But I do think it's important just to touch on how important if you possibly can and it, and I know it's can be difficult to stay on track, but staying keto really does help keep you afloat during times that there's a lot of pressure coming in and, and it, that in itself I certainly find can be what makes the difference. And I, I went out for dinner on my birthday and it was predominantly keto, but not completely. And the next night I also had some chocolates and because it wasn't that much, I didn't go completely out of Ketosis, but I dropped down the levels that out of the levels where I do best at and I woke up feeling awful. I woke up feeling like somebody had died and, and you know, there was no reason for it. But that just shows how quickly that change in the way I ate, affected my mood. And of course I just went back to eating the way I should and actually within a day so that that picked back up, but it just goes to show that if you throw that massive spanner in the works and you go off plan and you're already feeling a bit vulnerable at that time of year, that can be something that is going to plummet you right, right down and I know it isn't always possible and I'm not, I don't want people to get too stressed about it and I certainly don't want people to punish themselves if they do go off plan, but just to be careful because it's just that extra thing isn't it? That's really going to impact your mood.
It really can. Sugar and things that turn into sugar after you've eaten them can absolutely play havoc with your brain and if you're one of those people that struggle more at this time of the year really, I would encourage you to do the very best you can to limit your sugars and things that turn into sugar once you've eaten them to zero. You, I think it's a very, very slippery slope and I think it's a lot more difficult for, for people with mental health issues to get back on track once we've gone off and, in my experience, it will make you feel worse and you're already at risk, you're already suffering. It will again, in my experience, because I know everyone is different, but in my experience, you will feel better if you stay away from the carbs, but I, but it's probably when you're feeling down is probably when you get the cravings more.
Exactly. That's, that's the problem, isn't it? That's one of the reasons actually why I'm glad I'm not in that, in that environment. So that you were saying earlier about feeling a little bit of an outsider in somebody else's event or just not necessarily wanting to go to those sorts of days, for whatever reason. But one of the benefits of that is that you're not putting all that temptation in front of you because I know absolutely. So, if I'm feeling at a little bit of a low ebb, I go to an event like that and all that food's out in front of me, it’s going to take some Herculean effort for me not to have some of that. Even though I know how I'm going to feel the next day, it's going to be really difficult. So, the easiest way to deal with that is not to, not to put the temptation in front of me in the first place. I know that's not always possible, but ah it's tricky
But again, the key to success here is planning. Plan. Either plan not to go to things like that because you're busy doing your creative project or you've left, you've gone off and you've gone somewhere else. But if you are at home, plan. Make sure you have no carbage in the house. Make sure that you have all your favourite keto things in the house, you know if you have to splurge, and spend a bit of extra money to get the things that really, really float your tastebuds from a Keto perspective, do that because you're worth it. You know you're worth the money to get you through, you know, whatever it takes to get you through, do that, you know. And if you do need to, you know, I mean for me, I'm probably going to be home this year, which is going to be weird, but there it is. I may well go and get myself some foie gras because I love it. It's my favourite thing to eat on earth. I would never normally spend that kind of money, but It will, one it's liver, it's incredibly nutrient dense. But it will, it will make it, it will stop me feeling like there is nothing or you know, do you know what I mean? And that can be my little celebration and I can get myself super excited about ooh today's the day I get to cook the foie gras or whatever it is. Don't be afraid to get all your favourite Keto things in. Don't be afraid to splurge a little bit extra maybe on something you wouldn't do normally or go out for a meal that someone else is cooking, keto obviously you know, whatever it takes to get you through, do that because you're worth it and you're important and you have value in this world and we don't want to lose that value. So, I can't stress highly enough how important it is to avoid all the carbs. If you are struggling with mental health issues, it will make a huge difference. But I also know how hard that is. So as Daisy said earlier, if you, if you do slip, don't beat yourself up about it. Just get back to keto and keep on going.
Absolutely. And you know, we talk about staying at home and doing things special for yourself at home. But of course, you can take those goodies and treats with you if you are going to event or a family gathering or whatever it is and you don't want to make a fuss, ask people to cook special things for you. You just slot into their take, take those treats with you and, and, and enjoy those. And when you've got something lovely in front of you, you're going to be less tempted by those other things that are around. And that, that is certainly, I would have thought, at least likely to help.
Indeed, planning. Planning is key.
Planning is key And I think, well we've, we've had lots of, we've had lots of tips. I don't know if you've got any particular one special tip to, to round off today?
Be kind and plan
Be kind and plan, yeah be kind and plan and know that you have value, even when you think you don't. You do, don't lose sight of that.
yes. Yes I agree.
And if you do lose sight of it ask somebody to remind you.
Yes, because there are there and that ‘cause there are people who care. There are people who care in real life that you can reach out and touch. But there are people online as well and there are groups and there are all sorts of things. So there really are places where you can get that love and support when you're feeling like there isn't enough.
Well I hope, I hope that's helped. I hope it's helped people who don't suffer to be able to be better equipped to help those of us who do, and I hope the people who do suffer, feel like maybe they have permission to do something different. Do what helps them rather than them always having to think about putting on a game face and doing whatever to make sure everyone else is happy. Because yes, making other people happy is a good thing, but not at the expense of your health and all your life.
And, and you know, if it comes down to keeping yourself alive, I don't give a frig what, if anyone thinks I'm being selfish when I'm busy trying to keep myself alive, I couldn't care less and the same for anyone else that is in a clinical, depression or suicidal, it's all about them and it should be because you know, we need to keep them alive. So yeah. If you're in crisis, be selfish. you have our permission.
For sure. I hope it's had some uplifting moments and given people some optimism for having happy holidays. It's, you know, don't feel the pressure to feel like you have to, but hopefully we've offered a bit of advice for how you can make the most of it and still have a good time.
Oh, and I just think you just pinpointed something right there was like just the act of feeling like you have to, can make it harder to just let it naturally happen. So hopefully if we relieve the pressure of having to be merry and bright will actually help you to be more merry and bright, because the pressure of having to perform has now gone. I hope that even that is helpful you know, it's okay if you're not merry and bright. And it's ok to find a way to make yourself happier and brighter in whatever way works for you. And I hope that just, you know, giving you permission to do those things is helpful in you being able to enjoy this time of year more.
Yes, and as a little aside to that. I'd love to hear about it. So, if anyone does come up with some new and exciting projects, show us the results with, we'd love to see your equivalent to road trips or new cook books? It's a, I think it'd be very interesting to see what people come up with
I would love to see people's merry and bright holiday projects that have actually nothing to do with the traditional way you spend the holiday. I would love to see what you all come up with for, or I would love to hear about the result of your family council, where you sit down and go, hey, you know, this is going to be our tradition or you know, we're going to change the culture of holidays in our house and this is what we're going to do. And you know, I would love to hear about the new traditions that you and your families create for the holidays. I would love that.
Yeah, me too. Well, we'll look forward to that. Thank you. Thank you very much for chatting to me again. It's been, it's been a pleasure as always, and I'm sure I'll be, I'll be speaking to you, uh, over the Christmas holidays, probably on Christmas Day itself. I imagine.
And maybe even tomorrow.
Yes, most likely. Well thank you very much Carrie.
All right, love. I'll talk to you soon.