Author:Paul Gilmartin

Listener Claire Laffar

Claire shares about her bullied, asthmatic childhood outside London with a neurotic mom and a mysterious, stoic dad prone to explosive fits of rage and how escaping into fantasy worlds, especially books, became her way of coping.  They also talk about her sometimes crippling social anxiety, her fear of commitment, not being married, not having kids or owning a home as well as coming to grips with her bisexuality and a seminal event at 14 while travelling in Turkey that still affects her.

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Greg Fitzsimmons

The talented writer (The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Lucky Louie) comedian (Comedy Central, Letterman, Conan, KimmelThe Howard Stern Show) and podcaster (Fitzdog Radio) opens up about his tumultuous relationship with his late father, his temper, his body shame, ADHD and alcohol.  He also authored the critically acclaimed book Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons.

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Sara Benincasa (Voted #9 ep of 2013)

The writer (Agorafabulous!, XOJane.com, Vice.com) and performer (Comedy Central, MTV) talks about a popular friend’s suicide in high school that informed much of her later life, having a nervous breakdown during college, her families history of depression and anxiety and her Agoraphobia.   They also share tips to avoid isolating and talk in depth about everybody’s favorite topic; catheters!

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Soldier Robert Patrick Lewis

The former Green Beret/Special Forces Medic talks about his childhood in Texas, the loss of his adoptive mother, his tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa, the injury that resulted in his getting a Purple Heart and living with PTSD.  Robert is a spokesperson for USA Cares and the author of Love Me When I’m Gone.

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Ali Handal

The singer/songwriter guitarist talks to Paul about being a female guitarist in a male-dominated industry, her negative self-talk, fear of failure, workaholism, and why she stayed with a past boyfriend whose actions betrayed and disgusted her.

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Siblings John & Megan

The siblings discuss growing up in an affluent but emotionally witholding household, and how their struggles with depression and her eating disorder ultimately brought the two of them closer together.  They talk about the difficulty of connecting with an emotionally shutdown mother consumed with presenting a facade of normalcy to the outside world.  They discuss John’s childhood self-harming, Megan’s non-purging bulimia and compulsive exercising and starving, and the importance of finally asking for help from people who could emotionally provide it.  They also talk about the danger to one’s military career (John was in the Air Force) with disclosing a history of mental illness.   And the importance of naps without guilt!!

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Emily Gordon (Voted #2 ep of 2013)

The podcaster (Indoor Kids) and former licensed therapist opens up about her battle with Adult Onset Still’s Disease, her mentally-ill grandmother, rebelling as an adolescent, being a woman in the South, working with schizophrenic patients, and perpetrators and victims of domestic violence.  They also talk about the importance of having emotional support, and how to distance yourself from people who are draining.

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Peter T

Paul’s friend opens up about being adopted by a physically and sexually abusive paranoid schizophrenic mother, being a child actor, becoming sexually promiscuous and almost dying from AIDS.  They talk about spirituality, Peter’s Christianity, and the importance of surrender.

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Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

The writer (I’m Kind of a Big Deal, Sippy Cups are Not For Chardonnay) podcaster (For Cryin’ Out Loud) and tv host (Parental Discretion on NickMom) opens up about her alcoholism, bulimia, post partum depression, childhood and marriage.  Phew!!

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