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Episode 1: What is Normal?

Whether in therapy session or at happy hour, Angee & Jaime are frequently asked, “Is this normal?” or “Am I normal?” To these questions, the therapeutic reply is, “What IS normal?”

In the field of mental health, “normal” changes throughout time. In our world, it changes throughout cultures or religions.

Angee & Jaime break down the definition of “normal” and how this affects each person’s interactions in daily life.

Angee’s Mug: “I don’t give a sip!”

Jaime’s Mug: “Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come.”

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Transcript of Episode 1: What is Normal?

0:00 [Music]0:00 hi i'm angie and i'm jamie taking care0:04 of our mental health is the key to0:05 happiness0:06 but even the best therapists sometimes0:09 lose their keys join us for therapeutic0:12 happy hour as we address the absurdities0:14 of life's daily expectations as best0:17 friends mothers and yes even therapists0:20 welcome to the shrink show0:31 this is the shrink show welcome0:35 today's topic0:37 uh in trying to figure out what exactly0:39 to talk about and how we would make this0:42 work0:42 we realized0:44 we don't know how to be normal0:46 no so we're taking about 10 minutes to0:49 figure out how to sit and are we doing0:52 yeah does this look good is this right0:54 this normal i don't0:56 it doesn't feel normal i don't yeah how0:58 does one sit on the youtubes1:02 so what is normal and actually i did1:04 have a conversation um1:07 with somebody1:09 the other day i went to a graduation1:10 party1:11 and1:12 it was a family member's sister1:16 and she1:17 had some mental health concerns and so1:19 she was a little different she held my1:21 hand for a really long time1:23 she had this game she was playing on her1:26 phone1:28 while everybody's having conversations1:31 and she just kept turning around and1:32 staring at me1:34 and once she left her sister1:36 came over to me and1:39 said thank you for being so nice to my1:40 sister she has some mental health issues1:45 and it turned into a conversation of1:48 why do we feel like we have to1:51 say that1:53 to ask for forgiveness right just by1:55 acting1:56 right ourselves because2:00 perhaps maybe she makes people feel2:01 uncomfortable2:03 or2:04 it isn't what is perceived as normal so2:06 we have to explain it or was that her or2:09 was it the sister who was like oh that's2:12 not normal so i'm gonna go apologize2:15 right because i'm uncomfortable right2:17 yeah2:18 but then it makes me sad because how2:20 often do we do that how often do we2:23 explain away2:25 even our kids behavior yeah oh sorry2:28 with my kids when they're hyper and like2:31 overly tired i'm like oh they're drunk2:33 i'm so sorry2:34 because they're just running in circles2:36 and it's past their bedtime and they're2:38 delirious2:39 well they are pretty much like drunk2:40 though yes and that's why i'm like i'm2:42 so sorry my child2:44 i always like to say2:46 whose kids are those they should really2:47 get them under control2:49 cause you're like get in the car get in2:51 the car2:52 um but i did i used to do the same thing2:54 about my mom i used to2:56 apologize to everyone in public and it2:58 was because i felt like3:01 it wasn't normal and i wanted to do3:03 everything i could to be normal3:05 and and so there's like that box of3:07 normal which i feel like as a society we3:10 are expanding out of3:12 that3:13 what is normal isn't3:16 it's not as it's not the same as it was3:18 10 years ago because i got3:20 tattoos and a piercing yeah 20 years ago3:24 and3:26 20 years ago tattoos were so different3:28 they're like oh you have tattoos3:31 like you're either jail3:33 gang right3:34 questionable life choices3:37 and now it's who doesn't have one3:40 right my grandma now has one yes but 103:42 years ago my grandma had an intervention3:44 with me about my tattoo because she3:46 thought it would destroy my career yeah3:48 who's the horse now3:52 luckily no one knows what that means3:54 that's normal3:55 [Laughter]3:57 oh god lordy but a normal has changed4:01 i've told you this normal has changed4:04 literally throughout history right4:06 that's enter our field right4:09 yeah and tell me about it4:12 well4:14 how much time do we have because it'll4:18 be a while but think about historically4:20 speaking4:21 normal4:22 they would initially put everybody who4:25 wasn't normal4:27 in an institution so that would include4:29 like physically disabled mentally4:31 disabled right and that's not4:33 necessarily intellectually disability or4:36 mental health like all lumped together4:38 well this is a lot of the mainstream4:40 like the4:42 the the white population right not so4:45 much the indigenous populations because4:47 i feel like there's that phrase the4:49 village idiot4:51 with some4:52 cultures but then there was also um4:56 i can't and i don't want to misspeak but4:58 i feel like there's4:59 there is a culture where5:01 you know when you were almost displaying5:03 some mentally ill tendencies you were5:06 seen as hearing from god right you were5:09 seen as enlightened5:11 versus5:13 needing to be ostracized right well well5:16 yes i mean i think in indigenous5:17 cultures5:19 enter5:20 white people coming in saying oh well5:22 they're hallucinating right let's5:24 diagnose that as schizophrenia because5:26 that makes me uncomfortable yeah they're5:29 talking to god or they are god how dare5:32 they but like5:34 because everybody knows you know the5:36 people who wrote the bible they were the5:38 ones that talked to god they were i know5:41 a lot of questions one questions5:43 um but yeah i think just speaking from5:46 it from a medical standpoint we have had5:49 so much history in which we've just5:52 thrown together anybody who is5:54 who makes us uncomfortable just like5:56 that person at the graduation party was5:59 like i'm so sorry that that person6:01 probably made you uncomfortable because6:02 i was feeling uncomfortable so i'm going6:04 to apologize on their behalf so in the6:06 olden days all shoved into an6:08 institution right6:10 and then even things like6:12 look at the dsm which is what diagnoses6:14 all the people we work with they used to6:16 literally diagnose women who were6:18 experiencing pms symptoms right so think6:21 about6:22 or homosexuals it was a diagnosis yes6:26 it used to be considered a mental6:28 illness so you could go to therapy6:30 and6:31 get fixed from that diagnosis right and6:34 now flash forward to today that's not6:37 even in there ironically hundreds of6:38 years before6:40 so normal so normal yeah like the greeks6:44 and the romans loved it6:46 like just everything was so fluid back6:48 then but how much does this idea of6:50 normal like i can tell you as a kid6:51 growing up it stressed me out to be6:55 perceived as different to be perceived6:57 as unique to be perceived as anything7:00 that didn't fit in if i put on something7:02 that i liked and would go to school and7:05 the kids would be like ooh7:08 where'd you get that outfit i would7:10 never wear that outfit again7:12 oh yeah because7:13 i didn't want to stand out yeah7:16 and so how much does that hold us back7:18 from being our true self7:21 that idea of i need to fit in i need to7:23 look7:24 apart i you know even7:28 business you know to be a business owner7:30 or to um like well a ceo of a business7:34 corporation7:36 you can't have colorful hair yeah can't7:38 have tattoos but what face piercings7:40 because we have this idea of what that7:42 person looks like and so until somebody7:44 is brave enough to7:46 push the envelope and challenge that7:49 idea7:51 but that's where7:52 you know when7:54 you and i were talking about this is7:56 what we would talk about i was thinking7:58 normal7:59 truly is just your internal subjective8:03 experience based on what right based on8:06 your own experience and so it's8:08 fascinating that we are trying to be8:10 normal based on other people's8:13 definition of normal8:15 and and like you were saying coming to8:17 the point in which8:19 people nowadays i think are pushing the8:21 envelope of you know what i think this8:23 is normal i'm going to try this out you8:24 try this on for size and like dye my8:26 home mermaid8:27 my daughter says you have unicorn hair8:30 so like so you lick it we can have8:31 unicorn hair and be just fine be blond8:34 asians like this just what we do it's8:36 okay it's8:38 okay well but then society too8:41 even just what's on tv yes8:44 but8:46 in some ways i you know i can't stand8:48 all of the youtube and tick tock and and8:51 instagram and there's just some in the8:53 book of faces and you know the googles8:56 and the internets and all of that8:58 there's so much9:00 yet at the same time9:01 because there is such a wide array of9:04 people on there9:05 i don't have this9:07 barbie doll idea of what a woman should9:10 look like so now i can expand that9:13 normal box of9:15 what is normal my kids aren't bound9:18 to some of the9:20 expectations that i feel like9:23 my generation was bound to9:25 based on what was coming in right what a9:27 woman should look like what a woman's9:30 body size should look like right what9:32 beauty meaning9:34 typically white features right with9:36 cheekbones9:38 looked like yeah9:39 our children are definitely getting a9:41 very different definition of normal9:44 it's9:45 so encouraging9:47 it's helpful for me because i'm like oh9:49 i guess this because i'm trying to teach9:51 my kids i9:52 yeah this is normal9:54 and then i have to have my own internal9:56 battle of like9:59 this is safe because this is definitely10:01 not what i was taught growing up like i10:03 was taught growing up this is normal10:06 right you you dress and act a certain10:09 way right10:11 can't have facial piercings and tattoos10:12 because i was definitely pushed upon10:15 um need a college education yeah um10:19 definitely body size10:22 being straight all sorts of these10:23 identities these boxes that we check off10:26 and so here i am teaching my kids10:28 yeah do you want a dress like that go10:30 for it well because they don't know and10:32 it was incredible with that i was10:34 just talking the other day about how10:37 the generation you know the people who10:40 are10:40 15 20 years younger than me10:43 the women10:45 we're thicker10:46 right they're they're thicker10:49 yet they don't hesitate to wear crop10:52 tops10:53 to wear10:54 two pieces10:56 to10:57 show10:58 their confidence and yet i still find11:02 myself stuck within that11:05 i'm stuck in the 90s oh like stick11:09 real thin right probably anorexic right11:13 unhealthy11:14 un11:15 impossible11:17 body images yeah 36 24 3611:22 only if she's 5'311:24 but11:25 i do i find myself stuck within that and11:27 i look at these young girls and i11:31 am jealous of them11:33 i am proud of them11:35 i am11:37 you know inspired by them to find my own11:40 confidence to be able like with my own11:42 body to be able to11:45 not11:46 worry about11:48 what it appears to anyone else11:50 because you know i got the i got the mom11:52 belly you know from heaven kevin11:55 yeah and in fact there's so many of11:58 these young girls that seem to have that11:59 same thing without having had children12:01 and then you're like i guess this is how12:03 bodies are made and they don't give a12:05 and i love you because that's how12:07 bodies are made12:08 it12:14 how to12:15 experience yet and i really want to yeah12:18 i'll get there you will maybe that'll be12:20 the next stage of my evolution i'll be12:24 wearing you're working way down from12:26 your hair and tattoos that's right do12:28 the messages maybe there will be a12:30 youtube podcast of me wearing you know12:34 crap tap a really really string bikini12:38 and feeling confident no i don't think12:40 so yeah i'm not going to go there no12:42 that's okay12:43 you're like i don't want to see that12:46 there are some things12:48 that we shouldn't even our 20s12:53 oh12:54 lord or maybe not12:58 girl you do you that's what i read i'm13:00 like hey13:02 they they feel good that's all i'm here13:04 for as long as you feel good in your13:06 body13:07 doing what you want and you're not13:09 causing harm to sell for others i am 11013:12 for it13:13 every day all day early13:18 i feel like i'm going off the rails i13:20 don't know13:21 i'm sure we have a point13:24 i don't know if i have i'll drink today13:26 i know13:28 so in conclusion13:32 [Music]13:34 normal yeah i do want to tell you a13:35 funny story though okay13:38 are you ready for this and i don't know13:39 if this fits into the normal13:42 but it was really funny so13:44 i don't take my children to church13:56 we're both drinking gin before it's like13:58 noon it's fine14:00 what is normal14:02 i don't know14:03 so don't take my children to church14:06 and i14:07 recently took them to a catholic wedding14:11 um i was raised catholic so i14:14 yes thoughts and prayers yes be with you14:17 and also with animals stand up sit down14:20 fight fight fight14:22 yes14:22 so14:23 [Music]14:24 my six-year-old daughter juno14:27 obviously has not been14:29 in a church too often especially since14:31 covet14:32 um so there wasn't there were weddings14:34 but there weren't a lot that we could go14:36 to and i also did not want to take my14:37 children because they were off the rails14:40 hyper all the time14:42 so six and she leans over about 1014:45 minutes in and she goes14:49 mom14:49 [Music]14:50 why are there so many plus signs14:54 around the church14:56 they15:02 but she didn't understand that they were15:04 crosses right so then i had to talk to15:07 her about jesus and give her you know a15:09 real oh gosh15:14 during15:16 the the wedding but i felt it important15:18 she understand at which point15:21 we get to jesus dying on the cross and15:25 she then15:26 is confused and says15:28 but i thought jesus was a baby15:32 and she's not wrong because of the15:35 nativity scene which then15:37 i was reminded of step brothers where15:40 like isn't it step brothers or is it15:42 talladega i'm not sure where he says15:45 i prefer to think of it as baby baby15:47 little baby jesus is my favorite jesus15:49 can we pray to little baby jesus15:52 and i just realized15:54 that growing up i feel like i understood15:57 even though we didn't go to church very15:58 often i feel like i understood16:02 about jesus16:03 and god16:05 and i16:06 i don't know i kind of found it16:08 endearing and refreshing16:10 and also i was a little bit like ooh am16:12 i not doing my job as a parent16:14 that she doesn't know about jesus and16:16 god but it's a story there's a lot of16:18 stories she doesn't know about16:20 i mean whether you believe in it or16:21 don't it's still a good story yeah16:23 there's still lessons that i've taught16:25 her about16:26 what jesus taught but not necessarily in16:29 the context of jesus i'm jesus yeah16:32 so16:33 you know is is christianity than normal16:35 anymore or16:37 is it this16:38 spirituality because i16:40 in that um16:42 that that um wellness day that we did16:45 the other day16:47 she explained she apologized for oh16:52 yeah and liking astrology16:55 but i'm still looking16:57 and how to justify it yeah those16:59 justifiers17:01 do we justify because we feel like it's17:02 not normal yeah because17:06 you know in17:07 certain religions it is unacceptable to17:11 also believe in astrology so she had to17:15 disclaim well i still am christian17:19 and17:21 believe in astrology so who are we17:24 who are we saying are we saying that to17:25 ourselves17:27 oh 10017:28 i am always of the belief that we are17:31 always behaving and saying17:34 doing17:36 because of our own internal17:38 life17:40 life story every time17:43 kind of makes me think of all the things17:45 because in what way did we insinuate to17:47 this participant17:49 like you better be christian 110 or you17:52 better believe in astrology we just17:54 happen to randomly talk about astrology17:56 i think and not once and then you17:58 mentioned christianity18:00 and not once did we say one direction or18:02 the other we were like oh cool what do18:03 you think and then there was that18:05 disclaimer right18:07 yeah because who did that provide18:09 comfort to18:11 her that person yeah that's fine but18:14 that's okay that's where she's at she18:15 needed she needed that comfort18:18 that's a good point good for her giving18:20 her that comfort probably taking care of18:21 that little one inside18:23 so18:25 i think then18:26 for me moving forward18:28 looking at the things that i apologize18:31 for18:32 what do you apologize for18:34 i don't know18:37 my children18:39 if they make other people uncomfortable18:40 i used to apologize are they are they18:42 also the things you apologize for within18:44 your kids are they things that are your18:47 features18:48 probably18:50 yeah like like my daughter i'm like18:52 sorry for her face because her face is18:54 mine because people18:58 as a grown-up people are just like18:59 jamie's just like that her face is just19:01 like that and i can handle it resting19:03 ish19:05 right because i still apologize for it19:07 but as soon as my daughter does it i'm19:09 like i'm so sorry19:10 even though that's literally what the19:12 two of us do the best it's just19:16 you want to talk to me judging you so19:18 hard right i'm not judging you i just19:20 have opinions19:22 we're the19:26 what was the thing about opinions i just19:28 saw something did you send it to me19:30 that opinions are19:32 i love memes they're just smartest i19:34 don't think things i've ever seen in my19:36 life i'm so proud of people who are19:38 funny like opinions aren't based in fact19:41 they're not factual they're just19:44 how you see the world but we think19:46 opinions are facts we act as though they19:48 are facts like i'm judging you right or19:51 i have an opinion of you19:53 and so even as the receiver on that end19:56 we take that as fact right well we have19:58 to because otherwise what does that mean20:00 for you if your opinion is wrong right20:03 or not wrong but just not accepted by20:07 the greater audience20:09 enter being normal20:11 right i i have to play the part right20:14 well and if if i think you have resting20:16 base then yeah what does that20:19 mean for you mm-hmm20:21 like like people must not like me right20:24 because i my face is making them20:26 uncomfortable20:28 but that's that's their issue20:30 like that's your issue that's your issue20:33 because i'm a delight20:35 and you've gotten delight20:38 and you and i both know that20:41 enter my20:43 opinion but you're right i do i20:45 apologize i apologize for my children20:48 when they are wild and rambunctious or20:51 have20:52 where they're really my emotions20:55 and20:56 blow up which20:58 and big emotions are not normal21:01 again in our society yeah21:05 because that goes back to like mental21:07 health mental illness why they were21:08 institutions oh my god so then how much21:10 of this stems from21:12 my childhood growing up all of it with21:14 my mom21:21 and me being uncomfortable with21:24 people at you know the grocery store21:25 staring at her as she shuffles back and21:27 forth because of her medication or has21:30 that really loud laugh yeah and21:33 or stares at them or if she gets angry21:36 and is like21:37 belligerent angry loud right extreme21:40 emotions and make you uncomfortable when21:43 your children exhibit it21:45 because um you21:47 experienced that when you were younger21:49 and i'm sure21:51 that younger angie inside is just like21:52 oh my gosh it's so comfortable21:55 people are staring21:57 and that same feeling i bet comes back21:59 when your kids are22:00 being age-appropriate22:02 right but you're just like oh my gosh22:04 everyone's staring everyone's stirring22:07 [Music]22:11 you yeah22:12 this is why we're each other's therapist22:14 god22:15 i'll drink to that22:17 [Laughter]22:1922:23 i'm so glad you're a therapist22:27 you know22:28 that's why no therapist can judge anyone22:30 because22:31 holy22:33 we are hot messes ourselves and i feel22:36 like maybe that's the new normal22:38 everyone's everyone is a hot mess we are22:41 all everyone is cleaning up their own22:4322:44 right because it's a hot mess yes22:47 but everyone we all have our22:50 messes22:51 some of those are generational some of22:53 those are22:54 you know individual22:55 if you believe in22:57 living lives it could be from other22:59 lives23:00 from religions23:02 some of them are from our friends23:04 politics23:05 all of it23:07 we're all just23:09 we're trying to clean stay afloat from23:11 our own23:14 yay23:15 oh i just got a visual and that was not23:17 a good fish that's not what i was going23:19 for i know and i'm sorry audience uh did23:23 not mean to give you that visual23:25 i mean if you got it that means some23:27 people got that i'm sure i just pictured23:31 floating23:33 in a sewer that's all right it's all23:35 right23:36 [Music]23:38 i think i think23:40 if anything23:42 since this is our first podcast we don't23:44 know what we're doing23:45 that's right this is where i would say i23:47 genuinely would want to ask people what23:50 their normal is23:51 like just how people would define it23:53 what is normal what is your normal what23:55 do you consider normal23:57 but you find yourself doing this same23:58 rabbit hole of24:00 i get uncomfortable and i have to excuse24:03 myself because i don't feel normal right24:06 now24:09 interesting dialogue24:10 it would but i almost feel like there is24:13 no normal24:14 like the matrix there is no spoon24:17 once you realize there is no normal24:20 that normal is this construct that we24:24 have put on ourselves the society and24:28 it's never obtainable right it's like24:30 perfection it is yeah and so if there's24:33 no normal and there's no perfection24:34 there just is there is being human24:38 there's humanity there's uniqueness24:40 there's24:41 the24:42 the mistakes and the the lessons and the24:45 medicine of life and just being and24:49 if you don't accept me24:52 that speaks more to who you are than it24:55 does to me yeah so as long as i'm24:58 confident with what i perceive as normal25:01 and i allow your normal to be different25:03 from my normal right25:05 then i'm winning at life absolutely yeah25:10 winning you summed it up i don't25:12 need anyone's opinion anymore your25:13 opinion's the best i don't need anyone25:16 to tell me who i am25:19 yes25:20 i don't give a sip25:24 that's not that's not what mine says25:26 mine says sorry i'm late25:28 i didn't want to come25:30 oh that's your normal that is my normal25:32 because i'm late to everything you are25:35 but you know what time is a contract we25:37 can talk about that later25:40 in our next episode25:42 actually i don't know not sure but25:45 thank you for coming today we appreciate25:48 you hopefully you enjoy this yes and25:51 maybe can go out and feel a little more25:53 confident with a little more pep in your25:55 step living your definition of normal or25:58 angie's definition of normal because it26:00 was the right one she did it i did it i26:01 did it nailed it26:04 thank you bye26:06 [Music]26:07 if you think we're cool26:09 or even if you don't please like or26:11 subscribe so you'll stay up to date on26:13 all things the shrink show feel free to26:16 follow us on instagram twitter or26:18 facebook at the shrink show you can also26:21 visit our website at26:22 to check out26:24 some of our merch submit your episode26:26 topic requests tell us a funny story or26:29 even donate money or jin to the cause26:32 thank you for choosing to spend a26:33 portion of your life with us and26:35 remember don't take yourself too26:37 seriously life is all a giant shrink26:40 show26:44 side effects of listening to this26:45 podcast may include side aches or26:47 snorting from laughter impromptu jazz26:49 hands nodding in agreement even though26:51 you might be listening alone and26:52 occasional you said it girl and mild26:55 cases of existential dread this podcast26:58 is strictly for entertainment and26:59 informative purposes only and is not27:01 intended or implied to diagnose treat or27:03 otherwise substitute for professional27:05 mental health medical legal or other27:07 advice thank you27:09 [Music] English (auto-generated)

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