This episode so speaks to Mental Illness Awareness Week. I interview Patty, a soul sister, who, like me, has experienced three different versions of mental illness: Her mom, her sister, and herself.

Patty and I talk about mental illness stigma and shame and family dysfunction. We also get very personal with stories of our own bunny holes and what it really means to be resilient and selfish. We share similar feelings of what it's like to be a strong independent caregiver and to fight the fears that come with admitting we all need a little bit of help sometimes.

As Patty explained, "I came to realize that, you know, it wasn't my crap. It was just realizing how to do self-care and realizing to look out for myself and realizing that my sister's problems were not my problems and that my mother's problems were not my problems, That was hard and it still is hard because you want to be there for your family members. But at that point, when I was in my own depression, I just couldn't do it. I didn't even tell anybody what was going on with me. You don't want to imagine yourself being there. And I think that was the other thing is that fear of, 'Oh God, is this going to happen to me? Do I have a mental illness? I think I always knew I wasn't, but it's always still there.'"

If this episode rings true for you, leave us a comment below and share your story.


A storyteller at heart who built a career in writing, media & marketing, Paolina Milana is grateful for the magic AND the madness she's experienced. Her roots are entangled with mental illness and taking on caregiving roles -- something she has come to realize is not unique to her; rather, it seems to be common on several levels among others, especially the high-functioning women who from the outside looking in seem to have it all together.

Madness To Magic brings to listeners stories of real world encounters with what we all experience and yet feel shamed to keep silent. Embracing ALL of us is key to tapping into our own power to make all things possible.

Special thanks to the creators of the beautiful instrumental you hear during this podcast - Philippa Dowding & Allister Thompson - Original song “Sarah Tiptoes” from their album BIRCHES. Also love to the guy who's the master behind this podcast's production and audio engineering -- Joseph Dean Edwards.

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