My inner critic: Nobody is harder on me than me

One of the toughest challenges for people experiencing anxiety is the constant self-criticism that can accompany day to day life. The relentless internal monologue pointing out every shortcoming, no matter how small. Jumping to the worst possible outcomes or negative opinions others must hold.

While this 'inner critic' can affect anyone, the Beyond Blue online forums highlight a particularly susceptible demographic - young females in their teenage years.

Growing up, Amy was the bubbly, popular kid who loved performing. Fast forward to her senior high school years and she was forced to withdraw from all aspects of her life in order to recover from mental health issues that stemmed from a self-loathing she couldn't escape.

Amy's story explores her experiences with anxiety, depression, body image and exercise addiction as a young woman – and how connecting with professionals who are the right fit is at the heart of a healthy recovery.

 
“It just started this inner dialogue of harshness towards myself and questioning what others thought of me.” - Not Alone
 

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Transcription

CONTENT WARNING 

Just a heads up: this episode of Not Alone contains a personal story of mental health. If you or someone you know need support visit beyondblue.org.au, or call our Support Service on 1300 22 46 36. 

NARRATION 

Hey there, my name is Marc Fennell and welcome to Not Alone, a podcast from Beyond Blue. Remarkable stories from everyday Australians talking about their mental health journey, to help you with yours. 

And this episode is all about dealing with that inner critic in your head. 

music - Sense of Home by Harrison Storm 

MONTAGE 

FEMALE VOICE 1 

Why am I not good enough? 

MALE VOICE 1 

My inner critic is never quiet… 

FEMALE VOICE 2 

I’m worried I won’t live up to the expectations I place on myself. 

MALE VOICE 1 

…if I’m relaxing: lazy… 

FEMALE VOICE 1 

I just constantly feel useful, irrelevant, and ugly. 

MALE VOICE 1 

…if I’m being shown care: you don’t deserve it. 

FEMALE VOICE 3 

I looked in the mirror this morning and I am so disgusted by myself. 

MALE VOICE 1 

…if I’m trying: you’re useless. 

MALE VOICE 2 

My own head and thoughts are worse than what anyone else could ever throw at me. 

FEMALE VOICE 4 

I can’t stop comparing myself to my friends. 

MALE VOICE 3 

My inner critic always pull me up when I start to feel happy and on top of things. 

FEMALE VOICE 1 

I feel like a fraud. 

MALE VOICE 4 

I feel like a fraud. 

FEMALE VOICE 4 

I feel like a fraud. 

MALE VOICE 5 

I feel like a fraud. 

music - high ambient drone 

AMY   

I felt so much shame and guilt for who I was. And I just couldn't see a future for myself anymore. And just holding on to that intensity of shame around my sexuality, around my body wasn't a nice experience. It took me to a really bad place. 

NARRATION 

The concept of our inner voice has been with us a very long time. You might have heard it being described in maybe a different way, like a stream of consciousness or an internal monologue. I particularly like the TV trope of the little angel or a little devil whispering into a character’s ear. 

Whatever the interpretation, this inner voice is actually quite an important part of our ability to process information and also make decisions. However when it becomes critical, when that voice starts to point out every shortcoming, no matter how small, that’s when it can start doing more harm than good. 

And while this inner critic can impact on anyone, the Beyond Blue online forums highlight a particularly susceptible demographic, and that is young women in their teenage years. 

And that brings us to Amy. When Amy was a teenager, she lived in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, with her parents and her slightly older brother - only slightly. And from an early age, Amy - or Ames, as she likes to be called - she was this bubbly, friendly kid. 

AMY   

I was always a very like smiley, happy-go-lucky kind of person. Bouncing off the walls, all enthusiastic about life and everything. Yeah, I was kind of always the comedian of the group with friends, and the one that was always dancing around having a good time.  

MARC   

So when did you first realise you were interested in performing, that you had that instinct? 

AMY   

Oh, well, I started when I was three doing dance classes. And I loved it then. I went through stages where I stopped liking it, but then seeing as I grew up doing it, it really felt like, this is me. This is what I'm gonna do, this is my thing, 

MARC   

Right, because there's a thing that happens where it's not just a thing you do, it starts to become like… 

AMY   

Your identity.  

MARC 

Exactly, right? And how old were you when you worked that out? That performing was who Ames was? 

AMY   

I'd say when I was young, because that having grown up in it, it kind of gradually happened as I grew up. And in my family, particularly, everyone else was more - I don't know what the word is, but the opposite of like, creative in that sense in things. And I was the creative one. So that's naturally the laneway I took 

MARC   

Made you feel special? 

AMY 

Yes.  

MARC   

How do you feel about the term “drama queen”? Do you think it would have applied to you as a teenager? 

AMY   

Yeah, I was definitely called a “drama kid” a lot. A “drama queen/drama kid” - both - growing up. At first I was kind of like, “oh, whatever.” And then when I actually started to have things in my life that I was sensitive about, it definitely became more of a triggering word because it felt like my emotions and everything were being dismissed and put under the umbrella of being just dramatic and everything. 

music - Amy’s theme - bright indie pop  

NARRATION 

Amy graduated from being a bubbly kid, to being a bubbly teenager. Her big love thought was always performing, particularly in the annual school musical, which she was always - like always - cast in. But still, like a lot of teenagers, Amy experienced angst around where she fit in at school, and she had this increasingly intrusive inner critic. 

MARC   

What was your inner critic saying in those early days? 

AMY   

Well, I think it was more just starting to question where I belonged, and who I was in school, which is like a natural thing to happen as you’re growing up and figuring out who you are. 

NARRATION 

Despite these feelings, she had the musical to fall back on. And then, at this crucial teenage stage of identity formation, the idea that Amy had of herself it took a massive hit. 

AMY   

So all through school, it felt like a given that I got into everything. Because from Year 7, I did really. And when it got to the auditions for the senior school musical, that was the first time that I didn't get into something. 

MARC   

Take me back that moment, when did you discover that you didn't get it? 

AMY   

Oh, it's that, like real public shaming of you're looking for your name on the list. Like in a very public place and your name’s not there and you're like, “there's something wrong with this.” 

MARC   

Were there other people around? 

AMY   

Oh yeah. 

MARC   

Were other people shocked as well? 

AMY   

Yeah for me. Yes, they were. Because when you're known as being a performing arts person at school, that's what you're known for. 

MARC   

You really strive for an identity in school you want to be known as the person that does “insert thing here.” 

AMY   

Yeah, yeah. 

music - reflective solo distorted guitar 

AMY   

I was like, “I'm crap at everything. I can’t… I don't know how to dance, or sing, or perform.” It just kind of started this inner dialogue of harshness towards myself and questioning what others thought of me. 

I came to realise I had placed my whole identity in the performing arts and not getting in, made me not only question who I was, but what I was going to do. And there's a sense of humiliation that's accompanied by other people's expectations of you getting in as well. And then the disappointment and awkwardness felt when it doesn't happen. 

NARRATION 

This was all at the end of Year 9. And so after the summer holidays, Amy transitioned into senior school, where new students were welcomed into Year 10. And of course that caused a bit of reshuffling of the social order of friendship groups, and Amy found herself even more uncertain of where she fit in. 

MARC   

What does it look like to not know where you belong in a school? 

AMY   

It's like the old term like being “a floater.” Like you just kind of awkwardly float around the groups not really knowing where you're welcome or what you're doing. 

Like occasionally there'd be another person who was awkwardly floating, trying to figure themselves out. So you kind of…  

MARC 

Attach? 

AMY 

Yeah, you'd hang out, and it'd be a good time. Other times, you’d just weigh-in with other groups a little bit. To be honest, it's a pretty blurry memory of that time. I just remember being… feeling like, I kind of left the security of the group that I did have, because I didn't feel… like I felt like I didn't fit in there anymore. And from there, it was just like, trying to get through the day. 

NARRATION 

And while she was unsure of which peers to spend time with and turn into proper friends, Amy’s inner critic was there, always up for hanging out. 

MARC 

Just walk me through what that dialogue was like before things got bad, like, how would it manifest? How did you know it was there?

AMY   

Well, that's the thing, I didn't know it was there. I didn't think, I didn't have a conscious awareness of what it was. I just started to have myself against myself. And just any scenario that was happening there was a bad thought about it.  

So, say it's you're walking into school, it's like “everyone's looking at you, you look gross. You're disgusting. Like, why? What are you doing?” 

MARC   

Do you think anybody else realised that you had this whole inner conversation going on? 

AMY   

Upon reflection, my best friend was highly aware that I was… at some stage I just lost myself. I got warped into my own brain a bit, and Amy disappeared in a way. But otherwise people didn't really notice. 

music - slightly foreboding solo piano 

MARC 

Was there defined point when that inner criticism got worse?  

AMY 

Yeah, definitely. 

MARC   

So what happened? 

AMY   

I would grapple onto connection through romance with boys. It's just kind of that classic maladaptive behaviour for when you can't quite deal with what's going on internally. So you distract yourself with anything that you can. And for me, a big part of that was the excitement and the flirtation of connecting with someone. 

And there was one particular guy that I really became quiet infatuated with. And like, just having that kind of love interest made getting to school doable. It made it okay. I trusted him way more than I should. And yeah, he took a photo of me without my knowing, without my consent in any way. A private photo. And then he shared it with all his friends, and all of a sudden I had had my power taken away from me completely. 

music - slightly foreboding piano with ambient drones 

NARRATION 

Despite the impact these events had on Amy, she didn’t tell the school or her parents. She was filled with this sense of shame and guilt, as if she was responsible; as if she, through the natural expression of her personality, was at fault. 

AMY   

It was like evidence for my inner critic to just go haywire and just be like, “you're a bad person, you're a slut. Everyone knows about you. Why are you here? What are you doing? You have no credibility as a decent human being, and you're never going to be able to live this down. Ever.” 

MARC   

Did the conversation you have in your head, did it get worse, did it get better from that point? 

AMY   

Oh, it definitely got worse. 

MARC   

So how does it go? I mean, what you were describing before sounds pretty oppressive. How does it get worse from there? 

AMY   

Um, well, it got to the point where it was crippling I couldn't go into school anymore. Like, internal started manifesting externally. I couldn't bring myself to get out of the car to go into school because I couldn't face seeing other people thinking I knew what they were thinking about me. Like warped way to describe it. Just feeling so much shame. I couldn't concentrate on anything else other than everything that was going on in my head. 

I couldn't walk into a classroom without being on unreasonably terrified that there wouldn't be a seat for me. And then my hands would be shaking, but I was icy cold and simultaneously sweaty. I don’t know, there was so much happening at once. And then once I finally got in there, I couldn't stop thinking of what other people were thinking about me, which was really just a reflection of my fears of what I thought everyone was thinking about me.  

So it was not a nice headspace to be in. So I couldn't concentrate on anything that was happening because I was in my whole world in my head, and just trying to get through each moment, feeling like I couldn't breathe. And I couldn't talk. Like, if I was asked a question, I wouldn't be able to make words come out of my mouth. 

MARC   

Had you spoken to anybody about what was going on in your head? How you were feeling about all this stuff that was swirling around you? 

AMY   

I talked to a friend a bit, but mostly I just kind of kept it in. Because having being called a “drama queen”, I was like “if I say anything then I'm a drama queen.” 

NARRATION 

With the encouragement of this friend, Amy sought out professional help. She saw the school counsellor as well as a psychiatrist. But even in those sessions, she was reluctant to open up about what was really going on deep down. And as a result she was diagnosed with ‘minor anxiety’. 

MARC   

Can you remember the first day you just decided “I'm not going into school?” 

AMY   

I didn't feel like I ever got to decide. It was being driven into school and having this battle with my own brain about “you can go in, you can do this, it's going to be fine.” And then getting to school and just feeling like I was… my body was made or filled with cement, and I was glued to the seat. And no matter how much someone tried to push me to get out there and go in to school, it wasn't even an option for me. 

NARRATION 

For the best part of a term, Amy’s parents would drive her up to the school gates, only for Amy to plead to be driven straight back home again. But she wasn’t sharing any of why she didn’t want to go to school with either of her parents. And so this started to cause these tensions at home. 

AMY   

They’re just like, “you need to go to school, go to school.” And I'm going “nope!” But that's the thing, I was so closed off to it because I didn't understand what was happening to me. So there's no way that I could put into an explanation of “I'm feeling like this and therefore I cannot go into school.” I was just like, “nup, not doing it, not going. Nope, no way.” They're like, “you need to go. You're not giving us any reason why you couldn't go, so can you just go?” 

MARC   

Were they confused? Annoyed? 

AMY   

They were very annoyed. I think moreso because not only did they want me to get into school, but they can obviously see that something's not right. And I wasn't giving them the ability to access that. I wasn't letting that come out. 

NARRATION 

Amy says that as things progressively got worse, her family remained intensely worried about her. She often got the feeling that they were ready to intervene and take control, but for now, they were just tired of fighting, and stopped trying to force her to go to school each day.  

Once free from school, Amy thought she had escaped her problems, but soon found they had just followed her home. She took to spending long stretches of time in her room, unable to catch a break from that inner critic. 

AMY   

It took a different kind of turn in that it became more… really shifted to body image for me and around food and everything. And that was because if you can change the narrative of how people are talking about you, to how you look… like if people are going to talk about you, change the narrative to be about something else, kind of thing. 

I think that's in a sense, was where the control came in. It's like, “I can control how they look at me.” 

music - minimalist soundscape with piano 

(montage) 

AMY   

So I became very obsessed with hygiene and food.  

I had an intense fear of gaining weight. 

You’re just stuck. 

At the time I was like “why am I so depressed?” 

I had to wash my hands excessively…  

Why am I so anxious? 

…like even during a meal I would get off to wash my hands. 

And that manifested into eating a lot less… 

You’re just stuck. 

…to the point that I hardly ate anything at all. 

Nothing feels like you could ever get excited about anything again 

Everything felt like it was contaminated, I couldn’t touch anything. 

You’re just stuck. 

(end montage) 

AMY 

And then I'd exercise a lot. Like, I'd have one routine thing I did and then I'd go to the next, and then I'd also go to the gym, then I'd go for a walk, I’d do weights, I’d do everything. It just was nonstop this routine. And even the thought of having to miss exercise for a day was… it would send me into a complete meltdown. And I'll just be crying fits on the floor like a two year old at the supermarket who really wanted some lollies but wasn't getting any. It was like that. 

music - minimalist soundscape with piano continues 

AMY   

Well, I was doing my usual workout. And I was in so much pain. My muscles were hurting so much because I was exercising too much. And I was kind of just… I was crying through it and just trying to keep going because my brain was completely split. Like in one side of my head, I was being told that you have to keep doing this. For everything to be okay, and to keep going, you have to do this. Otherwise, your whole world will be over. And then there was this other side of me that was just so scared and had in moments actually seen how I looked, and what I was doing to myself and was like, “this isn't right, this isn't okay.” And it was like the pain that I was feeling kind of gave a bit of rationality to that voice that was really scared. 

music - minimalist soundscape transitions to electronic ambience 

NARRATION 

You know that old saying about horses and water, it could equally be applied to mental health and therapy. No matter how in need someone is of help and support, you just can’t force them to go if they don’t to want to be there. 

After nearly a year of being at home and being locked in a seemingly endless battle with her inner critic - for Amy, the time had come. 

With her exercise gear still on, her muscles and joints wracked with pain caused by her excessive exercise, she went to her dad and told she him: she needed help. 

AMY   

So, yeah, I saw my doctor that day and she said to me something I’ll never forget. She said, “I know you feel like this is the worst day of your life, but I promise you it will be one of the best. Because today's the day that you're turning things around.”  

And it literally clicked in my head at that moment. And I just felt this immense relief as I realised, “holy shit, you’re sick. This isn't you. And this is something you actually need help with.” 

From that moment I was kind of… I became down to get better. I was like, “I'm down for recovery.” Let’s do this. 

MARC   

One hundred percent the name of your memoir, but yes, carry on.  

AMY  

Down to recover! Yeah, so that was a big component of it. That I was like, “yes, I want to do this, but I want to do it, right.” 

NARRATION 

So with the help of Amy’s GP and her family they put together what would affectionately come to be known as the A-Team. With her GP in the lead role, the rest of the team consisted of a psychiatrist, a dietician, the school counsellor and a yoga instructor. 

AMY 

Ultimately, it was all people who really aligned with my values. And it took a lot of time to find the right people. Because I was very picky about it. But I think that's actually a really important thing, that you can't just expect it to be the first person you sit down and see. Like, some people are like “therapy doesn't work.” It's because you gotta find the right person sometimes. At least that's what I feel. 

But health professionals aside, my mum and dad and my brother played a really, really big role in it because we made that choice. Well, ultimately my doctor more instigated it saying, “I'd rather you be an outpatient than an inpatient because I think it's gonna be better for you mentally.”  

So, home kind of became my hospital in a way. And mum and dad and my brother all were continuously working to help get me to a better headspace. Because I was really grappling with “what's a rational thought, what's not a rational thought”, and now I was starting to feel comfortable to talk about it. So it was putting that out on the table and having them help guide me towards understanding that. 

MARC   

Did you get a new diagnosis at some point? 

AMY   

Yeah, I did. 

MARC 

What did they say? 

AMY 

It was a very long one. So I got generalised anxiety, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anorexia nervosa. And… did I miss any? I don’t know. 

MARC   

There will be a pop quiz at the end.  

AMY 

There will be a pop quiz.  

MARC 

Was it validating to hear all that stuff laid out in front of you? 

AMY   

Yeah, it was. It kind of finally felt like I wasn't just making everything up. It was actually something that was real and recognised. But more importantly, it opened up a door for education and understanding for myself and for my family. It allowed us to start to talk about it, well more importantly, me to talk about it. Which was everything. Talking about it, you know, just takes it out of your head. 

NARRATION 

In addition to talking it out with The A-Team, Amy also set about redefining her relationship with exercise and her body. 

music - dreamy ambience 

AMY   

At first I was pretty intensely set on continuing to exercise throughout my recovery. And then I had the realisation, “I need to give myself space from this because right now, exercise is fuelled by fear for me. And it's fear that if I stop exercising, I'm gonna get fat, something bad's gonna happen.” It was me trying to control everything still. So I kind of realised I need to step back from this and allow the relationship with my body and with exercise to come from a place of love, rather than fear.  

And so stepping back from that, I kind of stepped more into a world eventually, of yoga and meditation, which taught me a lot about mindfulness and kindness to myself and my body and listening to my body. And I met some really amazing people that guided me in that. 

Yoga in itself, I see as like a moving meditation. And it's just flowing with the present moment and where you feel you want to go with it. So it's kind of become my dancing in a way. Yeah, it's blissful presence in the moment. 

MARC   

That's funny, the thing at the very beginning, you described why you liked doing dance classes when you're a kid. And you said you just enjoyed the movement. And this was before we talked about the sort of public adulation part, you just enjoyed the movement. Is this finding a way back to that? 

AMY   

Without a doubt. Yeah, it's that. Because when you're on a stage, you have no option but to be present. Because if you drift away for a second, then you're in trouble. 

NARRATION 

In the end, Amy missed almost the entirety of year 11. But thanks to her mum, who advocated for her and arranged things with the school, she eventually returned able to complete year 12. 

MARC   

Did it feel triumphant?  

AMY 

It did. And I have so much to thank for my friends at school who really welcomed me in as if I had never been gone a second. They took me to all my classes, made sure that I was never alone a second. Like I always had someone escorting me as such and acting as if I hadn't just missed a whole year. 

MARC   

Why do you think your friends went to that much effort? 

AMY   

I just think they're really good people. And I think they found the place where they could be of help. And they really stepped up and I'm like, forever so grateful for that. I’m getting emotional. They know who they are though.  

So I think after having such an intense, near death experience of a year, once I got back to school, I was in a completely different headspace of like, “hey, I'm just really grateful to be alive, and to be here and to have friends who I can connect with, and who love and support me, and to be able to learn things” was really cool. Rather than just being at home, like stuck in my obsessive thinking, it was really cool to be there.  

So everything how other people thought of me, gossip. Like it all just faded away. Like, “that shit does not matter one bit.” Like, life goes so much further beyond your time at school and the people there. 

music - Amy’s theme begins 

NARRATION 

Amy never really did return to performing. The reinvention of Ames continued on its path, and through all of these new experiences, Amy was essentially dismantled and built brand new, complete with new philosophies, a new lease on life, and this new appreciation for what really mattered to her now. 

MARC   

Once upon a time, Amy's identity was as a performer. It was all built on that. What's your identity built on now? 

AMY   

I focus less now and what I want to do, rather than what I want to be. And I wanted to just be a kind person who's really grateful for everything that I have, and continuously working to grow and connect with other people through vulnerability, and just being honest about whatever I'm going through. 

NARRATION 

And as for her inner critic, Amy says she’s learnt how to be kinder to herself. And that involves challenging those harsh thoughts that come into her head, pitting Amy against Amy. It’s about acknowledging that life ebbs and flows and so do emotions. And that is ok. 

AMY 

It still goes, but not with as much intensity. And I think it's because I don't give it fuel like I used to. Or I don’t… I observe it more, rather than really buy into it. Respecting that that's where I'm at for that day, but also knowing that it's not the end all be all and end all of who I am forever. It's just how I feel, but it's not who I am. 

But I'm still dealing with shit. Just like everyone else is. And I love it. Like, I think it's great to be continuously working on yourself and to try and get to a better place.  

And I'm getting there. 

music - Amy’s theme kicks in and continues to end 

NARRATION 

It’s safe to say that Amy is very far from being alone with her experience. Dr. Grant Blashki is Beyond Blue’s Lead Clinical Adviser, and really it’s something that I think affects not just young people, but people of all ages too. 

MARC 

Dr. Grant, it’s lovely to see you again. 

DR. GRANT 

Great to see you again. 

MARC 

That whole concept of having an inner critic, that’s got to be quite a common thing that people probably experience but always really realise, I imagine? 

DR. GRANT 

Absolutely. Look, all of us have this sort of inner voice chatting away, assessing things. And the problem with people with anxiety or depression, that inner voice, that self talk can get hyper critical and a bit destructive, and quite annoying for people. So with my patients we spend quite a bit of time trying to unpack what that little voice in their head is telling them. 

MARC 

Are there particular challenges… I mean, because Amy’s story really takes place when she’s at school. Are there particular challenges in this area for young people? 

DR. GRANT 

Yeah, we know that fifty percent of mental health issues begin under the age of 14. And about seventy-five percent of mental health issues start under the age of 25. It’s why we put a lot of effort in Australia into helping young people. Programs like headspace, or Beyond Blue’s ‘Be You’ program, which is in about sixty percent of schools now. Because we know there are a lot of gains to be made in young people. 

MARC 

One of the things that happened with Amy is that she ended up taking awhile finding the right fit with a mental health professional. Is that quite a common thing for people? 

DR. GRANT 

Very common. Couple of good tips: it’s not always easy to find a GP or a mental health professional that you fit with. So, it’s a good idea to ask family or friends - the grapevine is very good. If you ring up a clinic, ask the receptionist, “is there a GP there who is quite interested in mental health issues?” That’s another helpful thing. And if you go along to someone, we’re all different personalities, and if you just don’t click, don’t be shy to get a second opinion, or move. Try to find someone you trust, that you relate to. 

MARC 

This is good doctor shopping. This is the kind of doctor shopping we can get behind.  

Just lastly, she engaged with something called cognitive behaviour therapy, which is quite a common term - and I think CBT is the acronym. For somebody listening, what is that? 

DR. GRANT 

So, CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy - was developed by the psychologists. And really it’s about helping people identify common patterns of negative thinking and negative feelings, and unhelpful behaviours that are contributing to their mental health issues. So it’s done in quite a structured way. Often there’s a worksheet. You write out some of those inner critic thoughts and actually have a look at them and go, “is that true? Is that fair? Is that realistic?” 

So it’s a bit different to sort of positive affirmations. You’re not walking around saying “I am well, I am lovely.” It’s not that. It’s trying to get your mind into a sort of fairer kind of space. And at the same time, looking at your behaviours and how you can help your mental health. 

MARC 

Out of everything that Amy said, what’s your major takeaway? 

DR. GRANT 

I thought it was quite interesting that in her case, and not for everyone, she found a diagnosis - or in her case, a number of diagnoses - really very valuable for her. It sort of validated what was going on. It meant she could get the right help. And I think that was an important part of her resolution, and ultimately getting back to some of those situations that she’d really grown to fear. 

MARC 

Dr. Grant, it’s lovely to talk to you again. 

DR. GRANT 

Thank you. 

music - Sense of Home by Harrison Storm 

MARC   

As you've been talking, I've noticed you have a tattoo on your arm. Can you tell me, can you describe what it looks like? 

AMY   

Yeah, so it's a hand holding a bunch of flowers, alike to that of the Gang of Youths song cover for Say Yes To Life. And it's got my brother's handwriting saying SAY YES TO LIFE on it. 

It kind of serves as that reminder to me that I'm really loved by my family, obviously. And to just live life boldly and to embrace the pain, embrace everything because that's what it's all about. 

music - Say Yes To Life by Gang of Youths 

NARRATION 

Just before I let you go, there is a line from that Gang of Youths song that resonated with Amy and, honestly, it’s resonated with me ever since Amy told me her story. And the line is this: “It’s ok to not be so all right. But don’t be alone.” 

music - Sense of Home by Harrison Storm 

And in some ways I think that sums up what we’ve tried to do over this last six episodes of this series. It’s to show that you are not alone.  

And a huge thank you to Amy and to everybody for coming onto the show and sharing their story.  

If you’re listening to this and you want to join the conversation and share your story, all you need to do is head along to beyondblue.org.au/forums  

If you or anyone you know needs any kind of support, you can visit our website or call our Support Service on 1300 22 46 36. And as always, there’s a bunch of resources in the show notes. 

Not Alone has been a Beyond Blue podcast, it’s hosted by me, I’m Marc Fennell, it’s produced by Sam Loy, and executive produced by Darcy Sutton, Sarah Alexander, and Tom Ross. It was mixed by Saskia Black, and recorded by Ryan D’Sylva and Andy Wilson.  

This podcast was produced on Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Gadigal Country, and we pay respect to the traditional owners of these lands. 

From all of us, thank you for listening to Not Alone. 

 

Not Alone is hosted by Marc Fennell, produced by Sam Loy, mixed by Saskia Black, and executive produced by Darcy Sutton, Sarah Alexander and Tom Ross.

Say Yes to Life is written and performed by Gang of Youths. Courtesy of Mosy Recordings. By arrangement of Sony Music Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd. Published by Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd.

Our theme song, Sense of Home, is by Australian artist Harrison Storm.


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