✅ In this Episode of The MD and Chef Team; Reverend Benita Weathers, Isabel, and Michael, unmask the shame around mental health and depression.
A very candid, open, and transparent conversation about their personal family experiences and what it takes to "Win the War" over brain health issues.
✅ Reverend Benita is passionate about de-stigmatizing mental health care among the Christian faith community, in particular, and other communities where stigma remains a challenge.
Benita is particularly interested in the holistic health of individuals – spiritual, mental and physical. With training in divinity, public health and biology, she is uniquely equipped to provide strategic and practical means by which individuals can achieve wholeness in their lives.
✅ Benita is especially interested in removing the stigma in the church and African American communities regarding mental health and assisting individuals over the age of 40 to re-tool, re-fuel, and re-cycle their passion toward a life that is fulfilling. In addition, she is the founder of Mind the Mental, Inc., and non-profit organization with a mission to equip youth and young adults to be so in tune with and in control of their mental well-being that suicide among this group will be virtually non-existent.
⏬ Download and Listen to the Whole Story! ⏬
➥ Where listeners can find Reverend Benita:
Reverend Benita's Books: https://benitaweathers.com/books/
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Speaker 0 (0s): Coming up on this episode of the MD and chef team show.
Speaker 1 (9s): Absolutely. And so I really do want to see these conversations happen in churches. I want to see mental health ministries and communities form in churches where people can go and talk without the fear of judgment, without the fear of people getting on the phone, gossiping and, and, and all of that. I just, I just want to see that in our faith. And I honestly believe that this is not even just in the Christian faith.
I mean, I think there are other faith traditions where they have the same sorts of, of, of, of mindsets around the stigma of getting mental health. So I'm hoping that people from other faith backgrounds will look at what we're doing in say, we need that in our faith two and, and write about it and talk about it.
Speaker 0 (1m 4s): Welcome to the show from chef team. I'm Dr. Isabel medical doctor here at the MD and chef team.
Speaker 2 (1m 14s): I'm chef Michael Coleman nutrition expert. I'm the chef, the kids.
Speaker 0 (1m 18s): And what are we going to talk about bed? Now? I can say that cause he's my husband.
Speaker 2 (1m 23s): We'll be talking about marriage relationships, parenting intimacy. Talk about mindsets that success overcoming depression, anxiety, I'll be getting into functional nutrition, recipes, and tips from the kitchen. And we're going to both get into how to live a long, healthy, vibrant life.
Speaker 0 (1m 41s): Yes, I love it. Our mission is to help you prevent and reverse disease and give you open in the process. Oh yeah. We like to have fun the show. Hello, Reverend Benita. How are you doing?
Speaker 1 (2m 1s): I'm doing well. How are you?
Speaker 0 (2m 4s): Oh, well it's a little rainy here in New Zealand and it's cold. It's a cold Springs.
Speaker 3 (2m 10s): Sorry. It is a cold spring stuff. How you doing rubber Benita?
Speaker 1 (2m 15s): I'm doing well. It's actually nicer over here where we have a pleasant fall day. So sunny and 80 degrees. So
Speaker 0 (2m 27s): Nice.
Speaker 3 (2m 28s): We're going to flip flop. We're going to be going the other way. Sue. And where are you? Where are you at right now?
Speaker 1 (2m 37s): I am in Southern New Jersey. I'm just across the water from Philadelphia.
Speaker 3 (2m 44s): Oh, I know the area very well. I was born and raised in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. The Amish country. Yeah,
Speaker 1 (2m 52s): Yeah,
Speaker 3 (2m 54s): Yeah. The horses and buggies and Amish and all that stuff and fly pie. And now we're in New Zealand.
Speaker 0 (3m 4s): Great food out there. Very tasty, very tasty. Very tasted. How about if I introduce Reverend Benita weathers to the team? Huh?
Speaker 3 (3m 14s): Oh, that would be awesome. Nobody know about Reverend
Speaker 0 (3m 17s): Benita. Hi Isabelle. Hi Donna. Hi. Oh, well you don't have to edit that out. Hi, everyone on doctors, Bob, this is chef Michael. Thank you for joining us at the MD and chef. I'm going to go ahead and introduce you up and give you a little bio on Reverend Benito weathers, who was our guest today? She is passionate about de stigmatizing mental health needs in the Christian faith community. I love that she wants to share her journey as the wife of a pastor who battles depression, her book entitled the scream within mental health and clergy marriages.
The journey of a pastor's spouse shows the impact of depression on the caregivers and loved ones of those who suffer from it. I love, I love this topic and that's why I wanted to have chef Michael here because you two have a lot in common. It's a huge topic with nowhere to turn you remember those times with no, no you weren't alone.
Speaker 3 (4m 31s): Definitely not with
Speaker 0 (4m 32s): Nowhere to turn because of the stigma associated with mental health caregivers often scream within Reverend Benita. Weather's once the scream within to become the scream without my, without fear, without ridicule, without condemnation, without embarrassment. Welcome aboard to the MD and chef team podcast. Thank you for having me. I'm so excited about this conversation.
Speaker 3 (5m 2s): Yes, yes. And it's such a much needed conversation too. I mean, as we've seen over the last 18 months, I mean this, no matter what community you're in this with the pandemic worldwide, I mean, anxiety, depression, people just kind of being anxious and worried. I mean, it's just growing and it's, it's such a topic we need to address. So thank you so much for being here to address this with us today. I appreciate it.
Speaker 0 (5m 33s): Thank you for having me again now, would you like me to call you Reverend Benito or would you like me to call you any something different? That's fine. Rather than Benita Benita even is fine. You call me as a doll and call Michael Michael. Okay.
Speaker 3 (5m 49s): I'm not Mr. Hunsinger. We are
Speaker 0 (5m 57s): Well, Reverend Benita, would you mind sharing with the audience, your
Speaker 1 (6m 1s): Story and how everything began? Yeah, sure. So my husband and I have been married 26 years, this past may and in the beginning of our marriage, there were a lot of issues that my husband was dealing with internally, which at that time, neither of us knew was depression or what's causing depression.
At that time, we were both sort of like not fully understanding what was going on and, you know, he would open up to me and talk to me about different things. And I was happy, you know, to be a listening ear for him. But at some point, you know, it got to a place where it was just kind of like, I don't have the skills to help you any, you know, any further than, than listening, you know, I really think you, you might need to see a therapist. And at that time he was really against that.
You know, it was like, well, I'm not crazy. Like, well, no, it's not about you being crazy. You just need somebody to help you sort of process some of the trauma that you had experienced in the past and things that you need to work through. And so, you know, I really encouraged him to seek therapy, but it, it took Ooh, 10 years when he, we were, we were a good 10 years into our marriage before he actually went to a therapist.
And, and so in the meanwhile, you know, I sort of continued to be that, that listening ear. And I continue to sort of take in a lot of what he was going through, but at the same time, I didn't have any place to then take that. Right. And so what I would end up doing was literally just screaming within, because I didn't want to say something that would cause him to, you know, get depressed.
I didn't want to be the impetus of him about a depression for him. And so I would just hold a lot of things in. And so that's, that's really where the screen within comes from just literally going in my room, locking the door and crying and screaming within, and not really having a place to sort of take that, that, that pain because there's a lot, it, it hurts. It's hurt. It's painful to watch somebody that you love, you know, sometimes just not able to get out of bed, you know, just wanting to just want the covers over their head and just not able to face the world.
It's really hard. It's a hard thing to watch. And it's really difficult to feel like you're powerless to do anything about it. And, you know, so for a long time, I just, I really felt that, you know, I was, there was nothing that I could do. You know, I was really happy when he finally decided that he was going to, to go ahead and try therapy. And the way that God works is, you know, as he was, you know, <inaudible> had asked about the stigma around getting therapy.
His first therapist happened to be, I'll be a pastor. And, you know, so it was just like, God sent them to the right person, somebody who was a licensed and trained mental health professional, who also happens to be a pastor and understands the walk of a pastor in, you know, the heart of a pastor, the life of a pastor. And so, you know, that, that really was, was very helpful. And you know, it, it, it, it has taken, you know, he still goes to therapy now, but, you know, before it was kind of weekly, you know, so he kind of, we started out kind of weekly and then kind of graduated now to just kind of, you know, whenever he feels w when he knows when a bout of depression is coming on, and he knows when it's more than what he can handle.
So he'll then reach out to a therapist and, you know, make sure he gets in there now. And he talks about it. He goes, you know, he talks about it with other pastors, with people in the church, encourages people, you know, to get the help that they need. That is that, you know, it's not, it doesn't mean that you have a lack of faith because you need to see seek therapy. Just like, it's not a lack of faith. If you go to the doctor, you know, something a physical, you know, has nothing to do with, you know, lacking faith.
It actually takes great faith. I think, to trust God, to send you to the resources that God has placed here on this earth for us.
Speaker 3 (11m 14s): Yes. Wow. What a, what a ride. Yeah. There's so much in there. And, you know, I wanted to ask you where, where did you start to turn the corner yourself personally, on how you felt that you could now be able to help yourself to help him instead of just kind of going in the room and locking the door and that, when did it get to be where you felt like, okay, I can do something here.
I can actually help. I can walk alongside, I can assist in this process of recovery. When did that happen for you?
Speaker 1 (11m 55s): I don't, I don't think it has happened for me to be honest. You know, I still have moments of, you know, just holding things in and not you still not wanting to, you know, cause any kind of consternation for him. And I, I understand that I probably, I not probably, like, I really need to see a therapist myself.
I just haven't found one that fits for me yet, but I'm not, I'm going to continue pursuing that. But, you know, I feel like all along, I've walked beside and I've, you know, I've been there, I've been supportive of whatever it is he might need. You know, I, what, the thing that I try to do is to understand that what might not seem like a big deal to me might very well be a big deal to him and to not try to be little him for certain things, causing him to be depressed.
So, you know, there, there might be things that caused him to be depressed at, in my mind. I'm like, why aren't you worried? Why are you even concerned about that? You know, but for him, it really is a, it is a big deal. And so I, I, you know, and so I really try to empathize, even though I might not understand it, it might not be a big deal for me, understanding that it's a big deal for him and letting him go through all the processes he needs to go through to get, to get to the other side of it is where I can be most helpful.
Speaker 0 (13m 46s): I know I have to step in here because I get your husband. You know, one thing that Michael does, it really helps. And I want to empower you with this. Exactly what you said. Like, why are you even worrying about that? Just saying that to us really helps because we can amplify things in our brain and to have a soundboard, you know, saying, oh, it's not really that big of a deal, you know, come on.
No. So just wanted to let you know that that really helps me when Michael says bag, come on. That's really, don't worry about that. He's really gentle about it.
Speaker 3 (14m 29s): That's the right year. So yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 0 (14m 34s): Very gentle.
Speaker 1 (14m 35s): It might be the way he might be the way he's thinking it, but I thought he,
Speaker 3 (14m 42s): Yeah, cause you do hear things and you know, for the person that's not having those feelings, you going, like what? I mean, that's why you so freaked out about that. And it's just understanding that their perspective is different than our perspective. You know what I mean? We all have different perspectives in life. We've all been, had some kind of I'll use the word trauma. We've all had things happen in our life that have really affected us adversely.
And it's all, it's all different. Some of us have had a lot more, I mean, I don't know about your husband, but on Isabelle, her father was a, an alcoholic womanizer and had a gun in the house and all these types of things and that, you know, really was traumatic for her growing up. Now, I never had anything like that. And my parents said, you know, but I had other things that happen. So when things come up for her that I realize, oh my gosh, that really throws her off. I just have to help her through that.
Then understanding that was the past. It's over. I understand that it's come up, but let's see how we can work through that. And I'm sure there's some things like that for your husband where all of a sudden, he just goes, wow. And you're like, what?
Speaker 1 (15m 59s): Yeah. You know, I've come to know some of his triggers and when I, and so I can, I can sort of brace myself sometimes, like when I know that something is going to be triggering, I can kind of raise for, you know, what he might be going through. And, you know, I'll try to address, address that as, as, as best I can. But yeah. I mean, I think, you know, just allowing for us, you know, allowing him that the time that he needs to, to sort of step away and process and work through whatever it is he's going through helps.
I think if I were to say to him, you know, it's, I mean, there are times where I'm not going to say to him, oh, well, that's, that's not a big deal. Like, why are you concerned about that? I'm not going to say, say it like that. I'm just, I'm gonna just try to make him see from a different perspective, make, try to encourage him to look through a different lens. And sometimes that, you know, that works just to see, try to come, come, come to this land here.
Let me, let me put these lenses on you and, and, and look at the picture through these lenses. Oh yeah,
Speaker 0 (17m 21s): Very good. I heard TD Jakes. He was being interviewed by another Bishop TD Jakes said, you know, and he was taking this from somebody else that he heard that trouble. The good thing about trouble is you get through it and it ends, but trauma lasts, you know, that trauma lasts and you gotta work through it. You know, that PTSD, whatever you went through, it lasts, it gets stuck in your brain. And it right at your memory, your hippocampus in your brain remembers it.
And whenever anything triggers it. So thank you for being so sensitive to that, because that, that, that is an issue. The triggers.
Speaker 1 (18m 2s): Yes, absolutely.
Speaker 3 (18m 4s): Now I have a question for ya and
Speaker 1 (18m 9s): Not the way he said the way he said it. I don't like it. I'm a little scared.
Speaker 0 (18m 14s): Don't be scared.
Speaker 3 (18m 16s): I'm just saying, I mean, you might not have an answer or maybe you do, but just for the listeners out there who are wanting to know about this area is, do you have anything you could say to folks that these were mistakes that you made along the way, as far as being with someone who's going through depression, can you, would there be something that would jump out like, oh, that was a mistake. That's not the way you should do it.
Speaker 1 (18m 45s): I think one area that I I could have improved on is, and I talk about this a little bit in the book is the idea of in some cases, maybe being an enabler, because, so I'm, I am, I don't like confrontation. In fact, I'm definitely afraid of confrontation. And, and so I don't want to say anything that I think could lead to some kind of confrontation, but there were times where I probably should have, we, I probably should have, you know, just, you know, been honest and not worry about is this going to cause a, you know, a bout of depression.
So I think if I were to, you know, now I, now I do, but that's just because I have grown in, in these 26 years, you know, back in the beginning when I was sort of trying to figure out being a wife and being a mom and all, you know, all then gradually being a pastor's wife and all that, I just didn't have time to add yet. Another thing now, I, you know, I'm at us just at a place in life, you know, like the kids are grown and gone and it was a little easier to cut to say, you know, kind of how I feel, all those, not always easy, you know, without worrying about, is this going to cause depression because I know one that he's, he now has tools to deal with that if that is the case, but that's not always the case, you know, that it's not all, he's not just always, you know, everything is not going to just make him depressed that, you know, he's not.
And I, I understand that now I didn't have as clear an understanding of that before. So that will be one thing. Did that answer your question? Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 3 (20m 50s): I didn't, I didn't know what the answer would be, you know? Cause I know for myself personally, it would have been just having to come to the realization. You can't just tell somebody who is ha is struggling mentally with anxiety, depression. Just tell them, oh, just get over it, pick yourself up, you know, come on, get strong, get over it. You know, you can do it, just fight through it and all that kind of stuff.
Speaker 0 (21m 22s): I'll do that. Anybody listen to me do that.
Speaker 3 (21m 28s): I mean, here we are in this part of the world. I mean, I don't think it's any different, no matter where you are in the globe with human beings. I mean, all we've ever heard, all I ever heard was, you know, just if somebody's struggling like that, just tell them to pick themselves up and get tough and put the big boy pants on or put the big girl pants on and let's get going, you know? And, and I knew in my heart that wasn't right, but yet I didn't know if that's not it then what is it? What do I do?
Speaker 1 (21m 58s): Right, right. Yeah. I mean, now that I, I never really had a problem with that because I just knew that that, that wouldn't quite work. I might've thought it, but because that's my, my strategy is if I'm going through something is to just be like, okay, Benita, get, get, just get through it and pick, pick up. You can, you know, I'll let myself be in it for a minute and then I'll just move on. But that's, you know, that's not the case for everybody.
And I, I do try not. Yeah. I don't think I've ever done that. And I, I'm very cognizant of not doing, I'm not saying that. Just get over it.
Speaker 0 (22m 43s): Yeah. Another thing, another thing for people not to do is to think that the person's crazy because as you and I talked about on your podcast, you know, we now know that it's all about brain health. We just got to take care of our brain and there's about 14 things that can mess up your brain. Right. You know? So we gotta look at that, look at the brain as, okay. The brain needs to get help. Just like if the heart was having a heart attack, the heart needs to get taken care of. If your kidneys are having problems, then you need to work on your kidneys.
If your liver is a mess, then you need to learn how to take better care of your liver. It's the same thing with our brain. Yeah, absolutely. And that's boy, that's just been our, our learning, our steep learning curve is okay. What's going on here? I wanted to ask you, did you want to ask another question before? Okay. I wanted to ask how does your husband feel about you? Well, first I have two questions. Okay. The first is, did you ever, and I know we're all Christians and stuff, but we're still human. Did you ever want to just say, I'm out of here?
God, I cannot do this anymore. You hit the
Speaker 3 (23m 52s): Wrong girl.
Speaker 0 (23m 57s): Be honest. And you be honest.
Speaker 3 (24m 0s): My answer to
Speaker 1 (24m 2s): Honestly, no, I never had that feeling of, of wanting to my husband always, always asked me that question. Like, why do you stay with me? I'm like, because I, I genuinely love you. I really do. I'm not a really great, great qualities, you know? So you know, more, more great qualities than anything else. So, you know, I've always just kind of pushed through, I mean, are there moments of frustration?
Absolutely. Of, can we, why does this keep happening? Can we move beyond this? But, but I, I know I never really, I've never had a feeling of, I just, I don't want to be in the marriage anymore. That that's, that has that. Wasn't my experience.
Speaker 0 (24m 56s): Yeah. I come from a divorced family, so that's like the, that's the answer to everything. So that's why I kept on saying, babe, you know, don't you want to leave me? That was my biggest fear is my husband's going to get
Speaker 3 (25m 9s): Totally the same as rubbery. You know that
Speaker 0 (25m 14s): Like you never even thought, nah,
Speaker 3 (25m 16s): I'm outta here. I mean, Reverend Bennett, I can say, you know, I mean, yes, Isabel's the medical doctor, your husband's a pastor. It's not exactly the same career, but yet their professional career taking care of people, just a different way. The
Speaker 0 (25m 38s): Church is just a hospital for people.
Speaker 3 (25m 48s): But you know, there, when Isabelle, we really had gotten fallen to the bottom of the pit with her anxiety and depression and with, especially with their depression, it happened to be, it was posed to me as a question about, do you want to take her home with you and do what you need to do? Or do you want him to go down this track, which was more of a mental health track? Lock me up. Yeah, basically. Yeah.
Speaker 0 (26m 16s): I laugh about
Speaker 3 (26m 16s): It now, but, and a cry and laugh. This decision was posed right at that moment. And there was this like 10 seconds of thinking, like, huh? What? And I'm like, well, no, wait a second here now. Like how did we get
Speaker 0 (26m 32s): Here? Yeah,
Speaker 3 (26m 33s): Yeah. And I was like, no, no, this is us. This is what we do. Okay. And, and I had to just be a, it wouldn't be, it'd be almost the opposite of selfish. I had to not think about myself at all. Anything I was doing needed to go off to the side and it was a hundred percent about Isabelle and her recovery and us together, moving forward. And yeah.
Speaker 1 (26m 58s): Right. Yeah. I can't even imagine being in that predicament of, you know, you know, we not, my husband has never, you know, like tried to commit suicide or anything like that, or never been, we've never been put in a situation where we've been asked the question of, you know, like, do you want to have them commit it or anything like that? I, I can't even imagine I would have the same, you know, sort of reaction. Like what, what, like what are you asking me?
Speaker 0 (27m 33s): We can laugh about it now. Well, if that ever happens to you, call
Speaker 1 (27m 44s): I will. And the listeners, if anybody is actually going through that and are not in a place where they can laugh and know that it's possible to get on the other side of it and, and, and be able to, to laugh.
Speaker 0 (27m 58s): And that's the whole purpose of there. That's the whole purpose of us getting together as a, as a family talking about this, because you said, we need to talk about it. We need to scream out and let's talk about it. Rolling. All women. Are you feeling depressed? Lack of energy, anxious, your thinking is foggy, poor sleep, or maybe even hopeless. You know, there is a better you to present to this world.
Hey, it's me, Dr. Isabel. And wow. If any of this sounds like you, hi, get you. I have been in this place and I've overcome those negative feelings. That's why I've created the free and private Facebook group called the bossy brain solution. Yeah. Would you like weekly coaching to help you become your best self come and see for yourself and be empowered by the other women who want to shine their best light in this world?
The link is in the podcast description, or you could search for the bossy brain solution in Facebook groups, it's private and free. So come and join us today and know that there is hope. And I encourage you to remain on stoppable. And now back to the podcast.
Speaker 3 (29m 32s): Yeah. I mean, it is such a hidden topic and Isabelle, and I like to take the word, the stigma of the word, mental health off of this area. And we just talked about brain health. Whenever it comes up with somebody and we just say, oh, it's about brain health and reason being, because as you probably know, when, as soon as we say mental health about somebody, we all kind of go, Ooh, oh, what's wrong with them? Are they gone a little crazy? Or w you know, but if we say it's brain health, then they go, oh, okay, well, we need to look at that.
You know, like, you know, like the liver's bad or the brain health has offered something.
Speaker 0 (30m 10s): Words are so powerful, aren't they? I mean, it says so in the Bible.
Speaker 1 (30m 14s): Yes. Right. Life and death lies in the power of the tongue. For sure. It is, it is definitely BrainHealth is, is, is, is more easily digestible than mental health. One of the things that I spoke with Isabel about on my podcast was just the desire to make mental health care family affair. Maybe I should say brain health care, but, but really, really just talk, start talking in our families about, because there are so many instances I've come across people and families who, where they've had, you know, a grandparent or somebody who has, you know, suffered from some kind of mental, some kind of depression, but it was just so taboo that they just didn't talk about it.
Or, you know, but I, I really feel like from a young age, young children need to be taught that there are ways and that there are resources for taking care of their mental or their brain health. They need to know that just like, you know, mom and dad will take you to the doctor, to your physical every year that, that there are, you know, ways to stay up on to, to think about your thinking and, and to, to get help whenever you feel like you need it.
So I really do want to see that start to take off and families everywhere all over the world, because it's not, you know, it's not just in one location, it's, it's, it's everywhere and all of us need some kind of brain health. We, we all, we all need to be concerned whether we or not, you know, with something, let's
Speaker 0 (32m 7s): Do it.
Speaker 1 (32m 8s): Let's do it. Yeah.
Speaker 0 (32m 10s): Especially in the church because all my gosh, it's so taboo in the church, you just don't have enough faith. You're not close enough to God. That is such a lie from the devil.
Speaker 1 (32m 23s): Absolutely. Absolutely. And so I really do want to see these conversations happen in churches. I want to see mental health ministries and communities form in churches where people can go and talk without the fear of judgment, without the fear of people getting on the phone, gossiping and, and, and, and all of that. I just, I just want to see that and our faith. And I honestly believe that this is not even just in the Christian faith.
I mean, I think there are other faith traditions where they have the same sorts of, of, of, of mindsets around the stigma of getting mental health. So I'm hoping that people from other faith backgrounds will look at what we're doing in say really that in our faith too, and, and write about it and talk about it and get that message out there in, in whatever their faith tradition might be.
Speaker 3 (33m 24s): I agree a hundred percent good, very good for everybody. And you said a real key word. There is judgment. And that's for somebody who was unaware of all this being around this and being around Isabelle, seeing this. And it's kinda like the old story where, you know, you, you buy a yellow Volkswagen because you've never seen a yellow, yellow Volkswagen. You think it's the only one around then all of a sudden there's yellow Volkswagens everywhere.
Well, ever since this, I'm just seeing Xi'an depression. And I hear people, I see what they're saying. Oh, we got people coming to us about this is going on. That's going on? And it's like, oh my gosh, this is so much out there. And I know for me personally, pre before this, I would have been very judgmental on those people, like, ah, come on, you know, what's wrong with you. And that, you know, and one thing that, you know, for all of us is just understanding not to be judgmental of people that some, you know, something's just gone a little haywire along the way.
And, you know, we need to understand it's no different than if they're overweight or if they've ended up with diabetes or something else that something's gone on, something's gone off. And it happens to be in the brain instead of the physical body. And we need to be able to just say, okay, what can we do? How can we help? And, and that's where my personal growth has come through this process.
Speaker 1 (34m 58s): Absolutely. I mean, and everything starts in the brain anyway, right? Dr.
Speaker 0 (35m 7s): Yes.
Speaker 1 (35m 8s): It's the brain that communicates to the rest of the body, what to do, right. How to feel. So it's even that much more important. I think a part of your physical body that you really need to pay attention to and take care of.
Speaker 0 (35m 24s): And I have to say, I've got a confession. My confession is before 2014, that's from 1991 to 2014 as a medical doctor, a family practice doctor, I would be judgmental of people with anxiety and depression. I'd be like, I mean, I didn't say this, but just like you, you know, I thought it, oh, here's a pill and I'll go see a therapist really.
Cause that's all the tools I had, but God, God, he said, You're going to learn how to change the world with this. You're going to change the world's perspective on this. And, oh my gosh, did I get a wake up call? And I, I no longer think like that anymore.
So thank you God, for this experience, my mess is going to be the message. Thanks for using me.
Speaker 1 (36m 32s): It's a growth process. I mean, we in the nineties and prior to that, and you know, when I was growing up, I grew up in the seventies, seventies and eighties. And I, I started out my book by about talking about my, you know, sort of where, what, what was my understanding of mental health or depression. I didn't really have much of an understanding.
Really. I thought depression was, you know, when you get sad every once in a while, you're depressed. But as I was reading up on it, it's like, well, no, that's, that's, you know, that's, that's bare minimum. Like that's not, that's not really diagnosed depression. You know, the little sadness, you know, when you get the blues every once in a while, every blue moon, but we never really talked about it. My dad was a pastor. And of course he, he, you know, gave spiritual guidance to a lot of people, but never talked about therapy.
You know, we know we just never, we just didn't talk about it. And I feel like it, you know, it was that way in most households in those days, I write from, from the perspective of, of an African-American woman, because that's, you know, where, how I grew up in as a Christian, that's who I am. But I'm finding people from, from all kinds of backgrounds who can relate. It was like, yeah, we didn't talk about it in our community either.
You know, it just, it was, it was just hush, hush. And you know, you always had the, you know, the, the, the, the crazy uncle or whatever, but no, no real explanation. Or you had that one person in your family who, you know, everybody kind of knew they were kind of a little off or whatever. I'm putting that in quotes, quote, unquote off is what the term that would be used, but she doesn't talk about it. You just kind of let them be in their corner and you would almost ignore them, you know, just, you know, they're there, but nobody ever talked about what was really going on with them internally.
And I just feel like that that has, has heard us. And I'm, I'm glad to see that more people are embracing their, their mental health or their brain health. I'm glad to see that more people, even in the church are talking about it. We're not where we need to be, but we're not where we used to be. And that gives me hope.
Speaker 3 (39m 10s): Yeah. Beautiful. Beautiful. I wanted to ask you about your book. Can you tell us,
Speaker 1 (39m 23s): Actually be married
Speaker 3 (39m 25s): 41 year
Speaker 1 (39m 28s): And you can answer each other's
Speaker 3 (39m 29s): Questions. It happens all the time. It's like get out of my head from our belly button to the other valley. Tell us about your book, give us some ideas.
Speaker 1 (39m 47s): Oh, so the spring within is my journey of like, like you mentioned in the bio of, of being, you know, married to a pastor who he says is at war with depression. He doesn't like to say suffers with depression because he feels like that's kind of giving into it. It is a war, whether you're fighting it, you know? So I, I had thought about writing it many years ago because the reason being that there, there really wasn't anything out there that I could find from the perspective of a caregiver of someone with depression.
And I felt like that that was a perspective that needed to be shared. And in particular, in the church and in particular as a pastor's wife, and as you can imagine, I was, it took me three years from the time I first thought about it to the time where I approached him with it. And when I first approached him about it, his words to me were you have to write that book.
Wow. I might not be able to read it, but you have to write it. And, and so at that point I started writing it because had he not, you know, encouraged me, I might not have, I might still not have written it. And it was very therapeutic for me to write it because I had been going through all of these emotions over the years that I had never shared with anyone had never, you know, that I had kept bottled in, locked in.
And I felt that it was important to share in particular as a pastor's wife, because I know for a fact that there are other pastor's wives who, whose spouses, you know, deal with depression. And, and there's nowhere to go. Usually when pastors are dealing with issues, they don't go anywhere to talk about it. You know, they come home to their spouse and, you know, you know, they, they get it all out with the spouse, but then where does a spouse go to kind of get, get it all out.
We don't really go anywhere cause you don't want to talk to people in the church because that's just a no-no, you know, you don't necessarily, and when you're married to somebody, who's not only pastor, but a community leader, you just don't know what kind of, you know, the stigma of it. Like what people will then think what people will say. So you're always concerned about that. And so, you know, what, that, what that's really what made me write the book because I feel like it would encourage and also free somebody else, which from some of the feedback I'm getting it, it has, you know, I've, I've, can't tell you how many people have been like, thank you for writing that book.
And I'm like, well, thank God. Because you know, with, without God speaking to the heart of my husband and saying, you know, encourage her to write it, it might not have gotten written. And you know, there might not be that perspective out there. So, so that's, you know, so the book really talks about just my journey from the, from the early stages of our marriage all the way up until, you know, more recently and talks about some of the, some of the things that I went through internally, some of the thoughts that I had and you know, just how that, how it impacted me to, to feel like I'm just helpless.
I'm not able to help him. I'm, I'm an utter failure as a wife. I'm an utter failure as a mother because I don't have the tools that I need to help. My, my family. I wanna do a lot, you know, just internally and that, you know, there, I had some young women who aren't married, who read the book, who said to me, you know, that this really has helped me even think about futuristically.
If I ever do get married, some things to be thinking about in marriage, you know? So it, it's, it's having an impact that I didn't even, I couldn't even really foresee. And I'm just really grateful to God for putting it in me and in seeing it through,
Speaker 0 (44m 44s): No, we haven't, we haven't gotten the book yet, but we're, we're going to be putting out a list and an order in for the book. And that's definitely one of the books we'll be reading. Okay. But I haven't had, I'll be honest with you. I haven't, we haven't read it yet. Okay. Okay. But it's definitely on our Christmas
Speaker 3 (45m 1s): List
Speaker 0 (45m 2s): For Christmas. We buy books for each other and I've got like 15 books that I want Michael to order for me.
Speaker 3 (45m 10s): Christmas is like, it's the book season. It all pours in. And then a year we read our books.
Speaker 1 (45m 17s): I cannot tell you how many books I have between the, the actual physical books on, on the desk and the books in my Kindle. I can't tell you how many books that I have lined up that I have not read. So when people come to me and say, I got your book, I haven't started reading it yet. I'm like, you'll get to it. I understand.
Speaker 3 (45m 42s): I did it. I did it. Yeah. That's nice. That is so wonderful that you've been able to put that into a book form to share that out to the world. I mean, like you said, I didn't find the manual on this whole thing. I mean, it was just like, okay, let's just take it one day at a time because there wasn't, I didn't, I wasn't any training. I couldn't find a manual. I couldn't find anything about anybody that would want to talk about it even.
I mean, I remember we talked to, I talked to some local organizations and they didn't really want to talk too much about it, you know? So it was kind of yeah. Learn on your own type stuff. So that's fantastic that you're putting that out to the world. It's a beautiful tool for the caregivers of people who are at war. I love that.
Speaker 0 (46m 38s): It is, we are, it is, it's a war. It's totally a war over our brain health. It's all a war over our brain house. And we'll do another podcast about that. But I wanted to ask you what, cause we're landing this plane now, what three, what three action steps could you offer, you know, for our listeners to, to start implementing right away. So that they've got a win. If they're dealing with somebody with anxiety, who's fighting anxiety and or depression.
Speaker 1 (47m 11s): So no that what, what they're going through is real. And so the first thing would be to validate, to, to, to offer some validation of what they're going through and say, be honest and say, I understand what you're going through. That I believe that what you're going through is real. So let's work together to try to get you the help that you need to get through it. The second thing would be to encourage encouraged therapy and, and even go so far as to do some research, to find, to help them find the right therapist to go to.
And then the third thing would be to take care of yourself because it can be, it can be very exhausting to be quite Frank. And so you it's really important for you to, to take care of your own brain health. That there's a part in the book that I talk about, you know, I can't take that trip. And what I learned to do was when, when sometimes when he would take that trip to depression, I would find myself like locked in, buckled in going right there with him.
I said, you know, I can't do that. And so I came up with this term of, I can't take that trip. And, and so I would do something else to kind of get my mind back to where it would need to be, whether it's through prayer and meditation or deep breathing or listening to music or taking a walk or whatever that might be for you, take care of yourself because you know, you, you definitely have to put, you know, the oxygen mask on yourself first.
Speaker 3 (49m 6s): Yeah. Very well said. Great action steps. I was just writing those down as you were talking, I know they're in the book, but I'd want them, I want them in front of me right now.
Speaker 0 (49m 17s): Yeah. Oh my gosh. Ben, the things we've all learned, huh?
Speaker 1 (49m 22s): Yeah. Yes. We learned, learn a lot.
Speaker 3 (49m 25s): And you kind of think like how, where did life take us on this trip? It's journey here. But you know, as the saying goes, we take our messes and we turn them into messages to the world and you just think, okay, well what good can we, you know, what good can we take out of this? You know?
Speaker 1 (49m 43s): Absolutely.
Speaker 3 (49m 45s): Yeah. And we can, if we decide to, if we decide to,
Speaker 0 (49m 50s): I'm so grateful that I have a husband like you and your husband's got a wife, like, you know, cause without the, both of you, it's, it's hard. It's almost impossible. Of course. Yes. We've got God, but it's just good to have somebody in the flesh, you know, like understands everything. Yeah,
Speaker 1 (50m 10s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I'm blessed to have him too. So I, it it's, it's definitely a mutual, it's definitely a mutual benefit.
Speaker 3 (50m 21s): That's why we're still here.
Speaker 0 (50m 23s): And do you see him getting healed? Do you see him winning this war? Oh my
Speaker 1 (50m 28s): Goodness. Yeah. It's the difference is exponential from, from the beginning of our marriage to now, it, he definitely has much more of an understanding about himself. He understands what his triggers are. He understands when they're coming up, when they're coming on, he has the tools in the toolkit now to kind of help, you know, the war getting really deep. So he, whereas he, might've used to get into like really, really deep, deep, deep bouts of depression if he doesn't get that far anymore, you know, which is, which is really great.
He's, he's grown really by leaps and bounds in, in these last, in these years.
Speaker 3 (51m 14s): That's because you were there right. With them, helping them, encouraging them. I want to say that. Yeah. And I also want to validate your, your husband's work too, because I'm sure for him, it's been a lot of work, you know, when people change like that, I mean, it doesn't just happen. It's great that we're here. And the reason why I know, I can say that is because I know the work that Isabelle's done to, you know, defeat this war on depression. I know the work she's done. I mean, yes, I was there, but at the end of the day, she's had to do the work and the same thing your husband has had to do the personal work.
And, and I, you know, congratulate, I mean, he's not here, but I can, if he happens to listen to this, congratulations, I validate you, pastor weathers for doing the work you've done because that's, you gotta do the work, you know?
Speaker 1 (52m 7s): Yeah. It's, it's a lot of work. It is a lot of work. And that's one of the things that I, I appreciate most about him is his willingness and his desire to put in the work, to be, you know, the best version of himself that he can be. I really appreciate that about him.
Speaker 3 (52m 29s): Yes. I love it. I had to, I just, I love it. I love hearing that because it's so true. It's so true. You got to put in the work to be the best version of yourself no matter what.
Speaker 1 (52m 43s): Absolutely. I'll just kinda help out my program, my event coming up. Yes.
Speaker 3 (52m 53s): Reverend, Benita's going to tell you something that's really important. That's coming up. Yes.
Speaker 1 (52m 57s): I don't know what part of the world everybody is in, but I am having an event on October 30th. It is called minding the mental in marriage and minors. And it will be myself and my husband, my children, a couple of mental health practitioners. And we are going to kind of do a deep dive into dealing with mental health and dealing with mental health with your children and, and, and just talking about the book and it's going to be a great, it's going to be a great event.
It is going to be from 11 to two Eastern standard time. So I'm not sure what is in New Zealand. That would be, it would be first. Oh no, I'll be in the evening, right? Yeah,
Speaker 3 (53m 47s): No, it'd be in the morning. If you're new. If you're 11 to two Eastern, it'd be about. Yeah. But yeah, we've gotten up for stuff before. So is this, is this in person or is it virtual?
Speaker 1 (54m 5s): Okay, good, good virtual events. So the, you can find me on social media, just Benita weather's B E N I T a
Speaker 3 (54m 16s): And we'll put the laser. And is there a link or anything specific for the event where people can tie into it and find out what all about it?
Speaker 1 (54m 25s): Yes. Well, the link will be coming out there in a couple of days. And so I will have it in my, in my bio on Instagram and it'll, it'll be on my social media and I can send you guys the flyer.
Speaker 3 (54m 39s): It'll, it'll be in the lake, in this podcast. It'll be there. Yeah. Cause that's a beautiful thing to have out there. And that way anybody around the world can tie in because you never know in this virtual world, what corner of the world, you are reaching somebody who right now is just waiting to hear this message and they hear it, they catch it and they tie into what you're doing. And that could save a life just somewhere in the world. Even if it's just one life we say beautiful.
Speaker 1 (55m 11s): Yes, yes. Don't give up there. There is definitely hope on the other side. Never
Speaker 3 (55m 17s): Give up,
Speaker 0 (55m 18s): Keep holding on,
Speaker 1 (55m 21s): Keep holding on. All right. Do you
Speaker 0 (55m 23s): Want to close this time or
Speaker 3 (55m 25s): Shall I?
Speaker 0 (55m 28s): This is the first time we've done a podcast together. So it's kind of like really
Speaker 3 (55m 33s): We do lives together all the time, but podcasts doesn't matter.
Speaker 0 (55m 39s): Well, everybody, thank you. I've been your host and Michael has been your host, Michael and Dr. Isabel been your host here with Reverend Benita weathers. Thank you so much for joining us. And you go out there and be your best and share that gorgeous smile years in the world because we so needed long remain
Speaker 1 (55m 58s): Lights.
Speaker 3 (56m 0s): Thank you, Reverend Benita.
Speaker 4 (56m 5s): Hello, chef Michael here. If you enjoy today's episode, we would love it. If you subscribe to the podcast and left us a review.