DURING THIS PODCAST TOPICS SUCH AS SUICIDE, SELF HARM AND MENTAL ILLNESS ARE DISCUSSED. IF THIS IS A TRIGGER OR MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE, LOOK AFTER YOURSELF AND DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO LISTEN. 

In episode 098 I put out an episode about my personal experience with depression. Not long after that Erik (you will remember him from episode 039) messaged me expressing how much he related to the episode. Erik explained that he was currently going through something similar and wanted to come on and have a conversation with me about it. Erik is by far one of my favourite OT’s on the planet and his honestly and vulnerability in this conversation simply confirmed that for me.

This conversation was one of those ones that I can genuinely say wasn’t an interview, it was just two mates catching up and having a deep and meaningful conversation. Thankyou Erik.

If you don’t already follow him then definitely check him out here:

Look after yourself, look after others and always keep Occupied

Brock
@brockcookOT
brock.cook@me.com
www.occupiedpodcast.com

If you want even more valuable content join <<Occupied Plus+ on Patreon>> for bonus podcast episodes, resources, mentorship and much much more!

Transcription

Brock Cook 0:00
Hi, and welcome. My friend, Eric Johnson approached me or shoot me a message after I released the episode, where I explained about my journey with depression and said, Dude, I want to come back on the show. I’m having my own experience of pretty much what you described in that episode. And I don’t want to have a chat about it. So here we are, I will tell you that there are definite trigger warnings during this conversation, we talk about suicide, we talk about depression, there is some mention of some traumatic incidences that Eric experienced while overseas in Afghanistan. So those things make you uncomfortable, then please don’t feel like you have to listen. This is by far and away one of the most vulnerable and connected interviews I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing. And I got so much out of it. So I really hope that you can get equally as much out of it. So without further ado, let’s roll the intro and get this episode going. Get a My name is Brock Cook, and welcome to occupied. In this podcast, we’re aiming to put the occupation in occupational therapy, we explore the people, topics, theories and underpinnings that make this profession so incredible. If you’re new here, you can find all of our previous episodes and resources at occupied podcast.com. But for now, let’s roll the episode. How you been?

Erik Johnson 1:48
You know, I’m okay. I’ve been in a pretty rough spot, you know, have? Probably, I mean, you know, no question, that pandemic has certainly put a damper on a lot of things in life and, you know, you get kind of starts to get in your head and you, you know, start thinking like, will this ever end, you know, and then you start thinking about all the other things that are negative in your life, and so it just kind of starts to fester. And, and so I’m kind of, you know, in this place where I just can’t kind of dig out of a pole, you know, and so, I’m gonna, okay, you know, like, I actually told my boss the other day, just, I broke down to her just said, I’m not doing well, you know, and I started crying, just like, I know, that I probably have this happy face on. And I certainly am going to be a professional for the students, but I’m not doing so hot, you know. And, and she totally gets it. So I’m thankful that I have, you know, somebody that understands that, you know, there’s these depths that are hard to dig out of, you know,

Brock Cook 3:00
yeah. And I think that it was interesting, like, after I put out that because I put out that like a like a Facebook post, whenever that was like December. And that got like, a really massive reception from people I knew and people I didn’t know. And I had a few people that were like, Oh, you need to like, you should do an episode like you need to, but you should do like an episode and sort of go into more depth. I’d already kind of thought about it. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, okay, I’ll get around to it. And then, yeah, when I put that out, the other day, it I was getting messages from so many people, like people I know, like you and then random people I’d never heard of, like sharing sharing their stories, or those people that, you know, we’re going through it sort of right now. And hadn’t really was kind of in a similar place to me when I started where I hadn’t really, I guess put a name to it and kind of thing and they sort of knew that I was wrong, but hadn’t really clicked on what it might be. So it’s, it’s interesting, like, I always hear the stats, especially around like the pandemic stuff, like, you know, just comments for now, probably not common sense, but like our ot training, we know that that kind of stuff is gonna have an impact. Right? But I think for a lot of people that kind of like Yep, I can’t know that’s having an impact on other people. And then that’s it they just sort of block it out and don’t think about it for themselves. I don’t think it’s kind of like the the old theory that you know, plumbers have leaky taps. Like I just think we’re just not very good at focusing and looking after ourselves. We’re very, we’re very good at, you know, putting our own crap aside to help other people or to do the job that we’re therefore we just need I think of ourselves. Yeah, I think that that becomes a struggle and You know, it’s like the old airline adage, you got to put your own mask on before you can help other people. And that’s the bit I don’t think we’re very good at yet.

Erik Johnson 5:09
Yeah, and I agree, like I, and it’s, you know, it’s interesting that you say that, like I had done for, you know, OT month last year, I think, April, I think I had, you know, my head had said, I’m going to do list 30 occupations, or my occupations around that define who I am. And I put some things that were very obvious, like better, and I was a veteran, you know, or I was, you know, worker, occupational therapist, you know, but the, the number one thing that got feedback was, I was a mental health care, actually, you know, I was a, you know, and I was very vulnerable, and that kind of, like, you know, like, I don’t like to say, I mean, everybody sees me, I’m the eternal optimist, I’m so happy, and I’ve got this fantastic life with this amazing, beautiful wife and amazing children. But, you know, the reality is, is like, I’m sitting here, in in a very deep, dark place that I can’t, that it’s hard to share, because of those things. And I was actually thinking earlier, you know, when we had decided to have this conversation is like, you know, like, why is it that more that we see more and more people? You know, and I don’t know, the statistics, but like, are more people depressed? Now? You know, and, and, of course, what drives that in a lot of, you know, I don’t think that it’s uncommon to think that social media drives a lot of that, you know, I should be more because, you know, this person, or like, even, you know, like, I’m thrilled about your photography, and I, we both share a common passion in photography. And I think that it’s very cathartic for me to go out and take pictures and, and, and it’s a, something that I just absolutely love. But even like, looking at yours is like, Man, look at Brock going out. And he’s like, taking all these beautiful, beautiful pictures of these beautiful places, why am I not going out as like, like he’s doing and I should be doing the same thing. And, you know, you get in your head, like, he’s living life better than I’m living life, and I shouldn’t be doing that more. You know, so. And actually, like, what’s interesting. And I’d actually love to hear like the rainbow T’s kind of take on this as well, is I feel that society puts so much expectation on us that we feel that we need to be this person for so many different people. And our true authentic person can’t really be okay with who we are. Hmm, that’s tough. Yeah, you know, you know, and and I have applied, you know, them for being so powerfully okay with who they are the rainbow to, like, just knowing that. In that place, they’ve accepted their own personal understanding of who they need to be, you know, and that’s who I want to be like, I want to be a person who is, is okay with deaf, depression, okay, with the flaws. I certainly have made 1000s and 1000s of mistakes and hurt people and rubbed people the wrong way. You know, and I’m trying to work in a personal space, that’s okay with making mistakes, and forgiving myself and being able to move on there. And that’s, that’s super hard for me, because I don’t want to be, I don’t want to make mistakes. I don’t want to, you know, say the wrong thing. Yeah, that’s hard.

Brock Cook 9:04
And I think in the many conversations I’ve had with Dev, that’s one thing that ate like heaps of other people that I’ve spoken to about dev admire about dev is the fact that they are or at least outwardly appear to be able to be super confident in exactly. You know, who they want to be. And, and I guess that that in a, I guess you call it like an inner confidence. Dev dev definitely sort of pushes that that image out and in conversations like I speak to Dev, almost every day. And I do believe like that. It’s not just a sort of an image that you get from from the social Two accounts, I genuinely believe that that’s who they are. But I do think you’re right in that for social media has had a massive impact on these had a massive impact on on everyone anyway, in that it is very much the highlight reel of people’s lives like like you’re talking, say, for example, like the photos you’re talking about. Yeah, there’s however many couple 100 photos on that, that account that I’ve taken like 12,000 photos. Right, right, like, literally just seeing the best of the best. And this, I can guarantee you there are miles more shit photos that I’ve taken, then the good ones that I’m actually going to show people. And that’s exactly that’s like a perfect sort of way to highlight the fact that Yeah, you’re seeing the the highlight reel of people’s lives. And it is natural, that that’s how we, I feel anyway, that’s how we traditionally have kind of measured ourselves. Because there’s no objective measuring stick on how to be a successful person, we measure ourselves by comparing to those around us. And unfortunately, or fortunately, with social media that around us in quotes has now gone worldwide. And we’re able to filter what’s actually put out there. So,

Erik Johnson 11:16
you know, I actually I love that metaphor, and that’s beautiful. Like I I do a lot of weddings and rice, I do a lot of weddings, I’ve probably done 15 Yeah, but still, that’s that’s a, that’s enough to know that I’ve have the similar like, where I certainly have taken probably three fourths of my pictures that I’ve taken are garbage. And, and I don’t want to use where you know, but everybody, I’ll take 1200 to 1500 pictures, and then give them about 400 Yeah, you know, and they’re beautiful, in the moment, joy and grace and in beauty. But the other three fourths are blurred, and the writings bad. The faces, the eyes are closed, and what a beautiful metaphor to our life. Right.

Brock Cook 12:09
But I know, I think that also, we can kind of expand on that, in that, as a photographer, that’s, that’s okay. Like, it’s almost that’s accepted, like, you’re not expected to nail every single shot. Like, you go out there, like I know, every time I go out, like, I’m gonna take three or 400 photos today, and I might get five or six good ones. And that’s kind of, like, I’m okay with that. I’ll probably be different it was film because that would cost me a fortune. But

Erik Johnson 12:41
which is, but again, you know, think about, again, comparing social media, like it exists now. And you know, 30 years ago, there’s nothing or 20 years ago, there’s nothing. And now we have this unlimited supply of pictures that we can take. Whereas in social media unlimited ability to share the greatness of our lives, if we wanted to, or, or the depths, I mean, people love to share their terrible lives sometimes, which is bizarre to me, but I, you know, I guess it’s their they want they need that

Brock Cook 13:14
feedback from but I think in both instances, often it’s about that dopamine hit. So you know, whether you’re, you’re sharing, you know, something amazing, or, you know, for a photo you’ve taken or whatever, or, you know, you’re putting up a whinge about, you know, you got cut off in traffic or whatever it is, either way, you’re putting it out there for the response in a lot in, I would say every case, but 99% of cases, I reckon, would be people putting it out there for the response, and it’s the same chemical reaction that we’re chasing, it’s the same, you know, feel good hormones that we’re chasing, either way. One is my interpretation of one would be that, you know, one is a healthier sort of option than the other. So, obviously both downfalls, but that they are essentially coping mechanisms to make us feel good. Both of them.

Erik Johnson 14:10
Let me ask you this. Yeah, so two things happen on social media, we post something to receive some kind of feedback. And then we also go on there to see what other people are doing. And it a little bit of a window into our lives, right? Yep. So what what does the other side do? So we’ve kind of identified that that dopamine hit from receiving feedback because you know, I think probably 99% of the people that go on social media look very quickly to Did somebody comment on my posts. How many likes Do I have on my post was a popular who’s doing what right now maybe the my top few people that I followed, maybe they made a post or something but you know, you very quickly go you’re notified And just see what’s going on how people reacted to you. So if let’s say, What if social media ended up being, you actually didn’t exist in that place? As far as what you share, the only thing that exists is that you can see other people’s stuff.

Brock Cook 15:23
Yep. So what did you get out of it? I think, yeah. Yeah, I think I know.

Erik Johnson 15:28
I mean, so do would that change the atmosphere of social media. But the problem is that this could never happen. Because if nobody could do their own thing, nobody would be able to post because they wouldn’t.

Brock Cook 15:43
But I think you can do a similar example to like, what they’ve tried to do on say, Instagram, where they’ve hidden the likes from the public? I don’t know. I don’t know if they’ve done it everywhere. They’ve definitely done it in Australia. So like, if I go on to say, your account, however many the number of people that have liked a post on your account, I can’t see that.

And that’s

Erik Johnson 16:04
Yeah, I think I think they did that. I think

Brock Cook 16:07
I know, rolling it out gradually. And I probably is worldwide by now. But like if, say, for example, you flipped that so that I go into your account, and I can see how many people have liked it. But you can’t, that’d be a similar thing where we want interesting experiment, you’re not going to get that sort of hit, you’re not going to know how many people have liked it. How many people have seen it, that kind of thing. You might well actually, let’s go take comments out of it as well. So you’re not gonna have any feedback. But I can see what everybody else but everyone else does.

Erik Johnson 16:38
Oh, man, how crazy would that be?

Brock Cook 16:40
I think I do think there’s still something to be gained by the person that is liking and commenting, because it’s kind of one of the other things that a lot of people use social media for is social acceptance. And part of that, or in humans is biology has interpreted that as that kind of mob mentality thing. So if everyone likes this photo, then I must like it to kind of thing. So that’s why you stretch. That’s one of the reasons why Instagram was looking at trying to hide some of the likes and shares or whatever, wherever else you can do on the was to try and give that process a bit less power, and have less impact on you know, mainly young minds or minds that aren’t coping so well, which at the moment is pretty much everyone. But I do still think there’s sub there’s probably not as bigger, say, it might be dopamine as well, it may not be as big a hit, but I think there is still I think what you’re looking for so when I’m scrolling, what I’m looking for is one either normalization or inspiration. So I’m looking for, okay, yeah, I like that photo, you know, I can, it still shows me like, if any, if any of my friends have liked that same thing. So I can sort of, okay, but also so with my photography account, I go flicking through, they’re looking for, you know, ideas, inspiration, that kind of thing. And when I find stuff like that, I get that sort of that hit as well. So, I think that’s, that’s probably not the majority of people’s experience on social media, the inspiration side of it, but definitely the normalization. I think a lot of people use it for that.

Erik Johnson 18:36
Well, I think to like, you know, I mean, think about it, like, when people used to read newspapers, they got a lot of input, but there wasn’t a lot of stuff to put back into it, you know, you just got information. And so and I remember, like, I joined Facebook, when, you know, you couldn’t get on it unless you were in, in, in university. Yeah, like and, and it was in my space was the biggest thing and, you know, then you could really personalize your whole experience on my space, whereas Facebook was very directed, very simple. And, and I remember just thinking like, it’s so neat to be able to see, you know, what my nieces and nephews how they’re growing up, instead of getting that one Christmas card that shows a picture of them one space in that. And I have a huge family. So it was really neat, to be able to just see my family grow in a way that I hadn’t previously prior to that. And of course, it now has become an instrument of I mean, especially in the last year, you know, with the US presidency and the chaos, that is the Trump Presidancy

Brock Cook 19:51
controversy.

Erik Johnson 19:54
And just you know, in either whatever side you’re on, it ended up being this There’s so much hate spread, you know, and I think hate brews, and that’s tough, you know, one of those things, start questioning your own your own feelings about stuff. You know, like, I typically lean a little bit more conservative, but I certainly am embarrassed by a conservative mindset in a lot of America right now. Yeah. But if I swung super liberal, it would be against my values, you know? And so it’s like, how do you find that balance? You know, and so that’s a, it’s an interesting game. And I think that, you know, people do very strongly believe that their words will change other people. And sometimes, they’re very harsh words, and sometimes they’re very kind. And usually I don’t, I’m not a big political poster. But usually I just asked, you know, convince me that your candidate is the right candidate, but you’re not allowed to say something negative about the other. Like, I just need to know why funny. It was like that.

Brock Cook 21:03
Yeah, I have those same conversations in Australia. I’m like, it comes to election side, election time, and all they do is slingshot at each other. I’m like, at worst, why don’t you tell me what you’re actually gonna do instead of why the other guy is worse?

Erik Johnson 21:16
Yeah, yeah. This actually, this year, I made people I don’t know if you saw, but I made people say something nice about the other. And so I said, Tell me, sell me on your candidate, you can and tell me two things that you wrote about them. And then you have to say one thing, why the other candidate would be a good option. So if you’re going to post, you have to say something good. You know, and I said, you know, if you don’t say something good, you can’t, you know, participate. And you’re and also a rules, you’re not allowed to say something bad. Yeah. And actually was really interesting. Like, I had some of my liberal friends just like, you know, I think Biden really cares about family and he’s got this, and Trump makes me a lot of money. That’s like, fair enough. A lot of money. There you go. You know, I get why. Yeah. And so there was some interesting like, some other people like Trump actually got us these relief aid checks very quickly, you know, Okay, fair enough. He, you know, whether or not it was him, or just the fact that he was in office, the vaccine? Yep, came along pretty quickly, you know, so. So that was, that was pretty interesting. And other people would say, you know, you know, for Trump, but against Biden, or, you know, they would say, like, Biden is very, he seems very compassionate, he’s got a lot of experience, he seems that he, he holds himself well as a politician, you know, and so, anyway, so interesting, you know, to make them think that those directions,

Brock Cook 22:48
and I think that that’s also, I guess, kind of breaking the mold of how information is delivered just purely on social media, because, like you’re saying before, like, with newspapers, like newspapers were very much a one way medium. I still think social media, as, you know, social as it tries to be is still that, especially when, you know, you hear all these things, I don’t know, if you’ve watched the social dilemma, the movie, that kind of stuff, like, especially when you hear those kinds of things where you know, that flow of information can be manipulated, you know, I can’t say yea or nay It was very interesting movie. I it definitely sounds like it possibly could be true. I’m not gonna confirm what the night No idea. But if it is true, then you know,

Erik Johnson 23:37
where Yes, yeah,

Brock Cook 23:38
it actually gave me a better understanding of why, you know, people have opposing views to me, potentially. But that it still is indicative that that information flow on social media is very one way. It’s one way traffic, whether it’s one way to a person that’s not willing to look at any other options, or whether it’s the fact that, you know, the algorithms are just feeding them one way, or one type of thinking or one version of a story. So that that’s all they end up believing, because that’s all they’ve seen. Either way, it’s still just one way traffic. And then I think when we do try and bring those people and I’ll say those people as in, like everyone on Earth, who’s actually on social media, we bring them back together. Everyone’s got their own separate narratives due to the whatever lane of traffic they’ve been fed. And that’s where we end up with this really contrasting views as opposed and No. I think also because of again, because I feel like I’m blaming social media for everything at the moment, but also I feel like because of that we’ve lost a lot of the I guess the skills to actually engage in those kinds of conversations with each other.

Erik Johnson 25:00
Yeah, yeah, actually, you know, my wife she doesn’t. Because I’m, I enjoy some of those conversations and I, I’m not a big I don’t argue I’m much rather just receive input. You know because again, you know, like if you were in the US, so you decided that fox news was your source of information you would believe all that stuff? And then when you’d have a conversation with somebody who’s liberal like, wait a minute, but that’s not true. And then what about on CNN is that actually true? Or wait, which true is true? You know, because I need to be able to sort that out. You know, because if I’m, if I’m going to have a conversation, and I’ve only ever asked anybody if they are going to talk about something is that, you know, like, make sure your facts are correct, you know, make sure you don’t just while you post something, and, you know, and and because the danger is that it if it is not correct, it’s influencing you, regardless. And so that becomes really dangerous with a mentality. So if, like, Fox News certainly leans heavily conservative. And so, you know, and really, you could say that, you know, because of the constant rhetoric that the left is wrong, that we have to have this insurrection at the Capitol, you know, like, you know, people, you know, they burn these fires, and it’s crazy, you know, and and the other side, too, it’s the other side, too. I mean, it’s, it’s no, it’s not no one saw one side is wrong here is actually the really is both sides are wrong. No One No side is really Right. Yeah. But it feels this, this hate and anger. And then what does that do to you personally? Do you hold that around throughout the day? I’m so glad politics is the presidential election is over. I can’t wait till this impeachment thing to be over, just so that we can really, truly turn a page and heal. I think that’s

Brock Cook 27:05
I don’t think it’s just Americans for thinking that right now.

Erik Johnson 27:08
You’re absolutely right.

Brock Cook 27:10
We’re all sick of hearing about.

Erik Johnson 27:12
Yeah. Well, and you know, what’s, what was the most interesting thing to me outside of outside of the US was Brock, like you woke up? And you’re like, what’s going on in America right now? Like, you posted something that was like, What is happening? Yeah, like, What is going on? And then like, you know, my, my friends from from England, you know, like, what is happening, guys, like I are, I’m so sorry about your country. Now, which is actually pretty empowering. Because like, you know, there’s our, our small body of OTS, like really care for each other. Like, I know that if there was somewhere where you’re struggling, and you’re like, I don’t know how you can do this. But Eric, if you had saved my life by coming out here, I would do it, you know, and I, I truly believe that there’s a body that cares enough about each other, that we would have each other’s backs, you know, come whatever it is, you know, and, and I don’t think there’s enough of that, in general. But I mean, but to know that, like, you’re concerned about your friends, because of what’s going on in the country is pretty powerful. You know, and, and, and, you know, I mean, I’ve followed, I’ve been following the Brexit thing for years now. Concerned about like, my brothers and sisters over Yeah, you know, and like, what’s that? What does that mean for the life like, and I’m trying to understand, like, how is that going to affect? You know, I was supposed to go do the OT show, over November last year? Yeah. excited to meet some of those people in person. And of course, pandemic.

Brock Cook 28:52
Yep. And it’s just like, I think even sort of one was at last week, or the week before I was getting messages from people asking if I was okay, because they, there was a cyclone coming in. I’m like, I didn’t even know it was coming. First. I was the first person that messaged me was in England, and I’m like, Ah, you know, what’s going on here better than I did. I haven’t watched the news. I should.

Erik Johnson 29:16
Actually, we could totally use some rain, so no big deal.

Brock Cook 29:18
Yeah. No, no, it was welcome. And it fizzled. Anyway, so pretty much just was right. But I think I think that’s an interesting observation, especially around IoT. And I do believe because, I mean, I’ve always looked at it as not a professional, obviously, it is a profession, but I’ve always looked at it more as a subculture and I do feel that that is where the power of that connection between sort of like even asked like across the The ocean is is that you know, those subcultures are groups of people that come together with shared values and you know, then there’s gonna be something’s been Not everyone in the profession is going to agree on everything. There’s gonna be some things that we disagree on. But there’s a lot of values that a lot of us would share just purely by the fact that we’re in this profession, and it’s probably why we’re in this profession, is because we, you know, we held certain values. And I think that’s a powerful thing. And I feel I feel like the power of subcultures is getting somewhat watered down with, I guess, the globalization of things where, yes, it is important that, you know, we look at people as global citizens, and you know, we’re looking after, you know, human rights, because everyone needs, you know, these basic human rights met, and that kind of stuff that that stuff, definitely important. But on terms of you know, as you get sort of higher up that sort of Maslow’s hierarchy, when we start to get to that section where we need connection, it’s surprisingly ironic. And if you were sort of going to start from sort of a worldview and work your way down, when you get to those sort of subcultures is when you would start seeing some of those really strong connections where people actually feel like they belong to things. And I feel like some of that is kind of lost. And this, this is going to be a terrible example. But so when I was growing up, sort of going through probably primary school a little bit, my mainly High School, there was stereotypes of groups of people, you know, at high school, there was, you know, the football players, and there was the Brahmin kids and the math kids, and they all hung out together like that. I mean, everyone at our school anyway, got along with each other, but there was definite groups that were closer than others. And it was those shared values. And I’m not saying I mean, stereotypes aren’t always a good thing. I’m not trying to say that to anyone, but they do exist, and they exist for a reason why is in is an important thing to know. And that is shared values. I feel like that kind of stuff, especially in today’s culture, where, I don’t know, everything seems to be wrong. I feel like we’re kind of losing some of those things that a lot of people probably found very useful growing up going, especially through like, those teenage years, which, you know, we have all been there, we know that they’re, they can be quite volatile, and sometimes cruel, and sometimes mean and that kind of thing. And I feel like some some of those things are being probably lost the water down. And I think, even if we wanted to look at that, from a client perspective, like, it’s important for us to get our head around, like, I couldn’t go into a school thinking that it’s gonna be the same as when I was at school, because it’s definitely not it’s a The world is changing so fast. And again, we’re probably getting back to social media, but social media is a perfect example of one of those things. Like my, my students, don’t believe me that I remember a time before the internet. Online. Yeah, they’re like, what did you do? We went outside. Yeah. I remember getting my first internet connection with the old dialup

Erik Johnson 33:21
that is that well, that’s interesting. Because like, So recently, they just had I saw something on on TV that are not TV, of course, because we don’t watch TV watch our phones and yeah, meters, right. So but I was watching something, and it was like, lost footage of 90s. Holiday season, at Toys R Us shopping season. And it was like 1990 Ninja Turtles. And there were people in the, you know, the eye and it was just footage in the aisles at a toy store. Yeah. And I was so blinded by how much there was, you know, like, literally, hundreds and hundreds and 1000s of boxes of toys everywhere. And that was that really defined are my childhood and yours, you know, like, and I was just telling my wife that it is like, I mean, my some of my best memories of childhood was Saturday mornings, I would get up at like at 6am grab myself a bowl of cereal and watch the various teams that started playing. And you would watch them until noon because that was the one day that that TV was dedicated to children. And then you went out and it was time for everybody to be done. And we went out and we just played and I loved the internet. And you know, actually, there’s something that I’ve wanted somebody to illustrate for me. And it’s it’s something like this where like I’m sitting there kind of on my phone because people talk so negatively about And people are always have their head down, you know, but what I wanted to do was I wanted to have somebody illustrate like me at the very side of a picture, and I was looking that way. And this big cone that came out, that would come out like this. And in that cone would be my life inside that phone. And basically GPS signal my like, I’m better connected now that I’m on this phone I am, I’ve got my scope, my sports on this phone, I’ve got my video games on this phone, I’ve got my mother on this phone, like pictures, my memories, and so, and all those things drawn into this, like, almost like basement or warehouse or attic. That is like hung up jersey of like an old time remembered or, you know, my connections to my friends overseas. And just this thing, like, we think this is so terrible. But it really has opened up the world for us to be able to engage in what’s what’s meaningful to us. Yeah, you know, and it would be a cool illustration, if I can get somebody to to really do it well, um, because I obviously do a lot with technology. And OT, you know, and, and I miss those days, and I and I miss riding my bikes with my friends, and, you know, like going to the ballpark and hitting the ball around, and everybody just was outside all the time. But I don’t want to discount that there’s a lot of joy and the ability to connect. You know, I literally you and I can let me think about you. And I tried to do if podcasts existed 20 years 30 years ago. What’s funny is when I say 20 years ago, that was just 2000 Yeah, so actually, you know, even before that, but you know, iPhone one came out in 2007. So, anything before iPhone one really is fair game, you know, but I was trying to do a, you know, pre pre internet, do a podcast, I would literally write you a letter, hey, we should get on the phone. You know?

Brock Cook 37:07
And it would cost like $15 a minute to ring.

Erik Johnson 37:09
Yeah, right. Right. And somebody recently said, like, describe your age, with that saying it without using a number or whatever. And I said, My age is ordered a shirt on JC Penney, and I can’t and you know, send a check to JC Penney from Germany. I was living in Germany, to hopefully get my new shirt in six to eight weeks, you know, something like that. You know, like, it was like, it was something where it’s like, you know, you couldn’t pay online, you couldn’t pay over the phone, you just sent a check. And someday you get the stuff. You know,

Brock Cook 37:48
I remember. So I remember just random thought that just popped into my head when you said that. I remember watching a cooking show, when I was a kid, I would have been in primary school, maybe 1011 years old. And I remember watching a cooking show, and you could send a fax away, and they would fetch you the recipe back. So you had to fill out this form or like write on the thing, like your details and whatever. And they probably collected that for the marketing or something. But I remember having to have one of the chemo, it was really the recipe was but had to fill out this piece of paper. And then I had to go into mom’s work and we faxed it off. And we had waited like I think it came in like the next day. They sorted it out and they faxed the recipe. Yeah, my fax back the recipe. I’m like, haha, see, this is the technology. It’s amazing. Oh, it

Erik Johnson 38:41
was cilantro. Cilantro is what did it. I didn’t catch that.

Brock Cook 38:47
But it’s interesting what you say about the phone? Because that’s obviously something that I’m sure everyone is familiar with that that statement around, you know, they’re not healthy. And we we use them too much. And I can see as a I would class myself as a heavy phone user. I I can see both sides of the argument still. And I guess my interpretation is of it is around the same as anything is not necessarily moderation. I think its intent. So I think people get themselves into trouble when they just end up scrolling for no reason. And it just becomes almost almost a habit rather than an intentional action. So yes, we can get connected like you know, like you said that you’re drawing like my mom’s in my phone. Tons of photos are on my phone access to all my friends are on my phone. Like I’ve got maps in my phone, I can look stuff up, I can research things, the whole library is in my phone. The radio is in my phone, all of my CDs and my records are in my phone, like everything’s in there. And if I’m looking to use those things, intentionally Brilliant tool. It’s for me and I do get caught up with this quite often for me, it’s when it becomes a sort of a mindless, I call it like a time fill, where you just, you don’t have anything else to do. So you pull out your phone. That’s when I feel the effects of not immediately. But if it happens for a while, that’s when I start feeling the effects of Okay, maybe this, like, I don’t feel good. I feel like I’m sort of I feel like I’m neglecting something, probably my wife or my dog or something else I should be doing when you know, I’m just why am I? Why am I playing on my phone? Like, why am I literally just what they want that’s given been given a term now Doom scrolling Instagram, like, why am I doing that there’s nothing. I’m not looking for anything, I’m not looking for inspiration, I wasn’t planning a photo trip, I’m not catching up on what people are doing. I’m literally just scrolling mindlessly to fill in the time. And I think that when it becomes a non intentional sort of engagement, that’s when I think people start to run into issues. Now I find that the when that aspect of me gets out of hand, that’s when I that’s one of my sort of triggers, not triggers. But that’s one of the things I recognize when I’m like, Okay, wait up, something’s not quite right. It might take me a few days probably take me a week to actually realize it. Or it could be my wife going, man, you’ve spent a lot of time on that thing. Like, what are you actually doing? And I’m like, Nothing?

Erik Johnson 41:40
Nothing,

Brock Cook 41:40
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that’s one of the things I notice, when I my mental state is starting to slide is my not even just my phone, actually even the computer or Xbox, anything, any sort of any any kind of I guess you would, I would call it like an escape technology. Where it takes me out of the current reality for a bit. But anytime I find I’m using that, without sort of purpose or without intention, if that is a sort of a warning sign for me, I guess that you might want to sit down and actually have a think about what’s been going on? Because this isn’t, this is what happens when you no use no slip.

Erik Johnson 42:28
Yeah. I mean, I think that’s, you know, and I, this is actually a pretty good segue to, you know, one thing that I wanted to kind of talk about today, you know, and, and when I know that I’m slipping, when I’m going into that hole, that’s going to be dangerous for me, the depressive state that really kind of locks in on me is his positive stress reactions versus negative stress reactions. And, and, you know, in if we’re talking ot in general, you know, in the army, one of the things that we had was, they still have it actually, if you know, like, OT, we were born out of World War One and reconstruction aids, and you can kind of follow that back. But you know, but one of the things that the army has now is combat and operational stress control. So basically, it’s the mental health force that looks at ways to help soldiers handle stress and combat operational stress reactions in you know, in theater and so, so one of the things that they talk about is positive stress reactions versus negative stress reaction. So your negative would be like I’m depressed, I’m going to go drink, I’m going to depress I’m going to go smoke and my my, my my reaction my response is, is something that’s negative that potentially could hurt me or or is not going to fill me in a way that that I need you know, and and then of course, our positive stress reactions be something that we can we can be fulfilled within so I know that you know, even I don’t even know that you ever posted this but you going out doing photography told me something that you needed something more for you and something that a way to be able to breathe, appreciate the world sit there in a moment and capture that moment to realize that so many of the things that we are separate on are actually important. And and how much bigger this this world for me it’s a that’s a plus. Yeah, right. And sometimes, so I have about a 35 minute 45 minute commute to work every morning, and the sun rises to my left. And if I’m, if I’m at the perfect time, usually it’s the perfect time. The sun is Just coming over the horizon, and I, and it’s in, there’s nothing. So I see it come up. And it’s just takes my breath away almost every time. And then there’s days where I see that and then as I’m driving home, it’s on my right side going down, you see that horizon? And it takes my breath away. And I think about the insignificance. I don’t want to say, insignificance of my life, but how small I am, and, and how beautiful this this world is. And I get emotional about it, you know, then actually, when I’ve been seeing a lot of your posts, and actually Nita, Hamilton, Alice, or Trump, like they’ve been posting, like, videos of this notion of the beach or whatever, she one minute, each, you know, and that’s actually super cathartic for me because I, I, you know, like, that’s, that’s great, like to see that this world revolves around, you know, something that’s not you. Yeah. And that’s okay. You know, and so all the little small details of life that get into my head, the world doesn’t care about that, you know, and how can I capture the what’s more important, and, and so whatever I found, personally, that helps me stress wise, or helps me emotionally when I’m in a pretty depressed state is, is tackling small tasks, you know, so, like, I love working, I love working on my house, and I love like, again, photography. But you know, I have about seven email accounts right now and from different ways, my two nonprofits, I have email accounts, I’ve got my work account, I have two personal accounts, one for spam and one for, you know, like, personal stuff, and you know, and so even like, Okay, I’m just going to try to tackle 10 to 20 emails that have been kind of lingering there. And that will give me a little burden off of my shoulders, you know, or take a little something off. Sometimes if I’m at work, I’m just like, I’m just going to clean my office, I have 1000 things to do. But if I clean my office, I will see something change. And, you know, maybe I can internalize that change and put it towards something good. You know, so for me a lot of that stuff. So I, I’m not a huge drinker. I do enjoy having a drink with my friends. I do enjoy having a drink if I’m out socially, but but it’s not, you know, one of those things that will

Brock Cook 47:35
not a coping mechanism

Erik Johnson 47:37
yeah, a negative stress reaction, you know, and I’m not a big smoker, I will have a cigar with my friends or something like that. Yeah. Celebrating the death of somebody, you know, whatever. But I’m not a smoker. Yeah. And you know, but but I will say my negative stress reaction is this. I go here, you know, and I’m like, okay, I want everything to go out of my brain. Yep. And I just didn’t get to look at everybody else’s, either chaos or, or life. And then two hours later, I’m like, What did I just do literally filled my life with nothing. Yep. And now and that’s

Brock Cook 48:14
very similar, I do almost exactly the same in that it’s, it’s a way to it isn’t escapism, like it’s a way to like I don’t, I don’t want to deal with whatever it is going on. I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to have to like you know, clean the kitchen. I don’t want to have to do that. I’m just gonna sit here and I’ll just scroll for a little bit and then blah, blah, blah. And I think what what actually impressed you pretty much now my photography journey in one without I don’t know, if I posted it, I don’t I might have but I don’t think I had so Bravo. But again, it started as during our lockdown. Earlier in the year, I was just getting sick of being at home. And I’m like, all of my hobbies, interests, everything that I had access to or that I was doing at that time, were based around home, like I had my gym at home, I did this podcast, I was working from home as well at the time. So I literally, there was a six week period, even outside of the lockdown where I didn’t leave the house. And that was very thin. And I’ve always had a fascination with flying and I’ve always loved photography, and I ended up buying a drone purely for the fact that and I spoke about it with my wife before I bought it. I’m like I need a hobby that I can’t do at home. Like I have to go outside to do it and and that

Erik Johnson 49:49
and not interact with people. Right?

Brock Cook 49:50
Well, it wasn’t even that initially. I mean, that’s a side bonus. It’s

Erik Johnson 49:54
a pandemic, you know?

Brock Cook 49:57
Yeah, yeah. So something that I could do. on my own, or like a now now I’ve been on a little photo trips with some mates and stuff. But then from that I was like, I really need to get back into, like proper camera photography as well. So I ended up getting back into that as well. So now I do both. Well, I crashed my drone last week, so I’m getting that repaired. But normally, I would do both. So it’s, and it is, it’s very cathartic, it’s, especially now that I’ve kind of done all the really easy places that you can get to around here. So now it’s, you know, going for walks into the bush looking for things to take photos off. So you know, you really are getting outside, you go for hikes, and a lot of the places I’m going, you know, yeah, they are sort of like bushwalk tracks, but again, there’s not many people there and you have to be self sufficient. And you know, you carry everything in you carry everything out. It’s there’s a process to like, okay, like, I don’t want to take every single camera thing that I saw there on the table, like, there’s tons of stuff, right? Like, if I’m going for a hike, I don’t carry all that crap. So it’s like, I need to consciously think about like, what kinds of shots Am I gonna be looking for? What equipment Do I need, like, I don’t want to take every lens I own because I’m probably not gonna use half of them anyway, I might use two of them. Right, depending on what’s actually in that area. So there’s a, it’s become a one, there’s also the learning of actually had to do it. And you know, what works and what doesn’t. And that’s a lot of experimentation and stuff. But there’s also that sort of process before and after, like the prep, and then the, you know, afterwards is sort of editing photos, sometimes cleaning your year and that kind of stuff. If it gets wet. It’s become more than I had a lot more than I was anticipating when I originally started it, but it’s still serving that purpose in that I’ve always had a need for some sort of creative expression. And originally, that’s why this podcast was started as well as part of that sort of creative expression in that I was then able to learn, you know, I already kind of knew a bit about website development, but learn about audio editing, and all that sort of stuff. And I feel like as I got closer to, you know, I wasn’t learning as much with that, like, I still love it. I still love doing this podcast. But um, like, it’s the little things that I can learn about it that I was learning initially, when I first started, that’s kind of slowing down. So I needed something else, I needed a new challenge to take on as well to sort of keep that creative expression going. And I do feel like it’s something because it’s obviously camera gear is expensive. But actually, once you’ve got it just going out and taking photos is relatively tedious. Oh no, I was gonna say relatively low barrier to entry. Like you can just go out and literally just take photos in the backyard if I really wanted Yeah, yeah. But I think that’s one of the things like if I’m ever like, I’ve had a shitty day, like yesterday, I’m like I had a shitty day, I literally drove down the road and found a bunch of trees that looked fine, interesting and just started like experimenting, like what angles, what light? What settings can I do to try and make this look interesting. It’s definitely something that I’ve kind of embraced wholeheartedly as a, I guess, a support for my mental health. You know, and you get all the side benefits of being outside, you know, vitamin D, being in nature, being peaceful, you know, thinking about something other than whatever else has been stressing you all day, that kind of stuff. Like there’s all those sort of side benefits.

Erik Johnson 53:52
You know, it’s interesting that you say that, because, you know, recently over actually over the past couple years, if I do you know, if somebody asked me to come to be like a featured speaker or something where I’m doing, you know, commencement address or something, I actually have started with this interesting thing where I don’t talk for the first 30 seconds. Okay, and I just like so they’re like Eric Johnson, and then I get up there. And I just hold every person that’s looking me captive, in that silence. And then I and I look up at them and I say, the power of quiet the power of silences and incredible or as like silence is incredibly powerful thing. And, you know, it can teach us so many things about life and I go on to this small monologue about how the quiet has changed me, and how important it is to be able to live in that silence and be okay with it. And then I was like, you know, When I started a lot of you thought maybe he choked. Maybe he, you know, he just crapped his bases doing well, like somebody, send them somebody give him a glass of water. Somebody’s like, are you okay? Is everything okay? You know, and, and I’ve actually had to tell the people have put these on like, hey, by the way, I’m not gonna say anything for 30 seconds, but if you think 30 seconds, it doesn’t sound like a lot of time. But you and I, if we stopped talking for 30 seconds, everybody would assume that it was really. Yeah. And I was like, I held you guys kept, like, we anticipate what’s happening all the time. Like, you know, it is, you know, almost eight o’clock here. I know that, you know, our conversations gonna be ending soon, I can anticipate what the day looks like, you know, I know, I can expect I know that I you know, certain companies will email me at 9am. You know, I can expect that I was like, but if I if you can hold yourself captive in a moment that you’re not allowed to get out of. It’s a, it’s a very powerful, interesting thing. And so I really enjoy it because everybody anticipates me giving them something. And they’re not allowed to take it. And it’s, and so what I what I challenged him is like, take, you know, time to meditate. You know, even if it’s five minutes each day, and you know, you can do a lot of research on meditation, and quiet and the silence and, and how are the world’s greatest leaders, businessmen, bobal take time to meditate each day, um, that in that meditation, it’ll give you focus will give you answers to questions that you should be kind of thinking about, and then allows you to progress through your day more effectively. But, but that’s tough. You know, and, and I love that you say, like, sometimes, you know, just having a really terrible day, you will stop, get out of your car, and just look, you know, and you know, what’s what’s beautiful is your moment is the only moment that has ever happened in the history of time. You know, like this mama right now will never be replicated. The piece of grass, oftentimes, when you’re in nature, it’s the only the only person that will ever actually see that branch or, or bury, or you’re only the person that will ever capture that particular tree, because nobody else cares about it. You know, where as you go to, you know, the Sydney Opera House, how many pictures have been taken to that? The bazillions? Everybody read that one? True? Yep. Yeah. Well, that one tree that you decided was important. You did you know, and so, and so I think that’s, I think that’s a big deal. You know, and as I said, a lot of times, when I treat my mental health I treating my mental health sometimes is appreciating those small things, and then also helping other people identify their unique contribution to life. And, and that helps me also, you know, be like, you know, what, the things I’m doing in life, I think, are significant. And I think that if somebody were to look back and tell the story of my life, I hope that they can say, he loved people, and he appreciated those moments of silence. You know, yeah,

Brock Cook 58:21
it’s interesting. You said that, because I think, and you probably agree, my experience is sort of every time I have sort of a depressive bout, when you come out of it, you learn something new about yourself, or how to manage it, or, you know, you learn something from each time and happens. And one of the things that I’ve learned with the last one, which is obviously while I was taking photos and stuff I take it started that hobby, but when I had the last sort of bout was the so before that, I had to be very conscious and driven. And I had five, relatively just basic things that I would start building into my routine to try and drag myself out of it. And that were things like, I would do a daily meditation on one of the like, I have a I think it’s the calm app, and they do like a 10 minute meditation every day. So I would do that I would journal every day. I didn’t care if it was one sentence or you know, on a novel, whatever I needed to write, I would write, I had to sit in the sun for five minutes. had to do like 10,000 steps, and I think I had to drink two liters of water like they were the five real simple things. I just wanted to make sure I did them every day. But they were very I it worked. It definitely worked. But it was a very prescriptive, sort of like I need to do these five things and they targeted obviously very different aspects of what a human body needs. Vitamin D, you know, timeout connection, being able to play Resist thoughts, that kind of stuff. What I found with the last time when I had sort of a was in a really deep hole, which was about September, November, September, October ish around there last year, was that pretty much everything that I got from those five things, obviously, except for like, the water I was getting from photography. So photography was a very, because again, like I was going out there often on my own, into the bush or, you know, going for long drives, even to spots. It was a very sort of mindful pursuit, especially when you’re looking for a shot. If you’re in a location and you’re looking for a shot, I find that very, very mindful pursuit, because you’re not focusing on anything other than what’s in front of your eyes want to catch and how can I frame it, or what’s the best angle, what I find appealing about what angle blah, blah, blah, I was obviously outside, so I was getting, you know, vitamin D. So like, it was, to me, it was very much highlighting, I guess the difference between how an OT would work in mental health, and how pretty much any other profession might, because we don’t have to yet for some people that sort of, you know, here’s the five steps to getting out of depression kind of thing might work, that might be their thing. And yes, like I said, it did work for me, this work better for me engaging in an occupation where I had those needs met. As well, as you know, a lot of other needs, like we talked about earlier about, you know, being a creative pursuit, and that kind of stuff works better. For me, it was a much simpler, I didn’t have to put as much conscious thought into it. I didn’t have to, like, you know, use my discipline and motivation to make sure that I did all these five things, because I genuinely wanted was to go out and see what I could find. And the other thing, that’s cool, yeah, and the other thing that just you touched on before that, I really, I think the the mindfulness part of it was exactly what you were saying about being the only person to experience that particular moment. And that’s one of the reasons why originally, when I first bought the drone, on my I am seeing parts of the environment, whatever it is, was a beach or a tree or whatever from an angle that no one has ever looked at this from. Right, yeah. And then that that sort of mindset wanting to find those unique angles, those unique views of things is I carry that over into just my general photo photography as well in that some of those photos that I’ve taken are literally beside the highway 1000s of people would drive past you know, that tree or that rock, or that fence line, or whatever the photo is, every day, but no one has looked at it, the way I’ve looked at it, or the way I see it, or the way I’ve interpreted it. And I think giving yourself space to look at things in your own unique mindful way is a really powerful and important thing that everybody needs to be doing. And I feel like I’m getting full circle here. I feel like social media and a lot of ways is stealing that from us. Because we’re no longer interpreting things the way we do. We’re seeing things the way someone else wants us to see it.

Erik Johnson 1:03:29
That’s interesting. You know, actually, I was just having a conversation about like, I’m almost bum about watching, or seeing photos of there’s, like, my Instagram feed is filled with OTS and like beautiful things on the earth. So it’s like, I don’t know if you followed discover Earth, but it’s this beautiful. Yeah. And they always have something incredible views of places in the earth. And it makes me like almost sad sometimes because it’s like, Oh, dang, I wish I wouldn’t have seen that because it would have been cool to have traveled there and seen it for myself before I saw that. You know, and and so many things that are captured out there because like he said before like being inspired to take a picture or find something is like I have a whole Pinterest page that is pictures that I want to take and and I have one that is for like weddings also but like, you know, like this is a cool wedding picture like however this guy did this, like I want to do that for somebody and I wanted to be able to call it my picture, you know and so but some people will have like these amazing ideas that you know, a lot of times I may do get inspired to do my own take on it or something different. But you know, I’m like man I wish I would have seen that from for myself without previously like, like I would love to go wandering and then find it. Yeah, ya know as compared to like Hey, I saw this, there’s this amazing thing or like Brock, hey, I’m coming to Australia, I want you to take me to where you took that picture. Yeah, like, you know, like, I think my expectation of when I, cuz I’m going to visit you at some point, good lifelong dream Australia. So at some point and you know what i’m probably gonna say within the next three years I’m coming out there.

Brock Cook 1:05:23
I’ll be waiting

Erik Johnson 1:05:25
pandemic, hopefully gives me control. But once I get out there, like, let’s go, let’s go explore something that we haven’t explored before Yeah, let’s go get lost somewhere you know and haven’t experienced that people haven’t had before. And now and and i and i think that you do and I haven’t that like if I were like going to take me as a tourist attractions it doesn’t give you that positive. I mean, I mean it’s a memory but it’s not a memory that nobody else gets to have. You know, like when I lived in Las Vegas, the expectation was when you came to visit Eric, he would take you down to the strip because everybody wants to be on the strip, you know, the Las Vegas Strip, that’s just where we go see the casinos, you know, but hey, I’ve got this other place that is, you know, Red Rock Canyon, or like, you know, did you know that? Hoover Dam is? Yeah, so I mean, like, all these things are like, yeah, so these things, like are experiences that actually we could have that you didn’t expect or wouldn’t expect or something different. That is away from norm. And I think I find myself wanting away from the norm more than any thing ever. Yeah. And on Actually, I’ll

Brock Cook 1:06:44
know, I was gonna say, like, I found like a norm. And I’ve done the touristy things in Australia as well. Like you mentioned Sydney Opera House and stuff before. Yeah, yes. Okay. Yeah, they’re impressive when you see them, but I didn’t get the same. Like, I’ve seen photos of them. And when you get there, it’s like, it’s the same as the photos like I don’t, I know some people like oh my god, it’s amazing. And they might, when you do the tour, and you listen to the history of it, and how it’s built. Yeah, that’s it’s impressive. But it’s not something that I was like, Oh, my God, I have to come back here. Like, I’m like, I’ve done it now. Like, that’s it. And what I was gonna say before is with your when you’re talking about interpretation is so I don’t know if you remember if so I took a photo, a while ago of this tiny little tree. It’s not tiny, taller than me. But it’s a tree that’s just off the coast. So when the tide comes in, the water actually goes under the tree, and it looks like the trees out in the ocean. Now that’s fairly on terms of the photographer’s in Townsville, there’s a lot of people that know about that tree. And it’s interesting, because I first saw that tree, and I saw a similar shot to what I’ve taken, but I didn’t want to do that I my, for me, when I see that I’m like, okay, that’s a cool location. I want to go and see what I can see. That’s different. no one else’s see. I love that. And I’ve seen a few different photographers, because I follow quite a few of them now that are around this, this area that have all taken photos of their tree, they’re all different, which I think is so cool. Like, yeah, for me, a lot of people, a lot of people tend to take them sort of from the beach looking at the tree, and it’s probably 30 million, what’s that, like 50 feet or something away from the from the actual sand. Whereas for me, I went and stood in the water and shot up the coast. So it was a different angle.

Erik Johnson 1:08:27
I love that. And I think that’s a big difference between like, taking pictures and photography, you know, because I’m very similar. Like, I remember going to see the the arch gateway in St. Louis, if you’re familiar with that. It’s a big, yeah, you know, silver arch, right. And, and so you’ll always see people take a picture of the arch. And, you know, I remember going in the wanting to see it differently. And I remember taking a picture, just straight up the line of it. And as it kind of curves in and up. And then you know, kind of the clouds in the back, you know, and it was just like you would even really probably know that it was but it was this interesting bending piece of metal going into the sky. And you know, and I love that I actually do really appreciate that about what because typically when I go to something that if you took me to Sydney Opera House, which you know, these places are things that you want to see, like I wouldn’t go to Paris and not go to the Eiffel Tower, or Arc de Triomphe. But when I took pictures of the Arc de Triomphe, I went there at night, set my camera, like on the top of a trash can open the aperture for like 30 seconds, and all it is is just lines all around this crisp, beautiful arch. And it’s a picture that I took that’s different that people haven’t taken, you know, and so, you know, and so I think that that’s really beautiful, kind of in that moment, but you know, and so and that just brings me back to like, I want to experience life differently because there was a point that when I was the deepest depression I’ve ever been. And I mean and I’m in right now and you know to your listeners or whatever, like I actually see somebody for my depression every single week like I have a counselor that really helps me and I’m going through some different cognitive behavioral therapy right now just for my own like I want to be a better me and and and I’m trying to find who that is when I was in the very very depth. I watched this movie called her but with Joaquin Phoenix and I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s basically a movie that you should definitely watch it it’s a movie it’s about depression really. But the the concept is that the the protagonist Joaquin Phoenix had fallen in love with an AI you know, like Siri or Alexa. Because they’ve gotten smarter enough to be really understand you interact with you. And when sir and they learn you and then basically becomes like his best friend. Yeah. And but in the movie, he goes and sees a therapist, and, and he’s he quotes this quote that at the time, when I watched it, I just got so emotional broke down, because it was my exact feelings. But the quote is, sometimes I think I’ve felt everything I’m ever going to feel. And from here on out, I’m not going to feel anything new, just lesser, lesser versions of what I’ve already felt. And that was so and it’s still powerful to me. And, and I just remember thinking, like, I don’t have any desire, like, I’ve done everything, I’ve traveled the world, I’ve succeeded, I’ve gotten awards, I’ve, you know, people like me, I have a family, I’ve done everything, what more is there to do, and I just can’t find the joy in anything more. And I remember being like, in this very dark hole that I didn’t enjoy anything, it was really hard. And, and I remember thinking, like even traveling, I have no desire to travel anymore. There’s nowhere I want to go. I’ve already done Europe, it was very naive and stupid, but very real. And sometimes it still is real. You know, and that’s a hard place. Sometimes when I get in that dark place is like, if I die today, I’ll be very satisfied. And and actually, it’s, it’s, it’s actually a very positive thing for me, too. For me as well. Oh, you know what I want everybody to know, if I were to die today, what a amazing fulfilling life I was able to do i i impacted lives, I help people. You know, I got to see much of God’s creation on this world. And, and what a lucky person have I been, you know, where as people probably within a square mile of me, I’ve never even left the state, you know, like, their big trip in life was going up to Dallas, which is two hours from here. Yeah. And I want that life. You know, that’s,

Brock Cook 1:12:59
I think, what I what you’re, you’re tapping into there something that I’ve tried to carry through my clinical career for so long working with people who have had depression as well is that it’s, and this is kind of going to be a bit of a juxtaposition in that depression, my experience of depression was, it’s very much a kind of, it’s like putting blinkers on where your whole world just kind of shrinks. And you can literally, when it’s really bad, you’re literally just seeing the six inches in front of your face. And that’s all you can see. And like he said, like, that quote was perfectly my experience as well in that, like, Okay, my feelings have just stopped, like, there’s nothing new, there’s no like, I’ve done this, I’ve done that. I’m not feeling anything new, and you’ve got these blinkers on and this is my world and I’m in this hole and I can’t get out of it, etc. And, to me, the complete opposite of that, like I Oh, I honestly feel like sometimes like the opposite of depression is creativity. Because to me, it’s like you’re seeing something that you know, people may have seen before, but you’re seeing it in your unique way. You’re finally seeing different angles, you’re seeing different light you’re seeing you know, different things like I I’ve listened to music and I’m like this song sounds different. Like I now know that sounds stupid to most people. But if you listen to music, and you’ve got something going on like depression I can guarantee you similar to so the the episode that I put out about my depression, I took two photos, and they’re both of me the same edit. I look different. Oh yeah. And there’s nothing else to change other than there was about six weeks between them and I was really depressed in one and I was feeling pretty good. In the second one. It was sort of after the the episode had sort of waned. Everything sensory wise is different. Like ever. Breathing kind of shuts down and closes in, you’ll hear people with depression talk about it felt like the world was closing in. And that’s literally what it is like everything kind of shuts down and becomes dull becomes blunted becomes less interesting, less, you know, emotion evoking like everything just, you feel like you’re wading through honey, everything gets slower, and it’s your world shrinks. And then when you can come out of it, I do feel like and this is something I used to use in my clinical career and mental health, is that tapping into someone’s creativity is a really, really powerful way of helping them out of that hole either acutely, or, as well as in the long term. Because I honestly believe that the opposite or that the behaviors exhibited when you’ve tapped into someone’s creativity, like we’ve talked about today with photography, and art, and that kind of stuff, is, you know, different perspectives, and being able to interpret things differently and look at them in a wider way, a wider range of, of ways, is the complete opposite of what happens when you are depressed.

Erik Johnson 1:16:13
And I love that. I really sorry, yeah, I think I think you’re spot on, you know, and I haven’t, you know, because earlier on, in this podcast, I had mentioned that for me, one thing that really helps me is the small tasks or accomplishing something, and I love working with wood and working in my shop. And, and even if it’s as little as you know, patching a small hole that wasn’t a wall, or, you know, something, you know, something that’s been lingering there for two years, it’s like five minute tasks that I just never have done, you know, or, you know, going out and gardening like, I love gardening, I don’t do it enough. And we talked about, actually one of the integrated projects for my, my, my graduate students, is gardening, and I’m so excited that I get to be their mentor on on that, because it’s going to be cathartic for me to build something, and help them with something that’s going to serve the community. But, you know, in the background, it’s serving me so much more. Maybe, you know, but like, That’s awesome, you know, and I think I think you’re spot on creativity is like the, you know, arch enemy of depression. That’s, that’s a pretty cool concept. I’ll quote you on that.

Brock Cook 1:17:38
Yeah, feel free. But I mean, there’s always like, we’re talking about side benefits as well before. And you mentioned earlier about, you know, having to clean your office, or sometimes you just clean your office. And I’ve always found and I don’t know, if you have as well, that in order for me to be creative, I kind of have to be organized, like I can’t, like my camera bag, I could, I know that I could go through that thing with my eyes closed, I know where exactly where everything is. Everything’s organized, everything’s in its spot, and everything has a place, my desk, if I’m sitting here doing the podcast, it’s set up exactly how I want it, I know where everything is, Everything I need is within reach, everything else is out of reach. It’s tidy, it’s neat. And if it’s not, then I just can’t, like tap into that place that I need to. So I think and these are, these are things that you can take, if you do work in mental health, these are things that people can take and use with their clients. Like, I do think creativity is a really important occupation to tap in with people, you need to find some sort of creative outlet for a lot of people. It doesn’t, it’s not what you might traditionally think it’s not it’s not, you know, painting, it might not be photography, creativity for them might be I’m gonna try a different bus route to get to this and I’m gonna just jump on this bus and see where it goes and see if I can make my way back. I’ve had clients that did that before, like creativity, it’s what is creative to them, it’s, that’s the important thing. But also, there is that sort of, I don’t know what you call it, maybe prep work that you can also engage with them in in order to help release that creativity in it can be things like organizing, it can be things like you know, if they have sort of financial stresses and that sort of stuff like trying to help with some of that will help bring that stress level down a bit so that they’re then able to tap into that creativity more that this is like the perfect example of why oaties need to be in mental health and I know that it’s a very different situation on terms of clinically working in mental health in the States as it is here in Australia. But OTS, we are literally born to do that. wanting to do this is our This is our bread and butter.

Erik Johnson 1:20:01
Yeah, you know, I, what’s funny is like, I’m actually wearing this shirt that says, occupation is life itself. And, and it’s really, you know, and this is exactly what you said. And you know, the other day you talked about creativity can be anything. And what’s funny is like, actually the other day, last Friday or Friday, we were at, we’re celebrating my daughter’s birthday and a friend’s birthday at the same time. And we went to Oh, Sunday, and we went to this place to eat a steak restaurant. And on a whim, I just decided I was not going to order anything. I was just going to tell the waitress bring me something. I don’t care what it is. Yeah, just needs to be under like 30 bucks. Yep. And it was so interesting, and unique and fun to see what happened. And it was, it was brilliant. I loved everything that she brought out, you know, and it’s, you know, and I think in life for me, new experiences is everything like to be able to, and also surprise, like surprises, great for me, like unexpected, something. Hopefully unexpected good things. But unexpected is typically something that I really enjoy. To be able to experience and it does keep me fresh and new and interested. Yeah, and I am because I think that my depression and maybe yours as well goes to a place that is there’s nothing more than I need. I can’t say that I’ve ever been suicidal. But I can tell you that I’ve thought about am I suicidal? Am I done? Like would I be okay, dying right now. And that’s, that’s an interesting place for me to be often because I don’t think that I would ever kill myself. But I certainly would be willing to die. You know, like, if somebody were to come and do a mass shooting, I would have no problem sacrificing myself. Because it’s a beautiful like, yeah, I could do that. I think. And it would be selfishly because I think I’d be okay with dying. Yeah, at times. I’m not saying this is all the time. Yeah, I love life. I want to live I want to, and I’m not saying that I want to die. But I you know, like I I’m, you know, I get to this place where it’s like, like, it’s gonna be hard. This next, you know, month is gonna be so hard for me. I don’t know how to do it. You know, finances are really hard for me right now, I don’t know how to figure out my money. Work is really hard for me right now. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t think that I’m doing a good job. You know, and, you know, so all those things, like really weigh weigh in on me and I might have pression You know, it comes from a lot of different places. And a lot of times it goes back to my military roots and seeing some stuff. You know, sometimes I’ll see, you know, blood and, again, takes me right back to like, you know, we saw people coming in our, our Charlie met every, every day that were dismembered or blood everywhere and to process that and try to normalize that it is not normal. It’s very hard. Then see, being you know, one of the hardest things was seeing my buddy killed there. That was a very tough place for me to be. And I go back there often. And sometimes I see my dreams and it just makes me in this place where he hasn’t got to experience life like I have, he didn’t get to see, you know, new Star Wars movies or stories. He didn’t get to see that baby Yoda was the thing. We talked about going to like Vegas together and you know, living it up once we got back and, you know, going to visit his mother. And anyway, so just like, things that are really hard for me is when like, I realized that I’m experiencing things that people never got to, or whatever. You know, and so sometimes it’s like survivor’s guilt. Yeah,

Brock Cook 1:24:03
yeah, I think I never I never got to a point where I was suicidal, but I do the very first time, probably not the first time I was depressed The first time I realized I was depressed. I got to a point where I understood it. I’m like, I’m not I don’t want to kill myself. But I understand why people do. And yeah, that’s me was a really, especially because at the time are still working. Clinically. That was a really powerful realization because I don’t think it’s one of those things where I don’t think anyone can actually get their head around it unless they’ve been there. unless they’ve been that low that you can go are like I can understand why people think this is the only way out like I can understand why people think that it’s never going to get better or You know, this is my life now and I just don’t want that. Like, I could understand why people would even think that little own do it. I never got to that stage myself of actually thinking that, you know, I needed to, to end it or, or wanting to or thinking about a plan or anything like that I just got to a point where I was like, I get it like I can I can empathize with people. Yeah, have those thoughts?

Erik Johnson 1:25:30
Yeah, you know, I think empathy is a big part. And, you know, and actually, like, what a better therapist doesn’t make it make sense, right. Understanding the, those depths. And that’s, it is hard for me because I don’t want to feel that. I mean, I know you won’t, you would never choose it. But prior to Afghanistan, I remember thinking like, I’m the eternal optimist. Like, people come back from war, and they’re all like, quote, unquote, messed up. But I think it’s a crock. I think they’re just using it as a crutch, or something. That was wrong. And I was so wrong. And actually, I was pleasantly wrong. Because it may be it gave me a different perspective on how to understand the subtle things that will change, somebodies outwork. You know, and, and, and how I, it’s not in me to understand why they feel that way, just that they can. And it’s okay. You know, because it affected me very differently. And actually, you know, I posted at one point in time, like, I, because at some point time, like, I posted I really struggled with fireworks going off. Not actually I still do well, when fireworks go off. If it’s on, like, an anticipated date, like the like New Year’s Eve have no, they’re gonna go off, I can anticipate them. And I know that it’s not know

Brock Cook 1:27:01
know that it’s fireworks.

Erik Johnson 1:27:03
Know that it’s fireworks. Yeah. But two days before New Year’s Eve, or Fourth of July in America, when people typically do when, you know, you can go out you can buy fireworks, you know, a month ahead of time. And you can set them off whenever you want. That’s when I have issues. Yeah, because it’s an it’s an anticipated. And I like have this anxiety, that’s insane. But like if a bomb goes off, or like a fireworks go off, like I it’s an immediate split second reaction. And I know maybe it’s not significant. And I know quickly that Oh, that’s not a bomb. It’s Fourth of July is coming up, you know, but it’s like not anticipated. And that’s a problem. And so kind of what it goes back to is, um, what was I? was I going with this? Oh, somebody post, like, I posted just on a whim, like, you know, thanks Afghanistan for, you know, giving me issues for the rest of my life or whatever, you know, fireworks or whatever. Like, and somebody, actually one of my senior leaders posted, oh, please stop being such a sissy or something like that. Yeah. And I remember feeling that like, what an insensitive thing to say. And then I also remember thinking, have I done similar things to people where maybe I’ve discounted something that might be significant? Like, what’s the matter with you like that, that, that that should you should react like that? That’s super insignificant. You know, and, and then I, you know, I think well, but you know, people take things different ways, you know, and people react in different ways. And it’s not for me to judge why that reaction happens. And you know, so actually, I turned a page in OT, where I said that no longer would I anticipate what I thought was happening to somebody, but instead, worked very much off of their objective words, to me, I don’t want to assume something. I don’t want to say anything. But if you tell me that you have the stuff, I’m gonna treat you like that. If you tell me that, this is the experience you’ve had, you’ve had it. So I don’t care whether or not you’re lying to me, I’m just gonna treat you like that. So

Brock Cook 1:29:31
I think more OTs need to do but I think

Erik Johnson 1:29:33
it’s interesting because that’s a tough one.

Brock Cook 1:29:36
Yeah, as I remember, it’s in my my sister’s in the army as well. And I remember when she came back from Afghan, her boyfriend at the time was also in the army and he’d been over. I think they overlapped by about three months. But so I remember driving down the road with him in the car. And I’ll just sort of out of the corner of my eye watching him and he Was scanning the sides of the road for IDs? And I was like, I asked him, I’m like, you’re right, man, he’s like, Oh, yeah, he just it was like one of those things that was almost instinctual it was just habit, it just been doing it for I think he was over there for nine months was on me, was one of those things were over there. That was normalized, and it takes some time to try and adjust. And that wasn’t even like the sort of traumatic things that he saw. But my sister went through same sort of thing, you know, seeing things that most people would never see or wish to see in their life. And it took some time and some professional help to, to make sense and process it so that it wasn’t gonna affect her as much, I’m sure it still does. At times, some of the like, I’m sure there are still triggers, that will affect her as well, I’m not sure what they are. She’s doesn’t like to talk about that too much. But that’s okay. But it’s, it’s interesting, I find that sort of stuff really interesting in that, what you what you were saying about, like, you know, how I maybe done this to other people is that something I think of not necessarily in a super traumatic way, but even in a clinical way, early in my career, I feel like my perspective on mental health was, if I can help the person become aware of the what’s actually going on for them, then they’ll be able to fix it. And so it was like, you know, someone with depression, I’m done, I can’t remember any specific instances, but can almost guarantee I would have said something at some point in time, like, you know, you just need to get up, you need to build a routine, you need to do this, you need to do that. And that’s how you get better. And that’s, that’s not one, that’s not helpful. I know that now, that’s probably gonna have the opposite effect. But also, it’s me trying to, yes, you use the social norms that I’m accustomed to, to tell them what they need to do to fit into that social norm. Like it’s normal, like, you have to get up at, you know, in the morning, and you have to eat three meals a day, and you have to exercise 35 to 30 minutes for however many one days a week that they recommend now, blah, blah, blah, like these other social norms that were sort of ingrained in and to me, early in my career, before I knew anything better. Getting people to function in society. As you know, I believed OTS mission was back then, was a matter of getting them to conform to social norms. So that was like my mission. That’s what I was there to do. So later on very similar, not similar reasons, but similar realization to you. And coming to the, to the realization that like this, I’m pushing shit uphill, for one, I’m probably doing the complete opposite of what this person actually needs. Yeah, and I’m not helping them reach anything that they actually value. Why? Because I haven’t asked them I don’t even know what they value yet.

Erik Johnson 1:33:21
Right?

Brock Cook 1:33:23
That’s one of those things that and that’s one of the things I advocate for really strongly through this podcast, and through my teaching at work, and that kind of stuff, is oaties need to ask, like, we don’t know what to do, you can’t go into a room and go, Oh, this person’s got such and such, they need to be doing this. Like we need to know what they want to do. And that’s one of my couple, slightly, probably a whole nother podcast, but one of my big gripes with the whole OTS obsession with independence. Because that fits very well into that, because not everyone wants to be independent, or it’s not culturally, the norm for some, some cultures to be fully independent. And, yeah, I just feel like actually asking, it seems so simple when you say it out loud, but I just know a lot of OTs don’t do it.

Erik Johnson 1:34:16
Well, I mean, you know, how, like, there’s the lot of buzz buzz words around, you know, OTS use occupation quite a bit, and they’re speaking or whatever. And, you know, there’s like, you know, your ot practice framework, and then you have your, like, occupational justice. And I actually was thinking yesterday, like, you know, coming up with something new because we’ve been pushing occupation so hard and like, it’s got to be the center of your approach, you know, and so just thinking like, occupational revival or like a occupational rising, you know, or something like having this like new hashtag where we talk, you know, like, show occupation and like, the occupational resist sense or something, you know where, you know, because the one hard thing about our profession, and I understand why is that we’re trying to push into, you know, we do need to be evidence base and science driven. And we do need to have our foot around the world. But to what to what ends? And a lot of times I feel that occupation is the ends, that gets erased. Because because it’s easier, it’s for reimbursement to look at objective, you know, clinical results, as compared to what our foundation is, which is occupation. Yeah, you know, and so like, I can’t like for me, I’m an occupational warrior, you know, an occupational resistance, like, I’m just gonna start using that. And pushing back on. Yeah, yeah, there you go. I didn’t think about that. Yeah. Join the resistance. Yeah. But, you know, but even like, you know, in the US, we had this doctorate mandate, the OTD mandate, for, you know, that was this big uprising from the profession saying now, like, it was the resistance like, no, this is not going to do us, this is not good for the profession. It doesn’t represent the body of people. And I think that with reimbursement with ways to get paid, so much goes back into those objective things that reimbursement companies want to see. And that is, these objective measures that are not occupations, you know, like, and you go into clinics, and you just see very rote exercise. And, you know, of course, people think were PT, because that’s how so many people are acting, you know, and that’s where the money is. I mean, I worked in a rehab, that I literally had a conversation with the director saying, I need you to tell me that you want to compromise who I am, as an occupational therapist, so that I can meet your financial goals for the hospital? Because that’s what you’re asking me to do. You know, and I just won’t do that, you know, and so occupational resistance, you know, but, but, but it is interesting, and I think we do have to have that foundation. And I think that, you know, some of the big things that, you know, big takeaways that I have from this is one creativity is, you know, the, the archenemy to depression. And that occupation drives our our unique ability to treat clients, both in mental health capacity, but anywhere else. So I think

Brock Cook 1:37:50
I think these kinds of conversations are things that a lot of 80s, and I’m not saying, like, OTS need to have depression, or have anything going on, to be able to have these conversations, but just actually talking with each other, to be able to look at instances when engagement in occupation has had an impact on themselves. Because, like, similar to, like we’re talking about before, well, I say, clinically, my experience of having depression made me a better therapist, when I was working with other people who had depression. Similar if you’re an OT, and you are able to identify times when engagement in occupation helped you in whatever way, then you’re going to be a better therapist, working with people who need to be engaged in occupation to help themselves because you understand it better you get, you’ve got something to anchor that knowledge on your own experience. And you’re just going to have a deeper, better understanding of what it feels like to engage and make that improvement as opposed to, you know, what we were saying earlier that you just don’t want to do is just throwing ideas at people. And this is what you got to do very prescriptive kind of way of working. Just that doesn’t fit what our profession is meant to do. And it if you’re doing that you’re missing some of the like, most valuable aspects of what we have to offer.

Erik Johnson 1:39:17
And the beauty of our profession. Why Why did you do this if it weren’t for this creative outlet that you could really empower humans? Yeah,

Brock Cook 1:39:26
I didn’t, I didn’t get in here to you know, prescribe walking aids or what? not why I got into the profession. I got into the profession because I wanted to help people. And I think a lot of people I think getting back to that sort of just even that really simple core. Why? Why are you here is something that I feel like OTS need to do kind of almost regularly, as a bit of a reminder, like why are you an OT?

Erik Johnson 1:39:58
Well I love that and, you know, I even like how cool like actually might even use that. Even with my clients that I see, I’m just say I’m gonna look at them straight in the eye, very first thing I say is like, why are you here and then expand on, like, let me explain to you where we’re going with this therapy and why it’s important to you. And, and I want you to understand what success will be by graduating from it or from, you know, leaving it. And that success is a, you know, identification of success that says I can now do, and I can now engage, you know, and I think that, you know, people miss that, you know, like, Okay, well, we’re done with our treatment sessions, this is what people have done with our treatment sessions, you know, you did this many reps of that, you know, you’re stronger than you were then. Okay, good job. But that says nothing about their engagement in life. You know, like, if I can say, you can now hold your child, and you can now go bowling again, and you can now you know, go back to your job and enjoy and provide for your family. What a much more powerful statement, then, well, you’re stronger, or you’re, you know, that’s

Brock Cook 1:41:15
I think the real, I think pretty much exactly what you just highlighted, I think the real power is when they can say that, because they’re the ones that are going to say, like, I can do these things now. Not like, I’ve got five degrees more range of motion in my wrist, like, how can I say that? Yeah. And,

Erik Johnson 1:41:33
you know, this young this year, we run a really cool, free clinic out of our university for people that are uninsured or underinsured. And I’ve been working with this young lady who’s she’s 25 developmental disability, and, you know, so she’s kind of working in a teenager’s body and, and the family, you know, just really wanted her to be more independent and everything. And I started, I, you know, I, my very first thing I ever do with a client is just sit down and just tell me about you. Who are you? You know, and what do you what do you like in life? Tell me what what brings you joy? What brings you happiness? And, and we got to, you know, and then when then what would you like, were Where do you want to be like, what do you what your goals, you know, where do you want to go and, and this young lady and her family sitting there, and they talked about her wanting to, she loves cooking. She loves cooking shows, but they’re very concerned about her safety. And so for the next like, four or five weeks, we worked on safety and cooking. And the like, at the end of the semester, our very last treatment session together. We made this. And she she planned and organized this whole thing. But you know, she got recipes off of Pinterest. And she did.

Brock Cook 1:42:52
She actually faxed away for the recipes, I’m sure.

Erik Johnson 1:42:55
Yes, of course we did. We sent a fax and got it the next day. But we got a you know, French toast. She wanted to do french toast and she wanted to you know, so we planned a shopping trip together. So we went to the store. And she had to navigate you know, the store. Without us. I said here she made the shopping list, went to the store, got the ingredients, you know, and we checked out and then the next treatment session was you know, coming in, we practiced it. And then the next year, it was like Okay, now you’re in charge. You have to like negotiate the oven, the burners, hot stove, hot pads, like the timing and everything. And it was like such a neat place. Like, for me, because it’s a free clinic. We’re not charging, like, I could do anything I want whether you know, yeah. And she was so excited. Her family was so excited. And to know that that skill right there can potentially translate to her doing that. And actually tell her family that she can do this. You can do this with her you can empower her to be more independent was really neat, you know, and, and that’s life. You know, that’s what we do that like, if we’re not empowering life, then what are we doing? Well,

Brock Cook 1:44:12
that’s that’s as good a message as I can think of to to wrap that up. Yeah, cuz Yeah, if we are if we’re not empowering life, couldn’t have said it better myself. That’s awesome.

Erik Johnson 1:44:27
Yeah, Brock. I love you, brother. But I’ve got things to do

Brock Cook 1:44:31
You do! And I do too. And they’re called sleep.

Erik Johnson 1:44:35
Yeah, that’s right.

Brock Cook 1:44:36
It’s a forgot like, quarter to one. Yeah.

Erik Johnson 1:44:41
Oh, brilliant.

Brock Cook 1:44:44
So yeah, thanks for the chat, man. It’s it’s good to catch up again. If nothing else. It’s been too long,

Erik Johnson 1:44:52
Man, It’s perfect. And I appreciate it. Actually, you know, even just these conversations, it does build me you know, like amazing hours. sitting here talking about depression and you’re we’re really treating each other.

Brock Cook 1:45:05
Yeah. And that’s, it’s that, that like, like we talked about in the episode like that, that connection, it helps. And then normalization that’s one of the things I tried. That was the whole purpose of me writing that post. And even during that episode was I want to normalize it because it’s it happens. And, you know, a lot of the time people don’t feel like they can connect or don’t feel connected to people because I’ve got depression on like, now you do feel disconnected because you’ve gotten depression, like it’s the opposite. It’s almost like you’re part of this exclusive club. Now. It’s odd, right, but Welcome.

Erik Johnson 1:45:41
Welcome, and you know what, we can probably help you along the way.

Brock Cook 1:45:50
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