The Spicy Meatball

All Genitalia Are Ugly – A Review of the Mental Illness Happy Hour Podcast

One of my best good friends told me about this free podcast on iTunes called Mental Illness Happy Hour. She didn’t say too much about it, just that she highly recommends it. Given that she and I both LOVE weirdos, self-discovery, and humor, I checked it out. The intro to the podcast (hosted by Paul Gilmartin of Dinner and a Movie fame) is the following: This is the mental illness happy hour. An hour of honesty about all the battles in our heads. From medically diagnosed conditions to everyday compulsive negative thinking. Feelings of dissatisfaction, disconnection, inadequacy, and that vague sinking feeling that the world is passing us by. You give us an hour, we’ll give you a hot ladle of awkward and icky. This show is not meant to be a substitute for professional mental counseling. It’s not a doctor’s office, it’s more like a waiting room that hopefully doesn’t suck. Sign me up! You’ll have to listen for yourself, but I will say that for anyone who’s felt like they’re alone in their crazy, this is the podcast for you. According to the website, “The show is geared towards anyone interested in or affected by depression, addiction and other mental challenges which are so prevalent in the creative arts.” ...and my neighborhood/family/work. The structure of this show is a conversation between the host and a guest that typically centers around the guest’s childhood, formative life events, and how they dealt with (or deal with) their own mental health issues. The stories they tell are revealing, macabre, and eye-opening. When I listen in, I usually either think, “Thank god my parents are not like that!” or “Are we twins?!” Even more than the stories they tell, the most revealing part of the show are the “Fear Offs.” This is a tit-for-tat with the host and guest about their greatest fears. I’ll give you an example.
Host: I'm afraid of being that guy who doesn't know he should never take his shirt off. Guest: I'm afraid of home invasions. Host: I'm afraid an opportunity will come and I'll blow it. Guest: I'm afraid of being wrongfully accused of a crime I didn't commit.
You get the gist of why this is great. Basically whoever runs out of fears first loses. This gamelet is great because you find out that people really are completely effed up. There is no other way to say it. When someone says, “I fear that my genitalia are ugly” you have to think do people really fear that?! I thought everyone's are ugly. Thus, we’ve come to the crux of the show, you’re not alone, and someone out there is crazier than you. For a person who has thought many times like the fish out of water in life, this is the most liberating revelation ever: I may be crazy, but you’re a complete disaster...which is why I like you. Imagine what it would be like if we started family dinner with a fear-off instead of a prayer (if you're in to that)? Talk about cutting through the BS. Maybe we’d find all the commonalities in each family member that usually takes getting to 45 years old to figure out. There is comfort in feeling like you’re not alone. If you’d like to have a fear-off with me, post yours below. I’ll start. “I’m afraid of cats and birds, in that order.” Ok, your turn!

6 thoughts on “All Genitalia Are Ugly – A Review of the Mental Illness Happy Hour Podcast

  1. Allison

    I’m afraid that if I don’t completely cover my body (head notwithstanding) with the covers while sleeping, a mad man will come into my room and chop said body part off with a rusty hatchet.

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