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Dare To Share Your Untold Story
55 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
Episode 29: The Breakthrough of a High-Functioning Empath Meets Malfunctioning Mental Health Habits
Parul goes all in to talk about what it is like to struggle with anxiety, depression, and insomnia and when all three came to heads with each other -- there was no amount of coping strategies or tools to equip her for what she was facing on her own. She openly shares how much she internalized and protected herself from the outside world and how this translated as showing up as high functioning despite the inner turmoil she faced. She expressed feeling an empty feeling no known to her, she was unable to experience joy, she had given so much of herself that her depleted energy could not handle anything more. Parul speaks about her path to reconnect with childhood trauma, the courage she needed to pull it up from those suppressed places, and how it just took one person to recognize that she wasn’t coping well to ask her how she was, and for Parul to take that opportunity to face her truth. When Parul describes facing her reality, she felt it was a start to exploring healing from all angles, not just pharmaceutical interventions which was a journey of its own, but also looking into alternative medicine and other resources that she could tap into to help her dig deeper and heal from deep within. One thing Parul was clear about is that she didn’t want a band aid solution, she was looking for true growth, and genuine healing right to her core. She takes a stand to talk about the importance of mental health, by humanizing, normalizing, and neutralizing conversations and creating safe spaces to explore the discomfort. Her key message to the listeners is that: be patient and kind to yourself; be open to trying new modes of healing that could help and find what truly works for you; give your options a chance, if one therapist is not a good fit, try another but don’t give up on the treatment; give yourself the compassion and kindness that you show to others; take the time and space to seek support, heal and be empowered.
54 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
Episode 28: She vowed to take care of herself, be her own power + fight disease
Rish takes time to open up and share aspects of her entire journey which she has not openly shared to others outside her social circle and made some poignant connections with grief literacy. Rish converses about the multi roles that she played being a daughter, caregiver to both her parents while studying in university and now wife and mother. She describes how tragedy she witnessed as very young adult has shaped her outlook on life and how she wants to make a difference for others to persevere regardless of what life might throw at an individual. She recounts her personal grief journey and how it took years to overcome and therefore ultimately laid the foundation for her own personal breast cancer journey at the young age of 37. She speaks about what it is like to grieve, having to get her life back on track at a young age, dealing with ongoing deaths, and her own personal health journey. Her key message to the listeners is that: everyone has their own personal issues which they undergo, but you don’t have to go through it alone. She encourages people to reach out to someone if they are going through something and she openly invites anyone who wants to chat and connect to do so.
43 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Episode 27: Healing Trauma, Cancer, and ‘the’ Spiritual Journey
Farahana shares how she has encountered a great deal of emotional pain and suffering through her life and took the time to expose publicly for the first time the traumas of growing up. She discloses being raised in a household where her parents did not get along, there was physical abuse that she witnessed, and she learned to set her own needs aside to become her mother’s referee and protector. With vulnerability, Farahana shares that her parents today are not reflective of who they were while she was growing up and that she has always been protective of them, thus, keeping her true experiences to herself. She conveys deeply how embarrassing or hurting her parents in any way is not something she ever wished to do and is the reason why she has waited until present day to share this ‘untold’ part of her story. Farahana also uncovered a dysfunctional marriage that she was in and how she fought and tackled cancer. Part of the pivot in her spiritual journey is when she encountered mindfulness and learned how to leave the part of her life that was led by anger, rage, and confusion. It has taught her to shift her mindset, look at semantics and language to redirect her thoughts. Mindfulness has given her the ability to decipher between fact and narrative. Her key message to the listeners is that: as people, we aren’t always going to have it together -- it takes work, even inner work will be a lot of work to tap into, inner work takes commitment on a daily basis, take time to look into the mirror without judgement and go through each layer, one at a time.
57 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Episode 26: Failure Redefined: Processing Shame, Self-Blame + Worth
Shirin’s untold story is mostly a told story at this point; however, she connects deeper to share vulnerable aspects that light is not often shed on. She speaks about two dysfunctional marriages she experienced and how it all started when she became a single mother. She moved to Canada to start her second marriage and quickly learned that this is not the life that was promised to her, while enduring a struggle with facial palsy and battling cancer. She spoke about a core theme of how being a woman is wrong, and how this message showed up intensely in both marriages. The message was so deeply embedded, that she felt there was something wrong with her, that she was the dysfunctional one, so it led her to put up with physical and emotional turmoil as she experienced what she felt was failure to thrive and shame for inabilities that were a constant message she repeatedly had to stomach. Shirin spoke about feeling torn to have been divorced in the first place as this went against her beliefs. There came a point where she recognized she needed to live a different life and walk a different path, which required her to take extreme risks. She describes impacts to her mental health, having post-partum depression, contemplating suicide, not having control of any finances or access to money, and being deprived of the truth. Her key message to the listeners is that: verbal, emotional and mental abuse is devasting, and no kind of abuse is okay; if you are experiencing any type of abuse, reach out to someone; you deserve help, you don’t deserve abuse; you don’t need to do it alone; it can get better; take control and know that you matter.
59 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Episode 25: The 'Dis-ease' of Trauma, Murder & Death
Carys straight away delves into the sharing of her story, where she describes the gruesome night at age 11 where her father was murdered by a stranger who broke into their home, the impact it had on the family dynamics, surviving loss and re-stabilization. She shares that there was an almost immediate dis-ease that entered her body, telling her that she could never be safe or have fun and will need to plan out all parts of her life as she spent a great deal of time worrying. Twenty years later, she pursued the crime aspect of this loss and started to correspond with her father’s murder who was in jail -- she describes that this changed her to the very core, and it was a path back to her own wellness, peace and moving forward. Through this journey, she adopted full steam perfectionism as a means for coping with life, prioritizing her education, and describes that she was a silent sufferer succeeding at life. Depression came about in a unique way for Carys accompanied with multiple subtleties that did not make it easy for her or mental health experts to put a finger on it until much later. Carys intimately shares after she met her father’s murderer, with two years of correspondence, that the dis-ease she had been plagued with, had finally left her body and she never felt it again. Her key message to the listeners is that: listen to that loving, gentle, safe, kind voice inside you -- not the voice that is telling you what to do; tap into your inner voice; be open; access your voice through writing or meditation or another way; that inner voice that’s respecting you is the one to pay attention to; and if you listen to this voice, you could feel just a little bit better with good intentions.
47 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
Episode 24: The Beauty of Movement Unleashed her True Potential
Dr. Shemine Gulamhusein shares that as a young person she struggled to understand the value of reading, writing, along with finding her sense of belonging. It was only after she started to play sports actively in her pre-teen years that she began noticing an increased sense of self-worth and belonging and saw a significant improvement in her academics. She delved right in to share the difficulties that were brought on by expectations to meet certain developmental milestones -- she explains the nuances of differences in development occurs differently, for any individual. She unveils how joy and passion were ignited within her as she continued with sport. Dr. Shemine has learned how her muscles twitch, and values how particular sensations help her to stay connected. She shares about the innate capacity her body acquires to signal to herself that she is safe or not in any given encounter. Dr. Shemine claims a much deeper underlying theme of ‘shame’ and how she felt misunderstood. She expresses after commencing with sport, her body twitches were rewarded, the movements started to make sense, and this sense of belonging was everything she required, and it brought herself to a place where she could feel that the people around her understood the world from her perspective. Her key message to the listeners is that: spend time learning your movements -- take the space to create, develop, and express; to parents and caregivers, recognize and build awareness of the movements of others and get curious about them; power flow through those movements; there are multiple ways to move, so express yourself in different ways.
48 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Episode 23: Grieving in Gratitude + Sitting with the Discomfort
Rishma unveils a heart-wrenching story about losing her husband to cancer and the journey through being his caregiver and knowing that their time together was limited. She described and detailed her husband’s character viewed by many -- he was a magnet towards all people. She portrays that her personal grief journey is like that of peeling and unravelling of an onion, with each grief layer looking unalike, and therefore she embraces ‘grieving with gratitude’. She speaks about what it is like to grieve during the global pandemic, there were no traditional rites and rituals performed or known gatherings of family, friends, not being able to receive hugs from her heart connections, and how she had to run a completely different course than what was familiar to her. She takes time to open up her story to share aspects of the grief journey which she has not openly shared before and made some poignant connections with grief literacy. Rishma converses about the multi-roles that she played beyond being a wife and mother, she jumped into advocacy and detective hats to ensure that there was no compromise to her husband’s wellbeing and quality of life. She has learned the importance of soft skills and connecting with empathy. Her key message to the listeners is that: lots of people go through this alone -- you don’t have to; be sure to reach out to someone; “reach out to me”; find resources, there are many in the community; each person has their own story filled with their own pain and loss -- you are not alone.
60 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Episode 22: Even Adversity could NOT Hold Him Back…‘He Chose’ to be the Controller of his Narrative
Asante opens up about a childhood that is filled with instability, lack of response, lack of support, and coping in survival mode. He shares his learnings about how life is not linear, it is unpredictable, filled with disappointment and triumphs. He talks about his story through the lens of race, equity, understanding problems and looking for solutions. Asante describes the hope he represented to his family as he had many gifts and talents, how it fell apart when there was no one there to pay attention to his needs and parent him, and how he used his determination to persevere through tremendously difficult odds, including working through serious mental health challenges, caretaking for his mother who had mental health challenges and even other difficulties that she tried to hide from her children. He let his guard all the way down as he spoke with vulnerability to share the emotional turbulent world he lived through, what it was like to feel all alone, confused, nowhere to turn, feeling that anyone he could talk to wouldn’t have any semblance of what he felt. He turned to writing hip-hop lyrics and basketball as a way to process anger and regulate other emotions, he later found courage to talk to friends about what was going on, and much later in adult years he was able to reach out and trust the supports provided by professionals. His key message to the listeners is that: never give up; all pain is temporary - - whether it is for a minute, one week, one year, or ten years, it does end; go to therapy and you can launch your rocket.
47 minutes | May 26, 2021
Episode 21: From Conservative Patriarchy to Sexual Health + Eroticism
Kelly talks about what it was like to grow up in an extremely patriarchal environment, where women were supposed to be a certain way, where they needed to come across as nice, to be not outspoken, to be educated, but to also be geared towards marriage and children as the completion of what all is meant to be for a woman. She shares how it’s hard to constantly be fighting to be acknowledged and to pave her individual path on her own terms. Kelly shares how initially she was studying medicine at first and later quit medical school when she was exposed to the idea that she can have a life of her own on her own terms. She speaks about how there is no sexual education taught in public schools, that teachers would tear pages out of teaching books, and this led her to her own curiosity of erotic literature and sexuality. She speaks about suffering from depression and going through some dark moments and expressed the gratitude for being able to have the resources to overcome it. Her key message to the listeners is that: mental health looks differently for each person, what you need will look different from one person to another; friends and family can be there to support you but not fix you; not matter what the struggle is, get professional help; don’t follow a path because someone wants you to do it -- do it because it’s something that sparks passion and curiosity inside you.
49 minutes | May 19, 2021
Episode 20: The Twist of the ‘Imposter’, ‘Racial Trauma Internalized’, + the Mastery of the two
Sheliza dives into a conversation where she explores what it is like to consider both surviving and thriving in order to make it in the world. She delves into internalized emotions that she endured along the way like, sadness, anxiety, shame. She balanced many competing identities related to social identities, racial trauma and imposter syndrome. She shares denying her own roots, rejecting her identity, and her big coping mechanism was to shove her experiences aside or hide behind them. She accounts for what imposter syndrome manifested within her, and that knowing she was put together and looked put together to the outside world, but what she had to do in order to stay put together really came at a cost. She explores what it was like under pressure to please others; the unhelpful concept of othering others; unwilling for years to acknowledge the colour of her skin, the sound of her name, and fear associated with being ‘brown’. Through her journey, she has been able to contribute to social justice work, personal growth, and be given opportunities that she can choose to share learnings with other women of colour, and mentor other young women. Her key message to the listeners is that: be kind and compassionate with yourself; each person is a learning and growing being, so keep learning; listen to yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally; think about the resilience of ancestors; and keep working to love yourself.
54 minutes | May 12, 2021
Episode 19: Her Unwavering Faith Conquered the Cancer and every other Wall that came her way
As Nadia begins to tap into her story, she shares that leading up to her university graduation ceremony, she was feeling incredibly sick for 4-6 weeks, going in and out of medical clinics without any answers, until ended up visiting the local emergency room at age 24, this is where she learned of the cancer diagnoses. She described this part of her story as her degree comes with a diagnosis. Nadia shares the power in her faith to overcome cancer, firmly planted in the roots of her faith and of a higher power -- she speaks about choosing to take the pain and transforming it into an influential, positive purpose. She learned the true art of taking a challenging situation, embracing it, and then transforming it into a beautiful journey. Nadia is clear that though she was never defeated by fear, there were moments where she was scared, where she was numb, where she was restless, however, she found a way to bring herself to deep reflection, and writing about her challenges, acknowledging them and creating a new perspective and narrative on what she would choose to internalize. Her key message to the listeners is that: we cannot always choose our circumstances, but we can always choose our perspectives; feel your feelings fully; show yourself some compassion; choose ‘you’ to believe in yourself; it’s in your nature to be able to rise over and over and over again.
49 minutes | May 5, 2021
Episode 18: A Journey through Dating, Relationships & finding the ‘One’
Manu speaks about the initial struggles that his family endured when his family first immigrated to Canada, and as his story unfolds, he unveils what it was like to grow up with being a recipient of both physical and verbal abuse. He shares about how all the emotional pain churned inside him, leaving him confused and second-guessing his actions and pursuits in life. Manu shares how his upbringing shaped and influenced his later life when he got married and resulted in his first marriage dissolving. He openly walks us through his journey through dating in what seemed like a ‘new world of dating’, learning about himself as he explored the world through meeting others, connection, having unfamiliar conversational topics, and then meeting and marrying his true love. Manu highlights how he went through a period of self-discovery as he turned to meditation, found a community where he was able to find a sense of true belonging, and shares that he awoke energy from within his core. His key message to listeners is that: have faith, seek help, no need to feel embarrassed; surround yourself with positive people; your experience is not ‘your’ fault; believe in yourself, no one can take that from you; if you want something badly, then you need to be up for the full-throttle to do the necessary; be your own saviour.
50 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
Episode 17: The Limitless Possibilities of Not Knowing Her Diagnoses
Barbara authentically shares what it was like growing up with severe learning difficulties, having no known diagnosis at the time. She was pressed to carve and navigate her own path through feeling that she couldn’t fit in, feeling that going to school was meant to ‘feel stupid’, feeling ashamed that she couldn’t learn what others could, that at times it got so emotionally and mentally unruly that she had to fake illness so she could get out of going to school. She never told a soul what she had experienced, endured, and suffered through for decades. Barbara presented with exceptional strengths, so it was easy to mask the true struggle. Barbara shares with vulnerability emotions that emerged -- hopelessness and despair, questioning how she could be successful when she often found herself guessing the answers -- at times she was right and other times she was not. She expresses that what she endures had no logic in her world, unable to decode language, whether it be in reading, writing or comprehension of verbal communication. Through perseverance, she worked her process and overcame her learning difficulties when she immersed herself into the science of neuroplasticity and created meaningful work, that is her life’s work today. Her key message to listeners is that: there are solutions; there is hope and optimism in every situation if you look, so test it out and challenge what you know; never give up; keep investigating, ask questions, get curious; there is no one size fits all answer.
39 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
Episode 16: Getting There - An Inner Knowing, Despite the Repressed + Uncovered Memories
Ross' story began when he was just 5 years old, when his father was arrested for a white-collared crime, and though Ross was witness to this, he has no recollection of this time in his life. Ross openly talks about how this experience manifested into a multitude of emotions and behaviours as a young child. He talks about dysregulated emotions where he would act out physically, destroying all his belongings, developed a speech impediment, and though he was a high performer as he progressed on the academics side, he discloses that he was bullied and struggled throughout elementary school and high school. Ross came to heads with what he knows now as ‘depression’, is not what he knew at the time when he began university. In this interview, he pours into details about the various emotions he experienced like sadness, anger, confusion and self-blame. With courage, and support from loved ones, he has been able to journey though it all, and now contributes to the mental health field and hopes his contributions make it a better place for others. His key message to listeners is that: just start to open up and reach out to one person, people deserve more credit than you might be willing to give, but if you do - it can really help. It’s all about reaching out and starting with just one person.
49 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
Episode 15: Resiliency + Thriving: A Multi-Part Journey Through Grief, Ill Health and Violence
Amy tells her full journey filled with turmoil and shares what she endured that culminates the story of loss, unknowingly becoming the sacrificial lamb of the family, a marriage filled with uncertainty, battling cancer twice, and reeling in with all her might walking away to start a new beginning. She spoke about how perfectionism kept her stuck in a domestic situation where she endured verbal, emotional and physical abuse, and how she leaned in with bravery to find herself, her inner strength, and looked in the mirror to gain clarity with what she was prepared to do so she could live on her own terms. Amy came to terms with her position and says that she has owned up to her own role in her demise. She learned to embrace her inner child, give herself the love she needed, and worked through the many difficult emotions that showed up throughout her journey. Her key message to listeners is that: shedding the exterior of an old shell is possible; it’s not about the diagnosis, it is about the experience; start to acknowledge your hurt and your pain, and you will understand the deeper layers of yourself and your true wisdom.
44 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
Episode 14: She Learned the True Meaning of ‘In Sickness and In Health’
Mary takes the plunge and dives right in to speak about what it is like to go through an already long journey of her and her partner to be together, and then to be hit with a curveball when she least expected. She shares about how she quickly went from being newlyweds with exciting new beginnings, to becoming a 24/7 caregiver to her husband. Mary talked about the devastation of her husband’s illness, and how nothing could stop her from doing whatever it took to fulfill her duties as a partner, and in doing so, not realizing that she put every other aspect of her life on hold, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. Mary admitted that it took her a while before she recognized how her self-care routine was in the negative, she started to recognize that it is okay to receive help, take breaks, and keep her stance to help her partner fight his health battle by also looking after her basic foundational needs. She openly shares about all the mix of emotions she experienced, like how nervous and anxious she became and needed to control the situation in any way that she could, to feeling scared and frightened about what is to come, and what she eventually turned to, in order to regain new fuel. Mary’s key message to listeners is: Be strong and choose to be resilient; choose to shift your mindset; get up when you fall; put things into perspective; self-care matters; letting go actually makes it better; and trust the systems.
49 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Episode 13: Demons Showed Up and they Lit a Path to Her Connection + Truth
In her sit down, Dr. Saira without holding back, shares her story about her journey with depression, the depth and impact of her most recent depressive episode, living through food addiction and how she copes in day-to-day life with it, and how this all showed up in its fullest form after an encounter with her brother, who at the time, was homeless and suffering through addiction of his own, and disconnected from the family. She shares what it is like to be in denial, what it is like to reach out and accept support from close friends and family, and how she chose to get back in the ‘game’ to get herself to where she is today. As a therapist and community leader herself, she was tasked with meeting her obligations to her profession while wearing a mask and attending to her own mental health. Her key message to listeners is to: Shake the idea that you have to do it alone, because you don’t and you shouldn’t do it alone; it is important to lean on people, so find your people; whatever you are going through, it is not forever, even in the darkest of nights - look for the moon; she has an inspiring mantra which is, “change your story, change your life.”
52 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Episode 12: The Hidden Truths Came to Light + then ‘Fun’ Happened
Rahim shares and details his intimate experience with coming out to his family and identifying himself as part of the LGBTQ community. He took the time to explain that the journey was a long process, it takes time, there are more parts than he realized that are part of the coming out process. He took the time to walk through several elements of his journey, including the parts where he was questioning if who he was was wrong. He identified with feeling displaced and unsafe in social circumstances at school, indicating that he was bullied during his younger years and kept it a secret all along with all the shame mingled together. He talks about what he turned to in order to cope with the emotional pain and what behaviours he displayed - all parts of what needed to be part of his safety net. He shed some light on what changed for him when he explored what the community that he now belongs to was like for him at the time. His key message to listeners is: Remember that it is a process, it takes time, there are no quick fixes; adversity is your greatest strength; struggles faced do shape who you become for the better; there is a silver lining, even if you can’t see it at the start!
49 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Episode 11: She Acknowledged Her Turmoil, Took Her Stance, and Then She Rose
Clarity sits down to talk about the depth of dark times in her journey as she shares about having no healthy memories of her childhood, having endured trauma, physical abuse and patriarchy. She talks about how she was desperate for love, affection and attention. She shares how she felt misunderstood and disconnected from her father, brother and sister, and because her mother was the only person in her life who was not an abuser, Clarity idealized her mother and didn’t see the reality of her mother not showing up in a way that protected her. Through this difficult journey, Clarity expresses that she has found the spark in her heart for her inner child. She explains that when she took the time to look at her inner critic, this is when she started to heal, when she took care of her inner child, she was able to feel and experience compassion for herself, and when she allowed herself to expose her wounds, she could actually experience the wound itself and move through it. Her key message to listeners is to: Always have hope; there is always something that we can do; any journey will require strength, and even the little things count -- since small things do add up; the inherent innocence of the inner child spark and heart is beyond all experiences; and we are all more powerful than we think.
56 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Episode 10: Transformation Began the Moment She ‘Exposed’ Her Secret
Reena talks about what it is like to be diagnosed with a skin condition known as psoriasis from the young age of 14, and how it remained unacknowledged for about 17 years. She shares how she lived a life defined with pain, self-hate and denial. Reena shares that for so long, no one knew what she was truly bearing inside of her, she believed that her thoughts were actually just thoughts of vanity and ended up minimizing and invalidating her experienced pain, which remained silenced. Reena shares the life changing experience of attending a silent meditation retreat which she attended with the intention to cure her skin condition. When she arrived at the retreat centre, she quickly learned what it meant to meditate, connect with herself, sit in silence, and be with her thoughts. She learned that by acknowledging her suffering it shifted the pain, softened her as a person, and she gained awareness and insight into how she can choose to live her best life. When she completed her retreat, she walked away embracing all parts of herself and owning all parts of who she is, even the psoriasis. Her key message to listeners is to: Recognize that we are our own best teachers; everything each of us need is right in front of us and within us; things change -- so don’t give up on yourself, there’s hope in a new day; you are okay right here right now, as you are.
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