I’m joined by Carole Leathem, mom, author and speaker. Carole has been caring for her spouse who has been battling anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. She shares with us her journey of finding joy in her husband’s struggles. 

  • Carole’s experience with her husband who struggles with mental illness-the most chaotic and dark painful times she ever been through.
  • Factors that contribute to her husband’s mental health condition
  • How their church responded in terms of the mental health crisis faced by her husband
  • How did her husband’s mental health disorder affect her?
  • How to cope when a loved one has a mental health disorder
  • Turning to scriptures for comfort and hope
  • Choosing joy despite her circumstances 

Related Links and Resources:

Carole Leathem
Carole’s Book: 
Finding Joy In My Messy Life 

More Podcast Episodes


Carrie: Welcome to Hope for Anxiety and OCD, Episode 56. If you are new to our show,we are all about reducing shame, increasing hope, and developing healthier connections with God and others. Today’s show is on supporting and coping when your spouse is in crisis. I think this is going to be a great topic. We had another episode much earlier in the podcast where we talked about when your spouse has anxiety or OCD.

And here today, I have Carole Leathem, who is a speaker and author of the book, Finding Joy In My Messy Life. Carole, I have to say, I love that title because. I can relate. I feel like my life has certainly been messy at times and I’m sure other people can relate to that as well.

Carole: Yeah, Matt, I think right now everybody’s life is a mess in one way or another.

Carrie: Yes .

Carole: I’m happy to be here and talk about it.

Carrie. You had an experience ongoing experience with your husband who has struggled with mental health issues. Can you tell us a little bit about that story?

Carole: Well, my husband was a pastor and we’ve, we’re about to celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary in January. Five years ago, he started having some blood pressure issues and the doctor suggested that he retire.

So we did. He was going to do some sort of temporary interim work, and I was still working and about a few months into our retirement, he began to struggle with severe anxiety. By the end of that first year, 2016, the anxiety had moved into depression. By the end of 2016, he had to be hospitalized with suicidal thoughts and wanting to kill himself.

Our whole life just fell apart and I found myself a pastor’s wife, living on the other side of the pew, trying to figure out who I was,” What is this going to look like now? And then how am I going to support him? How am I going to support me? ” It was probably the most chaotic and dark painful times that I had ever been through.

Carrie: Wow! And I would imagine for men kind of going through retirement like sometimes men have such a focus on their career that it’s hard for them to shift gears and, and struggle handling that. Do you feel like that played a role in this as well?

Carole:I think looking back, I can see sort of the fingerprints or sort of the markers let’s say that maybe should have been alarming, but we just kind of lived through them.

So one was, he was very dedicated to his job and when we would go on vacation, he couldn’t check his. There were some control issues that started. I can look back and see now that that really weren’t severe, but they were sort of building, building, building. And then there was also a family dynamic like his family had this in their history and I was not aware of it

Carrie: Oh, wow.

Carole: until this happened to us. So stories started coming out. And so I do think that the job played a lot. The retirement did play a lot. “ How does that look, What does that look like?” You know, he retired earlier than he wanted to, so it hit us financially. We moved in with our daughter. So we lost some of our independence and I think there was just a whole lot of things that kind of gathered into the umbrella of the perfect storm.

Carrie: Okay. So I’m curious about how the church responded in terms of this mental health crisis, because it seems like a lot of times the church does really well with responding to physical health issues and maybe struggles with knowing how to respond to mental health.

I get one of two things. Whenever I talk about our story. And, and especially since my book has come out, one of two things happens when I began to talk. I get people kind of leaning in wanting to know more with, with sort of concern or sometimes a grateful smile. Like, “Hey, I want to hear, you know, you’re helping me here or I get total crickets.

And within the church, I think the church is still struggling to know how to deal with this from pastor to like church or parishioner. And when it happens to somebody within the leadership, it really sort of freaks everybody out, especially when they’re strong, they’re capable, they’re seen as a leader, that it comes out of nowhere and they people start getting, I think, afraid.

“ Well, if it could happen to him, it could happen to me. If it could happen to her husband, it could happen to my husband.” I think that there’s a denial that happens where we’d just prefer to sort of like walk away and not deal with it.And we did find that I found that a lot of people sort of pulled away. Some of them are starting to circle back around because they realize now that I need the love and support, I also think that it was good. For me to sort of have that pulling away in some ways, because some of the people who didn’t pull away said some really stupid things and said really hurtful, painful things, or, you know, trying to help, but not really thinking about what they were saying.

So, I think it’s the same in any type of crisis. We just don’t know how to deal with it. Especially with mental illness, they don’t know how to deal with it. And it’s oh!, running rampant through the church, right now?

Carrie: Absolutely. I was. And that’s why we need to talk about it. We need to have more of these conversations to say, “ Okay, you know, let’s educate the leaders and the pastors and let them know how you can help people in mental health crisis situations.”

Yeah. I think that’s huge. I love what you said there about denial because when you start to talk about mental health, there’s something where people have to kind of self-examine a little bit, and that can be super uncomfortable for folks because at one point or another, most of us have at least had some level of like mild depression or anxiety.

Those are their two most common mental health disorders. And obviously not, everybody’s at a diagnosable level. But everybody’s had a blue period. Everybody’s had a down period. Everybody’s had some anxiousness around a situation in their life. And so, to really be with somebody else who’s going through that, sometimes it can stir up your own stuff and people don’t always want to go there. It’s just much easier to pull back and avoid. And it’s a sad situation, I think.

Carole: When it first hit me. It took me a couple of years to verbally say out loud, “ My husband has mental illness”.

Carrie: Wow.

Carole: Because there’s just this sort of, “ I don’t want to be that person”.“I don’t want that to be my reality”. And then when I started researching, “ What did that mean?”, “I’m a digger, I’m an information person.” So I started like just going through and finding everything I can, which shockingly enough, there’s not as much information out there for the caregiver, for the person who’s not struggling, but loving somebody struggling. And so what I discovered is this, that mental illnesses is an umbrella.

Carole: and this umbrella has underneath it. Things like postpartum depression. We joke and tease about PMs, women having PMs, but that actually falls under the umbrella of mental illness because mental illness is anything that affects the brain when it attacks the brain, whether it’s depression, whether it’s anxiety, whether it’s fear that we can’t control, it controls how we relate to other people.

It controls how we relate to ourselves. It controls how we eat, how we sleep, and how we do everything in our life. And all of a sudden, we don’t want to realize that we can’t control this.

Carrie: Right

Carole: And it’s taken over everything, destroying our lives in a lot of ways.

Carrie: How did it affect you when your husband started showing these signs of anxiety and depression and suicidal thoughts?

Carole:I don’t think I really realized how far it had gone until a Wednesday night. He had been calling a crisis hotline, trying to find help. He was sitting in a chair with a hoodie over his head and, and not really engaging with the grandchildren. And we were in our son’s house. The only time I didn’t go into the room with him, when he went to call the crisis hotline, he came out and handed me the phone. And what happened was he had said the wrong thing to the person on the phone and started in motion what California calls the 51 50. California welfare code, which means he was now deemed a threat to himself, a threat to someone else.

And they’re wanting to send the police are wanting to send an ambulance and I’m standing there in the kitchen looking at my two-year-old grandson thinking, “ Oh my gosh, what has happened?” And I ended up having to finally convince her, the woman on the phone to let me drive him to a facility. And they told me where to take him. When I dropped him at the facility or I got to go in with him.

But when they finally realized that they could not talk him out of or find a way to feel safe, letting him leave, they literally kicked me out. Like I had an armed guard, walked me to the door, say, don’t come back. And when that happened, I remember it was one o’clock in the morning and I’m standing in the parking lot of the hospital, just sort of screaming, literally verbally out loud into the darkness.

“What the heck have happened to my life?”. It continued into the next morning and it wasn’t until the next morning when I sat down in the quiet of the house and I may, I have a strong faith and it wasn’t until that next morning, when I sat down with my coffee in the empty house. And just started crying out to God. like, “how am I going to deal with this?”

I am terrified myself. And really, I think we have to be honest with what we’re feeling at that moment. I was angry. I was afraid. I was confused. I mean, there’s all of these emotions, you know, that I’m trying to wrangle at the same time. I just think that it’s so easy for them, for us, to fall into the same trap because we’re now in the danger zone.

When we’re trying to deal with the understanding, we put ourselves into the danger zone, and there’s a critical point where we have to decide as a caretaker, as a loved one, as the person, who’s the partner of the husband or the wife, where we have to decide, how am I going to respond to this?

Carrie: Yes. That’s true.

Carole: So I think that’s that determines whether we’re going to stay healthy.

It really determines whether we are going to stay healthy ourselves.

Carrie: If someone who’s listening has a spouse who’s struggling, like from your experience, how do they make sure that they get support that they need? And it’s like this balancing act of trying to make sure that like your needs get met while at the same time, trying to support your spouse.

Carole: You have to be really proactive. The first thing I do, if we were on a video camera where I could turn the camera, I would show you that my window is covered in post-it notes. And the post-it notes are quotes. There are Bible verses. They’re statements that I make to myself. One of them says a scripture that I clung to that my book was actually written.

That’s the core bursts that my book was written on. You have to make a choice. Number one, to change your focus and what are you going to look at? It’s very, very, very, I can’t even say how many veries, easy for us to just want to crawl into the bed of life. Pull the covers up over our head and just ignore everything.

Carrie: Yes.

Carole: Thinking that that’s going to make me isolate. Don’t reach out, especially when people are starting to pull away, it makes it easier to isolate. So the very first thing I did was I called my.. well, I actually had connected with a friend right before this all happened and we had been friends for over 20 years.

And I’m telling her the story of not really understanding the behavior. And this was about maybe six weeks before he had to be hospitalized. So we were just going into the very critical sort of emergency part of his journey into the psychiatric hospital. And she told me it was so funny that day. She told me, she said, “ How many years have we been friends?”

And I said,” Oh!, over 20”. And she said, “ You know that I’m a retired”. And I said, “ Yeah, I know you’re a retired nurse.” And she said, “ What you don’t know is, I’m a retired psychiatric nurse.” And this is what I think is going on inside of bill. And so when we are willing to open ourselves up now like I blog about it, I wrote a book about it.

I talk about it everywhere. That’s not what the normal average person is required to do, but you do need to look around you because I found that there were perfectly placed people like my friend, Nancy, who was a psychiatric nurse, and she continues today to be one of my strongest advisers, supporters, encouragers.

And then I myself said, “ I need therapy. I need help because I need to deal with me. I have to take care of me.” And right on my window, I have it written: “ If I don’t take care of me, I can’t take care of anybody else.”

Carrie: Yes

Carole: If I want to stay married, if I want to stay healthy, if I want to keep from getting emotionally unstable, I have to take care of myself.

So I have all kinds of things that I do under the umbrella of self-care. And I say umbrella over and over, because I really do think that, that we are in a storm and I have this picture of this umbrella where God is kind of like the umbrella. And so when I refer to umbrella, it’s just kind of become this idea in my mind that everything you’re not in this alone, you have to have help.

I have all of these different umbrellas in my life. And so you have to get help, get counseling yourself, do physical things, make sure you eat well, make sure you sleep well. Make sure you do something fun. I have seven grandchildren and they give me so much joy. So, I’m always trying to find ways that I can go do something with one of them, because it’s going to take me away from the fear or the pressure or whatever.It helps me stop thinking for a moment.

Carrie: Yeah. That’s great. I, you know, so many of the things that you’re talking about are, are awesome. We have entire episodes on some of those. We have episodes on self-care. We have an episode that’s coming out before this one on sleep and nutrition, so many good things.

And I think a lot of people take that for granted. They don’t realize that there’s a foundation that you have to build healthy mental health on and things like sleep, nutrition, exercise, social support, self-care,. Those are all great, like foundational bricks and building blocks that are going to help you be able to work on the next level of your mental health sometimes, which is whether it’s dealing with past a few, you know, triggers and all of that.

Did you have some of that come up for you? Like when you went to therapy, like things started to kind of unravel that you learned about yourself. Like, “ Oh, this is here. I didn’t realize that.”

Carol: Yeah, well, my dad was an abusive alcoholic, so my younger life was chaotic. Moving into adulthood. I carried all kinds of baggage with me and I had already began to deal with this.

So if I had one hot button, uh, that we would call that, that one thing that would push me over the edge emotionally, every time it would be the word rejection. Because when you are rejected as a child, it’s really hard going into your adult life and not carrying that with you because you just, you always feel why did my father not love me?

Why did this happen to me? This happened right before our 40th wedding anniversary. And I had spent so much time learning to trust. There was an experience that happened in the hospital where the psychiatrist made my husband looked at me and he was yelling at him and he said, “ Look at her.” And he forced him.

Like, he forced my husband to roll over in the bed and look at me. And he said, “Do you want to do this to her? Do you know?” And he’s yelling into this room. Well, yelling is another hot topic for me. All of a sudden, my husband looked at the doctor said, “ Do you really want to do that to her?” And my husband looked at me in the eye, closed his eyes and rolled away , the ultimate rejection.

And I will tell you, Carrie, I still, to this day, I’m recovering from that. And it’s been five years, almost five years. Well, by the time this airs, it will have been five years that I’ve been dealing with this. And I think that our past really plays a part. The beautiful thing is, is that I was, I’ve been able to over the last five years, creates some really practical ways that when his anxiety and control turns into blame and anger towards me, I have found some incredible ways that I can deal with it without it destroying me while, I’m putting myself back together from that rejection, I’ve actually been getting stronger and stronger because I’m using those tools, that foundation that you talked about from years of therapy, getting over that. But I think there’s just some things that never go away. And it was sort of shocking to me to realize how much rejection played a part and still plays a part in how I have to choose every day to find that joy,
to find that commitment to stay on the course that I believe that I’m supposed to stay on, which is to love and care for my husband.

Carrie: Awesome. Do you feel like joy is a choice? Cause I mean, you, you know, your title starts out with finding joy. So, do you feel like that’s something that we have to be really intentional about?

I think a lot of people think about joy is like either have it or you don’t somehow.

Carole: Yeah. And I think that the word joy is, is a very misunderstood word. So the morning, the reason joy is in the title of my book is this, the morning after I left him in the psychiatric hospital, I was sitting on the couch.

I was drinking my coffee and I opened up my scripture because,as a pastor’s wife, as a Christian for all of these years, that’s the first place I would always turn when I’m looking for comfort, when I’m looking for hope, when I’m looking for something that’s going to help me sort of set aside all of these negative emotions and say,” Okay, God, you’re really there. You’re going to take care of me, whatever.” So I flipped up in my scripture to where I was reading at the time in the book of James and the first scripture I look at is James Chapter one, Verse two, where it says, “ Consider it all joy, My brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith is going to produce endurance.”

And I remember reading the words, consider it all joy. My brothers, when you encounter various trials, Lambing the bookshelf and looking up. And I talked to God in a very real way. I get mad and I verbalize it out loud. There are times when I’m walking down the street and people are like, “ Who’s she talking to?”

But I snapped at him. I said, “ Really?” I said, “ Really God, my life is falling apart. And this is the scripture you give me to consider it joy?”. How in the world do you consider? So I looked at it in a different version and it said “ Considered a sheer gift.” Well, that’s even worse because I really don’t want this gift, but then my eyes focused in on one word. And I’m telling you that morning before, really? I didn’t even know where my husband was, but at that moment, two things changed for me, consider it all joy, when It didn’t say consider it all joy which means we need to understand as humans, that that was going to happen. And when it happens, we need to understand that God is not only there, but He’s already provided and is going to continue.

And I have story after story, after story, even down to last week where just crazy things happen, where God shows up. So joy is a choice because my joy is not founded in the circumstances. My joy is founded in that relationship and trust that I have believing that God is in control because right after I saw that word, I slid down into another verse, a couple of verses later, and it says your faith-life is going to be on display for everyone to see.

Now I was already a speaker. I was already a blogger. I was already very sort of traveling around and talking. I worked in Hollywood for many years, so I understood what it meant for your faith life to be on display. And I got this vision of God saying, “ Girl, I got a plan for you and you’re going to help all of these people that don’t know where to find help when they’re in your circumstance and carry that as what has been happening.”

A week doesn’t go by that somebody doesn’t reach out, who’s overwhelmed, who’s searching and I’m able to just lovingly say, “ Okay, here we are. I get it. I know exactly what you’re going through.” Sometimes I cry with them. You know, sometimes I can encourage them. Sometimes they just need to listen and know that there’s somebody out there.

Carrie: That gets it.

Carole: That’s making it work. That’s getting it. Joy is definitely a choice. It’s a daily choice. Sometimes it’s some three-second choice, you know, sometimes I have to say, “ Okay, joy, I’m going to choose joy. Okay. I’m going to choose joy.” And then there are days where I might be laying face down on the carpet, just crying and sobbing. And yet I’m still choosing joy.

Carrie: Yeah.

Carole: I’m still choosing joy.

Carrie: I think people misunderstand joy, you know, and they, they believe it’s like happiness or some kind of like warm, fuzzy feeling. But to me, joy and hope are very similar because in a sense, joy is saying, “ I know something good is gonna come out of this, even though it’s a really bad situation right now.”

And it’s, I don’t see anything good about it, but I’m choosing to delight in God and in what he’s done in my life and what I know he’s going to do. Like, I know that somehow this story has a good ending.

Carole: Yeah. And I think when we choose joy, it opens our eyes to the possibilities of things that are around us.

If I didn’t choose joy, then I would miss those moments with my like tonight, I’m going to go tonight with my 15-year-old grandson, I’m going to serve baked potatoes in the booth at the football game, while he marches in the band, I’m going to go and I’m going to do that. Um, and I’m choosing to do that.

Now, some people will go “ Where’s the joy, where’s the fun in that?” But what you’re doing is it’s a mindset of just living. You’re going to keep living. And so many times when we face crises, especially when we’re loving, like my relationship. I lost my identity as a wife, as a pastor’s wife, and even as a mother for a period of time, it was hard because I had to redefine, what does this look like inside of me?

And yet when we choose joy, then we open ourselves up to the possibilities of what is going to happen because of this. You know, I asked myself sometimes, “ I didn’t sign up for this.” You know, “ Why did this happen to me?” Somebody asked me one time,” Why did, why, why did God do this to me? What did I do to make him so mad?”

I was like, “I don’t even know. That’s not even in my wheel. That’s not even something that ever crosses my mind.” But when I do start saying, “I didn’t sign up for this, I didn’t deserve this. I didn’t ask for this.”, all of a sudden the focus has changed from what’s the possible, “ How am I going to survive this? How am I going to get healthy in spite of this?” is changed to the problem. It’s changed to focusing on the negativity. It’s changed to focusing on the things I can’t change. I can’t change what’s going on in my husband’s brain.

Carrie: Sure.

Carole: I can’t fix it. What I can do, is I can control how I respond to him. I can control how I’m going to deal with it. I can control how, and what my outlook is. And when you say, “ Yeah, something good is going to come out of it” . I really believe that. Well, I’ve already seen so much good come out of it.

Carrie: Yeah. Just that’s a huge mindset shift because I do believe that a lot of people get stuck there. And I don’t think it’s wrong to question God or to say, “ Why I don’t understand this.”

“I’m not getting it”. But we don’t want to get stuck in that place because then we’re missing out on this other piece that you’re talking about. Like, you know, let’s stop focusing on all the things that are negative. The things that I can’t control and okay. “What do you have for me, God, in this season of my life, as I’m going through this struggle, right now?”

Carole: Yeah. I tell a story in the book of, I was standing in my garage one day and I was just mad. I was done. I was mad. I was just standing in the middle of the empty garage. All the cars were gone. It’s the cement and its winter and it’s cold. And I stomp my foot and I just yelled out loud at God, “ What the heck did I ever do to you?”

And in that moment, I realized that I started to giggle because I thought, look at me, I’m like a three year old throwing a tantrum here. So I went over and I picked up a roll of blue painter’s tape and a measuring tape off the tool bench. And I created a three-foot by three-foot square and I measured it out and I taped it off.

And I said, “ I looked up at the ceiling of the garage and I said, “ Okay, God, do you see this square?” And I’m yelling at Him.” Do you see this square?” And I said,” I am stepping into this square and I’m going to let you take care of everything outside of this square.” And when I stepped inside of this square, I all of a sudden the pressure lifted. And I realized that what I was doing is I was trying to take it on all myself.

Carrie: Oh

Carole: And I think that we tend to do that. I’m responsible for making sure he takes his medicine. I’m responsible that he takes the doctor. I’m responsible for this, I’m responsible, I’m responsible. And what made it worse was that the medical professionals at the time were telling me. “ Keep him alive. Just keep him alive until we can find the medication.”

“Just keep him alive until we can figure this out.” “Just keep him alive. And every time they would say,” just keep him alive.” It put more weight into that basket of me being responsible that I’m carrying around. And the most freeing thing was for me that day, when I stepped into that square was I realized I could not keep him alive.

Carrie: Right. Right.

Carol: I could not control his choices. I could not watch him 24/7. I could not make the medication work. And when I realized that ,it was like a deep, like letting a deep breath out. And then I started to breathe normally again, I now can draw a three-foot square with my imagination when I start feeling the pressure and I will step into it.

I will draw it in a grocery store. I’ll drive, I’ve drawn one on an airplane. Whenever that pressure of, of when I’m not giving it up and realizing that I’m not in control, I’ll draw that and step into the square cause that’s me sort of giving up the control.

Carrie: That’s huge. That’s absolutely huge. I think that’s a great practical visual for people to have as well.

One of the things I like to ask guests who have had, you know, a personal story and talk about their own experiences is if you could go back in time, what encouragement or hope would you provide to your younger self?

Carole: That’s an interesting question. I would probably say that “ You don’t need to be so hard on yourself.”

And I would probably say, “You can’t protect them because I’m the oldest of four children.” And another thing I talk about in the book is how I took on the responsibility of those three children. When my parents would fight that I was the mother, I was the protector. I was, I look back now and I think I didn’t have to be that strong.

I think I didn’t have the childhood that I probably could have had because I just sort of poured myself into that. I tried to be the mother. I tried to be the protector and then my mom loved it. Because I took all the responsibility on, then it happened, it was even more required of me to do it. And so I think if I could look back at that younger self, I would say, “ You don’t have, you’re not responsible.

This is not your job. This is not your responsibility. You need to find ways to trust.” And at 16, when I did become a Christian, when I did become a believer of that all shifted because all of a sudden that new relationship that I had with God, all of a sudden, I really feel like I began to understand that, okay, there is something bigger out there in the universe that is controlling and I could never control my parents, or I never could control their choices.

And so that has really, I think if I had learned that earlier, it might have, I don’t know that it would have ever changed the dynamics of what happens now. But I think, I just wonder sometimes if I had known that in the early years of our marriage, how could that have changed it? Not regret, but you know, really looking back and going, okay.

So if I can learn that now, how is that going to change and moving forward? Because I think we can only be where we’re at. When you asked that question about going back and talking to my younger self, I think sometimes that can be a dangerous thing only because we might go, oh, well, you know, if I had learned that I wouldn’t be in this situation.

Carrie: Sure.

Carole: And I think there’s a danger for us as humans to go, oh, well, we’re at the point of no return. And I always liked to say, “ If I’m breathing, then that means my life isn’t over yet. And there’s still something for me to do. There’s still something important for me to be here. No matter how bleak it looks. There is a purpose for me to be here.”

Carrie: Right? Absolutely. Tell us where people can find you. If they’re looking for you or your book, or they want to book you as a speaker, where can they get a hold of you?

Carole: My website is Carol, uh, Carol with an E, C A R O L E caroles journey.com. And my email is carole@carolesjourney.com .And then my book is available through redemptionpress on their website or Amazon, wherever really, uh, books are sold online. All of my social media handles are at carolesjourney. I try to keep it all at caroles journey because I do believe life’s a journey.

Carrie: Yeah

Carole: And then we meet people. I love when we meet people like Carrie now, you and I, our lives are intertwined. And you know, now we’re a part of each other’s journey might be just for one short leg of the journey, but you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. So carolesjourney is kind of my ministry.

That’s how I brand everything. They, I have a website, I have all my social media and if somebody has questions, I, I love if somebody knows somebody who is struggling, who has a spouse or a loved one, who’s struggling. I love to encourage pray for, just try to, you know, we need each other we’ve desperately need each other.

Carrie: Absolutely. I know that I have had spouses reach out who listened to the podcast and who are trying to support their husband or wife. It could be a boyfriend, girlfriend, daughter, son. Whoever’s in their world is very important to them. That’s really struggling with anxiety and OCD, depression, any of those things under the mental health umbrella that you’re talking about.

I think this episode in particular is going to be so encouraging and helpful for them. And I appreciate your willingness to come on and share your story.

Carole: Thank you. Thank you very much, Carrie, for having me. And as we go into the holiday season, that’s a really hard time, especially if you love someone because you need, I almost feel like we need the extra support and encouragement during the holiday season.

That’s just for me, I still have not decorated for Christmas. I know, it’s so bizarre just because I’m thinking this year might be the year I actually do it. I don’t know. We’ll see. But I think that there’s just, it happened for me right before the holiday season. And so we started going into this season and I start,

Carrie: The reminders.

Carole: I’ll wake up in a funk and I’ll go, “ What’s going on?”

And then I’ll go, “ Oh, I know exactly what’s going on.” I just really encourage everyone. Please just reach out, find somebody to reach out to. Don’t isolate.

Carrie: Yeah. It gets the support that you need for sure.

Carrie: Well, thank you so much.

Carole: Thank you, Carrie

Carrie: I hope that you were inspired by Carole’s story. We love to talk with people who have personal stories about anxiety or OCD.

So, if you or someone, you know, would make a great guest. Definitely fill out the contact form @hopeforanxietyandocd.com. Thank you so much for listening.

Hope for anxiety and OCD is a production of By the Well Counseling in Smyrna, Tennessee. Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum and audio editing is completed by Benjamin Bynam. Until next time. May you be comforted by God’s great love for you.