This is the end / a So-Called Normal podcast finale

I launched my So-Called Normal podcast around Bell Let’s Talk day in Canada in 2019. So, it made sense to me to wrap it up at the same time.

I set out to do 50 episodes over the course of a year. We’ve done more than 60. I’ve had the great privilege to be invited into the homes of people like Rosie O’Donnell and Glenn Close, and to have so many talented, distinguished, brilliant, and brave people with me in studio.

My goal in this project was to add some colour to what is an often black and white conversation about mental health. The world isn’t so simple. People are rarely ill or not, happy or not, successful or not. Much more often their stories are messy and complicated, they’re nuanced and contradictory, and even people who seem like they have it all together sometimes, well, don’t. None of us do, at least, not all of us all at once.

The through line to all of these stories is that most of us are just figuring it out as we go. If you’re striving for some idealized version of “normal” that you think others have access to, you won’t find it. We all mess up and get set back, and most of us just keep pushing through anyway. This isn’t some cheesy redemption story – it’s just how life goes.

Since I wanted this podcast to be about other people, I didn’t share much of my own story in the conversations. I thought that would be a good thing to do in the finale as well. So, embedded below, you’ll find a very special four-part finale episode, which we released on Bell Let’s Talk day 2020. In it, for the very first time, I have an in depth conversation with “the stranger in the brown jacket” who saved my life, as mentioned in my TEDx Talk. I found, and met Mike Richey five years ago with the help of social media, in a story that went viral around the world.

I’m grateful to eOne and everyone who made this podcast possible. All my life I wanted to be normal, just like everyone else. Doing this show has affirmed for me that there’s no such thing as normal. That’s incredibly liberating.

You do you, and I hope that you screw up a lot along the way. You don’t build resilience by being perfect. Falling down is the only thing that helps you learn to get back up.

Everytime I do, it helps to remind myself of something that still keeps me going.

This is not the end.

If you’re interested in listening to the past episodes, you can find those wherever you listen to podcasts, including these places!

Thanks for listening!

Mark

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