Me and My Brain is all about mental health and living with mental illness. I want to give a voice to people who live with mental illness to fight misconceptions and stigma, and show that we're just as perfectly imperfect as anyone else. I use my own experience as a former psychiatric nurse and mental health advisor, combined with lived experience of bipolar disorder, to form a new and uplifting narrative about mental illness.
I hope that by talking openly and honestly about mental illness we can encourage others to do the same so that one day nobody feels the need to suffer in silence. While it's a heavy subject, I like to look at the lighter side of life with mental illness as well, like the time I instigated a Boney M day at work when I was hypomanic!
I'm entirely self-taught and self-funded and I'm delighted that so many people have reached out to say that they find my podcast both entertaining AND useful.
I love listening to Podcasts - it's like having a tailor-made radio station in your pocket! My original goal was to create something positive out of my own mental health experiences.
I actually thought about it for a whole year - my son bought me my microphone in December 2016, but it took me until March 2018 to release my first episode. I knew that if I waited until I was 100% sure I could publish a totally polished and professional podcast it would never get done, so I took a leap of faith and hoped that my listeners could overlook my somewhat amateurish grasp of the tech and focus on the content instead.
That said, although it's a steep learning curve, I love all the new skills I'm developing as I continue to improve the quality of my podcast.
I try to release one episode per fortnight, and I use my spare time to make it. It can be hard fitting it in, but having spent most of 2017 being very unwell I actually appreciate the commitment I've made to my podcast as it's helping me form a routine I can stick to.
I do fund the podcast myself- I've recently set up a ko-fi.com button on my site to help, though.
I don't get any material benefit from my podcast BUT I get a huge amount of satisfaction and fulfilment from it. The messages I've had from listeners who say it's helped them through a difficult time or educated them about how to help a friend or relative, well, that's priceless.
I record and edit and host my podcast using Cast. As a total newbie the all-in-one platform has made it easy for me to just get on with podcasting. Any pre-recorded snippets I record and edit in Audacity. I use a Samson Go microphone.
I'm lucky in that lots of my friends are happy to be interviewed but I'm also lucky in that people around the world are starting to reach out to me to be featured as well.
Most of my listeners come via my social media feeds - I use Facebook and Instagram a lot, and Twitter slightly less (I find it too noisy!). I try to network as much as possible at mental health awareness events as well.
Just do it! Don't wait until it's perfect and shiny, just start recording and put it out there. If your content is meaningful and informative your readers will forgive the odd hiccup. You will make mistakes, but that's fine - work out how they happened and then change what needs to be changed.